Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


John Dale Newcom

Among the pioneers to whom Crawford county is greatly indebted for the development of its natural resources must be numbered John Dale Newcom, who by his thrift, energy and well directed effort has acquired eleven hundred acres of land in Stockholm and Milford townships.

He was born in Scotland county, Missouri, on the 11th of January, 1843, his parents being W. T. and Margaretta (Dale) Newcom, originally from near Frankfort, Kentucky. Migrating to Crawford county in the spring of 1867, Mr. Newcom bought two hundred and ten acres of prairie land, which he cleared and improved, continuing its cultivation until he passed away at the age of eighty-two years. A man of remarkable vitality and endurance, he always led an active life, continuing to travel over the Iowa prairies on horseback until he had passed the eightieth anniversary of his birth. Robust and healthy, he was never ill, and retained full command of his faculties until the last, death coming to him while sitting in his chair. He enlisted for the Black Hawk war in Springfield, Illinois, where he was also mustered out, going to the front under the command of General Whiteside, Mrs. Newcom's demise occurred at the age of seventy-two, three years prior to that of her husband.

Thirteen children were born to them, as follows: Mary E., the wife of Charles O. Stovall, of Peabody, Kansas; James S., who passed away on the 25th of March, 1909; Martha A., who died at the age of eighteen while living in Missouri; John Dale, our subject; Sam, a resident of Boyer; Clarinda, the wife of T. D. Tucker, of Kent, Washington; Richard, who lives in Mason City; Robert, who died in infancy; George W., living in Odebolt, Iowa; Alice, the deceased wife of W. M. Tucker, of Denison; Cassius W., of Bonesteel, South Dakota; Louisa, who married C. Arnold, of Mason City; and Joshua. of Arlington, Nebraska.

A rather unusual coincidence in connection with the wives of the seven sons of the Newcom family is remarked in the names, four of them bearing that of Mary and three of the four Mary Jane.

The early years of John Dale Newcom were spent on the homestead in Missouri, in the district schools of which state he acquired his education. He was not much more than a youth when he came to Iowa, where he obtained employment as a farm hand at fifteen dollars per month. Being very ambitious, he aspired to become a property owner, so with this end in view practiced the most rigid economy, carefully putting away his earnings until in 1865 he was able to buy one hundred and thirty acres of land. Here he engaged in general farming and stock-raising, improving his farm as he was able, and at the same time he kept adding to his holdings until his realty aggregated eleven hundred acres, which is located on sections 28, 29, 32 and 33 of Stockholm township and sections 4, 5 and 8 of Milford township. The homestead is known as the Newcom Siding Stock Farm, as Mr. Newcom takes great pride in his stock, particularly his Hereford cattle, of which he has an excellent breed.

Mr. Newcom has twice married, his first union being on the 1st of November, 1868, with Miss Sarah Ann Dobson, a daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Taylor) Dobson, of Deloit, Iowa. Mrs. Newcom, who passed away in February, 1881, was laid to rest in the cemetery of her parental home at Deloit. Of the two children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Newcom but one attained maturity, Anna Beatrice, who became the wife of J. L. Riggleman, of Crawford county. The son, James Eli, died at the age of four years.

For his second wife Mr. Newcom chose Miss Mary Jane Johnson of Palmyra, Missouri, a daughter of William R. and Clementine (Adams) Johnson, to whom he was married on the 22d of February, 1882. There have been no children born of this union, but Mr. and Mrs. Newcom have adopted two, Raymond I. and Irene Newcom.

Mr. Newcom affiliates with the church of the Latter Day Saints and his wife with the Christian denomination. His political support is always given the men and measures of the democratic party. He has never been an office seeker, however, always having preferred to devote his energies to the direction and advancement of his personal interests. He is in every sense of the word a selfmade man, his unusual success being entirely attributable to his own untiring and capably directed effort. Through a period of nearly fifty years' residence in Crawford he has made many acquaintances, the majority of whom can be classed under the more intimate term of friends, and each and all accord him the respect his powers and ability must ever command.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.