J. H. Tryon
The building interests of Manilla have been most ably represented in the person of J. H. Tryon, who has been engaged in contracting for nearly 'thirty years.
He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on the 13th of August, 1852, and is a son of Noah J. Elizabeth Jane (Smith) Tryon. The father was born on old General Harrison's farm in either Miami county, Indiana, or just across the line in Ohio, continuing to live there until about 1847, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Vigo county, Indiana. After residing in the latter place about twenty years he went to Missouri, locating at Neosho, where be lived. for six years, and then returned to Terre Haute, in which city he passed away in 1873. He was also a contractor and builder and a mechanic of more than average skill.
His maternal grandfather Gardner was of English extraction but a native of New York, in which state he learned shipbuilding, being identified with that trade in New York City for a time, following which he migrated west. He first located in eastern Indiana, where he accepted a position as overseer on the estate of General Harrison, but later. he removed to Terre Haute, buying a farm, in the cultivation of which he engaged until he passed away about 1869.
Noah J. Tryon was twice drafted into the Union army but the first time he failed to pass the examination, and the second he was compelled to hire a substitute. He met Miss Smith, who subsequently became his wife, in Vigo county, Indiana, in which county they were married. She was a native of Mercer county, Kentucky, as was also her father, John Wesley Smith, who for many years was an overseer for Colonel Thompson, a large slaveholder in Virginia. Mrs. Tryon passed away in 1894 and was buried in Defiance, Iowa, the father, however, was interred in Vigo county, Indiana. They were the parents of ten children, only three of whom are now living: J. H., who is our subject; and Amanda, John Wesley, William, and Cynthia Ellen, all four of whom are deceased ; Albert Riley, living in the vicinity of Defiance, Iowa; and Agnes and Mahlon B., both deceased; Katherine, the wife of John Alman Dunham, of Los Angeles, California; and Noah J., also deceased.
J. H. Tryon remained at home until he had attained his twenty-third year, acquiring his education in the public schools of Vigo county, Indiana, following the completion of which he engaged in work with his father until he had mastered his trade. He removed to Shelby county, Iowa, in 1879, locating upon a farm on the present site of the town of Defiance. Although he was engaged in agricultural pursuits he devoted the greater part of his energies to the carpenter's trade during the first year of his residence there, later undertaking contracting as well. From there he removed to Manilla, erecting the first residence in the town which was for a Mr. Fuller, and there he has ever since continued to make his home. He has built a large portion of the town, in addition to the large number of residences and buildings he has constructed outside of the city limits. Buildings within a radius of fifty miles, whether of brick, stone, cement or frame have been erected by him. He has been most successful in his work and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of the town. Mr. Tryon has acquired quite extensive real-estate interests, and in addition to his home and other residences in Manilla owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in MeLean county, North Dakota and some property in Los Angeles, California.
While residing in Vigo county, Indiana, Mr. Tryon was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Jane Smith, a native of that county, and they have become the parents of the following: Claude Orval, who is associated with his father in contracting and building, married Miss Hazel May DeWitt in 1908, and they have one child, Merle. Rula A. and Charley A., who is a piano tuner, are both at home. Bertha Ethel, who is the wife of G. J. Disburg, a railway operator of Manilla, has two children: Georgia Elizabeth and Gilbert James. Five children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Tryon but the eldest died in infancy.
The family attend the Methodist and Presbyterian churches though the parents are members of Christian church of Defiance. Fraternally Mr. Tryon is affiliated with the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is quite prominent in the latter organization, being one of the charter memo bers of the Manilla lodge, which is now twenty-six years old and in which he has passed all of the chairs. Mr. Tryon is well and favorably known throughout the community in which he has been engaged in business for so many years, and where he has made many friends. Hs is a man of unusual skill and versatility and has exhibited considerable ability as an architect, always having executed the designs for all of his work.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.