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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Matthias Brayton

Pioneer & Farmer

Delaware Twp.



       When death claimed Matthias Brayton on the 12th of February, 1898, Delaware county suffered a distinct loss, for, coming here during the pioneer development of this section, he had always taken a most prominent part in its upbuilding along agricultural and various other lines. He was a native of Steuben county, New York, born September 7, 1822, a son of Jonas and Susan (Whitney) Brayton, both natives of Washington county, New York, the former born in 1799, and the latter in 1800. In 1852 they left their home in the Empire state and took up their abode in Delaware county, becoming worthy pioneers of this section of the state. The father died here ten years after his arrival, in 1862, while the mother surviving for many years, departed this life in 1887. They were devout members of the Baptist church.

     Matthias Brayton was reared in Washington county, New York, to the age of twelve years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Erie county, that state, where the period of his later youth and early manhood was passed. In 1851, in company with a party of young men, he journeyed to the middle west and entered from the government in Delaware township, Delaware county, one hundred and sixty acres of land. At that time the settlers were few and widely scattered and much of the land was necessarily in its wild and uncultivated state, for this was but five years subsequent to the admission of the state into the Union. The subject of this review returned to his home in New York, but after a brief period made his way to California, traveling by way of the Isthmus of Panama. He spent two years on the Pacific coast engaged in mining for gold and in other pursuits.

     In 1854 Mr. Brayton returned to New York and immediately thereafter made his way once more to Delaware county to take up his permanent residence on his farm. This place he improved and cultivated until the time of his death and in the years that passed became recognized as a prominent factor in each and every movement inaugurated for the good of the community. In connection with his farming interests he engaged in raising stock and also in dairying. The only creamery of any consequence up to that time in the state of Iowa, the products of which won the premium at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, was erected on Mr. Brayton's farm by John Stewart. This was afterward purchased and operated by Mr. Brayton. He was a successful man in his business enterprises and as prosperity came to him he invested in farm property, so that at the time of his demise he was the possessor of three hundred acres of rich and valuable land in Delaware county.

     Mr. Brayton was married January 28, 1852, to Miss Jane Allbee, who was born in Erie county, New York, July 10, 1829, a daughter of Benjamin and Martha (Thompson) Allbee, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New Hampshire. The mother died in 1843 at the age of fifty six years, while the father, surviving until 1857, departed this life at the advanced age of ninety six years.

     The union of Mr. and Mrs. Brayton was blessed with seven children: Henry, who operates a farm near Ryan, Iowa; Lucy J., who for several years past has been engaged in teaching and is at home; one who died in infancy; Ida L. who died at the age of two years; Susie A., who is also engaged in teaching and lives at home; Grant, who manages the home place; and Carr C., who departed this life when a youth of sixteen years.

     Mr. Brayton was deeply interested in the welfare of his community and participated actively in much of the progress and development that has here taken place. His memory will long be cherished by the many who were his friends.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 6-7.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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