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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Arthur J. Bruce

General Contractor & Landowner




    Arthur J. Bruce is a leading and well known general contractor of Manchester and is also one of the large landowners of the county, owning much property both in this locality and in other states. He was born September 2, 1868, a son of John A. and Mary Ann (Pisheon) Bruce, natives of New York state and Maine respectively. They went to Michigan in their youth and were married in that state, whence, in 1854 or 1855, they came to Delaware county, Iowa. In Coffins Grove township the father purchased a farm of W. B. Lindsey and the family home was maintained upon that property until 1886, when a removal was made to Manchester. The mother passed away in that city in March, 1893, and the father followed her in death two years later. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living, the subject of this review being the fifth in order of birth.

     Arthur J. Bruce remained at home until he was twenty one years of age and then attended Cornell College of Iowa for three years, after which he taught school in the winter and worked at the carpenter's trade during the summer months for some time. Eventually he entered into partnership with his brother Frank and they became well known as contractors and builders. After several years the association was dissolved and since then Mr. Bruce of this review has continued the business alone. He has built the greater number of the principal dwelling houses and stores in Manchester and now most of his work is the erection of public buildings and business blocks. The success which has come to him is well deserved as he is scrupulously careful to fulfill to the letter every contract and to see that all work is done as it should be. He owns a third interest in a tract of twenty four hundred acres in South Dakota arid holds title to five hundred and twenty acres in Minnesota, in addition to being heavily interested in Washington and Oregon timber land, lie owns a fine residence on Union street, Manchester, and also has his shops and three other houses. He was a director of the State Savings Bank until it was absorbed by the Farmers & Merchants State Savings Bank.

     Mr. Bruce was married in 1891 to Miss Rose E. Chapel, a native of Winnebago county, Illinois, and a daughter of Joshua Lee Chapel, who was born in Connecticut. Her mother was Beulah Theresa

Arthur J. Bruce


Mandeville and was born in New York state. Both parents came to Iowa at an early date and settled in Delaware county, where they lived the remainder of their lives. Mrs. Bruce is one of a family of six children, all of whom are living.
     Mr. Bruce is a republican in his political views, but, although he takes a keen interest in everything relating to the public welfare, he has never desired office. Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason and also a member of the Knights of Pythias. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bruce are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and he has served as one of the stewards for a number of years. His life has been filled with useful activity and all who know him agree that his salient characteristics are a keen sense of honor, industry and sound business judgment.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 182-185.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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