Miss Clara Helen Childs is a capable business woman, ably managing her well
improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Delaware township.
This place was also the scene of her birth and she is the eldest in a family of
six children whose parents were Wattson and Drusilla (Shelden) Childs, both of
whom were natives of New York. After reaching mature years, the father came to
the middle west, spending a short time in La Salle county, Illinois, the year of
his arrival there being 1854. The following year he continued his journey
westward, spending a short time in Delaware county, Iowa. In July, 1855, he
returned to Illinois and for some time engaged in teaching in Winnebago county,
that state. He came to Iowa again in the spring of 1857 and thereafter resided
in Delaware county.
In the fall of 1859 Wattson Childs returned to the Empire state and was there
married to Miss Drusilla Shelden, after which he came with his young bride to
Delaware county. For three years he operated rented land here and then
purchased the farm which is now the
Wattson and Drusilla
the farm which is now the property of his daughter, Clara. This remained the
scene of his activities throughout his life. When the property came into his
possession it was largely wild and unimproved, but he at once broke the sod,
plowed his fields and planted his crops. He also erected substantial buildings
on the place and planted fruit and shade trees, the fine grove of pine trees
which is here seen having been set out by him. As the years passed and he
prospered in his undertakings he added to his land holdings and at the time of
his death had accumulated a handsome property which was left to his children.
Mr. Childs was a republican in his political views and for a period of thirty
years served as a member of the school board. He was also a member of the
Grange. He was reared in accordance with the strict and rigid rules of a Quaker
parentage and these principles ever guided his life. He was straightforward and
honorable in all his dealings with his fellowmen and any statement made by him
could be relied upon to the letter.
Thus it was that his death, which occurred on the 13th of April, 1910, brought
deep sorrow not only to the members of his immediate household but to a large
circle of friends and acquaintances. His wife preceded him to the home beyond,
her death occurring October 17, 1902.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Childs numbered six children: Clara, whose name
introduces this review; Edith L., who has departed this life; one who died in
infancy; Wilbert V., who resides on a portion of the old homestead farm; Elmer
W., who makes his home in Nebraska; and Robert E., a resident of Delaware
Clara Childs was reared in the home of her parents and her early education was
acquired in the schools of her home locality, while later she enjoyed the
advantages of a normal school course. She pursued a course in stenography and
was thus employed for three years. She was also engaged in teaching school for
several years but is now giving her entire attention to the management of her
farm. Sixty acres of this she purchased, while her father deeded to her one
hundred acres, so that her possessions now embrace one hundred and sixty acres
situated on section 22 Delaware township. This is one of the well improved
tracts of that section of the county, and the soil is rich arid alluvial,
yielding splendid crops each year. Hers is a pleasant and hospitable home and
she is surrounded by a host of warm and admiring friends, many of whom have been
associated with her from her early childhood.
Miss Childs is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church and is an
active worker in the Ladies' Aid Society of the church, while she is also
identified with the Patrons of Husbandry.