IAGenWeb logo

Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Henry Dolley




     Henry Dolley, a retired farmer living in Delhi, belongs to that class of representative men who owe their success to well-directed and persistent efforts. He was born in Prussia, Germany, April 23, 1838, a son of Christopher and Catherine Dolley. In 1842 the family came to America, landing at New York city, whence they made their way westward to Chicago over the Erie canal route. They remained in that city until 1852 and then came to Delaware county, Iowa, which was then a frontier district giving little promise of the rapid development which would bring about the present day conditions of advancement and prosperity. They settled at Buck Creek and the father entered two tracts of land of forty acres each and also purchased forty acres. Thereafter he engaged continuously and successfully in general farming and stock-raising to the time of his death, which occurred on the 5th of December, 1888. For about ten years he had survived his wife and was then laid to rest by her side in the Buck Creek cemetery.
     Henry Dolley had meager educational opportunities and throughout his active life was a most industrious, energetic man. He early learned the meaning of earnest toil and in all the ensuing years down to the time of his retirement his life was a busy and useful one, his untiring energy bringing to him a substantial measure of prosperity. As his financial resources increased he kept adding to his property until he now has about four hundred acres in his own name. While upon the farm he handled Red Polled cattle and also carried on general farming and stock raising.
     In 1868 Mr. Dolley was united in marriage to Miss Theresa File, and to them were born seven children, of whom five are now living: Melvin O., Henry, Emma, Theodore and William. The only daughter is now the wife of Willis Willard. The mother passed away in 1889 and Mr. Dolley afterward wedded Mary Mohr, a daughter of Claus and Margaret (Hanka) Mohr. By the second union there has been born one child, Lena, now the wife of Henry Spahl, living near Ryan.
     For many years Mr. Dolley worked hard and thus accumulated a competency. In the fall of 1909 he took up his abode in Delhi, where he purchased an attractive little home which he has since occupied. It was his intention to retire altogether from business life, yet indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and he says he has to do some work in order to feel at his best. In politics he has always been a democrat, but never an office seeker, preferring to concentrate his attention upon his private interests. He has been an interested witness of the growth and development of this county for more than six decades, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. He has seen the wild lands claimed and converted into good farms and as the years have gone on his labors have brought to him a measure of success that is gratifying. At the same lime he has contributed to the agricultural development of the county and in his business and other relations has so conducted himself as to win the high respect of all who know him.


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 413-414.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


Return to Delaware County