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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Contractor & Lumberman




    Fred Durey, for many years a contractor of Manchester and until quite recently also engaged in the lumber business here, possesses the full confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen, who know him to be upright and honorable. He has passed his eighty-second birthday but is still active, his mind retaining its clarity and vigor and his health being excellent. He was born July 1, 1832, in England, a son of William and Rebecca (Meckley) Durey natives of England and France respectively. The father was a farmer by occupation and was highly regarded by those who were associated with him. He died in 1865 and the mother passed away about that year. They were the parents of eight children, five of whom survive: Albert, a resident of England; Emma, the wife of John Miller, also a resident of England; Fred; Clark, living in Manchester, Iowa; and Sarah, who is unmarried and resides at Englewood, Illinois.

     Fred Durey was given but meager educational advantages and received the greater part of his schooling through attending night school

in England. When about thirteen years of age he shipped upon a sailboat plying in the English channel and was with that vessel for two years and for six months was on the Queen Victoria, a somewhat larger ship. In 1847, when fifteen years of age, he emigrated to the United States and settled in New York state, where he resided for about four years. He then came west and for four years resided in Illinois. In 1858 he removed to this county. Two years before he drove from Batavia, Illinois, to Delaware county and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, but returned to Illinois and continued to reside there until 1858, when he again made the trip by team, this time being accompanied by his family. He devoted his time to the cultivation of his farm until 1886 and then removed to Manchester and went into the lumber and contracting business. In 1906 he sold out his lumber interests. He has built thirty-two houses for him­self which he rents to tenants and which bring him in a substantial addition to his income. The first house which he built was his residence upon the farm and while living there he saw a great deal of the Indians, who were numerous at that time. One day while he was breaking the land a number of Indians came to his house and he gave them meat and flour. This won their friendship and for three years they were frequent visitors and always came as friends.
     On the 1st of March, 1852, Mr. Durey was united in marriage to Miss Antoinette Tillotson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Tillotson, both natives of the state of New York, where they passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Durey have been born seven children, five of whom survive. Jennie is the widow of Pratt Steward, who passed away in 1912. William is a resident of Michigan and Delia became the wife of Fay Stewart on the 12th of November, 1881. Mrs. Stewart resides in Manchester, a devoted daughter, ministering to the care and comfort of her parents in their declining years. To Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were born seven children, five of whom survive, namely: Eva, the wife of Peter John­son, a resident of Illinois; Claud, who lives in Omaha; Nettie, the wife of Alvin Boe and a resident of Sherbrooke, North Dakota; Ruby, a teacher; and Roy, who is at home. The fourth of the living children of Mr. and Mrs. Durey is Bert, who lives in Manchester, and the fifth is Maude, a resident of Waterloo, Iowa.
     Mr. Durey always voted the republican ticket until the last election, when he supported Wilson for president. Although he has resided in Manchester for almost thirty years, he retains his farming property, owning a fine tract of four hundred acres of land in this county, and receives there from a good annual income. His wife is a member of the United Brethren church and takes an active interest in its work. Both husband and wife are widely known and highly respected in Delaware county, where they have lived for over five decades and where they have always proven themselves honest, just and kindly.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 214-217.

               Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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