Peter Guthrie has retired from the cares of active life and is living in
Hopkinton, but he was for many years an energetic farmer of South Fork township and his labor brought him a gratifying
competence. He was born
February 22, 1823, in County Antrim, Ireland, where he remained until he reached
the age of twenty seven years, at which time he crossed the Atlantic to the new
world and settled in Livingston county, New York, where
he remained with relatives for five and a half years. He then came to Hopkinton
by way of Dubuque and purchased eighty acres of land in the county from the Rev.
Dr. Roberts, paying eight dollars an acre. He
subsequently added to his property until he became the owner of two hundred and
forty acres of land situated on sections 15, 21 and 22, South Fork township. He was a tireless worker and. as he also
displayed excellent judgment in the management of his farm,
he annually realized a good profit from the sale of his farm products. He now
lives retired at Hopkinton and his son Robert J. is operating the home farm,
which he rents from his father. The latter is ninety-one years of age, but is
still in excellent health and takes a keen and intelligent interest in the work
of the world.
In 1856 Mr. Guthrie was married to Miss Jane Ann Guthrie, his second cousin, who
died in 1871 at the comparatively early age of forty three years. To them were
born five children, of whom one son died in infancy,
the others being as follows. Dr. James Renwick, born
July 22, 1858, is now dean of the College of Medicine at the State University of
Iowa, where he has been a professor for twenty-five years. On the twenty-fifth
of his service as professor he was given a beautiful loving cup by his former
students. The presentation speech was made by Dr. R. E.
Conniff, of Sioux City, a graduate of the university with the class of
1884. Dr. James R. Guthrie married Miss Harriet Dowsell
and they became the parents of two children: Edward, who died in infancy: and
Helen Janann. Robert John, born October 16, 1861,
the second son of our subject, is farming the homestead.
He was married to Miss Jennie Mullen and they have become parents of seven
children. William B., Ph.D., was born September 8,
1868, and after completing the course in the common schools entered Lenox
College, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in
1893. He continued his studies in the State University of Iowa and in 1895 was
granted the degree of Ph.D., by that institution.
From 1895 to 1897 he taught history in Lenox College and then entered the
graduate school of the University of Chicago. He subsequently was a student in
political science at Columbia University and from 1889 to 1900 he studied at the
University of Berlin. In 1900 and 1901 he was employed in the library of history
and political economy in the University of Chicago and in 1901 and 1902 he again
studied abroad, attending lectures in the universities of Berlin and Paris. He
is the author of several books dealing with political and social questions,
including, "Housing Problems in Germany" and "Socialism before the French
Revolution," the latter dedicated to his father and sister. He is at present
assistant professor of modern history in the College of New York, lecturer on
social science under the board of education and special lecturer on foreign
investments in the school of commerce and finance of the University of New York.
He married Miss Jennie Kelso, of Bellevue, Jackson county, Iowa, and they have
one child. Mary Ellen, the only daughter, was born January 29, 1866, and is a
graduate of Lenox College. After her graduation she taught a class in her alma
mater as assistant, but is now keeping house and caring for her father. In
January, 1875, Mr. Guthrie married Mrs. Jane Woodburn, a
native of New York, who died May 2, 1888.
The family belong to the Reformed Presbyterian church, in
which Mr. Guthrie taught a ladies' Sunday school class for twenty five years.
Miss Mary Guthrie has also been active in Sunday school work and has taught a
number of classes. Mr. Guthrie has reason to look back with pride upon his long
and useful life, as he not only prospered materially but gave his children a
splendid home training, which has been the foundation upon which they have built
their successful lives. He is passing his declining years in ease and has the
honor not only of his children but of all who know him.