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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


Peter Guthrie


Bremen & North Fork Twps.



     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 anniversary 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.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 252-253.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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