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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


John Nesbitt McNeill


South Fork Twp.



      A fine farm of one hundred and ten acres situated on sections 32 and 33, South Fork township, is the property of John Nesbitt McNeill and its high state of cultivation and excellent condition bear witness to his industry and enterprise. He was born May 6, 1871, in South Fork township, a son of James and Jane (Johnston) McNeill, both natives of Ireland. The father was born in 1834 and the mother in 1843. The former came to the United States when a youth of seventeen years and located in the state of New York, where he remained for a few years. He attended school for some time after his arrival in America and then was employed for a time in the Empire state. He eventu­ally came west and settled near Hopkinton, buying eighty acres of land. As the years passed he added to his holdings and eventually became the owner of a large farm. On the 16th of June, 1868, he married Miss Jane Johnston, who came to Hopkinton November 20, 1867. She was accompanied to this country by a brother and two sisters, of whom the brother and one sister survive. To James and Jane McNeill were born seven sons and a daughter. The father died December 17, 1896, sincerely mourned by a host of friends, who had learned to value him highly for his many manly qualities of character.
     John N. McNeill attended Lenox College, as did his brothers and sister, and after leaving school he began work upon the homestead. After his father's death the farm came into the possession of his mother, to whom it was willed for her lifetime. Mr. McNeill of this review remained at home, assisting her in the operation of the homestead until he was about twenty-eight years of age, when he went west with the intention of investing in a ranch. He was favorably impressed with Butte, Montana, and found employment in that city in a brick manufacturing plant, but remained in that work only three months. He then concluded that railroad work would prove more congenial and entered the employ of the Great Northern Railway, becoming a fireman after serving his apprenticeship in the railroad roundhouse. He worked as a locomotive fire­man for that railroad for about two years and then served the Northern Pacific Railway in the same capacity for something over four years. By this time he had decided that farming would be more congenial and more profitable. He therefore returned home and aided in the operation of the homestead. His mother passed away four months later and he and his brothers farmed the home place in partnership for four years. He then sold his interest therein and purchased one hundred and ten acres across the road from the family homestead. Since purchasing this land in 1909 he has devoted his time to its cultivation and as he is practical in his methods and untiring in his labors his land yields him a good annual income.
     On the 14th of December, 1910, Mr. McNeill was joined in wedlock to Miss Anabel McGlade, who was born January 20, 1878. They are members of the Reformed Presbyterian church and prove the sincerity of their faith by their good deeds.
      Mr. McNeill is interested in everything pertaining to the public welfare but has found that he can best serve his community by doing well the work that lies nearest at hand. He has, therefore, confined his attention chiefly to the opera­tion of his farm and in so doing has contributed to the agricultural develop­ment of the county. He raises chiefly corn, which he feeds to his hogs and cattle. He also engages in dairy farming to some extent, selling the cream and feeding the milk to his stock. None grudges him the prosperity that is his as it has been won by industry and good management.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 87-88.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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