IAGenWeb logo

Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


John Platt


(Dickson) Colesburg



       John Platt, deceased, owned and managed a nursery near Colesburg for many years and was successful in that undertaking. He was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, September 9, 1829, a son of John and Martha (Gettis) Platt. They had four sons, of whom the subject of this review was the oldest. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of County Down, Ireland.
      Their marriage occurred in the Keystone state about 1825. In 1843 the family removed to Delaware county and located in the Dickson settlement, where they resided until their deaths, the father passing away in 1858 and the mother in 1880. Both were buried in the Dickson settlement. The father was a farmer and stock-raiser and was a man of notable public spirit. He deeded land for the schoolhouse to the public and also gave land for the cemetery. Politically he was a democrat and for many years served acceptably as justice of the peace.

      John Platt, Jr., received his early education in Delaware county and then went to Dubuque, where he learned the printer's trade, working on the old Miner's Express. He continued his connection with that sheet later when it was known as the Herald. In 1854 he went to California and for twelve years edited the Downeyville Democrat of that state. In 1866 he returned to Delaware county and started a nursery in the Dickson settlement which was known as the Colesburg Nursery. For many years he conducted that enterprise and as he spared neither labor nor thought in an endeavor to improve the stock grown and as he understood thoroughly the effect of different varieties of soil, of heat, light and moisture, the trees grown in the Colesburg Nursery were fine specimens of nursery stock and of such vitality that they grew well if given moderately favorable conditions when set out by those who purchased them. The business of the nursery extended over quite a large territory and those who patronized it once continued to do so for years.
      Mr. Platt was married in August, 1867, at Platteville, Wisconsin, to Miss Mary Adna, a daughter of John and Susan (Schnee) Adna, who passed away at Platteville, where they were laid to rest. To Mr. and Mrs. Platt were born three children, namely: Ida, the widow of Jeff Walters; Webster, mayor of Colesburg and candidate for the office of county supervisor; and Mrs. Ellen Bowman.
      Mr. Platt was a democrat in politics and took an active interest in public affairs and held a number of local offices, including that of township assessor. He was one of the leaders in local democratic circles and did all in his power to advance the interests of that party. Fraternally he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He resided in this county when wolves, bear and deer abounded and when Indians were very numerous, and his reminiscences of the early days of the region were intensely interesting and of great value, as they served to make real the life of the pioneers to the generation of today who know this county only as a settled and highly prosperous agricultural section.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 325-326. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


Return to Delaware County