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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

John J. Washburn

Farmer & Dairyman

Elk Township



       John J. Washburn is busily engaged in the conduct of a dairy as well as in the production of corn, wheat and other crops which he raises upon his farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Elk township. Iowa is his native state and he has ever displayed much of the spirit of enterprise and progress which has been the dominant factor in the up building of the middle west. He was born in Clayton county, Iowa, April 17, 1860, a son of Frank and Martha (Holmes) Washburn, the former a native of Indiana, while the latter was born in Illinois. It was in the '50s that Frank Washburn brought his family to this state and here he carried on farming until the time of the Civil war, when he joined the army and died during the period of hostilities. His widow survives and in their family were two children, of whom John J. is now the only survivor.
       A detailed account of the youthful days of John J. Washburn would present a clear picture of conditions which existed in this county during the middle of the nineteenth century. He attended school near his home and alternated study with work in the fields. The experience which he gained was of a practical nature and he early learned the lesson that industry and determination are salient factors in success. As a companion and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss Joanna Collins, to whom he was united in marriage on the 8th of January, 1882. She was born May 12, 1858, in Illinois, a daughter of Michael and Ann (Hennessey) Collins, both of whom were natives of Ireland, where they lived until 1850 and then severed the ties which bound them to the old world and came to America. They first settled in the state of New York but some years afterward made their way westward to Illinois. In 1860 they came to Iowa, settling at Dyersville, where they lived a short time, and then settled in Delaware county and purchased the farm upon which Mr. and Mrs. Washburn now reside, comprising one hundred and twenty acres on section 17, Elk township. This property has now come into possession of our subject and his wife. Both the father and mother continued to live there until their life's labors were ended.
      Mr. and Mrs. Washburn have a daughter, Mary Helen, who was born February 21, 1900. Their home is not far distant from Greeley and in the community they are widely and favorably known. Mr. Washburn gives almost his entire attention to his farming interests, and his dairy, with its excellent products, constitutes one of his chief sources of revenue. When the time comes to express is political belief and opinions he votes with the democratic party, but he has never sought or held public office. For eight years he served as school director and during that time gave helpful aid to improving the condition of the schools through employing good teachers and adhering to high standards of instruction.



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 360-363. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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