IAGenWeb logo

Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Robert L. Jackson

Newspaper Publisher/Editor




        ROBERT L. JACKSON, Hopkinton, Iowa. The subject of this sketch is the youngest of eleven children, eight of whom are living. He was born at Hopkinton, Iowa, May 6, 1862. The greater part of his life has been spent at Hopkinton. After attending the public school of the place for some time he entered Lenox College, where he pursued a four years' course, and in 1888, graduated from the institution, receiving the degree of B. S. Mr. Jackson has always sought the welfare of his native town and of its institutions. During his last year in college he succeeded in getting his class interested in a number of movements that would benefit the college.   About two years before this time a movement was started by the Old Students' association of the college, having for its aim the raising of funds with which to erect a building in which to hold the meetings of the association. Some interest was taken in the movement for a time but finally was almost abandoned. Mr. Jackson succeeded in having a meeting appointed at which members of the college alumni, of the Old Students' Association and of his class were present. At this meeting an organization was affected which subsequently led to the raising of funds for the erection of a young ladies' boarding hall. At the solicitation of the board of trustees of the college Mr. Jackson consented to work, during the summer 1888, in the interests of the college, he succeeding in raising considerable money for the new building. October 12, 1888, he began the publication at Hopkinton of the Delaware County Leader, and has since continued to be its editor and proprietor.

      The paper has been prosperous from the beginning, and its editor contemplates enlarging its pages. Besides doing considerable job work, this office prints the Lenox Nutshell, a paper published in the interest of the college.

      Leroy Jackson and Jerusha M. Wright  were married at Dubuque, October 31, 1837. As a result of this union eleven children were born. Harvey was born November 10, 1838, died April 15, 1840.  William H., born August 5, 1840, died while a soldier in the Union army at Vicksburg, July 4,1863; he was a member of Company K, Twenty-first Iowa infantry. Mary Louise, born January 21,1842. Henry C., born February 23, 1844. Martha Anna, born February 7,1846. Edward, born October 29, 1848. Susan C., born December 18, 1851. Charles W., born May 25, 1854;died March 21,1856. Frank Christopher, born May 23, 1857. Fredrick Leroy, born March 28, 1860. Robert Louis, born May 6,1862.

      Leroy Jackson was the fifth of eleven children, and was born at Greenville, Muhlenburg county, Ky., February 6,1804, and died November, 1884. The children of the family were: Nancy, born May 15, 1798; Elisha, born April 13,1800; Samuel, born May 11, 1802; Leroy, born February 6,1804; Elizabeth, born September 26, 1806; Martha, born March 80,1808; Mary, born July 1, 1810; Ester, born May 28, 1812; Christopher, born January 27,1816; Susanah, born October 10, 1819; Harvey, born October 24, 1822. When twenty-two years old, Leroy Jackson went to New Orleans where he engaged in the commission business. Not being able to stand the climate he returned to Kentucky, and afterward was in charge of boat loads of goods which were taken to the New Orleans market. When returning from one of these trips he and Abraham Lincoln were fellow passengers and became well acquainted. Mr. Jackson lived in Missouri about five years. He joined a company during the Black Hawk war, afterward spent a part of two summers at Galena, Ill. He was in Iowa as early as 1828. He was employed at Galena, Prairie du Chien and Dubuque as an Indian trader. While thus engaged a number of men crossed the river with the intention of making a permanent settlement at Dubuque. The territory, however, was not open to settlement, and a company of soldiers under the command of Jefferson Davis were dispatched to drive the settlers back to the Illinois side of the river. Within a few months Dubuque was permanently settled and Mr. Jackson was one of the first to become a settler. He bought property, built the first brick house in Dubuque, if not in the state, and kept the first hotel there. While Mr. Jackson was living in Dubuque, a man, who owned property where Chicago now stands, offered him a large tract of land for one third as much of Dubuque land. The trade was not made as it was known that much of the Chicago land was either below the surface of the water or a series of almost impassable marshes. It was thought at that time that Dubuque would be the large town of the West. In 1833 he went to Delaware county on a trading expedition, and liked the country so well that he returned in 1840, bought land and lived here until his death. He was the first permanent settler in Hopkinton. He and H. A. Carter laid out the town of Hopkinton. He engaged in farming, milling and the dairy business. He was one of the founders of Lenox college, and in after years when that institution was in debt he paid off the indebtedness, thereby having the entire property in his name. He then deeded the property to the Presbyterian synod. He was the first sheriff of the county and held the office three years. He afterwards held other offices in the county.

      Jesse Jackson, father of  Leroy  Jackson, was born in Virginia, April 13,1770; died at Greenville, Ky., January, 1847. When sixteen years old he had planned to go to Kentucky with a party of settlers, but on the day of starting was detained. The party, however, started out at the appointed time and before reaching Kentucky all were killed by the Indians. Another party, of which Mr. Jackson was a member, settled in Kentucky a few months later and on the way saw the remains of the former party. Jesse Jackson was a farmer and millwright; owned slaves and engaged quite extensively in raising tobacco. Jesse Jackson's father was an eminent doctor and was in the Revolutionary army under Washington. Here the ancestry, which is English and French, is traced with the early history of the American colonies.   NOTE:  It is not likely that this sketch would have been written had Jesse Jackson, above mentioned, joined the party in Virginia as was the intention. He, like the members of that party, would probably have been murdered by the Indians.


      Mrs. J. M. Jackson, nee Wright, was born in New York city, June 19, 1819.   She was the eldest of seven children.  William H. Wright was born February 22, 1821, died June 25, 1821; Mary Ann Hubbord, born September 8, 1822, died at the age of eleven years; Russell Nevins born March 20, 1825, died July 27, 1826 Eliza Townsend, born February 25, 1828, died March 18, 1888; Catherine Louise born March 19, 1830; Henrietta Davenport, born January 23, 1832, died at the age of six months.

      William H. Wright, the father, was born July 10, 1794. In this family then were seven children:  David Wright, the father of William H., was a prominent lawyer, of New London, Conn. He married Martha Hubbord, daughter of Russell Hubbord, husband of Mary Gray Hubbord. The Hubbords are of English origin. David Wright, above mentioned, is the third in succession by the name of David. From these the ancestry is traced directly to Governor John Haynes, who was governor of Massachusetts and afterward governor of the town of Hartford, Conn. The ancestry is now easily traced from Haynes and wife to the nobility of England and even to many crowned heads. Relatives of the Jackson family have a family tree in which forty-one generations are traced.  Mary Ann Wade, the wife of William L. Wright, was the daughter of Edward Wade. Edward Wade's parents came from England and were trades-people, Mary Ann Wade's grandparents, on her mother's side, were named Box. Her grandfather was in the Revolutionary army. During his absence the British officers took possession of his house, leaving but a small part for the use of his wife and children. But little more is known of the Box ancestry than that they were natives of Holland.

        Mrs. J. M. Jackson, mother of the subject of this sketch, is still living at Hopkinton, and at the time this sketch is written celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement in Hopkinton.


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 606-609; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson