Transcribed by Pamela Wagler from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


George Kramer Jackson, deceased, was an enterprising agriculturist of Franklin township, and in his fine farm left a monument to his life of industry, enterprise, and honorable effort. He was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, July 25, 1826, his parents being William and Jerusha (Inman) Jackson. He acquired his education in the early subscription schools of his home locality, and was reared to farm life, following that occupation throughout his active business career. In 1842 he came to the West, settling in Franklin township when almost the entire county was an unbroken and unclaimed district, so few were the evidences of progress and civilization seen at that time. The father purchased a farm about a half mile from Sperry, and this tract of land is now in possession of his adopted son, Smith Jackson. Here he died two years later, leaving his sons to manage the property, which they did until they reached adult age and started out in life on their own account.

George K. Jackson, of this review, performed his full share in the work of cultivation and development upon the old homestead, and thus gained the experience which ably qualified him to carry on his work when he started out in life on his own account. He was married, Feb. 28, 1850, to Miss Catherine McMichael, a daughter of Archibald and Mary (McLaughlin) McMichael, and a native of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, born March 14, 1829. They became the parents of seven children: Mary, now the wife of T H. Rhodes, of Stuttgart, Ark.; Annis, the wife of Lee Hamilton, of Kossuth, Iowa; George, at home; Elizabeth, who died at the age of three years; Rebecca, who departed this life when thirty-five years of age; Margaret, the wife of George H. Ripple; Jennie, who died at the age of nine months; the other children also died in infancy.

Following his marriage Mr. Jackson purchased eighty acres of land in Section 3, Franklin township, for which he paid five dollars an acre. It was entirely destitute of improvements, and not a furrow had been turned; but he realized what would be the arduous work necessary for its development, and with stout heart and resolute purpose undertook the task of clearing and cultivating the land. He erected thereon a house and other farm buildings, and added to his property until he had one hundred acres in the home place and also owned twenty-three and a half acres lying in Benton township. In 1871 he replaced the original dwelling by the present residence, which is an attractive home of eight rooms, and forms one of the pleasing features in the landscape. Everything about the place is kept in excellent condition, as Mr. Jackson was an energetic agriculturist, following practical methods and bringing about good results in all of his farm work. He was also interested in affairs relating to the general upbuilding of the county, and he gave an early support to the Democratic party, believing that its platform contained the best elements of good government. He held some of the school offices, but never sought or desired political preferment. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Sperry, and also to the Grange, of which he was a charter member, and in which he held official positions. He belonged to the Baptist church, and passed away in that faith Feb. 21, 1896, when about seventy years of age.

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