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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Jedediah Bushnell Sperry
Jedediah Bushnell Sperry, one of the early settlers of Fayette and still a prominent citizen of that place, claims Vermont as the State of his nativity. He was born in Chittenden County, April 20, 1814, and his parents, Daniel and Serepta (Woodard) Sperry, were also natives of the Green Mountain State. His father had been previously married and had six children by each union. Of the twelve, only one lives, - the subject of this sketch. Daniel Sperry engaged in farming as a means of livelihood. He spent his last days in Michigan but his wife died in Vermont when our subject was about eight years of age. Both were members of the Presbyterian Church and were highly respected citizens.
J. B. Sperry, who was the fourth in order of birth in that family, grew up a farmer boy. When eleven years of age, he was bound out to a farmer who was to give him his board, clothes, six months schooling and one hundred dollars. Having served his time out, he decided to begin life aright, and on the 12th of October, 1835, married Celia C. Cole, a native of Chittenden County, Vt., born October 14, 1816. Immediately thereafter, the young couple removed to St. Lawrence County, N. Y., where in the midst of a dense forest Mr. Sperry hewed out a farm. Some years later he determined to seek a home in the West and in 1856 came to Fayette, where he has since resided. Having engaged in teaming and farming for several years, he embarked in the hardware business which he carried on for five years, when he sold out and bought a tract of farming land one hundred and eighty-five of which he still owns.
In 1877, Mr. Sperry was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 15th of January. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from early life and for some ten years served on the board of trustees of the Upper Iowa University, holding that position at the time of her death. Four children graced their union: David C., who died at the age of thirty-six; Byron A. who died at the age of four years; Henry O., who died when two years old; and Charles W.*, formerly a prominent business man of this county, now residing in Des Moines. Mr. Sperry was again married August 30, 1889, his second union being with Mrs. Charlotte B. (Dunbar) Tryon, a native of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., born September 23, 1820, and a daughter of Benjamin and Eunice (Simmons) Dunbar. Her parents were natives of Vermont and Massachusetts respectively and were early settlers of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., whither they removed in 1815. Charlotte is their fifth child. In her native county she married Benjamin Tryon who was born in Canada though his people were from Vermont. He died in St. Lawrence County, February 7, 1885. He had been previously married and had five children living by his first wife.
Mr. Sperry and his wife are members of the Methodist Church and faithful workers in the Master's vineyard. He has served for forty years as steward and was a member of the first board of trustees of the Methodist Church of Fayette. Politically he was a Whig and has been a stanch Republican since the formation of that party but, though he feels an interest in political affairs he has never sought for himself the honors or emoluments of public office. In business affairs, he was reasonably successful and has laid by a competence which now supplies his wants in his declining years. He is well known in the country as a valued citizen and a man of sterling worth whom all respect for his upright qualities and many excellences' of character."
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