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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


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

March 1891


~Page 416~


John Vawser

John Vawser, a resident of Hawkeye, is numbered among the honored pioneers of Center Township. During thirty-five years he has always been identified with the county's interests and in all possible ways has aided in her development and upbuilding. He is of English birth and the third in a family of nine children born unto John and Alice (Southwell) Vawser, natives of Cambridgeshire, England. His father was a farmer and followed that occupation throughout his entire life. In 1867 he removed to South Australia, locating on a farm near Port Adelaide but he was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring two years later and three months afterward his wife was called to her final rest. Of their family Joseph married and resides in Australia, as does James; William died in Australia; John is the next younger; Sarah Jane is the deceased wife of Samuel Bates; Alice Ann is now Mrs. Hewitt and resides in Australia. Robert is deceased.


Our subject was born in Cambridgeshire, England, in 1832, and the educational advantages afforded him were those of the common school. In the usual manner of farmer lads he spent his boyhood days, and when a young man of seventeen years he left the parental roof, starting out in the world for himself. He resolved to seek his fortune in America and in 1850, boarding an outward bound vessel at London he crossed the Atlantic, reaching New York after a long voyage of seven weeks and three days. Continuing onward he made his way to Chicago and spent his first summer in America on Lake Michigan. In 1851 we find him in Freeport, Illinois, where he engaged as a farm hand for $12.00 per month. During the three or four years spent in that place he tried various kinds of labor, but not meeting with the success which he anticipated he resumed his westward journey and in 1856 came to Fayette County, Iowa. When the war broke out he responded to the call of his adopted country and in 1862 enlisted for three years service, becoming a member of Company A, Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry. He served in the Western army and participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Brownsville, Tex., Mobile Point and the Florida campaign. After the consolidation of his regiment with the Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry the troops were engaged in foraging, and at the close of the war he was honorably discharged at Houston, Tex., in 1865.


On the cessation of hostilities, when peace was once more declared, Mr. Vawser at once returned to his home and has since devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. In 1867 he led to the hymeneal altar Miss Mary Romain, a native of New Jersey and a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Roe) Romain, both of whom were also born in that State and were of German descent. At an early day they removed to Wisconsin and in 1866 came to Fayette County, locating in Center Township. They now reside in Hawkeye. Mr. and Mrs. Vawser began their domestic life upon a farm and their home has been blessed with the following children: Mary Ann, Alice J., William, Joseph, Fred, Alfred, Thomas, George H., Robert L., Daniel O. and James A. Three are deceased: Sarah E., Ida M. and Eva E. Mary Ann was united in marriage with Albert Coats and they reside in Center Township. He was born in Lincolnshire, England, March 4, 1865, and was the son of John and Mary (Cahnam) Coats who were natives of England.


Mr. Vawser now owns ninety-one acres of land under a high state of cultivation. His farm has many good improvements and he displays excellent business ability in its management. In politics he takes an active interest and votes with the Democratic party. Socially, he is a member of Abernethy Post No. 48, G. A. R. of West Union. He is popular among his fellow-townsmen for his genial manner and upright life have won him many warm friends.





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