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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 577~


J. J. Tope

J. J. TOPE, proprietor of the Iowa House of East Auburn, is numbered among the honored pioneers of the county, having here resided since 1854, a period of thirty-six consecutive years. He has thus been a witness of almost its entire growth and progress, has seen its wild prairies transformed into beautiful homes and farms, its rude cabins replaced by comfortable and substantial residences, towns and villages spring up and the work of civilization and development carried forward, until Fayette County of today bears little resemblance to that of a third of a century ago. We honor the pioneers who bore the hardships and trials of frontier life, and as such a one our subject deserves recognition in this volume.


J. J. Tope was born in Carroll County, Ohio, February 20, 1830, and was the eighth in a family of nine children, whose parents, Jacob and Sarah (Everhart) Tope, were natives of Pennsylvania, the former born March 4, 1789, and the latter in 1794. When a lad of eleven years, Jacob Tope [the father] accompanied his parents in 1800 to Ohio, then thought to be almost upon the border of civilization, and was reared to manhood upon his father's farm.  In that State he was married, and prior to his emigration to Iowa he resided in Jefferson County. In 1854 he came with his family to this county, where he made his home until his death, which occurred in 1858. His wife survived him twelve years, dying in 1870. They were the parents of the following children : Lucinda was killed by lightning in Ohio, in 1833; Mary Ann, who became the wife of John Kail, and died in Ohio; Mrs. Sarah Ann Johnson, of Dover Township, this county; Frances, wife of Zephaniah Keyes, of Indiana; Barbara, wife of John Hoover, of Dover Township; Delilah, who became the wife of James Reed, and died in Ohio; J. J. of this sketch; and G. W., who is married and makes his home in Dover Township.


We have little to record concerning the boyhood days of our subject, who remained under the parental roof until he attained to man's estate, and spent his time in play and work, assisting his father in the labors of the farm, and acquiring a good English education in the common schools of his native county. He was twenty-four years of age when he came to Iowa. He took up his residence in this county, but was married in Jefferson County. January 12, 1854, the lady of his choice being Margaret Stall, who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, and is a daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth (Grove) Stall, natives of Pennsylvania. At an early day, her parents emigrated to Ohio, where her father followed his trade of cabinet-making. He died in that State some years ago. By the union of our subject and his wife have been born eight children: Sarah Ellen, wife of James Gorham, a resident of East Auburn; Elizabeth, wife of Elmer White, of Chicago; J. E., G. W., James M., Belle, Samuel and Virginia.


Mr. and Mrs. Tope began their domestic life upon a farm in Dover Township, in a small cabin which had been erected upon a tract of timber land which he had purchased. For twenty years they resided in that township, he giving his attention to the cultivation of the farm until at length, selling out, he bought an improved farm in Auburn Township, which continued to be his home until he removed to a farm that he had purchased in West Union Township. During later years he made several removals, however, living all the time upon farms until 1888, when he came to East Auburn and embarked in the hotel business. He purchased the Iowa House which is a first-class hotel, furnished with all the  conveniences and appointments that add to the comfort of the guests. In political sentiment Mr. Tope is a Democrat, and takes some interest in political affairs, he has held a number of official positions of trust, and is now serving as Justice of the Peace. He is both widely and favorably known throughout the county, and the business which he now has in charge is in a flourishing condition.


~transcribed by Linda Linn for Fayette County IAGenWeb



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