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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
Silas Lamb, a well-known citizen and pioneer of Fayette County, has for thirty-five years been closely identified with the history of this community. He has aided materially in the upbuilding of Fayette, has assisted in the promotion of its leading enterprises and with others the county owes to him a debt of gratitude for his self-sacrificing labors in her behalf. He now resides on section 5, Smithfield Township, having devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits during the past fifteen years.
A native of the Empire State, he was born in Madison County, about twenty-five miles from Utica, January 8, 1819, and is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. His grandfather, Asa Lamb, who was born and reared in Connecticut, when about eighteen years of age took his father's place in the patriot army and served seven years, part of the time being Captain under Washington's command. Our subject remembers hearing him tell of his army experiences and has seen his uniform and equipment. He was a farmer by occupation and after the troops had accomplished their mission of freeing their country from the yoke of British tyranny, he removed to New York, where he followed farming until his death in 1836. Of his family of ten children, numbering five sons and five daughters, Asa became the father of Silas. He was born in Connecticut and was a lad of seven summers when his people removed to the Empire State, where he grew to manhood on a farm, receiving the meagre educational advantages which the times afforded and working in the interests of his father until twenty-six years of age, when he married Cylinda Angel, who was born and reared in the same neighborhood but in an adjoining county. They began their domestic life on a farm which Mr. Lamb purchased and which continued to be their home while life lasted, and is still in the possession of the family. He was a successful business man and honorable citizen who won the respect of all with whom he came in contact. He took a deep interest in political affairs and was well informed on the leading issues of the day but never sought public office. He supported the Whig party and was a strong opponent of Masonry, his views on that subject being brought about by the murder of Morgan which created such excitement all over the country. His death occurred in 1869 and his wife passed away about 1837. Of their family, John died at the age of twenty-one years; Silas is the subject of this sketch; William is now a wealthy citizen and real-estate dealer of Beatrice, Neb.; Mrs. Hannah Ackley, of New York; Lottie died at the age of nineteen years; and Charles, who owns the old homestead in New York.
Silas Lamb has made farming his life occupation. As soon as he was old enough to reach the plow handles he began work upon his father's farm, and when a young man the burden of its labors fell upon him, owing to the ill health of his father and elder brother, John, who was a consumptive. At the age of twenty-six he married Rhoda L. Tuttle who was born in that neighborhood and whose family, like her husband's, had there resided for several generations. Purchasing a small tract of land he engaged in its cultivation and development until 1856, when severing his business connections in the East he started for Iowa to try his fortune upon the broad prairies in the Mississippi Valley. Locating in Fayette, he there continued to make his home until 1875, with the exception of three years during the war when he was engaged in keeping a hotel in McGregor. Various enterprises engrossed his attention during his residence in Fayette and in 1870 he purchased a farm of two hundred acres on section 5, Smithfield Township, to which he removed after five years. He has prospered since that time, and now has a handsome competence which amply supplies his necessities and provides him with many of the luxuries of life.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Lamb has been blessed with three children who grew to mature years: Elmer, born in New York in 1846, was educated in the Upper Iowa University of Fayette, and is now successfully engaged in the grocery business in Waterloo; Lottie, wife of Henry Wiltzy, resides in LaCrosse, Wis.; and James R. is a commission merchant of the same city. Wishing to fit them for the practical duties of life Mr. Lamb gave his children good educational advantages and they are now useful and respected citizens of the various communities in which they reside. Mrs. Lamb was a member of the Baptist Church in New York, but there is no church of that denomination in this community and she has never cared to unite with any other. Mr. Lamb is a member of the Farmer's Mutual Insurance Company and in politics is a stanch Republican. He cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, grandfather of our present Executive. As before stated, for thirty-five years he has borne his share in the upbuilding of town and county, labored for its interests and supported its worthy enterprises. When he located in Fayette the town was composed of two little stores, a shoe shop and a few cabins. He hauled the bell for the school now known as the Upper Iowa University from Dunleith, opposite Dubuque, the first year after his arrival. He and his wife have many warm friends in this community; are held in high regard in the social world and their home is the abode of hospitality.
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