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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1168~


Calvin L. Curtis

Photos of Calvin & Jessie Curtis in the book


One of the sterling, practical men of Fayette county, Iowa, will be found in the person of Calvin L. Curtis. To have been born and reared in the same locality and had continuous residence there for a period of more than fifty years could not help but inculcate in one an interest in the affairs of county and township more vital than would be that of a new settler. This may be said of the subject of this sketch. He made his advent into the world August 2, 1858, in Auburn township, Fayette county, Iowa. He has lived on the old homestead all his life, and has demonstrated that he is the type of citizen that counts in making up the backbone of this great commonwealth.

Calvin L. Curtis is the son of Mason A. and Julia A. (Howe) Curtis. Mason Curtis was born in Chittenden county, Vermont, December 16, 1818. He was reared on a farm in his native county and there grew to manhood. He was the third in order of birth in a family of five children, of whom four were sons. When quite a young man he left the parental home and sought his fortune in that which the states farther west had to offer. His first stopping place was in Indiana, where he met Mary A. Beach in Elkhart county, where she was born in 1828. The Beach family soon afterward changed their place of residence to St. Joseph county, Michigan, and young Curtis accompanied them. On October 18, 1848, he was united in marriage with Miss Beach and soon afterward returned to Elkhart county, Indiana, where they lived until 1852, when they moved to Fayette county, Iowa. He pre-empted a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Union township, two miles west of West Union. Mrs. Curtis died in 1852, while living on this farm and was interred at Auburn, Iowa. She left one child, Emma A., born in Elkhart County, Indiana, July 27, 1851. She afterward became the wife of Thomas Kimpson. They live on a farm in Auburn township. No children have been born to them.

In 1853 Mason A. Curtis married Julia A. Howe, a native of Michigan. She was born near Ypsilanti, in 1826. At the time of this marriage Mr. Curtis sold his farm and bought one hundred and eighty-five acres in sections 32 and 33, Auburn township. One-half of this farm was a dense forest. He cleared and improved about half of the timbered land and labored until he had brought his ground to a high state of cultivation. Previous to his death he sold sixty acres, principally wood land, in section 33. The homestead and eighty acres of improved land was in section 32. Politically, Mr. Curtis was a Democrat until the sixteen-to-one free-silver campaign caused so much stir in politics, when he voted for the gold standard and continued to vote the Republican ticket until his death. He never held an office. Mr. Curtis passed to his rest on February 9, 1898, and his wife succumbed in April , 1896. They were the parents of four children, as follows: Mary L., born in 1854, resides in Hawkeye, Iowa, with her sister; Sarah E., born 1856, wife of U. M. Hathaway, lives at Hawkeye, Iowa; Calvin L. Curtis (the subject), and Clarissa N., born 1890 and the wife of Frank Winett, who reside at Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Calvin L. Curtis, the only son, made his home with his father on the farm until the time of his marriage, at the age of twenty-five years. Being a young man of business ability, he had become the owner of eighty acres, in section 32 and adjoining his father's farm, at the time of his becoming of age. Here, with his wife, he set up the household gods [sic] at the time of their marriage. They continued their residence here for two years, when they erected a home on his father's farm, within a few rods of the homestead, and have since lived here. At present the subject owns one hundred and forty-five acres, having bought part of the home farm. Politically, he adheres to the policies of the Republican party. He is a worthy member of Relief Lodge No. 138, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Hawkeye, Iowa, and belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America.

In November, 1884, Mr. Curtis married Jessie F. VanBogart, born May 28, 1866, in McHenry county, Illinois. She is the daughter of Frank and Amelia (Tromblee) Van Bogart. Mr. Van Bogart was a native of Washington county, New York, born June 26, 1855, and was the son of Ormus and Caroline (Pearce) Bogart, both natives of the Empire state, he born in Washington county in 1813. His wife was born in Hampton county July 26, 1817, and they were married May 15, 1833. From this union came eight children, of whom Frank was the fourth child in order of birth. Of four sons, three of them served in the Civil war. Frank enlisted in February, 1865, in Company K, One Hundred and Fifty-third Illinois Infantry, and served in the Army of the Cumberland until the time of his discharge in 1865. He became a resident of McHenry county, Illinois. During his youth there, on May 7, 1862, he married Amelia Tromblee, who was born in Champlain county, New York, September 29, 1843. In the autumn of 1866 they moved to Fayette county, Iowa, where they made their home until they died. Mrs. Van Bogart died September 1, 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Van Bogart were the parents of ten children, of whom Mrs. Curtis was the second child in order of birth.

Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have been blessed with six children: Keith A., born October 1, 1885, and married to Birdie Hayden in 1904; they have two children and reside at Randalia, Iowa; Ella A., born December 24, 1887, wife of Forest Jones, and make their home at Alpha, Iowa; Everett F., born October 27, 1889; Edna O., born March 18, 1891; Hugh C., born May 10, 1893; Harold G., born November 19, 1896. The last four named live with their parents.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Mary Fobian


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