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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 1277~


Richard Franklin Dewey


The well known and successful auctioneer and deputy sheriff of Fayette county, Richard Franklin Dewey, is eminently deserving of a place in his county's history, as a resume of his past record will readily attest. He was born March 18, 1866, in this county, and is the son of William and Lucy (Ropes) Dewey, the father a native of western Indiana, who came to Dover township, Fayette county, Iowa, among the early settlers, when this country was practically a wilderness, and here he bought a farm upon which the family lived for many years; it was mostly unimproved timber land, one hundred and forty acres in Turkey river valley. Selling that farm, he bought another a mile east of West Union which he improved and on which he ended his days; however, his death occurred in West Union in 1906 at a ripe old age. The mother died on the farm east of here. They were excellent people of the rugged, honest pioneer type.

The Ropes family, as represented by Mrs. Dewey, came from New England and located in Dover township, Fayette county, Iowa, prior to the Deweys. B. H. Ropes was a merchant of Eldorado in the early days and he served several times as a member of the county board of supervisors. His brother, Charles F. Ropes, was the grandfather of Richard F. Dewey of this review.

Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. William Dewey, five of whom are now living, namely: George and John died in infancy, the former born in 1862 and the latter in 1864; Richard F. of this review and Charles G. were twins; the latter is located at LeRoy, Kansas, married Minnie Bradley, of Buchanan county, Iowa, and they became the parents of four children, two sons and one daughter, living, and Minnie E., who died when eighteen years of age, unmarried, she having been born in 1868; Anna May is the wife of E. C. Grimes and lives on a farm in Union township; James Baker died when twenty-seven years of age, unmarried; he was a graduate of the Iowa State Dental College, and was a demonstrator in the university when stricken with his fatal illness, thus cutting short a life of much promise; Addie I. is a resident of Cochran, California; however, her home is in Los Angeles; she is a stenographer by profession ; Alta C. is with her sister in California.

"Frank". Dewey, as he is familiarly called, was educated in the public schools and the Upper Iowa University at Fayette. He followed farming with his father until he was twenty-four years of age, later farmed on his own account until 1900. On April 3, 1890, he married Kittie L. Ordway, a native of Janesville, Wisconsin, and a daughter of Alva Ordway, who located in Fayette county, Iowa, in an early day and died in the town of Fayette. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Dewey was a teacher.

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dewey, namely: Glenn L., born January, 1891, is living on the old homestead in Dover township; he is a graduate of the West Union high school, is a member of the high school brass band, and he is a vocalist of more than ordinary attainments for one of his years. He is now a student of electrical engineering in the Iowa State College at Ames. Lloyd C. Dewey, born in April, 1895, is attending the local high school; William Earl and Eva M. are also in school.

Mr. Dewey has been an auctioneer since 1894, and has attained an enviable record as a salesman, his reputation having long since transcended the borders of his own county, and his services are in great demand. He has successfully handled five hundred sales during the past five and one-half years. On March 4, 1904, he was graduated from the Graham Auction School, at Des Moines. This is an institution designed to fully qualify its students for practical work on the auction block. He has sold a vast quantity of goods, almost entirely general farm sales and blooded stock. He is one of the best judges of live stock that could be found, not only of horses, but also mules cattle and hogs, and he has been a very successful breeder of Poland-China hogs, and he holds a certificate as an expert judge of all kinds of blooded stock; this was granted by the Expert Judge Association of the United States.

Fraternally, Mr. Dewey is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, West Union Lodge No. 69, of which he is senior warden, and he is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and he also belongs to the Knights of Pythias; he has filled nearly all of the official stations in the Masonic order. Politically, he is a Republican, and the Dewey family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Dewey is a fine example of the successful self-made man and is deserving of the high esteem in which he is held.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Cheryl Walker


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