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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
It is oftentimes considered by those in the habit of superficial thinking that the history of so-called great men only is worthy of preservation and that little merit exists among the masses to call forth the praises of the historian or the cheers and the appreciation of mankind. A greater mistake was never made. No man is great in all things and very few are great in many things. Many by a lucky stroke achieve lasting fame, who before that had no reputation beyond the limits of their neighborhoods. It is not a history of the lucky stroke which benefits humanity most, but the long study and effort which amde the lucky stroke possible. It is the preliminary work, the method, that serves as a guide for the success of others. Among those in this county who have achieved success along steady lines of action is the subject of this review.
Mr. Powers is a native of the township in which he now lives and was born on November 30, 1873. His parents were Matthew and Margaret (Phalen) Powers, the former born in Ireland in 1834 and the latter in Clayton county, Iowa, in 1844. Matthew Powers came to Fayette county in the latter fifties, and to Clermont township in 1865. To him and his wife were born ten children, of which number five are living. Mr. Powers was successful farmer, having accumulated a fair amount of material property solely through his own efforts. He was a Democrat in political faith and Catholic in religion. He was widely known because of his ability and sturdy integrity. He became the owner of seven hundred and twenty acres of land, which comprised one of the finest estates in this part of the county. The deaths of this worthy couple occurred within a little more than two months of each other, both in 1900, the father on September 4th and the mother on June 29th.
Thomas Powers spent his boyhood days on the parental farmstead and attended the common schools of the neighborhood, receiving a good practical education. He has devoted his entire life to farming and his fine farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres in Clermont township is, under his wise management, made the source of a comfortable income. The place is well improved and is practically all in cultivation, the general appearance of the place being creditable in every respect. Besides raising all the common crops, Mr. Powers gives some attention to the breeding and raising of livestock, in which he has uniformly met with fair success. He has been a hard worker, and this, combined with careful management, has been the contributing element to his success.
Since attaining his majority, Mr. Powers has consistently supported the Democratic party at the polls, believing the policy of that party as embodied in its platforms to be that best adapted to the interests of the common people. In religion he is a devoted member of the Catholic church, to which the members of his family also belong.
On February 13, 1901, Mr. Powers was happily married to Stella Devery, who was born at Clermont, this county, on September 20, 1877, the daughter of Owen and Anne (Curran) Devery. Owen Devery was born in Kings county, Ireland, in 1820, and his wife was born in Illinois in 1843, their union resulting in the birth of six children, all of whom are living. He was a farmer by vocation and in an early day he came to Fayette county and took up four hundred and eighty acres of government land. He died in 1876 and was survived many years by his widow, whose death occurred on February 8, 1894. To Mr. and Mrs. Powers have been born three children, Donald, deceased, Frank and James.
Mr. Powers has contributed to the prosperity of the community in which he lives, at the same time enhancing his own material welfare, and because of his straightforward actions, unquestioned integrity and ability he has won and retains the good opinion of all who know him.
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