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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 597~


Andrew F. Randall



It is not an easy task to describe adequately a man who has led an eminently active and busy life and who has attained to a position of relative distinction in the community, with which his interests are allied. But biography finds its most perfect justification, nevertheless, in the tracing and recording of such a life history. It is then, with a full appreciation of all that is demanded and of the painstaking scrutiny that must be accorded each statement, and yet with a feeling of satisfaction, that the writer essays the task of touching briefly upon the details of such a record as has been that of the honored subject, Andrew F. Randall, one of the honored and influential business men of Fayette county.

Mr. Randall is a native son of the old Empire state, having first seen the light of day in Madison County, New York, on March 16, 1837. He is the son of Asahel and Julia (Dykins) Randall, who were numbered among the early settlers of Madison county, where the father successfully followed agricultural pursuits for a number of years, he and his wife spending their last days at Oneida, that county. They became the parents of six children, of which number two are living, B. F., of Cedar Rapids, this state, and the subject of this review. Politically, the father was originally an old-line Whig, but on the formation of the Republican party he allied himself with it. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. They are both now deceased.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Oneida, New York, the paternal farmstead being near that city, and in the public schools of that community he received a good practical education. In 1856 he came to Lyons, Clinton County, Iowa, and was employed in driving a team on railroad construction work. After a short time he returned to his old home in New York, but soon afterward again came to Clinton county and took a position as engineer with his brother, P. D. Randall, who had charge of twenty miles of construction of the Northwestern railroad west of Cedar Rapids, and in this capacity he assisted in laying out the town of Clinton. After completing this work, Mr. Randall again returned to Oneida county, New York, and was married. In 1860 he came to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he remained a year and was then appointed railroad station agent at Lisbon, this state, retaining the position two years. At the end of that period he went to Carroll, Iowa, and during the following summer he ran a boarding house. During the following three years he was employed as station agent at Mount Vernon. Receiving then the appointment as superintendent of the Lynn County poor farm, Mr. Randall efficiently discharged the duties of that position for three years. In 1873 he came to Center township, Fayette County, and he and his brother, P. F., of Cedar Rapids, platted the village of Randalia, which they named. During the following six years Mr. Randall served as station agent at the new railroad point, but during the following years he chiefly applied himself to mercantile pursuits, having opened up a general store at that point. He was appointed the first postmaster at Randalia and held the office for twelve years, to the entire satisfaction of the patrons of the office. He has been in business here continuously since the inception of the business life of the village and has been one of the principal figures in the business life of the community, the commercial prosperity of the place being largely due to his influence and personal efforts. He has taken the keenest interest in the welfare of the town and was one of the organizers and stockholders of the Randalia Savings Bank, of which he was chosen a member of the board of directors, this being one of the solid and influential banks of Fayette county. In various ways has Mr. Randall shown at all times his unvarying faith in the community in which he lives and the unselfish interest that he has exhibited in its welfare has earned for him the sincere respect of all who have been associated with him. Sound business principles and stanch integrity have characterized his commercial life and a sense of fairness has actuated him in his dealings with others.

Politically, Mr. Randall is an adherent of the Republican party, in the success of which he has ever been deeply interested, having been chairman of the township central committee for a number of years, in which capacity he rendered appreciated service to this party. He served satisfactorily as justice of the peace for several years, but has never been an aspirant for public office. Fraternally he was a charter member of Randalia Lodge, No. 177, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a member of the Rosebud Lodge No. 232, Daughters of Rebekah, to which his wife also belongs. Mr. Randall also belongs to West Union Encampment of Patriarchs Militant, in which he has received special recognition officially, having been elected colonel of the Third Regiment, Second Brigade. Mr. Randall was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church, as was his wife, but they now give their support to the Methodist Episcopal church.

On April 29, 1858, Mr. Randall was united in marriage with Addie Foland, who was born at Oneida, New York, on November 22, 1838, the daughter of Jonas and Elizabeth (Mowers) Foland, both of whom were natives of New York state, the former born at Schenectady and the latter at Hudson. In the Foland family were nine children, of whom may be noted the remarkable fact that six of them lived wedded lives of more than fifty years. Mrs. Randall's parents both died in New York state. Mr. and Mrs. Randall have had no children of their own, but had an adopted daughter, Belle. The latter received a good education in the public schools and Fayette College, and was also highly accomplished in music. She became the wife of Daniel Duncan of this county, who is now teacher in a Presbyterian school in New York City. Mrs. Duncan died in New York City on December 5, 1894.

In all that goes to make up strong and potential manhood, Mr. Randall has been well equipped and in all the affairs of a busy life he has "stood four square to every wind that blows," his present high standing in the community where he has lived so many years attesting the opinion held of him by those who know him best. Every movement looking to the advancement of the community, morally, educationally, socially or materially, has received his earnest endorsement and support and he has justly earned the right to be numbered among the representative men of his community."



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