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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
Among the citizens of Fayette county, Iowa, who have built up a comfortable home and surrounded themselves with large landed and personal property, none has attained a higher degree of success than the subject of this sketch. With few opportunities except what his own efforts were capable of mastering and with many discouragements to overcome, he has made an exceptional success of life, and in his old age has the gratification of knowing that the community in which he has resided has been benefited by his presence and counsel.
John Brackin is descended from Scotch ancestors, though his father, Cornelius Brackin, was born in Ireland. The latter came to the United States in 1818, locating first in Pennsylvania. About ten years later he moved to Ohio, where he followed the pursuit of agriculture, which was his life work. When he went to Ohio that section of the country was extremely wild and very sparsely settled, he being numbered among the pioneers of the Buckeye state. He applied himself closely to the cultivation of his farm and the comfort of his home, and in 1852, in the hope of bettering his condition, he started for Iowa. On the way he was stricken with cholera and died in the home of a Mr. Singer his remains being buried at Elkader. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church and in his Ohio home he was highly esteemed by all who knew him. The subject’s mother was born in Ireland and her death occurred in Carroll county, Ohio, at the age of eighty-two years. To these parents were born nine children, as follows: Anna, born in Ireland, deceased; Jane, deceased, as are the next four born, Margaret, Richard, Eliza and Henry; John, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Rebecca Toup, who lives in Ohio; Cornelius, deceased.
John Brackin was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, July 31, 1835, and remained in the Ohio home of the family until he was twenty years old, at which age he came to Iowa. He attended the schools of Jefferson county and also attended one term after coming West. His education was somewhat limited owing to the primitive methods and equipment of those early days, but he is a man of strong natural mental ability and has been a close observer and a persistent reader, so that today he is considered a well informed man on general topics. On his arrival in Iowa he was the possessor of a valise and a little money. His first business venture was the purchase of a land warrant, the property being located in Sioux City, this state. He walked all the way to that city to have the land entered. He also obtained land in O’Brien county, and this he traded for eighty acres of land in Fayette county, that being the land on which he now resides. On his return trip from Sioux City, which was also made afoot, going from Sac into Calhoun county, on the way to Twin Lakes, he was caught in a blizzard about nine o’clock in the forenoon and for many hours he was completely lost. He dared not stop to rest or sleep for fear the wolves would attack and kill him, but finally reached a small grove. He arrived at Twin Lakes about two o’clock the following afternoon. He was then almost exhausted and his experience at that time was one which he would not care to repeat. He promptly went to work to improve his Fayette county land and put it in cultivation and during the following years he was prospered to a gratifying degree in his operations. As he was able he commenced to add to his landed possessions until today he is the owner of seven hundred and sixty acres of as fine land as can be found in this part of the state. All of this has been gained by hard work and good management and now Mr. Brackin is numbered among the most successful farmers of the county. He has built one of the most attractive and comfortable homes in the community and the general appearance of the property indicates the owner to be a man of excellent taste and sound judgment. He has carried on a general line of farming, raising all the crops common to this section of the country and in connection with the tilling of the soil he has also given some attention to the breeding and raising of livestock, in which also he has been successful.
On January 16, 1864, Mr. Brackin was united in marriage to Sarah E. Botler, who was born in Lawrence county, Illinois, January 31, 1846, the daughter of Joseph Butler, the family having originally come from Ohio. Of their seven children, Mrs. Brackin was the sixth in order of birth. To Mr. and Mrs. Brackin have been born twelve children, namely: Rebecca Jane is the wife of Daniel Brause, of Union township, this county, and they have four children; Cornelius E., deceased; Clara Belle is the wife of Aug Brause, of Pleasant Valley township, this county, and they have two children; William Henry remains at home; Maggie May is the wife of W. A. Werry, of Oklahoma, and they are the parents of three children: Edna Louise is the wife of Fred Layman; of Laporte City, Iowa; John B., of Pleasant Valley township, married Louisa Miller and they have two children; Jessie is the wife of William Miller, of near Clermont, this county, and they have one child; Benjamin Harrison, at home; Richard, at home; Edith and Sarah died in infancy.
In politics Mr. Brackin is a stanch Republican and has taken an active interest in local public affairs. He was honored by his fellow citizens with the election to the office of township trustee, and so entirely satisfactory were his service sin this capacity that he has, all told, served twenty years in this office, his last term having expired in 1908. He has also given efficient service as school director of the township and in other ways he has evinced a commendable interest in the welfare of the community. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order, in which he has taken the degrees up to and including those of Knight Templar. Mrs. Brackin is a member of the Masons’ auxiliary order, the Eastern Star. Mrs. Brackin is a lady of many splendid womanly graces and is well liked in the social circles in which she moves. Both of her grandmothers were cousins to Jefferson Davis, ex-president of the Southern Confederacy. Mr. Brackin, though well advanced in years, still retains his vigor to a remarkable degree and takes an intelligent interest in the happenings of the day. Shrewd and far-sighted, he has ably managed his private business affairs and today is numbered among the most successful men of Fayette county.
Typed for the Fayette County IA USGenWeb Project by Tom and Sharon Dorland
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