A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


PERCY A. LAINSON, serving in his fourth term as sheriff of Pottawattamie County, is an overseas veteran, a native of Iowa who has made an enviable record as a soldier and peace officer.

Sheriff Lainson was born in Ida County, Iowa, in 1886, son of George J.  and Hattie D. (Terrill) Lainson.  His father was born in Stratford, Canada, and his mother in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and both are now living in  Sacramento, California.  the paternal grandfather, William Lainson, was  born in London, England, and was married in Saint Peter's Cathedral in that city  April 18, 1845.  He was a clerk for Lord Darnelly's estate and was the  first member of the Lainson family to come to America.  His son, George J.  Lainson, came out to Iowa about 1869, and for a number of years was on the road  as a traveling salesman.  By trade he was a carpenter.  His wife,  Hattie D. Terrill, had been adopted into the Lainson family.  Her father,  Jacob Terrill, was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock and was a Union soldier and died  about 1869.  George J. Lainson and wife are active members of the  Presbyterian Church.  he is a Republican in politics and is affiliated with  the Knights of Pythias.  There were four children in the family, Percy A.  being the oldest.  Florence is the wife of R. I. Barrett, a hydraulic  engineer at Sacramento, California; Elmer F. is jailor under his brother,  Sheriff Lainson; and Ruth married Mr. Keefer, a hydraulic engineer at  Sacramento.

Percy A. Lainson attended public schools in Iowa, as a youth clerked in  a drug store and came to Council Bluffs as an employee of the Pacific Express Company and was assigned every task and responsibility in the routine of the 
local office.

While working for the express company he joined the Iowa National Guard  in 1902 and participated in its training regularly for a number of years.  He went with his company to the Mexican border in 1915, and in April,  1917, was
again called to the colors for service in the World war.  He was  mustered into the national army in August, 1917, was in training at Des Moines  and at Camp Mills and sailed for overseas October 10, 1917.  He started as  a second
lieutenant and was promoted to first lieutenant while on the boat and  later was made captain of Company L of the One Hundred Sixty-eight Infantry,  which was a part of the famous Forty-second, Rainbow, Division.  He was  with his company and regiment throughout its service in France, participating in  some of the hardest fighting of the war, and he returned home as commander of  his company.  He received an honorable discharge May 19, 1919, and was  immediately commissioned as captain in the Iowa National Guard and helped  reorganize his local
company.  Later he was promoted to major, and he  served as state agent in the office of the attorney general until elected  sheriff.

Mr. Lainson was elected sheriff of Pottawattamie County in 1922 and has  been reelected three times.  He has been in the office since 1923, and has  given an administration worthy of the high praise accorded it. Mr. Lainson  married, August 23, 1917, Elizabeth Roberts, who was born at Thurman, Iowa, and  attended school there and is a graduate of the Council Bluffs High School.  They have two children:  Donald, born in 1918, and Jeanne, born
in  1920.  Sheriff Lainson is a member of Grace Presbyterian Church at Council  Bluffs, is a member of the Royal Arch Chapter, Scottish Rite bodies of Masonry,  the B. P. O. Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.  He is a Republican in  politics.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War