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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 393


John FOLTS is the pioneer settler of Union Township, and is still living on the same ground on which he now has 150 acres of well-improved land under fine cultivation. Mr. FOLTS is a native of Jefferson County, New York, born near Watertown, June 12, 1814, a son of John and Catharine [(EDICK)] FOLTS, who were also born in the State of New York, both now deceased. The father was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Our subject was the second of a family of twelve children. Four of the sons and two daughters are still living - John, Josiah, Isaac and Jacob, Margaret and Amy. One son was killed on the anniversary of his birthday, Febrary 22, 1881, by the explosion of a steam boiler at Stockton, California.

John FOLTS, the subject [of this sketch], remained under the home roof till twenty-one years of age, when he went to Ohio, where he remained two or three years. He then lived in Michigan for a time, working on the first railroad built in that State, from Toledo, Ohio, to Adrian, Michigan.

Mr. FOLTS is one of the pioneers of Iowa, coming to this State during the Territorial days. He settled in Van Buren County, Iowa, in 1839, making his home in that county until he became a resident of Ringgold county, and there worked at his trade, that of a millwright, and helped to build several pioneer mills.

He was married in Van Buren County, August 13, 1843, to Miss Louisa LEWIS, born in Trumbull County, Ohio, February 13, 1818, a daughter of Thomas LEWIS. They are the parents of three children - Elvira, Caroline and Martha, wife of Francis M. WALLER, of Union Township.

Mr. FOLTS never followed farming till he came to Ringgold County, since which he has made that his principal occupation. He is a man of industrious habits, and is strictly honorable in all his dealings, and these, with his excellent neighborly qualities, have won for him the respect of all who know him.

In politics Mr. FOLTS affiliates with the Greenback party. He became a member of the Odd Fellows order early in life, and has passed through its degrees to the encampment.

NOTE: John FOLTS, a veteran of the War of 1812, was born October 3rd, 1785, New York, and died at the age of seventy-five years on October 28, 1860, Herkimer, Herkimer County, New York. He was the son of Johan Jost FOLTS (1740-1834) and Margaretha (BELLINGER) FOLTS (1752-1824). John's grandfather Mechert FOLTS was born in 1676, Germany, and came to America at the age of 34 years, arriving in New York City in 1710.

John FOLTS married on May 19, 1812 to Catherine (EDICK) FOLTS was born January 11, 1794, Oneida, New York, and died at the age of 65 years on June 8, 1859, Herkimer, Herkimer County, New York. John and Catherine (EDICK) FOLTS were interred at Fort Herkimer Church Cemetery, German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York

Catherine (EDICKS) FOLTS was the eldest of five children born to Marcus EDICK, Jr. and Elizabeth "Betsey" (WAFFLE) EDICK. Elizabeth was the daughter of George and Maria Esther( SEEBER) WAFFLE. Marcus EDICK, the great-grandson of Hans Michael EDICK (born September 28, 1668, Landhauser, Germany) and the grandson of Hans Michael EDICK, Jr., and the son of Marcus EDICK Sr. (born 1731, German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York) and Marcus Sr.'s second wife, Anna Barbara (WEBER or WEAVER). Marcus EDICK, Jr. was born in 1771, Stone Arabia, Montgomery county, New York, and died in 1855, Richland, New York. Elizabeth "Betsey" died in 1856, Richland, New York. Marcus Jr. and Elizabeth "Betsey" were interred at Willis Cemetery, Richland, however with the passage of time their gravestones have either become unreadable or have been lost.

John and Catherine (EDICK) FOLTS' twelve children, all born in Jefferson County, New York, were:

1) Marcus FOLTS, born 28 Feb 1813; died 08 Mar 1813, Jefferson Co. NY
2) John FOLTS (1814-1891)
3) Elizabeth FOLTS, born 29 Dec 1816; died 19 Oct 1860
4) Catherine FOLTS, born 10 Apr 1820; died 03 Nov 1873, Lane Co. KS
5) Josiah FOLTS, born 12 Sep 1822; died 15 Dec 1894
6) Margaret FOLTS, born 24 Aug 1824; died 14 Feb 1892
7) George Washington FOLTS, born 22 Feb 1827; died 22 Feb 1881, Stockton CA
8) Isaac Brayton FOLTS, born 12 Jan 1829; died 06 Oct 1906, Oswego Co. NY
9) Jacob E. FOLTS, born 18 May 1830; died 29 Jun 1896, probably Jefferson Co. NY
10) Caroline FOLTS, born 09 May 1832; died 28 May 1847, Jefferson Co. NY
11) Hiram FOLTS, born 27 Dec 1834; died 06 Aug 1837, Jefferston Co. NY
12) Amy Lydia FOLTS, born 20 Mar 1837; died 03 Apr 1914, Clayton, Jefferson Co. NY

John FOLTS died at the age of 77 years in 1891, Ringgold County, Iowa. Mary "Louisa" (LEWIS) FOLTS was born February 13, 1818, Trumball County, Ohio, and died at the age of 70 years, 1 month and 20 days in April of 1888, Ringold County, Iowa. John and Louisa are interred at Cornwall (also known as Haight) Cemetery, Thayer, Union County, Iowa. John and Louisa were the parents of three children:

1) Elvira FOLTS, born 1849, Van Buren Co. IA
    residence 1900 Federal Census: Mitchell, Davison Co. SD

2) Caroline S. FOLTS, born 1851, Van Buren Co. IA
    residence 1920 Federal Census: Nodaway, Andrew Co. MO

3) Martha FOLTS, born 1853, Van Buren Co. IA
    married Francis M. WALLER of Union Township, Ringgold Co. IA

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, p. 393, 1887.

1900 Federal Census, Davison County, SD

1920 Federal Census, Andrew County, MO

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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