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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 249-50


William TIMBY, retired farmer, Mount Ayr, is a native of Norfolk, England, born January 11, 1829, a son of Thomas and Susannah TIMBY. His father being a farmer, William was early insured to the duties of the farm, and his education was obtained mainly by his own exertions. He was married in April, 1853, to Miss Mary A. POINTER, and the same month left Liberpool on a vessel bound for New Orleans, and after a voyage of six weeks landed at that city about June 4. From New Orleans he went to St. Louis, Missouri, thence to Collinsville, Madison County, Illinois. He was variously employed for a time, when he commenced farming, following that vacation in Illinois until the spring of 1863. He then came to Ringgold County, Iowa, and located in Lott's Creek Township, on land for which he had traded while living in Illinois. There he engaged in farming and dealing in stock, feeding the products of his farm, which contained 400 acres, to his cattle and hogs. He disposed of his farm in the year 1883, when he removed to Mount Ayr, where he has since resided, his handsome residence being locted in the west part of the town. He has been an active and public-spirited citizen, always taking an interest in any enterprise for the advancement of his town or county, and since becoming a resident of Mount Ayr has built some of the best business blocks in the place. In the summer of 1886 he erected a fine two-story brick business house on the south side of the square, besides which he owns five other houses in this city. He and his wife are active members of the Baptist church, and respected citizens of the county, having gained the confidence and esteem of all who know them.

In 1872 Mr. TIMBY visited his old home in England, after an absence of nineteen years.


William TIMBY, Sr., was born January 11, 1829, at Walpole, Tarrington Crosskeys, Norfold, England, and was married to Mary Ann POINTER on April 14, 1853, and on April 18, 1853 they left England for America. After a voyage of six weeks they landed at New Orleans June 4. From New Orleans they went to St. Louis, Missouri, thence to Collinsville, Illinois. He was variously employed for a time. Then he began farming. He followed that vocation until the spring of 1863 when he settled on a farm he had traded for while he was yet in Illinois. It was the Charles H. SCHOOLER farm in Lotts Creek Township, Ringgold County, Iowa, and was the first farm settled upon in the county in 1844 by SCHOOLER.

[Mr. TIMBY] was a prosperous farmer and accumulated 400 acres of land. In 1883 he and his wife moved to Mount Ayr where they had a very fine home. He soon began the erection of brick buildings around the square for rental as he had sold his farm. In the summer of 1886 he erected a fine two-story brick business building on the south side of the square. He already had five other brick buildings.

NOTE: William TIMBY erected the present-day Princess Theatre building in 1887 for the W. A. SIMPSON Department Store. It was converted to the Princess Theature in 1914.

[Mr. TIMBY] and his wife were active members in the Baptist Church after moving to Mount Ayr. In 1872 they made a visit to England. Then again in 1887 they made another trip to England and on their return trip Mrs. TIMBY died in Chicago, Illinois, September 14, 1887. Her body was brought to Mount Ayr and buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

They had been the parents of one daughter who died in infancy.

On November 28, 1888, Mr. TIMBY was married to Martha LEE. They were the parents of three children: William, Thomas Lee and Susan.

The father (William TIMBY, Sr.) died July 15, 1901. He was a properous, economical, honest businessman, and was repected by all.

His wife Martha, died January 29, 1933.

Will [William TIMBY, Jr.], the eldest child, was married [October 14, 1914] to Edna LAIRD. They had three children: Mary Elaine, who died July 18, 1925; Martha Jane, who attends college at Grinnell [1936]; and one son, Billy, who died September 10, 1920. The mother, Edna [(LAIRD) TIMBY], died May 12, 1922 (sic). Will was married again to Lucy KIDNEY, November 18, 1934. Will is cashier of the Mount Ayr State Bank [1936].

The second son of William and Martha [(LEE) TIMBY] is Thomas "Lee". He is married to Ruth SHOONAMAKER and lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is a salesman.

William and Martha's only daughter, Susan, married Dr. J. W. YOUNG and lives at Newton, Iowa. They have three children.

Twice-A-Week News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
June 12, 1896

A Builder of Brick Blocks

Wm. TIMBY was born in England. He emigrated to America in 1853, settling in Illinois. He located in Ringgold county in 1863, and in Mt. Ayr in 1883. During his 20 years' resident in Lotts Creek township he amassed something more than a competence, and after selling his large and well-improved farm began the work of improving the grade of business buildings in Mt. Ayr. To him more than to any other one man is due the credit for the fact that Mt. Ayr is for its size one of the best built towns in the state.

In 1881, when he began his work, the valuable stocks of merchandise were contained in frame buildings. Today the square is lined with substantial brick blocks, some of the best of which belong to Mr. TIMBY. Altogether he has erected bricks aggregating ten store fronts, at a total cost of about $35,000. Most of them are two-story, with good office and living rooms above. Besides this he owns a number of frame buildings and a beautiful home on the principal residence street. He is married and has two little sons. Mr. TIMBY is a member of the Baptist Church.

Submission by Mike Avitt; Courtesy of Mount Ayr Depot Museum

NOTE: Martha Ellen (LEE) TIMBY, the daughter of John G. and Margaret (STEEL or STEELE) LEE, was born in Jo Daviess County, Illinois on March 11, 1864, and died on January 29, 1933, at the home of her son Will TIMBY in Mount Ayr. She was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

NOTE: Edna Maude (LAIRD) TIMBY, the daughter of Edward Parker "Edd" and Montana "Lillie" Belle (MERRITT) LAIRD, died on May 3, 1922, and was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr. William T. "Will" TIMBY was born July 20, 1869, and died September 6, 1907, Kellerton, Iowa. Their daughter, Mary Elaine TIMBY, was born June 14, 1916, Mount Ayr, and died at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines on July 18, 1925; interment was at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

In the early years, the TIMBY Building housed a general mercantile business with the upper floor as offices for many professional people over the years. The lower level floor has been occupied by a grocery store, a Ben Franklin [department] Store, Place's Department Store, and restaurants - Small Corral, Pheasant Run, and Iowa Roadhouse.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 249-250, 1887.

WPA Graves Survey

LESAN, Mrs. B. M. Early History of Ringgold County: 1844 - 1937 Pp. 186-87. Blair Pub. House. Lamoni IA. 1937.

Transcriptions and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009; updated June of 2010

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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