1889 Bio Index
It is not often that one beholds the spectacle of ambitions, not ignoble, fully-realized, and yet this vision is sometimes vouchsafed to mortals, even in western Iowa. The subject of the following biographical sketch furnishes us with one example of this character. George Paup is a native of Pennsylvania, born in York County, May 9, 1833. He is a son of Daniel and Lydia (Clark) Paup, natives of Pennsylvania, of German extraction. His early life was spent on a farm and in a mill; his education was received in the primitive log schoolhouse with slab benches. He resided at home until his marriage, which occurred in 1861, to Miss Sarah Ham, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jared Ham. Soon after his marriage Mr. Paup, with very limited means, started to Iowa. He came to Cleveland by railroad, thence by lake boat to Chicago. From Chicago he traveled sixty miles by railroad to Savannah, and then by steamer to Bellevue--the journey having consumed three weeks. When he landed at Bellevue his capital had diminished to 20 cents. He left this point and started to Andrew, the county seat of Jackson County; there he went to work at 50 cents per day. His wife remained in Andrew, and he worked at farm work all the fall and winter, and took his pay in produce. His first modest desire was to own a farm of eighty acres, and with this in view the weather was never too severe for him to be about his work. In the spring of 1853 he was fortunate to have a yoke of oxen given him by a friend; he then rented ten acres of ground, which he sowed in wheat, the seed being the pay for his fall and winter's work. Besides putting in his crop he worked every day with his team, and when the little harvest was reaped he hauled it to Bellevue and sold the wheat for 25 cents per bushel. This was the first money he had received since coming to the State. If we were to go back to this period of Mr. Paup's life, this is the picture we would see: A mere boy with his young wife hundreds of miles from his native home, living in a little round-log cabin, with what the pioneer will recognize as a stick and clay chimney, with no floor, except what Mother Earth furnished, struggling to get a home of his own. For two years he rented land from his neighbors, who, Mr. Paup realizes, were very generous, and assisted him in every way possible. In 1854 be made his first purchase of eighty acres of wild land for $100; this he paid for by breaking prairie for other people. In the meantime he had traded his yoke of oxen for two yokes of steers. By hard work he paid for his land in two years, and by close attention to his pursuits be was soon able to add to his possessions sixty acres more, which he fenced and improved. He then sold out with the intention of going to California, but on reaching Iowa City he changed his mind and engaged in land and live-stock trading until 1853. He then purchased what he has since called his home farm in Clinton County; the nucleus of this home place was eighty acres, and he has added to it until there are now 460 acres in a high state of cultivation.
In 1864, in connection with his agricultural industries, he engaged in shipping stock, which he continued until 1881, and was known as the most successful shipper in that section of country. By his first marriage Mr. Paup had four children-Leslie, of Kirkman; George, on the old home place in Clinton County; Horatio and Harrison, both of Lincoln Township. His first wife died in 1873, and he was again married, to Miss Julia Brumbaugh, a native of Pennsylvania. In 1881 Mr. Paup came to Shelby County, leaving George in charge of the homestead. Leslie purchased a farm fifteen miles from Denison, which was almost in a wild state; he afterward sold out to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, and Manilla now stands on the ground. He then bought the place known as the Kibby farm, of 660 acres, supposed to be the best farm in the county. When he retired from farming Mr. Paup settled in Harlan, where he has a pleasant, comfortable home in which to spend the remainder of his days. Mrs. Paup is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Paup's political inclinations lie very decidedly in the direction of the Republican party. From a very small beginning Mr. Paup has increased his property to a fortune of no mean dimensions, besides assisting his sons to excellent homes of their own, and he is an exception to humanity in general in this, that he is well satisfied with the results of his exertions, and is one of the contented few who desire no more.
Source: 1889 Biographical History of Shelby County, Iowa, pp. 299-300. Transcribed by Marthann Kohl-Fuhs.