John W. Hartley


Since receiving his honorable discharge from service in the Civil war John W. Hartley has given practically all of his attention to the development and improvement of his fine farm in Allamakee county and his energy, industry and well directed labors have brought him success and an honored place among the county’s progressive and able agriculturists. He was born in England in 1844 and four years later came with his parents to America, the family settling in New York state, where they remained for a short time, and then removed to Greene county, Ohio. They later went to Wisconsin and after spending four years in Columbia county, that state, came to Allamakee county, Iowa, where in 1853 the father took up three hundred and twenty acres of government land in Union City township. This property he cleared, developed and improved and upon it he made his home until 1866, when he disposed of his holdings and purchased another farm in the same locality. This also he later sold and bought the farm whereon the subject of this review now resides. He continued to carry forward the work of cultivation for a number of years, but in 1875 retired from active life and made his home near Lansing, where in 1876 his wife passed away. About twenty years later the father removed to English Bench, Allamakee county, and there resided with his daughter and son-in-law until his death, which occurred on the 3d of October, 1907. He and his wife had a large family of children, seven of whom grew to maturity and six still survive.

John W. Hartley was nine years of age when his parents settled in Allamakee county and here he grew to manhood, acquiring his education in the district schools except one year at Evansville, Indiana, and spending a great deal of his time assisting with the work of the homestead. He served in the Union army during the Civil war as a member of Company F, Sixth Iowa voluntary Cavalry, and in 1866, following his discharge, returned to Allamakee county and turned his attention to farming, an occupation which he has followed with credit and success since that time. He now owns nine hundred and fifty acres of fine land, located nine miles southwest of New Albin, and in his careful development of this property has proven himself an able and practical farmer, the excellent condition of his land evidencing his many years of well directed labor. He gives a great deal of his time to his stock-raising interests, feeding practically all of the products of his farm to his fine herds of polled Angus cattle, his horses, sheep and hogs. He is known as a successful breeder and dealer and his animals command high prices in the local and Chicago markets, this branch of his interests being an important and remunerative one.

Mr. Hartley has been twice married. In 1868 he wedded Miss Sarah G. Ratcliffe, a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, who died on the 20th of March, 1889, leaving nine children: Joseph and Benjamin, of Union City township; Charlotte H., the wife of A. L. McClintock, of Rossville, Iowa; Mary, who resides in Chicago, Illinois; John L., of Deer Park, Washington; Helen S., a trained nurse in Ottowa, Illinois; S. Frank, who lives at home; James T., of Twin Falls, Idaho; and Sarah G., the wife of Charley J. Burkey, who resides near Los Angeles, California. In 1891 Mr. Hartley was again married, his second union being with Miss Nora Pierce, a native of Iowa township, Allamakee county, and a daughter of Philip I. Pierce, who resides in South Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Hartley have four children, George P., Sidney R., Alice M., and Lewis P., all of whom live at home. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Hartley gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has rendered the township excellent service in many important official positions and was besides for six years county supervisor. In the course of his long residence in Allamakee county his personal work and his excellent qualities have become widely known and have drawn to him many stanch and loyal friends. His business record also is a creditable and worthy one, for his labors have been valuable as factors in general advancement and his life has been in all its relations upright, straightforward and honorable.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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