A history of the pioneer settlement of Allamakee county
contains therecord of no more worthy, upright, and honorable man
than Jonathan Jenkins, who came to this part of Iowa in 1852 and
who has since that time borne and active and useful part in its
upbuilding and development. Through his untiring energy, industry
and well directed activity he has evolved from an unimproved
tract the valuable farm in Ludlow township which is his today and
has achieved a success which places him among the men of weight
and influence in the township where he makes his home.
Mr. Jenkins was born in Ireland and he grew to manhood in his native country, acquiring a public-school education. As a young man he crossed the Atlantic to America and soon after his arrival settled in Iowa, working at any occupation which would bring him an income. He soon afterward purchased land in Ludlow township, Allamakee county, and began clearing the timber, making his home in a wagon under an oak tree while doing this work. With the logs which he cut down he erected a little cabin and here he resided for many years thereafter, steadily and with characteristic energy carrying forward the work of clearing, improving and developing his land. He erected fences around his fields and in the course of time built a substantial residence, a commodious barn and the necessary outbuildings, developing from an uncultivated tract a modern and productive farm. The years brought him not only success but the esteem, confidence and high regard of his neighbors and he is today one of the prosperous and substantial men of Ludlow township. He owns one hundred and sixty acres in the home place and two tracts of pasture land adjoining, one comprising eighty acres and the other two hundred. He carries on general farming and also engages in dairying and a number of horses. He was one of the promoters of the Ludlow Cooperative Creamery Association, in which he is now a stockholder, and his ability is widely recognized in business circles.
Mr. Jenkins married Miss Catherine Evans, a native of Pennsylvania, who came in her childhood to Allamakee county. She was born December 31, 1836 and passed away December 11, 1908, within a few days of her seventy-second birthday, which would have been her fiftieth wedding anniversary. Their marriage occurred in Waukon, when that thriving city was only a crossroad village. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins became the parents of seven children now living. Joseph W. and John W. are aiding in the operation of the home farm. John W. is married and has three children, Catherine, John C., and Herbert M. The other children born to Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins are as follows: Sarah, who married W.A. Wamsley, of Dexter, Kansas; Ellen, the wife of I.M. Petersen, of McIntire, Iowa; Martha, who married R.H. Waters, of Frankville, Iowa; Eliza, the wife of L.L. Miller, of Ludlow township; and, Mary, who is her father's housekeeper. Miss Mary Jenkins was educated in the schools of Waukon, Decorah and Fayette and engaged in teaching in Allamakee county for ten years. She and her brother John are members of the Waukon Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Jenkins is also a regular attendant and member, guiding his honorable and upright life by the principles in which he believes. A resident of Allamakee county for over sixty years, he has witnessed a great deal of the development of this section of Iowa, his own labors proving valuable forces in promoting growth. He is widely and favorably known in Ludlow township and holds a high place in business and farming circles as well as in the ranks of Iowa's honored and successful pioneer citizens.
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt Labath
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