George A. Leas

Front: Mr. & Mrs. Jeremiah Leas and Mr. & Mrs. William Thias
Standing: Mrs. John Melcher & daughter, Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Leas, Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas Melcher, Mr. John Melcher & son

A well tilled tract of four hundred and twenty acres on section 4, Linton township, has yielded most gratifying returns for the labor expended on it by its owner, George A. Leas, who during the entire period of his active career has engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was born on the farm which he now occupies, November 17, 1859, and is a son of Jeremiah and Susanna (Henderson) Leas, the former of whom was born near Cleveland, Ohio, January 20, 1830, and the latter, November 8, 1831. In early life the father learned the tailor’s trade not liking it, turned his attention to farming, an occupation in which he engaged during the remainder of his active life. In the early ‘50x he came as a pioneer to Iowa, where he had bought land previously, and, taking up his residence upon his holdings, broke the raw soil and developed there a productive farm. At the time of his arrival pioneer conditions prevailed everywhere, the county was practically a wilderness and Indians were frequent visitors to the sparse settlements. With characteristic energy Jeremiah Leas carried forward the work of clearing and improving his property and continued to reside thereon until November, 1902, when he moved to another farm in Linton township. After one year he retired form active life and moved to Rossville, where he has since resided. For two terms he served as supervisor of his township and has been at all times a public-spirited and progressive citizen, interested in everything that pertains to community development. He and his wife became the parents of nine children, of whom the subject of this review is the third in order of birth.

In the district schools of Linton township George A. Leas acquired his education and at the age of sixteen he laid aside his books, continuing, however to reside at home until he was twenty-five years of age. He had learned the best and most practical agricultural methods by personal experience upon his father’s farm and this training stood him in good stead when he began his independent career. He purchased forty acres of land in Linton township and turned his property and for twenty-eight seasons ran a threshing machine in connection with it, becoming well known as a progressive farmer and an able business man. He added to his original forty acres and at one time controlled extensive holdings which, however, he later disposed of and returned to the old homestead. To this also he has made extensive additions, his holdings now comprising four hundred and twenty acres of valuable land. He operates this as a general stock farm, keeping high-grade cattle, horses and hogs, and his business interest, being all carefully and capable conducted, have brought him a gratifying measure of success. He is a stockholder and director in the Waterville Creamery Company and in the Farmers Shipping Association of Monona, and in business circles is regarded as a far-sighted, able and discriminating man.

On the 22d of January, 1884, Mr. Leas was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Thias, who was born near Sixteen, in this township, March 12, 1864. She is a daughter of William F. And Barbara Ann (Gast) Thias, the former of whom was born in Germany, September 9, 1839, and the latter in Quebec, Canada, on the 17th of November, 1847. When he was two years of age the father was brought to America and he grew to manhood in Indiana, later removing to Iowa. After attaining his majority he took up land near the village of Sixteen, in Linton township, and kept “bachelor’s hall” with his brother until his marriage. He cleared and improved a tract of land which he had entered form the government and made this a valuable property. Disposing of it in 1870, he moved to Nora Springs, this state, and there remained for four years, after which he exchanged his farm for that belonging to his brother-in-law and returned to Linton township, where he was active in agricultural pursuits until three years before his death. He then divided his property among his children and retired form active life, dying in January, 1910. His wife survives him and makes her home in Linton Township. Mr. and Mrs. Leas have become the parents of eight children: William Wesley, who was born December 12, 1884, and who married Miss Hazel Kringle, their home being at Cottonwood, Minnesota; Effie, who was born July 27, 1886, and who is the wife of John Melcher; E. J., born November 4, 1888; Henry O., April 13, 1891; Ray Addison, February 13, 1893; Arthur Floyd, July 22, 1895; Iva Estella, August 18, 1899; and Hazel Marie, December 22, 1904. Mr. Leas gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and served for two terms as township trustee. Although he is not active as an office seeker he never neglects the duties of citizenship and gives hearty and helpful cooperation to all measures which he deems for the best interest of the community. He is connected fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America and is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mrs. Leas belonging to the Ladies’ Aid Society of that organization. A man of good business ability which has won him substantial success and actuated in all of his dealings by the most honorable and upright principles, he possesses, moreover, those personal characteristics which command the confidence and good-will of his fellowmen and place him among the highly respected and valued residents of Linton township.

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

Return to 1913 biographies index