Allamakee county numbers among its representative and
successful pioneer citizens Jeremiah Leas, of Rossville, who came
to this part of Iowa in 1856 and who was for forty-six years
thereafter one of the greatest individual forces in the
agricultural development of Linton township, where he made his
home. The years have brought him success, prominence and a
substantial fortune, upon which he has been able to retire from
active live, his period of leisure rewarding earnest and untiring
labor in the past.
Mr. Leas was born in Harrison county, Ohio, on the 23d of January, 1830, and he grew to manhood in that vicinity, acquiring his education in the common schools and becoming, before he was of age, a practical and progressive agriculturist. He had very limited educational advantages but has supplied his early deficiencies along this line by study and reading, since coming to mature years, and is now a well informed and well educated man. In his early manhood Mr. Leas operated his fathers farm in Ohio for several years but in 1856 came to Iowa, locating in Allamakee county in pioneer times. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Linton township and partially cleared it of timber, adding to his holdings from time to time until he owned at length four hundred and sixty acres of land in Linton township and partially cleared it of timber, adding to his holdings from time to time until he owned at length four hundred acres. He cleared over two hundred of these of a dense growth of trees and upon it built a fine residence and good barns and outbuildings, making it one of the valuable and well equipped properties in this section of the state. He continued to make his home thereon for forty-six years thereafter, engaging in general farming and stock-raising, breeding high-grade cattle, hogs and horses and keeping also a flock of three hundred and sixty-five sheep. He sold the farm in 1902 and in that year moved to Rossville, where he has since lived retired.
In Ohio, in the fall of 1853, Mr. Leas was united in marriage to Miss Susanna Henderson, who was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but reared in Ohio. They became the parents of nine children: Albertus, who resides in Rossville; George, who owns and operates the home farm; John, who resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Seldon, also of Minnesota; William Leslie, of North Dakota; Margaret Jane, the wife of H. C. Campbell, a farmer of Jefferson township; Estella, the wife of A. D. Emmerson, of Minnesota; Finley, who grew to mature years and engaged in farming in Jefferson township, meeting death by accident in 1909; and Mary, who died in early life. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Leas has served as trustee and treasurer.
A stanch democrat, Mr. Leas has always been interested in public affairs and has cooperated heartily in all movements for the advancement and growth of Allamakee county. In 1857 he was elected road supervisor and afterward township trustee, and he served also as township clerk and township collector for two terms. He was for nine years justice of the peace and for three terms township supervisor and he held various other important positions of public trust and responsibility. Since coming to Rossville he has made some judicious investments and is always ready to stimulate industrial activity by lending his money where he considers that circumstances justify such action. He is one of the most prominent and deservedly respected citizens of that community and in his retired life is enjoying the fruits of many years of untiring and well directed labor.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich
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