IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Philemon B. Luce


Philemon B. Luce owns and cultivates a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Fairview township, known as the old Luce homestead. He is a native of that township and was born on the farm which is now his home, December 28, 1855, a son of Harvey and Mary Ann (Stone) Luce, both of whom were natives of Lamoille county, Vermont. In early life the fathers worked in the cotton mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, but eventually returned to the state of his nativity and engaged in farming. Deciding to try his fortune in the middle west, in 1853 he came to Allamakee county and made his first purchase of land near Johnsport, in Fairview township. He made his home thereon until 1872, when he purchased the farm which is now owned by the son. This tract, comprising one hundred and sixty acres, was wholly unimproved when it came into his possession. He courageously undertook the task of clearing the land and preparing the soil for cultivation, also fenced his fields, erected buildings, and in due time waa a well improved place, which ranked among the better farms of the county. He was truly a “home” man, devoted to his family and his business affairs, and although urged to accept public office he always refused to do so. He died on the home place in May, 1886, having for a number of years survived his wife, who departed this life in 1873.

Philemon B. Luce acquired his education in the district schools of Fairview township and during the periods of vacation he assisted in the work of the fields, thereby gaining the knowledge that has enabled him to carry on his work in later years. He remained with his father until the latter’s death, after which the homestead was sold, but three years thereafter Mr. Luce purchased the farm and has continued to make his home thereon to the present time. The farm of one hundred and sixty acres is located in Fairview township, on the Yellow river, four and a half miles from North McGregor. He here carries on farming and stock-raising and the success that has crowned his efforts is very gratifying.

Mr. Luce was married on the 25th of November, 1884, to Miss Mary Galagher, who on coming to Iowa in 1867, located in Paint Creek township. The mother passed away in 1872 and the father afterward lived with his children, dying at the home of a son in Nebraska in 1911. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Luce have been born a daughter and two sons: Martha L., who is with her parents; Walter Gordon, who is now employed in a grocery store in North McGregor; and Floyd Hobart, whose birth occurred September 2, 1897.

In politics Mr. Luce is a republican. He is now serving as trustee of Fairview township, having been elected in the fall of 1912. Having spent his entire life in Allamakee county, he is thoroughly familiar with its history and his home has been made dear to him through the association of his youth and early manhood. He is everywhere known as an honest and upright citizen, fully meriting the esteem and respect which is accorded him by all with whom he is brought in contact.

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

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