George B. Ralston
George B. Ralston, serving as township trustee of Jefferson
township and numbered among the progressive citizens and
successful farmers of that locality, was born in Ludlow township,
this county, February 21, 1869. He is a son of John Ralston, who
was born in Scotland and who remained in his native country until
he was seventeen years of age. He then came to America and
resided for three years in New York City, where he became very
proficient as a brown-stone setter, working for his uncle.
Eventually he moved to Illinois and there worked on a farm for
three years, coming about the year 1854 to Allamakee county,
Iowa. In Ludlow township he purchased a tract of eighty acres and
this he cleared of timber, broke the soil and began the work of
development. After he had made it a valuable and productive farm
he disposed of the property and purchased one hundred and sixty
acres in the vicinity, and this he also substantially improved,
erecting a fine residence, good barns and outbuildings. He
engaged in general farming upon that place for some years, but
later moved to Waukon, where he spent his retired life, dying in
that city about 1911. His wife survives him and makes her home
with her daughter in Waukon.
George B. Ralston was reared upon his fathers farm in Ludlow township and early became acquainted with the best agricultural methods, for he aided in clearing, improving and developing this property. For one year after his marriage, which occurred in 1892, he remained upon the homestead, but at the end of that time bought eighty acres of land on section 21, Jefferson township. This was at that time a raw tract, but with characteristic energy Mr. Ralston carried on the work of its improvement, clearing the timber, grubbing up the stumps, breaking the soil and fencing the fields. He later erected a substantial residence, a large basement barn and good outbuildings. He also set out an orchard, planting a number of fine trees, and he has neglected nothing which would add to the attractive appearance or the value of the property. In addition to general farming he is a stock breeder on an extensive scale, keeping high-grade cattle, Poland China hogs and a number of good horses. He was one of the promoters of the Waukon Cooperative Creamery, to which he sells the product of his dairy which he has been operating for a number of years.
In Waukon, on the 14th of February, 1892, Mr. Ralston was united in marriage to Miss Mary Douglas, a daughter of David Douglas, a veteran of the Civil war and for many years a prosperous farmer in Allamakee county. A more extended mention of his career appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Ralston became the parents of nine children: Earl J., who is assisting his father on the farm; John D.; David G.; Ruth; Jessie; Marie; Florence; Eugenia; and Doris.
Mr. Ralston is a republican in his political beliefs and is interested in public affairs, cooperating heartily in movements for the general good. In 1910 he was elected trustee of Jefferson township and has served by reelection since that time, discharging his duties in a way which reflects credit upon his ability and his public spirit. The cause of education finds in him a stanch champion, and he did effective work along this line during the years which he served as president of the school board. He is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has held various official positions in the lodge of that organization. He and his wife belong to the Rebekahs at Rossville and the entire family attend the Rossville Presbyterian church. Mr. Ralston has won substantial success, but it has come as the result of earnest labor, unfaltering industry, and sincerity and honesty of purpose. No one envies him his prosperity, so worthily has it been won, and he ranks today among the respected and representative citizens of Allamakee county.
-transcribed by Linda Earnheart
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