James H. Scannell

James H. and Sophia (Leicht) Scannell and family

Among those who gained prosperity along agricultural lines in Allamakee county and who won the esteem of their fellow men in an unusual degree was James H. Scannell, for many years engaged in agriculture in Linton township, who passed away on March 2, 1910, deeply mourned by his immediate family and a large circle of devoted friends who esteemed him for his high qualities of heart and mind. James H., Scannell was a native of Iowa, his birth taking place near Elkader, in Clayton county, on November 2, 1865. He was a son of Michael and Anna (McMorrow) Scannell, the father a native of Ireland, who became an early settler in Clayton county, this state, and the mother presumably a native of Clayton county. The father later moved to Missouri, where he made his home until his death, which occurred in 1897. The mother now resides in St. Louis.

James H. Scannell received his education in Fairview township, at the Cherry Mound school, and also in Linton township. He passed his childhood and early youth with the Hines family, in which he had been adopted when but eleven month old. Patrick Hines then resided at McGregor but later he and his family came to Linton township, where they made their home on a farm for four years, at the end of which period he came back to Allamakee county and engaged in farming, becoming the owner of the Hines homestead about that time. Two years later he married and settled on this farm, which then comprised one hundred and sixty acres of land on Suttle creek. He gave to the development of his land his entire attention, keeping his buildings in good repair and increasing the yield of his acres. Following up-to-date and modern methods, he succeeded in wresting a gratifying income from his farm and was successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits until his demise, which occurred on March 2, 1910.

On February 21, 1898, Mr. Scannell was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Leicht, who was born on the same farm and in the same house in which she still makes her home. Mrs. Scannell was born May 11, 1880, being third in a family of seven children, and is a daughter of Henry and Sophia Leicht, both natives of Baden, Germany. There the father was born August 31, 1846, and the mother, September 7, 1848. They were married in Allamakee county. The father emigrated to America in the early ‘70s, working for a time for others, but later rented land which he cultivated with such good success that he has been able to buy a farm of his own in Clayton county, just across the line from Allamakee county, in Giard township, where they still reside, the father still actively following agriculture. There Mrs. Scannell attended school and grew to womanhood.

To Mr. and Mrs. Scannell were born seven children: Mary Theresa, May 24, 1899; Emmett Michael, January 15, 1901; Julius George, March 21, 1902; Anna Henrietta, July 24, 1904; Julia Margaret, November 4, 1905; John James, July 8, 1907; and Agnes Sophia, June 4, 1909.

Mr. Scannell was a devout member of the Roman Catholic church, in which faith he died and to which his widow also belongs. Politically he was an independent republican, voting the party ticket in national and state questions but preferring to follow his own judgment in local political issues, considering the qualifications of a man in preference to party lines. Although Mr. Scannell was yet a young man when he passed away, he had already achieved a distinct success which is the more remarkable as his start in life was made under heavy handicaps. Several years have passed since his death, yet he is well remembered by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance as a man of sterling traits of character. Since his death Mrs. Scannell has continued in the operation of the farm, looking after all the details and conducting the same with decided ability and remarkable success. She gives considerable attention to stock-raising, her herds being as good as any which can be found in the district. She is thoroughly modern in all her ideas as regards the cultivation of the fields, and a significant side light is thrown upon her enterprise by the fact that she has increased her property by an additional eighty acres, the homestead now comprising two hundred and forty acres of the most fertile land. As she was born in the same house which she now occupies, all her memories center upon this place and here she expects to continue at least until she has brought up her children to mature age, so that they may enjoy the happiness of a good home and the advantages of farm life. Not only is she highly esteemed as a plucky woman of resource and ability but has the love and veneration of all who know her, on account of her womanly qualities of mind and the motherly care which she bestows upon her family. She is interested not only in her own future but also in the welfare of the community, and with a warm heart is ever ready to extend help to those in distress or need.

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

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