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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information


Source:  A History of Northwest Missouri, Vol. III.
  Edited by Walter Williams.
The Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago - New York. 1915.
Pages 1688-1689.
When Joseph S. Leamer came into Caldwell County in 1866, he brought with him one horse and a set of harness. He had no money, and the first winter was spent in cutting cord wood at the rate of $1 per cord, and he also split several thousand rails. That was the means by which he was started on a successful career. It is needless to say that he possessed industry and a vigorous physique, and these resources with a faculty of good business judgment have put him in a position through the succeeding years where he is now regarded as one of the most influential and prosperous men of Polo. He is one of the most extensive land owners in the county, and his farms aggregate 635 acres. His home place comprises seventy-five acres and adjoins the Town of Polo, being situated in section 21 of Grant Township. His own residence is a large and commodious house of ten rooms, surrounded with large barns, feed lots, and all the facilities for conducting his industry as a stock farmer. He keeps cattle and hogs, and makes a specialty of the breeding of mules and horses. On his place can be found some of the best thoroughbred Duroc swine in Caldwell County. Mr. Leamer understands his business, is a thoroughly practical man, and his success is based on thorough business qualifications and an integrity which has stood without question for nearly half a century.

Joseph S. Leamer comes of good old Pennsylvania stock of German ancestry on the maternal side and of Scotch Irish on the paternal, and he was born in Blair County, Pennsylvania, in 1847. His parents were Jacob and Rebecca (Stevens) Leamer. In 1850 the family left Pennsylvania and embarked on a river steamboat on which they descended the Ohio River and then came up the Mississippi and found a home in Benton County, Iowa, where for several years they lived surrounded by pioneer conditions. The father died at the age of forty-seven, leaving a widow and nine children. The mother attained the advanced age of ninety-three years. The parents were members of the United Brethren Church.

Joseph S. Leamer grew up in Iowa, had the surroundings of a pioneer farm and a new country, and all his education came from the public schools. In 1867, about a year after his arrival in Caldwell County, he married Elizabeth Webb, a daughter of Isaac Webb. Mr. and Mrs. Leamer have a fine family of sons and daughters, mentioned briefly as follows: Elma, wife of George Dixon of Polo; Lenora, deceased; Richard R., who is married and has two children; Hiram, who died at the age of nineteen; Nellie Minger; Mattie Minger; Maude Stone; Blanche Stone; and Frank, who is married and has two children. Mr. Leamer's sons are all active farmers and cattle men. Mrs. Leamer is a member of the Baptist Church. Though his own success has come from hard work and in spite of obstacles and lack of advantages, Mr. Leamer has always shown a friendly interest in schools and other provisions for the education of the young, and is a man of public spirit in all movements affecting the improvement of his community.

Transcriber's Note: Jacob & Rebecca Leamer are buried in the Prairie United Brethren Cemetery, Taylor Twp., Benton Co., IA.

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