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Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887

GEORGE A. FILES, proprietor of Files' Hotel, at Shellsburg, is a native of the State of New York, born in Rensselaer County, May 13, 1821.  His father, Conradt Files, was of German extraction, but was also born in the Empire State. He was a farmer by occupation and died in his native State at the age of sixty-six years. His mother, Sophia Files, was of English descent, born in the State of New York, and there died at the age of sixty-three years.

The subject of this sketch is the third of nine children. At the age of twelve years he left home to earn his own livelihood. The first month he worked for $3, and as he lost one day's time ten cents were promptly deducted from his salary. He continued to work by the month, with the exception of a few winters spent in school, until nearly twenty-five years of age.

Oct. 16, 1846, he was joined in matrimony with Mary Freiot, a native of New York State, born Sept. 15, 1824. Her father, Daniel Freiot, born in Lansingburgh, N. Y., was a hotel-keeper during life, and died in Michigan at the age of sixty-one years. Immediately after marriage Mr. Files engaged in the hotel business, and conducted the same one year. He then worked in an oilcloth factory at Lansingburgh three years, after which he resumed farming. In 1857 he emigrated to St. Joseph County, Mich., and continued agricultural pursuits until 1861. He then removed to Vandalia, in the same State, and carried on a successful grocery business until 1864, when he desired to go farther West. He accordingly came to Iowa, and first located at Tama City, where, with a cash capital of over $3,000, he again embarked in the grocery trade, but during the two following years he exchanged most of his capital for experience, and thus closed out his business. He next went to Cedar Rapids and worked in a lumber-yard. In 1869 he came to Benton County, and on February 4 engaged in an agricultural-implement business at Shellsburg. One year later he took charge of the lumber business of  C. Lamb, and subsequently conducted the lumber business of  M. M. Lewis. In 1877 he opened his house to the public, and has since kept the principal hotel at Shellsburg.

Mr. and Mrs. Files have been parents of two children — Catherine S., who died at the age of eight years, and Delbert G., who is now engaged in the drug business and is the present Postmaster of Van Horne. They are earnest workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they are members. Mr. Files is a Democrat in politics.

Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies"  [database online]  Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 199-200.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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