JAMES J. HEIL, living on section 35, Jackson Township, was born in Northampton County, Pa., June 2, 1840. He is a son of Solomon and Susanna (Ritter) Heil, natives of Pennsylvania. He was reared on a farm and educated in a private school. His father died when he was thirteen years of age. He then worked on a farm for various persons until the age of twenty-two. Sept. 8, 1861, he was married to Susanna Walter, also a native of Northampton County, Pa., a daughter of Daniel and Maria Walter, who were likewise Pennsylvanians. Mr. and Mrs. Heil are the parents of eight children, five of whom are now living — Asher F., born June 17, 1863, died Sept. 24, 1864; Julia E., born Feb. 24. 1865: Savilla Louisa, July 17, 1866; Robert Solomon, born July 22, 1869, died Aug. 19, 1869; Milton James, born July 3, 1871; Calvin Walter, born Jan. 15, 1874, died Oct. 17, 1874; Edwin Eli, born June 17, 1878; Philip William, June 10, 1860; Lilly C., born Aug. 20, 1883, died Sept. 23, 1883.
Having some acquaintances in Benton County, Iowa, and wishing to move to some place where he could obtain more land than he ever would be enabled to do in Pennsylvania, Mr. Heil resolved to come to this county. He came here in the spring of 1874 and settled on section 35, Jackson Township, purchasing eighty acres of land, having on it a small house, into which he moved. He has never regretted the move he made from Pennsylvania. He now owns 120 acres of land, with a fine residence, erected in 1883 at a cost of $1,500. Stockraising is his principal business. The father of Mr. Heil died in 1858; his mother is still living and resides in Pennsylvania, having again married. Mrs. Heil's father died about 1864, aged about fifty-five years; her mother is still living, in Northampton County, Pa., and is more than eighty years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Heil are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a Democrat and also a stanch temperance man.
Transcriber's note: Asher, son of James and Susanna, probably died in the year 1884 instead of 1864. He is listed in his father's household in the 1880 Federal census, Jackson Twp., Benton Co., Iowa, page 240a, line 4. Philip William, also a son of James and Susanna, probably was born in 1884 instead of 1864. I believe these two instances were type setter errors.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 253-254.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.