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

J[ohn] T. RAVENSCROFT, a well-to-do farmer of Big Grove Township, and a respected and honored citizen of this county, was born Sept. 30, 1830, in Hampshire County, W. Va. He is the son of J. D. and Maria Ravenscroft, natives of the same county. The parents moved to the western part of that State when our subject was about two years old, and when thirteen he met with that greatest of all misfortunes, the loss of his mother, and from that time until he was married he had no place to which he could go and find that loving shelter which boys so much need to protect them from the blasts of the cold world.

He was married to Miss Martha C. Grayson, Dec. 28, 1854. She was born Sept. 11, 1836. After marriage they lived in the extreme western part of the above-named State for one year, then started for the West. On arriving in Iowa, which was in the fall of 1856, they settled in Washington County. They only remained there a short time, and in March of the following year moved to this county, where our subject followed agricultural pursuits until 1865. When they came to this county, Mr. Ravenscroft had but $22, but with this small capital and a determined will, he rented land and farmed in that way for five or six years, using strict economy, that he might be able to get a home of his own, which he was enabled to do at the end of that time, purchasing forty acres in Big Grove Township, located on section 4, which he afterward sold for $500. Next he purchased seventy-two acres on section 3 of the same township, and a year afterward sold it for $1,500. He then went into Mahaska County and bought a small farm on Middle River, where he lived for a little over a year, then sold out and purchased land near Oskaloosa. Living on that place for two years, he sold it and moved back to the same farm which he had previously owned in Big Grove Township, and on which he has lived and labored until the present time. By much hard labor and shrewd management he has added to his original purchase from time to time until he is now the proprietor of 266 acres, all in a body, on section 3, Big Grove Township. He is a good farmer, and his success in life, whatever it may have been, is attributable to his own energy and perseverance, aided by his good helpmeet, who has cheerfully carried her share of the burden.

Mr. and Mrs. Rnvenscroft are the parents of six children, two daughters and four sons: Mary V. is twenty-nine years of age; Rachel A., twenty-five; J. H., twenty-three; J. M., twenty; T. E., eighteen; and Robert, sixteen. Mr. R. is a Republican in politics, yet in local elections is very liberal and votes for the best man for the office. He is a Prohibitionist in principle, but believes the Republican party will accomplish the object sooner or later. He has held the office of County Supervisor and also that of Township Clerk and Assessor. Mrs. Ravenscroft is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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. 309.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 12th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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