WILLIAM F. KIRKPATRICK, Justice of Peace, of Vinton, is numbered among the early settlers of Benton County, locating here in 1855. He was born near North Liberty, Adams Co., Ohio, Nov. 23, 1812. His father, Adam Kirkpatrick, was a native of Lancaster County, Pa., but of Scotch-Irish descent. His mother, Rosana (Patten) Kirkpatrick, was united in marriage with his father in Lancaster County, and about the year 1800 the family moved to Paris, Ky., and two years later to Adams County, Ohio, which at that time, was a vast wilderness, but few white families residing there. In the family of Mr. Kirkpatrick were ten children, only three of whom are now living — Nathaniel, at North Liberty, Ohio; Rev. N. R., a Presbyterian minister, now located at Ft. Gay, W. Va., and the subject of this sketch, who is the oldest living. The elder Kirkpatrick was an old-line Whig, and held several local offices of trust, among which was that of Justice of the Peace, which he held for twenty-seven years. He died of consumption at eighty-six years of age. His wife, the mother of our subject, died in 1817. Both parents were members of the Presbyterian Church. After the death of his first wife Adam Kirkpatrick was married to Mrs. Sarah Reed, widow of Nathaniel Reed, of Adams County, by whom he had four children.
W. F. Kirkpatrick was reared upon a farm, and in the pioneer log school-house of his native county received his education. He has a vivid recollection of that old log schoolhouse. The slab seats, the old-fashioned fire-place, the writing-desks, made by driving wooden pins into the wall, on which a wide slab was laid on which to write, and the greased-paper window-lights, all are well remembered.
In 1833 Mr. Kirkpatrick was united in marriage with Miss Lydia McVeigh, a native of Adams County, Ohio, born Feb. 15, 1815. Of this union eleven children were born, and six are yet living — William M., Mary E., Leonidas N., Martha J., D. C., and Lydia M.
Previous to coming to Benton County, in 1855, Mr. Kirkpatrick had engaged at times in farming and the mercantile trade. On his arrival here he located in Taylor Township, where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1861 he was elected to represent his township in the County Board of Supervisors, and held that position by re-election for eight years. In 1868 he moved to Vinton, and for the last fourteen years has held the office of Justice of the Peace, the duties of which he has discharged in a faithful and conscientious manner.Mr. and Mrs. Kirkpatriek are both members of the Presbyterian Church in Vinton. Many are the changes that they have witnessed during the thirty-one years of their residence in Benton County. A small, straggling village has grown to a thriving little city, with fine residences, business houses, and a mercantile trade second to no town of its size in the State. The log cabins and straw barns of the farmers have given place to elegant dwelling-houses and large, comfortable barns, while the whole face of the country has been changed for the better.
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. 360-361.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 18th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.