WILLIAM COUNTERMINE, a well-to-do farmer of Canton Township, and a respected and honored citizen of this county, was born in Princetown, Schenectady Co., N. Y., July 2, 1842. He is the son of James and Sarah (Morrison) Countermine, natives of New York. His great-grandfather on his father's side was Welsh, and his great-grandfather on his mother's side was born in Scotland. The parental family consisted of five sons, the record being as follows: Charles is a farmer living in Schenectady County, N. Y.; John is a Presbyterian minister, and pastor of the Sixth Presbyterian Church of Albany, N. Y.; Daniel is also a Presbyterian minister, now preaching in Batchellerville, N. Y.; James L. has just finished a course of study at the Hamilton College, New York, and likewise is a Presbyterian minister, and William is the subject of this brief notice. The father joined the silent majority on the other shore July 18, 1885, his demise taking place in Schenectady County, N. Y. The mother is still living.
William Countermine was reared a farmer's boy, and remained on the old homestead, assisting his father in the labors on the farm, until he attained the age of fifteen years. He then worked out by the month until 1862, when, in August of that year, he enlisted in Co. I, 134th N. Y. Vol. Inf., and served his country faithfully and well for three years. He was in the battles of Fredericksburg; Gettysburg, at which time he was Acting Orderly, and in which engagement his regiment, comprising 700 able- bodied men, came out with only fifteen, he being one of the number; and also at Williamsport. His regiment was first in the 11th Corps and then in the 20th, and under command of Gen. Joe Hooker; it went to Alabama, participating in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and assisted in chasing Longstreet through Tennessee; then went to Chattanooga, from there to Atlanta, Ga., and accompanied Sherman in his famous march from Atlanta to the sea; then through the Carolinas to Washington, and participated in the grand review, being mustered out in May, 1865.
Returning from the war, our subject, Feb. 13, 1866, was united in marriage with Ellen Dougall, daughter of Ebenezer and Jennette Dougall, natives of Scotland. Mrs. Countermine was born in New York, and has borne her husband six children, three of whom are living — James W., Robert H. and Sarah Jennette; those deceased died in infancy.
Mr. Countermine came West in the fall of 1869, and located at Cedar Rapids. In the neighborhood of that city he worked for one year at farming, receiving as compensation $25 per month. He then rented C. F. Dutton's farm, in Linn County, for three years, which he cultivated, and at the expiration of that time purchased forty- five acres in that county. He worked that tract for five years, then sold it and bought ninety acres in the same county, which he cultivated for two years and then disposed of it and came to this county, purchasing 160 acres on section 30, Canton Township, on which he located and where he is living at the present time. In addition to the cultivation of his land and raising of the cereals, he is engaged in the breeding of Short-horn and Holstein cattle, Norman horses and Poland-China hogs, and is meeting with success in different departments of his vocation. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church ever since he was fourteen years of age, and at present holds fellowship with a congregation of that denomination at Pleasant Hill. His wife and two sons are also members of the same church. Mr. Countermine is a good farmer, and a gentleman whose word, when given, is as good as his bond.<
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. 340-341.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on September 28th, 2008. Copyright © 2007 The IAGenWeb Project.