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

HYRCANUS GUINN, a farmer, on section 34, has 1,000 acres of land, 240 of which is in Iowa County, and the remainder in Iowa Township, this county, adjacent. Mr. Guinn is a pioneer of Benton County, having come here in 1846. He was born in Greene County, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1820, and is the son of John and Rachel (Shields) Guinn; the former was a native of Virginia, but settled in Tennessee in early life; the mother was born in Maryland. Our subject was reared on a farm in his native State, and in March, 1846 when twenty-six years of age he started for Iowa on horseback, selected his land and returned to Tennessee. He was married to Miss Melissa Dinwiddie, a daughter of William and Mary Dinwiddie. She was also a native of Greene County, Tenn., born June 7, 1825.

Soon after their marriage Mr. Guinn and wife started for their home in the far Northwest, fully understanding the many privations that awaited them, but they were young and buoyant, consequently were enabled to meet them with a cheerful hearts and willing hands. They traveled overland by team and reached their destination Nov. 16, 1846, establishing their home on the farm now occupied by Mr. Guinn and family. Seven children were given to their union, four sons and three daughters: John N., born June 18, 1847, died October 14 of the same year; Nancy Josephine, born Oct. 25, 1849, died Jan. 29, 1869; William Jackson, born Sept. 3, 1852, married Julia Benson, and is a farmer of Iowa Township; Sarah J., born May 3, 1855, is the wife of C. B. Greenlee, a farmer of Iowa Township; Robert Hannible, born Sept. 23, 1858, married Delia Furnas, and resides in Iowa Township; Mary Octavia, born Dec. 31, 1859, is the wife of Robert Sheets, and resides in Belle Plaine; James D. born Sept. 11, 1862, died Jan. 3, 1863. Mrs. Guinn, a most estimable lady died at her home in Iowa Township, Sept. 27, 1862. Mr. Guinn was married again, Feb 10, 1863, in Benton County, Iowa, to Mrs. Ella Hesser, widow of H. Hesser, and daughter of Leonard Husted. Mrs. Guinn was born Aug. 29, 1840. Seven children were born to their union, six sons and one daughter: Leaman McClellan, born Dec. 31, 1863 is a railroad man operating in Texas; Scott Hyrcanus, born Aug. 23, 1866, is at this writing at sea on a whaling voyage; Frances Selby, born Feb. 23, 1869, is now in Texas; Birdie, born Nov. 15, 1870, died Feb. 21, 1871; Austa Almeda, born Jan. 7, 1872; Leonidas, Nov. 12, 18?8, and Randall M., born Jan. 29, 1881; the last three named are at home. Mrs. Guinn had one child by her former marriage, a daughter, who died in childhood.

Mr. Guinn has served seven years on the Board of Supervisors, and as Township Trustee. He helped to organize the Township of Iowa, and was elected the first Trustee. He has always been a consistent Democrat and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is Mason of high standing, and a member of Hope Lodge No. 175, A. F. & A. M., of Mt. Horeb Chapter No. 45, R. A. M., and of St. Bernard Commandery No. 14, K. T. Mr. Guinn has been very successful in his farming operations and has accumulated a large property. He is very justly esteemed one of the most prominent and respected citizens of Benton County.

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 April 20th, 2007. Copyright © 2007 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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