GEORGE STEECE. Prominent among the well-to-do farmers and respected citizens of Benton County is he of whom this brief sketch is written. He has resided within her boundaries for more than a quarter of a century, and during that time has been closely identified with her agricultural development, and at present is living on section 6, Monroe Township.
Mr. Steece was born in Adams County, Ohio, June 21, 1831, and is a son of George and Mary (Birkett) Steece, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Ohio. The parents were married and settled in Adams County, Ohio, whence they removed to Kentucky, and subsequently returned to Ohio and settled in Lawrence County. They had eight children-four sons and four daughters and six of the number are yet living: James, their first-born, is an inmate of the Soldiers' Home at Leavenworth, Kan. At the first call for troops during the late Civil War, he enlisted for three months, and, after the expiration of his term of service, re-enlisted for three years, joining the 4th Ohio Cavalry. He participated in many hard fought battles and received a serious wouud in the leg, which caused its amputation. Archibald is living in Gage County, Neb., and was also a soldier in the late war; William, like his two brothers, was a soldier, and died from disease contracted while fighting for his country; Ann became the wife of J. D. Cotton, and they are living in Marrietta, Ohio; Mary married Samuel Baird, who is deceased, and she is at present residing in Columbus, Ohio; Eliza became the wife of Dustin Willard, and they are residents of Logan, Hocking Co., Ohio; Martha departed this life while young, and the remaining child is the subject of this notice. The father of our subject was an Old-Line Whig and a gentleman of very decided opinions of his own. He died while on a prospecting tour in Missouri, in 1847. His wife departed this life twenty years later, in 1867. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a kind mother and a respected and beloved citizen of the community in which she lived.
George Steece was educated in the common schools and at the Labor Manual School in Ashtabula County, Ohio. He was married in Lawrence County, in that State, in 1855, to Miss Amanda Jane Adams. She was born in Kentucky, Nov. 3, 1838. Their union was blest by the birth of thirteen children, nine of whom are yet living. The record is as follows: Mary is the wife of C. F. Eisele, and they are residing in Wellstown, Jackson Co., Ohio; Lizzie is living at home; Edward marrried Fannie Means, and they are residing in O'Brien County, in this State; Franklin B. is a teacher by profession, and the remaining children are Sherman, Matt, Clinton, Reamy and Fannie.
In the spring of 1857 Mr. Steece left the Buckeye State for the broad and uncultivated prairie lands of the West, and came directly to this county. Arriving here on the 21st of May, he located upon section 6, Monroe Township, on a tract of uncultivated land. The first work that he did was to erect a house, and he hauled the lumber for that purpose, at least a portion of it, from Iowa City. That year he broke some of his prairie land, and the following year he raised a crop. There were but few houses scattered along the timber, when he made settlement on his land, but he had great faith in the future development of the county, and entered actively and energetically upon the improvement of his property, and has continued to reside here since that time. He has witnessed the broad, uncultivated prairies improved until they have attained the highest state of cultivation, and the rude log cabins have given way to beautiful residences, until at present, as compared with the past, the county may be said to "bloom and blosssom as the rose." His early trading was principally done at Vinton, and he remembers that on one occasion he was offered two town lots in that city if he would simply pay for the making out of the papers, but he refused to do so.
When Mr. Steece came to this county he was in limited circumstances, but by energy and perseverance he has succeeded in accumulating a competency. He has 386 acres of land, all under cultivation, and which is valued at $40 per acre. He is a gentleman of far more than ordinary ability, quick to act upon his own judgment, and respected for his sterling worth and integrity, and is one of the county's highly intelligent citizens.
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. 183-184.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on June 16th, 2007. Copyright © 2007 The IAGenWeb Project.