FRANK J. BARDWELL, one of the representative farmers of Iowa township, Benton county, Iowa, was born in Brooklyn, New York, June 30, 1866, only son of Samuel L. and Laura M. (Smith) Bardwell, natives of New England.
Samuel L. Bardwell was born in Lyndham, Massachusetts, November 19, 1812, and died in Belle Plaine, Iowa, July 19, 1893; his wife, born in Reading, Vermont, November 1, 1839, is still living, a resident of Belle Plaine. For a number of years he was financial man in New York for E. G. Lampson, Goodnow & Company, at that time the largest manufacturers of cutlery in the United States and also manufacturers of arms for the south. In 1868 he was sent by them to Chicago to take charge of one of their branch houses, and the following year he came farther west and engaged in business for himself. On July 8, 1869, he landed in Belle Plaine, and soon afterward established the S. L. Bardwell Bank, the first bank in that town. This he conducted until the spring of 1877, when he sold his paper to Hutton & Moholm and later was one of the organizers of what is now the Citizens National Bank. It was on account of ill health that Mr. Bardwell retired from banking, and from that time on until his death he devoted his attention to the management of his farm and his stock interests, retaining his residence in town and each day paying a visit to the farm. He was one of the first men in this part of Benton county to raise full blooded cattle and hogs. Politically he was a stanch Republican, and for years he served as a justice of the peace in Belle Plaine. While in the east he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but after coming to Iowa never attended the lodge. He possessed many sterling qualities of heart and mind, was held in high esteem by the citizens of Belle Plaine, and in his death the town and surrounding country suffered a deep loss.
After completing his studies in the Belle Plaine schools, Frank J. Bardwell went to work on his father's farm, which was conducted from 1888 to 1893 under the firm name of S. L. Bardwell & Son, and since his father's death he has owned the one hundred and ninety acres upon which he lives and where he continues the raising of Shorthorn cattle and Jersey hogs.
Mr. Bardwell married, August 26, 1886, Miss Mary J. Elliott, a native of Iowa county, Iowa, born January 31, 1870, daughter of John A. Elliott, and they have three children: Laura M., Frank J., and John E. Miss Laura is a graduate of the Belle Plaine high school, has had some experience as a teacher, and is now attending the State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Like his father, Mr. Bardwell is a Republican. Fraternally he is identified with both the Odd Fellows and the Masons, having membership at Belle Plaine in the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 151, and Hope Lodge No. 175, A. F. and A. M. Mrs. Bardwell and daughters are members of the Order of Eastern Star.