The USGenWeb Project
Benton County, IAGenWeb Project
The IAGenWeb Project

History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 535-536

JOHN M. BLUE, a prosperous farmer of section 19, Eldorado township, Benton county, was born in Holland, July 2, 1834, a son of Levi and Catherine (Ball) Blue. Levi Blue died in 1887, aged eighty-two years, and his wife died in 1859, at the age of fifty-nine. They were parents of seven children, of whom three are living, namely: Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio; Jan, also of Cleveland; and John M. The family came to the United States in 1857, leaving Holland the 22nd of May, and they landed in New York, July 4; they located in Cleveland, where Mr. Blue and his wife remained until their deaths.

John M. Blue was reared on a farm in his native country, and received a common school education. He was twenty-three years of age when he came to America with his parents, and began working on a farm in a German settlement in Wayne county, Ohio. Having a desire to learn the language of his native country, he attended first a German and later an English Sunday school. During the first three or four years of his stay in this country he worked on a farm for ten dollars a month, out of which he was able to save money to begin farming for himself after his marriage. At first he rented from his father-in-law until 1866, and then came to Benton county, Iowa, where he bought eighty acres in Union township, improved; he purchased the crop that was on the land for sixteen hundred dollars. Mr. Blue remained on this farm until 1874, when he sold out and bought his present farm of two hundred and eighty acres. He made many improvements, and brought the land to the best possible condition. In 1890 he rented his farm and retired, removing to Van Horne, but two years later he returned to his farm, with the intention of remaining there the rest of his life. He has served twelve years as justice of the peace and six years as township clerk. He is a member of the Evangelical Association church in Van Horne, and in politics is a Republican. Mr. Blue is an intelligent farmer, and is a well-read man, keeping himself well informed on all current topics. He is well known and respected in the community.

On February 23, 1860, Mr. Blue married Esther Bentz, born in Wayne county, Ohio, November 16, 1837, and she died May 4. 1889. They became the parents of ten children, of whom six are living, namely: John F., of Van Horne, Iowa; W. C., of Cherokee county, Iowa; Austin A., on the home farm; Irvin E., of South Dakota; Laverna L., wife of Charles Young, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Elsie M., wife of Earl M. Bardo, of Vinton, Iowa.

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