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Benton County, IAGenWeb Project
The IAGenWeb Project

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

Pages 711-713
JOHN CLIFTON. — During many years John Clifton was numbered among the farmers of Benton county, but a few years ago he retired from an active business life and since March of 1906 has lived in Vinton. He first came to Benton county in 1855, and in December of the same year he returned to Fayette county, Ohio, and in September of 1856 brought his family with him to his new home and bought a farm and located in Big Grove township, which continued as his home until about five years ago, moving then to Jackson township, and after two years there he came to Vinton. He has recently disposed of a portion of his estate, but yet owns one hundred and twenty acres of rich and valuable farming land in Big Grove township. His city home in Vinton is located on Whipple street. Mr. Clifton started for himself in Benton county practically without capital, and he has won his own way to success and at the same time has proved a worthy and valued citizen. He was a farmer and stock raiser throughout his entire active life.

Born in Fayette county, Ohio, September 14, 1837, he is a son of Bennona and Jane (Anders) Clifton. Bennona Clifton was a native of Delaware, both he and his father, John Clifton, being planters and slave owners there, and he brought four slaves with him to Ohio. He bought a farm there and operated it until his death, August 12, 1851, then forty-four years of age, his death resulting from scarlet fever. He was a successful man financially, becoming a prominent farmer and stock man in Fayette county, his estate having been located in Green township. He was a Methodist class leader for many years and a member of the Masonic fraternity. John Clifton, his father, died in Delaware. Bennona Clifton married Jane Anders, who was born in Scotland and who died in Ohio in the '40s, when a young woman. She had moved to Ohio with her parents in her early girlhood days. Her mother lived to the age of one hundred and two years and died in that state. Of the four sons and five daughters born to Bennona and Jane Clifton only two are living, and F. C. Clifton is. a resident of Madison county, Iowa.

John Clifton was reared in Fayette county, Ohio, receiving rather limited educational advantages in his youth, and starting out in life for himself he received four dollars a month for his services, this being paid him by his uncle, Andrew Alien, for whom he worked. During the next year he received seven dollars a month, this being increased in the following year to eight dollars and so on up the ladder of success to his present high position. His next employer was a Quaker blacksmith, who paid him ten dollars a month and with whom he remained for a year, and from that on until 1855 he worked for John Barger at thirteen dollars a month. Since leaving his employ Mr. Clifton has been in business for himself. He married on the 5th of September, 1856, Miss Nancy Rosebrough, who was born in Fayette county, Ohio, in August, 1841, a daughter of H. K. and Hannah (Davis) Rosebrough, who came to Benton county in 1855. Mr. Rosebrough bought a farm in Big Grove township, now the property of Mr. Clifton, and he died there in June of 1907, when eighty-four years of age, his wife having passed away in the spring of 1895, at the age of sixty. There were two daughters in their family, Nancy and Mary, and the latter is now living in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Clifton died at their farm home on the 5th of March, 1896. A son, Sylvester Clifton, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Clifton, and he now resides in Floyd county, this state, near the Butler county line. He married Miss Belle Hollenbeck, from Benton county, and they have four daughters and a son, Cecil, Merle, Bessie, Mabel and Mildred. Mr. Clifton spends much time in their home. Politically he has been a Republican since the organization of the party, voting for Lincoln's first term, and he has been able to cast a vote for each successive Republican presidential candidate, and has held some of the minor local offices. Mrs. Clifton was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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