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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 623-624

ASA B. FORRESTER, a resident of Vinton for the past forty years, there followed the trade of cooper many years, and has now retired from active life. He was born in Lockport, New York, December 13, 1837, and is a son of Nathaniel and Susanna (Starkweather) Forrester. The former was a native of Canada and the mother was a native of New York who died in 1843 when her son Asa was a child. The grandfather, John Forrester, emigrated from England to America and there founded the family. Nathaniel Forrester and his wife had three children, Asa B., Edgar and Julia. Edgar died in Jones county, and Julia married D. S. Barnet, and died in Cedar township, this county. Nathaniel brought his children to Iowa and located first in Cedar township, Benton county, on a farm. He was a farmer and also followed his trade of cooper until his death, in February, 1887, in his eighty-seventh year.

Asa B. Forrester had received a common school education and learned the trade of cooper of his father, and was seventeen years of age at the time they came to Benton county. He helped his father on the farm, and at the first call for troops in 1861 he enlisted for three months at Peoria, Illinois, in Company E, Eighth Illinois Infantry, and at the end of his term he returned to Illinois. He spent a few years working in various points in Illinois and Iowa, and in 1864 returned to Benton county. He purchased a farm in Cedar township and operated on it from 1864 until 1869, and then located in Vinton, where he bought a shop and followed his trade until he retired. He was a successful business man, and became a prominent citizen of Vinton. He owns city property. Mr. Forrester is a member of P. M. Coder Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is independent in politics. He is a member of the Masonic orders of Vinton, including the Commandery, and also belongs to the El-Kahir Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Cedar Rapids. He and his wife belong to the Order of the Eastern Star, and she is a member of the Women's Relief Corps. She belongs to the N. G. 0. (Never Grow Old) Society, and also to the Christian church.

Mr. Forrester has been married twice, first, in 1864, in Cedar township, to Antoinette Wallace, who died in 1899, leaving four children, all living, namely: Francis, of Vinton; Edith, wife of Arthur Jones, a Chicago banker; Bessie, a teacher in the Chicago schools; and Jay, a travelling salesman, residing at Austin, Texas. Mr. Forrester married (second), January 16, 1907, Mrs. Mary A., widow of Jefferson L. Taylor. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1837, the daughter of Josiah S. and Lucretia W. (King) Doan, who came to Vinton in 1864. Mr. Doan was for some years a photographer in Vinton, and died in 1868, aged fifty-two years; his wife died in 1882. He was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and learned the trade of cabinet-maker in his youth. His wife, Lucretia King, was from New York, a daughter of Elam and Sarah King, old settlers there. Mary Doan married (first), in 1864, in Covington, Kentucky, Jefferson Taylor, of Newport, Kentucky, and in 1866 they removed to Vinton, Iowa, where he spent a short time in the harness business and later followed the trade of carpenter for many years. He died suddenly, in 1897, at Vinton, at the age of sixty-nine years. Their only child died in infancy.

Mr. Forrester's youngest son, Jay, was a member of Company G, Forty-ninth Iowa, serving throughout the Spanish-American war.

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