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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 532-534

JOHN W. HITE, an able auctioneer of real estate and live stock, and senior member of the firm of J. W. Hite & Son, has for the past thirty-five years been a resident of Benton township. He was born in Blair county, Pennsylvania, March 3, 1846, and is a son of David and Margaret (Stephens) Hite, who came to Benton county with a family of eleven children, one child being born later. Of these twelve children all are living save one, and the youngest is sixty years of age. The child that died was a son, Nicholas Hite, a veteran of the Civil war, who passed away August 25, 1908, at his home in Idaho. David Hite, who was born in 1800, died January 1, 1868; his widow died in 1894, in her eighty-seventh year. They reached Benton county May 4, 1850, at which time there were but three houses at the present site of Vinton, then called Fremont. David Hite settled seven miles southeast of Vinton, two and one-half miles south of the Cedar, on the prairie, on the farm now owned by William Fry and family, in section 6, Canton township. He became a successful general and stock farmer, coming here from the hills of Pennsylvania, with practically no capital. He and his wife were earnest members of the United Brethren church, and many services of the society were held at their log house.

David was a stanch Republican, but never held political office. He was born in Pennsylvania, but his father, a native of Germany, served through the American Revolution; his mother was a native of Pennsylvania, and of German descent. David Hite and his wife had children as follows: Samuel, for many years past an invalid, living at Lake Park, Iowa; Henry, of Dysart, Tama county, Iowa; Mary, who married George Sanders, and lives in Greenfield, Iowa; Jacob, of Vinton; Nicholas, mentioned above, a soldier in Company D, Twenty-eighth Iowa Volunteers, now deceased; David, a wealthy farmer and stockman of central Nebraska; Rachel, who married John T. Banner, and lives at Vinton; Margaret, who married Benjamin Sanders, and lives in Warren county, Iowa; John W.; Catherine, who married Stephen Yerkes, and lives in Taylor township, Benton county; Ellen, who married Joseph Butterfield, of Vinton; and Jane, who married L. W. Latham, a merchant of Vinton.

John W. Hite was reared in Benton county and educated in the public schools, since which he has spent his life on a farm. For the last thirty years he has followed the calling of auctioneer, and during the fall and winter of 1906-7 he and his son, L. S. Hite, cried one hundred and sixty-three sales, between September 1 and April 1. Their business is not confined to Benton county, but they conduct sales in Tama, Buchanan, Linn, Black Hawk and Greene counties, in Iowa. In July, 1909, Mr. Hite sold his farm in Benton township, and is now a resident of Vinton. Since selling the farm Mr. Hite and his son have purchased eight hundred acres in Kittson county, Minnesota. They also own one hundred and sixty acres in Cass county, Minnesota. A stock company of which Mr. Hite and his son are members recently purchased six thousand six hundred acres in Marshall county, Minnesota, and they also own a farm of seven hundred and ninety-one and one-third acres of irrigated land in Colorado and an interest in a nine hundred acre ranch and they own town lots in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and Crook, Colorado. Politically Mr. Hite is a Republican and he has held the offices of township clerk, assessor, trustee, justice of the peace, and others, although not at present holding any office. During 1895 and '96 he was superintendent of the Benton county poor farm. He belongs to the Modern Brotherhood and Modern Woodmen of America, of Vinton, and to Benton City Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Shellsburg No. 83. He is considered a representative and public-spirited citizen, and has attained the friendship and respect of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He is a man of considerable ability along the line of his chosen work, and is fairly well known throughout this section of the state.

On December 24, 1868, Mr. Hite married Eliza Donels, who came to Benton county at the age of ten years, with her parents. William and Jane (Mefferd) Donels, who settled in what is now a part of Cedar Rapids; they were farmers, and later moved to Benton, where they spent the closing years of their lives. Mr. Hite and his wife have one son, Loren S., who married Mary Pickering, whose parents reside at Vinton, retired; they were early residents of the county, where she was reared. Loren Hite and his wife have three children—Helen, aged seven; Fay, aged six; and Charles nearly five years of age (in 1909).

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