JOHN RAILSBACK, for the past four years retired and living at Shellsburg, resided many years on his farm in Linn county, Iowa, near Palo. He came with his father, Edward Railsback, to Linn county, when about twelve years of age, and when attaining a suitable age took up farming and stock raising, which he followed with great success. He still owns three hundred and twenty acres, though he has given considerable land to his children.
John Railsback was born in Park county, Indiana, in 1828, son of Edward and Allie (Lowe) Railsback, who came to Linn county, Iowa, in 1839. Edward Railsback was a successful farmer and stockman and entered a large acreage of land in Linn county, where he lived practically the remainder of his life. He and his wife died more than forty-five years ago on a farm he owned in Canton township, Benton county. They had a large family, of whom but two survive, John, and Mrs. Jane Dorsey of Cedar Palls, Iowa.
The educational advantages enjoyed by John Railsback were meagre, but he made the most of his opportunities for learning and culture, and was naturally a keen business man. Politically he is a Democrat, but has never accepted public office. He is a member of the Masonic Order of Shellsburg. Mr. Railsback was reared in the Quaker faith.
Mr. Railsback married Miss Jane Elson, daughter of Archibald Elson, an early resident of Linn county; she was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, in 1838, and came to Iowa with her parents when a child. They became parents of five sons and five daughters, all residents of Linn county save Samuel E., who owns a fine farm in Taylor township, Benton county.