James E Robertson
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 11:11:43
James E Robertson, upon a farm where for many years he was actively engaged in the cultivation of the soil, James E Robertson is now living a retired life and his rest is well merited for his business career was one of untiring activity and honor. Mr Robertson is a native of Canada, his birth having occurred near Toronto, September 26, 1833. He is a son of James Robertson, who was born, reared and married in Scotland. The lady of his choice bore the maiden name of Macknitosh and her death occurred when her son James was a little child. He was then reared by his maternal grandparents and spent the first sixteen or seventeen years of his life in Canada, after which he came to the United States, locating in Erie county, Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in teaming in connection with railroad construction. He followed railroad work until 1858 on the Cleveland & Erie road for three years and subsequently became an engineer on the Milwaukee road running from Chicago, Illinois, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for four years.
In 1858 he went to California, going by way of New York, the Isthmus of Panama and Aspinwall, proceeding thence up the Pacific coast to San Francisco. On landing at the Golden Gate he made his way to the mines, where he devoted his attention to searching for the precious metal for several years. In 1861 he left California for Montana, where he engaged in mining for a number of years. In 1861 he left California for Montana, where he engaged in mining for a number of years. On the expiration of that period he came to Boone county, Iowa, and with the capital he had acquired through his former labors he purchased 160 acres of prairie land. He built there a little home and locating on the place began to break the prairie and cultivate the fields. Now, in connection with his son, he owns 560 acres of valuable land, all in Grant township, comprising three farms which are valuable and well improved. Coming to the United States when a young man, with out capital, he resolved that he resolved that he would win success if it could be gained through determined effort and honorable purpose. Those qualities are foundation stones for many fortunes and it was upon those that Mr Robertson built his prosperity. Upon the home farm he erected a large and substantial residence, also built good barns and buildings for the shelter of grain and stock. He has planted trees which are now of splendid size, while his orchard yields to him excellent fruits.
Mr Robertson was married in Montana, in 1869, to Mrs Ann Griffin, a widow. She was born in Ireland and during her girlhood was brought to America, being reared mostly in Montana and Colorado. Her death occurred in July 1898. By her former marriage was born one son, Frank, who was adopted, reared and educated by our subject and is now one of the prominent men of the township. He is a leading Republican and at the present time is serving as township trustee. Mr Robertson has also been a lifelong Republican and attained the right of franchise at the time the Republican party sprang into existence and place its first candidate in the field. He voted for John C Fremont and has since never faltered in his allegiance tot eh time honored principles of the party. He was elected to serve for six years as justice of the peace and for eighteen years was township trustee, while on the school board he has done effective service for the cause of education. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, although he is now dimitted from active membership. His son Frank is likewise identified with the craft. Mr Robertson has had a somewhat eventful life, his youth was passed in Canada, his early manhood in the east. He afterward came to the Mississippi valley, being connected with railroad construction and the operative department of railroads in Wisconsin and Illinois. He then sought a home upon the Pacific coat and is familiar with all the experiences of mining life in the early days when the story of the mines was far different from that at the present time. He was also one of the pioneers in mining prospectors in Montana, then settled down to the quiet pursuits of the farm in the rich agricultural state of Iowa. Here he has been a valued representative citizen for a third of a century and as the years have passed prosperity has attended his well directed efforts until now he can rest in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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