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William M Petty


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/11/2009 at 16:56:31

William M Petty, in the town of Pilot Mound makes his home, living a retired life after years of active connection with agricultural interests. In the fall of 1854 he arrived in Boone county, casting in his lot with the pioneer settlers, and for many years was closely associated with farming interest whereby the development of the county was promoted. He was born in Miami county, Indiana, August 1, 1838, a son of Zachariah Petty, whose birth occurred in North Carolina and who went to Indiana with his parents about 1823. They were among the first settlers of that portion of the Hoosier state. Zachariah Petty was married in Wayne county to Miss Lucinda Runyan, a daughter of Peter Runyan, also an honored pioneer settler of Indiana who later came to Boone county, Iowa arriving in 1854. Mr Petty carried on agricultural pursuits in Miami county for a number of years and six children were born unto him and his wife there, two of whom died in infancy. In 1854 he brought his family to the Hawkeye state, making the journey with teams. He also drove cattle and hogs to the new home, arriving in October. He had visited this county in the spring of that years and had entered 320 acres of land from the government there, 160 of which lay in Boone county and the other quarter section in Webster county. He took up his adobe on Sec 22, Pilot Mound township, at once began work here and built a little hewed log house. From early morning he worked in the fields until darkness came down and made further labor impossible. He fence his land placed it under a high state of cultivation and with determined energy conducted his work. Both he and his family experienced many hardships and privations during the first years of their residence here. As time passed more of the comforts of the older east could be secured and he built a good home, spending his last days upon the farm with he had developed. There he died about 1866, when fifty-five years of age. His wife surviving him many years, passed away in 1899 at the age of seventy-nine years and six months. In their family were four sons and three daughters who reached adult age.
William M Petty spent the first sixteen years of his life in the county of his nativity and then accompanied his parents to Iowa. He had acquired good common school privileges in Indiana and had been trained to the practical work of the farm. Here he continued to assist his father in the arduous task of developing the new farm until he was twenty years of age. He was then married on December 27, 1857, to Sarah C Scott, who was born in Virginia and spent the greater part of her girlhood in Indiana. Her father was Dr Scott, who died during her early childhood. Mrs Petty came to this county with her mother and the family.
After their marriage our subject and his wife lived upon a rented farm for two years, on the expiration of which period he purchased a half interest in a steam sawmill and turned his attention to the manufacture of lumber. He continued in that business until his enlistment in the Union army on August 11, 1862, as a member of Company D, 32 Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was assigned to the Western Army and was stationed on the right with of the Sixteenth Army Corps under the command of General A J Scott. Mr Petty enlisted as a private, but was promoted to the rank of corporal and afterward to that of sergeant. The first engagement in which he participated was that at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and he was afterward in the battles of Bayou Meter, and Little Rock. In December of that year he came home on a recruiting expedition, remaining for several months in Boone county, and later he rejoined his regiment at the mouth of the Red river. He was also in the battles of Old River Lake, Mississippi, Tupelo, the first battle of Nashville and subsequently went to New Orleans and participated in the capture of Fort Blakely and the Spanish Fort. He then marched to Montgomery, Alabama, and while en route for that place heard the news of General Lee’s surrender. The command was then sent home and Mr Petty was honorably discharged and mustered out at Clinton, Iowa on August 23, 1865. He lost but about three weeks time during his entire service form illness or other causes. He as in the hospital for about two weeks, but was never wounded nor captured.
After his return Mr Petty resumed work in a sawmill, engaging in the manufacture of lumber for two years. Before going to the war he had purchased some land and after the close of hostilities he built a house upon this and in March 1867, located on the place, commencing with 80 acres. It was still wild and uncultivated, but in course of time his labors resulted in making it a very arable and rich tract. He also became the owner of 240 acres in the home place just adjacent to Pilot Mound. He built a good house and two substantial barns, improved his place with good machinery , plated trees for the production of fruits as well as for shade, and as th5e years passed his farm became on the very valuable and attractive farms of the community. Mr Petty continued to carry on agricultural pursuits there until 1894. In 1899 he purchased a residence in Pilot Mound and now makes his home in the town, where for a number of years he has been engaged in the real estate and insurance business, handling considerable property and writing considerable insurance.
Unto Mr and Mrs Petty have been born six children: George A, who is engaged in farming at North Yakima, Washington, is married and has a daughter, Frank C is married and is a resident farmer of Okarche, Oklahoma, and has a daughter, Sarah G, Charles S is a farmer of Melvin, Kansas, and has three children, Carleton and two daughters, Ernest E is now working for his brother in British Columbia, May is the wife of James McBeth of Hebron, Nebraska, and has two children, Pearl and William, and Sarah A is the wife of Daniel W Carlson, of Malvern, Kansas, and has three children, Blanche, Clifton and Ray.
Mr Petty has been called upon to serve in several positions of public trust and has filled the office of justice of the peace for a number of years, and has been school treasurer for seventeen years. He has also served as township trustee and discharges his duties in a very prompt and capable manner which indicates his deep interest in the welfare and progress of his community. For a number of years he served on the school board and his efforts in behalf of the cause of education were effective and beneficial. Socially Mr Petty is identifies with Pilot Mound Lodge, I O O F in which he has filled all the chair and is a past grand. He is likewise identified with J G Miller Post G A R at Boonesboro. He has always been a stanch Republican since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Few men have longer resided in this county than Mr Petty, whose memory goes back to pioneer times, while his knowledge also embraces the era of modern development. Experiencing the hardships and trials of frontier life in his youth he watched with interest the progress of efforts leading to the substantial improvement of the county. In all life’s relations he has been loyal to the trust reposed in him, has been found straightforward and reliable4, highly respected for his genuine worth.

1902 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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