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H C DeFore


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:05:58

H C DeFore, whose operations in real estate have led to the substantial up building and improvement of city as well as to his own business prosperity, was born in Boone county, Iowa, I 1853 his parents being Willis L and Rachael C (Freedly) DeFore. The paternal grandparents were James and Charlotte (Denny) DeFore. The former died when the father of our subject was only twelve years of age, but Mrs DeFore, who was born April 17, 1800, lived to be almost ninety-one years of age, passing away on April 10, 1891. One of their sons, William DeFore, enlisted in the latter part of 1861, as a member of Company D, Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, for service in the Civil war and was killed in the skirmish at Iuka. The other son of the family was Willis L DeFore, the father of our subject. The daughters of the household were five in number, Julia Ann the wife of Mathias White of Boone county, Hulda the deceased wife of Richard Green, Serena the wife of Isam Hull of Boone county, Ada the deceased wife of David Hull of Washington, and Louise the wife of George E Jones.
Willis L DeFore, the father of our subject was born in Indiana in 1826, and in 1849 came to Iowa, settling in Polk county, where he first engaged in splitting rails. He afterward returned to Clay county, Indiana, and in 1851, brought his family to this state, having previously been united in marriage to Rachael C Freedly, whose birth occurred in Clay county, Indiana. On his second trip Mr DeFore settled in Dodge township, Boone county, where he engaged in farming and stock raising for a number of years, being thus employed until his death, which occurred November 7, 1887, when he was sixty-one years of age. He owned a tract of 580 acres of land, having become the owner of swamp land at an early day, which through ditching he converted into a very arable, rich and valuable farm. He owned land in Boone, Hamilton, Story, Webster, Greene, Kossuth, Wright and Hancock counties. In the work of securing swamp land and improving it he was associated with J F Alexander of Ennis, Texas. Mr DeFore had made his first money in this county at breaking prairie with six yoke of oxen, and though he came here with only four hundred dollars in money he gradually worked his way up financially until he became a wealthy man and so honorably was his success won that the most envious could not grudge him his prosperity. At an early day he engaged in freighting from Keokuk and Marengo to Boonesboro, to Fort Dodge and to Homer, Iowa .He as one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Grange and was very active and earnest in advancing agricultural interests. He was called to represent his district in the fifteenth general assembly of Iowa and at the time of the civil war manifested his loyalty to the government by enlisting in 1862 in the Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving during the greater part of the time as a wagon master under General A J Smith. Mrs DeFore still survives her husband and is now living at Tacoma, Washington at the age of seventy-two years. In the family were ten children: Julia, the wife of Robert Royster of Boone county, Edwin now deceased, Henry C of this review, Charles A who died in 1877 at the age of twenty-one years, James A of Tacoma, Washington, Mary S the wife of Aaron Nelson of Boone county, Isabella the wife of Daniel Neff of Tacoma, Washington, Arminta the wife of Max Brooks of Puyallup, Washington, Daniel who died at he age of two and one-half years, and Viola the wife of Elmer Cramblet.
H C DeFore, the subject of this review sketch is indebted to the common schools for his early educational privileges. He also spent one term in the high school of Boonsboro in the winter of 1871-72. In his early youth he worked upon his fatherís farm becoming familiar with all the duties of field and meadow, being there employed from 1873 until 1887. In the later year he removed to Boone and began purchasing grain for the McFarland Grain Company, giving his attention to this business for two years. He afterward spent two years in working at the carpenterís trade and for a similar period was connected with the Northwestern Railroad Company. In 1894 he was appointed deputy sheriff under S P Zenor, filling that position for one year and five months. In 1895 he became a candidate for the office of sheriff of Boone county and was elected on the Republican ticket, filling the position most creditable until 1898, since which time he has been engaged in the real estate business, handling both southern and northern property. He has been wonderfully successful in locating parties in homes in Kansas and his efforts have contributed in no small measure to the improvement and up building of the west.
On March 11, 1873, Mr DeFore was united in marriage to Mary A Barnes, a daughter of Harvey and Elizabeth (Scott) Barnes of Boone, Her parents were natives of Indiana and her father died in Neosho county, Kansas, while her mother passed away in Clark county, In pioneer days they had come to Boone county and were well known people in this section of that state at the time. Her father had engaged in the grocery business in Boonesboro carrying on trade there when there were only three houses in the town. Unto Mr and Mrs DeFore have been born the following named: Nellie E who died in 1889 at the age of fifteen years, Charles R and Clara May twins, and Fannie I. Of the twins the daughter is now deceased, while the son is living in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Mr DeFore is a member of Mount Olive Lodge No 79, F & A M and also the Tuscan Chapter No 31, R A M . He is likewise identified with the Woodmen of the World, his membership being Camp No 80. His entire life has been passed in Boone county, where he has lived from pioneer times to the present. He has therefore witnessed much of its growth and development has seen its wild lands reclaimed and improved and has taken an active interest in all that tended to promote progress and up building. He enjoys an unassailable reputation as a business man and in his community all know him to be worthy of high regard.

1902 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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