Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:36:50
Benjamin Capron, from an early epoch in the history of Boone county down to the present time Benjamin Capron has been numbered among the substantial and representative men of the county. He was for a time identified with agricultural interests and later with the industrial circles of the city of Boone, but at the present time is living a retired life a fitting reward for his useful and active career. He came to this county on September 10, 1867. His present home is far removed form the place of his birth for he is a native of Orange county, Vermont, his natal day being November 22, 1822. He is a son of Ephraim Capron a native of Massachusetts who served his country as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He as in the ranks for nine months and had also acted as a teamster for nine months when peace was declared, Great Britain acknowledging the independence of the colonies. There are, indeed, few living men or women who can boast of the honor of having had a father in the Revolutionary war. Ephraim Capron was married in Massachusetts to Miss Hannah sanders, a native of that state. Soon after the close of the war he removed to Vermont, settling in Williamstown, Orange county. He was a contractor and builder, carrying on business in that line during his active career. He erected many of the leading buildings of Albany, New York and often worked as many as fifty men throughout the season. He was recognized as one of the leaders in his line of business in the east and some of the structures which he erected still stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. His last years were passed in the Green Mountain state, where he died in 1828, when the subject of this review was six yeas of age. His wife survived him and carefully reared his family. Benjamin Capron is the youngest of a family of eleven children and the only survivor. He was reared to manhood in his native state and in his early manhood learned the wagon makers and cabinetmakers trade. Like most young men starting out in life for themselves, he desired a companion and helpmate for life’s journey, and was married in New Hampshire on June 17, 1847, to Harriet Fish who was born in Orange county, a daughter of Ezra Fish. The young couple began their domestic life in Wilmont, New Hampshire, where Mr Capron established a wagon and general repair shop. Conducting the business there for seen or eight years. He carried on his wagon making business for twelve years and then owned and operated a sawmill, engaging in the manufacture of lumber at that place for nine years. Thinking that he could have better business opportunities in the west, he made arrangements to leave his old home and in 1867 came to Boone county, Iowa arriving at his destination on September 10th.
Mr Capron purchased land in this county in the spring of 1868 but during the previous winter engaged in the hotel business in Boone, conducting the old Pioneer House. When spring came he located upon his farm tow mils east of Boone, purchasing 120 acres of wild land here. He erected good buildings and developed an excellent farm which he conducted and cultivated for about eight years. On the expiration of that period he returned to the city and engaged in conducting a blacksmith and wagon repair shop. He afterward purchased a shop and in connection with repair work turned his attention to the manufacture of wagons, carrying on that business for seven years, since which time he has practically lived retired. He built a shop and traded his farm for other business property in Boone, including the Ives Hall.
In 1887 Mr Capron was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on January 19, of that year and was laid to rest in Linwood cemetery. Unto them were born two sons> The elder Willie D however died in March 1874 at the age of sixteen years. Nelson H the younger, reached mature years and pursued his education in this county. He completed a high school course in Boone and was married in this city May 4, 1887, to Estella M Dawes, who was born in Jackson county, Iowa and was brought to Boone county when a little maiden of four summers her girlhood days being here passed. She is a daughter of C M Dawes, an early settler of the county, now residing in Minneapolis. Unto N H apron and his wife have been born two sons Ben F and Jean L. Their father is an enterprising business man of Boone engaged in sign painting and is an expert in his line. He and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church. Politically Mr Capron is a stanch Republican having cast his ballot with that party since voting for John C Fremont, its first candidate, in 1856. Prior to that time he had given his support to the Whig party. He has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring that his time and attention should be devoted to his business affairs. Thirty-seven years have passed since he arrived in this county and great changes have occurred in that period for time and man have wrought a wonderful transformation. He has seen the growth of the city as it has developed form a town of less than two thousand to take its place as the seventh city in size in this great commonwealth.
His aid and cooperation in behalf of movements for the public good have never been sought in vain but have been freely given and he yet takes a deep and active interest in everything that pertains to the general welfare. He has reached the age of eight years and in the evening of his life is enjoying a well merited rest. He has too, the warm regard of many friends which is accorded to him in recognition of his honorable and straightforward career.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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