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James Whitcomb McIntosh


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/15/2010 at 14:16:12

An active, busy and useful life has brought James Whitcomb McIntosh to a point where he can put aside active business cares and live retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. Gradually he has advanced step by step, connected at different times with commercial and industrial interests and also with official duties in behalf of the county. He was born in Putnam county, Indiana December 30, 1844, and is a son of William and Emily (Parker) McIntosh. The mother was a native of Oldham county, Kentucky while the father was born in Harrison county, Indiana. He made farming his life work and in pioneer days came to Iowa, settling just west of Boone is October 1851. He found here a little village with but limited business activity, and he lived to see notable changes as the years went on. He was at all times deeply interested in the welfare and upbuilding of the community and to the extent of his oppotunites cooperated in the work of public progress. He had for forty-four years being a resident of Boone when he passed away in 1895. His wife, surviving him for a decade, died in 1905. In their family were five chilren: Alma who is now the widow of Wright Harris and makes her home in Auburn, Nebraska, James Whitcomb, of this review, Mary Francis who is living in Boone, Clinton DeWitt who died in early manhood and Nancy E a resident of Boone county.
James W Whitcomb was but seven years of age when borught by his parents to Iowa and has since lived in Boone county, with the interests of which he has been thoroughly identified as time has passed on . In his youth he was surrounded by the conditons and enviroments of pioneer life. He pursued his early education in the district schools and afterward spent a year and a half as a student in Oskaloosa College at Oskaloosa, Iowa. He next entered Bryant & Stratton's Business College at Chicago, there pursuing a commercial course, after which he retruned to Boone and for some time was connected with mercantile interests. For three years he engaged in the grocery business and subsequently became associated in the lumber trade, remaining as manager of the Farmer Lumber Company for about three years. He was then called to public office on his appointment to the position of deputy auditor, in which capacity he served for six years. He next engaged in the grain business, buying and shipping with the McFarlin Grain Company of Des Moines for sixteen years, and during that time he also spent three years as agent of the Des Moines & Northern Railroad Company. He ever displayed close applications, unfaltering energy and determination, and those qualities consututued the salient features in the attainment of the success which now enables him to live retired and enjoy the comforts of life without further recourse to labor.
On May 9, 1867, Mr McIntosh was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Ketchum, a daughter of Daniel C and Cordelia (Cummings) Ketchum, who wre natives of Massachusetts and in 1864 arrived in Boone. The father was a watchmaker and jeweler by trade and conducted business along those lines in this city. His life's labors were ended in death on December 24, 1909, and his wife passed away in April 1096. Their daugther, Mrs McIntosh was their only child, and by her marriage she has become the mother of four children: Emily Cordelia, who died in childhood, Maud, the wife of S A Boone living in the city of Boone, Sibyl, who also passed away in childhood and James Larence a resident of Oklahoma City.
Mr McIntosh has long given his unfaltering political support to the democratic party, and has served as a member of the city council, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures for the general good. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and has filled all of the offices. In the local lodge, while in his life he exemplifies the beneficient spirit of the craft. An interesting point in the life record of Mr McIntosh is the fact that in 1854 he was called upon to read the Declaration of Indepndence at the 4th of July celebration and again, a half century later, he was called upon for the same service in connection with the pioneer celebration. He is today one of the oldest residents of Boone county in years of continuous connection therewith, having for sixty-three years made his home in this county. His life, ever honorable and upright in its purposes and manly and sincere in action, has won for him the high regard of young and old, rich and poor. He is an authority upon many matters connected with the early history of the county, and events of which others know only by hearsay he has witnessed. He has lived to see remarkable changes, as the district has become thickly settled by a prosperous and contented people, who have converted wild land into productive farms or establihsed enterprsing commercial and industrial interests, that have resulted in the upbuilding of growing and progressive towns and cities.

1914 Boone County History Book


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