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Moses H Donelson


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/26/2010 at 12:10:18

Moses H Donelson, one of the prosperous citizens of Ogden and Boone county, justly ranks with the leading business men of his part of the state and has done much to win for Iowa its splendid and enviable reputation as one of the chief agricultural centers of the entire country. He has been closely connected with farming and stock raising and is now the owner of 520 acres of rich and valuable land. A native of New Jersey, he was born in Salem county, in November 14, 1844, and is a son of Henry and Ann Elizabeth (Atkinson) Donelson the former a native of the north of Ireland and the latter of New Jersey. In 1830 the father came to America, settling in Philadelphia, where he remained for twelve years in the employ of one man. During that time he managed to save seven hundred dollars of his earnings, but was cheated out of this. He then went to New Jersey, where he remained until December 1863, when he removed to Illinois. In the latter state he purchased a farm and with characteristic energy began its cultivation and development. IN course of time his fields were bringing forth splendid crops and many improvements were added to his place. Upon that farm he spent his remaining days, his death occurring February 11, 1874, when he was sixty-two years of age. His wife passed away at the age of eighty-two.
Moses H Donelson was reared and educated in New Jersey, but his opportunities for acquiring an education were exceedingly limited, as he never went to school after reaching the age of ten years. However, experience has taught him many valuable lessons and he is today a well informed man with a good business education and possesses the ability which many a college bred man lacks. When a little lad of but ten years he began working as a farm hand and was thus employed until 1868, when he determined to engage in farming independently and rented a tract of land I Illinois. He operated that place for a year. In September 1869, he removed to Boone county, driving across the country from Illinois. He purchased 80 acres of land, now is Peoples township, going in debt for the amount. This land he improved, adding may modern equipments and also extending the boundaries of the farm from time to time until it now comprises 520 acres of rich and productive land. The work of development has been carried forward year by year, and his place is now one of the best improved farms of the county. Upon it he has raised thousands of bushels of corn, but has never sold an entire load during his farming experience, feeding it all to his stock. He has been a most successful feeder and stock dealer, feeding on an average two carloads of steers each year and form one hundred to three hundred head of hogs. He operated this place until December, 1913, when he retired and removed to Ogden, purchasing a comfortable home that he now occupies. In all of his business affairs he has displayed sound judgment and keen discrimination, and thus his success has been honorably and worthily won. For twenty-five years he was statistical correspondent for the agricultural department at Washington and had three assistants under him in the county.
On October 1, 1868, Mr Donelson was united in marriage to Miss Tollitha C Cameron, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Harrell) Cameron, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. The father was a farmer and went to Illinois at an early day, there securing a tract of land upon which he carried on general agricultural pursuits until the evening of his life. He passed away at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, having long survived his wife, who died in August 1874. Unto Mr and Mrs Donelson were born three children: James H a farmer of Beaver township, Welcome B who is operating the home farm, and William C who is manufacturing spring bolsters for all makes of wagons at Chariton, Iowa.
Mr Donelson served as one of the trustees of Peoples township and was also school director for nine years. Politically he is a republican and ever keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, so that he is able to support his position by intelligent argument. He attends various churches and his influence is on the side of reform, progress and improvement. Energy has been the guiding spirit of his life, and his industry has never faltered. From a comparatively humble position in the business world he worked his way steadily upward, and in the course of years he became the owner of one of the large and valuable farms of the county. His business judgment is sound and his sagacity keen, and his careful management of his affairs has been the salient element in his success which now ranks him with the men of affluence in Ogden.

1914 Boone Counnty History Book


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