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Erastus R Irving


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/26/2010 at 12:11:48

Forty-seven years have come and gone since Erastus R Irving took up his abode in Boone county and since 1857 he has been a resident of Iowa. Through the past seven years he has lived in the city of Boone, having retired from active business life. For many years, however, he was extensively and successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits and is still the owner of valuable farm property in Colfax and Jackson township. His birth occurred in Washington county, New York, November 1, 1830, his parents being Adam and Roby (English) Irving, the latter a lineal descendant of Stephen English, a Mayflower passenger. The father of Mrs Irving was Luke English, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, who participated in a number of the hotly contested engagements which brought independence to the colonies and was present at the surrender of General Burgoyne. His daughter Roby was born in Connecticut and in early woman hood gave her hand in marriage to Adam Irving, who became the founder of the Irving family of which Erastus R Irving is a representative. Adam Irving as born in northern England, at Carlisle, and he had a brother who fought under the Duke of Wellington in the battle of Waterloo, in which he was slightly wounded. Adam Irving as a tailor by trade and came to America as an English soldier at the time of the War of 1812. Liking the country, he decided to remain and settled in New York state, where he was married and resided for some time. In later life he removed to the west and spent his last days in Boone county, Iowa, where he passed away about thirty years ago at the age of eighty-three. He had long survived his wife, who passed away at the comparatively early age of thirty-nine year. They were the parents of six children.
Erastus R Irving is the only now living, the last of the others having died in 1913, at the age of eighty-seven. All reached a good old age. One was a twin brother of Erastus R Irving and died in 1901. The youngest brother, George came to Boone county in 1866 with Erastus and her followed farming for many years. At his death he left a family of five children, four daughters and one son.
In taking up the personal history of Erastus R Irving we present to our readers the life record of one who has long been widely and favorably known in Boone county. He spent the period of his boyhood and youth in the east, pursuing his education in the public schools of New York and in 1854 he removed westward to Illinois, settling in Boone county, where he conducted a store. In 1857 he went to Mankato, Minnesota, where he entered a quarter section of land and proved up his claim. This he sold and some years later invested the proceeds in Boone county property. He now owns 320 acres of land lying largely in Colfax township, with 80 acres in Jackson township. The farm is worth at least two hundred dollars per acre. Upon it are fine improvements and all modern accessories and conveniences of the model farm of the twentieth century. Farming, however, has not always occupied the time and attention of Mr Irving. In early manhood he engaged in teaching school in Benton county, Iowa. Following his marriage, which was celebrated in November 1858, he and his wife located upon a rented far in Boone county, Illinois, where they remained for two years. Upon coming to Iowa they settled in Benton county, and through the succeeding winter Mr Irving engaged in teaching school. Later he again went to Minnesota, where e carried on farming through the summer moths, but in the autumn again went to Boone county, Illinois. There he carried on farming until 1865, when he again sought a home in Iowa. In the spring of 1866 he purchased 90 acres of land on section 1, Worth township, Boone county, and began the development of a farm. The land was in its primitive condition and destitute of all improvements, but with characteristic energy he began its development. After two years he sold that property and invested in 160 acres of section 7, Colfax township. This, too, was unbroken prairie when it came into his possession but his labors soon wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place. In addition to tilling his fields he set out a large orchard and planted a walnut grove. Later he purchased another farm and again began its development with the same characteristic energy that has always marked his life work. He built good barns and outbuildings upon the place ad continued to till the soil until he retired from active business life. His labors were crowned with a substantial measure of success, for his work was intelligently directed and he acquired, therefore, a handsome income.
It was in November, 1858, in Boone county, Illinois, that Mr Irving wedded Miss Nancy M Burton, who was born in Dutchess county, New York, March 27, 1835, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Stuart) Burton, who in the fall of 1838 went west to Boone county, Illinois, where they spent their remaining days. Mr Burton passed away when more than eighty years of age, ad his wife died when about seventy-one years of age. Mr Irving had three sisters and four brothers, of whom three brothers and one sister are living. Two of the brothers are now in Iowa and one in New York, while the sister is a resident of Wisconsin. Mrs Irving spent her girlhood days in Illinois, remaining there until her marriage, which occurred when she was about twenty-four years of age. To Mr and Mrs Irving were born tow daughters, who have passed away, the daughter Myra dying in early childhood, while Edna E Became the wife of Dr O F Beckett of Boone, and died in May 1913, at the age of forty-three years. They were at that time residents of Hiawatha, Kansas, and at her death Mrs Beckett left a son and a daughter. George B Irving, the only son of Mr and Mrs Erastus Irving, resides at home and is the owner of an excellent farm of 160 acres in Colfax township,. He wedded Mary Brown and they have one daughter.
In public affairs Mr Irving has taken a deep and active interest. He served his township as justice of the peace and as town clerk, and his duties have ever been promptly and faithfully discharged. He cast his first presidential ballot for Franklin Pierce and in 1856 supported John C Fremont, since which time he has always voted for the presidential candidates of the republican party save on one occasion when he supported Cleveland. He has frequently been a delegate to party conventions. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have contributed generously to its support and taken an active interest in its work. A contemporary biographer has said of him: “Mr Irving is a citizen of worth, who has cooperated in many movements for the general good. His life record is a creditable and honorable one, and the success he has achieved has come to him as the direct result of his energy and capable management. When he started out in life he had not influential friends to assist him and no inheritance upon which to depend, but with strong purpose and laudable ambition he has worked his way steadily upward to the plane of affluence.” He is now living retired at the age of eighty-three years, and the rest which has come to him is well earned.

1914 Boone County History Book


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