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William Webb (1844-1921)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/6/2022 at 14:25:49

William Webb
(July 19, 1844 August 5, 1921)

William Webb, of Garfield Township, is one of the most substantial and prosperous farmers of Calhoun County and his life is an exemplification of the term "dignity of labor." The possibilities that America offers to her citizens he has utilized, and though he came to this country in limited circumstances he has steadily and perseveringly worked his way upward, leaving the ranks of the many to stand among the successful few. Mr. Webb was born on the 19th of July, 1844, in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, England, of which country his parents, Richard and Sarah (Hawkins) Webb, were life-long residents. The father, who was an engineer by trade, died at the age of seventy-five years, and the mother passed away at the age of fifty-three. They had a family of five children: Thomas and Jane E., both now deceased; William; James and Sophia.
In the land of his birth Mr. Webb grew to manhood, and acquired his education in its public schools. At the age of sixteen years he commenced learning the engineer's trade, which he followed during his residence in England and for two years after coming to America. It was in 1871 that he crossed the broad Atlantic and took up his residence in Monroe, Jasper County, Iowa, living in that locality for about ten years. He bought forty acres of land in Marion County, this state, which was the first property he ever owned, but was unsuccessful there, it being his home during the panic of 1873-4.
On leaving there he returned to Jasper County and from there came to Calhoun County and bought a farm of three hundred and ninety-six acres in Garfield Township, which is now his home place. It was all wild land when it came into his possession but as the years have passed he has placed it under cultivation and today has one of the best improved farms in the county, it being supplied with all the conveniences and accessories found upon a model farm of the present century. The original house was one mile north of where he now lives. In 1896 he erected a fine residence and a new set of farm buildings, which are a credit to the locality as well as to the owner. Mr. Webb is now the largest land owner and was one of the most extensive farmers of Garfield Township, having five hundred and seventy acres under cultivation. He raised over two hundred acres of corn and the same amount of small grain annually, and fed from two to three carloads of cattle for market each year. He also bought and sold cattle and usually kept about one hundred and fifty head upon his place, his specialty being full blooded Galloways.
Before leaving England, Mr. Webb was married November 14, 1863. to Miss Sophia Rose, who was born in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, and is a daughter of William and Rebecca Rose. Sixteen children blessed this union, namely: Thomas W.; George; Jane E., deceased; James; Jane E., Fannie A. and Lillie, all three deceased; Clayton C. Elgy H.; Sadie and Ernest, both deceased Frank E.; Dora E.; Clara M.; Clarence O. and Fred. Mr. Webb is an active and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has held various offices in the same. By his ballot he supports the men and measures of the Republican party and he was called upon to serve his fellow citizens as one of the first trustees of Garfield Township and its second assessor, and also as a member of the school board at various times. He assisted in organizing the township, being one of the first five settlers to locate there. The others were Peter Wingerson, L. Marshburger, W. B. Harris and John McGuire. Mr. Webb has been prominently identified with the entire growth and development of his township and is recognized as one of its most valued and useful citizens. By untiring industry and sound business judgment he has won a merited success in all of his undertakings and has now laid aside active labor and removed to Sac City, where he can live a retired life in the enjoyment of the fruits of former toil. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.309]


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