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Franklin B. Spawn (1852-1909)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 11/27/2022 at 14:06:36

Franklin B. Spawn
(March 28, 1852 May 3, 1909)

Not only has Iowa become known as a grain growing state but its shipments of fruit have become so extensive that its reputation in this direction has placed it among the leading fruit raising states of the Union. The leading representative of this industry in Calhoun County is Franklin B. Spawn, a well known horticulturist, whose successful efforts have made his opinion an authority in connection with everything in his line, especially in the production of apples.
He is an enterprising, energetic man, and his labors have brought to him well deserved prosperity.
Mr. Spawn was born in Albany County, New York, March 28, 1852. His father, William Spawn, was born in Greene County, that state, on the 1st of May, 1814, and was descended from German lineage. Removing to the west in 1S65, he died in Pomeroy, Iowa, February 26, 1888. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Temperance Benjamin, was born in Greene County, New York, March 28, 1814, and represents an old English family that was early established in Connecticut. Her death
occurred at Brant Lake, South Dakota, May 15, 1894, and she was laid to rest in the Pomeroy Cemetery, Calhoun County. The parents of our subject were married in 1832, and unto them were born eight children: Henry, a resident of Dell Rapids, South Dakota; Isaac, whose home is in Roscoe, Illinois; Zina, who died in Schoharie County, New York; Lewis and William J., who are residents of Brant Lake, South Dakota; Mary, who died in infancy: Franklin B.: and Elida, who died in Pomeroy. Henry, Lewis and William J. were all soldiers of the Civil war, Lewis being the first man to enlist in Schoharie County, New York, becoming a member of the Eighteenth New York Infantry. Henry was quartermaster sergeant in the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry and William J. was a member of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth New York Infantry. Lewis Spawn had one son. Lute, who served his country in the Spanish-American war, and another brother of our subject, Zina Spawn, also had a son, who went forward to protect American rights in the latest military struggle in which our country has been engaged. Henry had two sons in said war, one of whom spent one year in Manila, Philippine Islands. In the year 1865 the family removed to Winnebago County, Illinois, locating upon a farm, which was their home until 1870, when they took up their abode in Calhoun County. Franklin B. Spawn, whose name introduces this review, remained with his father upon the home farm until 1873, after which he was employed as a farm hand for two years in Calhoun and Grundy counties, Iowa. In 1875 he purchased the farm upon which he now lives, and his father removed to Pomeroy at that time. For twenty-nine years Mr. Spawn has resided upon the farm which is now his home, and while his life has been marked by no exciting events, it has been characterized by the faithful performance of duty and fidelity to every obligation. He owns sixty-five acres on the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section thirty-two on the shore of Twin Lakes, and in connection with general farming he raises some stock, but is perhaps best known as a representative of the horticultural interests of the county. He is extensively engaged in raising apples, and the shipments from his farm find a ready sale upon the market owing to their large size and excellent quality.
On the 24th of December, 1879, Mr. Spawn was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Marple, the daughter of Elwood and Amy Marple. The father was born in Pennsylvania, March 27, 1820, and on the 24th of November, 1841, the parents of our subject were married. The lady was born October 31, 1817, and this worthy couple became the parents of eight children: Anna E., who was born December 5. 1842, and died March 12, 1900; Harriett, who was born March 22, 1844, and is the widow of John Jones of Newton, Iowa; Adelaid, who was born December 29, 1845, and died on the 1st of March, 1898; Abram, who was born July 25, 1847, and is living in Pomeroy; Louisa, who was born May 25, 1850, and is the honored wife of Mr. Spawn; Amy A., who was born June 5, 1853, and is the widow of Newton Scott, of Marathon; Frank, who was born May 11, 1856, and died in 1880; and Clara E., who was born December 23, 1857, and is the wife of Henry Wheeler, of Colorado. The father of this family departed this life on the 25th of November, 1889, and his wife passed away on the 20th of May, 1880. The home of Franklin B. and Louisa Spawn has been blessed with six children: Harry L., who was born May 22. 1881; Ernest, who was born May 30, 1882, and died on the 15th of September of that year; Hazel J., who was born November 31, 1884, and died August 13, 1890; Fannie May, who was born February 4,1888; Nellie M., who was born April 17, 1891, and died on the 17th of September following; and Amy M., whose birth occurred Oct 1892. Mr. Spawn and his family hold membership in the Methodist church in Pomeroy. He gives his political support to the Republican party, and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have frequently called him to office. He has served as road supervisor, constable, justice of the peace and township trustee, and in all of these positions has discharged his duties with signal fidelity and promptness. Mr. Spawn is what the world calls a self-made man, owing his prosperity entirely to his enterprising efforts. The first land which he ever owned was purchased with the proceeds of the sale of muskrat hides, having trapped these little animals in order to sell their fur. Always his industry and energy have been salient characteristics in his career and have enabled him to overcome many difficulties and obstacles in his path. He lived in the county when deer were frequently seen, when wolves made the night hideous with their howling and when many kinds of wild fowl were found upon the lake. He has endured all the hardships and privations of pioneer life, but with resolute purpose he has met such difficulties and today he is enjoying all the comforts of an advanced civilization. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S.J. Clarke, 1902, p.482]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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