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Rees, Josiah


Posted By: volunteer (email)
Date: 2/25/2011 at 09:19:43

Biographical History of Cherokee County, Iowa. Published in Chicago, W.S. Dunbar, 1889

JOSIAH REES, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Amherst Township, has been a resident of Cherokee County since 1874. He was born in Ontario, Canada, and is a son of --- and Rachel (Halford) Rees, natives of Wales, who came to Canada immediately after their marriage. Our subject is one of a family of live children; he was reared to the duties of farming, which he has made his occupation through life. He received his education in the common schools, and at the age of twenty-one years he came to Wisconsin, and settled in La Crosse County, where he spent three years. There he was married October 20, 1868, to Miss Mary E. Perry, daughter of John R. and Eleanor Perry, also natives of Wales; the motherís maiden name was Roberts. Mrs. Rees was born May 12, 1844. After her marriage she and her husband took a trip to Canada, and after their return settled in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where they remained five years. In May, 1874, they came to Cherokee County and located on a farm of 160 acres in Amherst Township; the land was raw prairie, and there were very few families in the township. On the west as far as the eye could reach there was no human habitation visible. We must ever be impressed with the bravery and courage of those pioneers who took the country as nature left it and made it "blossom as the rose." They first erected a small frame residence, which has been enlarged into a commodious dwelling. There is a beautiful grove surrounding the house and other buildings, which adds very materially to the attractiveness of the place. When he came to the county Mr. Rees had $100 in money, a team of horses and a wagon. The first five years he made a living by breaking prairie and threshing; he passed through the grasshopper raid, losing his crops for three years. It will be seen that he escaped none of the trials and privations incident to pioneer life, but his pluck and energy held out until he came off conqueror. Politically Mr. Rees has no party affiliations, casting his vote for the man best suited in his opinion to fill the office; his inclinations are, however, in the direction of the Democratic party. He has served on the School Board and as road supervisor, Mr. and Mrs. Rees are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and take an active part in carrying on the work of their Master. They are the parents of five children: Eleanor R., Robert Josiah, Perry R., Guy L. and Clarence E.


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