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Charles M. Varney


Posted By: Clay County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 1/15/2011 at 05:29:13

Among those who have consistently given personal effort to the upbuilding of the commercial, civic and social welfare of Dickens, Clay county, Iowa, none is more worthy of mention than the gentleman whose name forms the caption to this sketch. He has led an active and useful life, in the course of which he has been rewarded with success, while in local public affairs he has been prominent and influential. Charles M. Varney was born in Washington county, Wisconsin, on the 6th of April, 1861, and is a son of Ase and Miranda (Norton)Varney, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Ohio. After a number of years in Wisconsin, they came to Clay county, Iowa, where they spent their remaining days, their deaths occurring in Spencer. They were the parents of four sons, namely: Samuel, who was a veteran of the Civil war and is now deceased; James O., deceased; Harlow A., of Malta, Montana, and Charles M.

The last named was reared on the home farm an attended the neighboring district schools. He then entered the employ of the Great Northern Railroad, with which he remained until 1887, when he came to Iowa and engaged in farming, breaking the prairie sod. In 1888 he bought a half section of school land in Lake township, Clay county, to the operation of which he devoted his efforts closely during the subsequent years, and as he prospered he added other land until now he is the owner of about a full section in that locality. He made many permanent and substantial improvements on his place, developing it into one of the best farms in that part of the county, and followed progressive and up-to-date methods in all of his work.

On December 31, 1885, Mr. Varney was united in marriage to Miss Lily M. Rowe, who died February 27, 1902, leaving three children: George O., of Buffalo, Montana; Merton A., of Chicago, Illinois; and Phoebe May, who is engaged in teaching school. On May 18, 1909, Mr. Varney was married to Miss Kate Neigh, who was born and reared in Wisconsin. Politically, Mr. Varney has long been an ardent supporter of the republican party and has been honored by election to a number of public offices. He served as town clerk for sixteen years, was secretary of the school board and is now serving as town clerk of Dickens. He is a member off the Methodist Episcopal church, to which he gives generous support. He has in every respect merited the high esteem in which he is held, for he is a man of public spirit, fine personal attainments and exemplary character.

Contributed by: Debbie Clough Gerischer. Source: Northwestern Iowa, Its History and Tradition, Volume II, 1804-1926.


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