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Kingsley, Kirk W. 1838-1920


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 6/20/2015 at 15:38:28

The death of K.W. Kingsley occurred at his home Monday evening after a lingering illness of diabetes. Mr. Kingsley was born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1838. When about five years of age he went with his parents to live on a farm four or five miles distant in the town of Clay. Here he attended his first school. When about ten years old they removed to the village of Liverpool in the town of Salina. Liverpool like Syracuse was noted for its Salt Manufactory. His father engaged in that business and also in boating on the Canal. Here he attended the village school for about six years and then they again moved, this time to a farm just outside the city of Syracuse. From here he spent two winters attending the Hamilton Academy at Hamilton, N.Y. Afterward he attended public schools of Syracuse and graduated from the high school in town of Clay in the winter of 1860 and 61.

In the fall of 1861 he came west to Michigan where he taught a district school near Birmingham in the southeast part of the state. The next spring he came farther west to Delhi, Iowa, where in the fall of 1862 he began teaching continuing there for two years. This was about the darkest days of our Civil War.

He had no warlike nature but when our president in 1864 called for a hundred thousand men to serve for a hundred days, he went to Davenport and enlisted in Co. I, of the 44th Iowa Regiment. They were mustered in on the 26th of May and on June 10th they were at Memphis, Tenn., doing the duty of a like number of veterans who in turn had been sent to the front while doing guard duty at La Grange, Tenn. He had a run of bilious fever from which he did not fully recover for nearly a year.

While returning to Delhi in Sept. he met on the train between Earlville and Delaware the director of the Earlville school and engaged to teach the fall and winter school. At the close of the term he went back to Delhi and taught a year.

May 6, 1866 he and his brother A.O. Kingsley started the first cheese factory in the state of Iowa at Delaware. From then until the spring of 1871 he made cheese in summer and taught school in winter, one term at Delaware and three in this city.

In the fall of 1870 he married Miss Cordelia Beebe of Hamilton, N.Y. and the next spring they began farming near Delaware and continued until the fall of 1876 when they came here to engage in the creamery and produce business. His brother A.O. engaged with him as an equal partner. At one time they operated thirteen creameries and handled nearly all the butter and eggs of the towns within thirty or forty miles to the north and west.

In the spring of 1881 they engaged in the merchandise business where the opera house now stands. They soon opened up a branch store in Volga City and later one in Arlington and still later in Aurora. They built the opera house block in 1884. They did over $100,000 worth of produce business a year. They continued the business until 1890 when they dissolved partnership. K.W. taking the store business and A.O. the outside. K.W. continued alone until 1898 when he sold out the merchandise and retired from actual business later selling the opera house.

One daughter, Carrie, now Mrs. F.H. Slagh (sic) blessed this union. Mr. Kingsley with his wife and daughter spent nearly two years traveling in the east and west from the Atlantic to the Pacific from Canada to Mexico.

A good citizen has gone to his reward the may we take a lesson after him. Funeral services have not been arranged.

~Elkader Register, Thursday, June 3, 1920
~Burial is in the Strawberry Point cemetery
~The married name of his daughter is given as Slagle in Cordelia's obituary.


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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