Harmon W. Avery
AVERY, FAIRCHILD, COWARDEN, ROBINSON
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/9/2011 at 17:47:52
HARMON W. AVERY, whose sketch now invites attention, is a prosperous merchant in Reinbeck, Grundy County, and has also been quite prominent in its public life. He is a son of Christopher J. and Polly M. (Fairchild) Avery, and was born in Oswego County, N. Y., in 1852. His father was also a native of the Empire State, where his birth occurred in 1820. His parents dying when he was very young, he was taken into the home of his cousin, Richard Avery, with whom he remained until reaching his seventeenth year. He received a fair education, and up to the time of his marriage with Miss Fairchild followed the occupation of a sawyer.
The father of our subject became a soldier in the Civil War, entering the ranks of the Union army in 1862, and was a member of Company F, One Hundred and Forty-seventh New York Regiment. He participated in many important battles, and during his life as a soldier was wounded four times. On one of these occasions he was taken prisoner, and after lying in the hospital for about five months was exchanged. He did valiant service for his country until the establishment of peace, when he returned home, and died in 1874. In early life a Democrat, he always voted with the Republican party after the war. The mother of our subject makes her home in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
Our subject began life for himself at the early age of eighteen years, in the meantime having received a very lmited education. He worked out by the month for a year, and after three years spent in a butcher shop came to this state, and in Waterloo, after being employed in a meat market for some time, established a shop of his own. Finding that this business was not a paying one, he disposed of his market, and purchasing a wagon, packed it with a stock of general merchandise and traveled through the country disposing of his goods. Mr. Avery was very successful in his undertaking, and in 1877 he erected the first business block in Reinbeck. On April 1, of that year he commenced in business with a stock of goods valued at $1,000. He has since been engaged in this line of business, and by his fair and courteous treatment of customers he has a large patronage.
The lady who became the wife of our subject in 1877 was Miss Margaret J., daughter of John and Elizabeth (Cowarden) Robinson. She was born in Illinois, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of four children, three sons and one daughter, only one of whom, Lillie, is now living. She is a most estimable lady, and with her husband is a working member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which body Mr. Avery is a Trustee and Steward.
As a true citizen should be, our subject is interested in politics and is a stanch adherent of the Republican party. He has held various offices of trust in his township. He is an influential member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being connected with Lodge No. 386 of Reinbeck, and is also a member of Reinbeck Lodge No. 90, I. L. H.
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