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George F. Wass

WASS, GULLIVER, LAYBORN, WEGESTEIN, ADAMS

Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/14/2011 at 17:15:12

GEORGE F. WASS, dealer in farm implements in Grundy Centre, is one of the oldest residents of this place, for he located here during its infancy. The life record of our subject is as follows: He was born in Washington County, Me., January 23, 1849, and is a son of Rufus W. and Mary E. (Gulliver) Wass. His father was born in New England, and was reared in the Pine Tree State. In Boston he learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner and afterward became a contractor and builder of that city. After his marriage, which was celebrated in Boston, he removed to Addison Point, a town on the sea coast in Maine. Some of his ancestors ran one of the first packets that plied between England and America. Members of the family also aided the Colonies in their struggle for independence. The grandfather, Daniel S. Wass, was a ship-builder and came to Grundy County, Iowa, with his son Rufus. The latter followed his trade and ran a brig on the sea. He was a lover of the rolling ocean, making many trips across the Atlantic and around Cape Horn.

December 17, 1855, Rufus Wass reached Grundy County. The journey was made by boat to Boston, and thence by rail to Dubuque, Iowa. They had to cross the Mississippi River on the ice. Mr. Wass at once began working as a contractor, and built nearly all of the first frame houses in this place. The first house erected in the town was built on the lot now owned by Mr. Layborn. A short time before the war, Mr. Wass removed to Black Hawk County, and twelve years later went to Mitchell County; two years afterward he went to Chickasaw County, and then came to Grundy Centre, where he made his home until the autumn of 1891. He then went to Dakota, where he is now living. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, but has never been an office-seeker. In religious belief he is a Baptist, and served as Trustee of the church in this place. His wife died in October, 1891. The grandfather of our subject also came to Grundy County in 1855, and the family became one of prominence in the community. George F. had five brothers and sisters. Four were born in Maine, and two died in Iowa. The other four are still living.

Mr. Wass whose name heads this record was a lad of only six summers when he came to the west, and here he was reared to manhood. His early education, acquired in the district schools, was supplemented by study in the Waterloo High School. With his father he learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, which he followed for about six years in this and Black Hawk Counties. He also farmed to some extent.

In Grundy Centre, March 7, 1882, Mr. Wass married Miss Emma C. Wegestein, daughter of Henry Wegestein, who was a native of Germany, and came to this county in 1876. They have two daughters, namely: Ida M. and Mary A.

In 1874 Mr. Wass embarked in business as a dealer in agricultural implements and has continued in this line of trade since with good success. He has also been proprietor of a livery stable for more than twelve years. In politics he is a Republican and takes an active interest in the work of the party, doing all he can to insure its success. Socially he is a member of the Odd Fellows’ society and the encampment. During the late ware, although but fifteen years of age, he enlisted in Company G, First Iowa Cavalry. He is a charter member and one of the organizers of Wilson Post No. 71, G. A. R., has filled all of its offices except that of Quartermaster, and has frequently served as Commander. He takes quite an active interest in the civic societies to which he belongs, and in this way has formed quite a large acquaintance throughout the state. Wherever he is known he is held in high regard, for he is a popular, genial gentleman and possesses many excellencies of character. The maternal grandmother of our subject was an Adams and a granddaughter of John Q. Adams; she was a native of Massachusetts, and is now living in Mitchell County, Iowa.

Source:
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa
1894


 

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