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John Saul


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/17/2011 at 00:03:46

JOHN SAUL. There are few of the residents of Grundy County who are unfamiliar with the name introducing this sketch. It is that of a man self made in the broadest sense of the term—one who in his youth resolved to make life a success if that result could be secured by industry and wise management. Without the prestige of family of the influence of wealth to aid him, he has worked his way to the front and now occupies a prominent position among the agriculturists of Black Hawk Township, where he owns four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land on section 11.

Born in County Down, Ireland, in 1825, our subject is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Cameron) Saul. His paternal grandparents were William and Nancy (McLean) Saul, the former a native of County Antrim, Ireland, and a stonemason by trade. He lived and died in the Emerald Isle, where he reared a family of four sons and two daughters, who bore the names of Rebecca, Elizabeth, Thomas, Hugh, James and John. The grandparents were members of the Church of England.

Thomas Saul remained under the parental roof until he reached mature years and was then given a good business education. From his father he learned the trade of a stonemason, which he followed for some time in Ireland. He was very successful at this trade and became a large contractor, not only taking individual contracts, but also constructing buildings for the county. He was also the lessee of a tract of land in Ireland which he hired farmed. The parents of our subject were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church. Of their five sons and two daughters we make the following mention: Nancy and Rebecca are deceased; those living besides our subject are, William who resides in this county; Margaret, the wife of John McGrath; Rosa, now Mrs. McLean; and Elizabeth, the wife of Isaac Edward. The father of this family died in Illinois in 1865.

John Saul was given a good education in the common schools of Ireland, and before emigrating to America with his parents in the year 1852 he had learned the stonemason’s trade, which he followed with success in his native land. Upon setting foot upon American soil, he made his way to Illinois, and in Ogle County followed his trade in company with his father. He contracted for the erection of the bridge on the Illinois Central Railroad at Forreston, and soon became noted for his fine workmanship and reliability.

Mr. Saul did not follow his trade very long after coming to America, and while in the Prairie State purchased a farm, residing thereon until 1872. Disposing of his property for $50 per acre, he came to Iowa and purchased a quarter-section of land in Black Hawk Township, this county, where he still resides. It bore very few improvements at the time it came into his possession and he has made it his life work to place it under the highest cultivation. He has erected a fine residence and all necessary outbuildings, so that to-day the estate ranks among the very best in Grundy County. Mr. Saul makes a specialty of stock-raising, and has on his place some very fine blooded animals.

In 1859, while residing in Illinois, John Saul, married Miss Ellen, daughter of Henry and Martha (Gillen) Patterson. The lady, like himself, was born in Ireland, as were also her parents. She accompanied the latter to the United States when fifteen years of age and located with them in Ogle County, Ill., where she met and married our subject. Their union has been blessed by the birth of the following five sons and three daughters: Mary, now Mrs. Thomas Mason; Lizzie, who married Moses Mason; Thomas, John, Martha, David, George and James. In his political relations our subject is a stanch Republican, and in his relations with his fellow-citizens he is upright and conscientious, and justly ranks among the most successful men of the county.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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