Joseph R. Strickler
STRICKLER, LEITER, WILDER, MILLER, TREXLER
Posted By: Gail Meyer Kilgore (email)
Date: 3/5/2004 at 02:41:44
JOSEPH R. STRICKLER, a farmer residing on section 16, Melrose Township, Grundy County, is recognized as one of the best citizens of this community, for he is ever found in the front ranks of any enterprise calculated to promote the general welfare. He was born in Lancaster County, Pa., March 3, 1829, and is a son of Jacob Strickler, who was also born and reared in that county. After arriving at years of maturity, the father married to Mary Strickler, his cousin. They continued to live in that community until 1843, when they emigrated westward and cast in their lot with the early settlers of Carroll County, Ill. The father purchased a small tract of land, and there engaged in farming until 1866, which year witnessed his arrival in Grundy County, Iowa. In Melrose Township he spent the remainder of his days, his death occurring in 1891. His widow still survives him and now makes her home with her son David. They had a family of eight children, seven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, while four are yet living, viz.: David and Jacob, who reside in Melrose Township; Sarah, widow of Jacob Leiter; and Joseph, of this sketch. The father was a member of the German Baptist Church, to which his wife also belongs.
Joseph R. Strickler spent the first fourteen years of his life in Franklin County, Pa., and then accompanied his parents to Carroll County, Ill., where he was reared to manhood. He remained under the parental roof until twenty-one years of age, when in 1850 he crossed the plains to California, reaching his destination after six months of travel. He there engaged in gold mining with good success until 1859, when he returned by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and again located in Carroll County, where he made his home until 1865.
In 1861 Mr. Strickler was united in marriage with Miss Fidelia Wilder, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of Ransom Wilder, who was born in the Empire State. They have become the parents of eight children: Alice, wife of the Rev. L. E. Miller, a minister of the German Baptist Church, living in Melrose Township; Harry E., who resides in Melrose Township; Mary, wife of William Trexler, of the same township; Hiram, Ida, Eva and Jessie, who are still with their parents.
Accompanied by his family, Mr. Strickler came to this county in 1865, and for two years rented land near Grundy Centre. In 1866 he bought his present farm, upon which he located the following year. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made, but he at once began plowing and planting, and now has one hundred and sixty acres under a high state of cultivation. His labors have largely increased its value and made of the tract one of the best farms of the neighborhood. In connection with the cultivation of the fields, he is also engaged in stock-raising, and keeps on hand good grades of horses and cattle. His political support is given to the Republican party, of whose principles he is an inflexible adherent. For several years he has served as School Director, and social, educational and moral interests find in him a friend. He holds membership with the Melrose Horse Thief Detective Association. Mr. Strickler is numbered among the oldest settlers now living in Melrose Township, and since locating here he has ever borne his part in the work of development and improvements, aiding materially in the growth and upbuilding of the community.
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