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Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 7/19/2008 at 10:53:42

J.T. Wasson owns and cultivates an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 34, Cass township, which is a part of his father's old homestead. Here he carries on general agricultural pursuits, and for ten years or more he has successfully and extensively raised thoroughbred Jersey cattle, many of which he has exhitibed at county fairs, where he has gained a number of premiums. He is thus recognized as one of the leading raisers of thoroughbred stocks in the county. His birth occurred in the township, where he still resides, his natal day being the 28th of July, 1856.

His father, Robert Wasson, was born in Kentucky, December 20, 1804, and his last days were spent on the farm a mile east of Panora, where he passed away in 1884. In 1825 he emigrated to Indiana with his father's family and there experienced the hardships and privations of frontier life. Five years later, in 1830, he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal church, and throughout his entire life his labors were in harmony and with his professions. On the 8th of October, 1851, Mr. Wasson was married to Miss Jane Thornburg, who was born in Juniata county, Pennsylvania. They traveled life's journey together for a third of a century and were then separated by the death of Mr. Wasson, but his wife survived for many years, passing away at the home of her son, J.T. Wasson, on the 2d of May, 1904 (NOTE: Year incorrect here, should be 1903), when seventy-seven years of age.

It was in 1854 that they came to Guthrie County. At that time they were in very limited financial circumstances and had to hire some one to haul them to Iowa, as they did not own teams. Mr. Wasson possessed a determined purpose and laudable ambition, however, and made arrangements whereby he purchased eighty acres of land on section 34 Cass Township, upon which he made his home until his death. As the years passed he converted the soil into rich and productive fields and annually harvested large crops. His life was an exemplary one, and in his earlier years, especially after his removal to Iowa, his home was always the place of entertainment for the itinerant minister and for other strangers in the community, who in this household, characterized by geniality and hospitality, gained strength and encouragement. To his country Mr. Wasson was loyal and to his family was a loving husband and father, who was industrious and untiring in providing for their temporal wants and watchful also of their spiritual welfare. Throughout his life he enjoyed good health until about two years prior to his demise, and in July preceding his death he walked nearly three miles to attend church services. His death was caused by paralysis. The estimate of his neighbors upon his life among them was shown by the attention and attendance of many at his home during his illness, while over four hundred and fifty people were present at his funeral, thus paying the last tribute of respect to him whom they had ever honored and esteemed in life. He left to his family the priceless heritage of an untarnished name and an example which is indeed well worthy of emulation. The family numbered four children: S.A., who wedded a Miss King, daughter of George King, of Panora, and now a resident of North Dakota; Elizabeth J., the deceased wife of Alfred Jackson, of Panora; J. T., of this review, and one who died in infancy.

J. T. Wasson, who was reared in Cass township, acquired the greater part of his education in the district schools, but had the advantage of one year's study at the county high school. On attaining his majority he sought a companion and helpmate for life's journey, and his arrangements for having a home of his own were affected by his marriage September 6, 1877, to Miss Matilda Crouse, a daughter of Winston Crouse, one of the most honored and prominent pioneer settlers of this part of the state, of whom extended mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of John Godown. Mrs. Wasson was born in Cass Township, March 9, 1860, and by her marriage has become the mother of five children: Carrie, the wife of A.E. Haughtelin, of Panora; Guy, who operates a part of his father's farm, and who wedded Lola Fiscel, by whom he has one child; and Carl, Grace and Berl, all under the parental roof.

At the time of his marriage, Mr. Wasson purchased a farm of sixty acres in South Cass Township. This he improved, making his home theron for three years. He then purchased the farm where he now resides, comprising eighty acres, which he has brought under a good state of cultivation. He has remodeled the buildings and added many modern accessories, including the latest improved machinery, with which to facilitate the work of the fields. He has also extended the boundaries of his farm by the additional purchase of eighty acres, so that the home place comprises a quarter section of rich and productive land. As stated, he is now well known as a raiser of thoroughbred Jersey cattle, and that he has owned some of the finest stock to be found in this part of the state is indicated by the fact that he has gained many premiums when exhibiting his stock at county fairs.

Mr. Wasson and his family are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in which he is serving as steward, and the vote of his fellow townsmen has called him to a number of township offices, his election coming to him as a candidate of the Republican party. He bears an excellent reputation as a public-spirited and progressive citizen, as well as an energetic, practical and progressive business man.

source: Past and Present of Guthrie County, Iowa
Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907.

submitted by: Alan Robinson - Aerocomm444@cs.com


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