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ANKROM, William J. - 1912 Bio (1875-1960)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 11/3/2002 at 00:32:43

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 269-271


William J. ANKROM, who is engaged in operating a farm in Cedar township that has been in the family for over seventy-five years, was born in Utah, April 25, 1875, and is a son of William and Nancy D. (GILBERT) ANKROM. The father was born in Tyler county, Virginia, and was of Welsh and English extraction, while the mother was born near Lorne, County Antrim, Ireland, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. William ANKROM came to Iowa with his parents in 1836, first locating in Burlington, where they remained for a year. His father, John ANKROM moved on to Jefferson county and preempted a quarter section of land in Cedar township that he entered when the government threw it open to settlement in 1837 or 1838. The family remained in Burlington while he erected such buildings upon the place as were necessary for their comfort and the protection of his stock, among them being the old log house, that is still standing on the homestead. Here John ANKROM passed away in 1881. He was only a boy when he located in Iowa with his parents passing practically his entire life on his father's farm. He helped to hew and prepare the logs for the first school house erected on the present site of what is now known as the Ankrom school, and there he completed his education. In common with other lads of the pioneer period he early assumed much of the responsibility connected with the operation of the farm, which he ultimately acquired. He added to his holdings from time to time, some of which he later sold, until the place now contains two hundred acres, all of it being under a high state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. ANKROM were married in 1874, and to them were born three children: William J., our subject; M. Grace; and Eva L. The two daughters are living in Seattle, where they own a confectionary store, and the mother is now making her home with them, the father having passed away in 1910, his death occurring on the old farmstead. There are only two members of the family of John ANKROM now living in Jefferson county: Mrs. William COOP, of Cedar township; and Mrs. H. B. KELTNER, who is a twin sister of Mrs. COOP, of Fairfield, Iowa. There has always been more or less controversy about who was the first white child born in Jefferson county, and William ANKROM always maintained that it was Cyrus Walker, now of Van Buren county, his birth occurring in March, 1837. There were three white children born that year, William COOP, whose birth occurred in June and Daniel Moore, who was born in September, being the other two.

William J. ANKROM was reared on his grandfather's farm and obtained his education in the Ankrom school, remaining at home until he had attained his majority. When old enough for life's work, he went to Fairfield, where he learned the molder's trade, and was for some years thereafter employed in the plant of the Malleable Iron Company there. He subsequently withdrew from this occupation and returned to the farm, which he is now renting from his mother. Mr. ANKROM is meeting with good success in his agricultural pursuits, and is one of the capable farmers of the county.

Fairfield was the scene of the marriage of Mr. ANKROM and Miss Lydia L. MULLENIX, on the 22nd of August, 1901, and there they spent the early years of their domestic life. Mrs. ANKROM is a daughter of J. P. and Margaret (LONG) MULLENIX, of Fairfield, where they located in 1881. They were natives of Ohio, whence they removed to Illinois, and from there to Jefferson county, Mr. MULLENIX having for many years been engaged in the insurance business in Fairfield. He still continues to reside there, while the mother had passed away in 1909. Mr. MULLENIX is a veteran of the Civil war.

In his political views Mr. ANKROM is a democrat, as was also his father and grandfather. He served for two terms as justice of the peace and was elected for a third but would not qualify, preferring to give his entire attention to the development of his personal interests. He is a member of Clinton Lodge, No. 15,A. F. and A. M.; and Jefferson Lodge, No. 4, I. O. O. F., both of Fairfield, while both he and Mrs. ANKROM hold membership in the Presbyterian church of Fairfield. For thirteen years Mr. ANKROM served as a member of the Iowa National Guard, and he was also a volunteer in the Spanish-American war, having enlisted in Company M, Fiftieth Iowa United States Volunteers at Fairfield, remaining in the service for seven months, mostly spent in camp at Jacksonville, Florida. He is a worthy representative of one of Jefferson County's highly esteemed pioneer families, and is held in favorable regard by his many friends in Cedar township.

I am copying this information for the benefit of genealogical research and am not related to said individuals.


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