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BANKHEAD, William L. - 1912 Bio (1852-1945)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 11/4/2002 at 01:28:07

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 342-343.


William L. BANKHEAD, who for the past three years has capably discharged the duties devolving upon him in the capacity of postmaster at Lockridge, has long devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits and still resides on his farm near Coal Port. His birth occurred in Pennsylvania on the 27th of September, 1852, his parents being James and Mary (DALTON) BANKHEAD, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of the Keystone state. Emigrating to America, James BANKHEAD first located in British Columbia and subsequently removed to Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in coal mining. In 1853 he came to Jefferson county, Iowa, locating near Fairfield. He opened the first coal mine in this county in association with John Heron, with whom he remained in partnership about four years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Lockridge township and opened a mine at what is now called Coal Port, continuing its operation until about sixty years of age. The remainder of his life was spent in honorable retirement in the home of our subject, his demise occurring on the 4th of May, 1898 (sic - 1899). He had been a resident of this county forty-five years and had won many warm friends within its borders. His wife was called to her final rest on the 16th of June, 1896.

William L. BANKHEAD was reared to manhood in Jefferson county and largely acquired his education in the district schools of Lockridge township. After putting aside his text-books he remained on the home farm and assisted in its operation until thirty years of age, when he purchased the tract of land in Lockridge township which has remained in his possession continuously since and in the cultivation and improvement of which he has been busily engaged. In 1908 he was appointed postmaster at Lockridge and has since filled the office in a most satisfactory and commendable manner. In the conduct of his agricultural interests he has also met with success and is widely recognized as one of the substantial and representative citizens of the community.

In September, 1882, Mr. BANKHEAD was united in marriage to Miss Lydia GRABER, a daughter of Christian and Fanny (WEISE) GRABER, both of whom were natives of France. The father, who became one of the earliest settlers of Jefferson county, Iowa, purchased land from the government and began its improvement. To the cultivation of that property he devoted his time and energies throughout the remainder of his life, passing away in 1887. The demise of his wife occurred in 1879. Mr. and Mrs. BANKHEAD have two children, namely: Bertha M., the wife of Lewis BOOS, a merchant of Lockridge, Iowa; and Gladys F., editor of the Lockridge Herald.

Mr. BANKHEAD is a stanch republican in politics and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to several positions of public trust. He has served as trustee of Lockridge township for eight years, has acted as constable for a similar period and for a number of years served as school director. He is a stockholder in the Fairfield Chautauqua Association and is a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity. In religious faith he is a Baptist. Brought to this county by his parents when but a year old, he has since remained within its borders. In all the relations of life he has been true to high and honorable principles and has never faltered in a choice between right and wrong but has always endeavored to follow a course that his judgment and his conscience have sanctioned.

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


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