FATHERSON, SIMPSON, HANKEY, PHILLIPS, PUMPHREY
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 08:00:06
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
George Fatherson, a farmer and stock-raiser on Section 34 Des Moines Township, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Van Buren County. He is of English birth, but no truer American citizen finds a home in Iowa, and among his fellow townsmen he is held in high regard. He was born in Cheshire, England, August 17, 1836, being the youngest son of Thomas and Martha Simpson Fatherson, who are natives of the same country. His father, unaccompanied by any member of his family, left England in 1839, crossed the Atlantic to America, and made a settlement in Van Buren County Iowa, where he enter a section of land on Indian Creek. After making preparations for a home, he was joined by his wife and children in 1854. Farming was the means he used to secure a livelihood, and by strict attention to his business he had acquired at the time of his death, which occurred in 1866, a comfortable property. His wife survived him some twelve years, dying in 1871. Of their once large family which numbered thirteen members, only four are now living: William, who is married and resides in Canada; Elizabeth now Mrs. Hankey, of Kansas; and Thomas, who is living in Des Moines Township, Van Buren County.
The fourth member of the family is he whose name heads this sketch. George Fatherson passed his early life in his native land, and was educated in its public schools. With his mother, brothers and sisters, he bade good-by to his English home in 1854, and came to the New World, joining his father in Van Buren County Iowa. He was then eighteen years of age, and shortly afterward he began life for himself, working as a farm hand. Having by industry and economy accumulated some means, in 1856 he made his first purchase of land, consisting of an eighty-acre tract, to the improvement of which he devoted his energies until 1864, when he made an overland trip to California. The succeeding three years of his life he was engaged in farming on the Pacific Coast, but in that time he became convinced that Iowa was the home for him and he returned to Van Buren County. Shortly afterward he led to the marriage alter Miss Editha Phillips, a native of Licking County Ohio, and a daughter of John and Matilda Pumphrey Phillips, who were also born in Licking County. The year 1840 witnessed their emigration to Van Buren County, and locating In Des Moines Township, Mr. Phillips opened up a farm, which continued to be his home up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1874. His wife preceded him eleven years, dying in 1863. Mr. Phillips was one of the influential and respected citizens of the county. He took a prominent part in political affairs, was an ardent supporter of Republican principles, and did all in his power for the success of the party. But he was mostly actively engaged in religious work, and his faith and belief prompted him to perform works of charity and benevolence, and acts of kindness, which won him the love and regard of all, and enshrined his memory in the hearts of those upon whom he bestowed his favors.
Mr. and Mrs. Fatherson have spent their entire married life on the farm, which is still their home, and there have been born unto them three children—Mattie, Thomas, and John, all of whom, are yet living. The two eldest are graduates of the High School, of Keosauqua, and John is now pursuing the required course of study at that school. The home of this family is a pleasant residence situated in the midst of two hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation. There are found all the needed improvements, and may of an ornamental character. A chief branch of the industry of Mr. Fatherson, is stock raising, he making a specialty of thoroughbred Durham cattle, and Shropshire sheep. His political sentiments are Republican, he having voted with that party since becoming an American citizen. For several consecutive years he has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and has also been a member of the School Board. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he has done not a little to advance the standard of the schools in this community. Thirty-six years have come and gone since Mr. Fatherson located in this county, and many are the changes, which have taken place during that interval. It has brought prosperity to him through his own efforts, and after his name may be written the words of praise, “a self-made man.”
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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