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William A. Tade


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 18:53:02

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
William A. Tade, who lives on Section 4 Harrisburg Township, is a prominent and influential farmer of Van Buren County and her representative in the General Assembly of the State. Widely known, with a circle of friends almost innumerable, his sketch will be of interest to many, and we take pleasure in thus presenting him to the readers of the Album. He is not only now a resident of Iowa, but was born in the Hawkeye State, his birth occurring in Lee County on September 17, 1841. Little is known concerning the early history of the family except that his grandfather was a resident of Kentucky, whence at an early day he removed to Illinois. He also held a commission in the Black Hawk War. John Tade, father of our subject was but five years of age when he accompanied his parents to Illinois, where he grew to manhood and married Martha Davis. In 1835 he became a resident of Lee County Iowa, making a location near Ft. Madison, in what is now Denmark Township. He bought land at the first land sale in the Territory of Iowa and made his home in Lee County until 1854, when he came to Van Buren County. His home is now in Decatur County Kansas. His wife died in 1848, when our subject was a lad of seven summers. Nine children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Tade, and all grew to mature years, while seven are yet living, as follows: Ewing O., a Congregational minister, now in charge of the church of East Grandview, Mass.; George W., who died while a student in Iowa College, in 1858; B.F., a retired farmer of Sacramento California; James A., who died from disease contracted in the late war; Susan E., wife of William G. Marshall, of Kansas; John D., a resident farmer of Decatur County Kansas; W.A. of this sketch; Lottie, wife of J.B. Percival, a farmer of Harrisburg Township; and Mary A., now Mrs. G.K. Dewey of Nebraska.
Our subject spent his boyhood days in a manner common to farmer lads alternating his time between labor in the fields and the perusal of the common branches of learning. In October 1861, when twenty years of age, he entered the service of his country as private of Company F, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, and after being mustered in at Davenport, was with his regiment assigned to the Army of the Tennessee and sent at once to the front. He participated in the engagements at Forts. Henry and Donelson, and at the battle of Shiloh was captured by the enemy, remaining a prisoner for eight months, during which time he was incarcerated in Montgomery, Mobile and Macon and finally sent to the horrible Libby Prison, where he was afterward paroled and exchanged. He then rejoined his regiment, which was stationed at Benton Barracks, and later took part in an expedition to Rolla Missouri, whence the troops made their way down the river to Cairo Illinois where Mr. Tade served on detached duty for several months as a river detective in the Provost Marshal department. While engaged in the discharge of those duties he was commissioned Lieutenant of an independent company known as the Liberia Guards, which was organized by Gen. Buford, and with which company he made an expedition to Helena Arkansas. At Little Rock Arkansas, the company was merged into the Fifty-seventh United States Colored Regiment, and Mr. Tade was made Quartermaster and served in that capacity until January, 1866, when he was made Captain of the company and ordered to New Mexico; here he remain until December of the same year, when he returned to Leavenworth Kansas and was honorably discharged, after having been in the service continually for more that five years. During the entire time he was never known to shirk any task imposed upon him, but was ever faithful to his duty and the cause for which he was valiantly fighting.
Early in the year 1867 Mr. Tade began the improvement of the farm on which he now lives, but which he had purchased some time previous. He now possesses a well-improved farm of two hundred and five acres, divided into fields of convenient size a glance at which shows to the observer that a man of thrift and industry has the management and control of the same. He is also a leader among the stock-raisers of the county and has made a specialty of Hereford cattle and Shropshire sheep, being among the first to introduce both into the county. In reality he did not begin his business career until 1867, and the wonderful progress that he has made, should be the cause of pride to he and his friends.
In June of 1868, Mr. Tade was united in marriage with Miss. Sarah E. Dewey, the union being celebrated in Lee County Iowa where the lady was born. Her parents were George H. and Chloe Butler Dewey, both natives of Massachusetts. Unto them were born seven children, yet living—Nellie B., Alice C., Howard D., Orville, Kate, Lilly and Lola (twins), all living at home. The mother of the family died May 10, 1881, in the faith of the Baptist Church, of which she has been an active and devoted member for many years. In 1882 he was again married, his second union being with Miss Nancy Dewey, a sister of his former wife, and unto them have been born two children—Willie B. and John L. Mr. and Mrs. Tade and the four eldest children are members of the Baptist Church of Harrisburg, in which he holds the office of Deacon. He is an active advocate of all laudable enterprises and a liberal contributor to benevolent and charitable institutions. Socially, he is a member and Past Commander of J.L. Jordan Post. G.A.R. of Hillsboro, also belongs to the Farmers Alliance, being President of the Harrisburg Society, and holds membership in the Masonic Lodge. The interest which he has taken in politics has contributed not a little to the success of his party—the Republican—in Van Buren County. A firm believer in its principles and one of its most stanch advocates, he labors for its welfare and is an influential member of its state and County conventions. He was honored by an election to the State Legislature, and displaying the same fidelity to duty, which has characterized his entire life, he is proving himself an efficient and capable officer. He makes no hasty decisions, but with the interests of the people at heart, carefully weights all subjects, that come before the Assembly for settlement, and his judgments are therefore unbiased and have the stamp of a true and loyal citizen upon them.
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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