COUNTRYMAN, BERKLEY, FERREL, BOYD, CHALFANT
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 20:29:46
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Peter Countryman, deceased, was born in Somerset County Pennsylvania on November 28, 1808, where he grew to manhood. Having attained to mature years, he there married Mary Berkley, a native of the same county, born in 1809. About 1832, they removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where they continued to reside some twelve years, arriving in Iowa in 1844. Their destination was Van Buren County, and the made a location in Lick Creek Township, where Mr. Countryman engaged in farming, although by trade he was a cabinetmaker. Throughout his entire life he supported the Democratic principles, and served acceptably as Township Trustee. As consistent members of the Lutheran Church, both he and his wife lived upright Christian lives, and died in the faith, which has been their guide for many years. Mr. Countryman was called to his final rest in 1867, and in 1873 his wife also passed away. Unto them was born a family of eleven children, nine of whom grew to mature years, while eight of the number yet abide, namely: Hosiah, a cabinetmaker of Birmingham; Sarah, wife of James Ferrel, a resident of Lick Creek Township; Lucy is the widow of John Boyd; William and Michael, twins are farmers of Jefferson and Van Buren counties, respectively; George W. is the next younger; Frank is a farmer of Jefferson County and Noah devotes his time to the same pursuit in Van Buren County.
George W. Countryman is the only member of his family who has devoted himself to mercantile life. He was born in Lick Creek Township, on January 6, 1849, and his early life was passed in the usual manner of farmer lads, aiding in the work of the home farm during the summer season, and attending the common schools of the neighborhood during the winter months. He remained at home until twenty years of age, after which he worked at carpentering for two years with his brother and for a year was in the employ of W.B. Tatman. He embarked in business for himself in 1873, when he opened a furniture store at Douds Station, but in the fall of the following year he disposed of his interest, and going to Ottumwa entered the employment of a man engaged in the manufacture of show cases. In 1875, he came to Birmingham and purchased a small stock of furniture beginning operations in a one-story frame building 16 x 60 feet, but increased patronage and increased facilities forced him to make an addition to the establishment, which he extended until it covered all of his ground. In 1887 he built his present store where he now does business, the dimension of which are 22 x 82 feet, and two stories in height, in addition to which he also has a coffin room 20 x 20 feet. In November of 1889, Mr. Countryman admitted to partnership in business C.G. Miller. The firm has now one of the best stocks of furniture in this part of the state, and constantly increasing patronage rewards their business enterprise.
On April 13, 1873, Mr. Countryman was united in marriage with Miss Lee A. Chalfant, who was born in Ohio, and with her parents came to this county when three years old. They have an interesting family of four children, two sons, and two daughters—Charlie C., George C., Nellie A. and Jessie L. the mother is an Adventist in religious belief. In political sentiment Mr. Country man is a Republican, and has served as a member of the City Council if Birmingham. He deserves not a little credit, for his success in life is due to his industrious efforts and good management. When he began business for himself at Douds Station, he purchased on $300 worth of stock, and for that had to give a note, but now he not only owns the excellent store before mentioned, but in addition eighty acres of land pay tribute to him, besides some town property, and he is also engaged in shipping walnut lumber. Mr. Countryman has lived in Van Buren County for some forty-one years, and is accounted one of the leading businessmen of Birmingham.
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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