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William M.V.B. Fellows


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 22:57:36

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
William M.V. B. Fellows who resides on Section 9 of Van Buren Township, is an intelligent and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser of Van Buren County. His family is of English descent and his parents, Asahel and Susanna Harrison Fellows were natives of Pennsylvania. For some years the father followed farming in the state of his nativity, but in the autumn of 1835 he left for the West, thinking to better his condition by a removal to a community where lands could be obtained cheap, and where one might, if willing to work, soon make for himself a comfortable home. He spent the winter in Michigan and the following spring resumed his journey, which he continued until reaching what is now Van Buren County Iowa. He made a settlement along the Des Moines River, near Keosauqua, entering land and also purchasing a claim, which, from a wild and unimproved tract, he developed into a highly cultivated farm. He was a man of energy, not afraid of labor, and in consequence he met with success in his undertakings. For many years he continued his farming operations, laying aside the duties of life only when called to his final rest, in 1868. His wife survived him many years. They had quite a large family of children, of whom three sons and one daughter are yet living—Whiting A., who is married and resides in Van Buren Township; Elvira now Mrs. Hinckley, a resident of Clark County Missouri; Stephen D., who is living near Keosauqua and William of this sketch.
In his youth our subject assisted in the development of the home farm and became familiar with pioneer life, when their neighbors were the red men and when deer and other wild animals were quite numerous in the settlement. They had to drive many miles to market and to mill and as the roads were often almost impassable this was no easy task. Amid such surroundings the boyhood days of our subject were spent, and to the occupation of farming he was reared. On attaining to his majority he began making his own way in the world, operating a part of the old homestead. In 1854 he was married, in Van Buren County, to Miss Matilda A. Peterson, a native of the county and a daughter of Ralph and Mary Groves Peterson who were natives of the Buckeye State but came to Iowa at a very early day. They settled upon and improved a farm in Vernon Township, Van Buren County, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The death of Mr. Peterson occurred in 1888 three years subsequent to the time when his wife was laid to rest.
Mr. Fellows, shortly after his marriage purchased a partially improved farm of three hundred and forty acres, which he has now placed under a high state of cultivation, while he has greatly enhanced its value by the addition of many excellent improvements, including a good residence, barn, etc. He raises an excellent grade of thoroughbred stock, and in that branch of business, as in the development of his land, has been quite successful. In political sentiment he is a Democrat, but not an active politician. He gives his support to the cause of education and to other worthy enterprises calculated to bring up and benefit the community.
In 1876 Mr. Fellows was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died, leaving six children—Evan is married and engaged in farming; Ocee, who is married and resides in Colorado; Homer C. is Superintendent of the schools of Sac City Iowa; Clay, Lena and Ed at home. In 1878 Mr. Fellows was again married, his second union being with Valena A. Sperry, who was born in this county, and is a daughter of Reuben and Elizabeth Whitten Sperry, natives of Ohio. They came to Van Buren County at an early day, locating in Village Township. Mr. Sperry died in Cass County Nebraska in 1875, but the mother is still living and makes her home with her children. He served in the Mexican War and was also for three years one of the boys in blue during the late war. The second union of Mr. Fellows has been blessed with five children—Mary S., Ray, Lizzie Pearl and Theo (twins), and Asa. The parents are members of the Zion Church and their lives have ever been such as to win them the high regard of those with whom they come in contact with.
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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