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Whiting A. Fellows


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 23:12:30

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
With the history of Van Buren County the name of Fellows is inseparable connected, and the work, which they have done for its building and advancement is worthy of honorable mention in this volume. The family is of English origin, and was founded in America during Colonial days. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Abiel Fellows, was a native of Connecticut, and throughout the entire Revolutionary War aided in the struggle for independence. At an early day he immigrated to Pennsylvania, becoming an influential citizen and prominent politician of that state. He was honored with a number of important offices of trust, and proved himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him. He married Catherine Mann, who was also a native of Connecticut, and after many years residence in the Keystone State they immigrated to Kalamazoo Michigan in 1835. Both have long since passed away. The maternal grandparents of our subject were Stephen and Mary Dodson Harrison, also natives of Connecticut. The father of Stephen Harrison served in the Revolutionary War, and was a descendant of President Harrison. The grandparents, who had lived in Luzerne County Pennsylvania from childhood, were there married and spent the remainder of their lives upon a farm.
Asahel Fellows, father of our subject, was born in Luzerne County, and on attaining to mature years was united in marriage on May 8, 1827, with Susanna Franklin Harrison. After some nine years spent in the Keystone State they removed to Schoolcraft Michigan and in the spring of 1837 made a settlement in what is now Van Buren County, but was then comprised within the bounds of the Territory of Wisconsin. They settled on a claim on the Des Moines River, and also purchased land, from which Mr. Fellows developed a fine farm that in later years paid a golden tribute to his care and industry. He was one of the prominent citizens of Iowa in that early day. He took an active part in forming the State, also assisted in the organization of the county, and by his support and influence was instrumental in much of the progress made in those earlier years. He was an active politician and a stalwart supporter of Democratic principles. Socially, he was a member of Keosauqua Lodge, No. 3, I.O.O.F., land his wife held membership in the Christian church of Pleasant Hill. After a long and useful life he was called to his final rest on March 19, 1869, and his wife who was a most estimable lady and a true helpmate to him passed away in 1888.
Whiting A. Fellows was a lad of eight summers when he accompanied his parents on their immigration to Iowa. In his boyhood he had for his companions the sons of the celebrated Indian chief Black Hawk, whom he accompanied on many a hunting expedition. He became familiar with their language and most friendly relations existed between the lads. His educational advantages were necessarily limited, as the opportunities, which a new settlement affords in that line, do not compare favorable with those of older communities. He spent much of his time in aiding his father in the development of the home farm and when twenty-one years of age, left the parental rood to begin life for himself. In that year, 1849, he engaged in cutting wood along the Mississippi River. In 1852, attracted by the discoveries of gold in California, he crossed the plains to the Pacific Slope, where he engaged in mining with reasonable success for some six years. Desiring once more to be among his family and friends, in 1858 he returned to Keosauqua by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York City and settled upon the farm, which is still his home.
Mr. Fellows was joined in wedlock with Miss Susan E. Dodson, one of the fair daughters of Van Buren County, on March 12, 1862. Their union, however was celebrated in Somerville, Somerset County New Jersey. The lady is the daughter of Styles Richard and Caroline Matilda Harrison Dodson. They were natives of Luzerne County Pennsylvania, where their marriage was celebrated in 1836. The same year they immigrated to Michigan, and the following year came to Van Buren County, locating in Henry Township, where Mr. Dodson entered land and improved a farm. His death occurred in 1845, leaving to his widow the care of four young children. To provide for their support she opened her home as a school, and engaged in teaching for several years, when she returned to Luzerne County Pennsylvania to make her home with her father. The children of the family were: Melvina Augusta, who was born in the Territory of Wisconsin, now Henry County Iowa, and died in Pennsylvania in 1862; Mrs. Mary E. Bateman of Philadelphia; Susan wife of our subject; and Caroline Matilda, who was graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia and is now engaged in practice in that city, and is also President of the National Woman’s Health Association of America.
Mr. and Mrs. Fellows began their domestic life upon a farm, which is still their home—a highly improved quarter section of land. The fields are well tilled, good buildings have been erected, and a glance at the home shows that the work of farming is carried on in a systematic and methodical manner. But one child has come to bless the union—Harry D., who is still with his parents.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Mr. Fellows supports the Democratic Party, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. He served in the State Militia as First Lieutenant, and has been a member of the School Board. No enterprise calculated to build up the community fails to receive his hearty support and cooperation, but as a valued citizen, he lends a helping hand to all worthy undertakings.
Mr. Fellows was one of the leaders in organizing the Grange in Van Buren County, was a firm believer and supporter of the principles of the same, and was also an ardent supporter of the Farmers’ Alliance; is at the present time actively engaged in organizing a Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company, is one of it officers, and is a firm believer in cooperation among all classes. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a firm believer in the principles of Friendship, Love and Truth.
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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