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Robert E. Ely


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 12:32:27

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties Ė 1890
Robert E. Ely, a representative farmer and stock-raiser of Van Buren County, residing on Section 8, Harrisburg Township, is a native of West Virginia. He was born in Hampshire County, of that state on October 14, 1852, and is the eldest child of John W. and Mary Edwards Ely, who were also natives of the same state. When he was four year of age, his parents started for the West and made a location in Knox County Illinois, where they remained for twelve years, when they came to Van Buren County Iowa. Therefore, since his sixteenth year, Robert E. Ely has been a citizen of this community. He received a good English education in the common schools and was also for two terms a student in the Mt. Pleasant University. On attaining to manís estate, he began life for himself, and has since been entirely dependent upon his own resources. For a number of years he devoted his time to the profession of teaching during the winter season and to the occupation of farming through the summer months. Thus alternating his time, he labored on until he has acquired sufficient capital to make an investment in farming lands. He now owns a half interest in a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, his father being his partner, which he has operated since the year 1875. He is a practical yet enterprising farmer, as a glance at the homestead will attest, and is an adept at the raising of stock. In both branches of his business he is now meeting with good success, and in course of time will doubtless be ranked among the prosperous and substantial farmers of Van Buren County.
In 1875 Mr. Ely was united in marriage with Miss Belle Keck of Van Buren County, daughter of J.A. Keck, a resident farmer of Cedar Township. The young couple began their domestic life on the farm, which is still their home, and their union has been blest with an interesting family of three children, two sons and one daughter, namely: Harold, Raymond and Mary. The parents are widely known throughout the community in which they make their home, and have many warm friends among its best citizens. In politics Mr. Ely adheres to the Democratic Party, having been a supporter of its principles since attaining his majority. In 1880 he was nominated by that party for the office of Recorder of Van Buren County and polled a strong vote considering the large Republican majority. He now holds the office of Township Clerk, and by the prompt and faithful discharge of his duties proves that he is a capable official. Both Mr. Ely and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Utica, in which he holds the position of Steward.
I am not related and I am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


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