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Posted By: Norma Jennings
Date: 11/14/2012 at 18:44:36

WILLIAM M. ABRAHAM is a farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 17, Dutch Creek Township. He is a native of Ohio, born in Jefferson County, April 6, 1820, and is the son of William and Ellen (Kinkade) Abraham, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of West Virginia. His early life was spent on a farm in Washington County, Pa., until 1842, when he accompanied his father and mother to Union County, Ohio. At the time they moved to Union County the woods were filled with wild game of all kinds. On the 1st of April, 1845, he married Miss Nancy V. Sanders, in Delaware County, Ohio. She was a native of Bath County, Ky., a daughter of Henry and Patsey (Ralston) Sanders, her father a native of Virginia, and her mother of Kentucky.
From 1845 to 1850 the subject of this sketch remained in Ohio. In the fall of the latter year he moved with his family to Washington County, Iowa, coming through with a team, and being three weeks on- the road. On arriving here, he rented a farm for one year in Dutch Creek Township, and then moved to the city of Washington, where he purchased a stock of groceries of M. C. Mitchell, on the south side of the square, and continued in that business for two years. In 1853 he sold out his store and made a visit to his old home in Union County, Ohio, where he spent two months and then returned to this county. He made three different trips to Ohio with teams. On his last visit he looked upon the face of his father for the last time. This was in 1853. His mother died some years previous to this. Both his father and mother were members of the Associate Presbyterian Church, and were devoted Christians.

In 1858 Mr. Abraham purchased 100 acres of land of W. W. Wells, at $5 per acre, and began to improve the same. He now owns 125 acres, finely improved, with valuable farm buildings. When he settled upon his farm there was no road from it leading to Washington, the county seat. Taking a yoke of oxen he ran a furrow straight to the city, and over this route traveled until other roads were laid out. On the 16th day of August, 1864, his wife was called to her last rest, leaving him with a family of six children, four sons and two daughters: William N. enlisted in the service of his country at the age of eighteen, faithfully served his time, and was honorably discharged ; he is now a farmer in Greene County, Iowa. Ellen is the wife of Thomas Morgan, a farmer in Richland Township, Keokuk Co., Iowa; E. K. is now an assistant in the management of the home farm; J. F. is in the harness and saddlery trade in Richland, Keokuk County; Martha A. is the wife of Samuel A. Black, a farmer in Keith County, Neb.; V. S. married Rose Imes, and is also living in Keith County, engaged in farming. Mrs. Abraham at the time of her death was a member of the United Presbyterian Church; she was a devoted wife and mother. On the 5th of April, 1865, Mr. Abraham contracted a second marriage, with Miss Rebecca Harris, of Talleyrand, Iowa, a native of Richland County, Ohio, born May 5, 1826, and the daughter of Moses and Susanna (Johnson) Harris. Her parents moved from Richland County, Ohio, in 1844. Her father was a native of Maryland, and her mother of Ohio, both of Irish descent.

Mr. and. Mrs. Abraham are members of the United Presbyterian Church, and in the work of the Church take special delight. Mr. Abraham was appointed Postmaster of Dutch Creek Post-office by Franklin Pierce, and held the office until Buchanah's time, when he resigned. Since that time he has been Justice of the Peace for about twenty years. He has held all the township offices,205
and is at present one of the Trustees. He has held all the offices of the School Board, and is at present Treasurer of the same, having held the position for the last six years. He is also Secretary of the Church Board. Politically, he is a Democrat.
Mr. Abraham has been a citizen of Washington County for thirty-seven years, and it can be readily understood that many changes have taken place since that time. In the improvement of the country he has done his part. When discovered by the writer of this sketch, he was seated upon a self-binder, one of the latest improved machines. He remarked that he had just been thinking of the great improvements that have been made in machinery since his boyhood days. Fifty years ago that day, he said, he was employed in the cutting of his grain with an old-fashioned cradle. Since that time he has used each of the different machines for cutting grain, until at present he is, as already stated, using the latest improved self-binder. It .is hard for him to realize what has been, accomplished in the sixty-seven years of his life, and especially since he has grown to manhood; but time is ever going on, improvements are the order of the day, and he does not expect to be surprised at any invention that may be made. He remembers well the completion of the first railroad in the State of Iowa, and was one of the number who made the first excursion from Washington to Muscatine on the completion of the railroad to the former place. Mr. Abraham is a well-preserved man, one who enjoys the respect of his neighbors, and who in all things endeavors to practice the precepts of the Golden Rule. His life has not been in vain.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa 1887, p204-205


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