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Babcock, John P.


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 7/31/2020 at 15:26:21

JOHN P. BABCOCK, a retired farmer, living in Washington, has been a resident of Washington County since 1855, the year in which the first railroad locomotive was ever placed on Iowa soil. In the thirty-two years in which he has lived here he has witnessed the building of thousands of miles of railroad, and lived to see the county seat of each of the ninety-nine counties of the state, penetrated by the iron horse. The changes that have been wrought are marvelous, indeed, and can scarcely be realized even by those who actively participated in the stirring events of the past third of a century. Mr. Babcock is a native of Rensselaer County, N.Y., born Nov. 24, 1829, and is the son of Staunton and Theresa Babcock. His parents at an early day emigrated to Knox County, Ohio, where they lived until 1856, when they came to this county, where both have since died, the former in 1867, and the latter in 1869. They were both members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and died in the faith. Wherever known, they were highly respected, and were honest and upright in all their dealings with their fellowmen. In politics the father was originally a Whig, but when the Republican party was organized he affiliated with it until his death.

John P Babcock was a farmer’s boy, reared to farm life in a day when all work was done by hand, when riding cultivators, self-binding reapers, and other later day inventions were unknown. The educational advantages he received were such as were common to boys situated as he was, his education being received in the common schools of his native State. He accompanied his parents to Knox County, Ohio, and there became acquainted with and married Miss Hannah H. Corbin, a native of that county and State, born Sept. 10, 1829, and the daughter of Lyman and Lucretia Corbin. Her father was a native of Massachusetts, and her mother of Vermont. They were among the pioneers of Knox County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Babcock have three children living – Lyman B., William C. and Charles.

In 1855, as already stated, Mr. Babcock came to Washington County, Iowa, and purchased a partially improved farm on section 16, Jackson Township. This farm he worked, making it one of the best in the township, and upon it he lived till 1884, when he rented it out and moved to Washington, where he has since been living a retired life. The farm consists of 240 acres of land, all of which is under cultivation. In his farming operation Mr. Babcock was quite successful, but, while generally prosperous, he has met with some reverses. On the 22d of May, 1873, a tornado passed over, destroying his residence, valued at $2000, and doing other damage to the amount of $3000. This loss did not dishearten him. Setting about the work he in time had his residence rebuilt, and his entire property in as good, if not better shape, than it had previously been. Religiously, Mr. Babcock is a Baptist, and for many years was a leading member and a Deacon in the Church at Richmond. For the cause of Christianity, he gave liberally of his means. His wife is also a member of the Baptist Church at Richmond.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of John P. Babcock, pages 479-480


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