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McMillen, J. H. 1865 1954


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 4/12/2015 at 11:24:03


Among the most prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county is numbered J. H. McMillen, who owns five hundred, eighty-two and a half acres on sections 10 and 15, Hesper township, with three sets of good buildings. His place is known as the Banner Stock Farm and is exceptionally well improved, there being three large barns and a large and commodious residence.

Mr. McMillen is a native of Hesper township, born April 11. 1865, and is a son of James and Nancy (McNaughton) McMillen. The father was born in New York, October 3, 1832, and settled in Winneshiek county, June 1, 1852, among its first pioneers. He died here in February, 1905. The mother, a native of Pennsylvania, was born March 7, 1839, and in April, 1864, married Mr. McMillen, having come to this county with her parents. Her death occurred March 6, 1907. All their married life they spent on the home farm in Hesper township. The father owned two hundred and forty acres of land which had been secured by the grandfather. John McMillen, from the government. The latter was among the first to die and be buried in this county. His wife, Ann, also died here. Mr. and Mrs. John McMillen had three children: Robert; Jane H. Hallock; and James, the father of our subject. All three are now deceased. J. H. McMillen is the oldest of eight children, the others being: R. A., of Esmond, North Dakota; W. H., residing on the home place in Hesper township; George, who moved to Oregon, where he married and was drowned while fording a river with a horse; J. C, of Hesper, North Dakota; Anna, who married Fred Koppen, of Hesper township; Maggie, the wife of John Freeman, of Oregon; and Jane, who married Guy Freeman, a brother of John, and they reside in North Dakota.

J. H. McMillen has always lived in Hesper township, where he received his educational advantages and early became acquainted with agricultural labors. He resided at home until his marriage and then for three years rented his grandfather's place. For the following five years he made his home on the Holloway place. He then bought his present farm, which he has extended as his means have permitted until it now comprises five hundred, eighty-two and a half acres located on sections 10 and 15, Hesper township. There are three sets of good buildings upon the property, which is known as the Banner Stock Farm. Mr. McMillen for many years made a specialty of breeding pure Percheron horses and still gives much attention to raising high-grade stock and to general farming. There is a feed and sawmill on the place and he also runs two threshing outfits, deriving from that branch of his business highly satisfactory returns. It is typical of his progressiveness that he is the owner of an independent telephone line here, which he uses for himself and which also communicates with other farms in the vicinity. He is the largest landowner and the most prosperous man in his section and during the season employs many hands. He is president of the Winneshiek County Farmers Institute Association.

On September 3. 1884, Mr. McMillen was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Olsen, who was born in Norway, in 1866, and came to America with her parents when twelve years old. She is a daughter of John and Annie Olson, residents of Allamakee county. Mr. and Mrs. McMillen have the following children: Charles, a farmer of Hesper township; Flora, the wife of Harvey Keltz, of Alberta, Canada; Ralph, of Fillmore county, Minnesota; and Jessie, Philip, Leland and Ruby.

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. McMillen takes an active interest in the progress and development of the county and in political and public affairs. He is a republican and gives his support to the candidates of that party. He has done much good in promoting agricultural growth and is ever ready to give of his means to support worthy public enterprises, although he has never cared to accept official positions. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. Such prosperity as has come to Mr. McMillen is highly deserved, for it is but the outcome of close application, good judgment and modern and up-to-date methods. He has at all times been actuated by laudable ambition and this spirit to will and to win has carried him forward to success. He enjoys in high measure the confidence and regard of his fellow citizens and is recognized as a forceful element in his community. Not only has he been an interested witness of the changes that have occurred here but a helpful and cooperant factor in bringing about the prosperous conditions that now prevail.

Source: History of Winneshiek County, Iowa Vol. II Chicago the S. J. Clark Publishing Company 1913

Hesper Public cemetery gravestone

Winneshiek Biographies maintained by Bruce Kuennen.
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