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Felton Family


Posted By: Connie Swearingen (email)
Date: 8/27/2010 at 23:51:14

History of Woodbury County, Iowa 1984

Felton Family
By W R ‘Bill’ Felton

Charles W and William R Felton, Sr, were brothers, sons of Moses Oliver Felton, who immigrated to Jones County, Iowa, from Indiana in the late 1850’s. This branch of the family is descendants of Nathaniel Felton who came to Marblehead, Massachusetts, from Great Yarmouth, England, in 1630. There is no family relationship with any of the few other Felton families who have shown up in the Sioux City area.

Charley Weston Felton, born in 1867 in Jones County, Iowa, married Elizabeth Calderwood in 1890. They had one daughter, Hazel, who married William Fielding McQuitty in Sioux City in 1935. She died in Sioux City in 1972. C W Felton was a telegrapher and railroad station agent for many years in the Sioux City area, including such towns as Luton, Iowa, and Yankton and Hudson in South Dakota. He came to live in Sioux City during WW I and dealt in real estate and operated a large grocery for many years, catering to the farm trade. He died in Sioux City in 1955.

William Reid Felton, Sr, born in 1874 in Jones County, Iowa, attended Cornell College at Mt Vernon, Iowa. He became a civil engineer, primarily engaged in railroad location. This work took him through Arizona, New Mexico, Old Mexico and Colorado prior to working on the Milwaukee Railroad as it crossed the state of Montana and later on the branch line form Lewistown to Great Falls. He was married to Bessie Huffman at Miles City, Montana, in 1909. At that time he took up a homestead at Square Butte and went to ranching, as the railroad was quite complete at this time. Four children were born to this union.

Mr Felton came to Sioux City in 1922 at the suggestion of his brother, C W. He got into the seed business, which entailed many sidelines in the early days such as the buying and selling of fur, wool, melons, peaches, potatoes, etc, in an era when people bought in quantity in preparation for the winter season. He was always interest in athletics and the great outdoors. He was an active and ardent conservationist, holding both state and local offices in the Izaak Walton League. A strong patriot and a staunch conservation, history at most levels interested him and he compiled a Felton genealogy that came to print in 1935. His interest in the seed business was strong throughout his life. He died of natural causes just short of his 90th birthday in 1964.

Mrs Felton and the three older children came to Sioux City in the spring of 1923 and moved into a rented home at 1610 Ross Street, after spending a week in the Jackson Hotel. Living in Smiths Villa, as the neighborhood was known, was a great pleasure for the Felton family. The unlimited supply of good water was a treat never overlooked or forgotten. The good neighbors, schools, library, parks, and the first chance at radio, thanks to neighbor Dr Dennis M Dealy, were only a few of the blessings and pleasures to be experienced in this new and easy mode of life.

The four children of W R and Bessie (Huffman) Felton are: Oliver H Felton, Nancy E Felton Koster, William R Felton, Jr, and Margaret Ruth Felton Miller.

Oliver Felton, born at Miles City, Montana as well as Smith School, West Junior, Central High School in Sioux City. He left Sioux City in 1934 and lived in the Boston area a few years. Since then he has been in the Chicago area. Married in 1938, he has bone daughter named Judy.

Nancy Felton, born at Miles City in 1912, also attended school in Montana and Smith, West Junior, and Central High, graduating in 1930. She attended USD at Vermillion and married Max Koster of Vermillion in 1934. They have three sons and some grandchildren. Since WW II they have lived in California and Arizona. Nancy has always had the greatest appreciation for the good schools in Sioux City.

Margaret Ruth Felton, youngest of the four, was born in Sioux City in 1926. She attended Hunt School, North Junior, and graduated form Central High School. She attended USD at Vermillion and married a Vermillion native, Dr Jerry R Miller, an anaesthesiologist. They have lived in Michigan, Iowa, and Arizona, and have three sons and a daughter as well as grandchildren.

The third Felton child, I was born in Miles City, Montana in 1917, and am the only family membr to remain in the Siouxland area. I also attended school in Montana and went to Smith School, West Junior, and graduated from Central High. While in the service in 1943 I was married to Dorothy Bressler, a girlfriend ov over 18 years time. We raised three sons and were able to operate a successful business until retirement in 1979.

Our three sons are as follows: William Allen Felton, born in Sioux City in 1952, a graduate of Central High and Michigan State University, and now living in Michigan; James Douglas Felton, born in Sioux City in 1954 and attended Roosevelt School and West Junior, graduating form Jefferson South Dakota High School and Kansas State University, and now a practicing veterinarian in Big Timber, Montana, and married in 1981 to Kathy Remmers, Clark, South Dakota; and Thomas Laton Felton, born in Sioux City in 1955 attending Roosevelt School and West Junior beforee graduating from Jefferson South Dakota High School and Kansas State University, and now a technical writer for Allis Chalmers Company, and also self-employed in Kansas City, Missouri.

Some of my very indellible memories of the past in Sioux City are: our night arrival on the Milwaukee train; staying in the Jackson Hotel; Dad bringing up treats in the way of bakery goods, etc; watching traffic from an upstairs window; seeing trucks painted with a different number and color on each side; the strong grease smell from the various cafes (which even to this day is pleasant); tulips, iris, lilacs and our other common flowers which were unknown to me prior to Sioux City and shall remain much appreciated; learning to swim at Children’s Park (I note the last year or so this pool has been removed); the opening of the new municipal swimming pool in Riverside Park; the street cars of many varieties and the many people who used them to go to Rivrside Park; the numerous boat Clubs and activities on the Big Sioux Riber, Crystal Lake, Brown’s Lake, and McCook Lake, and the pleasures these places offered; the Felton Seed Company, its customers, characters, and good friends; the dust, dirt, sweat, and tears; the pleasant thougths of the luxuries we enjoyed and not the bitter thoughts of the things we missed; ice skating on good rinks furnished by the city; school days and my lack of participation in school activities, and my interest in many class reunions in later years; all the travel, hunting, and fishing I could squeeze into the seasons; motorcycles, racing, and hill climbing.

Now as 1983 comes to close, I’m happy to relate that we Feltons are grateful to the Sioux City area for being so good to us. Our old business is alive and well. We have a home near Jefferson South Daktoa, and are most pleased to be able to travel a good deal of the time.


Woodbury Biographies maintained by Greg Brown.
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