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William D. Fenney


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 3/2/2023 at 23:49:15


William D. Fenney is the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred and eighty acres situated on section 18, Kensett township, and he has been a resident of Worth county for more than thirty years. Throughout this period he has devoted his time and attention to agricultural pursuits and success in substantial measure has rewarded his labors. He came to Worth county when a young man from Wisconsin, his birth having occurred in Lafayette county of the latter state on the 14th of September, 1865, his parents being Nels and Inger (Iverson) Fenney. The father was born in Norway, while the mother's birth occurred in Chicago, Illinois, and it was in Galena, Illinois, that they were married. Nels Fenney was employed by Captain Harris at Galena until his removal to Lafayette county, Wisconsin, where he purchased one hundred and sixty-seven acres of land from his father-in-law, Peter Iverson, and in the operation of that farm was actively and successfully engaged throughout the remainder of his life. Mr. Iverson was one of the first settlers in Lafayette county and purchased his farm from the government in 1841, at which period the district was still largely unde­veloped and there were many Indians and much wild game. He built a log house and with characteristic energy undertook the task of bringing his land under culti­vation, persistently carrying on the work until his efforts were crowned with success.
The boyhood of William D. Fenney was passed in his native county and his edu­cation was acquired in the rural schools there. He was only nine years of age when his father died, and a few years later he took charge of the home farm, whereon he remained until he reached the age of twenty. Later he spent a year as an employee in the tobacco fields in Dane county, Wisconsin, after which he returned to the old homestead and engaged in raising tobacco there for a year. In the spring of 1887 he came to Iowa, with Northwood as his destination, and soon afterward he became a farm hand in the employ of Ole Hove, with whom he continued for about two years. In the spring of 1889 he went back to the old home farm and was there taken sick, remaining for about six months. On the expiration of that period he located upon his present place, having in 1887 purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land which he has greatly improved by the erection of new buildings from time to time until he has a splendidly equipped property. He has also added one hundred and twenty acres to the farm, thus greatly extending its boundaries. He makes a specialty of raising hogs in addition to cultivating his fields in the production of those cereals best adapted to soil and climate. He is likewise a stockholder in the Northwood Creamery Com­pany and a stockholder in the Northwood State Bank.
On the 18th of July, 1890, Mr. Fenney was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Severson, a daughter of Erick and Hannah (Hanson) Severson. Mrs. Fenney was born in Kensett township, Worth county, while her parents were natives of Norway. In 1867 they came to the United States and made their way to Iowa, taking up their abode in Kensett township, Worth county, where they cast in their lot with the pioneer settlers who were aiding in reclaiming this district for the purposes of civilization. They took up government land, on which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made, and Mr. Severson with characteristic energy built a log house and began the development of the farm, which he converted into rich and productive fields. To Mr. and Mrs. Fenney have been born five children: Ida, Ernest, Alfred, Mabel and Esther.
Mr. and Mrs. Fenney are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and his political endorsement is given to the republican party, but he never seeks or desires office as a reward for party fealty, preferring to concentrate his undi­vided time and attention upon his business affairs, which have been carefully conducted and have brought to him a substantial measure of success. SOURCE: HISTORY OF MITCHELL AND WORTH COUNTIES, IOWA, 1918, VOL. II; Page 514


Worth Biographies maintained by Karon S. Velau.
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