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1906 Biographies


This progressive and representative farmer of Washington township is a native of England and has lived in the United States forty-two years, twenty-four of them in Cass county. He was born in Lancashire, England, on September 26, 1841, a son of Robert and Mary (Hope) Battersby, who passed their lives in Lancashire. The father was a drover and butcher, and won gratifying success in his business. He was thrice married and had ten children, but only one member of the family is living in the United States. He grew to maturity and secured his education in his native land, and worked in the factories there until 1864, when he determined to seek the better and larger opportunities for advancement said to be found in the "States,"and in that year landed in New York, whence he made his way to Coal Valley near Rock Island, Ill. He lived there thirteen years, during most of the time having the management of the affairs of the Black Diamond Coal Company.

In 1878 Mr. Battersby first came to this State and located in Pottawattamie county, where he followed farming for three years. He then returned to Illinois and remained one year. In 1882 he again came to Iowa, this time selecting Cass county as the seat of his industry. He bought the farm on which he now lives that year, and at once entered on the arduous task of transforming its wildness into systematic productiveness and transforming it into a good farm. It was unbroken prairie when he settled upon it, and what it is now as a well improved and highly productive farm is the result of his unflagging industry and skilful husbandry, combined with superior business capacity. The buildings are commodious and comfortable, the fences, bridges, drains and other structures have been built according to Mr. Battersby's enterprise and taste, and all the evidences of prosperity and wise management are visible in every department of the farm interests.

Mr. Battersby's marriage occurred in Illinois in 1877, when he was united with Celeste Sinclair, a native of Ohio. They have four children: Wayne S., of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Roy S., a druggist in South Dakota; and Mary and Edmund, who are living at a home.

While deeply and intelligently interested in the welfare of his county, State and country, and giving public affairs the attention every good citizen should, Mr. Battersby has never been an active partisan, and has never sought or desired public office of any kind. But as a member of the IndependentOrder of Odd Fellows, which he joined before leaving England, he has been zealous and serviceable, and he and his wife belong to the Congregational Church. Mrs. Battersby's parents, Alexander and Jane (Stewart) Sinclair, were born and reared in Monroe county, Ohio, where their parents were pioneers, and where they themselves saw much of the wild life of the frontier and were called upon to undergo many of its hardships and privations and face many of its perils. In this county, also, during the early years of the family's residence here, conditions were not such and the state of development was not so high as to render life altogether comfortable, or at all times entirely free from danger. But in all situations this excellent man and his wife have borne their lot with fortitude, and met its requirements with fidelity and self-reliance.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 257-258.

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