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This very early pioneer of Cass county, and notable farmer of Brighton township, who is one of the few of the first settlers left to tell the tale of the days of stern endurance, hard struggle against odds, privation and danger, but yet days of hope and good cheer in what they gave for arduous effort, and what they promised to undoubting faith, was born in Hardin county, Ohio, on July 24, 1853, a son of Joseph R. and Hannah (Barton) Herbert, both of Columbiana county, that State. The father was a farmer and came to this county in 1867, arriving in October, and soon afterward locating in Brighton township, being then the only settler between Indian and Buck creeks. He acquired the ownership of 800 acres of land, all in its primitive state of wildness, and gave himself resolutely to the great work of breaking up his possessions and reducing them to systematic productiveness and comeliness in appearance. He lived on this land until within a few years of his death, when he retired from active pursuits, but returned to the farm to die. The mother passed away in 1904. They were the parents of five sons, all of whom are living but one, and two of them are residents of Cass county. The father was a Methodist in religion and a Lincoln Republican in politics. He was a man of influence in the community and was chosen to several township offices.

Joseph K. Herbert, the son, accompanied his parents to this State and county when he was fourteen years of age, and finished in the country schools here, the limited education he had begun in those of his native State. But his opportunities were limited, as every hand that was available was required in the arduous work of breaking up the farm and putting it in shape for a home and a means of living for the family. He was obliged, therefore, to begin the battle of life in hard labor early in his existence, and has continued it with the same ardor and enterprise ever since. When he was on the verge of manhood he acquired a farm for himself, and this he has made what it is from the original wildness in which he found it, erecting all the buildings and other improvements, and tilling the soil with continual industry and skill, and with increasing results and profits for himself.

On October 15, 1874, Joseph K. Herbert was united in marriage with Maria Lynch, who was born in Randolph county, Ind., a daughter of Anselm H. and Elizabeth (Blankenship) Lynch, who became residents of Cass county in 1864, settling in Pleasant township. In the Herbert household six children have been born, five of whom are living, viz.: Melville P., Roy J., Ralph L., Florence and Ruth. The father is a member of the M. E. Church, and belongs to the Masonic order and the United Workmen. In politics he is a Republican, and as such he has filled a number of township and county offices, although he is not an office seeker, and is not swayed by political ambition. One of the earliest residents of his township, he is also one of the most esteemed, and wherever he is known he numbers his friends by the host, they being, in fact, almost as numerous as his acquaintances.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 361-362.

See also J. R. Herbert biography, page 130 (J. R. was Joseph's father).

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