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ROBERT G. MACKRILL (DECEASED), PLEASANT TOWNSHIP.
Agriculture is now conducted on as scientific and precise principles as any of the great modern industries. The result is that like all other departments of human activity and development it is subdivided and specialized; its two most distant subdivisions are the cultivation of the soil and the raising of live-stock, and to become an expert in either is honor enough for any man.
At the time of his death Mr. Mackrill was acknowledged to be one of the most thorough and keenest judges of live-stock in the State of Iowa; and when that is said, it means one of the best in the United States. Primarily judgment of the animal must be almost infallible. The deceased was also one of the largest land owners in the county, and altogether one of its most solid and respected citizens.
Robert G. Mackrill was born in Licking county, Ohio, on the 28th of September, 1828. His father, a native of Ireland, settled in Richland county, that State, and about 1840 moved to Calhoun county, Ill., where he purchased and improved a wilderness tract of land and died in 1869. The son Robert, both as a boy, a youth and a young man, assisteded in clearing off the heavy timber from the land, and even at an early age was the mainstay of the fmaily.
Mr. Mackrill married in 1853 and became the father of a large family, but he did not move to Cass county until 1871. In that year he purchased 100 acres of land in Pleasant township, a small patch of which was broken and presented, as another improvement, a little house, or hut. But in the years which were to come he continued to add to the original tract until he was the owner of 640 acres of as good land as could be found in the county, most of which he had improved either for agricultural or stock purposes. It should be stated that for a short time prior to locating here he resided in Muscatine county, this State.
On April 3, 1853, Robert G. Mackrill was married to Amelia A. Martin, of Linn county, Iowa, his wife being educated at Keokuk Seminary and a lady of character and refinement. They became the parents of eight children, seven of whom are still living--George H., a resident of this county; Emma A.; J. P. Mackrill, of Nebraska; Joseph M., William S. and Robert G., Jr.., all of Pleasant township; and Nancy L., now Mrs. A. H. Funk. The father of the family died December 10, 1904, and the mother, five years before, on the 23rd of December, 1899.
The deceased never took part, or any apparent interest, in politics, consequently never filled even a local office. Like other men of practical wisdom, he confined his energies and abilities to a specialty, and made a splendid success of it.
Robert G. Mackrill, Jr., seems to confirm the adage--"like father, like son." He is already one of the best known farmers in the county, and like his father, a pioneer--although of a later generation. He was born during his father's temporary residence in Muscatine county, on the 5th of December, 1865. When a boy of six years, he came with the family to Cass county, where he was educated and reared to a position of practical usefulness. He has never married, but makes his home with his sister, Mrs. Funk. Although he has not sought public preferment, he has been somewhat active in the secret and benevolent orders, being a member both of the I. O. O. F., and the M. W. of A.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 401-402.
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