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D. W. WOODWARD, CASS TOWNSHIP.
From an early period in American history the great State of Pennsylvania has been potential as an industrial center, its mineral wealth, its vast forests, its immense water powers, and its enormous possibilities and variety in agricultural production furnishing scope for every form of human enterprise and giving opportunity for the profitable employment of every department of human skill. It has been peopled with men and women who have known how to make the most of nature's bounty and turn all her crude stores into marketable commodities. So that in her long and glorious history from the beginning, as the land has been occupied, every hilltop and every valley in her vast domain has been resonant with the hum of many-voiced industry, and every current of her commercial wealth has been swelling with increasing contributions.
It was in this busy hive that the ancestors of D. W. Woodward, residing near Lewis, this county, dwelt and magnified themselves for generations before his birth, which occurred in Trumbull county, Ohio, on February 22, 1846. His parents were Jehu and Jane (Marshall) Woodward, natives of Pennsylvania and pioneers of Trumbull county, Ohio. The father was a carpenter until 1856, when he migrated to Iowa, bringing his family by a long water trip, down the Ohio and up the Mississippi and Missouri to Council Bluffs. Thence they journeyed by teams through the wilds of western Iowa to what is now Cass county, and located on a tract of unbroken prairie just south of the site of the present town of Lewis. This tract the father broke up and improved, and as time passed increased by additions until he owned 300 acres, all of which he brought to a high state of cultivation and furnished with all the conveniences of life. Soon after locating on the land Mr. Woodward discovered on it a rich deposit of excellent sandstone admirably adapted to building purposes, and opening a quarry in it he found its product in great demand for houses in a steadily widening scope of country. Most of the earlier stone buildings in this part of the country were constructed of this stone, and it is still extensively used. The father died in Lewis in 1899, and the mother in 1894. Their family comprised four sons and five daughters, all of whom are living but one son and one daughter. The father took a leading part in public affairs, and often filled important local offices.
D. W. Woodward grew to manhood in this county and was educated in private schools. He began in his boyhood to assist his parents in the farm work, and all his subsequent years have been passed in the same line of effort, and all of them in the township of his present residence, except five which he spent in Pleasant township. He was married, in 1871, to Belle Myers, a native of Adams county, Pa. Her parents were Henry and Lydia (Epley) Myers, also natives of Pennsylvania, where the mother died and the father married her sister Elizabeth. In 1867 the family moved to this county, settling near Lewis, where the father died and his widow is still living.
Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Woodward have had eleven children, ten of whom are living: Louie, in Nebraska; Norma, at home; Laura, teaching school; Clara, wife of John Bowling; Hall, Edward and Wooster, at home; Clesson, in the bank at Griswold; and Wilbur and Fred, also at home. The father is a Freemason in fraternal life, and in politics is a Democrat. He has filled a number of township offices. On his farm he has an artificial lake fed by springs. This is furnished with house boats and slides, and is a popular resort for pleasure seekers, being the only place of amusement of the kind in this part of the county. Thus ministering to the productive wealth of the county by the fertility of his farm and the skill with which it is cultivated, this excellent citizen also adds to the enjoyment of its people by his enterprise in maintaining this beautiful outing feature.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 562-564.
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