Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 722-23. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


For nearly a quarter of century a resident of Cerro Gordo county, John S. Edgar, who operates an elevator and conducts a coal business at Rock Falls, has been an important factor in the development of this part of the state and in the advancement of its welfare. A son of William Edgar, he was born, July 12, 1842, in Dalkeith, Scotland, the home of his ancestors for many generations.

William Edgar was born and bred in Dumfries, Scotland, and there married. Coming with his family to this country in 1837, he spent about five years in Brooklyn, New York, where as a landscape gardner he laid out many beautiful grounds in and around New York city, including Greenwood and Rockaway. Returning to the old country in 1842, he remained there ten years. In the spring of 1852, he came again to America, bringing his wife and children with him, and six months later located in Janesville, Wisconsin. He engaged in farming and gardening, continuing thus employed until after the breaking out of the Civil war. He subsequently enlisted in the Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the close of the conflict. Returning home, he died in the fall of 1865, from diseases contracted while in the army, aged sixty-two years. The maiden name of his wife was Helen Simm. She was born in Dalkeith, Scotland, October 23, 1807, and died, March 5, 1907, having almost rounded out a full century of life. Her husband was a Scotch Presbyterian in religion and in the later years of her life she was affiliated with the Methodist church. Their seven children were all born in Scotland, and three of them are still living, namely: Archibald, of Imperial, California; Mrs. J. G. Wray, of Janesville , Wisconsin; and John S. One son, William Edgar, served in the Second New York Heavy Artillery during the Civil war.

Reared in Wisconsin, John S. Edgar was educated in the public schools, and during the Civil war was engaged as a teamster in Missouri and Arkansas for nine months, but had to return home to care for his mother and the farm. In 1867, desirous of broadening his field of action, Mr. Edgar came to Iowa, locating first in Mitchell county, where he followed farming four years. Going to Worth county in 1871, he continued as an agriculturist until 1886. He then established an elevator at Rock Falls, and this he has since conducted successfully, at the same time having built up an extensive and remunerative coal business and being interested also in quarrying.

Mr. Edgar married, in Wisconsin in 1866, Elizabeth Woolliscroft (sic), who was born in Staffordshire, England, December 2, 1845; her father, William B. Wooliscroft (sic), was born in England in 1816, came with his wife and seven children to the United States in 1859, locating in Janesville, Wisconsin, and he died in 1898 in California. He married Hannah Buckston, who was born in England in 1819 and was accidentally killed in July, 1868, in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Woolliscroft (sic) reared nine children, seven of whom live in California, one in Washington, while Mrs. Edgar is in Iowa. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edgar, namely: Mrs. Annie Blakeley, of Mason City; Mrs. Vinnie Cook, of Waterloo; Mrs. May White, of Rock Falls; William David, of Rock Falls; Thomas B., of California; Ray; Glen W., of Rock Falls; and John Sim, Jr., who lived but nine years. Politically Mr. Edgar, although he cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont and afterwards for Abraham Lincoln for president, has always been a Democrat

NOTE: John Sim Edgar died in 1920. Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Woliscroft) Edgar died in 1914. They were interred at Rock Falls Cemetery, Rock Falls IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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