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More than a century ago George Washington said that "agriculture is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man." This statement is as true today as when uttered, it being a well known fact that farming is the basis of all business development and material progress. To the work of tilling the soil John Trask has confined his attention from early life and he is classed with the pioneer settlers of northern Iowa, although he was born in Franklin county, Massachusetts, near the town of Deerfield, August 19, 1845. He is a son of S. B. and Rebecca H. (Eaton) Trask, the former a native of Franklin county, Massachusetts, while the latter was born to New Hampshire. They became acquainted in Franklin county, Massachusetts, where they were married, and in 1854 they made arrangements to try their fortune in the growing west. Iowa was made their destination and in the old town of Chickasaw they lived for a year. During this period Mr. Trask was building the first frame house in Deerfield township--across the road from the present site of the home of John Trask. With the early development of the community the family became closely associated and with the passing years representatives of the name have ever borne their part in the work of general improvement and upbuilding.

John Trask was but eight years of age at the time the family home was established in Iowa and his education, begun in the common schools of Massachusetts, was continued in the graded schools of Waterloo, this state. He remained with his parents until they were called to the home beyond, both the father and mother dying at the home which John Trask now owns, the former departing this life at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, while the latter reached her eighty-seventh birthday. On the pages of pioneer history their names are emblazoned. The father was one of those who secured land from the government, obtaining one hundred and twenty acres as a preemption claim, for which be paid a dollar and a quarter per acre. This tract is situated in Deerfield township and when he died he still had one hundred acres of the original farm, having sold but twenty acres.

Under the parental roof John Trask was reared and his boyhood experiences were those of the farm lad reared upon the frontier. Having arrived at adult age, he married Lucy A. Jenkins, a daughter of John and Lydia Jenkins, both of whom have departed this life. Her father died in New York city, while her mother's death occurred in Deerfield township, Chickasaw county, to which she had removed at an early day. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Trask was celebrated on the 23d of October, 1868, and they became the parents of six children: William Henry, who is now married; Mrs. Ethel Fredreci; Mrs. Hattie Nyham; Mrs. Eva Michaels; and Emily and Charles E., both deceased.

At the time of his mother's death John Trask came into possession of the one hundred acre farm which his father had entered as a claim from the government. He still owns and occupies this place, which is situated on section 30, Deerfield township, and its productiveness is the result of his careful cultivation and supervision. He has worked diligently to enhance the value of his land and has added to his farm many modern improvements. In politics he is a democrat and has held practically all of the offices in Deerfield township, while for three years be served as a member of the board of supervisors of Chickasaw county, proving a most capable and efficient officer in that connection. He has ever been loyal to public interests and the trust reposed in him and has earnestly promoted every project which he has regarded as of public worth. He has now passed the seventy-fourth milestone on life's journey but is still an active factor in farming circles and is a well known citizen in this district, with which be has so long been associated.

Source: History of Chickasaw and Howard Co (1919), Vol II, page 500