J. J. Neill. Prominent among the settlers of Clayton County who have witnessed the wonderful development the country has made during the past decade or so, and who have by honest toil and perseverance succeeded in acquiring a competency and are now enabled to enjoy their well earned rest, is the gentleman whose name heads this biographical notice.
Mr. Neill was born September 16, 1840. His father was Joseph Neill, a native of the Emerald Isle, who emigrated to America and settled in New York State for a time, then came to Clayton County, Iowa, settling in this township. He received some land from the Government and on it built a log cabin; he remained here, improving the land, until his demise, at the age of sixty-four. He was a stanch Democrat, and an earnest member of the Congregational Church, and was a well known personage in this country. The mother was also a native of Ireland. She died there when our subject was yet an infant. The following children were born to her: Mary J., William and John, who all attained maturity but are now deceased.
The subject of this sketch was but six years old when he came to this county. He was reared in this township and attended the little log school-house here. He was married June 19,1866, to Miss Harriet Wakeman, who is a native of Indiana. Her parents came from New York State to Indiana, and from there to this county. She was reared in this township, and after her marriage with our subject they settled at their present location.
Out of two hundred and forty acres of land, he has but twelve that are not cultivated. He is a stock raiser as well as a tiller of the soil, and makes a specialty of Poland-China hogs, besides fine blooded horses and cattle.
There were five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Neill, as follows: Mabel C., William E., Walter J., Herbert N. and Alice E., William now being deceased. The parents are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he being a Trustee of the same. He has been a member of the School Board for a number of years, and is also a stockholder in the company that operates the Farmers' Creamery, and was for a time its Director and Vice-President.
Mr. Neill has never asked for any offices of public trust, but is always selected by his friends and neighbors because of his ability. He has a most excellent wife and she has impressed her intelligence upon her children to a marked degree. Literally a self-made man, he may with satisfaction review his life of energetic industry, animated by a courage and determination which have enabled him to overcome obstacles and win financial success and an abundant competence. An upright man and liberal spirited citizen, he is universally respected, and enjoys the high regard of many friends. Politically a Democrat, Mr. Neill is interested in both local and national issues, and intelligently posted in all matters tending to the promotion of the general welfare, and does his full duty as a true and patriotic American citizen.