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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Hiram Kaster


Delaware Township




       HIRAM KASTER was born in Hickory township, Mercer county, Pa., July 18, 1843, and is a son of Sealey and Mary (Shilling) Kaster, both of whom were natives of the same state and county. The mother died in Mercer county, and the father subsequently remarried, taking as his second wife Miss Martha Robertson, also of that state and county. He came west in 1854 and settled in Delaware county, Iowa, where he afterward lived and where he died in 1873, aged sixty-two. He was a farmer throughout life, meeting with fair success, and took great interest in everything relating to the welfare of his adopted home, and was highly esteemed by all of his fellow citizens. He held some local offices, the duties of, which he discharged with credit. He was an old line democrat in politics, his political faith having been fashioned after that of Jefferson and Jackson. He was not a member of any religious denomination, but was a regular attendant upon the services of the Methodist church. By his two marriages he had twelve children, five by his first marriage, and seven by his second. Those of the first marriage were: Shilling, now deceased, Ramith, a farmer residing in Perkins county, Nebr.; William, a farmer, residing in Delaware county, this state; Hiram, the subject of this notice, and an infant daughter. The children of the second marriage, now living, are Emeline. now the wife of Wallace Orvis, of Perry, Dallas county, Iowa, and John, a farmer of Delaware county, Iowa.  Our subject is the fourth child of the first marriage. He was reared in his native county, being brought up on his father's farm. He received a fair common school education, remaining at home with his father and giving him the benefit of his labors until he was twenty-one. He was only about eleven years of age when his father came to Delaware county, and his youth was therefore spent in this county. On reaching his majority his father gave him one hundred acres of land in section 1, Milo township on which he settled and began farming. He resided there for six years, when he purchased forty acres more land adjoining in section 2, on to which he moved and where he lived six years, then moved back in section 1 again, where he now lives. He now owns two hundred and fifteen acres in sections 1 and 2, all of which is well improved and well stocked, making a desirable place.


      In September, 1861, soon after the opening of the Civil war, Mr. Kaster enlisted as a private in Company F, Twelfth Iowa volunteer infantry, and served till June, 1862, when he was discharged for disability incurred during his term of service. The principal engagement in which he took part during the time of his service was at Fort Donelson. He was in minor engagements and saw a great deal of hard service on marches and in camp during the winter of 1861 - 1862. December 25, 1864, Mr. Kaster married Miss Hannah Pierce, then of Delaware county, but a native of McHenry county, Ill., born April 7, 1846. She is a daughter of Daniel and Mariam (Albee) Pierce, who were born and reared in New York. They came to Iowa in 1854, and settled in Delaware county, where they afterward lived. Mr. and Mrs. Kaster have had five children: Mary J., born October 9, 1865, now the wife of William Davis, a farmer of Delaware county; Ida L., born May 11, 1874; infant twin, a son that died May 12th; Nellie M., born October 1, 1876, and Jerry, born December 3, 1878; the three last being still at home with their parents. Mary J. was married August 22, 1883, to William J. Davis, and is the mother of four children.


      Mr. Kaster has held thee offices of clerk, land assessor of his township, and has given good satisfaction in each office. He is a democrat in politics, but does not take much interest in partisan matters. Mr. Kaster has taken a great deal of interest in live stock matters, and has some good animals on his place. He is a member of the Spring Branch Creamery Company, organized in May, 1889, and doing business at Spring Branch in Delaware township, an institution that has clone much to foster the dairying interest of the locality where it is situated. 


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 493; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson