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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 598~


James Jamison

Nathan B. Searles is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and seventy-nine acres situated on section 2, Bethel Township, and in this county he has made his home for thirty-six years, witnessing its growth and progress and aiding materially in its development. He was born in Washington County, N. Y., August 11, 1821, and is the ninth in the family of eleven children, whose parents were William and Polly (Billings) Searles.


The Searles family is of Welsh origin and was founded in America by the paternal grandfather of our subject, who leaving his home in Wales, crossed the Atlantic to the New World, settled in the New York colony, and took part in the Revolutionary War. William Searles, the father was a soldier in the War of 1812. He was born in the Empire State, in February, 1782, made farming his life occupation and died in 1850. His wife, who was born in Connecticut in 1785, was of Irish descent and survived her husband by several years. In their family were Clark, who died in New York about 1872; Oliver, who is married and resides in Washington County, N. Y.; Dennis, who married and in 1842 removed to Green County, Wis., after some years came to Fayette County, and in 1869 became a resident of Moore County, Minn., where his death occurred in February, 1889; John married and resided in New York until his death, which occurred about 1875; Thomas is married and living in Washington County, N. Y.; Mrs. Hannah Leonard died in this county in 1881; Mrs. Jane Juber, a widow, is living in Vermont; Alonzo enlisted for the late war in New York and died of fever during the service; Nathan B. is the next younger; Mrs. Mary Dwello resides in Windsor Township, and Carlos makes his home with our subject.


No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life during the boyhood of our subject who was reared to manhood under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools of his native county. He was married in Washington County, N. Y., in 1843, to Miss Melvina Beebe, a native of Vermont, and to them were born five children, three of whom are now living - Leonara, born May 11, 1847, became the wife of Marion Turner, by whom she had five children, four of whom are living, and her death occurred in 1880; Ida, born June 27, 1850, died August 7, 1853; James A., born May 11, 1855, was married June 27, 1877, to Sarah Huyck, a native of Pennsylvania, and they now reside with their four children in Waucoma, Iowa; Emmett Clark, was born June 21, 1857, wedded Miss Mabel Wood, a native of Illinois, on Christmas Day of 1888; Levi Livingston, born March 6, 1861, was married in 1881 to Miss Rosa James, and with their three children they reside in Hubbard County, Minn. The mother of this family died at her home in this county on the 10th of May, 1866.


Mr. Searles was again married in 1867, his second union being with Sarah Ann Huyck, a native of Bradford County, Pa., whose family is of Holland Dutch extraction and was founded at Albany, N. Y., during the early history of that State. Her parents were Isaac and Cynthia (Lyon) Huyck, the former born in Pennsylvania, November 23, 1801, and the latter in Chenango County, N. Y., March 23, 1806. They were married in Bradford County, in 1826, and their marriage was blessed with six children, five of whom are yet living. The eldest, Daniel, born March 9, 1827, married Eliza Benjamin and they have one child; Cordelia, born August 14, 1828, died August 7, 1844; William, born July 12, 1830, is now residing in West Union; Charles, born November 23, 1833, married Harriet Mohollen, by whom he has five children; Randolph, born August 14, 1843.


Mrs. Searles has been twice married. In Bradford County, Pa., in 1857 she became the wife of Loran B. Burbank, who was born in that county in August, 1842. (Note: These are the dates as written, which would have meant the groom was fifteen-years-old.) He enlisted for the late war in Owego, Tioga County, N. Y., in 1862, as a member of Company C, One Hundred and Ninth New York Infantry, and took part in the engagements at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Seven Days Battle of the Wilderness, under Col. Tracy, and was killed before Petersburg, June 17, 1864. His remains were buried on the field. Two children were born of that union - Charles Henry, who was born July 14, 1858, married Emma Livingston, by whom he has three children and resides in Todd County, Minn.; Thomas A., who was born March 29, 1862, is a conductor on the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad and makes his home in Marion, Linn County, Iowa. He wedded Miss Addie Ellis and they have one child.

After the second marriage of Mr. Searles, he located upon a farm in Bethel Township. On coming to the county in 1854 he settled in Windsor Township, where he opened up a farm, continuing its cultivation for twelve years, when in 1866 he removed to his present home. He purchased one hundred and seventy-nine acres that now constitute one of the best farms in the community. His second marriage was blessed with three children as follows: Adalaide, born December 28, 1867, in 1887 became the wife of Sherman Crandall, a native of Clermont, Iowa, and unto them has been born a little daughter, Maud; William Henry, born December 11, 1869, is a conductor on the Kansas City Railroad, running between Des Moines, Iowa and St. Joseph, Mo.; Alonzo, born November 21, 1873, is at home.


As every true American citizen should do, Mr. Searles feels an interest in political affairs. He votes with the Republican party, has held a number of public offices and has taken an active interest in the promotion of education. Every enterprise calculated to upbuild the community receives his support and sympathy, and during a thirty-six years' residence in this community he has aided materially in the upbuilding of the town and county.






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