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Fayette County, Iowa
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
R. F. McGoon
R. F. McGoon, a real-estate and stock-dealer of Hawkeye, ranks among the enterprising business men of the place. He was born in Monticello, Green County, Wis., January 13, 1852, and is the third in a family of thirteen children, eleven of whom are yet living. Their parents are Richard and Maria (Wood) McGoon, the former a native of Ohio, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Both are descended from families established in this country at an early day and their home is in Monticello, Wis.
In the history of our subject we have the life record of a self-made man. On attaining his majority he came to Iowa in the spring of 1853 <sic>, locating on a farm on section 17, Bethel Township, Fayette County. He secured eighty acres of unimproved land but did not have a dollar with which to make a payment thereon. He earned the first $400 at day's labor as a farm hand and when he had paid for his first purchase bought another eighty-acre tract. His success is due to his pluck, industry and energy which transformed the quarter-section of unimproved land into an ideal farm. He built a good residence which he surrounded with beautiful forest and ornamental trees, erected all the necessary buildings and made many other improvements, meeting the expense without borrowing a dollar. In 1882, he began to purchase hogs and cattle feeding them and then making shipments to market, which business he followed in connection with farming for two years. In 1884 he decided to remove to Hawkeye and engage exclusively in the stock business. He therefore disposed of his farm and took up his residence in the town. To give an idea of the extensive character of his business in this line we quote some figures. His purchases and shipments aggregate from $250,000 to $280,000 annually, and during the winter of 1889-90 he weighed and delivered six hundred and fifty-five head of cattle in one day. He owns two hundred and twenty-eight acres of land besides twenty-two lots in the village of Hawkeye.
On February 12, 1873, Mr. McGoon led to the marriage altar Miss Ruth Pierce, daughter of Albert and Elizabeth (Becker) Pierce. She was born in Monticello, Green County, Wis., September 12, 1853, and is the eldest of a family of four. Her brother, Irwin, lives near Madison, Dak.; Florence is the wife of James Moore of Monticello, Wis.; and Barton is now attending school. The family originally came from Holland and was established in New England at an early date in the history of the Colonies. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. McGoon lived on the present site of Madison, Wis., when it was the habitation of the Indians, no white people, himself excepted, having there located at that date. By the marriage of our subject and his wife three children have been born, one son and two daughters: Albert, born March 7, 1874, attends school and assists his father in his business; Edith was born March 21, 1879; and Alta, January 31, 1883. They also attend the public schools of Hawkeye.
During 1889 Mr. McGoon erected a fine residence in Hawkeye. The building is constructed of the best material obtainable and was finished without regard to cost. The house is roomy and convenient, tastefully and beautifully furnished and is unquestionably one of the finest residences in Fayette County. The members of the household rank high in the social world and are noted for their hospitality. In political sentiment Mr. McGoon is a warm supporter of Republican principles and takes an active interest in the success of the party. He keeps himself well informed on all public questions, both political and otherwise and is a member of Relief Lodge, No. 138, I. O. O. F., of Hawkeye. He has the confidence and esteem of patrons, competitors and creditors and is a public-spirited and useful citizen.
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