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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
"William Codling is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 27, Oran Township, pleasantly situated within two miles of Fairbanks, where he receives his mail and markets much of his produce. His residence in the county covers a period of thirty-five years, during which time he has borne no inconsiderable part in its development and progress. Mr. Codling is of English birth. He was born in Durham County, on April 5, 1826, and is the second in a family of seven children, whose parents, Joseph and Isabella (Hogg) Codling, were also born in that county. Hoping to better their condition they crossed the Atlantic to America in 1857, and at once came to this county, locating on section 34, Oran Township. The father died in 1874, and the death of the mother occurred on September 15, 1890. Six children yet survive them, but Elizabeth, the eldest, died in England prior to the emigration of the family to America. Those younger than our subject are John who is married and resides in Pottsville, Pa.; Jane, wife of Benjamin Hough of Oelwein; Joseph is married and makes his home in Van Couver, British Columbia; Mrs. Ann Watson of Durham County, England; and Isabel, wife of J. Hough of Oelwein.
The early life of our subject passed uneventfully. He acquired his education in his native land and remained in England until twenty-six years of age, when, resolving to try his fortune in the new world, he sailed from Liverpool in May, 1853. The voyage was a long and stormy one but after six weeks the vessel at length reached the harbor of New York in safety. Without much delay he went to Philaddelphia and thence to Pottsville, Pa., where he spent about three years, coming to Iowa in 1856. Here he gave his attention to farming, following that occupation in Oran Township. In 1861, he started to return to his mother country on a visit but the Civil War broke out and feeling that his adopted land needed his services, he enlisted in Company E, Fifth Iowa Infantry, for three years and was mustered in at Burlington. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Misssissippi and took part in the battles of Island No. 10, New Madrid, Corinth, Iuka, the second battle of Corinth and the capture of Jackson, Miss., where Mr. Codling received a gunshot wound in the left leg. For some time he was confined in the hospital and was then taken as a prisoner of war to Richmond and placed in Libby Prison whence he was sent to Annapolis, Md., where he was exchanged. In July, 1863, he was sent to St. Louis but his health necessitated his confinement in the hospital during the winter of 1863-4. Broken down from hardship and disease, he was honorably discharged on account of physical disability February 29, 1864, and returned to his home, where he once more engaged in agricultural pursuits.
The same year, Mr. Codling was married, the lady of his choice being Sarah J., daughter of James and Susan (Thomas) Teague, the former a native of Gloucestershire, and the latter of Monmouthshire. The daughter was born in Yorkshire. They left England in 1854, and came to America, locating in Oran Township, where the father yet resides. His wife died in 1888. Mr. Codling was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife in 1865, and on the 26th of December of that year he wedded Fannie J. Weeks, a native of New Hampshire, and a daughter of D. W. and B. W. (Fifield) Weeks, both of whom were born in the old Granite State. After their marriage they settled on section 34, Oran Township, where our subject opened up a new farm. In 1869, he purchased an improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 27, and has further enhanced its value by the erection of a good barn and comfortable residence. Their home is brightened by the presence of three daughters - Adelina, Laura E. and Minnie E. The eldest has taught school for four terms in this township. Mr. Codling keeps himself well informed on political issues and other questions of general interest and votes with the Republican party. The school finds in him a warm friend and while serving on the Board of Education he did effective service in its interest. Socially he is a member of Fairbanks Post, No. 367, G. A. R., of which he was Commander and is now an Officer of the Day. His possessions have been acquired by industry, frugality and enterprise on his part, together with the able assistance of his estimable wife."
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