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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
(Photo in Source Book)
It is not an easy task to describe adequately a man who has led an eminently active and useful life and who has attained a position of relative distinction in the community with which his interests are allied. It is with a full appreciation of all that is demanded. and yet with a feeling of satisfaction that the writer essays the task of touching briefly upon the details of such a record as has been that of the honored subject whose life now comes under review, John Jamison, one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Oelwein, Fayette county.
Mr. Jamison was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, September 20, 1844, and is a son of James and Jane (Boale) Jamison. Both of these parents were natives of county Down, Ireland, and both were of Scotch descent. James Jamison was born in 1806 and at an early age he was left to make his own way in the world. While quite young he learned the carpenter's trade and before he attained manhood he came to the United States, settling in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. He was an expert mechanic and among other works in which he was engaged was the erection of one of the best bridges crossing the Allegheny river, of which work he was the superintendent. He was married April 18, 1843, and in 1846 he gave up his trade and for a time followed farming in Mercer county. His wife, Jane, was a daughter of John and Grace (McWha) Boale, and came from county Down, Ireland, with her parents in 1839. They located on a farm in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, but in May, 1852. they came to Fayette county, Iowa, and settled two and one-half miles northwest of West Union.
James Jamison brought his family to this county at the same time and located at Auburn, where lie and his wife's brother, James Boale, engaged. in merchandising. Two years later Mr. Jamison sold out his interests in the store and bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres near West Union, on which lie made his home during the remainder of his life. his death occurring March 3, 1881. After his death his wife moved from the farm into West Union, where she resided until her death, September 17, 1903. These parents had six children, of whom John, the immediate subject of this sketch, is the eldest. Grace M. became the wife of William Colby and lives at West Union. Sarah is the wife of J. Q. Adams, also of West Union. George W. is a banker at Oelwein. Thomas, now deceased, was a hardware merchant at Oelwein. Samuel B. is engaged in farming in southern Minnesota. John Jamison was reared on the farm from the time he was ten years old and he received his preliminary education in the public schools of West Union. Subsequently he was a student at the Upper Iowa University, of the board of trustees of which institution he has been a member for the past twenty years, having been chosen first in 1889. His first business experience was in the mercantile business at Auburn, in partnership with Hull Hoagland. In July, 1875, they removed their stock of goods to Oelwein, where they continued as partners until 1881, when Mr. Hoagland was succeeded by Samuel Jamison.
In the summer of 1875, Messrs. Jamison and Hoagland established the Bank of Oelwein, the first and for many years the only banking house of that city. They also associated with them John Irvine and together they dealt extensively in livestock, realizing handsome profits from their transactions. Soon after coming to Oelwein, and without interruption to his other business interests, the subject and his brother, Thomas, formed a partnership in the hardware business, which they continued about two years.
In 1884 Mr. Jamison assisted in the organization of the State Bank of West Union, of which he has been the president continuously since its inception. In 1886 Hull Hoagland severed his connection with the Bank of Oelwein, and the subject's brother, George, succeeded him, the firm becoming Jamison Brothers & Company. Besides their interests in Oelwein, the Jamison brothers both own extensive farming interests. In the banking business of Fayette county Mr. Jamison is believed to have been engaged continuously longer than any man now living, having been 50 engaged since the summer of 1875. He has at all times enjoyed the unbounded confidence of the public and has been influential in many ways in advancing the interests of the community at large.
Unpretentious in style, direct in manner, concise in speech, approachable, kind and generous, Mr. Jamison has the happy faculty of easily winning friends and he enjoys a large acquaintance throughout the county. In politics Mr. Jamison has been a life long Democrat, and for a number of years took an active interest in political matters, though not an aspirant for public office. However, in 1883, he was nominated by his party for the office of treasurer of Fayette county.
The county had a normal Republican majority of about four hundred, and his election to the office was a marked testimonial of his popularity and the confidence of his fellow citizens in his integrity and ability. Fraternally, Mr. Jamison belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, to which they give an earnest and generous support. September 8, 1875, Mr. Jamison was married to Florence Hoagland, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hull Hoagland, she being a native of Mercer county, Pennsylvania. Four children have been born to this union, namely Two who died in early youth ; Ray B., cashier in the Bank of Oelwein and Fred H., who is bookkeeper in the same institution. The latter was married, June 26, 1907, to Blanche Flannegan, the daughter of H. W. Flannegan of Oelwein, and they have a son, Harry. Ray B. was married November 17, 1910, to Letha Bonner, of Des Moines, Iowa.
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