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1907 Past and Present Biographies

Amasa Childs

A deep feeling of sadness spread throughout the city of Jefferson when it was announced that Amasa Childs had passed from this life, but while those who knew him remain, his memory will be cherished because of his life of helpfulness, of good cheer, and his labor for the benefit of his fellowmen.  He was a native of North Woodstock, Connecticut, the place made famous by Elliott's preaching to the Indians.  December 16, 1825, was the date of his birth, and he was the son of Aaron and Mary (Spring) Childs.

Amasa Childs enjoyed the educational advantages offered by the public schools of Connecticut, and when the summer vacation came around engaged in agricultural pursuits by assisting his father.  His health was delicate and although he spent much time out of doors his physician advised him to try the western climate, and he accordingly traveled to Adams county, Iowa, where for seven years he was engaged in operating a farm.  He subsequently removed to Des Moines and later came to Jefferson, Iowa, where he was engaged in teaming and in other odd jobs, but agriculture still held the warm spot in his heart and he purchased a farm of George Eagle, which he continued to operate for twelve years. The farm was small, but every inch of it was kept in most attractive form.  The grounds were artistically laid out and he maintained a well stocked fish pond.  It was twenty-two years ago that he came to Jefferson and located upon the spot which is still the family home.  The farm in which he took so much pleasure in maintaining he sold to Thomas Philips, who afterward disposed of it to N. H. Skinner, its present owner.

Mr. Childs was married February 25, 1851, to Sarah Lucinda Childs, who was born in Connecticut in 1828, a daughter of Charles and Elmira (Holmes) Childs.  Her mother was a native of Vermont, where she lived until she was seventeen years of age, removing to Connecticut with her parents at that time and remaining under the parental roof until she married Charles Childs.  He was a soldier in the was of 1812 and was a well known agriculturist of Connecticut; Susan, the widow of Edwin Rivers, who was a tailor by trade in East Woodstock, Connecticut; Emma, the wife of George Philips, living in West Woodstock, Connecticut; and Anetta.

The union of Amasa and Sarah Childs was blessed with five children: Ella, the widow of William W. Skinner, who is living with her daughters in Nebraska.  She has three children: Leonard Holmes, in Connecticut; and Myra Holmes and Mary Elizabeth, at Lincoln, Nebraska, where they are receiving their educational advantages.  Mr. Skinner was a very successful teacher in the schools at that place.  Emma, who for twenty years received a salary of twenty-five hundred dollars a year as an efficient teacher of the Chicago schools, became the wife of Dr. Greenleaf of that city and subsequently removed to Long Beach, California. They have an only  child, Mabel, who married Dr. Best, a dentist of Los Angeles, California.  Eva is a widow of Aaron Head and the mother of six children, namely: Earl, a regular soldier for the past five years; Bessie, deceased; Pearl C., a most successful teacher in the Jefferson high school; Hazek, a milliner by trade; Gretchen, the wife of Lloyd Huston, who conducts a jewelry business in Highmore, South Dakota; and Kathaleen, who is attending school at Jefferson, Iowa.  Charles F., our subject's fourth child, resides in Harrington, Kansas, where he was for a number of years a railroad conductor, but is now engaged in mercantile business.  He married Olive Noret and they have three children, Don Devere, Gretchen and Amasa Kenneth.  Leonard Holmes Childs Healy was reared by an aunt in Connecticut, and, having been adopted by her and her husband, inherited a large estate from his foster parents.  He is the father of six children: Maud, Leonard, John, Merrill, Enart Gladstone and Beatrice.

Mrs. Childs Never figured in the public eye, but was of a nature so kindly and genial that he won not only regard but that deeper feeling, which, call it friendship or love, binds men in close relation to his fellowmen in ties which nothing can sever.  He died on the 3d of March, 1903, honored and respected by all who knew him.

Transcribed from "Past and Present of Greene County, Iowa Together With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Prominent and Leading Citizens and Illustrious Dead,"
by E. B. Stillman assisted by an Advisory Board consisting of Paul E. Stillman, Gillum S. Toliver,
Benjamin F. Osborn, Mahlon Head, P. A. Smith and Lee B. Kinsey, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907, pg. 246.

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