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1907 Past and Present Biographies

James M. Forbes

James M. Forbes
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James M. Forbes, a member of the Jefferson bar, devoting his attention, however, largely to real-estate dealing, is well known as a typical business man, whose alert and enterprising spirit and laudable ambition have combined to win him a goodly measure of success and gained for him a place among the leading citizens of Greene county. He was born in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1860.

His father, Andrew Forbes, whose birth occurred in Washington county, Pennsylvania, died in the year 1898, at the age of seventy four years. He was a farmer by occupation and removed to Illinois about 1848. For many years he lived in that state and in 1884 came to Iowa, settling in Bristol township. Six years prior to his demise he removed to Jefferson. He was an enterprising farmer and good business man, who met with fair success in his undertakings, which were conducted along strictly honorable lines. He held membership in the Presbyterian church, gave his political support to the republican party and was fearless in defense of whatever he believed to be right. He married Miss Christy Ann McMillian, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, now living in Des Moines, Iowa, at the age of seventy-seven years. She, too, is a member of the Presbyterian church and has ever been a consistent Christian woman. In the family of this worthy couple were the following children: Cassius M., who is now a retired farmer, living in Jefferson; Agnes B., the widow of Chester B. Munsell; James M.; John B., a farmer and real-estate dealer of Jefferson; Frank J., who is also engaged in the real-estate business in Jefferson; and Adolphus B., deceased.

James M. Forbes, whose name introduces this review, was a student in the-district schools in his early boyhood days and supplemented his preliminary education by study in the Wesleyan University at Bloomington and in the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana, His attendance at school, however, was not continuous and in the intervals between courses he engaged in teaching. At length he entered the Iowa College of Law of Des Moines in 1888, and was graduated in the following year. Mr. Forbes entered upon the active practice of his profession in Jefferson in 1891 and has continued a member of the bar up to the present time, although the main feature of his business life is real-estate dealing, in connection with his brothers. He has handled much important property and through this means has contributed largely to the upbuilding and im provement of the city. He is a man of sound judgment, placing his investments judiciously, and is now the owner of considerable valuable realty, including a farm of four hundred and thirty acres in Washington township, one hundred and forty acres in Scranton township, the old homestead of thirty-three acres in the suburbs of Jefferson and considerable city property.

In the year 1889, Mr. Forbes was married to Miss Ida A. Williams, who was born in Sheffield, Illinois, in 1860, a daughter of Nicholas M. and Susan C. (McArthur) Williams. They have two children: Wendell W. and Doris C., born in 1900 and 1905 respectively. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they are much interested, and Mr. Forbes is serving on the board of trustees. He is likewise connected with the Masons and the Odd Fellows and is a member of the Greene County Bar Association. In politics he is astalwart republican, taking an active interest in the work of the party and has been chairman of the county central committee and a delegate to various state conventions. His opinions carry weight in the councils of his party and he greatly rejoices in its successes. In business life he has made a creditable record and in all the relations in which he has been known during the years of his residence in Greene county, he has commanded the respect and good will of those with whom he has come in contact.



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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