Go to: Abel Powley Page Index * Harrison County IAGenWeb * Abel's Biography
The Abel Powley Family
1/21/1833 to 1/2/1899;
(65yrs, 11mo, 12days)
Click for Abel's Family chart
and Paternal family chart.
7/16/1831 to 11/14/1899;
(68yrs, 3mo, 29days)
Click for Mary's Maternal family chart
and Paternal family chart.

CHILDREN (with links to their Family Charts)       Also see the Abel Powley Family Chart

Abel POWLEY, a farmer on Section 36, Lincoln Township, came to Harrison County, January 1, 1873, and bought the farm he now occupies, which was partly improved, and for which he paid $40 per acre. He has since built a house 16x25 feet with a wing14x24 feet and a kitchen 16 ft square. He has two other houses on his place. At first his farm consisted of 380 acres, but since has added to his landed estate until now he has 1500 acres in Harrison County, and nearly all in Lincoln Township, 700 acres of which are under cultivation.

Unlike many other men who came to Harrison County, this man set his stakes, and remained in one place, and is noted for always being home. It is said for six months at a time, he has not been seen in town.

To learn something of this man's earlier life, it may be said that he was born at Repps, England, February 16, 1834. Although other accounts, especially those on Abel's gravestone, place his birth date as January 21, 1833.
Abel�s Cyphering Book, (math exercises book), dated July 8, 1847 from Potter Heigham�s National School, is in William Powley�s care, and at 156 years old is in amazingly excellent condition. The book measures 7.5 x 9.5 inches and is � inch thick with 55 double-sided pages. Although this is my feeling, my sense is the book is entirely of Abel�s hand with the mathematical exercises self-copied into his booklet from the blackboard.
Abel is the son of JOHN and MARY (Howes) POWLEY who had 12 children, he being the second eldest: Louisa, Abel, John W., George(deceased), Eliza, William, Noah, two deceased, two died in infancy, and Mary Ann. Our subject lived in England until he was 19 years of age, when he accompanied his parents to America in 1852, landing in New York, where for their first meal of victuals they had buckwheat cakes, the first they had ever eaten. Our subject came from New York City to Medina, New York and hired out to work on a farm, and lived in that vicinity for 13 years. Abel then bought a farm of 160 acres just a few miles North of Medina on the shore of Lake Ontario, in New York, Orleans County, Yates Township, and ran in debt $10,000. He operated the farm referred to above for about 4 years, and then exchanged it for his present farm without ever seeing the one he traded for, which however proved to be one of the best in Iowa.

Abel's grandfather was ROBERT POWLEY (click for chart).

Abel was married, December 25, 1855, to MARY WOOLSTON, daughter of JOHN DAVY and SARAH (BELL) WOOLSTON, natives of Hickling, England, who were the parents of the following eight children; Robert, William, John, Sarah, Anne, James, Mary, and John David. Three of these children are living in America. (You may click on Mary's paternal lineage from John David, and her maternal lineage from Sarah (Bell).)

Abel and Mary POWLEY are the parents of twelve children, six preceding them in death. Of their sons who grew to adulthood, five lived and farmed in Harrison County, except the oldest, Benjamin, who lived in Mills County, and later Holt and Cuming Counties in Nebraska.

Abel belongs to Masonic Lodge, No. 402 of the Masonic order at Woodbine.

Source: 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa, and William Albert Powley, great grandson of Abel and Mary POWLEY.
Contact Researcher: William Powley at (powleyw @ cox.net)
(eliminate the spaces in the address above prior to sending)

POWLEY Brothers: from left (our belief is); Albert A, Horace M, George B, Abel E, and Fred. Benjamin is believed to be absent.
The Abel POWLEY farm, traded for prior to 1873 was in Harrison County Iowa, Lincoln Township, Section 36, four (4) miles Northeast of Woodbine, and one (1) mile West of the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. Abel's farm is represented in the pictures below. Sons Benjamin (16) and Albert A (12) were reported to have preceded Abel and Mary to their Iowa farm in mid-1872, to prepare the farm for the family's arrival in 1873.

The family home (click here for picture) was located close to where the grain bin has been placed in the first picture.

These pictures were taken by William Albert POWLEY in May, 1985.

Abel and Mary POWLEY were buried in the cemetery at Woodbine, Iowa. The grave stone for Abel and Mary is pictured below. These pictures are in the possession of William Albert POWLEY and were photographed in May, 1985.

Index of Abel Powley Pages

Main Charts:    
Abel (subject) --- John (father) --- Robert (grandfather)

Descendant Charts:    
Benjamin -- Albert -- Ida -- Horace -- Abel E. -- George -- Fred

Repps, England -- Yates, New York -- Woodbine, Iowa

Other Pages:    
Albert Powley Pictoral

Return to: Harrison County Home Page  | 1891 History Index

Harrison County Iowa Genealogy