Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee

Page 171 - 172



     In 1855 Abner Bond, Jr., homesteaded, apparently, a 160 acre farm three miles southwest of Elliott. The property was sold to his father in 1859, then to Frederick Reed in 1873. Mr. Reed sold the farm to Alexander Walters in 1876. The title was transferred to Mary Quick in 1877 and to L. S. Hanna in 1880, who sold the farm to Henry Jones that year.

    Henry Jones’ father had died in Ireland. Henry, along with the rest of his immediate family (his mother, five brothers-Irvine, James, Robert and two others, and his two sisters, Mary and ?) came to America in 1867, landing in Quebec and immigrating into the United States. Henry worked as a hired hand in Illinois and as a lumberjack in Oregon. His younger brothers James and Irvine helped Henry with the farm until his marriage.

    Henry Jones married Lizzie E. Read at Elizabeth, Illinois, in 1896, and together they farmed until the marriage of their daughter, Alice, who was born in December, 1899. She married Lester E. Shires, a Montgomery County native, in 1928, and these two assumed the operation of the farm and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jones moved to Elliott. Henry Jones died in 1936 and Lizzie Jones in 1940. They were parents also of James who died at age twelve, due to a fall from the Elliott public school bell tower after making some repairs.

    A new house was built in 1902, with lumber salvaged from the older house used in an east wing. The land, in the rich Nishna Valley, consists of about 2/3 second bottom or terrace land, and 1/3 “gumbo” subject to flooding. It has been a very productive and diversified family farm throughout this past century. In the early years of farming, several tomahawk stones and many arrowheads were found on the transition slope overlooking the river.

    Lester and Alice Shires had three sons: Paul, born in 1929 and now living with his wife, Pat, and family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dale, born in 1932 and now living with his wife, Helen, and family in Iowa City; and Lisle, born in 1938 and now residing in West Des Moines with his wife, Julia, and family.

    Alice Shires currently is a resident of the Griswold Care Center, renting the land to neighbor Richard Kelley.




~ Dale Shires