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