submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007


SAFLEY—At his home, two miles north of this place, on Friday morning, January 9, 1880, Mr. James Safley, aged sixty-seven years, two months and fifteen days.

The last year has has added to the mortuary list the names of an unusually large number of the pioneers of Cedar county, and the above sad announcement gives to it another as well and favorably known as any among either the dead or living. Mr. James Safley was born at Dalhousie, Scotland, on the 24th of October, 1812. In 1835 he emigrated to this country, coming almost at once to Indiana, where he lived for two years. He then moved to Cohoes, New York, where he lived until 1840, when he started for Iowa, where his brother John had already been settled for four years—and the times and the manners of immigration to Iowa, even in 1840, will perhaps be better understood if we add the fact that Mr. John Safley went with his team and wagon clear to Chicago to meet the newcomers. For the first three years Mr. Safley lived in Linn county, but in 1843 he settled on the farm south of Red Oak where he lived at the time of his death and which he had made one of the best farms and pleasantest homes in the country—his industry and thrift having been well rewarded.

Mr. Safley was three times married—in 1837 to Janet Safley, in 1848 to Mrs. Eliza Peet, and in 1060 to Margaret Ritchie, the latter of whom, together with four sons and five daughters, survive him. Six of his children crossed the dark river before him, including some whose mature years had fulfilled the rave promise of youth.

The severe illness which finally proved fatal was resisted so long by a naturally hardy constitution and great force of will that lost hope revived, and the very day before his death his condition was hardly deemed as critical as ten days previous. His death is a loss not only to his family, but to the community and the State—always in need of thrifty, industrious and substantial citizens, and especially of men of positive character who, like Mr. Safley, always have the courage of their convictions, fearlessly express, and ably defend them.

His funeral at the Red Oak Presbyterian church, on Sabbath, was largely attended, Rev. C. Axtell officiating, and his remains were interred in the beautiful little cemetery hard by.

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