WILLIAM M. LOREE is one of the active business men of Vinton, where he has resided since 1856. He was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Mass., April 15, 1834. His father, William M. Loree, is a native of New Jersey, while his mother, Frances M. (Butler) Loree, was a native of Massachusetts. They were the parents of two sons- William M., of whom we now write, and A. M., now residing in Marshalltown, Iowa, engaged in the hardware trade. His father was by trade a weaver and manufacturer of woolen goods. In 1842 he moved to Medina County, Ohio, where he followed the business of manufacturer of woolen goods for many years. Together with his wife he was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Loree died in 1848, and Mr. Loree was again married, taking as a companion Harriet M. Rhodes, a resident of Oberlin, Ohio, but a native of Vermont. They now reside in Vinton.
William M. Loree, the subject of this sketch, completed his educational course in the High Schools of Medina County, Ohio. In early life he was employed as clerk in a grocery store and conceived a taste for the business, with which he has been identified much of the time since. When seventeen years of age he went to Columbus, Ohio, and at twenty embarked in the grocery trade. The following year, 1855, he was married to Miss Jennie G. Hawkins, born in Fremont, Ohio, in 1833. In 1856 the young couple came to Benton County, locating at Vinton, where Mr. Loree soon after engaged in the mercantile trade, and has since been actively identified with the business interests of the place. Few men have been more energetic and industrious, and success has crowned his efforts. In 1857 he commenced the manufacture of boots and shoes, and continued it until near the close of the war, when he engaged in the drug trade, continuing in that line for nine years. In 1879 he embarked in the milling business. Subsequently he was instrumental and took a leading part in establishing the Vinton Creamery, an institution which has been quite successful, its products bringing the highest price in the markets of Philadelphia and New York. He also assisted in establishing the creamery at Dysart, Tama County. Mr. Loree shipped the first poultry from Vinton, and for twenty years was extensively engaged in that business. He shipped seven carloads of dressed poultry in one shipment, the largest amount ever shipped by any firm at this point. When Mr. Loree first came to Vinton, it consisted of a few straggling houses, the country was undeveloped, and the mercantile trade far below par. All has since been changed, and to the foresight, industry and perseverance of such men as himself the change can be attributed. In addition to other business interests, Mr. Loree is a stockholder in the Farmer's Loan and Trust Company, of Vinton. Feeling the need of a little relaxation from business cares, in 1878, in company with his wife and daughter, he made a trip to and visited all the points of interest in Europe, including Liverpool, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, through England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland. Scotland and Ireland, and made protracted visits to the above cities; while in Paris he visited the World's Exposition; he crossed the Alps mountains, and traversed the whole length of the Rhine.
In politics Mr. Loree has never taken any very active interest, content to keep reasonably well posted on the affairs of his country, and voting as his best judgment dictates. He is not a member of any church, but is a promoter of and has given liberally to all religious enterprises. Mr. and Mrs. Loree are the parents of two children- Annie, now the wife of Charles Briggs, boot and shoe maker of Vinton; she has one son-Clinton L., now two years of age, and Charles L., in the grocery business with his father, and married to Miss Nellie Rosa.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 182-183.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on June 16th, 2007. Copyright © 2007 The IAGenWeb Project.