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ALSTON, Henry C. - 1912 Bio (1862/3-1932)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 10/29/2002 at 02:43:07

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 303-305


The attractiveness of Jefferson county as a place of residence is indicated in the fact that many of her native sons elect to remain within her borders and enjoy the opportunities here offered, feeling that no better advantages in a business way can be obtained elsewhere. Of this class Henry C. ALSTON is a representative and that he has made good use of time and opportunity is indicated in the creditable position to which he has attained in the business world. He is now engaged in real-estate operations, is also president of the Fairfield Gas & Electric Light Company and is identified financially with other important industrial and financial interests. He was born near Fairfield, October 31, 1862, a son of William and Martha (VAUGHN) ALSTON. Little is known concerning his maternal ancestry, for his mother died during the infancy of the son Henry. The father, who was born in England, in 1811, came alone to America and settled in Illinois in 1849. For a time he worked in that state and then went to Alexander, Iowa, after which he came to Fairfield about 1843. This district was then largely wild and unimproved and from the government he entered a tract of land about three miles west of the city. The greater part of his life was spent in Fairfield, his time and attention being largely given to the development of a farm a mile and a half from the city and in addition he also conducted a general store for a number of years, continuing actively in that business until about 1875, when he retired from the mercantile field. Later he concentrated his energies upon the real-estate business, dealing extensively in land and negotiating many important property transfers. For a number of years he served as a member of the city council, to which position he was elected on the democratic ticket, having always been a stanch supporter of the party. His death occurred March 9, 1896. Of his family of ten children the following reached years of maturity: William E., living in Fairfield; Mary, the wife of P. C. BARNES, of Los Angeles, California; and Henry C.
The last named has spent his entire life in Jefferson county and after attending the public schools he continued his education in Burlington Business College. He made his initial step in the business world as an employee in the Fairfield Furniture Factory, where he remained four years. Subsequently he was engaged in the dairy business two years and afterward devoted fourteen years to the laundry business, establishing the first steam laundry of the city. That undertaking brought him a substantial measure of prosperity and since his retirement from that field of activity he has been dealing in real estate with good success. He is likewise well known as an orchardist, as the president of the Fairfield Gas & Electric Light Company and as a stockholder in the Iowa Malleable Iron Company and the First National Bank of Fairfield. His interests are thus varied and important but his resourcefulness and energy enable him to meet every condition that arises and to readily and correctly solve the business problems which are always to be met in the conduct of any commercial or industrial undertaking.

In 1884, Mr. ALSTON was united in marriage to Miss Anna B. RICHARDSON, who was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1865. Both Mr. and Mrs. ALSTON hold membership in the Presbyterian church and in Fairfield and throughout the county have many warm friends. His political allegiance has been given to the democratic party and his fraternal relations are with the Knights of Pythias. He is also a member of the Commercial Club and cooperates in its various projects for the business unbuilding and improvement of Fairfield in many ways. He has always lived in Jefferson county and the comrades of his youth have become the friends of his manhood-a fact which is indicative of a well spent, quiet and useful life.

I am copying this information for the benefit of genealogical research and am not related to said individuals.


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