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Posted By: volunteer
Date: 3/22/2009 at 06:00:03

JOHN W. OATS, a prominent farmer of Louisa County, Iowa, residing on section 8, Union Township, was born in Elkhart County, Ind., in 1844, and is a son of William and Emily (Mitchel) Oats, the former a native of Indiana, and the latter of Ohio. The paternal grandfather was a native of Germany, while the maternal grandfather was of German descent. The father of our subject was a wagon-maker by trade, and in 1852 emigrated to Cedar County, Iowa, settling in Rochester, where he established a carriage and wagon manufactory, and there carried on that line of business until his death, which occurred in 1856, at the age of thirty-six years. One year previous, when twenty-nine years of age, Mrs. Oats, who was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was called to her final rest. They were the parents of four children: John W., of this sketch; James A., who is now living in Smith County, Kan., is a farmer by occupation; Benjamin K. is a clerk in St. Joseph, Mich.; and Susan E. is the wife of J. Scooley, of West Branch, Iowa.

When twelve years of age our subject came to Columbus City, Iowa, and for a short time made his home with his uncle, Leonidas Mitchel, after which he took up his residence with William Ed- mondson, a farmer of Union Township, with whom he lived for eighteen years. As soon as he had attained sufficient age he enlisted in the war for the Union, in August, 1863, and was assigned to the 8th Iowa Cavalry, in which he served for two years or until the close of the war. He participated in many of the hard-fought battles, including Atlanta; Franklin, Tenn.; Nashville, the entire Atlanta campaign. Missionary Ridge, Big Shanty, Marietta, Snake Gap, Kennisaw Mountain; Kingston, Ga.; the charge on Sabine and the battle of Tuscaloosa, Ala. He also engaged in some scouting expeditions, and was under fire most of the time of his service. After receiving his discharge Mr. Oats returned
to Louisa County, Iowa, and worked as a farm hand for a ye&r, and then rented land for three years. On the 27th of September, 1867, he was united in matrimony with Isabella J. Duncan, who was born in Louisa County, and is a daughter of James K. Duncan. Mr. Oats' first purchase of land was made in 1871, and consisted of eighty acres on section 20 of Columbus City Township, where he made his home for ten years, and in 1882 bought 160 acres on section 8 of Union Township, where he has since continued to reside. He now owns 400 acres of the finest farming land in the county, which he has under a high state of cultivation. His business is general farming, and as he is enterprising and industrious, his life must necessarily be successful.

Mr. and Mrs. Oats are the parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Maggie, who is at home; Ira A. and Ada Elmira. This worthy couple are members of the Reform Church, and in political sentiment Mr. Oats is a Democrat. He is one of the early settlers of Louisa County, has witnessed almost its entire growth and development, has aided in its advancement, and is numbered among its best citizens. He has gained the confidence and good-will of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact, and is held in high esteem throughout the community.
Source: Portraits and Biographies copyrighted by Chapman Bros. 1885


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