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James B. Shade


Posted By: Ruth Groesbeck McDowell (email)
Date: 3/5/2018 at 16:43:34

From "History of Union County, Iowa - From the Earliest Historic Times to 1908" by George A. Ide

James B. Shade, a resident farmer of New Hope township, living on section 18, is one of the popular and well known citizens of this community, familiarly called Jim by his numerous friends. While his social qualities gain him the kindly regard of those with whom he comes in contact, he is known also as one of the active and progressive farmers and stock-raisers, owning and cultivating a valuable farm of seven hundred and fifty acres, which in its neat and well improved appearance indicates his careful supervision and practical methods. He has lived in Union county since the spring of 1876. His birth occurred in Perry county, Pennsylvania, July 25, 1857. He was a son of John and Mary (Orwin) Shade, also natives of Pennsylvania. He was only eight years old when his mother died and was left an orphan at the age of fourteen by the death of his father.

J. B. Shade was reared to the age of seventeen years in the county of his nativity and pursued his education in the public schools. He early became familiar with the work of the farm and was also employed in sawmills in his home locality. He came west when a young man in 1876, making his way direct from Pennsylvania to Union county, being influenced in his choice of a location by the fact that he had friends living at Thayer. Following his arrival here he worked at farm labor by the month for several years. He next went west in 1882 and was engaged in mining in Montana for seven or eight years. He afterward returned to Union county, Iowa, and in his farming operations has met with the success which always crowns persistent, well directed and honorable effort.

On the 24th of October, 1888, Mr. Shade was married to Miss Delia Groesbeck, a daughter of Henry Groesbeck and a native of Union county, where her girlhood days were passed. Following their marriage they located upon the farm where Mr. Shade now resides. He commenced here with two Hundred and eighty acres of land, which was the Henry Groesbeck estate. With characteristic energy Mr. Shade began to till the soil and bring the fields under cultivation and as the years passed he gathered rich crops, for which he found a ready sale on the market, so that his labors annually returned to him a good income. In 1897, however, sorrow came to the household occasioned by the death of his wife on the 24th of January of that year. She left two children, True and Anna May. More than six years later Mr. Shade was again married, Miss Blanche Day becoming his wife on the 30th of September, 1903. She was born and reared in this county and is a daughter of Elias Day, a farmer of Jones township.

Mr. Shade has built upon his farm a good two-story brick residence, heated throughout with furnace and supplied with many other modern conveniences which add to the comfort of life. He has also built a large barn and good sheds upon his place, has divided the farm into fields of convenient size by well kept fences and in fact has all modern improvements upon his property. He has also extended the boundaries of the farm from time to time by judicious investment in land until he now owns seven hundred and fifty acres, all in one body and constituting one of the best farms of the county. In addition to tilling the soil he has made a business of raising and feeding stock, specializing in high grade cattle, horses and hogs.

Politically Mr. Shade is a democrat, voting with the party on state and national questions but casting an independent local ballot when no party issue is involved. He has been elected and served as township trustee and subsequently was school treasurer for a number of years. In 1904 he was elected a member of the county board of supervisors for a term of three years and for one year served as its chairman. He was also a member of the more important committees of the board but on the expiration of his three years’ term he declined further political honors for the purpose of giving his undivided attention to his business affairs which, capably managed, are bringing to him gratifying success. His wife is a member of the Adventist church, while Mr. Shade belongs to the Woodmen and Fraternal Insur ance order. Both are highly esteemed in the community and Mr. Shade has been a* resident here for thirty-two years, so that he is numbered among the early settlers and has been an interested witness of the growth of town and cities, while in the work of agricultural development and improvement he has borne his full part. His superior business ability is widely acknowledged and he has long since passed from the ranks of the many to stand among the successful few who owe their success to their own enterprise and diligence and whose business methods have ever been straightforward and commendable.

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