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1884 Biographies

R. W. CALKINS


R. W. Calkins came to this locality in 1868, and located on sections 28 and 33, where he still resides. R W. Calkins was born in Saratoga county, New York, June 4, 1832. He is a son of Elisha F. and Almira (Garnsey) Calkins, natives of New York. They were the parents of six children, five of whom are still living--Isaac G., of Janesville. Rock county, Wisconsin; Charles F., of Moline, Illinois; R. W., George W., of Chicago; Minerva J., wife of Henry Faircloth. In 1842 or '43, Elisha Calkins removed with his family to Rock Island county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming. He died there in 1849. His wife's death occurred at Moline in 1878. They were members of the Baptist church and he was a Whig and a strong temperance man. He was a man of more than ordinary ability and was highly respected in the county where he resided. The subject of this sketch was ten years old when he went to Illinois. He secured an academic education and at the time of his father's death was pre- pared to enter college. October 20, 1861, he was married to Mary C. S. Pruyn, of New York. Mrs. Calkins was one of a family of eight children. In August, 1861, Mr. Calkins enlisted in the Nineteenth Illinois Cavalry, company B, and rendezvoused at Camp Douglas, where he was appointed sergeant. He was afterward appointed recruiting officer, and was instrumental in raising two companies. He was transferred to the Twelfth "Illinois Cavalry in December, 1801. He again enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois regiment and was commissioned first lieutenant. The regiment was stationed at Cairo, Illinois, and took part in several raids after Price and Morgan. He returned in the fall of 1864, engaged in mercantile business. In 1868, he came to Grant township, Cass county, Iowa, and located on sections 28 and 33, where he has since resided. Here he purchased two hundred and ten acres of prairie land, then unbroken, and now has a farm of which he may well be proud. In 1876, he began the hardware business. la 1880, the firm of Calkins and King was formed and continued until January, 1884. He opened the first lumber yard and agricultural implement warehouse of the city of Anita. He is a Republican in politics and has held local offices of trust. Mr. Calkins is one of the enterprising business men of the county. Both he and his wife have been members of the Congregational church since its organization.


Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 685-686.

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