OBED BLAKESLEE (DECEASED), BRIGHTON TOWNSHIP.
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This estimable and esteemed pioneer of Brighton township, this county, who passed out of his usefulness here to his reward hereafter on July 8, 1903, at the early age of fifty-eight, when it seemed there were many years of excellent service to his kind before him, was a native of Iowa, born near the city of Marion, Linn county, on the 15th of April, 1845. He was the son of Obed and Sarah E. (Morse) Blakeslee, natives of New Haven, Conn., his father dying during the October following his birth, and the widow marrying Hugh Martin several years thereafter.
Obed Blakeslee, Jr., was reared on a farm, and always followed agricultural or live-stock pursuits. In the winter of 1873 he was married, in Linn county, to Melissa Williams, a daughter of W. R. Williams, by whom he had a family of several children. Coming to Brighton township, he purchased over 400 acres of land, mostly in section 3, and by the early 'eighties had about two-thirds of it under good cultivation, and had made fine improvements upon it, including buildings, groves and an orchard. At the time of his death he was considered one of the most prosperous farmers and most worthy citizens of the county.
Mr. Blakeslee added to his original purchase of land in this county until he owned 1,280 acres, and on this large tract he raised large quantities of pop corn, shipping to the markets 15,000 to 20,000 bushels a year. He was a Democrat in political belief, and as such filled a number of local offices in his township and county. He belonged to the M. E. Church, and was a liberal contributor to its needs; but he did not confine his generosity wholly to those who were of his own household of faith, as he helped to support all the churches and every other worthy interest. Widely known throughout this section of the State, and well esteemed on all sides, his untimely death was deeply mourned, and his memory is warmly cherished.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 270.