JUNIUS CHILDS, GROVE TOWNSHIP.
Fired with the adventurous spirit and following the example of his ancestors for generations, Junius Childs, chairman of the Board of County Supervisors of Cass county and one of the leading farmers of this portion of the State, in his young manhood left the centers which had grown populous around him and sought new hopes, prospects and opportunities in the farther West. As his forefathers helped to conquer and develop the regions in which they planted their hopes in early life, so he has helped materially to build up and make great, prosperous and wealthy this section, whither he came when he was young.
Mr. Childs is a native of Bureau county, Ill., and was born there on November 8, 1844. He is the son of Horace A. and Elizabeth (Franks) Childs, the former a native of the State of New York and the latter of Kentucky. The father was a farmer, and when a young man came west to Bureau county, Ill., where he took up wild land which he improved into an excellent farm. There also he married and became the father of nine children. Of these seven are living, all in Iowa but one, although Junius is the only one resident in Cass county. The father died in 1854, and at Creston, Iowa, the mother passed away in 1892. The father was an excellent business man of good education, and one of those universally useful men who are found in every community, that do various kinds of business for their less informed friends and neighbors. He filled a number of local offices, and enjoyed, in a marked degree, the confidence and esteem of the people among whom he lived and labored.
Junius Childs was reared and educated in his native county, but attended only the common schools. At an early age he began to assist on the farm and after his father's death took entire charge of it. In the autumn of 1870 he started on a prospecting tour to western Iowa, arriving in Cass county on September 20, after a pleasant trip of sixteen days, in which he had his family and all his household goods on one wagon. Unlike many such jaunts through the country at that and earlier times, this one was not beset with difficulties and privations, and afforded an agreeable diversion from a somewhat monotonous previous existence. He had purchased a tract of eighty acres of prairie land in Grove township, the fall before, and on this, after the second arrival, he built a small frame dwelling which is now used as a granary, and, taking up his residence in that house, he began breaking up his land and putting in a crop. His success was pronounced from the beginning, and steadily increased from year to year, for he had good land and was a skillful farmer, and he applied his energies to his work with unflagging zeal and industry. Moreover, the family was frugal and economical and did not consume its substance in extravagant living. From time to time the father bought additional land, and brought it also under cultivation, until he now owns and farms 825 acres of first rate farming ground, which is highly productive and improved with good buildings of every kind needed for his purposes. He has also for years given attention to feeding and shipping stock on a large scale, handling ten to fifteen carloads of cattle a year and a large number of hogs.
On February 17, 1870, Junius Childs was married in Illinois to Sophronia Studyvin, a native of the same county as himself, and a daughter of Stephen and Nancy (Mercer) Studyvin, who were born, reared and married in Illinois, and became early pioneers in Bureau county, that State. Mr. and Mrs. Childs have had three children: Harry E., who died some years ago; Grace L., wife of L. C. Temple, of Lewis; and Alice E., wife of R. E. Schindle of South Omaha. In politics Mr. Childs is a Republican. He has served on the Board of County Supervisors nine years, as township trustee nine yearsw, and as a member of the School Board a number of years. He has also often been a delegate for his party to county conventions. He is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order, and finds much enjoyment in the assemblies of the fraternity. One of his brothers was a Union soldier during the Civil War and laid his life on the altar of his country in Georgia. He belonged in the Ninety-third Illinois Infantry.
A residence of thirty-six years in this country and an active participation in all phases of its public life, have made Mr. Childs well and favorably known throughout the county, while his decided business ability, his success at whatever he undertakes, and his upright life and sterling citizenship, have made him universally respected. He is one of the representative men in this part of the State, and on all occasions and in every way he maintains his rank by merit, and an earnest interst in all that tends to the improvement of the county and its people.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 299-300.