IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


William H. Dunning, the owner of valuable farming property in Monona Township, Clayton County, was born in Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio, October 25, 1840. Little is known definitely concerning the genealogical history of the family, other than that they were of Welsh and English descent. His father, Vine Dunning, was born in Vermont, removed thence to Ohio, and about 1849 took his family to Lime Rock county, Wis. Four years later he settled in Franklin Township, Allamakee County, Iowa, where his death occurred at the age of sixty-five years. He was a man of liberal education and was anxious that his children should have every possible advantage; when a school was opened in the village of Hardin he built a house there, in which his children lived while attending the school.

The lady who in 1829 became the wife of Vine Dunning bore the maiden name of Rebecca Ann Peet, and was born in Massachusetts, November 24, 1809, being of English descent. When a child she accompanied her parents to New York. At an advanced age she had the misfortune to fall and break her hip, and the injury thus received resulted in her death July 9, 1891. Her last days were spent on the old home farm in Franklin Township. Our subject was one of nine children, there being five sons and four daughters.

The eldest of the family, F.A., for many years Trustee of Franklin Township, still occupies the old homestead there; Juliette C. died unmarried; Mary E., who was three times married, had but one child, Frank Hall, now living near Manchester, Iowa; William H.; Marvin B. is a farmer in Delaware County; Martha is the wife of G.H. Atwood, of Northwood, Worth County, Iowa; Edward H. is a stockman at Luana, Clayton County, Iowa; Harriet is the wife of Edgar Young, of Dakota; George, the youngest of the household, is engaged as a farmer in Gentry County, Mo.

At the time of the removal to Iowa the subject of this sketch was about thirteen years of age. He attended the school at Hardin, but with that exception remained on the home farm assisting his father until he attained his majority. During the last year spent at home his father paid him wages. After working as a farm hand one year he bought a farm adjoining his father's place, and to this new home, in 1862, he brought his bride, Emeline Jemison, a native of Greene County, Pa. Her grandfather, John Jemison, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Her father, David, was born in Greene county in 1821 and in 1849 came to Iowa, settling on a farm in Postville Township, Allamakee County, where his death occurred. The wife and mother, Sarah (Burge) Jemison, was born in Pennsylvania and now makes her home at Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Mrs. Dunning is the eldest of nine children, of whom seven were daughters and two sons. The others are, Isabelle, who married Edward H. Dunning and died at the age of twenty-eight; John, of Indianola, Warren County, Iowa; Mary, wife of Edward Henry, a real-estate dealer in Chicago; Sarah, wife of Lawrence Rosier, of Labette County, Kan., where he is a merchant; Margaret J., who married James Harris, now a retired farmer of Postville, Iowa; Frances, who married David Eaton at twenty years of age and died when twenty-five; Virginia, who died at the age of two and one-half years; and David, the youngest of the family.

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dunning. David Vine was educated at the Upper Iowa University and is now superintending a farm in Franklin Township; he married Jane Lytle and has one child, Roy; Herbert, who is single, resides with his parents and is connected with a creamery; Henry married Mattie Pearson, and they have one child, Harrison. He is tilling the soil of the farm in Postville Township that his mother inherited from her father's estate. The only daughter, Emma, an accomplished young lady, has considerable musical ability and has been given a fine education in that art.

Settling upon their present farm in Monona Township in 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Dunning have since made this place their home. By careful management they have acquired the ownership of one hundred and ninety-three acres, all of which is highly cultivated. Politically Mr. Dunning is a firm Republican; he has advocated the principles of the party since its organization, but has never aspired to political honors, preferring to devote his attention to private enterprises.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894, pg 463-464
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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