IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


James Partch is numbered among the honored early pioneers of Clayton County, where he settled when the land was wild and bore little promise of the great future in store for it. For a number of years he devoted himself to the pursuit of agriculture, improving and bringing under good cultivation a valuable farm. For nearly forty years his home has been made in Elkader, and during that time he has been prominently identified with all progressive and public movements of this place. Coming to Iowa almost without means, Mr. Partch by reason of his industrious qualities and good financial methods was soon enabled to acquire a compentence, becoming wel-to-do and influential in the history of the county.

The birth of our subject occurred in the town of Hinesburgh, Chittenden County, Vt., March 8, 1817, and of that county, his father, James Partch, was also a native. His death occurred in the Green Mountain State, when his son James was still an infant, and his wife, who was in her girlhood Tamar Hayes, also died in that state when her son was quite young. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Partch, was a native of England, and coming to America, settled in Connecticut in an early day. The boyhood of our subject was passed uneventfully in his native state, where he learned the details of farm work and attended the common schools. After he came to his majority he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked for a time. In 1839 he removed to Pennsylvania, where he carried on a farm and also worked at his trade.

It was in 1848 that our subject decided he could improve his fortunes by going further west, and he therefore came to the new state of Iowa to grow up with the country. Settling in Clayton County when but few improvements had been made within its limits, he successfully carried on a farm until 1856, since which time he has been partially retired from active life, though he still oversees his farm which is yet in his possession.

In 1839 Mr. Partch married Miss Lucy Barnum, who was also born in Vermont and is a daughter of Russel E. Barnum, a prominent man in Vermont. His father, Ebenezer Barnum, did valiant service in the War of the Revolution. The wife of Russel E. Barnum was, in her gorlhood, Rosanna Palmer, her birth occurring in Vermont and her death in Pennsylvania. When eight years old Mrs. Partch went with her parents to the Keystone State, where she received her education. At a very early day in the history of this county her father removed with his family here and became one of the pioneers. Both Mr. and Mrs. Partch have been witnesses of the development and gradual prosperity which have come to this section as the result of the efforts of the early settlers. The step-mother of Mrs. Partch, whose name before her marriage was Deborah Blakesley, was educated with a view to going to India as a missionary, but finally became a missionary among the Indians. She was a talented woman and started the first Sunday-school in Clayton County. Mr. and Mrs. Partch have never had any children of their own, but their hospitable home has been open to many, as they have reared several children, giving to them their kind and tender love and care. They are devoted members of the Universalist Church, and have the warm love and friendship of all who have had the pleasure of making their acquaintance. Mr. Partch is known to be a man who is just and honorable in all his relations with his fellow-men, and the confidence and respect of his townsmen are his in an eminent degree.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 355-356
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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