IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


James Varley for over forty years was numbered among the honored residents of Clayton County, and he was one of its early settlers, his home being during his last few years in Elkader, where his death occurred May 11, 1894. Always active in all measures of public improvement and educatonal affairs, he held the friendship and love of all who knew him, and his death was thought to be a great loss to the community in which he had so long and honorably lived.

The birth of James Varley occurred near Wheeling, W.Va., May 6, 1816, and his father, William Varley, was a native of Maryland. At a very early day he removed to the west, making a settlement in Clayton County and building a grist-mill in Boardman Grove, which mill was one of the first erected in this region and to it the early settlers came from far and near bring their corn and wheat to be ground.

The boyhood of our subject was passed in West Virginia and there he received his education. In 1850 he came to this county and settled on land in Pony Hollow, where he successfully conducted a large farm for nearly forty years, becoming well-to-do, and then in March, 1888, feeling that he deserved a rest from his persistent labors, he retired from active cares and for the remaining six years of his life made his home in Elkader. In politics he voted with the Republican party, and religiously he was a devoted member of the United Brethren Church

October 28, 1869, our subject married Mrs. Antoinette Shippy, a native of Chautauqua County, N.Y. She is a daughter of William P. Bush, whose birth also occurred in the Empire State, and her mother, formerly Rebecca Hotchkiss, was born in Portland County of that state. Mrs. Varley passed her girlhood and received her education in the Empire State, where she married Zabin Shippy. Of that union three children were born, Adell, Adelbert and May. The family removed to Clinton County, Iowa, about 1850 and here the death of Mr. Shippy occurred in 1864. To Mr. and Mrs. Varley was born one daughter, Lilly, who is now the wife of Elzie Cary, of Estherville, this state. Mrs. Varley still continues to make her home in Elkader and is interested in the work of the Baptist church of this place, to which she belongs. She is held in the highest esteem by those who have the pleasure of her acquaintance as a lady of most excellent and lovable qualities, whose heart is kind and open to the poor and needy and who makes it her object in life to smooth the pathway of her fellows in every possible manner.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg. 414
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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