IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

James Kerr
Highland Twp.

James Kerr was born in the town of Drumnastrade, County of Tyrone, May 12, 1820. His parents were Thomas and Maria (McCanna) Kerr. James worked on his father's farm and attended school until nineteen when he came alone to the United States, landed in New York City, and soon after became cook on board a sloop running between New York and Kingston, on the Hudson River. Two years after he shipped before the mast on a regular line of briggs running between New York City and Savannah, Ga., remained two years, then sailed from Toronto, Canada, to all points on Lakes; Ontario, Erie and Michigan. In 1848 he engaged in farming near Elgin, Ill., when he sailed from Chicago on Lake Michigan until fall of 1849, one season, when he returned to Elgin, Ill., and soon after married Elizabeth Binnie, March 5, 1850, at Big Foot Prairie, Wis. She was born in Airdrie, Landrichshire, Scotland, May 5, 1833; she was a daughter of Robert and Agnes (McClarin) Binnie; she came with her parents to America when sixteen. After Mr. and Mrs. Kerr were married he farmed in Kane County, Ill., until July, 1855, when they settled in Clayton County, Ia., and bought their present farm on section 17, Highland Township, where they have since resided. Mr. and Mrs. Kerr have had fifteen children, fourteen living, viz.: Thomas, who married Ella Moats; Agnes, wife of William Young; Marie, wife of Geo. Fairweather; Robert, married Jennie Paddleford; James, clerking in Chicago; Hannah, residing in Chicago; John, Lydia, Anna, Urias, Eddie, Elizabeth, Henry and Jessie residing with their parents on the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Kerr are members of the Presbyterian church at Dundee, Ill. In politics he is a Republican, and has been a supporter of this party since its organization. He owns a fine farm of 580 acres on sections 15, 17 and 18, Highland Township, all under cultivation except seventy acres timber; he grows grain and is an extensive stock-raiser. He is one of the old settlers and enterprising representative men of Clayton County, where he has been identified since July 12, 1855.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, p. 841


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