Wednesday, June 3, 2009

John M. Walton

John M. Walton

BOYD, FRY, GOWIN, WALTON

Among the well-to-do farmers of Madison township is John M. Walton, who is a native of that township, born September 18, 1876, of the marriage of Amos and Letitia (Gowin) Walton, both natives of Hendricks county, Indiana. The father was a farmer and was successfully engaged in cultivating his land until the Civil war broke out. He responded to the president's call for troops and became a member of the Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in which he served for three years, proving a courageous and loyal soldier. He was wounded five times in battle but never faltered in the performance of his duty as a defender of the Union. At the close of hostilities he returned to Indiana and about 1870 removed with his family to this county, buying land in Madison township. He devoted his energies to general farming and stock-raising upon that place until 1885, when he sold and removed to a farm south of Earlham. He continued to farm there until his demise, which occurred on the 22d of January, 1887. The family subsequently removed to Earlham and operated the hotel there for three years. His widow later married Milton Macey, who resided near Dexter and who passed away in December, 1897. In June, 1899, Mrs. Macey became the wife of 0scar K. Bales, a hardware merchant, who was then conducting a store at Dexter but in 1900 removed to Adel and is now in business there. Mrs. Bales is now sixty-nine years of age.

John M. Walton was reared and educated in this county, attending the district schools and the public schools of Earlham. He remained with his mother and stepfather until he was eighteen years of age and then began work as a farm hand. He was so occupied for five years, but at the end of that time, in connection with a brother, assumed the management of the hotel at Earlham. After one year, however, our subject went to Adair county, Iowa, and for three years rented land there. Upon his return to Madison county, he rented a farm, which he operated for two years. By the end of that time he had saved enough to enable him to purchase seventy-six acres of land on section 4, Madison township. He has since concentrated his energies upon the development of his place, the production of grain and the raising of live stock. He feeds about sixty head of cattle a year; also keeps something over one hundred head of sheep; and raises high grade hogs. He is thoroughly familiar with the principles underlying agriculture and, as he is progressive in his methods and uses up-to-date machinery, his labor is rewarded by excellent crops.

Mr. Walton was married on the 23d of January, 1900, to Miss Ella Belle Fry, a daughter of Benjamin F. and Martha J. (Boyd) Fry, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively. Mr. Fry was a farmer by occupation and in 1867, when a young man of twenty-one years, came to Madison county. He worked as a farm hand for three years and then rented land for six years, after which he went to Adair county and purchased eighty acres. He operated that place for thirty years, or until the demise of his wife, after which he retired from active life and is now making his home with our subject. Mrs. Fry died on the 29th of August, 1901, after an eleven days illness. Mr. and Mrs. Walton have a son, Paul Otis, ten years of age.

Mr. Walton is a republican and has served as treasurer of the school board for three years, doing much in that time to further the best interests of the public schools. He is a member of the Friends church and his daily life bears witness to the sincerity of his faith. All who have had dealings with him know him to be a man of strict integrity and honor, and those who have been admitted to his close friendship entertain for him the warmest regard.

Taken from the book, “The History of Madison County, Iowa, 1915”

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