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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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David Edwards.

David Edwards

David Edwards is now living retired in Fontanelle but for a long period was connected with agricultural interests, and through the careful management of his farm and his well directed business affairs in that connection he won the competence that now enables him to rest from further labors, enjoying all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.  He was born in Fulton county, Illinois, on the 14th of July, 1840, and is a son of David and Melinda (Heddy) Edwards, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of South Carolina.  They were married in the former state and afterward removed to Fulton county, Illinois, where they case in their lot with the pioneer settlers.  They established their hoe upon a farm and there the father resided until his death, which occurred in March of the year in which his son David was born.  The mother afterward married a Mr. Hackey and David Edwards remained with his mother and stepfather until his thirteenth year, when he left home and took up his abode with a sister in Knox county, Illinois.  There he lived for three years, at the expiration of which period he began working as a farm hand and from that time forward has provided for his own support, so that he deserves all the credit that is implied in the term of self-made man.

Mr. Edwards was twenty-two years of age when, in response to the country's call for aid, he enlisted on the 6th of August, 1862, for service in the Union army, being enrolled as a member of Company E, One Hundred and Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  With that command he was assigned to duty, in the Army of the Tennessee and was with Sherman during the charge on Kenewas Mountain.  In that conflict, on the 27th of June, 1864, he was wounded, after which he was sent to the hospital at Allatoona, Georgia.  Following his recovery he rejoined his command in June, 1865, at Alexandria, and he was mustered out of the service in Louisville, Kentucky, receiving an honorable discharge in Chicago on the 6th of July, 1865.  His military record was most creditable, for he never faltered in the performance of duty, whether it took him to the firing line or stationed him on the lonely picket line.

When the was was over Mr. Edwards returned home to Fulton county, Illinois, and that fall was married.  About that time he purchased from his father-in-law one hundred and sixty-five acres of land and began farming on his own account, but in the fall of 1869 sold his land and with his wife and two children came by covered wagon, drawn by a team of horses, to Iowa.  He took up abode in Richland township, Adair county, where he had previously purchased four hundred and twenty acres of land.  His home place comprised three hundred and twenty acres, upon which he built a log cabin, hewing the logs and splitting the clapboards.  His home was primitive in character but it sheltered stout and determined hearts, for it was the purpose of himself and wife to gain a start on the western prairie that they might eventually provide a good home and living for their family.  Mr. Edwards broke the sod, turning the first furrows and converting the wild land into cultivable fields.  As the years passed, his labors wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of his place.  Success attended his efforts and as his financial resources increased he purchased other lands from time to time until he was the owner of sixteen hundred acres.  For several years he cultivated from six hundred to eight hundred acres himself and he became an extensive cattle feeder, being widely recognized as one of the foremost farmers and stockmen of Adair county.  He added many modern equipments and improvements to his place and conducted his interests along progressive lines.  About six or seven years ago he divided nine hundred and sixty acres of land among his children, showing that his ambition to gain a good home and a competence for the members of his household had been realized.  In March, 1913, he removed to Fontanelle, where he purchased the J. H. Hulbert mansion, one of the finest if not the finest residence in Adair county, it costing thirteen thousand dollars to build the house without counting anything for grounds or other improvements.  Prior to this time Mr. Edwards had replaced his pioneer cabin with a country residence costing seven thousand dollars.

On the 28th of September, 1865, Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Miss Polly Ann Maxwell, of Fulton county, Illinois, by whom he had ten children, namely:  Anna, Eliza, Frank, Absalom, Martha, May, Sarah, Charles, Alma and Gertie.  His first wife died some years ago, after which he wedded Miss Mary Myers, of Adair county, by whom he had on child, a daughter, Belle, but the mother died in 1914.

Mr. Edwards is a republican in his political views but the honors and emoluments of office have to attraction for him.  He has always preferred to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs and has lived the life of an active, energetic farmer who has carefully and intelligently directed the work of the fields and his stock-raising interests.  In time he became one of the most substantial citizens of his part of the state and it is fitting that the evening of his life should be spent amid such pleasant surroundings as he finds in his attractive home without the necessity of working longer in order to meet life's demands.  He may truly be called a self-made man and his record should serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others, showing what may be accomplished through individual effort.



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