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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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William Steele.

William Steele, a successful farmer and stockman living on section 19, Eureka township, was born March 28, 1876, in La Salle county, Illinois, a son of John and Jeanette (Sharp) Steele.  The father was born in England and was a coal miner.  The mother was a native of Scotland and they were married in La Salle, Illinois.  With his parents John Steele crossed the Atlantic and went to Morris, Illinois, where he worked in the mines, devoting his entire life to that occupation.  He died in Chicago after an operation, but his widow survives and yet makes her home in Morris.

William Steele continued under the parental roof until he reached adult age but earned his living before attaining his majority.  He was educated in the common schools and at twenty-one years of age began working as a farm hand, in which manner he was employed for three years.  In 1900 he came to Adair county, Iowa, and for four years cultivated rented farms in Eureka township, but during that period carefully saved his earnings, as it was his desire to own a farm.  His diligence and economy at length enabled him to realize his hope and he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 19, Eureka township, where he now resides.  He immediately located upon that place and has since made it his home, devoting his time to general farming, including the raising of both grain and stock.  He now has a well improved farm property, thoroughly modern in its equipment and lacking in none of the accessories and conveniences of the model farm of the twentieth century.  The buildings are commodious and substantial, the fields are well tilled and the farm machinery is of the latest invention.

On the 20th of February, 1900, Mr. Steele was married to Miss Callie Butt, a daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Cook) Butt, both of whom were natives of Glousestershire, England, and were descended from old English families.  They were married there and came to the United States in 1865, settling in Joliet, Illinois, where for many years Mr. Butt was employed as an engineer in the steel mills.  His wife died in Joliet twenty-one years ago and in 1900 he came to Adair county, where he has since made his home with his daughter Mrs. Steele.  To Mr. and Mrs. Steele have been born four children:  Lewis, who was born November 17, 1900;  La Verne, September 9, 1905;  Phillis, April 24, 1909;  and Merritt, August 21, 1912.  The children are attending the public school near their home.

Mr. Steele is recognized as one of the stalwart republicans of his part of the county, doing active, earnest and effective work to advance the interests of the party.  He has served for five terms as school director in district No. 4, but is not filling the position at the present time.  Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows lodge and Modern Woodmen camp at Anita.  All other interests, however, are subservient to his chosen life work and he is meeting with success in the cultivation of his fields and in the breeding, raising and feeding of hogs and cattle.  His business judgment is sound and his clear insight into trade transactions enables him to conduct all business with profit, yet in his dealings he has never been known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen.



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