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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Rufus Underwood.

Rufus Underwood is the owner of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 8, Eureka township, and for twenty-eight years has been engaged in raising and feeding cattle.  He was born in Warren county, Illinois, February 4, 1845, his parents being Oliver and Polly (Culver) Underwood.  Both were natives of New York and the father was a lumberman and sawmill man.  He went to Illinois in 1841, purchased land and turned his attention to farming.  He was one of the first men to try to cross the prairies to Chicago and on one trip he disappeared and was never heard from again.  He was married ere he left New York and his wife survived him, dying in Warren county, Illinois.

Rufus Underwood attended school in the home district and remained upon the home farm until he reached man's estate.  Three years later he came to Iowa, making his way to Madison county, where he engaged in farming.  He bought a place there and resided on his farm for eleven years, coming thence to Adair county in 1881, after disposing of his land in Madison county.  He then purchased one hundred and twenty acres on section 8, Eureka township, and has since added a tract of forty acres, so that he now has a good farm, covering a quarter section.  He raises the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and annually gathers good crops of corn and grain.  He feeds both cattle and hogs and has been successfully engaged in feeding cattle for twenty-eight years, keeping on hand good grades of stock, and shipping from one to four carloads annually.

In 1866 occurred the marriage of Mr. Underwood and Miss Lucy B. Perine, a daughter of Daniel K. and Dorcas (Cox) Perine.  The father was a native of Clermont county, Ohio, and a blacksmith by trade.  The mother was born in North Carolina and they were married in the Buckeye state, where they continued to reside until Mrs. Underwood was about nine years of age, when they removed westward to Warren county, Illinois, where she formed the acquaintance of Mr. Underwood.  Mrs. Perine died in that county, after which Mr. Perine came to Iowa and spent his last days in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Underwood in Madison county, there passing away in the year 1880.  To our subject and his wife have been born four children.  Aurilla became the wife of B. F. Carnefix, and died at the age of forty-five years, leaving five children:  Mabel, Oca, Ora, Asher and Ilda.  Mr. Carnefix still resides in Stuart, Iowa.  Van, a resident farmer of Eureka township, married Eva Pierce, and they have three children:  Bernice, Rex and Claire.  Minnie is the wife of John W. Norton, a resident farmer of Prussia township, and they have one child, Istia.  Millie, the youngest of the family, is still at home.

In his political views Mr. Underwood is a democrat.  He has served as road boss and as school director for several years.  His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.  They are well known in the community where they live and for thirty-four years they have resided upon the same farm.  Great changes have occurred in the county during this period, for the evidences of frontier life have given way before the encroachments of modern civilization.  Wild land has been converted into good farms and Mr. Underwood is numbered among those who have been active in upholding high standards in agricultural work, his business affairs being so wisely conducted that he has won substantial success.



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