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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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F. E. Sears.

F. E. Sears, of Fontanelle, is a well known landowner and is manager of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Adair county.  He has always lived in this county, his birth having occurred in Jackson township, on the 27th of February, 1868, his parents being John and Philinda J. (Perry) Sears.  The father, a native of Switzerland, was brought to the United States by his parents when a child of but three years, the family home being established in Ohio, where John Sears was reared.  After attaining his majority he wedded Philinda J. Perry, a native of Vermont.  Not long afterward they left Ohio and came to Iowa, settling in Dallas county, where they resided until 1853, when they came to Adair county.  At that time there were but ten families in the county and the Sears were indeed pioneers of this district.  The work of development had scarcely been begun and progress remained to the future.  John Sears entered a quarter section of land in Jackson township, for which he paid the usual government price of a dollar and a quarter per acre.  It was entirely destitute of improvements, being covered with the native prairie grasses, but he broke the sod and continued the work of development, prosecuting his labors according to the best methods of farming known at that time.  Upon that place he continued to make his home until his death, and after his demise F. E. Sears purchased the farm from the other heirs and still owns the old homestead so that it has never passed out of the possession of the family since they received their title from the government.

The early experiences of F. E. Sears were such as usually fall to the lot of the farm-bred boy.  As soon as old enough to handle the plow he took his place in the fields and in the district schools he pursued his education.  In the school of experience, too, he has learned many valuable lessons which have led to the careful direction of his activities along business lines.  In the summer in which he attained his twentieth year he work for wages for his father and the following summer he began farming on his own account upon a tract of eighty acres of land which had been deeded to him by his father when he attained his majority.  He lived upon that farm for eight years and upon the death of his mother he purchased the old homestead property and removed to it, there residing until 1905.  At that date he became a resident of Fontanelle, where he has since resided in order to give his children the advantage of instruction offered in the city schools.  He owns a beautiful residence, holds title to the old homestead, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of rich and valuable land, and also owns a farm of eighty-two and one-half acres lying across the road from the homestead.  Both of his farms are now operated by tenants and bring Mr. Sears a good annual income.  In addition to his agricultural interests he became one of the organizers of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company and in 1908 was made manager, in which capacity he has since served.  He is thus controlling an important public utility and it is his object to give the best possible service to the patrons of the line.

In 1890 Mr. Sears was united in marriage to Miss Bessie Brown, of Jackson township, this county, by whom he has two children, namely:  Eugene, who was graduated from the high school at Fontanelle with the class of 1910 and is now a lineman of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company;  and Pearl, a high-school student.

Mr. Sears is identified with the Woodmen of the World and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Both are highly esteemed, their sterling traits of character winning for them trust and warm regard.  Mr. Sears has so directed his efforts in a business way that substantial results have accrued and yet he has had no opportunities that do not come to other men.  It has been because he is persistent and energetic and because he desired success and was willing to work for it that he has gained the place that he now occupies in business circles.



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