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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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W. B. Hoskins.

Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Hoskins

Nature seems to have intended that man shall enjoy a period of rest in later life.  Youth and energy fit him to undertake the more serious duties which come in early manhood and mature judgment enables him to so direct his labors as to win substantial results.  If he follows a sagacious course the result is certain and the evening of life will find him well prepared to meet its obligations without recourse to the arduous labors of earlier years.  Mr. Hoskins is among those who, formerly actively identified with farming interests, is now living retired, making is home in Greenfield.  He was born in Marshall county, Illinois, and the date of his nativity was October 12, 1844, so that he has now reached the Psalmist's allotted span of three score years and ten.  His parents, John S. and Eliza (Bonham) Hoskins, were both natives of Ohio, where they were reared and married.  Directly afterward they settled in Marshall county, Illinois, which was then a frontier district and had bur few inhabitants.  Much of the land was still in possession of the government and the father entered a claim, upon which he resided to the time of his demise in 1879.  His widow survived him for a quarter of a century and passed away at the home of a son in Nebraska in 1904.

W. B. Hoskins spent his youthful days with his parents and the public schools afforded him his educational opportunities, his time being divided between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields.  He began farming for himself when twenty-one years of age, renting land from his father for two years.  In 1867 he was married, after which he continued to engage in farming in Marshall county, Illinois, until 1873, which year witnessed his arrival in Adair county, Iowa.  Two years before he had purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Richland township and on coming to this county he settled upon his farm, upon which he lived for forty-one years.  As time passed the results of his labors were seen in splendid improvements and highly cultivated fields, and his farm became a productive place, yielding him good profits.  In 1914, however, he put aside the work of the plow and removed to Greenfield, where he has since lived retired, enjoying a well earned rest.  After coming to this county he bought other land from time to time until he was the owner of six hundred acres, still retaining possession of four hundred and eighty acres.  This supplies him with a most substantial annual income.  He is a stockholder in the Fontanelle Lumber Company and is president of the Nevinville Savings Bank, having been one of the dominant factors in its organization.

On the 25th of September, 1867, Mr. Hoskins married Miss Melissa J. Nighswonger, of Marshall county, Illinois, and to them were born seven children, six of whom are yet living:  William D., who now makes his home in Portland:  Charles M., a resident farmer of Richland township;  Olin R., who follows farming in the same township;  John R., who is cultivating his father's farm;  Stella M., the wife of Guy O. Ray, a farmer of Richland township;  and Mary, the wife of C. A. Bonar, of Long Beach, California.

For years Mr. Hoskins was a dominant factor in the local ranks of the republican party and is still a stalwart advocate of its principles.  He served for a long time in the offices of township clerk and township trustee and was also justice of the peace.  For six years from 1888 he was a member of the county board of supervisors.  His duties were discharged with promptness and fidelity and his course in public office won him high esteem.  He also did effective service in behalf of the cause of public education as a member of the school board.  The military chapter in his life record is one of equal interest, he being a veteran of the Civil war.  When but nineteen years of age he enlisted for service on the 16th of May, 1864, joining the boys in blue of Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for six months, being mustered out in October of that year.  His regiment served on detached duty, aiding in guarding government stores in Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri.  He now holds membership in Meyers Post, No. 39, G. A. R., and proudly wears the little bronze button that indicates his membership in the organization.  He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as one of the stewards.  He contributes to the support of the church and does all in his power to promote its growth and extend its influence.



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