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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Joseph L. Winn.

The home farm of Joseph L. Winn covers two hundred acres on sections 21 and 29, Jefferson township, his residence being on the former section.  He was born in Ohio in February, 1867, a son of William and Mary (Hamilton) Winn, who were natives of Ohio.  The father followed farming in that state until he arrived in Adair county.  He purchased land just over the line in Guthrie county and cultivated and improved that place fifteen years, after which he sold it and took up his abode in Adair county, purchasing eighty acres of land in Jefferson township.  His time thereafter was given to the development of that farm and his labors soon wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the place, which he brought to a high state of cultivation.  Three months before his death, however, he sold that property and removed to Menlo, where he passed away on the 24th of December, 1912, when he had reached the age of seventy-four years.  His widow still resides there and is now seventy-three years of age.  In their family were eight children, seven of whom are yet living:  Henry, Joseph, Minnie, William, Ollie, Sadie and Fred, while Gertrude died in August, 1887.

Joseph L. Winn was but four years of age when brought by his parents to Iowa, so that the period of his boyhood and youth was largely passed in Guthrie county, the usual experiences of the farm lad coming to him during that time.  He attended the district schools and in vacations worked in the fields.  After reaching adult age he rented land in Adair county and thus engaged in farming until 1904, when he purchased eighty acres in Jefferson township, upon which he has since made his home.  In 1909 he bought an additional tract of eighty acres on section 29, and in the fall of 1914 he added forty acres more.  His land is all in one body and constitutes an excellent farm property.  His excellent tract of land of two hundred acres is well cultivated and the result of his labors is seen in the large crops which he gathers.

In March, 1895, occurred the marriage of Mr. Winn and Miss Mary Varley, a daughter of James and Sarah (Cochran) Varley, who were natives of England, and in 1873 removed with their family from Yorkshire, that country, to the United States.  For a year they resided in Des Moines, Iowa, after which they removed to Jefferson township, Adair county, locating upon a farm which they purchased.  They resided there until 1907, when the death of Mrs. Varley occurred.  Mr. Varley made his home thereafter with his children until October, 1913, when he passed away.  When they located in Jefferson township that region was wild prairie with no fences or roads and with only a very few houses and Indians were still numerous.  The town of Menlo had at that time but two or three buildings besides the depot.  The Varleys experienced all of the hardships that usually fall to the lot of early settlers but persevered in the work of development and thus aided in transforming the township into a prosperous and well settled farming district.  There were six children in the family:  Joseph, Mattie, Francis and Annie, all of whom were born in England;  and William and Mary, who were born in Jefferson township.

Mr. Winn exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and keeps well informed on the vital questions and issues of the day.  Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but the motive force of his life is found in his faith as a member of the Christian church, his course being guided according to its teachings.  The greater part of his life having been passed in this section of the state and his salient traits of character being such as invariably awaken respect and confidence, he is both widely and favorably known here.



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