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History of Madison
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Joseph J. Hutchings.


Joseph J. Hutchings


Mrs. Mary Hutchings

In a history of Madison county it is imperative that mention be made of Joseph J. Hutchings else the record will be incomplete and unsatisfactory, for while he has passed away he has left his impress upon the development and progress of the county, having been one of the pioneer real-estate dealers of Winterset and one of its progressive bankers.  His business affairs were capably managed and were so directed that they proved of benefit to the public as well as a source of individual prosperity.  He was born in Clark county, Indiana, on the 29th of November, 1825, and was of English extraction, the family having been founded in Maryland in an early day.

Joseph J. Hutchings spent his boyhood and youth in his parents' home, which was upon one of the pioneer farms of Indiana.  There he remained until twenty-three years of age and attended one of the old-time subscription schools conducted by Quaker people.  The year 1849 witnessed his arrival in Iowa and for a year he remained in Davis county, after which he returned to Indiana, where he taught school for one winter.  In August, 1851, he came to Winterset, walking all of the way from Newton, a distance of seventy miles, over the untracked prairies and unbridged streams.  It was into the frontier regions that he penetrated and became an active factor in the early development of the section in which he established his home.  For two winters he engaged in teaching school in Madison county, and in 1852 he embarked in the business of trading land, with an office in Winterset.  His operations as a real-estate dealer prospered.  As the country became more and more thickly settled there was a greater demand for property and he negotiated many important realty transfers, selling many a farm to the early settlers and also handling city property.  In 1872 he became the president of the Citizens' National Bank of Winterset and was continuously and actively connected with that institution until his death, which occurred in 1888.  In early manhood he began reading medicine but did not complete the course.  When he started for Iowa he carried with him some money but was robbed while on the way and thus he was practically penniless when he reached his destination.  He taught school, chopped wood and did other work which would gain him a start and eventually he found his feet firmly planted on the highroad to prosperity and continued therein until he had accumulated a very ample and gratifying competence.

On the 28th of January, 1856, Mr. Hutchings was united in marriage to Miss Mary Bell, who was born in Holmes county, Ohio, July 24, 1835, and was there reared and educated.  In 1854 she came to Winterset where she had two married sisters living, traveling by stage from Iowa City.  Mr. and Mrs. Hutchings became the parents of a daughter, Flora, who married Dr. J. H. Wintrode.  He died on the 25th of December, 1909, and Mrs. Wintrode passed away on the 23d of July, 1910.  They were the parents of three children:  Mary Lucy, the wife of W. C. Krabiel, of Winterset;  and Josephine Hutchings, and John H., Jr., who have made their home with their grandmother, Mrs. Hutchings, since the death of their parents.

In politics Mr. Hutchings was always a stanch republican but would never accept office of any kind.  He belonged to the Masonic fraternity and was an exemplary representative of that order.  His life was ever upright and honorable.  In all of his business dealings he followed constructive methods and never took advantage of the necessities of his fellowmen.  His integrity was above question and the many excellent traits of his character won for him the friendship and high regard of all with whom he came in contact.  Mrs. Hutchings is now seventy-nine years of age and is still active and well preserved for one of her years --- a lady of natural refinement and culture, who has a host of warm friends in this part of the state.  She is a member of the Presbyterian church and her life has been guided by its teachings.  Her husband left her well provided with this world's goods, so that since his death she has been enabled to enjoy all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.  A street in Winterset has been named in honor of Mr. Hutchings, thus perpetuating the memory of one who proved a valuable factor in the development of the city in pioneer times and through the later period of its progress.



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