From the book entitled: History of Poweshiek County, Iowa: a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, Volume 2
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement,
Organization, Progress and Achievement, Leonard Fletcher Parker
Author: Leonard Fletcher Parker
Publisher: The S. J. Clarke publishing co., 1911
Mary G. Rhodes and WALTER I. WOLCOTTWALTER I. WOLCOTT.
One of the citizens of Sheridan township who has been identified with
the agricultural development of Poweshiek county is Walter I. Wolcott,
who is engaged in the cultivation of a two hundred and eighty acre farm
on section 16.
Mr. Wolcott was born upon the farm where he continues to live on the
25th of September, 1876, his parents being Edwin and Angeline (Barnum)
Wolcott, natives of Greene county, New York. The father, whose natal
day was the I4th of September, 1828, was reared upon a farm, in the
cultivation of which he assisted, and he also engaged in teaming and
worked in a tannery when a young man. Coming west in 1851, he located
in Ogle county, Illinois, where he resided for four years, at the end
of which period he removed to Whiteside county, where he remained until
1859, when he returned to New York. In 1871 he came to Iowa, locating
on a farm in Poweshiek county where he lived continuously until his
demise on the 2d of December, 1900. He was twice married, his first
wife being Miss Jane Sanford, a daughter of Vernon and Katie Sanford,
who were farming people of Ogle county, Illinois, where Mr. and Mrs.
Wolcott were married in 1854. Two sons were born of this marriage:
Vernon L., who passed away at the age of sixteen years; and Frank B., a
resident of Toledo. Mrs. Wolcotf died in 1859 and he subsequently
returned to New York, where he later married Miss Angeline Barnum, who
passed away in the summer of 1890.
The Wolcott family is one of the oldest in America, the first
representative coming over in the Mayflower. Oliver Wolcott, who was
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the
great-great-grandfather of our subject and the father of Gideon
Wolcott, who was born in 1765 and married Caroline Becker, another
representative of one of the old families of New England. Gideon
Wolcott, who died in 1850, located in Greene county, New York, where
his son, Lawrence, was born in 1804. He removed with his wife, who
prior to her marriage was Miss Sarah Stocking, to Illinois, after the
death of his father.
Walter I. Wolcott's boyhood and youth was always a busy one, for while
still a student in the district school he had to assume much of the
responsibility of the farm, practically having entire charge of it at
the age of fourteen years. After the death of his father, which
occurred when he was twenty-four years old, he bought two hundred acres
of the old farm, later adding to this another forty acres which he
purchased from his brother, E. J. Wolcott, and he subsequently acquired
forty acres which adjoined his father's farm on the south, thus making
the aggregate of his landed holdings two hundred and eighty acres, all
of which is in an excellent state of cultivation. He engages in general
fanning and stock-raising and is meeting with success in both ventures.
His place is well improved, the buildings kept in good repair, while
the fields are given that careful supervision which results in abundant
In 1901, Mr. Wolcott was married to Miss Mary G. Rhodes, a daughter of
H. I. and Kate (Devinney) Rhodes, the father being a native of Licking
county, Ohio, and the mother of Rock Island, Illinois. About 1850 Mr.
Rhodes came to Iowa, locating in Jackson county, removing from there to
Sheridan township in 1871, where he engaged in farming until about nine
years ago, when he retired to Grinnell, where he and Mrs. Rhodes
continue to reside. Two children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs.
Wolcott: Cecil Irving, whose birth occurred on the 3Oth of March, 1902;
and Hubert Edwin, who was born on the 2d of January, 1905.
The parents both affiliate with the Methodist Episcopal church of
Sheridan township, while fraternally Mr. Wolcott is identified with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of Sheridan Lodge, No.
654, and also with the Modern Woodmen of America, belonging to Sheridan
Camp, No. 9039, and Mrs. Wolcott is affiliated with the Royal Neighbors
An ardent republican Mr. Wolcott always casts his ballot for the
candidates of that party, but not being an office seeker he never
actively participates in local politics, preferring to concentrate his
entire attention upon his private interests.