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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 harvests.

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 of Sheridan.

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.



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