History of Black Hawk County, Iowa
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
Samuel Watters, one of the prosperous and substantial farmers of Black Hawk County, Iowa, owns a fine farm of 280 acres in sections 27 and 28, Black Hawk township. Mr. Watters was born near Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, June 16, 1857, and is a son of Daniel and Mary (Snyder) Watters.
Daniel Watters and his wife were born in Pennsylvania, and came to Iowa in 1855. Leaving Pittsburg, after 16 days and 17 nights of travel by boat, they reached Muscatine, Iowa. The father purchased about 70 acres of land in Linn County, which he farmed until 1868, when he removed to Black Hawk County. Here he bought a tract of 107-1/2 acres, situated in sections 27 and 34, Black Hawk township, and this he successfully operated until 1888, when he retired from active work. Mr. Watters has been a leading citizen of his locality and enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens. For many years he has been a prominent member of the German Baptist Church. His wife died in 1883, aged 52 years. The second marriage of Daniel Watters was to Sarah McCarthy, widow of the late John McCarthy. Daniel Watters was the father of 13 children, namely: Lucy, Anna, Samuel, Henry R., Jacob S., Christian (deceased), William, John [,] David J., Charles, Wesley, Mary Jane and Sarah c.
Samuel Watters attended the schools of Linn County during the family's residence there, and completed his schooling in Black Hawk County. His business has always been of an agricultural character. After gaining sufficient practical experience with his father, he purchased, in 1889, a farm of 175 acres in section 28, and has added to his first purchase until he now owns 280 acres, a part of which is located in section 27. Mr. Watters is an agriculturist with modern methods and progressive ideas. He makes a specialy of graded stock, and owns registered animals of great value, several of these being well known to stockmen as McClintock, 192,752," and "Gable Hopeful," the latter being one of the finest English stallions ever brought into Iowa. He raises numbers of Poland-China hogs and Cotswold sheep. His leading crops are corn and oats, with some hay. His land is well watered and fertile, and is adapted to both general farming and grazing. Mr. Watters has not spared money in making fine improvements on the place, erecting a handsome residence in 1902, at a cost of $3,000 and a commodious grain and stock barn, 48 by 64 feet in dimensions. The other buildings are entirely adequate and his surroundings indicate the highest degree of thrift and solid comfort.
In 1879, Mr. Watters married Susannah Strayer, who is a daughter of Joseph Strayer, one of the early settlers of Black Hawk township. They have had seven children, as follows: Daniel A., who died in infancy, while his parents were visiting in Cambria County, Pennsylvania; Emma E.; Charles R.; Leroy; Iola V.; Earl S. and David R. Mrs. Waters is a member of the Progressive Brethren Church.
In politics, Mr. Watters is a stanch Republican. He has most satisfactorily filled such township offices as school director and road supervisor for three years, but beyond that has aspired to no political honors. As a first class citizen, he has cast his influence in the direction of those movements which, in his opinion, have been for the best interests of the township and is considered one of its representative men.
Austin Whitney submitted by Victoria Whitney Landau
Austin Whitney, one of the leading agriculturalists of Black Hawk County, Iowa, resides on his fine farm of 260 acres, situated in section 23, Bennington township. Mr. Whitney is a man who possesses the respect and esteem of the entire community, He was born in Newburg, Maine, April 15, 1855, and is a son Albert and Mary E. (Libby) Whitney. Albert Whitney was born May 30, 1826, in Penobscot County, Maine, and his wife was born December 25, 1829, in Waldo County, Maine. Mr. and Mrs. Whitney were married April 19, 1853, and five children were born to them, namely: Hattie M., Austin, Isaac L., Mary A., and Dora E. Hattie M., who is the wife of R. P. Kelley, an attorney of Greenwood County, Kansas, taught school for 15 years. Isaac L., who followed farming for many years and is now living at Waterloo, Iowa, was married March 19, 1890, to Hannah J. Allen, and has two children,--Marjorie and Miriam. Mary A., who died in February, 1904, and was the wife of David Walker of Kansas City, Missouri. Dora E. is the widow of John R. Griffin, of Waterloo.
Mr. Whitney came to this county, February 27, 1870, and purchased 120 acres of land in section 23, Bennington township; and later brought his family to this farm. It was then but partly improved, and was known as the old Fowler farm. Mr. Whitney continued his farming operations until 1891, when he retired and moved to Waterloo. Mr. Whitney is well known and highly respected in the county, and is a friend of every one acquainted with him. Politically, he has been a Republican; he held to office of assessor and served as a member of the School Board. At one time he owned, in all, 670 acres of valuable land, all accumulated through his own efforts. Fraternally, Mr. Whitney has been a Mason for 30 years.
Austin Whitney attended the common schools of his native State, and always lived with his parents. He always assisted his parents in farming, and is at present engaged in farming operations on a part of the old homestead. Mr. Whitney devotes the land to the raising of oats, corn and hay, and also raises horses, hogs and cattle. He takes much pride in his work and has spent much time and money in improving his farm, which attracts the admiration of everyone. Politically, Mr. Whitney is a republican, and has been a member of the School Board.
On November 25, 1884, Mr. Whitney was married to Edith L. Owen, who is a daughter of Eli and Maria (Cook) Owen, the former of whom is deceased. Mrs. Whitney was a resident of Lester township, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Whitney are the parents of five children, namely: Carrie M., who is attending the Iowa State Normal School; Stella F.; Albert E.; Alice M.; and Jennie E.."
Submittor note: Austin Whitney is the great-grandfather of the submittor, Victoria Whitney Landau.