Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa - 1896 - L

1896 Index

A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Alonzo Lewis, one of the representative farmers and stock-raisers of Lincoln township, Warren county, Iowa, was born in Randolph county, Indiana, February 17, 1852, only son and child of Joseph and Lottie (Willis) Lewis.

Joseph Lewis, his father, was born in Tyler county, Virginia, in November, 1822; in 1838 removed with his father's family to Indiana, where he resided until 1853, when he came west and settled in Warren county, Iowa, and here the rest of his life was spent.  He was one of the pioneers of this region and took up a tract of wild land comprising 160 acres, upon which he built a log cabin.  Here he and his family were subjected to all the trials and vicissitudes of pioneer life.  To his original tract he added by the subsequent purchase of forty acres, and as years passed by developed the whole 200 acres into one of the fine farms for which Warren county is noted.  Enterprising and public-spirited, he was well known as one of the successful men of his day; and his success in life was all the more notable from the fact that when he came here in 1853 his entire worldly goods consisted of a horse team and $30 in money.  He died in 1888, at the age of sixty-six years.

The mother of our subject, nee Lottie Willis, was born in Hawkins county, Tennessee, June 8, 1814, daughter of Levi and Rebecca (Mumpower) Willis.  Both her father and her mother's people were residents of Tennessee, and were remote descendants of German ancestors.  Mrs. Lewis is still living and makes her home with her son.

Jacob C. Lewis, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Virginia, born in the latter part of the last century.  His whole life was passed in the Old Dominion, and he died there at the advanced age of eighty-three years.  The Lewis family originated in Wales.  Some of its representatives came over to America in Colonial days, and the Lewises figured among the early settlers of Virginia.

Alonzo Lewis, the immediate subject of this sketch, was one year old when he was brought by his father and mother from Indiana to Iowa, and amid frontier scenes his boyhood days were passed.  The log school-house in which he received his education was located some distance from his home, and there was not a house between them.  The country at that time abounded in wild animals, of which wolves were probably the most numerous.  Prairie chickens and wild turkeys were found in great numbers, his father often shooting the turkeys without leaving the door of their cabin.  Young Lewis remained with his parents until he attained his twentieth year, in that time rendering valued assistance in clearing and developing the farm, and then started out to make his own way in the world.  He went to Red oak and learned the trade of miller, at which he worked for nearly two years, when, on account of failing health, he was obliged to quit the milling business, and from this he returned to farm life.  He has since been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits.  He owns a fine farm of 222 acres, which is devoted to general farming and stock-raising.  For years he has made a specialty of raising cattle and hogs for market, each year selling as average of sixty head of cattle and from eighty to one hundred hogs.  Recently he has given considerable attention to the development of Norman horses and now has some twenty head, chiefly on this breed.

Mr. Lewis was married February 3, 1876, to Caroline Blanchard, a native of Warren county and a daughter of Alva and Clarissa (Kirby) Blanchard, she being one of a family of seven children.  Her father is a native of Massachusetts and her mother of Illinois, and both have passed over into the octogenarian ranks.

In politics Mr. Lewis is a Republican, and, fraternally, is identified with Indianola Lodge, No. 70, I. O. O. F.