History of Warren County, Iowa... to
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
R. A. BARCROFT, who is one of the prosperous farmers and stock raisers and feeders of Greenfield township, owning and operating a well improved and valuable farm of six hundred and sixty acres, is numbered among the old settlers of Iowa , dating his residence in this state since 1864, and in Warren county since 1882. He was born in Holmes county, Ohio , March 8, 1861 , a son of John R. and Susan F. ( Ankeny ) Barcroft, both of whom were natives of that state, the father having been born in Harrison county. John R. Barcroft was a man of exceptionally good education and was a lawyer by profession. He first engaged in the practice of law in Ohio , but in 1864 he removed to Iowa and located in Mahaska county, where he practiced law for eighteen months and then removed to Des Moines , where he continued to follow his profession for a number of years. He later bought land in this county, and opened up the farm where the son now resides, making this his permanent residence for some time, while still maintaining his law offices at Des Moines. Eventually, however, he returned to Des Moines to reside, and there he died on the 20th of January, 1901. His wife survives him and now resides in the capital city. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Barcroft were born four children, namely: R. A., of this review; J. K., a resident of Alexandria , Louisiana ; Mary, the wife of George E. King, a financier and capitalist of Des Moines ; and Hattie, the widow of James M. McCaughan, and also a resident of Des Moines.
R. A. Barcroft was reared and educated in Des Moines. In early manhood he came to the farm and took charge of the place and has since engaged in agricultural pursuits. He has built two good residences, barns and the necessary outbuildings, and has the place well fenced. In connection with the raising of grains and cereals he has made a business of raising high grade stock and fattens for the market from three to five carloads of cattle and hogs annually.
In 1899 Mr. Barcroft was married in Des Moines to Miss Mary Wright, a daughter of John P. Wright, who was a native of Indiana and is now deceased. Politically Mr. Barcroft has been a lifelong republican. He has served as delegate to numerous county conventions but has never sought nor desired public office. Mr. Barcroft has been a resident of Iowa for nearly half a century and has witnessed the growth and development of Des Moines , Indianola, Polk and Warren counties, and is regarded as one of the best known, progressive, public-spirited citizens of this section.
Agricultural pursuits have always claimed the time and attention of William F. Brown, who is now successfully engaged in the operation of a fine farm on section 14, Richland township. He dates his residence in Iowa from 1853, and he had made his home in Warren county since the 4th of January, 1854. He has taken an active part in the upbuilding and development of this region, and is justly entitled to mention among its honored early settlers.
Mr. Brown was born near Lafayette in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, January 14, 1836 , and is a son of James Brown, who was a native of Kentucky , and at an early day removed with his parents to Ohio , being among the first settlers of Miami county. The home of our subject's paternal grandfather was on the extreme frontier at the time of the was of 1812. On reaching manhood James Brown was married in Miami county to Miss Margaret Long, a native of Pennsylvania , and some years later they removed to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, where he opened up a farm. In 1853 he brought his family to Iowa , and the following year located in Warren county, where he purchased five hundred and sixty acres of land, which he broke and cultivated, spending his last years here. He died in 1862, at the age of sixty-six years, and his wife passed away two years later.
William F. Brown was a young man of eighteen years on the removal of the family to this county and he aided his father in the arduous task of developing a new farm, remaining under the parental roof until the father's death. He succeeded to a part of the old home place and has since bought more land, until at one time he had five hundred and sixty acres. Upon the place he has erected a commodious and pleasant residence, good barns, cribs and granaries, has fenced the land and set out fruit, and to-day has one of the most valuable farming properties in Warren county. He has given considerable attention to the raising of stock, making a specialty of pure blooded shorthorn cattle, French draft horses and Berkshire hogs, and annually feeds a large amount of stock for market. He has divided his property, giving a farm to each of his sons, but is still actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising.
On the 23d of May, 1858 , was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brown and Miss Rachel Viers, who was born at Akron , Ohio , and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Ship) Viers, also natives of the Buckeye state, whence they came to Iowa in 1849, arriving in Warren county on the 2d of October. Here Mr. Viers bought a preemption right, and later entered land from the government. Mrs. Brown was principally reared in this county.
Of the eight children born to our subject and his wife, four are now living, namely: Elizabeth, the wife of W. A. Spain, a farmer of this county; James F., who owns a part of the old home place; G. W., a farmer of Lincoln township; and Latie, wife of W. F. Park a farmer of Lincoln township. They also lost four children: Melissa N., the first born, married Thomas Moore and died in 1883, leaving a son, S. G. Moore. Martha J. and Eva both died in infancy, and Cora died at the age of five years. Mrs. Brown has also reared two boys and a girl who are now grown, and now has a little girl, Margaret Dubs, whom she intends to rear and educate.
Mr. Brown has never wavered in his allegiance to the republican party since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and he has served as a delegate to the state and county conventions of his party. He has also served on juries and has been township trustee and treasurer, as well as school director for twenty years. He is a man of excellent business ability and sound judgment, who usually carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes, and he has always been found thoroughly reliable and trustworthy. In religious faith he is a Baptist and now attends church at Hartford.
WILLIAM T. BUTLER