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John S. Belknap
Born 4 July 1828


J. S. BELKNAP, harness-maker and dealer in harness and saddlery hardware, Main street, Anamosa; is a native of Tuscarawas Co., Ohio, and was born July 4, 1828; he grew up to manhood and learned his trade in that State; he started West with his father's family; they came by wagon to Iowa, and located in Jones Co. in March, 1850; he began working at his trade and opened the first harness shop in Anamosa; he used to haul his stock by wagon from Dubuque and Muscatine; he has been engaged in the business for twenty-nine years, a longer time than any other harness maker or dealer in Jones Co.; he also carried on wagon-making and livery business for some years in connection with his trade; he does a leading trade. He has held town offices. On the 1st of January, 1855, he was united in marriage to Miss 0. E. Gates, from Cortland Co., N.Y.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 650.

JOHN S. BELKNAP occupies no unimportant place among the business men of Anamosa, where he is engaged in the manufacture of carriages and wagons and is one of the oldest in that trade in the city. He is the owner of valuable property in Anamosa, besides farming lands in Butler County, this state.
Mr. Belknap was born in Harrison County, Ohio, July 4, 1828, and is the son of Thomas E. and Edith (Stoneman) Belknap, the former of whom was born in Vermont. Thomas Belknap was a tanner by trade, which he followed during his early life, but after moving to Harrison County, Ohio, where he was one of the pioneer settlers, he took up farm pursuits, which he followed during the remainder of his life. He served as a soldier in the late war, belonging to what is known as the Graybeard Regiment.
John S. Belknap was educated in the common schools of his native state, and assisted his father in the tannery until reaching his sixteenth year. He was then apprenticed to learn the harness-maker's trade, which he followed for three years and in 1850, when coming to this state, he located in Anamosa and began the manufacture of wagons and carriages. He first formed a partnership with B. Huggins, operating under the title of Huggins & Belknap, but a number of years later our subject sold out his interest to J. E. Griffith and retired from active business, devoting his time to looking after his varied interests.
In February, 1894, Mr. Belknap bought out Mr. Griffith, and taking two of his nephews as partners, John A. and Thomas M. Belknap, again established in business and is now in the enjoyment of a good trade in the manufacture of carriages, wagons and harness. In 1854 our subject was married to Miss Olive E. Gates, who was born in New York and is the daughter of J. B. Gates. Mr. Belknap is an important member of the local government and for some time was Town Trustee. He owns a good farm in Butler County, Iowa, and two business houses in this city which he rents. He is a member of Anamosa Lodge No. 40 I.O.O.F. With his wife he is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he takes an active part. A peaceable and law-abiding citizen, a kind neighbor and a good business man, Mr. Belknap receives his due measure of respect from those about him.

Source: Dubuque, Jones, and Clayton Counties History, 1894, pgs. 256.
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