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Alvin Rickets Byerly
Born 4 October 1841


Alvin Rickets Byerly, now of Freedonia, Kansas, but for many years a leading farmer of Jackson township, Jones county, Iowa, and a man who participated in many of the incidents surrounding pioneer life in this state, was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, October 4, 1841, a son of Michael and Elizabeth (Jeffries) Byerly, a history of whom is given elsewhere in this work. He is the eldest of their six children who grew to maturity and therefore the brunt of the hardships fell upon his shoulders after the family arrived in Jackson township in 1846. Indians were numerous and had to be contended with as well as other wild things, and the boy grew to manhood sturdy and self-reliant because of his struggles, securing such educational advantages as the primitive schools afforded. Later he attended Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa.
When he felt his country had need of his services, Mr. Byerly enlisted September 12, 1862, in Company K, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, at Marion Iowa, and was sent up the Missouri river to look after hostile Indians. He was in seven skirmishes with them and participated in the battle of White Stone Hills, North Dakota, September 3, 1863. On October 1, 1865, he was mustered out at Souix City, Iowa, with the rank of sergeant.
After these exciting experiences, Mr. Byerly returned home and resumed his farming operations. On August 28, 1862, he married Emarilla Beam, who was born in Indiana in 1845, and was brought to Jones county by her parents, Joseph and Barbara Ann (Fall) Beam. On May 28, 1871, Mr. Byerly went to Wilson county, Kansas, and had the misfortune to lose his wife September 13, of that year. He returned home and in 1873 married Ella Mary Armitage, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1853, and was also brought to Iowa by her parents.
By his first marriage Mr. Byerly had three children, namely: Jennie Josephine, who married M. T. Flemming, of Maquoketa, Iowa, and has three children, Mabel, Parke and Joseph Dale; Joseph Michael, a resident of Jackson township who married Carrie Benadom and has two children, Ina and Alvin; and Mora May, who married John Landis, of Jackson township, and has two children, Miles and Jennie. There are four children by the second union: Roy, a lumber dealer of Parsons, Kansas, who married Daisy Tarr and has three children, Harold, Keith and Doris; Mabel Imogene, now the wife of Frank Clifford Carter, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Bessie, a photographer at Freedonia, Kansas; and Clifford J., a printer living in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Mr. Byerly came to Anamosa in 1846 when there was but one log house here, known as the Lexington Tavern. He returned to Kansas in 1875 and located in Wilson county at a time when Freedonia, now the county seat, was but a post office. Several years ago he sold his farm and removed to that city, where he is now enjoying a well earned rest, although, for some time he was a dealer in queensware but has now retired from all active business. Like the other members of his family, he is a strong democrat and served as deputy sheriff for four years. Mr. Byerly is a Mason, joining that order in Anamosa in 1872. Although he no longer lives in Jones county, he has a tender spot in his heart for his old home and is always interested in anything that tends toward advancing the interests of his relatives and old neighbors.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p 529.

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