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John W. Byerly
Born 13 October 1845


John W. Byerly, one of the substantial farmers of Jackson township, is a man of considerable force of character and one who occupies a prominent place in the community. He was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, October 13, 1845, a son of Michael and Elizabeth (Jeffries) Byerly. The founder of the family in America was Andrew Byerly, who came from his native land, Germany, about 17-- and participated in the French and Indian war, serving with Washington. His wife bore the maiden name of Beatrice Gulding and was a native of Berne, Switzerland. A great-grandfather of John W. Byerly, George Creamer, took part in the Revolutionary war as a private in the Second Pennsylvania Continental troops and served under Colonel Philip De Haas. Six children were born to Michael Byerly and wife, of whom John W. Byerly was the third in order of birth. Michael Byerly was the son of Francis, and the great grandson of Andrew Byerly, the founder of the family in this country.
In 1846, the Byerly family cane to Jackson township, Jones county, Iowa, and this has ben the home of John W. Byerly ever since. He received a common-school education and after he had finished school, he taught for five winters in Jones county and during the summer farmed for his parents until he assumed the management of the home place. He now owns this farm, which consists of two hundred and ten acres on sections 20, 21 and 29, Jackson township. It is in excellent condition and all of the present improvements have been made by Mr. Byerly. He makes a specialty of stock raising and feeding and has met with gratifying results in his work. This farm was entered by his uncle John Byerly. When the family came here they had no money but plenty to eat and their home was always open to those less fortunate than themselves. So hospitable were they that many times they boarded whole families upon their arrival here, and could never be induced to accept a cent. No one was ever turned away hungry. Mr. Byerly and his brother Milton are the only ones now residing in Jackson township who were here when Iowa was admitted to the Union.
The Byerlys have always been democrats and our subject follows in the steps of his forbears and supports the candidates of that party. He has been called upon to fill the offices of school director and road commissioner and has made a good public official.
On March 7, 1873, Mr. Byerly married Susie M. Johnson, who was born in Lenawee county, Michigan, June 21, 1848, and was brought to Jones county by her parents in 1856, having since made it her home. She is a daughter of James and Maria (Whaley) Johnson, natives of England, who came to America after their marriage in 1838, and located in Michigan. The father's death occurred in Crawford county, Iowa, and the mother's in Clinton county, same state. Mr. and Mrs. Byerly have had two children: Eva Mary and Earl Russell. Miss Eva Mary is now at home and is a very well educated lady. After taking a high-school course she attended the Iowa State Normal School where she was graduated and she also secured the degree of A.B. at Ann Arbor Michigan and the degree of A.M. at Columbia University in 1908. she has been a teacher in the high school of Cedar Rapids. Earl Russell was educated in the Anamosa high school and is now a farmer of Jackson township.
Perhaps no family is better known than the one bearing the name of Byerly. Its representatives have done much to develop and improve their part of the county and all have become well-to-do, have born their part in public activities and always led law-abiding lives.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p 343.

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