Born 20 January 1844
|Many of the most successful farmers of Jones county are those who in younger years devoted some of their time to teaching school, thus gaining a broader outlook on life and an understanding of human nature. They have learned the value of a thorough comprehension of any line of work and when they turned their full attention to farming it was with the idea of profiting by the experience of others. One of the men who has been both school teacher and farmer is Milton Byerly, residing on section 4, Jackson township, who was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, January 20, 1844, and was brought to Jones county by his parents, Michael and Elizabeth (Jeffries) Byerly, in 1846. The family located in Jackson township and for many years assisted other pioneers in the work of improvement.
Milton Byerly received more than the average education afforded the farmer's son for after he had attended the common school he entered Cornell College at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and also took a commercial course in Iron City College at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. For eighteen winters he taught school in Jones county and farmed in the summer, becoming one of the best known educators of his locality. He made his home with his parents until his brother John was married and then he farmed in partnership with him. This association continued until Mr. Byerly was married, when he settled on his own farm. His present farm, located on sections 4 and 5, Jackson township, cost him fifty dollars an acre but is now worth much more owing to the work he has put upon it as well as his many improvements. Here he carries on general farming and stock raising, and his property shows the results of his good management and knowledge of his business. In addition to this farm, Mr. Byerly owns one hundred and sixty acres in San Luis Valley, Colorado.
In 1882, Mr. Byerly married Marie J. Johnson, who was born in Fairview township, Jones county, March 25, 1863, a daughter of the Rev. J. H. and Katherine (Bowlby) Johnson, natives of Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Johnson was a clergyman of the Christian church and came here in 1860. In addition to his pastoral duties, he also engaged in farming and he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives here.
A stanch supporter of the principles of democracy, Mr. Byerly has held all the important township offices, including those of township clerk and assessor and is now township committeeman. As a public official, a businessman or an educator, Mr. Byerly has always done his full duty as he has seen it, and has won the confidence and respect of those with whom he has been brought into contact. For a number of years he has been a member of the United Brethren church at Antioch, and is one of the liberal contributors to that body. He and his wife had charge of the music in that church for a quarter of a century. For a year and a half they made their home in Denver, Colorado.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p 513.
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