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Henry Dearborn
Born June 14, 1829


HENRY DEARBORN, proprietor Stone City Quarry, See. 6; P.O. Stone City. He was born June 14, 1828, in Grafton Co., N. H.; in 1846, came to Massachusetts; in 1858, he came to Jones Co., Iowa. He also owns 120 acres of land; is Postmaster at Stone City; was appointed in 1873. He opened the Anamosa quarry in 1859; ran it about one year; in the spring of 18611, he opened his present quarry; has operated it since; this is one of the largest quarries in the State, giving employment to about twenty men daily. He married Martha Franklin in August, 1854; she was born in Manchester, England; have five children—Frankin H., William N., Sarah, George and Mary.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 553.

On the roll of Jones county's honored dead appears the name of Henry Dearborn, who for many years figured as one of the most prominent representatives of industrial interests in the county, coming to this district before the advent of the railroads and entering actively upon the work of quarrying stone here. As the day with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful effort ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of Mr. Dearborn to whom was vouchsafed seven years beyond the allotted three score and ten.
A native of West Compton, Grafton county, New Hampshire, Henry Dearborn was born June 14, 1829, his parents being Henry and Abigail (Spokesfield) Dearborn. He spent the first eighteen years of his life in his father's home, his time being divided between the work of the farm and the acquirement of an education in the district school. He then started in the business world by learning the stone cutter's trade at Lowell, Massachusetts, and the following year he secured employment on the construction of the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, at Meredith Bridge, New Hampshire, his time being devoted to stone cutting and mason work. For two years he labored between Meredith Bridge and Plymouth, New Hampshire, and in December, 1849, returned home to spend the winter and attend school. School life proved too dull for his active nature, however, and on the second day he discontinued his studies and on the succeeding day engaged passage on the stage to Wells River, Vermont. He arrived there the next morning, hunted up Mr. Lewis, a contractor with whom he was acquainted, and within fifteen minutes had made a contract with him to take charge of mason work between Wells River and the village of Stevens. He satisfactorily completed the task about June 1, 1850 and had then not reached the twenty-first anniversary of his birth.
Desiring to try his fortunes elsewhere than in New England he left Vermont for Abington Green, Pennsylvania, where he arrived June 14, 1850, the twenty- first anniversary of his birth. He immediately started out in search of employment and that day made a contract with the superintendent of the Lackawanna & Western Railroad to take charge of a gang of masons and stonecutters on bridge work. He had as many as sixty-five men under his supervision and remained with the road for eleven and a half months without the loss of a single day, the work then being nearly completed. All through his life he displayed the utmost energy, and his close application and diligence were salient features in a successful career.
The year 1856 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Dearborn in Jones county, and he opened the first stone quarry at Stone City, developing a business to which he devoted his energies throughout his remaining days. Three years passed before a railroad was built through the county, but nevertheless the new enterprise prospered, and with the building of the railroad and the rapid settlement of the locality its patronage steadily increased. His business affairs were always conducted in a systematic, methodical manner, and unabating energy and unfaltering perseverance were also factors in his progress. In later years his sons were associated with him in business, and as he passed down the hill of life they relieved him more and more of the responsibility and arduous labors that were factors in the management of the business.
On the 21st of August, 1854, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Dearborn and Miss Martha H. Frankland, of South Framingham, Massachusetts. Her parents were Luke and Elizabeth (Hostley) Frankland, both of whom were natives of England. The mother died in that country at the age of forty- four years, and the father came to the United States in 1847. Mrs. Dearborn, who was likewise born on the "Merry Isle," came to America with her older brother on a sailing vessel, being nine weeks on the voyage. The father had preceded them to this country about two years, and they joined him here. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dearborn were born five sons and three daughters. Henry F., born June 19, 1859, married Miss Annie Farrell and unto them were born ten children: William James, Clarence Henry, George Franklin, Harrison Edward, Mary, Martha Ellen, Alice A., Irwin Ellsworth, Florence and Bertha. This family resides at Stone City. William N., the second son, born May 30, 1861, wedded Ora Belle Thompson, and lives in Stone City. Sarah M., born November 26, 1865, is the wife of David Gordon, a resident of Marion, Iowa, and their children are Gerald Lawrence, Henry, May Etta, and Franklin. George Edward, born July 8, 1868, wedded Miss Libbie Segrist and resided in Stone City, where he died July 24, 1889, at the age of thirty-one years, leaving four children: Laura H., Martha H., Ruth, and Frederick. Mary E., born July 8, 1873, is the wife of Edward J. Reed, of Stone City, and their children are Leota E., George E., Marion E., Sarah Dorothy, Isabelle Harriet, and one who died in infancy. In addition to the above named Mr. and Mrs. Dearborn lost three children in infancy. In addition to the above named Mr. And Mrs. Dearborn lost three children in infancy.
The death of the husband and father occurred in 1908, when he had passed the seventy- seventh milestone on life's journey. Thus was closed a life of great usefulness. He had not only been an active factor in business circles but was an exemplary member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in community affairs took an active and helpful interest. He had become a resident of Cass township in 1856, making his early home on a farm in Cass Center, at which time the crops were taken to Dubuque, the nearest market. All around stretched the wild prairie, and the winters were long and cold. During the second year Mr. Dearborn went to Anamosa, where he followed his trade of stone cutting and bridge building. In 1859 he opened his quarry at Stone City and for some time walked each day to and from his home in Anamosa. In December, 1870, however, he removed to Stone City to be near the field of his operations, and in all of his business life he sustained an unassailable reputation for integrity. In the legitimate lines of trade he won success and gained for himself an honorable name. In June 23, 1874, he was appointed postmaster of Stone City, which office he filled for sixteen years, and from the organization of the republican party he gave to it stalwart support. His position on any vital question was never an equivocal one, and he stood freely in defense of his honest convictions. He came to be known as a man worthy of all respect and confidence and his memory remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, pp. 20-22.

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