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S. A. First
Born May 30, 1860


One of the men of Wyoming township who has proved his skill as a farmer is S. A. First, who was born in Jackson county, Iowa, May 30, 1860, and is a son of Ellis and Susanna (Brown) First. The parents were both natives of Ohio but came to this state in 1858, locating in Jackson county, where they lived for a number of years. Later they removed to Jones county, which remained their home until their deaths. They came here when the most primitive conditions prevailed and their early years were marked by hardships due to conditions which had entirely passed away at the close of their lives. Four children were born to them: B. E., who is living in Delaware county, Iowa; A. T., a resident of Oxford Junction; Elvie Etta, who is the wife of John F. W. Allen, of Wyoming township; and S. A., the subject of this sketch.
S. A. First received his education in the common schools of the county, supplemented by practical experience in farming, which he obtained at home under the guidance of his father. Until he attained his majority he remained with his parents and then started out to win his own success in life. For two years he worked as a farm hand in the employ of others and then rented land for a period of four years. At the end of that time he felt he was in a position to purchase property, so he bought a farm in Hale township, which remained his home for four years. Upon selling that he came to Wyoming township, buying the place on which he now lives. It consists of one hundred and twenty acres, on section 34 and was only partly improved when he took possession of it. In the past twenty years Mr. First has proceeded vigorously with the work of building and cultivating so that now the place ranks high among others of its size in the township as regards value and fertility, for as arable land its yields large returns for the labor expended upon it, while it also affords a rich feeding ground for the cattle and hogs of which Mr. First makes a specialty.
On the 24th of December, 1887, Mr. First wedded Miss Sarah E. Walston, who was born in this county and is one of a family of fourteen children, her parents being W. N. and Sarah Walston. The father was a native of Ohio, but his wife was of English birth and is still living. Mr. Walston, however, was released from the cares of this world in 1909. Mr. and Mrs. First have three children: Clarence A., Mildred M. and Alice J. All are at home and the youngest is attending the high school in Wyoming. Mrs. First is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church and regular in her attendance upon its services.
Mr. First has always given his political support to the Republican Party, never failing to cast his vote for its candidates. He has taken some part in local affairs, for he is now serving his fifth term as a trustee of the township, and for the past ten years has been treasurer of the school board. In this time he has proved that the confidence the citizens placed in his honor and ability was not unfounded, but that successful in his private concerns he is also endowed with that public spirit which makes him highly regarded in the community where lie lives. Fraternally he is a member of Wyoming Lodge, No. 185, M.W.A.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 627.

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