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John K. Hale
Born August 27, 1858


John K. Hale, who for many years has been actively connected with the business interests of Cass township, Jones county, in various capacities, is now the owner and operator of an excellent farm of two hundred acres located on sections 15 and 16, and in his agricultural pursuits is meeting with creditable success. He was born in Guilford, Connecticut, on the 27th of August, 1858, and is a son of Samuel A. and Myrta (Kelsey) Hale, natives of Treble county, Ohio, and Killingworth, Connecticut, respectively. Although the former was a representative of an eastern family, he was reared in Ohio and after attaining manhood accompanied his parents back to his native state, making his home in Guilford for a number of years. For about twenty years he followed the sea, becoming the owner and captain of a sloop which operated along the coast. He was thus engaged until his return to Iowa in the fall of 1859, settlement being made in Cass on a farm which he had purchased the previous year while on a visit to an uncle, F. W. Gillette. He passed his remaining days upon this farm, which is now in the possession of his son, William A. Hale, his death occurring on the 2d of March, 1868, when he had reached the age of forty-six years, three months and four days. He was a stalwart republican in politics and held the office of county supervisor, while he was also a faithful and consistent member of the Episcopal church of Anamosa. He was twice married. By his first wife, Mary (Hubbard) Hale, he had one daughter, Martha A., who became the wife of H. Monroe. Both are now deceased. Later he wedded Myrta Kelsey, who passed away in Cass township, Jones county, on the 4th of November, 1886, when fifty-six years of age. Unto this union were born three children: John K., of this review: W. A., residing upon the home farm; and Carrie A., the widow of Arthur Hanna, of Anamosa.
In the fall of 1859, when a little lad of one year, John K. Hale arrived in Jones county, Iowa, and has since continued to make his home within its borders. He lost his father when but ten years of age, and two years later he and his younger brother took charge of the home farm and operated it successfully for a number of years. He continued to reside upon the homestead until his marriage, at which time he began an independent business career as an agriculturist, renting a farm for one year. He then purchased fifty-seven acres and after three years added another tract of eighty acres, while two years later he purchased one hundred and sixty acres, so that altogether he owned two hundred and ninety- seven acres. At the end of two years, however, he sold one hundred and thirty-seven acres of his property and in 1892 disposed of the remainder, after which he removed to Anamosa and entered the grain business in partnership with C. L. Niles under the firm name of J. K. Hale & Company. He was identified with this line of activity for ten years, and during that time the partners invested in fifteen hundred acres of Dakota land. In 1902 Mr. Hale traded a portion of his land for hardware stock in Anamosa, and for three years he successfully conducted a hardware store in that city. At the expiration of that time he traded his business for his present farm, which consists of two hundred acres on sections 15 and 16, Cass township. He took up his abode thereon in April, 1906, and has since continued to make it his place of residence.
He has introduced many improvements on the farm, equipping it with all modern conveniences for facilitating labor, and under his careful management the place has become a highly developed property. He combines general farming with stock-raising interests, fattening from three to four carloads of stock annually, and in both branches of his business is meeting with most creditable success. Aside from his farming property he owns the home in which he lived while in Anamosa, and he also is the owner of another city residence property which he now rents. He was a stockholder in the Welch Manufacturing Company of Anamosa during his residence there and was an active and prominent figure in the business circles and public affairs of the community.
On the 1st of March, 1879, Mr. Hale was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Black, a daughter of T. K. Black, one of the early settlers of Castle Grove township, Jones county. Her birth occurred in this county on the 15th of May, 1857, and she passed away May 17, 1881, leaving one daughter, Myrta S., who makes her home with her father. On the 15th of July, 1882, Mr. Hale was again married, his second union being with Miss Clara E. Stone, a native of Lovell township, Jones county, her birth occurring on the 19th Of July, 1857. She is a daughter of Curtis Stone, who was ranked among the pioneer settlers of that township, where his death occurred. Unto the second marriage was born one child, Jennie K. Hale, who is engaged in teaching school.
Mr. Hale's religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Cass Congregational church, while his political allegiance is given to the republican party, the principles of which he has supported since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. For six years he served as township trustee of Cass township and was a member of Anamosa city council for one term. He is now serving his second term as county supervisor, and is interested in all those movements and measures which tend to promote the general welfare. Starting out in the business world very early in life, becoming identified with agricultural pursuits at an age when other lads are busily engaged with their text-books, he has worked his way steadily upward and has attained a high place among the substantial citizens of the township and well merits the proud American title of a self-made man. His entire business career has been actuated by a laudable ambition to succeed and the prosperity which he today enjoys has come to him as the logical result of his great industry and well directed efforts.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 341.

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