Born March 31, 1862
|James Inglis, who is one of the leading stock and grain men not only of Wyoming township, which is his home, but even of Jones county, handling in conjunction with his brother, Daniel Inglis, more cattle than any other firm here, was born in Hale township, March 31, 1862, and is a son of Robert and Jane (Porter) Inglis. The parents were natives of Scotland, the former having been born in Ayrshire, January 2, 1822. His life record covered eighty-seven years, nine months and two days, his death occurring October 26, 1909. He was reared in his native country and there married Miss Jane Porter on the 22d of June, 1852.
Ambitious to possess a home of their own and believing that better opportunities could be secured in America, they sailed for this country in 1858. In Scotland Mr. Inglis had served as the coachman on the great estate of Sir Humphrey David Blair, called Blairwhan, and Mrs. Inglis acted as the dairymaid. His duties included the opening and closing of the gate that led to Blairwhan castle. Those who were intimately acquainted with Mr. Inglis will remember the peculiarly polite salute he would always give those he met as he raised his hand and touched his hat to greet one in a way different from anybody else, this undoubtedly resulting from his training in this position with Sir Humphrey. After crossing the Atlantic Mr. and Mrs. Inglis made their way to Marengo, Illinois, where resided her uncle Robert Porter. There she remained while Mr. Inglis continued on his western way to Iowa to seek a location. He chose a farm near Hale, on which John Inglis still resides. He soon became closely identified with the agricultural development of the district and was not only successful in tilling the soil but also became prominent in local affairs. When he secured his naturalization papers and became a citizen of the United States he espoused the cause of the republican party and became a factor in its local councils, his opinions being regarded as of value. He was several times called to local offices and made a reputation as a trustworthy servant of the people. He was elected to the positions of township treasurer and trustee and was also county supervisor for one term. For a number of years and up to the time of his death he was an elder in the Presbyterian church, to the interests of which he was always most loyal, while with its work he was intimately connected. He was an unusually strong, robust man in every way, being endowed with a strong body and attractive personality as well as a keen mind. One who knew him well often remarked that he strikingly resembled the great Scotch writer and preacher, John Watson, better known as Ian Maclaren. He had a wonderful mind and few laymen had a better knowledge of the Bible or did more effective work as a Sunday-school teacher, expounding the scriptures with clearness and truth. His wife, who had shared with him the joys and sorrows of life for more than half a century, was called to her final rest September 9, 1909.
James Inglis was reared upon the home farm in Hale township, receiving good training for the practical duties and responsibilities of life from his parents and in the district school which he attended, later completing his education in the high school at Wyoming. At the age of twenty he engaged in teaching, although he followed that profession for only one winter, when he returned to his home and devoted himself to his father's interests. Until his marriage in 1894 he worked with his parent and then came to Wyoming township and in partnership with his brother Daniel engaged in the cattle and grain business. In the past fifteen years these men have perhaps handled and fed on grass more cattle than any other firm in this section of the state. Their landholdings in themselves are significant of the extent of their operations, for they have eleven hundred and ninety-two acres in this and Jackson counties, besides half a section in South Dakota and half a section in the Saskatchewan country of Canada. Daniel Inglis also owns four large elevators in Cambridge, Story county, in which James Inglis is likewise interested. Hard work and unremitting industry have been the foundation upon which the brothers have builded their success; they have been unsparing of themselves and of their resources to attain a position which would enable them to stand in the fore rank of the cattle and grain men of this state. So far their endeavors have been handsomely requited and Mr. Inglis has every reason to be gratified with the results of his labor.
On the 18th of February 1894, Mr. Inglis wedded Miss Elizabeth Jennings, a native of Trumbull county, Ohio. Two children have been born of their unionElizabeth J. and Eloise J. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Inglis is a trustee, and take an active part in the work of the congregation. Politically Mr. Inglis' sympathies are with the republican party, but he has been too busy a man to seek for office although the people would gladly bestow one upon him in recognition of his pronounced ability. He prefers, however, to give his attention to his large and important business interests and is widely recognized as a man of keen discernment and sound judgment.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 561.
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