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Eli Sigel Overholt
Born May 5, 1862
One of the valuable tracts of arable land in Madison township is that on which Eli Sigel Overholt cultivates the cereals for which the middle western states, especially Iowa, are noted throughout the world. A native of Jones county, he was born in Oxford township, May 5, 1862, and is a son of Jonas and Sarah (Means) Overholt. The parents, both natives of Ohio and of Pennsylvania-Dutch extraction, were reared and married in the state of their birth, coming in the fall of 1856 to Iowa. The first winter was spent in Clinton county and then in the spring of 1857 they came to Jones county, settling in Oxford township on a quarter section of land which Joseph Overholt, the paternal grandfather of our subject, had entered some years before. On that f arm Jonas Overholt lived continuously until 1885, when he removed to Wyoming, Iowa, to spend the rest of his life in retirement. His death occurred in that village, March 9, 1889. He had been an ardent republican throughout his life but was never an office seeker. His first wife, the mother of Eli Sigel Overholt, died in 1863, and Mr. Overholt later married Miss Minerva Walston, who survived him about two years.
Eli Sigel Overholt was reared at home and attended the public schools, from which he derived a good education. Upon attaining his majority in 1883 he went to Sac county, Iowa. After one season's work as a farm hand he returned to Jones county, which has been his home continuously since. In 1885 he married, rented a tract of land and engaged in agricultural pursuits for himself. Seven years later, in 1892, he purchased his first farm of one hundred and sixty acres, lying on section 8, Wyoming township. He lived thereon until 1907, when he sold it and purchased the valuable farm he now owns. It embraces two hundred acres on section 12 Madison township, and is accounted one of the richest tracts of land in this county. On it Mr. Overholt follows a diversified line of agriculture, also devoting considerable attention to dairying. While he is industrious to a high degree his success is also due to the progressive methods which have characterized his cultivation of the soil. He has spared no exertion nor expenditure of money in procuring the best results for his labor.
It was in 1885 that Mr. Overholt was united in marriage to Miss Phurby Mitchell, of Wyoming township, this county. Three children have been born to them: Joseph Owen, George and Emma A., all of whom are at home. Like his father, Mr. Overholt has been a stanch supporter of the principles of the republican party, but he has never sought any office. Fraternally he enjoys membership relations with Camp No. 183, M.W.A. The record of his years of activity in this township places him among the leading and representative agriculturists here, where he enjoys a respect commensurate with his achievements in his vocation.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 430.


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