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J. A. Overley
Born April 6, 1850
J. A. Overley, who during his lifetime was one of the substantial agriculturists of Madison township, was born in Kentucky, April 6, 1850. His parents were John C. and Lucinda (Arnold) Overley, who came to Jones county when he was about two years of age. In his boyhood he experienced some of the hardships that surround the sturdy men and women who seek to make a home for their families in the country which has but comparatively recently been thrown open to homesteaders. He attended the district schools, obtaining from them a fair education in the fundamental branches of English instruction, while the practical training he received at home, which well fitted him for the responsibilities of life, amply supplemented any shortcomings that might have been the fault of the local schools. To agricultural pursuits he devoted all the years of his active life, with a success that was a gratifying interest upon his investment of thought and labor, for when, on the 6th of September, 1905, he was released from the cares of this world, he was in the possession of one hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land in Madison townships His fields ever bore witness to his thrift and industry, while the buildings, which were his pride during his lifetime, in their substantial construction and fine state of repair in which they were always maintained evinced the good management which distinguished Mr. Overley through all his years. Since his death his widow has carried on the place, operating the farm with a skill which is a credit to her business ability.
For almost thirty years Mr. and Mrs. Overley were permitted to travel life's highway together. Mrs. Overley was Miss Emily D. Nicholls in her maidenhood and their marriage was celebrated February 10, 1876. She was born in Canada in 1853, being about three years of age when in 1856, her parents, Martin and Eleanor (Nugent) Nicholls came to Jones county. They bought land here and built a log cabin, which remained their home for a considerable period, until having improved their farm and won a good income from the cultivation of their fields, they were able to erect a more durable habitation. Mrs. Overley was one of a family of four children and she is also the mother of four children: Martin S., deceased; Alice, who is at home; Roy, who is at home; and one who died in infancy.
Mr. Overley was actively identified with the Masons, being a member of the lodge at Wyoming, while he was connected with the lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America located at Onslow. He also belonged to the Mystic Workers, to which his widow still belongs. She is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Onslow. Politically Mr. Overley was a supporter of the republican party and throughout life took an active part in the local councils of that organization, where his opinion was ever accorded a gratifying deference.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 226.


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