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William G. Peet
Born May 8, 1846


WILLIAM G. PEET, farmer, Rome Twp., Sec. 29; P.O. Mechanicsville; born in Jones Co. in 1846. Owns 14 acres in Jackson Township; 350 in Greenfield Township; 190 in Rome Township, which is the old homestead of George Saum. Mr. Peet is an extensive raiser of South-Down sheep, Devon cattle and Poland hogs. His wife, Miss L. E. Saum, born in Jones Co. in 1847. Married in 1872, and have had two children; one died in infancy—James S., aged 4 years, born in Jones Co.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 650.

William G. Peet figured for many years as one of the most successful farmers of Jones county, carrying on business on a most extensive scale. He was born here during the pioneer epoch in the history of the county and lived to witness its wonderful transformation, bearing an active and helpful part in the work of progress and development. He was seldom, if ever, at error in matters of business judgment and his enterprise and keen discrimination enabled him to win success that placed him among the county's most wealthy citizens. He was born near Fairview, in Fairview township, Jones county, May 8, 1846, and was of Welsh extraction. His parents, James and Anna Peet, came to this county at a very early day, being among its first settlers. They were worthy people and aided in the reclamation of the district for the purposes of civilization. They entered land in Fairview township and the father devoted his energies to the work of transforming the wild prairie into richly cultivated fields that he might provide thereby for the support of his family.
William G. Peet was reared to manhood on the old homestead, amid the wild scenes and environments of pioneer life, sharing with the family in all of the hardships and privations which fell to the lot of those who established homes on the frontier, At the usual age he attended the public schools, but the methods of instruction were very inferior to those in vogue at the present day. His training at farm labor was not meager, for as soon as old enough to handle the plow he took his place in the fields and continued in that line of work for many years. He remained upon the old homestead until 1888, when he removed to Anamosa, there spending the rest of his life. While on the farm he engaged largely in the tilling of the soil and also in buying and selling stock. He continued in the latter after his removal to Anamosa and also engaged in the grain trade. As he prospered in his undertakings he made investment in farm lands from time to time until he became one of the most extensive landowners in this part of the state, his possessions at the time of his death aggregating over two thousand acres in Jones county.
In 1872 Mr. Peet was united in marriage to Miss Eliza E. Saum, who was born in Rome township, this county, July 28, 1847, and is a daughter of George and Susanna Saum, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Indiana. They were among the first settlers of Jones county, arriving in 1839, at which time they took up their abode in Rome township, where Mr. Saum entered land from the government. He was one of the honored early settlers here and the history of his life is given at length on another page of this work.
In his political views Mr. Peet was a democrat but had neither time nor inclination for public office, for his business interests claimed all of his energies. He manifested keen sagacity and insight in all of his investments, was thoroughly reliable in his undertakings and was never known to take advantage of the necessities of another in any business transaction. He did all things openly and above board and as the years passed became one of the county's most wealthy and honored citizens. He was a man of tall and commanding presence, courteous and kindly in disposition and merited the high regard which was uniformly given him.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Peet were born four children of whom one died in infancy. The others are James S., Lorinda M. and Truman G. The last named is married and resides in Anamosa. The daughter is the wife of James Templeman, a farmer of Walnut Grove. The eldest, James S. Peet, was born at Walnut Grove, in Rome township, June 11, 1875, attended the district schools and afterward continued his education in the public schools of Anamosa and in a business college at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On leaving school, he went upon his mother's place and managed the farm for about six years but in 1900 took up his abode in Anamosa, where he has since lived. In 1905 the Peet Lumber Company was organized, the stockholders being James S. Peet and his mother. In this connection they carry on an extensive business as dealers in lumber and coal, the company being now accorded a large patronage. Mr. Peet manifests many of the sterling business qualities which his father displayed and in the control of his interests gives evidence of a spirit of progress and enterprise which is always an essential factor in the attainment of success. His political support is given to the democracy, but while he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day he has neither time nor inclination for public office, as his business affairs claim his attention and make ample demand upon his time.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 143.

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