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John Sealey Stacy
Born May 13, 1833


JOHN S. STACY, attorney and counselor at law, Anamosa. Judge Stacy was born on the 13th of May, 1833, at De Kalb, St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.; his parents were Pelatiah and Jerusha Tanner Stacy. The paternal ancestors were from Massachusetts, thence to Oswego, N.Y., and his grandfather was one of the first settlers in De Kalb. His father served a short time in the war of 1812, at Ogdensburg. His maternal ancestors were settlers in the vicinity of Cooperstown, N.Y., and the remains of many of them rest in the cemetery in that town. In boyhood, John S. Stacy had a great taste for reading, but was accustomed to the hard work of a farm, with only a few months at school each year until he was 16, when he attended an academy at Gouverneur, N.Y., there preparing for college; he attended one term at Oberlin, Ohio; then entered the Sophomore Class of Union College, and graduated in 1857; it was during President Nott's administration that Mr. Stacy was at Union College. He taught school several terms, studying law at the same time and during vacations. Immigrating westward, he spent a short time in teaching at Dover, Bureau Co., Ill., and, in the spring of 1858, located at Anamosa, Iowa; he entered the law office of Hon. E. Cutler, and was admitted to the bar in the autumn of the same year; he accepted an invitation to become a partner of Mr. Cutler, and the law firm of Cutler & Stacy commenced business on the 1st of January, 1859, which terminated in the autumn of 1862, by Mr. Cutler entering the military service. In 1864, Mr. Stacy engaged in banking, in connection with the practice of law, continuing until the autumn of 1873, when the panic compelled him to surrender. He was actively engaged in the building of the Iowa Midland Railroad, as attorney and Director. He was also President of the Iowa & Minnesota Railway Company, which had so far succeeded as to secure the preliminary negotiations, in London, for a loan that would doubtless have resulted in the success of the enterprise, but for the panic just alluded to, which put a stop to a great many important enterprises. In 1874, Mr. Stacy went to California, and spent two months there; he returned to that State again in 1875, and remained nearly two years, practicing law with success in San Francisco. Mr. Stacy was elected Judge of Jones Co., in 1861, and served one term. Judge Stacy has always been an ardent and active Republican. He was a Delegate to the National Convention which renominated Mr. Lincoln in 1864, and was one of his most hearty supporters. In 1858, while in Dover, Ill., Judge Stacy united with the Congregational Church, and, on settling in Iowa, transferred his membership to the Anamosa Church; he is an active Christian worker, and foremost in all philanthropic measures. On the 16th of November, 1862, he married Miss Charlotte A. Kellogg, a daughter of Rev. E. W. Kellogg, who, for forty years, was a Congregational minister in Vermont; she is a lineal descendant of William Bradford, second Governor of the Plymouth Colony; is a woman of fine mental culture and exalted Christian character, a worthy representative of the best Puritan stock; she has three children, who feel daily the molding hand of a Christian mother.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 580.

John Sealey Stacy has for a half century been a prominent and successful representative of the legal fraternity in Jones county, though he has now practically retired from active connection therewith because of his advanced age. He was born at De Kalb, New York, on the 13th of May, 1833, a son of Pelatiah and Jerusha (Tanner) Stacy. The father, a farmer by occupation, was a man of great energy, benevolent, public-spirited and successful. Both the paternal and maternal ancestors of our subject fought in the Revolutionary war. One of them was taken prisoner on Long Island and for an entire winter was compelled to earn his own subsistence.
John S. Stacy supplemented his preliminary education by a course in the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary of Gouverneur, New York, and also as a student in Union College at Schenectady, that state. He attended the latter institution during the presidency of the celebrated Dr. Nott and was graduated therefrom in 1857. Early in life he manifested a fondness for reading and during his college days he followed the profession of teaching. After completing his collegiate education he took Horace Greeley's advice and went west, locating in Iowa, where he has since made his home. Having determined upon the practice of law as a life work, he immediately began studying with that end in view and was admitted to the bar in 1859. From that time until recent years, when the infirmities of age have necessitated his retirement, he practiced his profession with signal success, winning an excellent reputation as a lawyer of force and ability. He was likewise connected with banking interests for a period of ten years and he and his partner established the first bank in Jones county.
At Buda, Illinois, Mr. Stacy was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte A. Kellogg, a daughter of Rev. E. W. Kellogg, who for forty years preached in the Congregational churches of Vermont and Illinois. She is eight generations removed from Governor William Bradford and John Alden, of the Plymouth colony, and her grandfather and great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary war at the same time. Mr. and Mrs. Stacy are the parents of four children, as follows: Marian Luella, now the wife of Dr. W. B. Skinner, of Anamosa; Edson Eugene, who wedded Miss Martha Fisher, of Grinnell, Iowa; Bertha Sybil, who gave her hand in marriage to Dr. A. G. Hejinian of Anamosa; and William Kellogg.
In politics Mr. Stacy has ever been a stanch advocate of the republican party, doing all in his power to forward its interest. He served as county judge for one term, held the office of mayor at Anamosa, acted as a member of the council and was also on the school board for many years. During the Civil war he was president of the Union League of both town and county, which served a patriotic purpose during the period of hostilities between the north and the south. It kept in check a rebellious element equal to the disorderly element in Indiana. He was offered the nomination for circuit judge of the eighth district but declined, and subsequently was nominated for judge of the district court, but was defeated on account of the rupture in the republican party over the prohibition question. In 1888 be was nominated for state senator and was defeated for the same reason, but carried his own county. He has been a member of the Congregational church for fifty-two years, serving much of the time as Sunday school superintendent, trustee and deacon. While there is not about Judge Stacy the least shadow of mock modesty, he disclaims any great credit for what he has done and yet his fellow citizens recognize the fact that he has left the impress of his individuality for good upon the county of his residence in its political and legal interests, in its social life-for he is a man of many friends-and in molding public thought and action as well.
One who knows Judge Stacy well has said: "John S. Stacy has been a man of more than ordinary ability. He has been preeminently a man of integrity and of unimpeachable character. Those who have been most intimate with his personal history can best testify as to the sacrifices he Has made, the trying ordeals he has experienced. and the mastery he has accomplished in the maintenance of manhood, humanity and personal character. Fate has raised her arm mightily against his efforts to accomplish several gigantic tasks he has undertaken. In the promotion of several railroad lines, he has found himself on the hill-top ready to claim the promised land when the financial panic of 1873 and other panics have crushed to earth his months of heroic effort. In these calamities, he may have had the power to save himself at the expense of others, but this his manhood would not allow him to do. He has been a clear and logical thinker, had a well trained mind well stored with useful information, was of a judicial temperament, and well qualified for a business career. He has been abundantly fitted to occupy a high station in life."

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 57.

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