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Charles E. Walston
Born 17 February 1858

Some men seem born to success, being fitted for large enterprises and capable of bringing them to a profitable termination. Such men place the communities in which they live under heavy obligation, for they give employment to many, put money into circulation and through their example induce others to embark on similar business careers. Charles E. Walston, formerly of Hale, now of Rome, Iowa, has led a busy life and has been successful in his undertakings for he possesses those requisite attributes of industry, executive ability and foresight.
Mr. Walston was born in Hale township, Jones county, Iowa near the banks of the Wapsipinicon river in a log house, February 17, 1858, coming into the world under essentially pioneer conditions. He is a son of William and Sarah (Waite) Walston, natives of Pickaway county, Ohio, and Leeds, England, respectively. William, Walston who was born December 12 1829, passed away in Hale, Jones county, April 4, 1909. His widow, who was born August 3, 1833, was brought to Oxford township, Jones county, by her parents in 1851. There she was married August 12, 1852, and she still resides in this county, making her home at Wyoming with her son-in-law, S. A. First. She is a daughter of Robert Waite, who was born in England, September 5, 1795, and was there married July 9, 1815, to Elizabeth Midgeley.
In 1844 William Walston came to Oxford township, Jones county, with his parents and had the honor of being the first white man married in that township. He began entering forty acres of government land at a time, buying it at one and a quarter dollars per acre, until he owned one hundred and sixty acres, and he lived upon his farm until 1889, when he retired. He was drafted in 1862 and sent to St. Louis, but was then rejected owing to a crippled hand. The Methodist church of Hale found in him a hearty supporter, he being one of its charter members, and he helped to build the first church. From the formation of the republican party he was one of its stanch advocates.
Fourteen children were born to William Walston and wife, as follows: Elizabeth, who married Commodore Smith, of Texas; Mary Ellen, who married Andrew Schwab and died May 10, 1892; Charles E., of this review; William Henry, who lives in Guthrie county, Iowa; Esther M., who married William T. Preston, of Iowa; George F. who lives in Kansas; John, who lives in Guthrie county, Iowa; Sarah E., who married S. A. First, of Wyoming township; Ida, who was born February 20, 1870, and died December 3, 1885; Alvah J., who was born September 1, 1871, and died September 27, 1904; Clarence T., who lives in Ida county, Iowa: Janette Rose, who married Anthony Gilmore, of Hale township; Luverna Alice, who married Allen Boudinot, of Davenport, Iowa; Grace L., who married Dr. R. E. Wright, of Bern, Kansas. These fourteen children all grew to maturity and for years gathered about the home table.
Charles E. Walston has spent his life in Jones county, with the exception of three years in Ida county. He went to that county when he was twenty-two years old, but found that he preferred his native place and so returned to Hale township. Here he engaged in farming until 1886, when he removed to the village of Hale and from 1886 to 1896 he was a stock buyer. He also conducted a general store with D. C. Merritt, under the firm name of Walston & Merritt for thirteen and one-half years, selling out in December, 1908. Mr. Walston is now an extensive dealer in real estate, making a specialty of farm lands. He himself owns five hundred and ninety-two acres and a half interest in five hundred and twenty-four acres in Jones county and about three thousand, one hundred and sixty in South Dakota. In this business he also operates with Mr. Merritt under the same name of Walston & Merritt. These two have conducted their land business for the past eight years, and have secured gratifying results, especially in their operations in Iowa and South Dakota farm lands. In November, 1909, he removed to Olin.
Mr. Walston was married January 18, 1883, to Mary Merritt, who was born in Rome township, Jones county, February 6, 1862, a daughter of J. J. Merritt, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this work. They have four children, as follows: Charles Lee, who was born December 6, 1883, and died May 30, 1886; Laura Janette, the wife of Charles L. Schaefer, of Keystone, Iowa; Ward Jerome, born December 8, 1892, still at home; Blanche M., born in 1895. There is one grandchild, Neola Lucille Schafer, born May 14, 1908, the pet of the whole family.
Mr. Walston is a director of the First National Bank of Olin and has held that position since its organization. He belongs to the Methodist church and is a liberal supporter of its good work. Fraternally he belongs to lodge No. 200, A.F.&A.M., the Royal Neighbors and is a charter member of Hale Lodge, M.W.ofA. He is without doubt one of the most representative citizens of his part of the county, and is a man of sterling integrity of character, whose position both socially and as a business man is unquestioned.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 453.


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