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Stephen Walsworth
Born June 8, 1830

In the history of Jones county no man deserves more prominent mention among its representative citizens than does Stephen Walsworth, who has worked his way up from a life of obscurity to become one of the largest landowners of this section of Iowa, for his possessions today aggregate seven hundred and twenty-five acres. He is a native of the Empire state, born in Chenango county, June 8, 1830, a son of William and Elizabeth (Tracy) Walsworth. The father was born April 4, 1786, and passed away on the 23d of August, 1878, when he had reached the venerable age of ninety-two years, The mother who was born January 22, 1791, died September 5, 1848, when in her sixty-seventh year. Their family numbered seven children but only two are now living, Philo and Stephen of this review. In order of birth they are: Esther, Susannah, Lydia, Elisha, Elijah, Stephen and Philo.
Stephen Walsworth was reared under the parental roof until he reached the age of eleven years, when he went to live with a stranger, with whom he remained until he was nineteen years of age, and during this period his education was acquired in the common schools. At the latter period in his life he started out to make his own way in the world by working as a farm hand for seven and a half years. Through reports which came to him concerning the opportunities offered to the young man in the then far west, he became convinced that he could more quickly acquire a competence in such a district, and accordingly in the fall of 1855 made his way to Jones county, where he operated rented land for one year. He then bought forty acres of land, which he improved and later added a tract of ninety acres, making his home thereon for several years. He then disposed of that land and took up his abode on a farm on section 36, Scotch Grove township, continuing to operate the same until 1902. He then purchased his farm of two hundred and fifty-five acres, located in Scotch Grove township, where he now makes his home. He also owns other farm land in Jones county, having altogether seven hundred and twenty-five acres in Scotch Grove and Clay townships. For the past forty-five years he has engaged quite extensively in feeding stock and this branch of his business has brought him very gratifying success, so that today he is classed among the representative and wealthy men of this section of Iowa.
Mr. Walsworth was married January 1, 1857, to Miss Wealthy Baldwin, who was born in Ohio. Their union was blessed with six children, but the eldest, Sarah E. is now deceased. The living members are: Florence M., the wife of Philip Williams, a resident of Onslow; Charles A., who operates the home farm; William F., who makes his home in Huron, South Dakota; Esther Ann, the wife of Joseph Tracy, of Scotch Grove township; and Lydia, the wife of John Tracy, their home being in New York. The wife and mother departed this life September 7, 1905, and her remains were interred in South Mineral cemetery.
Mr. Walsworth is a republican in his political affiliations but has never been active as an office seeker, preferring to give his time to his extensive business interests. He is, however, at the present writing serving as road supervisor. He is truly a self-made man, for he started out in life at an early age, without capital and with but a limited education. However, he had the foresight to determine the opportunities of the west and in this region bent his energies to the accumulation of a competency. Today the result of his effort is seen in his large farms covering seven hundred and twenty-five acres, and yet, surrounded with wealth and comfort, he stands in the same relation to his fellowman as he did when battling with life's strenuous problems. The ideals of men like Mr. Walsworth, their personality, the history of their lives, and their profound sense of integrity could be made the text of a lesson from which the young men of today could study success.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 473.


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