|John W. Byerly
October 13, 1845–February 24, 1825
|John W. Byerly was born on a farm near Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio, Oct. 13th, 1845. He was the third son of Michael and Elizabeth (Jeffries) Byerly and a descendant of Andrew Byerly who about 1745 left his native land of Germany and founded the Byerly family in America, participating in the French and Indian war serving with Washington. In 1846, the Byerlys (the grandfather with his ten children and their children) came to Iowa, arriving before Iowa was admitted as a state. The various members of the family entered land from the government and were among the early pioneers of Jackson township. There Mr. Byerly grew to manhood and spent the major portion of his life as a farmer. He received a common school education and taught for five winters in Jones County farming during the summer for his parents until he assumed the management of the home place. He also rendered public service as a school director and road commissioner.
Mr. Byerly was married March 7th 1873 to Susie M. Johnson. There were born to them two children, Eva M. of Cedar Rapids and Earl of Jackson township who together with their mother survive him.
Mr. Byerly was an ardent Democrat who all his life followed with deep interest the fortunes of his political party, being familiar with the history of its leaders and remembering well outstanding events. He had a remarkable memory of persons and events connected with the early history of Jackson Township and Jones county and loved to rehearse his reminiscences for friends. He was a man who had a warm attachment for and was intensely loyal to all the members of his own family as well as holding a warm place in his heart for all those whom he accounted his friends. No place was ever quite so dear to him as the place where his own home was located. He was much attached to the farm in Jackson township and since coming to town about nine years ago, his visits to the old home place were frequent and afforded him much pleasure. As age came on, it was with great reluctance he left the old home neighborhood and he felt that its equal could not be found anywhere else he moved. But coming to town he came to think highly of his neighborhood and his neighbors here often saying that he had the best neighbors in town. Shortly before he died, he remarked that he did not think he had an enemy in the world, remarking how fine a thing it was to have a clear conscience. He had been gradually failing for some time. Last summer, the death of his brother, William, to whom he was deeply attached, was a severe blow to him. He passed away peacefully and without a struggle on the night of February 24th, 1925 having reached the age of 79 years, 4 months and 11 days.
Funeral services were conducted at the home on Ford Street, Friday, February 27th, at two o'clock by Rev. Ernest Evans of the Congregational Church. Burial was in the family lot at Riverside.
Submitted by: Margaret Byerly Filbin.
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