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Sketch of the Life of the Late
William Byerly, Sr.
July 16, 1828–December 1, 1895
William Byerly Sr., son of Francis Byerly, was born in Violet Township, Fairfield county, Ohio July 16, 1828 and died December 21, 1895 being 67 years, 5 months and 5 days old.
He was the seventh child of a family of eleven children. Of those that are living are, Michael and Mrs. D. W. Grafft, who are living in Jackson township. Mrs. George Pfeiffer of Rome township, Andrew who is living in Anamosa, Adam in Minnesota and John who is living in Vinton, this state. The Byerly family came to Jackson, township, Jones county, Iowa on June 28, 1846, being the first pioneers of that township and county, leaving many descendants in this part of Jones county. William was 18 years old when he landed in Jackson township. When he came here the country was full of wild game, deer and wild turkey were abundant and we have heard him tell of his hunting exploits, and wondered at the change from a wilderness to one of the best cultivated states in the Union. He has been here and seen all this change, received all its pleasures, endured all its hardships. As a diamond becomes brighter by constant wear, so hardships and trials give man a brighter way of surmounting difficulties. He went at everything with a will and generally succeeded.
William Byerly and Miss Mary Shew were married May 21, 1854, in Indiana. To them were born six children, two of whom died in infancy. Of the living are: F. A. and A. E. who are living in Jackson township, U. G. in Marlon, Linn county, and Mrs. S. Miller of Rome township.
He was a man of pure character, temperate, kind and obliging. In his financial dealings he was careful, but always honest. He seldom went in debt, preferring to pay as he went along. His word was a law unto himself. As a neighbor he was kind and obliging always willing to lend a helping hand in sickness and distress. He loved his wife, his children, his neighbors,--he loved his God. He was converted to Christianity in 1851, and was always a consistent Christian, and a member of the United Brethren Church. In politics he was a disciple of Jefferson and Jackson, true to his party, but always consistent; believing in legislation that would do the most good to the greatest number.
For a long time he was a constant sufferer. He knew that death was slowly but surely fastening his pangs upon him. His friends and neighbors would often call at his bedside and give their sympathy and encouragement; a loving wife watched over him day and night. He appreciated their sympathies; but they could not share his suffering. He trod the winepress alone. When death came he did not bleuch; he did not quail, he had made his peace with God--was ready and waiting. With him--
[Space]"There is no death. The leaves may fall
[Space]And flowers may fade and pass away,
[Space]They only wait through wintry hours
[Space]The coming of the May."
He was interred in Center Chapel burying ground, Rome township, where the funeral services were held. Rev. N. Potter delivering the obituary address, and Rev. A. B. Statton the funeral sermon. Rev. Statton's text was "O grave where is thy victory." The remains were followed to their last resting place by a large procession of relatives and friends. Messrs, M. D. Corcoran, Charles Waggoner, M. H. Houstman, Jackson Houstman, John Stivers, Henry High, J. L. Streeter, John Corcorad officiated as pall-bearers.

Submitted by: Margaret Byerly Filbin

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