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Hon. William M. Byerly
March 31, 1854–July 30, 1924
Chairman of Democratic Committee is Dead
Illness of Few Weeks Duration Fatal to Well Known Man

This community was deeply saddened yesterday morning by news of the passing of William M. Byerly, whose death occurred at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30. He had been confined to his bed at his home on Booth Street for several days with symptoms of heart trouble and severe pains diagnosed as neuritis in the heart region. For the past several weeks he has complained of similar illness.
Mr. Byerly has long been prominent in official and civic activities in the county and had a wide circle of warm friends. He was a native of this county and practically his entire life was spent in this community. The following historical sketch is taken from the History of Jones County:
Hon. William M. Byerly was born in Jackson township, Jones County, Iowa, March 31, 1854, and belongs to one of the best known families in Jones County, being a son of the pioneers, Michael and Elizabeth Jefferies Byerly. His residence has always been in Jones County except three years from 1880 to 1883 when he was in Barton County, Kansas. He was educated in the common schools of Jackson township and at Lenox College, Hopkinton, Iowa. Following this he taught school twelve terms during the winter in the country and boarded among the people in the district. During the summer he farmed and eventually became the owner of five hundred acres in three farms adjoining each other. In addition to other interests he was a stockholder in the Niles and Watters Savings Bank and director of the Anamosa District Fair Association.
One of the staunch Democrats of the county, he held township, county, and state offices at the call of that party. He was assessor twelve years and school director during eighteen years. In 1906, he was elected as member of the Board of Supervisors by a majority of over six hundred and was serving as Chairman of the Board when elected to the legislature, and served in the 33rd and 34th General Assemblies, twice winning in a county normally opposed to his political belief.
During practically all his mature life he was an active worker in all public activities which he believed to be worthy. Before retiring from the farm several years ago, he was always active in furthering his ideas of right in public policies and was a member of the party committees.
After retiring from farm work he became Chairman of the county central committee and served in that capacity with credit and ability until his death.
On March 17, 1878, occurred the marriage of Mr. Byerly and Eliza Waggoner. To Mr. and Mrs. Byerly were born eleven children of whom ten survive, namely: Claude of Waterloo, Jay of Anamosa, Floy wife of Rev. J. C. Tourtellot of St. Paul, Minnesota, Mrs. Blanche Russell (Royal) of Olin, Mrs. Grace Johnson (Antone) of Emmetsburg, Lee R. Byerly of Olin, Mrs. Beulah Miller (Chester), Guy and Mildred of Anamosa, and Lillian of Davenport. Those with the bereaved widow mourn the loss of a kind and devoted husband and father.
The funeral will be held from the family residence on Friday to the Congregational Church of Anamosa, of which Mr. Byerly has been a consistent member for many years. Rev. E. Evans will officiate.

Submitted by: Elizabeth & Lillian Byerly
Source: Anamosa Journal


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