Born November 6, 1867
|Smith James is one of the prosperous farmers of, Madison township, and, as it is popularly said in the phrase of the field, has the faculty of making two blades of grass grow where another man could with difficulty raise one. He was born in this township, November 6, 1867, and is the son of J. W. James, who has retired from the active pursuit of farming and lives in the town of Wyoming, Iowa.
Smith James was reared at home and after completing the course of study prescribed by the common schools continued his education in the Wyoming high school. His lessons over, he returned to the farm and for a number of years assisted his father in the cultivating of his fields, until, having married, he was desirous of establishing a home of his own. His father thereupon left the old homestead for another farm he owned in Madison township and rented to his son the place he now owns and occupies. In 1895 Smith James was able to purchase the land of his father, which brought his holdings up to two hundred and forty acres, for he had already bought eighty acres which adjoined the home place on the northeast corner. From the beginning he put his agricultural operations on a scientific basis, sparing no pains to obtain the best results from the soil that is his. The wealth of the harvests have justified all his labor and the fertility of the soil, which rather increases than diminishes under his system of cultivation, attests the wisdom of his science.
In 1893 Mr. James was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Crew, of Lineville, Iowa. Seven children have been born to the couple, six of whom survive: Cecil W., Hugh L., Edward R., Paul J., Wesley A. and Mary N. The family are members of the Free Methodist church, in which Mr. James is a trustee, and are diligent in their attendance at its services. Their lives, too, bear testimony to the practical value of its teachings. Politically Mr. James affiliates with the prohibitionists, being thoroughly in sympathy with the majority of the principles of their platform. It is by his work, however, that he is judged, and when it is remembered that he, feeds as many as two carloads of cattle each year and that his fields in every way are a model for those engaged in like pursuit, the inevitable inference is convincing-that though unremitting toil may accomplish many things and good management point the way to a substantial income, the greatest success comes from the union of these things and a mind which is progressive, determined to profit by the experience and knowledge of others and able to utilize scientific methods.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 512.
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