James H. Douglass

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James H. Douglass, (22 November 1846 - 8 February 1933) was a highly esteemed citizen and substantial farmer of Black hawk County, Iowa. He was born in Richland County, Ohio, the son of Robert and Matilda (Pratt) Douglass. He ran a well cultivated farm of 135 acres in East Waterloo Township, and one of 27 acres in Poyner Township.

Robert Douglass was born in Richland County and his wife, in Logan County, Ohio. They were farming people and lived in Richland County until 1854, when they moved to Ogle County, Illinois, going from there, in 1868, to Raymond, Black Hawk County, Iowa. Mr. Douglass had no opportunity to show what success he could reach as a farmer in this county, as his heal failed and he died one year after coming here, at the age of 53 years. His widow was left with a family of six children. She survived until 1892. In politics, Mr. Douglass took only a citizen's interest, voting with the Republican party. He and his wife were worthy members of the Presbyterian Church.

Their children were: Amanda E., wife of O. G. Young, of Fox Township, James H.; Scott C.; a carpenter of Seattle, Washington; Ella L., wife of John Hobson, of Raymond, Iowa; Alonzo P., a grocer of Beloit, Wisconsin; and Frank L., formerly principal of the Lincoln School, who is now teaching near Des Moines, Iowa.

James H. Douglass was reared to habits of industry and enjoyed all the advantages of a good home and kind parents. He assisted his father until the family came to Iowa. After his father's death, he joined his mother and helped her keep the family together. He has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, buying and selling stock, following general farming and dairying, and raising cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. He runs a small creamery, keeping 15 milch cows, and sells his product in Waterloo. Corn, oats and hay do well on his land, and his farm is so carefully cultivated that each portion brings in an adequate return.

Mr. Douglass was married December 23, 1874, to Mary L. Taylor, who was born in Linn County, Iowa, daughter of Albert and Martha Taylor, of Hancock County, Ohio, who came to Iowa at an early day and entered land in Linn and Black Hawk Counties, both of them dying in the latter county. Mr. and Mrs. Douglass have four sons: namely: Oliver E., a graduate of the Waterloo High School, who married Keturah Marble, and is a farmer of East Waterloo Township; Elra T., a graduate of the Waterloo High School and a student at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa; Earl R., a farmer, who cultivates the home farm; and Walter A.

A lifelong Republican, Mr. Douglass has served his township in a number of the local offices, and has been assessor of East Waterloo Township for the past three years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

While in material things, Mr. Douglass, through his own efforts, has prospered continually since coming to Iowa, he has also met with misfortune, the chief event being the distressing accident by which he lost his left arm, while operating a corn shredder, in 1899. In this calamity he met with universal sympathy, and received many testimonials of the esteem in which he was held. his hospitable home is one of the social centers of his locality. He has educated his family and provided for their welfare, and stands as one of the honest, upright and useful men of the community. A picture of Mr. and Mrs. Douglass and their four sons accompanies this sketch.

[Source: History of Black Hawk County, Iowa, 1904]

James died September 6, 1907 and Mary died Feb. 8, 1933. They are buried at Poyner Cemetery, Gilbertville, Iowa.

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