from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
After many years of active and honorable connection with agricultutal interests in Mahaska county Andrew J. Bartlett is now living retired in New Sharon. He was born in McArthurtown, Ohio, August 11, 1837, a son of Amos and Mary E. (Girard) Bartlett, the former born in Virginia in 1811 and the latter in Ohio in 1818. They were married in the Buckeye state and in 1844 came to Mahaska county, first locating in Oskaloosa, at which time there were but seven log shanties in the place, one little store and not a room larger than twelve by fourteen feet in the town. It was the days of primitive, pioneer development and Mr. Bartlett became a factor in the early growth and progress of the county. In the spring of 1845 he removed to Richland township, where he took up a government claim of one hundred and sixty acres, about half of which was covered with timber. There he built a log house and for many years made his home upon that farm. In 1848 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife and later he married Susan Rupe, who was born in Ohio. He reared his children upon the old home place in Richland township and for many years devoted his time and energies to agricultural pursuits but later retired and removed to Pella, Marion county, where he died, passing away at the age of sixty-three years, while his second wife survived him for about ten years. In politics he was a stanch advocate of democratic principles but he had no aspiration for office and the only position of a political nature which he ever filled was that of justice of the peace. In 1847 he cast the only democratic vote in Richland township, while six votes were cast for the candidates of the whig party. This indicates the limited population of the township at that time and, also the state of development and improvement to which the county had attained at that early day. By the fathers first marriage there were seven children: Mary E, the deceased wife of Allen Godbey, who lived in Prairie township; Augusta, who died at the age of six years; Andrew J., of this review; Amos, who is living in Poweshiek county; George, a resident of Adams county, this state; Marion, who died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa; and Jasper, who died at the age of twenty years. By the second marriage there were two children: William, who is now living in Nebraska; and Jerry, deceased. Andrew J. Bartlett remained at home until twenty years of age. There were few schools in the county in those days and the methods of instruction were very primitive as compared with the excellent school facilities now offered in the county. Mr. Bartlett had not more than three months' schooling in all his life, but in the school of experience has learned many valuable lessons and by reading and observation has greatly broadened his knowledge. He has many vivid recollections of the early days before modern civilization had wrought a transformation in pioneer conditions and environments. For many years the family used ox-teams, breaking the prairie, and oxen were also hitched to the wagon in which the family rode to church. Mr. Bartlett has had many a race with a team of oxen. Boards would be thrown across the wagon to serve as seats and as the team would bound along the children would bounce off the seat to the bottom of the wagon. Mr. Bartlett hauled goods from Keokuk to Oskaloosa before any railroad had been built. His mother used to card wool by hand and they did all of their own weaving and spinning, Mrs. Andrew J. Bartlett now having blankets in her house whicb she wove herself in early woman- hood. Cotton cloth at that time brought very high prices but the family raised their own sheep and could use woolen cloth which they spun and wove themselves when there was no money to purchase cotton cloth. There were many happy years in which the people enjoyed the hospitality of each other's homes. Mr. Bartlett says it seems they were more social in those days for they all depended upon each other for help and for entertainment. The mother never saw a sewing machine nor a cook stove, for all of her cooking was done over the open fireplace, great iron kettles hanging from the crane. To handle their hay they used a wooden fork, cut in the woods, and there was little farm machinery, most of the work being done by hand. All this has long since changed, and in his farm work Mr. Bartlett kept abreast with modern improvement and progress. Mr. Bartlett started out in life on his own account by renting land and in 1857 he took up a claim in Kansas but not liking the country there he returned in 1859 and has since resided continuously in Mahaska county. He had been married on the 11th of November, 1855, to Miss Jane Mitchell, who was born in Indiana, October 9, 1832, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Scott) Mitchell, both of whom were natives of Ohio, whence they came to Mahaska county in 1851 and here engaged in farming. The father at one time owned five hundred and ninety acres of valuable land. Both he and his wife continued to make their home in Madison township until called to their final rest. In 1860, following his return from Kansas, Mr. Bartlett purchased sixty-five acres of land from his father-in-law. There was a log house upon the place but only seven acres of the land had been broken and the remainder was covered with timber. After a short time he sold this property and removed to Jasper county and purchased a farm, remaining thereon until 1882, when he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Prairie township. This was all new land, which Mr. Bartlett broke, turning the first furrows in the fields and eventually planting the seed that in due course of time brought bounteous harvests. He also built a good frame house, planted evergreen trees and made a nice home. He added forty acres to the original purchase, making in all two hundred acres. He has since given each of his children a tract of land but he retains in his own name a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. On account of failing health he and his wife removed to New Sharon about 1903 and the farm is now rented. They own a nice home in the village together with four acres of land. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett have been born a daughter and son: Ella, now the wife of William Young, who resides in New Sharon but owns a good farm in Prairie township; and Clarence, who married a cousin, Jerusha Mitchell, and owns and occupies a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Madison township. He has three children, Grace, Walter and Alta. In politics Mr. Bartlett has always been a democrat but has never held any office. He and his wife celebrated their golden wedding in November, 1905, having for a half century traveled life's journey together, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity, and now they are enjoying the comforts of life in a pleasant home amid many friends. They are numbered among the early settlers of the county and as such certainly deserve mention in this volume.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy