from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
R. W. BAXTER. R. W. Baxter, living on section 16, Spring Creek township, devotes his time and energies to the tilling of the soil and the raising of stock. He owns two good farms in this township and his practical methods and enterprise contain the secret of his success. He has lived in the county since 1872. His birth occurred in county Antrim, Ireland, in 1846, and he is of Scotch ancestry. He spent the first nineteen years of his life in his native land, where he served an apprenticeship in a rolling mill and was thus employed for several years. Emigrating to the new world he landed in New York on the 7th of June, 1866, and thence made his way to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in a rolling mill, working there until February, 1875. In 1872, however, he had come to Iowa and purchased land in Mahaska county, and three years later he took up his abode upon this farm, comprising eighty acres, of which only a small part had been broken. There was upon the place a small frame house and log stable. Mr. Baxter was married in Pittsburg, July 2, 1872, to Mrs. Jane Ross (nee Cruth), the widow of William Ross, and a native of Ireland, in which place she was reared. The eldest daughter of this marriage is now Mrs. W. F. Knott, a widow residing in Cedar, Iowa. She has six children: Irvin Ross, Laura Myrtle, Lottie May, Gracie Mabel, Mary Josephine and Carrie C. Knott. Mary Josephine is with her grandparents, and is a little maiden of seven years. She is now attending the home school and resides with her Grandmother Baxter. Mr. and Mrs. Baxter experienced many hardships and privations for many years, as he attempted to make a start in life. He began at the lowest round of the ladder of success, but has gradually climbed upward. As his financial resources increased he bought more land from time to time and now owns one hundred and sixty acres of cultivable land and forty acres of timber. Upon this place he built a new cottage and good barn. He has also planted an orchard and has fenced the place. There is a good well and windmill, and altogether he has made a valuable farm, equipped with modern improvements, together with good machinery that facilitates the work of the fields. Upon the farm he continued to reside until 1899, when he bought a residence in Oskaloosa and retired to the city. During this time he has bought fifty- seven acres, including an improved place where he resides of twenty acres on the north side and thirty-seven acres on the south side. Upon the north side property there is a large, commodious and substantial residence, and a young orchard just coming into bearing. Mr. and Mrs. Baxter have three children: Ida May, now the wife of Arthur Delly, a farmer of Madison township; Carrie C., the wife of Frank Water, of Oskaloosa; and Fannie A., who is a graduate of the high school of Oskaloosa, and is now a teacher in Mahaska county. They lost their first born, Jennie Baxter, who died when a year old. Politically Mr. Baxter is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party. He has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking but is desirous for the welfare of his community and is a believer in good schools and good teachers. He served for a number of years on the school board and put forth effective and earnest service in behalf of the cause of education. Both he and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian church of Oskaloosa. He has lived and labored in Mahaska county for many years, and is well known as a prosperous farmer and good business man, whose genuine worth and ability have resulted in winning for him an honorable name and also a gratifying measure of success.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy