from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
F. W. Ferrall, a retired farmer now living in New Sharon. came to Mahaska county when there was but one house in the village in which he makes his home. Born in Columbiana county, Ohio. January 17, 1817, he comes of German and Irish lineage. His paternal grandparents were William and Mary Ferrall, both natives of Virginia but born of Irish parentage. Their son, John Ferrall, was but two years of age when they removed from the Old Dominion to Ohio, locating in the midst of the forest in Columbiana county, where they lived in a bark shanty until a log cabin could be built. John Ferrall was therefore reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life in Ohio and after reaching years of maturity was married in that state to Miss Elizabeth Zepernick, who was born in Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Fred erick and Elizabeth Zepernick. who were natives of Pennsvlvania and were of German descent. They, too, removed to Ohio at an early period in its settlement and Mrs. Ferrall spent her girlhood days there. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ferrall lived upon a farm in Columbiana county, where they resided until they planned to establish a home in Iowa. Then selling their property in Ohio they came to Oskaloosa about thirty-five years ago and both remained residents of the county seat until their death, Mr. Ferrall passing away at the age of eighty-six years. while his wife died at the very advanced age of ninety-one years. F. W. Ferrall of this review remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age. He was the eldest of ten children, eight of whom are now living. He pursued his education in a little log schoolhouse with puncheon floor, stick chimney and slab seats, and the branches of learning therein taught were few in number, while the methods of instruction had not reached the present degree of efficiency known today. At the age of twenty-two years Mr. Ferrall was married to Miss Addis Hopy, a native of Pennsylvania, and for long years they traveled life's journey together but Mrs. Ferrall died about twelve years ago, when eighty-six years of age. Before their marriage Mr. Ferrall's father had visited Iowa and had purchased several different tracts of land, including one piece of one hundred and sixty acres in Union township, Mahaska county. F. W. Ferrall owned a good farm in Ohio but after the failure of crops for two successive years he resolved to seek a home in Iowa, having heard flattering reports of this state from a brother who lived here and was at that time visiting in Ohio. Mr. Ferrall therefore traded his farm to his father for the one hundred and sixty acres of hand in Mahaska county and with his brother he started to the new home, accompanied by his wife and three children. They traveled by rail as far as Iowa City, while a team and wagon loaded with their household goods were sent overland from Iowa City, thus hauling their goods to their new home. A small brick house had been built and a prairie stable. The little dwelling contained but one room and the ceiling was very low. It was in the spring of 1856 and Mr. Ferrall at once began the task of putting in wheat and corn. He continuously made his home upon that farm until about ten years ago and he erected there all modern buildings and made a beautiful home, while the wild prairie land was transformed into rich and productive fields. In all of his work he was practical and progressive and his labors were attended with a gratifying measure of prosperity. Following the death of his wife he removed to New Sharon and is now making his home with his daughter, Mrs. McMain. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ferrall were born five children, all of whom are living, namely: Irene, the wife of Barney James. who resides on a farm in Union township; Elizabeth, the wife of William Groves, of Union township; Anna E., the wife of Elwood Hatcher, of New Sharon: John M., who is residing near Oskaloosa: and Mrs. Cora McMain, of New Sharon. Mr. Ferrall has been a republican since the organization of the party and his first presidential vote was cast for William Henry Harrison, after which he supported the whig party until its dissolution. He has never sought office and though often urged by his friends and neighbors to accept public positions he would never serve save as township trustee, as school assessor and overseer of roads. He has been a member of the Christian church for sixty years and his life has ever been an honorable and upright one. His memory goes back to an early period in the development of Mahaska county. There were many wolves and other wild animals when he came but the deer were scarce, having been driven out by the cold winter of the previous year. Although he had but limited educational privileges Mr. Ferrahl has always been a great reader and likes to keep in touch with the progress of the day. He is still enjoying quite good health at the age of eighty-nine years and he finds pleasure in going down town in good weather to meet friends and neighbors there and spend the hours in social converse.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy