Joshua R. GORSUCH, b. 1831

The farming interests of Union township have a worthy representative in Joshua R. Gorsuch, who is living on section 22 and has been one of the extensive landowners of the county but has divided his property among his children, retaining possession, however, of one hundred acres of land. He has passed the Psalmist's span of three score years and ten, his birth having occurred in Harrison county, Ohio, September 1, 1831. His parents were Charles and Matilda (Roberts) Gorsuch. the father was born in Maryland, about twenty-five miles from Baltimore, in 1797, and the mother's birth occurred in Ohio. The paternal grandparents were also natives of Maryland and the family is of Irish origin. Charles Gorsuch devoted his entire life to general agricultural pursuits, becoming the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and fifty acres in Delaware county, Ohio, where he successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits for some years. In 1854 his son Joshua came to Iowa on a prospecting tour, knowing that he had no chance to get land in Ohio. Noting how cheap land was in Iowa he returned to the Buckeye state and advised his father to sell and come west, so that in the spring of 1855 Charles Gorsuch, having disposed of his property in the east, drove with his family across the country and took up his abode in Union township, Mahaska county. He purchased a farm near where his son Joshua now lives and made his home here until his death, which occurred in 1873. He was a man of very limited education, having had no school privileges in his youth but he was a very successful farmer. His wife survived him for only about a year. Joshua R. Gorsuch was the second in order of birth in a family of nine children, all of whom came to Iowa in 1855, and one brother, William Gorsuch, is now living in Union township, while a sister, Mrs. Latcbam, resides in southern Kansas. These, with the exception of our subject, are all that are now living. Joshua R. Gorsuch from early boyhood was imbued with a desire to obtain a good education and told his father that if he would help him to attend school he would not ask for any property. The father, however, thought a common-school education was sufficient and Mr. Gorsuch of this review was permitted to attend only the district schools of the neighborhood. He remained with his parents until after they came to Iowa, when he began farming on his own account, purchasing eighty acres of land where he now resides. It was mostly timber and the remainder was covered with brush. His first dwelling was a small frame house in which he lived until he erected his present large frame residence in 1866. He thought at first if he ever succeeded in clearing up that eighty acres it was all the land that he wanted, but as the years passed by and his financial resources increased he added to his property from time to time until eventually he became the owner of about seven hundred acres of valuable land. He has since divided this among his children although he still retains the title to the different farms and he has one hundred acres which will be inherited by the daughter who remains with him and is acting as his housekeeper. Mr. Gorsuch was married in May, 1857, to Miss Eleanor McMasters, born October 22, 1829, a daughter of Samuel and Eleanor McMasters. Her death occurred May 28, 1884. In their family were nine children: Charles Q., who was born June 7, 1858, and died October 23, of the same year; S. L., who was born August 31, 1859, and married Lizzie Gilbert, their home being on a farm adjoining his father's property; Martha, who was born February 11, 1861, and is the wife of Ben Latchman, of this township; Robert E., who was born December 30, 1862, and is in California; Alfred N., who was born October 14, 1864, and died at the age of fourteen months; Matilda, who was born June 5, 1866, and is acting as her father's housekeeper; Irene, who was born October 19, 1868, and is the wife of Charles Curry, of this township; James, who was born June 6, 1871, and is living in California; and Mary, who was born February 23, 1873, and is the wife of Miles Bashaw, of this township. Mr. Gorsuch has been a very successful farmer and his success is attributable to his good management and his close attention to business. For many years he bought and fed cattle, making most of his money in that way. He has done much hard work but is still a robust man, enjoying good health. In politics he was formerly a democrat but is now a republican, nor has he ever sought office as a reward for party fealty. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and although he never joined any fraternal orders or societies he has advised his sons to join the Masons. He is a man thoroughly reliable and straight- forward at all times and in his business has manifested not only justice but consideration and it is safe to say that he has not an enemy in the world.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page