from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
W. A. Hoover, devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits on section 4, Spring Creek township, is one of the prosperous farmers and prominent stock-breeders of the county, dealing in pure blood Chester White hogs. His farm is an attractive property, forming one of the pleasing features of the landscape. It comprises two hundred and thirty-eight acres of well improved and valuable land, and in his work of cultivating it Mr. Hoover displays an enterprising spirit, which enables him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in his path. He was born in this township, March 7, 1855. His father, James M. Hoover, was a native of Indiana and a son of Jonas Hoover, who came to Iowa from Indiana, being one of the first settlers in Mahaska county. He is said to have built the first log house in Oskaloosa and at all events he was closely associated with the pioneer movement that resulted in laying the foundation for the present progress and upbuilding of the city. He was a shoemaker by trade and also a tanner and currier and before coming to Oskaloosa conducted a tanyard at Pleasant Plains. James M. Hoover, father of our subject came with his father to Mahaska county and was here reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life. He was also married here to Miss Eunice Cox, a native of Indiana, in which state her girlhood days were passed. He settled on a farm in Spring Creek township, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of prairie land. He broke, fenced and improved the place, transforming the wild tract into productive fields and as his crops brought to him a good return he added to his land from time to time, owning several hundred acres. Subsequently he went to Kansas with a daughter and became ill. There he died September 5, 1885. His wife survived him for several years, passing away August 29, 1890. Mr. Hoover was the only son and had but one sister, Delpha A., now the wife of H. H. Glasscock, who is mentioned on another page of this work. W. A. Hoover was reared in Spring Creek township and is indebted to the common-school system for the educational privileges he enjoyed save that he has learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience. In his youth he broke the virgin soil and he has also broke and cleared three timbered farms, cutting away the trees, grubbing out the stumps and clearing away the brush, so that the breaking plow might make unimpeded progress in turning the furrows in the fields. As a companion and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss Susan Ballenger, to whom he was married in Spring Creek township on the 9th of December, 1880. She is a native of Adams township, Mahaska county, and a daughter of Jeremiah Ballenger, a native of Illinois, who was born September 21, 1826, and was reared in that state, after which he came to Iowa in early manhood, settling in Mahaska county about 1856. He was married here to Miss Christena Starlin, a native of Ohio, and their daughter, Mrs. Hoover, was reared in Mahaska county. Mr. and Mrs. Hoover began their domestic life upon the farm where he now resides. He began here with one hundred acres of land which he had to clear of stumps, but as fast as possible he transformed the place into fields of rich productiveness. He later bought more land from time to time and upon his farm has erected a good neat residence; three substantial barns and outbuildings. He has fenced and cross fenced his place and now has a valuable property. harvesting golden grain as a reward for his earnest and persistent labor in cultivating the fields. In 1880 he began the breeding of Chester White hogs, in which he has since dealt, and has built up a very extensive business. In 1904 he won twenty-three premiums at the St. Louis Exposition and in 1905 he won twelve premiums and the championship at the Iowa State Fair, a fact which indicates that he is one of the prominent breeders of Chester White hogs in the country, his stock being of the highest grade. He has also carried off a large number of premiums at the Illinois State Fair, and has a reputation that has made him known throughout the United States and Canada as a breeder and dealer in pure-blooded Chester White hogs. He received at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis a diploma-the only one givenfor the best Chester White sow of any age, such diploma being awarded to no other exhibitor. Mr. Hoover receives orders and ships his hogs to all states of the Union, and is widely known as a most reliable and enterprising business man, whose ability and energy have won him success, while his honesty has become proverbial with all whon deal with him. His place is regarded as headquarters for breeders who want to obtain the best grades of Chester White swine. He makes a business of exhibiting stock at the leading fairs, a custom which he has followed for years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hoover have been born three daughters: Fannie B., Delpha A. and Zella C., all of whom are attending school. The parents and two children in 1890 went west, spending one winter in Salem, Oregon. Mr. Hoover has traveled quite extensively throughout the country, visiting a number of states and most of the leading cities in the Union. Politically he is independent. He was reared in the faith of the Friends church. Both he and his wife have spent their entire lives in this county, and he has helped to improve and make it what it is today, for in all matters of citizenship he co-operates along lines of general progress and improvement, withholding his support from no movement which he believes will be of public benefit.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy