biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Rufus Putnam Bacon, one of the pioneers of the Hawkeye State, arrived within its borders in the summer of 1848. He came to this county accompanied by his brother John, who is now a resident of White Oak Township. They purchased 200 acres of school land on time, being without cash capital. Rufus P. left his brother in charge of the land and started out to earn money to assist in paying for it. The following spring found him in Keokuk, where he was variously employed until fall, when he started for California. He spent the winter following in Panama. On the 2d of May, 1850, he continued his journey to the Golden State, and after arriving there engaged in mining for the following three years, meeting with fair success. He then returned to Iowa via Nicaragua and New York City, and found that his land was of poor quality, so he abandoned it and purchased another 300 acres in Monroe Township. That same month (May) Mr. Bacon was united in marriage with Miss Phoebe A., daughter of Butler Dunbar, and locating upon his land, engaged in agricultural pursuits there until 1865. He then sold out, and removing to Oskaloosa, engaged with different partners in the grocery trade until 1873, when he practially retired from active business. The subject of this history was born in Washington County, Ohio, Nov. 24, 1825, his parents being William and Eleanor (Miller) Bacon, both of English ancestry, and natives respectively of New York and Ohio. The parental family included thirteen children, ten of whom grew to mature years. The mother of our subject died when he was but seven years old, and his father afterward married Miss Nancy Vincent , of which union there were born four children,. After the death of his mother, our subject resided with an uncle at Marietta, Ohio. He received but a common-school education, as he could only pursue his studies during the winter months. His uncle was a tinner by trade, which our subject also learned, and followed it until the time of coming west. Mr. Bacon is the only man who ever went to California all the way by water at that time. His brother, Eli G., who accompanied him, is now a resident of Washington Territory, where our subject has visited him. In politics Mr. Bacon is a stanch Republican, and has frequently been the incumbent of local offices. He is now serving his fifth year as a member of the County Board of Supervisors. Socially he is Knight Templar in the Masonic fraternity. He has been prominent in the political affairs of this section, and as a journalist and newspaper man obtained an enviable reputation. Mr. and Mrs. Bacon have no children.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy