William S. EDGAR, b. 16aug1825


biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

WILLIAM S. EDGAR, deceased, a pioneer of Mahaska County, was born in Springfield, Ohio, Aug. 16, 1825. He was the son of James and Margaret Edgar, who came to Iowa in 1844, and settled in Cedar Township, Mahaska County, when William S. was quite a young man. Here he assisted his father in tilling the soil, receiving such education as the common schools of that day afforded. He was in reality a self-educated man, was a great reader, a close student, and possessed a wonderful memory. In 1845 he came to Oskaloosa with his parents, when his father, who was a carpenter and joiner, built the first courthouse for the county. Soon after coming to the city he started the first harness-shop in the county, and conducted the business for some time. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Clerk of Courts, under Hon. M. T. Williams, serving in that capacity two years, when he was elected Clerk of the Courts for four terms, proving himself an efficient officer, his management of the office being creditable alike to himself and his friends. Mr. Edgar was married, Oct. 20, 1851, to Miss Sarah M. Kinsman, a lady of English descent, and a daughter of Melitiah Kinsman. He was born in Nova Scotia, and, when a young man, removed to Susquehanna County, Pa., where he engaged in blacksmithing. Here he became acquainted with and was married to Miss Rhoda Wright. Six children were born to them, three sons and three daughters: Orson, deceased, came West at an early day, when Iowa was a Territory; he built and was proprietor of the first hotel in Oskaloosa, where he lived for many years. Jerusha was married in Pennsylvania to a man by the name of Sherman Canfield, who settled in White Oak Township, Mahaska County, at an early day; Mr. Canfield died in this county several years ago. Tirzah married Elijah Canfield, and resides in Polk County, Iowa; Melitiah is a farmer, residing in White Oak Township, this county; John N. is railroad agent at Cedar, a station on the B. & W. R. R.; Sarah M. resides in Oskaloosa. Mr. Kinsman died in Susquehanna County, Pa., about 1830. The children, soon after his decease, came West and settled in Mahaska County, Iowa, the mother coming with them, and residing with her daughter, Mrs. W. S. Edgar, until her death in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Kinsman were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church from early life. Mr. and Mrs. Edgar became the parents of five children, all of whom are living: Lillis J., born July 30, 1853, is the wife of James Root, now engaged in the marble business at Washington, Kan.; Owen N., born Nov. 26, 1855, is engaged in the hardware business in Washington County, Kan.; Oscar S., born July 26, 1857, is Assistant Superintendent of the Standard Coal Company of this city; Sallie B., born March 8, 1860, is the wife of Rev. William M. Semones, of the Christian Church of Oskaloosa; Jessie M., born Aug. 4,1862, is the wife of Prof. H. S. Philips, late of the Faculty of Oskaloosa College, now Principal of the High School of Oskaloosa. After retiring from the Clerk's office Mr. Edgar engaged in the nursery business, which he followed for several years. He was an active working member of the Republican party, representing it frequently in its conventions, county, judicial, district and State. He was Secretary of the Mahaska County Agricultural Society for several years, in the success of which he took an active and deep interest. He was a man small in stature, but of great vigor and full of life, and so continued until afflicted with the disease which carried him away. He was a Master Mason, and one of the first initiates after the organization of a Masonic lodge in this City, and was also a member of Hiram Chapter No. 26, of this city, and upon his decease was buried by that order, with all the honors to which his rank entitled him. In every avocation of life Mr. Edgar measured up to the full stature of the perfect man. As a county official the records kept during his term of office are a monument to his ability in this particular. In society he was a genial, social gentleman; at his home a loving husband and indulgent father; in his church, an acceptable and active member; and by all who knew him he was a man greatly esteemed for his noble qualities of head and heart. Mr. and Mrs. Edgar were members of the Congregational Church. His widow still survives, and lives in Oskaloosa, where she is highly respected by all who know her.

Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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