biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
DAVID VAIL, Mayor of New Sharon, and editor and proprietor of the New Sharon Star, was born in Belmont County. Ohio, April 21, 1851. His father, John Vail, a native of Belmont County, is a farmer by occupation, and now resides in Keokuk County, Ia. His mother, Abigail (Edgerton) Vail, was a native of the same county, and is still living. John Vail and Abigail Edgerton were united in marriage Aug. 29, 1827, and to them were born fourteen children; three died in infancy and eleven are still living, seven boys and four girls, named as follows: Semira L., Isaac N., Benjamin F., Mary, Hervey J., David, Anna, John N., Joseph S., Abigail E., and Walter E. When David Vail was thirteen years of age, the family removed from the old homestead in Ohio to Iowa, locating in Keokuk County, where his parents yet reside. David was reared as a farmer boy, tilling the soil in the summer months and attending school during the winter, and secured for himself the best education the common-school system afforded. In the fall of 1878 he left the farm and entered the office of the New Sharon Star as an apprentice to learn the printer's trade. His brother, Hervey J., now editor of the Pasadena Star, at Pasadena, Cal., was then eaitor and proprietor of the New Sharon paper. David Vail became a respected and prominent citizen at New Sharon, and on June 28, 1882, was commissioned Postmaster, which office he held until Jan. 1, 1886. On April 22, 1885, he purchased of his brother the New Sharon Star, and is now its sole proprietor and editor. Mr. Vail has been twice married, the first time, March 6, 1872, to Miss Ellen Coulson, a native of Columbiana County, Ohio. She died Jan. 3,1880, leaving two children, Charles C. and Luella. His second marriage occurred Feb. 7. 1882, with Miss Vesta C. Coulson, a cousia of his first wife, also a native of Columbiana County, and by this union there has been one child, Theresa. The parents of David Vail are members of the Society of Friends, but he has never united himself with any church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and one of the principal officers of his lodge. In his political affiliations Mr. Vail is a very ardent Republican, and has held many local offices. The old axiom that poets are born, not made, applies with equal force to the profession of journalism. It matters little what the literary acquirements of a man may be, unless the other essentials obtain, he will fail of success in the field of journalism. One must, literally speaking, have a "nose for news," and be ever on the alert to obtain this most desirable commodity. Then he must exercise the wisdom of a Solomon in leaving out that which should not be inserted and be careful to put into the columns of his paper everything that should appear. He must be as patient as Job under the most trying circumstances. In a word, he must possess an individuality that shall be stamped upon each issue of his paper before it can become a power among the people. We believe Mr. Vail possesses in an eminent degree all the essential qualifications of a first-class newspaper man, and the mantle of his brother, who established the New Sharon Star,has indeed fallen upon worthy shoulders. Personally Mr. Vail is a most honorable gentleman, a man of strict integrity, one to be desired as a friend and feared as an enemy. He takes an active interest in all public matters, giving his first attention to the local interests of his town and its surroundings, but liberal and broad enough to compass the interests of the county in which he lives.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy