JOSIAH D LAIRD.
Prominent because of his success as a farmer and also because of his long residence in Buchanan county, Josiah
D. Laird is numbered among the influential citizens of Jesup and Perry township. For fifty four years he has lived
in this section of Iowa and there are few men who are so well acquainted with the early history of this section
or who retain a more distinct recollection of its pioneer settlers than does Mr. Laird.
He was born in Mesopotamia, Trumbull county, Ohio, January 14, 1835, and has therefore passed the seventy ninth
year of his age. His parents were James and Katherine (Cox) Laird, the former a native of Pennsylvania, born in
1806. His father, who also bore the name of James, was born in Scotland and settled in the Keystone state in an
early day. The father of our subject was reared in the latter place and was there married, subsequent to which
time he purchased land in Trumbull county, Ohio, to which he removed. He cleared his farm and eventually brought
it to a high state of cultivation. In the winter months, however, he engaged in teaching school for many years.
He died in Trumbull county when he had reached the age of sixty five years His wife, who was born in 1809 and was
of German extraction, died at the comparatively early age of forty years.
Reared on the home farm in Trumbull county, Josiah D. Laird attended the district schools of the neighborhood until
he was fifteen years of age, at which time he entered an academy at Orwell, Ohio. At the age of seventeen he taught
a winter term of school and subsequently taught one season at the academy which he had previously attended. His
time was alternated by farming and teaching until 1860, when he came to Buchanan county, Iowa, to locate on one
hundred and sixty acres of land which had been given him by his father. During the succeeding three winters he
engaged in teaching at Littleton and then disposed of his land. He next engaged in buying grain for a time and
in the meantime built an elevator at Jesup. He dealt in farm lands and for five or six years served as deputy sheriff
in Buchanan county. He eventually made a trade by which he came into possession of forty acres of land adjoining
the town of Jesup. He has since added to this until the property now comprises two hundred acres, one hundred and
forty acres of which lies within the corporate limits. This land is well improved and is under a high state of
cultivation. There are also to be found here three substantial sets of buildings. Although well advanced in years
he is still active and appears much younger. He has seen this district develop into a prosperous region, having
located here in pioneer days even before the railroad was built and he has done not a little to bring about the
transformation that has here been witnessed along various lines.
Mr. Laird was married on the 19th of March, 1863, to Miss Abbie Mosher, a daughter of Allen and Phoebe (Wilbur)
Mosher, who was born in Columbia county, New York, May 5, 1835, and comes of Quaker stock. Her parents were both
natives of Columbia county and about 1855 they made their way to Clayton county, Iowa, where the father engaged
in farming. They subsequently removed to Jesup, where they spent a decade, then made their home among their children,
spending much of their time With Mr. and Mrs. Laird They, too, were Quakers and both lived to a venerable age,
the mother passing away at the age of eighty four, while the father reached the age of ninety years ere he was
called from this life.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Laird has been blessed with three children: Fannie K., the wife of Charles Oliver,
of Omaha, Nebraska; Jay R., who operates the home farm; and Abbie May, the wife of E. R. Shoemaker, of Waterloo,
Mr. Laird has always been a stanch supporter of the republican party and in his earlier life was very active in
public affairs. For six years he served as deputy sheriff and at one time was a candidate for the office of sheriff
but met defeat by fifteen votes. He was township trustee and also served as a member of the board of supervisors
for one term, while for many years he was a member of the school board. Fraternally he is a Mason and both he and
his wife have been members of and active workers in the Presbyterian church for more than half a century. For fifty
years Mr. Laird was clerk of the sessions of the Presbyterian church but then resigned. Their children, too, are
all devout members of the church. His sterling traits of character have won for him a wide acquaintance and he
and his family enjoy the highest esteem of a host of warm friends.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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