Biography of Dewitt C. Woodrum
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





Dewitt C. Woodrum is a well known and prosperous fanner residing in Perry township, his land adjoining the corporation of Jesup on the north. He was born in Shasta county, California, September 5, 1854, a son of Henry H. and Nancy H. (Brassfild) Woodrum. The former was born in Kentucky, where he remained until he was a young man of about twenty years of age, or until 1848 or 1849, when he removed to Iowa and settled upon a farm near Oskaloosa. In 1852 he and his wife went overland to California with ox teams and settled in Shasta county, where he farmed to some extent. A great deal of his time, however, was given to mining and he was often gone for many days at a time prospecting. After four years his wife felt that the hardships of the new country and the loneliness were more than she could endure and accordingly returned to her home in Iowa, bringing with her the subject of this review, who was then but a small child. The latter never saw his father again and did not hear from him for many years. At the time of the Civil war the father joined the Union army and while in the military service of the government received an injury which eventually caused his death, although he lived to be seventy six years of age. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the War of 1812.

The mother of Dewitt C. Woodrum was a native of Indiana but was taken by her parents when an infant to Peoria, Illinois, where she was reared. She was married in Iowa and, as before stated, accompanied her husband across the plains in 1852. Upon her return to the middle west she rode a burro and carried her son in her arms for a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, or until she reached Sacramento, where she took a boat for San Francisco. From the latter city she went to the Isthmus of Panama, as she believed that route preferable to the long overland trip. She died at the advanced age of seventy five years and six months.

Dewitt C. Woodrum spent his boyhood upon the farm near Peoria with his mother and step father, but when sixteen years of age left home. He had carefully saved what little money he had received and had purchased a team, which he took with him when he went to the home of an uncle. He had received very little education previous to this time and, as he was eager to remedy his deficiencies in that respect, he attended district school for three winters while assisting his uncle with the farm work during the summers. At the end of that time he went to live with his grandfather, who owned a great deal of land and loaned money at interest. The subject of this review assisted his grandfather in many ways in the care of his business and in this way received a valuable commercial education. Later he rented land in Marshall county, Illinois, which he farmed for some time, but afterward became a dealer in horses and the owner of a livery stable in the same county. Unfortunately the market for horses was poor and money was hard to obtain and so he was compelled to sell his livery in order to pay his creditors. He next rented a farm belonging to his uncle in Peoria county, Illinois, and devoted his time to agriculture and dealing in horses. Upon leaving Peoria county he went to Ford county, Illinois, and purchased a. farm near Gibson City, which he operated for several years. Ile kept everything upon the place in good repair and by wise management conserved the fertility of the soil, and his foresight, coupled with the general advance in land values, enabled him to sell his place at a large profit. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres for six thousand dollars and at the end of nine years sold his land for one hundred and sixty dollars per acre. He then went to Gibson City and for three years engaged in the livery and horse business, after which he bought three hundred and sixty acres of land in Lee county, Illinois, near the town of Dixon, paying forty five dollars per acre. After cultivating the same for four years he sold it for seventy five dollars per acre. He subsequently bought and sold four or five different tracts of land in the vicinity of Dixon and in 1906 came to this county, purchasing his present farm, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres in Perry township. He bought it for seventy five dollars per acre, but it could now be sold for two hundred dollars per acre. The land is very fertile and is in a high state of cultivation, while the place is provided with the necessary buildings which are kept in fine repair. Mr. Woodrum has prospered in his various undertakings and is now in the possession of a competence.

Mr. Woodrum was married when twenty two years of age to Miss Adeline L. Wood, a native of Marshall county, Illinois, and they are the parents of two children : Edna M., who has lived in various places in the west and has been a music teacher, but is now engaged in the millinery business in Montana ; and Marie, at home.

Mr. Woodrum is a republican and takes a keen interest in everything relating to the welfare of the community. Fraternally he belongs to Safety Lodge, No. 416, K. P.; Jesup Lodge, I. O. O. F.; to the Encampment; and to the Patriarchs Militant. His energy and business acumen have enabled him to prosper materially and he has won also the respect of those who know him.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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