Biography of David Dancer
Decatur County, IA Biographies





David Dancer achieved a large measure of financial success, becoming one of the wealthiest men in Decatur county, and he was held in high respect as an agriculturist and as a banker but it would be far from the truth to suppose that he was not equally honored as a man and as a citizen, for his dominant traits were such as invariably win esteem and goodwill.

Mr. Dancer was born in Oneida county, New York, on the 20th of February, 1827, a son of William and Phoebe (Mix) Dancer, the former born in New Jersey and the latter in New York. Of their seven children who grew to maturity our subject was the youngest. As a child he accompanied his parents on their removal to Will county, Illinois, the family home being established near the site of the city of Kankakee, and there the mother died on the 20th of August, 1839, when fifty one years of age. The father kept the family together and cared for the children as well as looked after his property interests. He passed away in Will county on the 23d of September, 1852, when seventy five years of age.

David Dancer grew to manhood in the Prairie state and in addition to receiving a common school education was early trained to work upon the farm. In 1851 he was married and began following agricultural pursuits on his own account, remaining in Will county, Illinois, until 1876. He then sold out and removed to Plano, that state, where he remained for a year. In 1871 he had become associated with E. Banta and I. L. Rogers as agent for the First United Order of Enoch and in the later '70s they visited Decatur county and in their capacity as agents purchased thirty three hundred nacres of land as a preliminary step toward founding a colony of Latter Day Saints. In 1877 Mr. Dancer came with his family to Decatur county, Iowa, and located on section 5, Fayette township, where he lived until 1882. He owned and operated a farm of twelve hundred and eighty acres of excellent land and later acquired additional holdings, owning at one time two thousand acres in Decatur county, from which he derived a handsome income. In 1882 he built a fine residence in Lamoni and the family home was established there. He continued to superintend his large farming and stock raising activities and also became identified with financial interests, as he was one of the organizers of the State Savings Bank of Lamoni and was made president of that institution, in which capacity he served until his death. He was as successful a financier as he was a farmer and stock raiser and his advice was listened to with much respect by his colleagues in the banking world. His widow is at present vice president of the State Savings Bank of Lamoni and is recognized as a woman of marked business ability and unusual knowledge concerning financial affairs. She continues to reside in the beautiful home erected by Mr. Dancer.

On the 16th of March, 1851, Mr. Dancer was united in marriage to Miss Rosalia Harvey, who was born in Lower Canada on the 31st of January, 1833, a daughter of Hiram and Nancy Harvey. When she was but five years of age she was taken by her parents to Will county, Illinois, and there her mother died on the 9th of August, 1876, when seventy two years of age. Her father lived to be more than eighty years old. To Mr. and Mrs. Dancer were born five children, three of whom have passed away: Nancy, who died when twenty two months old; Ella, who was three years old when her death occurred; and Albert, who passed away at the age of twenty years. The two who survive are: Eugene, a resident of Canada, who is married and is engaged extensively in farming; and Walter, of Myrtle Point, Oregon, who still owns his farm in Fayette township and who is also married. The wife and mother passed away in August, 1893, and on the 20th of November, 1895, Mr. Dancer married Miss Anna Anderson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew K. Anderson, residents of Lamoni Mrs. Dancer was born in La Salle, Illinois, on the 30th of September, 1864. However, when but a child she was brought by her parents to Decatur county, Iowa, and was here reared and educated. Sketches of her brothers, Oscar and Daniel, appear elsewhere in this work. She has two children: David A., born October 7, 1896, who is attending the State University of Washington at Seattle; and Howard M., born March 30, 1898, who graduated from the Lamoni high school with the class of 1915.

Mr. Dancer was a republican in politics where national issues were at stake but in local elections voted for the best man regardless of party considerations. He served as a member of the city council of Lamoni and gave his influence to those measures which he believed to be calculated to further the public good. He was a devoted member of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints and a generous contributor to its support. His widow is also active in the work of that organization. Mr. Dancer took a public spirited interest in the advancement of his community along material, moral and civic lines and was recognized as one of the leading citizens not only of Lamoni but of Decatur county. He passed away on the 23d of October, 1898, and all felt that the community had lost one whom it could ill spare while there were many who grieved for the demise of a personal friend.

From:
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

Decatur County, IA
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium