John B. Betz, a farmer living practically retired in Ladora, is a veteran of the Civil war and is entitled to
honor as one who offered his life if need be to his country in her hour of trial. He was born in Ohio on the 9th
of November, 1841, of the marriage of Samuel and Barbara (Mosseney) Betz, the former a native of Pennsylvania and
the latter of France. The mother was brought by her parents to America when seven years of age and her education
was acquired in this country. She married Mr. Betz in Ohio and both passed away in that state. The father served
in the Civil war and after the restoration of peace returned to the Buckeye state, where he passed his remaining
days. The mother's demise occurred in 1852. They were the parents of five children, of whom two are living: John
B.; and Margaret, the wife of Charles Leyler, of North English, Iowa.
John B. Betz was but ten years old when his mother died and he was taken by an aunt, who reared him to manhood.
He accompanied her upon her removal to Iowa and was living in this state at the outbreak of the Civil war. He enlisted
in Company G, Eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in 1861, and was with that command until the close of hostilities,
participating in a number of hotly contested engagements, including the battles of Shiloh, Corinth and Jackson.
He went through the siege of Vicksburg. which lasted for forty days and nights, and remembers well the events that
led up to the surrender of that Confederate stronghold. At the battle of Spanish Fort, in April, 1865, he received
a flesh wound which, however, did not prove serious. He was mustered out in Alabama as first lieutenant of his
Mr. Betz then returned to Iowa and bought a farm in Sumner township, this county, and immediately began to clear
the land of timber. In time he brought all of his farm under cultivation and by buying additional land, acquired
title to two hundred and nine acres in all. He spared neither time nor energy in the improvement of his place and
in his farm work used the latest machinery and the most efficient methods. He thus became financially independent,
but has now sold his farm and is living retired at Ladora, where he owns a fine residence and two lots.
In 1866 Mr. Betz married Mrs. Rachel A. (Veach) Tyler, who was born in Burlington, Des Moines county, Iowa, a daughter
of Parnell and Susanna Veach, the former a native of Connecticut. To Mr. and Mrs. Betz were born nine children:
Hattie E., the wife of Elmer Fiser, of this county; W. H., who is a minister of the gospel; J. E. and C. H., both
residents of California; R. M., who is living upon the homestead; M. J., at home; Anna, the wife of Dale Maudlin,
of this county; J. A., of California; and V. B., who married Arthur King. The wife and mother passed away in 1908
and was laid to rest in the Ohio cemetery.
Mr. Betz is an adherent of the republican party and for a number of years served as township trustee and has also
been a member of the school board. Fraternally he is connected with Ladora Lodge, No. 622, I. O. O. F., in which
he has filled all of the chairs, and he is also a member of Bricker Post, No. 145, G. A. R. He is now a member
of the staff of Colonel D. J. Palmer, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The Methodist Protestant
church finds in him a consistent member and profits much from his support and cooperation. In addition to the real
estate which he owns in Ladora, he is one of the directors of the Farmers Savings Bank of that place, which was
organized in 1913. While he has taken commendable care in safeguarding his individual interests he has never failed
to place the public welfare above individual success and has been as patriotic in times of peace as he was when
he was with the colors upon southern battlefields.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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