Joseph Harrison Colson, who passed away in Marengo on the 8th of June, 1906, was long and successfully identified
with agricultural pursuits in Iowa county. His birth occurred in Jay county, Indiana, on the 30th of November,
1841, his parents being James and Catherine Eliza (De Long) Colson, who were of Yankee extraction. In 1857 the
family home was established in Muscatine, Muscatine county, Iowa, subsequently in Poweshiek county and afterward
in Iowa county.
Joseph Harrison Colson acquired his education in the schools of this county and early in life turned his attention
to general agricultural pursuits, which claimed his time and energies throughout his active business career. On
the 27th of August, 1862, when not yet twenty one years of age, he enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member
of Company E, Twenty fourth Iowa Infantry, but was honorably discharged nine months later on account of illness.
He purchased land from his father and carried on general farming in Honey Creek township, also raising cattle and
hogs for the market, until about 1870, when he disposed of his property and took up his abode in Marengo. He bought
a small tract of land near the town and during the remainder of his life was successfully engaged in raising garden
On the 30th of May, 1866, in Marengo, Mr. Colson was united in marriage to Miss Roselia Beardshear, a daughter
of George and Susan (Skein) Beardshear. The father, who worked at the millwright's trade during his entire life,
was an honored pioneer of this county, settling here before the railroad had been built. To Mr. and Mrs. Colson
were born nine children, namely: Frank B., who is a resident of Marengo; Mary Nellie, who is the wife of Ed Butler,
of Leesburg, Florida; George, who died in infancy; Decatur, who has passed away; Clara, who gave her hand in marriage
to Parke Butterfield; Freddie, who is deceased; Bruce, living in Silvis, Illinois; Isaac, a resident of Kasson,
Minnesota; and Hazel, the wife of Percy Edwards, an agriculturist by occupation.
In politics Mr. Colson was a stanch republican but the honors and emoluments of office had no attraction for him,
as he always preferred to confine his attention to his private interests. He was, however, a most public spirited
and loyal citizen, doing everything in his power to promote the general welfare or further the development of the
community. He was a valued and helpful member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic and when he responded
to the last roll call his funeral was directed and attended by his soldier comrades. His demise occurred on the
8th of June, 1906, and his remains were interred at Marengo. His upright and honorable life won him the esteem
and goodwill of all with whom he was associated and he never incurred enmities. He was a man of domestic tastes
who found his greatest happiness at the home fireside, and his widow and children cherish the memory of a devoted
and loving husband and father. The religious faith of the family is that of the Methodist church, with which the
Colsons have long been identified. Mrs. Colson is widely and favorably known throughout the community which has
so long been her home, the circle of her friends being almost coextensive with the circle of her acquaintance.
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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