Biography of Frank O. Harrington
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Frank O. Harrington, who is engaged in general farming and fruit raising on section 11, York township, and is treasurer of the Iowa State Horticultural Society, was born in Chenango county, New York, a son of Orson and Mary C. (Wakély) Harrington, who were also natives of the Empire state. In the year 1854 the family removed westward to Carroll county, Indiana, and came to Iowa in 1855, first making settlement in Jones county, whence they removed to Johnson county in 1856. In 1859 a further removal was made to Iowa county, where the. father purchased two hundred and forty acres of school land at three dollars and a half per acre. Not only did he turn his attention to agricultural pursuits but was also actively interested in educational work, serving as county superintendent of schools, in which connection he did much to further the interests of public instruction in this section of the state. He likewise filled the office of supervisor and his public service was characterized by the utmost devotion to the general welfare. He remained a valued and honored resident of Iowa county until his death, and his wife, who has also passed away, was likewise held in high esteem. In their family were seven children: Mary A., who became the wife of H. C. Groves and after his death married William Rutherford; Frank O.; Munson W.; Millard; Mrs Emma Ely; Walter; and Burton.

Frank O. Harrington accompanied his parents on their various removals until he eventually became a resident of Iowa county, where he has since resided. His home surroundings were such as stimulated his ambition to acquire an education and make the most of life, and the spirit of progress and advancement has actuated him at every point in his career. He is now one of the most prominent farmers and fruit raisers of his part of the state. Much of his farm is devoted to orchard, he having now fifty acres of fruit bearing trees, mostly apples. He started his orchard forty four years ago and is considered an authority on horticulture in Iowa. He has studied every phase of the business, investigating the condition of the soil, the kinds of nursery stock and the requirements of the trees, and he is often consulted by authorities of the State Agricultural College at Ames. His home, "Evergreen Farm," is a most interesting place to visit, for upon it are found many varieties of both forest and fruit trees, shrubs and flowering plants. Something like three hundred varieties of the apple have been grown here in orchards in the past few years, and varieties of peach, plum, cherry, pear, grapes and other small fruits in somewhat like proportions, the orchards being in a broad sense a private test and experiment station, and the information thus gained being frequently applied for over a much wider territory than the state. He has always specialized in the production of apples and he won prizes upon his fruit at the Paris Exposition, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis; and at other national fruit expositions. He is well versed on every phase of horticulture, as is his brother Millard, and their interest in this line is probably inherited from their father, who was one of the pioneer horticulturists of the state.

On the 4th of January, 1871, Frank O. Harrington was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Groves, a daughter of Hugh Groves, who came to Iowa from Pennsylvania in 1864. Mrs. Harrington passed away in 1911, survived by five children: Fred, who married Etta Douglas and is farming upon the old home place; Hugh, who wedded Winifred Sheetz and is now living in North English, Iowa; Orson, who married Maud Sheetz and makes his home in Williamsburg, Iowa; Nellie, at home; and Frank L., who married Ila Schaefer and is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Wyoming, Jones county, Iowa.

In his political views Mr. Harrington is a democrat, but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, which have been carefully and wisely directed. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and his entire life has been actuated by high and honorable principles which have won for him the respect, confidence and goodwill of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

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


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