James H. Lewis, an enterprising and very successful fire insurance agent of Marengo, was born in Oskaloosa,
Iowa, on the 14th of January, 1868, a son of S. W. Lewis, who was born in Richmond, Indiana, in August, 1827, and
died in Marengo on the 4th of December, 1889. He came to Iowa in 1870 and was engaged in the fire insurance business.
His wife, who before her marriage was Miss Mary A. Lee, was born in New London, Iowa, in October, 1837, and died
in October, 1905. They were the parents of five children: Jeannette, the widow of Thomas H. Chandler and a resident
of Spokane, Washington; Laura B., the widow of James E. Johnson, of Watertown, New York; Mrs. Lillian L. Acres,
of Des Moines, Iowa; James H.; and Nellie B., the wife of Harry MacGregor, of Los Angeles, California.
James H. Lewis received his education in the common schools of the county and following his father's death he was
appointed to the insurance agency at Marengo although he was but twenty one years of age at that time. He soon
demonstrated his ability to secure business for his company - the Farmers Insurance Company - with home office
at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In the paper known as the Record, which is published by that company, it is stated that
upon the whole his record has never been equalled by any other agent working for the company. He was appointed
on the nth of December, 1889, and in 1891 he secured third place among the agents of the company. In 1892 he won
second place and in 1896 was again second and every year since 1896 he has held at least fourth place and four
times was third, seven times second and eight times first. In his dealings with his patrons and with the company
he is invariably frank and honest and he has also found that unfailing courtesy is a valuable asset. He gives much
thought to his business and is always striving to increase his efficiency, believing that his experience should
teach him how to secure results with the least possible waste of time or energy. In recent years he has used an
automobile to excellent advantage and he is seemingly always at work, his energy and power of concentration being
remarkable. His patrons know that he does everything in his power for their best interests and his company knows
that in him it has one of its best and most reliable representatives.
Mr. Lewis exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party, believing
its principles to be most conducive to the permanent prosperity of the country. He is well known in local fraternal
circles, belonging to the Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias. He is not only highly esteemed for
his business ability and integrity but is also held in warm regard by many friends, who know him to be a man that
holds friendship inviolable and is always glad to do a service to a fellowman.
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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