William J. Sayers, the owner of from six hundred to seven hundred acres of land in Iowa county and of the Iowa
Valley Canning Factory, resides upon his place just outside Marengo and is well known in this county. He was born
in Athens county, Ohio, on the nth of January, 1847, of the marriage of Reuel and Sarah (Hixson) Sayers. Both parents
passed their entire lives in the Buckeye state and are there laid to rest. The family name indicates the English
lineage of our subject. He is one of nine children, as follows: Reuben, Amos, Ephraim, William J., Susan, deceased;
Isaiah, Mary, Warren and one who died unnamed.
William J. Sayers was but six, years of age when the family removed to Williams county, Ohio, and there he attended
school. He also received much valuable instruction from his father, who taught him practical methods of tilling
the soil and caring for stock. When twenty one years of age our subject started out in life for himself and for
two years was employed at farm work by others. In 1870 he located in Cono township, Iowa county, Iowa, and three
years later, in connection with a brother, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Benton county. They
did not own that property long, however, and after selling it bought two hundred and forty acres of land in Cono
township, this county. In 1876 William J. Sayers purchased his brother's interest in the place and for a number
of years bought and sold farms, owning at one time thirteen hundred acres of land. He has disposed of much of that,
but still holds title to between six hundred and seven hundred acres of highly improved and very valuable farming
land. At one time he was also extensively interested in real estate, in Texas and Kansas, but has now disposed
of his land in those states. He has bought and shipped cattle and hogs and has been an extensive stock feeder.
For a number of years he also engaged in breeding full blooded cattle but has now largely discontinued his stock
raising activities. He was for many years a director of the First National Bank at Marengo but is not now connected
with that institution in an official capacity. He is the owner of the Iowa Valley Canning Company, making a specialty
of canning corn, as he realizes the opportunity along that line that is offered in Iowa, whose soil and climate
is so well adapted to the raising of fine sweet corn. The product of his factory is shipped all over the country,
but principally to the western coast. He supervises carefully all phases of his business and as he is energetic
and prudent his interests are well managed and he is one of the wealthy men of his county.
On the 1118th of September, 1878, occurred the marriage of Mr. Sayers and Miss Addie M. Ball, a daughter of James
and Angeline (Rudolph) Ball, pioneers of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Sayers have had six children: Della A., now Mrs. A.
J. Gray, of Savannah, Illinois; Blanche C., the wife of E. W. Branch, of Marengo; Leo M., a daughter, who has passed
away; J. William, living in Marengo; Margaret Ramona, who gave her hand in marriage to Harry Hibbs, of Greeley,
Colorado; and Reuel M., of Marengo.
Mr. Sayers is a democrat and has taken considerable interest in public affairs. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian
church, which he also attends. In two he built a fine residence at the edge of town upon two hundred and forty
five acres of land which he owned, but has since sold some of that tract for town lots. He occupies a prominent
position in his community and it is a source of satisfaction to him that he owes his success to his own ability,
industry and good management. His prosperity is not used for his own interests alone, but he is ready to contribute
to the support of worthy public enterprises, thus being a factor in the development of his city and county.
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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