Biography of Eli Sweet
Iowa County, IA Biographies





ELI SWEET.
North English numbers many retired farmers among her residents and they are valued citizens, contributing in large measure to the well being of the community. Eli Sweet, who is spending his last years in leisure and rest earned by former labor, was born in Madison county, New York, on the 17th of February, 1839, a son of Rufus and Lucy (Neal) Sweet. They were born, reared and married in New York state and there the mother died on the 21st of July, 1844, when but thirty six years of age. To their union were born five children: Elizabeth and John P., deceased, Emma C, who was the wife of Abel P. Griffith of Ames, Iowa, and died March 8, 1915; Eli; and Lucy J., deceased. In April, 1845, the father married Mrs. Abigail Hodgkiss and in October, 1855, they removed to this county, settling at Millersburg, where the father passed away on the 25th of June, 1864.

Eli Sweet received a good education in his youth and when he became of age turned his attention to teaching, but the outbreak of the Civil war changed his plans and in 1861 he enlisted in Company G, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years. He was in the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh and in the siege of Corinth. He was on guard duty during that campaign and later went to central Tennessee, where his command went into winter quarters. At the close of the war he was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and honorably discharged from the military service of the United States. He was wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson and in June, 1862, while on the march to Corinth, he suffered a sunstroke, from the effects of which he has never fully recovered.

Upon the restoration of peace Mr. Sweet returned to Iowa county and taught school until 1879, in which year he was appointed postmaster of Millersburg. For nineteen years he held that office, discharging his duties with ability, and upon the expiration of his tenure of office he became deputy postmaster and served in that capacity for six years. He then took up his residence on a farm in English township, which was owned by his son in law, and engaged in raising stock, but in March, 1914, he retired from active life and removed to North English, where he is still residing.

In August, i868, Mr. Sweet married Miss Cynthia Ann Friend, who was born in Indiana of the marriage of Rev. George W. and Catherine (Ryan) Friend, both natives of the Hoosier state. In 1855 they located in eastern Iowa, where the father became well known as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. Subsequently he removed with his family to this county, where he passed away. His wife died in Arkansas while visiting a son. Of the eleven children born to their union nine survive. Mr. and Mrs. Sweet have become the parents of four children: Minnie E. and George R., deceased; Fred E., who died leaving a widow and one son to mourn his loss; and Lucy Catherine, the wife of E. Bremer, now living in North English. Mrs. Bremer was for eight years a successful school teacher and by her marriage has two children, Garrett I. and Harold E.

Mr. Sweet is a republican and for twelve years was justice of the peace. He has also been township clerk and for many years served upon the school board. He holds membership in Social Lodge, No. 231, A. F. & A. M., of Millersburg, and James Cross Post, No. 292, G. A. R., in which he has held all the offices. Both he and his wife are identified with the Methodist Episcopal church and uphold all organizations whose purpose is the advancement of the community along the lines of moral endeavor. During the years that Mr. Sweet was engaged in educational work he proved a force in the intellectual life of his community and as postmaster he manifested the spirit that considers public office an opportunity for community service. After a busy and useful life he should enjoy a period of rest and freedom from business cares.

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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