Biography of John Bartholomew
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





JOHN BARTHOLOMEW.
No history of Fairfield and Jefferson county would be complete without reference to John Bartholomew who is today one of the oldest of the native sons residing within the county's borders. This was largely a wild and undeveloped region when, on Christmas Day, 1842, his birth occurred in Fairfield. In the intervening period covering sixty nine years he has witnessed notable changes, for the wild prairie land has been claimed and cultivated and the few pioneer homes have been supplanted by large and attractive modern residences that indicate the success and prosperity of the farming community. The villages, too, have extended into flourishing towns and cities and the work of progress has been carried steadily forward through the unfaltering efforts of progressive citizens. As the years have passed by John Bartholomew has prospered in his undertakings and his attention is now given to the supervision of his property interests which include some valuable real estate in Fairfield.

Mr. Bartholomew is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Speer) Bartholomew, both of whom were natives of County Antrim, Ireland, born near Belfast. The father's birth occurred July 10, 1811, and the mother was born in 1813. They were reared and married there and after crossing the broad Atlantic in one of the old time sailing vessels they settled at Cassville, Pennsylvania, where they resided for two years, In 1840 they arrived in Fairfield and during their remaining days lived in Jefferson county. The father was a carpenter and cabinet maker by trade and in connection with the manufacture of furniture here he also did considerable building. As he prospered in his undertakings he made judicious investments in land, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres adjoining the city on the southwest, his sons operating this farm after he retired to private life. He died January 3, 1802, having for more than ten years survived his wife, who passed away December 24, 1881, when in her sixty eighth year. Their eldest son, Robert, was born in Ireland and their eldest daughter, Agnes, in Pennsylvania. The former is now deceased and the latter is the widow of William A. Barton, a resident of Colorado. Five children came into the family after the arrival in this state, namely: John; Thomas A., deceased; Catherine, who is the widow of Charles Goddard and resides in Leadville, Colorado; and James and Mary, both of whom are now deceased.

John Bartholomew spent his boyhood and youth in Fairfield and attended the public schools, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the tasks assigned to him by parental authority. On attaining his majority he went to Colorado where he resided for a quarter of a century. In connection with his brother Robert he took up timber claims in that state, furnishing timber for the mines and also drove ox teams in the transportation business. As the years passed he prospered for he was diligent, determined and persevering, and the result of his labors is manifest in the fact that following his return to Fairfield in 1880 he made investment in property here. At that time lie took up his abode at his present place of residence, having a five acre tract adjoining the old home. He owns altogether twelve dwellings in this city that he rents and his time is largely spent in looking after his property and other investments. In addition to his real estate he holds considerable stock in banks and factories of Fairfield and is now numbered among the most substantial residents of this city.

On the 13th of October, 1892, Mr. Bartholomew was married to Miss Louisa Thoma, a native of Atchison, Kansas, and a daughter of David and Theresa Thoma, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of her two brothers, under the name of Thomas & Thoma, elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Bartholomew and his wife have many warm friends in this district where they have so long resided. Both are faithful attendants of the First Presbyterian church, in which he is an elder. He is prominent among the business men and is widely recognized as a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment. Moreover he is public spirited and has been a potent factor in many movements which tend to promote the material, intellectual and moral growth of the community.

From:
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement Vol II
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1914


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