Biography of Joseph S. Droz
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





Joseph S. Droz, who makes his home on section 27, Cedar township, is one of the representative citizens and successful agriculturists of Jefferson county, owning two hundred and ninety acres of valuable land. His birth occurred in that township on the t8th of December, 186o, his parents being John and Julia (Palm) Droz. The father, whose natal day was June 23, 1836, was born and reared in Alsace, France, and was a son of John B. Droz, who served as commissioner of public highways in his home district in France. In 1858 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, taking up his abode among the pioneer settlers of Jefferson county, Iowa. He and his brother Joseph, who is now a resident of Fairfield, first worked at grubbing, receiving fifty cents a day and paying their own board. They also cut stove wood for a remuneration of thirty cents per day and their dinners. Carefully saving his earnings, John Droz at length accumulated five hundred dollars and in 1870 purchased a tract of land comprising fifty one acres in Cedar township. Subsequently he purchased a farm of seventy one acres on section 33, Cedar township, where the family home was maintained from 1873 until 1891. In 1872 he erected the old cabin now standing on the property, hewing out the logs which he used in its construction. In 1891 John Droz took up his abode on the place where his son Alex now resides, while at the present time he lives on a homestead of eighty acres on section 26, Cedar township. That he prospered in his undertakings as an agriculturist is indicated by the fact that at the time of his retirement, fifteen years ago, he owned four hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land. It was in Cedar township, in 1860, that he wedded Miss Julia Palm, who on the 18th of May, 1911, met with an accident which caused instant death. She fell in the cellar, crushing her skull by striking a stone step and breaking her neck. Her tragic end was deplored by all who knew her and who had learned to esteem and love her during the many years of her residence in the community. John Droz, who has lived within the borders of Jefferson county for more than a half century, is widely and favorably known here and is honored as a pioneer whose labors were an element in the material development and upbuilding of this part of the state. He is a Roman Catholic in religious faith, belonging to the church of that denomination at Fairfield. To him and his wife were born three children, as follows: Joseph S., of this review; Alex, who resides on a farm near that of our subjeet; and Mary, who is the wife of C. L. Hosette, a farmer of Van Buren county.

Joseph S. Droz attended the district schools in the acquirement of an education, thus fitting himself for the practical and responsible duties of life. In 1891, following his marriage, he purchased the old Droz homestead on section 33, Cedar township, and started out as an agriculturist on his own account. Thereon he resided until 1903, since which time he has occupied his present home on section 27. His holdings now embrace two hundred and ninety acres of excellent farming land in Cedar township, which he cultivates with the assistance of his son. He feeds all of his grain to cattle and hogs and in his undertakings as a stockman has met with a well merited measure of success.

On the 8th of January, 1891, Mr. Droz was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Prince, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Hisel) Prince, who were natives of Switzerland and Belgium respectively. In 1860 the father emigrated to the United States, locating near Lockridge, Jefferson county, Iowa. He enlisted for serviced in the Union army but remained at the front for only a brief period and passed away soon after the cessation of hostilities between the north and the south. To him and his wife were born two children: Mrs. Droz; and Eugene. a farmer living in Buchanan township, four miles east of Fairfield. In 1871 Mrs. Elizabeth Prince gave her hand in marriage to Xavier Rosette, who died and was buried at sea while importing Belgium horses to America. Their union was blessed with two children, namely: Louis Rosette, an agriculturist of Van Buren county, Iowa; and Mrs. Josephine Bailey, the wife of Dr. C. W. Bailey, of Pleasant Plain, Iowa. The mother of these children came to America with her parents when a maiden sixteen years old, the family home being established in Cedar township, Jefferson county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Droz have one son, Gaston, whose natal day was October 13, 1891, and who attended the district school and also studied at Fairfield for a year.

In his political views Mr. Droz is a stanch democrat, believing firmly in the principles of that party. He is a faithful communicant of the Roman Catholic church at Fairfield, to which his wife and son also belong. His cooperation has never been sought in vain in support of progressive public movements and his worth as a citizen is widely acknowledged.

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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