John C. Koontz, who has the distinction of being the owner of the finest improved farm in Center township, has
won a high place for himself in business circles, ranking foremost among the farmers and stockmen of this district.
He was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, September 3o, 1851: a son of Samuel and Mary (Hannah) Koontz, natives
of Germany and Somerset county, Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was brought to America by his parents in
early childhood, the family home being established in Pennsylvania, and in that state the greater part of his life
was spent. He was a shoe merchant by occupation, and, later, also engaged in agricultural pursuits. About six years
previous to his demise, he took up his abode on a farm in West Virginia, and there he passed away at the age of
seventy six years. His wife's death also occurred at that place, when she was seventy five years of age, Their
family of nine children included the following: John C., of this review; William, a resident of Smithfield, Pennsylvania;
Alexander, living in Uniontown, Pennsylvania; Charles, of Olympia, Washington; Ross, residing in Wayne county,
Ohio; George, of Wayne county, Ohio; Robert, of Davis county, Iowa; Jennie, the widow of Josiah Smith, making her
home in West Virginia; and Anna, also living in that state.
John C. Koontz remained a resident of the Keystone state until he was ten years old, when his parents removed to
West Virginia and there, on his father's farm, he spent the succeeding five years. In 1868, in company with an
uncle, he came west to Iowa, and, for three years, was a resident of West Liberty, Muscatine county. He then came
to Jefferson county, and for a time was employed upon the farm belonging to William Douglas, son of William Douglas,
Sr. This place has since remained the scene of his business activity for as he was able, he purchased portions
of the farm until he became the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of the Douglas estate, located on sections
4 and 9, Center township. He has sold one hundred and twenty and now has one hundred and sixty acres. This is,
today, the best improved property in the township, containing a fine modern residence and equipped with two substantial
buildings and all the necessary conveniences for the successful conduct of an extensive stock raising enterprise.
Its splendid condition is due entirely to the efforts of Mr. Koontz, who as a raiser and breeder of high class
stock has won for himself prominence among the business men of Jefferson county. He makes a specialty of Duroc
Jersey hogs, Pereheron horses and Shropshire sheep. He also ships a large number of cattle to the Chicago market.
The high quality of his stock is widely recognized, and because of this he is able to demand good prices. He has
also become interested in other business interests, and was one of the original directors of the Fairfield Creamery
In 1883, Mr. Koontz was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Douglas, who was born in West Virginia on the 26th of
November, 1857. In 1868, she was brought to Iowa by her parents, William and Sophia (King) Douglas; he was born
in Scotland, she in West Virginia, the former on the 3d of February, 1808, and the latter December 26, 1812. William
Douglas was a young man when he took up his residence in West Virginia. There he devoted his remaining days to
agricultural pursuits, becoming the owner of a fine tract of land of three hundred and forty acres. He passed away
on the 2d of October, 1877; his wife survived until the 11th of March, 1907. Of their family of fourteen children,
consisting of ten daughters and four sons, only seven are now living. Jennie was the youngest member of the family,
and, by her marriage to Mr. Koontz, she became the mother of two children: Mary, who married Frank Booth, of Center
township, by whom she has one son, Carl; and Ross, married. September, 1911, to Miss Pearl Glascow.
A careful study of political questions has led Mr. Koontz to give his stalwart support to the republican party
and for a time he served as township trustee, while at present he is filling the office of treasurer of Center
township school board. His fraternal relations are with the Indeendent Order of Odd Fellows. He has great appreciation
for the social amenities of life and enjoys the high regard of many with whom he has been brought in contact, for
his salient characteristics are such as win warm friendships.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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