Montgomery La Tourette, who operates a farm of one hundred and fifty four acres in Locust Grove township, is
one of the more recent acquisitions among the residents of Jefferson county having lived here little more than
half a dozen years. He is descended from an old Huguenot family and traced his lineage back to the Count and Countess
de La Tourette who lived in splendor in an old chateau in La Vendee at the time of the revocation of the Edict
of Nantes. The count learning that his name was on the list of the proscribed ones and that it would fare sorely
with him if he attempted to escape was forced to use much ingenuity to devise a plan whereby he might secure his
safety. Accordingly he invited all the neighboring gentry to a levee at his chateau and when the gayety was at
its height he and the countess made their escape, under cover of the night, going on foot to the sea where a vessel
bound for Charleston lay at anchor. On this they embarked, taking with them only the family jewels and a Huguenot
Bible, and in 1693 landed at Staten Island, New York. Montgomery La Tourette was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana,
November 15, 1846.
The grandfather, John La Tourette, a weaver by occupation, was a native of New York state where he lived until
middle life when he came west and settled in Ohio and later in Indiana, His death occurred near Covington, Fountain
county, Indiana. The father, Garrett La Tourette, was a native of Germantown, Ohio, where he was reared, and when
grown to manhood became a steam engineer. He was united in marriage to Margaret Ann Sherry, who was of Irish descent
and was born in Indiana. They were the parents of three children: Montgomery, the subject of this biography; Henry,
a carpenter in Benton county, Iowa; and Sarah, deceased, who was the wife of John Heath. In 1851 the father, Garrett
La Tourette, died near La Fayette, Indiana, and three years later, in 1854, his widow and the children came with
relatives to Iowa, making their home in Benton county. There Mrs. La Tourette entered upon a second marriage, the
union being with William Cline, a farmer, by whom she had one child, Albert Cline who is engaged in agriculture
at Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Montgomery La Tourette attended school in Benton county, Iowa, and afterwards assisted with the work of tilling
the fields on the home place. He then bought a farm adjoining his mother's and developed this devoting himself
especially to the raising of grain which he shipped in large quantities to the local market. In 1895 he sold out
this farm and bought another in Van Buren county, Iowa, which he operated until 19o2, situated east of Birmingham.
He then removed his family to Jefferson county, Iowa, and established his home on the old Daniel Warner farm in
Center township, remaining there until March 1, 1911, when he bought the tract of land on which he lives at the
present time, one hundred and fifty four acres in Locust Grove township. Here he is engaged in the various lines
of general farming and also raises a good grade of stock, feeding grain and hay which he raises. The farm includes
fifteen acres of timber land of considerable value.
For his helpmate Mr. La Tourette chose Miss Sarah E. Carver to whom he was married on June 12, 1879. On her mother's
side she was descended from an old colonial family, the great grandmother having been a native of Virginia where
the Deans were of much importance in the early part of the nineteenth century. They were planters and large property
owners employing many slaves on their land freeing them, however, long before the Civil war broke out. The grandfather
of Mrs. La Tourette, James Carver, was born in America of English parents and came from Pennsylvania to Franklin
county, Ohio where he was engaged in tilling the soil. Her father, Thomas Carver, was a farmer born in Franklin
county, Ohio. who came to Iowa as one of the pioneer settlers of Linn county. He enlisted in Company I, Twentieth
Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served two years when be was taken ill with typhoid fever and passed away in the spring
of 1864, at New Orleans. Mrs. La Tourette's mother was Elizabeth A. Dean before her marriage. A native of Ohio,
she was married in Linn county, Iowa, and now lives with her granddaughter, Leta Carver, in Benton county, Iowa.
There were four children in the Carver family: Sarah, now Mrs. La Tourette; John Franklin, who died in infancy;
Tabitha Jane, the wife of E. H. Skinner of Birmingham, Iowa, whom she married when a widow, a former marriage having
taken place with George Reynolds of Wapello county, who died in 1904; and Thomas A., an editor at Conception Junction,
Missouri, whose present wife is a Mrs. Hodgen, his former wife, who was Ella Dixon, having died twenty four years
Mr. and Mrs. La Tourette are the parents of four children: Schuyler, a farmer at Canby, Oregon, who is married
to Lena Erickson, a daughter of Charles Erickson, and has one child, Dwight; Clifford C., who lives at home with
his parents; Fred, who is a farmer in North Dakota; and Mary, a pupil in the Fairfield high school. Mr. La Tourette
and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Fairfield, and he is connected with the Masonic
order having joined the Benton City Lodge, No. 181, A. F. & A. M., at Shellsburg, while his daughter Mary belongs
to the Rebecca Lodge of Batavia. In politics his sympathies are with the democratic party and the principles for
which it stands, but at elections he is not fettered by blind partisanship, preferring to exercise his own judgment
in regard to the candidate whom he chooses to support with his vote. Large in his views and unopinionated, Mr.
La Tourette stands for the type of citizenship of which our body politics is in crying need the open minded man
who can think for himself and has the moral stamina to abide by his convictions.
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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