Notable for the achievement of having been engaged in two wholly dissimilar callings, railroading and farming,
William ODean was so successful in the pursuit of each and husbanded his resources so wisely that he was enabled
to retire some years ago and has since been living in the enjoyment of well deserved ease. He is a native of Sweden
having been born in February, 1844, His father, Peter ODean, was a farmer in Sweden where he died in 1874. His
mother, whose maiden name was Mary Swenson, died in 1880.
William ODean was reared and educated in the common schools of his native locality. He lived with his parents until
he was twenty five years old when he took leave of them and of the home of his childhood days. In his mind's eye
he saw a vision of that illusive dream, success, beckoning him onward to America, the land of promise across the
sea, where Fortune holds forth hopes and opportunities to her faithful adherents, and thither he made his way in
1869, following the westward trail. On reaching Ottumwa, Iowa, he found the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
laying their road bed through this region. Here he secured employment as bridge foreman of a construction crew.
After two years at this work he gathered the proceeds of his toil and came to Jefferson county, Iowa, where he
invested in one hundred and thirty acres of land in Lockridge township. This tract he improved and subsequently
rented, returning to his work on the railroad, in which he continued twenty more years and at the close of this
period, in 1891, he withdrew to his farm, assuming charge of its cultivation. Twelve years he devoted to the operation
of his property and thereafter retired, moving to Four Corners, where he now resides on twenty seven acres of highly
improved land. Financially he is interested in the Lockridge Savings Bank in which he is a stockholder and director.
Mr. ODean married Miss Charlotta Swanson in December, 1882. Her parents, Andrew and Luisa Swanson, were natives
of Sweden. Her father came to this country and located in Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1852, buying a farm in Lockridge
township which he set about to improve. He operated it until his death in 1884. Mrs. Swanson's death occurred in
Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dean, namely; Minnie, the wife of A. D. Edmund, now operating his father
in law's farm in Lockridge township; Fred, living in Henry county, Iowa; and Paul, who died in 1889.
Mr. Dean generally votes with the republicans and with his family holds membership in the Lutheran church. He is
a man of upright character and high principles and has won the regard of all who know him.
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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