FRANCIS M. DUNCAN.
A representative of one of the pioneer families of Louisa county is Francis M. Duncan, who for more than fifty
years was identified with the agricultural development of Union township. He was born in Monroe county, Tennessee,
on the 8th of July, 1838, and is a son of John and Rachel G. (Duncan) Duncan, natives of Tennessee, but the father
was of Irish extraction his father having come from the Emerald isle. The family removed to Iowa from Tennessee
in 1846, arriving in Louisa county on the loth of May. They settled in the vicinity of Columbus Junction, where
John Duncan purchased two hundred acres of land. Later he added to this another ninety acres, continuing to reside
there until he passed away at the age of seventy five years. The demise of the mother occurred in 1864, at the
age of fifty five. In their family were ten children, namely: Mary, Joseph C., James C. and Nancy, all of whom
are deceased; Francis M., our subject; James M., who is deceased; John Calvin, who is a resident of Columbus City;
Nelson, living in the same place; and Caroline and Madison Blair, both deceased.
As he was only a lad of seven years when the family settled in Louisa county Francis M. Duncan has spent practically
his entire life in this county, in the district schools of which he received his education. After leaving school
he assisted his father on the farm until he was twenty one years of age, when he rented the homestead for a year.
At the expiration of that time he accepted a position as salesman of agricultural implements for a house in Galesburg,
Illinois. He traveled through that state for this company for three years and then, returning to Iowa, he bought
two hundred and forty acres of prairie land in Washington county. Disposing of this in 1863, after he had started
improvements and had about forty acres of the land broken, he bought one hundred and sixty acres in Union township,
Louisa county. He added to his holdings from time to time as he was able until he acquired three hundred and twenty
five acres of fertile land, all of which he brought to a high state of cultivation. In connection with the cultivation
of his fields he made a specialty of feeding and shipping cattle until the spring of 1911. He has now rented his
land, although he continues to live on the place, having just completed a new two and a half story frame residence
which he now occupies. His farm is one of the well improved and carefully kept places of the township, as well
as one of the most valuable properties.
On the 13th of October, 1864, Mr. Duncan was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Sands, a daughter of Nathaniel
and Sarah Sands. To them were born the following children: Joseph C., who is a resident of Columbus Junction; Melvin,
deceased; William Nelson, living in Union township; Ida L., the wife of Harry Edwards, of Union township; Reuben
Harrison, also a resident of Louisa county; Francis M., who lives in Columbus Junction; Earl, deceased; and Jesse,
The family were reared in the faith of the United Presbyterian church, of which the parents are members, while
in matters political Mr. Duncan is a republican. He has always taken an active interest in all matters pertaining
to the common welfare and served in the various township offices. During the long period of his residence in the
community he has established and maintained a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness in all business transactions
and is esteemed accordingly.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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