F. B. IDLE.
One of Louisa county's retired agriculturists, who for many years was !engaged in general farming and stock raising
in Grand View township, is F. B. Idle. a resident of Letts. He was born in Champaign county, Ohio, on the 23d of
January, 1843, and is a son of John and Nancy R. (Kiser) Idle, natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively.
The parents were married in Ohio, where the father engaged in farming until 1845, when they came to Iowa, making
the long journey across the prairie in wagons. They took up their residence in Muscatine county, where the father
filed a claim on eighty acres of land. After erecting a log cabin, which sufficed for a residence for the time
being, he began to break the prairie and place his land under cultivation, making such improvements as he could
from time to time. In the spring of 185o he crossed the plains to California in search of gold, spending two years
in prospecting. Upon his return he entered more land, continuing its cultivation until his retirement in 1907.
He is now ninety three years of age and although he rents his land still makes his home on the farm where he has
resided for over sixty years. He owns three hundred and forty acres of land, which is well improved, and two hundred
of it is under a high state of cultivation. Five children were born to him and his wife, as follows: Louisa, the
wife of A. V. Riggs; of Van Buren county; F. B., our subject; Isaiah, who is farming in Kingston, Texas; and two
who died in infancy.
Being but two years of age when the family came to Iowa, F. B. Idle has spent practically his entire life in the
state where he is now residing and in whose common schools he obtained his education. His boyhood and youth were
very similar to those of other lads reared on a farm during pioneer clays. While still very young he was assigned
light tasks about the farm, which increased in number and responsibility as he grew older, so that by the time
he had mastered the rudiments of the common branches of learning he was also well qualified to assist in the cultivation
of the fields. He adopted agriculture for his life vocation and met with such success in its pursuit that he is
now able to live retired, having sufficient means to provide him with all of the necessities and many of the luxuries
On the 16th of April, 1865, Mr. Idle was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Brumley, who was born in Virginia,
and is a daughter of Smith and Lucy A. (Vincent) Brumley. Her parents were also natives of Virginia, in which state
they were married, continuing to reside there until 1856, the father being engaged in farming. In that year they
came to Iowa, settling in Louisa county, where Mr. Brumley purchased eighty acres of land, which he improved and
cultivated until 1864, when he sold his place and bought one hundred and twenty acres elsewhere in this county.
Five years afterward he disposed of that place and purchased three hundred and twenty acres in the vicinity of
Wapello, one half of this being under a good state of cultivation and the other half timber. He later disposed
of that and went to Kansas, buying one hundred and twenty acres near Pleasanton, where he passed away in 1906,
having survived his wife for four years, as her demise occurred in 1902. Nine children were born to them: Mary
E., now Mrs. Idle; John L., who is residing in Kansas; Joseph W., who is in the stock business in Whitman, Nebraska;
Thomas N., of Fulton, Kansas; Julia A., who died in infancy; Nellie F., the wife of Ambro Hickman, of Batesville,
Indiana; Etta V., who married Frank E. Graham, of Wapello; Harvey B., who passed away at the age of thirty one
years; and Effie, the wife of Art E. Barber, of Pleasanton, Kansas.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Idle have been born three daughters and two sons. Clara B., who was given a common school and
musical education, married H. M. Shearer, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and they have nine children, namely: Carl Vernon,
Harry Merle and Beatrice Mary, all at home; Frank M., who is married and resides in Potlatch, Idaho; Monte May
and Darlene Marie, at home; one who died in infancy; and Austin Morris and Allen Dale, at home. Newton Idle, the
older son of our subject, was also given a common school education and lives in Boicourt, Kansas. He is married
and has five children, Francis, Russell, Floyd, Clara and Vera. Nancy A. is the wife of James Small, a resident
of Letts, and they have four children, Arthur, Molly, Alice and Ratio. Lucy R. is the wife of E. S. Rabe, a resident
of Letts, and they have one child, Maurice. Oliver I., a resident of Boicourt, Kansas, is married and has four
children, Leo, Eugene, John and Erma.
The family were reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which the parents are members, and fraternally
Mr. Idle is affiliated with the Masonic order, being identified with the lodge at Letts. Politically he is a democrat
but not having been an office seeker has never prominently participated in township affairs. He is one of the widely
known and respected citizens of his community and both he and his wife have many friends of long standing.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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