JAMES E. KERR.
Through well directed business activity and enterprise James E. Kerr has gained recognition as one of the most
prosperous and progressive agriculturists of Louisa county. He is now the owner of two excellent farms and, in
the management of his farming and stock raising interests is meeting with gratifying success. A native of Illinois,
his birth occurred in Henry county, on the 23d of May, 1874, a son of Thomas Walker and Amanda (Henninger) Kerr.
The parents were born in Pennsylvania and Wooster, Ohio, respectively, the latter being born on the 23d of February,
1841. After their marriage in 1859 they took up their home in Illinois, where the father engaged in agricultural
pursuits. He passed away on the 29th of February, 1896, while his wife's death occurred on the 11th of November,
1908. In their family were nine children, as follows: Ella, who married F. O. Withrow, of Geneseo, Illinois; Amy,
the wife of James Burton, of Kalispel, Montana; George, of Louisa county, mention of
whom is made on another page of this volume; Lena, who wedded E. E. Withrow, of Los Angeles, California; Mina,
the wife of Percy Davis, of Geneseo, Illinois; James E. of this review; William and Thomas, both now deceased;
and Harry Z., whose sketch also appears elsewhere in this history.
No event of special importance came to vary the routine of life for James E. Kerr during the period of his boyhood
and youth, which was spent on the homestead in Illinois, and upon attaining the age of twenty one years he took
up farming on his own account, wisely choosing as his life work the occupation to which he had been reared. For
two or three years he rented the home place, and then located on a tract of one hundred acres, which he also operated
in the capacity of renter for two years. At the end of that period he went to South Dakota, where he engaged in
farming for one season, after which he returned to Illinois, renting two hundred and sixty acres near Reynolds,
that state, which he continued to operate for eight years. On the 1st of March, 1911, he came to Louisa county
and has since made his home within its borders. Two years previous he had purchased a farm of two hundred and forty
acres, on section 8, Union township, and upon this tract he took up his abode, continuing to make it his place
of residence to the present time. The prosperity which has come to him during the intervening years made it possible,
in the fall of 1910, to invest in another tract of land, at which time he became the owner of one hundred and fourteen
acres in Columbus City township, which he has now leased and from which he receives good rental. He personally
supervises the cultivation of his home place, which is a highly developed and improved property, and here he carries
on general tarming and stock raising, in both of which branches his efforts are meeting with most satisfactory
Mr. Kerr was married, on the 31st of December, 1902, to Miss Mary I. Collis, the younger of two children born unto
William and Lorinda (King) Collis, natives of Illinois, her brother being William Henry Collis, of Henry county,
Illinois. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Kerr has been blessed with two children: Glenn William, born November 2, 1903;
and Ruth Amanda, born March 28, 1908.
The religious faith of Mr. Kerr is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, while in his political
belief he is a republican. He has never sought nor desired public office for himself, but he has preferred to concentrate
his entire attention upon the conduct of his private business, and the success which has attended his efforts has
been substantial and well merited. On the strength of his own resources, through the constant application of perseverance,
coupled with hard work and careful management, he has put his energies to excellent work and has subserved them
to such a degree that he has been able to attain substantial prosperity and now ranks among the prominent and well
known agriculturists of this locality.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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