J. W. Avery was for many years a blacksmith in Knoxville and was known as an able workman. He was born in Michigan
in 1856 a son of James and Sarah (Salters) Avery. His father was a farmer by occupation and was also a veteran
of the Civil war, having served in that historic conflict for three years. The family is of English descent.
J. W. Avery was reared in his native state, but in 1889, when a young man of thirty three years, came to Iowa and
located at Atlantic, where he remained for one year. In 1890 he removed to Knoxville and here opened a blacksmith
shop, which he conducted successfully until his death, which occurred on the 22d of September, 1908. In the intervening
eighteen years he established himself firmly in the confidence and respect of those who knew him and gained a reputation
as an expert at his trade.
In 1876 Mr. Avery married Miss Mary Watkins, likewise a native of Michigan and a daughter of John Watkins, and
she survives and lives in Knoxville. They were the parents of three children. Frank, who was born in Michigan in
1878, was educated in the public schools of Knoxville and for twelve years was connected with Culver & Company
but is now a partner in the Avery-Clelland Company, which owns a hardware business in Knoxville. He married Maude
Sheddan of Knoxville and has a daughter, Ruth. He is independent in politics and fraternally belongs to the Odd
Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. Arthur, the second son of J. W. Avery, was born in Michigan in 1880 and was
also educated in the Knoxville public schools. For twelve years he assisted his father in the latter's blacksmith
shop, but since May, 1910, has been a partner in the Avery-Clelland Company. He married Miss Lola Culver, of Knoxville,
and has two children, Robert and Alice. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Harry was born
in Knoxville on the 19th of August, 1892, and graduated from the Knoxville public schools. He is connected with
the same hardware business as his brothers. The concern is known as Avery-Clelland Company and was founded in 1907
by J. W., Frank L. and Arthur Avery and W.
Clelland. The store occupies a building one story and basement, eighty two by one hundred feet in dimensions, which
is located on East Main street, and the company carries a general line of hardware and farm implements.
J. W. Avery was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and held all of the chairs in the local subordinate
lodge. His widow is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and takes an active part in the furtherance of its
cause. Mr. Avery was independent in politics, took a great interest in public affairs, and for two terms served
upon the city council, in which capacity, as in his private life, he did all within his power to secure the general
welfare. His demise, which occurred in 1908, was sincerely regretted and in his passing the city lost a valuable
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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