Biography of James S. Ballamy
Marion County, IA Biographies





James S. Bellamy for many years has been connected with the live stock and grain business in Knoxville and since 1901 has been associated with the firm of Seth Way & Company. He is also the president of the Marion County Electric Company, which operates the electric light and power plant and telephone system and was formerly known as the Knoxville Electric Company. Mr. Bellamy was born in Switzerland county, Indiana, on the 12th of February, 1848, a son of Samuel King and Acassina (Manford) Bellamy. The former was born in Switzerland county on the 11th of June, 1824, and the latter on the 12th of July, of that year. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Rev. Samuel Bellamy, who was born near Richmond, Virginia, in 1784, and in 1848 removed west to Indiana. He subsequently came to Marion county, Iowa, and died here in 1855 He entered the Methodist ministry when but eighteen years of age and for many years was a preacher of the gospel but he entered land from the government in Indiana and gave part of his attention to agricultural pursuits. His father was Elisha Bellamy, a son of Samuel Bellamy, Sr., who was a resident of Powhatan county, Virginia. Several of the family were ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church. The ancestry has been traced back to two brothers, Huguenots, who came to America in colonial times and settled in different sections, one remaining in the north and the other going south.

Samuel K. Bellamy, the father of our subject, was reared in Indiana and was there married. In 1853, when twenty nine years of age, he came to Marion county, Iowa, and entered land on section 1, Washington township. In 1875 he removed to Knoxville, where he engaged in the grain, lumber and livestock business. The firm was known as S. K. Bellamy & Sons and did a large business. He remained associated with that enterprise during his active life and passed away in 189o. He was a large landowner, holding title to over eight hundred acres of land, some of which is still in the possession of the family. One of the organizers of the republican party in Marion county, he was prominent in its councils and was candidate for the state legislature at one time; a member of the city council and of the school board for a number of years. In 1882 he took a prominent part in the campaign for prohibition. In religious belief he was a Methodist, thus following the family tradition. He was much interested in the improvement of the live stock in the county and was an organizer and the first treasurer of the Iowa Short Horn Breeders Association. He was a leader in several lines of activity and was highly esteemed throughout the county. His wife was a daughter of James Manford, a veteran of the War of 1812, who died in 1831 when his daughter Acassina was a child of seven years. She is still living and has passed the ninetieth milestone upon life's journey, now making her home at Knoxville with a daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Craig. She is unusually active for one of her years and her mind retains its clarity remarkably well. She is a member of the Methodist church. Her family were for many years residents of Virginia and her parents were born there, although her birth occurred in Indiana, as previously stated.

James S. Bellamy was but five years of age when brought to this county and has lived here most of the time since. His educational opportunities were somewhat limited, as school was only conducted for a few months in the year in early days and as his time was largely occupied in assisting with the farm work. When twenty two years of age he went west and for a number of years was connected with cattle ranches on the plains of western Kansas, Colorado and Texas. For three years he engaged in buying and selling stock. In 1875 he returned to Knoxville and turned his attention to the grain, lumber and livestock business as a member of the firm of S. K. Bellamy & Sons, continuing in that line until the present time, although the firm is now Seth Way & Company, that style having been adopted in 1901. The company concentrates its activities upon the grain and live stock business, the lumber interests having been sold in 1900. Mr. Bellamy is also the president of the Marion County Electric Company, which operates the electric light plant and telephone system at Knoxville and the oversight of these public utilities demands a great deal of his time and thought. He has an organizing mind and has developed these systems until they are now efficient and profitable. He has also been active in politics and was at one time candidate for state senator and was the candidate of his party for representative from this district in 1914.

Mr. Bellamy was married February 13, 1879, to Miss Mary Alice French, who was born February 9, 1859, in Knoxville, Iowa, a daughter of Dr. J. T. French, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work, as well as a detailed account of the family genealogy. To Mr. and Mrs. Bellamy have been born five children. Paul E., born November 17, 1879, is now a rancher of western South Dakota. He saw service in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war with the Fifty first Iowa Volunteers. He is married and has four children. Herbert, manager of the light department of the Marion County Electric Company at Knoxville, is a young man of thirty two years of age, his birth occurring on the 20th of June, 1882. Earl Delmar, born on the z5th of August, 1885, is manager of the telephone department of the Marion County Electric Company. Rebecca Imogene, whose birth occurred on the 4th of September, 1892, is attending the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. Mary Marguerite, born June 16, 1897, is a graduate of the Knoxville high school.

Mr. Bellamy is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has taken the Knights Ttmplar degrees. His wife is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which she is past worthy matron. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge and encampment and served for one year as grand master and for two years as grand patriarch of the grand lodge of Iowa. For four years he was grand representative to the sovereign grand lodge. His wife belongs to the Rebekahs and was for two terms president of the Rebekah State Assembly. He is a charter member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias and was its first chancellor commander. Mrs. Bellamy belongs to the Pythian Sisters and is also a member of the P. E. O. Mr. and Mrs. Bellamy are both members of the Methodist church and give of their time to the furtherance of its work. He is a republican in his political belief and for thirteen years was a member of the school board, being president of that body when the present high school buildings were erected. He is now chairman of the library board and in this connection is doing much for the intellectual advancement of the city. His support can always be counted upon for any movement that seeks the betterment of his community and his influence is always wielded for the general good.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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