Biography of Alfred Molesworth
Marion County, IA Biographies





Alfred Molesworth, who was numbered among the enterprising farmers and pioneer settlers of Marion county, won the high regard of his fellow townsmen by a well spent life and his death was deeply regretted when he passed away. He was born in Harrison county, Ohio, January 26, 1828, and in his youthful days acquired a common school education. He came to Iowa in 1851 when a young man of twenty three years and entered land in Lucas county, where he remained for about a year. At the end of that time he returned to Ohio, but after a brief period again came to this state and began the development and improvement of his land, upon which he built a hewn log house.

Mr. Molesworth made further arrangements for having a home of his own by his marriage in 1855 to Miss Mary J. Kiger, who was born in Pennsylvania on the 28th of March, 1835, and is a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Kiger, who were also natives of the Keystone state. Her parents came to Iowa in 1848, settling first in Jefferson county, and the following year they removed to Marion county, becoming early settlers of that locality. The father secured a claim in what is now Washington township and began to break the sod and till the fields, at length converting his tract of wild prairie land into a highly improved farm. He made the journey to this county with teams, for there were no railroads at the time. He built log buildings for a home and also for the shelter of his stock, but as the years passed on he was able to supplant these with more modern improvements, while the farm work resulted in the annual gathering of good harvests. Upon the farm which he developed he continued to make his home until his death, and his wife also passed away there. In the Kiger family were six children, of whom four are yet living.

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Molesworth began their domestic life upon his farm in the spring of 1855 and for a half century thereafter he continued to develop the fields and carry on the farm work, being thus actively engaged to the time of his death, which occurred in 1905 when he was seventy seven years of age. His had been an active and useful life, crowned with a substantial measure of success. He never sought to figure prominently in any public connection but always faithfully discharged the duties devolving upon him and was a loyal citizen and a consistent friend. His widow survives and is now in her eightieth year.

In his political views Mr. Molesworth was a republican but was never an office seeker, preferring to give his undivided attention to his farm interests. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 660 at Columbia, and was a faithful Christian, holding membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, as does his wife. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Molesworth were twelve children, eight of whom grew to adult age, while six are now living. Barbara, the eldest, is now the wife of H. M. Spiker, a resident of Columbia, Marion county, where he owns a fine property and where he is extensively and successfully engaged in dealing in horses, handling all kinds of imported animals. Minnie is the wife of W. F. Carson, of Chariton, Lucas county, Iowa. Lilly M. is the wife of Edgar Wyland, of Des Moines. Lula E. is the wife of Adam Perschbacher, of Lucas county. Elsie J. is the wife of R. B. Bingaman, a resident of Lucas county. E. Lois, the youngest living daughter, is the wife of F. C. Dawson, of Lucas county.

To the eldest daughter, Mrs. Spiker, we are indebted for this record concerning her honored father and mother. Mrs. Spiker was a successful school teacher for about fifteen years, spending most of the time in this county, although for a period she was connected with the graded schools in Malvern, Iowa. She became the wife of H. M. Spiker, a son of J. F. and Adella Spiker, and they are widely and prominently known in Columbia and throughout Washington township, where they make their home. Mr. Spiker belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all of the chairs in the local lodge. His wife is connected with the Rebekahs and has served as matron in that organization. She is a representative of one of the old pioneer families here and has made several talks at the Old Settlers meetings, relating many interesting incidents of the early days.

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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