John Adam Neal, who is a well known farmer of Knoxville township, was born in Adams county, Ohio, April 7, 1867,
a son of George G. and Mary Frances (Stumm) Neal, both natives of Fayette county, Pennsylvania. The father, who
was of German descent, was born in November, 1816, and the mother's birth occurred on the 4th of March, 1892. The
maternal grandfather was a native of Germany.
Mr. and Mrs. George G. Neal were married in their native county but later removed to Adams county, Ohio, where
they lived for three and one half years. At the end of that time they came to Marion county, Iowa, arriving here
in the fall of 1867. They went from Pella to Knoxville by stage and remained in the latter city for a few months,
after which the father purchased seventy two acres of land on section 6, Knoxville township. His farm was covered
with brush which it was necessary to clear before crops could be planted, but Mr. Neal set himself resolutely to
work to develop his farm and became the owner of a valuable property. He subsequently bought forty acres more and
continued to follow agricultural pursuits until his death. He became well to do but was without capital when he
started upon his independent career and the hard work by means of which he gained material prosperity undermined
his health and perhaps hastened his death, which occurred on the th of May, 1880, when he was sixty four years
of age. He was a republican in politics and his religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian church of Knoxville.
His wife survives and resides at her old home. They had three children, as follows: Sylvanus S. is a farmer and
stockman of Knoxville township and has traveled extensively. He is married and has several children. Sarah Isabelle,
who was familiarly known as Sallie, was born December 6, 1853, and married William I. Morris. She died March 17,
1892, and left three children. Her husband survives and is a retired farmer living at Indianola, Iowa. John Adam
of this review is the youngest of the family.
The last mentioned grew to manhood in this county and was a student in the public schools, thus acquiring a serviceable
education. When thirteen years of age his father died and from that time on he has depended upon his own resources
for his livelihood. He has devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits and has been very successful, especially
in the line of stock raising. He is now operating his mother's farm of one hundred and twelve acres on section
6, Knoxville township, an eighty acre tract on section 5, which he owns, and one hundred and sixty acres, known
as the Joe Fisher farm, which he bought in the fall of 1896. Altogether' he operates three hundred and fifty two
acres, devoting his time chiefly to the raising of stock. He understands the care and feeding of live stock and
as he also studies the markets carefully he is able to secure good prices.
On the 27th of December, 1893, Mr. Neal was united in marriage to Miss Dora Marsh, a daughter of William J. Marsh,
who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Neal have been born four children, George G., Ethel Marie,
Harry M. and Florence, all at home. Mr. Neal attends the Eden Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife and
son are members. Politically he supports the republican party and for six years served as township assessor. He
is much interested in the cause of education and is a director of the Lincoln school district. His fraternal affiliations
are with the Masonic order, in which he has attained the Knight Templar degree, being a charter member of Knoxville
Commandery, and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is highly spoken of in his locality and is a valued and useful
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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