Sylvanus S. Neal, who owns and operates a finely improved farm of thirty and one fourth acres one mile from
Knoxville, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, on the 16th of July, 1856, a son of George G. Neal, and received
but a limited education as far as book knowledge is concerned but was given a practical training in agriculture
which has been of much benefit to him in later years. He has mainly followed the occupation to which he was reared
and has found it both congenial and profitable. In March, 1886, when about thirty years of age, he went to Kansas
and homesteaded land in Hodgeman county, proving up on his claim. He improved his land and resided there until
the fall of 1893, when he returned to this county, where he rented land for some time. Desiring to investigate
conditions in the west, he then went to Boise, Idaho, where he remained for six months, but in the fall of 1911
he returned to Iowa, locating in Greene county, where he purchased a farm, upon which he resided for a year, when
he sold it. In the spring of 1913 he returned to Marion county and located upon his present farm, which he had
previously purchased. It was formerly known as the McCoy place and had been used for a nursery. It comprises thirty
and one quarter acres of very productive land and is situated on section 2, Knoxville township. He cultivates it
intensively and his unremitting industry and progressive methods enable him to secure a gratifying income from
Mr. Neal was united in marriage on the 27th of November, 1875, to Miss Arah V. Hardin, who was born in Greene county,
Pennsylvania, July 6, 1854, her parents being C. C. and Lucretia (Morris) Hardin. Her father was a native of Kentucky.
He removed to Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and later to Greene county, that state, where he was married and where
he lived until 1875, in which year he came with his family to this county, locating at Pella. He taught school
for many years in both Pennsylvania and Iowa but eventually purchased a farm west of Donnelly, in Knoxville township,
and made his home there in his later years. His wife was born and reared at Mount Morris, Greene county, Pennsylvania,
her birth occurring on the 8th of August, 1833. Her father, Levi Morris, was a pioneer of that county, and Mount
Morris was named in his honor. Mrs. Hardin passed away in this county on the t3th of October, 1887. Mrs. Neal has
two brothers, B. A. and E. S., both farmers of Knoxville township. Previous to her marriage she taught school for
several terms in Pennsylvania, Kansas and Iowa and was very successful in that profession.
To Mr. and Mrs. Neal were born ten children, namely: Charles S., born February 25, 1877, married Miss Myrtle Swaim
and is a farmer of this county; L. Myrtle, born October 24, 1878, resides at Des Moines; Nora E., born February
17, 1882, is the wife of H. H. Budka, a commercial traveler of Des Moines; Herbert L., born October 28, 1883, and
who married Miss Edith Wilson, by whom he has one child, and is now a farmer of Meridian, Idaho; Maie Morris, born
November 2, 1885, is at home; Frances Edna, born October 21, 1889, is now the wife of Harry E. Roberts, of Boone,
Iowa; John Byron, whose birth occurred March 29, 1891, is at home; Archie M., born August 21, 1892, is at home;
Laura Isadora, born March 29, 1895, died March 22, 1896; and Blanche Irene, born February 16, 1898, is at home.
Mrs. Neal is a member of the Eden Methodist Episcopal church of Knoxville township. Mr. Neal is a republican and
stanchly supports the policies of that party. He has served in a number of local offices and has at all times discharged
his duties with circumspection and ability. His life is guided by high and honorable principles of conduct and
in all relations he has proven himself a man whom to know is to respect.
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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