Biography of Samuel S. Ormiston
Poweshiek County, IA Biographies





SAMUEL S. ORMISTON.
An excellent farm of one hundred and twenty acres, located on section 15, Madison township, pays sterling tribute to the care and attention bestowed upon it by Samuel S. Ormiston, one of the progressive and prosperous agriculturists of this locality.

He was born in Washington county, Ohio, on the 18th of June, 1857, a son of John and Harriett (Disbro) Ormiston. The former was born in Scotland about 1822 and when a little lad of but two years of age came with his parents to America, the family home being established in Washington county, Ohio. There he spent practically his entire lifetime, giving his attention during the period of his business career to the occupation of farming. His death occurred there in February, 1894. His wife, who was a native of New York, accompanied her parents to Ohio when but a child. Her father was drowned in the Muskingum river, near Zanesville, Ohio. She met and married John Ormiston in Washington county, Ohio, and still survives him, making her home on the old homestead with her youngest daughter, Mrs. James Schweikert.

Samuel S. Ormiston was reared on the home farm in Ohio, spending the period of his boyhood and youth amid the wholesome influences of rural life, and remained with his father until he was nineteen years of age, when he came west to Iowa, locating in Brooklyn, Poweshiek county. Here he worked at farm labor by the month for three years, after which he made his way to Jefferson township Where two years were devoted to the operation of a rented farm of one hundred and sixty acres. The three following years were given to the cultivation of a rented farm in Scott township, after which he took a year's trip, driving through Kansas and Nebraska in search of a favorable location. After a thorough investigation he purchased two hundred acres in Nebraska, which remained in his possession until nineteen years ago. After his return to Iowa he rented a farm in Warren township for two years, and then operated the Garvin Lang place in Madison township in the capacity of renter for five years.

In 1892 he purchased his present homestead of one hundred and twenty acres located on section 15, Madison township, whereon he has since continued to reside. Here he engages in general farming and also devotes much of his time to stock raising, being the owner of a fine recorded herd of Hereford cattle. He also raises a good grade of hogs and for the past twenty five years has made a specialty of breeding Plymouth Rock chickens, every year hatching from five to six hundred thickens. He is well known throughout the township for the excellent grade of his stock and he has so carefully managed his interests that today he is ranked along the most substantial farmers and stock raisers in this locality.

On the 18th of February, 1881, Mr. Ormiston was united in marriage to Miss Mary Katharine Torrance, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Barr) Torrance, both natives of Ireland. The father, whose birth occurred in Garvah, Londonderry county, was there reared, and when a youth of seventeen years he came alone to the United States, determining to seek a home and fortune on this side of the Atlantic. He resided in Philadelphia for a time where he was engaged as cabinetmaker, and later assisted in the construction of the Lehigh canal. He then purchased a boat, which he operated as captain on the canal for a time, and subseemently took up railroad contracting, being employed on the construction of the Union Pacific road. In 1878 Mr. Torrance came to Iowa, locating on a farm in Jefferson township, Poweshiek county, and there on one farm resided for twenty three years. At the expiration of that period he removed to Hartwick, Jefferson township, where he now makes his home. His wife, who was born near Coleraine, Londonderry county, Ireland, is now deceased, her death occurring on the i6th of February, sixteen years ago, on the farm near Hartwick. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ormiston have been born four children: William Frederick, the eldest, resides with his parents on the home farm. He formerly engaged in school teaching and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mabel Torrance married Homer A. Carpenter, who is well known among the younger farmers of Madison township, and they now have one daughter, Vera Helen, three years of age; Mary Harriett resides at home and teaches school in district No. 5, Madison township; and Susan Florence, the youngest of the family, lives at home and attends the school taught by her sister. At one time all three daughters attended the school in the home district of which their brother William was teacher.

Mr. Ormiston has given his support to the men and measures of the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. His fellow citizens have honored him by election to the various positions of public trust and he has acted as justice of the peace for four years. He also served on the school board for one term and has filled the office of township trustee for four years, while in 1911 he was reelected for another term of two years. The owner of a well improved farming property, and progressive and practical in the conduct of his business affairs, he is now numbered among the substantial and well to do residents of Malcom township, while his life, ever upright and honorable, has gained for him the warm esteem and unqualified confidence of those with whom he has been brought into contact.

From:
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1911


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