George H. Paul, capable of managing affairs of great breadth, is now president of the George H. Paul Company.
He is yet a young man, having not yet completed a third of a century, but a strong purpose, clear insight and initiative
spirit have carried him into important relations until he is today at the head of the most extensive emigration
business in the United. States. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs and one who wields a wide influence.
Washington county has reason to be proud to number him among her native sons. He was born on a farm in Oregon township,
May 6, 1877, a son of James and Sarah E. (Stewart) Paul, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Iowa.
His paternal grandparents spent their entire lives on the Emerald isle but in 1836 James Paul crossed the Atlantic
to the United States, establishing his home in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where he lived for a number of years.
On the 9th of April, 1859, he came to Washington county, Iowa, being at that time twenty three years of age. He
took up one hundred and sixty acres of government land in Oregon township which he immediately placed under the
plow and as the years went by he brought his fields under a high state of cultivation, continuing the management
of his farm until 1891, when he retired from active life and took up his abode in Washington, where he died May
13, 1895, when eighty years of age. He had long survived his wife who died in 1881. Both were members of the United
Presbyterian church and were consistent Christian people. Their family of four children included three sons and
one daughter, namely: William E., of Ainsworth, Iowa; Samuel S., also residing near Ainsworth; Mary Evelyn, the
wife of Charles Anderson, residing near Washington; and George H.
George H. Paul was reared in Washington county on the home farm to the age of fifteen years and attended the district
schools. Later he was employed at farm labor by the month for seven years and it has been characteristic of him
throughout his entire life that he has never failed in the performance of any duty devolving upon him but has displayed
marked industry and enterprise in all of his undertakings, whether working for himself or in the employ of another.
After seven years spent as a farm hand he was married and established his home in Washington, where he conducted
a dairy business for about eighteen months. He afterward engaged in clerking in a grocery store for a year and
spent the succeeding year in agricultural pursuits. At the end. of, that time he turned his attention to the emigration
business and has gradually reached out in this line, constantly expanding his interests, until today the George
H. Paul Company is controlling the most extensive business of the kind in the entire country. He has agents all
over the United States, his force of representatives numbering about seven hundred. He owns one thousand acres
of land in Washington county and has land in all of the central and some of the southern states. He conducts excursions
twice each month to the gulf coast of Texas and is doing a most important work in promoting the settlement and
improvement of the west. On the 5th of January, 1909, he took to Texas the largest emigration train that was ever
moved under one management. On that occasion twelve coaches ten Pullmans and two hotel cars, beside a dining car
and baggage car, altogether making a solid vestibule train of fourteen cars, proceeded to the Lone Star state with
four hundred home seekers aboard, nearly all of whom came from points outside of Texas. There was one car each
from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Muscatine and Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; and
four from Kansas City, Missouri. On that occasion Mr. Paul's sale of land amounted to nearly five hundred thousand
dollars. He handles only property the value of which he himself knows, and, realizing the advantages and natural
resources of the great west, he is doing a most important work in advancing the settlement of regions west of the
Mississippi and is playing a most prominent part in shaping the history of this great section of the country. In
connection with the excursion which he took south on the 5th of January, 1909, the Corpus Christi Caller said:
"During the last two days the people of Corpus Christi have had an opportunity to observe and feel the tremendous
influence a great organization can exert for the development of a section of country upon which it concentrates
its efforts. The land agent in these days is second only to the railroad as a promoter of progress. When the railroad
has made accessible a desirable section of country the land agent brings in people and makes it to blossom as a
rose. What the George H. Paul Company has done and is now doing for this section constitutes a splended example
of the land agent as a developing factor. It also shows what can be accomplished by means of highly perfected organization.
The George H. Paul Company is unquestionably the most perfect and powerful organization of its kind in the United
States and the people of this section, and particularly of Corpus Christi, may count themselves as exceedingly
fortunate that this locality is the scene of its activity. No individual, organization or institution is doing
so much for the development of this section and the growth of Corpus Christi as is the George H. Paul Company.
It is deserving not only of the hearty cooperation, but of the gratitude as well of every citizen of Corpus Christi."
On the 24th of July, 1899, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Paul to Miss Eva J. Hunter, a daughter of Albert
and Sarah E. (Ingersoll) Hunter. They now have two interesting children, Maurice Hunter and Dwight Harvey. The
parents are members of the First United Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Paul is serving as a trustee. They are
also prominent socially, the hospitality of the best homes of Washington being most freely acorded them, while
their home is the center of a cultured society circle. In politics Mr. Paul is a republican, but the honors and
emoluments of office have no attraction for him, even if his business left him leisure for participation in political
activity. In all personal relations he is modest and unassuming but in business life is most progressive and enterprising.
A man of well balanced activities and powers, he inspires confidence in others and is capable of mature judgment
of his own capacities and of the people and circumstances that make up his life, contacts and experiences. He is
eminently a man of business sense and easily avoids the mistakes and disasters that come to those who are liable
to erratic movements, resulting in unwarranted risk and failure. Viewing the record of the country in a day when
scientific investigation has made known the wonderful possibilities of the great west, one is thrilled by the story
of an individual who has taken so active, prominent and helpful a part in promoting, developing and shaping the
history of this great country.
History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Washington County, IA
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