Horace Steel is now living retired in Riverside, having won a handsome competence through the careful conduct
of his farming and stock raising interests in former years. He was born in Delaware county, Indiana, on the 18th
of December, 1835, his parents being Justin and Eliza A. (Pugsley) Steel, who were natives of Connecticut and Ohio
respectively. In 1828 they took up their abode in Indiana, the mother passing away in that state in 1838. Justin
Steel came to Washington county, Iowa, in 1856, and entered a tract of land in Highland township, where he continued
to reside until called to his final rest in 1891, at the age of ninety one years. He had long been numbered among
the most substantial and respected citizens of the community and his demise was the occasion of deep regret to
all who knew him. Unto him and his wife were born five children, but the subject of this review is now the only
surviving member of the family.
Horace Steel received only meager educational advantages in youth, his attendance at school being limited to nine
months, but through reading, observation and experience he has learned many lessons of practical value and is a
well informed man. He remained under the parental roof until he had attained the age of twenty two years and then
began learning the miller's trade, working at that occupation for eighteen months. At the end of that time, on
account of failing health, he abandoned the trade and secured employment as a farm hand, being thus engaged until
1861. Having carefully saved his earnings, he then purchased a farm in Highland township, in the cultivation and
improvement of which he was busily engaged until the time of his retirement from active business life in 1904.
In addition to raising the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate he also fed and shipped stock on an extensive
scale, both branches of his business returning to him a gratifying annual income. He is now the owner of eight
hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive land in Highland township and likewise has a tract of one hundred
and fourteen acres in Iowa township. On putting aside the active work of the fields he purchased a commodious and
attractive residence in Riverside, where he is now living retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his well directed
and profitable labor in former years. He was the organizer and is now the president of the Union Dale Telephone
Company and is widely recognized as a most prosperous, enterprising and representative citizen.
On the 1st of June, 1862, Mr. Steel was united in marriage to Miss Elmira Green, whose birth occurred in Ohio,
in 1841, her parents being Wilson and Emily (Frazy) Green, natives of Pennsylvania. In 1845 they removed to Jefferson
county, Iowa, where the father bought a tract of land and built a log cabin. It was a primitive structure and characteristic
of those pioneer times, having a clapboard roof, stick chimney and sod floor. Wilson Green was called to his final
rest in 1856 and his wife, surviving him for more than four decades, passed away in 1898. Their family numbered
seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Steel have also become the parents of seven children, the record of whom is as follows:
Alonzo J., a resident of Mexico, Missouri; Fannie E., the wife of George Grecian, of Highland township, Washington
county; Ira C. and Milo M., who make their home in this county; Charles B., who is deceased; Henry F., likewise
a resident of Washington county; and Grace E., the wife of Alex McCreedy, of this county.
In his political views Mr. Steel is an unfaltering republican but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction
for him. His wife is a devoted member of the United Brethren church. His influence is ever on the side of right
and improvement. Having resided in this county for more than a half century, he is most widely and favorably known
within its borders, while his many excellent traits of character have gained him the warm regard and esteem of
all with whom he has been associated.
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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