William Vincent, who devotes his time and energies to general farming, having a rich and productive tract of
land of one hundred and sixty acres in Seventy Six township, is numbered among the native sons of this county.
His birth occurred in Washington township on the 22d of June, 1846, his parents being John and Jane (McCullough)
Vincent, who were natives of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and Green county, Ohio, respectively. The father,
a son of James and Charity Vincent, was born April 8, 1796, while the mother's birth occurred March 4, 1810. Arriving
in Iowa in April, 1842, he rented land for two years and then entered the old homestead of two hundred acres, upon
which he continued to reside until called to his final rest. He was not only penniless when he reached this state
but had incurred an indebtedness of forty eight dollars and it was only his lack of funds that prevented him from
returning to the east for he felt homesick and was discouraged by the outlook presented here in the conditions
of pioneer life. However, he faced the situation, began developing his farm and as the years passed invested more
and more largely in land until he was eventually able to give to each of his children eighty acres, while at his
death the old homestead property of two hundred acres was divided among them. All of this land he had entered from
the government for one dollar and a quarter per acre. His labors were an important and effective force in promoting
the agricultural progress and development of this part of the state. He exercised the right of franchise in support
of the men and measures of the republican party and he and his wife held membership in the. United Presbyterian
church. While returning from a visit to their children in October, 1876, they were struck by a passing railroad
train and both were killed.
William Vincent spent his youthful days in his parents home and the public schools afforded him his educational
privileges. He was early trained to the work of the farm and became familiar with the best methods of tilling the
soil and caring for the crops so that he was well qualified to carry on farming on his own account when he started
in business life for himself subsequent to his marriage. He chose as a companion and helpmate for life's journey
Miss Melvina M. Cherry, a native of Ohio. Her parents came to this county in 186o. Her father, who was born in
1818, died in 1895, having long survived her mother, who was born in 1817 and passed away October 6, 1876. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Vincent were born six children, of whom three are yet living: Frank and Robert, both at home; and
Melda, the wife of John Weekley, who resides upon her father's farm and assists him in its operation.
Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Vincent began their domestic life on their present farm, which then belonged
to his father and later became his property on the division of the estate. Here they have lived continuously since,
Mr. Vincent giving his undivided time and attention to the further development and cultivation of the place, which
comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land. The soil is very rich and good harvests are annually gathered for
Mr. Vincent is practical in his methods of tilling the soil. He does not hesitate to adopt any new measure or method
which he believes will be of real value in his work and his well directed labors and energies have brought him
substantial success. He endorses the republican party by his ballot at the polls and has served for several years
as a member of the school board. He has also acted as supervisor and his official record has been characterized
by unfaltering loyalty to duty. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are numbered
among the county's well known and highly respected citizens.
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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