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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Charles and Joshua J. Baxter are so well known in Iowa as to need no special introduction to the readers of this volume. They were for many years among the most extensive cattle breeders and raisers of the state and did much to improve the grade of stock raised and thereby promote the prosperity of the agricultural interests. Now they are living retired, their previous success making possible their present rest from active labor.

Their father, Samuel Baxter, was born in Maryland, May 19, 1799, and came of English ancestry. His life was devoted to farming and following his removal from Maryland to Ohio in 1815, he settled in Muskingum county among its pioneer residents and entered a tract of land, whereon he remained until 1863, when he removed to Galesburg, Illinois. He then purchased land near that city and carried on farming until his death, which occurred in 1865 when he was sixty-seven years of age. He was an energetic and diligent agriculturist and business man, and the careful direction of his labors brought to him very gratifying success. While in Muskingum county he had contracts to build stone bridges for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and also took contracts for bridge work on roads in the east. He was a member of the Baptist church and long one of its officials, while in its work he took an active and helpful part. He was an old line whig in his early political belief and afterward became a stalwart supporter of the republican party. He held minor township offices and as a citizen and business man and in the relations of social life he ever commanded the confidence and respect of those with whom he was brought in contact.

In early manhood Samuel Baxter wedded Accious Gorsuch, who was born near Baltimore, Maryland, September 11, 1799, and died in 1878. She was of English descent and belonged to a family represented in the colonial army during the Revolutionary war. Her parents were farming people and removed from Maryland to Muskingum county, Ohio, when she was eleven years of age. There on the 16th of January, 1823, she gave her hand in marriage to Samuel Baxter. Like him, she was a devoted member of the Baptist church and throughout the greater part of her life was known as a faithful Christian.

In the family were ten children. Eleanor, who was born May 2, 1825, married Joseph F. Place and died January 28, 1885. Keturah Ann, born January 22, 1827, became the wife of Edwin Owing and died November 5, 1903. Sarah M., born in 1829, married Samuel McGee and died December 14, 1893. Samuel, born in 1830, is a retired merchant and farmer living in Webster City, Iowa. Eliza, born December 4, 1833, became the wife of John S. Bonner and died June 1, 1905. Accious, born November 25, 1834, married Frank Parson and departed this life March 30, 1899. Charles, born May 3, 1837, was married October 9, 1877, to Annie Martin who was born in Pennsylvania, March 30, 1846, a daughter of William and Priscilla Martin. Charles and Annie Baxter have one child, Ethel, at home. Mary Jane, born October 25, 1839, is the widow of James Goff, of Galesburg, Illinois. Clarissa, born February 22, 1842, is the wife of Z. T. Starcher, a retired farmer of Springfield, Illinois. Joshua, born May 14, 1845, completes the family.

Charles and Joshua Baxter came from Illinois to Iowa in March, 1880, and settled on section 3, Grant township, Union county, where they owned seven hundred and twenty acres of valuable land. There they raised and fed cattle and were among the extensive live-stock dealers of Iowa for twenty-six years. They went into partnership in the cattle business in 1869 and retired from that department of activity in March, 1906. They had carried on business on a very large scale and bred full blooded Durham cattle, Poland China hogs and full blooded Norman horses. They sold the first cattle raised in Union county that was exported to Europe. These were Durhams and brought a big price and the year of sale was 1883. In recent years they have disposed of their farm property in Grant township but now own two hundred acres of valuable land in Spaulding township and one hundred and fifty acres in Douglas township. They have timber lands in Oregon and are interested in Colorado land. In Creston they own and occupy a beautiful home surrounded by a well kept lawn, while upon their ground is a two-acre orchard. The brothers are stockholders in the Creston National Bank, of which Charles Baxter is also a director, and they likewise own stock in the Tingley (Iowa) State Savings Bank, in which Joshua Baxter is a director and a vice president. By close application, unwearied industry and well directed effort they have become wealthy men and the most envious cannot grudge them their success, for it has been gained along the legitimate lines of business.

The Baxter brothers vote the republican ticket and Charles has held township offices, having served as school director for thirty years in Iowa and Illinois. In March, 1906, he and his brother retired from the farm and are now living in Creston, being among its substantial citizens, deriving an excellent income from their investments, while their bank account is a most desirable one.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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