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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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Jacob Balius, prosperous as a farmer and stock dealer, has since May, 1906, been a resident of Creston. He is, however, far separated from the place of his birth, which occurred near Coblentz, on the River Rhine, in Prussia, in 1842. He is the eldest in a family of four children, whose parents were John and Gertrude Balius. The father was born in Alsace Loraine, and in the year 1852 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling in the state of New York, where he died in 1861, at the age of seventy years. His wife, a native of Germany, long survived him, passing away in 1884, at the age of seventy-five years. Both were members of the Catholic church. Of their family John is with the New York Central Railroad Company in the state of New York. Peter is a farmer of Nebraska, and Corinna is the wife of Daniel Lane, a farmer living near Indianolia, Nebraska.

The eldest of the family is Jacob Balius, who in his boyhood days had but limited opportunities for acquiring an education. He worked at farm labor in New York, and in 1868 came to Iowa, settling on a farm in Muscatine county. For twelve years he lived upon a rented farm and later spent a year in Clarke county, after which he removed to Adams county. He now owns a farm which is divided by the boundary line of Adams and Union counties. It comprises four hundred acres of rich and well improved land, which he brought under a high state of cultivation, adding to the place many modern equipments and accessories. In 1896 he arrived in Union county, taking up his abode in Cromwell, where for three years he made his home. On the expiration of that period he returned to the farm, where he again lived for three years, after which he once more located in Cromwell, where he owns a residence. In May, 1906, he came to Creston and now lives in an attractive cottage on North Sycamore street. He raised considerable stock, is a lover of fine horses and always kept some fine roadsters. His business affairs were carefully conducted and his capable management won him a very gratifying degree of prosperity.

In 1866 Mr. Balius was married to Miss Jane A. Markham, a native of the state of New York, born in 1848, and a daughter of Henry and Susan (Dumon) Markham. Her father was a farmer and on coming to Iowa settled on a farm in Muscatine county, where he successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Balius have been born eleven children: Nellie, the deceased wife of William Morland; Henry, a resident of Platte township, Union county; Charles, who resides in Spaulding township, this county; Morris, who operates a farm in Adams county belonging to his father; Flora, the wife of Daniel Morland, a resident farmer of Adams county; Emma, the wife of Ezra Collins, a resident of Douglas township; George, who follows farming in Canada; Frankie, who died in infancy; Walter, a ranchman of Idaho; Edith, at home; and Bertie, deceased. There are also twenty-two grandchildren.

The parents are members of the Congregational church and are much interested in church work in its various phases, taking a helpful part in its activity and in the extension of its influence for the moral development of the community. As every true American citizen should do, Mr. Balius feels an interest in the political situation of the country and as the democratic platform best embodies his ideas concerning governmental policy he gives to it loyal support. In Adams county he served as township trustee and for several years was road supervisor. He has displayed in his life many of the best traits of his German ancestry but is thoroughly American in thought, feeling and interests, and manifests a public-spirited devotion to the welfare and progress of his adopted county.

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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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