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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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The farming interests of Grant township find a worthy representative in James H. Culbertson, who since 1893 has lived in Union county, his home being now on section 25, Grant township. Previous to that time he had resided for eight years in Ringgold county, Iowa. In the fifteen years which he has devoted to the improvement and development of his present farm he has converted it into a tract of rich fertility, annually producing large crops of the grains best adapted to soil and climate. His life record began in Coshocton county, Ohio, December 10, 1840. His father, Alexander Culbertson, was a native of Ohio and his parents were from Pennsylvania. Alexander Culbertson was reared in the Buckeye state and became a farmer, following that occupation for many years. He was married in Ohio to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, a native of Coshocton county. There his death occurred May 10, 1859, when he was fifty years of age, while the mother passed away in 1852, at the age of forty-three years. There were nine children of that marriage and by a subsequent marriage the father had two children, making eleven in all.

James H. Culbertson, the sixth in order of birth, was born and reared upon a farm and, mastering the branches of learning taught in the public schools qualified for teaching, which profession he followed in early manhood. He enlisted at Columbus, Ohio, in August, 1862, in defense of the Union, for at the time of the Civil war his patriotism was aroused and he joined the Eighty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. For a year he was on provost duty, then went to Virginia and at the close of the war was mustered out at Camp Chase, Ohio, May 24, 1865. For two years he was in active service, while the remainder of the time was devoted to martial and provost duty.

When the war was over Mr. Culbertson returned to his home and soon afterward removed from Ohio to Colorado, where he remained for a year. On the expiration of that period he became a resident of McLean county, Illinois, where he purchased a farm of twenty acres, making it his home until September, 1879. In the meantime he had married, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah Jane Brown, whom he wedded in Ohio, August 12, 1871. After leaving Illinois they removed to Caldwell county, Missouri, where Mr. Culbertson purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, upon which he lived for six months. He then sold that property and removed to Ray county, Missouri, in 1880, purchasing there eighty acres of land which he cultivated and developed for two years. In Caldwell county he converted raw prairie into cultivable fields, in the midst of which he erected substantial buildings. In 1885 he disposed of his property in Ray county and removed to Ringgold county, Iowa, where he purchased eighty acres of land about a quarter of a mile from Shannon City. This he improved, making his home thereon until 1893, when he crossed the line into Union county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Grant township. This farm has since been his home and he has erected in its midst a commodious and comfortable residence, together with substantial barns, cribs and sheds. He has also fenced the fields and as the years have gone by has transformed the farm in its appearance until it is today an excellent property ranking with the best improved farms of this part of the state. He is engaged in raising graded stock and feeds different kinds of stock for the market. He was also engaged in the dairy business for ten years but has recently retired from that department of activity.

In 1899 Mr. Culbertson was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife, who died in March of that year, leaving a family of eight children: Aaron, who is a resident farmer of Grant township; Laura E., the wife of Henry Grant, who is also a farmer of Grant township; Reed, who follows agricultural pursuits in Madison county, Iowa; Frank and Charles, twins, who are in the province of Alberta, Canada, where each has a quarter section of land; Walter, Elmer and Leslie, all at home. On the 22d of February, 1900, Mr. Culbertson was again married, his second union being with Katharine Branstetter, a widow, who by her former marriage has three children, Marguerite, Joseph and Bismark Branstetter.

Mr. Culbertson maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in the Grand Army post at Shannon City. He proudly cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has since followed the banners whereon have been emblazed the names of the leaders of the republican party. He never falters in his allegiance to a cause which he believes to be right and has been inflexible in his support of republicanism. While he has never sought office he has been a delegate to several county conventions. He has found that his business interests make full claim upon his time and attention and in the careful conduct of his farm he has met with signal success.

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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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