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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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L. H. Converse is a prominent and influential citizen of Union county. He resides upon a farm in New Hope township and is closely and actively identified with agriculture interests, not only for his own benefit but is also promoting that agricultural development which is a stimulus for all and advances general progress. He has done much in recent years in molding public thought, action and opinion and well deserves mention in this volume among the representative citizens of Union county.

A native of Humboldt county, Iowa, Mr. Converse was born March 22, 1858, a son of Lewis Converse, who was born in the state of New York but was reared in Huron county, Ohio. He came to Iowa in 1853, when a young man, and located in Benton county, where he purchased land. He was married in that county to Miss Salena Young, who was reared in Ohio, and after acquiring a liberal education engaged in teaching school, in Ohio and Benton county, Iowa, following that profession for several years prior to her marriage. In 1856 Mr. Converse removed to Humboldt county, where he opened up a farm. The Converses were among the first five families of the county and in 1859 Mr. Converse lost his corn crop, which was destroyed by frost in August. He afterward returned to Marion county, Iowa, where he remained until his enlistment in 1862 as a member of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, with which he served for over three years or until the close of the war. He sustained three wounds in defense of the Union cause and returned to his home with a most creditable record as a brave and loyal soldier. After the war he resumed farming in Marion county and became a prosperous agriculturist and stock-raiser, breeding and dealing in Aberdeen Angus cattle. For a beginning he bought a herd of one hundred and fifty head of pure blooded registered cattle in Des Moines and is now one of the best known breeders of and dealers in Aberdeen Angus cattle in Iowa. He also feeds and ships fat stock and is regarded as one of the prominent stockmen of the state.

L. H. Converse was reared to manhood under the parental roof and supplemented his public-school education by one term’s study in the Pella Baptist College. Having arrived at mature years he was married in Marion county to Miss Luella Wines, on the 4th of February, 1879. Mrs. Converse was born, reared and educated in Marion county and was a daughter of E. L. and Mary Wines. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Marion county where they lived for three years and in the spring of 1882 Mr. Converse removed his family to his present farm on section 4, New Hope township, which he had purchased the previous year. He broke the land, built a small house and fenced and farmed the place. The nearest railroad was at Alton, fourteen miles distant, but now shipping facilities are within a few miles of his home. He has enhanced the beauty of his place by planting an orchard and setting out a grove of forest trees, and he has since built a commodious and neat residence and fair outbuildings. With the farming he has raised and fed stock and his business interests have been directed by sound judgment and keen sagacity, bringing him a goodly measure of success.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Converse have been born seven children: Frank E., who is now with the Byrne & Hammer Dry Goods Company, a wholesale house of Omaha; Owen, who is assisting in carrying on the home farm; Garrett, a student in the home school; Seth, who is attending the home school; Mina, who is now teaching in Manilla, Iowa, and was formerly a teacher in the schools of Des Moines, Lorimor and other places; Eva, who for eight years has successfully followed teaching and is now connected with the schools at Barney, Iowa; and Orva, a teacher in the graded schools of Murray. The children have all been provided with excellent educational privileges, for Mr. Converse realizes the value of mental discipline as a preparation for life’s practical and responsible duties.

Mr. Converse proudly cast his first presidential vote for the candidate of the republican party and has since been one of its stalwart supporters. He takes an active part in local politics and has served as township trustee for two terms. He was committeeman of the township for a number of years and does all in his power to promote the growth and insure the success of the party. In 1901 he was elected and served as supervisor for one term and was a member of a number of the important committees of the board. He has also been officially identified with the schools and has been president of the school board. When a member of the board of supervisors he attended the state supervisors’ meeting at Des Moines as a delegate, has served as a delegate to the state and county conventions of the republican party and was also a delegate to the World’s Fair at St. Louis, being appointed by the legislature. He has also been a candidate for county auditor on republican ticket. He has taken a prominent part in the farmers’ institutes and has three times served as president of the one of Union county. He is a member of the Elks lodge and he and his wife attend and contribute to the support of the Lorimor churches. Mr. Converse stands as a splendid type of representative American citizen who, while carefully conducting private business interests, also finds time and opportunity to aid in matters of public progress and improvement. He has given many tangible evidences of his interest in the general welfare, and in support of progressive measures has contributed to the substantial interests 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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