Biography of George W. Scholes

George W. Scholes is a well known and worthy representative of the farming interests of Harlan township, now busily engaged in the cultivation and improvement of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 26. Nearly every state in the Union has furnished its quota of citizens to Iowa and among those sent by Ohio is Mr. Scholes, whose birth occurred near Loudonville, on the 7th of July1840. He was one of five children born unto Elijah and Caroline (Tracy) Scholes, who were also natives of Ohio. The mother died in that state in 1850 and the father was afterward married in Iowa to Salina Cox. Both died in Harlan township, Page county, Mr. Scholes passing away in 1876 at the age of seventy-seven years. He had followed farming throughout his entire life and had thus provided a comfortable living for his family.
By his first marriage he had five children. Benjamin T., now deceased, served in the Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war. He responded to the country’s first call for troops and on the expiration of the three months’ term of enlistment was again enrolled as a soldier. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga but was not discharged until the close of the war. George W. was the second of the family. John W. was a member of the first Nebraska regiment for three years and then veteranized. He has never been heard from since the war and was reported among the missing. He was probably killed on the frontier for his horse returned with an empty saddle. Francis M. enlisted in Page county as a member of the eighth Iowa Cavalry under Captain Burns and was discharged at the close of the war after having participated in all of the engagements with his regiment. The daughter of the family, Elizabeth Scholes, became the wife of John A. Brown but is now deceased. The four sons of the family were away to the war at the same time and the parents with difficulty succeeded in keeping up the farm property. In addition to the four brothers, James A. Cox, who had been reared by Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Scholes, also joined the army, serving with the Third Iowa Cavalry. He, too, is now deceased.

In taking up the personal history of George W. Scholes we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Page county for he has resided upon his present farm in Harlan township for forty years. He was a youth of eleven years when in 1851 he came to Iowa with his parents, the family home being established in Lee county. Three years later they came to Page county, arriving in 1854, and in 1869 George W. Scholes took up his abode upon the place which he now owns. He was a youth of fourteen when the family came to the county and in the early days he shared in the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. He can well remember the time when much of the land was uncultivated, being covered with brush or the native prairie grasses. One could ride for miles without coming to a fence or house to impede his progress but with the passing years great changes have been wrought and the county is today thickly settled, while its wild prairie has been made to bloom and blossom as the rose.

Mr. Scholes continued in active identification with farming interests until after the outbreak of the Civil war when, feeling that his first duty was to his country, he joined the army as a member of Company A, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, under command of Captain Burns. He was in all of the engagements with his company and was honorably discharged at the close of hostilities. When the war was over he resumed farm work here and in1869 took up his abode on section 26, Harlan township, where he now owns one hundred and sixty acres of fine land. There are good improvements upon it, all of which were made by Mr. Scholes and the substantial buildings are a monument to his thrift and enterprise. He raises both grain and stock and he has recently sunk a coal shaft upon his farm, and has struck two-foot vein-as large a one as has ever been found in this locality.

Not long after his return from the war Mr. Scholes was married to Miss Elizabeth C. Blair, who was born in Indiana, November 4, 1842, and in 1866 was married. She came to this county in 1856 with her parents, Robert and Jane C. Blair. Her father died in Superior, Nebraska, where her mother now resides at the age of eighty-six years, making her home with her oldest son. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Scholes has been blessed with seven children: Etna Arminnie, who is now the wife of Harry Wilkie, of Kansas; Jennie Ellen, who is the wife of Samuel Toner, of Harlan township; Eveline C., the wife of J. D. Knowles, of Amity township; Bertha, the wife of Willis Baird, also of Amity township; Mary, at home; Willie, who is living in Amity township; and Elmer, at home.

The family attend the Reformed Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Scholes is a devoted and active member. He has served on its board of trustees for thirty-two consecutive years and takes a helpful part in all of the work of the church. His long residence in this county has made him widely known and his sterling qualities are recognized by all, who have found him honest and diligent in business, loyal in citizenship and faithful in friendship. He is numbered among the honored veterans that Page county sent to the Civil war and is as true to the country today as when he followed the old flag on southern battlefields.


Kershaw, W. L. History of Page County, Iowa: also biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1909.

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