Biography of J. Edgar Sawhill

J. Edgar Sawhill, owning and operating one of the finest and most productive farms of Page county, is thereon engaged in general agricultural pursuits and is meeting with excellent success in his undertaking. He is a well known figure in agricultural circles throughout the county, being actively connected with the Farmers’ Institute and also with the experimental station for a number of years. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the 7th of October 1858, a son of John and Jane (Pollock) Sawhill, the former born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and the latter in Ohio county, West Virginia, in 1824. The father was an extensive farmer in his native county and was the owner of several hundred acres. He was very prominent in the community in which he resided, active alike in church and politics, and he settled many estates throughout the county. He and his wife both passed away in Washington county, his death occurring in 1887, while she survived until 1903.

In their family were seven children, namely: Anna, the widow of J. C. McConahey, of Washington county, Pennsylvania; Mary, who passed away in 1870; T. A., residing in Corcordia, Kansas; Elizabeth, the widow of J. M. Post, of Washington county, Pennsylvania ; W. F., a resident physician of Concordia, Kansas ; J. Edgar, of this review ; and Rev. E. O. Sawhill, a Presbyterian minister of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. With the exception of our subject all the members of this family received college educations.

In the public schools of his native county J. Edgar Sawhill acquired his education, passing through consecutive grades until he became a student in the high school. After his graduation therefrom he engaged in general farming in the Keystone state until 1892, in which year he came to Page county, Iowa, locating in Clarinda. There he remained for one year and in the spring of 1893 he removed to his present farm in Nodaway township, consisting of one hundred and ten acres of land on section 36, one mile west of the courthouse. In 1907 Mr. Sawhill erected a fine large house, and the excellent barns and outbuildings which stand upon the place have all been built by him within the last ten years. The fields are under a high state of cultivation, fences are kept in excellent repair and the grounds are well kept, so that his place is one of the best improved and most attractive properties in the county. Mr. Sawhill practices intensified farming and the gross receipts from his farm are probably greater than those of any other farm of similar size in Page county. He also raises all kinds of stock and is interested to some extent in the dairy business, while he cultivates all of the various kinds of fruits which find a ready demand in the town. In the conduct of these various interests Mr. Sawhill displays keen business discernment and excellent management and as a result lie is today ranked among the substantial, progressive and influential farmers of Page county.

His farm adjoins the county farm, whereon is conducted the experimental station of Page county. This station is operated by the County Farmers’ Institute and Mr. Sawhill has been on the committee of this institution since its organization. He has also been active in the affairs of the Farmers’ Institute of this county for the past ten years and has thus gained a wide acquaintance throughout Page county.

It was on the 17th of October, 1883, that Mr. Sawhill was united in marriage to Minnie A. Garrett, of College Springs, Iowa. She is a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, born on the 22nd of November 1859, and a daughter of W. G. Garrett, formerly of Washington county but now residing in College Springs. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Sawhill has been blessed with two children, namely : W. Herbert, engaged in the animal industry, being connected with the agricultural bureau of the United States, located at present in New Mexico; and Eldwin, who is yet under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Sawhill hold membership in the Presbyterian church of Clarinda and lie is an elder therein. In politics he is a stalwart republican, and although he is deeply interested in the progress of the party and does all in his power to extend its influence in the community, he has never desired nor sought public office as a reward for party fealty. His life has been preeminently that of a business man who is concentrating his time and energies upon his private affairs in the acquirement of a gratifying measure of success, which he well merits.



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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