GEORGE W. DEAN
PAST and PRESENT of APPANOOSE COUNTY IOWA
The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1913
Volume 2, Page 126 – 133
A man loyal in friendship, faithful in citizenship and honorable in all business relations passed away when George W. Dean was called to his final rest in Unionville, February 28, 1909. He had then reached the age of nearly seventy years and practically his entire active life was spent in Appanoose county, so that he was among its oldest residents, having been a witness of its growth and development and an important factor in it. As a successful farmer and the owner of the Peerless Hereford Stock Farm he made his influence felt upon the advancement of two of the most important industries in the state and in all work of progress he was an active participant, his honorable, upright and well spent life gaining him the unqualified respect and esteem of his fellowmen. Mr. Dean was born in Schuyler county, Missouri, May 24, 1839, a son of Levin Dean, one of the pioneer settlers in Appanoose county. The father was a native of Kentucky and in that state was reared and educated, removing as a young man to Howard county, Missouri, where he married Miss Missouri Ann Evans, also a native of Kentucky. In 1846 they came to Appanoose county, casting their lots with the pioneers who were reclaiming the wild land for farming purposes. With characteristic energy and resolute purpose the father of our subject opened up a new farm just west of Unionville and steadily carried forward the work of its development and improvement until his death, making it finally one of the most valuable properties in the state. His wife survived him tor many years, dying in Moravia at the advanced age of eighty-seven.
In their family were seven children: Elizabeth, deceased; Jesse, who died in the Rebel prison at Tyler, Texas, during the Civil war; Sarah and George W., our subject, both of whom have passed away; Mrs. Mary Harn, of Glendale, California; Mrs. Martha McCauley, deceased; and Erastus, who is living in Unionville. Levin Dean was one of the prominent figures in local whig politics during pioneer times and after the birth of the republican party gave active support to its principles and policies. He and his wife were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
George W. Dean spent his childhood upon his father's farm in Udell township and continued to assist in its operation tor many years. In a little log school house he began his education which he supplemented and broadened by wide and careful reading, deep thinking, experience and observation. In August, 1862, he offered his services to his country as a member of Company C, Thirty-sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and went immediately to the front. He was wounded in the engagement at Marks Mills and taken prisoner and held by the Rebels until September, 1865, when he was honorably discharged from the service, holding the rank of sergeant. Previous to his enlistment Mr. Dean, in 1860, had located on a farm which had been given to him and his wife by her father. After the war, however, he settled on eighty acres he had bought himself and continued to reside upon this property until 1906. He added to his holdings from time to time and finally acquired two hundred and twenty acres of well improved land, one mile south of the town, and became widely known as one of the most successful farmers in the state. Early in his career he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law. R. M. Hicks, widely known as one of the most successful farmers in the state. Early in his career he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, R. M. Hicks, now of Centerville. and began the breeding of registered Hereford cattle, afterward becoming one of the most prominent representatives in this line of work in Iowa. When Mr. Hicks removed to Centerville Mr. Dean purchased his interests and conducted the enterprise alone. His property was called the Peerless Hereford Stock Farm and his herd of from sixty to one hundred high-grade animals was known all over the state and represented standard quality. Mr. Dean sold for breeding purposes alone. Later he took his son, Emil, into partnership with him and in 1906 turned over to him the farm and moved into Unionville, where he died on the 28th of February, 1909.
On January 11, 1860, Mr. Dean was united in marriage to Miss Margaret C. Baldridge, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of W. C. and Harriet Jane (Miller) Baldridge, who came to Iowa in pioneer times, settling in Appanoose county, five miles west of Unionville, in 1849. There the father bought a farm which he afterward sold and moved to the vicinity of Iconium, where he and his family resided for some time. Later he returned and purchased property near his original location and there remained until his death in 1867, when he was forty-seven years of age. He was a stanch democrat and active in his adherence to the partys' principles. His religious views were in accordance with the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal church. After his death Mrs. Baldridge married William Miller and they continued to reside upon the farm for a number of years, Mr. Miller finally retiring and moving to Unionville, where his death occurred. His widow survives and has reached the age of eighty-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Dean became the parents of eight children. William F., the eldest, is a physician and surgeon in Osceola, Iowa. He married Miss Rachel Smith and after her death wedded Mrs. Jossie Dukes, who had one child, Marie, by her former husband. Maggie J. is the wife of J. C. Campbell, of Hastings, Nebraska, who is employed in a lumberyard at that place. Ralph L. died at the age of eight years. Ella D. is the wife of Jacob B. Smith, a farmer and rural mail carrier of Udell township. They have three children, Alta, Dean and Dwight L. Arietta married Henry E. Morrison, of Topeka, Kansas, and both are deceased. They had two children, Paul B.. who is married, and Mildred, both residing in Topeka.
Earl M. is a graduate of the Iowa Wesleyan College at Mount Pleasant. He is residing at present in the vicinity of Nyssa, Oregon, where he owns and operates a large ranch. He married Miss Stella Hale, of Kansas City, and they have one child, Dorothy.
Emil E. Dean attended the State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, and is now residing in Payette, Idaho, where he owns and operates a fruit farm. He married Miss Mattie Allen and they have one daughter, Margaret. Lucile D., who studied music in the Iowa Wesleyan College, is the wife of A. M. Johnston, a fruit grower of Payette, Idaho, and they have one son, George Finley Johnston.
In his wife Mr. George W. Dean found a worthy helpmate who at all times has proven a blessing to the household and in an important way, by her counsel and wise management, has forwarded the best interests of the family. She and her children are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Unionville and for many years she has taught in the Sunday school. Her mother and her daughter are also active in this work and four generations of the family are today factors in the spread of Methodist Episcopal doctrines in this section. Mr. Dean also gave devoted adherence to this religion, accepting its principles as one of the fundamental beliefs of his life and basing his actions upon his faith. He was a stanch republican and from the time he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln gave helpful and progressive support to its principles and policies. Mr. Dean was a charter member of the Masonic lodge and for nine years served as worthy patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He was one of the oldest residents in this section of Iowa and was continuously connected with its development and advancement, watched its progress from pioneer times and took a leading part in all that pertained to the general good.