Linn County, IA Biographies


Among the progressive and enterprising business men of Marion, Iowa, is Henry C. Oxley, a prominent stock dealer of that place, who is now serving as alderman from the Second ward. He is a native of Linn county, his birth having occurred in Marion township on the 3rd of September, 1848. His father, John S. Oxley, was born near Lexington, Kentucky, in 1809, and married Jane Hawley1, a native of Virginia. For ten years they made their home in Indiana, and in 1840 came to Iowa, being numbered among the pioneers of this county. Here the father first took up three hundred acres of timber land from the government and also secured two mill sites on Big creek, in Marion township, and later purchased six hundred acres of prairie land adjoining his first purchase, all of which is still in possession of the family. He and his brothers took a very active and prominent part in the early affairs of this locality and were members of the vigilance committee, which was quite an important necessity in those days save their horses from being stolen. He died in 1878,. honored and respected by all who knew him. His wife, who was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, is also deceased. Their children were Everet, who was born in Indiana, and died in Marion township, this county, at the age of twenty-seven years; Emeline, wife of John W. Gray, of Marion; James P., a farmer of Marion township, who was a soldier of the Civil war, and was twice taken prisoner, being confined in Andersonville prison for four months; Celia J., who married Elihu Ives, and died March 28, 1891; Georgian, wife of A. M. Secrest, a farmer of Marion township; Henry C., our subject; John T., a constable of Marion; and Marshall and Robert A., both farmers of Marion township.

Henry C. Oxley grew to manhood on the home farm in Marion township, and is indebted to the public schools of this county for his early educational advantages, though he later attended school in Mt. Vernon for one year. In 1870 he crossed the plains to California on horseback as the advance guard of the train consisting of mules and horses and was about four months upon the road. After prospecting in that state for five months he returned home by way of Wyoming. He made his expenses and thoroughly enjoyed the trip, which did him a great deal of good, as he gained forty pounds in weight. On his return to this county Mr. Oxley resumed farming, which he successfully carried on until March, 1888, when he rented his farm and removed to Marion, where he has since engaged in the stock business. He deals principally in cattle and sheep, making a specialty of milk cows. He still owns two hundred and thirteen acres of improved land valued at sixty-five dollars per acre, some of which was entered from the government by his father in 1842.

On the first of January, I872, Mr. Oxley was united in marriage with Miss Alice A. Ives, whose parents, George and Hannah (Jones) Ives, were also pioneers of this county and were from Connecticut and Ohio, respectively. By this union have been born three children: namely Maybelle Clare, who was graduated from the Marion high school, is now living at home; Carl L., also a graduate of the high school, won the scholarship out of a class of thirty-two, and is now a student in the second year at Coe College, Cedar Rapids; Hazel, still a pupil in the high school of Marion. The parents are both members of the Baptist church and are worthy representatives of two of the most prominent and well-to-do pioneer families of this county. Fraternally, Mr. Oxley affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and politically is identified with the Democratic party. While in this country he served as township assessor and school director, and in 1896, and again in 1898, was elected to the city council from the Second ward of Marion. As one of the leading business men and representative citizens of that place he is justly entitled to prominent mention in the history of his native county, with whose interests he has always been closely identified.

Printed in Linn Biographical Record, 1901, pgs 963 & 964.

Article scanned by Alison Newhall.
Photo contributed from file of Alison Newhall great grand daughter of Henry Clay Oxley.

Submitted by Alison Newhall on March 26th, 1999.
Copyright 1999 by Alison Newhall, All Rights Reserved.

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