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Atlas of Jasper County, Iowa, 1901
Biographical History of Jasper County

The Huebinger Survey and Map Publishing Co., Davenport, Iowa
Part III, Page 11

SPENCER H. REES, Section 23, Palo Alto township, was born in Hancock county, Ohio, August 4, 1847. He is the son of Thomas and Mary A. (Prouty) Rees, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. His father always followed farming, and he removed to Ohio with his parents, Rowland and Elizabeth (Musser) Rees, in 1840. They were both natives of Pennsylvania. Thomas Rees, father of our subject, was married March 4, 1845, to Mary A. Prouty, the marriage ceremony taking place in Ohio. Mr. Rees was a stone cutter by trade, which he followed during the summer season, teaching school during the winter. In the summer of 1848, having decided to take Horace Greeley's advice to go west, he went to Cincinnati, and came from there to Burlington by boat, and with an ox team to Jasper county, arriving here in November, and located on Section 22. He was the first settler in Palo Alto township, their only neighbors being the Indians, who were generally peaceable, unless some unprincipled dealers in fire-water supplied them with an overdose, and under these circumstances they became quite quarrelsome; but by kindness and good treatment, Mr. Rees was always on good terms with them. Game was plenty in those days, and as Mr. Rees was fond of hunting, venison and wild turkey furnished a large portion of the family store for a number of years. Their first house was a log cabin 18x20, in which they lived until they erected a more comfortable one in 1853. Many were the hardships endured by this family during the early years. During the first three months of their residence here, Mrs. Rees never saw the face of a white woman. Mr. Rees was a man of energy and a good financier, and had acquired up to the time of his death, March 10, 1865, 740 acres of land. He was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, held numerous township offices, and in the fall of 1859 ran opposite to C. M. Davis for representative, but was defeated.

Our subject. Spencer H. Rees, May 21, 1864, enlisted in Company B, 48th Iowa Infantry, and was a member of Hooker's Division; did garrison duty at Rock Island and Chicago, and was honorably discharged on October 21, 1864. He was married October 24, 1877, to Margaret E. Holmes, a native of Indiana. Ransom P. and Mary A. (Duncan) Holmes, her parents, were settlers of Jasper county in. 1868. Her mother died here October 27, 1891, and the father, February 26, 1893.

Mr. and Mrs. Rees are the parents of five children: Maude E, deceased; Maurice H., at home; Freddie T, deceased; Edna Glen, and Floy N. Mr. Rees has served as trustee of Palo Alto township for two terms, clerk for two terms, assessor for three terms, justice of the peace one term, and weigher of government mails in 1887 on route No. 27,036. He is at present secretary of the school board of the district in township of Palo Alto. Socially, he is identified with Garrett Post No. 18, G. A. R., at Newton, Iowa. The family are all members of the Palo Alto United Presbyterian church, of which they are regular attendants and supporters.


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