|Birth: ||Jun. 26, 1806|
|Death: ||Dec. 24, 1902|
ALLEN DEARTH, who is numbered among the early settlers of the county and is now living on section 35, Bloomfield Township, was born in Warren County, Ohio, on the 26th of June, 1806. His parents were James E. and Elizabeth (Long) Dearth, the former a native of Pennsylvania of Scotch descent, the latter of Virginia, born on German parentage. by occupation the father was a farmer, and for many years followed that business in Warren County, Ohio. He served his country in the War of 1812, after which he returned to his home in the Buckeye State, where he resided until his death. He passed away at the ripe old age of seventy-six years. His wife survived him some time, and died in 1861. There were six children born to this couple, but three of that number are now deceased, namely: Leviletta, Eliza and Samuel. Those living are: Allen, who is the second in order of birth; William L., of Warren County, Ohio; and Ellen S., a resident of Minnesota. The parents of this family were earnest Christian people, who did much to advance the cause of Christ on earth. They early instilled into the minds of their children such principles as would make them honorable, upright citizens,a nd were they now alive, might well be proud of the family which they reared.
Allen Dearth, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood in Warren County, Ohio, where his early life was passed in much the usual manner of farmer lads. He availed himself of such opportunities as the common schools afforded, but as the county in which his parents lived was newly-settled, his educational advantages were necessarily limited. Like a dutiful son, he assisted his father in the cultivation of the farm until twenty-one years of age, when he was given some land and began operations for himself. He was married about this time, and with his young wife removed to his farm, which he operated until 1848, when, having a chance to dispose of it to his advantage, he sold out and bought another farm in the same neighborhood. That land he cultivated for about five years, prosperity attending his efforts during that period. Selling out, he then purchased fifteen acres on the outskirts of Springborough, Warren County, for which he paid $80 per acre and afterward sold for $9,000. Later, he traded his town property for eight hundred acres of land in Boone County, Iowa. He had also been the owner of extensive possessions in Indiana, including some twelve hundred acres of land, all of which he disposed of, trading the last eight acres for one hundred and sixty acres in Page County, Iowa. He believed that this State would rapidly settle an
that his lands would become very valuable, so that, in 1853, he came to Iowa for the purpose of here making his home. He first went to Boone County, but thinking the land too wild in that region, came to Polk County, with the future prospects of which he was quite delighted. In consequence he purchased a lot in the city of Des Moines, for which he paid $800, and erected a residence thereon. Having been so successful in his real-estate speculations in Ohio and Indiana, Mr. Dearth determined to make that his business in Iowa, and after his settlement in this city made purchase of four hundred acres of land in Dallas County, which adjoins Polk County. After residing in Des Moines for a year, he sold his land just mentioned and bought four hundred acres in Bloomfield Township, but by that investment lost $8,000, the land having been previously mortgaged. He labored to get his business affairs in a good condition once more, after his failure, and in due course of time purchased the farm on which he is now living.
Mr. Dearth was married on the 10th of April, 1828, the lady of his choice being Miss Margaret Deardorff, daughter of Jacob and Annie (Van Dyke) Deardorff, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, born of German parentage. the father was a farmer by occupation, and was engaged in that pursuit at the time of his death. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Deardorff only one is now living——Margaret, wife of our subject, who is now eighty-one years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Dearth have had a family of five children, but one died in infancy. Jacob is a resident of Indianola, Iowa; Perry is a farmer of Webster County, Mo.; Eliza A. is the wife of John T. Chambers, of Benton County, Ark.; and Lavina is the wife of John McGriff, who owns and operates one hundred and fifty acres of the farm on which Mr. Dearth lives. They have an interesting family of five children——William, Eddie, Howard, Ella and Charles. One child, Mary, is now deceased.
For the long period of thirty-seven years Mr. Dearth has made his home in Polk County, his residence dating since 1853. Great, indeed, have been the changes which have taken place since that time, and prompted by his energetic and progressive spirit, he has taken an active part in the work of advancement. His fellow citizens, appreciating his worth and ability,have frequently called upon him to serve in official positions. He was Supervisor of the roads, Trustee of Bloomfield Township, and for about twenty terms has served on the grand and petit juries. He cast his first Presidential vote for John Quincy Adams, and supported the Whig party until he joined the Republican party at its organization. He then continued his connection with that great national organization until 1880, when he joined forces with the Greenback party. More than sixty years have passed since Allen Dearth and Margaret Deardorff started out in life's journey together. They have met many difficulties and discouragements and have borne their share in the sorrows of this world, yet their union has resulted in great happiness to both, and their companionship grows dearer as the years advance. For fifty-five years they have given their labors for the upbuilding of the Master's cause. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are loyal Christian people, who by their upright lives have won the love and confidence of all. they are now nearing the other shore, but they can look back over the past with no regret and forward to the future with no fears, resting on the promise of the Bible and the hope of a home where all is peace and happiness.
Bio by: Charles Coe
Margaret Dearth (1808 - 1896)
Created by: FLH
Record added: Sep 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29794978