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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John O. LaFavre, a resident farmer of Jones township, is located on section 21. He was born in Morgan county, Indiana, April 26, 1865, and his father, Jacob LaFavre, also a native of that state, was of French ancestry. Reared to manhood in Indiana when it was a pioneer district, he aided in its substantial development. When he had arrived at years of maturity he wedded Elizabeth Farr, also a native of that state. He followed farming in Morgan county and while there living seven sons and two daughters were born unto him and his wife. The year 1876 witnessed his arrival in Iowa, at which time he took up his abode in Lucas county, where he purchased a farm, upon which he resided until called to the home beyond, July 22, 1896. His wife died April 11, 1879.

John O. LaFavre was a young man of sixteen years when he came to Union county. He had arrived in Iowa when but eleven years of age and was a resident of Lucas county until 1881, when he came to Union county to work by the month as a farm hand. His education was acquired in the schools of both Lucas and Union counties and he continued to provide for his own support as a farm hand until it became possible for him to engage in farming on his own account. As a companion and helpmate for life’s journey he won Miss Mollie Huntzinger, whom he wedded on the 16th of February, 1893. She was born and reared in Union county, a daughter of W. H. Huntzinger, who removed westward at an early day, becoming one of the first settlers of Union county. He was a soldier of the Civil war, serving with the Union army throughout the period of hostilities and holding the rank of lieutenant in an Indiana regiment. His death occurred soon after the close of hostilities.

After his marriage Mr. LaFavre and his bride resided upon a farm of eighty acres, which he had previously purchased, and there lived for a number of years, bringing the fields into a high state of rich fertility. Later he bought the Kemmer place of sixty-three acres and still later added more land until he now has one hundred and sixty acres. He has built to and remodeled the house, and the farm with its substantial buildings, well tilled fields and other equipments indicates his progressive ideas and his practical methods. He uses the latest improved machinery to carry on the work of plowing, planting and harvesting and keeps in touch with modern ideas of progressive agriculture. He has set out some fruit upon his place and he raises high grade cattle, having some fine red polled stock, with a pure blooded registered male at the head of his herd. He also raises registered and high grade Poland China hogs. His farm is thoroughly modern in its equipments and Mr. LaFavre is one whose activity and enterprise constitute the source of Union county’s agricultural development and prosperity.

Unto our subject and his wife have been born three sons and a daughter, Floyd B., Grace E. and John Ivan, still living; and William J., who died in infancy. The parents are consistent and devoted members of the United Brethren church and in political faith Mr. LaFavre is a republican but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him, as he has preferred to concentrate his time and energies upon his business affairs which, capably conducted, have brought him signal success. His life proves that prosperity is not a matter of genius as contended by some but is the result of clear judgment, experience and unfaltering industry. These qualities have made Mr. LaFavre a successful farmer. He has lived continuously in this state for almost a third of a century, so that its history is largely familiar to him. Events which others know merely from records he has witnessed and has lived to see this region so transformed and developed that it is classed with one of the best agricultural sections of this great state.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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