James Steele

James Steele, son of James and Margaret Hamilton Steele, was born August 1, 1843, at Birmingham, Van Buren County, Iowa and died November 3, 1924, at the home of his daughter in Clearfield, IA, aged 81 years, two months and twenty-nine days.  The father was born in Ohio and the mother at Tyronne County, Ireland, and they were the parents of six children, Robert, James, Joseph, John, David and Ellen.  September 28, 1870, he was united in marriage to Isabelle Jarrett, a teacher of Lee County, who preceded him in death March 23, 1917.  James, Jr., was the first white child born in Birmingham, where his father was postmaster.  At the age of twelve years his parents settled on a farm near West Point, Lee County, IA.  Mr. Steele was reared to farm life and received his education in the common school.  At one time he was engaged in boating and lumbering on the Mississippi River.  Shortly after Mr. Steele’s marriage he came to Page County settling on a farm near Clarinda, where he was a successful stock grower.  He was also assessor of Nodaway Township, Page County, for nine years.  On February 15, 1898, the family came to Clearfield, IA, where Mr. Steele resided until his death, with the exception of one year, which he and his wife spent in Des Moines where he was revenue collector of the Des Moines district.  On May 15, 1915, he received the appointment of postmaster of Clearfield, IA  which office he faithful held until June 30, 1924.  Mr. Steele has been in frail health since the first of May and became very ill October 8 from gall stone attack. He suffered intensely until his spirit was released the mortal body just as the sun was setting Monday evening.  Mr. Steele was a true citizen ever ready to do his part as promoter in enterprises of benefit.  Many young person came to him for advice and guidance. “Give me the boys and girls and everything will be all right” he was often heard to remark.  Mr. Steele was very active in political affairs and was anxious about them to within a few days of his death.  As long as he was physically able he enjoyed attending church, having received his early religious training from his parents who were zealous members of the United Presbyterian Church.  An only daughter, Mrs. Frank Bye, is left to mourn his death, who with her husband so tenderly cared for the father in his declining years.  Just one brother, Joseph Steele, remains of the Steele family who with his wife spent the last two weeks tenderly ministering to the needs of his aged brother.  A number of nephews, nieces, other relatives and a host of friends both of Clarinda and Clearfield remain to cherish his memory.  During his illness many old friends and neighbors came to cheer him.  John Burgess a brother-in-law, of Red Cloud, NE; a nephew, Everett of Lincoln, NE; two nieces, Mrs. Clara Walker of Red Cloud, NE; Mrs. Lura Danker of Riverton, NE; a nephew, E.W. Sloan of Kansas City, MO; and cousins Jennie and Leslie McClure of Tingley, were in attendance at the funeral.

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