Lee County Biography

Ira R. George

Among those who materially contributed to agricultural progress in Lee county was Ira R. George, who passed away in the midst of a successful career in 1907, when but forty-three years of age. He was a native son of Lee county, being born in Ashton township on August 17, 1864, a son of David and Susan (Reid) George, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Lee county in an early day of its pioneer history. The parents located in Franklin Grove but subsequently bought a farm in Ashton township at the remarkable price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. It is interesting to record this price in order to give an idea as to the improvement and progress made in this section as evidenced from the sums which are now needed to acquire farm land in the middle west. On this farm the parents remained many years, the mother dying upon it. The father also passed away in Lee county. Here our subject grew to manhood, acquiring his education in the Ashton schools. He remained upon the home property, assisting his father in its operation until forty years of age, when his father deeded him the farm, which comprised one hundred and fifty-one acres. Mr. George also bought nine hundred and sixty acres in Missouri and one hundred and sixty in South Dakota. He gave very close attention to his business affairs and success attended his labors, as he was aggressive and progressive in the management of his interests. His farm was always in the best state of cultivation and reflected the assiduous labor and careful management of the owner in its rich bearing fields.

In 1890 Mr. George was united in marriage to Miss Sarah H. Piper, of Steward, Lee county, Illinois, and a daughter of J. C. and Elizabeth (Shelley) Piper, both natives of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. They were among Lee county's early pioneers, coming here in the '40s. Mr. Piper passed away in 1898. his death resulting from an accident, he being killed by a horse. The mother is still living at the age of eighty-five, making her home in Kansas.

To Mr. and Mrs. George three children were born: Warren P., April 16, 1892; Myrtle M., born February 2, 1894, the wife of Harry Edgington; and Ada I, born March 16, 1898. Mr. George passed away October 13,1907, leaving a widow and three children to mourn his death. He found his last resting place in the Ashton cemetery. He was well liked in his community and stood high in the confidence of his friends and neighbors. His wife still owns the farm, which she actively operates. Mr. George was a member of the Church of the Brethren, to which his widow also belongs. She is a lady of good education and before her marriage taught school for some time. Mr. George was one of those men who always interested himself in anything that made for progress and advancement and by his life labors contributed toward raising moral, material and intellectual standards in the section which he called his home.

History of Lee County 1914 by Frank E. Stevens

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