A valuable property of six hundred acres is in possession of I. N. Aldrich. It is located on sections 24 and 25, Walnut township, and is a well improved place, having all the accessories and conveniences of a model farm of the twentieth century. In its conduct Mr. Aldrich displays excellent business ability and he derives his income not only from the large crops which he annually produces but also from his stock-raising interests. Forty-four years have come and gone since he arrived in this county, being at that time a young man of about twenty years. He was born in Medina county, Ohio, November 6, 1844. His father, C. M. Aldrich, was born in Oswego county, New York, in 1808 and was there reared. Following his removal to Ohio he married Betsy Gilchrist, who was born in Ireland but was reared in Ohio. Mr. Aldrich followed farming in the Buckeye state and there opened up a farm. In fact he cleared and made several good farms and reared his family there. He still lives in Ohio at the remarkable old age of ninety-nine years and is yet a hale and hearty man. His wife passed away some years ago.
I. N. Aldrich is one of a family of seven sons and two daughters, all of whom reached years of maturity. The Rev. W. B. Aldrich was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church and located in Kalamazoo, where his death occurred. The eldest brother, J. C. Aldrich, is living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Charles W. is in Spencer, Ohio. W. J. is a. resident of Berea, Ohio, Jennie is the wife of Hon. A. J. Howie, a prominent man of Berea, Ohio. T. C., of New York, is connected with the New York Life Insurance Company. I. N. is the next younger. Mrs. Sarah Brown died in 1904, leaving a family. Dr. S. W. Aldrich, the youngest, is in Des Moines.
I. N. Aldrich spent the first nineteen years of his life on the old home farm in Ohio and the work of the fields became familiar to him, so that he was well qualified to engage in farming on his own account at a later date. He attended the common schools and also enjoyed better educational privileges. Coming west when a young man, he worked by the month as a farm hand for five years, during which time he saved the money with which he purchased eighty acres of land in Dallas township. He bought a tract of that size near his present place of residence and gave his time and energies to its cultivation and improvement. He fenced the fields, broke the sod and transformed the place into a good farm but later he sold that and bought eighty acres where he now resides. He also added to his property from time to time and the success which has attended him in his business career is indicated by the fact that he now owns six hundred acres, all in one body. He has a large and commodious residence and two good barns. He also has a new house and everything about his place is indicative of the care and labor which he bestows upon his land. He annually harvests good crops and raises and feeds both hogs and cattle, fattening from three to eight carloads of cattle and hogs annually.
Mr. Aldrich was married in Adel, on the 30th of May, 1867, to Miss Lucy Ellis, the wedding ceremony being performed by Judge Perkins. She was born in Illinois but was reared in Dallas county and by this marriage there were eight children: Charles, who is married and owns and operates a farm in Walnut township; Delbert, who is married and follows farming in Buena Vista, Iowa; P. R., who is engaged in the lumber business in Wisconsin; S. W., who is married and lives on the home farm; T. C., who is married and is with his father; G. N., at home; Warren B., a student at Marathon, Iowa; and Bessie, the wife of Harry Paul, of Grant township.
Politically Mr. Aldrich is a republican but without aspiration for office. He has served as township trustee and township treasurer and has been a delegate to the conventions of his party. His wife is a member of the Christian church. Forty-four years have passed since Mr. Aldrich came to this county, so that his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. The conditions of the county at the time of his arrival were those usually seen upon the frontier. It is true some settlements had been made but much of the land was wild and uncultivated and the work of improvement lay largely in the future. Strong purpose, a willingness to work and a realization of what might be accomplished in utilizing the prairies enabled the pioneers to put forth strenuous effort and the result is seen today in the splendidly developed farms which annually bring forth rich crops. Mr. Aldrich has done his full share in the work of agricultural development and throughout the years has borne an unassailable reputation as a progressive and enterprising citizen.