Mrs. Sarah Britton was born in Bureau county, Illinois, in 1853. She was a daughter of William and Philena Whipple, the father a native of Rhode Island and the mother a native of Indiana. This worthy couple, who settled in Illinois at a very early day, have long since passed away. To their union were born five children, three of whom are now living; John, who is in California; Hattie, the wife of B. Andrews, who is a resident of Missouri; and Mrs. Britton, the subject of this sketch.
Her educational advantages as a girl were limited, because it was not deemed necessary that the daughters have so extensive an education as the sons. She was early initiated into all of the hard work which women must do on the farm. Little did she think how appropriate this training would be for the misfortune that later overtook her.
In 1873 Sarah Whipple was married to Ira Britton and to their union were born eight children: Eunice P. is the wife of Chester Reed, of North Dakota, and has one daughter, Opal Irene, five years of age. Nellie M. is the wife of Frank Brown, also of North Dakota, and they have a son and daughter: Dallas Ward, two years of age; and Elva Darling, in her first year. William B., who makes his home in North Dakota, is married and has two children: Lela Violet, six years of age; and Lyle Bowen, not yet a year old. C. F., residing in North Dakota, is married and has a daughter, Norma Marie, in her first year. A. L., also of North Dakota, is married and has a son, Hiram, two years of age. Bessie M. is the wife of Frank Beaver of Minburn. Goldie E. is at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Britton came to Iowa in 1877 and bought a farm in Washington township. They worked diligently to bring this place to a state where it would yield the returns that would insure them a substantial living and had just reached the point where they felt they were beginning to attain their desire when Mr. Britton was drowned while out fishing with a party of friends in 1889. Mrs. Britton was thus left a widow with eight children but she was not one of the kind to sit down in idleness and grieve. She realized that she must rear and educate her family and in order to do this as she desired she must carry on the farm. By determined effort she succeeded and is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land on sections 28 and 29, Washington township. While she has been through some trying experiences she has learned by each one and is now able to manage and attend to all of her financial affairs. She has been enabled to carry out the plans which she and her husband had taken so much pleasure in making.
She is an active member of the Christian church. The women of America are equal to almost anything and today are invading nearly every line of industry. The hard work of the farm has long been done quite as much by the wives of the land as by the husbands, but the woman who can manage and conduct the outdoor work of the farm is an exception, and Mrs. Britton has been able to attain this distinction
Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, by Robert F. Wood, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company Chicago, IL, 1907.