Franklin LaRue – Veteran Surveyor

OUR NONAGENARIANS

Short Sketch of Adams County Citizens of Advanced Age.

F. LARUE, VETERAN SURVEYOR

A Life Full of Usefulness and An Old Age That Is a Pleasure to Himself and Friends

Franklin LaRue, for nearly a generation county surveyor of this county was born on an estate still in the possession of his family near Bath, Steuben County, New York, on December 28th, 1818, being now over ninety years old. He prepared for Amherst College at Prattsburg Academy and studied civil engineering at the Van Rensselaer Institute, Troy, N.Y., now know as Troy Polytecnic Institute.

Mr. LaRue’s first professional work was on the government survey of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Owing to an injury received while thus engaged he was, for a number of years, compelled to abandon field work. During this time he served for four years as county treasurer of Ingham County, Michigan. He then engaged in business in Lansing, Mich., where he resided for many years, being prominently identified with the growth and prosperity of the then comparatively new capital city, and running for state senator on the ticket headed by James Buchanan for president.

Near the close of the civil war he was located in the vicinity of Bloomington, Illinois, where he engaged for a number of years in farming and sheep raising, though he did a great deal of land and road surveying during this period. In 1874 he came to Mercer Township, this county, to improve some land he owned there and was soon elected county surveyor, and held that office as long as he was able to follow his transit. While in office he established the grade of the principal streets of Corning, surveyed the majority of the roads of the county, and left in the office a fine set of maps of the public highways of the whole county which has proved invaluable to his successors.

Mr. LaRue has lived in his present home in Corning for over twenty-five years and the picture presented here-with is a snapshot, taken by a grandson while he was engaged in work about his grounds. After giving up active work he was frequently appointed by the courts to do expert work in finding government corners, throughout this section of the country, and still received requests to do this work, and visits for consultation from many county surveyors, being almost the only living man who was engaged on the original government survey.

Mr. LaRue is very fortunate in retaining full possession of all his faculties, excepting his eyesight, which is growing somewhat dim. His memory is remarkably good, never being at a loss to supply dates and data for the great world changes, and wonderful inventions that have come into being during his remembrance. He also keeps in active touch with all the leading topics of the present day. The boys and girls of his acquaintance delight in propounding mathematical problems to him, which he always solves mentally, extracting the square, cube and sixth root of any number less than one hundred raised to a corresponding power, without the aid of a pencil or paper. His mind is a veritable store house of beautiful poems, with which he is frequently called upon to entertain his friends. He delights in attributing this clearness of memory to the total abstinence of intoxicating liquors and tobacco during his whole life.

Mr. LaRue is one of the grand old gentlemen of the community, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. We join his many friends in wishing him health and prosperity for years to come.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Feb 10, 1909


Walnut Grove image from Find-A-Grave, where the gravestones of his family members can be found, but I couldn’t find an entry or photo for his gravestone.

Death of Franklin LaRue.

On Monday, September 30, about 12:30 p.m., there passed to his reward one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Adams county, Franklin LaRue, the cause of his death being largely old age. For a few days he had been suffering from a cold but his condition was not considered critical by his family. He was conscious to the last. The machinery of the body had done its full work and he peacefully passed away.

The subject of this sketch was born near Bath, Stuben county, N.Y., December 28, 1818, and at the time of his death was aged 93 years, 9 months and 2 days. The funeral was held from the home in the northwest part of the city on October 2 at 10:30 a.m., conducted by Rev. Norman McLeod of the Presbyterian church. Interment in Walnut Grove cemetery along side of his faithful wife who was buried there January 6, 1901.

In his young years he attended Amherst college and studied civil engineering at Van Rensaeller institute, Troy, N.Y.. He was the youngest of a family of twelve children. when a young man he came west and located in Michigan and was engaged in surveying. Here he was married to Miss Amelia Chapin at Mason, Mich., Sept. 25, 1848. To this union were born eight children, six daughters and two sons, four of the daughters died at Lansing, Mich., for many years the family home, in their infancy. The two sons, H.H. and F.L. died and are buried in Corning. The living are Mrs. F.A. Kennon of Corning and Miss Myra LaRue who has made her home with her father.

The family came to Adams county in 1874 and settled in Mercer township. Soon after coming here Mr. LaRue was elected county surveyor and held the office for a number of years. He was an exceptionally good surveyor and much of the work done in this county was by him. In politics Mr. LaRue was a democrat and was a candidate for the state senate in Michigan on the ticket by James Buchanan in 1856. His first vote for president was cast in 1840 and in the present campaign he took a deep interest and from the start was an ardent admirer of Wilson and frequently remarked that he hoped he would live to cast a big vote for the New Jersey governor.

For thirty years he had lived int he home in which his death occurred in Corning, an honored and upright citizen whom it was a pleasure to meet and discuss the topics of the day and the events of many years ago. Until a few years ago he was a great reader and since he could not read on account of failing eyesight he had his daughter and others read to him and he was thoroughly posted on the topics of the day.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Oct 12, 1912

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