|Biography (from History of Taylor County, Iowa 1881)
Contributed by Tracy St. Clair
William G. Sharp
Although William G. Sharp has been a resident of Blockton only since the spring of 1909, he is not unknown among her citizens, for he has lived in Taylor county since 1877, and in the thirty-five years which have passed he has become well known and highly respected citizen. Mr. Sharp was born in Shelby county, Indiana, April 25, 1849, a son of John and Catherine (Golding) Sharp, natives of Ohio and Indiana respectively. They were married in Indiana. John Sharp eventually became a resident of Clay county, Indiana, where he served as surveyor and in other official positions but later he removed to Mercer county, Illinois, the year 1860 witnessing his arrival in that state.
William G. Sharp of this review, was a lad of eleven years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Mercer county, Illinois, so that he was largely reared in that section. He acquired his education in the district schools, which, however, was somewhat limited, owing to the unsettled condition of the country at that time.
It was in Mercer county that he was united in marriage to Miss Maria Nelson, who was born in that county, the marriage ceremony being performed on the 10th of November, 1872.
Following his marriage Mr. Sharp located on a farm in Mercer county, cultivating the same for five years, or until 1877, when, believing that the opportunities and advantages farther west would more quickly enhance his financial condition, he took up his abode in Taylor county, Iowa, purchasing a tract of eighty acres in Gay township. The place at that time has some improvements on it but Mr. Sharp added other buildings and further improved the place and eventually purchased more land until his possessions now aggregate three hundred and twenty acres all in one body, on which stood a comfortable farm residence, good barn and other outbuildings, and he also set out fruit and shade trees and made the place a valuable property. For many years he followed general farming and stock raising and met with excellent success in his business transactions. In the spring of 1909, he abandoned his farming interests and took up his abode in the city of Blockton, where he owns two good residential properties, one of which he occupies. The rest which he now enjoys has been truly earned, for when Mr. Sharp first located in Taylor county he had
to face many difficulties and obstacles in order to establish his home here, for the country at that time was not in its present state of development and it has been through the labors of such men as Mr. Sharp that this county has been made the rich agricultural center it is now.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Sharp has been blessed with five sons and four daughters, namely: Warren F., who owns a good farm in Jefferson township; John Clint and Arthur, who cultivate the old homestead farm and also raise stock; Claud, a druggist of Blockton; Nellie, the wife of P. P. Ledgerwood, who is an implement dealer of this city; Cora, the wife of W. A. Livingston, a farmer of Gay township; and Addie and Zelda, who are young ladies and still reside with their parents. The other son, Walter, died when a little lad of five years.
A republican in his political belief, Mr. Sharp cast his first presidential ballot for General U. S. Grant in 1872 and has voted for each presidential candidate of the party since that time. While living on the farm in Gay township he served as township trustee for nine consecutive years and in 1906 he was elected to the office of supervisor, and at the present time is serving on the county board and the bridge committee, looking after all the bridges in the southeastern part of Taylor county. He has likewise served as a delegate to county conventions, and has served on the grand jury in the federal court at Creston and on the petit jury in Taylor county. Both he and his wife are devoted and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Blockton and both are active workers and teachers
in the Sunday-school and Mr. Sharp once served as the superintendent of that organization. Fraternally Mr. Sharp is identified with the Knights of Pythias lodge at Blockton. In reviewing the lives of the older residents of Taylor county we find a large number who are now living retired but we find none who are more worthy of such rest than Mr. Sharp, for a glance at his fine farming property of three hundred and twenty acres in Gay township leads us to believe that it required much hard labor to bring it to its present state of cultivation and improvement and he is now able
to spend the evening of life in ease, surrounded by many comforts and by a host of warm friends who have for him none but the highest praise and commendation.