Patton, I. L.

I. L. Patton

I. L. Patton was a member of the Newton Public Library board of trustees from 1915 until the time of his death.[1] “From the time the library was first talked of for Newton he took a great interest in the project and it has been one of his greatest joys to know that the people of this community had the privileges of a public library,” The Newton Daily News noted.[2] One of his daughters, Miss Gypsie N. Patton (q. v.), was a member of the Newton Public Library staff for 25 years.[3] Ira Lamar Patton was born December 8, 1844, in Oakland, Illinois, the son of Dr. William and Samantha (Keenan) Patton[4], with whom he came to Jasper County, Iowa in 1855.[5] He was living with the family in Rock Creek Township in 1860.[6] When just a young man he started in the grain business.[7] In 1870, Patton was living in Kellogg in the household of B. B. Boatright, a grain merchant.[8] He married Adelia Powers (1845-1917) in Newton, December 31, 1870.[9] Grain dealer Patton was living in Kellogg in 1880 with his wife, five children, and Serepta Hewitt, an 18-year-old servant.[10] The Patton family made their home in Kellogg until 1888, when they moved to Newton.[11] They moved to Dexter in 1895 where Patton engaged in the grain business for eight years, returning to Newton in 1903.[12] In 1910, Mr. and Mrs. Patton were living in Newton with Gypsie and three of their sons.[13] In January 1920 Patton was living in Newton with Gypsie, who was listed as assistant librarian, and Miss Mame Knowlton, his sister-in-law.[14] At that time Patton was president of the Taylor & Patton Co., grain dealers, of Des Moines, succeeding his son, Max, who died in July 1919.[15] He was also president of the People’s Savings Bank in Laurel.[16] Active politically, Patton served as mayor of Kellogg a number of terms.[17] He was also an 1878 Kellogg school board director.[18] After moving to Newton he was a member of the city council.[19] Patton was elected as a Democrat sheriff of Jasper County in 1889.[20] He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago in 1892 at the time Gov. Boies was a candidate for President.[21] He served as county central committeeman many times and was also chairman of the Democratic Congressional committee.[22] Patton was also prominent in lodge circles in Kellogg, Newton, and Dexter.[23] At Kellogg, he was Master of Meridian Lodge, No. 280, Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons.[24] I. L. Patton died April 4, 1920, at the Masonic Hall in Newton.[25] Dr. L. L. Smead certified the cause of death as “appoplexy.”[26] Patton is buried with his wife and six children (including Gypsie) in Newton Union Cemetery.[27]

-Larry Ray Hurto


[1] 1896-1957 Library Trustees, Newton Public Library History.

[2] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[3] Ibid., October 28, 1940.

[4] Ibid., April 5, 1920.

[5] Ibid.

[6] 1860 United States Federal Census.

[7] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[8] 1870 United States Federal Census.

[9] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920. Eight children were born to this union: Max Milton Patton (1871-1919), Gypsie Nell Patton (1874-1940), Dwight L. Patton (1875-1912), Hoyt William Patton (1877-1951), Jinks Frederick Patton (1879-1916), Ruby E. (Patton) Crane (1881-1959), Todd Joseph Patton (1883-1963), and Merle Chase Patton (1886-1939). This source also lists Patton as the father of Carl “Wilbur” Battenfield (1890-1942), who was born in Springfield, Michigan.

[10] 1880 United States Federal Census.

[11] The Newton Daily News, October 26, 1917.

[12] Ibid., April 5, 1920.

[13] 1910 United States Federal Census.

[14] 1920 United States Federal Census.

[15] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[16] Mavis McMahon, Laurel, Iowa Centennial, 1881-1981 (Newton, IA: News Printing Company [1981?]), p. 171.

[17] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[18] The History of Jasper County, Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1878), p. 485.

[19] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[20] The Newton Journal, November 13, 1889. At the time of his election he and A. K. Brown, who was elected county treasurer, were the first Democrats to be elected to a county office in Jasper County.

[21] The Newton Daily News, April 5, 1920.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] The History of Jasper County, Iowa, p. 487. In 1878, he was Senior Deacon of Meridian Lodge.

[25] Morgan Funeral Home Register, Newton, Iowa, Book 2, 1914-1920, p. 503. Jasper County Genealogical Society, Newton, Iowa.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Jasper County Genealogical Society, comp., Jasper County, Iowa, Cemeteries: Newton Union Cemetery, Blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 (Des Moines: Iowa Genealogical Society, 1994), p. 406.