The following is excerpted from “The History of
Story County Iowa, Volume II, 1911” by W. O. Payne
William Lockridge was born in Augusta County, Virginia, June 23, 1832, a son of John and Eliza (Irvin) Lockridge, who spent their entire lives upon a farm in the Old
Dominion. He spent his boyhood and youth in his native state and was
twenty- four years old when, in the spring of 1856, he came to Story County. Here he located on a land warrant that his father had given him, the father having received the same for his services in the war of 1812. He secured employment in the old courthouse that stood at that time on the southwest corner of I Avenue and 5th
Street. For several years he filled the position of deputy recorder, after which he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the position of recorder and treasurer, the two offices being combined at that time.
About 1863, he moved to the farm he had secured through his father’s land warrant and which was located a mile south of the courthouse. The tract comprised one hundred and sixty acres, the development and cultivation of which he devoted his
energies for nine years, greatly improving the property. He sold his farm and purchased a lumberyard in Nevada, which he operated for twenty six years. Throughout that period he ranked as one of the leading businessmen of the city, his
progressive spirit and his enterprise enabling him to build a substantial business. He was considered one of the most substantial businessmen of the town and built the first tile factory here. His progressiveness was tempered by a safe conservatism and his judgment was sound and reliable. Many people frequently sought out his advice concerning the advisability of business propositions.
From time to time he made purchases of land. He became the owner of about three hundred acres of valuable farm property near the old fairgrounds. He had another farm south of Nevada and six hundred and forty acres in Kossuth County. He became known as a prominent representative of financial interests in Nevada, being president of the First National Bank for a number of years, but resigning in
his later life.
On January 19, 1860, Mr. Lockridge was united in marriage to Miss Lydia A. Letson, who was born in Hardin County, Ohio, January 15, 1841. She resided in Ohio until the age of seventeen when she came to Nevada with her parents, Christian Bemper
and Jane (Huston) Letson.
The marriage of Mr.and Mrs. Lockridge was blessed with eight children: Elfa, who
married T. P. Worsley; Jennie who became the wife of Frank Warrick; Etta, the wife of L. A. Will of Salina, Kansas; Frank, who died at the age of twenty-one years; Lovina, the wife of J. E. Drybread, of Nevada; Maggie, who died at the age of two years; Clarence, who died at the age of sixteen years; and Anna Fay, the wife of Emmitt Armstrong of Nevada.
Mr. Lockridge was public spirited and much involved in the development of the town. He served both as a member of the city council and as mayor of Nevada and exercised his official prerogatives in support of all projects which he deemed of benefit to the city at large. As chief executive his administration was businesslike and resulted in the adoption of various measures of reform and progress. He died
July 23, 1903, at the age of seventy-one. Nevada had long claimed him as one of her prominent citizens and the basic principles of his life were such as won
him the regard, confidence, and honor of all withwhom he came in contact. Lydia Ann died in 1920.
Pioneer Families >