Louisa County History
ISAAC SHELLABARGER, a lumber dealer residing in Letts, was born in Cumberland County, Pa., in 1832, and is the eldest in a family of seven children born to Martin and Christina (Shellabarger) Shellabarger. In his early life the father of our subject met with an accident which caused him to be a cripple. He was a tailor by trade, and in 1846 removed to Ohio, settling in Montgomery County, near Dayton, where his death occurred in 1848. The mother still survives him, and is a resident of Lexington, Richland Co., Ohio.
Isaac was reared at Newville, Pa., received his education in the graded schools of that town, and learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in Ohio for a short time. On the 3rd of August, 1854, in Richland County, he was united in marriage with Charlotte Galbraith, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of William and Maria (Hughes) Galbraith, who were born in the city of Philadelphia, and in 1831 emigrated to Ohio, where the father engaged in farming until called to his final home several years ago. After the death of her husband Mrs. Galbraith removed to Topeka, Kan., where she died in 1882.
The young couple began their domestic life in Ohio, where they remained until the following March, when, in the spring of 1855, they came West, settling in Cedar Township, Muscatine, Co., Iowa. Their union was blessed by a family of six children: Vinton G., Fred H. and Martin A. are all married and reside in the village of Letts; Alvina Jane, now the wife of D.O. Thompson, is living in the city of Chicago; Charlotte and Anna are yet residing with their fathr. When in the full bloom of life the mother of these children met with a serious accident, which almost immediately caused her death. On the 21st of July, 1886, while going down the steps on the pier of the bridge, she was injured, and her death occurred the following day. Mr. Shellabarger was agian united in marriage, May 3, 1887, with Mrs. M.E. Kerr, widow of David Kerr, and a native of Indiana. Her parents, Joseph and Lucy Ann Williams, who were also born in the Hoosier State, are now residing in Muscatine County, Iowa.
After his removal to this State our subject worked at his trade of carpentering in Muscatine County until 1858, when he removed to Grand View Township, Louisa County, settling upon a farm of forty acres, which he had purchased a short time before. At various times he added to his orginal purchase, but subsequently sold until he has but a small farm of sixteen acres remaining, adjoining the village of Letts. On this he is erecting a fine two-story brick residence, and his farm, though small, is one of the most highly cultivated in the township. His own home is in the town, where he owns four residences, two store buildings, the cityhall, and also two residences in Fredonia, Iowa. He is one of the earliest settlers in Letts: has always taken an active interest in every enterprise for the good of the village, and has done more for its improvement than perhaps any other man. He was the first mayor, in which position he served over four terms, is now a member of the Town Council an is also the heaviest taxpayer in the school district. He is a great friend to education, and in politics is a Republican, while socially, he is a member of the A.O.U.W., at Letts. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren Church, and as citizens they are universally respected. His business interest are quite extensive for a town of the size of the one in which he lives, he carrying a large stock of good lumber and also handling drain tile, brick and farming implements.