Biography of E. T. Currens
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E. T. Currens, farmer and fruit-grower; P. O. Mattoon; was born in Bracken Co., Ky., in 1816; his father was a farmer and tanner, and for fifty-five years conducted the two interests jointly, at Germantown, Ky.; E. T.’s early life was spent upon his father’s farm and in learning the tanning business; he entered Augusta College, Ky., in 1832, and graduated there from in 1836; he then engaged in mercantile life and farming till 1854, when he moved to Iowa and established the Kentucky settlement in Marshall Co.; in 1861, he returned to Maysville, Ky., and engaged in the hardware trade, in the firm of Currens & Owens; in 1864, he came to Mattoon, where he has since resided. Mr. Currens has thrice plighted himself at the nuptial altar; his first marriage occurred in 1839, his second in 1849, and his last in 1859, each time choosing for his helpmeet one of Kentucky’s fair daughters. His life has been one of marked activity; he has been an enterprising and liberal business man, and has always taken an active and leading part in introducing and rearing fine stock, in agricultural and horticultural exhibitions; he was the first merchant to build a tobacco warehouse outside of the river towns, and to buy, price and ship the farmers’ crops of Mason and Bracken Cos.; he founded the Union Agricultural Company of these counties, and gave his woodlands for their first exhibitions, in 1854-55; he was a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Company so long as he remained a citizen of the State; he was also a member of the Mason and Bracken Importing Co., and few men exerted more influence in the introduction of fine stock, machinery, or in the general improvement of his part of the State; he organized the Marshall County, Iowa, Fair Co., and was President of that and the Central Iowa Fair Co., at the College Farm, up to the commencement of the war; both societies he left in great prosperity, and they are today leading associations for that great State; during his administration, interesting exhibitions were held at the college farms at Newton, Marshalltown and Des Moines City, at each of which he took many premiums with individual animals and his fine herd of short-horns. Mr. Currens has taken an active interest in horticulture, fruit growing and gardening since he has been a citizen of Mattoon; to his influence and activity Mattoon owes the existence of her Horticultural Society, and most of her advancement in the matter of ornamental shade-trees, fine fruits, berries, etc.; as a clever and enterprising citizen, he stands second to no man in his community.