JAMES H. READ, grocer, Osceola, established his business at this point in 1867. Soon after he formed a partnership with J. C. Harrison under the firm name of Read & Harrison. This partnership continued until 1878 when he sold out and went to Kansas, returning in the fall of 1880, and January 1, 1881, opened up his present business. He is well established and carries a complete stock of groceries. He is well known to the public, and defies competition. Mr. Read was born in Beardstown, Illinois, August 2, 1839. His father, Haywood Read, was a native of Maine, and his mother, Ann (Black) Read, was a native of Kentucky. They settled in Beardstown where his father carried on the mercantile trade, and also operated a flouring mill. His business was carried on very extensively. At one time he was elected Mayor of Beardstown. He died in California in 1851, and his wife died in Henry County, Iowa, in 1852. James remained at home until eleven years of age, then lived with a farmer until he was fifteen, then went to Wisconsin pineries, working in mills and as a raftsman, and in the fall of 1859 went to Texas and served one year as a cow-boy. In the fall of 1860 he returned to Illinois, and enlisted as a private in Company K, Forty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Infantry, and served until May, 1863, when he was promoted to First Lieutenant, Third United States Heavy Artillery, and was mustered out with the rank of Captain, April 30, 1866, having served four and a half years. September 16, 1866, Mr. Read was married to Miss Hannah M. Waller, of Henderson County, Iowa [sic]. They removed to Osceola April 1, 1867. He has served one year as alderman in Osceola. He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, the Knights of Pythias, Grand Army of the Republic, and Good Templars.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 293-4