Inman, John M., retired farmer; born in Delaware Co., N.Y., March 8, 1817; when 8 years old, his mother being a widow, he was put out to work with a farmer until he was 18, when he received fifty cents and commenced life for himself; in 1841, he came to Freeport, Ill.; was one of the early settles there; he was offered eight lots where the Brewster-House now stands, in Freeport, for $8 each; in 1854, he came by team to Benton Co.; arrived here Feb. 27, and found others looking at the land he desired to locate; he did not wait to unload his goods, but took one of his horses and started for Dubuque to enter his land, and rode bareback all the way and secured his land; upon his return he unloaded his goods and settled in Eden Tp.; there were only two settlers in that town - I. N. Chenoweth and V. Bogle. In 1856, he was appointed Commissioner by Judge Douglass to organize the town of Eden; in 1859, he was elected County Supervisor and served four years, and was again elected in 1866; in 1875, he went to California twice, invested in land, bought 437 acres at the South head of San Francisco Bay, thirty miles from San Francisco; he also owns 480 acres in Worth Co., in this State. His first wife was Malvina Lawrence; she died in June 1848, leaving two sons - Charles E. and Henry L. In 1851, he married Mrs. Susan E. Hibbard; they have two children - George W. and John T.; Mrs. Inman has one son - Edwin Hibbard; they had three sons in the army; Charles E. was in the 8th Iowa V. I.; was wounded at the battle of Corinth; Henry L. was in the 46th Ill. V. I.; Edwin Hibbard was in the 28th Iowa V. I.

Biographies of Taylor Twp., Benton County, Iowa - 1878 From "History of Benton County, 1878"

The following is a copy of a handwritten letter from John M. Inman to his son ( probably Charles E. Inman although Henry L. Inman was also a son from his marriage to Malvina Lawrence)

Manly, Iowa March 8/88 (1888)

Dear Son

    Yours of the 4 inst rec & contentes read. It has the appearance as if there mite be something in that estate & no doubt there is but wheather the American heirs will ever realize anything from it remains to be seen. One thing is certain they never will unless they look the thing up & prosecute their clame. That Michigan organization seems to me to be the most likely to succeed in the matter of any move I have yet seen. I think if I was you I would send the Co. $5.00 & if you never get anything of it you will feel better satisfied to know all the facts in the matter than to alway think purhaps there mite have ben something got if it had ben attended to. I see it is making quite a stur all over the country. Enclosed you will find the papers you sent me & also a slip cut from the San Francisco Chronacle to let you see what others are doing. I know of no marriace certifacate of your Mothers & do not remember that she ever had one, but her marriage is easely proved by several liveing witnaces, namely Ashbill Inman, Geo L. Freeman, lyman Freeman, Nathaniel Ingram & wife all liveing. She was married Dec first 1839 in Brunswick in Ranselaer Co N.Y. by a Universalist preacher from Lansingburg. I hav forgotten his name ---- Your mother is about the same as usual, some better of late, hope it may last, the rest are all well as usual except bad colds.

    Eds all well, the other boys well when last hurd f'rom Orvill. look up your mothers birth & death & write it down. I think she was born in New Hampshire but am not crtain it mite be in Vermont. Aunt Sally Ingram wrote me she thought her Father died in a town called Creche vilace, purhaps you can find where that is, let me hear from you.

J. M. Inman

(He added this notation)

Malvina A. Lawrence
Born March 30th 1811
And Died
June 13th 1848
And Married Dec lst, 1839

* John M. wrote letter "c" instead of letter "'g" in words marriage and village. The content of his letter was typed exactly as he wrote it.

John M. Inman John M. Inman
Founder of Eden Mutual


    One hundred and twenty one years ago, farmers in this area found it very difficult to obtain insurance protection. All the insurance companies were located "back east" and charged very high premiums to insure anything west of the Mississippi. Realizing the need for low cost insurance protection a group of farmers in Eden Township of Benton County got together and organized Eden Township Insurance Association.

    It was on January 25, 1872, that the first meeting was held. Nine area farmers served as the first Board of Directors.

    John M. Inman was the founder of Eden Mutual. His brother's great, great grandson, Roger Inman, currently serves as Vice-President.

On the second Saturday of February each year, the annual meeting is held. Every policy holder has a vote as to who will serve on the Board of Directors. There are nine directors serving three year staggered terms. Local control and ownership keeps the mutual responsive to the needs of its insured.

The purpose of the mutual is to provide insurance protection at cost while maintaining adequate reserves to maintain a financially strong insurance association. Eden Mutual is reinsured by Grinneil Mutual Reinsurance Company (the world's largest reinsurer of farm property).

Insurance for the farmer and homeowner is Eden Mutual's only business. Eden Mutual insures farms and homes located in Benton County and counties that adjoin Benton County.

Eden Mutual's policies are sold through the following independent insurance agencies:

Van Eschen-Strong Insurance Agency - Vinton Lutz Insurance Agency - Van Home
Wilson-Hite Insurance Agency -Vinton Park - Drahn Insurance - Belle Plaine
Van Home Insurance Agency - Van Home Bankers Insurance - Tama
Harting - Northland Insurance - Washburn