Donald Lyle Edwards

Donald Lyle Edwards

BORN: June 6, 1911, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa

DIED: January 21, 1980, in Ames, Story County, Iowa

AGED: 68 years, 7 months

BURIED: Ames Municipal Cemetery, Ames, Story County, Iowa


FATHER: Wallace Edwards born April 27, 1871, in Sanilac County, Michigan

MOTHER: Rose Alice Updike born May 22, 1872, in Bloomfield Twp., Polk County, Iowa


Genealogy Data Sheets Pictures Timeline Census

MARRIAGE: to Myrtle Elizabeth Larson on June 17, 1939, in Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa


1. Dale Roy Edwards born May 20, 1941, in Ames, Story County, Iowa

2. Dean Lee Edwards born December 21, 1943, in Ames, Story County, Iowa


Don was born in the small Iowa town of Dow City in western Iowa in 1911. He and his twin sister, Dorothy were the youngest of five children. His parents were poor. His father, Wallace, primarily dug ditches and trapped to support his family. They moved frequently, always renting homes.

Don never completed high school, leaving school when kids made fun of him for wearing tennis shoes in cold weather. They were the only shoes he had.

Growing up, Don frequently watched local carpenters in town and found their work fascinating. Don often said that he discovered early in life that all he ever wanted to do for a living was to be a carpenter.

Don came to Ames in the 1930s and lived with his older brother, Cecil, and his wife Yvonne, for awhile. He eventually met Myrtle Larson, who had also moved to Ames from her parents’ farm in northwest Iowa.

They married in 1939 and lived in Ames most of their lives except for brief stays in Colorado and California. Over these years Don built four homes for his family, in or near Ames.

Don was a friendly, gentle man, with an easy sense of humor. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing pool, and throwing horseshoes. In his early 20s he was an amateur boxer.

Don liked small town life and always felt Ames was a little too big for him. He frequently railed against the greed which he felt ruled too many people's lives.

When Don wasn’t building homes for a local contractor, or on speculation to sell himself, he made furniture for his wife and sons and his relatives. Bedroom suites, elaborate desks, oak tables and chairs, sideboards, and once, for the challenge of it, a fishing boat. On his lathe he turned out lamps and bowels. He also built a home for his brother, Cecil.

Don’s proudest achievement was a large home he built for the president of Iowa State University on a acreage just outside of town.

Don retired when his knees no longer permitted him to stand for long hours. He and Myrtle fished and gardened together, played cards and dominoes, and enjoyed friends during his brief retirement years.

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