A native of Newtown Hamilton, County of Armagh, Ireland, where he was born February 9th, 1825. He is the youngest in a family of seven children. At the age of three years he was taken by his father to America. They settled in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, where they resided for six years and in 1834, moved to Trumbull county, Ohio. During these years of minority he labored upon his father's farm, clearing land and other arduous toils usual in making a farm in a new country. His education was limited to the common schools, with the exception of six months in an academy in Southington, Ohio. In 1848 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Harshman, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania. Politically be was educated a Henry Clay Whig, and at the organization of the Free Soil party in Ohio, he became an active member and at a later date gave his hearty allegiance to the cause freedom as avowed by the Republican. He has served in several township offices, his election in that early day being carried in the stronghold of Democracy, a popular democratic majority. In 1861 he was elected as representative in the Ninth General Assembly. In 1865 he was returned to the Eleventh General Assembly a representative from Henry county. In 1869 he was elected to the State Senate in 1872, serving in the second session of his first term in the Senatorial office. Mr. West enlisted in the 14th Iowa Infantry Volunteers. He served as non- commissioned officer in the army, refusing a commission. He left the Legislature, then in session, for the field. Religiously, Mr. West is a Methodist, which church he joined at the age of seventeen years. He was lay delegate to the first M. E. Conference that admitted lay delegates, and served as chairman.