Henry County, Iowa
Sources of Biographies include:
Portrait and Biographical Album of
Henry County, Iowa .
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.
Biographical Review of Henry
.Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906.
Oskaloosa Weekly Herald 1889
Iowa Official Register 1927-1928
Biographies of State Senators
Thanks to Joan Achille, Betsey Brown, Frances Sloan, Pat
White, Jim Church, Dick Barton, Sharyl Ferrall, Polly Eckles, Cathy Labath, Ann
Miller White and Richard Kinkead
for transcribing them. If I have omitted anyone please let me know.
Other submissions welcome.
Please send to Cathy Labath
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GUSTAVUS A. DANIELSON,
who since 1870 has resided upon the farm which is yet his home, in
Jackson township, is one of the worthy citizens that Sweden has
furnished to Iowa, his birth having occurred in Ionsherping,
Esteryetland, Audlif, on the 14th of September, 1841.
His parents were Daniel and Catherina (Peterson) Swanson and the
latter died in the year 1844.
The father afterward married again and with his second wife came
to America in 1861, making his way to Jefferson county.
He purchased a small place near Salina and lived there until
1886, when both he and his second wife died with a week, in April of
Gustavus A. Danielson is
indebted to the public-school system of his native country for the
educational privileges he enjoyed, but he had little opportunity for
attending school, as he began to work on a farm when only eleven years
He was thus employed until 1858, when he went to Stockholm and
worked for a building master, learning the mason’s trade.
He spent five years in that way, after which he entered the
employ of a grain commission merchant, with whom he continued until
that year he crossed the Atlantic to New York and made an overland trip
to Burlington, Iowa, where he arrived in the month of August.
He then went to his father’s place, where he remained for six
months and at the end of that time began working on the Union Pacific
Railroad, spending two years in that service in Nebraska, Wyoming, and
he returned to Mount Pleasant, where he worked for John Rhugarber and
John Winters, and when his labor had brought him sufficient capital he
made investment in property, purchasing eighty acres on section 9,
Jackson township, Henry county, in 1870.
This was partially improved, with twenty-five acres fenced and
three acres broken.
He began the further cultivation and development of the place and
his labors soon wrought a marked transformation in its appearance, for
what was once wild land was converted into productive fields and brought
forth rich harvests.
His prosperity was indicated by the fact that in 1891 he erected
a frame residence of eight rooms.
He has also built a barn thirty-six by forty feet, and numerous
other buildings and has added one hundred and fifteen acres more to the
original tract, so that the farm now comprises one hundred and
Like most of the Iowa soil, the land is rich and productive,
responding rapidly to the care and cultivation bestowed upon it and he
therefore raises good crops.
He has it all improved with the exception of fifteen acres of
timber, and he successfully carries on general agricultural pursuits, in
addition to which he raises road horses, cattle and Poland China hogs.
On the 22nd of April, 1877, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Danielson and Miss Ellen Roudebush, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of Jacob and Saloma (Kuhn) Roudebush, natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Danielson now have a son and daughter: Charles H. L., born February 10, 1878; and Margaret E. J., born September 16, 1879, the wife of T. P. Box, a farmer near Ottumwa. The father was reared in the faith of the Lutheran church, but is now, with Mrs. Danielson, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his political views are in accord with the principles of the Republican party. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to America, for he has found and improved good business opportunities in this country and his labors, unhampered by caste or class, have brought him to a position of local prominence and of affluence in agricultural circles.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 481-482) (PE)
FRANK C. DAVEY
Among the successful farmers of Canaan township
are many who were born and bred upon the farm, who have followed
agricultural pursuits all their lives and have become representative men
in the community in which they live.
There are many who have gained the deserved prominence they now
enjoy through their own energy and steadfastness of purpose.
A young and successful farmer of such a type is Frank C. Davey,
who was born in Canaan township, July 5, 1871, on the place where he now
resides. He spent his
boyhood and youth on the home place, assisting his father in the farm
work, when he was too young to take responsibilities.
He attended school in the district schools and received a good
He is a son of Lewis and Maria (Shopbell) Davey
and is, through his father, of English descent, the elder Davey having
been born in Devonshire, England. His
mother’s parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Huskin) Shopbell, were natives
of Pennsylvania. Lewis Davey
went to New London and married there in 1851 and lived upon a farm which
he leased until 1861. He
then purchased eighty acres on section 27, Canaan township, a piece of
land which was then in an uncultivated state.
He made many needed improvements and at the time of his death in
1902 left the land in a good state of cultivation.
He lived to see most flattering results of his early labors.
His wife, the great helper in his early days of wresting his land
from the wilderness, is still living and is passing her declining years
with her daughter, Mrs. W. M. Anderson, of Aurora, Illinois.
Frank C. Davey has always lived upon the old homestead where he has devoted his time and energy to his chosen calling. In 1901 he bought eighty acres of the farm originally belonging to his father, and in 1904 he purchased eighty acres more of the home place. He is a practical farmer and confines himself to no one line, but follows general farming, raising hogs, cattle and horses. October 27, 1902, Mr. Davey married Miss Ida M. Ross, who was a native of Wapello, Louisa county, Iowa. She was a daughter of Hector Ross (of Canadian birth) and Mary Ross. She gained her education in the public schools of Mediapolis, where she was a student until she completed the course of studies. Mr. Davey is a practical farmer and is a man who is constantly seeking the improvement of his productive and well tilled lands. He is politically a democrat, but does not care to take an active part in politics, preferring rather to aid in good government by being a conscientious, faithful citizen, devoted to the welfare of both home and country.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 254-255) (PE)
ROBERTS P. DAVIDSON
ROBERTS PARKS DAVIDSON is the owner of a
valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 23, Scott
township. It was here that
he was born and he is one of the typical native sons of the county,
alert and enterprising, watchful of opportunities for his own business
advancement and for the good of the community as well.
His paternal grandparents were Judah and Mary (Parks) Davidson,
the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Kentucky.
Their son, James Thomas Davidson, was born in Nicholas county,
Kentucky, and when he had reached adult age was married to Miss Nancy
Glenn, who was born in that locality as were her parents, Moses Ferguson
and Elizabeth (Cowan) Glenn. After
residing in Kentucky for a time James T. Davidson came with his family
to Iowa in 1858 making the journey by boat from Cincinnati to
Burlington, whence he came to Henry county.
Here in connection with his brother, Robert P. Davidson, he
purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land.
James T. Davidson also bought eighty acres of land on which a
house had been built, to which he afterward added and removing to that
place made his home thereon until he had reared his family of seven
children, four sons and three daughters.
He was an enterprising, industrious agriculturalist, whose labors
were well directed and proved resultant factors in winning for him
success. When he had
acquired a handsome competence that rendered further labor unnecessary
he removed to Winfield in 1893 and there continued to make his home
until his demise, which occurred in July, 1902.
His wife had died while upon the home farm in 1889.
Mr. Davidson was the owner of seven hundred and fifty acres of
land at the time of his death and thus left to his family a valuable
property and also an honored name, for in all business transactions he
was straightforward and reliable.
Following the death of the father the property was divided among the children, Robert P. Davidson retaining the old home place. He has spent his entire life upon this farm and in his youth he aided in the labors of field and meadow when not occupied with the duties of the schoolroom. His early education was acquired in the district schools and his more advanced knowledge was obtained in Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa. Through the periods of vacation he worked in the fields and he is now the owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land on section 23, Scott township which was well improved when it came into his possession. The only interval in his life in which he has not been associated with farm work here was from 1884 until 1886, which he spent with a surveying outfit in Texas. He then returned and has since given his undivided attention to farm labor and is accounted one of the progressive, practical and prosperous agriculturists of his community. He votes with the Democracy, but has no aspiration for office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his farming interests.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 627-628) (PE)
DAVID DAVIES is a farmer residing on section 4, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa. From a country far across the seas came a family of note in the history of this county. Henry Davies, Sr., was married to Elizabeth Jenkins, in Wales. They had a family of twelve children prior to the emigration to America, of whom two are deceased. In. Wales Henry Davies, Sr., was a farmer, and owned two farms, These he sold after purchasing 1,000 acres in this and Washington County. With his wife and children he left Liverpool in 1853. The voyage was made without accident, but the loving wife and tender mother died on the ocean, and was buried in the blue waters of the Atlantic. That was a sorrowful time for the company of emigrants. The girls were young and knew but little about life’s duties, but the family came to Henry County and here found a home. The blow was a sad one to the husband, who had laid the foundation for most successful business, but as joys and sorrow; come to all alike, he bore the loss with all the patience of a devoted Christian, and to her memory Henry Davies remained true, and reached the ripe old age of eighty-four years. Of the children we speak individually: David, our subject, is the eldest; Henry Davies, Jr., married Mary, a daughter of John Davidson, of Washington County, and resides in Wayland; Mary wedded Evan E. Davis, farmer of Louisa County, who was also born in Wales; Elizabeth married John Park, a dealer in stock and a resident of Washington, Washington Co., Iowa; Dinah is the wife of Robert T. Jones, a farmer residing in Louisa County; Hannah is the wife of Huston D. Fishburn, a farmer of Jewell County, Kan; Evan wedded Elizabeth Williams, a daughter of Hopkin Williams, who was one of the first settlers in the county, and in whose honor Williams Creek received its name; Winnie A. became the wife of William Sutherland, a resident farmer of Washington County; Sarah, deceased, wedded Jacob Izenhart, who is in the restaurant business at Brighton, Washington Co., Iowa; John married Addie Park, and resides on the original Davies homestead.
Perhaps no family enjoy a higher
degree of prosperity or are more favorably known for their excellence of
character than the family under consideration. All are prosperous, and the
majority are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. David Davies, our
subject, was born in 1832, and was married first to Miss Sally, a daughter of
Hopkin Williams, in 1860. One son, William H., graced the marriage, but his
death occurred when a babe of four months, dying Sept. 11, 1861. His mother was
disconsolate, and a short time afterward also died, her death occurring Nov. 26,
1861, and their bodies repose side by side in the village cemetery. In 1866 Mr.
Davies was again married, Mrs. Nancy (Anderson) Schooler becoming his wife. This
couple have enjoyed a happy married life of twenty-one years, during which time
one son, Homer E., has brought added joy to their home. He is now in his
fourteenth year. Two hundred and nineteen acres pay tribute to the energy of Mr.
Davies, and his home overlooking the pleasant village of Wayland is commanding
in appearance, and his large barns and outhouses show him to be a man of
enterprise and thrift. We welcome to these pages the history of such a
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 192-193.)(JC)
EVAN DAVIES, farmer, residing on section 4, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, is a prominent member of the family whose earlier history is noticed under the name of an elder brother, David Davies, elsewhere in this volume. Evan Davies was born in South Wales, Aug. 3, 1842, and came here when his father emigrated in 1853. His education was received here, and his father’s house, near where he now lives, was his home until after his marriage. After getting such education as was afforded by the district schools he attended Howe’s Academy in Mt. Pleasant for two years, and afterward graduated from the Great Western Business College, at Mt. Pleasant, receiving a diploma as “Bachelor of Accounts.” His subsequent life has been passed in agricultural pursuits, and the farm on which is his home was inherited from his father a few years after his marriage. He is noted as one of the intelligent and successful men of Jefferson Township, and has held nearly all the township offices. He is now Township Clerk and Treasurer of Independent School District No. 5, and has been Justice of the Peace and Trustee. He is a member of Wayland Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is Parsonage Trustee. His wife is likewise a member of the same church, and the family are held in high esteem. He was married, Nov. 29, 1870, to Miss Elizabeth Williams, the history of whose parents will follow. Upon their present homestead a happy and prosperous married life was begun, and to this day no nicer home or happier family graces Jefferson Township. Their new mansion was completed in 1874, and in 1884 the great barn was erected. Thousands of dollars have been spent by Evan Davies in improvements, and his farm, consisting of 172 acres, adjoins the northwest corner of the village plat of Wayland. Six children were born to this couple, three now deceased—Eva, Ira and Isa, twins. Those living are Addie B., Annie R. and Gracie E.
As will be seen in referring to other pages in this volume, Wales furnishes some of the most distinguished families of this part of the county, and among her sons and daughters are those whose life’s history no stain or blot has ever marred. Hopkin Williams was born in Wales, and in that country he was married to Wennie Jones, and had a family of four children before they emigrated to America. Hopkin Williams was a farmer in his native country. There is no obtainable history of either the Williams or Jones families back of Hopkin and his wife, but we propose to give their children data that to them will be valuable. In 1832 the family sailed for America, and located first in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, remaining there about two and a half years, where they purchased a farm. The Germans rapidly settled about him and later purchased his farm. Having a desire to live further West, Hopkin packed his goods upon a steamer and with his family started down the Ohio. Before reaching the Mississippi he decided to land his goods and buy a team, which he did, and overland in a covered wagon the family made their way to Iowa, crossing the Mississippi at Burlington in the summer of 1835. After prospecting a few days, Mr. Williams pushed farther westward and found a tract with water, timber and prairie, which suited his ideas of what a farm should be. He selected a large claim, but after it was surveyed by the Government found that others had taken part of it, consequently he entered different tracts in this and Washington County.
John H. Wallbank owns the farm upon which Hopkin Williams built his first cabin, which was later destroyed by fire, and at the same time the family records and other valuable property was burned. While in Ohio, a daughter, Rachel, were born; she is now the widow of Amos Montgomery. Ann, the wife of Evan Evans, was born in Wales, also her brother William and two other children who died unmarried. In this county were born Sarah, who wedded David Davies, of whom mention is made elsewhere; Jane, who wedded Solomon Cavenee, a resident of Henry County; Benjamin, who wedded Jennie Benham, and is a farmer of Page County, Iowa, and Elizabeth, the honored wife of Evan Davies. A long lifetime was spent in happiness by Hopkin Williams and his good wife. He was an industrious man, and his wife was one of the most amiable of ladies. She was a member of the first Methodist Episcopal class organized in this township, and was during her lifetime a firm believer in the faith. Some of her children followed her example, and all were numbered among the best residents of the community.
“Williams Creek” was named in
honor of Hopkin Williams; it passed through his claim, and his being the only
white family in this part of the county nearer than Trenton, the name naturally
followed. The Indians made sugar during the early spring months of each year in
the maple groves skirting Mr. Williams’ farm, and their dusky faces were more
common by far than white ones. Hopkin Williams died at the age of seventy-three,
and his wife survived him several years, making her home with her
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 209-210.)(JC)
|Henry Davies Jr.
DAVIES, Jr., a retired farmer, residing on section 10,
Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, is a member of one of the oldest and
wealthiest families of Jefferson Township, and we add with pleasure his sketch
in this volume. He was born Dec. 22, 1833, in South Wales. His education was
commenced in Wales, and completed in Jefferson Township. He was married, in
1867, to Miss Mary Davidson, of Washington County, Iowa, a daughter of John and
Elnora Davidson. The young wife was brought to a new home on the farm owned by
her husband, a part of the Davies’ land. On this farm their married life was
begun. Here their children were born, namely: Sarah E., wife of William Henss,
Jr., a resident on the home farm, and Jesse E. In 1883 Mr. Davies became a
resident of Wayland, purchasing twenty acres of the Warren addition, adjoining
the original village plat. After the marriage of their daughter the husband
occupied the homestead and has since engaged in farm work, although by trade a
mechanic, and the son of one of the oldest residents of Wayland. One grandson,
Lester, plays gladly in the arms of the fond grandparents, who on both sides are
living. No better name than that of Davies can grace these pages, and in
presenting their history we offer the public a record of a people who have no
superiors in social and moral virtues. Henry Davies, Jr., broke with several
yoke of cattle all the sod of his, and a part of the David Davies’ tract, and
with pleasure he relates his love for the work, and the way in which he could
manage his cattle in turning down the tall hazel brush and the long prairie
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 197.)(JC)
ASAHEL H. DAVIS
ASAHEL H. DAVIS is occupying a valuable farm of
one hundred and eighty acres in Center township, on which he has resided
since 1898. His parents were
Hosea and Sarah Abbie (Stevens) Davis, the former a native of Royalston,
Massachusetts, born in 1816, while the latter was born in Petersham,
Massachusetts, in 1836. The
father became a successful physician, having prepared for his profession
in Dartmouth College in Vermont, from which he was graduated, while
later he pursued a course of study in Chicago in the early ‘50s as a
student in Rush Medical College. He
entered upon the active practice of his profession in Rushville,
Indiana, in 1847, and in 1849 removed to Littleton, Illinois, where he
built up a large practice, there continuing to make his home until 1888,
when his life’s labors were ended in death.
His wife survived him for several years, passing away in 1896,
and both were laid to rest in Littleton.
The father was a stalwart republican in his political views,
served as supervisor for several years and was called to still higher
political honors, being chosen to represent his district in the general
assembly in 1879, thus serving for a two years’ term.
He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Cynthia
Marks, by whom he had two children, one of whom is yet living—Cynthia
M., now the wife of Dr. Louis Seeley, of Rushville, Illinois.
For his second wife Dr. Davis chose Miss Sarah Stevens and they
had seven children: Asahel, of this review; a babe, who died when but
six weeks old; John died at age of three years; Abbie R., the wife of
Dr. Elmer DeGraff, of Des Moines, Iowa; Glaphyra V., now the wife of
Henry P. Garrison, of Littleton, Illinois; Ethel E., who is living with
her brother Asahel; and Ernest E., who is a physician of much ability
practicing at Avon, Illinois, after completing his course of study in
Northwestern College at Chicago.
Asahel H. Davis was born in Schuyler county,
Illinois, July 15, 1861, and completed his literary course in the
Rushville high school, from which he was graduated in the class of 1881.
He then engaged in teaching school at Littleton for a year, after
which he turned his attention to farming, which he followed in that
locality until 1898, when he came to Henry county, Iowa, settling on his
present farm. It was an
improved place and he at once undertook the further task of further
developing and cultivating the property.
He is a general farmer and stock-raiser, practical in his efforts
and successful in the result which attends his labors.
He now has ninety acres of rich land, the greater part of which
is under cultivation, and also operates ninety acres he rents and in the
midst of his fields stand good buildings, while everything about his
place indicates his careful supervision and practical, yet progressive
On the 20th of January, 1904, Mr.
Davis was united in marriage to Miss Marietta Becker, who was born in
this county February 10, 1875, a daughter of Urskine and Hester Ann
(Morehead) Becker, the former born in Indiana in 1845, and the latter in
Henry county, Iowa, 1851. The
father devoted his time and energies to agricultural pursuits for many
years but he and his wife are now living retired in Mount Pleasant.
He has long voted with the Republican party but has been without
aspiration for office. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Becker hold membership in the Methodist church, in which he
is serving as a trustee. In
the family have been born five children: Lillian C., the wife of F. A.
Hinkson, resident of New London township; Marietta, now Mrs. Davis;
Callie B., the wife of D. H. Palmer, of Henry county; John Wesley, who
died at the age of five years; and Myrtle, at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two sons, Harold John and Ralph B.
Mr. Davis exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and while living in Illinois served as town clerk. He is an Odd Fellow, holding membership in Mystic lodge, and his wife is a member of the Methodist church. They have a good home in the midst of a fine farm and are well known young people of Henry county, who occupy an enviable position in social circles, while cordial hospitality is freely extended to them by many friends.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 607-608) (PE)
EVAN DAVIS, well known in business circles in
Mount Pleasant, where he is conducting an insurance office, was born in
Glamorganshire, Wales, on the 3rd of August, 1842, a son of
Henry and Elizabeth (Jenkins) Davis.
The father was born in 1800 in the same county and there he
followed farming during the early years of his manhood.
His wife died when Evan Davis was a little child.
In October, 1853, Henry Davis crossed the Atlantic to America in
one of the old-time sailing vessels, which was six weeks in completing
that voyage to New York. He
did not tarry in the east, however, but continued his journey into the
interior of the country and took up his abode in the northwestern part
of Jefferson township, Henry county.
He became a noted stockman and successful farmer and placed his
land under a good state of cultivation.
His methods were practical and resultant and as the years passed
he accumulated a comfortable competence and was known as the owner of a
valuable property. He voted
with the Democracy and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and
ability, frequently called to public office.
He served as census enumerator, has assisted in other local
positions in Wales and here he gave his political support to the
Democratic party. Both he
and his wife were members of the denomination known in the early days as
New Lights. His wife died on
the ocean in 1853 and was buried at sea, while the father passed away in
Henry county in September, 1884, and was laid to rest in Wayland
cemetery. In their family
were ten children: David, who died in 1896; Henry, who married Mary E.
Davidson and resides in Wayland, Iowa; Mary, the wife of E. E. Davis,
residing near Columbus Junction, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of John
Parks, who is living in Washington county, Iowa; Diana, the wife of R.
T. Jones, of Cotter, Iowa; Hannah, the wife of H. D. Fishburh, whose
home is in Nampa, Idaho; Evan, of this review; Winnie, the wife of
William Sutherland, residing in Washington county, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah
Eisenhart, of Page county, Iowa, who died about 1875 or 1876; and John,
who married Ada Parks and is now living in Brighton, Washington county,
Iowa. The eldest child was
educated in the high school at Swansea, Wales, and the others were all
educated in America.
Evan Davis was eleven years of age when brought
by his parents to the United States and he pursued his education in the
district schools and afterward in Howe’s Academy in Mount Pleasant, in
which institution he spent two years.
He later attended the Great Western Business College at Mount
Pleasant, from which he graduated. Returning
to his father’s farm he assisted in the cultivation and improvement
until he had made a home of his own at the time of his marriage.
On the 29th of November, 1870, he wedded Miss
Elizabeth Williams, who was born in Henry county, Iowa, October 2, 1846,
a daughter of Hopkins and Winnie Williams, both of whom were natives of
Glamorganshire, Wales. They
came to America in 1836, settling in the northern part of Henry county
and one of their grandchildren is still living upon the old homestead
farm. There were only two
houses in Mount Pleasant at the time of their arrival, one being the
home of Presley Saunders and the other of Enoch Hills.
The nearest neighbors of the Williams family were Indians, who
were never hostile but were quiet and were good traders.
The family lived in true pioneer style, remaining in the covered
wagon in which they had traveled westward until the log cabin was
completed. Mr. Williams
entered his land from the government—a fact which indicates that not a
furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place but he at
once undertook the arduous task of transforming a raw tract into rich
fields, and in the course of time good crops were gathered.
In politics he was a democrat, supporting that party throughout
his entire residence in America. His
wife was a member of the Methodist church and died in that faith in
1879, while Mr. Williams passed away during the war.
He was a man of fine physique, large and well proportioned, and
both he and his wife were pleasant, agreeable people who won the
friendship of many with whom they came in contact.
In their family were three sons and six daughters: John and Mary,
now deceased; Mrs. Ann Evans, of Wayland, Iowa; William, of Wayland,
Iowa, who married Miss J. L. Howard, now deceased; Rachel, who has
passed away; Sarah, the deceased wife of David Davis, who has also
departed this life; Jane, the wife of Solomon Cavenee, a resident of El
Campo, Texas; Benjamin, married Jennie Benham, and is living in Taylor
county, Iowa; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Davis.
All of the children were reared and educated in this state.
Following his marriage Evan Davis purchased a
farm of one hundred and seventy acres in Henry county and devoted his
attention to the tilling of the soil and to stock-raising.
He placed all of the building upon his farm, erecting substantial
structures for the shelter of grain and stock and he added all modern
equipments, including the latest improved machinery.
His farm was ever neat and thrifty in appearance and indicated
his careful supervision. He
remained thereon until October, 1892, when he put aside the duties of
agricultural life and came to Mount Pleasant, locating at No. 405 North
Main street. He purchased
and remodeled the property there, converting it into a fine residence.
In 1893 and 1894 he was engaged in the poultry business and since
1895 has been engaged in the insurance business, representing reliable
fire and life insurance companies, including the Des Moines Fire
Insurance Company, of Des Moines, Iowa, and the Iowa State Insurance
Company, of Keokuk, also the Merchants’ Life Insurance Association, of
Burlington. On the 24th
of June, 1905, he purchased the business conducted under the name of the
Mount Pleasant Milling Company and is now proprietor, while W. M.
Allison is manager.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Davis have been born three children: Ada Blanche, born in Henry county on the 12th of December, 1876, was educated in the graded schools of Wayland, and continued her studies in the Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant. She is now the wife of Adam L. Foggy, who resides seven miles east of Mount Pleasant and they have two children, Lenox Davis and Ruth Elizabeth Foggy. Anna R. was born December 7, 1880, attended the high school in Mount Pleasant and afterward the Conservatory of Music in this city. She is now the wife of William M. Allison, who is manager of her father’s mill and they reside on North Lincoln street. Grace E. Davis, born in Henry county, December 18, 1882, was graduated from the Mount Pleasant high school and spent two years as a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University. She was married on October 11, 1905, to George T. Hill, of Burlington, who now resides in Mount Pleasant and is cashier of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, at this place. Mrs. Foggy was married in 1894 and Mrs. Allison on the 27th of February, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have a wide acquaintance in Mount Pleasant, while the hospitality of their home is greatly enjoyed by their many friends. For more than a half century Mr. Davis has resided in Henry county and is therefore largely familiar with its history from its pioneer epoch down to the present time.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 70-72) (PE)
WILLIAM DAVIS, of Mount Pleasant, is the owner
of one of the largest and finest farms in this section of Iowa, having
seven hundred and fifty acres in one body, and for many years he has
been a leading stock-raiser of this section of the state, his extensive
and profitable business interests bringing to him a large measure of
success. He was born in
Newark, Licking county, Ohio, on the 22nd of June, 1824, and
is a son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Roberts) Davis.
The father was a wheelwright by trade, and after following that
pursuit for a time turned his attention to the butchering business.
His last days were passed in Danville, Illinois.
In the public schools of his native state
William Davis acquired his education, and in 1846 started westward,
locating first in Attica, Indiana. He
herded cattle in Chicago in 1847, and was acquainted with some of the
pioneer residents of that city who have since become famous for their
enterprise and wealth. Mr.
Davis engaged in buying cattle, shipping at times as many as a hundred
head in a single lot to Kentucky, and also making shipments to New York.
He was very successful in that undertaking, and he also handled
hogs. He spent ten years in
Lafayette, Indiana, and then came to Iowa, settling in Mount Pleasant,
where he built a pork-packing house, thus establishing one of the early
successful industries of the city. He
also bought the farm formerly owned by the heirs of John Sample, six
miles west of the city, comprising seven hundred and fifty acres of
valuable land, and on this farm Mr. Davis made his home for many years
and has made most of the improvements.
This he made his home till 1900, although he had lived in town
during the winters to educate his children prior to retiring.
In 1900 he bought a pleasant home opposite the Seeley Memorial
building, and has since lived retired.
This is largely a stock farm, although he raises grain to some
extent. It is one of the
large farms of the county, all in one body, with only one road through
it, and with a railroad on the northern boundary.
He still owns this place, but of recent years has rented the
In 1854 Mr. Davis was married to Miss Eliza
Sample, a daughter of John and Ann (Taylor) Sample, who came from
Randolph county, Indiana, being natives of Ohio, to Augusta, Iowa, in
1839, and after one summer removed to a farm he bought in Tippecanoe
township, and there lived until eight of his family died of the cholera,
in 1851. Miss Sample being
left with a number of orphan children of four families, brothers and
sisters, her brother came from Indiana and took her back with him.
Those were hard days, she having to bury her own brother and
undergo many other heart-rending trials.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Davis occurred at Lafayette,
Indiana. She came to the
middle west in 1839, locating north of Skunk river.
She is one of the oldest settlers of the county, having resided
here for sixty-six years, and can remember when the Indians were
numerous, having not yet left their old hunting grounds for the
reservations farther west. Wild
game was to be had in abundance and wild animals were numerous, and the
homes of the settlers were mostly built of logs.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis have but one child, Nina, who was born in
Mount Pleasant, and is the widow of Robert Buchanan.
She resides in Denver, Colorado, and has four children: Henry,
Walter, Smith and Robert Lloyd, all of whom are enterprising men of
excellent business ability.
Mr. Davis bought his present residence in the fall of 1900. He has lived in Mount Pleasant and vicinity for a half century, having begun the construction of his pork house May 1, 1856. This was the first packing establishment west of Burlington, and he recalls many changes, not only in the county, but also in the state. He was made a Mason in this city, being a member of Henry Lodge No. 55, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He voted for William Henry Harrison in 1840, and continued a supporter of the whig party until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the then recently organized republican party, of which he has since been a stanch advocate. He is a pioneer of the middle west, who by the utilization and improvement of business opportunities has advanced from a humble financial condition to one of wealth and affluence.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 64-66) (PE)
James Harvey Day
JAMES HARVEY DAY, residing on section 35, Marion Township, was born in New London, Iowa, Jan. 19, 1855. His father, Ransom Day, is a native of Logan County, Ohio, and his mother, Rachel (Cox) Day, is a native of Canada. They emigrated to Henry County about 1848, settling in New London, where he was engaged in carpenter work, which trade he had learned when a young man and still follows. When James was but an infant his parents removed to the city of Des Moines, where they resided for two years, then going to Augusta, Des Moines County, they made that place their home until 1869, when they removed to Marshall.
When a lad of fourteen years James Day went to Mt. Pleasant, where he was employed in a brickyard as one of the burners, working in that yard until 1874, and at last had charge of a kiln. Going to Fairfield, he worked in that city during the summer of 1874 as foreman of a brickyard. Returning to Mt. Pleasant, he was again engaged in the old brickyard, working until 1878, when he went to Wilber, Neb., where he worked at his trade for a short time, but soon returned to Mt. Pleasant. In 1879 Mr. Day decided to go to Topeka, Kan., and in that city worked one winter at the carpenter trade, and the next spring began track work on the Santa Fe Railroad. He was then employed by the railroad company as bridge carpenter, continuing in their employ for nearly two years, and then returned again to Mt. Pleasant. He engaged to work with the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northern Railroad, but only remained with them for two months. Going to Ketcham’s, a place four miles west of Mt. Pleasant, he was engaged as Superintendent of the brickyard, being in this employ for a year, during which time he went to Missouri and made a kiln of brick. Returning to Mt. Pleasant, he again took charge of the old brickyard, manufacturing brick for the asylum. He made two and a half millions of brick in three years. In the spring of 1887 Mr. Day purchased seventeen acres of land and a neat cottage on section 35 of Marion Township, and also the brickyard formerly operated by Daniel Stephens. Upon this farm he moved, and continues to carry on brickmaking. This first year he has manufactured four hundred thousand bricks. He intends making stock brick for fronts and fine walls, and will also take contracts for supplying customers with all kinds of brick. Mr. Day is a thorough workman, and understands his profession perfectly, and of the young, enterprising business men none rank higher than our subject.
Mr. Day was united in marriage, in 1873, with Miss Elizabeth
Edwards, who is a native of Henry County, and a daughter of Hiram Edwards. Nine
children have graced the union of this worthy couple: Morris R,; Eddie,
deceased; William, Mattie; Belle, who died in infancy; Leander, Bessie, Bertha
and Richard. Mr. Day holds the political views of the Republican party, while
socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F.
Within the pages of this volume will be found a fine engraving of the brickyard
spoken of above and belonging to Mr. Day.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 241.) (JC)
WILLIAM H. DEAL
WILLIAM H. DEAL is the owner of a good farm of
one hundred and sixty acres in Scott township and its present condition
of advanced improvement is due entirely to his efforts, for all of the
buildings save the house have been placed here by Mr. Deal, who is
progressive in his farm methods and successful in his results.
He was born March 24, 1859, in Des [sic] school
education in Henry county, having removed thereto with his parents,
Aries Brotherton and Mary Elizabeth (Hester) Deal, the former a native
of Lafayette county, Indiana, and the latter of Dublin, Indiana.
His paternal grandparents were W. H. and Margaret (Brotherton)
Deal, both natives of Pennsylvania.
The parents of our subject were married in Dublin, Indiana, on
the 5th of November, 1852, and there resided until 1858, when
they came to Iowa, settling in Des Moines county, where the father
purchased a farm in Franklin township, comprising eighty acres of land.
He lived there for about three years and then sold out, after
which he went to Louisa county, where he purchased a farm, residing
thereon for two years. On
selling that property he bought eighty acres of land in Scott township,
Henry county, and that he prospered in his undertakings is shown by the
fact that at the time of his death he was the owner of seven hundred and
twenty acres of valuable land, all lying in this county.
He was a man of good business ability, executive force and keen
discernment and he realized that earnest labor is the real basis of all
prosperity. On the 7th
of October, 1892, he was called to his final rest and he is still
survived by Mrs. Deal, who resides upon the old homestead with her
daughter, Mrs. Annie E. Spray.
William H. Deal is indebted to the public school
system of Henry county for the educational privileges he enjoyed and he
remained with this parents until the 27th of November, 1883,
when he was married to Miss Virginia Alice Snyder, whose birth occurred
in Pleasant Grove township, Des Moines county, while in the common
schools of Henry county she acquired her early education, which was
supplemented by several terms’ attendance at Howe’s Academy in Mount
Pleasant. She afterward
engaged in teaching school in Des Moines and Henry counties until her
marriage and she is a lady of intellectual and native culture and
refinement. Her parents were
James and Mahala (Doty) Snyder. The
father was born near Wheeling, West Virginia, and the mother’s birth
occurred in Ohio. In 1845,
after being left a widow, she emigrated to Linn county, Iowa, where she
lived until her death, which occurred in 1880.
Following his marriage W. H. Deal took up his
abode upon one of his father’s farms comprising one hundred and sixty
acres of land, constituting the northeast quarter of section 34, on
which he still resides and owns. He
has laid about seven hundred rods of tiling upon this place and has
built all of the fences, nearly all of which are of woven wire.
He bought eighty acres of land from A. V. Riggs in 1895, for
which he paid sixty dollars per acre, and in the spring of 1902 he added
eighty acres adjoining on the east, for which he paid seventy-five
dollars per acre. This
property today, however, could not be purchased for one hundred dollars
per acre. His second tract
of one hundred and sixty acres constitutes the southwest quarter of
section 26, Scott township. He
has put in eleven hundred and thirty rods of tile and the productiveness
of his land is shown by his splendid crop which he raised in the year
1905. He carries on general
agricultural pursuits, cultivating the various crops adapted to soil and
climate and he also has good stock upon his place, including twenty head
of horses, twenty-four head of Durham cattle, forty-five hogs,
twenty-one head of thoroughbred Shropshire sheep.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Deal have been born four children: Leslie Snyder, born August 19, 1884, has been a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant since the 13th September, 1904, preparing himself for the ministry. Amy Clara, born March 10, 1886, was married February 25, 1904, to Arthur A. Aronhault, a farmer of Louisa county, in which locality he was born. Carl Arius, born May 31, 1889, and Guy James, born March 11, 1891, are at home. The family is prominent socially and the members of the household occupy an enviable position in social circles. Mr. and Mrs. Deal hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has served as steward since 1903. He also belongs to Winfield Lodge, No. 4, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and gives his political support to the Republican party. Starting out in life on his own account he has made steady advancement through his persistency of purpose and untiring labor and now has valuable farming interest, being recognized as one of the leading and substantial agriculturists of his community.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 3661-662) (PE)
|Pauline Lewelling Devitt
Member of Board of Education, born April 10, 1877, in the girl's department of the Iowa State Reform school which her father and mother, Lorenzo D. and Angie Cook Lewelling had recently organized near Mt. Pleasant. In 1887, shortly after the death of Mrs. Lewelling, Mr. Lewelling, then president of the board of the State Teachers college, moved his family to Kansas of which state he was elected Governor in 1892. The daughter, Pauline, was graduated from the Wichita high school and from the State University of Kansas and then taught for four years in the high schools of that state. In 1901 she was united in marriage to James Arthur Devitt of Oskaloosa, Iowa, at that time county attorney for Mahaska county. To this union was born three children who have the distinction of being third generation Hawkeyes. Mrs. Devitt was president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage association in 1919 when a special session of the legislature ratified the federal suffrage amendment. During the was she was appointed by Governor Harding a member of the state council of defense and served also as sixth district chairman of the liberty loan committee. In 1920 she was delegate-at-large to the national republican convention. At the time of her appointment to the state board of education in 1921 she was a member of the local school board in Oskaloosa. In 1926-27 she served as vice president of the state conference of social work and in 1927 was reappointed by Governor Hammill to the state board of education.
Iowa Official Register, 1927-1928; Biographies of State Officials. (SF)
|Wesley K. Dillon
Wesley K. Dillon, Assistant Supervisor of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, since April 1, 1885, was born in Wheeling, Va. (now West Virginia), June 27, 1846. His father, Reuben Dillon, was born in Allegheny County, Pa., was a hatter by trade, and of Scotch-Irish descent. The family were residents of America prior to the Revolution, and were represented in all the important wars of this country. The subject of this sketch and his father were both soldiers of the late war, members of Company D, 62d Pennsylvania Regiment. The grandfather of Wesley K. Dillon was a soldier in the War of 1812, and his great-grandfather, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The mother of our subject was Lydia B. Monk before her marriage. She was born in Center County, Pa., and died when Wesley K. was but a child. Her ancestors came to America from Hanover in Colonial times. One of her relatives was an officer in the Revolutionary War and served on Gen. Washington's staff. After his mother's death, Wesley accompanied his father to Minnesota, in the fall of 1856, where they spent four years, and in the fall of 1860 returned to Pennsylvania, and July 4, 1861, they both enlisted in Company D, 62d Pennsylvania Infantry. His father served in the Quarter-master's Department, and died from exposure while in service. Wesley K. was but fifteen years of age when he enlisted. He was wounded at the battle of Spottsylvania Court-House, Va., May 12, 1864, by bullets and buckshot in his left lower leg, and was confined to the hospital from May 14 to Sept. 1, 1864, when he was mustered out, receiving an honorable discharge. On his return from the army he attended school, with a view of fitting himself for college, but circumstances prevented the consummation of his plans, and he engaged in teaching school. In 1869 he became connected with the Dixmont (Pa.) Hospital for the Insane, and continued there till 1874, when he took a two-years course of lectures at the medical department of the Western Reserve University, of Cleveland, Ohio. He was employed at the Danville Hospital for the Insane, from Feb. 24, 1876, until 1882, when he engaged at the Morristown (N.J.) Asylum for the Insane, till 1884, when he accepted the position of private secretary to William McKinney, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and in March, 1885, was appointed to his present position at the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
Mr. Dillon is an efficient and faithful officer, and is held in high esteem by all with whom he is connected. Politically, he is a Republican. He is a member of McFarland Post No. 20, G.A.R., of the Harlan Camp of the Sons of Veterans, Mt. Pleasant, and a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A.F. & A.M., of Henry Chapter No. 8, R.A.M., and of Jerusalem Commandery No. 20, K.T., all of Mt. Pleasant.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 399)
|WILLIAM A DILTS
WILLIAM A. DILTS, M. D., physician
and surgeon at Salem, Henry Co., Iowa, was born Jan. 13, 1860, in Louisa
County, Iowa, and is a son of Thomas D. and Martha L. [Kirkpatrick] Dilts.
His father was born in Logan County, Ohio, March 20, 1831, his
parents being Wilkisson and Catherine Dilts.
In 1840 they removed to Henry County, Iowa, but returned to Ohio
the same year. In 1854 Thomas
again emigrated to Iowa, locating in Louisa County, where he remained
until 1864, when he removed to Baltimore Township, Henry County, where he
spent six years, removing in 1870 to Jackson Township, where he now lives.
He was married in Louisa County, Iowa, March 20, 1858, to Miss
Martha L. Kirkpatrick. She was
born Dec. 25, 1838, in Lee County, Iowa, her parents being William R. and
Mary [Pratt] Kirkpatrick, who were of Scotch ancestry.
They were among the earliest settlers of this State, emigrating
from near Galena, Ill., in 1834, where they had come from Ohio.
On arriving in the then Territory of Wisconsin, they settled on
unsurveyed land about four miles north of what is now West Point, Lee
County, removing thence in 1850 to Henry County, where they lived until
their deaths, both of which occurred in 1885, when each was about eighty.
They had three sons and seven daughters, all of whom are now
living, and all married. The
family were widely known and greatly respected in the county.
Thomas Dilts and wife had four children, of whom our subject was
the eldest; the next, Emma J., was born in Louisa County, Iowa, Aug. 6,
1862, and is the wife of O. A. Garretson, a prominent farmer of Jackson
Township, to whom she was married Nov. 7, 1881; John J., born July 10,
1864, worked on his father’s farm until 1880, when he entered Whittier
College. He began in 1884 the
study of medicine with his brother, and is now a student at the Keokuk
College of Physicians and Surgeons, and will graduate in 1888; Laura, born
Jan. 6, 1872, is living with her parents.
Thomas Dilts is a Republican in politics, and is known as an
honorable and upright man. He
and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Thomas Dilts has two brothers and two sisters: Joseph is a farmer
in Ohio; Josephine is the wife of J. W. Prottsman, a farmer in
Northwestern Nebraska; Anna is the wife of Gus Fetters, a merchant in
Kansas; and John W. is a ranch owner in Colorado.
Our subject, Dr. William A. Dilts,
remained on the farm until 1878, when he entered Whittier College, at
Salem where he remained until 1882, when he began the study of medicine
under Dr. E. W. Cook, then of Salem, now of Plattsmouth, Neb.
He attended a course of lectures in the medical department of the
Iowa State University in 1883-84, and then practiced for two years in
Jackson Township, Henry County. He
subsequently entered upon a course of study at the college of Physicians
and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, and in 1887 graduated second in a class of
fifty-four. He removed to
Salem in March of that year, and has gained recognition as a talented and
conscientious young physician, and is rapidly building up a lucrative
practice. He was married,
March 16, 1887, to Miss Nellie E., the accomplished daughter of Rev. David
and Rebecca Donaldson. Mrs.
Dilts was born April 17, 1864, at Linwood, Iowa.
Her parents were from Ohio, and were early settlers of Iowa, where
they located in 1838. Her
father was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, well known as a
speaker of talent, and a man of culture.
He was ordained by the Upper Iowa Conference; was transferred to
the Iowa Conference in 1865, was assigned to the Abingdon charge in 1868,
and came to the Salem charge in the fall of 1870, where, after a faithful
work of two years, he died, July 21, 1872.
He left a devoted wife and four children to mourn their loss.
His widow still lives in Salem.
Of his surviving children, William, the eldest, born March 28,
1856, is a druggist in Pierce, Neb.; he was married, Feb. 17, 1878, to
Miss Eva Crew, and has two children; Samuel F. was born May 15, 1860, is
unmarried, and is a farmer in Northwestern Nebraska; Nellie E., the wife
of Dr. Dilts, was formerly a teacher.
Addie was born Dec. 7, 1868, is still living with her widowed
mother, and is a teacher of determinedly high standing in the county.
Two other children, Edmund J. and Eva, died in childhood.
Dr. Dilts and wife are members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. He
is a Republican in politics, and a member of Monarch Lodge No. 183,
Knights of Pythias, of Salem. As
a physician he has already acquired the confidence of the people, and as
members of society he and his wife are held in high esteem.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 436-439)(PW)
|Alfred Doan (deceased)
He was born 16 Aug 1831 in Orange County, Indiana, the son of Mahlon Doan. He married Miss Rachel Melton 19 Aug 1853. She was born in Warren County IN, the daughter of John and Phebe (Huston) Melton, and they had three children: Sarah Luella, b. 1 Sep 1856, the deceased daughter of Zimri Brown of Salem Twp. and they had two children, Michael Devillo Melton, and Frank Ebert Melton; Sarah Jane who is an adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Faulkner of Salem, IA; and Mahlon Harlan who was born 15 Jan 1860 and married Mary Ellen Stevenson who was born in Henry County. They had one child, Myron Alfred; Perry Albert b. 29 Apr 1872. Boths sons reside with their mother.<
Alfred Doan was in the 25th IA Volunteer Infantry, and enlisted in 1862, serving three years. he was in the battles of Arkansas Post, the siege of Vicksburg, and the Chattanooga Campaign, Resaca, Dallas, Kennesaw Mtn. and battles around Atlanta, Lovejoy Station, Ships Gap, and Bentonville. He was with Sherman on his march through Georgia and the Carolinas to Richmond and Washington. Mr. Doan was promoted to Sgt. on 10 Feb 1863. The Regiment mustered out at Washington D.C.
He returned home and engaged in farming until his death on 19 Oct 1880, at 51 years of age. He never had his usual health after he came out of the army, and died from the effects of exposures endured in the service.
He was a member of the IOOF at Salem and was a Republican. His widow still resides on the old farm. He was a man in advance of his times. His farm of 90 acres was one of the best improved in the county.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 522)
He was born 7 April 1804 in Orange County, NC, the son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Stout) Doan. Ebenezer was born in NC and died in 1860 at a very advanced age. Elizabeth was also born in NC, and she died when Mahlon was a child. They had eight children, two of whom are living: Mahlon and Nancy, who married James Tomlinson and lives in Plainfield, Indiana.
Mahlon married first, Jane Freeman, a native of North Carolina, a daughter of John and Charity Freeman who were both natives of North Carolina. Mahlon and Jane had three children: Alfred; John, who resides in Tippecanoe Twp., and Julia Ann who died at age 19.
Mahlon's second wife was Alice Davis, who was born>in Orange County, IN, the daughter of Warner and Millie (Hudson) Davis, both natives of NC. They had four children: Sarah Emeline, who m. John Burton of Taylor County, IA; William who resides in Powesheik County, IA; Zach, who resides in Salem Twp.; and Mary E. who died at age four.
Mahlon and family were of the Society of Friends, and he was a Republican. He went to Henry County in 1837. He bought 200 acres in Section 11, Center Twp., where he still lives. He also owns 40 acres adjoining, in Tippecanoe Twp.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 389)
|Solomon H Dover
SOLOMON H. DOVER, an honored pioneer of Henry County, Iowa, of 1834, and a resident of New London Township since 1836, was born in Burke County, N. C., in 1806, and is the son of Joshua and Elizabeth (Childers) Dover. His father was also born in Burke County, N. C. His mother was born in South Carolina, and was a sister of Mrs. James K. Polk, wife of President Polk. Our subject removed to Warren County, near Bowling Green, Ky., with his parents when an infant, spent nine years in the State, and then removed to Tennessee, locating in Anderson County, later in Overton County, same State, where he married, Oct. 6, 1827, Miss Matilda Davis. Mrs. Dover was born in Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Dover began life with a very limited amount of this world’s goods, but a good stock of health, hope and pluck, as their history shows. They had little else than a pair of horses, and the least possible amount of household goods. They had the misfortune to lose one of their horses just as they were on the point of emigrating to Illinois. Nothing daunted, they packed what goods they could upon the remaining horse—a bed on one side was balanced by a bundle on the other. The bride was perched in the center, while the husband trudged along by her side on foot. At times the wife would insist on taking a turn at walking while her husband rested himself by a short ride. In this manner they made their way to Montgomery County, Ill., and located at Hillsboro. Mr. Dover had $3 when he started on the journey. This was in 1828, when that region was a frontier country. Mr. Dover was a shoemaker by trade, but did not like the business, so engaged in farming in a small way. He worked out to support his family, and earned enough to buy a mate to his horse. To make matters worse the climate proved unhealthful, and they were both sick with the ague, so after a short time they moved to Morgan County, where Mr. Dover taught school a couple of years, and earned some money for a start. They then removed to Macomb, Ill., in 1832. In 1834 he came to Henry County, Iowa, and made a claim on section 36, township 71 north, range 5 west, now New London. He erected a cheap shanty on the claim, but a big storm coming on he gave up trying to improve his place, and leaving it to the care of his brother Abram, who had preceded him and was established here, he returned to Macomb. In April, 1836, he again started westward, and located his family on his claim, where they made their home till 1882, when Mr. Dover sold out his well-improved farm of 160 acres, and removed to the village of New London, where he now resides.
Mr. and Mrs. Dover were blessed with a large family, having fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters: Andrew, born Dec. 11, 1828, is unmarried, and resides in California; Celina, born Feb. 10, 1831, is the wife of J. A. Hardin, of Beaver City, Neb.; Louisa, born March 16, 1833, died in 1835; Sarah C., born Nov. 3, 1835, is the widow of George Matthews, who was a soldier in the late war, and was killed at Helena, Ark., July 6, 1863; she resides at New London. William L., born Aug. 29, 1836, was the first white child born in New London Township; he is supposed to have been killed in the late war. Ellen E., born Feb. 10, 1838, died aged four years; Cyrus W., born Nov. 30, 1839, married Elizabeth Hampton for his first wife, and Sallie Hays for his second wife; he was a soldier of the late war, and now resides in Southern Kansas. Henrie Anna, born Nov. 17, 1842, is the wife of J. T. Kennett, of Missouri; Harriet M., born Aug. 18, 1844, is the wife of Henry Hampton, a blacksmith of New London; John F., born Sept. 16, 1845, died Aug. 23, 1865; Joel M., born July 29, 1854, married Martha Hiles, and died Oct. 24, 1880; Zachary T., born Sept. 17, 1849, married for his first wife Agnes, daughter of Prof. Mayor, and for his second wife Ellen Rowland, and resides at New London; Winfield Scott, born Aug. 26, 1851, is the editor and publisher of the New London Sun; he married Miss Jennie New, who died in December, 1883. Laura M., born Sept. 23, 1854, is the wife of William Reese, of New London.
Mrs. Dover, who had been her husband’s faithful helpmeet through all the trials and hardships of their daily life and through the later cares and responsibilities of rearing up so large a family, passed to eternal rest Sept. 3, 1869. Mr. Dover was married again, April 7, 1870, to Mrs. Eliza Beardsley, daughter of Benjamin Matthews, and widow of Lucian Beardsley, who died in March, 1857. Mrs. Dover was born at Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., Mass., Dec. 22, 1828. Her family were of English descent, but had been residents of Massachusetts for generations. She had four children by her former marriage, two sons and two daughters: Horace M., born Feb. 6, 1850, married Clara Ashley, and resides at Springfield, Mass.; Lorinda. C., born Nov. 1,1853, unmarried and lives at Danville, Iowa; Edwin D., born June 12, 1855, died aged twenty-one months; Harriet L., born in March, 1857, died aged two years. One child, a daughter, Lulu Belle, was born of the latter marriage, now a beautiful girl of sixteen years.
Mr. and Mrs. Dover are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Dover was a Whig in his political affiliations in his early life, but since
the formation of the Republican party has voted with that organization. He has
always been a hard working, temperate man, upright and honorable in his
relations with his fellowmen.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 194-195.)(JC)
J. H. DRAKE, M. D., the most prominent and successful practicing homeopathic physician of Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in St. Thomas, Canada, Dec. 28, 1845. His ancestors were of Scotch and English descent, and came to America prior to the Revolution, settling in Northern Vermont. His paternal grandfather espoused the cause of the British during that struggle and removed to Canada, where his family were reared. The parents of the subject of this sketch were William and Eliza (Malott) Drake. The former was by occupation a builder and contractor, but later in life became a farmer, owning a large tract of land in Essex County, Ontario, Canada. He was a prominent and well-known citizen, and a leader in the public affairs of that county and Province, and had held many local offices. He was a man of unquestioned integrity, and deservedly stood high in the estimation of the community. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and for seventeen years was Treasurer of the lodge in Kingsville, where he lived. He was also an ardent and consistent friend of the cause of temperance, and abstained not only from the use of intoxicating liquors but of tobacco in every form. He and his wife were life-long communicants of the Episcopal Church, and were known as zealous and efficient church workers. Mr. Drake died Feb. 4, 1882, aged seventy-six, his wife preceding him to the grave twenty years, dying Feb. 3, 1862, aged forty-five. Of their ten children, the following six are now living: James W., Thomas and Benjamin, contractors and builders, residing at Kingsville, Canada; Margaret, wife of David Fuller, of Amherstburg, Canada; Kenneth M., a farmer at Meston, Canada, and Dr. J. H. The latter received his primary education in the common schools of his native place, and when seventeen years old came alone to Sandusky, Ohio, where he entered the graded school. Having from boyhood an ardent desire to become a physician, he read all the medical works he could find, and in that way obtained a good general knowledge of the healing art. His means were limited and he was compelled. to work his way through college, which he did successfully, graduating with honor in 1874. That same year he went to Linn County, Iowa, engaging in practice at Mt. Vernon, and acquiring a large and paying clientage and an excellent reputation. Owing to his arduous labors in his extensive practice his health failed, and for a time he was compelled to rest. In the winter of 1879-80 the Doctor attended Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, where he gave especial attention to the study of diseases of the eye and ear, in which specialty he has been exceptionally successful. In 1880 he settled in Mt. Pleasant, this county, where from the first he has had a large and lucrative practice, and has gained a reputation as a skillful, kind and painstaking physician and surgeon, of which he may justly be proud.
In 1871 Dr. Drake was married to Miss Mary E. Boyington, a native of Saratoga County, N. Y., born in September, 1853. Their union has been blessed with four children—Frank J., Leon D., Carrie G. and William B. Dr. Drake is a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society of this State, and filled the office of Treasurer in 1885 and 1886. He is also a member of the Cedar Valley Medical Association, of which he was Secretary for three years. He is essentially a self-made man, and no person living in Henry County to-day is entitled to greater credit for raising himself from a comparatively humble position to one of eminence in his profession, of which lie is a leading member. He is still a student, as is every first-class member of the profession, and keeps abreast of all the latest discoveries in medical science. He possesses by far the finest collection of instruments and appliances of any physician in the county, and has, apartments fitted up for the administering of Turkish, Russian and vapor baths, and for electrical treatment and the practice of dentistry. He and his wife are active workers in the cause of temperance, Mrs. Drake being now Grand Superintendent of Juvenile Templars, having charge of the juvenile work under the auspices of the State Lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and the Doctor is Grand Deputy Chief Templar for this district. Both are also members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Mt. Pleasant, the Doctor filling the office of Steward. He is also a Master Mason, a member of Xenium Lodge No. 108, A. F. & A. M., and politically is a warm supporter of the Republican party, and in every way an honored citizen of the county.
The portrait of this gentleman appears on an adjoining page.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 187-188.)(JC)
|Capt. William Draper
WILLIAM DRAPER was born in Rupert County, Vt., and was married, Oct. 19, 1806,
to Miss Mary Richmond. Mr. Draper was one of the brave men who fought so
gallantly to free the Colonies from the British yoke of oppression, and served
during the Revolutionary War, first as Second Lieutenant, then as First
Lieutenant, and later as Captain, beloved and esteemed by the men under him and
admired and respected by his superior officers. Mr. and Mrs. Draper were the
parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters: Charles L., Allanson B.,
Leonard L., Prudence, Susanna, John L. and Samuel W., all of whom are now dead
with the exception of Mrs. Campbell. Mr. and Mrs. Draper emigrated to Dearborn
County, Ind., in the year 1819, and the following year removed to Ripley County,
the same State. Mr. Draper was called from earth to his heavenly home Sept. 5,
1827, and his beloved wife survived him many years, dying Feb. 25, 1878, at the
advanced age of eighty-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Draper were members of the Baptist
Church. They were highly esteemed by all who knew them, always ready to help
those in need, and were truly Christian workers in the church and elsewhere, and
when the final summons came they were ready to enter into the joys prepared for
the just by their Heavenly Father.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 241-242) (JC)
|John K DuMars
JOHN K. DUMARS, a tinner of Winfield, Iowa, was born in Harrisburg, Pa., Jan. 3, 1841, and is the son of William G. and Hannah (Paul) DuMars, both of whom were also natives of Pennsylvania. They were the parents of ten children, seven of whom are living: Mary L., wife of Maj. William Ernest, of Harrisburg, Pa.; Elizabeth, also a resident of Harrisburg; Caroline is the wife of Samuel Franklin; Cornelius, a resident of Harrisburg, was also a soldier, a member of a Pennsylvania regiment, and was captured and confined in Libby Prison; James and Maggie are also both residents of Harrisburg, and John is our subject. Those deceased are: Thomas; Susan, who married Capt. William Miller, a soldier during the late war, and George, who died in infancy. Mr. DuMars was a tinsmith, which occupation he followed for five years. Before the breaking out of the Rebellion he was a Democrat, but after that war he voted with the Republican party. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He departed this life in 1878, his wife surviving him one year.
John K. DuMars is a prominent citizen of Winfield, Iowa. He is a tinner by trade and one of the best mechanics in the State. He was reared at Harrisburg, Pa., where he received a liberal education. When fifteen years of age he began an apprenticeship of three years, receiving for his services for the first year $32, the second, $40, and the third, $60, and he was to board himself, he was also under instructions in New York for a year, where he received $1 a day. On the 18th of April. 1861, Mr. DuMars enlisted in the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry, when Lincoln called for 75,000 men for three months. During that time he was mostly on guard duty, though he participated in some skirmishes. He re-enlisted at the end of that time in Battery D, 5th United States Artillery, under Gen. Griffin, and was mustered in at Harrisburg. The command was then sent to Arlington heights. He participated in the battles of Yorktown, Hanover Court. House, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, and Malvern Hill in the seven-days fight. Manassas Junction, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Alton, Antietam, Blackman’s Ford, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, Bethesda Church, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Todd’s Tavern, Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. where, as his time had expired, he was discharged. He re-enlisted in the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, and while in that command participated in the battle of Five Forks. He was mustered out at Lynchburg, Va., at the close of the war. He was a brave soldier and was always found at his post of duty. At one time he was thrown from his horse, having been ambushed; at the battle of Gaines Mill he was captured, but was recaptured in about twenty minutes by his comrades. He was at one time offered the command as Second Lieutenant but would not accept.
his home in Harrisburg, Mr. DuMars, in 1866, was united in marriage with Miss
Fannie Hutchins, a daughter of David and Margaretta (Woods) Hutchins. She was a
native of Ohio, her parents being early settlers of that State. In the same year
they were married Mr. and Mrs. DuMars removed to Elmira, N. Y., but later
returned to Harrisburg, where Mr. DuMars worked at his trade. In 1872 they again
removed, this time settling in Columbus Junction, Iowa, from thence came to
Crawfordsville in 1883, and the following year to Winfield, where they have ever
since resided. Mr. DuMars is a member of Scott Tent No. 6, Knights of the
Maccabees Insurance Company, and Mort Hobart Post, G. A. R. Mr. and Mrs. DuMars
have had twelve children, four of whom are living—Anna M., William G., John B.
and Frankie D. The remainder died in infancy. Mrs. DuMars and her daughter are
members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically, Mr. DuMars is a stanch
Republican, and an earnest worker for his party.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 196-197.)(JC)
|Jasper N. Dutton
He resides on Sect. 22, Marion Twp., and was born in Henry County, Nov. 4, 1850, the son of George and Dorcas (Ramsey) Dutton. His father is a native of Connecticut, his mother of Indiana. The family consisted of 9 children, two of whom died in infancy; of those living D. Webster married Miss Amanda Bealer, daughter of Samuel Bealer of PA and they now live near Mt. Union in this county; Louisa is the wife of Capt. George W. Barr, a farmer, and resides near Spring Branch, NE; Frank B., married and lives in Newton, KS; Williard G., a farmer and stock-raiser of Udilla Co., NE, married Miss Kate Turner; Jasper is the 5th child; George W., married and lives at Coleridge, NE; Charles is a resident of Bennet, NE and wedded Miss Mary Smith, daughter of John Smith of Henry Co.
The father and mother of this family met at a very early day, and were married here. As George Dutton came here in 1835, he may truly be called a pioneer. There was only one log cabin where Mt. Pleasant now stands. He took a claim of 160 acres and built a log cabin where now stands a beautiful two-story dwelling. He remained in Henry Co. until 1869, when he removed to Montgomery Co., KS and entered 320 acres of land, and remained there until 1884 when wishing to be nearer his son George, he moved to Pierce Co., NE.
At the age of 21 his father gave Jasper 40 acres, and now has 400 acres in one body, the old home- stead of 160 acres being included.
In Dec, 1875 he married Miss Mary Montgomery who was born Jan. 6, 1856, and to them have been born 4 children: Ira, born Oct. 4, 1876, died June 5, 1883; Clyde, born Aug. 5, 1878; Fred, born May 8, 1881; and Art b. Oct. 8, 1884.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 378)
DANIEL EICHER is a prominent farmer, residing
on section 5, Jefferson Township, Henry County, for among those who have
become noted personages in this and Washington Counties are the
brothers, Daniel and Rev. Benjamin Eicher, the later a resident of
Washington County. Daniel was born in Alsace, France, now a part of the
German Empire, April 22, 1825, and is the son of Rev. John and
Margaretta (Conrad) Eicher. There the Rev. John Eicher had charge of a
Mennonite congregation, and for many years was engaged not only in the
ministry, but in farming. Only a part of his children came to America,
and all came singly. First came Jacob, then John Jr., Christian, then
our subject, Martin Benjamin, followed by a sister Annie, who was
married in Alsace to John W. Wittmer, who also came, and settled in
Wayne County, Ohio. Jacob later returned to the home of his boyhood, and
married his playmate, Mary Summer, whom he brought to America. Three of
the boys, after trying awhile a life in Ohio, concluded to make a
location in Canada, John, Daniel and Christian, locating in Waterloo
County, and all remained for three years with the exception of our
subject. He staid six years, and then followed his brothers to Iowa.
Three of these had located in Washington County, and John and Daniel in
Henry. Martin was the only one who entered any land, he doing this in
1850. After coming to Iowa, all the sons married: Martin wedded Barbara
Roth; Christian married Annie Wenger; Jacob became the husband of
Catherine Rich; and Rev. Benjamin Eicher married Lydia Summers. All
these children did well in America, but only three are now living -
Benjamin, Christian and our subject. In Alsace the parents remained,
also their other children: Joseph, who married Elizabeth Kropf; Fannie,
wife of Jacob Summer; and Peter, husband of Catherine Summer. The
parents lived to a ripe old age, and were buried in the country that
gave them birth. Our subject went back to Germany, intending to bring
them over, but the old people preferred to remain in their native land.
In 1854 Miss Magdalena Rich became the wife of Daniel Eicher. She bore no heirs, and her death occurred one year after the marriage. His second wife was Magdalena Klopfenstine, to whom he was wedded in 1856. Daniel saw hard times with small returns. He was$500 in debt, but he persevered, and his first purchase of forty acres he paid for in cash. His good-nature put him under such obligation to his fellowmen, to whom he loaned his hard earned dollars, that during the commencement of the war he was in straitened circumstances. Little by little he recovered, and long ago those losses were regained, and instead of a poor man struggling to provide for a family, he is now the father of a large and interesting family, and the owner of 341 broad acres, that have for years brought him and his sons a large revenue. Since the last marriage the following children have been born: Peter, the husband of Lydia Eash; John, Franklin, Martin, Catherine, Jacob and Mary. Martin received his education at Washington, Iowa, and intends following a mechanical occupation. Perhaps no man a resident of Jefferson Township has accomplished more in the same length of time than Daniel Eicher, who came to Iowa a young man without money, but with his own hands, and by he united labor of himself and family, now enjoys a competence, and his children are of the same energetic class to which their parents belong. Their house is one of those hospitable homes for which Henry County is noted, and from Daniel Eicher and his good wife, the stranger, neighbor or friend, receives a cordial welcome. Both himself and wife were members of the first Mennonite Church organized in this part of the country, and to this they yet belong. For twelve years Mr. Eicher has been connected with the public schools of Jefferson Township, and for a number of years he has been School Treasurer. To such families the morality, social standing and enterprise of Henry County are due, and among those who have made it a noted name none have contributed more than the Eichers.
and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa.
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888. Evansville: Unigraphic, 1976
RUEBEN ESHELMAN, merchant tailor, dealer in ready-made clothing,
gents' furnishing goods, hats and caps, etc., commenced business in Mt. Pleasant
in 1848, and has carried it on continuously ever since, while his wife is at
Note: Portrait of Reuben Eshelman appears on Page 500
MRS. ALICE FAIRCHILD
MRS. ALICE FAIRCHILD, who is engaged in
the millinery business in Mount Pleasant, was born on a farm near
Trenton, in Henry county, Iowa, October 22, 1858, a daughter of A. R.
and Anna (Rhykert) Halliwill. Her father was born in Starke county,
Ohio, April 1, 1823, and there resided upon a farm until he had attained
adult age. In early manhood he learned the carpenter’s trade, and in
the latter part of the ‘40’s he removed from Ohio to Illinois.
Subsequently he came to Iowa, settling on a farm in Henry county, and
for the three years prior to 1906 he lived retired in Mount Pleasant. In
1906 he removed to Alma, Michigan, where he inherited a farm. His wife,
who was born in New York, February 16, 1828, came to the Mississippi
valley in pioneer times with her parents, who settled upon a large farm
near Galesburg, Illinois. There both her father and mother died. Mrs.
Halliwill is now living upon the old homestead farm, about nine miles
from Mount Pleasant, and one of her grandchildren is always with her. In
the Halliwill family were seven children. Eliza is the wife of John
Ackles, a farmer of Trenton, Iowa; James died when about three years
old; A. O., of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, married Miss Lola Chambers, and has
seven children. Cornelia is the wife of John Messer, a farmer living
about three miles from Mount Pleasant, and they have five children. Mrs.
Fairchild is the fifth of the family. Alonzo, living in Des Moines,
Iowa, married Miss Sibbie Chambers, and they have six children; Myron
married Miss Lizzie Scott, and they reside in Des Moines. Both parents
are members of the Methodist church.
Mrs. Fairchild acquired her early education in
the public schools of Mount Pleasant, and afterward attended Howe’s
academy of this city. Subsequently, she engaged in teaching for four
years, spending that entire time in two country schools in Henry county.
On the 22d of November, 1879, she gave her hand in marriage to Samuel G.
Scarff, a son of John and Laura (Guiten) Scarff. He was born in Ohio in
1842, and when six years of age was brought by his parents to Iowa. He
was one of a family of nine children, but only two are now living. W. O.
Scarff is a farmer, owning and operating land near Mount Pleasant, but
makes his home in the city. He married Miss Eliza Manning, and has five
children. James Scarff, who resides near the old home farm, married Miss
Mary Messer, and they had eleven children, of whom eight are living.
Samuel G. Scarff was reared in Iowa, acquired
his education in the public schools, and early became familiar with the
duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He made
farming his life work and died in Henry county in 1891. His political
allegiance was given to the democracy, and he was a member of the
Methodist church, his remains being interred in the church cemetery,
known as White Oak, he and his brother having given the ground for this
purpose. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Scarff were born five children. Ralph C.,
born March 11, 1881, died in 1901, at the age of twenty years. Howard
G., born February 10, 1883, died at the age of three years. Cora G.,
born June 14, 1885, is living with her mother. Nina G., born August 21,
1887, is a student in Howe’s academy, in Mount Pleasant. Rueben
Gerald, born April 29, 1889, died in 1892, when two and a half years
old. All the children were born upon the farm in Henry county.
On the 27th of June, 1895, Mrs.
Scarff was married to Linus Fairchild, a son of Linus Fairchild, of
Rome, Iowa. The parents both died on a farm near Rome. In their family
were six children. Mrs. Harriet Ainsworth, who has two children, spends
the summer months in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the winter season in
Florida. Alfred, a merchant of Stockport, Iowa, has three children.
Perry is living in the west. Mrs. Elizabeth Craff is a resident of
Lockridge, Iowa; Amos is also living in the west. Linus Fairchild, the
other son of the family, was a farmer by occupation, devoting his life
to agricultural pursuits near Mount Pleasant. He was a democrat in his
political views, but never sought office as a reward for party fealty.
In matters of citizenship, however, he was always progressive and public
spirited, and rejoiced in what was accomplished in the county for public
progress and improvement. For one year he was ill, and then passed away
on the 22d of December, 1901, his remains being interred in Forest
cemetery at Rome, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild were born two
children: Ora Harriet, born March 29, 1896, and Elizabeth, born May 1,
In November, 1904, Mrs. Fairchild opened a millinery store on the corner of Jefferson and Washington streets, in Mount Pleasant. Here she had one of the largest millinery establishments in the county, carrying a carefully selected line of goods, and was regarded as a most enterprising and intelligent business woman, displaying keen discrimination in the conduct of her commercial interests. She sold her business in December, 1905, and is not now in business. She owns a residence property north of the railroad, and also a residence and vacant lots at Marsh, Iowa. She is a member of the Congregational church, and is a lady of excellent traits of character and pleasing social qualities.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 484-485) (PE)
LEONARD FARR, a retired farmer, resides at Mt. Pleasant. He was a pioneer in Iowa of 1841, and has been a resident of Henry County since 1848. He was born in Huntington, Crittenden Co., Vt., April 1, 1814, and is the son of Artemas and Mercy (Fitch) Farr. His father was born at Tinmouth, Conn., in 1781, and removed to the wilds of Vermont with his family when but a lad. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, and commanded a company of volunteers at the battle of Plattsburg. A farmer by occupation, he emigrated to Ohio in 1824, settling in Butler County, where he was engaged in his chosen vocation. He came to Iowa at the time of the land sales, in 1839, and purchased claims in Henry County, returned east, and moved to Henry County in 1841, and settled in New London Township. He died near Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Oct. 18, 1844. The paternal grandfather of Leonard emigrated from Wales to America in Colonial days, and settled in Martha’s Vineyard. Leonard’s mother, Mercy Fitch Farr, was born in Coventry, Conn. Her father, John Fitch, was also a native of that place, and came of old New England stock. Her mother’s father was Maj. Elias Buell, an officer of the war of the Revolution. Her uncle, Hon. Jesse Buell, of Coventry, Conn., and later of Albany, N. Y., was a prominent man of his day, being an eminent agriculturist and horticulturist of those early times, the publisher of the pioneer agricultural journal in this country, the well-known Cultivator and Country Gentleman, of Albany, N. Y., and a leading man of that place. The Buell family trace their descent from the nobility of England. William Buell, the founder of the family in America, came from England in the year 1630, and landed at Plymouth Colony, Mass. The family subsequently settled at Coventry, Conn., and today their descendants are to be found in every State in the Union, many of them having distinguished themselves as soldiers, Statesmen, and in the private walks of life.
Leonard Farr received his primary education in the district school, and pursued his studies at the Hudson River Seminary, Kinderhook, N. Y., and at the Burr Seminary, Manchester, Vt. When nineteen years of age he commenced teaching school in Butler County, Ohio, and followed that calling in that county until 1838, when he removed to Rushville, Ind., where he was similarly engaged for one year. He spent the years 1839 and 1840 in traveling and teaching in the Southern States. In the latter part of 1840 he located in Augusta County, Va., and taught school in that county until December, 1848. He was married, Feb. 22, 1848, to Miss Margaret D. Bush, a daughter of John Bush, a resident of Augusta County, Va. Previous to this time Mr. Farr had made several trips to Henry County, Iowa, the first being in 1841, when he purchased some land. He was back and forth afterward three or four times, seeing to its improvement, and in 1848 he removed west and made his home at Mt. Pleasant. In 1855 he bought the seminary property at Salem, and conducted that institution until the fall of 1856, following which he and his wife traveled east for two years. Returning to Iowa, he settled on his farm near Salem, in Salem Township, where he remained five years, and then moved to the city of Mt. Pleasant, where he has since continued to reside. In his life-work he has been reasonably successful, having at the present time some 1,600 acres of land, 1,300 of which lie in a body in Salem Township.
its organization until 1870 Mr. Farr was a member of the Republican party, since
which time he has acted with the Greenback party. In 1868 he was elected
Superintendent of Public Schools of Henry County, and served with his
characteristic ability one term. Religiously he is identified with and is a
member of the Christian Church, and has contributed liberally to religious and
educational institutions. While unpretending and disposed to avoid being thought
a philanthropist, he is broad, liberal and humane in his views, and is ever
ready to lend himself to the support of worthy objects. He gave twelve acres of
land with good buildings to the Christian Church in Mt. Pleasant, the proceeds
of which go toward the support of the church, of which he and his wife are
prominent members. His home is on the corner of Clay and Marion streets, and a
fine view of it is given in this work. Portraits of this well-known citizen and
his wife will also be found on preceding pages.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 299-300) (JC)
The Teutonic race has ever been an important one
in the civilization and development of the new world. The sons of the
fatherland have come to America, where they adapted themselves to
changed conditions and new surroundings but have brought the same spirit
of energy and determination which they manifested in the old country and
by reason of these qualities they have become successful and valued
residents of various parts of the United States. To this class of
citizens Fred Feldman belongs. He resides upon a farm in Scott township
and has been a resident of America since the age of twenty years.
He was born in Hanover, Germany, a son of August
Feldman, also a native of that land. His education was acquired in the
schools of Germany and in 1875 he bade adieu to friends and native
country and sailed for New York, from which point he made his way
westward to St. Louis, Missouri. He had learned the trade of a soapmaker
in Germany and he secured employment in a soap factory in St. Louis. He
afterward rented a farm in Franklin township, Des Moines county, upon
which he lived for seven years, when he bought seventy-eight acres of
land, the greater part of which was covered with timber. He cleared all
but twenty acres of this and uses most of it for pasture. He built a
house of five rooms and barn with stall space for six horses. He
continued the further improvement of that property until the spring of
1896, when he removed to Scott township, Henry county, and bought about
one hundred and sixty acres of land from William J. Mullen in the
northeast corner of section I. Taking up his abode upon this place, he
has remodeled the house until it is a good residence of eight rooms and
in 1903 he remodeled the barn. He has recently erected a large corn crib
and has placed many rods of tiling upon his land, so that it is well
drained and therefore very productive.
On the 20th of March, 1866, Mr.
Feldman was united in marriage to Miss Fredericka Vollmer, who was born
in Prussia, Germany, and is a daughter of Henry and Louise (Hoffmeier)
Vollmer, who, in the year 1866, crossed the Atlantic to America,
becoming residents of St. Louis, where they lived with their children.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Feldman have been born nine children: Annie, now the
wife of Harry Kennedy, of Chicago, Henry, who is living in Burlington,
Iowa; William, a resident of Ringgold county, Iowa; Carrie, the wife of
F. Johansmeier, of Henry county; Fred, who is living in Louisa county;
Louisa, Edward, and August, all at home; and Charles, who is attending
In January, 1903, Mr. Feldman was sent to the hospital at Mount Pleasant for a time, but though there have been some difficulties and obstacles in his path he has perservered in his work and steadily advanced toward the goal of success. He deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, as he had no assistance when he started out in life on his own account. He realized, however, that earnest labor is the basis of all prosperity and because of his indefatigable diligence he has gained a place among the substantial agriculturists of Henry county.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 507-508) (PE)
BENJAMIN F. FENTON, a farmer residing
on section 13, Wayne township, is one of the prominent farmers of Henry County.
He was born in Frederick County, Va., in 1830, and is a son of John and
Mary M. (Steer) Fenton. Both
parents were natives of Virginia, the father of Frederick County, and the mother
of Loudoun County. Both the Fenton
and Steer families of that generation were members of the Society of Friends,
but the original Fenton family were owners of slaves, and conducted large farms
in Virginia. John and Mary Fenton
were the parents of four sons and a
daughter: Josiah wedded Mary Lovett; John, father of our subject, became the
husband of Mary M. Steer; Benjamin died unmarried; Persilla wedded William Tate;
and Enoch married Ester Nichols. The
latter is the only one living and is yet a resident of Virginia.
John Fenton was married in
Loudoun County, and soon after purchased a farm upon which a mill was located. This he operated in connection with the farm until the
removal of the family to Iowa in 1856. A
location was made by the Fentons on section 13, Wayne township, John purchasing
a quarter section, sixty acres of which our subject yet owns.
A frame house was erected the same year about a quarter of a mile west of
the residence of B.F. Fenton, and this house is still standing, a relic of
pioneer days, and a monument to the memory of a man who was one of the best
known citizens. John Fenton lived
to see the war ended and the principles for which he was an ardent advocate
fully vindicated. He reached the
ripe age of seventy, and his wife, who survived him several years, was nearly
eighty-four. These good people were
among those who organized the Friends' Church in this township, John Fenton
being one of the first Elders, and continuing in that position during the
remainder of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Fenton were the parents of Joseph, who died in
childhood; our subject; Samuel, deceased, who became the husband of Catherine
Murphy; Sarah A., deceased wife of Joseph Robinson; Mary P., who wedded Clarkson
Philips; Phoebe E., wife of Caleb Russell, whose sketch appears elsewhere; and
John W., a merchant of Kirwin, Kan.
Our subject preceded his
father's family to Iowa, coming in the fall of 1855.
He formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah E. Bower during the winter,
becoming an inmate of her father's family.
The marriage was not celebrated, however, until Nov. 19, 1863, Rev.
George B. Jocelyn, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, performing the
ceremony. The next year, the young
couple removed upon the farm upon which for twenty-five years they have lived so
happily, and all their children, except the first one, were born under the
hallowed roof which still shelters them.
Mrs. Fenton is the youngest of
a family of eight children, her parents being natives of Pennsylvania, from
which State they removed, first to Holmes County, Ohio, in 1846, and then became
citizens of Iowa in 1850. Joel
Bower was married to Sarah Lobaugh, in Adams county, Pa., of which place both
were natives. Their children were all born in that county, prior to their
removal West, the family consisting of Hiram L., who married Susanna Group;
Catherine, the wife of Jacob Lishy; Martha J., who wedded James Kirkpatric;
Rebecca, wife of Calvin Carey; Mary A., wife of Cornelius Morford; Benjamin F.,
who married Ruth Cline; Thaddeus S., husband of Lucy Bower; and Sarah E., wife
of Benjamin F. Fenton. The Bower
family settled on a farm now owned by Charles Fox, where the parents both lived
and died. All the children have
left the county except Mrs. Fenton and her widowed sister, Catherine, who finds
with the Fentons a comfortable home.
Seven children have graced the
union of Mr. and Mrs. Fenton: Phineas S., a teacher of this county; Laura B. has
a teacher's certificate in Henry County; Howard; Sarah G. is deceased, Mary C.,
Bertha M. and Eli Preston. All the
children are yet with their parents, and for many years this family has been
regarded as one of the most prominent in Wayne Township.
Benjamin Fenton has been connected with the School Board of Wayne
Township, and for several years has been Elder in the Friends' Church.
The maternal great-grandfather
of Mrs. Fenton was Ephraim Schultz. His
daughter, Catherine, married Abraham Lobaugh, who was a prominent teacher for
many years in Cumberland County, Pa. He
was accidentally killed, and his widow remained in that county the remainder of
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 426-429)(PW)
WILLIAM E. FERREE
WILLIAM E. FERREE, postmaster of
Hillsboro, is a citizen uniformly esteemed and his life history forms an
integral chapter in the annals of Henry county. He is descended from
French Huguenot ancestry in the paternal line. At an early period in the
colonization of the new world Mrs. Mary Ferree, with her sons, crossed
the Atlantic to America to escape religious persecution in France. She
secured a land grant here. She had two sons, one of whom settled east of
the Allegheny mountains and the other west, and it is from the latter
that William E. Ferree of this review is descended. His parents were
Isaac and Harriet (Baldwin) Ferree, both natives of Pennsylvania, the
former born in Allegheny county, January 25, 1813, while the latter was
born in Fayette county on the 15th of August, 1822. Isaac
Ferree was a coal miner in the state of his nativity and following his
removal to Iowa in 1858 he engaged in farming. His political support was
given to the Republican party and he was a member of the Freewill
Baptist church, to which his widow still belongs. His death occurred in
Hillsboro in 1901, but Mrs. Ferree is still living at the advanced age
of eighty-three years, making her home with her son William.
In the family of this worthy couple were seven
children, five of whom are now living. John C., the eldest, married
Nancy Stamm and resides in Virginia. Laura A. became the wife of William
Hopkirk, who was a soldier of the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry and died in
the Civil war. She is now the wife of Dr. Joseph I. Doughart, of Pratt
county, Kansas, who was a member of the Fourth Iowa Infantry. William E.
is the third of the family. Emmett married Miss Clara Chapman and
resides in Mahaska county, Iowa. Sarah Belle is the wife of R. J. Pope,
a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. Annetta died in 1858. Eliza J.
became the wife of John Dudley and they and all their family perished in
the Galveston flood. The eldest son of this family was a member of
Company K, Sixth Iowa Infantry and participated in the battles of Shiloh
and Missionary Ridge. He was seriously wounded three times and has since
been a cripple.
William E. Ferree, born in Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, October 14, 1846, was educated in the common schools of
Iowa and Pennsylvania, after which he gave his attention to farming,
remaining with his father until the latter’s death. He was but
seventeen years of age when, in November, 1863, he joined Company M, of
the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, which was assigned to the Army of the
Tennessee. He was under the command of Captain Whitney and Colonel
Winslow and was honorably discharged at Atlanta, Georgia, August 8,
1865. He had participated in many hotly contested engagements, including
the battles of Ripley, Tupelo, Guntown, Monta Valley, Selma and Columbus
and numerous skirmishes. In his political affiliation Mr. Ferree has
always been a stalwart republican and has been called to various
offices. He has served as justice of the peace, as a member of the
school board, as township trustee, and was census enumerator in 1890. In
June, 1897, he was appointed postmaster of Hillsboro and is still
filling that position, his son and daughter practically managing the
office and conducting the business connected therewith.
In July, 1880, Mr. Ferree was married to Miss
Lavina B. Isaman, who was born in Tuscarawas, Ohio, in 1855, and is a
daughter of Daniel and Mary (Graham) Isaman, both of whom were natives
of Pennsylvania, the father born in 1814 and the mother in 1815. It was
in the year 1857 that Mr. Isaman came to Hillsboro and settled upon a
farm, where he remained continuously until his death in 1902. His wife
passed away in 1895 and both were interred in the Hillsboro cemetery. In
his political views Mr. Isaman was a republican and both he and his wife
were members of the Methodist church, in which he filled the office of
steward. In their family were seven children: Frank married Alena
Newhold and died in 1901, while his widow now resides in Aurora,
Nebraska. Catherine is the wife of George Deeds, a resident of Colorado.
Lafayette married Sarah White and lives in Aurora, Nebraska. David
married Magdalene Beckley and is now deceased, while his widow resides
in Hillsboro. Samuel married Emma Reynolds and resides in Lewiston,
Idaho. Leah is the wife of Fred Beech, of Shipley, Nebraska. Lavina B.
is now Mrs. Ferree. Of this family B. F. and Lafayette Isaman were both
soldiers of the Civil war, serving in Company F, Fourteenth Iowa
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ferree have been born five
children: Armatha, born in Henry county in 1881, is the wife of Craig
Groves and resides in Hillsboro. William S., born in 1884, is in the
Hillsboro postoffice. Paul G., born in 1887, also resides in Hillsboro
and married Miss Bertha Wheatley, by whom he has one child, Zada
Zordatha. Harriet E., born in December, 1890, is a high school student.
Isaac Edgar, born in 1894, is also in school.
Mr. Ferree resides on Commerce street, Hillsboro, where he owns a pretty cottage. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow and has passed all of the chairs in lodge, No. 373. He also belongs to the Masonic Lodge, No. 541, and to the Grand Army of the Republic. Both he and his wife are members of the Baptist church and are people of the highest respectability, whose many excellent traits of heart and mind have won for them the unqualified esteem of those with whom they have been associated. Since returning from the war Mr. Ferree has suffered from ill health, but has a mind unimpaired and a wonderful memory, assimilating all he reads. He keeps well informed on the questions of general interest, political and otherwise, and has a mind well stored with comprehensive knowledge of facts in American history. There is no one residing here save Dr. Allen and Mrs. Mary Ellerton who have lived longer in Hillsboro than Mr. Ferree, and he has seen many changes in the village and in the county as the work of improvement and modern development have been carried forward.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 677-679) (PE)
PAXTON FITCH, one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers of Henry County, resides on section 20, Trenton Township. He was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1827, and is the son of James and Elizabeth (Paxton) Fitch, the father a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of Maryland. James Fitch came to this county in 1854, and remained here until his death, which occurred in 1857 at the age of sixty-four, his wife dying in 1882 when ninety years of age. They reared a family of nine children, two only of whom are now living—Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Sprouts, of Noble County, Ohio, and Paxton. The latter learned the shoemaker’s trade in Ohio, and followed it for five years. In the spring of 1852 he came to Henry County and settled in Center Township, where he rented a farm and lived for two years. He then purchased seventy acres of land on section 20, of Trenton Township, where he still resides, but has added to the original purchase until he now owns a well-improved farm of 103 acres.
In 1856 he was united in marriage with
Sarah Messer, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Hiram Messer, whose sketch
appears elsewhere in this work. Four children have been born to them: Hiram
Oscar, a farmer residing in Trenton Township, was married, Nov. 18, 1886, to
Laura E. Scarf; Wilbert J., Margaret Ann and Dora Alice still reside with their
parents. Mr. Fitch is of Irish descent on his father’s side. Politically, he
is a Republican, and has held the office of Constable of the township. In
connection with general farming Mr. Fitch still works at his trade of
shoemaking. He is one of the men who have helped to build up Henry
County, is always ready to aid in any public enterprise, and has the esteem and
confidence of all.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 347-348) (JC)
JOHN J. FITZGERALD, a capitalist of Mount
Pleasant, was born in Mason county, Kentucky, January 5, 1856, and is a
son of John and Isabelle (Wallace) Fitzgerald, the former also a native
of Kentucky, a son of Moses and Nancy (White) Fitzgerald. Moses was born
in Kentucky, and Miss White in Pennsylvania. Moses served as a soldier
in the war of 1812.
Isabelle Wallace is the daughter of David and
Nancy (Campbell) Wallace, both born near Londonderry, Ireland, of Scotch
Both the Fitzgerald and Wallace families have
the religious faith of the Presbyterian church, the former being
established in Virginia at the early day of the colonization of the new
world, and later becoming residents of Kentucky. The Fitzgerald’s were
very prominent in the Blue-grass state, were connected with many of the
leading families, and were interested in many matters of public moment.
The father of our subject is now deceased, having passed away in
Kentucky, in August, 1855, of cholera, but the mother is still living,
making her home in this city.
John J. Fitzgerald was brought to Iowa in his
boyhood days and is a graduate of the Mount Pleasant high school. He won
the degree of Bachelor of Arts upon graduation from the Iowa Wesleyan
University in 1875, after which he entered the law office of Woolson
& Babb, remaining until after his examination and admission to the
bar in 1878. He practiced law for about one year, but studied the
profession mainly for the purpose of using his knowledge in the
management of his private business interests. Since coming to Iowa in
his youth he has lived in Washington and Henry counties, and is the
owner of six hundred acres of very valuable farming land in addition to
his residence property in Mount Pleasant and a three-story business
building on the square. He owns altogether about forty acres of land
within the city limits. He has recently purchased three sections of land
in Canada and he likewise has large property interests in Seattle,
Washington. He is a lumber manufacturer of Florida, where he owns
several thousand acres of land, and lumber. He has two saw mills near
Argyle and there he gives employment to many men, while his Florida home
is at De Funiak Springs, a beautiful resort location and also the
location of the Florida Chautauqua, of which Mr. Fitzgerald is an active
director. He is now one of the oldest directors in point of service, and
has helped to build up one of the largest Chautauqua Associations in the
United States. Mr. Fitzgerald, with two others, bought the State Normal
College buildings and are now locating a Presbyterian college. Here Mr.
Fitzgerald has made his winter home for twenty-one years.
He deals quite extensively in land in Henry
county, and yet not in the line of real-estate operations, but rather as
On the 31st of October, 1878, in
Pekin, Illinois, Mr. Fitzgerald was married to Miss Anna Smith, a
daughter of Henry Smith, who is now deceased. The father was an
extensive manufacturer of wagons and farm implements, which business is
still conducted under his name in Pekin. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald
were born the following named: Isabelle, born December 1, 1879, a
graduate of the State Normal School at De Funiak Springs, Florida, of
the class of 1902, and is now the wife of L. D. Hathaway, of
Catherine, born August 3, 1881, the wife of W.
T. Shepard, of Montgomery, Alabama, where he is engaged in the wholesale
lumber business, and they have three children, Anna, and Vanna, twins,
John Wallace, born September 1, 1883, spent one
year as a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University and one year in the
Chicago University, and was about ready to graduate from the State
Normal University, at De Funiak Springs, when his health failed and he
is now in Montgomery, Alabama.
Anna, born June 9, 1889; Henry Paul, May 26,
1893; Ruth, October 19, 1895; and Donald C., August 13, 1897, are all at
home. Mrs. Fitzgerald was in delicate health for twenty years and died
at De Funiak Springs, Florida, August 27, 1903, her remains being
interred there at the Valley church. For many years Mr. Fitzgerald
devoted almost his entire attention to the care of his wife, doing all
in his power to promote her comfort.
In public affairs relating to the progress and welfare of this community, Mr. Fitzgerald is deeply interested and his cooperation has been a potent element for good, along many lines of advancement. He is a trustee of the Iowa Wesleyan University, is an elder in the Presbyterian church at De Funiak Springs, and is the oldest director in the Chautauqua there. This is the third Chautauqua in point of importance in the United States, holding session for nine weeks and drawing its audiences from all parts of the United States. Mr. Fitzgerald has been connected therewith for fifteen years, and his wise counsel is an important element in its success. While in college he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi. In politics he is a stalwart republican and formerly was a member of the central county committee and frequently addressed audiences on the issues of the campaigns. His life stands for progress of material, intellectual and moral progress. His success is largely the result of his own efforts, for though he inherited property in later life, he had previously secured a considerable measure of prosperity, owing to his judicious investments and his careful control of his business interests. In his private life he is distinguished by all that marks the true gentleman. His is a noble character—one of the subordinates of public ambition to public good, and seeks rather the benefit of others than the aggrandizement of self. His many good works have won him generous commendation from his contemporaries, who unite in bearing testimony of his high character and superior mind.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 466-469) (PE)
|John B. Flamm
JOHN B. FLAMM, a farmer and stock-raiser of Henry County, Iowa, residing on section 27, Center Township, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Feb. 23, 1836. He was the son of George and Louisa (Reich) Flamm. The subject of this sketch received a liberal education in his native country. After coming to America he for three years worked in Monroe County, N.Y., and in 1857 came to Henry County, Iowa. In August, 1862, Mr. Flamm enlisted in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, being a member of Company H, and was mustered into service at Camp Harlan, remaining in Camp for two months, then proceeding to St. Louis, then to Helena, Ark., then to Chickasaw Bayou, where they were first under fire. At Arkansas Post they had a sharp fight, and at Young's Point went into winter quarters. In the spring they proceeded down the river, and participated in the siege and capture of Vicksburg, being under fire for forty-seven days. The army went first to Jackson, and had a fight, then to Vicksburg, then back to Jackson, and had another fight, then to Canton, Miss., where they engaged in battle, afterward going to Camp Sherman on Black River. Proceeding up the river to Memphis the army went first to Lookout Mountain, from there to Missionary Ridge, participating in those battles, then to Ringgold, and subsequently to Woodville, Ala., at which place the army went into winter quarters. Mr. Flamm was in all the engagements before Atlanta, and was with Sherman on the memorable march to the sea. He was also engaged in the battle at Bentonville, N.C., and from there marched to Washington, where he was mustered out, and from thence to Davenport, where he was discharged. During all the long days of service Mr. Flamm never received a wound, was always at his post, and was never known to shirk his duty.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 393-394)
JOHN FRANCY, a farmer of Jackson Township, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in the year 1816, and is a son of John and Agnes (Carly) Francy. The children of this couple were all born in Ireland, and were twelve in number—Ellen, William, David, Robert, Mary, George, Margaret, Agnes, Jane, Rose, John and Alexander. John Francy, Sr., and his wife Agnes, resided upon a farm in Ireland and were of that industrious and enterprising class that keep the business world moving. He was a great lover of fine horses, and his stables never contained an inferior animal. During their lifetime the parents remained on the homestead, and both reached a ripe age. They were of the Protestant faith, and their children all followed the Christian teachings of their parents.
In 1839 our subject was married to Miss Joyce Richey, born in 1819, a native of County Antrim, Ireland, and their eldest son, Timothy, was born in the Emerald Isle. In May, 1840, Mr. and Mrs. Francy bade adieu to home, friends and kindred, and with their meager possessions, embarked at Belfast for Liverpool, and from there took passage to New York, arriving in that city in July, having spent ten weeks upon the ocean, during which time three of the sailors were buried in the sea. Sailing fifty miles up the North River, they stopped for a few months in Newburg, Orange Co., N. Y., Mr. Francy securing work there on a farm. After deliberation the young couple decided to try their fortune in Virginia, and in September, 1840, located in Wheeling, where Mr. Francy secured employment at the tile and fire-brick manufactory, at which business he was an expert. In the city of Wheeling their children, William J., George and Eliza, were born.
Carefully hoarding his earnings, Mr. Francy found himself possessor of enough cash, at the end of seven years, to purchase a small farm if they should remove to the West, and deciding to remove to this county, of which they had heard favorable mention, in 1851 a permanent location was made, Mr. Francy purchasing 100 acres, a part of his present homestead. Small improvements had been made and a trifling log cabin built. Into this the family moved, and the wife soon had their few household goods placed in order; the children grew robust and the old cabin had to have an addition. Later this was covered with boards and made into a comfortable dwelling. As the lands were cleared prosperity came, and her smiles have never diminished. Other lands have been purchased and the merry laughter of the children and their ambition to aid in the work of improving the farm, gave added zest to the parents. Two other sons were born on the homestead, Robert and David, and the old house still stands as a landmark. Many pleasant memories cluster about the quaint old relic. Its roof gave shelter to a happy family, and through its open doors the children ran in their play, and through its old-fashioned windows the baby-boys watched for the coming of their father, who always greeted them with a smile and a pleasant word. But this house has seen its time, and a fine house has taken its place. The children have grown to manhood and womanhood and are widely scattered, but the family circle remains unbroken by death. The same cheerful matron presides in the modern farmhouse who gave the kindly greetings to the weary stranger or the new-corner who called at her cabin door when the country was new and the crops of 1851 were not so fruitful as now. The Francy mansion has ever been noted as one of the most hospitable homes in the county, and the children are fit representatives of such parents.
Of the children, Timothy became the husband of Martha Hall; William J., who wedded Eliza Lisle, was a dispatch bearer during the late war, but belonged to no particular command (see sketch); George, a resident of Salt Lake City, married a lady there; Eliza remains with her parents and is unmarried; Robert is now the husband of Sarah Robey, and David wedded Miss Ella Clark. Every child mentioned does honor to the parents and among the most successful business men are the children of John and Joyce Francy.
In their mature years this good couple
can look back upon a well-spent life, and from the day their troth was plighted
neither has ever had cause to regret their union. Blessed with health and rich
in purse, their old age is pleasantly passed. Among the old settlers and
representative families of this county they find a cordial remembrance, and in
one of the cosiest and neatest of homes they are enjoying the fruits of a life
of industry and thrift, surrounded with the comforts of life, and enjoying the
respect and esteem of the entire community.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 391-392) (JC)
|William J. Francy
WILLIAM J. FRANCY, a prominent farmer of Baltimore Township, was born Nov. 1, 1844, and is the son of John and Joyce Francy, whose family history appears elsewhere. He was educated in this county, and married into one of its old and highly respected families. His wife, Louisa Lisle, was born on the Detrich farm, then the original Lisle homestead. She is a daughter of William and Ella (Reed) Lisle, who came from Knox County, Ohio, to Henry County in 1845. Her father was born in Devonshire, but was reared in Cornwall, England. He was a son of John and Susanna (Brenscomb) Lisle, who emigrated to Ohio from England in 1837. William Lisle married Ella Reed in Knox County, in April, 1845, and in the autumn left that State, locating in Henry County, where they still remain. Mr. Lisle became a wealthy man during his experience as a farmer, and with his estimable wife leads a retired life in the village of Salem. Three children were born in this county, two of whom are living: John H., the husband of Hannah Shiller, and Louisa, wife of our subject, who was born Jan. 20, 1851. Mr. Lisle entered his first land in 1841, and built his first cabin about forty rods south of his present home site. In this cabin their children were born and reared. Mr. Lisle began life without capital save the labor of his hands, and when he paid for his land was forced to remain until he could earn money to get back to his Ohio home. His efforts, however, met with a fitting reward, and after a few years of wedded life the way was easily open for successful business. When he and his good wife left the farm he was owner of 400 acres of valuable land, most of which is now in possession of our subject. The grand farmhouse was erected by Mr. Lisle in 1864, and is one of the best farm residences in the county, costing over $4,000 at the time of its completion.
William J. Francy is accounted one of
the most successful business men in Baltimore Township, and although but
forty-three years of age, is the owner of 350 acres of land, and is quite a
large dealer in stock. Mr. and Mrs. Francy are the parents of five children: Ida
and Myrtie, deceased, and Etta, Frank and Nettie living. Perhaps no man of his
age in this township has achieved such a great financial success as William J.
Francy, and all this has been done by the fairest business methods. The people
of his acquaintance speak of both himself and wife in the most praiseworthy
terms, and as children of honored parents they deserve a place in the history of
this county. As an honorable, enterprising and trustworthy man, he has deserved
the success he has achieved.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 429) (JC)
|Gardiner & Roth
GARDINER & ROTH are dealers in hardware and agricultural implements at Wayland, Henry Co., Iowa. Desiring to make mention of the respective families of these gentlemen in connection with their business we speak first of the senior member of the firm.
Benedick Gardiner was born in New Hamburg, Canada West, in 1839, and is the son of Christian and Anna (Roth) Gardiner. Christian Gardiner came to Washington County, Iowa, in 1857, being at the time the husband of Phoebe Roth, a relative of his first wife, who died in Canada, and was the mother of seven children, and Phoebe (Roth) Gardiner was the mother of three children. The death of Christian Gardiner, Sr., occurred in Iowa, and Phoebe, his widow, now resides in Johnson. Benedick Gardiner came to Iowa three years prior to his father, and when he was but fifteen years old. He worked on a farm in Lee County for a year and a half, when he went to Washington County, where he remained about the same length of time. Thence he went to Davis County, and a year later, in 1855, came to Henry County. On his marriage he rented a farm for a year, and a year later bought a farm in Trenton Township, on which he lived for nineteen years, and until his removal to Wayland, in 1881. He was married to Nancy A. Roth, of this county, in 1861. They have three children living: Ella, wife of Ed. H. Farris, the Station Agent at Wayland; Ida and Guy, who are unmarried, and live with their parents. One son, William Edward, died in 1880, aged twelve years.
On his removal to Wayland, in 1881, Mr. Gardiner engaged in a general mercantile business, which he later disposed of, and purchased a half interest in the hardware stock of Charles Bergh. This he later sold to Mr. Bergh, and for some time did an exclusive business in agricultural implements; but in 1886, with Joseph Roth, purchased the hardware stock and good-will of Mr. Bergh, and they have since done a large business in that line, besides dealing largely in all kinds of agricultural implements. They carry a $2,000 stock of hardware, and their sales the past season of buggies and agricultural implements alone amounted to over $4,500. Both the gentlemen named are enterprising business men, and their integrity and courtesy have drawn trade remote from their legitimate business center. Such men are valuable factors in any community, and to such the growth and prosperity of Wayland are due.
Joseph Roth, the junior member of the firm, is the brother-in-law of Mr. Gardiner. He was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in 1849, and is the son of John and Katie (Grever) Roth, who came to this country in 1849. Several children who were born in Ohio came with their parents to Iowa—Michael, John, Peter, Joseph, Nancy A., Mary and Lydia. After their arrival in this State Katie, David and Elizabeth were born. The family reside on a farm near Trenton, arid are highly spoken of.
Joseph Roth wedded Miss Nettie McCray,
of Trenton, Iowa, Sept. 5, 1876. She was born Feb. 11, 1855. Their domestic life
was begun upon a farm in Trenton Township, but in March, 1884, they removed to
Wayland. Mrs. Roth engaged in the millinery and fancy goods business, and to her
is the honor due of having a large and well-selected stock, and the only one in
Wayland. Everything in ladies’ goods is to be found there, and the store does
a fine trade. Mr. and Mrs. Roth are parents of three children, all born in this
county—Lulu, Earl and Clark. The parents of Mrs. Roth, Frank and Hester (VanVoast)
McCray, reside near Trenton, upon the same farm where for forty years a happy
married life has been enjoyed. They were the parents of eight children, six
living: Orlando, unmarried, a bookkeeper in the bank of Sioux City; Nettie, wife
of Joseph Roth; John, unmarried, a farmer in Dakota; Mary, wife of Prof. William
Hart, a resident teacher of Holdrege, Neb., where she is also a teacher; Joseph
and Frank, unmarried, reside on the old homestead.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 200-201.)(JC)
Joel C Garretson
JOEL C. GARRETTSON, farmer, is one of the oldest settlers within Jackson Township, and for many years has been prominent in its history. He was born in Highland County, Ohio, Dec. 13, 1809, and is a son of Isaac and Alice (Paxton) Garrettson. Isaac Garrettson was a native of Adams County, Pa., and his wife was born in Stafford County, Va., and was a daughter of John and Mary Paxton, who soon after her birth removed to Loudonn County, in the same State. Later the Paxtons removed to Logan County, Ohio, where the parents died at a ripe old age. They were the parents of four sons and five daughters, the youngest of whom, Susan, wedded Richard Shockly, removing to Jefferson County, Iowa; the remainder staid in Ohio. Isaac Garrettson was born May 17, 1765, married his wife in Grayson County, Va., April 5, 1804, and died Dec. 13, 1844. His wife, Alice, was born May 19. 1769, and died Nov. 18, 1855. Soon after marriage the young couple emigrated to Highland, now Clinton County, Ohio, traded for lands, and he began farming. Their tract comprised 230 acres of virgin woodland, which he cleared up, the first settlement being made about 1824. In that State, Joel C. and Isaac H., the latter now a resident of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, who wedded Jeanette Pringle, were born. Their two eldest children, John G., who wedded Mary Goodson, and Mary A., wife of D. W. Henderson, of Salem, were born in Virginia. After a lengthy experience in pioneering in Ohio, the Garrettson family removed to Iowa, being preceded by their sons, Isaac and Joel, who located in this county in June, 1837. Our subject was married prior to their coming, to Miss Elizabeth P. Goodson, of Franklin County, Ohio. She was a daughter of George and Rebecca Goodson, of Virginia, who left that State at an early day and became pioneers of Ohio. Of the Goodson family there were six daughters and five sons, of whom the youngest son, George, married Eliza Hoffman, and they now live in Madison County, Ohio, and he is the only survivor of the family.
Isaac and Joel Garrettson both took claims, our subject selecting his present homestead, Isaac taking lands in Lee County, adjoining. These they secured at the first land sale in Burlington. As an incident of that sale, Mr. Garrettson informs the writer that for all the registered claims in this township he was the bidder on behalf of, the respective claimants, and perhaps the only man now living in this county who performed the same service. Isaac Garrettson was the inventor of. the first nail cutting and heading machine ever invented, of which there is any record, and which was patented while George ‘Washington was President, the patent bearing the name of the Father of his Country.
The first cabin built by Joel Garrettson was erected on the creek on the east half of the south west quarter of section 27. Their first son, Amos was born in Ohio; Emily R. was born in the first cabin built on their purchase in Iowa, on March 15, 1840. With two yoke of cattle hitched to a wagon, the journey was made from Ohio, and the team played no unimportant part after they were fairly settled. They turned over the virgin sod, drew the logs for their cabins, and as both brothers brought with them a horse, they also had a team for driving. Our subject and his brothers began life in the new country like other pioneers. They built their own cabins, split the puncheons for floors, and fashioned the clapboards for the roof. They also made a “hominy mortar” of a hollowed log, and with a pestle made with a spring pole, somewhat similar to the old well-sweep, the corn was crushed into meal, and some of the neighbors, among whom were Ephraim Ratliffe and wife, patronized the primitive mill. The prosperous days that came later on did away with all that kind of labor, and the crushed corn was replaced by bolted meal and wheaten flour. Flocks and herds dotted the pastures, and almost before our subject and his young wife were aware of it they were wealthy people and the parents of a family of children, whose merry voices made the walls of the old cabin ring with their shouts of glee. As the days went by a modern house took the place of the pole cabin. The deer and wolves no longer raced across the ‘prairies; the Indians who for years had hunted over the now fertile lands had gone, and Mr.Garrettson’s remark to his friends when leaving Ohio, “that he had come West to secure lands and grow with the growth of the country,” was fully realized. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Garrettson are: Amos, wedded to Mary A. Huffman, and who is a resident mechanic of Leon, Decatur Co., Iowa; Emily R. is the wife of Irenius M. Hoffman, a mechanic of Indianapolis, Ind.; Julia, wife of Benjamin F. Pratt, a resident physician of Clarks, Merrick Co., Neb., is a graduate of Whittier College, and also of the Florence Heights Medical College, New Jersey; Albert H., the husband of Louisa Smith, is a graduate of the State University, and a resident attorney of Keokuk; John G., also graduated at Whittier and the State University, wedded Laura Bartlett, and is his brother’s law partner, the firm being favorably known as Garrettson & Garrettson; Owen A. graduated at Whittier College, and resides with his father on the farm, and is married to Miss Emma J. Diltz, a sister of Dr. Diltz, and daughter of Thomas Diltz, a well-known citizen of this township.
Long since our subject gained a competence, and he and his wife for years took life easy. They lived uprightly, did faithfully their life work, and in their mature age, before death came to their long companionship, could look upon children who are prominent factors in the business and social world. Having passed with honor all the official positions in the gift of the people of his township, Mr. Garrettson resigns public life to younger men. The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. Garrettson and his wife was celebrated in 1886, and all their children were present. They were the grandparents of sixteen children and one great-grandchild.
On Dec. 4, 1887, the Angel of Death entered the happy home,
and the loving wife and faithful mother passed from earth, rendering up her soul
to Him who gave it, and the aged husband was left to mourn the loss of a tender
wife, by whose side he had passed more than half a century. She was a noble
woman, who nobly discharged all her duties, and was truly a helpmeet to her
husband. Her end came suddenly and peacefully, and her memory is enshrined in
the hearts of not only her family but of a large circle of friends, by whom she
was held in high esteem. Mrs. Garrettson was born May 5, 1816, in Franklin
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 188-190.)(JC)
Samuel Wallace Garvin
SAMUEL WALLACE GARVIN, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is a dealer in dry-goods, carpets, notions, etc., and is also a partner of the firm of John Moroney & Co., dealers in staple and fancy groceries, of the same city. He was born in Fleming County, Ky., Sept. 28, 1836, and is the son of James and Margaret (Saunders) Garvin. In 1848, when he was but twelve years of age, the family emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, and settled upon a farm in Center Township. In the public schools of his native and also of his adopted State, Mr. Garvin received his primary education, and then took a course of study at the celebrated academy of Prof. Samuel L. Howe, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. In 1858 he made his home at Mt. Pleasant and commenced business as a merchant clerk, in which capacity he served until August, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company B, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Before going to the front he was appointed Sergeant of his company and was promoted Commissary Sergeant of the regiment, and faithfully served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge in June, 1865. The 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry was assigned to the 15th Army Corps, and made a glorious record during the war, participating in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, siege of Vicksburg, battles of Raymond, Champion Hill, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap, Kennesaw Mountain, the battles of July 22 and 28, 1864, at Atlanta, and the siege of Atlanta, battles of Jonesboro, Sherman’s march to the sea, capture of Savannah, march through the Carolinas, battle of Bentonville, N. C., and other minor engagements.
On his return from the army, Mr. Garvin engaged as a clerk at Mt. Pleasant for three and a half years, then, in September, 1868, he formed a partnership with T. H. Garlick in the mercantile business, which partnership existed for one and a half years. He was next in partnership with William G. Saunders in the same line of trade for six years, since which time he has carried on the business alone. As a merchant he has been quite successful, and has a reputation far and wide for the good quality of his goods. In addition to his extensive dry-goods business, Mr. Garvin is a partner in the grocery house of John Moroney & Co., which connection dates since April, 1877.
Mr. Garvin was married at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Sept. 5, 1867, to Miss Emma Fitch Franklin, a daughter of William and Lydia Franklin, both of whom were from the State of New York, locating in Iowa at an early day. Mrs. Garvin was born in Toolsboro, Iowa. Five children have been born to them, two sons and three daughters: William F., aged eighteen years; Nina S., aged fifteen years; Mamie S., aged thirteen years; George W., aged nine years, and Emma, an infant. Mr. and Mrs. Garvin are members of the Christian Church and have ever taken an active interest in all church work. For several years Mr. Garvin was an Elder in the Mt. Pleasant Church and also served as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. Politically he is a Republican and a firm believer in Prohibition. Socially he is a member of the McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R. In addition to his other business Mr. Garvin is a member of the Comstock Scale Company and Machine Works, of which he was Vice President for several years.
As a means of relaxation, Mr. Garvin
made a trip to Colorado in the spring of 1860, and remained in the mountains,
mining, ranching and hunting, until the fall of 1861. He made another trip to
the same region in the summer of 1887. He is one of the leading business men of
Henry County, is a genial gentleman, methodical and exact in his business
habits, and is held in high esteem as a business man, neighbor and friend. In
connection with this sketch a fine portrait of Mr. Garvin is given on the
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 266-269) (JC)
ENOS GHEEN, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 21, Marion Township, Henry County, was born in Chester County, Pa., Dec. 24, 1844. From his old home could be seen the Brandywine battle-field, and the old Friends’ meeting-house that was used for a hospital, and where the blood-stains may yet be seen. In this meeting-house Enos received his early religious instructions, his parents attending the same. His father, Enos Gheen, Sr., was of Scotch descent, and his mother, Ann (Seeds) Gheen, of Irish, though both were natives of Chester County, Pa. They were the parents of five children, the two eldest dying in infancy: Hannah A., wife of Samuel Guss, emigrated to Linn County, Mo., where he died in 1872, while she departed this life Sept. 8, 1882, leaving three children—Mary A., Enos and Frank. Mary lives with her grandma Gheen; the sons are now living with our subject. Mrs. Guss was a member of the Congregational Church of Hickory Grove. The second child was Mary E., wife of John Dugdale, a resident of Mt. Pleasant.
The father of our subject came to Henry County in the fall of 1862, and bought 190 acres of land on sections 2 and 9, Marion Township, eighty acres of which were improved. In the spring of 1863 he removed with his family to his farm. In his native State he was a devoted member of the Society of Friends, and was one of the Stewards of the old Birmingham meeting-house, spoken of in the first part of the sketch. His occupation has always been that of a farmer and drover. He died Dec. 16, 1871, from typhoid fever, after six days’ illness. He was a public-spirited man ; his time and money were always ready to advance any interest for the good of the community. He was a noble and faithful friend to those who needed a friend and a highly respected citizen. His wife survives him, and at the age of seventy-two is a well-preserved lady both physically and mentally. She is a member of the Congregational Church, and does her part in all church work.
Enos Gheen spent his early life in attending the district school in winter, and working on the farm in summer. In the winter of 1860-61, he attended the academy of Malboro. After coming to Iowa he attended Howe’s Academy at Mt. Pleasant, and in the winter of 1865 he commenced teaching in Louisa County, continuing in that occupation two years, when he took charge of the home farm. He bought 120 acres on section 2, Marion Township, and was united in marriage, Aug. 13, 1874, with Miss Sarah A. Beeson, who was born Jan. 19, 1848, in Henry County. Her parents were Ames and Lydia (Pickering) Beeson, the father a native of Ohio and the mother a native of. Virginia. Her parents came from Ohio to Henry County in 1846. Mr. Beeson departed this life May 26, 1887, at the age of sixty-seven. His wife still resides in Mt. Pleasant, Mr. Gheen remained on his first farm until Nov. 23, 1886. He then bought 240 acres on sections 16 and 21 in Marion Township, upon which he now lives; he also owns ten acres of timber land on section 17, Trenton Township, and in Monroe County, eighty acres on section 17, Urbana Township, making in all 450 acres. He also has four lots in Mt. Pleasant. He takes great interest in all public matters. Mr. and Mrs. Gheen are the parents of three sons arid two daughters. Anna was born Aug. 18, 1876; Fred was born Oct. 28, 1878; John was born April 30, 1880; Elizabeth was born April 6, 1882; Benton H. was born Feb. 23, 1884.
Mr. and Mrs. Gheen are kind friends to the needy. Though not members of
any church, they have always taken their part in all good works. Socially he is
a member of the A. F. & A. M., and politically a Democrat.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 195-196.)(JC)
HOMER J. GILFILLAN
Dr. Homer J. Gilfillan, engaged
in the practice of medicine in Mount Pleasant, is a native son of Iowa, his
birth having occurred in Milton, Van Buren county, on the 28th of
April, 1868. He
is a son of Dr. George W. and Josephine (Swartz) Gilfillan.
His paternal grandparents were Dr. Edward and Mary (McKinley) Gilfillan,
the former born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the latter in West Virginia.
The grandfather engaged in the practice of medicine in Washington county,
Pennsylvania, for forty years, and was the beloved family physician in many a
died there in 1853, while his wife passed away in 1854.
In the family were eight children, of whom two are now living, John F.
Oberlin Gilfillan married Sarah Reed and is a retired farmer residing in Milton,
The other surviving member of the
family of Dr. Edward Gilfillan is Dr. George Gilfillan, who was born in West
Alexander, Washington county, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1835, and acquired his
early education in the common schools there, after which he attended the academy
in his native town.
Following his father’s death he took up the study of medicine with Dr.
Swartz as his preceptor, and under his direction pursued his reading and
qualified for practice.
He came west in 1855, making his way direct to Keokuk, Iowa, where he
attended school for two terms and then came to Van Buren county, Iowa, first
practicing in Bentonsport.
On the 9th of May, 1861, Dr. George Gilfillan was married to Miss Josephine O. Swartz, a daughter of Dr. Swartz, of Keosauqua, Iowa, his former preceptor. She was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1836, and was educated in the seminary in Washington, Pennsylvania, of which she is a graduate. Unto this marriage eight children have been born, of whom two died in infancy. The others are: Edward, a book merchant residing in Chicago; Dr. H. J. Gilfillan, of this review; Marietta, the wife of Dr. James Hainline, of Denver, Colorado; Stella, a teacher of instrumental music in Chicago; Nellie, who is also a music teacher in that city; and Maud, who is a teacher in the schools of Henry county.
Dr. George W. Gilfillan is a
Mason and both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and
Mrs. Gilfillan belongs to the Woman’s Relief Corps.
They reside at No. 301 North Main St.
In his practice Dr. Gilfillan makes a specialty of the diseases of the
stomach and bowels, and has been very successful in this branch of medical
1861 he settled in Milton, Van Buren county, Iowa, where he remained until
August, 1895, when he removed to Chicago, where he continued in general practice
He then came to Mount Pleasant,
and as his health does not permit general practice he is confining his attention
to stomach troubles.
Mrs. Gilfillan has taken a most active interest in music since she was
graduated in 1854 from the seminary in Pennsylvania and has been extremely
successful as a music teacher.
Although now a grandmother she still keeps up her practice in music, and
Both Dr. and Mrs. Gilfillan have many excellent qualities of heart and
mind that have endeared them to all with whom they have come in contact and the
family is one of prominence in Henry county.
Dr. H. J. Gilfillan was educated
at the common schools and the high school of Milton, after which he was with the
Milton Herald for four years. And then he established the Tri-County
Independent, a weekly newspaper at Milton, which he conducted successfully for a
then took a course in pharmacy at the Highland Park College, at Des Moines.
He then entered the college of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, from
which he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1896.
Soon after his graduation he
located at Trenton, this county, where he established a good general practice.
Selling his practice he took a post-graduate course in Chicago, in 1901,
and then located in Mount Pleasant in October, the same year.
He is a member of the Henry County Medical Society, the Iowa State
Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is also examiner for a
number of the most prominent life insurance companies.
Here he has a well equipped
office on North Main street and enjoys a large patronage, which includes an
extensive country practice.
He keeps in touch with modern research along medical and surgical lines,
and is a scientific practitioner, whose ability is well indicated by the liberal
patronage that is accorded him.
Dr. Gilfillan has a beautiful
home with elegant surroundings located a 412 North Main street, where he has all
the comforts of a modern home.
On the 24th of August,
1893, Dr. Gilfillan was married to Miss Clara M. Moon, of Milton, Iowa, a
daughter of William T. and Arminda (Pabst) Moon, both of whom were natives of
Gilfillan was born in Ohio, October 21, 1873, and began her education in the
schools of that state, while later she continued her studies in Milton, Iowa.
Six children have been born unto Dr. and Mrs. Gilfillan, all of whom are
Esther, William, Harold, Dorothy, and Clarence.
Dr. Gilfillan is connected with
the Odd Fellows and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal
church, of which he has served as a trustee.
In his practice he has made a creditable name, adhering closely to a high
standard of professional ethics, and conducting his business along scientific
lines, which has resulted in successful accomplishment.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, Page 172) (PE)
EDWIN SPENCER GILL, a
retired farmer now residing in Mount Pleasant, was born near New
Baltimore, Fairfield county, Ohio, October 5, 1828, a son of Selmon and
Margaret (Dorette) Gill.
The father was born in the state of Maryland on the 15th
of December, 1790, while the mother’s birth occurred in that state
October 6th, of the same year.
In early life Mr. Selmon
Gill learned the trade of an edge tool maker, which pursuit he followed
for ten years.
He enlisted for service in the war of 1812, and although he was
never called out for active duty, he stood ready at all times to respond
in case of his country’s need of further aid.
It was on the 19th of December, 1813, that he wedded
Miss Margaret Dorette, the wedding ceremony being performed by Rev. M.
Beverley Waugh, who was the second bishop in America.
In the year 1820 or 1821 Selmon Gill removed with his family to
Ohio and there he carried on farming and blacksmithing with excellent
success until 1843, when he came to Iowa, settling on a farm in Lee
county, where he made his home with his son Edwin up to the time of his
death, which occurred in 1862.
The mother passed away three years after their arrival in Iowa,
her death occurring in 1846.
Mr. Gill gave his early
political support to the whig party, and afterward endorsed republican
Having lost his first wife he was married again in Ohio on the 7th
of July 1850, his second union being with Miss Margaret Chamberlain.
By the first marriage there were nine children: William, Henry
H., Elenorah, Joshua, Selmon, Margaret, Mary William, Edwin Spencer,
Amanda and Rosanna Matilda, but Edwin S. is the only one now living.
There were two children of the second marriage, James Harrison
Edwin Spencer Gill
pursued his education in the district schools of Ohio until fourteen
years of age, when he came to Iowa and here he spent twenty days in
The schoolhouse had been built three years after he arrived in
Lee county, and it was there that he continued his studies for the brief
He first worked on his father’s farm, being thus employed until
he was able to buy a farm of his own, when he invested in one hundred
and sixty acres of land in Franklin township, Lee county.
He first erected the small buildings which were most needed, and
from time to time he added further improvements.
This farm he sold in the fall of 1861, and in January, 1862, he
bought a new raw farm of one hundred sixty acres, in Cedar township,
which farm was later one of the finest in this section of the state, not
having any land that was not tillable and productive, building fine
barns and granaries, and at the time he left the farm, about nine years
ago, he owned the finest house in the neighborhood, it having been
erected in 1875, at a cost of three thousand dollars.
He placed his fields
under a high state of cultivation and annually harvested good crops as a
reward for his labors.
On selling that farm, in 1900, to W. B. Seeley he purchased a
tract of land in Henry county, about six miles from Mount Pleasant,
which he owned until September 24, 1905, when he sold this property and
bought a fine farm of one hundred and ninety-two acres, five miles west
of Mount Pleasant.
In May, 1898, he built a beautiful cottage on the corner of
Locust and East Clay streets in Mount Pleasant, where he has since
It stands in the midst of a well kept lawn, adorned with fine
roses and flowers of all kinds.
There are also various kinds of fruit, including pears, plums and
apples, and he has a nice garden.
On the 25th of
January, 1853, Mr. Gill was married to Miss Nancy McCracken, a daughter
of John and Elizabeth (Perrin) McCracken.
The mother died during the early girlhood of her daughter.
John McCracken was born in Delaware, October 1, 1802.
When three years old he removed with his parents to Franklin
He grew up as a farmer, and in 1824 married Elizabeth Perrin.
She died in 1837, and three children survived. He
was a class leader of the Methodist Episcopal church for forty years.
His death occurred January 7, 1890.
He followed farming throughout his entire life and died in Iowa.
By his first marriage he had three children: Susan, who became
the wife of Harrison Brown, and after his death married Wesley Harrison,
a prominent man of Lee county; Nancy A., who became Mrs. Gill; and Jacob
Elijah, who married a Miss McCord, and afterward wedded Miss Garrett.
Following the death of his first wife John McCracken wedded Miss
Elizabeth Collins, who is now living with her son, near LaCrew, Iowa, at
the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Mrs. Gill was born in
1830, and for more than a half century our subject and his wife have
traveled life’s journey happily together.
They have become the parents of seven children: Elizabeth Ellen,
born in 1854, is the wife of Emery Pease, of Sharon, Iowa, and has two
Nancy Amelia, born in 1856, is the wife of Augustus McKey, of
California; Flora Anna, born in 1858, is the wife of Samuel Hampton, of
LaCrew, Lee county, Iowa.
Fannie Alice died when twenty-three years of age.
Edwin Herbert married Aggie Gardener and follows farming near
John Francis died at the age of six years.
William died when about three years of age.
He and his brother John died of diphtheria.
The children who have reached mature years have all been afforded
excellent educational privileges, some of them attending college in
Salem and some having been students in Howe’s Academy at Mount
Two of the daughters, Elizabeth Ellen and Nancy Amelia, have been
successful teachers of Lee county.
In politics Mr. Gill has always been a stalwart republican and for a very long period served as school director in Lee county. The cause of education has always found in him a stalwart friend and he has put forth earnest and effective effort to improve the public school system. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has been a trustee for twenty-five years and for some time has been church steward. When Mr. Gill came to Iowa, this part of the state was an unbroken wilderness, covered largely with timber. He is an intelligent man whose life has been characterized by enterprise and who has ever displayed a pleasant, genial nature, so that he has won many friends. In the early days the Indians were more numerous than the white settlers and there were many difficult conditions of pioneer life to be met but as the years passed Mr. Gill overcame all of the hardships in his path and worked his way steadily upward to success, being now in possession of a comfortable competence. His kindly spirit, genial disposition and honorable principles have greatly endeared him to those with whom he has been associated and he is respected by all.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, Page 112) (PE)
|Judge James L. Gillis
JUDGE JAMES L. GILLIS, who died in Mt. Pleasant July 8, 1881, was, during his residence in that city, one of the most prominent figures in its business and social life. He was born in Hebron, Washington Co., N. Y., Oct. 2, 1792. When eighteen years of age he went to Ontario County, in the same State, and two years later, in 1812, enlisted in the volunteer service in the war with Great Britain, and was commissioned as Lieutenant of Cavalry. He participated in a number of battles and skirmishes, and among others was engaged at the battles of Ft. George, Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane, under Gen. Winfield Scott, and in the latter engagement was severely wounded. He was taken prisoner near Ft. Erie, Aug. 7, 1814, and was confined in jail at Toronto, Kingston, Prescott and Montreal, in Canada. Making his condition known to the Governor General of the colony, that official released him, and gave orders that he should be well cared for, and near the close of the war he was exchanged at Quebec. Returning to New York he was, in 1816, united in marriage to Miss Mary B. Ridgway, of Philadelphia, and in 1821 removed to Jefferson County, Pa., then on the frontier. Here he got a tract of timber land many miles away from any neighbor, and set about clearing his land and building a sawmill and a gristmill on the Clarion River. In two years he had 200 acres of land cleared and both his mills running, his being the first lumber rafted down that river. This energy and enterprise was ever a distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Gillis. In 1825 his wife was in ill-health, and he took her to his old home in Ontario County, N. Y., for medical treatment, but her health was undermined, and she died at Victor, N. Y., June 29, 1826, leaving two sons and one daughter. The daughter, Jeannette C., is the widow of J. V. Houck, and is living at Ridgway, Pa. The sons, Ridgway B. and Charles B., both died in Mt. Pleasant. It was while Mr. Gillis was in New York, after his wife’s death, that the celebrated Morgan abduction case took place, with which he became identified, and of which more will be said hereafter.
Returning to Pennsylvania, Mr. Gillis continued his lumber manufacturing interests until 1862, and became a leader in that part of the State. In 1828 he was married to Cecelia Berry, of New York State, who died in April, 1855, leaving seven children, as follows: Mary B., wife of Samuel Porter, residing in Chautauqua County, N. Y.; Augusta E., wife of James V. Noxon, of Volusia, N. Y.; James H., a Commodore in the United States Navy, now temporarily residing in Binghamton, N. Y.; Bosanquet W., in Washington, D. C.; Claudius V., in Kane, McKean Co., Pa.; Cecelia, wife of Henry Whiting, now in Melbourne, Fla.; and Robert S., of Mt. Pleasant. (See sketch of Robert S. in another part of this work.) One of the sons, James H., made a brilliant record in the navy during the war of the Rebellion. He was commander of the iron clad, “Milwaukee,” which was blown up by a rebel torpedo at the siege of Mobile. Being among those saved, he continued in active service there, commanding a battery until the surrender of the city, and handled it in such an able manner as to be highly complimented by Gen. Canby in general orders. At the close of the war he was placed in command of a vessel at Norfolk, Va.
While in Pennsylvania, Mr. Gulls was appointed, by Gov. David R. Porter, Associate Judge of Elk and Jefferson Counties. He was three times chosen Representative in the State Legislature, and three times was elected to the State Senate. In 1856 he was elected to Congress, serving two years. A man of marked ability, he made an honorable record in every position to which he was called, and was a friend of such men as Gen. Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Silas Wright, John C. Calhoun, and other leaders. During President Buchanan’s administration he was appointed Indian Agent at the Pawnee Reservation, discharging the duties of that position for three years. In 1862 he came to Mt. Pleasant, where he resided until his death.
The Morgan abduction was an unpleasant episode in Judge Gillis’ life. For a supposed connection with that affair he was twice arrested and tried, but was finally acquitted. His was the last trial, and he was the last survivor of those accused of complicity in that mystery, which can now never be solved in this world. When the indictment was first found against Mr. Gillis he was attending to his business in Pennsylvania, and knew nothing of it for some time. But when he learned of it, through the slow and infrequent mails of that day and region, he at once set out for New York and demanded a trial. He was jointly indicted with John Whitney, one of the men who took Morgan from the jail at Batavia. The latter had not been found, and the District Attorney refused to give Mr. Gillis a separate trial, but agreed to notify him when he was wanted, and he therefore returned to Pennsylvania. In May, 1829, the joint trial was had in the absence of Mr. Gillis, and Whitney was found guilty, but the jury disagreed as to Mr. Gillis. The rabid anti-Masonic feeling of the times, however, had to he pandered to, and the Sheriff was sent to rearrest Mr. Gillis at his Pennsylvania home, over 200 miles distant through a wild and mountainous country. He returned to New York, procured a trial in November, 1830, and was honorably acquitted, and with that the celebrated Morgan trials were ended.
Judge Gillis was a life-long Democrat,
and had lived under the administration of every President from Washington
(during whose second term he was born) to the time of his death. His first
Presidential vote was cast for James Monroe; his last for Gen. Hancock. During
the visit of Kossuth to this country, he was Chairman of the committee appointed
to escort the distinguished Hungarian patriot from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
After taking up his residence in Mt. Pleasant, Judge Gillis became one of the
noted men of the young city. Of a lofty and stately carriage, his dignified form
was noticeable whenever he appeared upon the streets. His stirring and eventful
life had made him familiar with all classes of society, and his urbanity
endeared him alike to all. He took an especially warm interest in educational
matters, and was earnest in his support of all measures tending to the
advancement of the city. He was a liberal patron of the Ladies’ Library, to
which he made many valuable donations. His advanced years did not impair his
faculties or dull his interest in the society of his neighbors or friends, whom
he liked to have around him, and his death, although he had reached the ripe age
of nearly eighty-nine, was mourned by a large circle of friends. After religious
services at the house, his remains were taken in charge by the Masonic
fraternity of which he had been an honored member for nearly seventy years, and
interred with impressive ceremonies and a life full of stirring and eventful
experiences, and rounded out with more honors than fall to the lot of most men,
was brought to a fitting close.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 202-205.)(JC)
|Robert S. Gillis
ROBERT S. GILLIS, Cashier of the National State Bank, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born Ridgway, Elk Co., Pa., May 1, 1840, and is the son of Hon. James L. and Cecilia A. (Berry) Gillis. He passed his childhood and youth in his native State, receiving his education in the common schools. In 1859, his father having been appointed Indian Agent by President Buchanan, the family, including our subject, removed to the Pawnee Indian Reservation in Eastern Nebraska, and later to Omaha, from which place Robert S. entered the United States Naval Service in 1862, as Paymaster’s Clerk in the North Atlantic and Gulf Squadron, and served till the close of the war. He was on board the United States man-of-war “Milwaukee,” which was commanded by his brother, James H. Gillis, when she was blown up by a torpedo in Mobile Bay. In 1865 he went to Washington with the Paymaster, and was connected with the Treasury Department till the fall of 1868. He then returned to his old home in Pennsylvania, and two years later came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. On coming to this city he was employed as bookkeeper in the State Bank, and was next made Assistant Cashier, and later was made Cashier to succeed Mr. J. H. Whiting, and has since held that position.
Mr. Gillis was married at Mt.
Pleasant, Aug. 4, 1868, to Miss Sophia E. Whiting, daughter of Timothy Whiting
(see sketch). Mrs. Gillis was born at Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y. Four children
were born of this union, three sons and a daughter:
James Timothy, now aged eighteen; Sarah Cecilia, aged fifteen; Robert
Henry, aged four, and Hugh Claudius, aged one year. Mr. and Mrs. Gillis are
members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Gillis is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge
No. 8, A. F. & A. M. Politically he is a Democrat. Personally he is regarded
as a gentleman of unblemished character, thoroughly upright in all business
transactions, and a straightforward man and good citizen.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 199-200.)(JC)
GEN. NICHOLAS GREUSEL, of Mt. Pleasant, was born in Bavaria, Germany, July 4, 1817, and before leaving the old country received a fair education in German and French in the schools of his native city of Blieskastle. The Greusels, consisting of father, mother, brothers and sisters, emigrated to the United States in the summer of 1833, and on arriving at the city of New York strangers and penniless, the eight larger children were told by their father that they were now in a free country, that he had nothing more than a parent’s blessing to bestow, and that they must commence the battle of life for themselves, but that in case of sickness or misfortune, such a home as he might be in possession of should be theirs. Without knowing a word of the English language, the future of these poor children looked dark and gloomy. The boy Nicholas wandered over the city for hours in search of employment, when, after many failures and rebuffs, a kind and benevolent lady admitted him under her roof, and gave him shelter and work. The lady who at this dark hour proved an angel of mercy to him was the mother of Hamilton Fish, once Senator from New York, and afterward Secretary of State under President Grant. Here Nicholas remained a year, and the following year worked in a brickyard at Nasburg, N. Y., when the whole family removed to the Territory of Michigan, reaching Detroit by canal and steamer, Nov. 1, 1835. At first such odd jobs as could be found were resorted to for a livelihood, such as driving team, gathering ashes, etc., but in the spring of 1836 he obtained a permanent situation in the firm of Rice, Coffin & Co., in the business of lumbering, and remained in their employ for eleven years, until the breaking out of the Mexican War. Prior to this he had served as Captain of the Scott Guards, a local military company, and subsequently as Major of the Frontier Guards, and was on duty during the Patriot rebellion in Canada. At the municipal election in Detroit in 1844, he was elected Alderman of the Fourth Ward on the Whig ticket, and served in that capacity two years. On the breaking out of the Mexican War he raised a company for service, which became Company D, 1st Michigan Volunteers, of which he was elected Captain. Marching to Springfield, Ohio, the company were sent thence by rail to Cincinnati, and by steamer to New Orleans and Vera Cruz, which latter place was reached ten days after its surrender to Gen. Scott.
In the march upon the city of Mexico the Michigan Volunteers were attached to the division of Gen. Bankhead, which marched through Cordova and Orizaba some distance out on the National road to the Mexican capital. Their progress through the country was almost a continuous battle with bands of guerrillas and bodies of Mexican soldiery, who swarmed from their mountain fastnesses. In their encounters with the enemy the Michigan Volunteers acquitted themselves nobly, performing successfully and well every duty assigned them.
The war being ended, in the summer of 1847 the regiment returned home, arriving at Detroit July 12. At the outset Capt. Greusel’s company numbered 105 men, and he returned with eighty-five, the company having been better cared for and in better health than any other in the regiment. Under his economical management about $300 company money was saved, with which he purchased new shirts, shoes, blacking, and such articles of clothing as were lacking, and when within a few hours’ ride from Detroit, directed his men to shave, wash, and dress in the new outfit provided for them. The other officers were astonished and somewhat chagrined to find that his company were clean and well dressed, while theirs were walking bundles of dirty rags. On landing, Col. Williams placed Company D in the advance in marching through the city, and the newspapers were filled with articles eulogistic of Capt. Greusel and the fine appearance of his veteran company.
The day succeeding his discharge and
muster out of the service, found him back in his old position in the lumberyard
of Rice, Coffin & Co., attending to business as of yore. Subsequently he was
elected Captain of the City Guards, and then Lieutenant Colonel of the
battalion; was appointed Superintendent of the city water-works in 1849, and was
the first Inspector General of lumber for the State of Michigan in 1850, which
office hue held two years. An unfortunate investment stripped him of the hard
earnings of a lifetime, and he again commenced at the lowest round of the ladder
of life to win his way to a competency, and to fame. He next turned his
attention to railroading, and found continuous employment as a conductor, first
upon the Michigan Central, and then with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
Railroad Company, in whose employ the Rebellion found him. A company recruited
by him at Aurora, Ill., was among the first to respond to the President’s call
for troops, he being the first man to enlist in that city, and on the
organization of the 7th Regiment he was commissioned as Major, and proceeded
with it to the front. This was the first regiment raised in the State of
Illinois. At the close of the three months’ service he was commissioned
Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, which had reenlisted for three years, and
on Aug. 14, 1861, was promoted to Colonel of the 36th Illinois Volunteer
Infantry, and served as such until Feb. 7, 1863. He was a brave and efficient officer, and soon after the
close of the war received the following letter from Lieut. Gen. Phil. H.
HEADQUARTERS, Mo. Div. OF
THE U. S. ARMY.
COL. N. GREUSEL,
Mr DEAR COLONEL :—It gives me great pleasure to summarize the service performed by you while under my command. I first met you as Colonel of the 36th Illinois Infantry. In the fall of 1862 your service was most valuable. At the battle of Perryville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1862, while in command of a brigade, you were quite gallantly leading your brigade all the time, and on the campaign to Nashville the excellent discipline your men maintained was a model for all. In the battle of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, while commanding your regiment, and after the death of Gen. Sill, the brigade (1st Brigade, 3d Division, right wing), your services were marked by bravery and good judgment, and when you were compelled to leave us it was much regretted, for it was felt that our cause was losing one whom it could illy spare.
I am, my dear Colonel, yours truly,
Gen. Greusel left the army on account of disability by rheumatism, which he contracted on the night of Jan. 2, 1863, at the battle of Stone River. He had been fighting for several days, and had no sleep nights, and on the night in question, in company with Gen. Sheridan, occupied a brush shelter. The wind shifted during the night, and in the morning they were completely covered with snow, and he was unable to move, and was compelled to resign in consequence, Feb. 7, 1863. He was breveted Brigadier General, by recommendation of Gen. Rosecrans, after Stone River. Returning to Aurora, Ill., as soon as he was able to work, he was offered the position of conductor on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, which he filled until Sept. 1, 1866. when he removed to Burlington, Iowa, and in January following made his home in Mt. Pleasant. He came to Iowa as Roadmaster of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, holding that position for three years, when he retired from active life with the good wishes, and greatly to the regret of his superior officers on the road. He has in his possession a valuable solid gold badge, in shape and size of an annual pass, suitably inscribed, given to him in 1866 by James C. Sherman, President of the Conductors’ Association, which is one of his most cherished souvenirs.
Gen. Greusel since his residence in Mt. Pleasant has connected himself with the Masonic fraternity here, demitting from the Illinois bodies. He is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.; of Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., and Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T., in which latter body he has been Senior Warden for sixteen years.
In Detroit, Mich., in 1839 Gen.
Greusel was united in marriage
with Jane Doumens, a native of France. By this union there were twelve children,
eight of whom are now living: E. Stuyvesant is assistant master mechanic at
Plattsmouth, Neb.; Josephine is the wife of Lafayette Langston; Elizabeth F. is
the wife of John A. White, a resident of Aurora, Ill.; Rachel married Fred
Grouch, a resident of Sandusky, Ohio; John O. resides at Mt. Pleasant; Nettie is
still at home; Susie, wife of Charles Martin, of Plattsmouth, Neb.; Phil.
Sheridan is employed on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; Joseph R.
enlisted in the 27th Michigan Volunteers, and was killed while on the steamer
“Lyon,” in 1863. In 1866 Gen. Greusel came to Mt. Pleasant. The General and
Mrs. Greusel are both members of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church at Mt.
Pleasant, of which he is a Vestryman. They are highly respected by all who know
them. By good management and hard labor, they have obtained a competency.
Probably no man has held more offices of trust, or served more faithfully his
adopted country, than has Gen. Greusel. His military abilities are very great,
as is shown by the letter we give from Gen. Sheridan, which, coming from such a
source, is higher praise than any we could give. Alone, unaided, by his own
might he has conquered all, and from humble beginnings he has won for himself an
honorable name and an enviable position. The portrait of this brave and gallant
soldier and honorable man is given on an accompanying page.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 279-281) (JC)
JOHN HANNAH, farmer, in Jackson Township section 15, was born in the year 1831, in Brown County, Ohio, and is a son of James and Elizabeth (Fulton) Hannah. The Hannah ancestors were of Irish origin, and the Fultons were probably of Scotch descent. Both James Hannah and his wife were born in Pennsylvania, and were married in Washington County of that State. James was by trade a shoemaker, but after his marriage engaged solely in agriculture, removing at a very early date to Brown County, Ohio, where he entered lands, built a house, and had a family of eight children before he removed to Clermont County in the same State. The children were as follows: Thomas, who died unmarried, had gone to New Orleans with a flatboat loaded with sundries, and on arriving there contracted yellow fever, and as he was returning home on a steamer died, and was buried at Cairo, Ill., more than fifty years ago. Margaret wedded John McCarty, who during his lifetime was a farmer of Jackson County, Ind., and after his death married George Hampton, of Illinois, and is now his widow; Fulton married first, Almeda Bryant, and after her death wedded Mrs. Lewis, and is a farmer in Brown County, Ohio; James wedded first, Margaret West, and after her death married a Miss Thompson, and also resides upon a farm in Brown County; Ann, deceased, became the wife of Matthias Freedman, a farmer of Jackson County, Ind.; David is wedded to Nancy J. Richards, of Clermont County, Ohio, and resides in Edgar County, Ill., on a farm; Joseph wedded for his first wife Eliza Ketcham, and after her death married again, and resides also in Brown County, Ohio.
John Hannah, our subject, was married in Clermont County, Ohio, in 1851, to Miss Catherine Seton, daughter of Ebenezer and Barbara (Bushman) Seton. The Seton family were of Irish extraction, while the Bushman family were of German and English origin, although born in Virginia. Both families were early settlers of Ohio, and were among the first to take up claims in that part of the country. A great-uncle of Mrs. Hannah, Thomas Seton, was a Captain in the army during the War of 1812. Great-grandfather Seton was a weaver in Ireland, but very little history can be obtained, as all the elder members of the family who could have furnished it are now dead. Grandfather Bushman purchased 1,300 acres of land, which was left to his children, and his descendants yet own it. He died at Point Pleasant, Ohio, which his land adjoined.
Mrs. Hannah was one of a family of twelve: Elizabeth, Mary, Rebecca, Martha, William, John, Benjamin, Sarah, David, Catherine, Sippy A. and Ebenezer. The latter was born after his father’s death. One son, John, was suffocated by damp in a well in Shelby County, Ohio, and of the entire family only Mrs. Hannah, Ebenezer and Benjamin are now living. Ebenezer is a farmer of Washington County, Iowa, and Benjamin, wedded to Nancy A. Donnehly, is a farmer near Blue Rapids, Kan. After the marriage of our subject and his young wife, they remained two years in Ohio, and then removed to Jackson County,Ind., near Seymour. They only remained there one year, and in November, 1854, emigrated farther west and located in this township, on lands now owned by Alexander Kudobe. Benjamin Seton was a partner in the purchase of the 120 acres, and later Mr. Hannah sold his interest to Mr. Seton and purchased the farm upon which he now resides, on section 15, Jackson Township. One who looks at his fine improvements today would scarcely think that in thirty years such a farm could be made. In March, 1858, Mr. and Mrs. Hannah moved into a little cabin which stood upon this tract, of which only three-fourths of an acre was then broken. Mr. Hannah was not a holder of United States bonds at that time, but he possessed a wealth of muscle and industry, and his good wife was ready to share in every undertaking. While her husband was at work getting out rails and grubbing brush, she was doing her share to aid in the work, and as children came to bless their home, the labor of love was lightened. Their first-born was Martha E., now deceased, who was time wife of Van Jackman; she was born in Ohio, and all the others in this township. Benjamin F. wedded Angelina Bunker; George died in infancy; Mary is deceased; Jane is the wife of Harlan Pickard; Owen W., John W., and Margaret A., deceased, and Robert F., complete the family. The three unmarried sons reside with their parents in a handsome cottage on the hill overlooking a wide expanse of country, and the site furnishes a view unsurpassed from any point in the township. Mr. Hannah came to this county a poor man, but by economy and hard labor he has realized a nice fortune, and his meager purchase of 1854 has grown to 235 acres, purchased as he was able. The good wife still superintends her household, and Mr. Hannah can take his ease if he desires, as they have already a competence, and the boys are skilled in farm work. Mr. Hannah has served in numerous official positions, his first election as Trustee occurring in 1860, since which time he has been frequently re-elected to the same office, and has also served upon the School Board for several years. B. Frank, the eldest son, served two years as Township Clerk, and is the only son of age. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hannah are members of Donaldson Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has often served in an official capacity. We add this sketch with pleasure to the number of representative families in this county, and none are entitled to or will receive a more cordial greeting.
Ebenezer Seton, father of Mrs. Hannah, removed from Clermont County, Ohio, to Shelby County, Ohio, and while digging a well there, and leaving it for dinner, heard a noise below. Supposing water had broken in he sent his young son, John, down in the bucket to bring up the tools. The cause of the noise was damp, and the boy fell out of the bucket suffocated. The father, not knowing the cause, went down to rescue his child, and he also fell a victim, both being dead before they were got out by the neighbors. The mother, with her remaining children, returned to Clermont County, where she lived a widow until her death, dying in 1877, nearly seventy-nine years of age. She spun, wove, and worked in every way to keep her family together, and bring them up properly, as she did, and her children have came to revere her memory.
Another of the family, William, also
met an accidental death. He was a resident of Jackson Township, having become a
citizen of Henry County. Nov. 9, 1874, while digging a cistern for Stephen Booth
it caved in upon him. When the attempt was made to rescue him he was barely able
to speak, but was dead before he was extricated.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 222-224.) (JC)
James B. Hart
JAMES B. HART, a retired farmer, and a pioneer of Henry County, Iowa, was born near Waynesburg, Greene Co., Pa., March 29, 1819. His parents were John and Jane (Buchanan) Hart, natives of Maryland. His father was a farmer by occupation, and died when James was but three years of age. His mother was a distant relative of President Buchanan. Her death occurred in 1881. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm and there acquired industrious and economical habits, and when twenty-two years of age emigrated to Iowa, and located at Mt. Pleasant, arriving in this place in April, 1841, where he spent the first year in carpenter work. He was married near Mt. Pleasant, June 11, 1843, to Miss Jane Smith, a native of Washington County, Pa., and daughter of Thomas Smith. She came to Henry County, Iowa, in company with her parents in 1840. One child, a daughter, Elizabeth, was born of their union. She married John Mehl, now deceased, by whom she had three children: William H., aged twenty-one years, was killed on the railroad; Ernest is now nineteen years of age, and Frederick, aged seventeen. Mrs. Mehl resides in Mt. Pleasant with her parents.
In 1852 Mr. Hart engaged in the lumber business, and continued in that line of trade for several years. He was also in the grocery business about five years. In 1862 he enlisted in the volunteer service in the War for the Union. as a private in the 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, known as the “Graybeards.” This regiment was stationed at St. Louis, but was not called into active service. He was promoted to Sergeant and served seven months. During the first years of the war he acted as local sutler to a company of soldiers encamped at Mt. Pleasant.
Soon after coming to Mt. Pleasant, Mr. Hart purchased a farm in Marion Township, and engaged for a time in farming. He also erected several buildings in this city, which he rented, some for business purposes and some as dwellings. From time to time Mr. Hart has purchased land until he now is the owner of 1,400 acres, situated in Iowa and adjoining States. Several of his best farms lie in Henry County, Iowa, and are well improved. In early life Mr. Hart was a Whig, and on the dissolution of that party, and the formation of the Republican party, he associated himself with the latter organization, and has since voted the Republican ticket. He united with the Congregational Church in 1846, and has remained a consistent member of that denomination to the present time. His wife united with the same church four years prior to her husband’s conversion, and has since been a faithful and exemplary member.
1852 Mr. Hart has been a resident of the city of Mt. Pleasant. He has never been
an aspirant for the honors or emoluments of public office, but has preferred to
devote his undivided attention to business pursuits, in which he has been
eminently successful. He began life with nothing, but by industry, frugality,
and the exercise of good judgment in his business ventures, has accumulated a
large and valuable property. During his long residence in Henry County he has
made many warm friends, and has won a high place in the esteem of his
fellow-citizens, for his upright and fair conduct in all the affairs of life. An
excellent view of his city residence is shown in this work.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 259)(JC)
ELAM HOCKETT, one of the prominent and representative farmers of
Henry County, was born in Salem Township, in this county, on the 18th of
November, 1846, and is the son of Jehu and Hannah (Frazier) Hockett, both of
whom are natives of Indiana, and were among the first settlers of Henry County,
Iowa. They came to this county when it was hardly more than a wilderness,
while yet the deer might be seen on the prairies, or the wolf be heard howling
at night. Edward Hockett, the grandfather of our subject, came to this
county in 1834, and was the father of ten children, of whom the second was Jehu,
the father of our subject, who reared a family of twelve children, all of whom
are now living.
Mr. Hockett in early life learned the carpenter's trade, which business he now carries on in connection with general farming. He and wife belong to the Society of Friends, and are always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy, and to comfort the afflicted. In politics Mr. Hockett holds very liberal views.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 501)(PW)
Charles S. Howe - Page 179-180
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 179-180)
CLARK R. IBBOTSON
CLARK R. IBBOTSON is a representative of a
pioneer family of Iowa. His
paternal grandfather, George Ibbotson, was born in England and became a
resident of Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1838.
The work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun
in this state, which was still under the territorial rule of Wisconsin.
He wisely made extensive and judicious investments in real
estate, becoming the owner of over one thousand acres of land, some of
which he entered from the government.
His labors were devoted to the cultivation and improvement of his
property and he continued his residence in Des Moines county up to the
time of his death, which occurred in 1894, when he had reached the
advanced age of ninety-six years. His
wife, who bore the maiden name of Riggs, and was a native of Kentucky,
survived him until 1904, and died in Oklahoma at the age of eighty-six
years. He was classed with
the early development, planting the seeds of progress that have borne
rich fruit at a later date.
George Ibbotson, father of Clark R. Ibbotson,
was born upon the old farm homestead in Des Moines county and there
resided until 1880, when he removed to Louisa county, where he purchased
eighty acres of land, developing a farm that continued to be his home
until his life’s labors were ended in death.
He married Miss Mary O. Tucker, also a native of Des Moines
county, and a daughter of John and Eleanor Tucker.
Mr. Ibbotson departed this life November 15, 1890, after which
his widow continued to reside upon the old homestead in Louisa county
until 1903, when she sold the property and removed to Bates county,
Missouri, where she is now living with her second husband, William
Reece, and two of her daughters by her first marriage reside with her.
Clark R. Ibbotson was born in Des Moines county
November 18, 1877, began his education in the district schools there,
afterward attended the high school at Columbus City, Iowa, and pursued a
commercial course in Elliott’s Business College in Burlington.
He was thus well equipped by thorough intellectual training for
the duties and responsibilities of business life and he obtained
practical knowledge of farm work through the assistance which he
rendered his father during the period of his boyhood and youth.
He remained upon the home farm until twenty-two years of age and
then began farming on his own account, purchasing seventy-seven acres of
land situated a half mile north and a mile east of Wayne, Iowa. A
year later, however, he sold that property and bought eighty acres on
section 36, Scott township, and forty acres on section 1, Canaan
township. Removing to this
place he has since carried on general farming and he also raises stock,
having now about eleven head of horses, thirteen head of shorthorn
cattle and about one hundred head of Poland China hogs.
His farm is well improved, indicating in its neat and thrifty
appearance the careful supervision of the owner.
On the 25th of December, 1900, Mr.
Ibbotson was united in marriage to Miss Kate B. Werner, who was born in
Henry county, Iowa, a daughter of Fred and Martha (Brombaugh) Werner,
the former born in Odessa, Russia, and the latter near Knoxville,
Illinois. Mr. and Mrs.
Ibbotson have two children: Ruby,
born November 8, 1901, and Glenn, on the 1st of September,
1903. Fraternally Mr.
Ibbotson is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and
politically with the Republican party but the honors and emoluments of
office have had no attraction for him, as his attention has been given
in undivided manner to his business interests, which, being carefully
conducted, have advanced him far on the highway of success.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 586-587) (PE)
GEORGE W. ILES
GEORGE W. ILES, who carries on general farming
on section 3, Baltimore township, where he also raises peaches, apples
and cherries, having a good orchard, was born in Bennington township,
Licking county, Ohio, in 1846, and is a son of Adam Iles, who was
likewise a native of the Buckeye state.
The mother died in 1851 and the father in 1856, so that George W.
Iles was left an orphan when a little lad of ten years.
He resided with his sister, Mrs. William Hatch, for over nine
years, and to some extent attended the common schools, but his
educational privileges were rather meager.
He has, however, added largely to his knowledge through reading,
observation and experience in later years.
In early manhood he worked at farm labor by the day or month,
being thus employed up to the time of his marriage, which occurred on
the 28th of November, 1879, the lady of his choice being Miss
Selena Hall, who was born in Jennings county, Indiana, a daughter of
Edward and Julia (Underwood) Hall, the former a native of Kentucky and
the latter of Indiana.
Following his marriage Mr. Iles removed to
Stockton, Kansas, and secured a farm in Rollins county, where they
remained for three months. At
the end of that time, however, they returned to Henry county, and in the
following autumn Mr. Isle [sic] purchased forty acres of land on section
3, Baltimore township. With
the exception of a few acres the farm was unimproved, but he at once
began its cultivation and soon turned the furrows in the fields, planted
the seed and in course of time reaped good harvests.
He built a house containing three rooms.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Iles have been born three children: Emma, who was born August 25, 1880, and is the wife of Edward Cantwell, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; Sarah, who was born September 15, 1882, and is the wife of Frank Norman, of Aurora, Illinois; and John, born September 16, 1884, who married Hattie Cooper, who was born in Baltimore. Mr. Iles is a member of the Christian church. In his political views he is democrat and has served as school director.(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 526-527) (PE)
JOSEPH T. INGRIM
The character of a community is always judged by
its representative citizens and to this class in Salem Joseph T. Ingrim
belongs. In business life he
has an excellent reputation for activity, enterprise and reliability and
in other relations has commanded the respect and esteem of his fellow
men. He was born in Belmont
county, Ohio, February 3, 1845, a son of Robert and Hannah (Parkins)
Ingrim. The father was a
native of Greene county, Pennsylvania, and in that state learned and
followed the blacksmith’s trade. He
afterward resided for some years in Ohio, and in 1853 came to Iowa,
spending the winter in Henry county, and in the spring of 1854 settled
in Polk county, where he entered a tract of government land east of Des
Moines and was engaged in farming there up to the time of his death.
He also had a blacksmith shop and did work along that line upon
his home place. He was a
Douglas democrat, but neither held nor desired office.
He passed away February 10, 1862, respected by
all who knew him and is still survived by his wife, who, at the age of
eighty-nine years, is now living with her daughter in Danville, Iowa.
She was left a widow with six young children, the youngest being
about three years of age, and very little of this world’s goods.
By means of hard work and very careful management she kept her
family together and gave them all fair education, and has always been
highly esteemed by all who knew her.
She has lost her eyesight but is enjoying comparatively good
health. She was reared in
the faith of the Society of Friends but in later years both Mr. and Mrs.
Ingrim became members of the Methodist church.
In their family were eight children:
Joseph T., of this review; Sarah, who died in infancy; Louisa,
who died when twenty-two years of age; Robert, who is living in
northwest Missouri; Stephen, who resides in North Dakota; Harriet, the
wife of R. M. Swan, of Danville, Iowa; Martha, who became the wife of
Caldwell McDonald, and after his death married Charles Gillard and
resides at East Troy, Wisconsin; and David C., who resides in Denver,
Joseph T. Ingrim was educated in the common
schools principally in Polk county, and was a youth of only sixteen
years, when, in 1861, responded to the country’s call for aid,
enlisting in an independent company of the Second Iowa Battery, with
which he served for four years. He
was with Sherman’s army at Vicksburg, participating in the battle of
Corinth, also the engagements at Iuka, Nashville and Spanish Fort, and
was honorably discharged at Davenport in 1865, being at that time not
yet twenty-one years of age. Although
he was so young he was a brave and loyal soldier, never faltering in his
allegiance to the old flag and the cause it represented and no greater
valor was displayed upon the field of battle by any veteran of twice his
He spent a few months in school in Henry county
following the close of the war and afterward learned the carpenter’s
trade in Salem, which he followed until 1899.
He had erected many buildings in Iowa by contract and was closely
identified with building operations in his home neighborhood.
In 1899 he engaged in the lumber business and receives a liberal
patronage from Salem and the surrounding country.
He has a well equipped lumber yard and his trade is now extensive
and profitable. That he has
prospered in his undertakings is indicated by his property holdings,
which include a handsome residence on Main street, also the property in
which the Belle Telephone Company is located and his lumber yard.
On the 11th of August, 1868, Mr.
Ingrim was married to Miss Leannah Hobson, who was born in Salem, July
4, 1849, and is a daughter of Peter and Rachel J. (Gibson) Hobson.
Her mother was born in Ohio and her father was a native of North
Carolina. They came to Iowa
about 1838, settling in Salem, when it was a very small village.
He became an early merchant of the town, being associated with
his father and brother in the conduct of mercantile interests but later
he turned his attention to farming.
His business activity and energy along other lines contributed in
substantial measure to the growth and progress of that community.
He served as school director and gave his political allegiance to
the Republican party, while in the Society of Friends, in which he long
held membership he acted as an elder.
Mrs. Hobson was a noble Christian woman and an elder in her
church. Mr. Hobson died July
2, 1901, while his wife passed away March 30, 1890.
They were worthy people, displaying many excellent traits of
character that gained for them the esteem and good will of all with whom
they were associated.
In their family were ten children.
Sarah Ann became the wife of Samuel Comer and after her death he
married her sister, Louisa Maria Hobson, and now resides in Elk City,
Kansas. Mary Jane is the
deceased wife of S. C. Jones, who now resides in Palisade, Nebraska.
Maria is now Mrs. Comer. Elizabeth
became the wife of Henry J. Lamb and both are deceased.
Leanna is the wife of Joseph T. Ingrim.
Tamar D. is the wife of Harvey D. Slack, publisher of a newspaper
at Belle Plaine, Iowa. Emma
is the wife of Jesse Slack, of Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Lincoln J. was killed by a haypress accident, leaving a wife, who
bore the maiden name of Ida Logan, and who has since married Peter
Hines, and resides at Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Belle is the wife of Samuel Logan, of Madison county, Iowa, and
one son died when four years of age.
After losing his first wife Mr. Hobson was married to Miss Martha
Myers of Indiana.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ingrim was blessed
with five children: Jennie,
born in West Grove, Davis county, Iowa, in 1870, is now a teacher in the
public schools of Wyoming, where she has preempted land.
Emma, born in Davis county in 1872, married Charles E. McClaren,
of Mount Pleasant and died December 25, 1897.
Hannah Belle, known as Dolly, was born in 1875 and died at the
age of nineteen years. Rachel,
born in 1880, is a milliner. Arthur
J., born July 22, 1882, is now station agent and operator for the
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Salem, Iowa.
He married Grace Cramer and has one child, Anna.
Mr. and Mrs. Ingrim are also rearing a little girl, Mildred
Foreman, who has been with them since six months old and who has now
reached the age of twelve years. She
has not been regularly adopted according to the forms of law but is
reared as one of their own children.
They have given to their children excellent
educational privileges, all having been students in Whittier College in
Salem. Their daughters were
all very successful school teachers, but Roe prefers the millinery
business. She has also
served the past two years as the worthy matron of the order of the
Eastern Star, in the chapter of her home.
Mrs. Ingrim was a charter member of the Woman’s Relief Corps
and its president for several terms, also a member of the Eastern Star.
In his political views Mr. Ingrim is a stalwart
republican and about eighteen or twenty years ago served for one term as
mayor of Salem. He was also
justice of the peace for a number of years and is now again mayor.
He was likewise assessor for eight or ten years but retired, not
caring for the office longer. He
served for twenty years as a member of the school board and for a number
of years was its president. His
co-operation can always be counted upon to further progressive public
measures and his labors in behalf of public measures in Salem have been
far-reaching and beneficial. Mr.
and Mrs. Ingrim are devoted members of the Methodist church in which he
is a trustee and steward. He
is also an Odd Fellow, having passed all of the chairs in Salem Lodge,
No. 48, and belongs to Salem Lodge, No. 17, Ancient Free and Accepted
His life has ever been honorable, his actions manly and sincere and he enjoys the confidence and trust of his fellow men in an unusual degree. Having made a most creditable military record when but a boy, he then entered the business life with no capital but with strong purpose and determination and steadily he has worked his way upward until he has attained success, finding that prosperity is the reward of laudable ambition guided by sound judgment and that an honorable name may be won simultaneously.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 341-344) (PE)
ISAIAH T. IRWIN
ISAIAH T. IRWIN, a veteran of the Civil war and
a representative farmer of Scott township, was born in Belmont county,
Ohio, on the 28th of August, 1844, representing one of the
old families of that part of the state.
His father, George Irwin, was also born in Belmont county, as was
his wife, who bore the maiden of Elizabeth Campbell.
She belonged to one of the prominent representative families of
that part of the state, the Campbells being represented in the United
States senate and in congress. The
paternal grandfather, John Campbell, was one of the pioneer residents of
Ohio, taking an active part in shaping the policy of the commonwealth
and represented Ohio in the United States senate.
George Irwin was a carpenter by trade, who also
owned and operated a saw mill in Ohio, being connected with industrial
pursuits in Belmont county until his removal to Iowa, in 1851.
He took up his abode in Lee county, where he engaged in
carpentering for six years and on the expiration of that period he
removed to Mount Pleasant, where he was identified with building
operations until 1867. In
that year he retired from active connection with his trade and bought a
farm of eighty acres in Scott township, on which he successfully carried
on general agricultural pursuits until his life’s labors were ended in
death in 1883. His wife also
remained upon the old homestead until her demise in 1885.
In their family were eight children, four sons and four
Isaiah T. Irwin, the sixth in order of birth,
was a student in the public schools of Lee and Henry counties and
remained upon the home farm with his parents up to the time of his
marriage, which was celebrated on the 6th of August, 1875,
Miss Jane Reed becoming his wife. She
was born in Clark county, Ohio, and was a daughter of Elijah and Mary
(Bennett) Reed, who came to Iowa in 1849.
A year later they returned to Ohio, but after three years once
again come to this state, so that Mrs. Irwin was reared here, acquiring
her preliminary education in the district schools of Henry county, while
later she attended Howe’s Academy, in Mount Pleasant.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin has been blessed with nine
children: Lulu, a resident
of Nebraska; Glenn, also of Nebraska; Clara and Nellie, who are teaching
school; Myrtle, Gladys, Harry, Gilbert and George, all of whom are at
Following his marriage Mr. Irwin purchased forty
acres of land in Scott township, whereon he lived for six years. He
then went to Nebraska, where he engaged in farming for five years and
upon his return to Iowa he sold his first place and bought eighty acres
on section 28. Here he has
built a house of seven rooms and also a barn for the shelter of hay and
stock, forty by fifty feet. He
has replaced the hedge fences by wire fencing and has added many modern
equipments, so that he now has a splendidly improved property from which
he annually harvests good crops. He
also raises and feeds cattle and has about thirty-five head of Poland
China hogs. He also has four
horses used in working the farm.
Mr. Irwin has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits save for the period spent in the Civil war. In March, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry, but was rejected on account of his youth, being the but seventeen years of age. He afterward went to Missouri, however, and succeeded in joining Company D, Second Missouri Cavalry, which was assigned to service in the western division and with which he continued until March, 1865. He proved a valuable and loyal soldier, never faltering in the performance of any duty, and in March, 1865, was mustered out at St. Louis, after which he returned to Mount Pleasant and soon resumed his farming operations. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and gives his political allegiance to the Republican party. His labors have been guided by practical judgment and supplemented by keen business discernment and as the years have gone by he has won a fair measure of prosperity.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, pp 277-279) (PE)
|ARTHUR CHARLES JAEGER
ARTHUR CHARLES JAEGER, conducting an
upholstering and undertaking establishment on North Main street, in
Mount Pleasant, was born in Burlington, Iowa, July, 7, 1870, while his
parents, Melcher and Anna (Dauner) Jaeger, were both natives of Germany,
born there in 1834 and 1835 respectively.
They were married in Germany, December 4, 1857, and soon came to
America on an old-time sailing vessel which was about thirty days in
making the voyage, during which they encountered two severe storms, but
at length anchor was dropped in the harbor of New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Jaeger did not tarry in the east but made their way
at once to Burlington, Iowa. There
the father learned the shoemaker’s trade, which he followed until
about 1875, and has since been employed in the West Burlington Railroad
shops. Unto him and his wife
have been born twelve children, but only two are now living:
Arthur Charles; and L. M. Jaeger.
The latter married Miss Lizzie Hahn, of Mount Rose, Iowa, and
they reside in Burlington, where he is engaged in business as a
cigarmaker. By a previous
marriage he had two children, Hazel and Arnold.
Melcher Jaeger votes independently, and in religious faith both
he and his wife are connected with the German Lutheran church, at
Arthur Charles Jaeger was educated in the public
schools of his native city and entered business life when fifteen years
of age as an employe of W. G. Hoer, a cigar box manufacturer on
Jefferson street, Burlington, with whom he remained for two years.
He then spent six months in the Embalming Burial Case factory,
after which he learned the upholstering business, remaining in the
employ of the firm of Chittenden & Eastman for four years. He
next spent one year as an employe in the Burlington mattress factory,
after which he was again connected with Chittenden & Eastman until
1894. In March, 1895, he
came to Mount Pleasant and worked for J. M. Brunner & Brother,
conducting business under the name of the Mount Pleasant Furniture
Company. He occupied that
position until September, 1903, and in November, of that year, he opened
an undertaking and upholstering establishment of his own.
He had learned the undertaking business with Mr. Brunner, of
Mount Pleasant, and was licensed by the state board of health at Des
Moines, having fine undertaking rooms at No. 217 North Main street,
where he also conducts an upholstering business, and is accorded a
In September, 1900, Mr. Jaeger was married to
Miss Allie B. Johnson, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Her father died about a quarter of a century ago, while her
mother, Mrs. Matilda (Ketcham) Johnson, is now living with Mr. and Mrs.
Jaeger. In the Johnson
family there were two children: Frank,
who is married and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he is employed by the
Pennsylvania Oil Company; and Allie B., who was born on a farm south of
Mount Pleasant and is now the wife of our subject.
Mrs. Jaeger was educated in the public schools of Mount Pleasant,
and by her marriage has become the mother of two sons:
Marion Arthur, born September 30, 1901; and Orville Melcher,
November 20, 1902.
In his political views Mr. Jaeger is a stalwart republican, but without aspiration for office. He is a member of Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Knights of Pythias, and both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. He is recognized as an enterprising, active and energetic business man, reliable in his trade transactions, and moreover, he deserves all the praise implied in the term, a self-made man, for since the age of fifteen years he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources, working for advantages which other boys had provided for them, and winning advancement through capability, integrity and unfaltering diligence.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 375-376) (PE)
WILLIAM H. JACKMAN is the proprietor of the City Hotel and livery stable, New London, Iowa, and carrier of mail and passengers between New London and Lowell. He was born in Washington County, Pa., Aug. 12, 1832, and is the son of Nathan and Catherine (Hollman) Jackman. His father was born in Washington County, Pa. The family were residents of Pennsylvania for several generations, and were of Irish descent. His mother was born near Hagerstown, Md., of German descent, and went to Washington County, Pa., with her parents when but twelve years of age. In the spring of 1844 the family moved to Ft. Madison, Iowa, and a few weeks later (in July) to Henry County, locating in Jackson Township. They spent one year in that locality, and then removed to Marion Township, Lee County, where Mr. Jackman engaged in farming (nominally only) as he was a ship carpenter, miller and millwright by trade. He devoted his time principally to mechanical pursuits, while the care of the farm devolved on his sons. There were eleven children in the family, nine sons and two daughters, all of whom are now living except two, all remarkably rugged and healthy, as befitted emigrants to a new country: Benson H. wedded Mary Lynch, and resides in Lee County, on the old homestead; Clarkson, whose home is in Baltimore Township, was twice married, his first wife being Martha Smith, and his second Addie Wheatley; Addison H. married Rebecca Abraham, and lives in Southwestern Nebraska, at Ft. Robinson; Henrietta, deceased, was the wife of Silas P. Blair, of Grant County, Wis.; Melissa is the wife of Robert P. Jackman, of Pilot Grove, Lee Co., Iowa; William H. married Eliza M. Stephenson, and resides in New London, Iowa; Nathan married Lucy Logan for his first wife, and Lutitia Stockdale for his second, and lives near Moundville, Mo.; John Q. married Elizabeth Brown, and is a farmer of Baltimore Township; Van Buren married Martha Hannah, and resides in Crawford, Neb.; Joseph H. has been twice married, his first wife being Lydia J. Dc Witt; Robert A. died at the age of nineteen, while in service during the late war.
Mr. Jackman, Sr., was an earnest Democrat in his political sentiment, and his sons have all followed his example. His death occurred in Lee County, in February, 1874, his wife surviving him, and dying Oct. 6, 1885.
William H. Jackman was married, Nov. 25, 1858, in Lowell, Iowa, to Miss
Eliza M. Stephenson, daughter of John and Elizabeth Stephenson, whose history
appears on another page. Mrs. Jackman was born at Hardscrabble farm, Jackson
Township, Henry Co., Iowa, Oct. 2, 1841. Three children were born of their
union, two sons and a daughter: Willie S. was born March 30, 1860, and died at
the age of one year; Clarence H. was born Nov. 12, 1861, and died when two and a
half years of age; Lucy E., born Nov. 6, 1864, is now the wife of Homer E.
Lyman, of New London. Mr. Jackman settled in Lowell at the time of his marriage,
and resided there till March, 1886, when he moved to New London, and engaged in
his present business. While a resident of Lowell he was engaged in farming and
teaming. In politics, Mr. Jackman and his entire family are most uncompromising
Democrats. He is a man of modest pretensions, but of sound judgment and
unquestioned integrity. The City Hotel, under the able management of “mine
host” Jackman and his amiable and kind-hearted wife, is one of the most
home-like hotels in the County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 316) (JC)
|Robert L. Jay, M.D.
He was born in Van Buren Co. Iowa in 1849, the son of Rev. John
and Mary (Alexander) Jay, who were among the first families of Southeastern
Iowa. Rev Jay was one of the first Methodist Episcopal ministers in this part of
Marcellus is not married, and Melvin married Laura Tracey, and
Robert L. When 15 years of age, Robert L. volunteered and became a drummer boy
of Co. D., 15th Iowa Infantry. He was present at the siege of Atlanta, Georgia,
and was at the front of Sherman's great march, and participated in the grand
review at Washington City.After return from the army he studied medicine with
Dr. Payne of Richland. He married Miss Sibbie Davis in 1869, a daughter of John
and Sarah (Free) Davis.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 563)
Thomas Jones, a retired railroad man, and
a resident of Mt. Pleasant since 1862, was born in County Wicklow, near
Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 15, 1833, and is the son of James and Mary (Keough)
Jones. He emigrated from Ireland to America in 1851, and located in New
Jersey, where he served his time at the millwright trade. In 1856 he
came to Iowa, and engaged in railroad work with the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy Railroad Company. He was employed in bridge-building from
Burlington to what is now known as Gladstone, Ill. He worked at first as
an employe, but soon began taking contracts and continued in that way,
sometimes working for wages, and sometimes on contract, till 1886, when
he retired from active duty. His connection with the company continued
without interruption for a period of thirty-one years. During all these
years he never had an accident resulting from his work, and proved
himself a capable and faithful man in whatever duty he undertook. He has
probably built more bridges than any other man in the company's employ,
and it is only fair to Mr. Jones to say that this assertion is not based
on any information given by him.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 524)(CL)