Henry County, Iowa
Sources of Biographies include:
Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa .
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.
Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa
.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, Ann 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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Jacob Kassel, who since 1900 has been a resident of New
London and since 1904 has been a representative of its trade interests, being
engaged in the lumber business here, was born in Union township, Des Moines
county, Iowa, on the 23rd of March, 1856, his parents being Conrad
and Mary Anna ( Hentz ) Kassel. The
father removed from St. Louis to Burlington, Iowa, in 1849, and soon afterward
purchased a claim in Union township, Des Moines county, on Long Creek.
It was but a small tract, which he afterward sold.
He then bought out on the prairie, where he lived up to the time of his
death, which occurred in 1886, when he was seventy-two years of age.
He found that the prairie land was rich and productive and he developed
there a good farm. His wife
survived him for a number of years, passing away in 1901 at the age of
In their family were ten children, of whom six are
living: Henry, who resides in
Montgomery county, Iowa; John, a
resident of Augusta township; Mary,
the wife of Christ Hauber, who is living in Burlington; William, a resident of Union township, Des Moines county;
Jacob, of this review; and
Anna, the wife of George Nau, whose home is in Augusta township, Des Moines
county. Those who have passed away
are: Conrad, who died at the age of
sixteen years; Christina, at the age of twenty-two years;
Louisa, when about thirty years of age, and Philip when twenty-eight
years of age.
Jacob Kassel, whose name forms the caption of this
review, was reared under the parental roof.
His educational privileges were those afforded by the public school
system of Union township and he was reared to the occupation of farming, early
becoming familiar with various duties and labors incident to the development of
the fields and the care of the crops. He
continued his identification with agricultural pursuits until 1900 and remained
upon the home farm until 1884, when he purchased eighty acres of land of Joseph
Aller, residing thereon until 1888, when he sold that farm and bought a tract of
land of eighty acres from D. B. Copeland. The
following year he invested in forty acres of land which he purchased from Mr.
Kissinger, but which was known as the Hathaway place and upon this farm he put
about one thousand rods of tile. Two
years later his house was destroyed by fire, but he did not allow himself to
become discouraged by this disaster and at once erected a modern residence,
which he continued to occupy until his removal to New London in 1899.
He carried on general farming and the neat and thrifty appearance of his
fields indicated his careful supervision and practical methods.
After taking up his abode in this village he rested from
further labor for several years, but in 1904 purchased the lumber business which
up to that time had been conducted by A. C. Sater.
The business was established by R. H. Peterson and adjoined the yards of
the Gilbert & Hedge Company, of Burlington.
Later the two interests were consolidated and conducted by the firm of
Linder & Carden, successors to T. B. Lee.
At a still more recent date Mr. Ganaway became the owner of the business
and eventually sold out to A. C. Sater. He
continued as proprietor until 1904, when he sold to Mr. Kassel, who is now
engaged in the lumber trade, having a well appointed yard and receiving from the
public a liberal patronage. His
close application and unfaltering energy have constituted the strong directing
force in his business life and have resulted in the acquirement of a large and
On the 31st of December, 1884, was celebrated
the marriage of Mr. Kassel and Miss Ratha Estella Hannah, daughter of Sylvester
O. and Jane ( Devault ) Hannah. There
has been one child born of this marriage, Ruby Belle, whose natal day was April
Mr. Kassel belongs to the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No.
184, of New London and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the
Presbyterian church. Politically he
is a democrat, but without aspiration for office, preferring to devote his time
and energies to his business affairs. He
has never been known to take advantage of the necessities of his fellow men in
any trade transactions and is fair and just in all of his dealings, having due
regard at all times and under all conditions for the rights and privileges of
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 350) (PE)
WILLIAM KEAN, section 7, Center Township, is a native of Berkeley County, Va., born Nov. 25, 1815. His father, William Kean, was born in Cumberland County, Pa., in 1774. He married Miss Barbara Spangler, a native of Lancaster County, Pa., born in September, 1783 or 1784. There were four children born to them in that State. In 1812 they removed to Berkeley County, Va., where six more children were born: Margaret is the wife of John Lee, of Trenton Township; John came to Henry County in 1836, and died some years ago; Elizabeth is the wife of Chauncey Cole, residing near Salem, Ore.; Percival died in Henry County in 1840; Mary married Thomas Downing; both died in Trenton Township; William and Thomas reside in this county. Sarah A. died while en route to California; Isabel, wife of Charles Dark, resides in Oregon; James died in this county. In 1833 the family left Virginia, and went by team direct to Clarke County, Ohio, and from there to Henry County, Iowa, where the father bought a claim to a section and a half of land in Center Township. With the help of his son, he broke and fenced a large share. William Kean, Sr., was an old-line Whig, and a great admirer of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, a great reader and one of very retentive memory. While never aspiring for office he was often sought to run for various local offices, and at any time could have received the nomination for the Legislature in his native State. In early life he was a member of the Lutheran Church, of which body his wife was also a member, but after going to Ohio, in 1833, they united with the Reformed Methodists, and after coming to Henry County, Iowa, united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they affiliated until their death. Mr. Kean died in 1849, and Mrs. Kean in 1852. They were people who stood high in the community in which they lived, and were known and respected as honest, upright citizens. The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Mr. Percival, was a native of Ireland, where he married, and from whence he emigrated to America, settling in Pennsylvania. In their family were three sons and one daughter—John, Thomas, William T. and Barbara.
The subject of this sketch came to Henry County in 1838, making the trip from Ohio on horseback. Soon after arriving here he entered a tract of land and began the improving of his farm. In March, 1842, he was united in marriage with Miss Matilda McMillen, a daughter of Thomas McMillen, who was also one of the pioneers of Henry County. By this union there have been four children: Mary is now the wife of Robert Lynn, of this county; Charles resides at home; Laura is the wife of Cary Cox, of Marion Township; Willis died March 3, 1851.
For a period of fifty years Mr. Kean has been a citizen of Henry County, and in common with the early settlers experienced the toil and privation incident to pioneer life. He has sold wheat for twenty-five cents per bushel, and hogs for $1.25 per hundred, and for years lived alone upon what the country could produce. In looking back over the past, and reflecting upon what he has passed through, he has little sympathy with those today who plead hard times, when surrounded by all the comforts which wealth can procure.
Few men are better known in this section of the county than
William Kean, and none are more universally respected. In early life he was a
Whig, and on its formation affiliated with the Republican party, voting with
that party until 1872, since which time he has been liberal in his views, voting
for the best man nominated. Like his father before him, he never sought office,
but has filled several positions of trust in his township, among which is that
of Township Trustee, an office which he filled for several years. He has always
been a friend to education, and has given much of his time to that cause.
Religiously he is connected with the Christian Church, and for many years he has
been a member and an Elder of the congregation in Mt. Pleasant. Well posted in
the Scriptures, he can express himself fluently and intelligently upon all
subjects connected therewith.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 208-209.)(JC)
JESSE KETCHUM, of Mt. Pleasant, was born at Fishkill, Dutchess Co., N. Y., on the 9th of April, 1809. His father, Timothy Ketchum, was born at Huntington South, Long Island, in 1731. He served through the Revolutionary War, and at Fairfield, Conn., was wounded in the head, necessitating the removal of some pieces of skull. After the war he returned to Danbury, Conn., where he had previously located. He was twice married; his second wife was Miss Rebecca LaDue, a native of New York. By this union there were nine children, three of whom are now living: Jesse, of Mt. Pleasant; James Madison, of Long Island; and Mary, of Queens County, Long Island, widow of George W. Anderson. Those deceased are Charity, Samuel, John, Ebenezer, Timothy, and an infant. Timothy Ketchum was a man who was highly respected for his honesty and integrity, and his word was as good as his bond. His motto was “to do good for evil.” In politics Mr. Ketchum was an old-time Republican, and was a great admirer of President Madison. At the time when Dr. Barton White was elected to Congress he told Mr. Ketchum that when he went to Washington he would get him a pension. Mr. Ketchum said he did not want one, but when the Doctor returned he had a pension of $1,800 for him, but he would not receive a cent, returning it to the Government, saying: “I did not fight for money; it was for liberty, the country, and my God.” Mr. Ketchum died at the advanced age of ninety-eight. Mrs. Ketchum was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and an earnest Christian. She died at the age of forty-nine, in Dutchess County, N. Y.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Dutchess County, N. Y., and was educated in the primitive school-houses of those times, his books consisting of a Testament and a Webster’s spelling-book. He was married to Miss Eliza Churchill, of Dutchess County, July 30, 1830. She was the daughter of John Churchill, a soldier of the French and Indian wars. Eight sons and three daughters were born to them: ,Julia A. is the wife of Richard Armstrong, of Tuttle’s Point, Ill.; Oscar C., a resident of Southern Kansas; William B., living at Mt. Pleasant; Leander, also of Mt. Pleasant; Edward D., who enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, died of disease contracted in the army; Eliza is the wife of John Peterson, of Mt. Valley, Kan.; Frank, of Henry County; Winfield, of Mendota, Mo.; Albert, now deceased; Hattie, at home, and Jesse, Jr., at home.
In 1855 Mr. Ketchum came to Henry
County and located, and the following year moved his family. He worked at the
carpenter’s and joiner’s trade for a short while, but afterward became a
butcher, and gave that up to live on a farm. In 1865 he removed to Mt. Pleasant,
at which place he has since resided. In politics he is a stanch Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum stand high in the community where they have
so long resided. They are both members of the Baptist Church. always living a
true Christian life, and are only waiting the call of their Master to their
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 198-199.)(JC)
James M Kibben
JAMES M. KIBBEN, deceased, was born in Culpeper County, Va., near Harper’s Ferry. He was left an orphan at the tender age of nine years, without fortune or friends, and began the battle of life as an apprentice to a wagon-maker. His early years were such as often fell to the lot of the destitute orphan. Hard work and abuse were rewarded with a pittance. Possessed of a strong will and superior intelligence, he fought his way through to manhood, and then went to Columbus, Ohio, where he worked at his trade a short time only, when he removed to Fayette County, Ind., and there engaged in farming. He was married in Fayette County, Oct. 3, 1833, to Miss Jane Sample, by whom he had one child, a son, Marcus, who died in infancy. His wife survived but a few years, and died Sept. 23, 1836. Mr. Kibben was again married, Nov. 22, 1839, in the same county, to Miss Rebecca Farmer, daughter of William Farmer. She was born near Dayton, Ohio, Nov. 2, 1810. Her father was born in South Carolina, and her mother in Georgia. They were members of the Society of Friends, and were earnestly opposed to slavery, so much so that they would not own negroes, or reside in a slave State; therefore they wended their way northward to the free State of Indiana. Separated from those of like faiths and living in a sparsely settled country, they attended the Methodist Episcopal Church as that the nearest in sympathy with them. Mr. Farmer united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but his wife clung to the Quaker faith. Their daughter, now Mrs. Kibben, united with the Methodist Episcopal Church when fifteen years of age, and has now been a member of that society for sixty-two years.
Mr. and Mrs. Kibben had five children born to them, of whom three are now living: Mary, widow of Rev. P. P. Ingels, a prominent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church,. who resides at Des Moines, Iowa; Walter S. and Oliver P. were twins; Walter was drowned at the age of twenty years; Oliver P. married Miss Della Gamage, of Mt. Pleasant, and resides at Curtis, Neb., where he is engaged in the cattle-raising business; Prudence M. is the wife of Rev. S. S. Murphy, a well-known minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Burlington, Kan.; Virginia, the youngest, died in infancy.
Mr. Kibben removed with his family from Indiana to Will County, Ill., in 1846, and engaged extensively in farming and stock-growing at Twelve-Mile Grove. He continued to reside in Illinois for ten years, and in 1856 came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. At this time he was possessed of liberal means, and soon bought an interest in the Saunders’ bank. He was instrumental in the organization of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, and for many years served as a Director of that institution. In his political views he was an earnest Democrat, and believed in maintaining the constitution and union of the States, regardless of the institution of slavery. He was fearless and outspoken in his views, and on the breaking out of the late war he found himself placed in a false position. While he contended that a failure on the part of the free States to properly observe the Constitution precipitated the conflict he did not sympathize with or apologize for armed opposition to the Government. He was true to the Union and the principles of the Constitution. His death occurred Sept. 9, 1874.
Mr. Kibben was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which he bad been connected since his youth. He was a warm-hearted, upright gentleman, who commanded the respect and esteem of even those who were bitterly opposed to him in political opinion, and was eminently a self-made man. Starting in life an orphan and penniless, by industry, strong will and fine business ability, he won his way to wealth and independence. His widow, an estimable lady, survives him, and still resides in Mt. Pleasant. While her life now numbers seventy-seven years, and she has witnessed all the wonderful discoveries in science and mechanics, and the great march of improvement of the present century, her eyes are still bright, her form erect, while a genial, kindly intelligence endears her to all who are so fortunate as to be classed among her friends.
The many friends of Mr. Kibben will be
pleased that we have secured an excellent portrait of the gentleman, which is
presented on an accompanying page to the readers of this volume.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 319-320) (JC)
Albert Washington Kinkead
Albert Washington Kinkead, who in the development of his
native powers and latent energies has attained prominence at the bar of Mt.
Pleasant [Iowa], where he is also successfully conducting an abstract business
in addition to the general practice of law, was born in the town of Homer,
Licking County, Ohio, on the 22nd of February, 1853 [sic], his parents being
Robert Willis and Jerusha (Smith) Kinkead. The father was born in
Muskingum County, Ohio, February 25, 1817, and was a son of Joseph Kinkead, a
pioneer of the Buckeye State, who removed there from Virginia. He was a
soldier of the War of 1812, and when a young man went from the Old Dominion to
Ohio, casting in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Muskingum County, whence
In the common schools of his native town Albert W. Kinkead
acquired his early education, which was supplemented by study in other
Ohio schools and later in Howe's Academy, at Mt. Pleasant, where he pursued a
full course. At that time this institution was a very strong school, the
founder, Samuel L. Howe, being the principal. Mr. Kinkead engaged in
teaching for a time both before and after pursuing his academic course, and
subsequently he entered the law office of H. & R. Ambler, at Mt.
Pleasant, who directed his reading, after which he was admitted to the bar by
examination before the circuit court of Henry County on the 13th of August,
1877. Immediately afterward he entered into partnership with C. B.
Whitford, a relation that was maintained for three years, after which Mr.
Kinkead was elected city solicitor in 1879, serving for two years. In 1886
he was chosen, by popular suffrage, to the office of County Attorney of Henry
County, and for four years filled that office, having been re-elected in
1888. It was at the former date that the office of district attorney was
abolished and the position of County Attorney was created. Upon his
retirement from office on the 1st of January, 1891, Mr. Kinkead resumed the
general practice of law, in which he has met with gratifying success. A
liberal clientage is accorded him which indicates the consensus of public
opinion regarding his legal talents and capability as well as his devotion to
the interests of those whom he serves. He has also prepared a set of
abstract books that are unsurpassed anywhere and has a fine business in that
line as well. He has developed and improved his system and the abstracts
that have been furnished have numbered over twenty seven hundred and
fifty since the completion of his set of books. He began the work in 1882
and now has a fine set of verbatim copies such as is to be found nowhere else in
On the 2nd of May, 1888, Mr. Kinkead was married to Miss
Lorena Lois Wallar [sic], of New London, Iowa, a daughter of W. D. and Peninah
Wallar. She was born and reared at New London and, by her marriage , became the
mother of one daughter, Leah, who graduated from the Mount Pleasant High School
with the class of 1906, [who] is now at home. The wife and mother
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 700-703) (RK)
DAVID KINNEY, deceased, was a prominent pioneer settler of Henry County, Iowa, having come to this county first in 1845 from Ohio. Remaining some six months he returned home, and again, in April, 1850, came to Henry County, at which time he purchased 160 acres of land on section 33, Trenton Township. He removed to this farm the same year, and by his own labor transformed it into one of the best in the county, residing upon it until his death. He was one of the successful farmers of Henry County, and in time became owner of 532 acres of land. Mr. Kinney was born Jan. 9, 1814, and died April 5, 1883, mourned by a large circle of friends as well as relatives. Having lived in this county for so many years he was universally known, and was respected alike by old and young, rich and poor.
On the 22d of December, 1835, he was united in marriage with
Margaret Johnson, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Frederick Johnson. Five
children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kinney:
Mary Catherine, wife of Thomas J. Wilson, now residing in Harvey County,
Kan.; Frederick J., residing in Tippecanoe Township, married Mary Bonfield, 25th
of March, 1870, and died on the 29th of September, 1881 ; they had one child,
Franklin I., who died in infancy; Elizabeth S., died when eleven years of age;
Rosamond, wife of Warren Chandler, a resident of Jefferson County, Iowa, died
June 27, 1877; and Franklin T.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 199.)(JC)
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 200.)(JC)
Jacob S. Kinney
JACOB S. KINNEY, a prominent farmer residing on section 30, Marion Township, was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 15, 1817, and is the son of John and Betsey (Hunt) Kinney. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of Germany, and by their union there were four children: David, who came to Henry County in 1855, died near Rome, Iowa, in March, 1883; Elizabeth, wife of William Cassner, both died in Greene County, Ohio; Aaron, a farmer near Red Oak, Iowa; our subject was their second child. Mrs. Kinney died in Greene County, Ohio, in 1823. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Kinney was again united in marriage, in 1825, to Margaret Boren, and by this union there were twelve children, all of whom grew to man and womanhood. Mr. Kinney was a public-spirited man, and always cast his vote with the Democratic party, taking a lively interest in all that pertained to the same. He was also a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was called to his final home in 1864.
Jacob Kinney, our subject, remained at home until 1830, at
which time he led to the marriage altar Miss Susan Glasgow, a native of
Maryland. He rented a farm, for
which he gave half that was raised in payment of rent, and also had to thrash
the grain and deliver it at the mill. Mr. Kinney lived on a rented farm in Ohio
until 1851, when he decided to go west. He accordingly loaded his effects into a
wagon and started for Illinois, but passed through that State and located in
Tippecanoe Township, Henry Co., Iowa. Here he rented a farm for three years, and
in 1853 purchased 100 acres of land, on which he now resides. Mr. Kinney now
owns 216 acres in all, and has given 155 acres to his children. What this worthy
couple possess they have obtained by hard labor and close economy. Mr. Kinney
brought to Henry County some of the finest horses seen in this part of the
State, and now owns a number of fine horses, which sell at good prices. Mr.
Kinney received his education in a log-cabin school-house in Ohio. He is a
pioneer of both Ohio and Iowa, and takes an active interest in all public
affairs. He cast his first vote for the Democratic party, and has ever since
favored the same. He is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
is much interested in the welfare of humanity. The union of Jacob Kinney and
Susan Glasgow has been graced with five children: Robert J. married Emeline
Gaston, who died about 1876, when he subsequently married Mary Loganstein, and
lives in Marion Township, having four children living and one deceased; George
married Martha Allender; Martin L., a sketch of whom appears in this work;
Franklin P., at home; Nancy J. married Asbury Allender, and resides in Marion
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 201.)(JC)
GRAFTON KIRBY, of section 3, Center Township, was born in Morgan County, Ohio, May 20, 1843, and is a son of Thomas and Rebecca Ann (Grafton) Kirby. Their marriage was celebrated in Morgan County, Ohio, and to them was born a family of six children, four sons and two daughters: Mary J., wife of Isaac Thomas, a resident of Wilmington, Ohio; Isaac, a resident of New Mexico; Martha E. married Stephen Livzy, of Keokuk, Iowa; Grafton, the subject of this sketch; Milton S., of Des Moines County, Iowa; Melvin C., deceased. In 1866 Thomas Kirby removed to Henry County and purchased the land on which Mr. Backus now lives. In politics he was a Democrat, and a great admirer of Stephen A. Douglas. He and his estimable wife were members of the Congregationalist Church of Mt. Pleasant. Mr. Kirby took great interest in all matters pertaining to education, and was always well informed on the affairs of the county and nation.
Grafton Kirby, the subject of this sketch, was reared in Morgan County, Ohio, until eighteen years of age, receiving a common-school education in his native State. He came to Henry County in 1836, and in 1869 was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth J. Barclay, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Barclay, natives of Greene County, Pa. Henry Barclay was born in Greene County, Pa., in 1799, and in the year 1828 formed a matrimonial alliance with Elizabeth Armstrong, who was born in 1809. In 1858 Mr. Barclay came to Henry County and purchased the place where Mr. Kirby now resides. They were the parents of nine children: Helen, wife of James Davidson, of Chariton, Iowa; Mary, wife of John Biddle, deceased, now resides in Shenandoah, Iowa; Henry A., of Bird City, Kan.; Elizabeth, wife of Grafton Kirby, of Henry County, Iowa; Laura, widow of Melvin C. Kirby, resides at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Barclay were members of the Presbyterian Church, and always ready to advance the cause of their Master. Mr. Barclay was called to his final home in 1862, preceding his wife twenty years, she dying in February, 1882. In early life he held the political views of the Whigs until the organization of the Republican party, when he cast his vote with that body.
Mr. and Mrs. Kirby are the happy parents of two daughters: Lena, a graduate of the High School of Mt. Pleasant, is now in Chicago studying short-hand and type-writing; Laura, the other daughter is at home. In 1882 Mr. Kirby suffered quite a loss by the cyclone of June 17, his loss being valued at $1.000. His business is that of a farmer and general stock-raiser. He owns eighty acres of land, situated two and a half miles from Mt. Pleasant, valued at from $50 to $75 per acre, all of which is under a high state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby are earnest Christian people, and are members of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant. In politics Mr. Kirby is a Democrat.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 220-221.) (JC)
NELS KLEN, a farmer residing on section 23, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born near Hesselholm, Sweden, Oct. 15, 1838, and is the son of Nels and Panilla (Benson) Rasmusson, born in the same country, where they were reared, married, and became the parents of seven children. Nels Rasmusson was a farmer and carpenter in Sweden, and during his life engaged in those occupations. He became quite wealthy and died in the autumn of 1878. His widow resides on the old homestead and has reached the mature age of seventy-eight years. Only two of the children are residents of America, our subject and Rasmus Nelson, who resides in York County, Neb., the husband of Louie Palmblad. The children living in Sweden are: Peter Nelson, who is the eldest brother and unmarried; Banta, wife of O. Oleson, resides on the old homestead; Anna came to America in 1868, but in 1872 returned to Sweden where she afterward married; Bengt, the youngest son, is also unmarried, and is a farmer in his native country.
In 1865 our subject came to America and went to Galesburg, Ill. He was married, December 16 of that year, to Miss Panilla Benson, who came to America from Hastveda, Sweden, the same year with her brother John, now of Brown County, Kan., and a cousin, John Swenson. Her people remained all their lives in Sweden, and died on the old homestead before the daughter left her native land. A brother, Benjamin, preceded Mrs. Klen to America, coming in 1868. He became an employe of the Government in the Naval Department. Prospering greatly, he went to Helena, Mont., began mining, became wealthy, and now owns extensive water-works in that city. He was married in that country to a German lady and they now have three children. There were six children in the Benson family who reached adult age: the two mentioned above, Mrs. Klen, Mrs. John Peterson, and two brothers yet in Sweden—Peter, who married Bessie Oleson, and Nels, who is unmarried.
Mr. KIen was acquainted with his wife in Sweden during her girlhood, and since their marriage many happy days have been spent. The trials of life have long since been passed. When Nels arrived at Galesburg he only had $1 in his pocket, and being ill for almost six months, he ran greatly behind. Upon their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Klen started even with the world, but with strong arms and willing hearth they began the battle of life, and to-day have a nice competency and are yet in their prime. They became residents of Henry County, Iowa, in 1872, having purchased his land three years previously. The broad acres that are now so finely improved were a vacant prairie, and every stick, every tree, everything in fact which makes life enjoyable, have been placed there by Mr. Klen. No children bear their name. No more worthy family is a resident of the township, and since their arrival here both have been members of the Swedish Lutheran Church at Swedesburg. Nellie Patterson, known as Nellie Klen, has been reared from her third year by Mrs. Klen, and in her tidy home Nellie has been taught all the mysteries of housekeeping.
Mr. Klen is a Republican and received his citizenship in full in this county. He owns a fine farm on section 23, and we gladly give him and his wife a deserved place. among the noted Swedish families of the county.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 171-172.)(JC)
JOHN G. KOCH, manufacturer of and dealer in boots and shoes, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in the village of Hoefingen, Oberamt, Leonberg, in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, Oct. 25, 1849, and is the son of Frederick and Anna Mary (Etzel) Koch. In his youth our subject served a regular apprenticeship to the shoemaking trade in his native country, first serving three years and then spending one year in travel as a journeyman. He emigrated to America in 1867, coming directly to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he engaged with William Timmermann & Co. as a journeyman, and continued to work with them for ten years. In 1878 he formed a partnership with Mr. William Schnurr in the boot and shoe business, under the firm name of Koch & Schnurr. This connection continued five and a half years, since which time Mr. Koch has conducted the business alone. Mr. Koch was married at Mt. Pleasant, Feb. 8, 1874, to Miss Catherine Schmitt, daughter of Peter and Katherine (Bardo) Schmitt. Mrs. Koch was born near Augsburg, Germany, Dec. 24, 1850, and came to America in 1855. Five children were born to their union—one son and four daughters—all born in Mt. Pleasant: Clara M., born Jan. 26, 1875; Anna M. Helen, born April 13, 1876; John Frederick, born Jan. 31, 1878; L., Julia, born Nov. 14, 1879; L. Katie, born Jan. 10, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Koch are members of the German Presbyterian Church, of which he is a Trustee, and has been Superintendent of the Sunday-school; at present he is Assistant Superintendent. Mr. Koch is a Republican in his political views, with a tendency to being independent in local elections. He has built up a fine trade, and has made a reputation for good work and fair prices. Repairing receives his special attention. His store is situated on the south side of the Public Square.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 201-202.)(JC)
A farmer residing on Section 7, Jefferson Twp., Henry Co., IA,
was born in Maryland in 1829, and is the son of John and Margaret (Harget)
Kurtz, who were of German origin, but were born, reared and married in Maryland.
His grandfather, on his father's side was in Germany, and his name was also John
Kurtz. The given name of his wife was Susan, who bore two children: John and
Susan, who remained in MD, and probably never married. The children of John
Kurtz, father of our subject, are mentioned individually in the sketch of Newton
McClintic, who married Ann R., the second youngest daughter. John Kurtz, Sr.,
died at the age of 64, and his wife survived him a number of years, reaching the
age of 72. Both were buried on the old homestead
John Kurtz, our subject, was married in 1850 to Martha K. Mason, a
daughter of A. W. and Cynthia (Rogers) Mason, who were married in Monroe Co.,
TN. Mrs. Kurtz was born there and came with her parents to Henry Co., in 1842,
settling where Wayland is now located. Later Mr. Mason purchased a farm on Sect.
8, where he lived for some years, but later purchased a small home on Sect. 6,
where he and his wife died. They were born in NC and reared a family of 10
children, the first 8 being born in TN--James N., William R., Martha A., Mary
J., Andrew J., Arch McCracken; Rufus and Thomas, Leo and Margaret, in Iowa. The
wife of A. W. Mason died in her 41st year, and Mr. Mason wedded Isabella Murry,
who bore Henry H., Charles A., Elizabeth C., Samuel D., Viola J., and Ida, all
born in this county. A. W. Mason died in
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 190)
Alcetus D. Latta, who since 1865
has been a resident of Iowa and is now carrying on general farming and
stock-raising in Scott township, was born in Ross county, Ohio, October 3, 1844.
His father, Moses Latta, was likewise a native of that county and there
married Miss Elizabeth Nichols, the latter a daughter of George and Ellen
Nichols, who were natives of Ohio. In
the paternal line, however, Mr. Latta comes of Irish lineage, his paternal
grandfather, James Latta, having been born on the Emerald Isle.
Alcetus D. Latta was reared in
Ohio and is indebted to the public school system of that state for the
educational privileges he enjoyed. When he had attained his majority he sought a home in the
west for he believed that he might have better business opportunities in a
district where competition was not so great.
Accordingly he made his way by steamer from his native state to St.
Louis, Missouri, and thence by rail to Louisa county, Iowa, where he arrived in
the fall of 1865. The following
spring his parents also came and the father purchased a farm near Grand View in
Louisa county and Mr. Latta of this sketch assisted in the development and
improvement of that place up to the time of his marriage.
On the 27th of February, 1867, he was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Jane Thompson, who was born in Louisa county, Iowa, and is a daughter of William and Jane (Shellabarger) Thompson, the former a native of Ross county, Ohio, and the latter of Xenia, Greene county, Ohio.
Following his marriage Mr. Latta
lived upon his father-in-law’s farm near Grand View for twelve years and in
1880 he came to Scott township, Henry county, where he purchased sixty acres of
land lying on sections 3 and 10. He
has made all of the improvements on this place, including the erection of a
building, sixteen by twenty-four feet, and a story and a half in height, to
which he has since built an addition one story in height and fourteen by sixteen
feet. He devotes his time and
energies to the tilling of the soil and to stock-raising.
He has resided continuously upon his present farm for a quarter of a
century and its splendidly improved condition is the result of his care and
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Latta were born
eight children: May, now the wife of Edward McMath, a farmer residing in Davis
county, Iowa; Alpha, who died at the age of seven years; Edith, who died at the
age of three years; Harlin, whose death occurred when two years old; William,
who died when seventeen years of age; Scott, who is living at home; Jennie, who
died, the wife of William Bozman, a farmer living in Wapello county, Iowa; and
Addie, the wife of Ralph Patton. The
wife and mother died of pneumonia February 18, 1886.
Mr. Latta votes with the Republican party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. He has been elected supervisor a number of times. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and his life has been guided in harmony with its principles and teachings. As the years have gone by he has worked persistently and earnestly as a farmer to clear and improve the property which he now owns and he is today in possession of a good farm in Scott township.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Co.,1906, Page 238) (PE)
MELVILLE C. LEACH, who is Postmaster
and agent of the American Express Company, New London, Henry Co., Iowa, was born
in Allen County, Ind., Oct. 19, 1858. He
received a common-school education, and at the age of thirteen left school and
was employed as a cash boy, and from there went to a wall-paper and paintstore,
where he learned book-keeping. At
the age of sixteen he started out to see the world, and "pulled up" at
Cleveland, Ohio, where he was employed as a book-keeper in a wholesale paint and
paper house. After a year of that
service he returned to Ft. Wayne, Ind., with the hope of improving his health,
which was delicate, and engaged in the butchering business, continuing that line
two and a half years. Mr. Leach
then went to St. Joseph, Mo., where he was employed as assistant foreman of a
large packing establishment. In
1880 he left St. Joseph and came to New London, Iowa, where he has since
resided. For several years he was
employed as a salesman with James McClellan, merchant, and was appointed
postmaster in December, 1885, entering upon the duties of the office Jan. 1,
Mr. Leach was married at New London, July 21, 1880, to Miss Emma McClellan, daughter of James McClellan, who was an early settler of Henry County, and whose history is given elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Leach is a native of New London, Iowa. Two children were born of their marriage, a daughter and a son: Mamie E., born May 6, 1882, and Grover, July 30, 1885, both born at New London. Mr.Leach is a Democrat, and took an active part in the last Presidential election in support of his party's national and Congressional candidates. He is a Master Mason, and a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A.F. & A.M. He was appointed agent of the American Express Company in 1882. In connection with the post-office and express office, Mr. Leach carries a stock of fruits, vegetables and confectionery, in which he has built up quite a fine trade, and he is regarded as one of the enterprising and rising men of the village.
H. K. LEEDHAM, of Leedham & Baugh, dealers in lumber, lath, shingles, and manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds, moldings, etc., Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, established the latter business here in 1872. The firm employ about fourteen hands in the factory, situated at the terminus of Lincoln, on Henry street. Mr. Leedham was born in Washington County, Ohio, Dec. 24, 1830, and is the son of John and Sarah (Kensington) Leedham. His parents were born in England and came to America in 1818, settling at Marietta, Ohio, and were among the earliest settlers in that region. They came to Iowa in 1844, and settled in New London Township, Henry County, where John Leedham was engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in March, 1865. His wife also died in the same mouth, but four years later. John Leedham was an upright man of unblemished character, who was considered by those who knew him to be one of the best men of the locality in which he resided. In England both husband and wife were members of the Established Church, but after coming to this country adhered to the Universalist Church.
The subject of this sketch, H. K. Leedham, was reared on a farm, but learned the carpenter’s trade, at which he worked three years. He was also employed at a sawmill about three years, and afterward again went to farming. In 1872 he commenced the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds, in company with Mr. L. G. Baugh (see sketch), which connection has now continued for fifteen years. Mr. Leedham was married, July 12, 1853, to Elizabeth Clark, daughter of Jacob Clark, who was an old settler of Van Buren County, Iowa. Mrs. Leedham was born in Pennsylvania, and died childless in April, 1861. Mr. Leedham was married again, Feb. 16, 1862, in Des Moines County, Iowa, to Mrs. Emma Wright, widow of John Wright, and daughter of Almer Lewis. This lady was also born in Pennsylvania. Three children were born of this union: Perry A., born Dec. 16, 1864, who has been reading medicine, and is now studying in Iowa City with a view to adopting the profession of a physician; Ida M., born Feb. 3, 1869, died June 16, 1871, and Earle M., born May 29, 1880, died Sept. 24, 1882.
Mr. Leedham is independent in
politics, believing that good government is more likely to be obtained through
electing good men to office than by a close adherence to party lines. He is a
broadgauged, whole-souled style of a man, to whom, to use a Western phrase, it
“is safe to tie to.” As a business man and a citizen, he is justly held in
esteem, and for his manly qualities and his integrity of character, he enjoys
the confidence of the entire community.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 250)(JC)
JASPER LUSK, a
farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 36, Trenton Township, Henry
Co., Iowa, is a native of Greene County, Ill.
He was born March 17, 1832, and is the son of W. B. and Sarah
[Dickson] Lusk, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.
Jasper, after his mother’s death, which occurred when he was
two years old, lived with an uncle and aunt in Illinois for six years,
but in 1839 his father took him to live with himself, bringing him to
Henry County. He was reared
upon the home farm in Tippecanoe Township, and at the age of twenty made
an overland trip to California, where he remained for two years engaged
in farming and mining. With
his father, he returned home by water, by way of Panama and New York.
After his return he obtained 240 acres of land on section 36,
Trenton Township, which at that time was raw land, and upon this farm he
In 1857 Jasper
Lusk was united in marriage with Annie Costlow, a native of Pickaway
County, Ohio. She was born
Aug. 3, 1837, and is a daughter of James and Delia [Hildrith] Costlow.
On the paternal side she is of Irish descent, her father being a
native of that country, and her mother a native of New York.
To Mr. and Mrs. Lusk have been born three children: James W.,
still residing at home; Florence, wife of Luther Gayer, of Kokomo, Ind.;
Myrtle Elnora, at home. In
1863 Mr. Lusk again crossed the plains with an ox-team, and reaching
Montana, he engaged in mining for two years, returning home by the way
of the Missouri River. After
his return he again resumed his occupation of farming, which he has
continued ever since. Mr.
Lusk is an excellent farmer, understanding the business thoroughly.
He has 500 acres of land, mostly under cultivation, and his stock
is of the best grades in the market, and he ships from one to three
car-loads of cattle per year. He
believes that stock to yield a good income must be well kept.
Upon the farm is a fine country residence worth $1,500.
Mr. Lusk takes great interest in all educational matters.
Politically, he is a Democrat, but is liberal in his views.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 543-544)(PW)
WILLIAM B. LUSK, a
pioneer among pioneers, and one of the few who yet remain to tell the
story of the hardships endured by the early settlers, lives on section 1,
Tippecanoe Township. He is a
native of Tennessee, born in Carter County, April 4, 1803, and is a son of
John and Jane [Boyd] Lusk, both of whom are also natives of Tennessee.
His paternal grandfather, Robert Lusk, was a native of Ireland, who
came to this country when a mere boy and who served through the
Revolutionary War. His
maternal grandfather, William Boyd, was a native American and also served
through the Revolutionary War. Both
were early settlers in Tennessee. In
his father’s family there were fourteen children, all of whom lived to
be adults. Of that number
William was second in order of birth, and is the only surviving one.
He remained at home on his father’s farm until seventeen years of
age, when he engaged as a drover, buying stock, principally horses, and
driving them to Georgia and other States in the South, where he disposed
of them. In this business he
continued about ten years and was very successful, accumulating in that
time about $15,000. He then
started a packing-house in Augusta, Ga., and during one season was engaged
in pork packing. By reason of
an unfavorable season his pork spoiled and he lost heavily.
His misfortunes did not sour him, but thinking he might better
himself in so doing, in 1834 he emigrated to Greene County, Ill., and
squatted on a piece of land and there engaged in farming.
In the winter of 1835 he came to Henry County, Iowa, and settled in
Center Township, where he remained one year and then moved to section 1,
Tippecanoe Township, where he entered 160 acres of raw land, built a cabin
in frontier style, and there he has since continued to reside.
From time to time he has added to his possessions, until he now
owns 1,700 acres of land, mostly under cultivation.
In addition to general farming he has engaged extensively in
feeding and shipping cattle and other stock, and has been one of the
leading farmers of Henry County.
Mr. Lusk has been
twice married. His first wife
was Nancy Dixon, a native of Tennessee and daughter of Samuel Dixon.
By that union was one child, Jasper, who now lives in Trenton
Township, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume.
Nancy Lusk died in 1834. The
second wife of Mr. Lusk was Sarah Jones, a native of Kentucky and daughter
of Claybourn Jones, also a native of Kentucky.
They were married in 1835. As
husband and wife they lived happily together a period of fifty-two years,
Mrs. Lusk dying July 15, 1887.
Few men have led a
more active life than William B. Lusk.
In every sense of the word he is a self-made man.
Commencing life a poor boy he has twice made an independent
fortune, while at the same time he has ever been liberal with relatives
and friends. All that he has
he has made by his own hard labor and habits of industry.
In 1849 he crossed the plains to California and there engaged in
mining for one year, being reasonably successful.
Returning home he remained until 1852, when he once more made the
overland trip to that new Eldorado, where he remained four years engaged
in the stock business, adding greatly to his possessions.
In 1860 he made the trip to Idaho, where he remained eight months
engaged in the stock business. He
has crossed the plains four times to the Pacific Coast and once made the
trip by water. Politically he
is a Jackson Democrat, and his first Presidential vote was cast for Andrew
Jackson. As a citizen few men
are better known and none more universally respected than William B. Lusk,
the subject of this sketch, and a pioneer in Henry county for more than a
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 565-566)(PW)
EDWIN N. NELSON, Steward of the
Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
The subject of this sketch was born in Lowell, Middlesex Co., Mass., Oct.
18, 1848, and is the son of Henry N. and Mary G. (Holbrook) Nelson. His father was born in Gilmanton, N.H., and is of English
descent. His mother was born at
Garland, Me. Edwin N. was educated at Gilmanton Academy, N.H.
He went to Illinois in 1869, and was connected for thirteen years with
the Central Illinois Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, and held the
responsible position of Supervisor of that institution for many years.
Mr. Nelson was married at Winchester, Ill., in October, 1876, to Miss Mary McEvers. Three children were born of their union, two sons and a daughter. The daughter, Bessie H., is the eldest. The sons are Fred H. and Clarence E. The two elder were born at Jacksonville, Ill., the youngest at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Mr. Nelson came to Mt. Pleasant from Jacksonville, Ill., in October, 1882, to accept the position he now holds, that of Steward of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane. He has proved a most efficient and trustworthy officer, and by his fairness and gentlemanly bearing has won hosts of warm friends at Mt. Pleasant during the five years that he has so ably filled the responsible position at the hospital. He is a Republican in politics, and is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity. He is a Knight Templar and a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, R.A.M., and of Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K.T., all of Mt. Pleasant. He and his wife are both members of the Congregational Church.
CHARLES NILSON, a farmer residing on section 26, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Southeastern Sweden, near the small village of Westerwik. He is a son of Neils W. Swenson and Charlotte Swenson, who were both born, reared and married in Sweden, and after a long lifetime were buried in that far-away land. They were parents of four children—Charles, Gustoph, Orfried and Anna. The second and third sons are still residents of Sweden, married, and are stonemasons in Westerwik. Anna followed her brother Charles to America, coming alone in 1882. Two years later she became the wife of Fred Johnson, a farmer of Wayne Township, who was also born in Sweden, near the birthplace of our subject.
Charles Nilson came to this country in 1869, and after a few months spent in Burlington went to Prairie City, Ill. His marriage was celebrated in Sweden, in April, 1869, and the bridal tour was the voyage made by the young couple across the broad Atlantic. They brought nothing with them but strong arms and willing hearts. The first year Charles found work on the C. B. & Q. R. R. In the year 1870 he began farming rented land, and for thirteen years tilled the same soil, and when the couple came to Henry County, in 1884, they brought money enough that had been earned and saved to buy a nice little farm of eighty acres, and they have a beautiful home one and a half miles southeast of Swedesburg. On the farm in Illinois their children were born—Axell and Gustave.
Our subject became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1878, and became a member of the Republican party of Illinois, and is now prominently identified with the same in Henry County, Iowa. At Prairie City, Ill., Mr. Nilson was made a member of the I. O. O. F., No. 205, in 1875. To this organization he still belongs, and is one of the only three Swedes in Wayne Township who belong to any secret organization. Both himself and his wife love American institutions and the laws and customs which prevail. They came to stay, and as they grow in years and prosperity their sons take their rightful places in the business world. For them they have lived, have toiled, and to them they give a heritage of honor, truth and enterprise.
is a daughter of Jonas and Anna (Peterson) Johnson. They have nine children—
John, Christina, Gustoph, Clara, Louisa, William, Charles, Mary and Augusta. In
America live Clara, wife of our subject; William, who married Nellie Johnson,
and lives in Illinois; Charles, who married Lotta Johnson, and lives in
Illinois. The other children, of whom John and Christina are living, remained in
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 247) (JC)
|William F. Nixon
WILLIAM F. NIXON, J. P., a wealthy and influential farmer, residing on section 17, Marion Township, was born in Washington County, Ind., April 26, 1824, and is the son of Foster and Susanna (Jordan) Nixon. They were natives of North Carolina, and to them were born six children: Thomas died in Helena, Ark.; Zachariah died in Washington County, Ind., in 1886; William F., of Mt. Pleasant; Benjamin T., a silversmith of Louisville, Ky.; Cyrus, editor of the Chanute (Kan.) Times; Margaret, deceased. The father with his two eldest children removed to Washington County, Ind., in 1825, where he was engaged in mercantile business, and in partnership with his brother was running the Nixon Mills at the time of his death, which occurred in 1832. He was a man full of energy and life, and no enterprise was undertaken by him but what it was accomplished. At one time while shipping a boat load of goods to New Orleans he was robbed of $1,000; the money was recovered, but being a very tender-hearted man, he did not prosecute the offender. Foster Nixon was a fine business man, and was highly respected in the community. By his death the family lost a kind and indulgent parent, and the county of Washington a good citizen. Mrs. Nixon was again married, to Jehosaphat Morris, and by him she had one child. Mr. Morris died in 1872. She was united in marriage, the third time, with Levi Knight. Mrs. Knight yet resides in Washington County, Ind., at the advanced age of ninety, and is a wonderfully preserved lady for her age, being able to take care of her own house. She was clerk of the Society of Friends for many years, of which she and her three husbands were all members.
Our subject lived with his mother until the age of seven, when he was adopted by his grandfather Nixon, living there until the age of twenty. After whipping the wheat out of the straw to feed the cattle he trudged off to the little log school-house, where he received his education. After the death of his grandfather, in 1844, he bought the old mills, taking charge of them for about a year, but was forced to quit this business on account of ill-health, and selling out, he went to work by the month, receiving but $9 per month. On the 17th day of March, 1847, he led to the marriage altar Miss Nancy J. Davis, who was born in Washington County, Ind., Jan. 20, 1833, and was the daughter of Farlow and Sophia (Spoon) Davis, natives of North Carolina. Three weeks after their marriage Mr. Nixon and his young wife started for Henry County, Iowa, traveling from Keokuk to Henry County in wagons. Settling in Marion Township he rented a farm for four years, and in 1851 he bought forty acres of land on section 17. He erected a little log cabin in which they began housekeeping, living here until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enrolled his name among the many brave boys of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. For many weary months he lay sick in the hospital, and was discharged after having been in the service for three years and six months. Returning home he again turned his attention to farming, adding to his first purchase until he now has 120 acres of fine land, all under cultivation. The little log cabin has long since given place to a beautiful two-story residence, and the little saplings have developed into large, stately trees.
Mr. Nixon began life a poor man, but with the aid of his estimable wife, who has truly been a helpmeet to him, he has become independent. They are the parents of five children: Margaret, born Feb. 23, 1849, died in September, 1854. She had gone with her father on a visit to the old home, when she was taken sick and died on the returning journey. Sophia, who was born March 21, 1851, is the wife of John Cubbison, and to them two children have been born—Vinnie and Frank; Benjamin F., born March 27, 1855, is in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Cubbison, in the mercantile business at Fairmont, Neb.; Sarah Belle, born May 2, 1858, is the wife of Levi Miller, a farmer of Cheyenne County, Neb., and to them have been born three sons—Charles, Jesse and Ira D.; Enoch D., born Jan. 28, 1866, is now clerking in a store at Fairmont, Neb.
Mr. Nixon is a Republican; he has held many township offices of trust with
credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of his constituents, and is now
serving his fourth term as Justice of the Peace, having held the office for six
years. Mr. Nixon has given his children good educations, and all of them have
been teachers in the county. Mrs. Nixon is a great worker in the temperance
cause. They are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have the
respect of all who know them, and they are always ready with their time and
money to aid in all charitable, temperance and church work. In him the poor find
a helper, and his acquaintances a noble friend.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 309-310) (JC)
|John T. North
JOHN T. NORTH, residing on sections 26 and 27, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. He was born in Holmes County, Ohio, and is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Stallings) North, both of whom were natives of Maryland, though the father was of German . They emigrated to Ohio in about 1831 and there developed a farm in the timber. In 1841 they emigrated to Henry County, and settled near New London. There were six children in the family, the two eldest, Christian, now the wife of Peter Orn, a carpenter of New Loudon, and Susan, wife of William Wilson, residing in Harrison County, Mo., were born in Maryland. While residing in Ohio three other children were born: Matilda J., wife of J. D. Byers, of New London Township, died in 1872; John T., our subject, and Martha, wife of Charles B. Weller, residing near Kent, Adams Co., Iowa. Emma B., the youngest child, was born in Henry County, married John Wright, and died at Powhattan, Ohio, in 1875. The father resided on his farm in this county until the time of his death, which occurred July 27, 1847, when forty-seven years of age. He was an earnest, sincere Christian, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He owned at the time of his death 140 acres of land, which was a part of the original claim. The mother was born in 1804, and now resides with her daughter near Kent, Adams Co., Iowa. She is an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and took great interest in the pioneer organizations of the county, and was a member of the first church organized in New London Township. Her father was a soldier in the war of the Revolution.
Our subject was reared on a farm in New London Township, receiving his education at the district schools. Being the only son, he was obliged to help his father upon the farm, and after his death had the whole control of it. He formed the sole support of his mother and two single sisters, but when the war broke out he left home and enlisted in Company E of the 1st Iowa Cavalry, June 22, 1861, as a private. He was mustered out March 16, 1865, as Quartermaster Sergeant. He participated in the following battles: Meradozine, Mo.; Lone Jack, Fayetteville, Mo.; Jenkins Ferry, Prairie Grove, Bymerta and Little Rock, Ark. He was on the scout for forty days, during which time he participated in numerous engagements. In the Camden campaign, under Steele, they fought a hard battle at Saline River, and were under fire for ten days in a running fight with Gen. Price.
After returning home Mr. North resumed his occupation of farming on the old homestead, having bought the shares of the other heirs in the same, continuing this until March, 1882. He was united in marriage, April 11, 1867, with Maria L. Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John and Ruth (Whitlatch) Smith, the former a native of Maryland, of English parentage, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania, though of Scotch descent. The father departed this life in Pennsylvania in 1860, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a blacksmith by trade, and served as Colonel in the State Militia of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a prominent man in the neighborhood where he resided. His wife died in June, 1884. She was also a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. and Mrs. North are the parents of four children—Charles S., James H., Frank R. and Mabel, all still inmates of the paternal home.
In November, 1882, Mr. North sold his
farm in New London Township, purchasing 160 acres of land on sections 26 and 27
of Scott Township, where he still resides. This farm is one of the best in the
county, and a glance is sufficient to show that thrift and enterprise are
characteristics of its owner. An elegant residence has been erected, at a cost
of $4,000, and the barn is valued at $600. Mr. North is a practical farmer, and
one of Henry County’s best citizens. He is numbered among the pioneers of the
county, and is respected alike by old and young, rich and poor. He is a stalwart
Republican, and has held various township offices.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 244-245) (JC)
JARRETT NUGEN, a farmer residing on section 36, New London Township, is a pioneer of 1840. He has several well-improved farms, aggregating 595 acres, and his post office is New London. Mr. Nugen is a native of Virginia, and was born in Kanawha County, now in West Virginia, in February, 1813. His parents were also natives of Virginia. His father, John Nugen, Sr., was born near Richmond, Va., in 1775, of Irish parents, and was a soldier of the War of 1812. He was married in Kanawha County, Va., to Miss Mary C. Lee. They were the parents of sixteen children, thirteen of whom grew to man and womanhood; and four sons—David, Jarrett, Charles and Silas—came to Iowa, and settled in New London Township, Henry County; Charles came in 1838, Jarrett and David in 1840, and Silas in 1855. Of these David and Jarrett are still residents of this county, are wealthy, and large land-owners. Silas resides in Dakota Territory, and Charles is now deceased. The family are remarkable for their longevity, there being now living eleven of the twelve children who reached maturity. The oldest was born in 1804, and is now eighty-three years of age; the youngest is fifty-seven years old.
John Nugen, Sr., emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, and a few years later to Wayne County, Ind., in 1818. He continued to reside in that county, engaged in farming, until his death, which occurred in 1859. His wife was of an old Virginia family of Colonial times. Her father served through the Revolutionary War as a soldier of the Continental army, and was a warm patriot.
Jarrett Nugen, our subject, was reared on his father’s farm,
and was united in marriage in Wayne County, Ind., March 8, 1838, to Miss Melinda
Butler, daughter of Samuel Butler. Mrs. Nugen was born in Wayne County, Ind.,
and her father was a native of Georgia, emigrating to the former State at an
early day. Seven children were born of their union, five sons and two daughters,
and five are now living: William H. was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, Jan. 6,
1841, and served in the late war as a member of Company K, 25th Iowa Volunteer
Infantry; he was engaged in the mercantile business at New London for twelve
years, four in company with Capt. Richard, and eight by himself, but is now
engaged in farming. Mary, born April 6, 1843, is the wife of Gad Lyman, of New
London; John Z., born April 25, 1845, married Miss Zora Belle Newell, and
resides at New London (see his sketch); Lizzie was born May 28, 1847, and
resides with her father; Josephus, horn April 27, 1850, died at the age of four;
Ellwood died in childhood; the other being an unnamed infant. Mr. Nugen first
came to Iowa Oct. 18, 1839, purchasing a claim in Des Moines County, and after a
brief stay returned to Indiana. The following year he returned with his family,
arriving at their home in Pleasant Grove Township Oct. 8, 1840. On the 2d of
March, 1841, he moved to Henry County, and on the 16th of November of that year
he established his permanent home, where he has since resided. Mr. Nugen was a
Whig in early life, and since the dissolution of that party has been a Democrat.
He is a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.
He has been an active business man, and by industry and good management
has accumulated a large property, and his character as a man and citizen is
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 227.) (JC)
|John Z. Nugen
Z. NUGEN, a farmer residing at New London Village, has 120 acres
of land. He was born in New London Township, April 25, 1845, and is the son of
Jarrett and Melinda (Butler) Nugen, of whom a history is given elsewhere. He was
reared on the farm, and received a common-school education, and when nineteen
years of age enlisted, May 1, 1864, as a private in Company G, 45th Iowa
Volunteer Infantry, and served four months in the Army of the Tennessee. On his
return from the war he engaged in farming in New London Township. He was married
in Des Moines County, Iowa, Sept. 25, 1870, to Miss Zora Belle Newell, daughter
of Albert and Martha Newell. Mrs. Newell was born in Pleasant Grove Township,
Des Moines Co., Iowa. Six children have gathered round the hearthstone of this
worthy couple, five of whom are now living: Aria, born Nov. 1, 1871; Jarrett, deceased; Elizabeth,
William H., Ethel, and an infant daughter, unnamed. Mr. Nugen moved to the
village of New London in 1887. Mrs. Nugen is a member of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, and Mr. Nugen is a member of Charity Lodge No. 56, I. 0. 0.
F., and of J. W. Hardin Post No. 384, G. A. R., and in politics is a
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 224.) (JC)
fireman at the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,
has been connected with that institution longer than any other person,
having worked on the construction of the first building of the hospital.
He helped put in the boilers and machinery in 1860, built the first fires
in the furnaces, and has been retained in charge of the furnaces
continuously since, covering a period of over twenty-seven years. Mr.
O'Connell was born in County Cavan, Ireland, parish of Laara, township of
Lisnaglee, in the year 1822. He is a son of Michael and Bridget (Rudan)
O'Connell; was reared on a farm and emigrated to America in 1850, landing
in New York on the day of the funeral of President Taylor, July 30, 1850.
He went directly to Sullivan County, Ind., where he was variously employed
for the next four years. He had his living to earn and worked at anything
he could turn his hand to, be it railroading, farming or any other work.
In 1854 he came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he engaged in brick-making
and quarrying for a year. In April, 1855, he engaged with Capt. McMahon,
preparing for the building of the Iowa State Hospital, as before
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 378-379.) (CL)
|Elias Brown Ogg
ELIAS BROWN OGG (King of Bashan), a pioneer of Iowa in 1839 and formerly a prominent business man of Mt. Pleasant, is now a resident of Marion Township, Henry County. Mr. Ogg is a farmer, and proprietor and manufacturer of Ogg's Hawkeye Liniment, a well-known and popular remedy for many of the ills flesh is heir to. He was born in Baltimore County, Md., May 6, 1814, and is the son of William H. and Catherine (Logsdon) Ogg. The first fifteen years ofhis life were spent in his native county, and in 1829 he went with his parents to what is now West Virginia; a year and a half later he returned to his old home, and in 1831 went to Knox County, Ohio, where he began at the age of seventeen years to make his own way in the world. He was employed at driving a team and doing farm work at $9 a month, for which liberal compensation he was required to render service eighteen hours daily. He returned to Maryland in February, 1832, and the month of October (1833) in his twentieth year, he was married to Miss Catherine Brothers. Mrs. Ogg was born in Baltimore County, Md., and was a schoolmate of her husband. In 1836 Mr. Ogg removed to Knox County, Ohio, and in the spring of 1839 came to Iowa. He located in Des Moines County, eleven miles west of Burlington, where he bought land and made a farm. In 1850 Mr. Ogg came to Mt. Pleasant, where he engaged in mercantile business. He built the first three-story brick building in the city, in which he opened a general store. After five years spent in this line, he sold his stock to Waters & Eastman and his building to William White. He then engaged extensively in the land agency business, and was also a Justice of the Peace. He continued in that business two years, during which time he located more land warrants than any other man in this section of the country, and did a large and profitable business, by which he accumulated a large amount of money. He then engaged in the banking business, in company with Henry Barclay and Henry Swan, under the firm name of Barclay, Ogg & Swan. They began business in an unfortunate time, the opening of 1857, the year of the great financial crash. Mr. Ogg had the misfortune to nearly lose his eyesight by inflammation, and for a long time was incapacitated from attending to business. The banking business seems to have been badly managed, and in a few years Mr. Ogg found himself financially ruined. He retired to a small farm in Marion Township, where he now resides, and for several years has devoted his attention largely to the manufacture and sale of his proprietary medicines. Mr. and Mrs. Ogg were the parents of twelve children: Joshua J., now residing in Florida; William H. died at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, leaving a widow and two children; Ann is the wife of C.T. Stevenson, and lives in Marion Township; Martha E. is the wife of William H. Cox, and resides in Ottumwa, Iowa; Elizabeth is the wife of Oscar Mitts, and resides in Marion Township; Charles B. married Mary Ferguson, and lives on the old homestead in Marion Township; Malachi married Mary Lamborn, and lives in Marion Township; Catherine, deceased; Alfred F., deceased; Elias B., deceased, was married to Mary Ann Anderson; Lydia, deceased, was married to George Mitts; Tom, deceased, married to Sarah Ann Farmer; he left a wife and three children. Mr. Ogg has attained considerable prominence as an interesting writer of local chronicles, under the nom de plume of the "King of Bashan".
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 416)(PW)
THOMAS V. PACKER
THOMAS V. PACKER, deceased, became a resident of
Henry county in 1851 and since that time the family has figured
prominently in this part of the state, Mr. Packer having been an honored
and respected resident here up to the time of his demise.
He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1814, and was
a son of Aaron and Rebecca (Dewees) Packer, both of whom were born in or
near Philadelphia. The
family was established in eastern Pennsylvania at an early period in the
settlement of the colony and among its representatives have been many
who have attained prominence in various walks of life.
John and Samuel Packer have been members of congress from
Pennsylvania, and a cousin, William F. Packer, was governor of that
state. Asa Packer, of Mauch
Chunk, Pennsylvania, was a judge and at one time owned extensive coal
mines in Pennsylvania. He
was one of the promoters of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in
1876 and at its close found that he was heavily in debt.
However, he secured a franchise to operate the railroad from his
coal mines to Lake Ontario, and through this means he regained his
fortune and was able to leave a handsome competence to his family.
He was entirely a self-made man, being in youth employed on the
canal, but he judiciously invested his money in land, which proved to be
underlaid with rich coal and marble deposits.
With all his splendid success he was a man of kind heart and
generous disposition, his employees ever finding him not only just but
generous, and his wife possessed equally commendable traits of
Aaron Packer, father of our subject, was in
early life a potter, and afterward conducted an extensive mercantile
establishment in Pennsylvania. Later
he settled in Jefferson county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming and
stock-raising, and the last years of his life were passed in Clark
county, Ohio, near South Charleston.
He was always an earnest republican, unfaltering in his advocacy
of the principles of the party, and he, and his wife were members of the
Friends’ church. He died
in 1877, when more than ninety years of age, having for some time
survived his wife, who passed away in 1851, at the age of sixty years.
Their remains were interred in Ohio, the former near South
Charleston and the latter near Mount Pleasant, Ohio.
In their family were seven children but all have passed away,
namely: Isaac, Thomas, Elizabeth, Hannah, Elisha, Sarah, and Benjamin.
Thomas V. Packer acquired his early education in
the district schools of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
He learned the cooper’s trade in the latter state and followed
it until 1851, when he came to Iowa.
He was an excellent workman in the line of his chosen occupation.
After taking up his abode in this state, however, he settled upon
a partially improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres on Skunk
river near Oakland, Henry county, and turned his attention to the
improvement of that farm, which he had purchased, and which he continued
to cultivate until 1862, when he removed to a farm in Lee county, near
Salem. His last years were
spent in retirement in Salem. In
1844 Mr. Packer was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Linton.
The original ancestor of the Linton family came to America with
the William Penn colony and preached the first Quaker sermon in
Philadelphia. Her parents
were Mahlon and Ann (Hilles) Linton, in whose family were seven children
who grew to maturity: Sarah, William, Samuel Linton, Mary Linton, Joseph
Linton, Isaiah, and Margaret, who became Mrs. Packer, was the youngest
of the family. All the sons
of the Linton family were employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
in the early days of its construction as civil engineers.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Packer was
celebrated in Washington county, Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, on the
17th of April, 1844. Mrs.
Packer was educated in Washington county, attending the public schools
and the girls’ boarding school. Her
parents died when she was young. She
afterward made her home with her brothers and sisters until she was
married, at which time Mr. and Mrs. Packer removed to Ohio, where they
continued to reside until 1851, when they came to Henry county, residing
in this part of the state until called to their final rest, the remains
of both being interred in the cemetery at Salem.
Mrs. Packer was a successful teacher in Pennsylvania near
Brownsville prior to her marriage, and her children and grandchildren
seem to have inherited her capability in this direction.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Packer were born nine
children, of whom seven are living.
Annie E., who began teaching in a country school and has since
been identified with school work. She
was for seven years principal of the high school at Bonaparte, Iowa, and
for more than ten years was assistant principal at Whittier College at
Salem, Iowa. She has also
been an instructor in teachers’ institutes during the summer months,
sometimes conducting four during a single season.
She was county superintendent of Henry county before entering
Whittier College to assist as principal, was also county superintendent
of Van Buren county, and in 1899 she was elected county superintendent
of the schools of Henry county, entering upon the duties of the office
in January, 1900, and has since filled this position in a most
creditable and acceptable manner. She
is well qualified for the office and under her guidance the schools have
made splendid advancement, as she has ever held high the standard of
public education. She is a
devoted member of the Congregational church and also belongs to the
P.E.O. Society and to the Eastern Star.
Rebecca, the second member of the Packer family, was a successful
teacher in Iowa and Nebraska, and after teaching for eight years near
Lincoln, Nebraska, died in that city in 1891.
Ada Packer became the wife of Thomas H. McConnaughey, who died in
July, 1903. She became a
teacher before her marriage and is now teaching in the Central school at
Mount Pleasant. Mr.
McConnaughey was a sergeant in Company M of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry in
the Civil war and served throughout the period of hostilities.
He was wounded at Vicksburg, which occasioned a slight lameness
throughout his entire life. Mahlon
L. Packer, residing in Salem, Iowa, married Sarah Jacobs, a niece of
William Jacobs, who was one of the compilers of the Lippincott
Encyclopedia. They have four
children: Joseph L., Harold, Paul, and Leah.
William Albert Packer resides at Bonaparte, Iowa.
A. H. Packer, who is principal of the Lincoln school in Fort
Madison. I. L. Packer
resides in Salem. Emma
married J. H. Jacobs and died in Kansas in 1895.
Nellie married J. H. Collatt, of Salem.
In his political affiliation Mr. Packer of this review was an earnest democrat and served as township trustee and in other local offices. He was greatly interested in the cause of public education, served as a member of the school board, always declaring that “his school tax was the best tax which he paid.” He, and his wife were members of the Friends’ church and honorable principles and upright conduct characterized their entire lives. Mr. Packer passed away in February, 1898, at the age of eighty-four years, while his wife died February 15, 1897. No more worthy or respected people were numbered among Iowa’s citizens. They were kindly in spirit, generous in disposition, loyal to justice, truth, and right and they stood as champions of every interest for the public welfare and at the same time reared a family who are indeed a credit to their name.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 84-87) (PE)
HON. JOHN W. PALM
HON. JOHN WEST PALM, who served as postmaster at Mount Pleasant a
number of years, was born in Southington, Trumbull county, Ohio, October
23, 1850, his parents being Adam and Jane (West) Palm.
The father was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, March 26, 1816, and
was of German extraction. His
death occurred in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, October 11, 1889, when he was
seventy-three years of age. He
was a farmer and brick mason, and in 1856 came to Iowa, settling in
Marion township, Henry county, where he followed farming, devoting his
attention to general agricultural pursuits for many years.
He afterward removed to Mount Pleasant, where he lived retired up
to the time of his death. His
wife was of Scotch and English parentage, and became a resident of Ohio
in early girlhood. Her death
occurred in this county in 1857, and, like her husband, she was laid to
rest in the Ebenezer cemetery in Marion township.
In their family were seven children: Mary, the wife of Hon. J. W.
Vernon, of Memphis, Tennessee; Martha, who became the wife of Col. R. K.
Miller, of East Des Moines, but both are now deceased; Julia, who became
the wife of Colonel Miller after the death of her sister, and is now
living in Des Moines; Permelia, who is the widow of William Faulkner,
and resides in Lincoln, Nebraska; William, who died in infancy; John W.,
of this review; and Alice, the deceased wife of Wilbur Davis.
In his political views, the father was a republican. Both
he and his wife were devoted members of the Methodist church, and he
died as he lived, with unfaltering faith and trust in the Christian
religion. He ever followed
the best impulses of his nature, and his life conformed to a high
standard of morality. He
faithfully met every obligation that devolved upon him in his relations
to his family, his friends and his community, and his life of rectitude
and honor constitutes an example well worthy of emulation.
His neighbors, friends and all who knew him will long remember
his sturdy integrity and his uplifting influence, his generous spirit
and his many benevolent and kindly acts.
He spent his last days in the home of his son, John West Palm,
and was a resident of Mount Pleasant from 1869 to the time of his death.
Following the demise of his first wife, he remained unmarried for
twenty-two years, and then wedded Mrs. Emma Gregg, by whom he had one
son, George, who is now living in Kila, Montana.
John West Palm pursued his education in the
schools of Mount Pleasant, and was graduated from the high school in the
class of 1869. He also spent
two years as a student in Howe’s Academy, where he prepared for
teaching, and entered upon the work of the classical course in the Iowa
Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, graduating in 1876.
In 1877 he was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of
Professor S. L. Howe, who was the superintendent of county schools, and
the following year was elected to the office, but resigned ere the
expiration of one year and purchased the Journal, a newspaper published
in Mount Pleasant. He became
part owner in 1878, and continued as editor and joint proprietor for
nine years, on the expiration of which period he was elected county
treasurer. His wife
continued the publication of the paper as local editor for four years,
and thus Mr. Palm remained owner of the Journal for thirteen years.
In 1887 he was elected county treasurer and filled the office two
terms, and afterward served for one year as deputy county treasurer,
during which year he was nominated and elected to the office of country
auditor, in which he was also continued for two terms by re-election.
Following his retirement from that position, he was appointed
postmaster of Mount Pleasant, in 1897, and held that position until
1906, giving a public-spirited and progressive administration, which has
won him high encomiums from the general public.
His entire official service has been characterized by an
unfaltering fidelity to duty, and during twenty consecutive years spent
in office he has ever won the respect and trust of his fellow townsmen,
who have conferred upon him these official honors.
On the 19th of February, 1879, Mr.
Palm was married to Miss Florence E. Andrews, who was born in Mills
county, Iowa, February 11, 1859, a daughter of Judge M. L. and Maria
(Deming) Andrews, both of whom were natives of Trumbull county, Ohio,
who are mentioned on another page of this work.
Mr. and Mrs. Palm have reared three children, and have also
reared Mr. Palm’s half-brother, George H. Palm.
The eldest, Edward, is now a resident of Kalispell, Montana.
Mary, a graduate of the high school, is at home.
Margaret is attending school.
Mrs. Palm is a lady of superior intellectual and literary
culture, and is the author of various writings that have won her
prominence in local literary circles.
From her pen has come the Web-Weavers.
She has a fine descriptive faculty, in which there is also a vein
of humor. She writes with
great facility, and is master of the art of description.
She also wrote the Minor Note, A Gray Day, A Mount Pleasant
Procession, and other sketches which indicate an appreciation for truth,
beauty and humor in life. She
has always been a great reader and is familiar with the best authors of
ancient and modern times. She
is a charming hostess and her home is the center of a cultured society
circle. She gives generously
of her best for the delight of her guests.
Mr. Palm has long been associated with the interests of the
community, and his efforts for public progress have been far-reaching
and effective. He was for
years at the head of the county fair association, but at length had to
give up that work because of the great strain of his personal and public
duties. Mr. Palm, possessing
a retentive memory, has long been regarded in Henry county as an
authority on historical events. He,
too, is a strong and forceful writer, and he is especially well known in
connection with his commemorative writings.
One of his more recent public utterances was
given in the event of a memorial address delivered at Pleasant Hill
chapel in Henry county on the 30th of May, 1904.
Perhaps no better idea of his understanding of the great events
of history at the time of the Civil war his patriotic spirit can be
given than by quoting from that address.
“I am sure you veterans—and it is you I am to chiefly address
my remarks today—I am sure you would rather listen to one of your own
comrades in arms than to the voice of a ‘layman’ upon those themes
appropriate to consider, and proper, in some measure, to review upon
this melancholy, yet inspiring, memorial occasion.
Yet the army of the noncombatants were not all so from choice.
Many are they who bitterly deplored the cruel partiality of the
government census, which classed them with “women and children,”
unfit for duty on the firing line. In
my youthful enthusiasm I did get to be marksman, or small flag bearer to
the home guards. A neighbor
boy and I were chosen to carry small flags, and in the evolutions of the
rude militia on the prairies of Marion township we were called upon to
take our place on either side of the ensign and hold ourselves in
readiness to run upon command as fast as our legs would carry us forward
to the head of the column, and there stand to enable it to make a square
turn to the right or left. No
doubt this is quite as far as a ten-year-old boy could be expected to
advance in military science or experience; but the disappointment was
hard to endure, for to be a real soldier, with knapsack and gun, was the
fond hope of my waking and the fitful dream of my sleeping hours.
I had a uniform of gray, with a yellow stripe running down the
leg of my pants. I think we
were called the ‘Ebenezer Grays,’ and when under drill we stretched
our boys’ legs far out to keep in step with the men, and to our
bedazzled youthful imagination there was no palliation or excuse for
being born in the ‘50s and still less for barring young gentlemen of
ten summers from enlistment in the army.
“I hesitate to address you men of the ‘60s I
feel a special disqualification the fatal disqualification of not being
one of you. For to no one
are the scenes and circumstances of war so real, so tangible, as to
those who themselves witnessed them, and by none can they be so well and
so truthfully portrayed as by the men who themselves felt the shock of
battle, and themselves, each for himself, saw the lean and hungry demon
of war staring him fair in the face.
There is indeed comradeship, deep, abiding comradeship, between
you boys of the ‘60s. A
comradeship which we ‘laymen’ admit our inability fully to enter
into and adequately to portray. Yours
is a comradeship born of a common danger and a common duty; a common
obligation of patriotism and a common love of the flag.
There remains to you, the mere remnant now of the grand army of
Grant and Sherman, there remains to you a comradeship born of the heat
of battle and cemented by the grim certainty that of some would be
demanded the forfeit of their lives to save their country.
Yours is a comradeship born in an heroic hour; born when there
were called into play every resource of manhood, every obligation of
honor; every sense of patriotism, every prompting of duty; every
sentiment which the love of home and country contribute to manly courage
and prompt to noble sacrifice.”
Then follows a review of the important events
which led up to the opening of the war.
“Men will fight, but civilized man fights only to escape
conditions worse than war, and to secure that good which only the god of
battles can give. I want
here publicly to thank you boys in blue, you gentleman of the ‘60s,
for doing my fighting for me. In
the name of my generation, on behalf of the millions of men of today who
in 1860 were boys not tall enough by a hands’ breadth to get behind a
gun and go forth to battle, in the name of the women and children and
the great army of helpless noncombatants for whom you fought, for the
love of whom you gave the last supreme test and measure of devotion—in
their name and in the name of the common rights and just destines of men
“Of whom were the great armies of and nations, I want to thank
you old soldiers for your sacrifice and your service.
Grant and Sherman composed?
From whence did the boys in blue come?
The men who fought at Shiloh and at the Wilderness were not
veterans. They did not come
out of the standing army. They
were not making war a profession. Before
Lincoln’s first call and the fall of Sumpter they had scarcely dreamed
of war’s alarm. The great
armies that put down the rebellion and saved the nation were drawn from
the whole body of the people. The
college professor, the men of the learned professions, the scholars and
thinkers did not put down the rebellion, but they contributed a great
and valuable service to that end. The
farm boys from the prairies and the mechanics and day laborers of the
great cities did not put down the rebellion and save the nation, but
they, too, contributed their full share to that end.
The grand army of Grant and Sherman was drawn from every walk of
life. There you would see
the pale-faced college student, the sons of wealth and station, the boys
brought up in luxury and ease, marching side by side with the sunburned
plowboy of the prairies and the smoke-begrimed factory men of the
cities. There you found the
hollow-eyed professor, fresh from the intricacies of Calculus and the
mysteries of metaphysics, plodding along side by side with the boys
recruited from the slums and alleys of our great cities.
No one class held a patent on patriotism in that great and bloody
drama. Thank God, patriotism
is not a thing of station, of wealth, of opportunity, or education, but
is the rich heritage as well of the poor, of the unfortunate, and even
of the wicked and degenerate. Boys
of small promise, even those of wild and reckless life and habits at
home, often made the most sturdy, heroic and fearless soldiers at the
“I cannot let pass this memorial to our heroic dead without directing your attention for a brief moment to the chief figure in this melancholy yet glorious drama—the tall, gaunt, manly figure with deep, sad eyes and melancholy face, who occupied the chair of state at the white house and who at length gave to freedom its crowning sacrifice, the sacrifice of his great heart and life—Abraham Lincoln. What a rare product of the mighty forces of those troublous times was he. What a sane and understandable quantity, what an approachable and kindly man he was; what a sympathetic and tender heart he had, and with it all what a deep and intuitive understanding of the forces in that mighty play. How patient, how forbearing, how forgiving he was to our erring brethren of the south, and how pathetically, how earnestly he appealed to them as friends, as brothers, as countrymen, and how sorrowfully at last he invoked the cruel arbitrament of the god of battles to save the nation and sustain the flag.”
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 685-689) (PE)
|Hon. Leroy Griffin Palmer
HON. LEROY GRIFFIN PALMER, a prominent attorney of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Christian County, Ky., Nov. 3, 1821. His parents were Lewis G. and Ann H. (Tutt) Palmer. His father was born in Spottsylvania County, Va., in June, 1781, and was the son of Isaac Palmer, who was a prominent Federalist and a soldier of the Revolution. Judge Palmer’s mother was born in Culpeper, Va., and emigrated to Kentucky with her father in 1805, or about the same time that the Palmers settled in that State.
Our subject accompanied his father to Madison County, Ill., in the spring of 1831. He received a common-school education, and not having collegiate advantages he entered upon a course of self-instruction and qualified himself for the vocation of a teacher and taught several terms of school. While thus employed at Carlinville, Ill., he engaged in the study of law, under the direction of his brother, John M., then an eminent attorney of Macoupin County, and since Governor of Illinois. He was admitted to the bar at Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill., in 1846, and formed a law partnership with his brother, John M., under the firm name of J. M. & L. G. Palmer. That connection continued but a short time, on account of our subject’s enlistment in the volunteer service for the Mexican War, which occurred May 26, 1846, at Springfield, Ill., where he became a member of Company B, 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was assigned to the Quartermaster’s department, and served in Mexico until April 27, 1847, when he was discharged at Ft. Polk, Point Isabel, for physical disability. His condition was such at the time of his removal from the fort to the transport that he was not conscious of being carried on shipboard. He returned to Illinois in May following, where he recruited his health, and in November, 1847, came to Iowa and opened a law office at Mt. Pleasant. He has pursued the practice of his profession at that place continuously since, and has been called to fill various public positions of honor and trust. He has served two terms in the City Council of Mt. Pleasant, and was a member of the State Senate from 1861 to 1864, and served one term, from 1862 to 1864, as County Judge of Henry County.
Judge Palmer was married at Mt. Pleasant, Aug. 7, 1850, to Miss Orphia Bowen, a daughter of Isaac Bowen, a worthy pioneer of Henry County. Mrs. Palmer was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, and came to Henry County, Iowa, with her parents in childhood. Five children were born of their union, four sons and a daughter: Leroy A. was born at Mt. Pleasant in August, 1857, and was educated in the common schools of the city and at Howe’s Academy in same city, under the care of its founder, the late Samuel Howe, and studied law with his father, and in an office at Keokuk, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar at Mt. Pleasant in 1878. He married Miss Lucy McCarty, and is now in Government employ in the Patent Office at Washington, D. C. Charles F. was born at Mt. Pleasant in June, 1853, and is now engaged in mining with his uncle, Senator Bowen, at Summitville, Col.; Horace LaMont was born at Mt. Pleasant in April, 1857, and is a musician of marked talent and superior culture; Jessie L. was born at Mt. Pleasant in May, 1864, and is the wife of Dr. D. D. Robinson, a druggist of Burlington, Iowa; George L. is employed in the United States Mail Service, with headquarters at Burlington.
Judge Palmer is a Democrat, but opposed his party and voted for Abraham Lincoln both in 1860 and 1864. As a Democrat, he is earnest and pronounced in his views, especially in his hostility to the States meddling with the rights of the individual citizen, and has borne a more or less prominent part in political affairs. The Democracy always in the minority in both county and State, his personal popularity has induced his party to place him in nomination for various offices a greater number of times than almost any other man in the State. At every election in which he was a candidate he succeeded in polling a vote many times over his party strength. In 1874 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Hon. George W. McCray, and succeeded in cutting the Republican majority down from about 5,000 to 1,500. He, has been the most determined and persistent opposer of the building of railroads by means of a public tax, and of every scheme of the Government engaging in business in any way.
Judge Palmer has always been of
studious habits, and is well versed in his profession, as well as in history
and general practical information. He is gifted as a conversationalist, and is a
companionable man, whose superior attainments command respect and esteem.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 245-246) (JC)
|Charles B. Pangborn
CHARLES B. PANGBORN, a farmer, and Township Trustee, residing on section 14, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N. Y., Dec. 31, 1840, and is the son of Cyrus and Annie (Mulkins) Pangborn. Cyrus was born in Vermont, and his wife in the town mentioned, in which village she was married to Mr. Pangborn, and all their children were born in Cazenovia. The marriage was celebrated April 10, 1839. The parents lived upon a farm until the removal to this county in September, 1856, locating on a farm in Tippecanoe Township. Cyrus died while in the United States service, being a member of the celebrated “Graybeard” regiment, which mainly did guard duty and was composed of Iowa men fifty years of age and over. From illness contracted during his service, the death of Mr. Pangborn occurred in 1864, while coming up the Mississippi from Memphis, and his remains were interred at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., below St. Louis. He was the father of three children: Charles B.; Nellie N., wife of James Rouse, of Mt. Pleasant; and James, who died in infancy.
The first husband of Miss Annie Mulkins was Marara Lewis, of French ancestry. He was the father of three children by this marriage: John S., husband of Adeline Bates, is a resident of Oswego County, N. Y.; Edward A. became the husband of Kate Driver, and is a resident farmer of Jefferson County, Iowa; and Adeline, deceased, who married Daniel Hopkins, a resident of Alamakee County, Iowa. All the sons of Mrs. Pangborn were soldiers during the war, as well as her devoted husband. Coming from patriotic blood on both sides, the father a Whig, and later a Republican, he advocated the sentiments which have made this a grand country, and his sons were taught thus from infancy. John S. Lewis was a member of a New York regiment, serving the last two years of the war; Edward of the 12th Iowa, and our subject, a member of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, of which he was Sergeant of Company N. He enlisted in 1861, and in 1862 was discharged on account of disability. While his regiment was in camp at Camp Harlan, near Mt. Pleasant, Charles Pangborn was married to Miss Cassandra L. Richardson, of this county, born in Clarke County, Ohio, and a daughter of Elijah and Delia A. (Bishop) Richardson, who came to this county in 1856. The parents are both dead, and three children only are living: Edward, a resident of Fair Play, El Dorado Co., Cal. ; Emeline, wife of John Brown, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; and Cassandra, wife of our subject. Her father was a large manufacturer of boots and shoes in Springfield, Ohio, but lived a retired life in this county, dying in his sixty-ninth year.
After his return from the service Mr.
Pangborn began farming near Rome, and excepting one year, has been a resident of
this county from 1856 up to the present time. His present farm was purchased in
1883, although being a resident farmer of this neighborhood for several years.
Three children have graced their union: John H., husband of Mary E. Stone;
Freddie H., deceased; and Annie C., now in her eleventh year. Our subject,
Charles Pangborn, has filled for a long term of years various offices in this
township, a member of the School Board, Supervisor, and in 1886 was elected one
of her Trustees, and is the present incumbent. In all the business enterprises
of his county Mr. Pangborn is an important factor. His mother, now in her
seventieth year, finds with her son and kindly daughter a home, known far and
wide as one of the most hospitable and cheery in the neighborhood. As a
representative family, we welcome the Pangborns, and are pleased to present
their sketch to the good people of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 206-207.)(JC)
Joseph T. Patch
September 28, 1869, Mr. Patch was
married at Mt. Pleasant to Miss Mary E. Vernon, only daughter of Rev. J. B.
Vernon, a pioneer of Henry County. She was born in Montgomery County, Ind. They
have three children living, one boy and two girls, and have lost a daughter,
Olivia M., who died at the age of seven years. The other children are:
Mary Edna, aged thirteen; Leroy Vernon, twelve; and Alline L., four. Mr.
and Mrs. Patch are members of the First Methodist Episcopal C1iurch in Mt.
Pleasant. In politics he is a Republican, and socially is a worthy and estimable
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa;
Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 333) (JC)
James H. Patterson
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 596-597)
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 597)
|Frank P. Peck
FRANK P. PECK, M. D., Second Assistant Physician and Pathologist of the Iowa State Hospital, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, since April 1, 1883, was born in Will County, Ill., near Joliet, Oct. 1, 1858, and is the son of Armenius D. and Hannah H. (Flopping) Peck. He received his literary education at the Lockport (Ill.) High School, and taught school for five years before entering the Chicago Medical College in 1879, where, after a regular course, he graduated in the class of 1883, having spent eighteen months of that time in Cook County Hospital. He then came directly to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to accept the position he now holds, as stated above. In polities he is a Republican; religiously a member of the Baptist Church, and fraternally a Master Mason, a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.
Dr. Peck is a young physician of fine
ability, a thorough student of advanced ideas, and has spared no pains to
familiarize himself with all that pertains to a thorough knowledge of his
profession as rapidly as possible, and has already won a high place in the
estimation of those best qualified to judge of his merits. His father, Armenius
D. Peck, was a farmer by occupation, and a worthy man of good repute. He was
born in Jefferson County, N. Y., Oct. 20, 1820. In his youth he went to
Chautauqua County, and then in 1835, to Danville, Ill., with his parents. The
following year the family removed near Joliet, Will County, where the father
engaged in farming. He married Miss Hannah Hopping. Five children were born to
them, three sons and two daughters, Frank P. being the third child. Mr. Peck is
connected with the Baptist Church, and in politics is a Republican. Mrs. Peck
was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., Nov. 23, 1821. She was an estimable lady, a
devoted wife and mother, an earnest Christian and member of the Baptist Church.
Her death occurred Oct. 23, 1879.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 231-232.) (JC)
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 403)(PW)
|Alex. S. Perry
ALEX. S. PERRY is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 15, Center Township. He was born in Washington County, Pa., Jan. 12, 1826, and is the son of T. J. R. and Margaret (Gaston) Perry, the former a native of Maryland, and the latter of Pennsylvania. They were the parents of nine children: John G., deceased; Alex. S., the subject of this sketch; Charity A., wife of Wesley Howard, of Des Moines; Samuel G., who enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, was killed May 22, 1836, during the siege of Vicksburg; Hon. Thomas, Jr., enlisted in the 1st Iowa Cavalry, served nearly four years, and now resides in Western Kansas; William P. enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving out his time, reenlisted and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, being stationed at Indianapolis, Ind., where he was engaged guarding prisoners; he now resides on the old homestead. Margaret married Jerome Turner, and is now deceased; Mathew M. enlisted in the 45th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, served out his time, and now resides in Chariton, Iowa; Rebecca is the wife of W. W. Perry, of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. In 1845 the family emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, where the father located a large tract of land where he resided until death. Politically, he was an old-line Whig in his early life, but became a Republican on the organization of that party. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of Iowa, and served with credit to himself and constituents. A man of more than ordinary ability, he was a friend to education, and everything calculated for the public good, was a strict temperance man and did much for that cause.
The subject of this sketch remained in his native State until nineteen years of age, when he came to Iowa with his parents, and settled in Des Moines County. The educational advantages enjoyed by him were those of the common school, but the information obtained therein has been supplemented by extensive reading since that day. On coming to Iowa he helped his father improve his farm, and for some time was engaged in breaking the wild prairie land.
In 1855 Mr. Perry was united in
marriage with Miss Catherine Baumguardner, a native of Eastern Pennsylvania and
daughter of John Baumguardncr, who settled in Des Moines County in 1849. After
his marriage, Mr. Perry engaged in farming until 1862, when, in response to the
call of President Lincoln for 300,000 more men to put down the Rebellion, he
enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into
United States service at Keokuk. From Keokuk the regiment was sent to Benton
Barracks, near St. Louis, where it remained a short time, and was sent from
there to Helena, Ark., and then to Chickasaw Bayou, where it was engaged, and
where Mr. Perry was wounded in the hand. From the field, he was sent to the
hospital at Paducah, Ky., where he remained three months, and was then
discharged, returning to his home in Des Moines County, where he remained until
1868, when he moved to Mt. Pleasant, where he continued to reside until the
spring of 1888, when he removed to his farm on section 13, Center Township,
where he now lives. In politics, Mr. Perry is a Republican, and has affiliated
with that party since its organization. In 1866, while a resident of Des Moines
County, he was elected Sheriff, and served one term. Mr. and Mrs. Perry have no
natural heirs, but have reared three children, one of whom, Maria C. Wennick, is
now the wife of William M. VanVleet, of New London. Mr. Perry is a member of
McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R. Mrs. Perry is a member of the Christian Church
of Mt. Pleasant. Both are highly respected citizens of the county.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 330-331) (JC)
JONATHAN PHELPS, farmer in Jackson Township, section 36, was born in Randolph County, N. C., July 5, 1823, and is the son of Samuel and Sarah (Newby) Phelps, who owned a plantation in that State, but never owned a slave. They emigrated to Henry County, Ind., in 1842, and purchased a farm, where both died. Their children were all born in North Carolina except Mary, Joseph and Jabez, whose births took place in Indiana. Jane was the wife of Joseph Small, a farmer of Hendricks, Ind., and both she and her husband are deceased; Elias, who is married to Anna Hill, and is a resident farmer of Henry County, Ind.; Eleanor, deceased, who became first the wife of John Hodson, and after his death married William Stanley; Frederick, who wedded Dorcas Boone, and both died, he in Indiana and she in Poweshiek County, Iowa; prior to his death he was married to Sarah Newby. Bethany married Robert Cross, and formerly resided in Boone County, this State, but both are deceased; Mary, also deceased, was wedded to Abner Ratliffe, who is again married, and resides in Henry County, Ind.; Ezekiel married Sarah Hoover, and also resides in Henry County, Ind.; Joseph died unmarried while a young man; Jabez married Miss Hodson, after whose death he married again; Jonathan, the subject of this sketch, is the second son, and was married in Henry County, Ind., to Asenath Jay, April 13, 1848. She was born in Randolph County, Ind., Feb. 1, 1825, her parents being Joseph and Edith (Mills) Jay, who were Friends. They were among the first settlers of that county, and came from Belmont County, Ohio. The death of Mr. Jay occurred in Randolph County., Ind., his widow afterward marrying Thomas Kirk, and both dying in Henry County, Ind. Three children were born to the first marriage: Ruth A., deceased, who wedded Davis Grey; Hugh, who became the husband of Mary J. Martin, both deceased, and the wife of our subject, Asenath.
After his marriage, Jonathan Phelps farmed in Indiana for five years, and in 1853 the young couple came to Lee County, Iowa, and purchased the farm now owned by Henry Minke, which they disposed of in 1865, and became residents of Henry County. When the war broke out he was full of patriotism, and was one of the first to volunteer in the 100-days service. After his term was served he returned home, was drafted, and this time sent a substitute. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps have two children, both born in Indiana—Seth and Joseph J. The first was educated at Burlington, and married Rose Miller; Joseph J. became the husband of Addie Lessinger, whose father has always been a prominent man in this county, and is now manager of the Henry County Infirmary. Joseph was a teacher in this county for several years, but resides upon the home farm, and is one of the enterprising young men of Jackson Township. He is the father of four children: Rudolph, deceased; Fred, Carl and Maud. He is a prominent local politician, and has held many offices within the gift of the people of his township, having been Assessor, Township Clerk, Trustee and Justice of the Peace, and for years has been connected with the School Board. He was educated in the public schools and is fitted to fill any position of trust. Of the Phelps family we are pleased to make mention, for they honor the community in which they live. The father is comfortably situated, and the sons possess his characteristics.
For thirty-two years Mr. Phelps has been engaged in the sheep
business, in which he has made a fortune, and no man in the county or State is
more widely known in business circles. He and his good wife have no need for
further labor, and their home is always bright, but years of labor have so
imbued them with the spirit of enterprise that it is impossible to refrain from
work. We find Mr. Phelps holding the plow while this sketch is written, and he
is yet hale and hearty and as jovial as in his boyhood days. In private and
public life he bears the repute of a man of uprightness and integrity.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 324-325) (JC)
|James H. Philpott
JAMES HARVEY PHILPOTT, M. D., a pioneer physician and surgeon of New London, Henry County, and a resident of Iowa since 1837, was born in Barren County, Ky., Nov. 7, 1828. His parents, Jonathan and Sarah (Frazier) Philpott, were also pioneers of Iowa. Jonathan Philpott was born in Barren County, Ky., Aug. 27, 1806, came to Des Moines County in 1837, and to Henry County in 1854. His death occurred in New London Township, April 29, 1857. His wife, Sarah Frazier, was born in Tennessee, Nov. 12, 1809, and died in Des Moines County, Iowa, July 4, 1841.
Dr. Philpott emigrated from Kentucky to Des Moines County, Iowa, with his parents in 1837. He attended a select school at Burlington and the Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, where he received his literary education. On the completion of his college course he entered upon the study of medicine at Burlington, with Dr. E. D. Ransom as preceptor. He attended both medical colleges of St. Louis, the Missouri Medical and the State Medical, but did not complete a course in either. He then attended the American Medical College at Cincinnati, then a regular medical school, later eclectic in its system of instruction, and graduated in the class of 1854. He entered upon the practice of his profession at New London, Iowa, July 6, 1854, and has pursued it with marked success continuously since, covering a period of over thirty years. Studious in his habits and a close observer, Dr. Philpott has kept well up with the times, and is thoroughly skilled in his profession, both as a physician and surgeon. His practice has extended through Henry and adjoining counties, and has proved eminently successful. The fact that his books show that he has attended 2,683 obstetric cases should convey something of an idea of the extent of his practice in that direction, while his general practice, both as a physician and surgeon, has been extensive. The Doctor is the oldest, both in years and experience, of the local physicians of New London, and justly ranks as one of the leading members of the profession in Henry County.
He was united in marriage at New London, Iowa, Aug. 15, 1854, with Miss Louisa M. Farrar, daughter of Philetus and Calista (Farrell) Farrar. Mrs. Philpott was born in Rupert, Bennington Co., Vt., April 26, 1831. Her father was born in New Hampshire, and her mother in Vermont. Four children were horn of their union, two sons and two daughters: Sarah Calista was born Aug. 23, 1855, and died Sept. 11, 1856; John William was born Dec. 24, 1856. He began the study of medicine with his father and is a graduate of the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, of the class of 1878, and also of the medical department of the University of Vermont, of the class of 1884. He is at present the local surgeon, at Ft. Madison, Iowa, of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and enjoys an extensive and lucrative practice. He is thoroughly skilled in the science of medicine and surgery, and has won a place in the foremost ranks of the profession. Dr. J. W. Philpott married Miss Lucy L. Bollinger, daughter of Alexander Bollinger, and has one child, Austin Flint, born Feb. 15, 1882. The Doctor is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to the Lodge, Chapter and Commandery in Ft. Madison. Charles Harvey, the second son, was born at New London, Iowa, May 22, 1860. He, too, entered upon the study of medicine with his father, and is a graduate of the medical department of the State University of Iowa, of the class of 1882. Soon after his graduation he located at Omaha and engaged in practice, and was admitted to membership in the Nebraska State Medical Association, which he had the honor to represent in the American Medical Association at Chicago in the session of 1887. He is also a member of the Iowa State Medical Association, and a member of the Des Moines Valley Medical Association, and is engaged in practice at Burlington. Four years since, he was appointed local surgeon of the Iowa Central and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroads, which position he still holds. He has built up an extensive practice and stands at the head, of his profession. As a skillful surgeon his services are sought far and near, in difficult and dangerous cases, and his reputation is already assured. He was united in marriage with Miss Eva E. Smith, daughter of the Rev. U. B. Smith, of Danville, Iowa. Dr. C. H. Philpott and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he, like his brother, is also a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Malta Commandery No. 31, of Ottumwa. Dr. J. H. Philpott’s daughter, Mary Ellen, or “Minnie,” as her friends call her, was born at New London, Jan. 23, 1862, and is the wife of E. A. Lyman, editor and publisher of the New London Eclipse, to whom she was married Sept. 4, 1883.
The Doctor is a Master Mason, and a
member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M. He and his wife are members
of the Presbyterian Church, and politically the Doctor and both his sons are
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 343-344) (JC)
WILLIAM LOVETTE POWELL
W. L. POWELL, who is engaged in the real-estate
business in Mount Pleasant and is thoroughly conversant with realty values
in this city and section of the state, was born near Columbus, Franklin
County, Ohio, January 14, 1851, a son of George W. and Nancy (McCracken)
Powell. The father was born in
Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and when a young man went to Ohio, where he
engaged in farming until 1864. In
that year he arrived in Lee county, Iowa, settling on a farm in the
northwestern part of the county in Marion township.
His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he died
May, 1883. He was a liberal
democrat and held various township offices in Lee county.
A lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he took an
active and helpful part in its work and filled all of the local offices of
the church save that of preacher. His
wife was born and reared in Ohio and by their marriage they became the
parents of eleven children, of whom ten are living.
Clarissa A., the eldest, married W. A. Geese and
they reside in Mount Hamill, Iowa. They
have five children: Otis Taft, civil engineer in Arkansas; Emma, who
married Elijah Tyner, who resides upon a farm near Salem, Iowa, and by
whom she has six children; Effie, the wife of Frank Worthington, paymaster
in the Western Wheel Scraper Works, at Aurora, Illinois; Frank, who
resides upon a farm near Mount Hamill, and married Letitia Brown; and
Nannie, who married Joseph Reid, a real-estate dealer in Aurora, Illinois.
Syrena Powell, the second child of George W.
Powell, married Oliver Hempy, by whom she had three children.
Ella married William King, near Parsons, Kansas.
They have ten living children, Ida, now the wife of E. Hough, a
merchant of Mount Hamill. They
have one son. Olive, who
married Rev. J. L. Dimmitt, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church,
of Sturgis, South Dakota. They
have three children. Her
second husband was Mathew Newby. The
children of Mr. and Mrs. Newby are: Mary, the wife of Sherman Taylor, a
farmer of Cedar township, Lee county, Iowa; Alta, a missionary of the
Methodist church, in Nanchang, China; Anna, the wife of Clyde Bell, a
farmer living near Mount Hamill; Ada and Edward, twins, at home; and
Joseph, who married Anna Bell, a sister of Clyde Bell, also near Mount
J. T. Powell, the third member of the family of
George W. Powell, resides near LaCrew, Iowa.
He married Miss Clara Miller, of Columbus, Ohio, and they have five
children: Elmer, a farmer of Davis county, Iowa, who married Ollie
Caldwell; Nannie, the wife of Commodore Dawson, a farmer near LaCrew;
Aldia, who married Berry Paschal, and has one child, their home also being
on a farm near LaCrew; Emma, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in
Ottumwa, Iowa; and Lulu, the wife of William Young, a farmer, near
David M. Powell, the fourth member of the family,
married Miss Arey Overton, and resides in Cedar township, Lee county.
They had three children: George, of Lee county, who married Luella
Ransom; Dr. Charles Powell, near Marshalltown, Iowa, who married Nellie
Buechler, and has one child; and Allie, who is living in Mount Hamill,
Iowa, and who married Dr. Wright, of Farmington, Iowa, where he died,
leaving three children. The
wife of David Powell died in April, 1905.
Aurilla J. Powell, the fifth member of the family,
is the wife of P. M. Mathews, of Warren, Iowa, and they have five living
children and four who are deceased: Jesse, who is married and has three
children, lives in Clark county, Missouri; Floyd, proprietor of a general
store in Stockport, Iowa, who married Miss Russell, of Warren, Iowa, and
has one child; Nannie, the wife of James McGeehan, who is living on a farm
near Primrose, Iowa; George, who married Miss Murray and resides on a farm
near Warren, Iowa; and Stella, who is at home.
John, the sixth of the family, married Sarah
Overton, by whom he has two children and is living retired in Pineville,
Missouri. Of his children,
Frank married Lulla Cruickshank, by whom he has three children.
They reside in Arkansas, although their postoffice is Caverna,
Missouri; Charles is married and lives on a farm in Arkansas, and has two
William L. Powell, whose name introduces this
review, is the seventh in his father’s family.
George Theodore, the next younger, married Cora Mathews and is a
stock dealer living at Mount Hamill. Oliver
L., now of Donnelson, Iowa, married Hattie Bealer, who died in 1903.
Laura, the tenth member of the family, is the wife of Dr. R. H.
Todd, of New Sharon, Iowa, and they have two sons, Fred and Ray.
Olive Powell died in infancy, while Mrs. Nancy Powell, the mother,
passed away in 1897. The
parents were buried in Clay Grove cemetery, in Lee county.
William L. Powell was educated in the district
schools of Iowa, and after attaining his majority pursued a commercial
course in Keokuk, being graduated at the Bayles Commercial College, in
that city. He then returned to
his father’s farm, which was his home until the time of his marriage,
after which he owned a farm in Cedar township, where he established his
first home. He bought, sold
and resided on different farms in Lee county, having usually a good farm
of one hundred and sixty acres. During
that time he carried on general farming and stock-raising.
In 1896 he left the farm and located in Mount Pleasant and has here
made his home. Always having
been interested in the real-estate business, he was in Mount Pleasant
variously engaged, until 1901, when, with his family, he went to the
different parts of the Pacific coast, after his children had finished
their school education, spending the season there.
After their return to Mount Pleasant Mr. Powell became more
actively engaged in the real-estate business, with office over the State
National Bank, doing business under the name of Stewart & Powell,
handling both city and farm lands to a large extent, and also has become
largely interested in the emigration business to Texas and other parts.
He still retains his Lee county homestead and other valuable
Mr. Powell was married April 19, 1887, to Miss
Julia Courtright, of Lee county, a daughter of Hiram and Eliza (Taylor)
Courtright and a native of Washington, Illinois, born in September, 1853.
Her father was a farmer by occupation, and died in the year 1883,
while his wife passed away in 1891. He
was twice married, and by the first union had two children, one of whom is
now living—John Courtright, who married Nancy Mallett, and resides at
Rockville, Missouri. Mary
Courtright, the eldest child of the second marriage, became the wife of W.
S. Smith, by whom she has two children, and their home is in Portland,
Oregon. Edward, living near
Edmonton, Canada, married Emma Barnes, and has four children living.
Julia is now Mrs. Powell. Mrs.
Eliza Courtright was also married twice, her first husband being Joseph
Fashner, by whom she had one child, Cyrena, the wife of Isaac Bell, who
resides near Big Mound, Iowa, and by whom she has three children. Unto Mr.
and Mrs. Powell have been born two children, Ada and Pearl, both at home.
The former is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music of Mount
Pleasant, and Pearl is a graduate of Howe’s academy, later attended the
State Normal School at Cedar Falls, and is now a teacher in the Henry
Mr. Powell was made a Mason at West Point over thirty years ago, and on coming to Mount Pleasant demitted to Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Powell and daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he was a democrat until 1893, since which time he has been a republican. He never aspired to office, however, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business interests. In 1896 he came to Mount Pleasant, and has built a fine modern home on Broadway, where he now resides. In his business life he has been prosperous, and is a pleasant and affable man, who has broad and liberal views, the result of extensive travel and observation.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 149-152) (PE)
DANIEL PRICE was horn in Wales, in
March, 1804, and was the son of John and Mary (Jones) Price, who were also
natives of that country, where his father was a large land-owner. While a young
man, he worked as a foreman on the railroad and in the mines, for twenty years.
He left his native land and emigrated to America in 1851, first locating at
Philadelphia, Pa., but remained there only three weeks, and then went to the
State of New Jersey, residing there one winter, engaged in chopping wood. He
then removed to Franklin County, Ind., remaining there three years, engaged as a
common laborer. He then emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, locating in the village
of Trenton, remaining one winter, and on the 1st of April, 1856, he removed to
section 22 of Trenton Township, where he purchased ten acres of timber land.
Here he lived until his death, which occurred Oct. 19, 1887. He added to his
possessions until he had a fine farm of 126 acres at the time of his decease. He
was so poor when he bought his first ten acres that he had to go in debt for it,
but by hard labor and good management, he gained a competence. Mr. Price was a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a sincere, earnest Christian. In
politics he was a Democrat. He was a self-educated man, and always kept well
informed upon public affairs, whether political or otherwise. His wife still
survives him, and resides on the home farm, at the age of sixty-four. She also
belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. This worthy couple were the parents
of four children: William Penn, a farmer residing in Mills County, Iowa; Mary
Ellen; Margaret Jane, wife of George Dies, of Brighton, Iowa; and John M., who
has charge of the home farm, and was married, Dec. 21, 1887, to Miss Sally Wood,
daughter of Clark and Catherine Wood. Among the pioneers and prominent men of
Henry County, Iowa, none more truly deserved the respect and confidence of all
than Daniel Price.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 316 & 319) (JC)
Of Section 30, Tippecanoe Twp., David Rainey was born in Ireland in 1818,
the son of James and Nancy (Green) Rainey. He came to Belmont County, Ohio
and remained there until 1844 when he removed to Mt. Pleasant, Henry County,
residing there for one year. In 1847 he purchased 60 acres in Tippecanoe
He married Catherine Hall who was born in Belmont County, Ohio, the
daughter of Samuel and Christiana Hall. They had three children: Christiana, who
died in infancy; Samuel, who enlisted in Co H, 4th Iowa Infantry. He served
three years, re-enlisted and was killed at the battle of Atlanta. He lies buried
among the lost heroes who died on the field.
He married second in the Spring of 1848 to Christine Barton, who died in
1885. They had a son John, who died at age six in 1853. David enlisted in Co. I,
14th IA Infantry and served four years.He was in the battles of Ft. Donelson,
Pittsburg Landing, Ft. DeBussey, Louisiana, Pleasant Hill,and Tupelo. He was
taken prisoner at Pittsberg Landing and was held captive for three months at the
loathsome prison at Macon, Georgia.
He was a member of the Baptist Church and was a Republican. He was a
member of the G.A.R. He came to America in 1833.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 398)(PW)
JOHN HAYWOOD RANDOLPH
JOHN HAYWOOD RANDOLPH, whose life exemplified all
the traits of the good and therefore truly great citizen and whose
activity in business and public affairs made him one of the representative
and honored men of his day in Mount Pleasant, was a native of Richmond,
Virginia, and belonged to one of the oldest and most distinguished
families of the Old Dominion, being a descendant of Peyton Randolph.
His natal day was November 13, 1804.
His parents were also natives of Richmond, Virginia, but in boyhood
he was left an orphan. He
attended school to some extent in the state of his nativity and afterward
greatly broadened his knowledge through travel and experience in business
life. The opportunities and
possibilities of the great and growing west seemed to invite him and in
1836 he became one of the firm of Chase Kimball & Company, which
continued in the dry goods trade in Burlington for a number of years.
Later Mr. Randolph came to Mount Pleasant, Iowa,
and established the second store in Henry county, his predecessor in the
field of commercial pursuits here being a Mr. Presley Saunders.
For some time Mr. Randolph carried on his store, meeting with
merited success in his undertakings and after disposing of his mercantile
enterprise he turned his face toward the setting sun.
At the time of the discovery of gold in California he was attracted
to the west by the hope of rapidly realizing a fortune on the Pacific
coast, and in 1849 made his way to the golden state, where he remained for
a year, interested in mining. He
took with him seven men, paying their transportation, that he might have
the benefit of their assistance, and while in the mines he was in charge
of twenty men.
Following his return from California, Mr. Randolph
became an active factor in the upbuilding and improvement of Mount
Pleasant and Henry county. He
hauled the lumber from Burlington with which to build his residence on
East Washington street. It
required almost a year to complete his home, for he gave to it his
personal supervision in his leisure hours.
When the task was accomplished he embarked in the hardware
business, which he conducted successfully for a number of years, or until
selling out to Mr. Hawley.
He then retired permanently from business life,
thus crowning years of intense and well directed activity by a period of
ease. He was known
everywhere as the soul of honor whether in business relations, in
public life or in social circles. He
was called by the complimentary title of Colonel Randolph and he enjoyed
to the full extent the good will and respect of all with whom he was
associated, while those who came within the closer circle of his friends
entertained for him a deep affection.
In the midst of an active business career he found hunting a great
source of pleasure and recreation, being a lover of the chase from his
boyhood days and always keeping a pack of hunting, and bird dogs.
On the 1st of December, 1837, was
celebrated the marriage of John Heywood [sic] Randolph and Miss Lucinda
Caulk, a daughter of Robert and Jane (Hemphill) Caulk and a native of
Guilford county, North Carolina, born on the 10th of May, 1818.
Her maternal grandparents were of Scotch-Irish lineage.
In 1833 her father, who was a farmer of North Carolina, removed
westward to Georgetown, Illinois, where he remained two and one-half
years, when in 1836 he came to Henry county, Iowa.
He bought a large tract of land adjoining Mount Pleasant, which he
improved by both bringing the land under cultivation, and with a good
residence and other farm buildings. This
place also had one of the best springs hereabouts, and on account of the
abundant supply of fine water one or two troops of cavalry were encamped
there during organization preparatory to going to the front during the
Civil war. The farm is now
owned in part by G. B. Seeley and he uses it for fine stock.
He remained one of the worthy and respected residents of this part
of the state until his death, which occurred about 1855.
His wife also passed away in Henry county.
They were the parents of seven children, but only two are now
living, the sister of Mrs. Randolph being Mrs. Evelyn Allen, the widow of
Reuben Allen, who died recently in Des Moines, where Mrs. Allen still
makes her home.
Mr. and Mrs. Randolph became the parents of five
children: Amanda Melvina and
William Henry, both of whom died in infancy; Emily; John Milton; and
Charles, who died when about twenty-one years of age.
Emily Randolph, born in Mount Pleasant, Henry
county, Iowa, in 1844, is the wife of Joshua W. Satterthwait, a native of
Ohio, and they have become the parents of four children:
Mira, born January 21, 1865, who married William Benedict, of
Pasadena, California, and died in 1890; Lulu, born April 23, 1867, the
wife of Hiram Sherman Nettleton, of Seattle, Washington, who is engaged in
the furniture business and by whom she has two children, Emily and Alice;
Stella, born October 10, 1869, was educated in the high school and is also
a graduate of the Columbia School of Oratory, of Chicago, and was a
teacher of the State Normal School nearly six years, is the wife of Harry
Smith, of Chicago; and Gladys, born July 10, 1885, a graduate of the Mount
Pleasant high school and also a graduate of the State Normal School, of
Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mrs.
Satterthwait is a very intelligent lady of natural culture and refinement
and is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church.
She is now living in Mount Pleasant in order to care for her
widowed mother, Mr. Randolph having died June 11, 1873.
They still live on the old homestead on East Washington street.
John Milton Randolph, the only son, was born in
Mount Pleasant in 1845, and has always been employed as a lumber salesman.
He passed his boyhood youth and early manhood until twenty-five
years of age in Mount Pleasant and he has lived at different times in
Nebraska, Texas, and Dakota, where he has been nected [sic] with the
lumber trade and at the present writing he is a resident of Des Moines.
He married Miss Emma Cady, of Dakota, and they have three sons and
one daughter: Paul, Charles,
Peyton and Ruth.
At the time of the Civil war John M. Randolph
served as a soldier of the Union army for three months.
Mrs. Randolph’s people have long been connected
with the Episcopalian church and Mr. Randolph’s preference was for that
denomination. He gave the lot
upon which the Episcopal church is built in Mount Pleasant and he was a
generous contributor to church and charitable enterprises and to movements
for the public good. He was a
most honorable and upright man, and his word was as good as any bond ever
solemnized by signature or seal. For
five or six years prior to his demise he was in poor health but he
maintained his interest in public affairs to the last.
He had prospered in his former years of activity and had learned
that success is ambition’s answer. He
was thus enabled to leave his family in comfortable financial
circumstances but more than that he was able to leave to them an
He is now numbered among the honored dead of Henry county; but he left behind a memory which will be cherished as long as any who knew him are still upon this earth, for he endeared himself closely to those with whom he was associated and won their warmest regard and friendship by reason of a kindly spirit, genial disposition, unfailing courtesy and deference for the opinions of others.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 245-247) (PE)
|Jacob L. Renshaw
Jacob L. Renshaw, residing on section 27, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Fayette County, Pa., Feb. 22, 1841. His parents, Samuel and Mary (Longmecker) Renshaw, were both natives of Pennsylvania, though the mother was of German descent and the father of Irish. Jacob was reared upon a farm, and at the age of twenty-one he responded to the country's call for volunteers to put down the Rebellion, and became a member of the 168th Pennsylvania Infantry in 1861, serving thirteen months. He participated in the battles of Goldsboro, N.C.; Ft. Macon and Harper's Ferry. After his discharge he returned to Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in farming until 1867. He then sold out, coming to Henry County, where he purchased forty acres of land on section 27 of Scott Township, which has been his home ever since.Besides his farm in Henry County, Mr. Renshaw owns 160 acres of land in Dakota.
In 1865 Mr. Renshaw wedded Emily Nixon. She was born in Pennsylvania, and her parents, Moses and Louisa (Bailey) Nixon, were natives of the same State. Mr. and Mrs. Renshaw have three children: Ewing, a carpenter of Winfield, Iowa; May, wife of Walter Henderson, a resident of Neosho County, Kan., and Ray P., at home. Mr. Renshaw and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically, he is a Republican, while socially, he is a member of the G.A.R. and A.F. & A.M.
Samuel Renshaw, the father of our subject, spent his whole life upon a farm. He died at the age of fifty-nine, and his wife at the age of fifty-seven years. They were both members of the Dunkard Church, and reared a family of eight children, four of whom are now living: James residing in Pennsylvania; our subject; Frances, wife of Robert Ross, of West Virginia, and John, who now resides in Kansas.
Mrs. Renshaw's father also spent his life in tilling the soil. He departed this life in 1857 at the age of forty-five years. Her mother is still residing in Pennsylvania at the ripe old age of seventy-three.She is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Nixon were the parents of ten children, all of whom reside in Pennsylvania with the exception of Frances, wife of Azel Freeman; Anna, wife of Thomas Ringland, of Scott Township; Presley, of Wayne Township, and one brother in Dakota. William, a former resident of this county, was a soldier in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 434)(PW)
ELIJAH RICHARD, deceased, was for many years a prominent merchant in New London, where he located on his first arrival in Iowa from Virginia, in which State he was born, near Pembroke, Frederick County, Nov. 14, 1798. The ancestry of Mr. Richard on both sides were of German extraction, his mother being a native of Germany, who came to this country with her parents, landing on her eighth birthday. His boyhood days were spent in Winchester, in his native county, in which place he was engaged in mercantile business for Samuel Brown, a member of the Society of Friends. When a young man he removed to Woodstock, Shenandoah Co., Va., where he began business for himself, and where a few years later he was married to Miss Eliza H. Thompson, a native of Chester County, Pa., who came to Woodstock with her parents when a child. Their marriage was celebrated in April, 1818. After some years spent in business in Woodstock, Mr. Richard went onto a farm given him by his father, situated in the same county, and on that place he remained until his removal to Iowa. In that county all of Mr. and Mrs. Richard’s children were born. The eldest was an infant who lived but a few hours; the next was Catherine A. G., now the sole survivor of the family, and the occupant of the old family home in New London. The others were: William Thompson Henry, who died when but a little over four years of age; John Thompson, who came to Iowa with his parents and died in New London in September, 1845, having been twenty-one years old the preceding month; Mary Elizabeth, who was twice married in Henry County, her first husband being John Green, of Mt. Pleasant, where he died; her second husband was Elisha Saunders, also of Mt. Pleasant, but who subsequently removed to New London, where both died. The youngest of the family was Ignatius Perry McCandless, who also accompanied his parents to Henry County, and died in August, 1844, having been sixteen years old the preceding April.
The new Territory of Iowa at that time attracting much attention, in 1841 Mr. Richard determined to remove thither, and selling his Virginia farm he made the journey overland, crossing the Mississippi at Ft. Madison in the beginning of October of that year. A few days later he bought a place at New London, to which he at once removed his family, arriving there Oct. 27, 1841. For two years he cultivated the small farm with the aid of a man he had brought from Virginia, but this did not satisfy his active temperament, and in the spring of 1844 he engaged in mercantile business in New London, which he carried on until the increasing infirmities of age caused him to retire a few years before his death. During eight years of that time he was Postmaster of New London, but on the inauguration of President Lincoln in 1861, resigned the position, he being a strong and uncompromising Democrat. During the later years of his life he lived retired, in the enjoyment of ample means in the home which was selected as their future residence by his daughter Catharine, on the very day on which they arrived in New London, and on which he subsequently built the commodious residence which she yet occupies.
For more than forty years Mr. Richard was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had many times offered a site for a church edifice in New London, but the matter had not been settled when he passed away and his daughter, faithful to her father’s memory, kept his pledge, and in 1887 donated to the society over an acre of ground in the center of the village, on which the neat frame church now stands and in which services are regularly held.
In April, 1848, Mrs. Eliza H. Richard
passed from this life, mourned by her husband and surviving children, and with
the love and esteem of all who knew her as she was, a loving wife and devoted
mother. Mr. Richard followed her June 22, 1881, passing away suddenly,
unexpectedly and painlessly, living but a few minutes after he was attacked by
illness. He left behind him the repute of an honorable man, a good citizen and
faithful friend, who was never known to do wrong. His loving daughter still
occupies the family home, calmly waiting for the summons which will reunite her
to those who have gone before. The excellent portrait on an adjoining page of
this ALBUM is a tribute of her
affection for the memory of the parent whom she so dearly loved and so greatly
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 228-231.) (JC)
B. M. Richardson
RICHARDSON, B.M. -- Railroad Commissioner, residence Cedar
Rapids. Born at Brighton, Iowa, February 19, 1896. Attended
Washington county schools and academy at Pleasant Plain. Married September
22, 1917, to Indamae Sieg of Topeka, Kansas. Has one son,
Donald. Traffic and transportation experience; has been general
clerk, chief clerk, freight inspector, transit auditor and special
representative. Eight years with Western Railway Inspection
Bureau. Served in world war. Is member of American Legion,
Mason and Knight Templar. Republican in politics. Elected for full term as
member of railroad commission, November 4, 1924.
Israel Ross, a farmer residing on section 9, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Brown County, Ohio, Nov. 16, 1815. He is a son of Thomas and Deborah (Jennings) Ross. The Ross family were natives of Virginia, of Scotch ancestry. Of the Jennings family but little is known except that the grandmother, Charity (Freeman) Jennings, was born in Europe, and when a child came to America. Her parents later moved to Kentucky, and were there during the troublous times when the Indians were hostile, and the family were occasionally forced to take refuge in a boat, and to avoid capture would paddle to the other side of the Ohio River. The Jennings family later removed to Brown County, Ohio, near Georgetown, where the venerable parents lived and died. Thomas Ross became the husband of Deborah Jennings in Brown County, where both families were early settlers. Prior to marriage Mr. Ross ran a keelboat upon the Ohio River, and made regular trips between Cincinnati and Pittsburg. His boat occasionally made a trip to New Orleans, carrying the products of the country, as there were no railroads at that time. When a boat was sent to New Orleans the return journey had to be made on foot or horseback, it being impossible to bring the boat up stream.
After his marriage Thomas Ross settled on a farm, and reared a family of children: Israel, our subject; Margaret, who wedded David Vandyke; Sarah, the wife of Winfield Wright, and after his death of Dr. Dennis Callihar, of Hillsboro, Highland Co., Ohio; John W. became the husband of Miss Power; Thomas wedded Amy Snedaker; Isaac wedded Hannah Day; and three others died in childhood. All the sons of Thomas Ross, Jr., are ministers in the Methodist Church, except our subject, who learned the tanner's trade with the father of Gen. Grant, and was a bosom friend of the lamented General and President. They frequently slept together, and on one occasion, while bathing in a creek, Israel saved the life of the future President, who was younger than he, and had strangled and gone down in the water. After completing his trade Mr. Ross farmed for awhile, and then worked at journeyman's wages for Mr. Grant for some time.
For two years prior to his marriage Israel Ross engaged in farming, and on April 13, 1841, Miss Elizabeth Jennings became his wife. They began their domestic life upon a small farm, and two years later Mr. Ross erected a tannery upon his father's farm, and for several years was engaged in business there. In 1855 he removed with his family to Marion County, Iowa, settling first in Knoxville Township, near Knoxville. In March, 1861, he purchased and removed to the farm, at that time fairly improved, and which he yet owns. Here for years Mr. Ross has lived and prospered, his children have grown to maturity, the good wife and mother, who was a true one in every sense, lived to see the country well developed, schools, churches and railroads built, and to her all seemed prosperous, when the death angel came and carried her away, Jan. 13, 1885.
Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ross: The three eldest died in childhood, while the family were living in Ohio. The others were: Jasper, now husband of Melinda Ross; John A., married to Emma Blockmartin; Isaac W., wedded to Emma Willis; and Diana, were all born in Ohio. Adeline, wife of John Rittenhouse; Arethusa, J. F., Amy and Maggie J. were born in Iowa, the two latter in this county, on the old homestead.
Township offices have been repeatedly filled by our subject, who has, however, always preferred the management of his farm, and the privacy and comfort of his pleasant home. Since the death of his wife Mr. Ross has taken life easy, and his son Jay assumes the management of the farm. In an elegant home, made attractive by prosperity and the bright faces of his younger children, Mr. Ross is passing the evening of a well-spent life in deserved ease and comfort, and for his years is a remarkably youthful and well-preserved man. He has ever been a citizen of whom his countrymen are proud, and his family rank second to none in social circles.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 586)(PW)
Samuel Ross, deceased, was among the settlers of Henry County in 1848. He was born in Perry County, Pa., Feb. 4, 1808.
In his native State he remained until he was sixteen years of age, in the meantime receiving a liberal education in the common schools, being of a studious nature. From Pennsylvania he removed to Ohio in 1824, where he remained until he came to Henry County. Mr. Ross was twice married, first to Maria Elliott, who died in 1842. One child of this union, Thomas Scott Ross, is now residing in Boone County, Iowa. Mrs. Ross was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ross, in 1843, wedded Miss Eliza Knox, a native of Roane County, Tenn., born Dec. 11, 1812, a daughter of William and Margaret (Armstrong) Knox, who emigrated to Miami County, Ohio, in 1815, at which time that county was very sparsely settled, Mr. Knox locating in the heavy timber, which he cut down and transformed into a well-cultivated farm. In politics he was an old-line Whig and took an active interest in political affairs. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Knox consisted of seven children, four of whom are living: Armstrong, in Preble County, Ohio; Mary, widow of John Brown, resides near Pickaway, Ohio; Eliza, widow of Samuel Ross, the subject of this sketch; James resides in Paris, Ohio. Mr. Knox died July 10, 1827, and Mrs. Knox in 1839. They were reared in the Presbyterian faith, but in later life were members of the Christian Church.
In 1848 Mr. and Mrs. Ross came to Henry County, Iowa, and located in Center Township, Henry County, a mile and a half from the business center of Mt. Pleasant. Here Mr. Ross engaged in farming, in which occupation he continued until his death, Sept. 12, 1872. Three children blessed the union of Samuel Ross and Eliza Knox, all of whom are yet living: Demaris, now the wife of Oliver Berriman, of Atchison, Kan.; M. Ella and Fanny. Two daughters are now engaged in the chinaware business at Mt. Pleasant and are enjoying a fine trade. Mr. Ross was a friend of education and gave to each of his children all the privileges desired in the way of becoming thoroughly educated, which privileges they readily availed themselves of, and which have been of great practical benefit to them. He was a sincere Christian man, a member of the Presbyterian Church for many years. A kind and loving husband, and an indulgent father, his death was sincerely mourned. Mrs. Ross is still living and is the owner of 152 acres of fine land, valued at $75 per acre. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church, with which body she has been connected for many years. In all work of the church she is greatly interested, and has always been ready to do her part for the advancement of the cause. A resident of the county for a period of forty years, she is well known and universally respected.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 434) (DB)
|Samuel H Ross
Samuel H Ross a prominent and influential citizen of Henry County, residing on section 27, Marion Township, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., Nov. 25, 1799. His parents were John and Mary (Cochrane) Ross, she being a niece of William Finley, associate of Gen. George Washington, and a brother-in-law of one of the members of the old Continental Congress. Her grandfather Cochrane was a Captain in the Light Horse Guards of Gen. Washington, he acting as Washington's body-guard for seven years afterward. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were the parents of eight children: Samuel H., of Mt. Pleasant; Sarah married John Magill, both how deceased; their son William is one of the prominent men of Pennsylvania, having served as Justice of the Peace in West Deer Township, Allegheny Co., Pa., and four terms in the State Legislature, being prominently spoken of for State Senator by the Republican party. John died in Allegheny County, Pa. in 1885, leaving four sons and two daughters; he was an Elder in the United Presbyterian Church. Rhuma, wife of Thomas Cox, died in Cincinnati, Ohio; George W. was united in marriage with Miss Ester Irvin, and now resides in Allegheny County, Pa., on the old home farm; Eliza, deceased wife of Robert Cunningham, a resident of Allegheny County, Pa.; William died when a young man, and Mary A., the widow of Allen Aber, resides in Allegheny County.
Our subject remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-two years of age. The father being an invalid, the care of the family fell upon the mother and himself, while he was yet a boy. He worked at stone-cutting and various occupations in his native State. The father and mother both died in Allegheny County, Pa., and were devoted members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ross was a cousin of Gen. Ross, who was killed by the Americans at Baltimore. Samuel Ross wedded Miss Sarah Livingston, a daughter of James and Martha (Robertson) Livingston, both natives of Pennsylvania, and in that State, in Westmoreland County, May 19, 1803, their daughter Sarah was born.
Shortly after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ross removed to Allegheny County, where he leased a farm for ten years. At the expiration of the time, he decided to try the far West, so in 1841 he with his wife and four children came to Henry County, Iowa, locating in Center Township, his post-office being Mr. Pleasant. Mr. and Mrs. Ross are the parents of six children: John P., residing in Baker City, Ore.; James; Martha, now Mrs. Thomas Lash, of Mt. Pleasant; William E. owns a large ranch in Nevada; Sarah, wife of John Huling, a farmer of Center Township; and Sam, a resident of Oregon. Mr. Ross is one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, has witnessed the many changes that have taken place, and has ever been identified with all public improvements. He and his estimable wife traveled life's journey together for nearly fifty-seven years, she being called to her final home Sept. 24, 1887. They were both members of the United Presbyterian Church, doing their part in all church work. As a pioneer, citizen and friend, none more truly deserve the respect and love of all than does Samuel H. Ross. Politically, he is a Republican, having voted with that party since its organization.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 618) (DB)
Roth is the proprietor of a hotel and livery stable in Wayland. The
history of Wayland would be incomplete without a sketch of the genial
landlord and landlady of the Central House, which under their combined
management has become one of the most popular inns along the line of the
Iowa Central Railroad. In connection with the hotel is a barn and livery
stable which furnishes accommodations to commercial travelers and brigs a
good income to the proprietor. The table is well furnished and Mrs. Roth
makes the house a model of neatness and guests find better accommodations
than at many houses of greater pretensions.
Roth, the owner and proprietor was born near Mombelier, France, March 9,
1847 and is the son of Christian and Catherine (Wittmer) Roth. The father
was born in France and his wife in Switzerland, and their seven children
were also born in France, three of them dying after coming to America. As
the family has been favorably known to the people of Henry County since
1855, we are pleased to make special mention of each member. The father,
Christian, died November 28, 1887 in his eighty-first year and the mother
is now living on the old homestead, near Wayland, in her sixty-seventh
year. Christian Roth, Sr., was an enterprising farmer and purchased on his
arrival in Henry County 160 acres of land to which he made large additions
later in life. He erected a brewery on the homestead the next year after
coming to the county, which was completed at a cost of over $4000 and
until its closing by the laws passed in the State of Iowa, in 1884, did a
prosperous business, and had a capacity for ten barrels a day. In the
distribution of his estate among his children, Peter, who was a practical
brewer, took the brewery in lieu of real estate, and its
closing has entailed upon him a severe loss.
Roth was married March 31, 1873 to Miss Anna, daughter of John and
Elizabeth (Schantz) Frienberger who were both born, reared, and married in
Alsace, France, now a part of the German Empire. Four children were born
to them, of whom only Anna, wife of Mr. Roth, our subject, is living. The
others were Mary, Barbara, and Mattie. Their mother was the second wife of
John Frienberger who first wedded Elizabeth Rupp, who was the mother of
several children, four of whom are living: Joseph, wedded to Mary
Slaughter (sic); Christian, married to Katie Fry; Elizabeth who became the
wife of Christian Rupp, and Katie, wedded to Jacob Rupp. The three latter
reside on farms in Fulton County, Ohio.
All the children of the Roth family are happily married and well
settled on farms with the exception of our subject, who is a permanent
resident of Wayland. Jacob married Barbara Yoder, and lives a retired life
at Louisville, Ohio. Fannie is now the widow of Joseph Mast, who died
November 29, 1887; her first husband being Christian Wise (sic). Christian
married Fannie Augsberger; Katie became the wife of Peter Wise (sic);
Joseph is the husband of Barbara A., daughter of Christian Eicher; and
Mary died unmarried.
and Mrs. Roth have no children of their own but are rearing a pretty and
vivacious little girl, Mamie Whitman, born December 31,. 1876. To her they
give the love and care that parents could bestow upon their own child and
she never feels the lack of anything that affection can provide. In the
enterprising village of Wayland, the Roths are deservedly held in esteem.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 351-352) (AW)
|Charles B. Rukgaber
CHARLES B. RUKGABER, Clerk of the District Court of Henry County, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, May 14,1834, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (Baur) Rukgaber. He was reared and educated in his native country, and in 1857 emigrated from Germany to America in company with his mother and sister, his father having died July 6, 1845. The latter was in his youth a door and sash and cabinet-maker, but after his marriage became a farmer. He was a Town Councilor of Felldorf, in Wurtemberg, a position of trust and responsibility. He was a man of integrity, a good husband and father. He was born in 1800, and was therefore forty-five years old at the time of his death, which was caused by the fall of a tree he was felling, by which he received injuries from which he never recovered, dying in less than a year afterward. His wife was also a native of Wurtemberg, born in 1798. Since her emigration to America she has made her home mainly with her son Charles B., with whom she is now living, in exceptionally good health, although in her ninetieth year. One brother, John, had preceded the others to this country. He lived first in Richmond, Va., and in 1857 removed to Washington, D. C., and the following year came to Mt. Pleasant, where he has since resided. Another brother, David, of whom see sketch, came to America in 1858; Christian emigrated in 1869, and is also a resident of Mt. Pleasant. The sister was named Rosa. In 1859 she became the wife of Charles Williams, and died in that city in 1876, leaving a son Charles, now living in Kansas. Mr. Williams also died in Mt. Pleasant.
On coming to America Charles B. made his home first in Washington, D. C., where he resided one year, and in 1858 removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in company with his brother David, arriving in this city August 16. Here he engaged in the boot and shoe business until the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, when on the 18th of August, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company C, 4th Iowa Cavalry. He was promoted Orderly Sergeant, and re-enlisted as a veteran Dec. 12, 1863, and served four years, or to the close of the war, being mustered out with his regiment at Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 10, 1865. His regiment was attached to Grant’s army during the siege of Vicksburg, and during his term of service did some hard work. The following is a list of the principal battles and engagements in which Mr. Rukgaber participated: White River, Helena, Brown’s Ford, and Red River, in Arkansas; at Fourteen-Mile Creek, Raymond, Mechanicsburg, first and second Mississippi Springs, first and second battles of Jackson, siege of Vicksburg, at Canton, Brandon, Brownsville, Meridian and Cold water, all in Mississippi; at Memphis, Tenn.; at Guntown, Ripley and Tupelo (Old Town Creek), Miss. He was mustered out in August, 1865, after four years of hard campaigning, in which he won the reputation of a brave and gallant soldier.
On his return from the army Mr. Rukgaber engaged as clerk for J. B. Shaw, hardware merchant of Mt. Pleasant, continuing in that capacity from 1866 to 1872, when he bought an interest in the business, the firm being Shaw & Rukgaber. This connection continued till the death of Mr. Shaw in 1875, when Horace Clark bought the interest of the Shaw heirs, and the new firm became Rukgaber & Clark. Four years later Mr. Clark went out, and J. S. McGregor and Edward Baines bought in, forming the firm of Rukgaber, McGregor & Baines, which connection continued till Mr. Rukgaber’s election in the fall of 1886 to the office he now holds, when he sold out to give his entire time to his official duties, which he performs in the most thorough and satisfactory manner.
Mr. Rukgaber was united in marriage at Mt. Pleasant, April 11, 1861, to Miss Joanna Mueller, daughter of Victor and Amelia (Fehrenbach) Mueller. Mrs. Rukgaber was born in Baden, Germany, in 1843, and came to America with her parents in 1845, and to Henry County, Iowa, in 1855. Her parents landed in New Orleans, where they lived for nine years, and in 1854 entered some land in Putnam County, Mo., on which they lived for a year, when they came to Mt. Pleasant. In 1859 Mr. Mueller and a brother, like thousands of others, crossed the plains to Pike’s Peak in search of gold. Disliking the country, he went to California, where he was joined by his wife the following year. In 1867 he returned to Mt. Pleasant, and soon after went to their Missouri farm, where both died, the husband in 1878, and the wife in 1876. Mr. Mueller served his time in the army in Germany, and was by trade a carpenter. He was an industrious man, and in his labors in the mines contracted rheumatism, from which effects he died. An upright, honorable man, he was held in esteem by his neighbors.
Mr. and Mrs. Rukgaber are the parents of five children four of whom are living, all born in Mt. Pleasant. Louisa, born Oct. 25, 1866; Emily, born March 27, 1868, died Sept. 13, 1887; Mina, born Nov. 23, 1869; Carrie, born June 16, 1871; and Victor, born March 11, 1873. The daughter Emily, who died, was a beautiful and highly accomplished young lady, possessing rare musical talents, and had been the organist of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church for a long time. She was a great favorite in society, and her untimely death was a sad blow to her family and numerous friends. The members of the church of which she was an ornament, and in which she was universally beloved, decided to erect a testimonial to her memory, which has taken the form of a beautiful stained glass window.
Mr. Rukgaber has borne an active part in local public affairs. He has served one year as Secretary of the Henry County Agricultural Society, and six years as a member of the Mt. Pleasant Board of Education. He is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.; Henry Lodge No. 10, I. O. O. F., and of McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., of which he is one of the charter members, and has been Junior Vice Commander. In politics he is a Republican, and has been active in all party affairs. Religiously he is a member of the Episcopal Church, his wife and children being also members of the same society. He is an honorable gentleman, courteous in his intercourse with the public, and capable and attentive in the discharge of the duties of his office, and is justly held in high esteem for his upright and manly character.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 242-243) (JC)
DAVID RUKGABER, of Mt. Pleasant, a son of Joseph and Mary (Baur) Rukgaber was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Dec. 30, 1830, and is one of a family of five children. The family history is given under the name of Charles B. Rukgaber. Joseph Rukgaber departed this life in 1845, in Germany, and in 1857 Mrs. Rukgaber emigrated to America, locating in Mt. Pleasant, at which place she still resides. The family are members of the Catholic Church.
David Rukgaber is a well-educated man, having received a liberal education while in Germany. At the age of twenty he enlisted in the German army, serving for six years. After being discharged he immediately came to America in 1858, and located at Mt. Pleasant, and in 1859 he led to the marriage altar Miss Magdalene Ruprecht, who was also a native of Germany, born in Hohenzollern in 1830. He farmed until 1861, when at the breaking out of the Rebellion, Mr. Rukgaber enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, and was mustered into service at Mt. Pleasant. The regiment then went to St. Louis, where they were armed and equipped, remaining there three weeks. It then proceeded to Springfield, Mo., was in the raid after Price, and was in several skirmishes and fought in the engagements at Guntown, Tupelo, Holly Springs, and other places. The regiment was afterward made a part of Grant’s army, and was at the siege of Vicksburg.
Mr. Rukgabcr served four years, but was mustered out at Memphis, before the remainder of his regiment, on account of losing his sight. He was a brave soldier, always at his post, never shirking his duty though danger threatened on every side. The Government has awarded him a pension of $30 per month for the injuries he sustained. He is a member of the McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., taking an active interest in all work pertaining to the order.
Mr. and Mrs. Rukgaber have the respect
and good-will of all. They have a family of five children: Mary, now the wife of
Lewis Scheuneman, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; Amelia, Bertha, Otto A. and
Willie. The parents are members of the Catholic Church. In politics he is a
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 243-244) (JC)
|Caleb Russell, Jr..
CALEB RUSSELL, Jr., is a farmer residing on section 24, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. Since 1855 the family bearing the name of Russell have been well known in Henry County. Originally they came from Scotland, and are of both Scotch and Irish lineage, but were natives of Old Virginia. Caleb Russell, Sr., was a native of Maryland. He was first married to Miss Harriet Fairfax, a daughter of Capt. Fairfax of Revolutionary fame. Her grandfather, Lord Fairfax, received a large grant of land from the British Crown, and that comprised the county of Fairfax, Va., and in his honor the county was named. Harriet Russell became the mother of four children: Llewellyn is a prominent merchant of New Albany, Ind.; Edgar M., the husband of Mary A. Camby, a well-known contractor and builder of Wayne Township; then our subject; and lastly Thomas, who wedded Phoebe Hatton, a second cousin of Frank Hatton, and resides in Wayne Township. The mother of these children died when Thomas was but six weeks old. The family resided at that time within thirteen miles of Harper’s Ferry. Mr. Russell was a woolen manufacturer, and operated a factory at Rockbridge, and until the family came to Iowa in 1855 they had never farmed.
The second wife of Caleb Russell, Sr., was Elizabeth Matthews, daughter of Thomas Matthews, a farmer of Harford County, Md. The marriage was celebrated in 1843, and their children are: Sarah A., now the wife of William H. Camby, a farmer of Wayne Township; Theodore, also a farmer of the same township, and the husband of Hannah M. Brown; and Harriet, who died at five years of age; who were all born in Virginia. In 1851 Mr. Russell and Mr. Hurst went to California, and ran a sawmill near Nevada City. After that new city was destroyed by fire, their mill manufactured the lumber which rebuilt it. In 1854 Mr. Russell returned to Virginia, and the next year made a prospecting trip to this county and was so well pleased that he decided to bring his family and make a home in the new Northwest. After the family arrived a quarter section was selected on section 24, a part of which is now in possession of our subject. Every improvement has been placed upon this land by the Russells. The first house occupied the site on which Theodore Russell’s mansion now stands, but was destroyed by fire Dec. 19, 1875. From that date a marked decline was noticed in the physique of Caleb Russell, Sr., who worked heroically, but saved only a part of his personal property. He rebuilt in 1876, and until his death in January, 1880, was happily domiciled in the new home in which his son Theodore now resides. Caleb reached the mature age of seventy-six years, and his widow, born in 1804, is yet living with her son Theodore, but is now very feeble.
Mr. Russell was one of the early officials of Wayne Township, and for many years was the Assessor, and when the new law was passed creating a Board of County Commissioners, he was the first member elected from Wayne Township, and as long as it was in force, was regularly elected his own successor. A Friend by birth and profession, he was an ardent promoter of every enterprise, in not only a social, but a political sense. Mr. Russell was one of the first to establish the Society of Friends at Prairie Grove, and was the first clerk, and served for many years. The death of that good man was deeply regretted, and he is oft quoted as being a man who did great honor to his county. Two of his sons were soldiers, Llewellyn and Theodore. The first was a member of an Indiana regiment, a clerk in the commissary department, and the latter of an Iowa regiment.
Our subject, Caleb Russell, Jr., was born in Prince William County, Va., Feb. 13, 1837. Being a lad thirteen years of age when his parents came to Iowa, he took an active part from that time in the development of the same. Most of his education was obtained here, and he has made himself a central figure in its business circles for many years. He was married, in 1864, to Miss Phoebe Fenton of this county, whose father, John Fenton, came from Frederick County, Va., to Iowa, in 1855, and settled near the Russell home. At the time of his marriage Caleb Russell, Jr., purchased a part of his father’s farm, and made fine improvements. Here the young bride began housekeeping, and for almost a quarter of a century a happy domestic life has been hers. Here their children were born: Oscar, deceased; Upton, deceased; Mary B., Lizzie E., Jesse and Emmet P. The two eldest sons died in childhood. The eldest daughter is a student of Howe’s Academy, and intends teaching as her profession. In 1864 Caleb Russell began the business of public auctioneer, and for almost a quarter of a century he has been the leading auctioneer in the northwestern part of the county. No man in the neighborhood enjoys a wider repution [sic] than he. At a low estimate, Mr. Russell has disposed of over $300,000 worth of property at public sales. He has also served several terms as Trustee of his township, and for almost twenty years has been a member of the Agricultural Board of Henry County. He was one of the organizers of the Eastern Iowa District Agricultural Society, and a member now of the Board of Directors. Mr. Russell is a member of “Good Faith” Lodge No. 235, A.F. & A.M., Winfield, Iowa, of which he is at present S.W. Both himself and wife are members of the Society of Friends, as are also the heads of the other Russell families.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 535)(PW)
ALEXANDER RUTH, a prominent farmer residing on section 6, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Rockbridge County, Va., Nov. 7, 1833. His father, Daniel Ruth, was born in Berks County, Pa., in 1794. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of Baltimore. He formed a matrimonial alliance with Sarah E. Imboden, who was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1800. The marriage was celebrated in her native county at Waynesboro. Eleven children blessed their union, seven of whom grew to man and womanhood: Henry, a resident of Warren County, Iowa; George was a soldier in the Mexican War, and died from disease contracted at Matamoras; Benjamin F., who has been a resident of Washington Territory, residing near Puget Sound since 1855; Elizabeth is the wife of John Webb, of Warren County, Iowa; Alexander is our subject; Mary E., wife of John Loring, of Cincinnati, Ohio, died in Indianola, Iowa, in 1858; David is a resident of Helena, Mont.; Samuel and Daniel are deceased, while two died in infancy. In 1840 Daniel Ruth emigrated with his family to McLean County, Ill., settling near Bloomington. The county was but sparsely settled, and Bloomington was but a small village. Mr. Ruth cast his last vote for William Henry Harrison while on his way to Illinois. He died in the fall of 1841. She kept the family together, and securing eighty acres of land, made a home for herself and children. In 1857 she came to Iowa, settling in Indianola, where she died in 1884, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. She was a woman of more than ordinary ability, and much credit is due her for the admirable management and energy shown in the manner in which she provided for her large family. She was a relative of Colonel and General Imboden. She and her husband were both members of the Presbyterian Church.
The subject of this sketch was but seven years old when his parents removed to Illinois. There he received his education in a log school-house. He was united in marriage in 1862, in Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, with Miss Rilla J. Myers, a daughter of George and Jane (Lynch) Myers. She is a native of Greenbrier County, W. Va., born in 1844. Seven children have gathered round the hearthstone of this worthy couple: Lois, the wife of George Brown, of Louisa County, Iowa; Minnie Ila, who wedded Harvey Beauchamp, of Scott Township; Sarah J., Mary E., Cohn, Marie and Frank are still inmates of the parental home.
Mr. Ruth was poor in this world’s
goods when he came to Henry County, but by economy and enterprise, assisted by
his good wife, he has accumulated a comfortable property. He owns a farm of 115
acres, most of which is timber land, but seventy-five are under cultivation. In
politics Mr. Ruth is a Greenbacker, though liberal in his views. Of the good
people of Henry County, none stand higher or more truly deserve a place in her
history than do Mr. Ruth and his interesting family.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 348) (PW)