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
JOHN SAMPLE, deceased, a pioneer of Henry County, of 1839, and one of her most highly respected citizens, fell a victim to cholera June 5, 1851, his wife also dying two days later. Samuel D. Woodworth, a son-in-law of John Sample, and his two sons, all died within seven days of the appearance of the disease among them. Mr. Sample was born in Washington County, Pa., with the birth of the Republic in 1776, March 23, a few years prior to the issuing of the Declaration of Independence, and his childhood and youth were spent amid the stirring scenes of the great Revolution, from which has sprung the greatest Republic known in the history of the world. His father was an English emigrant, his mother a native of Germany, both worthy people. John Sample was apprenticed to a millwright, and served his time at that useful trade. In pursuit of employment he afterward wended his way to Butler County, Ohio, about the close of the last century, where he was married, Jan. 20, 1803, to Miss Ann Taylor daughter of Henry Taylor. Mrs. Sample was born in Cincinnati April 10, 1783. Her father was a pioneer of Cincinnati, and a brother of hers was the first white male child horn in that city. Mr. Sample removed to Randolph County, Ind., in 1818, where he engaged in building mills. In the spring of 1839 he set out with his family for the then “far west” of Iowa. Their mode of conveyance was by one-horse team and two ox-teams, with the usual covered emigrant wagons. He located land in Tippecanoe Township, the same land now forming a part of the farm of his son-in-law, William Davis. Mr. and Mrs. Sample were blessed with a numerous family, consisting of eleven children, seven of whom grew to maturity. Mary was born Jan. 1, 1804, and was the wife of S. D. Woodworth she died in January, 1845. Jane H. was born May 14, 1812; she married Arthur Bull, Nov. 12, 1829, and died Sept. 26, 1831. William was born June 14, 1814; he married Amanda T. Goddard, and died of cholera June 9, 1851. Robert was born Oct. 13, 1816, and died Aug.12, 1839; John was born Sept. 26, 1818, and died in September, 1842; Eliza A. was born Feb. 25, 1821.
Mr. Sample was a consistent member of
the Presbyterian Church, and his wife was an earnest Methodist. He was a Whig in
polities and his sons walked politically in his footsteps. While living in
Randolph County, Ind., he was chosen one of the three judges who constituted the
courts of that county, and served with honor and ability in that capacity. He
was a man of positive views and of great force of character, upright and
honorable in all his intercourse with his fellowmen, and he enjoyed in a marked
degree the respect and esteem of all who knew him, He was a master mechanic and
delighted in the exercise of his skill. His course westward was marked by mills
of his erecting, and up to the time of his sudden death he was desirous of
building another mill. His daughter, Eliza A., the wife of Mr. William Davis, is
the only surviving member of that once large family.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 234.) (JC)
SANDERS BROS. The firm of Sanders Bros. (Eddy E. and John E.) is well known in Wayland and vicinity, they having for four years done business in the village, and their trade is becoming yearly more prosperous. The brothers are both heads of families and entitled to consideration aside from their business relationship. Both were born in Erie County, N. Y., sons of Emmons H. and L. J. (Eddy) Sanders. The father was a native of New York, and was a man full of promise when his death occurred. His youngest son was then unborn, and after his birth the mother, accompanied by her children, came to this State in 1857, and until her second marriage their home was made with her parents, her father, Ezekiel Eddy, being an early and well-known citizen in this part of the country. The Eddy family located in Iowa in 1853 on a farm. Their children are ten in number—Wilbur, Alvin, Israel, Lutheria J. (mother of our subjects,) Jenette, Diana, Zilpha, Mary, Martha and Ruby. The parents remained in this neighborhood until 1867, then removed to Oregon, where the wife died. Ezekiel Eddy yet resides in Benton, that State, and has reached his eighty-fifth year. While living near Brighton, Mrs. Lutheria Sanders wedded Christian Schafer, a gentleman of large acquaintance and wealth. He was born in Germany, near Wittemberg, and for more than a quarter of a century was a resident of this part of Iowa, although not of this county. He was three times married, the first wife having three children—Mary, Caroline and Elizabeth. His second wife was Mrs. Kinser, who bore to her first husband one son, John Kinser. After the marriage to Mrs. Sanders the union was graced by the births of Eva M., George C. and Fredericka, the latter the wife of Dr. A. E. Moore, a resident physician of Wayland. With Mrs. Schafer the Doctor and his wife make their home since the death of Mr. Schafer and the marriage of his daughter to the Doctor.
Our subjects were reared upon a farm, received a practical business education during their boyhood, and in 1883 both came to Wayland, and purchased the stock of goods formerly owned by B. F. Morris. The senior member of the firm wedded Miss Samantha McClintick, of this county. They are the parents of one daughter, Anewa, now in her third year. Elizabeth Pfeiffer became the wife of John E. Sanders. They have been the parents of eight children—Emmons, Edward; John, deceased; Fred, deceased; Gussie, Julia, Myra and Grover C., the latter also deceased. John E. Sanders is route agent for transportation of the United States mail between Wayland and Mt. Pleasant, making tri-weekly trips.
Sanders Bros. carry a $4,000 stock of general merchandise, and
do an annual retail trade of $7,000 or over. We are pleased to give the young
men credit for their enterprise, and a place in this history of the best of
families of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 235-236) (JC)
J. W. SATTERTHWAIT, druggist, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was horn in Guernsey County, Ohio, March 29, 1835, and is the son of Enoch and Nancy (Dilley) Satterthwait. His parents were natives of England, but came to America in early life. They settled in New Jersey, and subsequently moved to Guernsey County, Ohio, when that county was in a primitive condition, where his father owned a large tract of land, on which he carried on farming and stock-raising. J. W. lost his mother when he was but two years old, and his father died six years later, leaving the son an orphan at the tender age of seven years. His people were members of the Society of Friends, and he was reared among Quakers and educated at a Quaker school. He served several years as a druggist’s clerk, and in the autumn of 1856 came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The succeeding four years were spent in various undertakings, and in 1860 he purchased an interest in the drug business, but did not engage personally in it at that time. He enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in response to the first call of the President for troops in April, 1861, and entered the service as a member of Company F, 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry (three-months men), and served through the term of his enlistment and a few days longer. He participated in the campaign under Gen. Lyon; the regiment remaining in the service a short time after the expiration of their term of enlistment before being mustered out, in order to take part in the battle of Wilson’s Creek, then pending, and in which they were actively engaged.
On his return from the war, in August, 1861, he engaged actively in the drug business at Mt. Pleasant, in which he has continued ever since. In 1869 he was elected by the Republican party to represent Henry County in the Iowa Legislature, and served one term; he has also served as a member of the Common Council of Mt. Pleasant. He was one of the proprietors and organizers of the Henry County Agricultural Society, and has ever since been a member, and has held the positions of Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Satterthwait has always taken a warm interest in educational matters, and has served about twenty years as a member of the Board of Education, which position he holds at this writing, and most of the time being President of the Board. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the State Normal School, and has filled that position four years, and has always wielded a large influence in educational matters, and has given eminent satisfaction to the people in every position to which he has been called.
Mr. Satterthwait was married at Mt. Pleasant, in April, 1862, to Miss Emma Randolph, a daughter of John H. Randolph. Mrs. Satterthwait was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Her father was a native of Virginia, and a member of the well-known family of that name. Her mother was born in Kentucky. The family were among the early settlers of Henry County, Iowa.
Mr. and Mrs. Satterthwait have four children, all girls—Myra, Lulu, Stella and Gladys; all born at Mt. Pleasant. Myra is the wife of W. W. Benedict, now of Passadena, Cal. The rest are unmarried. Mr. Satterthwait is a 32d degree Mason, and prominently identified with the fraternity in Iowa. He has held official positions in all the local Masonic bodies of Mt. Pleasant, and in the grand bodies of Iowa. He was one of the charter members of Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, Mt. Pleasant, and is the present Eminent Commander of that body. He is also Worthy Patron of Bethlehem Chapter No. 38, of the order of the Eastern Star. As his Masonic record shows, Mr. Satterthwait possesses superior executive ability and the essential qualities of a leader among men.
Mr. Satterthwait, although not a
communicant, is a friend and supporter of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, of
which two of his daughters are members. He is also the leader of the church
choir. His wife and daughter Lulu belong to the Presbyterian Church. Physically,
he is tall, well-formed, and of commanding presence. As a business man, and
socially, he is held in high esteem among those who know him best, and is justly
regarded as one of Mt. Pleasant’s foremost citizens.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 227-228.) (JC)
|Henry Clay Saunders
HENRY CLAY SAUNDERS, dealer in real
estate, loan and collection agent, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in the
Shenandoah Valley, near Staunton, Augusta Co., Va., Dec. 28, 1829, and is the
son of Bartley M. and Annie (Caulk) Saunders, who were pioneers of Henry County,
Iowa. Henry C. removed with his parents to Tennessee in early childhood, and
from there went to Georgia. From Georgia the family removed to Georgetown, Ill.,
and from there to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, arriving May 26, 1838. Our subject was
educated in the public schools and at McKinney’s High School, of Mt. Pleasant,
and after completing his studies engaged as a merchant’s clerk at Mt.
Pleasant, following that occupation for ten years. He was appointed Postmaster
at Mt. Pleasant in 1849, under President Zachary Taylor’s administration, and
served four years. He was next made Deputy Recorder and Treasurer of Henry
County, and served in that capacity about six years. He then entered upon his
present business, which he has pursued continuously since. Mr. Saunders was
married at West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa, in November. 1855, to Miss Rhoda
Bowman, a daughter of John Bowman. She was born in Warren County, Pa., whence
her parents removed to Henry County, of which they were early settlers. Mr. and
Mrs. Saunders have four children, two sons and two daughters: Dermont M.,
married to Miss Stella Comstock, and residing in Mt. Pleasant; Frank D.,
unmarried, and living in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ona, wife of Harry Porter, living
in Lincoln, Neb., and Anna, still at home, all born in Mt. Pleasant. Mrs.
Saunders is a member of the Christian Church. He is a member of Mt. Pleasant
Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M. He
is also a member of the I. O. O. F., Henry Lodge No. 10. He has passed all the
Chairs of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and is one of the charter members of the
oldest lodge of the order in Mt. Pleasant.
In polities he is a supporter of the principles of the Republican party.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 273-274) (JC)
PRESLEY SAUNDERS, who is a leading merchant of Mt. Pleasant, and President of the First National Bank of that city, is now the oldest living pioneer of the county, and is the founder and sponsor of the flourishing city within whose present bounds he has made his home for more than half a century. He was born in Fleming County, Ky., in 1809, and is a son of Gunnell and Mary (Mazey) Saunders, both natives of Virginia, who emigrated to Kentucky with their parents, and were married in the latter State. They were farmers, and lived in about the same way as other pioneers in the “dark and bloody ground,” and there reared a family. In 1828 they decided to follow their son Presley, who in the previous year had located at Springfield, Ill., and emigrated to that then small village. There they engaged in farming, and remained several years, when once more they followed the footsteps of their enterprising sons, and came to Mt. Pleasant, where both died. They were members of the Christian Church, and was respected by all who knew them. They were the parents of the following seven children: Jonathan R., who was a soldier in the Black Hawk War, and died at Springfield, Ill.; Nancy, wife of Amos Locke, who with her husband died in Indiana; Frances, who was the wife of David Mackey, after whose demise she married Arthur Miller, and died in this county; Presley, the subject of this sketch; George, who is a farmer near Springfield, Ill.; William, who died in this county; and Alvin, formerly a noted citizen of Mt. Pleasant, afterward Territorial Governor of Nebraska, and one of its first United States Senators after its admission as a State, and now a resident of Omaha.
Presley Saunders was reared like the majority of farmers’ sons of his day, and received his education in the primitive pioneer schools of his native State. When eighteen years old he went with a brother-in-law to the latter’s home in Indiana; he worked for him a while, and then went to another place in the same State, but not liking the employment, which offered no inducements to his enterprising spirit, he determined to push on still farther west, his destination being Springfield, Ill., of which he had heard glowing accounts. He had left his horse with his brother-in-law, and finding it would delay him to go back for it, he started on his 200-mile journey afoot. On getting to Springfield, he sought labor at whatever he could find to do. He mauled rails, built post and rail fences, worked at day’s labor, etc. This rude labor in the open air laid the foundation of a constitution that has carried him to nearly fourscore years, and yet leaves him comparatively hale and vigorous. Among his operations while in Illinois was the purchase of a farm, which he improved and sold at an advance. In 1828 he and a Mr. Rogers took a drove of hogs to Galena, Ill., feeding them on the mast found in the woods on the way. After disposing of the drove, he hired on a flatboat for a trip to St. Louis, and being favorably impressed with the appearance of the country along the river, determined that whenever the land was opened for settlement, he would locate somewhere there. The treaty of 1832, after the defeat and capture of Black Hawk, gave this opportunity, the Indians giving up possession June 1, 1833. In the events which led to that treaty, and gave this rich Territory to the white man, Mr. Saunders was an active participant. On the breaking out of the Black Hawk War, in 1832, he enlisted in Capt. Moffet’s company, and was in the fight at the Heights of Wisconsin, and at the battle of Bad Ax, and served until the capture of Black Hawk. The consequent treaty prepared the way for him to keep the resolution formed years before, and in 1834 he, with four companions, started West. His first intention was to locate near the Mississippi, but a wholesome dread of the ague, inseparable in that day from the banks of the river, drove him farther inland, and the little company kept on over the prairie until the site of Mt. Pleasant was reached. Struck with the beauty of the place, and finding water convenient, Mr. Saunders drove his stakes right there. The selection was a fortunate one for him. In February, 1835, he brought his family from Illinois, and knowing this must be near the center of the new county whenever formed, he laid out a plat for a village, which he called Mt. Pleasant, a most appropriate name. In 1836 Mr. Saunders opened a store in the new village, and there began the business life which he has followed, with strict integrity, and always successfully, for fifty-two consecutive years, making him the oldest merchant in the State, if not in the entire Northwest.
Beside the original one, Mr. Saunders laid out two additional plats to the town which he founded. The county was organized by the Territorial Legislature of Iowa in 1838, and an old law giving the county the right to a quarter section for county purposes, Mr. Saunders gave up almost half his lots in the village for court-house buildings, etc. The land not having yet been surveyed, he sold the balance of his lots to purchasers with a bond attached, guaranteeing a deed when the title was secured from the Government. From this time on the rapid and healthy growth of the embryo city was secured, and Mr. Saunders reaped the reward of his foresight. His property rapidly increased in value, and that and the legitimate gains of a carefully conducted business have made him a wealthy man, a result in which his life-long neighbors rejoice, taking a pride in the success of so justly an esteemed citizen. In 1862, desiring to enlarge his field of operations, Mr. Saunders formed a partnership with James M. Kibben, and established a private bank under the name of Saunders & Kibben. This was the forerunner of the First National Bank of Mt, Pleasant, which was organized under the National Banking Law, and of which he has been President, and a guiding spirit ever since its inception. To his sagacious and prudent management must be attributed in a large degree the success which has made it one of the soundest financial institutions in the State.
Notwithstanding his prominence in the city and county, Mr. Saunders has always refused to hold public office, but has given his attention exclusively to business matters. His duties as a citizen he has discharged in a quiet, unostentatious manner, and many are the quiet, good deeds recorded of him by those who know him best, accounting in a measure for the regard in which he is held by the people of Henry County.
Our subject has been twice married, first in Sangamon County, Ill., in 1830, to Miss Edith Cooper, who was born in Tennessee, and was a daughter of John Cooper, a native of the same State, who was one of the earliest settlers of Sangamon County. Mrs. Saunders died at Mt. Pleasant in 1836, leaving three children, of whom a daughter Mary, now a resident of Colorado, is the sole survivor. Mrs. Saunders was an estimable lady, who had the respect of the people among whom she lived; she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The second marriage of Presley Saunders was the first within the bounds of Henry County. It was solemnized in 1837. His wife was Huldah Bowen, with whom he has now passed a happy wedded life of over half a century. Mrs. Saunders was born near Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1817, and is a daughter of Isaac and Rhoda Bowen, who were natives respectively of Maryland and Kentucky, who were married in Ohio, and removed to Mt. Pleasant, where both died. Mrs. Saunders is a member of the Christian Church, in which she is an active worker and a liberal supporter. Her long life has been one of content and happiness, and she, with her husband, shares the good-will of the people of the city where they have lived so long. Their union was blessed with four children, all now living, viz.: Smith, who is married to Emma Jenness, and is a dealer in real estate in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Alvin B. married Alice Saunders, and was a real-estate dealer at Harper, Kan., but is now managing his father’s store at Mt. Pleasant; Eliza, the wife of John Bowman, and Etna, the wife of Fred Hope, all residents of Mt. Pleasant.
As an illustration of the changes which have taken place during the long residence of Mr. Saunders in Henry County, he cites the fact that he had one child born in the Territory of Michigan, one in the Territory of Wisconsin, one in the Territory of Iowa, and one in the State of Iowa, and during all the time wherein these births occurred, was living on the same quarter section, an extraordinary incident, probably without parallel.
The life of Mr. Saunders is full of encouragement to young men who have an earnest desire to succeed, and are possessed of the necessary qualifications. His capital at the start was a good constitution, temperate and frugal habits, industry, and unquestioned integrity of character, with unbounded pluck and perseverance, and but $5 in money. From these humble beginnings he has raised himself to the prominent position he has held in the community for many years, and has acquired an ample fortune, and no man in the county stands higher in the estimation of his fellowmen then does Presley Saunders, the pioneer.
For the excellent portrait of this honored citizen, which appears on an adjoining page, our readers are indebted to friends who contributed this memorial in honor of the most eminent pioneer of Henry County. That he is worthy of the leading place in this record of the best citizens of the county, will be conceded by every resident.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 169-171.) (JC)
JOHN SAVAGE, farmer, was born in Northamptonshire, England, Jan. 22,1838, and is a son of William and Mary (Worrall) Savage. William Savage was born in the same shire, and Mary, his wife, in Warwickshire, in the city of Coventry. William and his father, John Savage, Sr. were both tailors, and during a long term of years William worked in London and Birmingham.
In London his marriage was celebrated Aug. 4, 1829, at St. Pancreas Church, in the county of Middlesex. In London their first son, John, was born, whose death occurred in infancy. Not long afterward Mr. Savage removed to Northamptonshire, to Greens-Norton, where Rosa, who is now the wife of David Burton, of Salem, was born. Rosa’s birth was followed by that of Mary, wife of Edward Simkin, a carpenter of Salem, formerly a farmer. Then came John, our subject, and Thomas W., deceased, who was wounded during the late war, his death occurring eleven days after. He was a member of Company K, 19th Iowa Regiment, and had been but two months in the service when his death occurred, he having not yet reached his majority. The Savage family removed from England to America, landing in New York May 1, 1846, after a voyage lasting two months. His uncle, Samuel Savage, was one of the leading Friends in the township of Venice, Cayuga Co., N. Y., and to that point William made his way. The family were warmly welcomed, and Samuel, who was also a tailor, advised William to locate in the same township, on the Poplar Ridge Road. William engaged in business there for nine years. Our subject was then a lad grown old enough to work, and his father’s trade was too confining for the boy, so he engaged at farm work for a farmer living in the neighborhood, at $l.50 per month, and liking it very much, he prevailed upon his parents to go farther west, and in 1855 the family removed to Iowa, making a landing at Burlington.
Dr. Thomas Siveter, a well-known resident of Salem, had been somewhat in correspondence with Mr. Savage, and being also a native of England, tendered the hospitalities of his home to the family until they could look over the country. The offer was accepted, and a team carried them to Salem soon after their arrival at Burlington. The next day rooms were rented in Salem, and William and our subject drove over the country and selected the tract now the home farm of John Savage. The family removed within a few days to their new home, consisting of a small house of two rooms and thirty acres of cleared land, and in the same year an ox-team was purchased and in the autumn of 1855 the first crop was harvested. The parents both lived and died on this farm, and for several years prior to the death of the father John managed the place. The family were only in moderate circumstances, but their last days were spent in an easy manner. William Savage and his wife were devoted Christians. For many years he was a leader of the Methodist Episcopal class at Wesley Chapel, near Salem.
The marriage of John Savage to Miss Tacy D., daughter of Walter and Sarah Crew, was celebrated Oct. 24, 1862; she was born Sept. 14, 1834. (An interesting history of her family appears elsewhere.) The domestic life of our subject and his young wife was begun on the farm of Charles Poulter, his brother-in-law, he, however, managing the farm of his father. One year later he completed a room in the Savage residence, and brought his young wife to the farm upon which they have since lived, and all their children except Nellie, the eldest daughter, were born in the old farmhouse of their grandfather. The family was composed of eleven children—Nellie M., Jennie T. ; Thomas E. and Alice S., twins; Walter H. and William, twins, the latter deceased; Sarah, deceased; then William C. and John R., twins, Samuel M. and David L. After the death of his parents our subject became sole owner of the homestead. He had, however, purchased other lands, and his successors have since added many broad acres to his domain. The children old enough to learn have a substantial education, and Jennie, Alice and Thomas hold certificates entitling them to teach in the schools of this county. Thomas and Jennie have both been engaged in that profession, the former now having charge of a school. Several terms were taken by them in Whittier College and in the schools of Salem, and we are pleased to observe that the children of such parents have all a literary taste.
Mr. Savage had secured a good education before his parents came to this State, and prior to his marriage he had taught several terms of school in this county, the first of which was in what was known as District No. 7, which is now consolidated with another. Continuously, with two exceptions, Mr. Savage taught for seventeen consecutive winters, and many of the middle-aged residents in this township were former students under his tutelage. For many years Mr. Savage has been a member of the School Board, and a long while before and until the school districts became independent, he was Treasurer of the School District Township Board of Salem. In 1883 he was elected Assessor of Salem Township, serving two years. Mr. Savage now gives his entire attention to the management of his farms, which have increased from a 60-acre tract in 1871, to 340 acres in 1887. This is indicative of his energy and good management, and few men have a better business record. Politically, he has acted with the Republican party since its organization, but of late has leaned strongly to the cause of prohibition, of which he is an ardent advocate.
Mrs. Savage has for some time past
been an invaid, but bears her suffering with Christian patience and
resignation. By birthright, she was a member of the Society of Friends. She has
ever proved herself a sincere Christian, a faithful and devoted wife and loving
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 302-303) (JC)
|James H Scarff
JAMES H. SCARFF, one of the leading farmers of Trenton Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Clarke County, Ohio, Aug. 4, 1840. His parents, John and Laura (Osler) Scarff, were natives of Maryland, and came to this county in 1844, settling in Trenton Township, where on a farm the boyhood days of our subject were spent. James enlisted in the war for the Union, Aug. 27, 1862, in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war—almost three years. He participated in the following battles: Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Resaca, Marietta, and was with Sherman on the famous march to the sea. At Peachtree Creek he was wounded in the heel. He was at Washington, D. C., on grand review, and was mustered out June 25, 1865, at Davenport, Iowa. Returning home he resumed farming, which occupation he has ever since followed. He was married, May 6, 1866, to Mary A. Messer. a native of this county. Thirteen children have graced the union of this worthy couple: Charles Henry, born March 9, 1867; John A., born July 2, 1868; James W., born June 2, 1869; W. Edmund, born Sept. 29, 1870, died when nine months old; Asbury, born Feb. 28, 1874, also died when four months old; Martha Jane, born Feb. 16, 1872; Calvin, born May 20, 1875, died at three years of age; Mary E., born Feb 11, 1877; Anna died when two years of age; Iona, born Jan. 26, 1879; Ida Marietta, born May 7, 1883; Florence, horn Feb. 15, 1885,and Eva V., born Feb. 19, 1887.
Mr. Scarff owns one of the finest
farms in Trenton Township, 179 acres in extent. He
and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Protestant Church.
Politically Mr. Scarf affiliates with the Democratic party. He is a pioneer of
1844, and one of those to whom the county owes her prosperity.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 214-215.)(JC)
has furnished to the United States many of its valued citizens when
attracted by livelier competition, the greater business opportunities
and the advancement which is more quickly secured in the United States,
have crossed the border and embraces the opportunities of this country
and have worked their way steadily upward. To this class belongs the
representatives of the Schlatter family, now well known in eastern Iowa.
The subject of this review was born in Hamburg, Waterloo, County,
Ontario Canada on the 25th of June 1851, and is a son of Joseph R.. and
Lena (Christner) Schlatter, the former a native of Alsace, France and
the latter of Byron, Germany. In 1834, when 39 years of age, the father
bade adieu to friends and native land and crossed the Atlantic to
Canada, believing that he might have better business opportunities in
the new world than he could secure in the district in which he was
reared. He was married in Canada and there continued to reside until
1856 when he removed to Washington County, Iowa, making the journey by
rail to Rock Island, Illinois which was then the terminus of the line.
He continued on his way with wagons to Washington county, where he
purchased an improved farm of 200 acres of arable land and also bought
80 acres of timber land, lying
in Marion township near the Henry County line. His remaining days were
devoted to agricultural pursuits and his efforts wrought a very notable
transformation the in appearance of his place as he brought his fields
under a high state of cultivation. He continued to reside thereon until
his death which occurred in 1877. His wife survived him and passed away
Schlatter was a young of only about five years when brought by his
parents to Iowa and his education was acquired in the common schools of
Washington County. He was reared upon the homestead farm there and aided
in its cultivation and improvement, giving his time and energies to the
cultivation of field and meadow during the summer months, while in the
winter seasons he attended the public schools. After putting aside his
textbooks his undivided attention was given to farm labor until he was
23 years of age, when his father purchased 80 acres of land near Trenton
in Henry County. This was partially improved. John Schlatter took up his
abode on that property where he carried on farming for eight years, when
he sold out. He then bought 160 acres of prairie land in Jefferson
township, which had been improved and titled all save 40 acres. In fact,
it was one of the first farms titled in the county, the work having been
done by Samuel Black, who was then the owner. Mr. Schlatter took up his
abode on this place in February 1882 and resided there until 1889 when
he bought a 20 acre farm one mile to the west and removed to the latter
place. There he lived for four years when he sold his 20 acre tract on
the 20th of October, 1893, purchased 80 acres of improved land on
section 22, Jefferson township. His energy and business ability have
made him one of the substantial agriculturists of the community. In
1897, he built a good barn, 28 by 44 feet. He carries on the work of
tilling the soil and annually harvests good crops. He also raises Poland
China hogs, having from 50 to 70 head each year. By judicious
investment, he has increased his landed possessions until he now owns
250 acres including ten acres of timber, all in Jefferson township.
the 16th of September, 1867, Mr. Schlatter was married to Miss Catherine
Miller, who was born in Henry County, Iowa, and attended the common
schools. Her father was John Miller, who in early manhood wedded Annie
Raber, and both were natives of Alsace, Germany. In the family of Mr.
and Mrs Schlatter are six children: Lena, now the wife of Simon
Gingerich, a resident farmer of Jefferson township; David who carries on
farming in the same township; Annie, William, Emma, and John, all at
In his business affairs, Mr. Schlatter has
ever been thoroughly reliable and energetic and his farm is the visible
evidence of his life of well directed enterprise and thrift. In
politics, he is independent, voting for men and measures rather than
party. He takes an active interest in the Mennonite Church, has served
as trustee since 1891, contributes liberally to the support of the
church, and is interested in all that tends to promote the material,
intellectual, and moral development of the community.
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 308-310) (AW)
|John Gottlieb Schubert
JOHN GOTTLIEB SCHUBERT, a farmer residing in Baltimore Township, was born in Schlascan, Germany, in 1830, and is the son of John G. and Elizabeth (Douffle) Schubert. Both parents were also born in or near Schlascan, where they were married and reared a family of three children: Christiania, deceased wife of Gottfried Schermell; Mary, wife of Aug. Kudabe, a wealthy farmer of Jackson Township, and our subject. The parents came to America in 1853, locating in Green Bay, and the next year purchasing land in Henry County. They remained in this county until their death, the father departing this life in 1875, and the mother in 1885, at the advanced age of eighty-eight.
Our subject was married, in 1859, to
Anna Muschick, a. lady born in Germany, whose parents were Martin and Lizzie
Muschick, residents of Marshall County, Iowa. They began their domestic life
upon a farm in Baltimore Township, upon rented land, but two years later
Gottlieb purchased the farm of his father and removed with his young wife to
their present location. Their children, five in number, were all born in this
township, namely: Martin, born May 13, 1861, died Aug. 14, 1863; Charley, born
April 20, 1863; Frank, born Nov. 22, 1865; Mary, born Jan. 31, 1868, and Emma,
born Dec. 12, 1874. All are yet under the paternal roof except Charles, who was
married Jan. 19, 1 888, to Rose A. Lee. Mr. Schubert, aided by a good wife, has
become one of the wealthy men of Baltimore Township, in a comparatively short
lifetime, farming upon his present farm. The broad acres are highly cultivated,
and the elegant country home is one of the most attractive to be seen in the
south part of the county. The large barns give shelter to many head of fine
cattle, and everything betokens a prosperous life. All the children are well
educated in the English language, and are such as give a high moral and
intellectual tone to the community in which they reside. There is no family
living in this part of the county more favorably known to her citizens than that
of Gottlieb and Anna Schubert, and as Germany has contributed many valuable
citizens to the grand State of Iowa, we gladly give them a place in the history
of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 218-219.)(JC)
GEORGE SHANER, merchant, New London, Iowa, a pioneer of Henry County of 1844, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., Jan. 15, 1840. His parents, George and Juliana (Bricker) Shaner, were Pennsylvanians by birth and of German descent. The family originally settled in Maryland, and went from there to Westmoreland County, Pa., where the father was born. George came to Iowa with his parents in 1844, when but a child. They spent a short time in Burlington and then came to New London.
The subject of our sketch was educated in the village schools of that place, and on the breaking out of the Civil War he was among the first to enter the service in defense of the Union. He enlisted in .June, 1861, and was sworn into the United States service July 17 following as a private of Company H, 6th Iowa Infantry, under command of Col. John Adair McDowell, who was succeeded by Col. John M. Corse, late Major General. His regiment was assigned to duty in the Army of the Tennessee, under Gen. Sherman. The history of the 6th Iowa Infantry was one of hard-fought campaigns in which the regiment made a brilliant record for brave and efficient service, and during which time it sustained a loss of 140 men killed outright in line of battle, and 349 wounded. The first important battle in which the regiment engaged was the battle of Shiloh, where they entered with a force of 600 men and sustained a loss of 284 in killed and wounded. Our subject participated in the following-named engagements: Battles of Shiloh, March 16, 1862; siege of Corinth, May, 1862; siege of Vicksburg, winter of 1862-63. At the battles near Jackson, July 16, 1863, the regiment covered itself with glory and was highly complimented in the reports of the general officers. In the month of November, 1863, it was engaged in the battle of Mission Ridge. In December following, the regiment took part in the famous expedition for the relief of Knoxville, Tenn. Early in 1864 the regiment veteranized and became the 6th Iowa Veteran Volunteers, and was granted a thirty-days furlough. Returning at the expiration of the furlough, about the last of April, 1864, it rejoined Sherman and fought the battles of Resaca, May 14 and 15; Dallas, May 28; New Hope, June 1 to 4; Big Shanty, June 15, and Kennesaw on the 27th; then in all the great battles before Atlanta, July 21, 22 and 28, and at Jonesboro, in the rear of Atlanta, on the last of August and first of September. The roster at Dalton showed not more than 400 men when the regiment returned from veteran furlough, and on the campaign before Atlanta the casualties numbered over 200. When the regiment started with Sherman on his famous march to the sea, it numbered but little more than one full company. It took part in the battles of Griswoldville, Ga., Nov. 22, 1864, where they suffered severely. It participated in the battle of Bentonville, March 20, 1865, the last battle of Sherman’s campaign. In addition to the battles enumerated, Mr. Shaner took part in numerous skirmishes and many minor engagements. During all of this active and perilous service he fortunately escaped without a scratch or a wound, but hardship and exposure in a hot climate impaired his health seriously, producing a chronic complaint peculiar to the soldiers of the late war, but he kept to his post, driving ambulance when he could not march, until he was finally discharged, April 13, 1865, just at the close of the war. On his return from the war, and partial recovery of his health, he engaged in milling at New London. He was employed at that work until 1868, when he went to Oregon, Linn Co., Iowa, where he spent three years in a mill at Harrisburg. He then returned to New London, and in 1872 engaged in mercantile business. Mr. Shaner carries a fine stock of general merchandise, and has built up a good trade.
He was married at New London, Oct. 3, 1872, to Miss Mary E.
Lyman, daughter of Ambrose Lyman, Esq. Mrs. Shaner was born near Columbus, Ohio.
They have four children, three sons and a daughter: Ambrose L., born Sept. 17,
1873; Charles Ira, born Jan. 24, 1875; Aria Belle, born Jan. 23, 1878, and Ora
J., Dec. 22, 1884. Mr. Shaner is a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge
No. 28, A. F. & A. M., also a member of Charity Lodge No. 56, I. 0. 0. F.
Politically, he is a Republican, having always voted with that party.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 183-184.)
Samuel I Shaner
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 188)(PW)
|Francis Drake Sheldon
FRANCIS DRAKE SHELDON, farmer. Perhaps no man in Salem Township is more widely known, or is considered more of a peculiar character, than the gentleman named above. He was born in Leeds County, Canada, Dec. 26, 1809, and is a son of Jeremiah and Experience (Fuller) Sheldon. They were natives of Pittsford, Conn., and emigrated to Canada several years before the birth of our subject. For many years before his marriage, and as long as he remained in Connecticut, Jeremiah Sheldon was a Lieutenant in the regular army. The eldest son, Horace, was born before the family removed to Canada, where the father purchased a farm, upon which Riley, Rustin W., Amelia, Richard, Francis D., Jane, Alexander and Experience, were born.
The parents both died on this farm, their children being grown and well educated prior to that time. Our subject fell from a tree when seventeen years of age, and broke both his wrists, which practically disabled him for farm work, but his father being in somewhat straightened circumstances, the son determined to shift for himself. He attended school for three years, and paid both for board and tuition, and when twenty-one years old began teaching, which he continued for three years. Not liking that profession, in 1823 he began clerking in a store, and in 1826 was married to Sarah, a daughter of Sheldon and Olive Stoddard, the former a member of the firm of Hartwell & Stoddard, in whose employ he had been.
Francis Sheldon had economized and saved money enough to purchase a farm at Rideau Lake, near Beverly, and the domestic life of the young couple was begun on this farm. The father of Mrs. Sheldon was, in his day, a very wealthy man, who owned extensive mills, and shipped large quantities of lumber to Quebec; and was also engaged in the mercantile trade. Later, they removed to Porter County, Ind., where they both died. One daughter, Olive, now deceased, graced the union of our subject and wife before they became residents of the United States. Their removal was made to Porter County, Ind., about 1836, and the next year they went to Cass County, Mich., where Mr. Sheldon purchased a farm. In Porter County, Ind., a son, Franklin, was born, who wedded Mary Vaughn, and at the time of his death, Dec. 19, 1883, was the editor of the McPherson (Kan.) Free Thinker. Olivia, the second daughter, now deceased, was born in Michigan. She became the wife of William M. Carter, of Lee County, Iowa.
Mr. Sheldon had erected a new house on his farm in Cass County, Mich., and after it was cleaned and ready to move into, the cabin caught fire and burned to the ground with all its contents. This was a severe loss to the young couple, as it swept away all their earnings; so they returned to Indiana, where the death of Mrs. Sheldon occurred the next year, Dec. 9, 1841. While a resident of Canada, our subject embraced the doctrine of the Friends, and for a term of years was a prominent member of that society. After the division in that body regarding slavery, Mr. Sheldon still remained in the church, though in sentiment he was an Abolitionist. He labored faithfully in the society even after his removal from Michigan, and after the death of his wife, returned to Cass County, Mich., and taught a monthly meeting school. The next year he returned to Canada, and while there was married to Miss Charlotte Booth. She was a daughter of Isaac and Thursey (Wing) Booth, whom, as is well authenticated, bore in their veins royal blood. Her father was born in Orange County, and her mother in Dutchess County, N. Y., but their parents were natives of England. Mr. and Mrs. Booth settled on a farm in Canada, and there their children grew to maturity. Charles, the eldest son, was a well-known surveyor, and also taught school, as did Mrs. Sheldon before her marriage. Her mother bore fifteen children, nine reaching maturity—Anna, Elizabeth, Caroline, May, Rebecca, Charlotte, Charles, James and Daniel. Mrs. Sheldon is the only one living, and was born July 9, 1822.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon lived for three years in Cass County, Mich., and in 1845 came to Lee County, Iowa, where he purchased a farm. For many years after his coming to Iowa, Mr. Sheldon labored earnestly in the Society of Friends, but after careful consideration of the subject, aided by a liberal and intelligent study of moral and Divine law, he and his wife (who was born in that faith) asked for a discontinuance of their membership. Having fully investigated the subject, both have allied themselves with the great body of materialists, and with all their former zeal are now laboring for the welfare of their fellow-men. In 1878 they became residents of Salem, where they have a neat cottage on a nice little farm inside of the corporation. Six daughters and three sons have graced their union: Sarah, the wife of Charles Brown, a farmer of Henry County; Thursey wedded to Hiram H. Root, a farmer in Colorado; Hoag B. was a soldier during the late war, belonging to an Iowa regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Atlanta, but recovered, and is now a resident of Mesa County, Col., and is a bachelor; Rebecca is the widow of James South, and resides in Lee County, Iowa; Experience is the wife of Elihu Bond, and resides in Dawson County, Neb.; Rachel is the wife of Lemuel Kenley, a resident of the same county; Charles W. married Minnie Stamper. and resides in this township; Olive is the wife of William M. Steward, a farmer of Henry County; Franklin Sheldon, the other son, was also a soldier in the late war, serving three years, a part of which time he was connected with the hospital staff.
Mr. Sheldon and his wife, by reason of their long residence in the
State, and their unswerving uprightness of character here, are entitled to and
have the respect and esteem of the people who know them.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 254-255)(JC)
|Carey D. Shelledy
CAREY D. SHELLEDY, a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 29, Baltimore Township, was born in Jennings County, Ind., in 1822, and is the son of George and Isabella (Graham) Shelledy. Edward, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Virginia, and the ancestors are supposed to be of Irish origin. He married Miss Bovell, and later moved to Ohio, from thence to Jennings County, Ind., and lastly to Edgar County, Ill., where both himself and wife died. They had seven children: Margaret, deceased, who wedded William Moore, of Lowell, Iowa, and died in that village; George, father of our subject, who married Isabella Graham in Indiana, where his death accidentally occurred while clearing up his farm; Stephen married Elizabeth Vance, and both are dead; Alfred, Gillen and Alex, who died unmarried, and John, married to Mary A. Milton, completed the number of children.
The family of George and Isabella Shelledy consisted of three sons—Edward, George and Carey D. The widow afterward married John Compton, and bore him six children—Samuel, Virginia, Louisiana, Stephen, William and Isabella. The death of the mother occurred in Marion County, Iowa, in 1822. After the death of his father and marriage of his mother Carey D. Shelledy, then sixteen years of age, left home and went to Charleston, Ill., where he learned the saddlery and harness trade. When eighteen years old he came to this county, and in the winter of 1840 opened a shop, the first mechanic of this art in the now thriving county seat. He made the first saddle and breeching harness ever manufactured in Henry County. His shop stood upon the site of Presley Saunders’ bank, but there was not enough call for his services to pay the young man, and he went to Lowell and took charge of a carding-mill for Thomas Angell, which he operated for two years. The next year he went to what is now known as the second purchase of Indian lands, upon which Ottumwa and Oskaloosa are situated. He aided in building all the first cabins of Oskaloosa, as when he reached the place only one log store stood upon its site. This was a general store that retailed groceries and whisky, owned at the time by Leeper Smith. Mr. Shelledy was present at the Osage Agency when the treaty was made, and selected three claims, built a log cabin on each, later sold two claims, and secured enough money to enter eighty acres at the first land sale at Fairfield. His marriage had been celebrated prior to this time, Miss Amanda Shelledy becoming his wife. They began life on limited capital, and in Mahaska County theirs was one of the first marriages. The father of Judge Seavers performed the ceremony, and the young bride was installed mistress of a log cabin, with hewed puncheon floor erected by her husband. That was the beginning of his good fortune. Children came to their cabin home. The first was Elizabeth, now the wife of Charles Simpson; her birth was followed by that of a son, George E., who died in infancy; then Jane, who died in childhood, and who was born in Jasper County, to which her parents had removed, and where other children were born, viz.: Ella, now wife of George Collins; Margaret, wife of Hugh Bowen, and Stephen, the husband of Deborah Collins. In 1869 Mr. Shelledy returned to Henry County, and purchased the farm upon which William Archibald now resides. His wife died in Jasper County, and in Des Moines County Mr. Shelledy married his second wife, Mrs. Jane (Linder) Hale, who had three children by her first husband, named George W., Sylvester and Sarah J. After her marriage to Mr. Shelledy she bore Leander and Andrew, twins; Fremont, Nathaniel, Emma, Charles, Amy, Ella, John, Frank and Fred. All are living except Ella, and are widely scattered. Leander married Mary Kyle, and Andrew married her sister Rena; Fremont wedded Ella Cook, in Nebraska; Emma is Richard Foster’s wife, while the others are unmarried. Margaret was a teacher in Marion and Cass Counties prior to her marriage, but all the sons are farmers, and the daughters have wedded farmers.
From the lad in 1840, with
thirty-seven and a half cents in his
pocket, our subject grew to manhood, reared a large family, and is now, in his
mature years, one of the large landowners and wealthy men of Baltimore Township.
For many years Mr. Shelledy served as a member of the School Board, but
disliking to attend to any business except his own, has declined any connection
with other official positions. His education in his youth was very limited, all
his learning being self-acquired, but his children have all been given a liberal education. In 1876 he purchased the Hussey farm,
and is now the owner of 200 broad acres, and is in easy circumstances. He is
the grandsire of eighteen children, and the father of seventeen. Genial and
social, Mr. and Mrs. Shelledy have always been noted for their hospitality, and
this sketch will be read with interest by scores of old pioneers, among whom
they are numbered. His step-father was a cruel man to the children, and was very
fond of chastising them upon the least provocation. The last seen of him by our
subject, he was standing in the
door with a birch switch in his hand, waiting for Carey to put in an appearance,
but he had climbed out of a back window, and was making tracks for Illinois,
without bidding any of the family adieu. When he next saw his mother he had
grown to manhood, and she failed to recognize him.
He went to Indiana after her, intending to give her a home, her second
husband being also dead at the time. That
good lady accompanied him to Iowa, and found a comfortable home under his roof
during the remainder of her life. Mr. Shelledy was in
early days an avowed Abolitionist, and was largely interested in the
underground railroad, of which mention will be made elsewhere, and in that
connection acted both as Station Agent and as conductor, and was instrumental in
securing the freedom of many a poor colored man before the Emancipation
Proclamation gave them all their liberty. For his manly character, his
uprightness and straightforward manner, he is greatly esteemed by those who know
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 225-227.) (JC)
|Joel M. Smith
JOEL M. SMITH, one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of Mt. Pleasant, was born in Henry County, Iowa, on the 8th day of July, 1838, when Iowa was yet a Territory. His parents were Samuel and Hannah (Walters) Smith; the former, a native of Henderson County, Ky., was born in 1816, and the latter, a native of Tennessee, was born in 1822. His grandparents were Scotch and French, with the exception of his grandmother on his father’s side, who was an Indian squaw. Samuel Smith left Kentucky in 1832, while yet a young man, and located for a short time in Burlington, Iowa. He then went to Augusta, Des Moines Co., Iowa, where he was married, subsequently settling near Skunk Rivet, in Jackson Township, Henry County. Here he took up a claim which he developed into a beautiful and productive farm. In 1850 he removed to California, where he remained two years engaged, in mining. He then returned to Henry County, where his wife died the following year, leaving a family of eight children to mourn their loss. Of these, three are now living: Joel, of Mt. Pleasant; Elias, of Des Moines, and Benjamin E., a contractor, also of Des Moines. Mr. Smith was again married, to Miss Mary J. Herring. By this union there were two children, one of whom is dead; the other, Calvin B., is located in Warren County, Iowa. Mr. Smith was a man of intelligence, and one who always kept well posted on all public affairs.
Joel N. Smith, the subject of this sketch, received but three months’ schooling, having no chance to obtain an education by the usual methods, but by sheer hard work and earnest application has obtained more than an ordinary education, and what is better, a practical one. He always keeps well informed in regard to the affairs of the country, and is a good conversationalist. In 1858 Mr. Smith went to Pike’s Peak, then returned to Florence, Neb., where he had a brother-in-law who was a Mormon Elder. From there he went to Denver Plains, where he remained till 1863, as wagon-master. He then Proceeded to Montana, with Cal. Bozman, traveling around Big Horn. They were the first men to make the trip. Subsequently he went to the Red River country, and continued traveling until 1869. In the year of 1869-70 he embarked in business at Walla Walla, Wash. Ter., but in 1871 returned to Henry County, where he has since resided, and for a time was engaged in railroading, which proved a losing business. In 1883 Mr. Smith patented a tile ditching-machine, and a company was organized for its manufacture, known as the Iowa Ditching-Machine Manufacturing Company, of which he was elected President, having full charge of the business until the time he disposed of his interest. The Monitor Roadgrader was the invention of W. J. Martin, to which Mr. Smith added many improvements.
Mr. Smith has
been twice married. His first wife was Miss Isabel Martin, by whom he had two
children—Thomas J. and Laura Bell. His present wife was Alice H. Roderick, and
by this union there are four children now living—Joseph S., Clyde A., Bertie
and Dottie. Mr. Smith is a self-made man. With no advantages, by hard labor and
good management, he has gained a competency, and is the owner of 2,480 acres of
land in Cheyenne County, Neb., worth $8,000. In polities Mr. Smith is a
Greenbacker, and was the first man to be initiated into the Knights of Labor in
Henry County. He is a strict abstainer from all that can intoxicate, and is a
just and upright man.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 270-271) (JC)
|John D. Smith
JOHN D. SMITH, one of the farmers and extensive stock-raisers residing on section 7, Marion Township, was born in Richland County, Ohio, April 21, 1830, and is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (McCready) Smith, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. Robert McCready, grandfather of our subject, was one of those brave men who fought so gallantly for the freedom of his country during the Revolutionary War. Nine children blessed the union of Thomas Smith and Elizabeth McCready: Nancy, widow of Alexander Lawthers, now resides in Washington County, Pa., on a farm adjoining the old home farm; Jane, wife of J. B. Hart, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; Robert M., who died Jan. 1, 1886, in Davis County, Iowa; Joseph, a farmer of Van Buren County, Iowa; Thomas P. died near Mt. Pleasant in 1846; Elizabeth died on the home farm in Henry County, where H. C. Weir now lives; our subject is the seventh child in the order of birth; William McCready Smith was Chaplain in a Pennsylvania regiment during the late war, and died in the service in 1864; E. J. died in Henry County in 1855; Anna M. is the deceased wife of P. M. Ogan, a resident of St. Louis.
Thomas Smith brought his family to Iowa in 1840, settling on the farm now owned by H. C. Weir, on which he made the first improvements, and at the time of his death he had one of the best farms in the county. He was an active church worker, and organized the first temperance society in Richland County, Ohio, and was also one of the first farmers who dared to lay aside the use of whisky in the harvest fields and in public gatherings. He was a man of great moral convictions, always upholding that which was right, and in politics was an old-line Whig and a strong Abolitionist. In his younger days Mr. Smith was a teacher, and for several terms held the office of Justice of the Peace of the county. He ended this life in April, 1848, and was highly respected by all who knew him. His wile died in 1866, and with her husband was a member of the Congregational Church.
Our subject’s early life was spent in attending the district school until the age of twenty-one, when, in the spring of 1852, he decided to go to California. Crossing the plains with an ox-team he landed in Placerville, and from there went to Scott’s Valley, Siskiyou Co., Cal., where he engaged to work on a farm. The first year he received $1,000, the second and third year $1,200 each, and the last two years he received $180 per month, from all of which he saved $6,000. Returning to Henry County, he purchased 125 acres of land, of which he took possession in the spring of 1858, when he was united in marriage with Miss Isabel Paine, a native of Virginia, being born in Berkeley County in 1832. She came to Henry County with her parents in 1836. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of five children: Nevada, born June 25, 1859, died March 20, 1861, in infancy; Charles, born Oct. 30, 1861; Clara A., born May 11, 1864; Walter E., born Jan. 23, 1867, died April 10, 1874, and Elbert E., born June 5, 1870, now in college at Mt. Pleasant.
Mr. Smith has kept adding to his first
purchase until he now owns 525 acres of the best cultivated land in the county.
Starting in life with a capital of $54, he has by his own honest labor become
one of the well-to-do farmers of Henry County, and is an extensive stock-raiser.
He imported the first fine imported Norman horse into the county in 1873, for
which he paid $2,500. Politically Mr. Smith is a Republican, and has held many
township offices. He is always ready to push forward any public interest, and
is, with his wife, an earnest worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 314-315) (JC)
John P. Smith
JOHN P. SMITH, a farmer of Henry County, residing on section 16, Centre Township, was born near Elizabeth City, N. C., April 11, 1818, and is of English and Welsh descent. He is a son of Samuel and Lydia (Pritchard) Smith, both of whom were natives of North Carolina. They were the parents of two children, one of whom is living, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Smith was previously married to Gresham Overton, and by this union there were two children, both of whom are now dead. Of all this family Mr. Smith is the only one left to record their history. John was a boy when his parents died and was bound out to John Gregery, a painter, but not liking this he ran away, and resolved to earn his own living. In 1838 he was married to Miss Julia Kenyon, a native of North Carolina, born in 1812. In 1843 they emigrated to Henry County, Ind., and in 1849 came to Henry County, Iowa. They made the journey with teams, camping out at night, and located on land in Jackson Township. In 1836 he purchased his present farm of forty acres in Center Township, situated a mile and a half south of Mt. Pleasant. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Smith has been blessed with six children: Thomas J. enlisted in Company K, 19th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Sterling Farm, in Louisiana, Sept. 29, 1863; William L. also enlisted in Company K, 19th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the following battles: That of Ft. Morgan, Miller’s Ford, Brownsville, Tex., siege of the Spanish Fort and the battle of Mobile. He served thirty months and was always found at his post of duty. James M., of Ft. Madison, Iowa, also served in the same regiment. The other three died in infancy.
Mrs. Smith departed this life in 1863.
She was a sincere Christian, being a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and a kind wife and mother. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Smith was again married, to
Elizabeth J. Booth, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Booth, who died in
Guernsey County, Ohio. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By
this last union there were five children: Rose E., who died Aug. 13, 1886;
Bertram E., Jesse B., Joseph H. and Minnie E. Politically, Mr. Smith is a
Republican, but before the organization of that party he was a Whig. Mr. and
Mrs. Smith are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are greatly
respected throughout the community. Mr. Smith has lived in Henry County since
1849, and has witnessed the changes that have transformed it from a wild,
uninhabited region, to one of the most cultivated counties in the State.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 172.)(JC)
PETER SMITH, a stock-raiser and farmer residing on section 28, Marion Township, was born July 12, 1830, in Switzerland County, Ind., and is a son of Abraham and Eleanor (Van Dorin) Smith, the former a native of North Carolina, born May 19, 1794, and the latter Aug. 10, 1800, in Pennsylvania. They have had a family of twelve children: John, who died in 1836; William and Sarah died in infancy; Jabez, a plasterer and brick-layer of Villisca, Iowa; Mary A., widow of Abram Osborne, now a resident of Omaha, Neb.; Cheney, a farmer in Crawford County, Kan.; Peter, the subject of this sketch, is the seventh child ; Marcus K., a farmer in Jefferson County, Iowa; James C., a resident of Omaha, Neb.; Nancy L., deceased wife of Walter F. Crew, a resident of Mankato, Jewell Co., Kan.; Hiram, a farmer in Jefferson County, Iowa; Phoebe C., wife of Rufus Van Tassal, a farmer in Jewell County, Kan. Mrs. Smith went to Switzerland County, Ind., in 1804, and Mr. Smith in 1814. Here they became acquainted and friendship ripened into love, and the marriage was celebrated in 1815. They remained in Switzerland County, Ind., until 1833, and here their seven oldest children were born. In that year they emigrated to Hancock County, Ind., at which place the five youngest children were born. Mr. and Mrs. Smith made Hancock County their home until 1849, when they came to Henry County, Iowa, locating near Rome. Here he bought 120 acres of raw land and developed a fine farm, residing here until his death in July, 1871. Mrs. Smith died Aug. 3, 1875. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of their death, but had formerly belonged to the Baptist Church before coming to Iowa. They were devoted members of the society, and no couple in the county were more highly esteemed than they were.
The earlier years of our subject were spent in attending the common schools in the State of Indiana and doing his part of the farm work. Born upon a farm, the greater part of his life has been spent in the peaceful avocation of a farmer. He remained with his parents until 1853, when he made the overland trip to California, where he remained but a short time, then went to Oregon, and for two years was there engaged in farming. Returning to California, for about fourteen months he engaged in mining, and then went to freighting in California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington Territory, but later engaged in stock-raising in Oregon, and for a time in merchandising. He was very successful in the far West, remaining there until 1868, when he returned to Henry County and purchased eighty acres of land, a portion of the farm on which he now resides. In 1883 he bought ninety acres more, making 170 acres, which is now under a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Smith is a successful stock-raiser, his stock consisting principally of fine Poland China hogs and Durham cattle.
that he has was made by his own industry. On the 26th of April, 1869, Mr. Smith
was united in marriage with Miss
Lucy B. Crew, daughter of Walter and Sarah (Rice) Crew. She was born Aug. 18,
1844, near Richmond, Va. Five children have been born to them: Annie L. was born
Jan. 27, 1870; Nellie M., born Feb. 25, 1871, died May 28 of the same year;
Charles S., born Aug. 16, 1873; Mary J., born Jan. 30, 1875; John, born Jan. 28,
1877, died Jan. 18, 1879. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Society of Friends. In
politics he is a Democrat. As a citizen he stands high in the estimation of all.
He is always ready to advance any interest for the public good.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 213-214.)(JC)
SYLVESTER SMITH, is a farmer and Postmaster, residing on section 3, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. Only one person, Mrs. Elizabeth Woodruff, antedates our subject in priority of citizenship in Wayne Township. He was born in Lake County, Ohio, March 7, 1831, and is a son of Sylvester and Lucretia (Woodworth) Smith, both natives of Franklin County, Mass. they were perhaps married in. that State, removed later to Warren County, N. Y., and afterward to Lake County, Ohio, where Mr. Smith purchased a tract of woodland, and cleared up a fine farm prior to their removal to Iowa in 1842. Sylvester Smith, Sr., came the year previous and purchased lands, to which the family removed the next spring. A house was erected within a few feet of where the fine residence of our subject now stands, and here for forty-five years the representatives of the honored father have held possession and wielded a power for good, both in the social and business worlds. Nine children were born before the family removed to Iowa, two of whom died in infancy, and a daughter, Eliza, when twenty years of age; and the following six sons comprised the family in 1842: Dexter C., husband of Phoebe Pence, both now deceased; Edward, the husband, first of Celia Schockley, and after her death of Mrs. Fannie (Buffington) Haines, all now deceased; John L., husband of Lucretia C. Woodworth; Elijah P., who wedded Catherine Haines, and after her death Addie Kimbal; Charles A., husband of Margaret Young; and Sylvester. The sons aided in the improvement of the new farm, at that time Wayne and Scott Townships forming one voting precinct, with thirteen polled voters. Through the instrumentality of Sylvester Smith, Sr., Wayne post-office was established in 1851, and he received in August of that year his commission, and a mail service was established between Iowa City and New London, one round trip made each week. Perry Ketchum was the first mail carrier. After the resignation of his father, our subject was appointed Postmaster of Wayne, Nov. 10, 1858, his commission bearing the signature of Aaron V. Brown, Postmaster General, and from that time has held the place, being to-day the oldest continuous Postmaster in the county, having for more than twenty-nine years filled that position.
Charles A. Smith, one of the brothers, was a volunteer in Company G, 11th Iowa, and served from 1862 until the close of the war. He was captured at the battle of Atlanta, July 27, 1864, and was confined in the prison pen at Andersonville for several weeks, but was later sent to Florence where he was exchanged.
Our subject, Sylvester Smith, is the son of a soldier of the War of 1812, and Sylvester Smith, Sr., laid his land warrant, received at that time, after he came to Iowa. He was an able man and one who aided largely in the culture and improvement of this community. Being a professed Christian, a member of the Congregational Church, the family were in attendance at the organization of the Crawfordsville Congregational Church the next Sunday after they came, and when sufficiently strong to organize a church in Wayne Township, both himself and wife aided in its establishment, Sylvester Smith, Sr., becoming its first Deacon, and remaining in that capacity the remainder of his life. The death of that good man occurred Dec. 21, 1863. He was known far and wide as “Yankee Smith,” and was one of the organizers of the Republican party in this county, being an avowed Abolitionist for years. His wife survived until Aug. 13, 1875, having lived to see the principles so long advocated by her husband fully established.
Sylvester Smith, Jr., was married, Feb. 18, 1857, to Miss Delilah J. Coen, of this county, born in Washington County, Ohio, and a daughter of William and Rachel Coen. Both parents are now deceased, and only three of their children are living: James S., who married a lady of Kansas, near Garden City; Susan, wife of Perry Ellis, of Carroll County, Mo.; and Delilah, wife of Mr. Smith.
Since the spring of 1842 our subject has never known any other
home but his present; changes, of course, have been made; the roomy mansion has
taken the place of the unpretentious home of almost half a century ago; children
have been born, reared and married; one generation has passed away, and the
second is of mature years, and wealth has come as he and his good wife have
grown in years. Five children have graced their home, four now living:
Charles S., a resident farmer of this township, wedded to Charlotte Kitch,
of Marion Township; Harry K. is the husband of Margaret McKee, and also resides
on a farm near the Smith homestead; William E. almost reached the age of manhood
ere summoned from earth; Francis I. and Rosa J. are unmarried and still inmates
of the parental home. Francis has become an expert telegraph operator, and if
his health permitted would make that his business. We are pleased to present
this brief sketch of one of the oldest and best known families of the township,
as they deserve this recognition of their long, useful, prosperous and happy
domestic life within her boundary.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp .175-176)(JC)
WILLIAM SMITH, born Oct. 5, 1833, is a native of Beaver County, Pa. He resides on section 20, Trenton Township, where he owns a fine farm of eighty acres. When but a lad of twelve years he emigrated with his parents, Robert and Nancy (Bryarly) Smith, natives of Pennsylvania, to Indiana. In that State William was reared on a farm and received his education at the district schools. He came to this county in the fall of 1855 with his parents, who subsequently removed to Decatur County, where they both died. The father departed this life in August, 1877, and the mother in August, 1885. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Republican, always taking a lively interest in political affairs. They reared a family of eight children: Sarah S., wife of John Jones, now resides in Decatur County, Iowa; Jane M., widow of John Bouse, now living in Tipton County, Ind.; William, our subject; Agnes, wife of Isaac Dick, residing in Indiana; Margaret, widow of John Stone, of Decatur County, Iowa; Robert, a soldier in the 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, enlisted in August, 1862, and died at Helena, Ark., when fighting for his country; Mary A., wife of Preston Creveling, of Decatur County, Iowa; Louisa Ann died in infancy.
William Smith, our subject, went with his parents to Decatur County, Iowa, in the spring of 1856; remaining but a short time, he returned to Henry County, engaging as a farm hand, then renting farms until October, 1861, when he responded to his country’s call for troops. He enlisted in Company D, 4th Iowa Cavalry, and served until Aug. 9, 1864, as Corporal. His eyes became sore and he suffered from other disabilities, from the effects of which diseases he has never fully recovered. After his discharge he returned to Henry County, and was united in marriage, in February, 1865, with Rhoda Ann Messer, a native of Henry County, and a daughter of Hiram Messer. He made his home upon a rented farm on section 20, Trenton Township, until 1873, when he made a home on a farm of eighty acres which he had previously bought, and has developed a good farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were the
parents of two children—W. G. and E. M. His first wife died April 14, 1870,
and he was again married in 1873, to Margaret Messer, a sister of his former
wife, and by their union eight children have been born—William Sherman, Robert
Hiram, John Miller, Ann Eliza, Rosa Blanche, Maggie Luella, Nancy Adeline and
James Harlan. Mr. Smith has held the office of Township Trustee for six years.
Politically he is Republican. He is one of the stanch supporters of the party,
and takes great interest in all political affairs. Mr. Smith commenced life a
poor boy, and has made his own way in the world without assistance.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 181-182.)(JC)
William L. Smith
The subject of this sketch when four years of age went to live with Marcus Moore, and remained with him until nineteen years old, attending the common subscription schools in the winter, and working upon the farm during the summer months. On leaving Mr. Moore he returned to his old home, and engaged in the butchering business. On the 3d of July, 1849, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Grandstaff, a native of Marshall County, Va., born in 1831. While a citizen of Marshall County he was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and served two years. In 1855 he left his native State and came to Iowa, locating at Muscatine, where he engaged in the butchering business. In 1856 he came to Mt. Pleasant and embarked in the same trade, continuing in it until 1861. In 1862 he was appointed United States Deputy Provost Marshal, and commissioned by Provost Marshal General Fry, serving until the close of the war. During this time he had some rough experiences. At Ft. Wayne, Ind., he came near being mobbed by rebel sympathizers. On the close of the war he engaged in the livery business at Mt. Pleasant, in which he continued for several years under the firm name of W. L. & J. M. Smith. In 1869 he went to Burlingame, Kan., and embarked in the lumber trade under the firm name of Smith & Roads, and also at Wichita, Kan., under the firm name of McClure & Co. In 1879 he went to Colorado where he was interested in the Columbus mine, and also in the Tomichi mining district, in Gunnison County. In 1883 he returned to Henry County, where he has since continued to reside. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of four living children: George W., now residing at Detroit, Mich.; Clara, wife of Dewitt Harden, of Monmouth, Ill.; Ada, wife of A. W. Morton, of Monmouth, Ill.; and Sally M., residing at home.
Mr. Smith has taken great interest in Masonry, and was Master
of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, for six years, and was a charter member of Xerium
Lodge No. 207, of which he was appointed Worshipful Master by dispensation,
and was elected three successive terms thereafter; he was also High Priest in
Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., for two years, and was a Charter Member of
Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T., in which he was Captain of the Guard. He has
also taken the Consistory degrees, being a 32°. In 1869—70 he was Grand
Warden of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. Politically, Mr. Smith is a Republican. As a
citizen he stands high in the estimation of the general public, and in every
enterprise calculated for the public good he is ready to do his part.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 173-174.)(JC)
REV. WESLEY J.
SPAULDING, A. M., Ph. D. Lit. D.
Rev. Wesley J.
Spaulding, for many years president of the Iowa Wesleyan University, was
born in Newark, New York, April 18, 1828, a son of Thomas J. and Sabra
[Proctor] Spaulding. His
parents were descended from early colonial families of the country.
The father was born in Vermont and the mother spent her girlhood
days in the Green Mountain state, although her birth occurred in New
Hampshire. They were married
in Ludlow, Vermont, and soon afterward removed to Newark, New York, where
the father engaged in merchandising and also conducted a successful
business as a manufacturer of patent medicines.
At a later date he removed to LaGrange county, Indiana, where he
was the founder of one bank and was connected with several others.
He took an important part in the early affairs of that county and
contributed in substantial measure to its material improvement, up
building and progress. At one
time he served as probate judge of LaGrange county.
His death occurred there May 22, 1874, when he was in his
seventy-third year, for his birth had occurred on the 6th of
September, 1801. His wife, who
was born in 1800, died when about ninety years of age.
She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Dr. Spaulding was
the youngest son in a family of five children and as a youth of eight
years became a student in the common schools, wherein he continued his
studies until he entered Asbury University now known as De Pauw University
at Green Castle, Indiana. Completing
the literary course there, he was graduated in the class of 1854 with the
degree of Bachelor of Arts and subsequently won the Master of Arts degree,
while the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon him.
Following his graduation he joined the Indiana Methodist Episcopal
conference and spent a year and a half in the active work of the ministry,
on the expiration of which period he was elected professor of Greek at
Iowa Wesleyan University and came to Mount Pleasant in the fall of 1855.
The chair of Latin was merged with Greek and he therefore acted as
instructor in both departments. In
1860 he was assigned to the pastorate of the Methodist Episcopal church at
Ottumwa, Iowa, but after a year retired and in the fall of 1861 returned
to the university as vice president and acting president.
At a later date he was transferred to the Indiana conference and
accepted the pastorate of the church at Mount Vernon, Indiana, but later
was unable to engage in any active ministerial service for a number of
years on account of ill health. During
that time he was superintendent of the Union schools of Sturgis, Michigan,
for two years and subsequently he was again transferred to the Iowa
conference and stationed at Burlington, Keosauqua, Washington and
Fairfield successively. Having
acted as pastor of these various churches he afterward returned to the
Iowa Wesleyan University and was once more elected vice president and
acting president, which position he held for a year.
He was then elected president and remained at the head of the
institution for eight years, during which period he also filled the chair
of philosophy which he had held during his incumbency in war times.
Since 1884 he has not been actively connected with the school.
He has, however, kept up his historical investigation and
researches, his studious habits and scholarly tastes yet remaining strong
and salient features in his character.
Dr. Spaulding has also been interested in banking in connection
with the bank at Sturgis, Michigan, of which his father was one of the
founders. He was likewise
interested in the First National Bank of Mount Pleasant.
Dr. Spaulding was
married to Miss Martha Berry, a daughter of Rev. L. W. Berry, at one time
connected with the Iowa Wesleyan University, Asbury University, but then
stationed at New Albany, Indiana. Four
children were born of this marriage. Cora
is the widow of John McKibben, who was auditor of the Santa Fe Railroad
and she makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.
Ida is the wife of Greeley W. Whitford, an attorney and one of the
leading politicians of Denver, Colorado.
Wilbur Berry Spaulding, LL.B., who for some years has been claims
attorney for the San Francisco Railroad Company, and Stella, who is now
Mrs. Hoffman and secretary for Dr. Lutz, an eminent surgeon of St. Louis,
Dr. Spaulding was
at one time a member of Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient, Free and
Accepted Masons, from which he is demitted.
He was raised in Sturgis Lodge in Michigan and was a member of
Keosauqua Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, but demitted to Henry Chapter, No.
7. He likewise became a member
of Jerusalem Commandery, Knights Templar, and was a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but has also withdrawn from active
association with that fraternity.
Perhaps no better
summary of the life work of Dr. Spaulding can be given than in the words
of one of his students, who said: “Dr. Spaulding’s work in and in
connection with the Iowa Wesleyan University was unique, original and
unusual. To understand his
connection with and his influence upon the school we must ascertain, if we
can, something of the contents and quality of his mind and its especial
adaptation to the rare and exalted art and attributes of the teacher.
His strength did not lie especially along executive lines, although
in him there was no weakness of discipline or hesitating leadership but
his especial power and his unusual qualifications were in the class room
in contact and personal intercourse with his students.
There and there chiefly were illustrated his rare gifts as
expositor and teacher. The
atmosphere of the class room was his native air.
There he became radiant and glowed with a natural and contagious
enthusiasm that no one can fully appreciate who has not come within the
charm of his class room influence. However
excellent his platform and public work, they furnished no adequate nor at
all accurate measure of his especial capabilities.
These were alone made manifest in the class room.
Few teachers were less dependent on text-books or cared so little
for their arbitrary lines and limitations.
He supplied text-book and topic alike, suggesting the one and
illustrating the other with a skill and adaptation as rare as it was
agreeable. In teaching his aim
and his application were always personal.
Education, as understood by him, was not an arbitrary prescription
doled out to the intellectually ailing as a remedy used for each and all
alike. His intellectual
diagnosis was always personal and he did not adopt the common educational
error and thereby escaped the common educational crime of prescribing
first and diagnosing afterward. He
studied his pupils with quite as much care, yes with far deeper concern,
than he studied his text-books. He
made the quality and kind of soil in which the seed was to be sown his
first and his chief concern. This
fairly ascertained, he could proceed with something of scientific
certainty and with a reasonable hope of a natural and definite
intellectual fruitage. He
always recognized the difficult and sought to avoid the embarrassment of
trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Difference in endowment both in quality and in degree, he
recognized as necessary and fundamental and held that its discovery and
the wise use of it made by the teacher was his highest claim of fitness
for his sacred trust. He so
skillfully applied the plummet and took the mental soundness of his pupils
as not to discourage by contrast nor humiliate by comparisons.
His only object was to hold, as it were, the mirror up to nature,
thus enabling the student to see his own image and, recognizing it, to
plan his course along lines of least resistance in the struggle of life.
How is this boy or girl to be most benefited by me as their teacher
in the work before them in life? This
was his constant concern and daily study of each and all who came within
the circle of his influence as a teacher.
His first efforts were to discover the special faculties and
determine the contents of the pupil’s own mind that he might
intelligently adapt the training to the individual need.
This personal concern, this making a pupil acquainted with himself,
this mental photograph, as it were, of each student, which he took and
studied and by reason of which he was enabled lovingly and helpfully to
lead him to a knowledge of himself, the highest education possible to give
or receive, this was Dr. Spaulding’s chief and his unusual gift as a
sketch would be grossly inadequate if it failed to note the effort of Dr.
Spaulding to accomplish the unification of the several Methodist Episcopal
colleges of Iowa. In the early
years of the decade of 1880 his heart was set upon this plan of
consolidation and unification, believing that only in this way could the
adequate financing of the several Methodist colleges be accomplished.
His address before the Iowa Methodist State Convention in June,
1881, was an able and earnest plea for the work of centralizing and
conserving the educational aim and effort of Methodism in Iowa.
In this view he was supported ably and enthusiastically by Senator
Harlan, Dr. Coxe, Dr. Wheeler and other leading Methodists of the state.
In his personal quality he is the best exemplification of high and
pure ideals, of deep sympathy, of loyal and loving devotion to his
friends, of wide benevolence of mind and heart and exalted views of mind
and destiny. I can not better
conclude this imperfect sketch than by quoting the refined and
discriminating words of Dr. W. H. Thomas, of Chicago, a lifelong friend,
who in a letter now in my possession, said, ‘His special field in which
he excels as a thinker and teacher is metaphysics.
He not only has a peculiar power of seizing and holding the most
subtle proposition until its exact contents is perceived and its value and
relations fixed, but he also has the rare gift of seeing just how the same
thing is perceived by others or whether they can see it at all and, if
not, where the difficulty lies. In
this way he is far removed from the ordinary drillmaster and is in the
highest sense an educator. No
one passes from under his care without some impress of this almost
matchless master of the human mind.’”
(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 18-22) (PW)
Mrs. Harriet Boyce, now deceased, was
a native of Washington County, Md., and a grandmother of Mrs. Anderson. Her
maiden name was Thompson. She was
born Dec. 7, 1792. Her first husband was Jacob Johnson, and to them were born
thirteen children, of whom twelve grew to man and womanhood. At the time of
her death she had seven children, forty-eight grandchildren, and twenty-seven
great-grandchildren. Her second husband was Mr. Boyce. She was a member of the
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 222.) (JC) (NOTE: The date of Benjamin’s death as listed above is what was printed in the biography even though it is clearly in error.)
Deceased, of Salem, Iowa. He was born in Harrison Co. OH 5 Sept
1812. He was the son of Ralph and Eleanor (Cleary) Spurrier. They were both
natives of Maryland, and both lived and died in Ohio. They have 5 sons and 6
daughters, six of whom are now living: Samuel resides in Clearfield, Iowa and is
the resident physician; Warner resides at New Lisbon, Linn Co. IA, and is
married to a cousin of the late president James A. Garfield; William m. Miss
Dungan and is a farmer of Iowa County; Matilda m. George Heberling, a farer of
Harrison Co. OH; Elizabeth is the widow of John Matson and resides in Nebraska;
Mary a. m. Hezekiah Harrison, now deceased, and resides in New Lisbon. The rest
of the children lived to be married--but are not listed. Richard, our subject,
married in Cadiz, OH in 1833, to Miss Amy Barrett, the daughter of Thomas and
Margaret Barrett, who were Quakers and natives of Virginia. When they removed
from the state of Ohio the Barrett brothers came to get their entry of land.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 481)(PW)
|George William Steadman
GEORGE WILLIAM STEADMAN, retired farmer and blacksmith, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Jefferson County, Va., Jan. 15, 1815, and is the son of William and Mary (Berry) Steadman. His father was born in Virginia, and was descended from good old English stock. His mother was born in Maryland, and was also of English descent. When sixteen years of age our subject was apprenticed to the blacksmith trade, to work until twenty-one years of age, at $36 a year, and eight days in harvest time. During the first year he saved $18 out of his wages, but at the end of the first six months of the second year his employer failed and went out of business, leaving his apprentice to begin over again, and at a loss of his half year’s earnings. He was then newly apprenticed to another man in the same business, for the term of three years, at the rate of $50 for the first year, $55 for the second and $65 for the third. His employer was a very close, but upright man, and taught his apprentices to be frugal as well as industrious. At the end of the three years it was found that our subject had lost two and a half days, which he was obliged to make up. Having finished his four and a half years of apprenticeship, six months prior to his majority, he began work as a journeyman. In the spring of 1836 he went to Highland County, Ohio, and opened a shop, but not meeting with the success he anticipated, he removed to Chillicothe, the same State, where he worked as a journeyman, at $1 per day. Six months later he started a shop for himself at Marble Furnace, Adams Co., Ohio, where he met the estimable lady whom he afterward made his wife, Miss Elizabeth Long, daughter of John Long, who was born in Adams County July 28, 1820, and to whom he was married April 19, 1838. Having carried on a shop at Marble Furnace for one year prior to his marriage, six months later Mr. Steadman went with his wife to Sinking Springs, Highland County, where he opened a shop in company with his brother-in-law, where he carried on business for eight years, and then removed to Bainbridge, Ross County, where he worked at his trade very successfully for eleven years, securing the best of the trade and making considerable money. At the end of this time Mr. Steadman again removed, this time going to Hillsboro, in that State, in hopes of doing still better, but this move was a mistake, and he sunk about $3,000 of his hard-earned savings. He then came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in the spring of 1857.
The financial panic of that year crippled all lines of business, and after a year and a half spent at Mt. Pleasant he became disgusted with the prospect and returned to Bainbridge, Ohio, and opened a shop, and again made money. Mr. Steadman remained at this place eight years, at the end of which time he went to Montgomery, Ind., and thence returned to Mt. Pleasant in 1867. He purchased a grocery and bakery, which he conducted a year and a half, when, being satisfied that there was no money in that enterprise for him, he sold out and returned to his old trade of blacksmithing. Two years later he bought his present fine farm of 160 acres in Marion Township, since which time he divides his attention between his farm and his residence in the city.
Mr. and Mrs. Steadman have been the
parents of seven children, four daughters and three sons, four of whom are
living. Evaline was born May 30, 1839, and is the wife of James Miller, of
Marion Township, and to them were born two sons and two daughters; Mary Ann,
born Dee. 21, 1843, who was the wife of Abraham Blackson, and died April 24,
1869, leaving three children, two daughters and a son; Samuel Joseph, born Dec.
25, 1846, married Carrie Mathews, and resides on the home farm in Marion
Township, and to them were born three boys and two girls:
William E. was born March 13, 1849, married Mary Spry, and lives in
Marion Township, and four children, one boy and three girls, graced their union;
Laura was born Feb. 27, 1854, and is the wife of L. E. Williams, a resident of
Keokuk, and they have one child living; Lizzie, born March 7, 1865, died July
22, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Steadman have now been married nearly fifty years, and if
living, they can celebrate their golden wedding on the 19th of April, 1888. They
have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church nearly all their lives, and
their children are members of the same denomination. Mr. Steadman united with
the church in 1833. He is an earnest Republican in politics, with strong
temperance sentiments. During the seventy-two years of a well-spent life he has
lived a temperate, industrious life. Both he and his wife have always been
industrious and frugal in their habits; starting in life with almost nothing,
they have lived well, reared a large family, and accumulated a comfortable
property. Mr. Steadman is a thorough mechanic in his line, and wherever he has
worked has always won the highest opinions of his customers for the rapid
dispatch and fine quality of his work. Physicians and druggists have never
enjoyed much profit from his custom. Temperate and a total abstainer in his
habits, his total doctor’s bills during his life will not exceed $5. He is
still rugged and strong, and bids fair to enjoy many more years of life.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 269-270) (JC)
|Joseph L Steadman
JOSEPH L. STEADMAN, a farmer and stock-raiser of section 24, Marion Township was born in Bainbridge, Ross Co., Ohio, Dec. 25, 1846, and is a son of G. W. and Elizbeth (Long) Steadman. (See G. W. Steadman’s sketch on another page of this work.) He attended school in his native town until 1861, when he entered the army, enlisting in Company G, 60th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was captured at Harper’s Ferry. Va., but Joseph was taken sick with typhoid fever at Winchester, and subsequently captured and held prisoner for about two months. His mother having gone to the bedside of her sick boy, remained with him until he was exchanged and sent home. As soon as sufficiently recovered, he was sent to Chicago, where he was paid off and discharged in November, 1862. Returning home, he remained there until January, 1863, when he re-enlisted, in the 4th Independent Battalion of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry for six months, but remained nine in that command. The battalion was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee, and participated in a number of minor engagements, but was generally engaged in scouting and foraging. After he was discharged from this regiment, he again enlisted, in the 13th Ohio Cavalry, and was in the seven-days battle of the Wilderness, also at Hatches Run, Weldon Railroad and Five Points. On the 31st of March, 1865, Mr. Steadman was wounded in the right arm above the elbow, and was again taken prisoner. Having a good knowledge of Andersonville, he determined to risk his chances at escape, and did get away, but was shot at twice and missed. Not having had his wound dressed for some hours, the pain was so intense that it almost crazed him, but he was finally cared for, and sent to City Point, Va., and from there to Washington, D. C. He was in Ford’s Theater the memorable night when our beloved President Lincoln was assassinated. This caused such an excitement and jam, that in trying to escape from the building he was hurt and had to be sent home on the general order of furloughs for all disabled soldiers. He remained at home until July, 1865, when he went to Cincinnati, and there received his discharge.
In the spring
of 1866 Mr. Steadman went to Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory, but
returned home and was united in marriage, March 20, 1867, with Miss Caroline M.
Mathews. She was born in Lipidelmutt, Prussia, Aug. 25, 1848, and is a daughter
of Henry and Caroline L. Mathews, both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Steadman are the
parents of nine children, four of whom died in infancy; the living are Laura L.,
George H., Joseph A., Edward W. and Lillie Lena. After their marriage they
moved to Henry County, Iowa, where they lived for six years on a farm. In 1872
they emigrated to Elbert County, Col., where Mr. Steadman took up a soldier’s
claim of 160 acres, and lived on it for three years. In 1875 he sold his farm
and engaged in the hotel business in South Park for about one year. Taking his
family by team, he went to Walla Walla, Wash. Ter., being on the way sixty days.
From there he went to Spokane Falls, where he bought a piece of land, but also
ran a hotel in that place about two years. He was also engaged in the
transportation business with a drove of thirty animals. His route was from the
evolution on South Fork of Coeur d’Alene River, to Eagle City, on the North
Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, in Idaho, then in 1885-86 freighted from
Granite to Aspen, Col. he ran a freight team across the Continental Divide for
two years. In June, 1887, Mr. Steadman returned to Henry County, after an
absence of nearly fifteen years, and took charge of his father’s farm of 160
acres, where he is at present employed. Politically, he is a Republican, and
takes great interest in public affairs.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 236) (JC)
|Samuel L Steele
HON. SAMUEL L. STEELE, manager of the Mt. Pleasant Manufacturing Company, and present Representative in the Iowa Legislature from the Twentieth District, resides on section 36, Marion Township, Henry Co., Iowa, and does business in Mt. Pleasant. Mr. Steele has been a resident of Henry County since 1847, and was born in Clarke County, Ohio, April 8, 1836. His parents, James and Mary H. (White) Steele, were natives of Virginia, and were born in Berkeley County, now West Virginia. They were of the old orthodox Quaker faith. On the father’s side the family was of Irish origin, but residents of America from Colonial days. Gen. Steele, of Revolutionary fame, was a distant relative of our subject. Mr. Steele’s parents moved from Virginia to Clarke County, Ohio, in 1826, and from there to Henry County, Iowa, in 1847, arriving in Jefferson Township, where they located Oct. 25, 1847.
Samuel L. was reared on a farm, and in August, 1862, enlisted for the late war. He was elected Second Lieutenant of Company B, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted to a First Lieutenancy in August, 1863, and served in that capacity until the close of the war. He was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, June 6, 1865. His regiment was assigned to the 15th (Gen. John A. Logan’s) Army Corps, and participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss.; Arkansas Post, Ark.; siege of Vicksburg, Miss.; Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold, the Atlanta campaign, the battle of Goldsboro, N. C., and Sherman’s historic march to the sea. The official history of the regiment shows that it participated in thirty-seven distinct engagements. In almost all of these Lieut. Steele was a participant, and showed himself a brave and gallant soldier. On his return from the war Mr. Steele engaged in the mercantile and lumber business at Sedalia, Mo., which business occupied his time for four years, at the end of which he returned to Henry County, Iowa, and engaged in farming on section 6, Marion Township. In 1873 he purchased a farm of 280 acres on section 36 of the same township, where he still resides. He has lately sold 120 acres, leaving his present farm 160 acres in extent. Mr. Steele was married in Jefferson Township, Henry County, May 27, 1866, to Miss Sarah Margaret, daughter of Lawrence M. and Margaret L. Everts. Mrs. Steele was born in the State of New York, and came to Iowa in childhood. One child, a daughter, Mary E., was born to them, who is now the wife of Guy Norton, of St. Paul, Neb. Mrs. Steele died Oct. 26, 1868. He was again married Dec. 24, 1872, in Henry County, to Miss Martha D. Oaks, a daughter of John S. Oaks, who was born in Lycoming County, Pa. Five children, four sons and a daughter, were born of their union: John Oaks, now aged eleven; James Arthur, aged nine; Edna, aged seven; Charles C., aged three, and Fred, an infant.
Mr. Steele is an out-and-out Republican, and has voted with that party since its organization. He has been chosen to various offices of public honor and trust, and was elected as a member of the County Board of Supervisors in 1868, and was subsequently re-elected and served six years. Prior to that he had served as a member of the Township Board of Trustees, and for fourteen years has been a member of the District School Board. He was elected Nov. 8, 1887, on the Republican ticket, as Representative to the State Legislature from the Twentieth District, by a majority of 696 over his competitor. In every position to which he has been chosen he has borne the reputation of a competent and upright official, and has earned the esteem of his fellow-citizens.
Mr. Steele is a member of the
McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, of which church his first wife was also a member, while his present wife
is a Presbyterian. In August, 1887, he was instrumental in organizing and
incorporating the Mt. Pleasant Manufacturing Company, of which he is general
manager. (See notice of business elsewhere in this work.) Mr. Steele is an
energetic, sagacious, business man, a most indomitable worker, possessing
superior executive ability and great force of character. The enterprise upon
which he has so lately entered promises to develop into an important industry,
and already orders are flowing in faster than the company, with their present
facilities, can fill them. Mr. Steele is a man of unquestioned integrity, and
justly ranks among the leading business men of Henry County.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 221-222.) (JC)
John S. Stephenson
HON. JOHN S. STEPHENSON, deceased, an honored pioneer of Henry County, Iowa, of 1836, was born in Virginia, in the old block house at the fort, on the site of the city of Parkersburg, now West Virginia, when the Northwest Territory was ceded by Virginia to the United States. His birth occurred April 11, 1800, while his parents were temporarily seeking shelter at the fort from a threatened Indian attack. Their home properly was in Wood County, Va., to which they returned soon after the birth of our subject. His parents, Edward and Elizabeth (Dilts) Stephenson, were worthy people of Scottish birth, and had emigrated to America in the first years of the Republic. John S. was educated at Parkersburg, Va. He was a farmer by occupation, and was married in Dearborn County, Ind., in 1821, to Miss Elizabeth Archibald, daughter of William and Elizabeth (White) Archibald. Mrs. Stephenson was born in Massachusetts, Oct. 28, 1801, and died in New London, Iowa, April 7, 1887. Mr. Stephenson removed to Dearborn County, Ind., from Virginia, while a single man, but resided in Hamilton County, Ohio, from the date of his marriage till 1836, when lie emigrated from that county to Henry County, Iowa, and settled in what is now Baltimore Township, on what is now known as the Britton farm. Three years later he removed to Jackson Township, in the same county, where he bought a large tract of land, and was engaged in farming till 1857, then removed to the village of Lowell, Baltimore township, where lie had established a general store several years before. He also had a store at Boylston, which he left in the care of his sons.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson’s family consisted of five sons and two daughters: William A., born Nov. 5, 1823, and died Jan. 26, 1844; Edmund J. was horn Oct. 2, 1826, went to California in 1849, and died at New Orleans, La., on his return voyage, May 2, 1854; Edward H. was born April 27, 1829, married Permelia Smith, and is engaged in the drug business at New London. (See his sketch elsewhere in this work). Alva H. was born March 7, 1831, and married Nellie Kearns, and died April 29, 1885; his wife survives him, and resides in Memphis, Tenn. John S. was born Oct. 2, 1834, and married Anna Price, and is a farmer of Pleasant Ridge Township, Lee Co., Iowa; Sarah E., born Sept. 9, 1838, is the wife of Charles Kirkpatrick, of Lowell, Henry Co., Iowa; Mary Eliza, born Oct. 2, 1841, is the wife of William Jackman, and resides in New London, Iowa.
When Mr. Stephenson settled in Jackson Township he purchased a claim on which he built a double-room log cabin, and named his place “Hardscrabble,” where he kept open house after the whole-souled, hospitable manner of the Virginians. He was known far and near, and every stranger or belated traveler who sought shelter with him was sure of a warm welcome, and the best the house afforded. Mr. Stephenson was a man of very superior mental endowments, a thorough scholar, and a great student of history and political economy. He soon became prominent in public affairs, and was elected Register of Land Claims in this part of the county, and Notary Public, and was one of the first Justices of the county, and held that position for several years. He was chosen to represent his district in the State Senate, and was influential in framing laws for the young commonwealth of Iowa.
In early life he was a Whig of the pro-slavery type, and on the dissolution of his party in 1856 attached himself to the Democratic party, of which he was an ardent supporter till the day of his death. While bitterly opposed to the policy of the Republican party, during the war he was true to the Union, and the Constitution as made by the fathers of the Republic. His fund of general information was comprehensive and varied, while his affable, courteous manner and entertaining conversation made him an agreeable host and a welcome guest. His generosity was unbounded; no one ever asked in vain a favor within his power to grant. His brother Edward was a gentleman of marked ability, and thorough culture, a great linguist, and a prominent lawyer of Virginia. His death occurred at Matamoras, Mex., April 11, 1870. Another brother, James, was born in Virginia, in 1791, and was a prominent and wealthy attorney of Wood County, Va. Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson were members of the Presbyterian Church from early life until its close. Mr. Stephenson continued to reside at Lowell until the time of his death, which occurred in 1866. His memory will long remain fresh in the hearts of his numerous friends.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 172-173.)(JC)
Edward H Stephenson
EDWARD H. STEPHENSON, druggist, New London, Iowa, and a pioneer of Henry County of 1836, was born in Dearborn County, Ind., April 27, 1830. His parents, John S. and Elizabeth (Archibald) Stephenson, were among the early pioneers of Henry County, Iowa. His father was born in Wood County, Va., April 11, 1800. He came to Henry County, Iowa, in 1836, and was prominent in the early history of that county, at one time representing his district in the State Senate (see sketch elsewhere in this work).
Our subject removed with his parents in early childhood to New Haven, Hamilton Co., Ohio, and from there to Henry County, Iowa, in 1836. He was brought up on his father’s farm, and in the spring of 1819, in company with his elder brother, Edmund J., he started overland for California with ox-teams for conveyance. The long and tedious journey was accomplished in safety after encountering numerous adventures and hardships incident to crossing the plains in those early days. His party was fortunate in not finding the Indians so hostile as they became a few years later. The experience, however, was peculiar and attractive to our subject, who was but a boy in his teens. Arriving in California, young Stephenson engaged in placer mining, washing the precious metal by hand with the traditional rocker. Later he engaged with the Government at Benicia, building docks and warehouses, spending three years in that line. Mr. Stephenson remained in California five years, and was quite successful in his various ventures. He returned home via Panama and New Orleans. His brother Edmund had been failing in health for some time before they started on their return voyage. He succeeded in reaching New Orleans, where he died May 2, 1854. After burying his brother, Mr. Stephenson returned to Henry County, Iowa, and engaged in farming. In 1857 he went to Lowell in the same county, where he engaged in milling and general merchandising in company with Dr. E. Archibald. He was married at Lowell, Henry County, in April, 1859, to Miss Permelia Smith, daughter of Hiram Smith. Mrs. Stephenson was born in Lee County, Iowa, where her people were pioneers. Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson have two daughters, Clara and Nora. Mr. Stephenson continued in business at Lowell until 1873, when he removed to New London and engaged in the dry-goods trade in company with Mr. Stoddard, under the firm name of the “Stoddard Company.” That connection continued till 1877, when lie sold out and lived retired until 1884, when he commenced the drug business at New London, which lie still carries on.
Mr. Stephenson is an earnest Democrat in his political views,
and a cordial supporter of the present National administration. He is a Master
Mason and a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M. He was made a
Mason in Lowell Lodge No. 48, in 1858. The lodge was removed to Danville in
1864. Mr. Stephenson is one of the oldest settlers of Henry County, and is
widely known and highly respected. His mother, a lady who was held in high
esteem by all who knew her, survived her husband and lived to the good old age
of nearly eighty-six years. She was born Oct. 28, 1801, and died April 7,
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 184-185.)
Oliver Stephenson, farmer and Trustee of Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa, residing on section 18, was born in Southern Sweden in 1834, and is the son of Stephen and Christiana C. (Poulson) Stephenson, who in 1849 emigrated to America, settling in Trenton Township, Henry County. They brought with them eight children---Paul, Oliver, Charles J., Stephen, Caroline, Christiana, Mary and Louisa. The latter died in Chicago of cholera while on the way to Iowa. Stephen Stephenson, Sr., purchased the farm upon which Daniel Vorhies now lives, in Trenton Township, and upon this the parents, two brothers and one sister died. Besides Oliver, two sisters are now living. Caroline wedded Peter Alsen, who resides near Madrid, Boone Co., Iowa; and Christiana is married to James Sexton, a native of Ohio, commercial agent for a Chicago firm, and a resident of Pella, Iowa.
Our subject grew to manhood in Trenton Township, and from boyhood developed the characteristics which have been so marked during his later years. He received but a limited school education, but, as his business habits were formed he secured a practical one, and to-day takes front rank among the prominent farmers of the county. He was married in 1860 to Miss Mary H. Johnson, also born in Sweden, who came alone from that country in 1858. The young couple began their domestic life in Jefferson County, and six years later moved to Wayne Township, this county, Mr. Stephenson purchasing a quarter section of land. He has made this one of the most beautiful farms in the township, and has expended large sums of money in the erection of a mansion and fine out-buildings, and as his means increased, his broad acres have grown to a half section of land, where he resides; and he also owns other farms, in Nebraska, Kansas, and in this township and in other parts of the county, showing what can be accomplished in a few years by industry and thrift, backed by good judgment. When Oliver was a lad he worked for twenty-five cents per day, but is now one of the largest taxpayers in Wayne Township, and every dollar he is worth is the legitimate result of a successful business.
Since their marriage ten children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson: Tillie, wife of John Lindell, a farmer of Wayne Township; Caroline, Charles, Clara, Solomon, Archie, Alma, Melvin (deceased), Ettie and George. Charles has taken a course at Howe's Academy, Mt. Pleasant, and in point of education the children are all intended to have every advantage.
Oliver Stephenson has filled almost every township office, and for years was President of the School Board, and also Treasurer from the organization of the independent district. He has repeatedly filled the offices of Township Supervisor, Township Trustee, and is the present incumbent and his own successor. He was one of the original members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, at Swedesburg, and was one of its first Trustees, being both Trustee and Deacon, with the exception of one year, from its organization. He was elected one of the Board of Directors of the Augustana College, of Rock Island, Ill., in 1885, and has another year to serve. As a useful citizen the township and county are proud of Oliver Stephenson. As a family, all are held in high esteem, and with pleasure we offer this sketch of one of the best known men of his nationality in Wayne Township.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 178)(PW)
WILLIAM SUMMERS, one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers residing on section 27, Center Township, was born in Warwickshire, England, on the 29th day of November. 1833. His parents were John and Mary (Hopkins) Summers, and to them three children were born: Richard, a machinist residing in London; Mary A., who died in Morgan County, Mo., was the wife of W. C. Wheatley ; and William, our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Summers both departed this life in England. For many years they were earnest workers in the Episcopal Church.
William Summers, deciding to leave his native land and, come to America, embarked in a ship at Southampton for this country, in 1856. Soon after landing he purchased some land, but subsequently removed to Henry County, where he still resides. In those days hogs were worth $1.50 per hundred pounds, and thinking this might be a paying investment he killed and packed several hundred hogs, which he shipped to England in 1862. Corn at this time sold at twelve and one-half cents her bushel, potatoes at fifteen cents, and eggs at two cents per dozen. After remaining in England for about a year Mr. Summers returned home.
Mr. Summers was united in marriage before he was twenty-one years
old to Eliza Mary Woodcock, a native
of England, born in Warwickshire. Mr. and Mrs. Summers are the happy parents of
seven children: Joseph, born June 15, 1855, a resident of this county; Theresa,
born Dec. 8, 1856, wife of William Rathdon, of Antelope County, Neb.; Helen,
born April 3, 1863, a graduate of the university of Mt. Pleasant, is now a
teacher in Fremont, Neb.; Mary, born Dec. 18, 1864, wife of William Moore, of
Trenton, Mo.; Colletta, born April 21, 1867, now a student at the University of
Mt. Pleasant; Maria, born Aug. 20, 1870; and John F., born March 6, 1874; are
still inmates of the parental home. The deceased are William, Ambrose, Lucy and
Walter. In politics Mr. Summers is a Democrat, and an active worker for his
party; he has also held several township offices with credit to himself and to
his constituents. In educational matters he always takes an active interest,
having a good, practical education himself, and has endeavored to give his
children such an education. He is a man who keeps well posted on the affairs of
the county, and is always ready to advance any public enterprise. Mr. and Mrs.
Summers are members of the Catholic Church, and are universally respected
throughout the community.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 174-175.)(JC)
Clara J. Swan
CLARA J. SWAN, M.D., homeopathic physician, Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa, was born in St. Paul, Minn. Her parents, Andrew and
Margaret Swan, were natives of Sweden, who emigrated to America in their
youth. They were honest and industrious, and died leaving Clara an orphan
when she was but eight years old. She came to Iowa in 1873, and lived near
Oakland Mills, Henry County, where she received her primary education in the
public schools. In 1882 she came to Mt. Pleasant and entered Prof. Howe’s
Academy and Training School, where she took a two-years course of general study.
She began reading medicine with Dr. J.H. Drake in 1883, and in October, 1884,
entered the Iowa State University as a medical student, taking a general course
of study in medicine and surgery, and graduating in the class of 1887.
Immediately after receiving her diploma, she opened an office at Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa, where at present she is the only lady physician in actual practice.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp.234-235) (PW)
MONROE SWIFT, miller, of New London, has operated the New London Mills almost continuously since April, 1862. He was born in Milan, Ripley Co., Ind., Feb. 12, 1832, and is the son of Mason arid Mary (Hannan) Swift. His father was born in Connecticut, and his mother on the eastern shore of Maryland; both families were long time residents of this county. The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood on his father’s farm, and when sixteen years of age began life for himself as a miller’s apprentice. He worked at all sorts of milling business, both in sawmills and gristmills, and was married, April 7, 1852, in his native State to Miss Sarah Jane Courtney, daughter of John and Miranda Courtney. Mrs. Swift was born in Jerseyville, Ill. Five children were born of their union, three sons and two daughters, two of whom died in infancy: Sadoras, aged thirty-seven, is a machinist, and a resident of Argentine, Mo.; Estus resides at Mt. Pleasant, and is employed in a mill; Mary Ellen is time wife of E. M. Alter, of Taylor County, Iowa; Frank is in Mt. Pleasant; Anna Belle, the youngest, keeps house for her father.
Mr. Swift emigrated from Indiana to
Henry County, Iowa, in October, 1854, and for the next eight years was employed
in the sawmill business. He engaged as a miller in the New London Mills in
April, 1862, and has had charge of them ever since. Mrs. Swift, an estimable
Christian lady, died Sept. 26, 1885. Mr. Swift is a Knight Templar Mason, a
member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.; of Henry Chapter No. 8, R.
A. M., and of Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T., the two last named of Mt.
Pleasant. He is an out-and-out Republican, and a member of the Baptist Church,
and has held several offices in the township since he has resided here. He is
well known and highly respected in the community.
(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 210-211.)