Biographical History and
Portrait Gallery of Scott County.
One of the pioneers who settled in Scott
County in 1839 was the venerable gentleman whose name heads this brief
biography. Robert Humphrey was a native of Indiana, in which State he was
brought up and received a common school education. Being a member of the
Presbyterian Church, soon after coming to Scott County he organized and became
the superintendent of a Sabbath-school at the old log school-house on section
three in Buffalo Township. In those days, according to the statements of the old
settlers, religion had not crossed the Mississippi river, and as parents did not
take a great deal of interest in things spiritual, the Sunday-school did not
prosper. Mr. Humphrey raised a family of seven children: John H., Eliza, James
H., Mary, who married William Moss, and died many years ago; George, who died
young; Anna H., now the wife of William F.C. Lewis of Blue Grass, and William,
an attorney. Mrs. Humphrey died about 1880.
Adam Green was born in Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania, in the year 1811. He was the son of John Green, a farmer, and his
boyhood was passed in rural pursuits. He was an ambitious and enterprising lad
and when he arrived at man's estate and began casting about for a vocation he
was not long in determining that railroad building, then comparatively in its
infancy, would develop into a great business. He was satisfied that steam was
the coming motive power, and the revolution which it was to work in the
transportation affairs of the world was already beginning to be shadowed forth.
So he was not long in choosing an occupation and took up contracting as a
pursuit, being for many years one of the prominent railroad builders and
contractors of the country.
During his business career there was no man
better or more favorably known in the eastern part of Scott County than Joseph
Gross. Mr. Gross was born in Alsace, France (now German), on the Rhine, January
26, 1824. His early educational advantages were very meager, and hence what he
learned was in the practical school of experience. His parents died when he was
quite young, and being thrown upon his own resources, he decided to learn the
cabinet-maker's trade. After he completed his apprenticeship he was employed as
a journeyman cabinet-maker until he came to America, which was in May of 1851.
He came direct to Le Claire, Iowa, and is said to have been the first German who
settled in that Township. He first secured employment in the boat yards, and
then worked at odd jobs until 1866, when he had saved up a small amount of money
and opened a cabinet shop. Through strict attention to business and the economy
practiced by himself and wife, he built up a prosperous trade, putting in after
a time a stock of furniture and undertaker's goods. For many years he was the
leading undertaker of that vicinity, and continued in that business until his
health failed and compelled him to dispose of his interests and retire from the
active conduct of affairs. He never regained his health, and passed away March
16, 1886. He was a member of the Catholic Church and a staunch Republican.
The subject of this brief memoir, Alfred
Sanders, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, on the thirteenth of May, 1819, and died
at his residence in East Davenport, Iowa, April 25, 1865, aged forty-six years.
Alfred Sanders received a good education, and finished his academic courses of
studies in Woodward College, Cincinnati.
Dr. Daniel, resident physician of the
Stackhouse Memorial Institute, is a native of Indiana, having been born in
Fillmore, Putnam County, where his parents still reside. His father, Alexander
Daniel, is a descendant of German ancestry, and his mother traces her records
back to old England.
Mr. Wadsworth traces his American ancestry
back to the early settlement of New England, his forefathers landing at Plymouth
Rock early in the seventeenth century. He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut,
June 27, 1826, and is a son of James L. Wadsworth and Sallie A. Wadsworth, nee
Cook. He was educated in the common schools at Litchfield, supplemented by a
course in the Danbury (Connecticut) Academy.
The subject of this sketch was early
identified with the eastern part of Iowa. He was born on Duck creek, East
Tennessee, November 3, 1810, and was a son of Edward Stokes. When Young was one
year of age his parents moved to Shawneetown, Illinois, and he grew to manhood
in that State. In 1843 he decided to make his future home in Iowa, where he
could purchase land cheaper than in Illinois. With that object in view he
removed to Scott County and purchased the tract of land on the river road in
Pleasant Valley Township, which was known as the Hawley estate. The only
improvement on it at that time was a log cabin. He afterward erected a frame
house and lived there for many years. Later he purchased land on the Rock river,
Illinois, to which he removed with his family. Mr. Stokes never had the
advantages of an education, but in his younger days was a man of prominence and
wielded a potent influence in the community in which he lived. It was through
his efforts and those of Judge Grant that the proposition to levy a tax on the
farmers of Pleasant Valley in 1854 to aid the construction of the Missouri River
Railroad was defeated.
Judson C. Stacy was born in Westport,
Essex County, New York, July 4, 1832, and is a son of William and Carissa
(Stone) Stacy. As a boy he went to school during winter months and worked on his
father's farm in summer. At the age of fourteen he hired out to work on a farm
and for several years thereafter was employed in that capacity. In 1851 he came
to Iowa and entered a piece of land in Humboldt County, consisting of one
hundred and sixty acres. He subsequently sold it to his father and moved to
LeClaire Township, Scott County, where he has since lived.
Elizabeth Morgan was born in Green
County, Indiana, December 28, 1822, and is a daughter of John and Nancy (Dixon)
Stafford, who came to Iowa in 1843, and settled in LeClaire Township. In 1842
she was married to William Morgan and nine children were born to them. John
married Miss Matilda Du Boies; Clinton C. married Miss Jennie Thompson; Jasper
married Miss Ettie Gibson; Mary E. married Henry Whitson; Martha married Isaac
DeLaney; Amanda married Samuel Bammer and resides at the old homestead; Vester
is unmarried, and two children, Cassius and Thornton, are dead.
The subject of this sketch can rightfully be termed the father of Buffalo. Not only is he the oldest settler in the southwestern part of the county, but he has been one of the most influential characters of the county, and was known throughout the state by public men in early days. Captain Clark was born on the Wabash river, near Mount Carmel, Illinois, November 14, 1822. His parents were Benjamin W. Clark, a native of Virginia, and Mary (Beard) Clark. In 1827 his father moved to Rock Island. At that time Black Hawk, Keokuk and their tribes, the Sacs and Foxes, inhabited the country. The Indians were friendly, though treacherous, and had some restless, bold spirits. W. L. and his brother, John P., had many pleasant hours with the young Indians playing ball, running foot races etc., and he became familiar with the language of these tribes and could speak it fluently.
The subject of this sketch remained at Rock Island until December, 1833, when he removed with his father’s family to Black Hawk’s purchase, where they made the first settlement in what is now Buffalo Township. In the spring of 1836 the town of Buffalo was laid out and W. L. took the contract for putting up the first storehouse. He had for a partner in the enterprise S. C. Hastings, who was afterward Judge of the Supreme court of Iowa, and member of congress, and also chief Justice of California. He had also the management of the noted “Clarks ferry,” and now resides on the tract of land which he “claimed” at that time, just west of the village of Buffalo. He attended a school taught by Erastus Basset, which was the first taught in Buffalo township.
He began fighting the battles of life by cutting cord-wood at fifty cents a cord and breaking prairie sod at two dollars an acre, raised and sold winter wheat at from twenty to twenty-two cents a bushel, and in this way accumulated some money..
In 1848 Captain Clark, in company with W. H. Baker, erected a double saw-mill on rock river above the falls, and soon after stocked a lumber yard in Davenport under the firm name of Clark and Hamilton. In 1850 he sold out his interest in the lumber yard and purchased a quarter interest in the steamer “Uncle Toby” and two barges, taking possession and running the boat until 1853. He and Captain Le Roy Dodge then purchased a half interest in a line of packets plying between Keokuk, Rock Island and Davenport, Captain Clark taking command of one steamer and Captain Dodge the other. They were very successful, and in 1856 they purchased the entire line, paying the Keokuk company forty thousand dollars for their interest, adding the “Ben Campbell,” A very fine boat in those days, which was subsequently burned at Buffalo.
In the summer of 1865 they laid out an addition to the city of Buffalo, which still bears their name.
In 1857 Captain Cark removed from Davenport to Buffalo and opened a coal bank to supply the packet line with coal. He lost a large share of his property in 1859, but was left with a comfortable competency for his declining years. He has been a lifelong Democrat, but never sought political honors. He has always been generous to the poor, temperate in his habits and a man honored by all who knew him. He still resides at the old homestead.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
In studying the lives and characters of prominent men we are naturally led to inquire into the secret of their success and the motives that prompted their action. Success is not a question of genius, as held by many, but rather a matter of experience and sound judgment. When we trace the career of those who stand highest in public esteem we find in nearly every case that they are those who have risen gradually, fighting their way in opposition. Self-reliance, conscientiousness, energy, honesty-these are the traits of character that insure the highest emoluments and greatest success. To these we may attribute the success that crowned the efforts of Captain Daniel Dawley.
The subject of this sketch was born in Burlington County, Vermont, August 3, 1811. His parents were Daniel and Hannah (Vary) Dawley. The ancestors on the paternal side were from old Massachusetts stock, and his father, Daniel, Sr., was born in Berkshire County, June 20, 1771. On the maternal side the parents were natives of New York State, and his mother was born in Rensselaer county, about 1780. They were married in the latter state in 1801, and to them were born nine children. In 1818 the elder Dawley moved to Ostego County, New York, near Cooperstown, where he engaged in farming. His wife died in Vermont in 1815, he married for his second wife, Miss Mary Brimmer, of German descent. Of this union two children were born. Mr. Dawley died October 15, 1831.
Soon after the death of his father Daniel, who was then but sixteen years of age, secured employment in a wholesale grocery store in Troy, New York, where he remained four years, when he was offered a more lucrative position in New York City, which he accepted. He remained in New York three years, when from close confinement and strict attention to business his health began to fail and he was advised by his physician to take a trip west. In December, 1834, he set out for St. Louis, making the journey by canal, stage and boat, and being fifteen days en route, landing in St Louis on Christmas day. He remained in the southern metropolis but a few days, when he went to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he purchased a horse and made the return trip to New York City on horseback. This trip proved very beneficial to his health, as he gained forty-five pounds. He had been very favorably impressed with the West and the following spring returned to Schuyler County, Illinois, where he engaged in the mercantile business, remaining there two years. He then sold his interests there and accepted a position as clerk of the steamer “Hero” plying on the Mississippi river. He soon acquired a liking for boating, and being a man of ability and steadfastness of purpose, and enjoying the confidence of his employers, he continued in the business for thirty-eight years, traveling almost every navigable stream in the South and West as clerk or captain.
In 1841 Captain Dawley was united in marriage to Miss Sabina Carleton, daughter of Robert Carleton, who was born in Readfield, Maine, May 24, 1793. He was a business man of prominence in his native State for many years, but met with reverses, and in 1835 he decided to come west and start life anew. He first settled in Stevenson (now Rock Island), where he helped build some of the first houses in that village. He then returned east, where he remained until 1838, when he returned to Iowa territory, and purchased land in what is now Le Claire township, Scott County. He married Miss Jane G. Byram, Born November 8, 1803,in North Yarmouth, Maine. Mrs. Carlton who was a lady possessed of many graces. She was very benevolent to those whom she considered worthy of charity, and was termed the “Lady Bountiful” of Le Claire township. She was a Universalist and very pious.
To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Dawley nine children were born: Daniel C, Henrietta A., Louisa S., Florence F., Albert L., Rothues B. , Genevieve B., Arthur H. and Gertrude W. Captain Dawley was a self made man, both in an educational and financial way. The property he accumulated through his own industry and the economy of his wife who had been spared to enjoy the fruits of her early labors.
Captain Dawley was recognized as a ,man of energy clear foresight and unswerving integrity. He was a man of fine personal qualities, kind-hearted, genial and companionable. His death took place March 7, 1893.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
The subject of this sketch was born in Broome County, New York, May 2,
1821. His parents were Esquire S.
and Sally (Angel) Pope, who were also natives of that state.
Robert received a common school education, and after the death of his
father in 1842 he came to Scott County and settled in Pleasant Valley Township
on a farm. In 1851 he embarked in
the mercantile business in Pleasant Valley, but only remained there about six
months. He then moved to Le Claire
and opened another store, carrying on a successful business in that city for two
years. At the end of that time he
moved to Princeton, where he erected a large stone and brink hotel, which was
the pride of the village at that time, at a cost of five thousand dollars.
The first story, or ground floor, he used for his store, and the two
upper stories for a hotel. He
continued in the mercantile business until 1862, when he became the owner of a
most advantageous landing for boats, which was known as Pinnacle Point.
This was the only safe place for boats to land during low water in
Princeton. Mr. Pope established two
warehouses there, and was appointed steamboat agent for all the lines running on
the river. The old original line was
the Keokuk & St. Paul Packet Line, then the White Collar Line and then the
Diamond Joe Line. For more then
forty years he acted as agent for various steamboat companies, though he was not
actively engaged in the warehouse business until the year above mentioned.
In 1852 he was one of the trustees appointed to lay out the town of
Princeton, and from that time to the present he has always taken an active
interest in town affairs.
The subject of this sketch was born in Broome County, New York, May 2, 1821. His parents were Esquire S. and Sally (Angel) Pope, who were also natives of that state. Robert received a common school education, and after the death of his father in 1842 he came to Scott County and settled in Pleasant Valley Township on a farm. In 1851 he embarked in the mercantile business in Pleasant Valley, but only remained there about six months. He then moved to Le Claire and opened another store, carrying on a successful business in that city for two years. At the end of that time he moved to Princeton, where he erected a large stone and brink hotel, which was the pride of the village at that time, at a cost of five thousand dollars. The first story, or ground floor, he used for his store, and the two upper stories for a hotel. He continued in the mercantile business until 1862, when he became the owner of a most advantageous landing for boats, which was known as Pinnacle Point. This was the only safe place for boats to land during low water in Princeton. Mr. Pope established two warehouses there, and was appointed steamboat agent for all the lines running on the river. The old original line was the Keokuk & St. Paul Packet Line, then the White Collar Line and then the Diamond Joe Line. For more then forty years he acted as agent for various steamboat companies, though he was not actively engaged in the warehouse business until the year above mentioned. In 1852 he was one of the trustees appointed to lay out the town of Princeton, and from that time to the present he has always taken an active interest in town affairs.
Mr. Pope was united in marriage to Miss Angeline H., daughter of Bishop and Hannah (Comstock) Stebbins, on February 25, 1852. To them were born six children: Alvaretta married Henry Garber, Adelbert died August 27, 1856, Clarence, also deceased, Frank married Miss Fannie James, Fred is single and makes his home with his father, Winfield S. married Miss Ida Beckel. Mrs. Pope died in March of 1885, and the following December Mr. Pope was United in marriage to Miss Mattie G., daughter of Moses N. and Jane R. (Nichols) Griswold, who were natives of New York. They emigrated to Michigan in 1833, where they lived until 1859, when they moved to Hannibal, Missouri. Mr. Griswold was a soldier in the late war, receiving injuries from which he died. Mrs. Griswold is still living and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Pope.
Mr. Pope has served as an alderman in the Princeton City Council; also as township trustee. In political matters he affiliates with the Democratic party. He is one of the old and highly respected citizens of Princeton. He is a man of pleasing manners, his cordiality being one of his marked characteristics. He is liberal and always willing to spend his time, influence and money to promote the interest of his town or the public in general.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
Captain Le Roy Dodge, for many years a wealthy and prominent resident of Scott County, was born in Herkimer County, New York, December 25, 1811. His father was Daniel Dodge, also a native of New York, whose ancestry dated back to the Dutch settlers of the Mohawk Valley, but Le Roy’s desire to see the west, and perhaps to locate in a section where the opportunities for accumulating money might be better than in the East, led him to leave his native County some time in 1832. He had been born on a farm, but farm life was distasteful to him and for several years he taught school, earning sufficient money to enable him to make the journey west without assistance of any consequence from his parents. He reached Dubuque, Iowa, about the time of the lead-mining excitement, but, although he had gone there for the purpose of prospecting, he never spent a day at that occupation. He engaged in other employment, and his success was perhaps better than it would have been had he undertaken to carry out his first plans.
Captain Dodge was a man of strong character and great self-reliance, and these qualities were materially developed in his early youth. While in Dubuque he clerked for a time in a general store and post office, doing efficient work. During these early experiences he developed a first-class business talent, which in comparatively few years made him one of the most prominent men in this section of the country. After working for a while in the Dubuque store he took a clerkship on one of the Mississippi river steamboats, and soon after rose to the dignity of a pilot, running between St. Louis and St. Paul. It was not long until Captain Dodge owned one of the steamboats. His frugality, industry and perseverance had won this for him, and they afterward did more; they enabled him to secure the ownership of several valuable boats.
Some time in the fifties he was instrumental in organizing the Rapids Packet Company and became the manager, making his headquarters in the City of Davenport. He had resided here at different periods in his life for years previous to the organization of this company, and in 1843 had purchased six hundred acres of land situated in Buffalo township, to which he retired in 1860. The farm he purchased then is one of the most beautiful pieces of land on the Mississippi river. It has about a mile water frontage, and has been richly cultivated, so that it is one of the most valuable pieces of property in the State of Iowa. A part of it was purchased from the late Judge James Grant, who had entered it.
When captain Dodge retired from active life in 1860 and took up his residence on his farm in Buffalo Township he gave his attention simply to the direction of those who had in charge the management of his lands. He lived in peace and quiet during the later years of his life and brought up a family of worthy children. At his death, on the twenty-seventh of June 1871, his wife and four children survived him. The first sorrow which has come into the home since the laying away of Captain Dodge was the death of Worth, the youngest son, in 1891. Sorrow again entered the home on the seventeenth day of January, 1894, when Mrs. Dodge passed away from earth. Mrs. E. E. Cook, of Davenport, is a daughter of Captain Dodge by is first wife. Mrs. C. G. Raguet, of Washington Iowa, and Frank Dodge, of Davenport, are children by his second wife. Worth, whose death was referred to, was the child of his third wife.
Captain Dodge was at one time a member of the Legislature, having been chosen by the democratic party to represent his county as a colleague with the late Judge Grant in 1852. In the capacity of Legislator Captain Dodge displayed that firmness and determination which were characteristic of him, in the effort to secure for his constituents the legislature which would be of most benefit to them. He was a member of the school board and held many minor offices as the gift of the people, although, in spite of it all, he was not a politician, and cared very little for political life and the strifes connected with it. He was an enterprising man and believed in all movements which tended to the betterment of this section, particularly the City of Davenport. At a time when he was opposed by almost all of the men connected with river traffic he advocated strongly and determinedly a movement for the construction of a railroad bridge across the river at this point. He was far-seeing enough to perceive that the development of this section depended largely upon the progress which the railroads were enabled to make, and he believed that an opportunity should be given the railroads to push lines farther west than they had at that time been able to do.
Captain Dodge was a man of self-reliance, a man who had read a great deal and gained the education he possessed through his own efforts. He was of a literary turn of mind, spending much of his time during the later years of his life in his library, which was a valuable one. He possessed great force of character, was of a jovial nature and very hospitable, being never happier than when he had around him a group of friends , especially children, at which times he was always among the most youthful in spirit of those whose who enjoyed his hospitality. He was kind-hearted and devoted to his family. His acquaintance throughout the community was very extensive and he was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him.
His father died in New York in 1839 and his mother came west, residing at his home until her death in 1860. His parents are now lying side by side in the cemetery in Buffalo, the remains of his father having been removed here after his mother’s death.
One of the most successful attorneys at the Davenport bar is Frank L. Dodge, born July 20, 1856, son of the late Captain Dodge. Mr. Dodge attended the public schools of Buffalo township in his boyhood, and later graduated from the State University of Iowa, in June of 1877. He entered the law office of E. E. Cook immediately after his graduation and admission to the bar here, and since 1880 has been a partner with Mr. Cook under the firm name of Cook and Dodge.
He was married on the fourth day of November, 1880, and suffered the loss of his wife on the fifteenth day of June 1890. Mrs. Dodge’s maiden name was Caroline Berryyhill, a daughter of the late J. H. Berry hill, of this city. One child born of this union, a daughter, (Helen), eleven years of age, resides in Washington, Iowa, with her aunt, Mrs. Raguet.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
One of the most prominent and influential men during the early days of Scott county, and one who took a great interest in the development of Northeastern Iowa, was the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.
Adrian H. Davenport first saw the light of day in Shawneetown, Illinois, March 14, 1812, and was a son of Marmaduke S. Davenport, who was appointed Indian agent on Rock Island in 1832. He moved his family to the island the same year. Adrian H. was married on the island in 1833 to Miss Harriet Lane, who proved one of the best wives and a woman who wielded a powerful influence during her lifetime.
In March, 1834, Mr. Davenport made a claim at Rockingham and he, his father, his Uncle James, and Colonel John Sullivan became proprietors of the town site and laid out the town, while the subject of this sketch established a ferry over the Mississippi river from Rockingham to the mouth of Rock river. He also established a store in Rockingham and did a large business, and was the leading spirit of the town during his residence there, which was along in the forties, when Davenport was established as the County seat, which Rockingham made a hard fight to secure. The town was soon deserted and moved to the former city, but Adrian and his father removed to Le Claire in 1847, where they acquired considerable property. He soon became the leading citizen of Le Claire, being the first mayor of the town and reelected several consecutive terms. He also became engaged in river business and for years was captain of the finest steamboats on the upper Mississippi river.
Captain Davenport had the honor of being the second sheriff appointed for Scott County, which was in 1838, under governor Lucas, to succeed Major Frazer Wilson, who was the first sheriff appointed by Governor Dodge, under the Territorial Government of Wisconsin. Captain Davenport served under this appointment until 1839, when the office of sheriff was made elective by a change in the organic law of the Territory, and he was then elected and reelected every two years until 1846 , when under the law he could serve no longer. He then retired to private life. In 1848 he purchased the machinery of the Rockingham steam mill, and took it to Le Claire and erected a steam flour and saw mill, and in company with Samuel Lyter engaged extensively in the mercantile business . Mr. Lyter was succeeded by Robert Christie. In a year or so after it was built the mill burned down and he, in company with R. H. Rogers, James Jack and Winchester Sherman, built a much more extensive flouring mill on the same site, and also erected a saw-mill. He was also a member of the company who built the “boat ways” in Le Claire. May 11, 1880, Captain Davenport was stricken with paralysis, and for a month his life hung in the balance, but he recovered only to experience a similar attack a few days before his death, which occurred March 27, 1881, at his home in Le Claire.
Captain Davenport led a useful life. He was always charitable and sociability was one of his strongest traits of character. He was broad in his views and a man held in sacred remembrance by all who knew him during his useful career.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
Alonzo Bryson is a native of Cincinnati Ohio. He was born July 23, 1840, to Isaac and Jane (Kerr) Bryson. His father, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1816, moved to Cincinnati when a young man and became a pilot on the Ohio river. Later he was captain of the “Bostonian” and among the men of his class he was prominent and well known from Pittsburgh to St. Louis. Alonzo received a good common school education and at the age of sixteen began his career, steam boating on the Ohio river. In 1857 he accepted a position on the “Frank Steel,” the first sidewheel boat to ply the Minnesota river. Afterward, returning to Cincinnati, he was employed on various boats, serving as clerk, then as pilot and finally as captain and in this last natural capacity went with the “Phil Sheridan” on her first trip from Pittsburgh to St. Paul, Minnesota. He afterward had charge of the “Bell Cross,” plying the Mississippi between St. Louis and St. Paul, and in 1875, while captain of this boat, terminated his steam boating career. After leaving the employment in which he had spent so many years. Mr. Bryson became agent of the Keokuk and Northern line of steamers, known as the “Davison Line,” at Davenport, Iowa. Through his thorough and practical knowledge of the business, and his eminent ability and fitness for that line of work, he built up a large trade for his company, deserving and receiving high commendation. In 1889 he engaged in buying and selling grain and coal, and also was made general western agent of the Fleischmann Compound Yeast company of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a man of careful an correct business methods, and has made whatever he has turned his attention to a financial success. He has always found in his legitimate business enough to fully occupy his time and gratify his ambition, and has never aspired to office of any kind. In politics he is a Republican. In religious faith he is a Methodist.
On October 21, 1861, at Dayton, Kentucky, Mr. Bryson married Miss Valeria Wright, a native of Ohio. Of four children born to them, Elmer E resides at Omaha, Nebraska; Robert H. is agent of the Fleischmann Compound Yeast Company of Cincinnati, at Indianapolis, Indiana; Mary V. is married and lives in St. Louis, and Pearl E., the youngest lives at home.
-Transcribed by Georgeann McClure
The subject of this sketch was born December 2, 1818, at Portage Des Sioux, Missouri. His father, Antoine Le Claire, entered the government service when a young man, and through his wide acquaintance with the Indian tribes, his influence among them and his familiarity with their languages, he rendered great service in the adjustment of early Indian troubles. He married Acoqua (the Kettle), a grandaughter of the Sac chief, Keokuk. He was one of the founders of Davenport, Iowa, a man of great public spirit and wealth, and left to the city many gifts as memorials of his generosity. He died September 25, 1861. His father (our subjects grandfather) was a Canadian Frenchman, who married a grandaughter of a Pottawatomie chief. As early as 1808 he established a trading-post at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he traded for furs, and in 1809 engaged extensively in business with John Kinsey at Fort Dearborn (Chicago). During the Indian troubles he warmly espoused the American cause. Our subject enjoyed few educational advantages in his early life, and, although a man of broad views, and well informed on a wide range of subjects, his knowledge was gained from his study of men and affairs rather than from books. In early life he was of a roving disposition, fond of adventure and full of daring, and while yet a boy, gratified his roving tendency by running away from home and living for a time among the Indians. What schooling he received was at St Charles and on Rock Island. After leaving school he turned his attention to farming, but the occupation was ill suited to his tastes and after several unsuccessful attempts he left the farm and went to work in the pineries. Later he went to work on Mississippi river steamboats, and finding that line of employment much to his liking he devoted himself to it with great energy and became one of the most reliable and best known pilots on the Mississippi, and was an honored member of the Mississippi River Pilots’ Association. He took little part in political matters more than to perform his duties as a good citizen, but always affiliated with the Democratic party. In religious faith he was a Roman Catholic. In his death, which occurred May 14, 1881, Scott County sustained the loss of a citizen who was universally honored and beloved. He was a man of domestic habits and tastes and loved his home, where by his generosity, his rare good humor, his happy sunny disposition and his open-hearted hospitality he made everybody who came within its circle happy and welcome. He was a man of positive and firm convictions, but always ready to treat those who differed from him with fairness and consideration. And in all his dealings and relations with others so demeaned himself as to win their confidence and esteem.
On February 26, 1840, he married Miss Sarah Mandana Hall, who was born near Terre Haute, Indiana, February 23, 1819, to Dr. James and Mahala (Winters) Hall. Her father, who was born in Orwell, Vermont, March 12, 1794, died September 6, 1878. Her mother, born at Lyons, New York, September 8, 1801, died November 2, 1879.
-Transcribed by Georgeann
It was the men who faced
hardships of pioneer days, entering an almost uninhabited country and bringing
the broad prairies under cultivation, who made Iowa one of the greatest
agricultural States of the Union. To them we owe a large share of our present
prosperity. Those pioneers deserve to have their names inscribed on the pages of
history that they may be handed down from one generation to another to be
revered by their posterity. No monument can be erected over their resting place
which will tell of the hardships they endured or give their lives' history, but
the record should be preserved in the annals of the community with which they
One of the representative
German-American farmers of Scott County is the gentleman whose name heads
this sketch. Mr. Holst was born in Holstein, September 7, 1846. His
parents were Jurgen and Magdalina (Treja) Holst, who were also natives of
Germany. In 1858 they decided to come to America to get land and better
their condition, and with that object in view they took a steamer to New
York and from there to Iowa and settled in Princeton Township, on the farm
now owned by our subject, consisting of two hundred acres, where he lived
until his death, which occurred February 12, 1879. Mr. Holst died October
One of the representative German-American citizens of Scott County is John C. Holst. He was born July 7, 1832, in Holstein, Germany, and was a son of George and Lena Holst. He received but a limited education in his native country, and at the age of twenty he decided to come to America to secure a home. With that object in view he set out for the land of the free alone. He landed in New Orleans, but remained there but a short time, when he came to Davenport, Iowa, arriving there June 9 of that year. Having learned the brick and stone mason's trade in the old country, he had but little trouble in securing employment, though he never refused a job at anything he could get to do. After saving up some money he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of prairie land, on which he has lived ever since. He now owns four hundred and eighty acres of valuable land and is one of the ideal farmers of Butler township.
Oscar C. Woods was born at
Passumpsic, three miles from the town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on the
twenty-sixth of October, 1835. His education consisted of the usual common
school course, to which he added a three years' course at St. Johnsbury
William Morgan was born in Knox
County, Indiana, August 18, 1822. His parents were Zadock and Mary Morgan, who,
shortly after the birth of the son, moved to Greene County, Indiana, where he
grew up and obtained a limited education at the subscription schools. In 1844 he
came to Rock Island County, Illinois, where he was engaged for eighteen months
cutting saw-logs, giving one-half the logs cut to teamsters for hauling them to
the mills at Rapid City, and one-half of all that he received at the mill for
sawing them into lumber. He settled on an eighty-acre claim of Government land
in LeClaire Township in 1846, and his first house was constructed by placing
four posts in the ground, boarding the sides of a square thus formed and
covering it with clapboards. When he crossed the river at Pleasant Valley he
owned three yokes of oxen and the charge for ferrying him across was one dollar
and fifty cents. Having only a Mexican dollar, which was worth but ninety-five
cents, he could not pay the toll, and was not able to meet the obligation the
following fall, when he did so by working it out.
In gathering together the facts
which constitute the history of the pioneer settlers who faced the wilderness of
Iowa and proclaimed their rights to the soil as American citizens, there is none
more worthy of special mention than the venerable gentleman whose name heads
Since 1838 the gentleman whose
name heads this sketch has been identified with the interest and development of
his adopted County. He was born in New Haven County, Connecticut, in 1819, where
he accepted a position on the New Haven & North Hampton canal as captain of
a vessel, and served in this capacity for three years, when he decided to come
west, which was in June, 1838. He traveled over the mountains to Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, where he took passage on a steamer to Cairo and up the Mississippi
to Stephenson, which is now Rock Island. He purchased land at the mouth of Duck
Creek and was for many years interested in a saw-mill there, being associated
with Doolittle, Moss & Co. It is said that he sold the first load of wheat
marketed in Davenport, and it is also stated on good authority that he built the
first frame barn erected in Scott County. An incident of historic interest in
his life is the fact that he assisted in making the survey of the territorial
road from Davenport to LeClaire in 1839.
The subject of this sketch was
born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1828. His parents were John and Mary (Sheeney)
Moore. James received but a common school education in the old country. In 1847
he came to America and settled in New York State, where he remained until 1854,
when he came to Scott County and remained about a year in Davenport, when he
came to Winfield Township and purchased eighty acres of land. He was a poor boy
when he landed in America, but by hard work and economy he has been successful
in securing fine property in the northwestern part of Winfield Township,
consisting of two hundred and thirty one acres of valuable land.
The subject of this sketch was
born in County Cork, Ireland, about 1798. He received but a common school
education. He moved to Ohio at a very early day, where he lived the early part
of the forties when he came to Scott County. In his early life he learned the
shoemaker's trade and followed that for a living for many years.
Mr. Bragonier was born
November 11, 1821. He received a common school education, which was in a log
cabin covered with clapboards and slab seats with a puncheon floor. The elder
boys in those days had to gather up wood and carry it to the school-house for
fuel, and in this humble way he received all the education he ever had, outside
of a practical business knowledge. Being raised on a farm he could only attend
school in the winter months.
Thomas J. Glynn was born December
22, 1841, in Galway County, Ireland. His parents were Michael and Mary (Fox)
Glynn, who emigrated to America in 1847, landing in New Orleans and later
removing to Madison, Indiana. In 1854 they came to Davenport and purchased
eighty acres of land in Winfield Township, paying six dollars an acre for it.
Improvements were made on the land and in November, 1855, the family removed to
the farm. Thomas worked on the farm, and at the age of eighteen the management
of it devolved almost entirely upon him. He was married in 1865 to Miss Anna M.
Ennis, born in Ontario, Canada.
One of the representative
and well-known citizens of Winfield Township is Matthew J. Tobin. He first saw
the light of day, March 15, 1835, in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He received but a
common school education in the country of his nativity, and in April, 1852, he
emigrated to America with his parents, who landed in Philadelphia, and came over
the mountains to Pittsburgh, and then down the Ohio river to Cairo and up the
Mississippi to Davenport. He came out into Winfield Township and took a
Government claim of land, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, for which
he paid one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. Mr. Tobin has never been an
office-seeker, though he has been persuaded to hold some school and other minor
ADOLPH HOLLAND was born December
7, 1810, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, where he received a common school
education and learned the cabinet maker's trade. In 1851 he immigrated to
America, and coming direct to Davenport proceeded to Winfield Township, where he
bought one hundred and fifty-five acres of land and began to improve it. He
lived in this Township to the end of his life and among the young and
progressive German-American farmers of Scott County is Henry Holland, the eldest
son of Adolph, who now owns the old homestead. He was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
Germany, November 24, 1840, and came to this country with his parents. He grew
up in this County and was married to Miss Sophia Mewes in 1871. She was also
born in Germany, in 1852.