Adair County Iowa
National, State, and County Representation
The truly representative citizen of a nation, state, or county, is the public office-holder. He stands in the relation of a representative of the people, and, as such, demands in his individual capacity the respect we owe to the people as a body. In this connection are presented sketches of many who have served Adair county in an official position. The sketches in some instances are short and meager in detail, and do not do full justice to those represented, but in no case is the fault of the historians, as the material was not accessible for more extended accounts.
Adair county from its earliest time has been included in the same congressional district as that of her sister county of Guthrie, and has been represented in the halls of congress by the same eminent gentlemen. For sketches of these exalter officers, the reader is respectfully referred to the pages of the annals of that county, as a repetition here would be needless, and only take up valuable space.
Members of the General Assembly
The fourth general assembly convened at Iowa City, December 6, 1852, and adjourned January 24, 1853. At this time, Adair county, though unorganized, with Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Union, Adams, Montgomery, Cass, Audubon, Shelby, Harrison, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Sac, Ida, Wahkaw, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Sioux, O'Brien, Clay, Dickinson, Osceola and Buncomb counties, constituted one representative district, and was represented by Joseph L. Sharp.
The fifth general assembly convened at the same place on the 4th of December, 1854, and adjourned January 26, 1855. The extra session met on the 2d of July, 1856, and adjourned fourteen days afterward. In this assembly, Adair county, associated with Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Audubon and Cass counties, was represented in the house at the general session by Richard Tutt, but at the extra session, this the fortieth representative district was represented by Joseph W. Russell.
The sixth general assembly convened at Iowa City, on the 1st of December, 1856, and adjourned January 29, 1857. Adair county, at this time a part of the senatorial district, was represented by M. L. McPherson, who was elected for four years, and was re-elected at the expiration of that, and served his county six years. Adair, together with the counties of Madison and Cass, was represented by B. F. Roberts in the lower house.
The seventh general assembly met at Des Moines on the 11th of January, 1858, and adjourned March 23, 1858. M. L. McPherson was still in the senate. In the house Leroy B. Lambert was representative of the district which embraced Guthrie, Dallas, Cass and Adair counties.
The eight general assembly convened at Des Moines, January 8, 1860, and adjourned April 3, 1860. An extra session met May 15, 1861, and adjourned on the 29th. M. L. McPherson having been re-elected, still remained in the senate as the representative of the counties of Madison, Dallas and Adair. In the house the counties of Union, Adams, Cass and Adair was represented by K. W. Macomber.
The ninth general assembly met at Des Moines, January 13, 1862, and adjourned April 5, 1862. It also met in extra session, September 3, 1862, and adjourned the 11th. The thirty-first senatorial district of which Adair was a part, was represented in that branch of the legislature by James Redfield, a resident of Dallas county. Samuel L. Lorah, was the representative from this district in the house.
The tenth general assembly convened at Des Moines, January 11, 1864, and adjourned March 29, 1864. Benjamin F. Roberts represented the twenty-first senatorial district, composed of the counties of Madison, Dallas, Guthrie and Adair. Elbridge B. Fenn was the member in the house from the counties, Audubon, Cass, Guthrie and Adair, and which were known as the sixty-fourth representative district.
The eleventh general assembly convened at Des Moines January 8, 1866, and adjourned April 3, of the same year. Joseph R. Reed represented the twenty-first senatorial district in the senate, and A. L. McPherson the sixty-fifth representative district in the house. The latter district consisted at that time of Guthrie, Cass and Adair counties.
The twelfth general assembly, which met at Des Moines on the 18th of January, 1868, and adjourned on the 8th of April, contained as representative of the twenty-first senatorial district, J. R. Reed, and of the sixty-sixth representative district, Galen F. Kilburn.
Galen F. Kilburn was a native of New Hampshire, and came to Fontanelle from Des Moines, in the summer of 1858. He was an attorney, and entering on the practice of his profession, soon gained a considerable patronage. His principal business was in the collection of debts, and in real-estate transactions. He was a sociable gentleman and a most excellent citizen. He was married to a daughter of the Rev. Mr. Mather, but the estimable lady was burned to death by an explosion of kerosene in 1875. Shortly after this sad event, Mr. Kilburn removed from this county to Creston, where he died on the 29th of April, 1883. He served the county of Adair for two years in the treasurer's office. The thirteenth general assembly convened, in regular session, upon the 10th of January, 1870, at Des Moines, and adjourned April 13. Benjamin F. Murray, of Madison county, was the senator from the twenty-first district, of which this county was a part. W. H. Merritt represented the twentieth representative district in the house. The fourteenth general assembly convened at Des Moines, January 8, 1872, and adjourned April 23. An adjourned session met also, January 15, 1873, which adjourned, sine die, February 20. The twenty-first senatorial district was still represented by B. F. Murray. Oliver Mills represented the twentieth representative district in the house.
The general assembly which convened at Des Moines in January, 1874, is known as the fifteenth. Adair county, in the seventeenth senatorial district, was represented by Lafayette Young, one of the prominent journalists of Cass county. W. E. Easton, of Greenfield, represented the twenty-first district, of which Adair county is a part, in the house.
The sixteenth general assembly met at Des Moines in January, 1876, in which the senatorial district was ably represented by Lafayette Young. M. K. Campbell represented this, the twenty-first district, in the house.
J. A. Hallock represented the newly formed representative district that contained the county of Adair, numbered the seventy-fourth in the seventeenth general assembly which met in January, 1878. Lafayette Young, having been re-elected from the eighteenth senatorial district, which included this county, looked after our interests in the senate.
The eighteenth general assembly convened in Des Moines, in January 1880, with Lafayette Young still representing the senatorial district, of which Adair county formed a part. Platt Wicks represented the seventy-fourth representative district. At the nineteenth general assembly, which convened in Des Moines in January, 1882, the same gentleman acted as representative.
The twentieth general assembly of the state of Iowa was convened in January, at the capital, at Des Moines. C. B. Hunt, a resident of Greenfield, Adair county, filled the place of representative from the eighteenth senatorial district, of which this county is a part.
Hon. C. B. Hunt, member of the senate, of the state of Iowa, from the eighteenth district, composed of Cass, Adams and Adair counties, is a prominent resident of Greenfield, and has long figured prominently in the official affairs of the city and county. He is a native of Norfolk county, Massachusetts, and was born May 20, 1844. He is the eldest of the five children of George and Charlotte L. (Betcher) Hunt. In 1854 the family removed to Henry county, Illinois, and in 1858 to Lyon county, Kansas. There they remained something over a year, when they went back to Massachusetts. But preferring life farther west, they returned to Illinois. The civil war was then in full tied, and C. P. offered his services to his country, enlisting in Company I, 112th Illinois volunteer infantry. They were assigned to the 23d army corps, and served with Sherman in the Atlanta campaign. After the fighting at Atlanta, he was with Thomas in the Nashville campaign, and was discharged in July, 1865. He then returned to Illinois, and began employment as clerk in a clothing store, in Geneseo, Illinois. He held that situation until March, 1868, when he removed to Iowa, and located in Adair county, improving a farm on section 28, Lincoln township. In 1871 he removed to a farm on section 1, Eureka township, and there cultivated the soil and followed the usual routine of farming life until elected to the office of sheriff, which was in the fall of 1873. He held that position for three terms, giving great satisfaction to all, and refused the nomination for the fourth term. In the fall of 1882 he was elected to represent this district in the senate of the state and he is still a senator. He has also held many offices in the city government. He was married May 23, 1867, to Miss Sue A. Cady, a native of Henry county, Illinois. They have three children---Frederick M., Allen F. and Hattie L. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and chapter degree, and also of the grand army of the republic.
John A. Storey, of Fontanelle, represented this, the twenty-fourth representative district in the twentieth general assembly. A sketch of Mr. Storey may be found in the chapter in relation to the bar of Adair county, a profession which he adores.
As stated in connection with the chapter devoted to the "courts of Bremer county," this office was created by an act of the general assembly, in 1851. It was the most important office in the gift of the people of the county. This official, assisted by a county prosecuting attorney and a sheriff, held what was termed county court, and transacted almost all the business now devolving upon the auditor, board of supervisors, circuit court, and clerk of courts. It will thus be seen that a county judge in those days had abundant opportunity to earn the little pay he received.
The first to occupy the position of county Judge was G. M. Holiday, who was elected to that office at the time of the organization of the county, in April, 1854. He served in this capacity one year.
George M. Holiday settled in Jefferson township in 1853, where he located upon section 26. He came here from Indiana. He, while acting as county Judge, with D. M. Valentine, the county surveyor, and Abram Rutt, laid out the town of Fontanelle for the county. In the fall of 1856 he left here for Des Moines, whither he went to educate his children. He did not turn out well, leaving his wife and children to shift for themselves, and left this country with another woman. He is believed to be in California at the present time. Two of his children still live in Adair county, and his wife and a son in Cass county.
J. J. Leeper was the successor of Judge Holiday in the same office, being elected thereto in the spring of 1855, and held it for two years.
J. J. Leeper came from near Zanesville, Ohio, 18n 1854, and settled in Jackson township, on section 34, where he lived for two years. He then removed to Washington township, and in 1865, removed to Afton, Union county. He is now living in New Mexico.
At the August election of 1857, Manning Drake was elected to this responsible office by a majority of eleven, but failing to qualify, D. M. Valentine, then prosecuting attorney, acted as county judge until the election of a successor, in 1858.
D. M. Valentine, the second settler in the village of Fontanelle, came to that place in the summer of 1855. He was born in Shelby county, Ohio, June 18, 1830. After removing to West Point, Tippecanoe county, Indiana, with his parents, in 1836, and to Wea Plains, in 1837, staying in the latter place until 1854, he removed to Winterset, Iowa. In 1855 he came to this county and was one of the foremost citizens, and among the first attorneys of Adair county. He was admitted to the bar at Winterset, whither he had gone for the purpose in 1856. In 1859 he left here and removed to Leavenworth, Kansas, and in 1860, to Franklin county, in the same state. Here he remained until 1875, when he removed to Topeka, where he now resides. He was elected judge of the district court, in Kansas. He has served as a member of the legislature of Kansas from Franklin county, being elected thereto in 1862, and as state senator from the same district in 1863 and 4. He is now associate justice of the supreme court of Kansas, and noted for his legal acumen and discrimination. He was married on the 26th of August, 1855, to Miss Martha Root, of this county.
F. M. Corr was elected to fill the position of county judge, in 1858, and was re-elected to fill the same office in 1859, and served until the qualification of a successor in 1861.
Francis M. Corr was born and reared in Monroe county, Indiana, and cam eto Adair county in October, 1855, and made a settlement in Washington township, where he opened what is now called the Hendry farm. There he resided until 1858, when he removed to Fontanelle, having been elected county treasurer. Before the expiration of this term of office he, however, was elected to the more exalted position of county judge, and resigned the former to accept the latter office, which he held until the first of 1862. He shortly after this removed to Clark county, in this state, and from there to Pocahontas county, where he now resides. He was a man of good abilities and education, but careless, and was rather behindhand on account of losing vouchers, but was financially in better shape than the general run of early settlers. He taught school in Washington township.
Azariah Root was the next to assume the judicial ermine in the county court, being elected to the office of judge on the 8th of October, 1861. The office had been shorn of a large part of its power and authority by the creation of the board of supervisors, which came into existence about this time, but still the county judge was an important part of the local government. In 1863 Judge Root was re-elected to the same office, and held it until in June, 1864, when he resigned it.
Azariah Root was a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and first saw the light in 1791. His father, whose name was also Azariah, was a descendent of an old French family, a connection of Racine, and served in the continental army, under Washington, and was present at the hanging of Major Andre, the spy, and died a the advanced age of ninety-eight. His mother was a Miss Ellen Barbour, of Scotch descent. When Azariah was a boy of about twelve years of age his parents moved into Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He was a volunteer under General William Henry Harrison in his campaigns against the Indian allies of England in the war of 1812 to 1815. In 1839 Mr. Root removed from Delaware county, Ohio, to Wyandotte, in the same state, where he lived until 1852, when he emigrated to Iowa, and settled in Madison county. In the spring following he removed to Adair county, and settled upon section 11 in Jackson township, where he built a cabin wherein he dwelt. From there he removed to section 12, in the same township and later to the embryo village of Fontanelle. He was elected to the office of county judge, and was the postmaster during the war, and died in the town in 1874, at the age of eighty-three. He was married in Ohio in 1824, to Miss Myra Case, by whom he had nine children, one boy and eight girls. The son was Abner Root, the first sheriff of the county, and now a resident of Eureka township. The girls were---Clarissa, married to J. H. Bryant, and died in 1884; Amanda, the wife of John Martin, now dead; Elizabeth, wife of W. P. Warren, living near Alton, Illinois; Ellen, who married J. K. Valentine, now numbered with the dead; Parthenia, wife of Jacob Eby, now dead; Martha Eby, wife of D. M. Valentine, living in Kansas; Sarah, who married W. Moffitt, in Ohio, since dead; and Myra, wife of Samuel Holladay, living in Cass county. Mr. Root's wife died in the winter of 1860, in the town of Fontanelle, and is buried with him in the cemetery in Jackson township.
On the resignation of Azariah Root from this office, the board of supervisors appointed W. H. Brainard to fill the vacancy, and he taking the position in July, 1864, held it until the 1st of January following.
At the election of 1864 R. F. Murphy was elected to the office of county judge, but refusing to qualify, the board of supervisors appointed James C. Gibbs to fill the vacancy. In June, 1865, Mr. Gibbs resigned the position, and the board appointed R. E. Ewing to succeed him. At the election of 1865 the people elected R. E. Ewing to fill the same office, but on the 16th of January, 1866, he resigned the position, and was succeeded by J. J. Hetherington, who was also appointed by the board. In the fall of 1866 J. J. Hetherington was duly elected to the same office, and served the people in this position until the 1st of January, 1868, when he, in turn, gave way for a successor.
N. S. Taylor, the last county judge, was elected in the fall of 1867, and entered upon the discharge of his duties January 1st following. During his term the office of county judge was abolished by act of the general assembly, but the party holding that position at the time of the change was made, ex-officio.
the newly created officer of the county government. N. S. Taylor by this change became first auditor of Adair county, and filled the position until the beginning of 1870.
Nicholas S. Taylor, one of the early settlers of Fontanelle, was born in Windsor county, Vermont, on the 6th of June, 1807, and is the son of Israel Taylor, who was of English descent, and Betsy (Alcott) Taylor, a native of Vermont. Nicholas remained in his home until eighteen years of age, when he went to Addison county, and there remained until twenty-one years of age. He then went with his family to Essex county, New York, where he farmed until 1834, when he again returned to Addison county, Vermont, and in 1836 he came to Ohio, and there remained until 1855. He then removed to Iowa, and settled in Madison county, and in the spring of 1859 he came to Adair county, settling in Jackson township, where he kept a feed-stable and hotel for four years. In the fall of 1867 he was elected justice of the peace, and county judge. He has since that time held the office of justice of the peace, and is at present coroner for the county. In the spring of 1865 he removed to the town of Fontanelle, where he now lives on his income. He was married in Essex county, New York, November 2, 1839, to Miss Naomi A. Streator, a native of New York. Their family consists of six children---Clara, wife of D. A. Grea, of Michigan; John S., living at Winterset, Madison county; Julia B., wife of Thomas H. Tucker, of Warren county, Iowa; Charles H., in Sioux City; Naomi I., wife of William Valentine, of Casey. Mr. Taylor has been one of the most prominent men in the county, and has given great satisfaction as officer in the different branches.
J. H. Bailey was elected Auditor in the autumn of 1869, and was re-elected in 1871, serving four years in all.
John H. Bailey came to Greenfield, in this county, about the year 1866 or 7, and entered upon the practice of law. On the first of January, 1870, he assumed the office of auditor, and fulfilled the duties of that position for four years. On the expiration of his second term, he resumed his law practice at Fontanelle, where he remained until 1878, when he returned to Greenfield. In this latter place he staid until 1880, when he removed to Lyons, Rice county, Kansas where he is engaged in the duties of his profession, and is county attorney. His early life was spent in Blackford county, Indiana, where he received his education, and where he studied law. He was a splendid criminal lawyer, and made this branch of the profession quite a specialty, and a success, and wa, at times a man of considerable wealth. He was married to Miss Mary A. Craw, by whom he has four children living---Julien F., now in this county; Lewis O., living in Missouri; Lily, in Colorado, and Adam in Kansas. His first wife died in Morgan county, Indiana, and his present wife was Miss Mattie V. McGuire.
W. B. Martin was the successor of Mr. Bailey in this office, being elected to the same in 1873, and re-elected in 1875, holding the office for four years.
William B. Martin, of the firm of Martin & gray, land and loan agents, formerly auditor of Adair county, is a native of Windsor county, Vermont, and was born March 17, 1846, his parents, Loman and Amanda B. (Gibson), being both natives of Vermont. He was there reared and educated, and there followed the occupations of teaching and farming until the spring of 1867, when he went to Henry county, Illinois, there alternating at farming and school-teaching. In April, 1869, he came to Adair county, locating on section 5, Jefferson township, and there farmed and taught school until his election as auditor, which office he assumed January 1, 1874, and served two terms. He was clerk of Jefferson township for several years, and has served several terms as a member of Greenfield's city council. He was married September 13, 1872, to Miss Lucy E. Derby, a native of New York. They have four children---Clara A., William B., Jr., Fred D. and Clive G.; and Clyde B. (deceased). Mr. Martin is a member of the Masonic fraternity and I. O. O. F., Fortunatus. He is a Presbyterian in religion.
D. W. Marquart was eleccted to this position in the fall of 1877, and was re-elected in 1879, and again in 1881, filling the office of auditor for six years. D. W. Marquart bas born in the state of Indiana, February 16, 1848, being the son of Frederick B. and Maria A. (Whitaker) Marquart. When he was but four months old his mother died, and his father is now living with him. He came to Adair county in 1866, locating at Fontanelle. He followed school teaching and various other occupations for several years, after which he assisted his father in the post-office. His father was postmaster at Fontanelle for about thirteen years, and resigned about two years ago to come to Greenfield to live with his son. In 1878 D. W. removed to Greenfield. He was married, March 18, 1868, at Fontanelle, to Miss Mary E. Miller, Judge N. E. Taylor officiating. They have two children living---Gertie E. and Vida A.; there is one dead---Webb E. His wife's parents are George and Maria Miller, who reside in Fontanelle, Mr. Miller having a farm of two hundred acres, all improved, one-half mile east of that place. Mr. Marquart, at the age of sixteen years, enlisted in Company H, 19th Indiana volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war. In politics he is a republican, and he stands high in the councils of his party, as also in the esteem of the citizens of the county in general. He is one of the influential citizens of Greenfield and took a prominent part in the paying off of the county debt. At the fall election of 1877, he was elected to the position of county auditor, and commenced the performance of his duties in January, 1878, and so well has he met the expectations of the citizens of the county that they kept him in the office for six successive years. When he entered upon the performance of his duties, the county was $20,000 in debt, but under his administration affairs have been so well managed that the county is now practically out of debt, only about five hundred dollars remaining against it. For his second and third terms he had no opposition in the convention, and although he was not a candidate for re-election in 1883, yet he received quite a large vote, which may be cited in proof of his popularity among the people of the county. He is a member of the Masonic lodge.
G. H. Smith, the present auditor, was elected in October, 1883, and entered upon the discharge of his duties January 1, 1884. George H. Smith, auditor of Adair county, is now filling his first term of office for the county, although the greater part of his life has been spent by him in positions of responsibility and trust. He was born in Norfolk county, Massachusetts, March 8, 1844, his parents being Joseph H., and Almatia (Poore) Smith, the father a native of England, the mother of Portland, Maine. He was reared in his native county, and in its schools received his education. In 1859 he shipped as cabin boy on the ship Sarah, and he had been at his post only two weeks when she burned; the crew, however, were picked up, and with the rest he was taken to Savannah, whence he returned to his home. He then shipped as a sailor, and his first cruise was of fifteen months' duration. At its close he left home for another cruise, going to Liverpool. In the spring of 1862 he became third mate of the ship North America, which was engaged in transferring troops to New Orleans for General Butler. On the North America he went in the summer of 1862, to London; then made return trip; thence to Melbourne, Australia; thence to Callao, Peru; thence to Chincha Islands; thence to England; thence to Antwerp; bringing up in New York. He then went to Port Royal, South Carolina, and engaged in the diving business from the spring of 1864 to the fall of 1865. He then became mate of the barque Commodore Dupont, which sailed for Beyruth, Syria; the trip occupied six months, and returned to Boston, Massachusetts, in the winter of 1866. In the spring of 1867 he removed to Chicago, where he clerked in the general ticket office of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad for one year, after which he served four months as a sailor on the lakes. After this he was engaged in the wood and coal trade in Chicago for six months, at the end of which time he removed to Linn county, Iowa, and engaged in farming. January 15, 1869, he came to Adair county, and took up the cultivation of the one hundred and sixty acre farm in section 26, Lincoln township, which he still owns. For twelve years he filled the positions of school treasurer or township clerk for the township. In the fall of 1883 hew was elected to his present official position. He was married April 29, 1869, to Miss Sarah Y. Larry, a native of Massachusetts. They have two children---Annie Y. and Aurelia C. Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic Order and Chapter, and belongs to the United Order of Honor.
Treasurer and Recorder
At the time of the organization of the county these two offices were vested in one and the same party, and Joshua E. Chapman was elected to fill the dual position May 1854. In 1855 he was re-elected to the same and served in this capacity for over three years.
Joshua E. Chapman is a native of Ohio, and came to Adair county, Iowa, very early, about 1852 or 1853, and settled in Richland township. He owned a farm there of one hundred and sixty acres at one time. He has left this part of the country, removing to Colorado, where he is reputed to have grown quite wealthy, being engaged in the stock and cattle business.
Francis M. Corr, already spoken of in connection with the office county judge, was the successor of Mr. Chapman, being elected treasurer and recorder in October, 1857. Before his term of office had expired, however, he was nominated and elected to the office of county judge, and was succeeded by S. W. Armstrong, who at the election of 1858, was chosen to fill out the un-expired term, and in 1859 was re-elected to fill the same office.
S. W. Armstrong was born and raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, where he received his education. For some years he was engaged in traveling throughout the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio as a commercial man, and in 1856 came to Iowa, and located in Powesheik county. He had studied law in the east and had been admitted to the bar, and shortly after coming to this state moved to Des Moines, where he practiced this profession. He came to Fontanelle and opened a law office, was appointed and elected treasurer, and afterward engaged in mercantile trade. He accumulated considerable money, but trouble with his wife drove him into dissipation. He went to New York city on business, and while trying to get on a street car, bell, breaking his leg. On his way back, he found himself in Chicago penniless, and borrowed enough for traveling expenses of the Masons, he being a member of that fraternity. He then went to Macon city, Missouri, and from thence to Nebraska city, where he hired out to drive trains across the plains at $75 per month. All this moving about was to get rid of his wife, who caused him a world of trouble. He came back, and located in Hamburg, Fremont county, Iowa, where he engaged in carpentering, for he was a man that could do most anything, and a most excellent man to work. He drifted back to Fontanelle, and by the help of his friend, Dr. Moore, entered into the real estate business in which he was succeeding well, when, domestic misfortunes again overtaking him, he, in a temporary depression of mind, took his own life, dying in November, 1870. He was a hard-working man, and could make a great deal of money, and regarded reputation and a good name above everything.
Doctor T. M. Moore was the next to fill this two-fold office, having been elected thereto in the fall of 1861. The doctor came to Fontanelle in an early day, and has always been prominently identified with Adair county and its interests. He is still a resident of the town of Fontanelle, and is engaged in the practice of medicine, having eschewed politics.
G. F. Kilburn was elected to these offices in the autumn of 1863. During his term of office the position of recorder was separated from that of treasurer, and Mr. Kilburn thus became the first
and held the position until the 1st of January, 1866, when he gave way to a successor. A sketch of Mr. Kilburn will be found in a preceding page in connection with the general assembly, he having served as a member of that body from this county.
Again in 1865, T. M. Moore was elected treasurer and served two years. He was succeeded in this responsible office by James C. Gibbs, who was elected in 1867, and re-elected in 1869, filling the office for four years.
James C. Gibbs was born in Oneida county, New York, on the 3d of December 1821, and is the son of Ozias and Sallie (Winter) Gibbs, both of whom were natives of Litchfield, Connecticut. J. C. was reared and educated in the place of his nativity, and was engaged in farming until 1855. In March of that year he came West, and leaving his family in Peoria, Illinois, came into Iowa looking for a home. In June of that year he arrived in Adair county, and as they were just laying out the county seat, he determined to cast in his fortunes in that place, then called Summerset, now known as Fontanelle. He purchased a lot and put up a cabin, and in August, 1866, brought on his family, and was the first settler in the township. He lived in this town for many years, being engaged in the various businesses of hotel keeping, newspaper, mercantile and real-estate transactions. In 1856 he was made postmaster of Fontanelle, on the establishment of the office, and held the position for two years. In the spring of the same year he was elected to the office of school fund commissioner and held that office two years. Mr. Gibbs has been identified with the county government in various capacities, first serving one year as deputy clerk of the courts under W. B. Hall. He was then appointed county judge to fill a vacancy, but resigned, after serving one year. In 1867 he was elected county treasurer, and occupied that position four years. He was married September 9, 1846, to Miss Phoebe L. Filer, a native of New York, and they have five children living, vis.---Josephine B., Alanson O., Gertrude I, Lillian A., and Charles A.
Mr. Gibbs is a member of the blue lodge chapter and commandery, of the Masonic order, and in the ancient Scottish rite has attained the 32d degree.
In 1862 he raised a company for service in the war, in Adams county, which was afterward known as Company D, 29th Iowa infantry, of which he was commissioned captain, but after being in camp about six months he was compelled to resign on account of sickness.
The next incumbent of this office was John Shreves, who was elected in 1871, and served a term of two years. John Shreves, a prominent citizen of Greenfield, was born in Brown county, Ohio, March 9, 1829, his parents being Benjamin and Minerva Shreves, both natives of Kentucky. His father died in Illinois in 1841, and his mother in this county in 1861. He went with his mother in 1842 to Indiana, and after remaining eight years, went to Illinois, where he remained one year, coming to Iowa in 1852, and locating near Winterset. In 1858 he came to Adair county, locating on a farm on sections 36-77-31, and remaining there two years. He removed to Greenfield in the spring of 1860, engaging in the mercantile business, and running what is now known as the Kirkwood house, it being then the "Union hotel." In the spring of 1865 he moved to a farm five miles south of Fontanelle, where he remained three years. In the spring of 1868 he engaged in the mercantile business in Fontanelle, and remained there until the spring of 1874, when he removed to Murray, Clark county, Iowa, and engaged in the lumber and hardware business. After a stay of seven and a half years he returned to Greenfield and purchased an interest in the lumber business noticed elsewhere, in the fall of 1883. He was married in Indiana in 1850, to Caroline Kellison. Has seven children---Sylvester L., Hulda A., Barbara O., Benjamin F., Mary I., Lillie B. and Charlie K.; has one child dead---Freddie A. He is a republican in politics. He was sheriff of Adair county one term, and a member of the board of supervisors for three years. Besides considerable town property, he has a farm of twenty acres in Summerset township. Mr. Shreves is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
L. J. Gray, treasurer for four years was first elected in 1873, and re-elected in 1875. Lorenzo J. Gray, of the firm of Martin & Gray, was born in Caledonia county, Vermont, January 16, 1840, his parents, Paul and Hannah (Orcutt) Gray, being also natives of the Granite State. He was reared in his native county, and was making good progress in its schools, when, at age of sixteen, his parents removed to Dane county, Wisconsin, where he finished his education, afterward alternating at farming and school teaching. In August, 1862, he left these duties to enter into the service of his country, and enlisted in Company B, 20th Wisconsin infantry, and was assigned to the department of Missouri. In December 1862, he took part in the battle of Prairie Grove, and lost an arm from a flank fire by the enemy. He was placed in hospital at Fayetteville, Arkansas, remaining there until February, 1863, when he returned to Wisconsin. After staying one year in various occupations, he returned to the front, and was connected with the quartermaster's department at Chattanooga, Tennessee, till April, 1866, when he went back to Wisconsin. After staying about six months, he concluded to return to his native county and state. On arriving at the home of his boyhood, he engaged at farming, and so continued until the spring of 1869, when he went to Kansas, and from there to Richland township, this county, in September of the same year. In the spring of 1873 he removed to Fontanelle, and that fall was elected treasurer of Adair county, which position he held two terms, and creditably filled. He was married October 19, 1869, to Miss Esther W. Newell, a native of Vermont. They have three children---Bertha E., Edith M., and Herman L. He is a member of the G. A. R. and I. O. O. F., and is connected with the Baptist church.
John E. Hill, one of the most popular treasurers of the county, was elected to that office in the fall of 1877. In 1879, and again in 1881, he was re-elected to fill the same office, serving in all six years. John E. Hill, a son of Hugh B., and Mary A. (Driggs) Hill, was born on the 13th of October, 1840, in Monroe county, Ohio. His mother died in 1879, in Monroe county, Ohio, where his father now resides. John E. Hill graduated at the Pittsburgh mercantile college, in 1859, and after that time he followed bookkeeping until the breaking out of the war. He then enlisted in Company B, 25th Ohio infantry, and served two years. He received a special discharge to accept a position as clerk in the quartermaster's office in Washington, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. He then returned home and was engaged in the dry goods and grocery business until 1868, when he came to Iowa, and located in Muscatine county, where he remained some three years. He then came to Adair county, and settled in Grove township, where he was engaged in farming until 1875, when he was appointed deputy treasurer. In the fall of 1877 was elected county treasurer in which capacity he served six years, being twice re-elected. He then sold his farm and moved to Greenfield and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 17 Greenfield township, where he moved at the expiration of his term of office, in January, 1884. He has an orchard of about two acres, and small fruit in abundance. During his service in the army, he was in the battles of Bull Run and Gettysburg. He was married in 1866, in Muscatine county to Miss Maggie Patterson, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Patterson. They have four children, whose names are as follows---Maude M., Clarence E., A. Strohm, Clyde.
S. M. Shattuck, the present genial treasurer of Adair county, was elected in October, 1883, and commenced his duties with the year 1884. Shubel M. Shattuck, county treasurer, the subject of this sketch, is a native of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and was born January 15, 1835. His father, George W., was a native of New Hampshire, and went to Pennsylvania when quite young. There he married Susan Maynard. S. M. is the oldest of their family of seven children. He was reared and educated in his native county, and at the age of seventeen commenced clerking in Troy, Pennsylvania. This he followed until the fall of 1856, when he went to Henry county, Illinois, where he engaged at various occupations, including teaching and farming. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, 112th Illinois volunteer infantry, and served with his regiment for twenty-one months, when he was sent to the Knoxville, Tennessee, hospital for treatment, and was discharged from there May, 15, 1865. He was acting hospital steward of the regiment, and was dispensary clerk of the medical department at Knoxville hospital, while confined there. After his discharge he returned to Henry county, Illinois, and engaged as drug clerk for one year, after which he engaged as clerk in the general merchandise business at Cambridge, Illinois, until 1869. He then returned home on a visit, and two months later came to Union county, Iowa, and engaged in merchandise business at Afton until 1877, when he came to Greenfield, and engaged in the drug business, the firm name being S. M. Shattuck & Co. This business partnership was dissolved after two and one half years, when Mr. Shattuck engaged as manager of the mercantile business of A. P. Stephens, in Greenfield, and was so engaged when elected to his present position in 1883. He was married July 4, 1860, to Miss Abbie J. Cook, a native of Michigan. They have three children---Lela, Burdee and Otto. Mr. Shattuck is a member of the Masonic order and G. A. R. In religion he is a Universalist.
James A. Hetherington is the present deputy treasurer of Adair county. He was born in Alleghany county, Pennsylvania, February 5, 1843, and lived there until six years of age, when his parents removed to Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, where he was educated. While a boy, and between school terms, he worked with his father at the shoe-making trade. When seventeen years of age he conceived a taste for the painter's trade, but on making a trial of it soon gave it up. In April, 1861, he enlisted in the 6th Pennsylvania volunteers for the three months' service. He re-enlisted in Company K, 56th Pennsylvania, February 20, 1862, and was discharged on account of disability, December 2, 1862. He again enlisted in February, 1863, in the 7th Pennsylvania cavalry, and served till the close of the war, being discharged in August, 1865. He then returned to Pennsylvania, and after a short stay in Harrisburg, came to Fontanelle, in this county, where he worded at various occupations until 1871, when he came to this city and took the position of deputy clerk with his brother, which position he held for six years. He then filled the position of assistant deputy in several of the county offices, and other occupations, until 1879, when he became deputy treasurer under J. E. Hill, which position he held for three years. In January, 1884, he was appointed deputy treasurer again by S. M. Haddock, which appointment he now holds. He was city recorder in 1877, and has also been clerk of this township. He was married December 26, 1869, to Miss Lucy Ervin, a native of Virginia. They have three children---Mary E., James L and Sarah J. Mr. Hetherington is a member of the I. O. O. F., the G. A. R., and the Iowa Legion of Honor.
The office of recorder becoming separated from that of treasurer in the latter part of 1864, at the election that fall, W. H. Brainard was elected to fill this position, and served in this capacity one term.
Wesley Taylor, in 1866, was first elected to the office of recorder, and in 1858, and again in 1870, was re-elected to the same office, serving six years in all. Wesley Taylor is among the oldest business men in Fontanelle. He became a resident of the town in 1863, and is a Pennsylvanian by birth, and was born in Westmoreland county, near the village of Ligonier, where he spent the earlier portion of his life, and where he was partly educated. When the civil war broke out he enlisted in Company F, 14th regiment Pennsylvania volunteers; after six months' service he returned home, and re-enlisted in Company G, 135th regiment, as second sergeant; was mustered in at Harrisburg, and at the close of his enlistment, mustered out at Ridding. He was under General Narglie, and was supporting Doubleday's battery at the time General Stonewall Jackson was killed at Culpepper. His company did effective service in the war, and returned home in the winter of 1863-64. Mr. Taylor emigrated immediately to Iowa, taking up his home in Adair county, but during this winter taught a term of school in Adams county, at Quincy, and subsequently taught in Adair county two years. His first experience in this line, however was in Pennsylvania, where he taught school some time, his latter education being obtained at Sewickley, near the city of Mt. Pleasant. Mr. Taylor has been in business with several gentlemen here, first with J. C. Gibbs, and then with S. Marquarlt, R. E. Ewing, J. H. Hulburt, etc. He has been county superintendent for two years, and also served the county six years as recorder, from 1867 to 1873. His present business is running the Farmers' bank, of Fontanelle, of which he is cashier, and co-partner with R. E. Ewing in general merchandise, the north side of the square. This gentleman's business capacity has won for him many friends. He is courteous and affable, is a man of public spirit and takes an interest in enterprises affecting the good of the country. His marriage occurred in 1865, his wife being Miss Josephine V. Gibbs, a daughter of J. C. Gibbs, so well known here, and five children have been born to them---Moton E., Mattie L., James M., Edith L. and Florence L. He is a member of the Masonic order of Sir Knight's chapter, and Iowa Legion of Honor.
R. O. Brown was the immediate was the immediate successor of Mr. Taylor, being elected in the fall of 1872. He was re-elected twice, one in 1874 and again 1876. Royal O. Brown was born at Freedom, Portage county, Ohio, May 20, 1846, and is the son of O. E. and Minerva H. Brown, both natives of Ohio. When R. O. was about twelve years of age his parents moved to Somerset, Wabash county, Indiana, and remained there two years when they again removed to Howard county. In 1861 they returned to Ohio, where they remained until May, 1863, Royal attending school at the Western Reserve Eclectic institute, of which James A. Garfield was then principal. In August, 1863, the subject of our sketch came to Adair county and settled in Union township. In the summer of 1864 he was appointed deputy treasurer by G. F. Kilburn, and in the fall of 1865, made a trip to Denver, Colorado. On his return he assisted in several of the county offices, principally as deputy in the office of the several treasurers. He was elected to the office of recorder asw above, and held it for six years. On the expiration of his term he, in January, 1879, formed a partnership with J. J. Hetherington, in the land loan and abstract business, but it only lasted about a year. He then alone tried the abstract business, but in March, 1880, retired to his farm in Union township, where he now lives.
J. A. Easton, first elected recorder in 1878, was re-elected in 1880, and served four years in this office. John A. Easton, of the firm of Easton & Hinkson, is a native of Peoria, Illinois, and was born April 6, 1840, his father being John Easton, who is now also a resident of this county, the family having come to Adair county when John A. was seventeen years of age, settling on a farm in section 22, Jefferson township. Here he assisted his father in the labors of the farm in summer, spending his winters in the continuation of the studies which he had commenced in Illinois. July 4, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, 4th Iowa infantry, in which he served thirteen months. At the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 7, 1862, he was wounded in the right arm, and was laid up in hospital at Keithsburg and Cassville, for seven weeks, after which he returned home, and in August, 1862, he was discharged for disability. In the spring of 1864, he engaged in the mercantile business at Morrisburg, which he continued for six months. He was then engaged in various occupations until 1868, when he returned to Adair county, and engaged in agricultural pursuits in Jefferson township, and was so occupied when elected to the position of county recorder, in the fall of 1878. In December, 1878, he removed to Greenfield, and has since made his residence here. He held the office two terms, having been re-elected to succeed himself at the next election. He was clerk of Jefferson township six years, and assessor several times. He was married, November 11, 1863, to Eliza J. Mellvain, a native of Indiana. They have six children---Lula E., Henry S., Anna B., Cora M., Walter A. and Etna G.
E. S. Chenoweth, the present occupant of this lucrative office, was elected in the fall of 1882. Edward S. Chenoweth, the present county recorder, was elected to his present office in 1882, from Lee township, where he came in 1876. He was born in Warren county, Indiana, on the 7th of September, 1852. In 1869 his family came to Louisa county, Iowa, and there he was engaged in teaching school until 1876, when he came to this county, and located in Lee township, where he now owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of good land. He was united in marriage in March, 1877, to Miss Maggie A. Knox, a native of Ohio. He held the office of township clerk of Lee township, in 1880 and 1881; and he is n ow a member of the Masonic order. Mr. Chenoweth is one of those men who has the ambition to rise in the world, and has amply succeeded. He has given great satisfaction in his work, and has received the honor and trust of the people.
Clerk of the Courts
The first to occupy this onerous office was John Gilson, who was elected to the position in May, 1865, and filled it for one year.
John Gilson came to this county in August, 1850, and located on what is now known as the McGinnis farm, in Jefferson township, where he lived some five years, and removed to Harrison township and made the Joseph Miller place. Here he remained a couple of years, when he emigrated to Warren county. He removed from there to Nebraska, but returned to this state and is now living in Quincy, Adams county. He was born on the 4th of July, 1816, in Oswego county, New York. In 1844 he came to Dubuque, where he resided until he came here. Although an old man in years, still he is quite active, and is engaged in traveling and selling books, and gets around as sprightly as a young man.
D. M. Valentine was elected clerk of the courts in 1855, and also held it for a year. An account of this gentleman may be found under the head of county judges preceding this.
At the regular election in 1856, Theodore Smith was elected to fill this office.
George B. Wilson was elected to fill the position of clerk of the courts in 1857, but failing to present himself, Calvin Ballard was appointed to fill the vacancy.
Calvin Ballard was born on a farm, where he was raised, near Indianapolis, Indiana. He came to Fontanelle in 1856, and occupied a small building erected by J. K. Valentine as a store, and was the pioneer merchant of the county. In 1857 he erected a new store building, now used by P. McDermid, 20x30 feet in size, two stories high, in which he ran a general store. In 1860 he removed to Winterset, where he entered into business. After a time he sold out and moved back to Indiana, where he resided on a farm. His wife died while he was there. He returned to Winterset, and is now engaged in trade in that place. Since his second coming to Winterset he has been married to the widow of a Presbyterian minister. Mr. B. has always borne the reputation of a suave, square, enterprising man, and is of liberal principles.
In April, 1858, A. B. Smith was elected to fil this office for the unexpired term, which he did until the 1st of January following.
W. B. Hall was elected to the office of clerk of the court in 1858. In the regular election of 1860 A. D. Littleton, his competitor for this office, received ten votes in majority over Mr. Hall, but upon the latter gentleman contesting the case, Mr. Hall was left in possession. He was again re-elected in 1862, 1864 and 1866, thus serving ten years in this capacity. W. B. Hall was born on the 31st day of December, 1832, near Williamsport, Warren county, Indiana, and was educated at Crawfordsville, in the same state, under Joseph E. McDonald, now ex-senator from that state. He is the son of Daniel D. and Jane J. Hall. He was married on the 13th of March, 1853, to Miss Sarah E. Crane. He came to Adair county in the beginning of the winter of 1856, while the snow was some two feet upon the ground. The balance of that terrible winter he taught school in a log-hut for twenty dollars per month, and walked some two miles every morning. In the fall of 1858 he was elected clerk of the courts, and served as above. In 1862 he was appointed, by the request of Hon. S. W. Armstrong, as one of the state commissioners to go to Little Rock, Arkansas, and take the soldier vote. In 1870 Mr. Hall, in company with his family, emigrated to Seattle, Washington Territory, where he at present resides.
James Raney, in 1868, was elected to this office, and in 1870 was re-elected. James Raney was born on the 13th of May,1 829, in Blunt county, Tennessee. He was a son of Alexander Raney, a native of South Carolina, and Elizabeth Raney, nee McFee, a Tennesseean by birth and a daughter of the Rev. Mr. McFee, the friend and coadjutor of Parson Brownlow. James has the misfortune to lose his mother before he was a year old, in Montgomery county, Indiana, whither the family had removed in the fall of 1829. He was the youngest of a family of six. After the death of his mother he was taken by Judge W. H. Heath, by whom he was raised, and with whom he lived until attaining manhood. When he was eighteen years old he commenced learning the trade of carpenter and joiner, and before he was twenty years of age he set up business for himself, taking contracts to put up buildings, etc. On the 2d of January, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine H. Reese, and shortly after they removed to Warren, Jo Daviess county, where he was engaged in the same line of business until the spring of 1861, when the cloud of civil war descended upon this country, and James, leaving wife and home, enlisted in Company E, 15th Illinois infantry regiment. This was one of the organizations raised under the state law by which ten regiments were enlisted by the state government, and were mustered in to the service of the same on the 10th of May, 1861. Fourteen days later the regiment was mustered into the service of the general government, and James Raney was elected captain of the company. This was under the first call for three years' volunteers.
On the 6th of Arpil, 1862, at the battle of Shiloh, the major of the regiment being killed, James Raney was commissioned to that office. In November, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and afterward was raised by brevet to that of colonel. Besides many minor engagements and skirmishes, he participated in the battle of Shiloh, advance on and siege of Corinth, battle of Hatchie, siege of Vicksburg, taking part in the charges of the 19th and 22d of June, battles of Jackson, Raymond and Champion Hills. On the 16th of January, 1864, he was compelled by sickness to forward the resignation of his commission, which was accepted some time afterward, and the colonel came home. In 1866 he gave up his business in Illinois, and came to Adair county, with the intention of farming, but on arrival here, opened a small hardware store, which he ran until the fall of 1868, when he was elected clerk of the court, as above. In the fall of 1872 he established the Register at Fontanelle, and ran it until October, 1875, when he removed with it to the rising town of Stuart, but in the following spring he sold it, and returned to his former home in Fontanelle. In January, 1881, he engaged in the purchase and shipping of grain, and in April, of the same year, commenced buying stock. The latter business he continued alone until January, 1883, when the present partnership between him and J. H. Hulbert was formed, to deal in cattle and stock in a large way. The colonel has four children living---Manly A., James F., John R. and Milton U., besides four that died in infancy. James Raney is the worshipful mater of teh Masonic lodge at Fontanelle, a member of the Chapter, and of Leutz Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a straight republican in politics.
John J. Hetherington was the next incumbent of this office, having been elected to the same at the general election of 1872. He was twice re-elected, in 1874 and 1876. John J. Hetherington, of the Citizens' bank of Greenfield, is a native of Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, and was born October 1, 1841; his parents, James D. and Sarah J., were also natives of the same state. John J. passed his boyhood days in Northumberland county, and after receiving his education engaged in clerking in the mercantile business at Pottsville. March 17, 1863,he departed for Atchison, Kansas, where he spent the next four and one half months; then removed to Fontanelle, this county, where he engaged in the abstract and land business, and commenced the study of the law---the first year with S. W. Armstrong, and then with Armstrong & Hall. He was admitted to the bar in 1869. He had seen considerable service as deputy clerk when, in 1872, he was elected to the office of county clerk of courts and so well did he satisfy the people of the county that he was continued in the office three successive terms, only retiring from the duties of the position in 1879. In 1875, during his term of office, he removed to Greenfield, and there engaged in the land and abstract business, and is at the present time a partner in the abstract firm of Hetherington & McCollom. He has also filled the office of county judge, serving the unexpired term of his predecessor and one full term. He is a member of the Greenfield city council, and has been for some time. He also fills the position of assistant cashier of the citizens' bank. He is a commandery member of the Masonic lodge, and of the encampment in the I. O. O. F., and has passed chairs in the latter. He was elected county supervisor in 1871. He was married April 21, 1864, to Miss Rebecca S. Stillwell, a native of Pennsylvania. They have four children living---Charles H., Jessie S., George B. and Bessie. Mr. Hetherington enlisted for the three months' service, April 17, 1861, in Company H, 25th Pennsylvania infantry, and served four months with his regiment. He has held many offices at the will of the county's people, and has given perfect satisfaction in all.
J. N. Haddock, the present incumbent of the office of clerk of the courts, was originally elected in 1878, and has been re-elected his own successor both in 1880 and 1882. James N. Haddock, clerk of the court, is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is the son of John and Eleanor (McBride) Haddock. He was the third child of a family of six children, and in 1858 he came to Iowa City, Iowa, and was there engaged in the study of law, and was so engaged until 1861, when he returned to Philadelphia and served three months on guard duty. In 1865 he returned to Iowa, where he completed his law course, and attended the law department of the state university, attending one term when he was admitted to the bar. He practiced at his profession some time, when he came to Fontanelle, Adair county, where he began to practice with J. H. Bailey, and so continued until 1877, when the partnership was dissolved. In 1878 he was elected clerk of the court, and has held that position ever since. He has been one of the substantial men of the county, and is one of the highest and estimable officers in the county. He was married to Miss Anna J. Seniley, a native of Pennsylvania. They have four children --- Nellie J., George C., W. Rush and Frank. Mr. Haddock is a member of the Masonic order, and was formerly a member of the United Presbyterian church.
The first to fill this arduous office was Abner Root, who was first elected at the time of the organization of the county, in May, 1854, and was re-elected his own successor, holding the office until the fall of 1857. Abner Root was born on the 14th of October, 1828, in Delaware county, Ohio, and is the son of Azariah and Myra (Skeeles) Root. He moved with his parents to Wyandotte county, Ohio, in 1839, where he remained until 1852, when he came to Madison county, Iowa, and in 1853 he came to Adair county and settled on section 11, Jackson township, where his father built a log-cabin, in which he lived for four years. He then built a frame house on section 12, and lived there for several years. Abner was married there in April, 1861, to Miss Martha Wilson, who died on the 26th of April, 1869, leaving two children --- Etta M. and Cora E. He was married again in Summerset township, in May, 1870, to Miss Arminda Decker, a daughter of Abner W. Decker. They have two children --- Clara and Ernest. Mr. Root enlisted in Company I, 4th Iowa cavalry, of the 29th of December, 1862, and served until the close of the war, when he was mustered out at Atlanta, Georgia, in August, 1865. He was with Sherman through Mississippi, and at the battle of Guntown, in the great Price raid and in many other engagements. After the war he returned home on section 12, where he remained about two years, when he was elected sheriff the second time, when he went to Fontanelle and served his term of office, and in 1876 he came to his present location on section 36 in Eureka township and built his residence, and owns one hundred and sixty acres of land all under cultivation, and has an orchard with about one hundred bearing trees. He has been sheriff and township assessor, and is present trustee and a member of the school board. He was the first sheriff of Adair county and was elected to a number of township offices but would not serve. He is a member of the Fontanelle lodge, No. 138, and has held all of the offices except master; also a member of Lentz Post, G. A. R.
Levi C. Elliott was the successor of Abner, being elected sheriff in August, 1857, and serving two years. He is still a resident of the county.
John Ireland was the next sheriff, having been elected to that office in 1859, and holding it one term.
J. K. Valentine was elected sheriff in 1861, and filled the office two years. James K. Valentine was born in Shelby county, Ohio, on the 27th of September, 1832, and moved with his parents to Indiana, in 1836. He moved from Wea Plains, in that state to Adair county in 1856. He was married to Miss Almiretta E. Benedict, a daughter of Samuel G. and Harriet (Crane) Benedict, but who died on the 1st of November, 1855. On the 9th of August, 1857, he was married to Miss Ellen Root, who died on the 7th of November, 1864. He built the first store building in the village of Fontanelle, and the hotel known as the Pacific House, in the same place. On the 2d of September, 1866, he, for the third time, was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Smith, who was born October 11, 1856. In April, 1875, he removed with his family to California, where his wife died May 19, 1875. He resided in Crescent City, Del Norte county, until the spring of 1881, when he removed to Renton, King county, Washington, where he is now living.
Mr. Valentine was succeeded by John Shreeves, who was elected in 1863, and served two years. A sketch of this gentleman appears under the head of County Treasurer, preceding this, an office that he filled at a later date.
Philo G. Sage, a veteran returned form the war, was elected to this office in 1865, and entering upon the discharge of his duties with the first of the year, 1866, served two years. He is now living in Princeton, Illinois, whither he removed in 1878 or '79.
Abner Root was again elevated to the sheriffality in 1868, and served in the office two years. He was succeeded by George Salisbury, on the first of 1870, he having been elected thereto the fall previous. Mr. Salisbury, held the office for one term, when he stepped down and out. He is now a resident of the state of Kansas.
Solomon Garrett was elected at the general election of 1871, sheriff of the county, and filled the office for one term.
C. B. Hunt, the present state senator, was elected to the office of sheriff of Adair county, in the fall of 1873. He was re-elected twice, one in 1875 and again in 1877. A sketch of the honorable gentleman occurs in preceding part of this chapter under the head of twentieth general assembly.
W. C. Libby, the present sheriff, was first elected to this office at the general election in the fall of 1879. He has been twice re-elected, in 1881 and 1883. William C. Libby, present sheriff of Adair county, is a native of the Hawkeye state, his father, Jesmah R. having come to Iowa at an early day, locating in Muscatine in 1839, when Iowa prairies were in a state of primitive verdure. In 1842 Mr. Libby, Sr., removed to Mahaska county, where he was one of the first settlers; and there, on December 3, 1847, William C. was born, being reared and educated near the place of his birth. In 1869 he removed to Cass county, where he farmed until 1875, when he came to this county and engaged in the hardware trade at Adair, being so occupied when elected to the office of sheriff, which position he took in January, 1880, and has been re-elected at each succeeding election, being now on his third term. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Encampment, and has passed the chair in both. He was married January 21, 1869, to Miss Mary E. Stafford, also a native of Iowa. They have four children --- Jennie, Clara B., Frank R. and Charles H. That Mr. Libby is popular in the county may be inferred from the evident determination of its people to keep him in his position.
In 1856 Isaac Debusk was elected to this office and occupied the same for one year. He has long since passed to "that land from whose bourne no traveler ever returns."
J. P. Jordan was the next to fill the office of drainage commissioner, having been elected in 1857, and filled it also for one year. A. W. Mathews was elected to this office in 1858, and for one year held the same.
E. H. Mallory was elected to the office of drainage commissioner in 1859, and re-elected in 1861, thus filleing the position for four years.
W. H. Easton, in 1863, was called on to fill this office and held it until the office was abolished.
S. W. Pryor was elected to the office of county surveyor at the election of 1857, and held it for two years. Samuel W. Pryor, son of Matthew and Henrietta (Williams) Pryor, was born in Marion county, Tennessee, September 12, 1820. He lived in Marion county, Tennessee, until March, 1843, when he removed to Washington county, Missouri, where he remained about fourteen years. In the summer of 1856 he emigrated to Adair county, Iowa, arriving on 1st day of August, and settling upon section 34, Harrison township. There were no improvements on the place whatever, and he erected a small shanty in which they lived about a year, when the dwelling was much enlarged and improved. He had it inclosed and ready for occupancy, when a storm almost demolished it. He repaired the same house, in which he lived until 1876, when the fine residence they now occupy was constructed. Mr. Pryor was first married in 1846, to Mary J. Glossup, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Glossup, and five children was the result of the union --- Matthew G., William A., Jonathan E., Charles H. and Sarah F. His wife died her in 1857. He was again married in 1860, in Madison county, Iowa, to Eliza A. Barnett, daughter of William and Mary Barnett. Five more children were born to them, tow of whom are dead --- Millie J., Julia M. and Dayton Elmer. When Mr. P. first came to Harrison, the town of Greenfield was then unknown, and he went to Madison county to mill. He has a farm of one hundred and thirty acres, all under cultivation, ten acres of which are on section 35. He has been county assessor and county surveyor since he came to this county. He brought forty head of cattle with him, and all except six or seven were frozen to death or perished with the cold during the first winter he was here. Four or five were sold in the fall; two survived the winter, or till grass came. He has experienced some hard times since his settlement in Harrison, but at present has a comfortable and pleasant home as a reward for what he has gone through. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In 1859 Simon Barrows was chosen the successor of Mr. Pryor, in this office, and held it for two years. After a short time, however, Mr. Barrows resigned, and the board of supervisors appointed S. W. Pryor to fill the vacancy. At the following election of 1863, the people of the county indorsed this action of their representatives and again elected S. W. Pryor to the same office, and re-elected him in 1865, and again in 1867, thus filling the office nearly ten years, and could doubtless have held it longer, but in June, 1869, he resigned the position, and J. M. Joseph was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy.
At the election in the fall of 1869, the people elected the incumbent of this office, J. M. Joseph, county surveyor, and he occupied the same until June, 1871, when he resigned. He has removed from the county, and is now a resident of Creston, Iowa.
On the resignation of Mr. Joseph, the board appointed Waldo E. Adams to fill the vacancy, and at the election of 1871, he was duly elected to the same office by the vote of the people. He, too, has left Adair county, and is now living in Antelope county, Nebraska.
A. R. Dew, the next county surveyor, was elected in the fall of 1873, and entered upon the discharge of his duties January 1, 1874, serving until April, 1875, when he resigned. He is a native of Ohio, born at Martin's Ferry, Belmont county, May 5, 1851, and is the son of John M. and F. H. (Ray) Dew. When Albert was but two years old his parents moved to Tuscarawas county, where, after a two years' sojourn her, they returned to McDonough county, Illinois. Here he was raised and educated until 1865, when the family moved to Knox county in the same state and remained some five years. In 1871 he came to Adair county, and at first attempted to run a photograph gallery, but gave that up and entered the Transcript office as a typo. Between this business and clerking, varied by a summer jaunt to the Black Hills, he passed the time until January 1, 1882, when he was appointed deputy auditor, a position he holds at present. He was united in marriage on the 23d of December, 1872, with Miss Rachel M. Myers.
W. A. Pryor, a son of S. W. Pryor, was elected to fill the office of surveyor, at the fall election of 1875, and held the same for two years.
W. D. McCollom was next elected to this office, in the autumn of 1877. W. D. McCollom, is a native of Windsor county, Vermont, and was born September 30, 1856, and was reared and educated in his native county. In 1872 he engaged as clerk in the drug business at Lebanon, New Hampshire, and after holding that position for a short time, accepted a similar one at Woodstock, Vermont. He remained there till December, 1874, when he came West and located in this county, teaching the Highland school in Jefferson township. He held this position one term, and in the succeeding spring went to Fontanelle, where he attended the county normal school. He then accepted a position as assistant in the auditor's office under W. B. Martin, which he held till November, 1875, when he went East for a three months' visit to his old home. He returned to Greenfield and became deputy county surveyor, under W. A. Pryor. In July, 1876, he became deputy county auditor, which position he held until 1878, when he became county surveyor, having been elected to that office in the fall preceding. After serving the term for which he was elected he entered into the partnership with Mr. Hetherington in his present business. He was married December 25, 1877, to Miss Myra Peat, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. They have two children --- Marian C., and Howe. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Encampment, and at present holds the office of noble grand in the I. O. O. F.
W. R. Cochrane was duly chosen by the qualified electors of this county to fill the office of surveyor, in 1879, and again in 1881. After serving faithfully four years he removed from this locality and is now a resident of Redford, Taylor county, Iowa.
F. M. Bates, the present incumbent of this office, was elected at the fall election of 1883, and entered upon the discharge of his duties of the same, January 1, 1884. Francis M. Bates, a native of New York state, was born on the 1st of September, 1836, and is the son of Nelson and Amanda (Alexander) Bates. When quite young he removed to Illinois, but soon returned to his native state. He received a good education in the common schools of New York, but when he was about sixteen years of age he was not satisfied with his learning, and was sent to the academy in Lowville, Lewis county. He was classed among the students for two terms when he became a teacher, and after teaching several terms he came to Wisconsin, where he attended Milton college for two or three years, when he graduated on the 5th of July, 1864. Previous to this he taught in the high school at Clinton Junction, Rock county. He was married in August, 1864, to Miss Hettie Guild, a daughter of Aaron D. Guild. She died in May, 1878, and was buried in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, leaving two children --- Frank M. and Grace E. He was again married in September, 1882, in Fontanelle, to Miss Anna Bell, by whom he has had one child --- Rilla L. Mr. Bates enlisted in 1864, in the 10th New York heavy artillery, and was in the engagements at Winchester, Cedar Creek, Fort Steadman, Petersburg, and several others. He was discharged on the 19th of June, 1865, and went to Petersburg, Pennsylvania, where he spent about two years, when he moved to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, where he took charge of an academy. He resigned soon after to take the professorship in the state normal school. He was there three and one-half years, when he took charge of the high school in Danville, which position he held four years, when he became principal of the high school at Shamokin, and after one year was elected city superintendent of the schools, which position he held about three years. In September, 1880, he gave up teaching, and came to Fontanelle, and was elected principal of the schools for one year, then was appointed deputy surveyor, which position he held until the fall of 1883, when he was elected surveyor of Adair county. Mr. Bates is a member of the Masonic order, and he and his wife are members of the Congregational church, he having formerly been a Presbyterian.
The following-names parties have occupied the office of coroner, in Adair county, with the year of their election:
Robert Wilson, 1857, but did not qualify
Taken from "History of Guthrie and Adair County Iowa, 1884", transcribed by Carlyss Noland