WILLIAM W. MEANS is one of the early settlers of Vinton, and was employed, as indeed were all the pioneers of the day, in subduing nature, building cabins, clearing land, breaking prairie, etc. He was born in Portage County, Ohio, on the 14th day of June, 1832, and is a son of William P. Means, a native of Carlisle County, Pa., and Alvira P. (Merriman) Means, born in Portage County, Ohio. William W. was their only child. His father was a cabinet-maker by trade, and followed his trade in Ft. Wayne, Ind. In 1859 he came to Benton County, and made this his home during the remainder of his life. He died in 1870, after having passed a life of usefulness in the community in which he resided, and his neighbors and old friends unitedly bear testimony to his sterling worth, integrity and valuable services as a frontier citizen. His wife preceded him to that brighter home some five years. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, highly respected and favorably known throughout the county.
William W. Means, the subject of this sketch, was reared and educated in his native county, and, though he never attended college, he has, by studious habits and being a close observer, obtained a practical knowledge that has served him to good purpose. In 1855, not being satisfied with the limited resources of the county of his birth, he came to Vinton. and on the 13th day of December, 1863, he volunteered, from the inspiration of patriotism, and enlisted in Co. D. 28th Iowa Vol. Inf., and participated in several battles. After the Red River expedition he was on detached duty for five months as wardmaster. At the expiration of this time he was sent to Savannah, Ga., to rejoin his regiment, which shortly afterward was sent to Hilton Head. S. C. He was here on detached duty in the hospital, and for a short time was in charge of the morgue. Returning to his regiment on the 14th day of August, 1865. he received an honorable discharge, after which he returned to Vinton, where for several years he continued to work at his trade of carpentering. He has held many local offices, the duties of which were faithfully and conscientiously discharged, and for the last eleven years he has served the city of Vinton as City Marshal.
He of whom we write became a benedict May 27, 1852, that being the date of his marriage with Miss S. E. Slattery. Mrs. Means was born in Geneseo, N. Y., Nov. 2, 1830. They have a happy family of six children, viz.: Harriet K., Alice M., Fannie C., Zude R., William T. and Edward C.Mr. Means is a member of P. M. Coder Post, G. A. R., and the Benton County Veteran Association. he is singularly modest and retiring in disposition, genial in address, generous to a fault, and his friends are as numerous as his acquaintances.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 192-193.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.