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Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887

ALMON BLISS, of Vinton, ranks among its enterprising and highly respected citizens, and is a man of much ingenuity, is skillful as a mechanic, the patentee of the famous Vinton Washing Machine, and also Superintendent of the company, which was organized in 1885. Mr. Bliss is a native of Shawnee, Niagara Co., N. Y., and was born on the 19th day of April, 1842. He is the son of Pardon and Marietta (Finch) Bliss, from whom he received careful home training and a fair education in the common schools. He remained with his parents until he attained to years of manhood, and at the breaking out of the great Rebellion enlisted in the fall of 1861, in the 23d New York Light Artillery, which was rendezvoused at Albany. In the spring they were ordered to Washington, where they received their guns and ammunition, and the battery soon afterward was sent to Newton, N. C., and stationed near Little Washington and Morehead City. Mr. Bliss served with his regiment for three years, and at the close of his term of enlistment received an honorable discharge.

After his return from the army Mr. Bliss suffered greatly from poor health for some time. In 1866, he came westward to Toledo, Ohio, and was engaged in the shops of the Wabash Railroad. Four years later he went to Missouri, thence to California, and in 1876 became a resident of Benton County, Iowa, where he has since resided. In 1861, the Bell Washer was patented and a company formed, with which our subject was connected. They operated under the firm name of Campbell & Bliss. In 1883, the Summit was patented by William Bliss, which was a much more desirable machine, and two years later the Vinton Washing Machine Company was organized, with S. H. Watson, President, F. D. Tonney, Vice-President, H. T. Lauderbeck, Secretary, S. Stickney, Treasurer, and Almon Bliss, Superintendent. They started with a cash capital of $40,000, employ a force of thirty men, and turn out 100 machines daily.

Mr. Bliss of our sketch was married in Lucas County, Ohio, to Miss Sophia P. Thomas, and of this union there have been born four children, three of whom are living, as follows: Albert W., Susan M. and Chauncey P.  Mr. Bliss is a Master Mason, and belongs to Vinton Lodge, No. 62. He is a straightforward business man, highly respected in the community, and of unqualified enterprise and industry.

Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies"  [database online]  Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 362.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 18th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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