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William Bradford Means


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/13/2010 at 17:54:30

Prominent among the energetic, farsighted and successful business men of Boone is William Bradford Means, who is conducting a real estate, loan, abstract and insurance business under the firm style of Means Brothers, with offices in the Mason building. The firm was organized in 1893 and through the intervening years to the present has conducted a gradually increasing business, its clientage being now an extensive and gratifying one. William B Means is thoroughly conversant with the realty that is upon the market and has negotiated many important property transfers.
A native of Illinois, he was born near Paris, on February 5, 1846, and is a son of John C Means, who was a farmer of Illinois and a prominent man of affairs in Edgar county, where he filled the office of sheriff and had other important connections with the public interests. In politics he was a stanch republican.
No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for William B Means in his boyhood. He appreciated the value of a liberal education and entered Miami University, form which he was graduated in the class of 1869. A year later, when a young man of about twenty-four years, he came to Iowa and settled in Boonesboro. Having taken up the study of law, he was admitted to the bar and in the succeeding year entered into partnership with William R Lawrence, who later was United states district judge at Muskogee, Oklahoma. Although Mr Lawrence was also a lawyer, neither partnership was not formed for the practice of law but for the conduct of the Boone County Advocate, the name of which paper they afterward changed to the Boone County Republican, while at the present time it is known as the New-Republican. The partnership with Mr Lawrence was continued for a brief period of and Mr Means then became sole proprietor of the paper. For a time, however, he was in partnership Andrew J Downing in the republican of the paper, with which he was continuously associated for fourteen years. In the meantime he had become connected with the real estate, loan, abstract and insurance business, and in 1893 he was joined by his brother Thomas E Means in a partnership that has since existed under the firm style of means Brothers. Thy now have a large clientage and their business n its various departments is proving very profitable. Mr Means is regarded as an expert valulator of property and is familiar with every phase of the real estate business, knowing exactly what is upon the market and at what price it can probably be obtained.
At different times Mr Means ahs divided his time with political duties. IN 1891 he became the postmaster of Boone under President Harrison and filled that position for four years. He was then reappointed by President McKinley for term of four years an again by President Roosevelt., thus continuing to serve until January 1906, or for a period of twelve years and three months. He systematized the work of the office, placing it upon a thoroughly business basis, and the promptness and fidelity with which he cared of the interests of the public made him a most efficient officer in that connection. He voted with the republican party until 1912, when he supported Roosevelt.
In 1872 Mr Means was untied in marriage to Miss Helen C Dennison, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of N W Dennison, an early and prominent lawyer of Boonesboro, who was also an editor and early newspaper man here. He came to this section of the state in the early 50ís and while he engaged in the practice of law, he also devoted a number of years to journalistic interests. He died before the war, at the comparatively early age of thirty-six years, and the community mourned the loss of one who had come to be looked upon as a most progressive and representative citizen. Mrs Means was the only daughter in a family of three children, and both of her brothers died in early life, one passing away in infancy. The death of Mrs Means occurred in Boone county in 1905. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, to which her husband also belongs. She is survived by two sons and two daughters, while one child of the family has passed away. Those still living are: John C who is in charge of the money order department of the post office at Boone, Mrs G M Woodruff of Mason City, Iowa, William Edgar also in the post office, and Mary L the wife o E I Hannum of Boone, who is a member of the dry goods firm of J H Rickenberg & Company. Mr Means has eight grandchildren. Today he is well known and under the firm name of Means Brothers is conducting a profitable business, which has gained him recognition as one of the leading and representative business men of the county.

1914 Boone County History Book


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