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Abel W. Daugherty


Posted By: volunteer transcriber
Date: 6/21/2004 at 23:40:54

Abel W. Daugherty was born in Spencer, Medina County, Ohio, June 1, 1834, being the eighth of a family of thirteen children – three girls and ten boys. His ancestors were of Scotch-Irish descent. His father’s father, William Daugherty, having been born in Ulster, County Antrim, Ireland, while his father’s mother, Ellen McKeever, was born just across the North Channel, in Scotland. His maternal ancestors were of pure Scotch descent, all of his ancestors were Protestants and Methodists, those of his father having been converted under the preaching of Brother John Wesley’s helpers, and both had seen as well as heard Mr. Wesley preach. The parents of the father of Mr. Daugherty emigrated to this country in about the year 1794, and settled in Bennington, VT., where his father, Charles Daugherty, was born, October 3, 1797. The family subsequently removed to Webster, Monroe County, New York, and in 1833 the parents of the subject of this sketch, with a family of seven children – two girls and five boys – moved to Spencer, Ohio. The journey having been made by teams to buffalo, N.Y., thence by vessel on Lake Erie to Cleveland, and thence again by teams through a densely timbered country to their new home, about forty miles southwest of Cleveland. On the latter part of the journey their only guides, for a greater portion of the distance, was the “blazed” forest trees, marked by the axe of the surveyor, while the party camped by night and did their cooking in the open air in primitive emigrant fashion. Arriving at their destination, a log cabin was speedily erected, which afforded the parents and their increasing family shelter for many years after.

The childhood days of Mr. Daugherty were passed on his father’s farm, and he grew to manhood as the large forest trees were falling before the sharp edge of the woodman’s axe, wielded by the strong arms of his father and elder brothers.

He received a common school education at the district school. Books were scarce and difficult to obtain, hence the information gained by reading was necessarily limited, but when sixteen years of age, his father placed him under the care of the family physician in the village to pursue the study of medicine under his direction. Young Daugherty, with his limited education, found his studies too difficult to master, and decided upon a higher education before pursuing his course of studies in medicine. Being without means, and his father unable to assist him, he applied and received from the county school superintendent a certificate and engaged a district school for the winter of 1851-2 at $13 per month, out of which he saved sufficient money to attend Oberlin College during the following summer. He followed this course for four years teaching during the winter months and attending College during the summer but never resumed the study of medicine.

In December, 1854, he married Miss H.M. Cook, an estimable young lady of Spencer, and the following spring moved to Iowa, locating in Elkader, Clayton County, teaching school with the assistance of his wife, during the winters of 1855– 6. The following spring he entered the dry goods store of S. Ellsworth, as clerk, and continued his employ until the autumn of 1857, when the “wildcat” money panic swept over the Western States, demoralizing all kinds of business to an alarming extent. He, his wife and only child, returned to Ohio, his former home, to spend the winter.

In the spring of 1858, he engaged as clerk in the dry-goods department of the mercantile house of Starre, Foote & Co., of Wellington, O., where he remained about seven years.

Owing to the ill health of his wife, in January, 1864, he removed with his family back to Iowa, locating as before in the village of Elkader, where he pursued the mercantile business for a number of years.

It was not his privilege, as it would have been his pleasure, at the breaking out of the Civil War to enlist in the cause of the great national struggle for the preservation of the Union, as he felt a keen interest in the stirring events of the dark days which brooded over this country, and for the ultimate success in the perpetuity of out glorious Government.

Circumstances over which he had no control alone prevented him from enlisting and compelled him to remain at home to provide and care for an invalid wife and only child. All the energies he possessed were used in assisting and doing for those in the field in many laudable ways, and possibly did more for the cause than had he enlisted in the active service of the Government.

His wife, whom he married in 1854, died in 1866, after a lingering illness of five years, leaving him in charge of any only child, a daughter, who at that time was ten years old. She has since grown to womanhood and possesses many, if not all, the noble traits of character inherited from her sainted mother.

He continued in the mercantile business in Elkader until the fall of 1873.

During the winter of 1869 he made the acquaintance of a Miss Jennie E. Stout, daughter of H.L. Stout, of Dubuque, Iowa, and was united in marriage the following November, 1870. He has been blessed in this union by the birth of four children, three sons and one daughter, Charles, Henry, Edwin Stout, Evelyn D., George S., all of whom are living, with the exception of the youngest of the four, who died in 1885.

In the fall of 1873, having disposed of his business in Elkader, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa, and engaged with the Knapp, Stout & Co., lumber manufacturers, and continued in the employ for about seven years.

In January, 1881, he was elected secretary and treasurer of the Farley & Loetscher Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds, etc., Dubuque, Iowa, which position he has held for eleven years. The great manufacturing establishment, under his management during this time, has increased from a comparatively small, inconsiderate work shop to one of magnificent, proportions, and its trade reaches nearly every State and territory in the Union. Its specialty in producing fine interior house finishing material in all the different kinds of hardwood commands a trade from New York City to the Pacific Coast.

On the organization of the Dubuque Board of Trade about the year 1888, Mr. Daugherty was elected first vice-president, Mr. C.H. Eighmey being elected president, which position the latter resigned soon after the organization and he, as first vice-president assuming the duties of the president until the annual election in January, 1889, at which time he was elected president, and re-elected for two successive years, holding the position at this time, November 16, 1891.

In the fall of 1881 he was nominated on the Democratic Legislative ticket and elected to represent the city and county of Dubuque in the Lower House of the Nineteenth General Assembly, the position being unsought by him he made repeated efforts to convince the Assembly upon its convening that his predecessor, Hon. W.J. Knight, could occupy the seat if he left the same vacant, but they refused to establish the precedent, and he consequently took his seat in the House and remained to the close of the session. His political influence has always been cast with the Democratic party, both state and national, though his business relations have been such as to prevent any active life in politics. However, in the spring of 1893, being urged to accept the nomination for the mayoralty of Dubuque, believing it his duty as a citizen, he accepted and was elected to that position in April of that year.

It was during his residence in Wellington, Ohio, that he first saw Masonic light; being initiated in Wellington Lodge, No. 127, F. & A.M., August 24th, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, September 21st, and “raised” to the sublime degree of Master Mason, December 15, 1858.

He advanced to the honorary degree of M.M.M. in Marshall Chapter, No. 47, Elyria, Ohio, March 5, 1863, and on March 19th, same year, “elected and presided” in the chair and on the same evening was received and acknowledged Most Excellent Master, and on April 2nd following exalted to the august and sublime degree of a Royal Arch Mason.

Having once espoused the cause of Masonry he became devotedly attached to the order. Finding as he did at each progressive step new beauties constantly unfolding in the beautiful system of its symbolic teachings, by allegorical figures, and the impressive formula of its rituals. Having wrought diligently in the quarries and brought up many a rough Ashler fitted for the builder’s use. Having traversed the mysterious labyrinths of the temple in search of hidden treasures concealed in its mystic vaults, and having found the long-lost treasure so sacredly deposited by the grand masters of ancient craft Masonry, it naturally aroused in him a still further desire to continue his search for more light and knowledge in the mystic grades, and consequently petitioned for and received the orders conferred in Honorious Commandery, No. 8, K.T., stationed at McGregor, Iowa, in the years 1867-8.

He was consecrated to the orders of high priesthood at Mt. Pleasant in 1869.

“Passed the circle” Royal and Selected Masters, conferred on him by the grand council of Iowa, at its annual session held in Dubuque in 1874.

He received the degrees conferred in El-Kahir temple, “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,” Cedar Rapids, January 15, 1887.

The consistory grades Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masonry, were communicated to him by T.S. Parvin, Sovereign Inspector General for Iowa, southern jurisdiction, 4th degree to 32nd inclusive, at Dubuque, Iowa, December 15, 1887, in behalf of DeMolay Consistory at Lyons, Iowa, by which he had been elected, but was unable to attend.

The official relations of Mr. Daugherty with the various Masonic bodies many be summarized as follows:

He assisted in organizing Harmony Chapter, No. 41, Elkader, Iowa and served as it High Priest for the 1868-69-70-71-73. As High Priest of Dubuque Charter, No. 3, Dubuque, Iowa for the years 1875-76-77-78-83.

He was elected Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Iowa at its annual convocation in 1876, and served as Grand High Priest for the years 1878 and 1879.

At the annual convocation of the Grand Chapter in 1878 the Cryptic degrees were merged into Capitular Masonry. The Grand Council Royal and Select Masters disbanded entirely in the jurisdiction of Iowa.

The Grand Chapter in accepting the sacred trust of conferring the Cryptic grades in the subordinate Chapters increased the duties not only of the Grand High Priest, but all the officers of the subordinate Chapters. Many of the newly elected, High Priests and officers of the subordinate Chapters had never received the Council grades and to confer them necessitated a visit from the Grand High Priest, or his officers, to prepare them to discharge the task imposed.

At the annual conclave of the Grand Commandery of the Commandery of Iowa. This high honor was accorded him for long and faithful service in the Order. And the trust thus confided was held sacred in all his relations with the valiant Knights over whom he was elected to preside.

Mr. Daugherty has always considered it a pleasure to be an active Mason in all his relations with that noble and time-honored body.

Since 1874 he has been a member of Metropolitan Lodge, No. 49, F. & A.M.; Dubuque Chapter, No. 3, Royal Arch Masons, and Siloam Commandery, No. 3, K.T., all of Dubuque, Iowa, and has served each of these bodies as its presiding officer, and in many more of the subordinate stations during these years.

In all the Masonic bodies, both Grand and subordinate, he has many warm friends who honor him for his pure character.

Mr. Daugherty is a man of large experience in business and the affairs of men, of great political tact, commingling with unswerving integrity of character, genial and polished in all his associations of public and private life, a good citizen who will never fail to seize upon the main chance when any effort of his can promote the honor and glory of his city. Mr. Daugherty’s record furnished a proud example of what a self-made man may do in setting the seal of success upon his own life and in honoring the city and State of his adoption as one of their truly representative men.

-source: The Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Representative Men of Chicago, Iowa and the World's Columbian Exposition. Chicago and New York: American Biographical Publishing, 1893; pgs. 352-357

-transcribed for Clayton co. IAGenWeb
by Lisa Hanson-Braun

Portrait of Abel W. Daugherty


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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