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RANEY, Henry Clay - 1912 Bio (1855-1903)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 11/4/2002 at 00:57:31

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 41-43.


Henry Clay RANEY, whose demise occurred on the 19th of August, 1903, was for twenty years one of the prominent members of the Jefferson county bar. He is one of the best known business and professional men of Fairfield, the city of his residence. His birth occurred on a farm in section 31, Cedar township, this county, on the 11th of December, 1855, his parents being William and Hannah (LOOMIS) RANEY. The father, born in Berkeley county, West Virginia, on the 10th of August, 1821, was a gentleman of Scotch-Irish descent; and an agriculturist by occupation. Removing with his parents to Greene county, Ohio, he there remained until 1844, when he came to Iowa territory by horseback on a prospecting tour. Two years later, he returned to the new state of Iowa, locating on a farm on Lick Creek, Van Buren county. On the 13th of August, 1846, he wedded Miss Emily ALEXANDER, of Greene county, Ohio, whom he brought to this state, and who passed away on the 19th of August, 1847. In 1851, William RANEY married Miss Hannah LOOMIS, and, the following year, took up his abode on a farm in Cedar township, Jefferson county. Hannah LOOMIS, a native of Ohio, came to this county with her parents in 1839. Her father, Nathaniel LOOMIS, was a gentleman of Scotch-Irish descent, and a farmer of Holmes county, Ohio. In 1891, William RANEY left the farm in Cedar township, and took up his abode in Fairfield, where he spent the remainder of his life in honorable retirement. He passed away on the 17th of October, 1892. He had been a resident of this county for four decades, and had gained an enviable reputation as a substantial agriculturist and representative citizen. His wife, surviving him for ten years, was called to her final rest on the 14th of November, 1902.

Henry Clay RANEY began his education in a district school of Cedar township, and, later, attended the academy at Birmingham, Iowa. In 1877, he entered Parsons' (sic - Parsons) College, from which he was graduated in June, 1880, being a member of the first class of graduates the institution sent out. He had completed the four-year course in three years. Having determined upon the legal profession as a life work, he read law for one year with the firm of Leggett & McKemey, and, on the 24th of August, 1882, was admitted to the bar. Subsequently, he pursued a course of office study in Chicago, preparatory to taking up the practice of law with Leggett & McKemey. After spending one year in the office of that firm, Mr. RANEY opened an office of his own, and, for twenty years, or until the time of his demise, enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the prominent members of the Jefferson county bar. His activities, however, were not confined to the practice of law. At the time of his death, he was a member of the firm of Raney Brothers, conducting the Fairfield Brick & Tile Company. He was likewise the president, and one of the organizers, of the Jefferson County Telephone Company. He proved so capable an official that he was chosen the president of the Iowa Telephone Association, and, afterward, became the chief executive officer of the Interstate Telephone Association.

On the 7th of February, 1883, Mr. RANEY was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary BOGLE, a daughter of Samuel and Rachel (WILSON) BOGLE, both of whom were natives of Perry county, Ohio; the former was born in 1832 and the latter in 1835. In 1856 they came to Iowa, locating in Lee county. The following year witnessed their removal to Van Buren county, where they continued to reside throughout the remainder of their lives. Samuel BOGLE followed farming until 1867, when he took up his abode in Birmingham, Iowa, there living retired until called to his final rest on the 27th of June, 1890. His wife passed away on the 7th of December, 1910. Unto Mr. and Mrs. RANEY were born five children, as follows: William, who died in infancy; Franklin Clay, who is employed in the advertising department of the Hershall Company of Peoria, Illinois, and who wedded Miss Hazel WORKMAN, of Mount Zion, Iowa; Ralph Bogle, who died at the age of eleven months; Ellery M., now a student in Harvard University; and Elizabeth, who attends the Fairfield public schools.

In politics, Mr. RANEY was a progressive republican and was called upon to serve the public in the line of his profession. He acted as county attorney and also as city solicitor of Fairfield, and was a member of the city council during one year. He was a pronounced prohibitionist, bitterly opposed to the sale of liquor in any of its forms, and, during his term as county attorney, waged continual war against violators of the law in this and adjoining counties. Mr. RANEY was a distinguished member of the Jefferson County Bar Association, which organization, together with the Iowa Telephone Association and the Fairfield Presbyterian church, paid glowing tributes to his memory. In boyhood, he joined the Presbyterian church and remained loyal to the tenets of that denomination throughout the remainder of his life. For twenty years, he was an earnest and active member of the Fairfield Presbyterian church and, during that entire period, was an efficient member of the board of trustees, acting as chairman of the board for fifteen years. His widow also belongs to that church. She now resides at No. 209 West Grimes street, where she took up her abode after the demise of her husband, who passed away in their home on South Main street. In the course of a successful business and professional career, Mr. RANEY gave evidence of the possession of those sterling traits of character which in every land and clime awaken confidence and regard. His memory remains as a blessed benediction to those who knew him.

I am copying this information for the benefit of genealogical research and am not related to said individuals.


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