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Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/19/2021 at 16:12:49

HENRY R. ALTER, deceased, was one of the most wealthy and successful farmers of West Point Township, and universally respected for his honest and upright character and straightforward dealings with his fellow-men. He was a native of Washington County, Pa., his birth occuring Jan. 20, 1815, and was the second son and fifth child of Henry and Elizabeth (Reinhard) Alter, who were of German parentage and ancestry. His mother died at the age of forty-nine years, in 1835: his father was married a second time, and departed this life in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

In 1840 Mr. Alter removed from the place of his birth into Beaver County, Pa., where he became quite extensively engaged in the oil business, but having an opportunity to dispose of his interests at a good profit, he sold out and resolved to seek a home beyond the Mississippi. It was not until 1865, however, that he finally established himself in Lee County. He purchased a good farm in West Point Township, and subsequently became the proprietor of 800 acres, most of which lie on section 3. It is nearly all prairie land, and the greater part of it improved. Mr. Alter was remarkably successful in his agricultural pursuits, and during the latter part of his life was extensively engaged in the buying and selling of cattle.

The subject of our sketch, in early manhood, was married to Miss Elizabeth Weirich, and of this union there were born two children—Henry H. and Frances E. The mother of these children died in 1811. She was of (German descent, and was reared and educated in Washington County, Pa. In 1812 Mr. Alter was married a second time, to Miss Mary Anna Hazen, of Beaver County, Pa. Of this marriage there were born six children, one of whom, Samuel H., is deceased. The living are Christmas E., Eliza A. and Luzetta (twins), Josephus and David R. The mother of these children died in Beaver County, Nov. 10, 1859.

Mr. Alter was married the third time, to Mrs. Nancy (Dean) McCreary, daughter of Noah and Elizabeth (Emery) Dean, natives respectively of Huntingdon and Mercer Counties, Pa. They spent their entire lives on a farm, and died in Pennsylvania, in that part of Lawrence County which was formerly a part of Mercer County. The father departed this life in 1 870, at the age of sixty -six years ; the mother survived him fourteen years, dying on the 7th of October, 1884, at the advanced age of over eighty-three years. They were most worthy and excellent people, highly esteemed in their community, and were prominently connected with the Baptist Church. Mr. Dean was a very successful man in his agricultural and business pursuits, and accumulated a large property. He was a solid Republican politically, a man of great force of character, and used his influence in support of whatever he believed the truth and right.

Mrs. Nancy Alter was born upon the homestead of her parents in what is now Lawrence County, Pa., May 12, 1832. She received a good education in the public schools and remained with her parents until she was united in marriage with Mr. Pearson McCreary, who died in Lawrence County, leaving his widow with two children, one of whom, William N., is now deceased. The other son, Willis P., was married to Miss Mary B. Green, and is practicing law in Hastings, Neb. She was united in marriage with Mr. Alter Oct. 6, 1859, and by this last union became the mother of five children, of whom the record is as follows: Lizzie A. is the wife of Fred Davis, and they live near Larned, Kan., on a farm, they are both semi-mutes—they can talk but are deaf; Mr. Davis lost his hearing at the age of seven years from scarlet fever; his wife became deaf at the age of five years from spotted fever. They were both well educated at the Deaf and Dumb Institute at Iowa City and were also in the school at Council Bluffs. Elmer T. is married to Nettie L. Martin, and manages the homestead for his mother. Emma L. and Eva L., twins, are finely educated and reside at home; Minnie R. is attending school at Danville, Iowa. Mr. Alter was killed by a horse on the 20th of August, 1885.

A large part of the members of the family are connected with the Baptist Church, and are well known throughout Lee County, and held in the highest esteem. They occupy a fine dwelling, and the land is supplied with all the appliances for carrying on agriculture in a first-class manner. It is beautifully located, and forms one of the pleasantest spots in the landscape of Lee County.


Transcription typed/proofed as article was originally published in 1887


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