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Henry M. Dysart


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/2/2001 at 18:31:14

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Henry M. Dysart, editor and proprietor of the Milton Herald, was born near Farmington, Marshall County Tennessee, November 19, 1841, and is the son of Milton H. and Harriet C. Neill Dysart, who were also natives of the same state. His education was acquired in a subscription school which was taught alternately by his father and mother, this being the only means of education, as the common school system was not then in operation in that part of the state. His parents seeing the inevitable conflict with slavery approaching, determined to remove to a free state, consequently, at considerable financial sacrifice they removed to Iowa, arriving at their destination—Troy, Davis County—on April 11, 1954. Henry M. was reared on the farm and attended the Troy Academy until November 12, 1860, after which he taught a winter’s term of school. Although his early life was spent in a slave state, he opposed that institution, and on September 26, 1861 enlisted in the service of his country. On May 1, 1863, he was captured at LaGrange Arkansas and for four months was held prisoner at Little Rock, after which he was discharged. He returned to active service and remained with his command until the term of enlistment had expired. He participated in the battles of LaGrange, and Pea Ridge Arkansas, and in various skirmishes and campaigns. He was accidentally wounded in camp at Little Rock in April 1864, while on duty, but otherwise escaped uninjured. After three years of warfare in the South, he received his discharge from the service September 19, 1864.
On returning from the war, Mr. Dysart engaged in the mercantile business at Troy, Iowa, which he continued until 1870 when he sold out and removed to Bloomfield of the same county. The real estate business there engrossed his attention, and he made many excellent improvements at that place. His residence in Milton covers a period of nineteen consecutive years. On here locating in 1871, he engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, G.S. Dysart, but after two years that connection was discontinued and he accepted the appointment of Postmaster of Milton from President Grant, his commission bearing date 1872. He continued to hold office until the year 1873, when he resigned and was employed as traveling salesman, continuing his services in that capacity until 1878, when he was again appointed Postmaster by President Arthur, and retained the office until Grover Cleveland had been on year President, when he resigned in March 1886 and bought out the Milton Herald, which he has edited and published continuously since. After speaking of the Milton Headlight, which it says was started in October 1876 and suspended in March 1878, the county history of 1878 says: “The Milton Herald was started in April 1878 and is now run by McNeil and Baxter.” Mr. Dysart purchased it in 1886 of Mr. Baxter. It was then a seven- column folio with a very limited patronage, but under the management of its present proprietor it has been increased one column in width and very largely in circulation and material, until now it is one of the leading papers of the blue grass region of southern Iowa. It is independent in politics and devoted largely to the interests of Milton, and to that of Van Buren and neighboring counties.
Mr. Dysart was married in Troy Iowa, on October 2, 1867 to Miss Jan Olivia Bruce, daughter of Amor and Margaret Bruce. Mrs. Dysart was born in Dearborn County Indiana and on her father’s side is of Scotch ancestry. They have two children, a son and a daughter—Paul, born in Troy July 22, 1868; and Chloe, born in Milton November 7, 1883. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are highly respected citizens of the community. Mr. Dysart is one of the enterprising business men of Milton, and is an honored member of Charles W. Fisher Post, No. 433, G.A.R. of Milton, and of Jackson Lodge No. 28, K.P., in both of which he held all the offices. He has served one term as Mayor of Milton, and has just recently been elected for the sixth consecutive year as Secretary of the Milton District Agricultural Society, a flourishing organization in the district.
I am not related, and am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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