Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa
Union Publ. Co. Springfield IL. 1883.

"B" Biographies:  Babcock - Burnham

Compiled & Contributed by Susan Steveson

Rodolphus Babcock

[Page 959] Rodolphus Babcock has been a resident of Mason City since the spring of 1870, when he established the first gentlemen's furnishing store in the city. He was born in Cortland Co., N. Y., Nov. 8, 1831. His parents, Rouse and Lucinda (Gilbert) Babcock, had four sons and four daughters. The father was a Baptist clergyman and spent his life in earnest Christian work. He came to Henry Co., Ill., in 1856, and afterwards went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he died in 1863. Mr. Babcock, of this sketch, acquired a substantial education and was a teacher a number of years. He has been of late years engaged in insurance business, and was elected secretary of the Farmer's Insurance Company of Cedar Rapids, in 1861, and in 1868, secretary of the Fire and Tornado Insurance Company, of Clinton, Iowa, and so remained until 1871. He has been in insurance business, either as local or general agent, since 1859. Mr. Mary E. Schermerhorn, born in Otsego Co., K Y., in 1837. They, have two children —Willis A. and Arthur R.

John G. Bailey

[Page 920] John G. Bailey is an early settler of Cerro Gordo county. He resides on section 33, Portland township, and now owns 160 acres. He was born in Cambridgeshire, England, May 22, 1838. His parents were John and Phoebe Bailey. About the year 1853 his father's family came to the United States, and settled in McHenry Co., Ill., where the father died in 1866, and the mother in 1881. There were eleven children in his father's family — Phoebe, now Mrs. Andrews; Amelia, now Mrs. James Coleman; Ruth, now Mrs. John Sutton; John G., Mary Ann, deceased; Richard, who enlisted in company H, 95th Illinois, was wounded at the battle of Vicksburg, and was afterwards killed in the battle of Guntown, Mississippi; Frederick, Hattie, now Mrs. Abner R. Stilson; Emma, now Mrs. C. R. Franklin; Charles and Fuller. John G. Bailey enlisted in 1802 in company H, 95th Illinois, and served three years.

On his return from the war he married Miss L. L. Stilson, daughter of S. S. and Eleanor Stilson. They have two daughters — Lillie and Ella.

A. J. Barker

[Page 924] A. J. Barker, manager of Rock Rest Farm, has been a resident of the estate thus designated since April, 1878. It includes something over 200 acres of land, and is the property of Mrs. Harriet Cramer, wife of the well known William E. Cramer, of Milwaukee. It is located on sections 7 and 18, Portland township, and was purchased in April, 1878, with the purpose of getting it in proper condition for a stock farm of the most approved character, which project has been developed, Mrs. Cramer sparing no expense in accomplishing her purpose. The attractive, simple style of Rock Rest Farm was contributed by some young ladies, who found rest and happiness in the shadow of a large boulder lying on the farm. The year following her purchase, Mrs. Cramer expended upwards of $5,000 in the construction of a suitable dwelling and barn, and since that time much time, labor and money has been consumed in placing the farm in the best possible condition. Mr. Barker is a brother of Mrs. Cramer. He was born in Marquette Co., Wis., in 1857, and is the son of C. G. and Alice (Doyle) Barker. He was brought up on a farm, and was a resident of Wisconsin until the purchase of the farm he occupies, by his sister, when he took possession as manager. Mr. Barker was married in October, 1874, to Mary, daughter of L. T. and Mary A. Price.

Rial Barney

[Page 911] Among the settlers coming prior to 1876 to Owen township was Rial Barney. Rial Barney was born in the town of Grafton, N. H., June 8, 1831. When but two years old he moved to Lowell, Mass., remaining there two years, thence to Maine and spent two years. From there he moved to Manchester, N. H., where he remained until he was seventeen years old and then removed to Illinois. In January, 1853, he was married to Elizabeth Prickett, a native of England. He bought a farm in McHenry county, and resided there till 1866, then moved to section 34 of Portland township. He remained there until 1882, when he built a frame house in Owen township on the southeast quarter of section 3, on land that he had previously purchased. In June of that year he moved to this place. Mr. and Mrs. Barney are the parents of eight children - Belle, Henrietta, Frank, Warren, Clyde, Katie, Delton and Clarence.

William O. Barnard

[Page 1004] William O. Barnard, another extensive lime burner and shipper, also dealer in hard and soft coal, was born in Otsego Co., N. Y., March 4, 1819. His parents were Charles E. and Laurinda (Osborn) Barnard. The subject of this sketch received a liberal education, and at the age of seventeen went to New York city, where he was employed as clerk by Plum, Crandall & Co., whom he served about one year. In 1840 he went to Cortland Co., N. Y. embarking in the mercantile trade. A year later he married Catharine E. Allyn. In 1862 he sold his business and engaged in the manufacture of wooden ware, employing as many as sixty men. In 1866 his establishment was destroyed by fire, causing him a loss of $12,000. In 1871 he came to Mason City. Mr. and Mrs. Barnard are the parents of two children — Laurinda S., wife of William H. Allyn, Jr., and Lucias A., of the firm of Barnard & Son. Mrs. Barnard died in 1879.

Jacob Bauer

[Page 924] Jacob Bauer came to the county and purchased his present farm and has since been a resident of Portland township, where he owns 160 acres of land which he has changed from the raw prairie to a well improved farm. Mr. Bauer was born in Jefferson Co., Wis., Jan. 1, 1855, his parents being John and Barbara Bauer. He helped till the soil, and in 1876 married Minerva Hake. She was also born in Wisconsin. They at once came to Iowa. They They have one son - Arthur. In politics he is a democrat; in religious views, Evangelical.

George Beck

[Page 859] George Beck, clerk of Grimes township, is a native of the Keystone State; born in Cumberland county, Oct. 18, 1852. He is the son of David and Amy Beck. His parents went in 1854 to La Fayette Co., Wis., and in 1864 came to Iowa and settled in Floyd county, where they still reside.

Mr. Beck was married in 1872 to Francis R. Cook, of Wisconsin, at which time he again became a resident of La Fayette county, in that State. In 1879 he came to Chapin, Franklin county, and in the winter of 1880 settled on section 32, of Grimes township. Mr. and Mrs. Beck have six children — David, William, Francis, Christopher, Ida and Ira.

Mr. Beck is a subscriber to the principles of the National greenback party. He has filled various township offices.

James M. Becker

[Page 969] James M. Becker was born in Bradford Co., Penn., Aug 8, 1839. He is a son of Captain David and Fannie (Benham) Becker. His parents emigrated to Carroll Co., Ill. in 1843, where they spent the last years of their lives. James M. was reared in Carroll county, and in 1864 he enlisted in the 164th regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, company A. His regiment was placed on duty at Springfield, Ill.

In 1866 he married Ellen C. Cummings, of Vermont. They have had five children, three of whom were living in 1883 — Fannie, Lorenzo and Ruth.

Becker came to Mason City in 1870. In politics he is a republican. He belongs to the A. O. U. W. and G. A. R.

C. J. Behr

[Page 846] C. J. Behr has been a resident on section 6, since 1873. He has a fine farm of 320 acres, well improved, containing the finest apple orchard in the township. He was born in Dubuque Co., Iowa, in 1847, to which place his father, John Behr, had emigrated from Germany, in 1846, and where he still resides. C. J. Behr married Barbara Conrad, also a native of Dubuque county, and has two children — Maggie and Charlie H., both born in the township. He came to the county a year previous to locating on his farm, which he purchased from George C. Talmon, a nonresident.

Rev. Loomis Benjamin

[Page 839] Rev. Loomis Benjamin was one of the pioneer preachers of Cerro Gordo county. He came to Franklin Co., Iowa, in the spring of 1860, and preached both in Franklin and Cerro Gordo counties, and probably preached the first sermon in Geneseo township. He was well known and held in high esteem by all who knew him. He was born in the State of New York, in 1801. He began the ministry in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church when twenty-five years of age, and continued in the ministry until the time of his death, preaching a sermon the Sabbath preceding his death. He was twice married and had ten children, five of whom are now living. He died Oct. 22, 1879.

Wesley Benner

[Page 940] Wesley Benner came to the county in 1872, stopped one winter in Clear Lake, then settled on section 21, where he had previously purchased 280 acres. He now has 200 acres of the same land under cultivation, and has a good residence.

He was born in Licking Co., Ohio, Oct. 10, 1825. His parents were William and Sarah Benner. He was left fatherless when only eighteen months old. His mother with her two children returned to the home of her parents. Here Wesley was reared on his grandfather's farm, and in 1846 enlisted in the 2d Ohio regiment, under Col. Morgan, and served one year in the Mexican war. He then returned to Ohio but soon went to Miami Co., Ind., where his grandparents had removed.

In 1849 he married Maria L. Bean, a native of Ohio. In 1855 he came to Iowa and resided in Wapello county until he came to Cerro Gordo county. They have had nine children, four of whom are now living - Sarah E., now Mrs. William Dryden; O.A., Celesta J., now Mrs. D. M. Tice, and Ida May. In politics he is a republican. He has been township trustee and president of the school board. Religiously he is a Methodist Episcopal.

Abram Bennett

[Page 876] The first settlers on the prairie were Abram Bennett and Mr. Gardner. Bennett located on section 6, in 1855, and Gardner on section 9. Gardner remained a year or two and removed to Spirit Lake, where he and all but two of his family were killed by the Indians in the spring of 1857. Bennett removed to Colorado and died.

Christian L. Berlin

[Page 818] Christian L. Berlin was born in Germany, March 13, 1837. At the age of fourteen years, he left school to learn the cooper's trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years, after which he worked as a journeyman eighteen months where he learned the details of his chosen calling. He traveled in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, working at his trade at intervals during six years, when he made his way back to Germany.

In 1863 he came to the United States. He landed at New York and spent a year there and in Hoboken, when he went to Cattaraugus county and engaged in farming four years. In 1868 he settled at Rock Falls, Iowa where he found employment at his trade. In 1872 he bought a tract of land on section 23, of which, however, he did not enter into possession until three years later. He made extensive improvements and constructed substantial buildings. He has now 295 acres of land.

Mr. Berlin was married in 1863 to Sophia Steinhagen. Their living children are - Lottie, Rudolph, Lizzie, August, Charlie and Sophia.

John Bishop

[Page 922] John Bishop has resided, since March, 1870, on section 14, Portland township, where he owns eighty acres of land. He was born in Stark Co., Ohio, Oct. 13, 1842, being the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Weaver) Bishop. His mother died when he was three years of age and he lived with his sister, Elizabeth, wife of Solomon Miller. At the age of seventeen he commenced the world for himself, and in 1862 enlisted in company I, 76th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving one year, when he was discharged on account of physical disability. He then returned to Ohio and in 1865 went to Will Co., Ill., where he remained until he came to Iowa, in 1870. In 1872 he married Lucinda
Spotts, daughter of Samuel and Sophia (Beltz) Spotts. They have six children — Nathaniel, Frank, Alice, Edward, Mary and Laura.

Mr. Bishop is a republican in politics, and in religion is an Evangelical.

M. E. Bitterman

[Page 921] M. E. Bitterman is a prominent and reliable citizen of Portland township. He is closely associated with the progress and best interests of the community of which he is a member; has held most of the local offices of trust, such as township trustee, treasurer, assessor and school director. He has been a resident of the county since March, 1870, when he settled on section 11, of this township, on eighty acres which he had purchased fifteen years previous. He has added to his possessions until he now owns a tract of 280 acres under a good degree of cultivation, where he is operating to a considerable extent as a stock farmer. He was born in Ohio, Aug. 26, 1843, and is a son of Frederick and Margaret Bitterman. At the age of seventeen years he went to Illinois and engaged in farming, and also bought and shipped hay — at that time a prominent article of traffic.

In 1866 he was married at Lockport, Will county, to Sarah, daughter of George and Catharine Heinselman. They have six children — J. Calvin, Edward, Jennie, Trullie, Mary and Clinton.

Mr. Bitterman is a republican and is connected with the Evangelical Association.

W. W. Blood

[Page 1002] W. W. Blood, builder and contractor, came to Mason City in the spring of 1881. He employs from five to ten men and has superintended the construction of some of the finest buildings in northern Iowa. Among them the Parker Opera House at Mason City.

Mr. Blood was born in Saratoga Co., N. Y. His parents, Sylvester and Hannah (Handy) Blood, were natives of the same State. They removed with their family to Delaware Co., Iowa, where Mr. Blood, of this sketch, grew to manhood. At the age of twenty-one years he commenced to learn the trade which he has since followed. He enlisted in August, 1862, in company K, 21st Iowa Volunteers, and was under fire at Vicksburg, Grand  Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, and he was one season in Missouri among the bushwhackers. He was mustered out at Baton Rouge, La., and discharged at Clinton, Iowa. After the close of the war he returned to Delaware county, where he pursued his trade. He was married in 1860 to Lizzie Bryan, of Ohio. They have four children — Pearl, Edwin, Byron and Lyle. Mr. Blood went to Nora Springs, in 1869, where he remained eleven years. He belongs to the Baptist Church, and is a member of the Odd Fellows' order and of the A.O.U.W.

James E Blythe

[Page 638] James E. Blythe, senior member of the law firm of Blythe & Markley, of Mason City, was born in Cranberry, N. J., Jan. 20, 1855. His parents settled in Jefferson Co., Ind., when he was two years old. There he grew up and received the benefit of the common schools. He entered Hanover College in 1870, from which he graduated in 1877. He came to Mason City in August of that year, and began the study of law in the office of Goodykoontz & Wilbur. He was admitted to the bar the following year, and formed a partnership with the senior member of the firm where he studied law. In September, 1880, the firm became Goodykoontz, Blythe & Wheeler. This relation was of brief duration. In September, 1881, the firm became Goodykoontz, Blythe & Markley. The senior member withdrew after a short time. The firm is adjudged one of the strongest and ablest law firms in Cerro Gordo county and is doing a heavy business. Mr. Blythe was married in June, 1881, to Grace B., daughter of J. B Smith, of Queensville, Ind. They have one child — Maud A.

T. M. Blythe

[Page 651] T. M. Blythe M. D., commenced the practice of his profession at Mason City, in Aug., 1882. He came to Floyd Co., Iowa, when nineteen, and began reading medicine in the office of his half brother, Dr. S. G. Blythe. He attended his first course of lectures at Rush Medical College, Chicago, and graduated at Bellevue, N. Y., Feb. 25, 1880. He then formed a partnership with his former preceptor, remaining
with him until Dr. Blythe established himself at Mason City. He is a member of the Medical Association of Northern Iowa. He belongs to the Mason City Lodge I.O.O.F. Dr. Blythe is still a young man, but he is thoroughly read in his profession, and giving conscientious attention to the duties of an increasing business.

He was born in Vincennes, Ind., Dec. 18, 1857. His father, Joseph W. Blythe, was a native of Kentucky, and emigrated to Indiana in 1855. He was a graduate of Princeton College, and was in the ministry of the Presbyterian Church forty years. He married Miss Greene, of Trenton, N. J. They had a family of five children, who grew to adult age. The mother died in 1852, and a second marriage was contracted with Elizabeth M. Moore. From his issued nine children. The Rev. Mr. Blythe died April 25, 1875 in Charleston, Ind. Dr. Blythe, of this sketch, was a student in the literary college located at Hanover, Jefferson Co., Ind.

Henry Boble

[Page 760] Henry Boble, a resident of the southeast quarter of section 31, is a native of Iowa, born in Dubuque county, April 6, 1854. He was brought up on a farm and received his education in the district school. He was married there, in 1875, to Catherine Conrad, coming in the spring to Cerro Gordo county, buying unimproved land, upon which he now has a fine grove, a nice house and barn, and altogether is as pleasant a residence as is in the county, They have three children — John, Ray and Frank.

John Henry Boeye

[Page 794] John Henry Boeye, wagon maker, was born Aug. 18, 1830, at Wesselburen, Holstein, a province in the dominion of Denmark. His father took part in the revolt of the people against the arbitrary rule of the king of Denmark in 1848, and thereby lost his property, which was considerable. He died before the end of the war, leaving his family in straitened circumstances. At the commencement of this rebellion the revolutionists had but one cannon and three cannon balls, and those constructed for guns of other calibre. They had 1,000 muskets of a motley character, a limited supply of ammunition, and no credit. The men armed themselves with scythes, pitchforks and everything that could be adapted as a weapon, and for three years the patriots waged their righteous war under the most adverse circumstances, enduring the severest hardships with unflinching fortitude. They fought bravely for a cause worthy their sacrifices and sufferings, believing it involved their rights, and divine. Denmark formed an alliance with Prussia and Austria, and the weak succumbed to the strong. The king made a few concessions to the people and peace was restored. Mr. Boeye enlisted at seventeen in this war. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and served in that capacity to the end of the war.

His father was a carriage maker and he had learned the trade, which for a few months following the war he pursued. A draft into the service of the king, against whom he was recently in arms, was imminent, and, concluding that his absence from the Fatherland would be to his own individual interest, he took passage for America in a sailing vessel, and, after a tempestuous voyage of eighty-one days, landed at the city of New York. He was twenty-one years old, in a land of strange people, without money or friends, and wholly ignorant of the manners, customs and language. His courage and resolution proved available aids and he obtained employment in the Harlem Carriage Manufactory, where be remained a year. At its expiration he removed to St. Louis, and after a brief delay there, went to Calloway Co., Mo., and established the business of wagon and carriage making on his own account.

Here he made the most satisfactory venture of his life, one which has been the most auspicious and of the greatest interest — his marriage with Anna Katrine Dickop, which transpired Aug. 25, 1855. He did business in Calloway county three years, when he went to Chicago and worked at his trade six months. He then took up his residence at, Delhi, Delaware Co., Iowa, where he prosecuted his business and interested himself generally in social and political affairs. During this time he was warmly interested in the Davenport & St Paul Railroad, in which company he now holds some stock.

In 1874 he came to Clear Lake and opened his business anew, locating on Fourth street where he is carrying on a prosperous trade in the now celebrated "Boeye wagon." Mr. Boeye is a member of the Orders of Masons, Odd Fellows, and United Workingmen. He belonged three years to the town council and has been justice of the peace. Mr. and Mrs. Boeye have had eight children, five of whom are yet living. A. N. Boeye is private secretary of the N. W. R. R. Co., and lives at Eagle Grove. He is an attorney by profession and a stenographer. Mary A. is Mrs. S. Wilcox, wife of an attorney at Des Moines. Frank J., Anna and Ida are at home. The two oldest and the youngest child are deceased.

E. R. Bogardus

[Page 1003] E. R. Bogardus, one of the early settlers and enterprising business men of Mason City was born in Cook Co., Ill., Oct. 22, 1850. His parents were Robert and Maria (Vermilya) Bogardus, natives of Albany Co., N. Y. The family emigrated to Cook Co., Ill., in 1846, where the father died in 1851; the mother came to Mason City where she died in 1882. She was a member of the M. E. Church, and respected by all who knew her.

The subject of this sketch, when nine years old, came to Cerro Gordo county, where he lived in the family of Judge Vermilya for a number of years. In 1868 he embarked in farming, but not liking the business he abandoned it and afterwards clerked in a lumber yard. In the spring of 1873 he turned his attention to building and contracting, since which time he has erected some of the substantial buildings of Mason City, employing from ten to twelve men. In 1883 he embarked in the lumber trade.

In 1871 he was married, in Mason City, to Mary Randall, a daughter of Judge Randall, who was born in 1855 in Waterloo, Iowa. Three children blessed this union — Winifred May, Buena D. and Ernest E. Mr. and Mrs. Bogardus are active members of the Methodist Church of Mason City.

J. E. Bolton

[774] J. E. Bolton, of the firm of Lindon & Bolton, came to Clear Lake in 1877. He was born in England in 1842. He came to the United States with his parents, who settled in the town of Portland, Columbia Co., Wis.

Mr. Bolton has had a good deal of experience in buying, selling and the raising of cattle. He left Wisconsin in 1871, and went to Kansas and with J. R. Wheeler, of Columbus, Wis., bought and herded a large number of Texas cattle, but the severe winter that followed caused the loss of a large part of their herd, and the venture was not altogether a financial success. He went to Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1873, and resided some time at Northwood, Worth county. While at Northwood he was for a time associated with his present partner, Mr. Lindon, in buying and selling stock. From Northwood he went to Nebraska and came here as stated above. He resides in the village of Clear Lake where he has erected a fine residence. Mr. Bolton does most of the purchasing of stock, and is abroad much of the time while not employed.

Mrs. Bolton was formerly Mary A. Vance, born in Wisconsin. They have one son — Floyd Eugene.

C. W. Booth

[Page 865] C. W. Booth settled in Lincoln township in 1865, and Grant township in 1868. He was born in Kentucky, Sept. 9, 1823, and is the son of W. S. and Elizabeth (Witt) Booth, the former of Virginia, the latter of Kentucky. In 1827 the family emigrated to Illinois, and in 1835 to Iowa Co., Wis.

December, 1848, C. W. Booth married Susan Leach, daughter of Oliver and Susan (Knight) Leach, and came from Wisconsin to Iowa in October, 1865. Their children are — Aurelia, now Mrs. S. E. Rood; Annie, now Mrs. George Osborn; Minerva, now Mrs. Andrew Hennis; W. Oliver, Charles, Alard and Dora.

In politics Mr. Booth is of republican persuasion, and in religious matters he is an adherent of the United Brethren Church.

John W. Brainard

[Page 684] In October, 1859, John M. Brainard was elected county superintendent and served for two years. Brainard came to Cerro Gordo county as a teacher, but after the expiration of his term of office as superintendent, engaged at publishing a paper in Clear Lake. He continued this for about one year when he went into trade. Subsequently he removed to Nevada, Story county, where he published a paper, and later went to Boone county where he still lives, following the same business. Brainard waas an intelligent, energetic and well-educated fellow, and made many friends.

George Brentner

[Page 957] George Brentner entered land on section 9, which is now in the heart of the thriving city, Sept. 15, 1854.

Lee L. Brentner

[Page 944] Lee L. Brentner was born in Winnebago Co., Ill., Nov. 17, 1842, and was but twelve years of age when his parents moved to Iowa. He enlisted Aug. 22, 1862, in the 32d Iowa, company B, and served with the regiment until the close of the war. He was honorably discharged with the regiment at Clinton, Iowa, Aug. 23, 1865. Among the many battles in which he participated were the following: Ft. DeRussey, Pleasant Hill, Tupelo, Old Taner Creek and Nashville. On his return from the war, he engaged in farming with his father on section 2, and remained there until 1878, when he moved to his farm which he now occupies on section 12. In 1880 he built a large frame house, and in 1882 built a barn 24x56 feet. He was married Feb. 22, 1867, to Samantha Giddings, of Stephenson Co., Ill. They have five children living — Luther, Berley, Brooks, Warren and Arthur.

Washington Brentner

[Page 951] Washington Brentner was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio, Aug. 9, 1829. He made his home with his parents until 1850, when he went to California and engaged in mining for three years; then was engaged by the California Steam Navigation Company, and remained in their employ seventeen years. In 1872 he engaged with the Central Railroad Company, and was in their employ six years. In 1878 his father visited him in California, and he returned with him to Iowa. He spent the winter at Forest City with his sister. In the spring of 1879 he settled on his farm, where he now resides, on section 2. He was married in 1861 to Mrs. Sarah E. Roberts, who bore him four children — George G., Alfred R., who is now in California, Maud E. and Jennie E. Mrs. Brentner was born in New York city, in 1839, and died in California in 1873.

George W. Brett

[Page 965] George W. Brett was born in Boone Co., Ill., Oct. 13, 1849. His parents, William and Ellen Brett, were natives of England. They came to America about the year 1843 and located in Illinois. Their children included three daughters and one son.

Mr. Brett, Sr., went to Bremer Co., Iowa, in the fall of 1866, and took up his residence at Waverly, since which time he has been interested in land speculation, and is one of the largest holders of real estate in northern Iowa. Mr. Brett, of this sketch, settled in Mason City in 1878, chiefly for the purpose of superintending his father's business at this point. He graduated from the International Business College of Chicago, July 2, 1874.

He was married in Brandon, Wis., to Alice, daughter of Ezra Sheldon, a native of Onondaga Co., N. Y., born in March, 1851. Mr. and Mrs. Brett have two children — Bert H. and Hattie R. Mr. Brett is a member of the Knights of Pythias.

J. H. Briden

[Page 635] J. B. Briden was admitted to the bar in Cerro Gordo county in 1879, and began the practice of law at Plymouth, also engaging in the newspaper business. He was one of the poor New York boys who had been sent out in the prairie country to grow up. He was full of energy, an untiring workier, and soon gained an education. He was naturally smart, and with his other good traits will probably make his mark in life. He is now in Dakota.

Philip Brisbin

[Page 758] Philip Brisbin, one of the trustees of Bath township, was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, May 30, 1835. When seven years of age his parents moved to the United States and settled in Winnebago Co., Ill. He enlisted there, in 1862, in the 127th Illinois, company E. He participated in the siege at Vicksburg and battle of Mission Ridge, and was with Sherman on his march to the sea, participating in many battles of that memorable campaign. He was discharged with the regiment at Washington, June 5, 1865, and joined his family in Winneshiek Co., Iowa. He engaged in farming there for one year, then moved to Allamakee and engaged in farming near Waukon, remaining there until 1873, when he came to Cerro Gordo county and purchased land on section 33, Bath township. He immediately erected a house and commenced cultivating the land. He was married in 1856 to Anna M. Michael, who bore him two children named John and Charles. Mrs. Brisbin died in 1866. His second wife, to whom he was married in 1868, was Rosanna Moore. They have been blessed with four children — Ida, Luther, Elmer and Ernest.

John Broderick Sr.

[Page 805] John Broderick, Sr., is a native of Ireland, and became a resident of section 9, township of Dougherty, in 1877. He has improved his land, set out trees and made an addition to the house in which he now lives. He was born in Galway Co., Ireland, April 10, 1818. When twelve years of age he went to learn the tailor trade, which he pursued in Ireland till 1846, when he emigrated to America. He landed at Quebec, where he followed his trade four months, then went to Massachusetts and located at Lenox, and opened a tailor shop under the auspices of Peck & Co., proprietors of the Lenox Iron Works. Here he continued until 1850. when he removed to Wisconsin and settled in Dane county, where he was an early settler in Deerfield township. Here he opened a tailor shop, which he conducted two years, then bought land and engaged in farming until 1877, when he came to his present home in Iowa.

He was married in 1843 to Catharine Maloney, who bore him ten children, eight of whom are now living—John, Mary, Patrick, Margaret, Michael, Catharine, Bridget and Lawrence. Mrs. Broderick died May 3, 1882, being sixty-four years of age. Henora, the first child, died in Ireland at the age of five; Bridget, the second, died in Lenox, Mass., aged two years and three months. Lawrence, Margaret and Catharine make their home with their father. Bridget is teaching school in Mitchell county, and Michael is married and lives on section 9.

Patrick Broderick

[Page 805] Patrick Broderick became a resident of the township in 1877, locating on the southeast quarter of section 16, which he bought in that year and on which he now makes his home. He has erected a good set of buildings, set out a grove and put his farm in good cultivation. Since he came here he has taken an active interest in matters of education, and is now secretary of the school board. He was born in Lenox, Berkshire Co., Mass., Nov. 9, 1847. He was brought up to farming, and received a common school education and also four terms at Marshall Academy, in Marshall village, Wis. His parents removed to that State when he was ten years old.

He was married Nov. 30, 1871,
to Hanora Hanifin, a native of Portland, Dodge Co., Wis. He had bought a farm a few years previous on which he settled until 1877, when he came to Iowa. They are the parents of six children — Ellen, John Francis, Lydia E., Mary, Stephen and Agnes.

B. A. Brown

[Page 814] B. A. Brown, merchant and postmaster at Rock Falls, was born at Hampden, Geauga Co., Ohio, June 27, 1845. When he was an infant of six months, his parents emigrated to Wisconsin and located at East Troy, Walworth county. They again changed their residence, when he was eight years of age, to Lake Co., Ill., where they remained until I860. In that year they settled at Rock Falls, Iowa. In 1866 Mr. Brown fixed upon the calling of stone mason and plasterer as a vocation, which he pursued fourteen years. In 1880 he turned his attention to mercantile operations, in which he is still engaged. In 1882 he connected the Rock Fall's creamery with his other business.

He was married Dec. 8, 1870, to Mary A. Smith. From this marriage are two children — Richard and Maggie E. Brown.

Dwight Brown

[Page 902] Dwight Brown came to Cerro Gordo county in 1870, and settled on the east half of section 7, in the northwest portion of Lime Creek township. He was born in Windham Co., Vt., June 1, 1823. At the age of eighteen, he went to Chicopee, Mass., and was there employed several years in a cotton mill, going thence to Lowell, Mass. He there engaged as an operative in a factory. His stay in Lowell was brief and he proceeded to Fitchville, Conn., where he worked three months. At the expiration of that time, he went to Clinton, Mass., and acted as overseer of the weaving department in the Lancaster Mill, some twelve years. His first independent business venture was in the grocery and provision trade, which he operated a year, sold out and moved to Wisconsin. He bought a farm in Linden, Sauk county, where he lived ten years, and then moved to Madison. He lived there a short time and went to Charles City, Iowa. Here he engaged in farming and dairy business three years, then came to Cerro Gordo county as stated. He has interested himself quite extensively as a wheat grower. His crop in 1876 was 3,220 bushels. Mr. Brown was married Aug. 11, 1844, to Maria M. Ingalls, born in Caledonia Co., Vt. They have children as follows — Adelbert D., Frank M., Emma M., Hattie J. and Carrie E. The first child died in infancy. Frank was born in Massachusetts May 26, 1858, and died Dec. 21, 1874. Hattie was born July 23, 1859, and died Dec. 11, 1874.

Elihu Brown

[Page 949] Elihu Brown, who came to Cerro Gordo county in 1859, was born in the township of Barnard, Windsor Co., Vt., Dec. 2, 1822. When thirteen years of age he went with his parents to Ohio, and settled in Ashtabula county. He remained with his parents until he was thirty-two, then went to Monroe Co., Wis., where he was employed through the summer on a farm, and in the fall went to the Black river country and engaged in lumbering.

In 1859 he came to this county and first settled in Mason City He was married June 3, 1861. 3, 1861. For a few years he rented land on section 11 and other parts of the county. In 1871 he settled on the south west quarter of section 11, on land which he had previously bought. He has erected comfortable buildings, has good improvements and now makes this his home.

He has one child — George E.

H. L. Brown

[Page 865] H. L. Brown settled in Cerro Gordo county in 1856, and thus establishes his claim as a pioneer of the county. He was born in Rutland Co., Vt., Dec. 18, 1824. His parents were Hiram and Phebe (Atkins) Brown. They removed soon after his birth to the State of New York, and when but three years old he was left motherless. He returned to Vermont and was reared under the care of his grandfather, Philip Brown. He was reared on a farm, but on reaching his majority he learned the molder's trade.

In 1848 he married Harriet L. Ward, and three years later, went to Whiteside Co., Ill., and interested himself in farming. In 1856 he came to Iowa and located in Lime Creek township. He settled in Grant township in 1870. His farm was located on the southeast quarter of section 18, and he made many improvements while he occupied it. In 1877, his health becoming impaired, he sold out and retired from active life, taking up his residence with his son, whose sketch follows.

His children are — Albert G., Hiram E. and Warner J. In politics Mr. Brown is a republican, and has held many official positions in the township. He is now justice of the peace. He belongs to the M. E. Church.

Hiram E. Brown

[Page 866] Hiram E. Brown was born in Whiteside Co., Ill., Oct. 16, 1853. He has resided in Cerro Gordo county since the date of his father's settlement. He was married Dec. 25, 1874, to Sarah E. Miller, born in Cook Co., Ill. Mr. Brown is one of the oldest teachers in the county and has taught thirteen terms; twelve in Grant township. He now lives on section 9, and owns 200 acres of land.

James H. Brown

[Page 762] James H. Brown came to Cerro Gordo county in 1879, buying wild land on section 17, Bath township, which he improved well and sold in 1881. He then purchased an improved farm on section 16, northwest quarter, which he still retains as his present home. He was born in Boone Co., Ill., July 9, 1855, where he made his home with his parents until twenty-one years of age, receiving a liberal education. He then went to Winnebago County where he engaged in farming until 1879 when he came to this county. He is one of the trustees of Bath township.

Mahlon Brown

[Page 762] Mahlon Brown, a native of New York, came in May, 1854, and settled on section 16, where he built a log house and lived for two years then moved to the prairies on section 15, where he remained seven or eight years then went to Dakota and later to California, after a few years stay there, he returned to Dakota Territory and then died.

Thomas M. Brown

[Page 758] Thomas M. Brown, one of the oldest settlers of Bath township, came in 1870, and bought land and located on section 26, where he has made substantial improvements and has a pleasant residence. He was married, in 1865, to Emma A. Bran, of Orange Co., Vt. They have four children — Cora M., Harley E., John B. and Clara G.

Mr. Brown was born at Sebago, Cumberland Co., Maine, Feb. 7, 1824. He lived on a farm until 1847, then went to Moosehead Lake and followed lumbering three years. In 1850 he went to Pennsylvania and engaged in the same business until 1852, followed the same in Michigan for two years, and then went to Green Bay, Wis. There, in October, 1861, he enlisted in the 12th Wisconsin Infantry, company H. He was promoted to sergeant, March, 1862. He re-enlisted in February, 1864, and was promoted to first sergeant, in May of that year. He served until the close of the war, and was discharged at Louisville, Ky., July 16, 1865, when he returned to Brown Co., Wis. He remained there until June, 1869, then moved to Delaware Co., Iowa; and lived until the fall of 1870, when he moved to this county.

Albert Bruce

[Page 844] Albert Bruce was the first merchant of Rockwell. He came in April, 1871, and opened a general store in the front part of the Putnam House, remaining in trade about three years. He was born at East Randolph, Vt., May 13, 1833. In 1851 he commenced clerking in a store in his native village. In 1854 he removed to Woodstock, Vt., where he remained a clerk in a store until 1857, when he moved to Green Bay, Wis., from there to Marquette county, thence to Columbia county. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Portage City, also at Randolph for several years.

Feb. 22, 1865, he was married to Sarah E. Blodgett, a native of Vermont, by whom he had five children — Morris E., Helen M., William R, Mary E. and Harry L. His wife died Oct. 22, 1877. Nov. 19, 1879, he married his present wife, Dolly Dills, a native of Indiana. They have one son — George Albert.

Mr. Bruce owns a fine farm on section 2, Geneseo township. He is a member of the present board of supervisors.

James Bruce

[Page 847] James Bruce settled on section 4, in 1876, which he purchased from G. B. Rockwell. His farm is finely located, containing 160 acres, and, being elevated, he has one of the finest sites for a residence in the township. He is a native of Scotland, born in 1825, and emigrating to the United States in 1850. He first moved to Dodge Co., Wis., where he bought and improved a farm, which he sold and then removed to his present home.

He married Ann Baxter, born in Scotland in 1831. He has seven children — James W., Charles T., William B., Francis A., Annie W , Maria J. and Freddie. Mr. Bruce and wife, three sons and two daughters, are members of the Baptist Church in Rockwell.

Ambrose M. Bryant

[Page 895] Ambrose M. Bryant is one of the pioneers of Cerro Gordo county. He came in 1855 and pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 9. For many years his house stood alone on the prairie, the settlement in the early days being along Lime creek, and it was twenty years before any improvements was made in the northern part of the township. He made a splendid selection of land, upon which there are never failing springs of good water. He is a native of New York, born in Chenango county, Oct. 2, 1833. His younger days were spent on the farm, where he remained until 1855, then came west. He has engaged in grain and stock raising in which he has been successful. In 1883 he had 400 acres of improved land. In 1860 he built a frame house, and in 1872 a large barn.

He was married in 1860 to Mary Dennis, a daughter of Paul and Mary Dennis. They have been blessed with five children — Paul, Jessie, Seth, Jethro and Walter.

Bruce A. Bryant

[Page 948] Bruce A. Bryant is a prominent early settler of Cerro Gordo county. He is at present engaged in raising stock and grain, and has a fine farm of 300 acres containing a new and commodious residence, with a large barn, having a stone basement. He came in 1857 to Iowa, buying land on section 9 in what is now Lime Creek township, but only retained that farm one year.

He married Cynthia Cole, of Pike Co., Ohio, in 1860. They settled in Mason township, on section 16, where he built a comfortable house. He enlisted, August, 1862, in company B, 32d Iowa Volunteer Infantry, going to New Madrid, thence to Fort Pillow, on to Fulton, Tenn., thence to Columbus, Ky., where he was taken sick and sent to the Mound City hospital. At Davenport, Iowa, May, 1864, he was discharged on account of disability and returned home. In 1865 he sold his farm on section 16, when he purchased a farm on section 2, where he now lives. He was a native of Chenango Co., N. Y., born Sept. 17, 1835. He enjoyed good school advantages and remained on the farm until seventeen years of age, when he learned the butcher's trade with his father, working at it until 1857, when he came to Iowa. They have three children — Almond C, H. Maud and Stephen Grant.

Samuel Buckingham

[Page 921] Samuel Buckingham came to Iowa in 1865, locating on section 26, Portland township, and engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in Chippewa Falls, Wis., where he was visiting at the time. He was born in New York, on the 22d of February, 1802. His parents dying when he was very young, he lived with his grandmother, who lived to the age of 105 years. When she was 100 years of age she could read without the aid of glasses, having obtained her second sight. He received a common school education. He seemed, as the phrase goes, a natural born mechanic. He learned the blacksmith's trade at an early age, and for a number of years was engaged in the manufacture of edged tools. He also acquired the trade of mill-wright, which he followed in Pennsylvania from 1841 until 1865, when he removed to Iowa.

He was thrice married. In 1824 to Persie Fairchild, by whom he had eight children, four of whom are living — Lucinda, Eliza, Esther and Andrew J. His wife died in 1867. His second wife died in three weeks after marriage. He subsequently married and was living with his third wife at the time of his death.

He was successful in business, leaving at his death an estate of 200 acres of land and considerable personal property. He was a republican in politics, but took interest enough only to vote.

Robert Bugher

[Page 934] Robert Bugher purchased his present home in 1874. He was born in Morgan Co., Ohio, Jan. 5, 1825, and is the eldest of eleven children, nine of whom are living. His father, Isaac Bugher, was a native of Pennsylvania, and died in Illinois. His mother, Isabelle ( Hailyer ) Bugher, was a native of Virginia, and now lives in Adair Co., Iowa.

Robert learned the carpenter trade of his father, but his health being inadequate, he became a farmer. In 1845 he married Elizabeth Lazier, a native of Virginia. In 1848 he emigrated to Henry Co., Ill., where he followed farming and was very successful. Being desirous of obtaining more land, thus giving his sons better facilities, he removed to Iowa and secured the south half of section 9, in Pleasant Valley township, for which he paid $10 per acre, unimproved. It is a most desirable location, being well watered and having but little waste land to mar its value. When first removing, he lived one year on an adjoining improved farm, and in the meanwhile built his present spacious farm residence, and has since so improved, built and beautified his home, that he now possesses one of the finest farms in the county. He gives his principal attention to stock farming.

He is democratic in politics. He served as justice of the peace fourteen years in Illinois, and has held the same office in Iowa. He has also been trustee of township, school director, etc. He is highly respected as a citizen, and in social life is affable and courteous. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1848. Religiously, he is a Baptist. His children are — Nettie, wife of Marshall Carver, Lander, Isasiah, Isaac, Alpheus, Robert and Cemantha.

Osman Burdick

[Page 878] Osman Burdick located on section 4 of Lake township. He is a resident on a tract of land originally entered by E. A. Tuttle. Mr. Burdick purchased of Moses Stewart in January, 1869. He was born in 1840 in Madison Co., N. Y., and came with his father, Perrin Burdick, to Rock Co., Wis., when eight years of age. His father lives with him. His mother died when he was but two years of age. The family removed from Wisconsin to Clayton Co., Iowa, and soon after to Bremer county. They next moved to Floyd county and eventually settled as stated. Mr. Burdick's farm contains 160 acres. He married Adeline Rice, sister of James A. Rice. She was born in Illinois. Their children are — Elmer and Clara.

G. T. Burgess

[Page 965] G. T. Burgess was born in Blue Earth Co., Minn., March 12, 1856. His parents, J. L. and Miranda (Bell) Burgess, were natives of Indiana. They went to Minnesota in 1854, and were among the earliest settlers of Blue Earth county. Mr. Burgess went to school in the log school
houses of the pioneers, and at fifteen learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed some years.

He was married in 1880 to Mary A. Davidson, of Janesville, Minn. They have one child - Nellie.

In 1882 Mr. Burgess came to Mason City. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' order at Mason City.

Henry Burkholder

[Page 768] Henry Burkholder lives on section 28, where he settled in 1869. He bought his farm of George Hines. Mr. Burkholder was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., in 1845. He removed to Green Co., Wis., in 1855, where he worked at the blacksmith's trade.

On the breaking out of the war he enlisted in the 5th Wisconsin Battery, where he served twenty months, when he was discharged for disability ; but afterward re-enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, where he served until the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, etc. His wife was Elizabeth Case, born in Delaware Co., N. Y., in April, 1831.

He has been married twice; his first wife being Mary Farley. He had seven children by his first wife, five sons and two daughters. Only two sons and two daughters are living. Mrs. Burkholder's first husband was William Merchant, by whom she has one daughter — Rosa.

A. J. Burlingham

[Page 921] A. J. Burlingham, a resident of Portland township since 1865, is the possessor of a fine stock farm of 320 acres. He was born in Chenango Co., N. Y., Nov. 11, 1836. His parents removed to Pennsylvania, where he was bred to farm life, but received a good education, remaining there until 1863. He then went to Wisconsin and two years later came to Iowa. He married in September, 1868, Olive E., a daughter of John West. She died Aug. 5, 1880, leaving one daughter — Mary May.

Francis Burnham

[Page 772] Francis Burnham settled on section 32, Clear Lake township, in 1868, purchasing his farm of William Boyden. Mr. Burnham was born in Essex Co., Mass., April 1, 1842. He lived there until the fall of 1864, when he enlisted in the heavy artillery and served until July 10, 1865, when he was mustered out. Mr. Burnham moved to Waterloo, Black Hawk county, in 1866, but returned to Massachusetts, and came back to Iowa in 1868.

He married Susan Grant, a daughter of Francis and Margaret Grant, of Cape Bieton Island. Mr. Burnham's parents were Nathan and Sarah ( Brown ) Burnham. Mr. Burnham's farm consists of eighty acres of choice land.

Rev. J. B. Burnham

[Page 954] On the morning of Aug. 14, 1877, at  Plymouth, this county, Rev. J. B. Burnham died. He was born Aug. 13, 1809, and was consequently sixty-eight years old. He was converted—born again—Sept. 29, 1830, at which time he united with the Methodist Church. In October, 1835, he married Clarissa Maria Spink. He was admitted to the traveling connections June 24, 1836. He was ordained deacon June 10, 1838, by Bishop Morris, and ordained elder June 21, 1840, by Bishop Roberts. He was an itinerant Methodist preacher for thirty years, coming to Iowa about the close of his active ministry, and has resided since at Mason City until the time of his death, except a short stay at Plymouth, where he gave up life's work, departing in triumphant faith. A pleasing incident occurred in early life, which had a tendency to confirm his faith in the Divine call to the ministry, to himself and wife, who were journeying to a session of the Troy conference.

While on the way his wife, who had been praying for guidance in life's work, as a herald of the cross, said to him, "We shall be sent to Joy circuit." The reason was asked, and she said she had been praying and something told her. They journeyed on and at conference, when the appointments were read, the bishop reaching the name said, "J. D. Burnham, Joy circuit." Thirty years of life spent as a traveling minister, years of toil, of self denial, of heroism, of incidents thrilling, soul stirring and pathetic. The old times Methodist had to be on the constant move. Souls were considered of more value and moment than home and family surroundings. In those days it usually took four weeks to the circuit. Elder Burnham left on his trip one time, leaving his daughter very sick; while he was absent his child died, and as death came stealing over the loved one, she looked up into the face of her mother and knowing death was very near, she said, "Tell papa I am going to Heaven—tell him to preach good and meet me in Heaven," and thus the sweet child passed from death.

A few years ago he stood beside the open grave of his wife. She too departed in the triumphs of faith and love. Standing there, while the clods of the valley were falling on the coffin, he could say, "There will be a meeting soon in Heaven." When the elder was prostrate on his death bed, and his body suffering terrible pains, with a clear mind, he would break out singing, "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand," and as the twilight of death settled over him, he would forget all else save Jesus, whose name would quickly arouse him. Thus in faith he settled down in death's cold embrace, with these as his last words: "I am nearing the throne." He left three children — Mrs. S.J. Waterbury, Mrs. L. A. Page and C. H. Burnham. His funeral services took place at Plymouth, Rev H. W. Bennett officiating. The remains were deposited in the Mason City cemetery.



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