Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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HISTORY of CERRO GORDO COUNTY, IOWA
WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 442-44. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

BIOGRAPHY ~ ABSALOM H. GALE

A scion of one the honored pioneer families of Iowa, it has been given Mr. Gale to achieve prominence and influence as one of the representative business men and influential citizens of Cerro Gordo county, where he is now vice president of the City National Bank of Mason City and where he has other important capitalistic interests. He has been a valued factor in public affairs in his city and county and is a former member of the Iowa state senate, in which he made an admirable record.

Absalom H. Gale was born at Iowa Falls, Hardin county, Iowa, on the 28th of February, 1863, and is a son of Thomas K. and Ann (Attwool) Gale, both of whom were born and reared in England where their marriage was solemnized. They had maintained their home at Portland, England, for some time prior to their removal to America, and they took up their residence in Iowa Falls, Iowa, in 1858. Thomas K. Gale was a mason contractor and in England had been associated with his brother in the handling of large and important contracts of this order. They constructed the fine break water in the harbor of Portland, England, and the brother had charge of the building of a portion of the extensive breakwater constructed by the British government on the Nile, in Egypt. Thomas K. Gale became one of the leading contractors in the line of mason work in Iowa, where he erected a large number of public buildings, including the old court house at Hampton, Franklin county. In 1870 he removed with his family to Mason City, where both he and his wife passed the residue of their lives. He constructed the bridge of the Iowa Central Railroad and he also carried to successful completion many other important contracts here and in other sections of the state. He was a man of fine business and technical ability and his sterling integrity in all the relations of life gained to him the implicit confidence and high regard of all with whom he came in contact. He was a stanch adherent of the Republican party and both he and his wife were devout and zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In the church of this denomination in Mason City he held the office of class leader for a period of about thirty two years. Here he died in 1905, at the venerable age of seventy-four years, and his cherished and devoted wife attained to the same age ; she was summoned to the life eternal in 1907. Concerning their children the following brief data are entered : Jennie is the widow of James Rule of Mason City, of whom mention is made on other pages of this volume; Harriet became the wife of M. M. Bradley and she died in this city in 1909; Absalom H., subject of this review, was the next in order of birth; George is a resident of Mason City; Rev. Thomas K. is a member of the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal church and is resident of the city of Chicago at the time of this writing, in 1910; and B. A. is engaged in looking after rentals, buildings, etc., for his brother A. H., to whom this sketch is dedicated.

A. H. Gale was a lad of about five years at the time of the family removal from Iowa Falls to Mason City, and here he was duly accorded the advantages of the excellent public schools, after leaving which he entered the University of Iowa at Iowa City, where he completed the course in civil engineering and was duly graduated. For the ensuing two years he devoted his attention to his profession in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, and in this connection he had charge of the erection of the fine union passenger station at Ogden, Utah. After severing his connection with the railroad company he returned to Mason City, and here, in 1886, he assumed a clerical position in the City Bank, which was later reorganized as the City National Bank and which is one of the substantial and popular financial institutions of this part of the state. He has been consecutively identified with the affairs of this bank and has been its vice-president since 1905. Mr. Gale is also an interested principal in corporations engaged in the lime and cement business in Mason City, and is the owner of a large amount of valuable realty in this city and also in other parts of the county. He is one of the broadminded, progressive and loyal citizens of the county and is ever ready to extend his influence and co-operation in the furtherance of all measures tending to advance the material and civic prosperity of the community.

In politics Mr. Gale is found arrayed as a stalwart in the camp of the Republican party, and he has been active as a worker in its cause. He has held the offices of city clerk and treasurer of the board of education, and in 1904 he was elected to represent his district in the state senate, in which he was a valued work during four sessions and in which he was influential in the deliberations of the body and those of the committee room. He is affiliated with the local organizations of the Masonic fraternity, Knights of Pythias, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Modern Woodmen of America and Modern Brotherhood of America, in which last organization he has been supreme treasurer of the Iowa state body since 1903. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as was also his wife.

On the 8th of October, 1893, Mr. Gale was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Emsley, who was born and reared at Mason City, Iowa, and who was a daughter of the late Thomas G. Emsley, an honored and influential citizen of Mason City at the time of his death. His biography is found on another page of this work. Mrs. Gale was summoned to the life eternal of the 26th of July, 1904 and is survived by one son, Cecil, who was born in the 21st of July, 1895.

NOTE: Absalom H. Gale died in 1923. Mable Emily (Emsley) Gale died July 27, 1904. Cecil Emsley Gale was born in July of 1895. He was blind at birth but was said to be an excellent pianist. Cecil and died on February 3, 1933. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014

 

 

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