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Iowa has been specially honored in the characters and careers of her public and professional men. In every locality are found individuals born to leadership in the various vocations and professions, men who dominate not alone by superior intelligence and natural endowment but by a force of character which gives them an unquestioned place in the front ranks of the citizenship of their communities, where they exert a large and definite influence in a beneficent direction. In this class stands Harry E. Narey, of Spirit Lake, who is accorded a place in the forefront of the successful lawyers of Iowa. He was born on the 4th of May, 1885, in the city in which he now lives, and is a son of Peter and Emma (Meguire) Narey, the father a native of Huntington Canal, Quebec, Canada, and the mother of Portland Maine. Their marriage occurred in Osage, Iowa, whither they had come, he as a lad of sixteen or eighteen years and she in girlhood with her parents. Peter Narey became a traveling salesman for a boot and shoe house, which vocation he followed for a number of years and in 1880 he moved to Spirit Lake. For several years after coming to this place he continued as a commercial traveler but was later elected sheriff, in which office he served several years. Afterwards he was appointed a deputy revenue collector, with headquarters in Sioux City, serving int ht capacity for ten or twelve years. His death occurred in Spirit Lake, March 19, 1914, at the age of sixty-nine years. He is survived by his widow, who is now seventy-three years old.
Harry E. Narey attended the Spirit Lake public schools, and Grinnell College, where he took the liberal arts course, and then entered the law school of Iowa Stare University, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1907. The same year he opened a law office in Spirit Lake and has been actively and successfully engaged in the practice of his profession to the present time. During the intervening years he has been identified, as counsel, with most of the important cases in the courts of this section of the state and has gained an enviable reputation as a safe and sound counselor. As a practitioner he has been straightforward and honorable in his methods, employing none of the tricks of the pettifogger, and his zeal for a client never leads him to urge an argument which is not in harmony with the law. In discussions of the principles of law, he is noted for clearness of statement and candor, seeking to impress the jury and court by weight of facts in his favor and by clear, logical argument.
In 1913 Mr. Narey was married to Miss Esther Bergman, of Spirit Lake, and to them has been born a son, Peter B. Mrs. Narey is a daughter of A. F. and Mary (Kingman) Bergman. Her mother, who came here in 1861 from Conneaut, Ohio. He homesteaded a tract of land at Spirit Lake and later acquired much other land, a portion being sold for the site of the state home for Knights Templar. A. F. Bergman came to Dickinson county from Hanover, Germany, and became a member of the firm of Johnson & Bergman, merchants at Spirit Lake. He served eight years as postmaster of Spirit Lake and was later for twenty-five years express agent at that place. He is now living retired on the old Kingman homestead at Spirit Lake. Mrs. Narey was educated at Grinnell College and Drake University, finishing her kindergarten training in the latter institution. She then taught two years in Sioux City, one year at Boise, Idaho, and for years at Spirit Lake. She is a member of Twilight Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star; Calvary Shrine No. 18, Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem; Daughters of the American Revolution; the P. E. O. and the L. B. U., and is a member of the State Federation Committee of Federated Clubs, of which she is chairman. She is a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal church and is active in the club, civic and social life of Spirit Lake. Mr. Narey is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, and of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He belongs to Twilight Lodge, No. 329, A. F. & A. M.; Spirit Lake Chapter, No. 132, R. A. M.; Esdraelan Commandery, No. 52, K. T. and Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is deeply interested in everything pertaining to the progress and upbuilding of Spirit Lake and vicinity and gives his earnest support to all movements for the material, civic or moral betterment of the people. Because of his splendid record as a lawyer, his fine public spirit and his forceful personality, he stands deservedly high in public esteem and confidence.

Contributed by Debbie Clough Gerischer
Source: Northwestern Iowa, Its History and Tradition, Volume II, 1804-1926


In no line of public service is there demanded more careful and painstaking attention to the wants and tastes of the people than in that of hotelkeeping, and he who through a series of years has successfully managed to please and satisfy those who have patronized him has earned the respect of his fellowmen. To William R. Neal must be accorded a due meed of praise because of his splended record in the operation of the Antlers Hotel at spirit Lake, for under his management the place has increased in popularity and custom and is now one of the best patronized hotels in Iowa. Mr. Neal was born in Sedalia, Missouri, on the 10th of June, 1877, and is a son of John and Mary (Johnson) Neal, both of whom were natives of Missouri. The father was engaged in a mercantile business in Pettis county, Missouri, for a number of years, but died when his son William was but a child. The widowed mother reared her three children, two sons and a daughter, and nobly fulfilled her mission in life.
William R. Neal attended the public schools of Sedalia and at the age of nineteen years he engaged in the stationery business in that city. A year later, going to St. Louis, he became a member of the office force of the Planters Hotel, which has for many years been one of the leading hotels of the country. Here, by reason of faithful attention to duty, Mr. Neal was advanced through various positions to that of chief clerk, his connection with that house covering a period of ten years. He then went with the well-known railroad construction firm of McCabe & Steen, of St. Louis, engaged in the building of railroads in all parts of the country. His first position was as head of the commissary department but in an incredibly short time he was advanced to superintendent of construction, in which capacity he directed the building of many miles of railroad in various states of the Union. The great business depression of 1907 practically put a stop to railroad building and he then returned to the Planters Hotel, where he remained for four years. Later he was offered and accepted the management of a string of hotels in Illinois, which he operated for four years, and in 1917, he came to Spirit Lake as manager of the Antlers Hotel. Two years later he bought the property and has continued to devote his time and attention to its operation, making of it one of the most popular hotels in northern Iowa.
In 1911 Mr. Neal was united in marriage to Miss Bert Potter, of St. Louis. He is a member of Twilight Lodge, No. 329, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Spirit Lake Chapter, No. 132, Royal Arch Masons; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; and Abu-Bekr Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, while he and his wife are members of twilight Chapter, No. 59, Order of the Eastern Star. They are also members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Neal has taken a commendable interest in local public affairs and is a member of the town council of Spirit Lake. He is a man of sound business circles of this city. He is a man of engaging personality, easily makes friends and enjoys marked popularity among his acquaintances.

Contributed by Debbie Clough Gerischer
Source: Northwestern Iowa, Its History and Tradition, Volume II, 1804-1926