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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 896~


Edward C. Dorland


Edward C. Dorland, now deceased, was an enterprising business man and influential citizen of West Union. He was wide-awake, energetic and abreast of the times in all that concerns the material prosperity of the city and the social and moral welfare of the populace. He has been much in the public eye and his great personal popularity was indicative of the high esteem in which he was held by his fellow men, his death, on June 23, 1910, being greatly deplored by all who knew him.

Ed C. Dorland was a native of Fayette county, Iowa, and a son of John and Sarah (Schrack) Dorland, both born in Richland county, Ohio. These parents came to West Union in October, 1852, but shortly after their arrival moved to a farm, where the father’s death occurred in 1865, his widow subsequently becoming the wife of Volney N. Brown, an ex-soldier of the Civil war, with whom she is still living, both having reached the advanced age of about eighty years.

The Dorlands were very early settlers of Fayette county and their descendants are now numbered among the esteemed and substantial men and women of their respective communities. James Dorland, the first of the name to move to this part of the state, died in 1864 previous to the arrival of his family from Ohio. Among his children who afterwards became well known and took an active part in the affairs of their different places of residence were: John, father of the subject; Mrs. Elizabeth Gruver, Daniel W., Cornelius, Clermont V. and Mrs. Mary Herriman, all deceased, Mrs. Herriman, the last of the family, departing this life in the year 1909.

The surviving children of John and Sarah Dorland are three in number, namely: James Charles, of Sioux Rapids, Iowa; Mrs. Anna Caldwell, who lives at Fort Dodge, and George F., a farmer of Spencer county, this state, all well settled in life and greatly interested in their neighbors and friends.

Ed. C. Dorland was born August 11, 1857, on the home farm in Clermont township, where he early learned those lessons of industry and thrift which characterized his life from that time to its close. When fourteen years old he quit his studies in the public schools to begin work for himself and from that tender age he made his own way in the world. During the first ten years of his independent career he was employed in a hotel as chore and general utility boy, and at the expiration of that time turned his attention to the barber trade, in which he soon became quite proficient, and at which he worked on a weekly salary during the seventeen years ensuing. In 1881 he purchased a shop of his own, and with the exception of two years this had been his chief occupation subsequently, although becoming identified with various other business enterprises in the meantime. In 1902 he bought the stand formerly owned by his employer, the late George Thompson, one of the finest and best equipped establishments of the kind in the city, operating three chairs and sparing neither pains no expense to make his place attractive to his customers. In connection with his regular business he was also proprietor of a fine billiard parlor, containing four tables, and two bowling alleys, both establishments affording a pleasant means of amusement and recreation to the young men of the town. Ordinarily he gave employment to three assistants, but during certain seasons the services of several more were required, his place being the most popular resort of this kind in the city and always conducted in a quiet, peaceable manner, meeting the approval of the public.

Mr. Dorland’s business ventures were quite successful and he was one of the financially solid men of West Union, owning several valuable properties in the city, also a large stone livery barn and two dwelling houses which rent at liberal figures, besides holding considerable stock in the Fayette National Bank, of which institution for eleven years he was a director.

Beginning life without capital and with no assistance save that afforded by a sound body, willing hands and a laudable ambition to succeed, Mr. Dorland made the most of his opportunities and the competency which he acquired and the honorable place which he had attained in business circles were due entirely to his own unaided efforts. In the true sense of the term he was a self-made man and as such exerted a wholesome influence among his fellow townsmen and was ready to lend his assistance to enterprises and measures having for their object the general welfare of the community in which he resided.

Mr. Dorland was married on January 16, 1882, to Eva St. Clair Brewer, daughter of John S. and Charlotte (Seamons) Brewer, early settlers of West Union and among the highly esteemed residents of the place. These parents died in this city some years ago leaving a family of one son and five daughters, namely: Mrs. W. W. Wirt; Mrs. N. C. Spencer; Mrs. D. J. Paige; Mrs. William McKinley; John S., living. Mr. and Mrs. Dorland became the parents of two children, Merle, born on November 22, 1882, now the wife of Joseph Nye, and Helen Louise, whose birth occurred on the 7th day of July 1889.

Mr. Dorland affiliated with the Republican party and, like the majority of enterprising men, took an active part in the interest of secret fraternal organizations. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for about twenty years; he belonged to the Masonic brotherhood, being an influential worker in West Union Lodge No. 69, Unity Chapter, royal Arch Masons, at Elgin, and Langridge Commandery, Knights Templar, besides taking a leading part in instituting the Knights of Pythias lodge in West Union, of which he was a charter member and which he represented a different times in the grand lodge of the state. He was honored with every official position within the gift of these different orders, holding the office of senior warden in the Commandery at the time of his death and was esteemed very highly by his brethren at home and wherever known.

In 1884, with F. D. Merritt, Mr. Dorland was instrumental in organizing Company G of the Fourth Regiment, Iowa State Guard, of which he was commissioned second lieutenant, serving in that capacity for a period of three years. In addition to the interest he ever manifested in fraternal work, Mr. Dorland kept in touch with the business life of the city. He was a charter member of the West Union Commercial Club, which he served as chairman, and he was also an influential factor in inaugurating laudable enterprises for promoting the material prosperity of the city of his residence. He was active and full of energy and a gentleman of the highest integrity, and did much for the general welfare of West Union and Fayette county. He died in the prime of life. There is no doubt that had he lived to the fullness of his years he would have enacted a still greater influence upon the community.

At the time of the death of Mr. Dorland, expressions of regret and sympathy were freely given on all sides, and among the formal expressions were the following extracts from resolutions adopted:

West Union Lodge No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons: “Whereas, his years were well spent in exemplifying the teachings of Ancient Craft Masonry: Therefore, be it resolved, That the community in which he lived has lost a respected neighbor and citizen; that West Union Lodge No. 69 misses the fellowship of a well-beloved brother, and that his family mourns the departure of a husband and father who was faithful and true.”

Langridge Commandery, No. 47, Knights Templar: “In his death our commandery has lost an honored and valiant knight, his family a true and exemplary husband and a kind and indulgent father, and the community an upright and highly respected citizen. AS a Mason, he was faithful and true, as a citizen, patriotic and honorable, and as a man his life exemplified his belief in the brotherhood of man. Just as the shadows were beginning to lengthen in the afternoon of his life, when hope was still at flood tide, he responded to that summons which we all must obey, with courage undaunted, but the influence of his life has made the world better.”

Board of directors of the Fayette County National Bank: “The bank has lost one of its most useful officers, who for twelve years gave his watchful care over the affairs of said bank, as one of its directors. We deeply deplore his death and tender our deepest sympathy to his wife and family in their hour of bereavement.”

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