1883 Biographies
History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa; Springfield, Ill. Union Publishing Co., 1883

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



A.S. Abrams. The first to engage in the harness business was J. W. Winship, in 1874. He carried a small line of boots and shoes, also. In 1882 he sold to A. S. Abrams. A. S. Abrams, proprietor of the Sheffield harness shop, was born in Wayne Co., N. Y., in 1850. When seven years of age, his parents moved to Lee Co., Ill., where he grew to manhood on a farm, receiving but a common school education. At the age of twenty-one years, he commenced to learn his trade, which he has followed the greater part of the time since. In 1875 he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and settled on a farm, with his father, in Richland township, where he remained until September, 1882, then came to Sheffield and engaged in his present business. His shop is the only one in the place, and he is doing a good business. He is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge, and is one of the officers. He is also a member of the encampment at Mason City. He was married in 1870 to Mary Gorton, a native of Pennsylvania. She died in 1879, and he was married in December, 1882, to Irene Couch. One child was left him, by his first wife, named Winnie. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp. page 334)
H.D. Abrams. The first agricultural implement warehouse at Sheffield was started, in 1875, by H. D. Abrams, who sold to R. F. Sullivan, in 1878. H. D. Abrams, one of the settlers of 1866, was born in Chenango Co., N. Y., Oct 5, 1833. When he was quite young his parents, Henry J. and Rachel (Ray) Abrams, moved to Wayne Co., N. Y., and again, in 1857, moved to Lee Co , Ill., in which county the subject of this sketch was reared and educated in the common schools In 1866, he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and settled on section 5, Clinton township, buying at that time 200 acres of land. He has since disposed of part of it and now owns only 120 acres, a portion of which is within the present corporation of Sheffield His land, which he bought at $2.50 per acre, is now valued at $40 per acre He built the first frame house on the north side of South Fork. For miles up and down the creek he made the first wagon track He lived on his farm until the spring of 1875, when he came into Sheffield and engaged in farm machinery and real estate business. He took an active part in the locating of Sheffield. After three years he gave up the selling of farm machinery and since then has been dealing in real estate and insurance, having charge of several farms in this locality for eastern parties. In 1870, he was made secretary of the school board and has held the office ever since, except one or two years He has been constable and deputy sheriff for four years, also one of the town trustees, and assessor for a long time. He is a member and secretary of the I. O. O. F. His parents are still living in this town, aged seventy-two years. He was married, Nov. 3, 1858, to Hulda Cornell, of Lee Co., Ill. They are the parents of five children — Nellie, wife of James Cook, of Clinton; Mattie, wife of Irving Kithell, of Colorado; Martha, wife of D. B. Burright, of this town; Hattie and Ida, who still live with their parents. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp. page 328)
Henry J. Abrams was born in Rensselaer Co., N. Y , on the 26th day of February, 1811. His parents are Andrew and Jane (Youmans) Abrams, both natives of New York. In 1824 his parents moved to Onondaga Co., N. Y. In 1825 Henry J. Abrams began learning the tailor rade, which he followed while in New York. In 1857 he removed to Lee Co., Ill., and engaged in farming until 1878, when he settled in Richland township, Franklin county. Mr. Abrams is at this writing justice of the peace. In 1831 he married Rachel Ray, who was born in Onondaga Co., N. Y, July 4, 1811. They have eight children — Henry D., Laura, Esther, Ann, James D., Seth W., Anson S. and Amos E. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 560)
John H. Adams came to this county in 1871, and located on section 12, Reeve township. He was born in England in 1838, and when six years old emigrated to Jo Daviess Co., Ill., where his mother was still living in 1883; the father died in that county in 1853. John H. grew to manhood there and received a common school education. In his youth and early manhood he worked at lead mining, in Illinois and Wisconsin. In the spring of 1864 he enlisted in company C, l40th Illinois Infantry for six months, after which he re-enlisted in the 7th Illinois Cavalry, serving until the war closed. He was married in Jo Daviess county, Nov. 27, 1867, to Matilda Tressider, who was born in South Carolina, in 1848. In 1869 they went to Iowa Co., Wis., and remained until they came to Iowa in 1871. They have three children — Bertha, Mary and R. Henry. Mr. Adams and wife are both members of the Methodist Church and Mr. Adams is a prominent man in the I.O.O.F. lodge. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp. page 530)
W. T. Adams settled in Ross township, in 1878, purchasing the farm of 240 acres which he now owns. He has a fine farm, has put up good buildings and made valuable improvements. He was born in Montgomery, Wood Co., Ohio, Aug. 31, 1838. There he lived with his parents until he was sixteen years of age, being reared on a farm and receiving a limited education. In 1854 he removed with his parents to La Fayette Co., Wis. In 1862 he entered the army, enlisting in company E, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was soon promoted to orderly of his company. He served in the army of the Cumberland with his regiment, which participated in all the important battles of that department. In April, 1864, he was honorably discharged on account of disability received while in the line of service. He then returned to Wisconsin and bought a farm in Monticello, La Fayette county. Mr. Adams was married Dec. 25, 1864, to Clara M. Blackstone, of Monticello, Wis., born in Hamilton, Canada, June 13, 1842. They have four children — George W., John Q., Charles B. and Clara Josephine, all of whom were born in Monticello, Wis. Mr. Adams continued to farm in Wisconsin till the spring of 1878, when he sold out and came to Iowa. Since coming to Ross township he has been township clerk two terms. He is a member of Anchor Lodge, No. 191, A. F. & A. M., at Hampton, and a member of the Congregational Church, at Chapin. Mr. Adams has been active in local politics, having filled different township offices, and for three years previous to his coming to Ross township, he was a member of the board of supervisors of La Fayette Co., Wis. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. page 554)
Dr. Addis came to Franklin county, and located near Maysville in about 1856. He remained several years, then moved to Ponca, Neb., where he practiced until his death. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 199)
E.E. Alexander. In 1883 the harness business of Hampton was attended to by W. L. Burres and E. E. Alexander, Mr. Burres running two shops. E. E. Alexander is a native of Iowa. He was born at Plain Held, Mitchell county, Aug. 12, 1853. His father, Henry A. Alexander, moved to Mitchell county, where he was a pioneer, in 1852. Mr. Alexander was a resident in Mitchell county until 1875, when he began learning his trade at Waterloo. In 1876, he went to Mona, Iowa, and opened a harness shop, which he managed until December, 1878. In that year he came to Hampton and established his business on Fourth street. He was married in November, 1877, to Elizabeth McDowell. Their only daughter is named Lilly M. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander are both members of the Methodist Church. In his store Mr. Alexander carries about $2,000 worth of stock. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp. page 408-409)
David Allen. The first settler in the township was David Allen, who located in the north-eastern corner, in the timber along the West Fork of the Cedar river, afterwards known as Allen's Grove. He came in the spring of 1854, with a large family. His son, Jonathan Allen, located on section 1, afterward owned by John Meahan. David Allen, the first settler in Ingham township, came to Wapello Co., Iowa, in 1849, and in the spring of 1854, settled in Ingham township in the grove which bears his name. His claim of land is now owned by John Gourley. The early records of the Allen family show a picture of pioneer privations and hardships common to all settlers in a hitherto unpeopled region. Mr. Allen was born in 1804, in North Carolina. His father's family removed to Indiana in 1814, and thence to Kentucky, where David remained eight years and then located in Putnam Co., Ind., which was his residence until he came to Iowa. Mr. Allen was married May 10, 1827, to Nancy Hogan, of Kentucky. They had twelve children, nine of whom are living — William, John, James, Esther, Wesley, Clark, Marion, Jane and Leland. Six of these are in Iowa and one each in Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota.Mr. and Mrs. Allen reside with their son, James W. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 433)
James W. Allen came to Iowa when a lad of twelve years, accompanying his parents to Wapello county, in 1849, and thence to Bremer county. In 1854, they settled in the northeastern part of Ingham township, at what became known as Allen's grove. Mr. Allen was born in Putnam Co., Ind., July 8, 1835. The Allen family were the first settlers in the town of Ingham, fixing their residence as before stated. Mr. Allen enlisted in the fall of 1864, in company H, 15th Iowa Infantry, and was with Sherman on his noted march to the sea. He was discharged at Davenport, Iowa, Aug. 6, 1865, and returned to his home in Franklin county, where he has since been engaged in farming on section 16. He was married Sept 10,1857, to Susannah Harlan, of Butler county. Seven of their ten children are living — Sarah, Oscar, Ruth, Charles, Esther, Minnie and Ida Jane. Mrs. Allen died April 25, 1883, after suffering eight years, from a cancer. Both parents were members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Allen has always acted with the democratic party and has held the office of trustee and other minor positions. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 433-434)
A. C. Anderson was born in Dane Co., Wis., Jan. 22, 1852. In 1855 his parents came to Iowa and settled in Butler county, where they still live. A. C. Anderson was there brought up on the farm, and, in 1878, settled in Richland township, where he now owns 200 acres of land which is well improved. In 1878 he was married to Isabelle Jacobson, by which union they have one child. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 560 & 563)
Andrew Anderson was born in Scotland, Dec. 27, 1821. When old enough he began learning the carpenter trade, and in 1849 he came to America. The first winter he remained at Milwaukee, Wis., and in 1850 he came to Iowa and located on a farm in Clayton county. He soon however returned to his trade and engaged in carpenter work for four years in McGregor. He then went to Fayette Co., Iowa, and engaged in farming. In January, 1876, he came to Franklin county and settled on section 11, Richland township. He now owns 160 acres of well improved land here, and also owns the old homestead in Fayette county. He married his first wife in his native land. She came with him to Milwaukee, where they had a son born in December, 1849. His first wife died in Milwaukee in the summer of 1871. He married, in 1876, Jessie Drummond, a native of Iowa. His children are — Andrew, Eliza, George C, Thomas M. and Nellie F. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 560)
Allen Andrews, was born in Onondaga Co., N. Y., in 1828. He spent his youth on a farm and was educated at the common schools. His parents were natives of Connecticut, from which State they removed when quite young to New York, where they both died. After the father's death Allen returned and spent four years in Connecticut, and then came back to New York, where he was married in 1851 to Mary Hotchkiss, a native of New York, born in 1828. In 1853 he emigrated to Dodge Co., Wis., where he worked at his trade of carpenter and joiner until 1866, when he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and settled on section 13, in Geneva township, where he lived until his death in December 1875. He left a wife and nine children — Henry H., Carrie H., now wife of Frank Watson, Nellie I., Minnie C, Eleanor E., Emma E., Maria A., Frank B. and Mercy M. Mr. Andrews was a republican in politics, and frequently held local offices. At one time he was a member of the board of county supervisors. He was always a good father and worthy citizen. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp. page 354)
Henry H. Andrews, son of Allen Andrews, and an old settler of Geneva township, was born in Dodge Co., Wis., August, 1855. He came with his parents to Franklin county, where he has since lived. After his father died he took charge of the farm and family. He was married Nov. 2, 1878, to Charlotte E. Hacker, a native of Dane Co., Wis., born, June, 1857. They have had three children— C. Belle, Clare M. and Allen H. Henry H. Andrews is a republican, and at times has held local offices in his township. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp. page 354)
O. D. Andrews was the fourth son of Benjamin and Polly (Douglass) Andrews, who were natives of Connecticut, and who at an early day moved to Ohio, the mother dying there; the father died in Stephenson Co., Ill. O. D. Andrews was born in 1816, in Grange Co., Ohio. He was reared on a farm and received a common school education. His parents had seven children. In 1841 O. D. Andrews was joined in marriage to Mary Briggs, a native of Vermont, by whom he had seven children. Mrs. Andrews died in Stephenson Co., He was again married, in Stephenson county, to Elizabeth Morris, a native of Kentucky. In 1861, he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and located in Reeve townhip, where, on the 7th of May, 1869, his second wife died, and on March 12, 1870, he married Mrs. Lana C. (Pierce) Landerson, a native of Chemung Co., N. Y., born in 1831, and who had two children by the former marriage. Her parents were both natives of New York, where the mother died, and the father married again, having twelve children by the first marriage, and six by the second. Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Andrews are both members of the M. E. Church at Geneva, and are estimable people. Mr. Andrews has been a resident of Reeve township for about twenty-two years and has been a valuable citizen, and is held in high esteem by all who know him. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp. page 519 & 520)
James Anway is one of the earliest settlers of Ingham township. He came to Howard Co., Iowa, in 1856, where he took a claim of 160 acres, upon which he lived five years, then exchanged for his present home. He occupies the farm taken by John Staley, one of the earliest settlers of this township. Mr. Anway was born in Delaware Co., Ohio, Aug. 14, 1814. His parents were natives of New York, and were among the pioneers of Ohio, where they engaged in farming and where James remained until emigrating to Iowa. He was married in 1837 to Caroline Odle, who died in 1866, leaving eleven children. He was again married in 1868 to Nancy M. Watkins, of Franklin county, who has borne him six children, five of whom are living — Caroline, James, Nathan, Lorendo and Freddie. Mr. Anway has held the office of trustee. His son, W. H., has a blacksmith shop at Hansell, which trade he acquired by his own effort, and is doing a successful business. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 436)
Isaac Appelby was born in Madison Co., N. Y., in 1809. When a boy his parents removed to Cayuga county, where Isaac grew to manhood. He received a good common school education. He was twice married; first in 1831, to Betsey Suthard, a native of New York, by whom he had six children, four of whom are now living. In 1864 he moved to Jo Daviess Co., Ill, where his wife died the next year.

Mrs. Maria (Wilder) Appleby

He was again married in Oswego Co., N. Y., in 1858, to Maria Wilder, born in Madison Co., N. Y., in 1825, after which he returned to Jo Daviess county, remaining until 1868, when they removed to Franklin county and purchased the farm. He died of pleuro-pneumonia, Feb. 4, 1875, leaving a wife and four children to mourn his loss. His children are — Eli, George, Myron and Leroy B. George is prosecuting his studies in the Chicago Medical College. Mr. Appelby was formerly a democrat, but since coming here had voted the republican ticket. His farm consists of 152 acres, valued at $30 per acre, and is well improved. In the autumn of 1882, Mrs. Appelby fell and dislocated her hip. While it troubles her considerably, she is still in full possession of her mental faculties. (illustration page 195; bio Chapter 19, Geneva twp. page 355) (Transcriber's note: the suname spelling Appelby/Appleby in this bio was typed exactly as in the original text)

Thomas F. Argent was born in Galena, Jo Daviess Co., Ill., Nov. 17, 1845. In 1861, he went to Pike's Peak and engaged in mining two years, and in January, 1863, he enlisted in McLean's Independent battery, serving until September, 1865, nearly two years of which time he spent on the plains and one year against Gen. Price in Missouri. After receiving his discharge, he returned to Illinois, and in May, 1866, went to Colorado and engaged in lumbering, remaining fourteen months, when he returned to Galena and engaged in farming until April, 1876, then came to Franklin county and settled in Reeve township and engaged in farming there until 1877, when he came, to Geneva township, and, in the spring of 1881, rented the place where he still resides. He was married, May, 1870, to Elizabeth Ginn, born in Jo Daviess Co. ILL, November, 1846. They have five children — William, Nettie, John D., Jane and Robert. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp. page 359)
Dr. L. H. Arlidge located one mile east of the present site of Maysville, in 1854. Dr. Arlidge was the first practicing physician to locate in Franklin county. He came from Indiana in 1854, and purchased a farm of Mr. Mayne, the farm now owned by J. M. Soper. Arlidge had a wife and three children. He had a common school education, and, though it is said that his medical education was limited, yet he had an extensive practice for that day. He was a minister in the M. E. Church, and a first rate preacher. Many of the present settlers remember hearing him preach. An incident is related of him by Mr. Soper. At the time Mr. Soper purchased the farm, Franklin county was attached to Hardin county, and, before the bargain was closed between him and the doctor, they both went to Eldora to look over the records. Finding everything satisfactory, the bargain was closed and the money was paid to Mr. Soper. The doctor then went to a drug store, got a gallon demijohn full of the best brandy, to help them on the way home. He placed the demijohn in the wagon, and the roads being rough it struck a projecting bolt in the bottom of the box, making a hole through which the brandy ran into the wagon box, on seeing which, the doctor excitedly exclaimed, "My gracious, I am losing all my brandy;" and catching a bucket he got under the wagon and caught the liquid as it ran through the cracks of the box. He was what was termed a Hoosier, and spoke that dialect. He went from here to Mankato, Minn., but shortly came back, remained a few years and then went to Nebraska. He fell from the top of a wagon load of logs, and the wheel passing over his head resulted in his death. He was married twice— his first wife died in Ackley, Iowa; his second wife still survives, is married again and lives in the southern part of the State. (Chapter 9, The Medical Profession, page 198-199)

[transcribers note: Chapter X, page 221, the section "The Indian Scare", July 1854, when the settlers hear reports of Indians headed their way from Clear Lake, is a bit more about Dr. Arlidge... ] .... excepting the families of John Mayne and Dr. Arlidge struck out for the settlement at Beaver Grove, in Butler county. It should have been stated that the wife of Dr. Arlidge died two or three days before this time, and was buried in the cemetery on the hill west of J. S. Jones', being the first person buried there, and her children had all been taken home by relatives residing near Hardin City, Arlidge absolutely refusing to go, and when the train left was still there.
Lemuel Armstrong, deceased, was one of the pioneers of Ingham township, Franklin Co., Iowa. He was born in Armstrong Co., Penn., July 12, l808. His father was a farmer, and Lemuel engaged in the same occupation and rafting on the rivers of Pennsylvania. He removed to Ashland Co., Ohio, and from there to Wyandot county, where he gave his energies to clearing off a farm in the backwoods. Overwork injured his health and he resolved to leave Ohio and seek a place more favorable for farming. In the fall of 1855 he removed to Linn Co., Iowa, and remained there until the next spring, when he came to Franklin county. He first located on the bottom lands south of Hartgrave's creek, on section 35. In July, 1857, the bottom lands were overflowed to the depth of several feet, caused by the bursting of a cloud. The crops were all destroyed along the creek bottoms. The water came into his house above the window sills. The family had just finished breakfast and had barely time to escape from the rushing waters to higher land east of the house, and before reaching the elevation the horses had to swim. From Monday until Wednesday the house was filled with water. This convinced Mr. Armstrong that the low land was not the safest place during a freshet and he removed to higher land on the north of the creek. After two or three years he located on section 16, where he lived until his death, which occurred May 29, 1880. Mr. Armstrong's wife was Mary J. Anderson of Ashland Co., Ohio, who survived him two years, and who died, Aug. 16, 1882. There were six children, five of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were members of the Presbyterian Church and for a number of years he was an elder in that Church. He was a republican in politics; had held nearly all the township offices, and was postmaster of Menzie postoffice at the time it was discontinued. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 434-435)
Merrill Armstrong, son of Lemuel Armstrong, was born in Ingham township, Franklin Co., Iowa, Sept. 24, 1857,and has been a life-long resident of this county. Since the death of his father, Merrill has conducted the home farm which consists 32 of eighty acres of productive land. His brother, Curtis Armstrong, was a member of company H, 32d Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and died in 1868 of consumption, contracted while in the service. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 435)
H. Louis Asemissen was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1849. He attended school until sixteen years of age, then spent four years learning the drug and grocery business at which time he came to the United States, first stopping for a short time in New Jersey and then going to Michigan. In the summer of 1874, he removed to Clinton Co., Iowa, where he engaged in a saw mill for awhile, then went to Preston, Jackson Co., where he engaged as clerk in a grocery and dry goods store. From there he went to Wheatland, Clinton Co., where he was clerk in a dry goods, grocery and hardware store. From there he went to Reinbeck, Grundy Co., and went into the hardware trade for himself, remaining there until 1881, when he came to Dows, and engaged in the same business, which he still follows. He was married in 1877, to Kate Kries who was born near Lost Nation, Clinton Co., Iowa, in 1857; they have one child — Carl L. Mr Asemissen is a member of the Lutheran Church, and his wife belongs to the Catholic Church. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp. page 476)
J. A. Atkinson, is a citizen of Iowa by birth. He was born in Dubuque county, Feb. 18, 1837. His parents, Archibald and Phillis (Adams) Atkinson, came from England and settled in Dubuque county in 1835. They remained there until 1840, when they went to Cook Co., Ill., near Chicago, and finally settled in Grant Co., Wis. Mr. Atkinson lived there a number of years and for sometime was engaged in lead mining. In 1859 he made a trip to the mining regions of Idaho, where he remained six years, returning in 1865. In 1869, he settled on section 27, in what was then called Washington township, where he is proprietor of 340 acres of land, and is extensively engaged as a stock farmer. Mr. Atkinson has held the offices of township trustee and school director. He was married, in 1862, to Annie L. Lukey, a native of England. Their five living children are — Jessie, Elmer, Archie, Lotta and Ralph. (Chapter 27, Mott twp. page 485)
Frank Avery is the proprietor of eighty acres of valuable land in West Fork township, where he located in 1870. The place is all under cultivation, and is one of the most productive in the township. Mr. Avery was born in Hill, Grafton Co., N. H., on the 25th day of October, 1823. His parents, Ebenezer and Polly (Bradbury) Avery, were also natives of the old Granite State and were farmers, rearing their children to that calling and giving them such educational advantages as the district schools afforded. When twenty-one years of age Mr. Avery set out to carve out his own fortune. He labored as a farm hand until he accumulated a small sum of money and bought a farm in Merrimac county, in his native State, where he remained until October, 1870. He and Eunice Smith were married July 14, 1851. She was born in New Hampshire, as were her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Avery have three sons and two daughters — Gilbert, Albert, Arabelle, Mary and John. Mr. Avery is a democrat in political sentiment (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. page 582)
Rev. William P. Avery was born in New London Co., Conn., Oct. 2, 1816. He is a son of John and Clarina ( Ayer) Avery. His early education was received at the public schools, entering college at the age of nineteen, and graduating from Amherst College in 1839. He then spent three years at the Theological Seminary, at East Windsor, Conn., now located at Hartford. He then entered the ministry as a missionary to Rhode Island, remaining there one year, at which time he went to Essex Co , N. Y., and was ordained in 1846, but on account of failing eye-sight, he was compelled, three years after, to give up the ministry. After a rest of three years, he accepted a pastorate near his former house, but after five years of labor, he was once more compelled to give up the work, and, in 1858, he came to Franklin county and settled in Richland township, where he now resides. Mr. Avery, soon after his arrival, organized the Congregational Church of Chapin, and was pastor until 1875, and at Hampton until 1872, when his eye-sight failed completely, since which time he has lived a retired life. In 1844 he married Olive Huntington, who was a native of Connecticut. They have two children — William and Elizabeth H. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 558-559)

[transcriber's note: a few pages previous and a few pages after his biography is additional info. about Rev. Avery... ] The first religious services were held in a barn on William P. Avery's place, Mr. Avery being the pioneer minister of this section of Franklin county. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. page 556) In the spring of 1858 Rev. Wm. P. Avery came from Connecticut and soon thereafter began preaching regularly. Services were held for a time in a small shanty built for that purpose, and also in a building used for a barn in the winter and for school and church purposes in the summer season .... The Congregational society was organized in November, 1858, at the house of Rev. William P. Avery. Among the first members to this society were: William P. Avery and wife, John W. Avery and wife, John D. Leland and wife, Mrs. A. S. Ross, S. M. Lovering and wife and two daughters. Rev. William P.. Avery acted as pastor until 1875. No house of worship was ever erected at Old Chapin, but services were held regularly. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 564)


1883 Biography Index

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