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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

Ba - Bl


James M. Bailey was born in Onondaga Co., N. Y., May 12,1843, and was the fifth of six children. He was the son of John A. and Elsie Bailey, natives of New York, where they were married in 1848, and emigrated to Wisconsin, settling in Rock county, and engaging in farming. In 1871, they removed to McHenry Co., Ill., where they are now living. James is the possessor of a good education, and has chosen the vocation of farming. He was marrried Dec 24, 1863, to Hannah E. Beemer, born in Ohio, Aug. 17, 1840. They have three children — Mary E., William A., and James E. In 1871 they removed to Winnebago City, Ill., where they remained until 1873, when they came to Franklin county, and settled in Grant township, remaining one year, when they chose the farm where they now live, on section 33, in Reeve township. Mr. Bailey has held local offices, and is a republican in politics. The parents of Mrs. Bailey, were natives of New Jersey, where they married. They removed to Ohio, thence to Wisconsin, and from there to Illinois, where the mother died in 1875, aged fifty-six years. The father died in Reeve township, May 4, 1881, aged seven- ty-nine years. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., page 531
Samuel Bailey settled in Chickasaw Co., Iowa, in 1866, and the next year moved to Bremer county, where he re-mained two years and then came to Franklin county in 1869. He bought 106 acres of land in Ingham township,to which he has added until he is now proprietor of 274 acres of first class land, all under cultivation, and devoted to a considerable extent to stock raising. Mr. Bailey was born in Green Co., Wis., Sept, 26, 1842. His father was a native of Georgia, and his mother was born in Virginia. They settled in Green county among the pioneers of Wisconsin. Mr. Bailey enlisted, April 5, 1862, in company B, 18th Wisconsin Infantry, under Captain Jackson. He served three years and was at Shiloh, where his regiment went into the engagement with 900 men and but 300 responded to roll call when the battle was over. He was at Corinth, Jackson, Champion Hills, siege of Vicksburg and Mission Ridge, and in all the campaigns where his regiment was in action up to April, 1864. He was then detailed at Huntsville, Ala., as teamster of headquarters, department and served through Sherman's campaign. He was discharged at Goldsboro, North Carolina; April 5, 1865. At Jackson his company was under the enemy's cross fire, and of thirty-three men, eleven fell within three minutes. Mr. Bailey went through the war without a scratch. He was married, March 8, 1866, to Phoebe Devon, a native of Michigan, born Oct. 27, 1844. Her parents afterward removed to Wisconsin, where her mother still lives. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have two sons — Emery, born in Bremer county, Sept. 8, 1868, and Wellington, born in Franklin county, Nov. 9, 1873. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., page 442-443)
T. W. Bailey, farmer, settled where he now resides in Ingham township, on section 24, in 1869. He came first to Iowa in February, 1866, and selected a farm at Jamison's Grove, Butler county, where he resided three years. He was born near Danbury, Fairfield Co., Conn., May 13, 1836. His parents, George W. and M. E. (Bearss) Bailey, were natives of Connecticut, and in 1844, went to Ohio and settled in Catawba Island. The father was a graduate of West Point and held the rank of lieutenant. The paternal grandsire of Mr. Bailey was a soldier of the war of 1812, and his great-grandfather was a patriot of the revolution. In 1857, Mr. Bailey left Ohio and engaged in farming in Bureau Co. Ill., where he remained ten years. Mr. Bailey was married Nov. 20, 1860, to Mary L., daughter of B. S. Chambers, of Bureau Co., Ill. Their son, Edwin Wheeler Bailey, was born Jan. 11, 1868, in Butler Co., Iowa. Mr. and Mr. Bailey are members of the Methodist Church. He is now class leader and president of the board of trustees of the Union Ridge Methodist Church. He has been justice of the peace and also school director. He owns eighty acres of fine land. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., page 440)
S. E. Baker came with his parents to Iowa in 1856, and located in 1858 on section 9, where he lived until 1872, and then sold out and moved to Jasper Co., Iowa, but returned to Franklin county, in 1880, when he purchased his present home on section 25. He was born in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., in 1834. When live years old, his parents moved to Michigan, staying one year, then to Indiana, remaining seven years, then to Illinois, where they lived nine years, and from there to Iowa, which is now their home. He is the son of Almon and Julia A. Baker, both preaching in the United Brethren Church over thirty years. He has been favored with a good education, completing at Pendleton Seminary, Ill. He enlisted in the 32l1 Iowa Volunteer Infantry, company H, in 1864, remaining until mustered out, and was in several engagements, but came out unhurt. He was married, Jan. 1, 1866, to Miss C. A. Miller, a native of Ohio They have four children — Eldora Ann, wife of Calvin West of Wisconsin, Samuel Almon, Saloma T. and William Edson. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., page 541)
Dr. T.H. Baker began the practice of medicine at Hampton at a very early day, and is still an honored citizen and physician. He is the oldest practicing physician in the county. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 199)
Alonzo A. Bangs came with his parents to Franklin county, in 1865, and settled in Morgan township, where the family still remain. He is the son of Samuel and Melissa (Morrison) Bangs, and was born Sept. 15, 1849, in Van Buren Co., Mich., and in 1861, moved with his parents to Wisconsin, and settled in Iowa county, where they remained three years, and then came and located at their present home on section 19. Alonzo A. received a liberal education in the common schools and remained with his parents until December, 1879, when he was married to Josephine Mabboth, who was born in Wisconsin, in 1855. They have one child — Clifford. Mr. Bangs lives on a farm adjoining his father's, where he has erected a good house and is extensively engaged in sheep raising. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., page 471)
Samuel W. Bangs settled on section 19, in Morgan township, where he has a fine farm of 250 acres, fifty acres of which is heavy timber land. He being a thorough practical farmer, his farm is under an excellent state of cultivation, with a fine house and barn. He was born in Ohio, Dec. 29, 1820. When quite young his parents moved to Vermont, and from there to Monroe Co., N. Y., and again to Michigan in 1835, being one of the first settlers in Paw Paw, Van Buren county. He was raised on a farm, having the advantages of the common school. He was married in 1842 to Melissa Morrison, a native of Vermont, who was born in 1823. They cleared off and improved a farm of 160 acres in the heavy timber near PawPaw, Mich., but owing to ill health and the poor soil of their farm, they sold out and removed to Jones Co., Wis., where they lived until 1866, when they moved to Franklin Co., Iowa. They are the parents of six children — Orisson, Hattie, Alonzo, Byron, Daniel and Frank. He is a republican in politics, and has filled numerous offices of trust in his township. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., page 472)
C. S. Barney was born in Lancaster, Wis., in 1856. When eight years of age his parents moved to Detroit, Mich., where he grew to manhood. He was educated at Patterson select school, graduating in 1872. He then went to Lansing, Iowa, where he learned the tinner's trade, and followed it for three years. In 1875, he went to Hampton, and worked at his trade until 1879, when he came to Sheffield and bought out Cresler Bros., extending the store building deeper and filling up with a well selected stock. (Chapter 18, Clinton, twp., page 326)
Frank Barry, a leading stock farmer of Ingham township, was born in Green Co., Wis., Aug. 13, 1850. His parents, Edmund and Elizabeth (Kirby) Barry, are natives of Ireland. His father served five years in the English army. They came to America and located in Green Co. Wis., about 1845, where Mr. Barry, Sr., is still living where he originally settled. Frank Barry remained at home engaged in stock-raising until May 1869, when he came to Franklin county. His aggregate capital when he arrived was a pony, a saddle and $30 in money. Associated with his brother William, he bought land on section 10, Ingham township, and, in 1873, they sold and came to their present location, where they commenced operations in stock as a specialty. Their herd numbered 100 head of cattle as a nucleus. In 1882, the sales of Barry Bros., amounted to $33,000. The firm remained intact until July, 1882, since which Frank Barry has managed the farm which includes 560 acres. In 1882, the yield from the farm was 7,000 bushels of corn and 1,400 bushels of oats. The place contains three living springs of water, making it peculiarly advantageous for stock purposes. Mr. Barry buys young stock and feeds for the market, holding about 200 head of cattle and 200 hogs. Mr. Barry was married, Oct. 6, 1881, to Katie Shehan, at Monroe, Wis. She was born in New York and her parents were early pioneers of Wisconsin. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., page 442)
John Baurr was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, where he grew to manhood. He had good educational advantages, having attended Heidelberg two winters, after attending the common schools. He was a weaver by occupation. When twenty-one years of age he removed to Dubuque Co., Iowa, remaining until 1873, when he came to Franklin county and located on section 23, in Geneva township, where he is now living. He was married May 6, 1867, to Rosine Christina Sinn, born in Wurtemburg in 1840. Five children have been born to them — John, George, Willie, Chris, (deceased) and Charley. The mother of Mrs. Baurr is still living in Wurtemburg at the age of seventy-five; the father died in 1877, aged seventy-nine. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 358)
Frank Beach was the fourth son of Lester and Lydia (Chase) Beach, natives of New York, and who removed to Ohio, where they were married, in 1835, and then moved to Peoria Co. Ill., being among the first settlers of that county, where the mother still lives, aged sixty-five. The father died in 1857, aged fifty-four. They had a family of nine children. Frank enlisted in company K, 86th Illinois; after serving several months, was taken sick and discharged and is now on the pension list. He was married, Dec. 29, 1864, to Sarah Elsey, born in Essex, England, in 1845, and who went to Rome, N. Y., remained one year, thence to Kane Co., Ill., and from there to Peoria county, where she was married. Mr. and Mrs. Beach have had four children, three of whom are living — Lydia E., Emily C, Lilla M. and Frank. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Four Mile Grove. They removed to Bear Grove, Butler county, in 1866, and in June, to Franklin county, settling on section 12. The farm consists of 320 acres. He is a republican in politics, and has held local offices in Madison township, Butler county. He is an estimable citizen and held in high regard by his neighbors. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 359)
Charles Beed, a prominent hardware dealer in Hampton, was born in Devonshire, England, June 20, 1843. In 1857 he came to America and soon afterwards settled on a farm in Franklin Co., Iowa. Here he engaged in farming until 1873, at which time he moved into Hampton, and in 1878 engaged in the hardware business. In politics he is a republican. He is a member of the Congregational Church. In 1866 he was married to Lydia Hacker, a native of Ohio. This union has been blessed with four children — Lockwood, Mercy, Frankie and Lewis. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 398)
George Beed, president of the Citizens' Bank, is a fit subject for a sketch in this connection. Thousands of enterprising young Englishmen have heard of the rising west, and, attracted by its promising openings, have sailed for the New World, and proceeded directly to the land of prairies. Here with their business habits, acquired in the old country, they have cast themselves upon their own powers, and by industry and prudent management secured a competency, or become independent in a few years. To this class belongs George Beed. He is a son of Thomas and Anne (George) Beed, and was born at Colyton, in Devonshire, England, on the 25th of June, 1832. He attended school most of the time until he was sixteen years of age and during the next ten years was employed as a clerk in the importing house of Ricketts, Boutcher & Co., London. Thus thoroughly educated in a business line, and well reared in American progress, and full of enthusiasm to visit the young west, there to select a home, he sailed for the United States, and reached Franklin Co., Iowa, in the spring of 1856. Purchasing a tract of land near the present site of Hampton, the county seat, he spent two years in its improvement. In 1858 and 1859, he was engaged in a steam grist mill and sawmill near Hampton, an enterprise which proved very unfortunate, he losing all he had. The following year Mr. Beed served as deputy treasurer and recorder of the county, and a year later was elected treasurer and recorder. By repeated elections he served eight consecutive years, the last term of two years as treasurer only, the two county offices having been separated. In 1870, he engaged largely in the real estate business, to which he had previously given some attention, and became, in a short time, a heavy dealer in landed property. He owns a large quantity of improved lands, and has had over 5,000 acres broken during his residence in the couniy. Indeed, very few citizens, owners of real estate, have done more than he to develop the agricultural wealth of Franklin county. In September, 1875, Mr. Beed organized the Citizens' Bank of Hampton, he being one of the principal stockholders and the president. It has become a popular institution, and is doing a thrifty business. Mr. Beed has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and an officer in the same for many years, and is known for his liberal support of the gospel, and of every worthy benevolent enterprise. In politics he has always been identified with the republican party. On the 18th of August, 1857, he was married to Marinda Denman, of Erie Co., Ohio, and by her had five children, four of whom are now living. Mrs. Beed died on the 2d of August, 1875. On April 12, 1876, he was married a second time, to Amelia Illingworth, of Hampton. He was married to his present wife, formerly Abbie Goodrich, March 21, 1883. Mr. Beed is a leader in local enterprises. He obtained the subscriptions by which the right of way for the Central Railroad of Iowa was secured, bringing the road to Hampton, the natural line being about three miles east of town. He not only gave much time but much money to accomplish this end, and a failure would have been ruinous to the place. Mr. Beed has been for several terms one of the school directors of the city, and cheerfully gives more or less time, from year to year, to advance its educational interests, and in many respects is one of the most enterprising and useful citizens of Franklin county. Mr Beed has eight brothers, seven of whom live in Franklin county. William, the eldest, is one of the most public-spirited men in his part of the State. All are hard working men, who by their industry have placed themselves in easy circumstances. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 421-422)
James H. Beed, junior member of the firm of William G. Beed & Brother, established in business at Hampton in 1867, prior to which he had served two years as county recorder. He was born in Devonshire, England, November 2, 1835, where he was educated and attained his majority, emigrating to America in 1856. After prospecting for some time, he came west to Hampton, Iowa. In November, 1861, he enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, as a private. He was promoted to quartermaster sergeant, serving until honorably discharged, in August, 1864, after which he returned to his present home. He married Miss C. J. Lyman in 1870. They have one daughter — Lotta. They are members of the M. E. Church. He is an active, enterprising business man and an excellent citizen. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 395)
Walter Beed is a native of Devonshire, England, born March 24, 1845. He came to America in 1858, and soon after to Franklin county. He was but thirteen years old and made the best use of such educational advantages as the primitive condition of the county offered. He has been all his life a practical farmer, and is justly considered as among the most prominent agriculturalists of Franklin county. He was married, April 5, 1872, to Mary L. Hacker. She died March 10, 1875, leaving a daughter, Mabel L. Beed. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 480)
William G. Beed is one of the prominent business men of Hampton, to which place he came and embarked in business in 1858. He was born Jan. 9, 1831, and is a native of Devonshire, England, where his early life was spent, having excellent advantages. He then entered a mercantile office in London, which place he retained until 1858, when he came to America, proceeding at once to Hampton, where he formed a partnership with James Thompson, with whom he was associated but a short time. He then purchased the entire interest, and continued alone until 1865, when he admitted his brother James. The firm since being William G. Beed & Bro. Beside his mercantile business, in 1864, Mr. Beed purchased the Franklin flour mills, since which he has devoted most of his time to his milling interests, his brother conducting the mercantile. He is one of the directors in the Citizens' Bank, having been one of the organizers of it. In the conflict for the county seat he was one of the supervisors of the county, and much credit is due him for his untiring zeal in retaining the county seat at Hampton. In politics he is a staunch republican, and has always been a strong advocate of the temperance cause. He was married in 1865, to Miss H. A., daughter of John Gould, one of the pioneers of Franklin county. One son has been born to them — Hugh. They are members of the M E. Church. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 395)

W.G. Beed erected a building on the corner of Reeve and Third streets, where he still lives. A log house was moved in from the country and re-built, in which George Beed moved and lived for a number of years. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 389)

The first feed store was opened by W.G. Beed in 1875, in a building on Fourth street, but in 1877, moved into a building opposite the postoffice block, on Reeve street. This is the only exclusive flour and feed store in Hampton and is run in connection with the Franklin mills. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 411)

Frederick Behn came to America in 1871, first locating in Cook Co., Ill. He remained there six years, then in 1877 came to Franklin Co., Iowa, bought 160 acres of land on section 11, Marion township, where he now lives and gives his attention to farming. He was born in Hanover, Germany, March 7, 1841, and was the son of Frederick and Maria (Petzohn) Behn, who had six children, Frederick being the youngest. Mr. Behn married Dorothea Dreegmuller, May 19, 1867. They have four children — Doras, August, Wilhelm and Rudolph. Mr. Behn is a good, industrious farmer, and makes farming a success. (Chapter 25, Marion twp., page 464)
John C. Bell is the second son of John and Elizabeth (Bonson) Bell, descendants on the mother's side of an old family of Bonsons. Mrs. Bell's grandfather, Richard Bonson, was a liberal of the John Bright school, and spent a large fortune in combatting aristocracy. He died about the year 1816, aged ninety-nine years. John C. Bell was born in Yorkshire, England, where he received a limited education. His father was born in 1809, the mother in the same year. The father died in 1854. In 1855, the mother and family emigrated to this country and located in Grant Co., Wis., and in 1883, resided in Lafayette Co., Wis. She has a family of ten children. The father was a mining surveyor and contractor, of whom J. C. received instruction, which he has followed extensively in Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Idaho and British Columbia. He came to Geneva township, Franklin county, in 1875, and has since engaged in farming. In 1867, he wedded Sarah J. Raw, born in Grant Co., Wis., in 1840. They are the parents of eight children — Bonson C. Mary A., Barbara C., Laura, Edward S., Fannie, John C. and Ella. In politics, he is a republican and holds the office of justice of the peace, and has held the office of secretary of the school board seven years. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 358-359)
Ludwig Bell, a native of Mecklenburg Schwerin, was born in 1828; grew to manhood there and received a good education in the German language. He emigrated to Milwaukee, Wis., and remained until 1865, when he went to Monroe county, staid until 1873, when he removed to Ackley, Hardin Co., Iowa; thence to Madison township, Butler county. In 1878, he moved to Geneva township, Franklin county, section 12, where his home now is. His farm consists of 280 acres, valued at $20 per acre, and is one of the best stock farms in the county. He was married in his native country, in 1859, to Mary Wichman, who was also born in Mecklenburg. They are the parents of eight children — John F., Mary, Charley, Riecke (deceased) William, Minna, Louisa and Tilda. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are members of the Evangelical Church Mr. Bell is a democrat and a good citizen. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 359-360)
Louis Belzer is a native of Germany, born in 1836. In 1848 his parents emigrated to the United States and settled in Washington Co., Wis.; were there five years, when they moved to Dodge Co., Wis., and remained ten years, and then moved to Iowa, settling in Black Hawk county, where his parents still live. Louis remained there seven years, when he came to Franklin county, and located in Geneva township, on the farm where he now resides. He was married Sept. 27, 1862, to Mary Ann Krebs, a native of New York, born in 1839. They were the parents of twelve children, eight of whom are now living — Susan C., Sarah M., Franklin L., Luella B., Mary G., Edward W., Freddy A. and Frieda A. (twins). They are members of the Evangelical Association. Louis and Barbara Krebs, parents of Mrs. Belzer, are natives of Alsace. They came to the United States in 1830, and settled in New York State, where Mrs. Belzer was born. Her father died in 1852, aged fifty-two years. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 357)
Johnathan Bender, one of the enterprising farmers of Clinton township, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Lycoming county, Sept. 10, 1838. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Koontz) Bender, natives of the same county and State, afterward removed to Wayne Co., Ohio, and from there to Mercer county. In 1861, J. Bender enlisted in company C, 31st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and took part in the battles of Mills Spring, Ressaca, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Chickamauga, and other minor engagements. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and on the march to Richmond. At Triune, Tenn., a minnie ball passed through his arm, tearing the muscles but breaking no bones. He enlisted as a private, served three years, re-enlisted in the same company, and in July, 1865, he was honorably discharged, as corporal. After the war he returned to Mercer Co., Ohio, and resided there till he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1873. He lived two years in Hampton, then removed to his present farm of eighty acres, in Clinton township, near Sheffield. He is an intelligent farmer, and is meeting with success. In 1866, he and Hannah Murlin, of Mercer Co., Ohio, were united in marriage, and have had five children, four of whom are living — William, Mary, Frank and Ralph. Their second child, Joseph, died in Ohio. Mrs. Bender had eight brothers in the army, all of whom served four years. One of them was killed at Nashville, and another was killed by accident shortly after his return from the war. Mr. and Mrs. Bender are members of the M. E. Church. In politics Mr. Bender has always been a republican. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., page 321)
William J. Bennington came to Franklin county in the spring of 1880, and settled on a good farm in Marion township, farmed until the spring of 1883, when, he removed to the village of Latimer and engaged in business, and is doing well, selling farm machinery. He was born in Marshall Co., Ill., in 1858, where he grew to manhood, and received a common school education. He was married June 17, 1883, to Myra Myers, of Hampton, Iowa. (Chapter 25, Marion twp., page 465)
Rufus S. Benson settled on section 16. He was born in the town of Richmond, Cheshire Co., N. H, Sept. 7, 1804, and is a son of Isaac and Eunice (Sawyer) Benson, natives of New Hampshire. His grandfather was one of the first settlers of that State. Rufus was the fifth of seven children, three girls and four boys. His father died in Vermont. His mother died when he was but seven years old. When twelve years old he went with a married sister to Ohio, where he remained three years, when he returned to New Hampshire. After staying two years here he returned to Ohio, where he married, Dec. 11, 1828, Caroline Wells, a native of Geauga Co., Ohio, born Aug. 12, 1810, by whom he had four children. In 1855 he came to Franklin county, settling on section 16, Geneva township, where he now resides. Mrs Benson died September 5, 1862. He was again married Dec. 13, 1864, and by this marriage had three children. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 346-347)
Capt. Rufus S. Benson, president of the Franklin County Bank, came to Franklin county in 1855, at which date his parents, Rufus and Caroline (Wells) Benson, joined the pioneer corps of Iowa. Capt. Benson was born in Madison, Lake Co., Ohio, June 3, 1842. He was thirteen years old when he came to this State, and he soon after entered the college at Beloit, Wis., where he was pursuing his studies when the war broke out. In 1861, he enlisted in company F, 1st Wisconsin Infantry, for three months' service. At the expiration of his term he returned to Franklin county, but did not remain long inactive, and soon after entered upon the work of organizing company H, 32d Iowa Infantry, of which the Hawkeye State is justly so proud. He went to the field in the position of 2d lieutenant and at Columbus, Ky., was promoted to the rank of captain. He served until August, 1865, and was in the battles of Fort DeRussy, La., March 14, 1864; Alexandria, La.; Pleasant Hill, La., April 9, 1864; Yellow Bayou, La., May 18, 1864; Lake Chicot, Ark., June 9, 1864; Tupello, Tenn., July, 14,1864; Old Town Creek, Tenn., July 15, 1864; Nashville, Dec. 15 and 16, 1864; Spanish Fort, Ala.; and Blakely, Ala., April 9, 1865; besides other minor engagements. Soon after his return home he was elected clerk of the courts, which office he filled four years. He was next chosen auditor and served two years, and afterwards acted four years as county treasurer. He purchased an interest in the Franklin County Bank, and in 1881 was elected president, which position he still holds. In 1881 he was elected a member of the State legislature, and is at present an incumbent of the same position. He has always been a republican, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was largely instrumental in establishing a chapter at Hampton, of which he was first high priest. He was married at Hampton, in 1866, to Sarah Porter, from New York. They have three children - Wells R., Guy E. and Holly P., born respectively, Nov. 14, 1868; May 25, 1875; and March 12, 1878. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., page 419-420)
Peter C. Berry, born in Lebanon Co. Penn. in 1815, is a son of Peter and Elizabeth (Lutz) Berry, natives of Pennsylvania. In 1815, they removed to Cincinnati, and from there to Batavia, and then to Butler Co., Ohio, and again to Cass Co., Ind., where the father died in 1853, the mother in 1873. They reared a family of eight children, the subject of this sketch being the sixth. P. C. Berry was reared on his father's farm, and as the advantages were not what they now are, his education was limited. He was married in Cass county, Aug. 4, 1836, to Christena Thomas, a native of Preble Co., Onio, born Feb. 14, 1817. Her parents, Lewis and Barbara (Albright) Thomas were natives of North Carolina, from whence they removed to Ohio, then to Indiana, both dying in Miami county. They had eleven children; Mrs. Berry being the eighth. In 1856, Mr. Berry emigrated with his family to Franklin county, and purchased ihe farm where he now lives. He and his wife have been members of the Methodist Church upwards of forty years. The farm consists of 328 acres, under a good state of cultivation, valued at $35 per acre. He is a republican in politics. Fourteen children have been born to them, seven of whom are now living — Mary J., Emeline, Edward N., Oliver B., William D., James C. and John W. Mr. Berry is a member of the Masonic order, and was a charter member of the Hampton lodge. He is regarded as an excellent citizen. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., page 347-348)
Levi Bigelow. In 1856, Levi Bigelow settled at Otis Grove, and the following year moved to Oakland. Levi Bigelow has been post master at Oakland Valley twenty years, has officiated as township clerk ten years as assessor one year, as justice two years, and, also, as school director. Since 1866, he has conducted a general merchandise business. He is a pioneer of Franklin county, where he fixed his residence in 1857, at Otis Grove, and the next year made a permanent transfer to Oakland. He was born at Fitzwilliam, N. H., March 9, 1801. His parents, Thomas and Hannah (Lewis) Bigelow, were natives of Massachusetts. His father combined the callings of farmer and shoemaker, and, at sixteen, the son learned the trade of harness maker and saddler. At the age of twenty-three he established himself in business at Jeffry, Cheshire Co., N. H., where he remained about a year and returned to Fitzwilliam, his native town and lived there until his health failed and he was compelled to change occupation. In 1847, he exchanged his town property for a farm. In 1849, in company with others, he bought and loaded a ship for California. The sale of the vessel and cargo paid the expense of the voyage. Mr. Bigelow engaged in mining about three years, when he made a visit to the east, returning to the Golden State. He mined successfully a year longer and went back to the Granite State in 1854. In 1856 he made a prospecting trip to Iowa. He was married in May, 1825, to Mary Cutler. She died at Oakland, in 1874. Two of her five children are living — Levi S., resident at Worcester, Mass., and Elizabeth, wife of E. A. Smith, of Oakland. The second wife was Cordelia Wilson, of Otisville. Her death occurred in 1880. She left one son, Elliott P., then four years old. Mr. Bigelow has always been a member of the republican party. He was an Odd Fellow in his native State. E. A. Smith, a son-in-law of Mr. Bigelow, came to the township in 1857, and finally located on section 28, where he still lives. (Chapter 28, Oakland twp., page 494-495)
D. E. Bigg was born in England in 1848. He came to America in 1862 and settled in Fon du Lac, Wis., where he commenced to learn his trade when he was quite young. He received a common school education. In 1878, he came to this place and worked at his trade — that of contractor and builder — until 1881, when he formed a joint partnership with J. W. Bruce, under the firm name of Bigg & Bruce, and thus they have continued. He is a member of the school board; also a member of the Odd Fellows lodge of which he has been an officer. He is a republican in politics. Mr. Bigg was married in 1873 to Lucinda Thayer, of Wisconsin. They have four children — Maude, Ethia, Johnnie and Grace. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., page 341)
A. H. Bird, dealer in general merchandise, was born in Canada in 1847. He was brought up on a farm, received a common school education and came to the United States in 1867. He first settled at Watertown, Wis., where he followed farming for six years, or until 1872, when he came to Iowa and bought a farm in Clinton township, Franklin county. Here he continued to farm until 1882 when he sold out, and, in company with William Combellick, engaged in the mercantile business in Sheffield. In March, 1883, he bought out the entire business and has now one of the largest and best stocked stores in the town He was for five years one of the trustees of Geneseo township and a member of the school board for two years. He was wedded, in 1872, to Flora E. Jones. They have four children — Nellie A., Florence, Sidney and Hugh. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., page 332)
Matthew Bird. Isaac and Hannah Bird came from England and settled in Canada West, near Toronto. They had a son, Matthew Bird, who is the subject of this sketch and who first saw the light in Canada, Nov. 5, 1840. In 1866 the family removed to Dodge Co., Wis., where Matthew lived until 1874, when he came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and located on section 13, Ross township. He has 160 acres of prime land, 105 acres of which are under plow. There are seven acres of trees and the balance meadow land. Mr. Bird values his land at $40 an acre. He keeps twenty head of cattle, fifty hogs and five horses. He has been married twice; the first time, in 1866, to Sarah M. Bird in Canada. In 1871 she died, leaving two children — Charles A. and Mary Emily. In 1874 Mr. Bird married Catherine Devlin of Dodge Co., Wis. He has been secretary of the school board two terms; trustee, five years; sub-director, five years, and road supervisor, two years. He is an old line democrat, and never fails to vote that ticket when the polls are open. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., page 548 & 553) Transcriber's note: my copy of the book jumps from page 548 to 553 - it does not appear that there are actually missing pages, just that the page numbers took a jump.
Robert L. Bird removed to Reeve township, on section 21, in 1874. He was born in Fulton Co., Ill., and when a small child his parents moved to Lee, thence to Madison and then to Butler, Iowa. His parents were natives of Ohio, and came to Iowa in 1855. The father now lives in Madison county; the mother died at Butler Centre, Butler county. He enlisted at Butler Centre, Oct., 1, 1861, in company E, 12th Iowa Infantry, serving until January, 1865. He took part in many of the battles of the war. He was disabled in the army, from the effects of which he now draws a pension. After being discharged he returned to Butler county, where he was married, June 10, 1866, to Nancy J. Oxford, born in Indiana in 1848. They have six children — Mabel R., Florence M., Grace, Laura B., David L. and Dora J. Mrs. Bird is a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Mr. Bird is a staunch republican and has held local offices. The parents of Mrs. Bird are old settlers of Butler county, where the mother still lives, the father having died there Jan. 1, 1881. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., page 523)
Richard T. Blake, one of the first settlers in Franklin county, came in 1854. McCann and Butterfield coming at the same time. Mr. Blake was born in Dublin county, Ireland, Feb. 20, 1826. His father, Thomas Blake, was in the British service, and Richard was born while his father was stationed in Dublin county. Richard spent most of his childhood in Scotland. At the age of fifteen he went to sea, following that life until twenty-four, when he was married and began farming at Homewood, twenty-four miles south of Chicago. Soon afterwards he came to Franklin county to avail himself of cheap lands, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. Mr. Blake was married to Mrs. Sarah Ridgeway, at Homewood, Ill., Oct. 8, 1850. They are the parents of twelve children, all of whom were living in 1883. Their names were as follows: Louisa, Jane, Richard, Frank, George, John, Alice, Bessie, Kate, Charles, Sarah and Nettie, all of whom were born in Franklin county, except the two eldest daughters. In 1883, John was at Coe College and Alice at the Cedar Falls Normal School. (Chapter 29, Osceola twp., page 501)
J. H. Bland came here from Indianola, Iowa, is 1874, for the purpose of practicing law. He entered into partnership with D. W. Dow and remained ahout six months. His health then failed him and he went to Los Angelos Co., Cal., where he died soon after. In speaking of the unexpected death of James H. Bland, the State Register said: "Mr. Bland, who was well known in Iowa, removed to California in 1874, going partly for health and partly for business. His disease was diphtheria, and his illness lasted only four or five days. Mr. Bland had many friends in our city and many at Indianola, where he attended college for three years, as well as at Hampton, this State, where he used to be in business. He was an intimate friend of Homer Cope, and was himself a fine elocutionist, and had read in public at various places in this State. He went to California to pursue his profession, that of law, and was meeting with unusual success. He was a young gentleman of the highest worth and of the noblest qualities. His age was twenty- eight." (Chapter 7, The Bar, page 183)


1883 Biography Index

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