Franklin co. IAGenWeb

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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



J. Darling was born in Waterbury, Vt., Oct. 21, 1838. His parents, Moses and Almira (Braley) Darling, removed from Vermont to Wisconsin in 1859, and in 1868 settled in Clayton Co., Iowa, where the senior Darling is still living. The mother died in 1848. The subject of this sketch obtained his education in the public schools of Washington Co., Vt. He was married in 1859 to Olivia B. Royce, of Vermont, and they set out in life with nothing but a stock of good health as capital. They went to Clayton Co., Iowa, in 1868, and, five years later, came to Franklin county. Mr. Darling had his team and $50 in money when he reached here. In June, 1873, he bought eighty acres of land and the same year broke seventeen acres. He has now a good farm, a pleasant home and is in promising circumstances. He has been secretary of the school board five years, and for two years was road supervisor George F. , Emma Jane and Frank are the names of the surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Darling. One child, Elmer, died when six weeks old. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. page 445)
Robert Darrah came in 1856, settling on section 36. He was born in Ireland, Dec. 25, 1819. He came to America in 1848, locating in Harrison Co., Ohio. While in his native county he received a liberal education, and learned the trade of shoemaking; also was engaged in manufacturing fine linen; but after he came to Ohio he engaged entirely in the shoemaking business. In 1855 he came to Iowa, settling at Independence, where he remained until the spring of 1856, when he came to Franklin county, in company with the Hamilton brothers, and soon after bought the farm where he still lives. After coming here he bought 100 acres and built a log house in which he lived until about six years ago. He was instrumental in getting the township of Hamilton set off, and by him the township received the name of Hamilton, in honor of Andrew and Robert Hamilton, his brothers-in-law. He taught the first school held in the township in the winter of 1857-8, in a little log shanty, there being eight or nine pupils in attendance. He was justice of the peace for about four years; was town clerk for five years; was one of the first petit jurorsin Franklin county; was trustee of the town for a long time; was school fund commissioner for two years; was secretary of the school board and levied a tax of $550 to build a school house; and was also school treasurer for some two years. He has been a republican all his life, and is a member of the Methodist church. He was married in 1852 to Elizabeth Hamilton, sister of Robert and Andrew Hamilton. They have had eight children, six of whom are now living — Mary C, engaged in teaching; Jennie, died at the age of fifteen; John H., lives in Lee township; Lizzie L., teaching; Nancy A., teaching; Robert A., lives at home; Eva, died at the age of ten, and Walter H. (Chapter 21, Hamilton twp. page 375)

[transcriber's note: also in Chapter 21, page 383, 'First Things' section is a bit more information about Mr. Darrah] The first child born in the township was John, a son of Robert Darrah. He was born in the winter of 1857, and in 1883 was a resident of Lee township.
W. N. Davidson came to Franklin county in 1857, and located first at Maysville. In 1858 he removed to Hampton and in November of that year, was appointed county superintendent of schools and was elected to the same office in 1859. He commenced the practice of law with but little preparatory study ; but being a diligent student and a close observer, he became well posted in his profession. Mr. Davidson was not a thoroughly educated man, but he had an indomitable will that knew no such thing as " fail. " His likes and dislikes were intensely strong, and, as his temperament was not such as was calculated to make him friends or extend his acquaintance, he did not achieve that success here that his talents entitled him to, although he built up a good practice and accumulated considerable property. It is said of him that he became one of the best special pleaders in the State of Iowa. His forte lay entirely in the preparation of a case. He was a fine writer and his papers and documents were faultless. Mr. Davidson was a very eccentric man ; he would meet a friend on the street and would shake hands in the most friendly manner; but the next day meeting the same person he would never show the least sign of recognition; his mind being at times so concentrated on some particular business that he would pass his best friends without noticing their presence. He was gifted with a poetical mind and would sometimes sit and allow his imagination to soar at will for hours. He published a book of original poems, replete with poetical thought and grand flights of imagination. In 1875 he went to Ackley, Hardin county, and from there removed to Bloomington, Ill., where he ran a democratic newspaper for about a year. He then went to Luverne, Minnesota, where he has since been judge of the probate court. (Chapter 7, The Bar page 179)
E.T. Davis emigrated to Franklin county in 1876. He bought eighty acres of raw prairie which he has so improved that he now has a most desirable home. He was born in Green Co , Wis., Feb. 9, 1852. He is the son of D. M. and Charlotte A. (South) Davis, both natives of Pennsylvania, who removed to Green county at a very early date. E. T.'s grandfather moved to Wisconsin in 1834 with his family, consisting of twelve sons and two daughters. The death of one of the sons was the first death to occur in Green county, and an uncle resided in Wisconsin so early in its history that for two years he did not see a white man, his only neighbors being Indians. The subject of the sketch resided with his parents on a farm, until he came to Iowa. In October, 1874, he married Belle, daughter of John A. and Judith (Luce) Brown, who were also early settlers of Green Co., Wis. In politics he is a republican. They are the parents of two children — Dallas E. and Elsie. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. page 585)
S. A. Davis has been a resident on section 1, Mott township, since 1874. He was born in LaFayette Co., Penn., March 8, 1834. His parents were David and Mary (Woodle) Davis, who settled in Green Co., Wis., in 1838, where they were among the pioneers. His mother died there in 1871, his father, in 1882. S. A Davis enlisted at Washington, D. C, in June, 1863, in company K, 22d Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After he returned from the war, he went back to Green Co., Wis , where he remained until 1874, and then came to Iowa. He was married December 25, 1866, to Cassandra Taylor, a native of Pennsylvania. (Chapter 27, Mott twp. page 489)
W.W. Day was the next county judge, being elected in the fall of 1867 and serving until the office was abolished by law. Judge Day came from Pennsylvania at an early day, and settled in Reeve township. He was quite an old man at the time, was married and was a shoemaker by trade. He made a good officer, and made many friends. Since his first settlement in Franklin county his residence has not been continuous, but in 1883 he was living in Marion township. (Chapter 12, Representation page 254-255)
Nathaniel C. Deering was the successor to Mr. Pratt. He was elected as a member of the 45th and re-elected to the 46th and 47th Congress. He was an influential member. (Chapter 12, Representation page 250)
Simon Doherty moved on section 22, in Lee township, in February, 1879, where he is now living. He has generally been engaged in farming. He was a native of Kings Co., Ireland, born in 1829. In 1849, he emigrated to Philadelphia, where he married Bridget Carbary, in 1852, a native of West Meath Co., Ireland, born September, 1827. In 1856, they moved to LaSalle Co., Ill., where they farmed, remaining until 1879, when they removed to Franklin county. They are the parents of eight children - Kate, Thomas, Simon, Maggie, Mary A., William, Emma and James. Mr. Doherty has always taken an active interest in educational matters, and has given his children a good education, three of them being teachers. Thomas, the eldest son, who is the present town clerk, was born in Philadelphia, in March, 1855. He grew to manhhood and received his education in the high schools of LaSalle Co., Ill., and came with the family to Iowa, where he has since been engaged in farming during the summer months, and in winters teaching. He also holds the offices of school director, and road supervisor. They are all members of the Catholic Church. (Chapter 24, Lee Township, page 459-460)
M.K. Donovan came first to Franklin county in 1867, purchasing the northeast quarter of section 10, Osceola township, where the family lived until 1882, when they met with the misfortune of having their home burned to the ground. Mr. Donovan has since built a fine residence on section 11, and has one of the finest farms in the township. He had formerly been engaged in lumbering in the Wisconsin pineries, but his present vocation is farming. He was born in lower Canada, near Quebec, in October, 1838, and at the age of seventeen, removed to Fond du Lac Co., Wis., where he was engaged in the pineries for ten years. He was married, in 1865, to Margaret Mcginley, also a native of Canada, who removed to Wisconsin at the age of sixteen. They purchased a farm near Ripon, Wis., where they farmed three years, then removed to Osceola township where they have since resided. They have had ten children, seven of whom are now living - Michael D., Mary C., Margaret E., Bernard S., Edward J., Louis Patrick and Elizabeth A. Mr. Donovan and family belong to the Catholic Church; and in politics he is a staunch democrat. He has been justice of the peace several years, and has served several years as president of the school board. (Chapter 29, Osceola Township, page 504)
John Dovey was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1837. At the age of fourteen he emigrated to Canada, remaining four years, thence to Dubuque Co., Iowa, where he staid until the spring of 1871, and then went to Ackley, Hardin Co., and in the spring of 1881, removed to Franklin county, locating on section 23, in Geneva township, where he still lives. He was married in 1858 to Adelaide Jackson, who died in Hardin county, in 1874. He was married in 1874 to Josephine Miller, who died March 24, 1881. He then married in January, 1883, Mrs. Mary J. (Berry) Murphy, daughter of Peter C. and Christina Berry, old settlers of Geneva township. She was married to Mr. Murphy Feb. 15, 1855, in Cass Co., Ind. In the spring of 1856 they came to Franklin county. They had five children, four of whom are now living — Peter D., John H., Maggie E. and Emma C., wife of G. G. Cooley of Bristow, Butler county, who died Oct. 5, 1882, and Rhoda M. Mr. Murphy served in the army and died June 8, 1881. (Chapter 19, Geneva Township, page 360)
Daniel Webster Dow, the second attorney to locate at Hampton, and the oldest resident attorney in the county, was born in Washtenaw Co., Mich., on the 30th of September, 1836. In 1846 his parents located in Waukesha Co., Wis., and two years later removed to Whiteside Co., Ill. Having been taught the advantage of an education, at the age of fifteen he began attending school, working during the summer season to secure the necessary means to attend during the winter. After he had sufficient education he taught school during the winter months and attended in the summer At nineteen years of age he began the study of law, that profession being his aim from early boyhood. For a time he read law with Joseph Knox, of Rock Island. Early in 1859 he was admitted to the bar, and soon after came to Iowa, and was admitted to practice before the courts of this State in Clinton county. In July, 1859, he located at Hampton and began the practice of his profession. One year after his arrival he was elected clerk of the courts and re-elected twice. After retiring from office he again began practicing his profession, in which he has since been actively engaged. He is to-day one of the most successful attorneys in northern Iowa, and his success is largely due to his untiring zeal and energy. Mr. Dow has always taken an active part in any enterprise of a public nature that would tend to advance the interests of his county, and probably no man has worked harder than Daniel W. Dow to make Franklin county what it is to-day. He is a forcible speaker, clear and logical in his arguments, and is an honor to the bar of Franklin county. For a short time he served in the war for the Union, enlisting in 1864 in company G, 44th Iowa Infantry, as lieutenant, and served in that capacity until honorably discharged at the expiration of his term of service. On the 4th of December, 1864, Mr. Dow was married to Miss M. J. Carter, daughter of S. H. Carter of Reeve township. Their children are — Guy H., Sarah A., Alma and Abi. (Chapter 7, The Bar, page 183-184)


1883 Biography Index

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