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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



H.S. Eddy came in the spring of 1871, locating on section 26, where he now resides. His occupation has been farming. He was born in Kane Co., Ill., October, 1839, where he grew to manhood, having good educational advantages. He served nine months in the 52d Illinois Infantry. He was married to Mary Ladd, in 1866, also a native of Illinois. They have four children. He is a republican and has held offices of trust in the township. (Chapter 24, Lee twp. page 459)
William Eddy, proprietor of the Union House, in Chapin, was born in Manchester, Vt., Jan. 19, 1819. His father, James Eddy, was born in Adams, Mass., and his mother, Delia (Carter) Eddy, was born in Hartford, Conn. When William was a child, his parents removed to Berkshire Co., Mass., and remained there until he was twenty years of age when the family went to Medina Co., Ohio In 1862, William enlisted in company B, 42d Ohio Infantry, commanded by Garfield. He served eighteen months and was then discharged on account of disability. He returned to Ohio and engaged in hotel business until 1868, when he removed to Eldora, Iowa. In 1872 he came to Chapin, and opened the first hotel in the place. There were only two houses in Chapin when he came. His first hotel was a small shanty which soon became too small for his increasing business, and he then built a larger house. In 1883 he made another addition. Mr. Eddy married Venita Shaw, of Medina Co., Ohio, in 1858. They have had four children, two of whom are living — Delia, who married W. W. Richards, who opened the first store in Chapin and died here in 1881; and Lepha, the wife of S. O. Gridley, now living in Ross township. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. page 547)
William Ellis, one of the early settlers of Ross township, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1822, and came to America in 1831 with his parents. They settled in Detroit, Mich., where William grew to manhood on his father's farm. His parents being poor, he was compelled to neglect his education and give his attention and time to clearing off the heavy timber and securing a home for the family, and when this laudable purpose was achieved, it was too late to make up in education the years lost in youth. His parents died on the old homestead in Michigan, after toiling there for more than thirty years. The son, of whom we now write, continued to live on the old farm until 1854, when he came to Iowa, settling first in Clayton county, but, in 1863, he came to Franklin county and settled on the farm in Ross township, where he still resides. He has a good farm of 160 acres, with 100 head of cattle, sixty hogs and ten horses, and his farm is one among the very best ones in Ross township. He was married in 1848 to Mary Dinnin, who was born in Ireland. By this union they have four children — William Jr., Elizabeth, Francis and Jessie. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. page 543)
Elliott - Among those who came to the township in 1861, were John and David Elliott, who came from Ohio (Chapter 21, Hamilton twp. page 376)
Louis Elseffer was elected County Recorder in the fall of 1882, and began official duties in January, 1883. Louis Elseffer has been a resident of Iowa since 1856, when his parents, Peter and Jane (Tapp) Elseffer, located in Cedar county. Mr. Elseffer was born in New York City, Aug. 30, 1844. He enlisted from Cedar county in 1861, enrolling in company E, 11th Iowa Infantry, and received an honorable discharge in July, 1865, at Louisville, Ky. On his return to Cedar county, he engaged in literary work, and entered upon the career of a newspaper reporter and correspondent. In 1875, he came to Franklin county and settled on a farm in Marion township. He was elected county recorder in 1882, on the republican ticket. He is a member of the Masonic order. Mr. Elseffer was married in 1870, to Delilah Medaris. (Chapter 12, County Recorders, page 257)
P. R. Engebretson was born in Norway, Dec. 8, 1853. He is the son of Ole and Angret (Peterson) Engebretson. In 1858 he came to America with his parents and settled in Butler Co., Iowa. Five years later they removed to Black Hawk county, and in 1869, they came to Franklin county and settled in Richland township, where they still reside. In 1881, the subject of this sketch settled on his present farm of 160 acres. In 1879 he married Minnie Jacobson. They have one child, Albert. (Chapter 32, Richland twp. page 559)
Claus Erickson is a Norwegian by birth and came to America when twenty two years of age, locating in La Fayette Co., Wis. He was born June 15, 1833, and when he had been a resident of this county seven years, and entitled to its privileges as well as its perils, he assumed his right to defend the flag which protected him, and enlisted in Company G, 22d Wisconsin, serving three years. He was wounded at the battle of Resaca, a minnie ball hitting him in the shoulder. He served the remainder of his term in the Invalid Corps. He returned to the "Badger State," where he remained until 1868, sought a residence in Oakland township. He owns 133 acres of fine farming land which he holds at a value of $3,325. His stock includes thirty head of cattle and thirty hogs. He was married in Wisconsin in 1860, to Caroline Edson. They have buried one child and have four living — Joseph L., Andrew, Isabella and Jane. Mr. and Mrs. Erickson are members of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Chapter 28, Oakland twp. page 496-497)
Edward Esslinger, one of the most enterprising farmers of West Fork township, was born in Berks Co., Penn., Nov. 13, 1832. His father was a carpenter and moved to the State of New York. Two years later he went to Chicago, where he worked at his trade, and finally settled at Milwaukee. He was master builder on the first tavern erected on Walker's Point. Mr. Esslinger can remember when there was but a single dry goods store in the city of Milwaukee. He sold wood in that market at three shillings per cord, and at a later period, disposed of the same quantity for seven dollars. He went to Racine to learn the cooper's trade, and while there enlisted in the Union army. Ho was enrolled, in 1862, in company F, 3d Wisconsin Infantry, and served through the war. He went back to the Badger State, where he resided until the spring of 1869, when he came to Franklin county, and the ensuing winter located where he now resides. Himself and two brothers bought a half of section 9 and divided it among themselves. Mr. Esslinger has 105 acres, whose aggregate value he rates at $2,625. He devotes much attention to stock-raising, and owns twenty-two head of cattle, twenty-eight hogs and twelve horses He was married Feb. 26, 1857, to Elizabeth, daughter of Christian Kiefer, an early settler of Milwaukee. Mr. and Mrs. Esslinger have had twelve children, eleven are living, as follows — Adaline, Lilly, Amelia, Edward E., John, Julia, Minnie, Cora, Frank, Reuben and Richard, Mr. Esslinger has been township trustee eight years and school director two terms. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. page 581)
Emanuel Esslinger was born in Pennsylvania, Dec. 24, 1836. His father, George Esslinger, was born in Germany, and emigrated to Pennsylvania when young. The family went to a farm in the vicinity of Buffalo, N. Y., in 1837, and soon after made another move to Milwaukee, Wis., where they lived on a farm about five miles southwest of the city, Mr. Esslinger enlisted Aug. 22, 1862, in company K, 33d Wisconsin Infantry. He was in the service three years, and passed through some of the severest campaigns of the war. His regiment was in the engagement at Coldwater, Miss., and was part of the division ordered to reinforce General Grant at Vicksburg. The rebel General Forest cut off their supplies while they were on the march, and for nine days the command subsisted on the scantiest fare, many of the soldiers yielding to exhaustion. They fell back through Moscow where they lay several weeks. A large number died from cholera, the results of overeating after starvation. The division went back to Memphis, and from there by boat to Vicksburg. They took part in the thirty-seven days siege and capture of Vicksburg, and were in action at Jackson, Miss., and afterwards in the Meridian Expedition. The regiment was sent to Natchez and on the Red River expedition, where the men were detailed to guard transports. The White River expedition pursuing Price to Warrensburg, Mo., was their next severe service, followed by an order to proceed to St. Louis with prisoners of war. They were under fire at Nashville, Franklin, Spanish Fort and Mobile. The regiment was mustered out at Vicksburg and returned to Madison, Wis., where it disbanded. Mr. Esslinger returned to Milwaukee, and soon after went to Geneseo, Ill., remaining there until the spring of 1869, when he came to Franklin county. He lived near Hampton a year, and then settled on section 9, West Fork township. He has a fine farm of 110 acres which he improved from the prairie, has built a substantial house and surrounded it with trees, and also has a prospective orchard. On the 12th of April, 1866, Mr. Esslinger was married at Geneseo, Ill., to Caroline Schuck. Her parents settled in Henry Co., Ill., when the nearest markets were Galena and Rockford. Their children are — Ada, Edward, George, Millie, Hayes, Clyde and Katie. Mrs. Esslinger and Ada are members of the Evangelical Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. page 580-581)
Samuel Esslinger has been a resident of Franklin county since 1869. He came with his brother, Emanuel, and after living one year near Hampton removed to his present location. He owns 105 acres of land, having on it a never-failing spring of water which greatly increases its value as a stock farm. He has seventeen head of cattle and fifty hogs. He was born on his father's farm five miles from Milwaukee, Oct. 12, 1842. His parents were among the first settlers of Milwaukee county. Samuel enlisted in the war of the rebellion, Aug. 20, 1862, enrolling in company K, 33d Wisconsin Infantry. He fought beside his brother, Emanuel, and was in the engagements at Vicksburg, Corinth, Nashville, Franklin, Spanish Fort, and all the skirmishes and campaigns in which his regiment took part. On one occasion while in action a piece of shell passed between him and his brother. One or both must have been killed had they been in close rank. At Spanish Fort he was in advance and the first man on the fortifications. He rushed up alone to about twenty rebels and demanded their surrender. Under the belief that he was supported by his comrades they obeyed, realizing when too late that they had been captured by a single man. After his discharge he returned to his former home, and three months later went to Geneseo, Ill., where he remained until he came to this county. He and his brother came through with a team, and arrived March 19, 1869. Mr. Esslinger was married to Theodosia Riggins, of Franklin county, Jan. 25, 1872. She was born in the Keystone State, and with her parents was among the pioneers of Winnebago Co., Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Riggins are yet living in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Esslinger have six children — Ellsworth E., Homer D., Judson D , Preston, Bernice, Amanda and Emma Ida. Mr. Esslinger is a republican in politics, and is now road supervisor, and has acted as constable two years. He is a member of the Evangelical Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. page 579-580)
Frank Evans is a stock farmer in Oakland township. He located on his present place in the spring of 1868, where he owns 160 acres of land in first class condition, located on section 18. He has made a specialty of raising stock since 1879. He was born in Christiana, Norway, July 2, 1840. His father came to America when he was fourteen years old, and settled in Green Co., Wis. Mr. Evans remained there eight years, when he made an overland trip to Gold Hill, Nev., and engaged as a miner, working by the day and holding personal interest in some claims. In 1867, he returned to Wisconsin, and remained there a year. He has recently begun raising horses. Mr. Evans has been twice married. His first wife, Christiana Peterson, to whom he was married in 1868, died in 1870,leaving one child — Ellmen M. The present wife, Mrs. Mary J.Evans, is a sister of her predecessor, and was married Dec. 20, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Evans belong to the Norwegian Lutheran Church, at Otis Grove. He is a republican in politics. (Chapter 28, Oakland twp. page 497-498)
John E. Evans, was elected county superintendent in 1879, and re-elected in 1881. John E. Evans, the present superintendent of schools of Franklin county, came here in 1876, and soon after became principal of the schools at Geneva and retained the position six terms. He was born in Racine Co., Wis., Aug. 22, 1850, and is a son of E. J. and Ann (Davis) Evans. His parents removed to Iowa Co., Iowa, when he was eight years of age. He obtained a fair degree of education at the district schools, and studied three years at the University at Iowa City. Mr. Evans is a supporter of the principles of the republican party, and a member of the Congregational Church at Hampton. He was married, in 1875, to Amelia Jones, born in the State of New York. (Chapter 8, Educational, page 193)
William D. Evans located and commenced the practice of law in Hampton in 1879, being associated with T. B. Taylor. He was born in Racine Co., Wis., May 10, 1852, and in 1858 came with his parents and settled in Iowa City, Iowa, where at the age of twenty-one he graduated at the State University, in the college department in 1878, and in the law department in 1879. He is a republican, an earnest advocate of temperance and a member of the Congregational Church at Hampton. He and Julia Clark, of Iowa City, were married in 1879 and have two children: Evan S. and William Devoid. (Chapter 7, The Bar, page 186)

1883 Biography Index


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