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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



J.B. Galer, M.D., born in Milton, Penn., Feb. 4, 1822, a son of George and Mary (Orr) Galer, Iocated at Hampton, Iowa, as a physician June 1, 1870, and still resides there, having a large practice. He is a member of the County Medical Association, and was one of its charter members. He went with his parents to Muncie, Lycoming Co., Penn., and at fourteen he went to Clearfield, same State. He has also lived at Jefferson and Fayette, Wis., and Warren, Ill. In 1848, he entered Rush Medical College and graduated. From Aug. 9, 1862, until Dec. 25, 1863, he was assistant surgeon in the 31st regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, and resigned because of ill-health. In October, 1852, he married Louisa E. Beals, of St. Albans, Vt., who died Jan. 15, 1870; and Oct. 10, 1872, he married Abba A. Gould, of Georgia, Vt. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 200)
J.T. Gans, a prosperous farmer of Ingham township, made his first acquaintance with Iowa when he was a youth of eighteen, bringing two teams and remaining three months. In 1876, he came to the township of Ingham as a permanent resident, and now owns 120 acres of land which he values at $25 per acre. He intends devoting his entire time and attention to stock-raising, of which he is now establishing the foundation. He was born in Green Co., Wis., June 23, 1851. His parents were Joseph and Sarah (Rodrick) Gans. They were natives of Pennsylvania and pioneers of Green county. Mr. Gans was married in the spring of 1869, to Florence Brown, of Green Co., Wis. She was daughter of a pioneer of her native county; her father moved from Ohio to Wisconsin, in 1845. Belle, aged nine and Mozelle, aged four years, are the children of Mr. and Mrs Gans. Mr. Gans is a democrat in political faith; is at present a justice of the peace, and is director and secretary of the school board of his district. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., pg 441)
William Garber has been a resident of Franklin county since 1865. He was born in Madison, Perry Co., Penn., Nov. 22, 1823. His parents, George A. and Sabina (Stambaugh) Garber, were natives of the same State. Mr. Garber removed to Ogle Co. Ill., when thirty years old, and bought eighty acres of land in the town of Monroe and engaged in farming until the rebellion of the southern States. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company F, 74th Illinois Infantry, and served three years. He was in action at Perryville and Stone River, and was taken prisoner. He was "in durance vile" at Richmond twenty-nine days, when he was paroled and sent to Annapolis, Md. He was exchanged the next spring and rejoined his regiment in Tennessee. He was ordered on detailed duty with the garrison at Fort Rosecrans until the spring of 1864, when he went to his regiment at Atlanta, Ga. He was under fire at Nashville and Franklin, General Thomas commanding. He received his discharge in June, 1865, and joined his family in Franklin county, where they had removed in the fall of 1863. Mr. Garber's farm contains ninety-five acres of land under advanced improvement, and his place shows every evidence of industrious thrift. He was married Feb. 26, 1846, to Sarah A. Baltocer, of Perry Co., Penn. Four only of seven children are living — John W., William B., Sarah J. (wife of William Kiefer) and Julia. Mr. Garber has acted in the positions of township clerk, school director and road supervisor. Mrs. Garber is a member of the M. E. Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 577)
G.L. Gear, of the firm of Ford & Gear, was born in 1858, in Jo Daviess Co., Ill., and came to Franklin Co., Iowa, settling at Sheffield, Clinton township, in the spring of 1881. He was the son of William T. and Eliza (Day) Gear. He grew up in his native county, was educated at the common schools, and remained at home until the death of his father in 1880. He then came west and spent six months in Minnesota, and in 1881 came to Sheffield, where, in company with Mr. Ford, he bought the livery stable, in which business he is now engaged. In politics he is a republican, and is a member of the I.O.O.F. at this place. He was married in 1883 to Susie Ford. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 334)
Henry Gerfen was born in Westphalia, Prussia, Oct. 20, 1842. In 1864 he emigrated to St. Louis, Mo , and engaged in labor until 1874, then moved to Wisconsin. In 1876 he came to Franklin county. After working for different farmers for a time, he bought land on section 24, Ross township, where he now has a fine home. He has thirty-five acres under cultivation, and values his farm at $25 an acre. In the fall of 1875 Mr. Gerfen married Caroline Steinhan, in Dane Co., Wis, They have three children — Annie, Mary and Matilda. Mr. Gerfen and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a democrat in politics. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 553)
M.D. Gibbs, a settler of 1862, was born in Chemung Co., N.Y., May 25, 1851. His parents, Benoni and Sarah (Kimball) Gibbs, were natives of New York, where his father was a farmer. When only eight years of age, M. D. Gibbs, like the lamented Garfield, drove two seasons on the Erie canal. In 1862, the family removed to Franklin Co., Iowa, and M. D. has since been a resident of Ross township. Mr. Gibbs still enjoys single blessedness, and his mother and sister are living with him on section 6. He has a farm of 160 acres in the town of Genesee, Cerro Gordo county. He has twenty-five head of cattle, eight horses and seventy-five hogs. His land is valued at $25 per acre. Mr. Gibbs has held the offices of school director, constable, justice of the peace and road supervisor. Politically he fraternizes with the republican party. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 542)
S.A. Gibbs is a native of New York, born in Chemung county, on the 6th of February, 1815. His father was a carpenter, and S.A. learned the same trade with a brother when he was twenty-one. He resided in the State of New York until 1860, then removed to Green Lake Co., Wis., where he lived one year, then moved to Winona Co., Minn. In 1871 he came to Franklin county, and has since resided on section 6, Ross township. He owns ninety-five acres of land, all of which is under cultivation, except five acres of timber. In 1844 Mr. Gibbs married Isabelle Wright, of Chemung Co., N.Y. They have had seven children, four of whom are living — Martha, the wife of George Durr, of Cerro Gordo county; Mary Jane, Thomas and Addie May, the wife of Joe Smith, of Ross township. Mrs. Gibbs is a communicant in the Baptist Church. Mr. Gibbs has held the office of road supervisor. In politics he is a staunch democrat. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 546)
George C. Gibson is the son of George W. and Adeline E. (Howe) Gibson, the mother born in Vermont, October, 1832. They had five children, four boys and one girl. His father was of Scotch descent, born in York State, July, 1832. They moved to Logansville, Sauk Co., Wis., where George was born, in 1853. When twelve years of age, his parents moved to Illinois, remaining one year, thence to Iowa, locating on section 19, in Morgan township. He was reared on a farm, and received a common school education, after which he spent twelve years in the pineries of Michigan and Wisconsin, returning to Iowa, May 10, 1881, first operating a ditching machine in the northern part of the State, and then engaging in his present business in February, 1882. His father enlisted in 1864, in company K, 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving until 1865. He was wounded in the head at the battle of Dallas, Texas, dying from the effects of the wound while under treatment at Chicago, Ill. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 477-478)
J.D. Giffen opened a law office in Hampton in 1873, and remained about nine months. From here he went to Marion, Linn county, this Stale, and in 1882 was elected judge of the eighth judicial district. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 182)
Joseph Gilchrist one of the early settlers of Ross township, was born in Westmoreland Co., Penn., July 3, 1827. He is the son of Joseph and Julia (McCollister) Gilchrist, both natives of Pennsylvania. His mother died while he was a child, and he was brought up on his father's farm. At the age of eighteen he began to learn the shoemaker's trade, at New Salem Cross Roads, Pennsylvania, which vocation he followed for a number of years. In 1858, he removed to Iowa and located at Shell Rock, Butler county, where he worked at shoemaking about three years, then removed to Franklin county. In the fall of 1862, he settled on the place he now owns. He first bought forty acres on section 10, to which he has added from time to time, until he is now the owner of 240 acres, nearly all of which is under cultivation. Mr. Gilchrist is an enterprising farmer, having twenty-eight head of cattle and nine horses on his place. He began setting out fruit trees soon after locating, and now has a thrifty orchard, nearly all in bearing condition. Mr. Gilchrist married Sarah A. Bushyager, of Pennsylvania, Aug. 8, 1849. She has borne him eight children, all of whom are now living — Irving K., born May 3, 1850; Mary E., born Oct. 4, 1850; William D., born Nov. 5, 1854; Sarah L., born Oct. 31, 1856; Martha J., born April 19, 1859; Alice S., born Aug. 1, 1861; Joseph G., born March 12, 1864, and Truman H. J., born Dec. 1, 1866. The first four children were born at Adamsburg, Penn., the next in Butler Co., Iowa, and the three last named in Franklin county. Mr. and Mrs. Gilchrist are members of the Disciple Church at Rockwell. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 343)
J.W. Gilger came here from Greene, Butler county, in 1880. He was a native of Venango Co., Pa., and came to Butler county early in the seventies. He was admitted to the bar in that county and worked up a fair practice. Mr. Gilger was a man of ability and was a good lawyer. For eighteen months he was in partnership with D. W. Dow, of Hampton, and for a time with D. W. Henley. In the spring of 1883, Mr. Gilger removed to Minneapolis, Minn., to pursue the practice of his profession. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 183)
Chauncy Gillett was born in Bridport, Addison Co., Vt., in October, 1820, and when little past his majority removed to Chillicothe, Ohio. In 1844, he moved to Columbus and went into business there — that of handling musical instruments. In 1856, he made some investments in Franklin county, but did not move his family out until 1857. Upon his arrival he laid out the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 30 — forty acres— into Gillett's addition to Hampton, and built the house which is now a part of the Phoenix Hotel, on the corner of Fourth and Main streets. In 1859, he was elected to the legislature (8th General Assembly), and served with marked ability. He was a radical republican, and was the first republican postmaster at Hampton, having been appointed by President Lincoln in the spring of 1861. Never a very strong or robust man, the vigorous climate proved too much for him and he was stricken with consumption. With characteristic pluck and nerve, however, he kept up his courage and hope to the last, and insisted on taking a trip to Chicago on business against the advice of his family and friends, and while there was taken worse, and died in September, 1862. He was a public-spirited man, and a citizen whose loss was severely felt in Hampton, and if he had lived, his ability and the esteem in which he was held would have doubtless placed him among the first men in Iowa. He left no children, and his wife yet resides in Hampton, and is now the wife of E.S. Stiles. (Chapter 12, Representation, pg 251-252)
J.M. Goble settled in Geneva township, Franklin county, in 1871, and in the spring of 1872, settled in Reeve township on section 36, where he now resides and makes farming his occupation. He was born in Perry township, Shelby Co., Ohio, in 1833. He was educated at the common school, and was the third child of a family of fifteen. His parents, now deceased, were natives of Ohio. He followed brickmaking in the summer, and went to school in winter until 1855, when he went to JoDaviess Co., Ill. In 1857, he married Diadema Warne, born in Southwood, Canada West, in 1838. Her father was a native of Digby, Nova Scotia; her mother of Canada. They are both dead. Mr. and Mrs. Goble have three children — Laura B., John L. and Lucy R. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., pg 530)
George Goppinger is a farmer and one who has made farming a success in Ross township. He was born in Bavaria, Dec. 31, 1855. He is the son of Joseph and Frances (Keiber) Goppinger. In 1868 he came to the United States and settled in Manitowoc Co., Wis , and in 1869 came to Franklin county. He labored on the railroad in Iowa and Minnesota two seasons, and then began to improve his farm. He now has 200 acres of choice land which is valued at $30 per acre. He has thirty-seven bead of cattle, fifty hogs and nine horses, and is now laying a good basis for future profits in stock. Mr. Goppinger married Ellen M. Ormrod, of Rush, Ill. They were married at Warren, Ill., and have one child — Lizzie. In politics Mr. Goppinger is a republican. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 545)
John Graham, of the firm of Graham & Willix, bankers, came to Dows, in 1881, engaging in the lumber and banking business. Prior to this, he had followed carpentering in Chicago two years, and farming in Tama Co., Iowa, thirteen years, after which he came to Franklin county. He was born in Canada, in 1839, being reared on a farm and received his education in the log school house of that day. After becoming of age, he went to Chicago and began life for himself. He was married in 1873, to Alice Erritt, also a native of Canada, born in 1849. They have one child. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 475)
Ludwig F. Grassley, son of Ludwig F. and Elizabeth (Bitz) Grassley, was born in Bernbuck, Germany, June 20, 1842. At the age of fifteen he came with his parents to America, they first making their home at Blue Island, Cook Co., Ill., where they lived nine years and then removed to Du Page Co., Ill., where they remained until 1877. Mr. Grassley married Louisa Gordon, of French extraction, who was born in Canada East. They came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and bought 120 acres of land on section 14, Marion township. They are both members of the German Lutheran Church. Mr. Grassley is a democrat in politics.(Chapter 25, Marion twp., pg 464)
C.B. Green was born in St. Lawrence Co., N.Y., in 1835. When twelve years of age his parents emigrated to Dodge Co., Wis., where he grew to manhood and received a good education. In 1867 he came to Franklin county and located on section 33, in Reeve township, where he has since lived with the exception of two years spent in Kansas. He was married in 1860 to Mary D. French, born in New York in 1842. They have seven children — Nettie L., Richard C., Ulysses, Jennie M., Mabel, Bessie and Guy V. (twins). Mr. and Mrs. Green are members of the M. E. Church at Maysville. Adam C. and Thankful (Avers, Cook) Green, parents of C. B., were natives of St. Lawrence, N.Y., moved to Wisconsin, then to Franklin county, thence to Kansas, where the father died in 1878, having been a faithful minister of the gospel in the M. E. Church. He died in the triumphs of a living faith and has gone to his reward. The mother is still living in Kansas. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., pg 524)

Christopher Green

Christopher Green, who came to Clinton township in 1879, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1836. His parents, Jesse and Martha Green emigrated to New Diggings, Wis., when he was six years old, residing there two years. They then removed to Jo Daviess Co., Ill., where they still live at the age of seventy-five, hale and hearty, and able to read without glasses. In 1857, Christopher went to Stephenson Co., Ill. In 1861, he enlisted as bugler and musician, in the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, remaining about two years and being in some of the fiercest engagements of the war. He then returned to Illinois, and was at home but five months, when he went to the Washoe district, Nevada, engaging in the lumber business, which proved successful. Three years after, he sustained heavy losses, and disposed of the business. He then pursued ranching until 1872, when he went to White Pine Co., Nev., where he engaged in mining and cattle raising, in which he was successful until 1877, when his mines became almost worthless, and the hard winter killed most of his cattle. After these reverses he returned to the Washoe district. He was acquainted with Mackey, Fair, O'Brien, Flood and other mining millionaires of to-day, but at that time poorer than himself. After an absence of sixteen years, he returned to Jo Daviess county, and in 1879, came to Franklin Co., Iowa, when he purchased his present farm, now valued at $50 per acre. He takes an interest in politics and is a member of the school and township boards. He was married to Catherine Winkless, a native of England, in 1867, and has two children — Frances Isabella and Martha Lula. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 322 & portrait pg 329)

J.A. Green came to Franklin county, in March, 1876, and first settled in Reeve township and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1882 he settled on section 6, Scott township, where he now owns 108 acres. He was born in Wood Co., Ohio, on the 10th of April, 1854. His early life was spent on the farm in his native county. He was married on Feb. 23, 1879, to Clara J. Shroyer, a native of Iowa. They have two children — Lloyd M. and Earnest Ray. (Chapter 33, Scott twp., pg 566)
James Green, another of the leading farmers of Clinton township, was born at Elizabeth, Jo Daviess Co., Ill., March 6, 1S46. His parents, Jesse and Martha (Hanson) Green, were born in Yorkshire, England, and settled in Illinois in 1842. James learned the trade of spinner when twenty-one, and worked at it four years at Council Hill, Ill., then went to Elizabeth, and for six years was foreman of a farm of 2,000 acres. In 1876 he removed to Sheffield, Iowa, and engaged in general merchandise, in company with Mr. Combellick. The partnership was dissolved in six months, as Mr. Green did not like the confinement of the store. He then bought the farm on which he now resides, consisting of eighty acres of good land in Clinton township, adjoining the village of Sheffield. He has made good improvements and has a pleasant home. He pays considerable attention to the raising of stock, has seventy-five hogs, twenty head of cattle and four horses. His land is valued at $45 per acre. In the fall of 1868 Mr. Green married Sarah Combellick, of Council Hill, Ill., by whom he had six children, five of whom are living — Edith N., Charles Cyrus, John W., James Jesse and baby Dot, Mr. and Mrs. Green are members of the M. E. Church. In politics he is a republican, and has held the office of town trustee. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 321)
S.O. Gridley has been a resident of Franklin county since 1875, locating first in Chapin, where, in company with his brother-in-law, W. W. Richards, he engaged in mercantile business, having the first store and being the first postmaster in the town. He retained his interest in the business three years, then sold and bought the farm where he now lives. His attention is chiefly given to stock, that being more profitable than the raising of grain. He was among the first to import Holstein cattle into Franklin county, which he did at great expense. He was born in Medina Co., Ohio, in 1849, where he received a good education. He is the son of Orrin and Lydia Gridley, who were of English descent, and natives of New York. He remained with his parents until of age, when he took charge of one of his father's farms. In 1870, he married Lepha Eddy, also a native of Ohio. In 1874 he removed to Page Co., Iowa, purchased a farm and put in a large crop, but suffered a severe loss from the grasshoppers. He then rented his farm and came to Franklin county, where they have since lived. They have three children — Novella, Eddy B. and Orrin E. They are members of the M. E. Church, and for two years Mr. Gridley has been superintendent of the union Sunday school. He is a republican. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 553)
C.S Guilford succeeded Mr. Harriman [as clerk of court] by election in 1880. In 1882, he was re-elected and is now serving his second term. C S. Guilford was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 15th of October, 1852, a son of C. C. and H. S. (Coffin) Guilford. Twelve years later the family removed to Tama Co., Iowa, and settled upon a farm. When fifteen years old C. S. begm clerking in a store at Toledo, Iowa, and followed that vocation for about three years and a half, when he became deputy county auditor. For two years and a half he filled that position and then came to Hampton and compiled a set of Franklin county abstract books, and engaged in the loan, real estate and abstract business until elected clerk of court in 1880. In politics Mr. Guilford is a republican. He is an efficient and accommodating county officer and is popular among all classes. He was married, in 1875, to Lydia Thompson, daughter of James Thompson, of Hampton. Three children bless this union — Edna A., William H. and Cady Swain. (Chapter 12, Representation, pg 258)
Dr. Guthrie - Among the first physicians to locate in Hampton, was Dr. Guthrie. He came here in the fall of 1856, and besides following his profession, kept hotel in a little building which stood on the present site of the Beed block. Dr. Guthrie was a man of good morals, and had many traits of character which made him a respected citizen. In 1858, he removed to New Hartford, Butler Co., Iowa. His present location, if he is still living, is unknown. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 199)


1883 Biography Index


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