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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



W. D. F. Randolph, one of the early settlers of Ross township, is a carriage painter by trade, and also gives a good deal of attention to practical farming. He was born Nov. 25, 1837, at Piscataque, N. J. His father's name was Furman F. Randolph, the mother's maiden name, Mary Drake, both natives of New Jersey, the Randolphs settling in Middlesex county as early as 1680. The grandfather on his mother's side was a captain in the war of the Revolution. W. D. F. Randolph came west at the age of nineteen, but after spending some time in Chicago and southern Illinois, he returned home where he then learned his trade of carriage painting. In 1862, he came to Franklin county, and has since resided in the town of Ross, and carries on his trade and runs his farm. On the 10th of November, 1855, he married Maria Colyer, of New Jersey. They have one son, W. H. F. Randolph, who is now in Fargo, Dakota. Mr. Randolph has held the offices of secretary of the school board, director, township trustee, and for ten years has been clerk of elections. He was also assessor one term. He is a straight republican, and votes that ticket every time he gets a chance. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. pg 542-543)
James Ray arrived March 27, 1859. He bought eighty acres of land of Richard Belt in what is known as Allen's Grove. His nearest market was Independence. In I860 he took his produce to Cedar Falls, camping while on the journey, which consumed about nine days in the round trip. His landed possessions now include 480 acres, all under cultivation except eighty acres which are timber. His stock includes sixty cattle, seventy hogs and sixteen horses. Mr. Ray was born in Sterlingshire, Scotland, Aug. 15, 1823. When seventeen years of age he was apprenticed to learn the trade of engineer, but, not liking the business, he ran away at the end of six months. He sailed from Glasgow for the United States when twenty-five years of age, and proceeded from New York to Cleveland, Ohio, going a few weeks later to Detroit and Chicago. He went from the latter place to La Porte Co., Ind., and engaged with a farmer, in whose employ he remained eight years and sixteen days. His Scotch thrift and frugality had made his savings aggregate $2,200, and he bought his employer's farm. In 1859 he sold out and came to Iowa. He was married Christmas, 1852, to Margaret Meehan, of La Porte Co., Ind. Six of their nine children are living — John, James B., Joseph, Margaret, Mary Ann and Dora L. Mr. Ray has been an active and efficient township officer, having served nine years on the board of trustees, associated during the entire time with Henry Bushyager. He has also held other official positions. He is a Presbyterian in religious belief, and Mrs. Ray is a Roman Catholic. Mr. Ray is a republician, and is known for his public spirit and interest in the welfare of the community where he lives. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 573)
Levi B. Raymond. An interesting feature of the Recorder at this time was the "History of Franklin County," by L. B. Raymond, which was published as a serial, having reached the fifteenth number. L. B. Raymond is still proprietor of the Recorder. It has a large circulation and ranks among the best county newspapers in Iowa. In speaking of the history of the Recorder in January, 1880, L. B. Raymond said: " We cannot now call to mind all the graduates of the Recorder office. The writer hereof was the first 'hand' in the office, and James W. Sheppard, afterwards of the Rock Rapids (Lyon county) Review, the second. Then came his brother, Frank Sheppard, J. Y. Lambert, who was very well known here in his day, but of whose present where-abouts we are not advised; A. M. Allen, now dead, but during his life-time of the Belmond Mirror and Hampton Magnet; Clarence Whitney, the present junior editor of the Hampton Chronicle; T. L. Hacker, at one time of the Ackley Independent, but now private secretary of the governor of Wisconsin; F. P. Morgan, of the Bristow Dial, and many more who have never had any newspaper experience on their own hook. The Recorder has seen Franklin county increase from 1,500 inhabitants to 10,000, and Hampton, from a little hamlet too small to bear counting, to a thriving place of 2,000 people. It was here before there was any railroad, and now we have two. It has outlived or absorbed all of its cotemporaries except one, and we think may justly claim to be ranked among the permanent institutions of Franklin county."

Levi Beardsley Raymond

The following sketch of Levi Beardsley Raymond, was prepared by I. L. Stuart: L. B. Raymond came to Iowa in the fall of 1833 (or winter of 1804) and settled near Aplington, Butler county. He was just out of the army and broken down in health, consequent upon injuries received in the service, and for that reason tried farming in hopes to regain the same. He succeeded but indifferently, either at farming or in benefiting his physical condition, and having but little capital and no previous experience at the business, he abandoned it in disgust in the summer of 1865 and came to Hampton, about even so far as this world's goods were concerned.

A new school house was built at Hampton that season; a two-story stone building that stood between the lots now occupied by the Cannam House and Gray's Furniture Store on Reeve St., and Raymond was employed to teach the first school therein. Miss O. M. Reeve, now Mrs. J. T. James, of Knoxville, Marion county, this State, was his first assistant. In May of the next year, J. Cheston Whitney came to Hampton from Mason City, and, buying the material of the old Franklin Record of S. M. Jones for $300, started the Franklin Reporter, and hired Raymond to work in the office. He also conducted an educational department, in the paper, and made himself generally useful around the institution. We never heard the wages paid, but it was small, as the Reporter was a small institution at that time, being only a six-column folio, and while it was enough to "summer" on, it was not enough for winter wages; at least so Raymond evidently thought, for when fall came he took another school to teach in Reeve township at the foot of Mayne's Grove, in what was then and is now known as the Reeve district.

The summer of 1867, he put in as traveling agent for a school furniture house, and was, in the fall of that year, nominated by the republicans of Franklin county, as a candidate for county superintendent of schools, and was elected by only thirty-three majority over N. B. Chapman, the incumbent of the office. The next two years saw him engrossed in the duties of his office, in to which he entered heart and soul, and he has the credit of inaugurating several reforms, the good effects of which are felt to the present day.

In 1869 he started a second paper in Hampton, deemed a foolhardy venture by many, but as the capital invested was only $250 there was not much risk to run. The paper was called the Hampton Free Press, and although published under difficulties and obstacles that would have discouraged an ordinary man, the sheet thrived and grew apace. In 1860 he was appointed asssstant United States Marshal to take the census of Franklin county, which was the first official position he had ever held wherein the pay or emoluments amounted to anything material. In the spring of 1872 his attention was turned to the northwestern portion of the State, then rapidly settling up, and after a trip made into that vicinity to see for himself, he came back with so violent an attack of the western fever that he sold out the good will and subscription list of the Free Press to Mr. Whitney (who consolidated it with the Reporter under the name of the Franklin County Recorder, packed up his printing material and moved to Cherokee, Cherokee county, where he started a paper called the Cherokee Leader. Immediately after this he purchased the O'Brien Pioneer, which had previously been printed in Cherokee, but dated at O'Brien, and put a printing office into a little attic at that place, employing O. H. Willits, late a typo in the Free Press office, as local editor and manager. Shortly after, he bought the good will of the lately extinct Sioux County Herald, and put another printing office at Orange City, in that county. In the fall of 1872 he started a fourth paper at Doon, Lyon county, called the Lyon County Press, and a fifth at Newell, Buena Vista county, called the Mirror. So that he was the first man to put a printing office into O'Brien or Lyon counties.

His sixth venture in the newspaper line was started under peculiar circumstances, and will bear telling somewhat in detail as illustrating the character of the man and his tremendous energy and pluck. O'Brien county had, during the year 1872, been settling up rapidly, and a railroad had been surveyed through the northwestern portion of the county, and a new town started at Sheldon, which was in the nortwestern portion of the county, while the town of O'Brien, the county seat, was in the southeastern corner of the county. Sheldon was settled by an enterprising go-ahead set of young fellows, who made no secret of their intention to secure the county seat of O'Brien county, and the rapidity with which the town grew, and the country in its vicinity, during the fall of 1872, made it look as though the scepter was likely to depart from the east side of the county. Late in December Raymond happened to be at Doon, Lyon county, on business connected with his paper there, and to the little hotel where he was stopping, came two Sheldon men who put up for the night. Raymond was not introduced to them and they did not know him. After supper he heard them discussing a project that was on foot to start a newspaper in Sheldon early in the new year, and that the funds were already raised, and steps would shortly be taken to give the enterprise a tangible form. He knew that if the paper was not in existence the first Monday in January, at the time the board of supervisors met, it could not be legally recognized by the board as an official paper for the ensuing year, and that if another paper was in existence at that time, they would be compelled to recognize it as the second official paper, and the proposed organ would be left out in the cold. He got an almanac and found that it was just eleven days to the first Monday in January. The Sheldon men retired to rest and Raymond got out his team and started for Cherokee, seventy miles away across a dreary prairie. It was a bitter cold night, and the wind blew so that the track was filled with snow, but it was not very dark, and despite the warnings and entreaties of his host he pulled out. He drove his team until after daylight, when he stopped at a hospitable homesteader's sod house, and after break- fast, hired the man to take him the rest of the way to Cherokee, leaving his own team to rest. Cherokee was reached barely in time to take a train that left eastward bound. He had heard of a second hand office for sale at Manchester, in Delaware county, and thither he went, arriving there in the night. Going to the house of the owner he routed him out and dragged him unwillingly to the office, and after thirty minutes' inspection the material changed hands. Leaving the the ex-owner to pack it up and have it on the cars by a given time, Raymond took the 3 a. m. train for Chicago, and, after buying such other material as was needed, got back to Cherokee in time to unload his second-hand material and start it for Sheldon. The day he crossed the prairie to Sheldon, carrying the balance of the material with him, the thermometer was twenty-nine degrees below zero, and he narrowly escaped death by freezing. But the paper was out on time and was Volume 1., Number 1, of the Sheldon Mail, now one of the leading and most prosperous weeklies in northwestern Iowa. It might be stated, as shedding some light upon the subject, that the O'Brien Pioneer changed hands the last issue in December, coming out under the charge of A. H. Willetts & Co. Who the "Company" was nobody inquired, but the Pioneer and Mail were duly recognized as the official papers of O'Brien county, and the other paper talked of at Sheldon failed to make its appearance.

In 1874, came the grasshopper scourge of northwestern Iowa, and the financial revulsion consequent upon extravagance and recklessness by the early officials in many of the counties. Raymond was caught with county warrants on his hands that he had taken at par, which he held until they went down, in some cases, as low as thirty-five cents on the dollar. Not near all due him from private sources could be collected, and he closed out all his interests as best he could, taking land, stock and slow notes, upon some of which he never realized anything. But he was satisfied to get out on almost any terms, and has never been heard to complain of his experience in northwestern Iowa. After a few months spent in the employ of the State Printing Company, at Des Moines, he returned to Hampton, and for a year or two devoted himself to improving some real estate that he owned in the county and doing some surveying. He held the office of county surveyor one year, and county superintendent of schools one year to fill a vacancy, and in December, 1877, started a third paper in Hampton called the Hampton Leader. The Leader did an excellent business, and on the 1st of January, 1879, was consolidated with the Recorder, that paper having been purchased by Col. T. E. McCracken, and a new firm organized under the firm name of McCracken & Raymond. At the close of the year a stock company bought Mr. McCracken's interest, and the paper passed into Mr. Raymond's control where it has since remained, he now owning nearly all the stock.

Mr. Raymond has been prominent in politics, in Franklin county, and indeed in his section of the State, for many years. He is an excellent organizer, and while his forte does not lie in personal solicitation in a campaign, it is universally conceded that his equal as a conductor or director of an aggressive and active compaign does not exist in Franklin county. His advice is always eagerly sought by candidates and those interested in political affairs. He is an out-and-out radical republican, and it is his boast that during all the time he has voted he has never scratched a regular republican ticket. For many years he has been chairman of the republican county central committee, and his hand has drawn the calls for as many conventions as that of any man in Iowa. In March, 1883, he was appointed a special examiner in the United States Pension Office, and was soon after transferred to the district com- prising northeastern Wisconsin and the upper Michigan peninsula. The Recorder still runs in his name, but is under the immediate management of Mr. I. L. Stuart, who is also its local editor.

The subject of this sketch was brought up near Beloit, Rock Co., Wis., and in his younger days partially learned the printer's trade at that place and was a student at the college there for several years. He was among the first to enlist in 1861, serving nearly two years in the 6th Wisconsin Infantry, one of the regiments comprising the famous Iron brigade of the West, and after being discharged for injuries received in the service, spent a few months in the provost marshal's office at Janesville, Wis., coming to Iowa, as has been stated, late in 1863. He was married, in 1867, to Mary O. Leverich, and has four children living — three sons and a daughter. They have buried three. Mr. Raymond has got along somewhere between three or four years past forty, is over six feet in height, is erect and broad-shouldered and weighs in the neighborhood of 215 pounds. He has blue eyes, light brown hair and a sandy beard, and is remarkably quick in his movements for a man of his weight. He is a warm friend and a bitter enemy — if he hates a man he hates him beyond expression, and he cannot do too much for his friends. He has the faculty of making money but not always of keeping it, and is too generous to ever be a rich man. He is prompt to act, decided in his convictions, resolute in his undertakings and perfectly fearless and independent in everything. He is one of the most public spirited men that ever lived, and is always at the front when any measure is being agitated regarding the welfare of his town or community. He has always been prominent in educational matters, having been a member of the school board of Hampton twice and is now a member thereof. He takes a lively interest in military matters and is captain of company H, 6th regiment Iowa National Guard, and thoroughly devoted to its interests. He has enemies, as every active, aggressive man has, but has also many warm friends. He is thoroughly devoted to his profession and no member of the editorial fraternity in Iowa is more prompt to resent any infringement upon the rights of the craft than he. Probably his worst fault is that of too plain speaking, and a tendency to say sarcastic and cutting things regardless of the feelings of others, but it is noticeable that he is much more careful in this respect as he grows older, and that age and experience have done much towards mellowing him down. Of undisputed New England ancestry and traits, he is a fair specimen of the go ahead westernized Yankee. (Chapter 14, The Press, pg 277-281, portrait pg 571)

L. Reed located in 1871. He was born in Northumberland Co., Penn, Nov. 2, 1834. He is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Chrissinger) Reed, pioneers of Pennsylvania. Mr. Reed's father was a farmer and miller. The family removed to Marion Co., Ohio in 1844, and located on a farm. At the age of twenty-one Mr. Reed set out on a prospecting tour through Indiana and Illinois, laboring on the route as circumstances or inclination dictated. He was married in 1859, to Eliza Johnson, of Marion Co., Ohio, and went to Indiana, locating near Bourbon, Marshall county, where he lived five years. There Mr. Reed enlisted, but was rejected because of a slight lameness. He came to Franklin Co., Iowa, in the fall of 1869, and two years after secured his present farm. He owns 171 acres of land which he values at $4,275 in the aggregate. Mr. and Mrs. Reed are members of the Brethren Church. Seven of their ten children are living — John F., David F., Margaret A., Rosetta, Melinda I., Catherine and Ida May. Mr. Reed came to Iowa with good health and determination to make his life-work successful as his capital stock. He bought land on credit, and has accumulated a fine property. He built a good residence in 1881, which is an ornament to his farm. He is raising stock to some degree and has forty head of cattle. He has held several local offices. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp. pg 441-442)
Col. Arthur T. Reeve was for many years a member of the bar, and is one of the leading men of Franklin county. He is a native of Ohio, born at New Lyme, Ashtabula county, Dec. 18, 1835, and a brother of the first judge of Franklin county — James B. Reeve. The Reeve's were a patriotic family. The grandfather of Arthur, and three brothers were in the Revolutionary war, and two of them died in a prison ship. Arthur's father was a farmer, and the son remained at home until his nineteenth year, having, meantime, pursued one year's course of study at the Orwell Academy. In 1854, he moved to Iowa, settling at Maysville, Franklin county, where he followed farming in the summers and teaching in the winters. In the spring of 1858 he went to Buena Vista county, made a claim on the Little Sioux river, but lost it, and late in the same year returned to Franklin county The summer of 1860 he spent in the mines of Pike's Peak. In 1861 he met John Brown, Jr., in Chicago, and enlisted in the 7th regiment Kansas Cavalry, better known as the "Jayhawkers." He started as a private, and became a non-commissioned officer, serving eighteen months. As soon as colored men began to to be mustered in the Union army, Mr. Reeve was detailed to organize such troops. He soon had such a company ready, in Corinth, Miss., for the 55th regiment Colored Infantry and he was appointed its captain. A little later he aided in organizing the 88th regiment Colored Infantry, and was appointed major. Still later, he organized a regiment of colored militia, and was made its colonel. Near the close of the rebellion, Col. Reeve was detailed for service in the Freedmen's Bureau, being appointed superintendent of the same at Memphis. This office he held until January, 1866, when he returned to his home and farm at Maysville. He moved to Hampton in 1870; had previously read law at sundry times; was admitted to the bar, and engaged in law prctice and real estate business. Col. Reeve has held many offices of trust in Franklin county; he was elected county judge in 1861, but before qualifying enlisted in the army; he was a member of the board of supervisors from 1867 to 1869, and then elected treasurer of the county, serving four years. He has been for a number of years, one of the regents of the State University, and in 1873, was a very prominent candidate for State treasurer. He is now engaged in the pension bureau of the government, but still makes Hampton his home. On the 2d of April, 1858, Mr. Reeve was married to H. Lavina Soper, of Maysville, formerly of St. Lawrence Co.,N. Y. They have had seven children, six of whom are living. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 181-182)
James B. Reeve. The first county judge of Franklin county was James B. Reeve. He was first elected in August, 1855, and two years later was re-elected, serving until January, I860. His second election, in 1857, was contested by Dr. S. R. Mitchell, but after a lengthy trial Judge Reeve was declared elected. Upon him, as the first county judge, devolved the duty of perfecting the organization of the county, dividing it into townships, and such other work as was necessary to perfect a system of county government. Judge James B. Reeve was one of Franklin county's prominent men, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He was one of the first three men who settled in Franklin county, and is remembered by the citizens, both in his private and official capacity as a man, in the fullest sense of that word. It is seldom that the first settler of a new county enters so fully into its history as does Mr. Reeve. When the South rebelled against the old flag, and the country was in peril, Mr. Reeve raised a company, of which he was made captain. He went South with his company and was taken sick at Fort Pillow, from which he never recovered, and died June 24, 1863. He was born in Lyme, Conn., Dec. 27, 1816. His parents, with several other families, moved to Ashtabula Co., Ohio, when he he was but five years of age, and settled in an unorganized township, which upon its organization they called New Lyme, after the town in which he was born. Here he grew to manhood, and received a common school education. He was married Feb. 9, 1840, to Adeline Riggs, born in Geauga Co., Ohio, Dec. 23, 1819. In the fall of 1852 he came, in company with Addison Phelps, to Franklin Co., Iowa, and settled on section 23, township 91, range 20, where his wife still resides. Mr. and Mrs. Reeve had eleven children, all living but the eldest son (Fernando T.) who died at Andersonville prison. Those living are — T. Henry, Orrilla M., Orson G., Beulah M., J. Rumsey, Susan M., J. Albert, Sarah E., Herman D. and Emily A. The three oldest sons were also in the army. (Chapter 12, County Judge, pg 253-254)
John Rumzey Reeve, son of Judge James B. Reeve, was born in Ashtabula Co., Ohio, Sept. 15, 1849, and was three years of age when his parents moved to Iowa. He grew to manhood and received a common school education in Franklin county. He was married Dec. 24, 1871, to Ella Hudson, who was born in Dodge Co., Wis., Sept. 6, 1853. Her father, Amos B. Hudson, was a native of Vermont, and her mother, Laura (Green) Hudson, was born in Oswego, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Reeve are the parents of two children — Daisy and Indie. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp. pg 513)
W. C. Reinke was born in Prussia, in 1838. He is the son of Joachin and Hannah (Schmall) Reinke, natives of Prussia; the father born in 1815, and the mother in 1814. In 1857, they came to America, settling in Dodge Co., Wis., following farming until 1866, when they removed to Iowa and settled in Hardin county, where the subject of this sketch had preceded them the year previous. They remained here until 1869, and then removed to Franklin county settling on section 25, in Geneva township, where they still reside. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of six children. He received his education in the common school, in the German language, and also attended school after coming to America. He was ordained minister of the gospel, in the Evangelical Association, in 1867, his first circuit being at Butler Center, Butler Co., Iowa. He is now engaged in farming. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., pg 355-356)
Amon Rice is a prominent claimant for the honor of priority as a pioneer in Franklin county. He came to the county in June, 1854, locating first at Four Mile Grove, in Geneva township, where he lived until the fall of 1855, at which date he settled on section 20, Mott township, where he now resides. When he arrived here his finances were in a fearful state of collapse, five dollars being the extent of his cash resources, but persevering determination and well directed efforts have placed him in comfortable circumstances. He was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., Aug. 8, 1816. His parents removed to Orleans Co., N.Y., in 1828, and four years later they started west, staying a short time in Ohio and Michigan, and finally locating in Illinois. Mr. Rice remained an inhabitant of the Sucker State until his removal to Iowa. He was married, in 1845, to Maria Jane Scott, a native of Indiana. Their children are — Leonard G., Mary E., Allen J. and Frank M. (Chapter 27, Mott twp. pg 479-480)
John H. Richer came to Clinton township, Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1870. He was born in Philadelphia, Penn., Dec. 21, 1837, and at ten years of age went with his parents to Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio. His father being a shoemaker, at the age of thirteen John began to learn that trade, afterwards working at it in Dayton, Ohio, until 1854, when he settled in Toulon, Ill., then in Henry county, thence removed to Atchinson, same State, where for two years he was in business for himself. He then sold out, went to Osceola and worked as a journeyman.

John Henry Richer

May 2, 1862, he enlisted in company G, 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, known as the Scotch regiment, being largely composed of men of Scotch descent. He enlisted as a private, but for faithful duty the first night he was on guard, he was promoted to second corporal by Colonel Mulligan, of the 23d Illinois. On Sept 19, 1862, directly after the battle of Antietam, he was made second sergeant. Here he was wounded in the head by the fragment of a shell which left him for some time unconscious, but in a week he was in his place again. He was taken prisoner at Harper's Ferry, but at once paroled He had his right shoulder broken in a railroad collision during the war, contracted heart disease and rheumatism in the army, and now draws a pension of $18 per month. He was in the battles of Antietam, Harper's Ferry and others, and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. After the war he returned to Osceola, Ill., and followed his trade until he came here in 1870, in search of health. He settled in Clinton township till Sheffield was started, then came to town and worked at his trade. In 1876, he was appointed postmaster and held the office until Mr. Bowen was appointed. In 1881, he went into business in company with H. Morehouse, where he continued until the spring of 1883. He signed the charter and was instrumental in the organization of the G.A.R. here, of which he is sergeant. He was married, March 8, 1858, to Mary E. Milden, a native of Ohio, They have had three children — Corrilla Louisa, Ransom Dudley and Ione Effie, who died when five years of age. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp. pg 342; portrait pg 319)

James S. Riddle, the youngest of eight children, and son of F. M. and Abigal (Chaffee) Riddle, was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., Nov 5, 1827. He remained in that vicinity until 1851, when he came to Grinnell, Iowa, and from there he went to Marshalltown, where he remained until 1864, and then came to Franklin county. He lived in several parts of the county, but finally purchased land and settled in Marion township. He was married to Anna Harrington, on his nineteenth birthday, Nov. 5, 1846. They have two children — Laura and Willie. Mr. Riddle has held many of the local offices in his county and is held in high esteem by all. (Chapter 25, Marion twp. pg 462)
E. Riggins is one of the active and prosperous farmers of the township. He has 100 acres of valuable land on section 2, where he located in the spring of 1871. He was born in 1823 in Cumberland Co., N.J., where he attained his majority and was educated. He then went to Pennsylvania, where he learned the miller's trade and followed it fifteen years. He emigrated to Winnebago Co., Ill., in 1857, which he made his home until coming to Iowa. He has a nunber of head of cattle, but gives his attention chiefly to hogs, turning off a large number yearly. He was married in 1841 to Lucy Ann Yohn, of Pennsylvania. They have fourteen children, ten of whom are living — Lorenzo, Payton B., Sherwood, Pulaski, Edmund, Lewis, Beulah, Theodosia, Julia and Nancy. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a good citizen. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp. pg 581-582)
Cyrus Roberts. In 1870, Cyrus Roberts established himself in the boot and shoe trade, and is still in busi- ness. Cyrus Roberts has resided in Hampton since 1870. He was born in Cromwell, England, Aug , 1, 1845. He came with his parents to America in 1848. They settled in Iowa Co., Wis., where Cyrus grew to manhood and learned the shoe maker's trade at Mineral Point. In Sep- tember, 1861, he enlisted in company C, 12th Wisconsin Volunteers, and served until he was honorably discharged, Aug. 29, 1865. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and also with Grant at Vicksburg. After his discharge, he re- turned to Mineral Point, Wis., and followed his trade until coming here. Since he settled here, he has been engaged in the stove business. He was married in 1869, to Mary Jane Triplet, by whom he has three children — Emma, Albert Le Roy and Edna. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp. pg 401)
Dr. H. P. Roberts, of Hampton, was born in Sussex Co., N. J., Dec. 1, 1828, and when about eight years of age moved with his parents to Knox Co., Ohio, where he received an academic education in Fredericktown. He commenced the study of medicine in the spring of 1847, with Thomas Rigdon Potter, a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, Pa.; completing his medical education at the Western Reserve Medical College, at Cleveland, Ohio, in the spring of 1857. He was married Dec. 25, 1849, to Abbie S. Lane, and commenced the practice of his profession in Amity, Knox county, in 1851. After remaining in practice in that place for five years, he removed with his family in 1856 to Morrison, Whiteside Co., Ill., where he remained in active professional business for twenty years. In June, 1876, he came to Franklin county and located four miles north of Hampton on a half section of land which he had purchased in 1864. Having frequent professional calls at his farm, he concluded to make his profession his exclusive business, and in the spring of 1882, opened an office in Hampton. Politically, the doctor is a republican; in religion he is a Congregationalist. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have nine children living, four sons and five daughters — Charlotte Ann, Charles P., Hattie A., Edward B., Etta L., Henry G., Lena May, John H. and Gertie B. (Chapter 9, The Medical Profession, pg 202)
W.A. Roberts, carpenter, has been a resident of Hampton since 1873. He was a native of Wales. His parents, J. W. and Catherine (Humphrey) Roberts, emigrated to Watertown, Wis., in 1848. Their family consisted of two children. The mother died soon after removing to Wisconsin. W. A. Roberts attended school until fourteen years of age, when he worked on the farm one year, then enlisted and remained in the war until its close, after which he learned the carpenter trade in Milwaukee, which he has since followed. In 1872, he married a daughter of Charles and Mary Ann McCoy, of Wisconsin. He moved to Mason City in 1868, where he remained three years, then removed to Kansas, but being unsuccessful he came again to Iowa, locating in his present home, where, by energy and perseverance, he has secured a farm of 160 acres under good improvement, a home residence with two lots, also a carpenter shop, located in the city. They have two children — Agnes, aged eleven, and Frank Orison, aged nine. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp. pg 407-408)
Isaac Robinson, merchant and capitalist, located in Hampton in 1869, when he founded his present business. He is a native of Westmoreland county, England, the famous lake region, unparalleled in picturesqure beauty, and the home of the lake poets. He was born October 30, 1835, and is the son of Thomas and Ann (Lee) Robinson. His father was of Quaker lineage, born in Cumberland county, July 10, 1811. His mother was a native of Northumberland county, born Oct. 25, 1804. They came to LaFayette county in 1844. The elder Robinson was a mechanic and an engineer in the lead mines of Yorkshire and he came to the mining region of Wisconsin as affording a wider field for his abilities and energies. The journey from England consumed about six weeks. Landing at New York they proceeded up the Hudson river to Albany, going thence by rail to Buffalo. The trip to Chicago, by steamer, occupied two weeks. At Chicago a farmer's team was chartered to transport the family to their destination, the route requiring six days. Mr. Robinson, Sr., engaged in the same capacity as in England, and his history presents a peculiar phase of the possibilities under American institutions. Claimants divided their prospects with men who could supply the necessary qualifications, and by these means Mr. Robinson became largely interested in mines. He and his wife are still residents of LaFayette Co., Wis.

Mr. Robinson, of this sketch, was but eight years old when his father took him to Wisconsin. Social conditions there and subsequent events have had a large influence in molding his character and shaping the bent of his life. He had little school training in England and hardly none in Wisconsin, as the license of the times precluded much attention to any claims beyond the immediate exigencies of the hour. The pictures by Bret Hart of life on the Pacific slope are but reprints of times and events at New Diggings. Men enforced their demands at the point of the knife and with a cocked revolver. Human life was as unstable as the hopes centered in the possible treasures in the depths below their feet, and the existing state of affairs had a lasting influence on the sanguine, nervous lad, who there learned his lessons in human nature. At a later day life improved in some phases at New Diggings. The new El Dorado on the sunset coast of this continent drew away the turbulent element and greatly improved social matters. Wisconsin had become a State and law and order prevailed above ground. But in the bowels of the earth a reign of terror existed. A class of men operated there who were bent on substantiating their fictitious claims on the basis of might prevailing over right; they excavated transversely to intercept and cut of the paying leads of adjacent mines. Both parties went in and out, armed to the teeth with knives and revolvers, and blood and life paid the penalty when the contestants met in the mouth of disruption.

The elder Robinson held to the peace principles of his ancestral descent, but events had developed another trait of his lineage in the son and overtopped his father's characteristics and he took his sire's position to meet the invaders, who found "uncle Tommy's" territory a fair field for their depredations. A detailed account is too long for this brief sketch, but the effects of this experience fitted Mr. Robinson for a period when the welfare of the country demanded men of resolution and promptness. At twenty-one he engaged in raining interests which he pursued about seven years. Meanwhile his health became impaired. Not of robust physique, he fell into a peculiar nervous state which demand change, and in I860 he started for Colorado, going as far as Omaha. He spent the ensuing winter in the Bermudas. The next year he passed in Wisconsin and in June, 1862, he went to England, returning in April, 1863.

The war was in full blast and anarchy had returned to New Diggings. The generation left by the early settlers retained a germ which the times had nurtured into active existence and lawlessness, and rebellion was rampant. Beside the location afforded ready ingress to the worst element from the south. It was a nest of sympathy with secession and disloyalty. The rebel sympathizers were in systematized revolt and the Unionists were terrorized and subdued. Mr. Robinson responded to the call of his nature trained to abhor disorder and brute force, which the State had sent two companies of troops to keep within limits. He made a personal appeal to every republican and Unionist, and in an open field a company was organized, constituting a home militia sufficient for the local exigencies and the local authorities were notified that New Diggings had rallied for its own protection. The United States companies' were withdrawn and the home militia, consisting of old men, boys and men exempt by physical disability, established order and maintained the rights of freedom of sentiment. Mr. Robinson commenced commercial operations there in 1863.

Isaac & Eliza (Graham) Robinson

He sold out in 1868 and came to Hampton where he has since lived quietly and free from the excitements of his early life, which undermined his health and brought him the wear and tear incident to years of toil. He bought one of the two stores then existing in Hampton and has since continued its management. He has extended his business interests somewhat and operated as a loan broker and purchaser of real estate. He was married at Hazel Green, Wis., Nov. 8, 1865, to Eliza, daughter of John and Margaret (Greaves) Graham. She was born in Middleton, Durham county, England, April 28, 1849. Her parents came to America, in the first year of her life, and settled at New Diggings, where her father was a wood worker on mining machinery. Mr. and Mrs. Graham are deceased, aged respectively sixty-eight and sixty-one. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, four sons and four daughters, were born as follows: Luella C., Oct. 21, 1866; Thomas J. B., Aug. 12, 1868; George A., March 21, 1870; William Lee, July 10, 1872; Estella A., March 28, 1874; Mary A., Feb. 22, 1876; Ruth E., Dec. 23, 1878; Isaac Barton, April 2, 1881. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp. pg 395-397; portraits pg 392 & 393)

Frederick Rodemeyer came to Franklin Co., Iowa, about 1874, bought, and located on 480 acres of land on section 34, Marion township He is the son of Deitrich and Sophie (Holz) Rodemeyer, and the fourth of five children. He was born in Hanover, Germany, Dec. 9, 1847. At the age of eighteen, he came to America and settled at Lyons, Ill., lived there about eighteen months, then moved to Chicago and engaged in the milk business for about seven years, at which time he came to Iowa. He married Louisa Fehrmann, in 1867, and they have had eight children, seven living: Caroline, Louisa, Minnie, Frederick, Harry, Amanda and Bertha. Mr. Rodemeyer has been justice of the peace four years, was a trustee, and is the present assessor and has held other local offices. He usually votes the democratic ticket, and is one of the best citizens and most successful farmers in the county. (Chapter 25, Marion twp. pg 462) Transcriber's note: the maiden name of his mother, Holz, is as appears in the original text.
Henry Rodemeyer, the oldest of five children, and son of Deitrich and Sophie (Holsen) Rodemeyer, was born Nov. 25, 1840, in Hanover, Germany. At the age of fourteen he came to America and lived at Chicago four years, afterwards went to Du Page Co., Ill., and remained there till the war, when he enlisted in the 55th Illinois Volunteers, Company E, and was in the army four years. He was in many of the principal battles of the rebellion, and after the war he returned to Cook Co., Ill., and followed farming. In 1869 he went to Waterloo, Iowa, remained there till 1876, when he came to Franklin county and bought land on section 26, Marion township. Mr. Rodemeyer married Wilhelmine Helmes, March 8, 1867. They were married in Cook Co., Ill., and have four children — Caroline, Deitrich, Henry and Frederick. In politics Mr. Rodemeyer is a democrat. (Chapter 25, Marion twp. pg 463) Transcriber's note: the maiden name of his mother, Holsen, is as appears in the original text.
C. Roemer, a farmer of Ingham township, who is among her most prominent and energetic agriculturists, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, on the 24th of November, 1831. He came to the United States when not quite twenty years of age and first located at Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y. He remained there six years and learned the carpenter's trade. He next went to Cedar Falls, Iowa, and worked at his trade until the fall of 1875, when he settled in Ingham township on section 19. He owns 167 acres of good land, with 115 acres under cultivation. His place has on it a large spring of living water, which he intends to convert into a fishpond, and will stock it with carp. Mr. Roemer is interested to some extent in fine stock and owns forty-five head of graded cattle. He markets annually about 100 hogs. In 1882, he erected a good barn and his farm is considered one of the best managed and improved in the township. He values his land at $30 per acre. Mr. Roemer owned eighty acres at Cedar Falls, which he sold for $31 per acre. He was married, Jan. 4, 1854, to Katie Humbert. Her father was born in France and mother in Bavaria The former is now living at Cedar Falls. Mr. and Mrs. Roemer have had eleven children, ten of whom are living and of the following ages — Charles C., 24; George Solomon, 19; Edward A., 17; Claudie F., 12; Daniel K., 10; Harvey H., 9; of the girls, Amelia C., is the wife of Edward Kiefer, of Hampton; Lydia A., is the wife of George Kugler, of West Fork; Julia N., is aged 15 and Christina A. is 13. The two last named are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Roemer are members of the Zion Evangelical Church of Mott township. Mr. Roemer cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont and has always remained a republican. He has held the office of justice of the peace for three years and also has held other local offices. (Chapter 23 Ingham twp. pg 445-446)
Milo Rose was born in Licking Co., Ohio, July 24, 1810. His parents were pioneers of the Buckeye State, and he grew up amid all the privations and limited privileges of the pioneers sons. His education was obtained in the log school houses common to that section and he was there trained to the vocation which he has all his life pursued. He came to Franklin county in October, 1863, and not long after settled on his present farm. He now owns 160 acres on section 24. He has served his township as trustee and county supervisor. Mr. Rose was married in 1834 to Hannah Holcomb, a native of Connecticut, who came to Ohio when a child. Their children are — Celina Celma, now Mrs. John Beed; Timothy H. and Carrie, widow of Emanual Hacker. (Chapter 27, Mott twp. pg 481)
Samuel L. Rose, of Hamilton county, was the first circuit judge. He was elected in the fall of 1868. Samuel L. Rose was born in Augusta, Oneida Co., N. Y., on the 19th of December, 1818. His father was Dr. Nathaniel Rose, and one of the ancestors of his mother (whose maiden name was Abigail Knowles) came over in the Mayflower. The paternal grandfather of Samuel was a victim of the Indian massacre at Wyoming, Pa. The early years of young Rose were spent in schools, he entering Augusta Academy at an early age, and remaining in it until he was eighteen, excepting one winter, when, at the age of sixteen, he taught school at Kennett, Chester Co , Pa. Among his pupils that season were Bayard Taylor and Mr. Wickersham, since State superin-tendent of public instruction in Pennsylvania. Mr. Rose began the study of medicine before leaving the academy, but at nineteen abandoned it for the study of the law, reading at first with Judge Beardsley, of Utica, and then with Hon. Timothy Jenkins, of Oneida. He was admitted to the bar in 1841, and practiced in his native town until 1850. During the last named year he moved to Beaver Dam, Wis., where he rose to eminence as a lawyer, giving, meanwhile, part of his time to railroad matters. In December, 1857, he removed to Milwaukee, where he engaged more extensively in railroading, and was at one time president of the Milwaukee and Western Railway Company. In 1862 he crossed the Mississippi, halting one year at Fort Dodge, Iowa, and then locating at Rose Grove, in the adjoining county of Hamilton, fifteen miles from the county seat, where he now has one of the loveliest homes in this partof the State. A farm life has long been his choice. He has some 600 acres under improvement, and raises a great deal of fruit. Mr. Rose was elected judge of Dodge county, Wis., before he was a voter in that State, and served until 1856, when he resigned. He was a member of the Wisconsin legislature four years, two in each house, and was one of the most prominent men in that body. Mr. Rose was the first postmaster at Rose Grove, and held the office six years. He was chairman of the board of county supervisors for six years. While a resident of Wisconsin, he was a part of the time verv active in educational matters. He aided in founding Wayland University, at Beaver Dam, and was the first president of its board of trustees. For six years he was one of the regents of the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Rose belongs to the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders. He was a democrat of free soil proclivities until 1856, since which date he has been a republican. As a judge, Mr. Rose gave satisfaction to the bar and public. He served the full term of four years. (Chapter 6, Circuit Court, pg 173-174)
Abner S. Ross came to Franklin county in the spring of 1857, and settled on section 31 of what was afterward Ross township. The only house in the township was the one he built in which about twenty men and women lived during the winter of 1857-8. The Spirit Lake massacre was in the spring of 1857, and all the settlers left this vicinity except a family named Tharp, who afterward removed to Kansas. Abner S. Ross was born in Butler Co., Ohio, May 24, 1815. His father, Elijah Ross, was a native of New Jersey, and his mother, Phoebe (Miller) Ross, of Connecticut. This couple, after their marriage, removed to Ohio, when Cincinnati was an unpretentious village, and purchased a farm, where now the most populous portion of that city stands. But Mr. Ross was taken sick, and removed into Butler county, twenty-six miles from Cincinnati. The family consisted of twelve children, who all reached maturity. The father was a carpenter and farmer, and died at the age of seventy-two. Abner S. Ross, the subject of this sketch, remained in Butler county till he was twenty years of age, at which time he removed to Springville,Ind., and being a blacksmith by trade, he followed that business in Springville and vicinity for sixteen years, then sold out and removed to Poweshiek Co., Iowa, where he ran a blacksmith shop and farm for four years. In the spring of 1857, he removed to Franklin county and started the town of Chapin. Mr. Ross was elected the third sheriff of Franklin county, when the salary was only fifteen dollars a year. He was the first school director of Chapin, and was treasurer for several years. In 1863 he was appointed deputy United States marshal, and assisted in raising recruits for the army. He served in this capacity for one year, having under his supervision the counties of Franklin, Wright and Humboldt. When he came to this county, he opened the first blacksmith shop in the township, and assisted in building the saw mill at Old Chapin, and acted as head sawyer for four years. He opened a farm in Marion township, and in 1875 removed to section 28, where he was living in 1883. In September, 1835, Mr. Ross was married to Esther A. Rose, who died Feb. 8, 1853, leaving four children — Milton H., Fletcher R., James M. and Sarah E. His second wife was Ruth Clement, whom he married in July, 1853. She died in 1871 at Old Chapin, and in the spring of 1872, he married Miss F. M. Hathaway, of Adams, Mass. By this union there were two sons — Charles A. and John Henry. Mr. Ross has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for about forty-five years. (Chapter 31, Ross twp. pg 535 & 536)
Dr. M. H. Ross is the senior resident dentist at Hampton. His father, A. S. Ross, came to Iowa in 1853 and settled in Franklin county in 1857. He still resides near Chapin. Dr. Ross was born in La Porte Co. Ind., Dec. 22, 1842. In July, 1861, he enlisted in company C, 6th Iowa Infantry, and became first sergeant of the company. He received two wounds and was the only one of seven that enlisted with him who lived to see the close of the war. He received his discharge at Davenport, Iowa, at the close of the war. He returned to Franklin county and in 1866 entered the office of Dr. Flowers at Grinnell. He commenced practice at Hampton in 1868 and has since pursued his business here with the exception of two years when he was engaged in mining in Montana. He is a member of the Iowa State Dental Association, belongs to the order of A.F. & A. M. and is present Secretary of Anchor Lodge No. 191. He was married in I860 to Eliza Mitchell, a native of Wisconsin. Dr. and Mrs. Ross have four children — Carl, Frank, Totta and Minnie. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 202)
John M. Runyan came from Trumbull Co. Ohio. He was born Feb. 18, 1834, and is a son of John and Jane (McLese) Runyan. His father was born in Allegheny Co., Penn., March 18, 1803, and his mother, born in the North of Ireland, (near Giant's Causeway) in 1805. They were married in Mercer Co., Penn., then went to Ohio, John M. being born the same year. They remained there one year, then spent one year in Pennsylvania, but returned to Ohio, where the father still resides. The mother died in 1877. John M. attended Kinsman's Academy, in Trumbull Co., Ohio, three years. He chose farming for a vocation, which he still follows. He was married Nov. 1,1857, to Alcena E. Canfield, born in Hartford, Trumbull Co., Ohio, June 24, 1842. They have two children — Addie M. and Charlie J. They are now members of the Methodist Church, but were formerly Freewill Baptists. Mr. Runyan went to La Fayette Co., Wis., in 1854, where he was married. He moved to Franklin county and settled in Geneva township, where he still resides. He enlisted August, 1862, in company B, 31st Regular Infantry Volunteers, serving eight months, but was discharged by reason of sickness contracted in the army. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp. pg 363-364)
Edward Ryan came in 1880. He was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., Dec, 27, 1845. His parents, Michael and Johanna (Cantwell) Ryan, had eleven children, of whom Edward is fourth. The senior Ryan removed his family and interests to McHenry Co., Ill. during the infancy of his son, and, nine years later, transferred his residence to Hardin Co. Iowa. Mr. Ryan came to Grant township in the month and year of his marriage, which occurred Jan. 27, 1880. His wife was Nora Kiley. (Chapter 20, Grant twp. pg 372)


1883 Biography Index

This page was created on November 28, 2012 & updated January 25, 2014
2014 by IAGenWeb & the various submitters.