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

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



Isaiah Wagner, living on section 9, first came to Franklin county in 1868, and purchased land, but returned to Illinois where he remained about one month, then returning to Iowa he located on his present farm. He follows farming, and is one of the solid, reliable men of the county. He is the son of Henry and Elizabeth Wagner, and was born in Ogle Co., Ill., in 1839, where he spent his childhood, and was educated. When twenty-three years of age he enlisted in the 34th Illinois Volunteers, company H, and served three years, being in most of the principal battles in the south. After receiving his discharge he returned to Illinois, remained eight years, and then came and purchased land in Franklin county. He was married to Sarah Jacobs, of Ogle Co., Ill., in 1867. They are the parents of seven children; the eldest, Enos, died when eleven months old, the remaining are — Hattie, George, Bessie, John, Hezekiah, and Franklin Clay. Mr. Wagner is a republican in politics, and has held offices of trust in the county, and, as a citizen, is held in high regard. (Chapter 29, Osceola twp., pg 508)
John M. Wait. In October, 1870, John M. Wait was elected to the office [of County Coroner]. In October, 1873, J. M. Wait was elected county auditor, and being re-elected, served until January, 1878. In the fall of 1881, John M. Wait was again elected county auditor, and his term continues until January, 1884. He is a gentlemanly, careful, correct and most satisfactory officer. John M. Wait located in what is now Mott township in 1865. He lived on a farm three years, after which he embarked in the drug business at Hampton, and later, in the grocery trade. In 1873, he was elected county auditor, and re-elected in 1875 without any opposition. At the expiration of his second term he established himself as a real estate broker. Four years later, in 1881, he was re-elected to his present position. He is a republican in politics, and is a member of the Congregational Church. He was married in 1860 to Alice M. Aldrich, born in Hancock Co., Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Wait have three children — Walter W., Wells and Bertha V. (Chapter 12, Representation, pg 255 & 258)
J.W. Wallace settled in Hamilton township in 1861. He is a son of William and Mary Wallace. He was born Nov. 10, 1817. His father was a Presbyterian minister, but owned a farm in Harrison Co., Ohio, where the subject of this sketch was born, grew up and received a common school education. Mr. Wallace lived in his native place thirty-two years, then spent six years in Guernsey Co., Ohio, then came to Iowa and settled in Allamakee county. He entered land in Hamilton township, Franklin county, the same year, on which he now lives. He lived in Clayton, Iowa, for five years, and in 1861, settled on his farm in Hamilton township.

He has 880 acres of land, 520 acres of it in a body, and all under cultivation. He does an extensive business in stock, as well as grain raising. He was one of the trustees of the town for sometime, and also school director. In politics, he is a thorough republican. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was married in 1845, to Mary Guthrie, a native of Ohio. They are the parents of six children — Margaret J., Robert C. and William M., (twins), Thomas M., J. Elliott and Samuel D. (Chapter 21, Hamilton twp., pg 376; portraits of Mr. & Mrs. Wallace, pgs 380 & 381)

C.W. Walton has been a resident in Iowa since the fall of 1864. He spent a year in Hardin county and then removed to Oakland township, where he has since lived. He owns a valuable farm of 130 acres all under cultivation save a timber tract of twenty acres. He was born in Oakland Co., Mich., June 15, 1838. His parents went, when he was thirty months old, to Steuben Co., N. Y. When he was sixteen years of age he went to Tioga Co., Penn. In October, 1861, on President Lincoln's call for 300,000 more, he enlisted in company H, 45th Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until November, 1862. At that date he was discharged for disability. His weight on reaching home was ninety pounds, and he has never recovered from the effects of illness contracted in the army. He was married June 30, 1856, to Mary E. Turk of Tioga Co., Penn. It is believed that Mr. Walton has the banner family, at least as far as heard from, consisting of thirteen children living and two deceased. Following are the names of the living — Charles H., Lydia J., Sarah E., Julia A., Mary C, William W., Richard F., Delilah E., George T., Robert A., Shirley L., Charlotte L. and Alice P. Two daughters and one son are married. Mr. and Mrs. Walton are members of the M.E. Church. Mr. Walton has served his townsmen twelve years as justice, also as assessor, road supervisor, president, secretary and sub-director of the school board. In the church society he has been steward, Sunday school superintendent and president of the graveyard association. (Chapter 28, Oakland twp., pg 495)
N.J. Wanamaker located in 1879, on section 17. He was born in Mahoning Co., Ohio, in 1838. When he was fifteen years of age his parents moved to Grant Co., Wis., where he grew to manhood on his father's farm, receiving but a limited education. He lived at home until 1871, when he came to Iowa, first settling in Hardin county, then removing to Kossuth county, thence to Floyd, and finally to Franklin county in 1879, locating on a farm in Hamilton township where he bought eighty acres of land. Here he has erected his buildings and has made good improvements. In the fall of 1879 he was elected town trustee, and also in 1880 elected to the same office on the republican ticket. He has been almost a life-long republican, his first vote only being cast for Stephen A. Douglas. In the fall of 1862 he enlisted in the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, company C, and served for three years. He was in the battle of Resaca, and in many other important engagements; was also with Sherman in his march to the sea, but never received a scratch. He was mustered out at Washington, D.C., and then returned to Wisconsin. He is a member of the school board. Mr. Wanamaker was married in 1867 to Orphelia Hirst, a native of Ohio. Mable, Elsie, Roy and Willie, are their children. (Chapter 21, Hamilton twp., pg 383)
William Ward. At the election in August, 1857, William Ward was elected coroner over George Ryan by a majority of twelve, and served for one year. William Ward came from Pennsylvania and settled on Mayne's creek, in Reeve township, in the fall of 1856. About 1873, he moved into Hampton and for two years engaged in the livery business; then bought the Shobe place near Sheffield and farmed it for several years, when he sold out and removed to Texas. After one season's stop there he moved to Kansas, in which State he still resides. He is remembered as a man of unimpeachable integrity. (Chapter 12, Representation, pg 258)
A.K. Waters has been a resident of Mott township, Franklin county, since the year 1875. He was born Aug. 19, 1836, in Canada, where he passed his childhood and received his education. He emigrated to the United States, settling in Winona, Minn., where he first engaged in lumbering, after which he opened a flour and feed store, which he disposed of and returned to Canada, where he remained until coming to Iowa. He was married in 1878 to Mrs. Mary M. Coon, widow of George Coon. They have one child — Arthur L. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 490)
Isaac T. Way, although not one of the oldest settlers, is one of the prominent men of the township. He was born in Randolph Co., Ind., April 28, 1820, but reared in Wayne county. His early life was spent on the farm, but he acquired an excellent education, and afterwards learned the mason's and bricklayer's trade, which he has followed at different times. He was married in Indiana in 1839, to Catherine Amburn, a native of Virginia, born in September, 1818. In 1852, he went with his family to JoDaviess Co., Ill., engaging in farming. His wife died there in February, 1854. By this marriage he had six children — Isaac C, William H., (deceased), Lucy A., Angeline, Orange T, (deceased), Mary E. and Charles O. He was again married, Dec. 28, 1854, to Jane Brown, born in Ohio in 1823, by whom he had three children — Catherine J., Sarah A. and John L. In 1869, Mr. Way came with his family to Iowa and settled on section 29, Reeve township, where he still lives. Mr. and Mrs. Way are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. In politics he was formerly an abolitionist, taking an active part in the interests of that party, afterwards a free soiler, but at present a staunch republican, and is a member of the present board of township trustees and a justice of the peace. During the war he was a strong Union man. Two of his sons were in the service, the oldest being severely wounded. The second one, William H., died of pneumonia in the hospital at Little Rock, Ark. Mr. Way is a worthy citizen and is held in high esteem.(Chapter 30, Reeve twp., pg 529-530)
S.P. Weaver was born in Princeton, Ill., in 1845. There he grew to manhood, being brought up on a farm and receiving a common school education. At the age of eighteen he went into a store as clerk, remaining there a part of three years, the rest of the time being spent at school in Dover. In 1863 he enlisted in the 139th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served for about six months and was then honorably discharged. He then returned to Illinois and spent about one year and a half in Chicago, as clerk in a dry goods store In 1867, he removed to Brookings, Iowa, and went into business for himself, dealing in lumber, grain and agricultural implements. He continued in this business for three years, then went to Missouri and thence to Chicago, and finally, in 1872, he came to Chapin and engaged in business. He commenced business there with a partner, not having at the time a dollar, having lost all previous to this venture. But the firm was very successful, and built the first elevator in the county, in 1875. In 1880, Mr, Weaver bought out his part- ner and has been carrying on the business alone with equally good success. He was justice of the peace and is a member of the Masonic lodge at Hampton. He is a democrat in politics. He was married in 1875 to Ella Beilby, of Hampton. They have two daughters — Louisa and Fannie. He was treasurer of the Methodist Episcopal Society, and was instrumental in the building of the present church, having advanced the money to erect it. He has erected several stores and dwellings that have been a great improvement to the town and county. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 547)
William H. Weaver, located on section 8, in 1866, where he still lives. He was born in Oxford Co., Canada, June 28, 1840, receiving a common school education. In Canada he was engaged in farming and lumbering. When he came to Iowa, he had no means save his strong arms and a determined disposition. Upon ariving at Dubuque, he lacked five cents of having enough to pay for his breakfast, after paying for his railroad ticket to Ackley. Upon arriving at Ackley he engaged on a farm for five months, and then worked at the carpenter's trade on the Hampton court house, a few months. He worked at various kinds of business until March, 1868, when he moved to his farm. He imported a fine stallion from Canada, which he afterward sold for $1,000. Mr. Weaver is a genius in many respects; he does his own carpenter and blacksmith work. Being a natural mechanic, he can construct almost anything out of wood or iron. In 1883 he was well surrounded, owning 320 acres of well improved land and a beautiful home. In politics he is a republican, and has filled many places of trust, as a local office holder. He was married Sept. 18, 1869, to Mrs. Amelia Ray, who was born in Ohio, in 1842. Mr. Weaver is an active member of the Masonic fraternity, at Dows.(Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 471)
Moses A. Webber located on section 15 of Grant township, in March, 1875. He is a son of David and Eliza (Ames) Webber, and had thirteen brothers and sisters, he being twelfth in order of birth. He was born July 25, 1828. He made the acquaintance of labor early in life, and at twenty managed his father's farm and carried on the trade of brickmaker. He was married in Oxford, Oxford Co., Me, Oct. 16, 1853. His wife was Olive L. Dyer. They have three children living — Oscar M., Ora and Scott. One daughter, Ida E., died of heart disease Jan. 13, 1877. M. Webber's farm contains 240 acres of land, which is a fine exhibit of his agricultural skill and energetic perseverance. He is a member of the Masonic order. (Chapter 20, Grant twp., pg 371)
Dr. C.F. West, allopath, came to this place in 1863, and remained until 1865. Dr. West was from Missouri, and on leaving Hampton, went to Indianola, Warren Co., Iowa, where he is now following his profession. Dr. West was a man of ability, but had little practice. He is now doing well and has a good business in Indianola. (Chapter 9, Medical Profession, pg 199)
Charles Westaby, who settled in Reeve township in 1876, removed to Wisner in 1883, having owned a large tract of land there for some time. He is the son of John and Mary Westaby, who, in 1883, were living in Lincolnshire, England, where he was born Feb. 15, 1853. Charles was reared on a farm in his native country. In 1872 he came to America, and settled in Jo Daviess Co., Ill., and there engaged in farming until 1876, when he came to Franklin Co., Iowa. He was married Jan. 26, 1877, to Mary Hanson. Mr. Westaby has a fine farm consisting of 780 acres, 500 of which are under cultivation. This land is situated as follows: 220 acres on section 5, Scott township, and the remainder on sections 20, 32 and 33 of Wisner township. During the summer of 1883 he was building the finest farm house in the township. It was a two story frame building which was to cost $1,800. His farm was also provided with a barn 50x50 feet which cost $1,000. Mr. Westaby, who at this date was only thirty-three years of age, was as well surrounded as any man in Franklin county. He is a thorough going farmer of the pure English type, and bears the respect and esteem of the entire county. (Chapter 35, Wisner twp., pg 588)
Daniel Wheeler settled in Franklin county in 1855, taking up his residence in Geneva township, where he entered a farm, which he partly improved, and lived upon until 1862, when he transferred his husiness and interests to Mott township, where he now resides near Hampton. He is proprietor of 210 acres of land, all under improvements. He was born in Rutland Co., Vt., Oct. 4, 1821. His parents located in Susquehanna Co., Penn., in 1827. He remained there until 1837, when he removed to Grant Co., Wis., and engaged in farming and mining until 1855. He was married in 1854 to Julia Sullivan, a lady of Irish birth. Their children are Huldah, Mary, William and Etta. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 481)
I.B. Wheeler came to Franklin county in the spring of 1868, and settled on a farm he had purchased in 1864. He has now a fine farm of well improved land including 820 acres.

Mr. Wheeler was born in Rutland Co., Vt., Oct. 26, 1836. He passed the first fifteen years of his life in his native county, and in 1851, his parents came west to Kock Co , Wis., removing later to Green county, in that State. Here Mr. Wheeler received the training of a farmer's son, and was engaged for six years as traveling salesman for the McCormick Reaper company. He was married in 1871, to Ann Brown a native of Grant Co., Wis. Mr. Wheeler spent most of two years prior to his settlement in Iowa, in the eastern States, trying to regain lost health, which he succeeded in doing for the time being. His schooling was very limited, which did not exceed three months in the year after he was ten years of age. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 484; portrait pg 403)

R.H. Whipple, an attorney at Dows and member of the firm of Whipple & Train, was born in Akron, Ohio, May 24, 1849. When yet a child his parents settled in Green Lake Co., Wis., and two years later removed to Brandon. In 1866, they came to Franklin county and settled on section 30, Morgan township, where the father still lives, the mother having been called away by death in 1881. R.H. Whipple received his early education in Wisconsin. In October, 1862, he enlisted as a drummer in company I, 11th Wisconsin Infantry, and served in that regiment until July, 1864, when he re-enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Battery and remained in service until July, 1865. On receiving his discharge he returned to Wisconsin, and in 1866, came to Iowa with his parents. Since that time he has devoted much of his time to teaching, and was principal of the high schools at Estherville and Spencer, Iowa. In 1877 and 1878, he read law with Lot Thomas, of Storm Lake, after which he engaged in railroading for Hon. S. L. Dows, remaining with him during the years 1880, 1881 and 1882. He was admitted to the bar at Clarion, Wright County, before Judge Miracle, and then formed the partnership now existing between himself and R. E. Train, in the law, collection and real estate business. Mr. Whipple was married in 1873 to Harriet M. Ellis, who was born in Linn Co., Iowa, May 29, 1858. They have three children — Freddie, Maude and Mamie. Mr. Whipple is a republican in politics and has held various local offices ; he is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a man who holds the respect and esteem of all who know him. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 188)
William Whipple. Among others who came in 1864, was William Whipple, who settled on section 17, where he still lives. He was born in Chenango Co., New York, August 24, 1819. He lived in his native eounty until he was eighteen years of age, then removed to Rochester, N.Y., remaining there three years, and thence to Akron, Ohio. In 1842 he removed to Wisconsin, and located in Green Lake county. On March 20, 1862, he enlisted in the 38th Wisconsin Volunteer Infanry. Whilst doing detached service at White House landing, Va., he received serious injuries from which he never fully recovered, and is now drawing a pension. He was honorably discharged after serving six months, and then returned to Wisconsin, and the following spring came to his present home in Morgan township. He was married in 1843, to Almira Root, who was born in Ohio, 1829. They are the parents of three children — Emma R., Oscar W. and George W. Mrs. Whipple died Sept. 12, 1873. Mr. Whipple is a republican in politics, and has held the office of justice of peace for several years. They were both members of the M. E. Church. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 468)
M. Whitmore, merchant at Hansell station, was born in Onondago Co., N.Y., in 1816. He was brought up on a farm, and after completing his education he became an itinerant minister of the Methodist Church. He came to Iowa in 1855, and had his first charge over a church at at Waukon. He officiated successfully at Elkader, Decorah, Dubuque circuit and Cottage Hill. He was connected with the Upper Iowa Conference and remained a minister there until 1877, when he went to the western coast and engaged in the same work. He preached there, chiefly in Washington territory, for three years, after which, he came to Franklin county, and engaged in his present business at Hansell. Mr. Whitmore was, during two years, in charge of the Union Ridge Methodist Episcopal Church, at Ingham. He has been twice married. His first wife died at Monmouth, Iowa, leaving one daughter, now in the east. Mr. Whitmore was married to Mary L. Deuel, in Jackson Co., Iowa. They have two children. Mr. Whitmore has been a traveling minister for thirty-two years, and previous to coming west, he was seven years a member of the Black River Conference. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., pg 453)
A.C. Whitney, contractor and builder, came to Franklin county in 1878, and located at Sheffield, where he formed a partnership with L S. Bullard, and has since been engaged in the business; they having built many of the houses in this thriving little city. He was born in New Hampshire in 1837, and learned his trade from his father, who was also a carpenter. He left home, going to Winnebago Co., Ill., remaining three years; then to Kane county, where he remained twelve years, following his trade and farming; from thence to Lake county, remaining until 1878, when he came to Clinton township. He was married in 1861 to Clara J. Cary, who died in 1876, leaving four children — George, Lizzie, Adell and Anna. He was again married in 1881 to Martha Wilhelm, and has one child by his present wife — Freddie. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Sheffield, and is present tyler of the lodge. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 338 & 341)
J. Cheston Whitney & C.E. Whitney.
"As was announced in last week's paper, we have purchased from W.C. Eaton his entire interest in the Magnet, and shall continue its publication under the name of the Chronicle." J.C. Whitney remained as sole proprietor of the Chronicle until Jan. 4, 1879, when his son, C. E. Whitney became a partner. Mr. Whitney announced the change by saying: "The public are here-by notified that I have associated with myself in the publication of the Chronicle my son, C. E. Whitney, thus realizing what has for several years been anticipated to occur Jan. 1, 1870. The business of the office will hereafter be transacted under the name of J. C. Whitney & Son." .... Both J. C. Whitney and his son, C. E., are practical newspaper men, and are easy and forcible writers.

C.E. Whitney, junior member of the firm J.C. Whitney & Son, has charge of the local management of the Chronicle. He was born in Rockford, Ill., Jan. 28, 1857. His parents, J.C. and Anna (Otis) Whitney, were natives of the New England States. Mr. Whitney, senior, was formerly a carpenter by trade, but for the past twenty-three years has devoted his attention to the newspaper business. In 1859 the family came to Iowa, locating in Floyd county, where the father taught school for a time, and then engaged in his present profession. While there Mr. Whitney served three terms as superintendent of schools. They remained in Floyd county until 1865, when they removed to Mason City, where J.C. edited the Mason City Republican in connection with teaching the city schools. In May, 1866, they came to Hampton, and Mr. Whitney, senior, purchased the material that had been used in the Franklin Record office, and established what is now the Franklin Recorder. He has since made Hampton his home, devoting his attention to the newspaper business. He has held many offices of trust. C. E. Whitney learned his trade in his father's office, and on the 1st of January, 1879, became a partner in the publication of the Chronicle. For the past year he has had entire charge of the paper. On the 1st of September, 1880, C.E. Whitney was married to Anna B. Logan, of Hampton, and they have two children. In politics the Messrs. Whitney are staunch republicans. (Chapter 14, The Press, pg 283) Note: interested researchers can read more about the Whitney's in Chapter 14.
J.T. Wilde. In 1881 J.T. Wilde entered into partnership with William Parks, and engaged in the lumber and coal trade. J.T. Wilde, of the firm of Wilde & Parks, was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1857, where he received an academic education, completing it in 1876. He then spent two years in the east, and in 1878 came to Sheffield and worked for his uncle in the coal business for two years. In 1881 he spent a short time in Colorado and New Mexico, but soon returned to Sheffield, and in company with William Parks bought the lumber and coal yard. Mr. Wilde is a member of the I.O.O.F. Politically he is a republican. He was married in 1879 to Ella Zimmerman, who died June, 1881, leaving one child — John G. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 327-328)
Richard Wilde. The first to engage in the lumber business [in Sheffield] was Richard Wilde, in 1874. Richard Wilde was born in Dubuque, lowa, in April, 1836. His parents, John and Mary Wilde, came to Iowa in 1835, and here Richard grew to manhood. He received a liberal education, completing it at Mt. Vernon in 1856, at the age of twenty years. His father was a miner, and his son was well drilled in the same business, so that in 1858 he went to Missouri and engaged in the lead mining business. In 1861, he entered the army in the Independent battallion, 3d Missouri Cavalry, as a private. He was in the battle of Little Rock, and the Red river expedition. He was taken prisoner at Hartsville, Mo., in 1863, but was soon paroled. He then went to Dubuque and thence to Wisconsin, where he conducted a lead furnace, and in 1869 came to Franklin county and settled in Clinton township, near the present site of Sheffield. Here he followed farming until 1874, when he moved to Sheffield, and engaged in business until 1881, when he retired. In 1882-3, he bought out the interest of Thompson & Gillman in the town plat, and has done, and is doing, more than any other man in building up the town. He owns a great many buildings and is still adding to the number. Mr. Wilde came here in 1869, comparatively poor, but by strict integrity and close attention to business, he has amassed a good fortune. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., at Hampton; is also a member of the I.O.O.F., of this place, and has held at different times all the offices of his lodge. He was also one of charter members. He was married in 1868, to Miss M. J. Raine, a native of England. They are the parents of three children — Effie, Fannie and Willie. In 1881, Thomas & Lawrence purchased the lumber business of Richard Wilde, and in 1883 were the only representatives of this branch of business. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 326-327)
W. Wilkins emigrated to Butler Co., Iowa, April, 1866. Feb. 14, 1869, he purchased his present home on section 12, from Wesley Allen, who was a pioneer. His farm contains eighty acres, valued at $30 per acre. He was born in Herefordshire, England, Oct. 4, 1829. At the age of eight, he hired to a neighbor and has since worked for himself. When twenty-two, he went to Staffordshire and farmed ten years. He emigrated to America in 1851, landing in New York, where he remained a few weeks, then removed to Mauch Chunk, Penn. In 1854, he went to Cleveland, Ohio, from there to Iowa. He married Mrs Mary E. Davis, a widow, born in South Wales, in 1830, and who emigrated, with her two brothers, to America, in 1848. They have had two children, neither of whom are living. They are members of the Union Ridge M. E. Church. Politically, he is a republican. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., pg 440)
C.E. Willhelm established a restaurant at Sheffield in 1878, and was succeed by J. W. Hall. (Chapter 18, Clinton twp., pg 336)
E.B. Willix started the first lumber yard [in Dows] in 1880. The following year, Cole & Davis put in the second Lumber yard, but shortly after, failed. In 1883, this branch of trade was left in the hands of Willix & Graham, who deal in coal and lumber. Mr. Willix is of the firm of Graham & Willix, bankers, and of the firm of Willix & Graham, dealers in lumber and coal, and was born in Canada, in 1853. When three years of age, his parents moved to Fulton, Oswego Co., N. Y., and from there to Alexandria, Jefferson county that State, where he remained five years, after which he went to Marquette Co., Mich., and in 1869, to Wright Co., Iowa, settling just across the line from Morgan township, where he is now living. He received an education at the High School in Negaunee, Mich., after which he taught school a number of winters, carrying on a farm in the summer. He was married in 1867, to Etta Wood, who was born in Wisconsin, in 1852. They have one child — Laura. Mr. and Mrs. Willix are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was superintendent of the Sunday school in 1883. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 475)
George H. Wilson came in the spring of 1870, settling on section 27. He was born in Du Page Co., Ill., in January,1845, where he grew to manhood, receiving a common school education. He was married to Sarah E. Hoyt, also a native of Illinois, Dec. 28, 1868, who died June 6, 1874, leaving one child — Charles. He was again married, December, 1875, to Abbie Lane, a native of New Hampshire, born in 1848. In politics he is a republican, and has held local offices. His parents were old settlers of Du Page Co., Ill., removing from New York State, where they were married. They had seven children, George H. being the second, and are now living in Iowa Falls. (Chapter 24, Lee twp., pg 459)
George W. Wilton, postmaster at Maysville, was born in Canada, in 1843. When a young man he went to Michigan, and in 1864, came to Franklin county, arriving on the 9th of May. Here he engaged in farming until 1866, when he went to Nebraska until 1869, but returned to Franklin county in 1873. He soon, however, again left and went to Michigan, and in 1877 came back to Franklin county and is now engaged in mercantile business at Maysville and is postmaster at that place. He was married March 25, 1865, to Elizabeth Jones, a daughter of an old settler of the county. She was born in 1845. They have five children — Silas L., Nettie J., Pearly J., Arthur W. and George E. Mr. Wilton is a member of the I.O.O.F. at Geneva. He is a republican in politics, and has held the office of justice of the peace. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., pg 521)
Jacob Wire, section 36, Mott township, came to Franklin county in 1867, at which date he purchased 340 acres of land, to which he has added by purchase until he now owns 1130 acres, all in a most improved state of culture. To the duties of general agriculturalist he adds the labors of an extensive stock breeder. Mr. Wire was born in Lancaster, Penn., Oct. 19, 1827. His parents, Samuel and Catherine (Smith) Wire, were natives of Pennsylvania. Three years after his birth they settled in Ohio and later came to Grant Co., Wis., where Jacob grew to manhood, and spent a number of years as an agriculturalist. He was married in 1853 to Sarah Wagner, and his household includes four children — Ira, Vinette, Advia and Frank. Mr. Wire is a democrat in politics. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 482-483)
J.C. Witthoft is a native of Hanover, Germany, and was born in the village of Tellmer, near the city of Lumburg, July 7, 1835. When sixteen years of age he began serving an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and worked at the same until his emigration to this country in 1866. He first settled in Houston Co., Minn., and worked at his trade in that county until the spring of 1870, when he came to Franklin county, renting a farm in Ross township, which he cultivated for four years. He then rented another farm which at the end of two years he purchased and still owns. Mr. Witthoft is an energetic farmer, and by industry, economy and push he has accumulated a fine property. He now owns 280 acres of good land on sections 21 and 22, two hundred acres of which are under cultivation. He values his land at $40 per acre. Mr. Witthoft devotes considerable attention to stock-raising, in which he is meeting with good success. He has 120 cattle, about eighty hogs and fourteen horses, a good basis for future prosperity. His farm has the advantage of an excellent location, and is one of the best farms in Ross township, if not in the county. In 1861 Mr. Witthoft married Catherine Kruckenberg, born in Germany at the same place her husband was born. They have had five children, four of whom are still living — George, Mary, Caroline and Emma. The parents are both members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Witthoft is a republican in politics. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 545)
Emanuel H. Wohlford, son of John and Katharine (Kramer) Wohlford, was born Aug. 21, 1857, in Knox Co., Ohio, where he spent his youthful days until fourteen years old, when his parents moved to Stephenson Co., Ill., in 1865, and remained there until 1877, when they came to Franklin Co., Iowa, and purchased eighty acres of land on section 36, in Marion township, where he now resides. Mr. Wohlford was married May 7, 1877, to Adeline Bixter, by whom he has five children — Cora A., Afton N., Carrie B., Lucy L. and Arthur F. Mr. Wohlford was an auctioneer in Illinois, and has followed it a portion of the time since coming to Iowa. (Chapter 25, Marion twp., pg 464)
Casper Wolf is an extensive land holder of Mott township. His landed estate in Franklin county aggregates 487 acres of choice land, all under fine improvements. It is located on sections 26, 14 and 25. Mr. Wolf has been a resident since his purchase. He was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., May 14, 1842. His parents became settlers in Vane (sic) Co., Wis., in 1848. At the age of twenty, Mr. Wolf enlisted in his country's defence in 1862, in company I, 23d Wisconsin Infantry. He was in numerous battles and on May 22, 1863, he was wounded. His injury kept him in the hospital three months. He received honorable discharge July 4, 1865, at Mobile, Ala. He returned to Wisconsin, and lived thereuntil 1868. He was married in 1866 to Mary Messelheimer. They have five children — Theodore L., Alton, Arthur, Jasper and Cyrus. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 484-485)
David Wolf came to Franklin county in 1877, and soon after settled on section 11, Mott township, where he now owns 160 acres of land under a high state of cultivation. He was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., April 14, 1848. His parents soon after his birth moved to Dane Co., Wis., where David grew to manhood and learned the trade of carriage making, at Madison. He was married, in 1873, to Mary Shade. They have two children — Lewis and Harry. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 490)
William Wolf is a substantial farmer of Mott township. He came to Franklin county, in 1871, and settled on section 14, where he owns and manages 240 acres of finely improved land. He was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., Oct. 26, 1835. He accompanied his parents to Dane Co,, Wis., in 1849 where he was reared on his father's farm and trained to the vocation of agriculture. Mr. Wolf was married July 26, 1862, to Mary M. Messelheiser. They have seven children living — Laura G., Ezra, Adam, Simon, Esther, Clinton and Olive. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 489)
William M. Wolf, settled in Mott township, Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1874. He is a native of Wurtemburg, Germany, born in 1845. Soon after he was born his parents came to America and settled near Ann Arbor, Mich., where his mother died. Soon after her death his father removed and settled in Richland Co., Wis., where he reared his family. In 1862, William M. enlisted in company M, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. He served one year and was honorably discharged at Cape Girardeau, Mo. After he left the army, he returned to Richland Co., Wis., and from thence came to Franklin county. He was married, in 1874, to Cecelia Shockly, of Ohio. They have four children — Katie, Edith, Charles T. and Mary. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 490)
Albert R. Wood purchased his present home, which consists of 160 acres, in 1873. His occupation is farming. He was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, Feb. 3, 1840. When an infant his parents removed to Wood Co., Ohio, where his father died when he was four years old, and when eleven years old his mother again married. He received a common school education and worked on the Miami Canal until 1855, then farmed until he enlisted Aug. 18, 1861, in company A, 2d Cavalry, Indiana Volunteers, serving until disabled from a gunshot wound at the battle of Resaca, Ga., May 14,1864, from the effects of which he now draws a pension. On receiving his discharge he went to Indiana Oct. 4, 1864, then to Clinton Co., Iowa, then to Clarke county, thence to Missouri, where he remained until 1869, when he came to Franklin county where he has since lived. He was married in 1873 to Mary C. Quinn, born in Indiana Sept. 22, 1849 They have four children — Nellie E., Nora A., Louis A., (deceased) and Orland R. In politics he is a republican. He is also a Mason, and a member of the present board of township trustees. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 473)
Jacob Woodley, one of the leading farmers of Ingham township, purchased eighty acres of school land on section 16, in 1864, while on a prospecting tour through Iowa. In 1865, he sold his farm in Wisconsin and removed to his present home. He is the son of John and Mary (Rogers) Woodley, who were early settlers in Lycoming Co., Penn., where Jacob was born Jan. 18, 1837, the father being of Dutch descent, the mother a native of England. The father's occupation was lumbering, but he also ran a saw-mill, to which business Jacob was brought up. In 1847, the family moved to Lodi, Columbia Co., Wis., where Jacob engaged in farming and lumbering until he removed to Franklin Co., Iowa. His first residence here was a log house 13x17 feet. In 1878, he built a fine new residence. July 3, 1857, he was married at Lodi to Sarah Menzie. Her parents were natives of New York, set- tling in Wisconsin in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Woodley have had eleven children, seven of whom are living — Robert, Richard, Ida Jane, John, Jacob, Frank and Lilly. Mrs. Woodley is a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church. Mr. Wooley is a successfull farmer, and regarded as a good citizen. He takes a lively interest in the affairs of the township. In politics he is a republican. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., pg 438)
R. Woodley, farmer, was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., June 13, 1832. His father was a farmer, and, in the fall of 1845, moved to Columbia Co., Wis., where Mr. Woodley lived until 1869, when he removed to Iowa. He worked for the Wisconsin Stage Company from 1851 to 1861, and had become the owner of forty acres of land in Wisconsin which he sold, and bought eighty acres in Ingham township, where he has since resided. He was married, Jan. 31, 1863, to Jane Darling, born Sept. 10, 1843, in Washington Co., Vt. She came with her parents to Wisconsin in 1855, and in 1871, moved to Clayton Co., Iowa, where her father still lives. Mr. and Mrs. Woodley have had eight children born to them — Clara, the eldest, died May 29, 1868; Cora, Hattie, Frankie, Myrtie, Jane, Julia and Freddie are the names of those living. Mr. Woodley was drafted into the army, in the fall of 1863, but became exempt by paying $300. (Chapter 23, Ingham twp., pg 443)
E.D. Wright, an early settler of the township, was born in Erie Co., N. Y., Feb. 28, 1818. His parents were from Vermont and settled in New York soon after the war of 1812. They moved to Ontario Co., N. Y., and from there to Medina Co., Ohio, in 1835. E D. Wright came to Iowa, and located first in Jones county. He went from Ohio in 1850 by the over-land route to California, and engaged there in mining for one year, coming back by way of Panama, but in 1852 he returned to California, and remained there four years. In 1857, he came to Franklin county, and located south of Tharp's Grove, in what is now Marion township, and has ever since been a resident of this county. Mr. Wright married Mary Davis, in Ohio, Sept. 23, 1845. She bore him five children — Clarissa, Amos, Mitchell, Estella and Mary. Mrs. Wright taught the first school at Chapin, in what is now the town of Ross. She died June 14, 1882, at the village of Chapin where Mr. Wright now lives. He has been school director and road supervisor, and when the war broke out he enlisted in company H, 32d Iowa, but was rejected. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 536-541)
George Wright settled on section 1, in 1862, and was the oldest settler living, in 1883, in Lee township. He was born in Cumberland, England, in 1821, and grew to manhood in Lancastershire, where he was married in 1846 to Sarah Wood. They emigrated to Vermont in 1848, and remained there until 1862, when they came to their present home. They have had five children, three of whom are living. (Chapter 24, Lee twp., pg 458)


1883 Biography Index

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