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1915 Harrison County Iowa Biographies
Page Thirteen

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Milliman | Porter | Burke | Young | Davis | Deal | Dempsie | Dewell

James Cutler MILLIMAN. - The subject of this sketch was born in Saratoga county, New York, on January 28, 1847, his parents being Francis MILLIMAN and Sally Emily (HUNT) MILLIMAN, both natives of New York state, the mother being a daughter of Walter HUNT, one of the pioneers of the town of Edinburg, Saratoga county, New York. The father was born in the year 1809 and the mother in 1812. The ancestors of Francis MILLIMAN were Scotch-Irish, having removed from the north of Ireland to the state of Connecticut in about 1740. Walter HUNT was the son of Captain Ziba HUNT of the Revolutionary War, the latter died at Northampton, New York, in 1820, at the age of seventy-five years and his wife, Johanna BLOUNT, passed away at Edinburg, New York, in 1825, at the age of seventy-seven years.

Francis MILLIMAN and Sally Emily HUNT were married in 1831 and to them were born five sons, Henry S., Ezra Wilson, Ambrose, William W. and James Cutler, besides two daughters who died in infancy. James Cutler MILLIMAN resided in Ballston Spa, the county seat of Saratoga county, until 1865, when he and his father's family removed to Harrison county, Iowa, where he has since resided.

The early life of the present mayor of Logan, Iowa, was one of hardship, his mother having died when he was two years old, leaving a family of five boys. At the age of nine years, his father having again married, James Cutler MILLIMAN left his father's home, going thirty miles inland by stage to live with an aunt, where he worked for his board and clothes for four years, doing farm work, going to school three months in the winter and often being the first one to make a path for nearly half the way after a foot or more of fresh snow. His clothes consisted of one suit of homespun and homemade woolen from the backs of sheep he tended, and one of his sports was to wash the live sheep in May by taking them into a brook on the farm, where the big ram or wether often contested for the mastery and, except for the long wool to which he would cling, must have gotten the better of the lad. He also had for summer wear, pants and shirt made of spun and woven hemp, grown on the farm.

Planters, cultivators, mowers and reapers were unknown there, so this boy cut grain with a sickle on the rougher ground and with a cradle where smooth, planted corn with a hoe and hoed it three times during the season, mowed with a scythe and raked with a hand rake, in short, did the farm work in a manner now unknown to western farmers.

At thirteen this boy was taken to his father's home in Ballston Spa for better school facilities where for nearly two years, he attended a school divided into two grades, doing all kinds of work out of school hours and thus clothing himself. Home life, being unpleasant, he again struck out for himself and worked at a place for two years for his board, two suits of clothes, a pair of boots, a pair of shoes and three months of school per year. When in his seventeenth year, he enlisted in the Civil War, but was rejected on account of his height, being half an inch too short. Later in the year he again offered himself as a volunteer, and after entreating the examiner, was passed and finally accepted. There being no new regiments formed at that time, he was assigned to Company E, Forty-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, where, with a veteran on either side, he soon became a soldier and within three weeks from date of muster-in, was on the firing line in front of Petersburg, Virginia. On September 30, 1864, in the battle of Poplar Spring Church, he was wounded, a minie ball passing through his left elbow, necessitating amputation about four inches above, the operation being performed on the field. He at once applied for his discharge, wishing to get away from the blackness of hospital life and the gloom of his condition, and was discharged on December 28, 1864, at Washington, D.C.

In the summer of 1865 he attended school at Reeder's Mills in Harrison county, Iowa, and in the fall of that year entered the preparatory department of the university at Iowa City, from which, by hard study, he was soon admitted to the normal department and having practically covered three years' work in two years' attendance, might have been graduated in one more year, but his money being spent, he returned to Harrison county. Having taught four terms of school, the Republican party nominated him for county recorder in the summer of 1868 and, being elected, he took the office January 4, 1869, which office he held for eight years. In 1876 he, with A. L. Harvey, established the Harrison County Bank at Logan, disposing of his interest there in to A. W. Ford in 1879. In 1881 he, with Almor Stern, established a farm loan and abstract business in Logan, which partnership continued for twenty-four years.

The life of J. C. MILLIMAN has been strenuous. In addition to doing two men's work much of the time, he has filled public office as follows: Two years as justice of the peace, eight years county recorder, two years on the city council, six years mayor of Logan, two years representative in the twenty-fifth General Assembly of Iowa and four years lieutenant-governor of Iowa. An Odd Fellow since February, 1870, he has passed all the chairs, being the first noble grand of the Logan Lodge, No. 355, and later serving as representative to the grand lodge of Iowa, and in 1901-2 as grand patriarch, followed by one term as grand representative to the sovereign grand lodge. A member of Fuller Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Logan, Iowa, he has filled all positions and was adjutant several years, and also has filled the position of department commander of Iowa and is a member of the national encampment. He also retains his membership in Council Bluffs Lodge No. 531, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. At this date he is serving his fourth term as mayor of Logan, Iowa.

In his boyhood he attended the Methodist Sunday school, also the Presbyterian Sunday school, and committed to memory the catechisms used in each, reciting each at one sitting without missing a word, and also read the entire Bible carefully. His religious training was thorough and in middle life he united with the Presbyterian church, supposing he was a believer in the Trinity and its kindred dogmas. At the age of fifty he began a second reading of the Bible and was himself shocked to find that he could not believe the statements of the Old Testament as to the Creation and the brutalities alleged to have been done by the Hebrews at the command of God. This led him to a candid investigation of the origin of the Bible, the source of the doctrine of inspiration, the history of the several councils that promulgated the doctrine that the Bible is the will and word of God, and he concluded that the books comprising the Scriptures are a mass of tradition, mythology, superstition and dogmas unworthy of the Eternal Mind, which he believes now to be everything, everywhere and always. He at once withdrew from the church and has since enjoyed a freedom of thought and conscience that has been a constant delight. He rejects the story of the fall of man, but believes in the plan for the rise of man in this life. He wishes to be helpful in measures for the uplift of men and society, the betterment of government and a universal peace, which broad purposes comprise his religion; and, finally, he has no anxious thought or fear for a future existence. At the age of sixty-three years he retired from business and now enjoys his books and an acquaintance with the writings of Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Haeckel, Tolstoi and other scientists and free thinkers.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 488, 489 490, 491.
Family Researcher: NA
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Franklin J. PORTER. - It is not often the biographer finds before him the sketch of a career so replete with incident and interest as that of the honorable gentleman to a brief sketch of whose career the attention of the reader is now directed. Mr. PORTER has long been a resident of this county, coming here at a time when pioneer conditions prevailed, and much of the welfare of this community and its progress along many lines is due to his activity and his interest in all matters pertaining to the advancement of this section. It is by no means an easy task to review within the limits of this brief biographical sketch the career of a man who has led an active and eminently useful life and by his own exertions reached a position of honor and trust. But biography finds justification, nevertheless, in the tracing and recording of such a life history, as the public claims a certain proprietary interest in the career of every individual and the time invariable arrives when it becomes proper to give the right publicity.

Franklin J. PORTER was born in New York City, March 22, 1838, of Irish parentage, both his parents having come from the Emerald Isle, the father from County Cavan. His father's name was Joseph F. PORTER and the mother before her marriage was Margaret ATCHISON. For some years after their marriage they remained in their native land, later coming to America and first locating in Canada, where they remained a few years. Later the family lived in New York City, where the mother remained twenty-two years after the death of the father, and where she died. Franklin J. PORTER is the youngest of a family of ten children, Hugh, Ann, Mary, Alexander, Eliza, George, William, two who died in early infancy, and Franklin J. Six of this family are still living and at one time the two eldest sons, Hugh and Alexander, were members of the Dublin police.

Franklin J. PORTER received his earliest instruction in the schools of New York City and at the tender age of twelve years he enlisted as a fifer in the regular army of the United States and was assigned to a company which was ordered out to the frontier. His company was part of a brigade commanded by General Harney and they were stationed at various times in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and in Old Mexico. That was back in the years when the states mentioned were the real frontier, when depredations of the retreating Indians were many and the outrages of a certain class of lawless whites gave "Uncle Sam's" soldiers considerable to do. There were many skirmishes with the Indians and on several occasions Mr. PORTER was one of a number of men who were led by Kit Carson, the famous scout. In June of 1855 he was taken out of the regular army by his mother and was on his way to rejoin her in the east when, upon reaching Harrison county, Iowa, he decided to end his journey and in this county he made his home until the outbreak of the Civil War. His previous army training fitted him for an active part at that time and at the very beginning of hostilities he aided in organizing Company C, Twenty-ninth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry; Company E., Sixth Iowa Cavalry, he himself enlisting with the latter company, and under General Sully he served in Missouri and the Yellowstone river regions. He was in the service for three years and one month, being mustered out at Sioux City, Iowa, in 1865, and received his discharge at Davenport.

When Mr. PORTER first came to Harrison county in 1855, he settled at Jeddo in Jefferson township, which was but a straggling hamlet containing four frame houses, a crude little school house, George Thorp's general store, Charley Baker's blacksmith shop and a saw-mill, owned by Omar Thorp, who was also the postmaster. Mr. PORTER operated the saw-mill until 1858 when he purchased some land in section 3 of Jefferson township and devoted his energies toward its improvement. He finally sold this farm at a price of fifty-six dollars and twenty-five cents per acre, which was an extremely good price for that time. He then purchased another tract which he soon sold at an advance and then bought a hundred-acre trace in Boyer township, section 19. At that place he had school facilities, timber and a free range and there he continued to reside until 1891, when he retired from active agricultural labors and took up his residence in Woodbine. The hundred acres above referred to served as a nucleus for his final holdings of seven hundred and seventy-two acres, all in one tract, and as good land as the county can boast. Mr. PORTER gave his especial attention to the raising of live stock and in that line was highly successful. Within the last few years he has disposed of all his farm lands in this county and has become interested in the First National and People's Savings Banks of Woodbine. He also owns an excellent home and other property within the borders of the town. For the past twenty years he has served the First National Bank as one of its directors and was active in the organization of the People's Savings Bank, having been president of that institution since its incorporation.

Mr. PORTER's fraternal affiliations are with the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, in which he has taken the Royal Arch degree, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which latter order he has taken all the degrees, including that of Patriarchs Militant, of which latter he was commander for three years, and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Mr. PORTER was married on February 6, 1859, to Miss Lucy FRANCIS, born in Athens county, Ohio, February 9, 1840, daughter of Nicholas and Mercy (RATHBUN) FRANCIS, the former a native of the Isle of Guernsey, which lies off the coast of France, but which is British territory. The mother was a native of the state of Virginia. After the marriage of Mrs. PORTER's parents they came westward into Ohio, where they lived for several years and in 1856 came to this state, locating in Douglas township, Harrison county. Here they spent the rest of their lives.

To Mr. and Mrs. PORTER has been born an interesting family of eleven children, of whom the eldest, Emma M., born December 25, 1859, is the wife of Charles H. SLOAN residing at Geneva, Nebraska. Mr. SLOAN is active in politics and is at present seated in our national body of lawmakers as representative from the fourth Congressional district of Nebraska. Frances E., born October 6, 1861, is the wife of Alexander EVANS and resides in Woodbine. Joseph F., the eldest son, was born on June 27, 1863, and resides in Davenport, Iowa. He is one of the most prominent men in traction circles in his section, being president and general manager of four different street railway systems in Iowa and Illinois. He is also interested in other lines of business and is at present serving as president of seventeen different companies, a rather unusual record. William E., born on September 23, 1866, lives at Fidelity, Illinois. Edgar H. was born on January 22, 1868, and died October 17, 1889. Georgia R. was born on July 5, 1869, and is the wife of Harold J. HOLMES of Seattle, Washington. Lucy Ethel was born on February 25, 1871, and died while still a little child, on August 19, 1874. Katie May, born February 9, 1873, is the wife of William H. GESS, of near Boise, Idaho, an extensive rancher and sheep man. Ada L., born November 4, 1874, is at home. Harry R., born September 30, 1877, lives at Vancouver, Washington, and Inez H., the youngest child of the family, born July 25, 1880, is the wife of G. E. HEWITT, of Douglas township, Harrison county, Iowa. Mr. PORTER was anxious that his children should receive the benefits of a good education and all finished the common schools, and later were graduated at Ames College or Drake University, with the exception of one daughter, a partial invalid, who was graduated at the Woodbine Normal and taught kindergarten.

In every avenue of life's activities, Mr. PORTER has performed his part to the best of his ability and in a manner to make him as a natural leader of men. He has ever believed that anything worth doing at all is worth doing well and the result is that he was won and retains to a notable degree the sincere respect and confidence of all who know him. He has a vast field of acquaintances, among whom are many loyal, stanch and devoted friends and wherever he goes he receives a hearty welcome. Because of his high personal character and his genuine worth as a man and citizen, he is specifically entitled to mention in a work of this character.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 485, 486, 487, 488.
Family Researcher: NA
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William J. BURKE - The BURKE family have been residents of Harrison county, Iowa, since 1860 and consequently are one of the oldest families of the county. The parents of William J. BURKE, the present cashier of the Valley Savings Bank, were born, reared and married in Ireland and came to America in the early fifties and to Harrison county, Iowa, in 1860. The family were very much interested in the establishment of Catholic churches in the county, and the father of William J. BURKE took an active part in helping to establish Catholic missions throughout the county. Mr. BURKE has been connected with the banking business of Missouri Valley, Iowa, for more than thirty years and well merits the high esteem in which he is held throughout the county.

William J. BURKE, the son of Edmund and Catharine (BURKE) BURKE, was born on the old homestead in Taylor township, Harrison county, Iowa, September 23, 1865. As has been stated, his parents did not come to America until after their marriage, and upon locating in Harrison county in 1860 they settled on the Edmund homestead, purchasing the land from the government in 1861. In 1875 Edmund BURKE moved to Missouri Valley, where he lived until his death, January 2, 1892. His widow is still living at the age of eighty-six. Edmund BURKE was a strong and enthusiastic member of the Catholic church and while he gave his hearty support to all of the Catholic parishes of the county, yet he gave his most earnest support to the church at Magnolia. He was a member of the county board of supervisors for many years. Nine children were born to Edmund BURKE and wife, five of whom are living. Sister Mary Octavia, who joined the order in 1875; Sister Mary Edmunda, who joined in 1879; Edmund, who is connected with the Southern Pacific Railway Company at San Francisco, California; Ellen, who lives with her mother in Missouri Valley, and William J., the youngest of the family.

William J. BURKE received his education in the schools of Missouri Valley and then went to the business college of St. Mary's College at St. Mary's, Kansas. In July, 1884, when only nineteen years of age, he went into the bank of Marcellus Holbrook, of Missouri Valley, and has been connected with this bank continuously since that year. This bank is now known as the Valley Savings Bank. Mr. BURKE entered the bank as a bookkeeper and in 1889 he and Mr. Holbrook formed a partnership and established the Valley Bank. They took in M. W. Coolbach, the son-in-law of Mr. Holbrook.

In July, 1896, Mr. BURKE sold out his interest and organized the State Savings Bank, of Missouri Valley, and was its cashier until 1911. In the meantime he organized the Mondamin Bank, at Mondamin, in this county, and the Modale Bank, at Modale, this county. In 1911 Mr. BURKE sold his banking interests in the other towns in Harrison county and bought the Valley Savings Bank, taking full charge of the bank on January 1, 1912. He organized it as the Valley Savings Bank and has had the satisfaction of seeing it rapidly grow under his efficient management.

Mr. BURKE was married, September 1, 1903, to Mildred C. DONAHUE, of Chicago, Illinois, where she was born and reared. Mr. BURKE and his wife have no children.

Mr. BURKE has been an extensive land holder, but has now concentrated all his interests in the bank. He has been very successful as a business man, but has never let his success in the material affairs of the world spoil his appreciation of the finer things in life. He and his wife are active members of the Catholic church and deeply interested in its welfare.

Mr. BURKE was a charter member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Council Bluffs and a charter member of the local council, Knights of Columbus. He has long been identified with the Democratic party and has been active in local and state political circles. He has been a frequent delegate to local and state conventions and was a delegate to the last national convention at Baltimore from the ninth Iowa district. He has been prominently identified with state and national leaders in his party and is frequently consulted by the leaders in his own state as to the plans which his party should follow out. In the June primaries of 1914 Mr. BURKE was a candidate from the ninth Congressional district for a seat in Congress.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 494, 495, 496.
Family Researcher: NA
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John YOUNG - The whole career of nearly half a century of John YOUNG has been spent in Harrison county. Formerly he was a farmer, but since 1903 he has been engaged in business in Modale. For some years he was manager of the telephone company in Modale and at the same time was active in the California Grain and Lumber Company, at California Junction, Iowa. He helped to organize the Modale State Savings Bank, and has been connected with this institution ever since its beginning. He also is interested in a garage in Modale.

John YOUNG, the son of William and Lydia (LEE) YOUNG, was born November 1, 1865, in Concinnati township, Harrison county, Iowa. His parents were natives of Ayrshire, Scotland, and Thompkins county, New York, respectively. The LEE family are of German descent and trace their ancestry back to Revolutionary days. The Youngs came to Harrison county in 1863 and located first in Modale, but later moved to a farm, where they lived the remainder of their lives.

John YOUNG was the youngest of three children born to his parents. After the father's death in 1899 he and his mother continued on the farm until 1902, when they moved to Modale, where his mother died, October 18, 1914, at the age of ninety-one years and five months. Mr. YOUNG received a common school education and later took a commercial course at Woodbine. He was engaged in farming until he moved to Modale, and since locating in that town has been engaged in various business enterprises.

In 1903 Mr. YOUNG organized the Modale exchange of the Inter-State Telephone Company, and was general manager for six years. About the same time, 1903, he was elected president of the Modale State Savings Bank, which was organized and incorporated at that time. He has continued as president of this financial institution since its organization. Before that time he had been active in the promotion and organization of the California Grain and Lumber Company, at California Junction, Iowa, and still retains an interest in that company. In April, 1913, in partnership with Doctor Cooper, Mr. YOUNG opened a garage in Modale and took the agency for the Maxwell cars. The firm does all kinds of automobile repairing and has a shop well equipped to do good work. In addition to his interests in Modale, Mr. Young owns twelve hundred acres of land in Harrison county, in Taylor and Cincinnati townships. He has responsible tenants residing on his farm.

Mr. YOUNG always has been a Democrat in politics, but has never held any except minor offices. He has not cared to take an active part in political matters, leaving that to others who are so inclined. He is a member of the ancient Free and Accepted Masons and holds all of the degrees, including the Knights Templar degree. Mr. YOUNG has never married. He is a man of strict integrity and no one in the community enjoys a higher degree of respect and honor. He is one of the substantial citizens of Modale and is ever ready to lend a helping hand to such measures as he believes will be of general benefit to his community.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 496, 497.
Family Researcher: NA
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Lawrence H. DAVIS - A resident of Harrison county, Iowa since 1907, Lawrence H. Davis is a worthy citizen of Little Sioux township, where he located upon coming to this county. Since arriving here, he has been engaged in concrete work of various kinds, leaving his farm to the management of his two sons. He also does all kinds of brick and stone work and finds all he can do throughout this section of the county. He is an energetic and enterprising citizen and is highly regarded by those who know him. Lawrence H. Davis, the son of John W. and Nancy (Armstrong) Davis, was born July 8, 1867, near Greenville, Ohio. His parents had four children, of whom Lawrence H. is the youngest and the only one living. John W. Davis and family moved from Ohio to Woodbury County, Iowa, in 1870 and there he farmed until his death. Lawrence H. Davis was only six years of age when his parents came from Ohio to Woodbury county, Iowa. He receivd all his education in that county and remained at home until he was 33 years old. His father died at that time, and his mother then made her home with him until her death. In 1904, Mr. Davis came to Harrison county, where he bought his present farm three-fourths of a mile east of Little Sioux, and on this farm he has since continued to live. His two sons operate the farm on shares and make a specialty of registered Durham cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. Mr. Davis devotes all of his time to cement, brick and stone work. He makes cement walks, foundations, culverts, etc., and his work is always of a high class. In addition to this, he lays brick and stone and does considerable plastering. Mr. Davis was married March 18, 1889, to Maggie A. Jordan, who was born near Deloit City, Crawford County, Iowa, a daughter of Hartwell B. and Nancy A. (Cokely) Jordan. Her parents were early settlers in Crawford county, and her father was the founder of Deloit City. Several years ago, Mr. Jordan's home in Crawford county was destroyed by a cyclone, after which he moved to Sac county, where he suffered a similar disaster. In an effort to get out of the cyclone belt, Mr. Jordan then moved to Plymouth county and located on a farm two and one half miles north of where L.H. Davis lived in Woodbury county. To Lawrence H. and Maggie A. (Jordan) Davis were born three children: Claude, Nellie and Lloyd. Claude married Ida Heistand, and lives just north of his father's home. He has two sons, Everett and John. Lloyd is living with his parents and Nellie married Frank Seaman and lives at Moville, Iowa. Mr. Davis and his wife are also rearing a boy, James Dillinger, and are giving him the same care and attention which they accorded their own children. Mr. Davis is a Republican in politics, but has never taken an active part in political affairs.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, Page 535-36.
Family Researcher: NA
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John W. DEAL - Among those persons who have by virtue of their strong individual qualities earned their way to a high standing in the estimation of their fellow citizens, John W. Deal, the subject of this short biographical sketch, stands in the foremost rank of Harrison county's citizens. Beginning life under none too favorable auspices, he allowed nothing to deter him and by persistent industry and the exercise of sound common sense in his operations, he has gained the rewards for which he labored and is today numbered among the substantial and influential men of his community. John W. Deal was born on July 29, 1852, in Putnam County, Indiana, a son of James E. and Sarah (Case) Deal, both natives of the Hoosier state. They grew to years of maturity in their native state, receiving such meager schooling as the educational facilities of that time afforded, but being well trained in all that made for competent manhood and womanhood. Shortly after marriage, they secured from the Government a tract of land containing some hundred and sixty acres. This was all heavily timbered, and the brave young couple set about the task of making themselves a home. After the first small clearing was made, the typical log cabin of pioneer times was erected and gradually the acres were wrested from the grasp of the virgin forest, about 80 acres having been put into a state of cultivation when, in 1854, they disposed of their place and decided to try their fortune in the state of Iowa. They came directly to Harrison county and located in St. Johns, where they remained for almost two years. In the fall of 1856, they purchased 80 acres of bottom land in section 24 of St. Johns township, which they made their future home. Their original purchase also included 40 acres of timber land, and to this they added from time to time for several years. James E. Deal was known as one of the most thorough farmers of this section and was a man highly respected by all who knew him. Both were members of the Primitive Baptist Church and were honorable and devout people. In politics, James E. Deal was a Democrat although never aspiring to the honor of public office. They lived many years in this section, leading happy and busy lives, and death found both of them on the farm which represented so much of their endeavor. They reared a fine family of ten children, whose names follow: Isaac, deceased; Sarah, widow of Thomas Acre, of Logan, Iowa; John W., the immediate subject of this sketch being the third child in order of birth; Timothy, a farmer located in Washington; Tabitha A., wife of William A. Jones, of St. Johns township, Harrison county, a sketch of whose career will be found elsewhere within the pages of this book; Hannah, wife of Harry Wood of Sumner, Nebraska; Jemima, wife of J. Ellis Jones, of St. Johns township (a sketch of whose life also will be found within these covers); Jacob, a cement contractor located at Council Bluffs, Iowa; Eli, a farmer in Oklahoma; and Harvey, who lives at Missouri Valley, this county. John W. Deal was but a small child when his parents came to this state, and all his schooling was received in the very limited schools of the pioneer days; but he, however, managed to lay a good foundation for the education he acquired for himself in later years by reading and close observation. He remained in the paternal home until he was 26 years of age, at which time he was united in marriage to Mary E. Boyd, who was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She was a daughter of John and Cordelia (Brookhouser) Boyd, both natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Harrison county first in 1860 and remained but a short time, returning to their former home. A little later, however, they returned to Harrison county and located at Honey Creek. They did not, however, remain there but secured a tract of land in section 19 of St. Johns township, where they remained for some time. In later years, they disposed of their holdings in this county and went to Missouri, where they remained but a comparatively short time, returning to this county and making their home with Mr. Deal and wife until the time of their deaths. They were the parents of six children, three of whom are now living: Mrs. Deal, Elwin, and Martin. Mr. Deal's first independent business venture came directly after marriage, when for two years he farmed rented land in St. Johns township; and succeeded well in his undertaking. He then purchased the land where he has since made his home, in section 19, of the same township, but when he first secured possession of it, it presented a far different appearance from the up-to-date farm now seen. It was then wild land and much careful thought and endeavor have been required to bring it to its present condition. Mr. Deal has succeeded well in his undertaking and in addition to the 211 acres contained in the home place, he also owns 280 acres of valley land in St. Johns township, in addition to city property in Missouri Valley. The farm residence is a beautiful home with many conveniences and an air of genuine old-fashioned hospitality that appeals at once to friend and stranger alike. The farm is known as "Pleasant View Fruit Farm" and is located about four and one half miles east of Missouri Valley and eight miles southwest of Logan. Mr. Deal's farm is devoted to general farming, as practiced by the most expert agriculturalists throughout this region, considerable attention being paid to stock raising and also to fruits of various kinds. The various departments of his farm work are conducted along lines most approved by modern practice, for he has given much study and thought to the things which he has made his life business, which accounts very largely for the success which is his. There are six children in the Deal family: Maggie, the eldest, is the wife of Clem Murphy, a farmer, who is associated with Mr. Deal in the work of his farm and who lives in La Grange township. Both Edward and Russell are farmers in St. Johns township, the former of whom married Edna Yeager, the latter having chosen as his wife Mabel Nelson. Raymond, Robert, and Ruby remain with the parents, and the family is among the most highly respected of the community. Mr. Deal is a Democrat, and has held some minor offices for his party. All in all, Mr. Deal belongs to the finest type of American citizenship. Of undoubted integrity, high ambition and industry, he has brought the best of his brain and brawn to the task before him and has not only won material success, but what is more worthy, he has the undivided respect of all who know him, standing as an example of fine manhood to the younger generation.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, Page 800-801.
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Joseph DEMPSIE - This sterling citizen is a man who has never by conscious word or deed worked harm to anyone. By unremitting effort and a steady aim in life, he has acquired a good farm and gained a competency. Mr. Dempsie has shouldered the burden of heavy farm work since his early youth. Joseph Dempsie was born in Henry county, Illinois, March 10, 1873, the son of David H. and Martha (Torens) Dempsie, and is the eldest of nine children born to his parents, all of whom are living. David H. Dempsie is a native of Scotland, where he was born in 1848. At the age of 25, he left his native land, came to America and settled in Morristown, Illinois, where he worked as a coal miner. Coming to Logan, Harrison county, Iowa, he bought land in Calhoun township on which he farmed until 1899, when he disposed of his land holdings and went to Nebraska, where he homesteaded, reclaiming the land and improving it. After a four-year stay on this homestead, David Dempsie lived in Denver, Colorado, three years. He then removed to New Mexico, the Cactus State, where he now makes his home in Albuquerque. Martha Torens, who became the wife of David Dempsie, was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1844 and died on the farm west of Logan in 1895. With a good common school education acquired in the schools of Calhoun township, Joseph Dempsie early decided to follow the vocation of his father and remained on the home farm until he was 19 years of age, when he went to Nebraska, where he worked as a farm hand for one year, later taking charge of his father's land, as well as the land belonging to his father-in-law. All this time, he slowly forged ahead, adding to his capital until about 1901 he was able to buy 100 acres of land in Jefferson township, which he cultivated for four years, during which time he made a number of improvements. At the end of the four years, he rented 924 acres from C.A. Bolter, who owned the farm known as the Jeddo farm. In the meantime, Mr. Dempsie acquired 148 acres of land in La Grange township on which he moved in the spring of 1815. Mr. Dempsie has acquired fame as a breeder of valuable mules, and has also been very successful in the feeding of cattle and hogs for the market. In 1897, Mr. Dempsie was married to Lida Colver, who was born at Missouri Valley, Iowa, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Roland) Colver. Mr. Colver was born in Ohio, while his wife was born in Indiana, both of whom are now deceased. To Mr. Dempsie and his wife have been born four children: Theron, Martha, Mary Dorothy, and one who died in infancy. The political sympathies of Mr. Dempsie are given to the Prohibition party, although he has never aspired to office. He and his family are active and valued members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Dempsie's life bears out the impression that his life is guided by his religious convictions. Mr. Dempsie has acquired a wide acquaintance in his locality, and few can boast of more devoted friends than he, because his nature is such as to make close friendships which endure through any trial or vicissitude.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, Page 862 � 63.
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Wells DEWELL, D.D.S. - Among the earnest men whose enterprise and depth of character have gained for them a prominent place in the community and the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens, is the subject of this brief sketch. In the conscientious practice of his chosen profession, Doctor DEWELL has come to be one of the most prominent dentists in this section of the state and being a man of decided views and laudable ambitions, his influence has ever been exerted for the advancement of his kind. He also is prominent in political circles and is at present most efficiently filling the office of mayor of Woodbine, Harrison county.

Some special interest attaches to the brief study of Mayor DEWELL's career from the fact that he is a native son of this county, having been born at Magnolia on July 8, 1877, a son of John and Emma (McGINNIS) DEWELL, the latter of whom was born and reared in Shelby county, this state. John DEWELL, however, was born in Indiana and come to this county in 1858. He located at Magnolia, which was then but a very small village and became proprietor of one of the first general merchandise stores in that region. He also served as postmaster for a considerable time, and after devoting a goodly number of years to managing his mercantile business, he retired from active life and is now living in quiet retirement in Magnolia. He was twice married, his first wife dying on August 25, 1879. She bore him six children, William C., E. S., Wells, Robert J. and two daughters who died in earliest infancy. The elder DEWELL chose for his second wife Bessie COOPER, of Magnolia, Iowa, by whom he had five children, James O., Kate, B. O., Ada M. and an infant who died at two years of age.

Wells DEWELL received his elementary training in the common schools of Harrison county, later attending the high school at Magnolia. After he was graduated from the latter institution he attended the dental department of the Iowa State University for one year and then matriculated in Northwestern University at Chicago, being graduated therefrom in 1899. He immediately returned to this state and began the practice of his profession at Logan, remaining there, however, but one year, at the end of which he moved to Woodbine, which has since been his home. Since taking up his residence in Woodbine he has become quite prominently identified with the public life of the place. He served as councilman for some time and is at present filling his second term as mayor of that city. He is a stanch adherent of the Republican party and is anxious for the advancement along all lines of the city, which he has the honor to serve as chief executive.

Dr. DEWELL holds his church membership with the Methodist Episcopal church, to the support of which he gives liberally of time and means. His fraternal affiliation is held with the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons through Lodge No. 126 at Magnolia, and with the chapter at Dunlap. He also is a member of the Knights of Pythias in Lodge No. 92 at Woodbine and in Lodge No. 405, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at the same place.

On September 26, 1900, Doctor DEWELL was united in marriage with Pearl G. HESTER, daughter of William R. and Margaret (STRODE) HESTER, both of whom were natives of Indiana and who made the trip overland in a "prairie schooner" to this county at an early date in the settlement of this section of the state. To Doctor and Mrs. DEWELL was born one child, a son, Gerald Arthur, whom they had the misfortune to lose by death. Doctor DEWELL is a man of sound and practical intelligence, keenly alert to everything relating to his interests and in fact, with all that concerns the prosperity and advancement of the community. Because of his splendid personal characteristics and his genuine worth, he enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him and is eminently entitled to representation in a work of the character of the one in hand.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 491, 492, 493.
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