Magdefrau - Myers

Herman Magdefrau

Each community has a few citizens who are recognized as leaders in business and public life, whose opinions are a potent influence in public affairs and whose labors are effective and beneficial in advancing general good. Of this class of citizens Mr. Magdefrau is a representative and Wayland owes much to his efforts in its behalf. He is there successfully engaged in general merchandising, and thereby contributes to the commercial prosperity of the village. He has also given tangible support to all plans and movements instituted for the welfare of the county and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability have frequently called him to public office. At the present time he is serving for the second term as a member of the city council.

Mr. Magdefrau was born in Prussia, Germany, on the 25 th of September, 1845, a son of John and Hannah ( Fleichman ) Magdefrau, both of whom were natives of Germany, in which country the birth of Christian Fleichman, the maternal grandfather, also occurred. In the schools of his native country Herman Magdefrau pursued his education and remained in his parents' home until about twenty-one years of age, when attracted by the opportunities of the new world, he resolved to try his fortune in the United States. Accordingly he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for New York city in May, 1866, accompanied by his brother Charles.

In Germany he had learned the shoemaker's trade and he remained in the eastern metropolis from May until September, 1866, working at that occupation. On leaving New York he came direct to Henry county, settling in Mount Pleasant, where his brother John was employed at cabinet making. Mr. Magdefrau worked at shoemaking for two different men in Mount Pleasant for a brief period and then went to Trenton, Iowa, where he was employed for six weeks. He then returned to Mount Pleasant, where he worked from Christmas until the following April, when he came to Wayland, arriving here on the 19 th of April, 1867. Here he embarked in business on his own account, establishing a shoe shop, which he conducted for two years. He then purchased a small stock of ready made shoes and gradually developed a business in that line.

In 1890 he retired altogether from the business of manufacturing shoes, concentrating his energies upon the sale of ready made goods. He now carries a large and well selected line of boots and shoes and has a good trade. When he ceased to make shoes he added to his business a stock of groceries and queensware and he further extended the field of his operations in August, 1901, by the purchase of a good line of dry goods. He has since conducted a general store and has a large patronage, so that the amount of business which he transacts annually reaches an extensive figure.

On the 5 th of February, 1873, Mr. Magdefrau was married to Miss Elizabeth Rinner, who was born in Germany, and with her parents went to Canada when about eight years of age. Her father was Conrad Rinner. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Magdefrau were born seven children: Harry, who died at the age of a year and a half; two sons, who died in infancy; a daughter who died when two and a half years old; Elmer, who died in 1901, at the age of nineteen years; and Albert and Frank, who are in business with their farther. The wife and mother died January 26, 1894, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends as well as her immediate family.

On the 1 st of October, 1897, Mr. Magdefrau was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Anna Gustin, a native of Alsace, France, and a daughter of Jacob Schaad. Mr. and Mrs. Magdefrau occupy an enviable position in social circles and their own home is a very hospitable one. Mr. Magdefrau is a republican in his political views, recognized as one of the stalwart advocates and leaders of his party in this section of the county. He has served for three terms as justice of the peace, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial. He has also been town assessor for two terms and mayor for two terms, and is now serving for the second term as councilman. No higher testimonial of capability and loyalty could be given than the fact that he has been re-elected to each office to which he has been chosen, showing that his service has been all that is exemplary.

He belongs to the Methodist church, in which he is filling the office of trustee. He is a man of broad sympathies and the poor and needy have found in him a friend. He stands as a splendid type of our German-American citizenship. By perseverance, determination and honorable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which barred his path to success and reached the goal of prosperity, while his genuine worth, broad mind and public spirit have made him a director of public thought and action.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 167)(PE)

    

 

Charles E. Magers

CHARLES E. MAGERS, one of the most popular young business men of New London, a dealer in staple and fancy groceries, flour and feed, gloves, mittens and gents' furnishing goods, has been in active business in his present situation at New London since May 12, 1883. He was born in New London, Henry Co., Iowa, Jan. 8, 1863, and is the nephew and adopted son of Thomas H. Magers, a blacksmith of New London, who has worked at his brade since 1851 and has run a shop since 1854, and has the oldest shop in town.

Thomas H. Magers came to Burlington, Iowa, in 1849, and was born in Knox County, Ohio, Nov. 27, 1815, and is the son of William and Drusilla (Sapp) Magers. He learned his trade in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and there was married, Jan. 18, 1844, to Miss Elvina Shopbell, daughter of Jacob and Catherine Shopbell. She was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., and by this union they have one child, Lewis M., who married Ella Fowler at New London, April 12, 1874, and has one child, Thomas Fred, born Jan. 13, 1877. Mr. Magers came to Iowa in October, 1849, worked at his trade two years, and in the spring of 1851 became a journeyman, working until 1854, when he opened his shop. His father was born in France, and came to America just after the Revolution, living in the South, but finally settling in Ohio. His mother was born in Knox County, Ohio, and was of German and English ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Magers are members of the Protestant Methodist Church. he is a member of Charity Lodge No. 56, I. O. O. F., of New London, and is respected alike by old and young, rich and poor. In politics he is a Democrat.

Charles E. Magers, the subject of this sketch, and and adopted son of Thomas H. Magers, was educated in the public schools of his native town, and served a regular apprenticeship to the blacksmith trade with his adopted father. After three years spent in the shop he concluded to make a change, and engaged in his present business. Mr. Magers is a young man of sterling qualities and business capacity. During his short career as a merchant he has built up a flourishing and rapidly increasing trade and established a gilt edge credit. Socially he is a courteous, genial gentleman, and is justly popular among the best citizens of his life-long home. He has been reared with the care and tenderness of an own son by his foster-parents, who took him to their hearts and home while an infant in arms, and cared for him as their own. While they regard him with all the affection of real parents, they have the gratifying satisfaction of knowing that the object of their regard is worthy of their love and care, and that he reciprocates their kindly sentiments in the fullest degree. In politics, he is an uncompromising Democrat. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 548 & 551.)

   

Louis Milton Magers

Louis Milton Magers, who lived during his mature and prosperous years in New London, passed away in that village and left to lament his untimely death one son grown to manhood and his wife, who now resides in the handsome modern residence which he built in 1898. Mr. Magers was born September 18, 1848, being the son of Thomas and Elvira ( Shopbell ) Magers. When a youth he went with his parents to live in Henry county, Iowa. He attended the public schools of his county and after finishing his education went into business with his father, from whom he learned the trade of a blacksmith and wagonmaker. After becoming well skilled in these trades he entered into business upon his own responsibility in New London, where he spent all of his mature years of activity and labor. He purchased the brick business block of Perry Frank and later another upon Main street. These he owned at the time of his death.

In 1873 he wedded Miss Ellen Fowler, a daughter of William E. and Jane ( Lyons ) Fowler. In her childhood she lived in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and in 1859 went with her parents to live in Burlington, Iowa. They remained there several years, and in 1866 moved to New London, where the father soon became engaged in his trade of tinsmith, a business which he had followed all his life. The family continued to live in New London, where the daughter was married and where she is still living. The father died in 1894, and the mother in 1898.

Mr. and Mrs. Magers became the parents of one child, whom they reared to manhood, Thomas Frederick, now a dentist living in St. Louis, Missouri. He is married, his wife formerly being Miss Lillian Humes. They have no children.

Louis Milton Magers was a progressive business man. He early learned the lesson of industry and frugality and applied himself with diligence to his life duties. He was, at the time of his death, still a comparatively young man, but he had mastered the true principles of a successful business life and won for himself the distinction of being a self-made man. Mr. Magers had many friends in New London, and is missed by them as well as at his own fireside.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 315)(PE)

   

John F. Mallams

John F. Mallams, who for twenty-seven years has resided on his present farm in Center township, was born in Saratoga, New York, July 21, 1849. His father, John Mallams, was a native of England, born in 1824, and after working in a coal mine for a year and a half came to America in 1832, being at that time only eight years of age. He accompanied his parents, who made the voyage in a sailing vessel which dropped anchor in the harbor of New York after sixty-five or seventy days spent upon the ocean, during which time a sever storm was encountered.

The grandfather first engaged in business and later turned his attention to farming between Albany and New York, where he cleared one hundred and sixty-five acres of land which was devoted to gardening and to the raising of various cereals adapted to the soil and climate. He met with reverses there, however, and decided to come west, settling in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant, in 1855. The father of our subject lived upon a farm about a mile from where John F. Mallams now makes his home and there the latter remained until eighteen years of age. The father afterward removed to New London township when his son John was about twenty-four years of age and there he spent his remaining days, passing away in 1892. He was married three times and his widow is living in New London.

The mother of our subject was the first wife and there were three children by that marriage, of whom two are living, namely: Sarah J., of Jefferson county, Iowa; and John F., of this review. By the second marriage there was one child, May C., now the wife of Robert Frost, of Nebraska. There were two children by the third marriage: Beatrice, the wife of Ed DeGammo, of New London, Iowa; and Ferrell, who is living in Jefferson county, this state. The father was a republican in his political views and served as school director and as road supervisor. He and his wife held membership in the Presbyterian church and he was interested in all that pertains to the general welfare of the community, aiding as far as possible in the work of public improvement and development. When called to his final rest his remains were interred in Bethel cemetery in Center township.

John F. Mallams acquired his education in the district schools of Henry county and in Howe's Academy. He remained with his father until twenty-four years of age, working upon the home farm and gaining practical knowledge of the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey he chose Miss Emma S. Neel, to whom he was married on the 31st of December, 1873. She was born in Center township in 1849, a daughter of Jesse and Rebecca ( Stratton ) Neel. The father's birth occurred in Franklin county, Maryland, and mother was born in Champaign county, Ohio. She died in Iowa, August 26, 1892, in the house now occupied by Mr. Mallams. Mr. Neel came to the west in 1844 and here turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, although he had followed carpentering in the east. He carried on farming up the time of his retirement from business life about ten or twelve years before he was called to his final rest, his last years being spent in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mallams. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party and both he and his wife were members of the Christian church. In the family of this worthy couple were ten children, of whom five are now living, namely: John N., who married Miss Ann Snow and lives in Mount Pleasant; Ann, the wife of George McNealley, of Russell, Iowa; Ella, the wife of John Cox, of Mount Pleasant; Emma, the wife of John F. Mallams; and Sarah, who is the widow of Enoch Davis and resides in Mount Pleasant.

Mr. and Mrs. Mallams have five sons, all of whom were born in Henry county. Francis Burke, born January 16, 1875, and now living in Center township, married Miss Myrtle Purdy, by whom he has two children, Miles Edgar and Florence Elizabeth. Lot Neel, born September 29, 1875, is a railroad conductor living in Aurora, Illinois. Robert Nelson, born November 14, 1882, died December 23, 1894. John Wilbur, born February 13, 1885. Perry Franklin, born July 12, 1889, and Clarence Verl, born January 29, 1892, are all at home.

For twenty-seven years Mr. Mallams has resided upon his present farm, which had formerly been the home of his wife before her marriage, so that she has lived here for thirty-eight years. He has remodeled the house and made other improvements and the farm is kept in excellent condition. In addition to this property he also owns twenty-seven acres of partially cultivated land, also in Center township. His home place is located on sections 5, 6, 7, and 8, and the well tilled fields and neat appearance of the place indicate the careful supervision of a practical and progressive owner.

Mr. Mallams is a republican and for four years has served as school director. He belongs to Mystic Lodge, No. 55, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all of the chairs and he and his wife are devoted members of the Presbyterian church. In business affairs and in citizenship he is progressive and enterprising, just and generous and both Mr. and Mrs. Mallams are highly esteemed in the community, where they make their home. Since the above was written they have sold out and removed from Henry county to Van Buren county, Hillsboro still being their postoffice.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 460)(PE)

   

A. C. Martin

A. C. MARTIN, a farmer residing on section 10, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Greene County, Pa., April 8, 1834, and is a son of Bonham and Phoebe (Conkling) Martin, both natives of Greene County, Pa., where they were reared and married. The origin of the family is presumably German, as the grandparents spoke the German language. Louis Martin was the grandfather of our subject, and both himself and wife lived and died in Greene County, they each being over ninety years of age. They reared a family consisting on James, Daniel, William, John, Bonham, Hannah, Mary and Bettie. All of these were married except Mary, but Bonham, the father of our subject, is the only one who came to Iowa. Perhaps none of these children are living, at least no obtainable facts can be secured. All the children of Bonham Martin and wife were born in Greene County, Pa., and with the exception of the two eldest, came with their parents to this State in the spring of 1845. All finally became residents, however, of Henry County, of whom A. C. Martin is the only representative in this State. Bonham Martin entered the southeast quarter of the section 1, in Jefferson Township, this county, but really began making a farm and home on the east half of section 11, but this was entered after his settlement by another man, and Bonham had to purchase it of the man, although by right its real possessor. The tract on section 1, and an 80-acre tract in Washington County, were entered with a soldier's warrant, which two of his sons improved, the father making his home during the remainder of his lifetime on section 11. For almost thirty years Bonham Martin resided on that tract. His wife died in 1865, aged sixty-eight years. Ten children graced the union. Susannah, now deceased, the eldest daughter, married Henry Roóp in Pennsylvania; they removed to this county and later to Schuyler County, Mo., where he death occurred. Louis died in Pennsylvania unmarried; Ananias also married in Pennsylvania, Margaret McCormick becoming his wife; her death occurred in Oregon, where he yet resides, and is the husband of Mrs. E. T. Mitchell. Daniel wedded Rachel Pechover, and resides in Schuyler County, Mo., then comes our subject, followed by Simon, who wedded Adeline Mathew; Elizabeth wedded Amos Adams of Jefferson Township; two children, Samuel and David, died in Pennsylvania, which completes the family. After the death of his wife, Bonham Martin married Miss Ester Meyer of Washington, in Washington County, who became the m other of two children: Ella, wife of Silas B. White, of Keokuk County; and Frank, now a lad of twelve years. The death of Bonham Martin occurred in 1876, being then in his seventy-seventh year. His widow yet resides in Washington, Iowa.

A. C. Martin, our subject, was married, Dec. 25, 1856, to Miss Sadie M. Matthews, whose parents, Madison and Lanah (Coleman) Matthews, came from Gallias, Ohio, to this county in 1849, locating on section 2, Jefferson Township, bringing two children, Sadie M. and Ester C. After their coming four other children were born - Charlotte, Brazilla, Catherine E. and Emma R.  The parents are yet living on the same section, where for thirty-seven years everything which brings joy and happiness to a home has been theirs. All their children are married: Ester is the wife of W. W. Woods, of Jefferson Township; Charlotte became the wife of Harvey Leeper; Catherine is the wife of Andrew Johnson; and Emma is the wife of Harvey Johnson, no relation to Andrew.

Our subject and his young wife began their domestic life on section 12 in Jefferson Township, remaining there until 1873, when his present home farm was purchased. The history of the family is that of a successful one. The eldest child of A. C. and Mrs. Martin is Mary L., wife of William Nichols, of Yam Hill County, Ore.; Elmer wedded Mary Johnson, a sister of Andrew, and lives with our subject near Wayland; Cora completes those of the children living. Madison B., named in honor of his two grandsires, died in infancy. We need only add that this family have always been foremost in enterprise, in moral and social life, and that their home near Wayland is one of the most commodious and pleasant ones in the neighborhood. In 1884 Mr. Martin served his township as Trustee, and his official acts were such as made him the choice of his party in 1887 for the same position. In Jefferson Township there is a large Republican majority, but he was only defeated by eight votes. He was for several years a member of the School Board, and his only son completed his education at Howe's Academy in 1880. This son is the father of two children - Edwin Richard and Maxie G.  The daughter, Mary L., is the mother of Martin M., Wellman D. and Blanche M.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.305-6.)

 

George W. Martin

GEORGE W. MARTIN, residing on section 23, Marion Township, was born Nov. 25, 1809, in Fredericksburg, Lebanon Co., Pa. His parents, Frederick and Sarah (Wolf) Martin, were natives of Pennsylvania, but of English ancestry, and to them were born four children: William, deceased, whose widow now resides in Pottsville, Pa.; Jesse died at the age of eighty-one in Fredericksburg, Pa.; Sarah, wife of Jacob Hoffey, a resident of Fredericksburg, Pa.; our subject is the fourth child in order of birth. His father died at the age of fifty-one and his mother at the age of forty-five, in Fredericksburg. Pa. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, and took great interest in all the church work. Mr. Martin held the offices of Surveyor and Recorder of Public Deeds, and was celebrated far and near for his ex­cellent penmanship. He was a fine scholar, though entirely a self-educated man, and none in the com­munity were more respected and liked than Frederick Martin.

Our subject remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-one years of age, and during this time he attended the public schools, walking three and a half miles both morning and evening. His parents died when he was thirty years of age. In 1830 he wedded Miss Mary Pefley, a native of Lebanon County, Pa., born in 1809. Four children have graced their union: Josiah, a resident of Delaware, Pa.; Sarah A., wife of Jerry Martin, a bricklayer in Shamokin, Pa.; William, who has been married twice, his first wife being Mary Bealer, and to them were born a son and daughter, Thornton and Ida; Mrs. William Martin died in 1880, and he was again united in marriage, with Mrs. Elizabeth Baxter, and now resides in Marion Township. Rebecca, wife of Joseph Howard, a resident of Mt. Pleasant. Mary, the mother of these children, died in 1842 in Pottsville, Pa. Mr. Martin was a second time united in marriage, on the 21st of December, 1843, to Miss Eliza Bird, a native of Catawissa, Pa., and by this union there were seven children: Emma, wife of Alva Lindley, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; Grace, at home; George, a farmer near Hastings, Neb., wedded Mary Reed; Elliot P. married Emily Orr, now residing at Plattsmouth, Neb.; Maggie, wife of Collins Lindley, a farmer in Taylor County, Iowa; Charles, a resident of Plattsmouth, Neb., was united in marriage with Susan Greusel; Mary, wife of Robert Garard, residing near Plattsmouth. Neb. Mrs. Martin departed this life March 5, 1876. She was a kind mother, a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was greatly esteemed by all. Mr. Martin's third union was with Mrs. William Ogg, and her maiden name was Sabina J. Frame. She was horn in Laporte County, Ind., Feb. 24, 1838, and by her first husband she had two children: Nellie and Jennie, who are both at home. By this third union there is but one child, Clifford.

In 1856 Mr. Martin came to Henry County, purchasing eighty acres of land, on which he still resides. He now owns 160 acres of as finely im­proved land as there is in the county. He has been a hard worker and all that he now possesses has been made by his own industry. He and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Martin has always borne his part in every public enterprise, and in politics casts his vote with the Republican party. Being honest and upright in all he undertakes, Mr. Martin has the respect of all.

Mr. William Ogg was born Sept. 23, 1834, and was Mrs. Martin's first husband, and father of Nellie and Jennie. Mr. Ogg enlisted in Company K, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Oct. 5, 1861, at Mt. Pleasant, and was discharged from the United States service Dec. 18, 1863, at Vicksburg, Miss., by reason of re­enlistment on the 19th of December, 1863, at Vicksburg. He served until Aug. 8, 1865, and was discharged at Atlanta, Ga., after serving nearly four years. His death occurred at Mt. Pleasant, March 23, 1871, of consumption, contracted while in the army.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 310-311) (JC)

 

Israel W. Martin

ISRAEL W. MARTIN, a farmer of Canaan Township, Henry Co., Iowa, residing on section 28, was born in Carroll County, Ohio, July 21, 1837, and is a son of Israel and Sarah P. (Welker) Martin, both natives of Ohio, he of Columbiana, she of Stark County. Simeon Martin was the grandfather of our subject, and his great-grandfather was also named Simeon. the latter resided in Columbiana County, Ohio, and was there once visited by our subject. Simeon Martin, Sr., was a sailor during his earlier years and was a man of great information and of a very retentive memory. His second wife was a Blackburn. He died in Columbiana County in his eighty-fifth year. Simeon Martin, Jr., the grandfather, was a son of the second marriage. He was a farmer, and married Aschsah Dye, most likely in Meigs County, Ohio, as her people resided there. They later removed to Carroll County, Ohio, from Columbiana County, and there resided during their lifetime. He was a farmer in that county and died in 1847, at the age of fifty-three. His wife reached the extreme age of ninety. Their children were: Israel, the father of our subject, who married Sarah P. Welker; Wesley died unmarried; Harrison A. wedded Elizabeth Dolvin; Albert S. became the husband of Mary A. Downs; Matilda wedded Amasa Shaffer; Eli L. married Catherine Wheador; Achsah A. first married George W. Worley, and is now the wife of Robert Jackman, and Elinor A., wife of Adam H. Erskine. After the marriage of Israel Martin, and also prior to that time, he taught school and had acquired a fine practical as well as a technical education. He had mastered surveying, and was spoken of for the future surveyor of Carroll County at the time of his demise, which came most unexpectedly about six months after his marriage. His son, Israel W., was never seen by his father, who died several months prior to his birth. Of Israel Martin, Sr., we may say that his was a life full of promise, which was cut off ere his twenty-first birthday was reached. His widow, true to his memory, never married again, but gave to her son a wealth of love and care. His education was carefully attended to, and at the age of eighteen he began teaching. His first school was in the winter of 1855-56 in Stark County, Ohio, which was followed by a three years' continuous service in Carroll County, Ohio.

At the expiration of that time Mr. Martin's marriage was celebrated, that event occurring June 17, 1859, when Miss Sarah E. Bonbrake became his wife. She was a daughter of Henry and Sarah Bonbrake, of Carroll County, Ohio. She was of American birth but of German origin, and at the time of her marriage could speak the German or English languages with equal fluency. Her parents resided on the farm until the death of the father. His widow yet lives in Stark County with her daughter, Letitia Hawkins. Mrs. Bonbrake is the mother of a large family of children, namely: Urich, who married Eliza J. Hardin, is a merchant of Eureka Springs, Ark.; Isaac, who was the husband of Elizabeth McDowell, died during the war, at Murfreesboro, Tenn., at which time he was a Lieutenant in an Ohio regiment of sharpshooters, and prior to his enlistment was a merchant of Waynesburg, Ohio; Lewis had charge of a store at Waynesburg, Ohio, but died at the age of twenty; Samuel, a farmer in Indiana, wedded Carrie Sillanders; Hannah married William Dunlap, and after his death John Woy, of Decatur, Ind.; Lydia is the wife of George W. Jackman, of Whiting, Kan.; Lovina wedded George A. Bowman, of Alliance, Ohio; Amanda J. died at the age of eighteen; Cora C. resides with her mother; Ella wedded Harry Kinzie; both were expert telegraph operators, and she died at their home in La Otto, Ind., in 1880; Letitia C. is the wife of Alvin Hawkins, a farmer of Stark County, Ohio.

In 1859 Israel W. Martin and his young wife left their native county, their wedding tour being a trip to the West. They stopped in Illinois and located in Fulton County, near Lewistown, on a farm, remaining there until the spring of 1866. During the winter season Mr. Martin engaged in teaching, and spent the summer in farm work. All their children were born in Fulton County. They are: Cora A., wife of D. M. Holland, a farmer of Canaan Township, who has one son, Clayton M., now in his fifth year; Olive M. attended Howe's Academy, and is now engaged in teaching in this county, and is an artist of merit; she was a pupil of Miss Pet Walton, of Mt. Pleasant. Lewis W. finds a home with his parents on the farm, which is the one first occupied by them on their arrival in Henry County. He has received a fine business education at Elliott's Business College in Burlington, but prefers the farm to all other occupations.

In 1866, Mr. Martin with his family removed to Henry County and purchased the northeast quarter of section 28, at that time unimproved. To this he has added eighty acres, and has made many improvements. His mother found a home with him after his marriage, and her death occurred beneath his roof in 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Martin are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is also a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M., and an ardent Republican, and cast his first vote for President Lincoln. After coming to Henry County, the first ten winters were spent by Mr. Martin in teaching. He was elected Township Clerk in Illinois, and served in the same position a number of years after coming to Henry County. He was the trusted Assessor of Canaan Township for six consecutive years, prior to which he served as District Township Secretary for a number of years.

Since becoming residents of this county the family have become endeared to all who know them, and are highly respected in the community. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 614-16.)

 

Myron B. Martin

Myron B. Martin, actively interested in general farming in Wayne township, was born in Geauga county, Ohio, October 25, 1845, and is descended from New England ancestry. His paternal grandparents, Isaac Mitchell and Philena ( Guernsey ) Martin, were natives of Woodbury county, Connecticut. Their son, Bennett Martin, was born in Litchfield, Woodbury county, and when ten years of age went with his parents to Schoharie county, New York, where he remained for about five years. The family then drove to Ohio and he began chopping wood in the midst of the forest. When he had reached adult age he was married to Miss Asenath Smith, whose birth occurred in Warren county, New York, and her parents were Elijah and Asenath ( Woodworth ) Smith, the former a native of Massachusetts and the mother of the Empire state.

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Martin came by wagon to Henry county, Iowa, starting on the 6th of April about the time the ground was breaking up and the roads were very muddy. This made travel very difficult and they passed through the main street of Chicago when it was like a mortar bed. They reached Wayne township on the 21st of May and entered from the government a tract of land, which he developed, comprising the southeast quarter of section 9. He remained there three years and built a house and stable of logs, and in 1852 some land sharks, taking advantage of him, he lost the place and afterward bought eighty acres on the northwest quarter of section 9, Wayne township, purchasing the same from the government at one dollar and a quarter per acre. There was not a fence upon the place nor stick of wood of any description, nor had a furrow been turned. He built a frame house and stable, fenced the land and further continued the cultivation, development, and improvement of the property up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 10th of May, 1876. His wife long survived him, dying upon the old homestead on the 8th of July, 1891.

Myron B. Martin was the youngest of four children, two sons and two daughters. Philena, the eldest, lived upon the old home place until her death, November 15, 1904, at the age of seventy years. Eliza Ann died at the age of six years. Sheridan S. Martin remained at home until December, 1863, when he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company G, Eleventh Iowa Infantry. The regiment was sent to the south, where he was engaged in active duty and on the 22d of July, 1864, in the siege of Atlanta he was taken prisoner and sent to Andersonville, where he died on the 19th of September, being buried there.

Since brought to his present farm in his boyhood days Myron B. Martin has resided continuously upon this place, having here a good tract of land of forty acres which responds readily to the care and labor he bestows upon it, the fields annually yielding good harvests. He was married on the 9th of January, 1889, to Miss Hattie H. Smith, who was born in Lake county, Ohio, a daughter of Loring W. and Caroline ( Gardner ) Smith. Her father was a native of Warren county, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Martin now have three children, Loring B., Edith L. and Harmon E, all at home. The parents are devoted members of the Congregational church, in which Mr. Martin has served for fifteen years as clerk and for three years as trustee.

Almost his entire life has been passed in this locality, for he was less than a year old when brought from Ohio to Henry county. In the sixty years which have since come and gone he has witnessed many changes as the wild, unimproved country has been reclaimed and the work of development has been carried forward. There are now splendidly improved farms with here and there a church and schoolhouse to indicate the intellectual and moral development of the community. Towns and villages have sprung up and these are imbued with the commercial and industrial life that leads to rapid advancement. Mr. Martin has concentrated his energies upon his business affairs with good results and is classed with the enterprising agriculturists in Henry county.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 539)(PE)

 

W. J. Martin

W. J. MARTIN, inventor of the reversible Monitor or Roadgrader, of Mt. Pleasant, was born in Sehuylkill County, Pa., on the 16th of February, 1848. His father, John L. Martin, the first stonemason and contractor of Mt. Pleasant, was also a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother was Carrie (Bird) Martin. They were married in Pennsylvania, and in 1856 emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, settling in Mt. Pleasant, where he embarked in his business, residing here until his death, which occurred in 1880. Mrs. Mar­tin resides at Des Moines and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Martin were the parents of five children, two of whom are dead; the living are: William, who is a stonemason, of Brighton, Iowa, and Wellington J., the subject of this sketch, and Clementine E., wife of W. H. Penn, a postal clerk, residing in Des Moines. John L. Martin held the political views of the Whigs until the organization of the Republican party, always since then voting with that party.

Our subject received his education at the common schools. He is a carriage-maker and mechanic by trade. In the year 1877 he was united in marriage to Miss Clara Picking, daughter of C. Picking, of Nebraska. By this union there are four children:-Pearl P., Harry, Florence and Lydia.

In the year 1877 Mr. Martin patented the road grader, of which mention will be made in another part of this book; the thought flashing across his mind all in an instant, he set to work to invent that most useful machine. He has now another machine under consideration which he hopes soon to complete. As a machinist, he has more than ordinary ability, having no superiors and few equals in this region.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin are highly esteemed by all who know them, and have the confidence and love of the whole community. Mr. Martin is a member of the I. O. O. F., and also the Knights of Labor. Politically he is a Democrat.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 264-265) (JC)

 

George Thomas Mason, M.D.

Back in the fertile fields of Greene county, Pennsylvania, on the 23d of November, in the year 1850, the subject of this memoir first saw the light of day. His parents, John and Rachel ( Ross ) Mason, both now deceased, were also natives of the same county. John Mason's father, James Mason, was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, and his parents were Presbyterians in religious faith and descendants of emigrants from the highlands of Scotland. These Highlanders on the paternal side were descendants of Sir William Mason, who went from London, England, to the Highlands of Scotland almost two hundred years ago.

James Mason was brought by his parents to America when only five years old, settling in Greene county, Pennsylvania, where the most of the family resided throughout the remainder of their lives, including the parents and James. Dr. Mason's mother, Rachel Ross, was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, and was of Scotch and German descent, her father, Jacob Ross, being of Scotch parentage, while her mother was of German lineage. John and Rachel Mason had ten children born unto them, of whom eight are living, namely: Mary Fisher, of Logan, Ohio; Mrs. Abigail E. Austin, of Nelsonville, Ohio; William J., of Edenville, Michigan; Hiram, of Nelsonville, Ohio; Mrs. Phoebe Jane Conaway, of Logan, Ohio; James K., of Kansas, Illinois; George T., whose name heads this sketch, and Dr. Timothy R. Mason, of Sugar Grove, Ohio. Jacob R. died at the age of twenty-eight years, leaving a widow and one son.

Dr. Mason removed with his parents to Harrison county, Virginia, in the fall of 1852 and to Coles county, Illinois, in 1854, locating three miles west of Pinhook, now Oakland. The family suffered intensely from ague and the youngest child, a baby boy eighteen months old, died there and was laid to rest in Deer Creek cemetery. The family, becoming discouraged owing to so much illness, retraced their steps in the fall of 1856 as far as Hocking county, Ohio, and there settled in Starr township, adjoining the Athens county line, five miles from Nelsonville, now the center of the Hocking Valley mining district, one of the most extensive bituminous coal fields in America.

Here "little Tommy", as he was familiarly called, grew to manhood, working on his father's farm in the summer seasons and attending school three months in the winter in a log house, sitting on a slab bench. His writing desk consisted of a board laid on pins driven into the wall. Later he attended an academy and high schools, and a short time before the eighteenth anniversary of his birth he was in the schoolroom as teacher at a point in Starr township known as Sidehill Academy. He taught in Ohio, Kansas and Illinois for ten years. He received the first teacher's certificate ever issued in Sumner county, Kansas, and taught the first public school ever taught in that county. Also the first school exhibition given in the county was given by the Doctor and his school in the town of Oxford on the banks of the Arkansas river. People traveled twenty miles to attend that entertainment. The Doctor also paid considerable attention to vocal music when a young man. He taught voice culture and elocution for some time and gave a number of public entertainments.

He spent a number of years in writing biographical and township histories for Chapman Brothers and the Lewis Publishing Company, of Chicago; but this work kept him from home so much that he finally took up the study of medicine, to which he devoted his leisure hours for more than a year, while he still continued in the history business. He took his first course in medicine at the Hospital College of Medicine, at Louisville, Kentucky, and was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, in March, 1892. He at once removed from Arcola, Illinois, his former home, to Lowell, Henry county, Iowa, where he practiced until the fall of 1894, when he removed to Trenton, where he has since resided and continues in general practice.

He was married December 24, 1879, to Miss Ida E. Gray, of Vermilion county, Illinois. She is a daughter of the late Harvey and Susan ( Harman ) Gray, of Sidell, Illinois. Her brother, Samuel Gray, of Sidell, Illinois, wrote the first article advocating the township central school system, which article appeared in the Prairie Farmer in 1870. Dr. and Mrs. Mason have had six children born to them, as follows: Guy, Edna, Victor, Ada, Harry and Florence. Most of the family are identified with the church and Sunday school in Trenton. In politics the Doctor is an uncompromising republican, being the only advocate of that party in his father's family. His brother, Dr. T. R. Mason, of Sugar Grove, Ohio, is a prominent democrat in his place and served on the United States pension board under Cleveland, while Dr. Mason of this review is a member of the pension board at Mount Pleasant, having acted in that capacity for several years.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 689)(PE)

 

W. R. Mason

 
W. R. MASON, residing on section 5, Jefferson Township, is a prominent farmer of Henry County. The only male representative of the Mason family in this county is our subject, who was born in Monroe County, Tenn., Aug. 18, 1830. His parents and their respective children are severally mentioned in the history of John Kurtz, and we therefore confine the history of this gentleman to his own personal record. He was twelve years of age when his parents came to Henry County, and minutely he has watched the progress of the county as it has developed year by year. He was not twenty-one years of age when the desire was formed to see the far western country, and also to engage in gold mining, at that time causing such an exodus of young men from the States. On the 21st of April, 1851, in company with his older brother, James N. Mason, and two of the Moore brothers, an ox-team was rigged out, and with covered wagon the party joined others who were en route from this part of the State. Everything progressed finely, and with the exception of one little skirmish at Ft. Hall, on Snake River, they had no trouble with Indians or otherwise. The boys enjoyed the trip; the bracing air, their great game supplies cooked in a huge pot suspended by a crane over the fire, brought with them the best of appetites and perfect digestion. Only a few of the men who made the overland journey to Oregon and California in 1850, or even later, are living, but when one is found the stories of buffalo hunting, the seemingly endless journey, and the graphic way they have of telling the story, make it sound almost like a romance, yet all is true and vouched for by many men of the highest repute. Their first house in Oregon was made Sept. 21, 1851. The brothers sold their oxen when the mountains were reached, and hired to a man at $2 per day to drive cattle over the Cascade Range. This seemed to the boys like big wages, but they were well used to such before their return to Iowa. After footing it over the mountains, they reached Portland, and decided to take a trip on the steamer “Columbia,” plying between that city and San Francisco. Both stopped at Milwaukee, Ore., and commenced work on a dam in process of construction, and when that was completed made a trip to Sacramento, and from there went into the mining country, both securing work with the “Bear River Water Company,” which furnished water to the miners. Three months later they went further up the mountains and began mining, but after trying it one summer concluded that more money could be made by farming, and purchasing teams took a claim in the Sacramento Valley, in Yolo County, twenty-five miles from the city. After farming two years, during which time they did well, the brothers again decided to try mining, and selling their claim and teams, made their way back to the mountains, and in partnership with Messrs. Ball and Leathers, opened a mine known then as the “Scent Diggings,” which paid them handsomely. This was operated six years, when William Mason sold his interest for $3,000, and hired to another company at $4 per day, working for them two years. He then began farming again in the Bodega Valley, and for fourteen years re­mained there in that business. While engaged in mining the second time, Mr. Mason was married to Miss Adelia Clark, whose death occurred soon afterward. He remained unmarried until after his return home, having been absent for almost twenty-three years. Boys had become men of mature years, had married and reared families; elegant farms and great houses stood upon commanding sites, over which he had hunted and played in childhood; villages dotted the prairies, and in fact the transformation was almost, to him, without a parallel. His father had died, his brothers and sisters had married, and the family circle was to him completely disorganized. He purchased a farm, the old Kurtz homestead, but the next year returned to California and disposed of his property there, and in 1876 came back to the home of his boyhood. On the 13th of December, 1877, William Mason was married to Miss Susanna Kurtz, and upon the farm and in the same house that had been for years her home, they began their domestic life. They remained there three years, and then purchased their present farm near the village of Wayland, where they live as contentedly as if their married life had begun forty years ago instead of ten. Mr. and Mrs. Mason have no heirs, but are rearing an orphan lad, Willie Woods, who finds with them a home, and in the household of Mr. and Mrs. Mason feels no need of father or mother, brother or sister. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 345-346) (JC)

 

MatthewsWm.jpg (95955 bytes)    MatthewsNellie.jpg (88738 bytes)  William Matthews

WILLIAM MATTHEWS. Among the men who have materially aided in giving Salem Township the good name she bears, we learn of no one has has shared more largely than our subject, who has been a resident there for many years, and has reared a family which does honor to his name. William Matthews was born in Green County, Ky., Sept. 1, 1810, and is a son of William and Mary (Taylor) Matthews. They removed first from Kentucky to near Vincennes, Ind.  Mr. Matthews, Sr., was opposed to slavery in every sense, and to live in a free State and rear his children in free schools, and to be remote from all institutions which favored the degradation of manhood, was his object in leaving Kentucky. The death of William Matthews, Sr., occurred soon after they settled in Indiana, and the widow with her children removed near Jacksonville, Ill.  The eldest son, Samuel, married in Kentucky, and brought his young wife, Susan Russell, to Illinois, settling near Jacksonville, where the family settled later. The eldest daughter, Sarah, married Rev. Richard Newport, in Kentucky, and subsequently removed from that State, and settled in Indiana, where probably they remained during their lifetime. The other children were: Ellen, who wedded Samuel McIntosh; Richard, who wedded Margaret Robinson; Mary became the wife of Jesse Ruble; Elizabeth wedded John R. Sparks; Margaret died in Morgan County, Ill.; Matthew married Nancy Swan, and Nancy wedded Jonathan Swan. All these children were married in Illinois. Nancy, Elizabeth, Matthew and our subject came later to Iowa, and all are now living except Elizabeth.

William Matthews was a single man when he came to this State to select a home, in 1836, but he returned to Morgan County, Ill., and was married, Oct. 17, 1836, to Miss Nellie, daughter of Isaac and Margaret Holmes. His courtship and wedding deserve a brief notice, and we are pleased to give it. He was a poor lad, and his neighbor's black-eyed daughter was a coveted prize that he hoped to win. He was robust, and toiled early and late to accumulate means enough to warrant their marriage, but times were hard, and money came slowly to his purse. He was to LaSalle County, Ill., and took a claim, and worked at any kind of job offered him. He, however, went back once a year to see Nellie, and their vows of constancy remained as firm as when he first began to prospect for a home. Later he had a chance to sell his claim, and came to Iowa, purchasing another claim four miles from Salem, in Lee County, upon which George Ransom now lives. He returned to Illinois at once, settled his business affairs in LaSalle County, purchased a horse and a pair of saddle-bags, and with all his earthly possessions packed in them, mounted his horse and made his directly to the cabin of his future father-in-law. Nancy Swan and her husband, and Matthew and his wife were just packing their wagons to remove to the Black Hawk Purchase in Iowa. After consultation with them he concluded to learn at once the state of his girl's affection for him by proposing an immediate marriage. As he was a man of exemplary habits Mr. Holmes could offer no objection to the match, and the brevity of the matter is the prominent part of the story. William landed in Morgan County Sunday evening, proposed and was accepted, procured his marriage license on Monday, was married by Rev. Needham Roach, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, on Tuesday, and on Wednesday his wife started on her wedding tour in a covered wagon, bound for Iowa, in company with those previously mentioned, and the young husband followed on his horse. All that he possessed in the world was contained in his saddle-bags, and his young wife only had one feather bed, but with hearts full of love for each other, and the determination to become independent, they braved all the hardships and privations of the new country, and began housekeeping with his brother-in-law Sparks.

In the spring William moved into a partly furnished cabin upon his own claim. Their first night was an introduction to the inconveniences which followed. William borrowed a yoke of cattle from Mr. Sparks, which conveyed the young bride and her bed to her new home. A dirt floor and a partly covered cabin offered no great inducements, but Mr. Matthews helped her out of the wagon with all the grace of a landlord, with the remark: "Wife, this looks rather tough, but I presume we can make it better." The answer of the young wife was, "If you can stand it, I can," and well did they succeed through almost a half a century of married life. Pieces of shavings from the clapboards were carried in and deposited on the dirt floor, upon which their bed was made. A fire was built on the floor, and frame a crane suspended a super was soon cooked and eaten. The first crop was harvested in the fall of 1838, he having seven acres in cultivation. They never went hungry, although poor, and every day seemed to provide for itself. Mr. Matthews had no time to hunt, but gave his whole attention to the development of his farm. The first team was a yoke of steers purchased on credit, also a cow sent to the young wife by her father, which made a good part of their living. His corps were good, and the second year everything looked bright.

As the days went by prosperity came, and before they knew it the debts were paid, and they began to live in a comfortable way. For seven years they lived in the old cabin, 14x16, when it was exchanged for a frame house, which still stands. He made a loom and bought a spinning-wheel, and his good wife spun the flax which he raised, and almost all their garments were grown and manufactured upon the farm. Children came to grace the old cabin home - Richard and John - whose shouts of childish glee made the old walls ring and brought the blush of pride to the cheeks of their parents. Both these boys grew to a noble manhood, and were brave soldiers during the late war. John was in the 25th Iowa, and Richard in another regiment. At the battle of Vicksburg John was wounded and died later. His father brought his remains home, and they are interred in the Salem Cemetery. Richard served throughout the entire war, and is now a resident farmer of this township. His wife is Rebecca Rhodes, who has borne six children. In the frame house Samuel F., the husband of Elizabeth Boyce, and Catherine, wife of James Bicksler, were born.

Many years were spent by our subject and his family on the Lee County farm, but the advantages of schools were not very good in the county, so the parents concluded to remove to Salem and educate the children, and removed there a short time before the war began. Later the children were married and settled in the vicinity of Salem, and Mr. Matthews purchased lands adjoining the village on the north, where in a roomy old house, surrounded by all that can make enjoyable a ripe old age, and with the prattle of grandchildren about him, and the knowledge of a well-spent life, his declining years are joyously spent. The loving wife and mother was laid to rest Jan. 14, 1887. She was a noble woman, upright and true, a wife in the fullest sense, and an honor to social circles. Her death was deeply mourned, but "as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." Her Christian virtues ever shone bright and pure before the world. She was by faith a Cumberland Presbyterian, but for thirty-five years both herself and her husband were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Salem. Almost fifty years of wedded life were passed as only those can spend who love and revere each other, and the remembrance of such people became dear to those of their name and kindred. As pioneers we welcome them, as citizens we praise them, and as Christians we are pleased to do them honor.

The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Matthews on adjoining pages are of two of best known and most respected people who ever made Salem their home.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.461-63.)

 

McAdam Brothers

McADAM BROTHERS, James and William A., photographers, have been established in business at Mt. Pleasant since 1875. James, the senior partner, and active member of the firm, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, Oct. 20, 1845, and is a son of George and Ann (Moore) McAdam, both of whom were also natives of Harrison County, Ohio. Our subject went to Wenona, Marshall Co., Ill., in the spring of 1857, and in that place learned the art of photography. In the winter of 1869-70 he commenced business for him­self at LaSalle, Ill., but gave it up after six months, and engaged in ranching in Colorado for another six months, when he returned to Illinois and again began business, this time at Wenona, where he remained in business until 1875. In that year, in company with his brother George, he started his present gallery at Mt. Pleasant, and has been continuously engaged in business here ever since, and has made many friends, both in business and socially. In his business he is materially assisted by his wife, who is a lady of talent and business capacity. His brother and partner takes no active part in the business, which is successful, and constantly increasing, owing to the fine class of work done, and reason­able prices charged.

June 27, 1877, James McAdam was married to Miss Agnes S. Phillips, daughter of Lieut. William Phillips, who was killed in the famous "battle of the Wilderness." Mrs. MeAdam was born at Pittsburgh, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. McAdam have been the parents of three children, two of whom died in infancy. The survivor is a daughter, Mary A., now nine years of age. Mr. and Mrs. McAdam are members of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics he is a supporter of the Republican party. Both arc respected members of society who are held in esteem by all who know them.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 225.) (JC)

 

George W. McAdam

GEORGE W. McADAM, senior proprietor, and editor of the Mt. Pleasant Journal, was born in Cadiz, Harrison Co., Ohio, Nov. 2, 1832, and is a son of James and Nancy (McDowell) McAdam, the former a native of Ireland, who came with his parents to this country when an infant. James McAdam was a farmer, living the greater part of his life after coming to this country near Cadiz, where he died in 1858, at the age of fifty-six. His death was the result of an accident, his team running away with a loaded wagon, and in the attempt to stop them he was thrown under the wheels and the horses' feet, and was instantly killed. His wife Nancy survived him many years, dying at the age of seventy-three. They were the parents of eight children, all but one of whom are now living. They are named: Samuel, now a farmer in Muskingum County, Ohio; Eliza, deceased, who was the wife of George Roberts, of Cadiz, Ohio; W. Moreland, who lives on the old homestead in Ohio; H. Parks, a minister of the Presbyterian Church, residing in Utica, N. Y.; Jennie, who has been twice married, and is now the wife of John Knox, a farmer of Cadiz, Ohio; Sally, unmarried, and living in the old home with her brother; James, a resident of Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., Iowa; and George W., our subject, who was third in order of birth. Until he was twenty years of age the latter lived on a farm, but at that time entered Franklin College, whence he graduated in 1857 with the honors of his class, being the valedictorian. After teaching for a time, he entered the Theological Seminary at Allegheny College, where he completed a theological course, and for two years was engaged in preaching in the United Presbyterian Church. In 1864 Mr. McAdam removed to Newark, Ohio, and became the publisher of the American, of that place. In 1866 he removed to Iowa, locating at Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, where for the ensuing two years he was engaged in the clothing trade. Retiring from this business, he in 1869 associated himself with his brother-in-law, Frank Hatton, in the publication of the Mt. Pleasant Journal. The latter subsequently became well known in National affairs having as Postmaster General been a member of President Arthur's Cabinet. He is now editor of the New York Press, an ably conducted Republican journal. In May, 1874, Mr. McAdam bought Mr. Hatton's interest, and conducted the paper alone for a time; and for a short period thereafter had a partner. Jan. 1, 1880, he sold a portion of his interest in the Journal to his present associate, John W. Palm, the firm being McAdam & Palm since that date.

For twenty years Mr. McAdam held the position of Postmaster of Mt. Pleasant, being appointed in April, 1874; for six years he was a member of the School Board of the city, and in every position to which he has been called he has borne the reputation of an upright and conscientious official.

On May 12, 1865, Mr. McAdam was married to Miss Carrie Hatton, who was born in Cadiz, Ohio, March 17, 1842, and is the daughter of Richard Hatton, one of the best-known newspaper men of Ohio, and for fourteen years editor of the Cadiz Republican, one of the influential papers of Eastern Ohio. Mrs. McAdam was educated at the Steubenville (Ohio) Female Seminary, and is a lady of culture, who well sustains the reputation of the gifted family from which she is descended. The union and Mr. and Mrs. McAdam has been blessed with three children - Frank H., Richard H. and Jessie.

During the more than twenty years that the subject of this sketch has been a resident of Henry County, he has ever borne the reputation of a thoroughly honest and trustworthy man, and has acquired the confidence and respect of its citizens, with a majority of whom he has been brought into contact in his official, business and private relations.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.607-8.) 

 

James McClellan

JAMES McCLELLAN, New London, Iowa, dealer in general merchandise, came to Henry County in 1856. He was born in Franklin County, Ind., Oct. 26, 1829, and is the son of William and Mary (Thompson) McClellan. Our subject was reared on a farm, educated in the public schools, and was married near Connersville, Ind., Feb. 3, 1853, to Miss Adeline Dare, daughter of Lee Dare, Esq.  Mrs. McClellan was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 12, 1836. Of their three children only one is now living. William, the eldest, was born in Butler County, Ohio, and died in New London, Iowa, March 15, 1864; Frank was born in New London, Oct. 10, 1857, and died March 5, 1864; Emma, the surviving one, was born March 15, 1860, and is now the wife of Melville C. Leach, Postmaster of New London. (See sketch.)

Mr. McClellan had learned the machinist's trade in his native State, at which he was employed until 1856, when he emigrated to Iowa and located in New London. On coming to Iowa he was employed in running stationary engines till 1863. The succeeding two years were spent in traveling and trading. He then engaged for a couple of years in the butchering trade at New London, and in 1867 engaged in the mercantile business, dealing in groceries, etc., till 1875, when he added dry-goods to his stock, and now carries a general assortment of merchandise.

Mr. McClellan was elected Town Treasurer of New London in 1867, and with the exception of three has since served in that capacity, covering a period of seventeen years. He has always taken an active part in matters of education, has served twelve or fourteen years as a member of the School Board, and is the President of that body at this writing. He is a Democrat in his political views, and is a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.  Mr. McClellan's father was born in Fayette County, Pa., Oct. 11, 1872, and was of Irish descent. He served in the War of 1812, and died in Franklin County, Ind., June 1, 1872. Had he lived four months and ten days longer, he would have been one hundred years old. His father, the grandfather of James McClellan, was a soldier of the Revolution, and a relative of the paternal ancestors of Gen. George B. McClellan. The mother of our subject was born in New Jersey, and was of English descent. He was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Luckey, to whom he was married while in Pennsylvania. She had several children, two of whom are now living, viz: William, at Crawfordsville, Ind., and John, the youngest, now a resident of Montana, and aged seventy-four. His second wife was Mary Thompson, to whom he was married in Ohio. She had six children: George, in Butler County, Ohio; Jane, widow of George Gardner, living in Casey, Ill.; Emeline, wife of Robert Moore, residing in Decatur County, Ind.; Rebecca, wife of George VanAusdall, of Montgomery County; Samuel, who died in Butler County, Ohio, and our subject. Mrs. Mary McClellan died in the same place as her husband, in 1863. No man in New London has a better record as an honorable and upright man and merchant than James McClellan.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 446 & 449.)

 

Newton McClintic

NEWTON McCLINTIC, a farmer residing on section 8, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Bartholomew County, Ind., June 11, 1836, and is the son of Alex and Anca (Bates) McClintic, They were married in Kentucky, but Alex was born in Pennsylvania, his wife being a native of the former State. The father of Alex McClintic was also named Alex McClintic, and Thomas Bates was the father of Anca Bates. On the paternal side the ancestors came from Ireland, and on the maternal side from Germany. The father of our subject, Alex McClintic, was a soldier in the War of 1812 and drew a land warrant for 160 acres of land from the Government. But little history of either family can be given, as the father of our subject died when Alex was a small boy, and Anca Bates came to Indiana from her native State with relatives, and as both are now deceased, the early history of the family died with them. They came to this State about 1839, entering a claim of one section of land, but later purchased several hundred acres more, amounting to about 1,100 acres in the whole farm, a part of which original entry adjoins that of our subject on the north. Daniel Eicher now owns the original tract upon which Alex McClintic settled, and the homestead site is within easy view of where Newton now lives. During his lifetime Alex and his sons improved at least 400 acres. Mrs. McClintic died about five years after she came to this county. She was a most estimable lady, and the mother of nine children: John, who wedded Elizabeth Barclow, resides in Washington County, Iowa; Jane, who married Lucas Covert, and remained in Indiana; Alex, deceased, wedded for his first wife May A. Lloyd, and for his second wife Harriet Pangborne, who after his death married Henry Neff, of this county, but now resides in Missouri; Abigail, deceased, married Henry Cohee, a resident physician of Rome, Iowa; she died at Mt. Pleasant in 1881. Olive A. became the wife of Robert Scott, a farmer of Plymouth County, Iowa; Robert, deceased, wedded Martha A. Custer, who after his death married Amos Moore, of Washington County, where they reside; Mitchell, deceased, married Hester Ann Custer, who now resides in Jefferson Township.

Our subject was the youngest of the family. In Henry County he was reared, educated, married and resides. He early learned to clear the brushy lands, and many broad acres has he grubbed and plowed in making ready for the first crop. He has witnessed since boyhood the building of the towns and cities, the railroads, and the development of almost the entire county has been accomplished in his day. He remembers distinctly when a boy the Indian tribes that for many years had hunted over the prairies and through the woods, fished in the streams, and, though dispossessed by the whites, yet gave the new-corners a fairly cordial welcome and never molested their property.

Newton McClintic was wedded to Miss Ann R. Kurtz, Oct. 13, 1860. Her parents were natives of Maryland, from whence they came after marriage and settled near Lebanon, Ohio. They emigrated to Iowa in 1841 and settled on Skunk River, in Henry County, where the parents both died. Six children were born to them in Ohio, and one was born in this county. Their names and location are individually given. Peter died unmarried; John wedded Martha Mason, and is a resident farmer of Jefferson Township; Henry married Hannah Pangborne, and resides in Washington County; Mary wedded Nimrod Leece, a merchant of Crawfords­ville, Iowa; Susan became the wife of W. R. Mason, also a resident of Jefferson Township; Ann R., wife of Mr. McClintic, and Martha became the wife of Nimrod Long, who is a merchant and also Post­master of Crawfordsville, Iowa. These children are well known in this county, and their names should properly appear in her history. Since his marriage Mr. McClintic has resided upon a farm. A handsome country residence was erected in 1879, and the family circle is made happy by several children, all of whom were born in this township. The eldest daughter, Margaret, is the wife of Isaac Van Wagenen, a mechanic of Washington County; they have three children-James, Alva N. and Anna. The other children of our subject are: Marietta, Anna M., Susie, Abbie, Angeline, Eva J., deceased, and John N., twins.

One hundred acres of land bring Mr. McClintic a comfortable income, and they live in the cosy style which delights those of taste and culture. Mr. McClintic has long been connected with the School Board and is greatly interested in the cause of education. To such families much praise is due, they having done much to elevate the moral and social world in which they live.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 321-322) (JC)

 

Andrew W. McClure

ANDREW W. McCLURE, M. D., is the most noted physician, and the one longest established in practice in Mt. Pleasant. He was born at Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio, June 10, 1828, and is a son of Andrew and Mary (Graham) McClure, both natives of Dauphin County, Pa., the former born in 1795, and the latter in 1796. They emigrated to Warren County, Ohio, and were among the first settlers of that region. There they took up a farm among the timber, which they cleared, and on which they lived for many years. They were of Scotch and Irish ancestry, and both were strict members of the Presbyterian Church. When they removed to Ohio, they were poor in this world's goods, but by industry and thrift, and careful habits, acquired a comfortable competence. Mr. McClure was a patriot soldier in the War of 1812. He was a Free-Soiler and old-line Whig, and a supporter of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He died in 1858, and his wife in 1884, aged eighty-eight. They were the parents of eight children, of whom three are now living: Hugh, a resident of Eureka Springs, Ark.; Ann, wife of Robert H. Todd, of Warren County, Ohio; and Andrew W., the subject of this biographical notice. He was reared upon the farm, and after leaving the district schools received an academic education at the Lebanon Academy. When twenty-one years old, he began reading medicine in the office of Dr. Fisher, a prominent practicing physician of Lebanon, at the same time having charge of Turtle Creek Academy, a Quaker school near that place. Under Dr. Fisher he laid a good groundwork for a thorough medical education, and in 1852-53 attended the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, graduating in the latter year. He at once began the practice of his profession at Paris, Ill., in con­nection with Dr. S. York, of that place. This partnership was dissolved in 1856, and Dr. McClure came to Mt. Pleasant, where he has acquired the well-deserved reputation of a skillful and successful physician and surgeon. On first coming to Mt. Pleasant, he formed a partnership with Dr. Bird, which continued until 1861,and that fall Dr. McClure responded to his country's call, and entered the service as surgeon of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. The regiment was in a camp of instruction at Mt. Pleasant until the spring of 1862, when the regiment was sent to St. Louis, and thence to Springfield, Mo. After the battle of Pea Ridge, they were joined to the command of Gen. Curtis, in Gen. Carr's division, and the summer was spent in marching and scouting in the Southwest. They wintered in Helena, Ark., and on the investment of Vicksburg were made a part of Grant's army, taking part in the siege and capture of that place. After the fall of Vicksburg, Dr. McClure resigned his commission, having served two years, and returned to Mt. Pleasant, and again engaged in practice.

In 1858 Dr. McClure was married at Homer, Ill., to Maria Conkey, a native of Massachusetts, who lived but a year after, her babe surviving her but a short time. In the fall of 1860 Dr. McClure was married in Mt. Pleasant to Miss Emily Porter, daughter of Col. A. B. Porter, one of the earliest settlers of Henry County, and one of its best known citizens. Mrs. McClure was born in this county in 1839. Dr. and Mrs. McClure are the parents of three children, of whom two daughters, Mary and Martha, are now living.

Dr. McClure is prominently identified with the industrial, professional and social life of the city where he has made his home for more than thirty years. He is a member of the Wheel Scraper Company, the leading manufacturing enterprise of the city, of which a sketch appears elsewhere. While not in the ordinary sense a politician, he takes an intelligent interest in public affairs, and is a supporter of the Republican party. In all educational matters he takes a warm interest; he has been for ten years one of the Trustees of the State Hospital for the Insane, and is in fact heartily in support of everything tending to the advancement and pros­perity of the city and county. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

As a physician, Dr. McClure occupies a leading position, not only in the city, but abroad. He is a member of the American Medical Association; the Des Moines Medical Society, of which he was President for one year, and since 1858 has been a member of the Iowa State Medical Society, and was President in 1886-87. The address which he delivered before that body at their annual meeting in Sioux City, in 1887, received the warmest encomiums from the most eminent physicians present, and has been widely copied in medical and other journals. Mt. Pleasant numbers among its citizens no more worthy and creditable representative than Andrew W. McClure.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 286-287) (JC)

 

Michael McCormick

Michael McCormick, residing in Canaan township, has for long years been closely associated with the agricultural interests and with care and the improvement of his business affairs, through frugality and industry he has worked his way upward from a humble financial position to one of affluence. He was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, in March 1837, a son of Francis and Mary (Rowley) McCormick. He spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native country and attended the common schools of Ireland.

When a young man he became ambitious to see something of the world and profit by the better business opportunities which he heard were to be enjoyed in the United States. He therefore made arrangements for leaving his old home and bidding adieu to friends and native land he sailed for America, landing at New York City on the 10th of June, 1857. He then made his way to Rensselaer county, New York, where he worked as a farm hand until 1861, when, becoming convinced that he might more readily obtain a farm of his own in the new and growing west, he made his way to Burlington, Iowa, in April, 1861, and thence to Mount Pleasant. In Henry county he secured farm labor after spending eight months as outside watchman at the Mount Pleasant insane asylum.

Before coming to Iowa Mr. McCormick was married on the 7th of February, 1861, to Miss Margaret Smith, who was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on the 4th of March, 1837. She pursued her education in the common schools of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Barnard and Margaret (Flynn) Smith, the former born in County Clavin, Ireland, and the latter near Dublin, Ireland. They came to the United States about 1832.

After working at farm labor for a time in Henry county, Mr. McCormick, of this review, rented sixty-five acres of land, which he cultivated for three years, and then purchased eighty acres on section 18, Canaan township, which at that time was a tract of raw prairie. He built all of the fences and the buildings on his place and otherwise improved it, and as the years passed and the country became more thickly settled his farm greatly appreciated in value, and the property for which he paid fifteen dollars per acre is today worth one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre, owing to the care and labor he has bestowed upon it and the excellent improvements he has made.

In 1895 he purchased sixty acres just across the road in Marion township. There were no improvements upon it and the changes that have been wrought there are due to his labors and supervision. He has also invested in ninety-eight and three-quarters acres adjoining his original farm on the south, upon which his two sons live, their sister keeping house for them. This was purchased in 1899. In 1904 another purchase of sixty-five acres was made, and today Mr. McCormick and his sons own three hundred and four acres of very valuable and productive land in Canaan township.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. McCormick have been born four sons and four daughters: Mary, who is acting as housekeeper for her brothers; Charles, who died at the age of seven years; Elizabeth, the wife of Edward Fitzpatrick, a resident of New London township; John, who died at the age of four years; Jane, the wife of Joseph Hurley, who is engaged in the real-estate business in connection with Dennis Marony in Mount Pleasant; Francis J., also of Canaan township; Margaret, the wife of John Fitzpatrick, of New London township, and Emmet B., likewise of Canaan township. All of the children were born in the township where the family home is still maintained.

Mr. McCormick belongs to the Catholic church of Mount Pleasant and helped to build the present structure and as his means have increased he has been a liberal supporter and he votes with the democracy. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in America, for he here found the opportunities he sought and by judicious use of these he has made steady advancement in business life until he is today the owner of valuable landed possessions in his adopted country.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 132)(PE)

 

Joseph C. McCoy

JOSEPH C. McCOY, section 3, Marion Township, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, Feb. 5, 1837. His father, William McCoy, who was a native of Greene County, Pa., went to Ohio in a very early day, and there became acquainted with and married Miss Jane Pollock. They lived on a farm in Guernsey County until 1838, when he took his family to Muskingum County in the same State, where he also gave his attention to farming, remaining in that county until 1844. In 1845 he emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, locating in Trenton Township, where he purchased 120 acres of land, which he converted into a fine farm, and on which he lived twenty-two years.

In 1867 he sold his land with the intention of going farther West, but on reflection, and desiring the advantages of good society, he decided to remain in Henry County, so again he bought a party improved farm in Trenton Township, and began improving the land. Here he remained until his death, which occurred Sept. 9, 1872, at the age of sixty-two, his birth occurring May 31, 1810. His widow survived him but a few months, dying July 1, 1873. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mr. McCoy acting as Steward. He was a devoted and earnest Christian, always being found at his post of duty in the church. She was converted at the age of thirteen, and during her life was closely identified with all church work, being a full believer in prayer. Many an earnest petition ascended from her lips to the Giver of all good. Their union was blessed with nine children: Sarah Jane, born March 15, 1835, is now the wife of Lemuel Haines, of Mt. Victory, Ohio; Joseph C. was born Feb. 5, 1837; Margaret was born in 1839, and now resides in Des Moines, the widow of William Irwin, whose death was caused from a wound received during the late war; Mary, wife of A. L. Ogg, of Indianola, Warren Co., Iowa; Samuel L., a harness-maker of Shelby County, Ohio, married Miss Clara Rheinhart; he was a member of the 19th Iowa Infantry. Rachel M., wife of Levi Cubbison, a hardware merchant of Winfield, Iowa; John W.; Olive, wife of J. B. Holmes, a farmer of Ringgold County, Iowa; Hugh L., who is a farmer of Knox County, Neb., married Miss Clara Glaskell.

Joseph C. McCoy, our subject, remained at home on his father's farm, attending the district school until the age of twenty-two, when he entered Howe's Academy at Mt. Pleasant for a time. He then went to Mahaska County, Iowa, and there worked upon a farm for about a year. In 1861 he enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry for three years' service, and mustered in at Mt. Pleasant, from which place the regiment was sent to St. Louis, and from there to Helena, Ark., where they were engaged in skirmishing with the Texan Rangers, who fought Indian fashion. The 4th soon became familiar with their mode of fighting and drove them out Arkansas. From Arkansas the regiment went by boat to Milliken's Ben, and from there marched to Grand Gulf, Miss., and there crossed the river, at which place Mr. McCoy was detached from the regiment and sent as an orderly to the Post Commander. He returned to the regiment at Haines' Bluff, in the rear of Vicksburg, where they remained scouting, and preventing Joe Johnston from reinforcing the rebels at Vicksburg. The regiment remained here on duty until after the surrender of Vicksburg, which occurred on the 4th of July, 1863, and was with Sherman in his campaign to Meridian, Miss.  The regiment re-enlisted while at Vicksburg and were given a veteran furlough. On the expiration of its furlough, the regiment was reunited at Memphis, Tenn., from which place they went on a raid to Bolivar and Guntown. At Tupelo they met and fought Gen. N. B. Forrest, defeating him. From there they next marched to Holly Springs, and were at that place when Gen. Forrest raided Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 2, 1864. They returned to Memphis and recrossed the river after the rebel General Price on his raid through Missouri, marching from the latter place to Cape Girardeau, where the regiment took boats for St. Louis, and then marched to Ft. Scott, Kan., following Price to the Indian Territory. They then turned back and marched to Springfield, Mo., from which place they returned to St. Louis and from there to Louisville, Ky., and then to Gravel Springs, Miss.  From there they went on the Wilson raid to Columbus, and thence to Macon, Ga., where they first learned the glad news that Lee had surrendered and that the war was over.

Mr. McCoy, with his Captain and thirty men from Company D, were sent to Washington, Ga., where they took charge of the commissary department, and were engaged for a time in parolling prisoners. At this place lived ex-Senator Tombs, of Georgia. The day previous to the day of the arrival of Company D, Jeff Davis and Breckenridge passed through Washington, leaving with Tombs $5,100 which had been taken from the Treasury of the United States. Of this amount $3,000 was in silver of the coinage of 1861, and the remainder in $20 gold pieces. This money Tombs turned over to the Union troops, and Mr. McCoy took it to Gen. Upton, at Atlanta, Ga.

While at Washington, Ga., the soldiers were sent to talk with the slaves, and try to persuade them to remain till the cotton crop was taken care of. The regiment was sent form Atlanta, Ga., to Louisville, Ky., thence to Lafayette, Ind., then to Michigan City, Ind., and from there to Chicago, and finally to Davenport, Iowa, where they were mustered out after having served their country for four long years.

On the 25th of March, 1866, Mr. McCoy was united in marriage with Miss Martha I. Allender, daughter of Thomas and Jane M. (Allred) Allender. Her father was a native of Maryland, and mother of North Carolina. Mrs. McCoy was born in the Territory of Iowa, Oct. 26, 1844. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy have had two children: Ida May, born in Lucas County, Iowa, Feb. 14, 1867; Martha J., born Oct. 1, 1870, died Aug. 1, 1871.

In the spring of 1866, Mr. McCoy moved his family to Lucas County, Iowa, where they lived for five years. In 1871 they returned to the old homestead and took charge of his father's farm, where they remained until 1874, when he bought eighty acres of land on section 3, Marion Township, Henry County, at which place he still resides. For the last fourteen years Mr. McCoy has been extensively engaged in raising Poland-China hogs. he has some of the finest stock in the county, which, placed upon the market, always brings the highest prices paid. Of his hogs he had in the fall of 1887 six recorded females and all eligible of record. Politically Mr. McCoy affiliates with the Republican party, and is, with his wife, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In October, 1876, Mr. McCoy went to Philadelphia, where he remained several days attending the great Centennial Exhibition. With two companions he started from home by way of Chicago, going from thence to Detroit, and by way of Niagara Falls to New York City, and from there to Philadelphia. From Philadelphia the party went to Washington, D. C., Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio. At Pickaway, Ohio, Mr. McCoy stopped and went from there to Hardin County in the same State, where he visited two brothers and a sister. After enjoying a brief visit, he returned home by way of Indianapolis, Peoria and Burlington.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 422-23.)

 

Francis McCray

FRANCIS McCRAY, an influential and intelligent citizen of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Warren County, Ohio, July 10, 1815, and is a son of John and Sarah (Dill) McCray, His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother of Pennsylvania, though of Irish descent. John McCray served in the War of 1812 as a teamster. He and his wife emigrated to Warren County, Ohio, in an early day, living in true pioneer style. In connection with farming Mr. McCray also worked at his trade of carpentering. Politically, he was Whig, and was a very conservation man. He departed this life in 1838. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Seven children, all of whom grew to maturity, graced the union of John McCray and Sarah Dill. Their names are: Samuel, a farmer residing in Montgomery County, Ohio; Ann, wife of Garrett I. Jeffery, died in Jefferson Township, Henry County; Jane, widow of Elam Bone, resides in Mt. Pleasant; Francis, our subject; David D., who came to this county in 1840, and died in 1842; Joseph, residing in Center Township; and John, who was drowned at the age of twenty-two, while in bathing, in Warren County, Ohio.

In 1842 Francis McCray made his first purchase of land of 240 acres in this county. After making some improvements on this place, he sold it and bought 160 acres on section 3, Trenton Township, in 1850. Here he built a house in which he still resides. He had taught five terms of school in Ohio, prior to 1840, in which year he went to Mississippi, remaining until 1843, engaged in teaching. He then went back to Warren County, Ohio, and in the winter of 1843 taught school in that county. In 1844 he came to this county, as above stated, and also taught in this county in 1845-46. He was married, Dec. 20, 1849, to Hester M. Van Voast, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Nicholas and Sarah (Coryell) Van Voast. Her father was a native of New York, and her mother of Pennsylvania, and both were of German origin. Mrs. McCray's grandfather served as a soldier during the French and Indian War. Her father died in 1882, at Mt. Pleasant, when seventy-three years of age. Her mother died in November, 1873, at the age of sixty-seven. They were members of the Presbyterian Church, and respected people.

Mr. and Mrs. Francis McCray have been the parents of eight children, namely: Orlando P., engaged as a clerk in the office of the Home Insurance Company, of Sioux City, Iowa, who graduated at Ames' College in 1874, and prior to that was a teacher; Albert F. died in 1865, at the age of thirteen years; Nettie, who was also a teacher, is the wife of J. A. Roth, now of Wayland, this county; John N., formerly a teacher in this county, is now farming in Sully County, Dak.; Mary E., wife of W. R. Hart, teacher at Holdredge, Neb., is a graduate of the Union School of Mt. Pleasant; Martha died Jan. 28, 1880, at the age of eighteen; Joseph G. conducts the home farm; Frank H., also a farmer, resides at home. Mr. and Mrs. McCray are attendants of the Universalist Church.

Mr. McCray was reared in the Presbyterian faith, taught the catechism at his mother's knee, and attended Presbyterian meetings until the year 1846, when he read "Combs' Constitution of Man," which so unsettled his faith in what is called the orthodox doctrine of the Bible, that for a time he became very unhappy. It seemed to him as if forsaking the doctrines of the fathers would tear up the very foundations of society. A friend finding him in this state of mind, offered to loan him "Rogers' Pro and Con of Universalism," earnestly requesting him to read it. He read it with a great deal of caution and care, as he had been taught to look on the doctrine as a very deceitful and dangerous, but the arguments for it seemed to be so strong and convincing that he was induced to make a very thorough and searching examination of the Bible teachings of the doctrine. The final outcome was a firm belief, educed from the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the textual teachings of the Bible, that all souls would finally be delivered from the bondage of sin and corruption, and made holy and happy in a state of immortality. Although the separation from old associations and the alienation of friends was painful, his deliverance from the fear of death, which had all his life long subjected him to bondage, filled him with joy unspeakable, and in all his trials and disappointments this faith has been a sure refuge for comfort and consolation. Though a sectarian, he was not intolerant of other denominations, but loved the association of all good people of every name and creed, believing the true test of Christian character to be in the life and not in the profession.

Seeing the danger and evil resulting from the use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, he has never used them in that way since he left the parental home. In the winter of 1848-49, he and Frank Brady, who was then teaching school in Trenton, organized the first temperance society in that village. It was on the Washingtonian plan, and operated successfully for some years, sowing the seeds of temperance, which resulted in much good to some of the youth in the neighborhood. The following song was written for the society by Mr. McCray, and published in the Mt. Pleasant Free Democrat. The word "rum" is meant to denote all intoxicating drinks:

Tune - "Lovely Sonnet."

Come all who sip the tempting bowl,

Come spurn King Alcohol's control;

Though now you loathe the drunkard's course,

Your's soon may be as bad, or worse.

And loud the temperance anthem sing,

     I'm free from rum.

 

Ye sots who to the dram shops go,

Thus causing untold grief and woe,

Ye cause yours wives to wait and weep,

And livelong nights their vigils keep,

Lest drunken revelry should bring

Their husband's corpse, a ghastly thing.

     All bleeding home.

 

Oh! think of home, and children too,

Now beggared and disgraced by you;

They'll soon be orphans, lone and drear,

Without a parent's guardian care.

Then sign the pledge, true penance bring,

And loud the temperance anthem sing,

     I'm safe from rum.

 

Come old, come young, come one, come all,

And help roll on the temperance ball,

Reclaim the advocates of rum,

Until a jubilee shall come,

When all the world with joy shall ring,

All loud the temperance anthem sing,

     We're free from rum.

Was there a saloon to suppress, or any temperance work to be done, he has always been called to the front, to get the odium of the opponents and receive the approbation of the friends of prohibition.

Mr. McCray's vote was given in 1836 for Gen. William Henry Harrison, the Whig candidate for President, and he continued to vote that ticket until 1844. He afterward thought the party was becoming so pro-slavery that he ceased to vote the National Whig ticket, and in 1848 he voted for J. G. Birney, the Free-Soil candidate for President, there being but one other vote cast for him in this township. From the time he was capable of thinking on the subject of slavery, he thought it an unjust, cruel institution, with God's displeasure resting upon it, for which the nation and slave-owners would some day be severely scourged. His residence in the South so strengthened and confirmed his opposition to slavery as to attach to him the then odious appellation of "fanatical Abolitionist." When, in 1844, he heard the result of the Presidential election he wrote the following lines to a friend in Ohio:

Ohio, my native State, of thee I'm proud to boast,

In freedom's just and righteous cause, thou hast

     shown thyself a host.

Thou hast battled bravely for the free, the men

     of honest toil,

Thou dost not hold that odious faith - the victors

     claim the spoil;

But bravely for the people's rights, thou hast formed

     a noble van.

Thou hast routed Tod, Medary, too, with all their

     free-trade clan,

Colonel Polk thou dost disown, with Tyler-Texas

     thunder;

To claim for Polk Ohio's vote, was a eggregious

     blunder.

Calhoun and Cass, and Jackson, too, with England

     for a scarecrow,

With Qua Si Qui, to boast and lie, oh! Sam, how

     dare you do so!

Could not persuade Ohio's sons it would be no dis-

     honor,

To mingle Texas' black-starred flag with our own

     National banner.

And yet New York, with Van and Wright, to lead

     the people wrong,

Has late declared to all the world, by some six

     thousand strong,

That slavery's just, and should be wide extended,

That Texas with her slavery laws by us should be

     defended."

 

Oh! shame upon the Empire State! let darkness

     shroud her banner.

And shame on Pennsylvania too, with blackness and

     dishonor;

Let shame be proud Virginia's lot, the land of John,

     the traitor,

And shame on all the smaller fry will sure come

     sooner or later.

I mourn my country's destiny, to find she will

     uphold,

The wickedness of slavery with suffrages, thus

     bold;

To find her people tamely yield, to Calhoun and

     dictation,

Bows low my spirit for her weal and final destina-

     tion.

But when my native State I view, with stars and

     stripes all flying,

It cheers me that she did not yield to loco foco

     lying;

Yes! my native State, Ohio, there's not a stain

     upon her,

She won a noble victory, to her immortal honor.

 

Little did the writer of the foregoing lines think when he was writing them that the shame, blackness and dishonor would be so soon and so terribly inflicted on the nation for its support of slavery. Pat the meridian of life, unused to war and bloodshed, the conflict came upon him with a force as crushing and terrible as it was unexpected. After the war began - not being able to serve in the ranks, and feeling it his duty to do something - he at different times assisted in raising sanitary supplies. Watching the progress of the war with great anxiety, and often with much dread, he felt unbounded satisfaction when the Rebellion was suppressed and the Union restored.

 

But Mr. McCray's interest in politics did not subside with the restoration of the Union, and never will so long as he is able to take part, until man's right life, liberty, and the pursuit in the legitimate and peaceable enjoyment of the fruits of his own labor, is securely and firmly established. His motive for political work has been principle, and not personal preferment of himself or others, and believing the principles of the party he supported to be right, he always voted for the candidate of his party, when he was fairly nominated, though he was not always his personal choice. He has often been solicited by his friends to become a candidate for office, but, though grateful for their partiality, he never felt it to be his duty, or for the best interest of his country, to accept. He believes every citizen - in the way his best judgment directs - owes his best services to his country; but he also believes it is better to be a good blacksmith than a poor preacher, a good shoemaker than a bad lawyer, and a good farmer than a bad statesman.

 

Mr. McCray served his school district as Director for many years, and helped work the school to so high a grade, that it was recognized as the best public school in the county outside of Mt. Pleasant. He was told by the County Superintendent that no one outside of the city of Mt. Pleasant took more interest in, or understood better the workings of the public schools, than he did.

 

Mr. McCray is a self-made man, whose success in life is due to his own efforts, assisted by those of his wife. He takes great interest in all educational affairs, having a good education himself, and has tried to give his children such. he is a man of more than ordinary literary ability, has written many articles on prohibition, and is a member of the Henry County Institute of Science. Among the older citizens of the county, especially, he is well known, and deservedly bears a high reputation. Passionately fond of home, with children obedient and wife affectionate and true, his home life has been a very happy one. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 503-6.)

 

Oliver McDonald

OLIVER McDONALD is a farmer of Baltimore Township, Henry Co., Iowa. One of the early settlers of this State was the father of our subject, who located in Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines County, in 1837, on land adjoining that upon which his son Oliver now resides. Originally, the McDonalds were of Scotch and Irish ancestry, and we trace their history back to Maryland, where John, father of Oliver McDonald, was born. He went to Kentucky a single man, and later wedded Mary Mahan, near Lexington, in that State. Most of their children were born in Adair County, Ky. They were: Elizabeth T., wife of Isaac Cornelius, and both now deceased; Alexander, who died single; John E., wedded to Mary L. Parrot; W. Wallace, who died in childhood; Archibald C., who died unmarried, and Oliver, of whom we write, completes the list. He is the only living representative of the family. In the spring of 1836 the family went to McDonough County, Ill., and not finding a good title to the land there open for entry, Mr. McDonald pushed on to Iowa and took the claim mentioned above, leaving his family in Illinois until the next spring. The lands are on what is known as the Black Hawk purchase, and that celebrated chief, with his band, was at Burlington when the emigrants landed in Iowa. Oliver, who was born June 3, 1828, was a lad, but being so near their village for nearly a year, he formed a personal acquaintance with many of the tribe, as well as with the chief Black Hawk. This village was a mile and a half above Burlington, at the mouth of Flint Creek, now in the city limits, and Oliver remembers well when the tribe took their final departure. Even after they had gone and came back on annual visits to Burlington to receive their annuity, boys with whom he played remembered him, as they stopped often at his father's cabin.

Familiar in every detail with pioneer life, our subject, who has lived for half a century upon the same land, has witnessed its entire development, from the first cabin to the fine farm house and substantial home which take the place of the old cabins and pole sheds of fifty years ago. The death of his mother occurred when Oliver was only six months old, and his father, who loved her with all the fervor that a fond husband can love, remained true to her memory. His daughter Elizabeth was her father's housekeeper until her marriage, and then his sister, Maria McDonald, remained with him during his lifetime. He died in 1854 in his seventy-­first year, and his remains were interred at Pleas­ant Grove Cemetery in Baltimore Township.

Oliver McDonald, the same year, was married to Miss Ann R. Algeo, of Des Moines County. She is the daughter of John and Ann (Stewart) Algeo, and the paternal ancestors were of Irish origin. They came from Wellsburg, Va., where she was born, and the family removed to this State about 1847. John Algeo went to California in 1850, and died in a mining camp. After her daughter, Eugenie Archer, and her husband, decided to go to California, Mrs. Algeo resolved to accompany them, and in that State her death occurred later. She was the mother of six children: Thomas, John, Ann R., Eugenie, William and Ridgeley. Four of these are now living: John wedded Louisa Harlan; Eugenie married John Archer; Ridgeley was mar­ried in California and lives there, and Ann is the wife of our subject, and was born Dec. 29, 1837.

After the death of his father and the other heirs, Mr. McDonald and his brother, John E., purchased the old homestead, and our subject now owns the original site where stood the pioneer cabin. The domestic life of the young couple was begun on the same tract, and the same residence to-day is the one in which, for almost thirty-five years, they have lived the happiest of lives. Four children have blessed their union : John E. and William Edgar, who are single ; Anna B., wife of Seneca Kelley, a farmer of New London Township, and Milton, the husband of Ivenette Williams, residing in Danville Township, Des Moines County.

The family circle remains intact, and in a cosy home, with all that makes life worth living, and with children of whom they have every reason to feel proud, the historian leaves the subject of this sketch, who has been an industrious and fortunate man, and has accumulated since he began life for himself, 280 acres of very desirable land. Neither he nor his father have ever desired or ever held public office, but as citizens, gentlemen, and kindly neighbors, few men have greater credit. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Pleasant Grove, of which he has been Steward and Class-Leader, and is now a Trustee. Socially he is a member of Charity Lodge No. 56, I. O. O. F., of New London, and in politics has been a life-long Democrat.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 281-282) (JC)

 

Joseph McDowell

JOSEPH McDOWELL, residing in Center Township, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Feb. 5, 1822, and is the son of John and Susanna (Vaughn) McDowell, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. They emigrated to Ohio in 1812, and were among the pioneer settlers of Tuscarawas County, where he transformed the wild land into a fine farm. In the year 1854 they removed to Henry County, Iowa, locating on section 31, Center Township, where he bought ninety-two acres of partially improved land, living there until his death, which occurred in 1861 at the ripe age of seventy-seven years, being born in 1784. Mr. McDowell served during the War of 1812 as a non-commissioned officer, He was a conscientious man, and was an earnest Christian. He held the political views of the Republican party. Mrs. McDowell was called to her final home Nov. 16, 1876. She was born on the 26th of February, 1792. Mr. and Mrs. McDowell were the parents of eleven children, four of whom are yet living: Martha is now the wife of Daniel Richey, of Corning, Iowa; Joseph, our subject; Elizabeth, the wife of Silas Thomas, residing in Mt. Pleasant, and Agnes, the wife of Alford Wilson, a minister in Page County, Iowa.

Joseph McDowell lived upon his father's farm in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, until the age of twenty-one, at which time he went to Holmes County, Ohio, working as a farm hand until the fall of 1846. Mr. McDowell then went back to his native county, where he was united in marriage, on the 6th of September, 1846, to Rebecca Swope, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of James and Rachel (Frazier) Swope, both of whom were natives of Huntingdon County, Pa. After his marriage, Mr. McDowell engaged in farming until the spring of 1848, when he emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, settling near Mt. Pleasant. Here he rented a farm until the spring of 1851, when lie moved to section 29 of Center Township, where he rented a farm for sixteen years. Mr. McDowell afterward moved to section 6, Jackson Township, where he bought a farm of eighty acres in 1865. He resided upon this latter farm for four years, when he bought the ninety-two acres on section 31, Center Township, which his father bought in 1854 on coming to Iowa, where lie now lives. He now owns 213 acres of land, mostly under cultivation.

Mr. and Mrs. McDowell have had a family of thirteen children: William, who died when but nineteen months old: David, now residing in Jackson Township; Henry, a resident of Center Township; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Columbus Watson, of Jefferson County, Iowa; Iowa, the wife of Robert Jemmeson, a harness-maker of Mt. Pleasant, who served as a soldier during the Rebellion; James now resides in Jefferson County, Iowa; Clara is at home; Mary is the wife of Zachariah Doan, a resident of Salem Township; Albert, John and Margaret reside with their parents. Those deceased are William, Ellen and Sarah.

In politics, Mr. McDowell sympathies with the Labor Union party. Mrs. McDowell is a member of the Holiness Church, while Mr. McDowell believes in universal salvation. Mr. and Mrs. McDowell have gained all that they have by their own thrift and economy. They are highly esteemed throughout the community in which they reside.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 288) (JC)

 

Amos McMillan 

AMOS McMILLAN was born in York County, Pa., in the year 1805, and is a son ofGeorge and Rebecca (Cutler) McMillan. George McMillan was born and marriedin Pennsylvania, and during his lifetime was a farmer in York County. The McMillans were Friends, and their ancestors came from England. Their children were George, Eli, Susan, Amos, Jesse and Elisha. All the children came to this State and county, and all except the youngest and Jesse were married in Pennsylvania. George and Eli came first to Iowa about 1837, settling near Franklin, Lee County. They each entered lands, and were followed by the brothers Elisha, Jesse and Amos. All the sons entered lands, and they were purchased at the first land sale held at Burlington, by Eli, for the entire party. George was the first one married, Elizabeth Brunton becoming his wife. They brought with them to Iowa several children, and Eli, who was a bachelor, returned to Pennsylvania after they had located, and was married to Miss Caroline Vail. When they returned to Iowa Elisha, then a single man, accompanied them. He subsequently became the husband of Caroline Brown, of Franklin, Lee County. Her father was an early settler of that county, and a well-known and prominent man. Susan became the wife of Edward Wickersham, in Pennsylvania. He was for many years a farmer in Lee County, where he reared a large family of children. At the time of his death he was worth $100,000. Jesse also married a Brunton, Lydia, a cousin to his brother's wife. Amos was first wedded to Hannah Armitage, who bore ten children--Charles, George, Eliza, Jesse, Henry, Susan, Mary, and three who died in infancy. Four of these are living, and are all married except Charles. Jesse became the husband of Elizabeth Hill, and resides at Primrose, Iowa. Henry wedded Mary Hoover; they are both deceased, having left one son and two daughters. Susan is the wife of John Lewis, a farmer. Mr. Lewis was educated for the priesthood, but later determined to be a farmer. The death of Mrs. McMillan, mother of the children mentioned, occurred in Lee County. At that time they resided on a fine farm, and the future was bright before them, but sorrow and bereavement come to all, but Mr. McMillan found comfort in the love and care of his children. Sevilla Andrews became his second wife, and was the mother of ten children: Elizabeth I., wife of Sylvanus Bonnal, a soldier during the Civil War, now a farmer of Lee County; Sarah K., wife of Alexander Kreger, who died from the effects of wounds received at Pittsburg Landing. She was the mother of one son by him, and afterward became the wife of Watson S. Kester, of this county. Arthur wedded Annie Carpenter; Lydia A. is the wife of Levi Gregory, a minister of the Friends in Salem; Hannah died at the age of seventeen; Eunice is the wife of William Hagan, of Keokuk County, and Florence wedded Albert Banta. Five children died in infancy. The death of his second wife occurred in Lee County, and he selected for his third wife Mrs. Sylvia Garretson, who was the daughter of Abijah and Elizabeth (Bailey) Johnson, of Oskaloosa. Her father was a merchant of that city, and was formerly in business at Waynesville, Warren Co., Ohio. His father, Micajah, was a very wealthy and noted man in Warren County, Ohio, of which he was one of the first settlers, and David Bailey, her maternal grandfather, was equally well known, and was one of the earliest settlers of Clinton County, Ohio. On both sides the families were Friends, and were in their respective neighborhoods the first of their religion. David Bailey for more than forty-eight years never missed a quarterly meeting, and both men were exhorters and active members of the Society of Friends. Abijah Johnson had five sons and three daughters. All received their education in Lafayette, Ind., Mr. Johnson for several years being a resident of that vicinity. All these children have become noted. J. Kelly Johnson is District Judge, and resides in Oskaloosa; Eliza, daughter of Dr. J.P. Gruwell, became his wife. M.D. Johnson is a wholesale merchant of Los Angeles, Cal., and is married to Miss Sue Avery, a native of Boston, Mass.; Overton A. Johnson, a dry-goods merchant at Oskaloosa, Iowa, wedded Lida Kemper, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; Warren C., unmarried, also resides in Oskaloosa, where he owns and operates a machine-shop. Henry is a merchant of Los Angeles, Cal., and is married; Rebecca is the wife of William Ransom, of Salem, one of the wealthy men of this county; for many years she was a teacher in the city schools of Oskaloosa. Annie is unmarried and resides with her brother in California, and has been for some time engaged in teaching music.

Mrs. Sylvia McMillan is a cultured lady, and received her education at Earlham College, Ind. In becoming the wife of Amos McMillan she assumed the duties of a wife and mother, and nobly has she fulfilled for sixteen years her trust. The children of the first and second wives have been cared for as tenderly as if they were her own, and in return she is the recipient of their love and affection in the highest degree, and is proud of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of her husband. Our subject is the only one of his name now a resident of this county. He has been a liberal father to his children, and in the pleasant mansion where we now write are assembled four generations of this family. He lives at ease, surrounded by all that comes to those who have diligently labored to earn a competence for old age. Each of his children were presented by him with $2,000 cash, and some of them have become very wealthy, and Charles is a large land-owner. The children are all well educated, Charles and Jesse at West Point, Iowa, and the children of the first wife at Earlham College, near Richmond, Ind. The children of the second wife were educated at Whittier's College, in Salem. The family with one exception are members of the Society of Friends, and all who are in reach of it attend the Salem Monthly and Quarterly Meeting. The portrait of Mr. McMillan, on a preceding page, shows him at his advanced age to be a man of more than ordinary capacity, both physically and mentally, and a true representative of the best class of Henry County's citizens.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 568-572)

 

THOMAS W. McMILLAN

The death of Thomas W. McMillan loses this writer a long and valued friendship. By his death this community has lost an institution. For Thomas W. McMillan, while a man of character, a citizen of good repute, bearing a name honored in this community for a century, a public servant of rare fidelity and integrity, of clear vision, of sound judgment, and of notable achievement and while vested with all of these estimable and fully acknowledged values, he, in his relations to the community, as a whole, WAS an institution.

The municipal utilities of this town, the public parks of Mt. Pleasant, especially Saunders Grove, will long remain as memorials to his genius. His devotion and his jealous affection for these, his wards, for whom he gave the fullest measure of his ability.

How well we remember the old days of the water works down on Big Creek, and Engineer Walsh. Here McMillan, then a youth, spent every possible spare hour, day or night, working without pay, hauling out ashes, wiping and cleaning, helping with zest anything of a mechanical turn. Here he laid the footing course for his later career, and unconsciously laid the foundation for the present splendid municipal water system.

Then, too, we well remember how at the first and primitive electric light plant, down at the present Gas works, McMillan spent many hours, without pay, cleaning, doing odd jobs, helping with the work and storing up information and experience, which was to equip him for his later sphere of influence and constructive opportunities.

Then the town took over the light plant, and it was natural that McMillan should be employed, first as night engineer, then as day engineer, and little more than thirty-five years ago, upon the resignation of Superintendent Green, the council appointed McMillan to the vacancy.

What he accomplished, with the advice and assent of his town council, and the loyal assistance of his men, can only be appreciated by those of us, who recall the insignificance of the municipal plant of thirty-five years ago, and understand its commanding position today, among the municipal plants of the middle west.

As councilmen became more and more aware of the ability, the genius, the sound judgment of Mr. McMillan, they placed on his shoulders added burdens and responsibility: the street department, the public parks department, the water department, until he was made city manager, and enjoying the fullest confidence of his council in his loyalty, his integrity and his consummate management.

There is not a rod of water main, there is not a fire hydrant, there is not a part or parcel of the water department and its equipment, that has not been placed, or erected, under the personal or directed supervision of Mr. McMillan. There is not, in our electric light and power system, a pole, or a line or a transformer, not a boiler or a motive unit that has not been erected or builded under his personal or directed supervision. The same with our admirable sewer system, with our municipal ice plant, with our stone quarry and equipment, all stamped with the genius of Mr. McMillan.

But perhaps nowhere is more fully recognized the touch of Mr. McMillan's affection and devotion to the community than down in the Grove. The whole area mirrors the little understood poetical and artistic side of Mr. McMillan's make-up. While one hand was busy and calloused with the mechanical demands of machinery and equipment, the other hand was sketching new vistas, new nooks and attractions for the Grove. Most of the shrubbery is native and moved into the Grove. The flowers, the playgrounds, the fire places, the drives, the paths, reflect his genius and his little suspected or understood appreciation of the quiet beauty and music of nature.

And now Thomas W. McMillan has come to the close of his stewardship with vision still keen, judgment still sound, integrity unsullied. He has closed the book and they balance. He has folded his hands in eternal rest and they are clean.

We pay this tribute to a friend and a friendship covering nearly half a century. In his life, and by his life, the McMillan name, contemporaneous with the hundred year life of the community, remains untarnished and honored. Our municipal utilities and our parks and pleasure grounds are the living memorial of a rare public service.

Turning from Thomas Woodworth McMillan as a public institution, to him as a personality, we find he was born of excellent stock on July 3, 1874 and on a farm just outside the northwest corner of the city of Mt. Pleasant limits, the son of Charles and Mary Woodworth McMillan. And as we have often driven out by the old place together, he would locate the old homestead, the old schoolhouse and the boyhood scenes which always remain green in the mature years.

Mr. McMillan was one of five children of the family. His sister, Mary McMillan Schaffner, and his brother, George McMillan, died some years ago, and his sister, Mrs. Sara McKean of Jackson, Wyoming, and his brother, Warren of Aurora, are still living.

The McMillan family was among the first to settle about Mt. Pleasant and during the century the name has been held in the highest respect. Mr. McMillan's grandfather was a general officer in the war of 1812, and his uncle, Henry McMillan, was the first city clerk of Mt. Pleasant. The Samples, and Davis families of Rome were relatives and they financed and operated the old Pork Packing works on what is now part of Saunders Grove. A marker now designating the site was placed there by Mr. McMillan.

Mr. McMillan lost his father on Feb. 7, 1905, and from that time he and his widowed mother were constant companions, until her death in April, 1920. Left alone, his sister, Mrs. Sara McKean, came here to make a home for him and he educated her son, Sidney, who is making for himself a big mark in the world of today.

On October 14, 1924, Mr. McMillan was married at Monmouth, Ill., to Miss Orpha Morrow, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Morrow, who operated the well-remember grocery store, of which the Taylor grocery is the continuing store, of many years on the same location.

The marriage was pre-eminently a happy one and their sixteen years of companionship will, in retrospect, be a great solace and comfort, to the bereaved wife. Memories, refreshed by hundreds of photographs, hundreds of books, hundreds of incidents that have punctuated and phrased and interrogated and illumined, will be kept green as long as memories last.

Mr. and Mrs. McMillan loved to travel, not only to move over long distances and to far and important places, but to explore together in perfect pleasure, not only the highways, but the byways of the country, and their many long trips together covering every state in the Union, Canada and Mexico to all the great scenic areas, to most of the great historic places, to most of the more romantic places of the north and the south, and the east and the west.

Few people, of this community at least, have so comprehensively surveyed the high places and the low places, the wide spaces and the restricted places, the plains and the mountains, the hills and the valleys, the great cities and the remote communities, as have Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McMillan. They were companions and walked along the pleasant paths of life hand in hand, happy, content and secure.

Mrs. McMillan will remain where she has lived, and lend her life bravely to what the future has in store for her. She will devote much of her time to literary work, short stories and verse. Few realize, among her acquaintances, that her talent has in a sense turned into gold, for of recent years her contributions to the literary press, have resulted in a substantial financial return. Mrs. McMillan's heart throbs in these dark hours are to be shared with her friends in this simple verse from her pen:

Life's beautiful race is ended; Victorious, The runner, and his little white dog Have reached the crest of the hill, and over; A deep impenetrable fog Envelopes the hill, and vision is lost. Men call it Death, for mists obscure The sun in its risings and settings, and hide The Glory beyond. A light too bright For eyes of mortals to endure!

(Mt. Pleasant News, November 20, 1940, Page 2, "The Bystanders Notes" by Publisher C. S. Rogers)(PW)

 

Thomas McMillen

THOMAS McMILLEN, one of the early settlers of Henry County, Iowa, resides on section 5, Center Township. He is a native of Wayne County, Ohio, born Nov. 11, 1832, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Hoagland) McMillen. When Thomas was but eight years old the family came to Henry County, Iowa, and settled on section 5, Center Township, where his father purchased a claim of John H. Randolph, on which was a small building in the course of erection. Here our subject remained until 1852, working on the farm in the summer and attending school during the winter months, the school-house being situated a mile and half from his home. It was a primitive log cabin with puncheon floor, shakes for roof, slab seats, and lighted by means of a hole cut out from one of the logs, over which paper was pasted. An old-fashioned fireplace which extended almost over one side of the room afforded warmth for those attend­ing the school. In the spring of 1852, in company with C. B. Dart, Mr. McMillen left for Oregon Ter­ritory with an ox-team. Leaving the Missouri River on the 5th of May, they arrived at Portland, Ore., August 10 of the same year. The journey was a long and toilsome one, much unlike that which is made to-day in one of Pullman's palace cars. From Portland Mr. McMillen went to Ault House Creek, near Jacksonville, where he engaged in mining and where he remained four years. In 1856 he returned home by water, the first part of the journey being on the "Golden Age" to Panama, thence by the "Northern Star" to New York. He ar­rived at his home in Henry County July 3, 1856; His experience in the gold regions served but to intensify his desire once more to engage in mining, and therefore after remaining at home a period of. three years, he once more started across the plains, California being his destination. With ox-teams he traveled as far as Salt Lake, when the oxen were exchanged for pack ponies and the remainder of the journey was made in that way. He located at Coloma where gold was first discovered. Here he once more embarked in mining, and followed that occupation until 1866, when he again returned home, arriving here sometime in May of that year. Since his return home Mr. McMillen has been engaged in superintending the farm. With the exception of the time spent on the Pacific Coast Mr. McMillen has been identified with this county a period of forty-seven years, during which time most wonderful changes have been made. When the family first settled in Henry County it was six years before Iowa's admission as a State, and fifteen years before a railroad was started. The changes that he has witnessed and of which he has been an active participant can scarcely be realized. Wherever known, Thomas McMillen is universally respected.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 191.)

 

Robert McMurren

ROBERT McMURREN, deceased, one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Pennsylvania, May 17, 1826, and was the son of Alexander and Eliza McMurren, both of whom were natives of the Green Isle. They left their native land about the year 1826, coming to America, and lived in Pennsylvania until 1837, then removed to Iowa, settling in Center Township, Henry County, where they continued to make their home until the time of their death. The early life of Robert McMurren was spent upon a farm in this county; he was reared on its virgin soil and he can truly be called one of its pioneers. In 1862 he went across the plains to Idaho with an ox-team, remaining there eighteen months engaged in mining, after which he again returned to Iowa and resumed his occupation of farming. He was married, in 1865, to Miss Naomi Ann Jay, a native of Henry County, and a daughter of Layton Jay, a native of North Carolina, who was also one of the early settlers of Henry County, but is now residing in Oregon.

Mr. and Mrs. McMurren had a family of nine children: Samuel, born Jan. 30, 1866, is still residing at home; Emma, born April 5, 1868; William, Nov. 2, 1871; Alice, April 7, 1873; Pernina, Nov. 15, 1875; Thomas, April 26, 1877; Anna, Nov. 25, 1881, and Mary Belle, who was born Nov. 29, 1867, and died Feb. 14, 1868. Mr. McMurren settled in Tippecanoe Township in 1837, where he lived until his death, which occurred April 3, 1882. He was the owner of a fine farm of 200 acres, situated on section 16 in that township. He was a first-class business man and a very successful farmer. Commencing life a poor boy, by habits of industry and economy he gained a competence. He was well known, and respected alike by young and old, rich and poor. At his death the township lost one of its best citizens, the family a kind father and loving husband, and his acquaintances a noble friend.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 424.)

 

A.R. McPherson

A. R. McPHERSON, residing on section 8, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati, Feb. 2, 1812. His parents were Robert and Margaret (McCormick) McPherson, the former born in Virginia in 1769, the latter near Baltimore, Md., in 1784. In 1811 they went to Hamilton County, Ohio, and near Cincinnati, which was then but a small village, they made a home. Eight children were born to them, four sons and four daughters, five of whom are living: George; Mary J., wife of Dr. Jordan, now deceased; Mar­garet married John Myers, of Licking County, Ohio; John lives in Licking County, Ohio, and A. R., the subject of this sketch. Those deceased are: Adah, Elizabeth and William. Mr. McPherson was a prominent Mason, and he and his wife were reared, lived and died in the Presbyterian faith.

The early life of our subject was spent under the parental roof, remaining on the farm until he was twenty years of age. In 1832 he left home, going to Illinois, but returning the following year, he subsequently made two trips to New Orleans. His father, anxious that he should receive a good education, gave him $50 with which to pay his tuition at a school in Athens. About this time the Texas rebellion broke out, and, in company with James McDonald, Mr. McPherson went to New Orleans, where he enlisted with the Texas Rangers under Gen. Morgan. He went with that command to Texas, where the Rangers were employed as scouts, doing some hard fighting, and having some hair­breadth escapes. At one time a company of ninety-six men were ambushed by the Comanche Indians and Mexicans, and out of that number only thirty-two escaped, they having a hand-to-hand fight.

Mr. McPherson received several lancet wounds, but escaped otherwise uninjured. He served in the war until its close, receiving half a league of land for his services, which he afterward sold for $500. For several years he worked on the river, accumulating considerable money

In Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1841, he was joined in marriage with Miss Jane Daniels. Seven children came to make glad the parents' hearts: William, now a civil engineer, served in the late Rebellion with honor; Joseph, now deceased, en­listed in the 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was afterward promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; Elizabeth, deceased wife of Josephus Brown; Orman, also a soldier, in the 19th Iowa Volunteer In­fantry, resides in Mercer County, Ill.; Emma wedded H. White, of St. Louis, who is connected with the Globe Democrat, R. Franklin, of Chariton, Mo., and one child, who died in infancy. Mrs. McPherson was taken from her happy home in 1850.

In 1846 Mr. McPherson enlisted in the Mexican War, serving in Company C, 6th United States infantry, he was appointed to the command as Second Lieutenant, but served as First. He participated in the Battle of Palo Alto, where the regiment lost heavily, and also in the capture of Vera Cruz. In 1853 Mr. McPherson was again married, to Miss Martha M. Morris, a daughter of William and Abigal (Elwell) Morris, one of the pioneer settlers of Louisa County, Iowa. Again seven children brought joy and gladness to their home, and six of these children are yet living: Clara, wife of A. R. Dayton, of Sherman County, Kan.; Grant, a resident of Henry County; Sherman, Effie, James and Charles, who still reside with their parents; Adah died in infancy. In 1862 Mr. McPherson with his family settled in Louisa County, Iowa, but in 1883 decided to make Henry County his home, and here he has since resided. Success and losses come alike to all, and Mr. McPherson's life has not been an exception to the general rule. He has traveled extensively over our country, and has seen much that was pleasant, and thus beautiful land of ours. In all his wanderings never during his life has he used tobacco or whisky. A remarkable record, truly. In many of his transactions he has been very successful, but on the other hand he has met with several losses, which he paid dollar for dollar. At one time he lost, through a partner, $30,000, but were it not for these very trials we could not fully appreciate our blessings.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 197-198.)(JC)

 

Frank C. Mehler

FRANK C. MEHLER, M. D., a practicing physician of New London, Iowa, since 1871, was born in Westphalia, Prussia, May 15, 1845, and is the son of Casper and Louisa (Droege) Mehler. Our subject emigrated from Germany to America with his parents in 1858. They landed in New York and went direct to Chicago, where they made their home. Frank C. received his literary education in the public schools of that city, and then engaged in the study of medicine. He entered Rush Medical College, Chicago, as a student in 1861, but was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army before graduating, which he did in the class of 1863. he was assigned to duty at Camp Douglas, Mound City, and Paducah, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn.  He continued in the service until after the close of the war (July 4, 1865.) He then returned to Chicago and entered upon the practice of his profession. He continued to practice in that city until 1871, when he came to New London, and has been in constant practice here ever since.

Dr. Mehler was married at New London, May 23, 1873, to Miss Laura E. Bristor, a daughter of Thomas Bristor, one of the early settlers of Henry County. Mrs. Mehler was born near Danville, Des Moines Co., Iowa. Two children were born of their union, a son and daughter: Frank R., born May 22, 1874, and Grace Agnes, born Nov. 4, 1883. Dr. and Mrs. Mehler are members of the Presbyterian Church. The Doctor is a Republican in politics. He is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M., of Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., and of Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T., the two latter bodies of Mt. Pleasant.

Dr. Mehler has now been in practice in Henry County for sixteen years, and by skill in his profession, and prompt attention to the demands of his patients, has built up an extensive and lucrative practice.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.451-52)

 

John Melton

JOHN MELTON, one of the early and honored settlers of Henry County, was born in Virginia, and was a son of Allen Melton.. His mother died when he was only five years old. He was reared upon a farm, being bound out to a farmer until he grew to manhood. When about twenty-one years of age, John Melton led to the marriage altar Miss Phoebe Heston, who was born in Pennsylvania, and was a daughter of Phineas and Sarah Heston. Shortly after his marriage, he with his young wife emigrated to Ohio, where they lived for a number of years. Thence he went to Warren County, Ind., where he staid several years. In 1839 Mr. Melton removed to Henry County, which place he made his home until his death. He took up his residence on a farm in Center Township, remaining there until 1853, when he removed to section 36, Tippecanoe Township. Twelve children graced the union of John Melton and Phoebe Heston, only three of whom are yet living: John, a miner, residing in California; Mrs. Alfred Doan; and Isaac, a farmer, now living in Republic County, Kan. When the Republican party came into existence, Mr. Melton found the principles enunciated by its leaders were in accordance with those he had held, and therefore acted with it until he departed this life in October, 1870, his wife also dying in the same month of the same year. She was a member of the Society of Friends, and though Mr. Melton was not a church member, his integrity and uprightness were undoubted. He was a large landholder in this county, and one of its best citizens. Having a heart overflowing with love for humanity, to the poor he was ever kind and considerate, and no man ever stood higher in the community than Mr. Melton, his high character and many good deeds endearing him to all classes.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 322-323) (JC)

 

William Melton

WILLIAM MELTON, one of the prominent and representative farmers of this county, was born in Warren County, Ind., and in that county his boyhood days were spent. He received his early education in the common schools of his native State, and in the year 1858 came West, locating in Henry County, where he resided a short time with his uncle. In the meantime he became acquainted with Miss Sarah Wilson, the acquaintance ripened into love, and in October, 1859, he led her to the marriage altar. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson, were among the very earliest settlers of the county. On the 29th of February, 1836, at the home of Mr. John Wilson, on Brush Creek, Ky., Mrs. Melton, the first white child of Henry County, was born. Mrs. Melton has a most wonderful head of hair, being at the present time long enough to drag upon the floor, and at one time before being cut off it measured seven feet and three inches. Mrs. Melton is a woman of good address and fine intellect. The hospitable door of the home always stands open, and both husband and wife are always ready to welcome the weary traveler. In their home love for each other and their fellowman reigns supreme, and those simple but powerful gifts, a kind word and a cheery smile, are ready for all. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Melton went to Warren County, Ind., where they remained for twenty-five years, until hearing of Mr. Wilson's sickness, when they re­turned home, staying with him until his death.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 321) (JC)

 

Job Messer

JOB MESSER, a prominent farmer of Trenton Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born Nov. 6, 1847, in the township where he now resides, and is the son of John and Rhoda (Miller) Messer, both of whom are natives of Guernsey County, Ohio. They had a family of fourteen children, two of whom died in infancy: Josephus married Rebecca J. Huffman; John married Cornelia Hollowell; Mary married James Scarff; Job is our subject; Simon married Jane Henthorn; Alfred married Maria Hemsler for his first wife, who died in 1877; he was married again, to Rebecca Richards; Jane married George Allender; Calvin married Lizzie Smith; Alvin; Hiram Lincoln; Rebecca Ann married Isaac Shook. They came to Iowa in an early day. John Messer was a soldier in the Graybeard regiment, but was discharged for disability. He died Feb. 7, 1865, at the age of seventy years. He was a farmer all his life, and at his death owned a fine place of eighty acres. Politically, he was a Republican.

Our subject was reared on a farm, and received such education as the district schools at that time afforded. On the 4th of July, 1871, he was united in marriage with Martha Jane Smith, who was also a native of this county, and a daughter of Jacob and Margaret Smith. By their union three chilren were born-Margaret Ann, John Alvin and Frank Melvin. His wife died in 1877, and Mr. Messer was again married, his second wife being Susanna Harmon, a native of Indiana, who came to Henry County when a child with her parents, where she has resided nearly all of the time since. Five children have graced this second union-Reason, Carrie, Charles, Mary Jane and Milford. Mr. Messer is an energetic and enterprising man. Everything on his farm, a fine one of 100 acres, denotes thrift and good management. He commenced life without a dollar in his pocket, but by his own earnest and honest labor has gained a competency, and the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 312-313) (JC)

 

John Messer

JOHN MESSER, deceased, was a native of Ohio, and his parents were Job and Sarah (Green) Messer. He was among the earliest pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa, having come to this county in 1839, and settled in Trenton Township, on section 8, where he lived until the time of his death, which occurred Feb. 7, 1865. He was united in marriage with Rhoda Ann Miller, and they were the parents of fourteen children, of whom Michael and Sarah died young; Josephus was the eldest; the next was John, of Trenton Township; Mary, wife of James H. Scarff, of Trenton Township; Job, also of Trenton Township; Simon, also a farmer of Trenton Township; Alfred, who died Aug. 27, 1885; Jane, wife of George Alexander, of Trenton Township; Calvin, residing in Jefferson Township; Alvin, who has charge of the home farm for his mother; Hannah departed this life in January, 1874; Lincoln; Becca Ann, wife of Isaac Shuck, a resident of Trenton Township. Mr. Messer in early life affiliated with the Whig party, and until the organization of the Republican, when he voted with the latter party. He served as a soldier in the late Rebellion, enlisting in what was known as the old Graybeard regiment, from which he was honorably discharged for disability. Mr. Messer owned a fine farm of eighty acres of land at the time of his death. Among the honored names of the pioneer settlers, that of John Messer ranks among the first.

Josephus Messer was born and reared on the farm in Trenton Township, on which his parents had settled on coming to Henry County. He was among the many brave boys in blue who fought so gallantly for their country, enlisting in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, serving three years, and participating in the many battles in which his regiment was engaged. On the 9th of July, 1864, he married Rebecca Jane Hoffman, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Paul and Azuba (Washburn) Hoffman, the father a native of Canada, and the mother of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman are now residing in Decatur County, Kan.

Mr. and Mrs. Messer have been the parents of ten children: Zion, born Nov. 1, 1865; Mary Florence, born July 22, 1867, now the wife of Jesse F. Fields, a resident of Trenton Township; Freeman, born Nov. 26, 1868; Sheridan, Nov. 30, 1870; Alice, born March 6, 1872, died Aug. 14, 1873; Emma Jane, born Dec. 13, 1873; Joe, March 25, 1876; Azuba Ann, Oct. 27, 1879; Lavina, Aug. 10,1881; Sarah Frances, Oct. 11, 1885; and Rhoda, May 26, 1887; one died in infancy. Mr. Messer owns a farm of seventy-two acres of land, well cultivated. Politically he is an adherent of the Republican party. Mr. and Mrs. Messer are highly esteemed both as citizens and neighbors.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 328-329) (JC)

 

John T. Messer

JOHN T. MESSER, residing on section 17, Trenton Township, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, Jan. 21, 1834, and is the son of Hiram and Barbara (Miller) Messer. His father was a native of Fayette County, Pa., and was the son of Job and Sarah (Green) Messer. He was one of a family of eight children, five boys and three girls-Israel, Hiram, James, John, Reason, Mariam, Harriet and Jane, and was reared on a farm. With the exception of a few years, when he was engaged in running a still for Andy Craig in his native State, he spent his entire life in farming. In 1839 he emigrated with his family to Henry County, Iowa, settling on section 17, Trenton Township, where he resided till his death, which occurred April 12, 1871. His farm originally consisted of 371 acres.

John T. Messer was reared on the farm on which he now resides. He was married, Jan. 28, 1855, to Senith Black, a native of Champaign, Ohio. Her father was Samuel Black, one of the pioneers of Henry County. By this union six children have been born: Samuel Hiram, a farmer of Trenton Township; Albert Mitchell, also a farmer residing in Trenton Township; Anna Bell married George Black and lives in Trenton Township; James W., at home; Geneva Frances, born July 8, 1871, died at the age of three; and an infant. Assisted by his good wife Mr. Messer has made all he possesses. By good management and close attention to business he has gained a competence, and now owns 200 acres of finely improved land. He is a practical farmer, and everything on the farm denotes thrift and enterprise. Mrs. Messer's father, Samuel Black, departed this life July 22, 1865.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 332-333) (JC) 

 

Miller Messer

MILLER MESSER is a farmer and stock-raiser of Henry County, Iowa, residing on section 17, Trenton Township, where he owns 120 acres of land, all under a fine state of cultivation. He is a son of Hiram Messer, and was born in this county in 1848. His father came to Henry County in 1839, locating on the farm where Miller now lives. The boyhood days of our subject were spent upon the farm on which he now resides. He received his education at the district school, and in 1870 was united in marriage with Miss Adeline Miller. She is the daughter of William Miller, and is a native of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Messer have been the parents of two children: Henry, who was taken from them by death at the age of three; and Layura May. He is one of the stalwart supporters of the Republican party, and has never swerved in his allegiance to the same. His business is that of general farming and stock-raising, and among the young business men of the county, Mr. Messer ranks with the first.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 332) (JC)

 

Charles C Miller

CHARLES C. MILLER, a retired farmer of New London, was born in Fowle's Parish, Forfarshire, Scotland, May 16, 1800. His parents, William and Cecelia (Walker) Miller, were also of Scottish birth. The mother was of Highland descent; the father died when our subject was but an infant. Charles C. learned the trade of landscape gardener, and when twenty years of age went to London, England, where he followed that occupation six years. He then went to County Kilkenny, Ireland, to accept a position of gardener to a rich gentleman, and later accepted the position as steward or superintendent of the estate of a large landed proprietor in County Westmeath, Ireland, where he staid thirteen years, until the death of his principal. He had a large number of hands to oversee, and was placed in a position of great responsibility and trust, and received a good salary for his services. He then entered the service of the Earl of Desert, in County Kilkenny, as superintendent of his estate, remaining four years, when having a strong desire to be proprietor of a landed estate himself, he determined to emigrate to America, the country of cheap lands.

Having several relatives and friends who wished to seek their fortune in the New World, he organized a party of sixteen persons, of which he was leader, and in 1850 emigrated from Ireland to America, landing in New York. They came at once to Iowa and located in Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines County, where Mr. Miller purchased a farm of 200 acres, which he still owns. Some of his party settled near him, others in Henry County. Several of these are now dead and others have removed farther west.

Mr. Miller was married in New London Township, Henry County, July 7, 1858, by the Rev. McBride, a Presbyterian minister, to Miss Martha W. Davis, daughter of Tamerlane W. W. and Jane Smith (Payne) Davis. Mrs. Miller was born in Bedford County, Va. Her parents were of Welsh and English descent and came of old families of Virginia. Mrs. Miller is a woman of superior intelligence and culture, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Miller was engaged in farming in Des Moines County until 1862, when he rented his farm and removed to New London, where he has since resided. He has three and a half acres of land in the suburbs of the village, which he cultivates with great care and taste. He is now in his eighty-eighth year, but is still active and has full possession of his mental faculties. Mr. Miller has been a man of robust constitution, remarkably active and energetic. He was a skilled sportsman, fond of his gun and dogs. In his middle age, and even long after most men would have laid aside the gun, he could bring a quail or snipe to the ground as often as the most expert shot. His eye is still bright and his nerve steady, but he contents himself with the care of his little farm and domestic animals. He has accumulated a valuable property, and both he and his estimable wife are held in high esteem by their neighbors and fellow citizens.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 191-192.) (JC)

 

James F. Miller

JAMES F. MILLER, farmer and stock-raiser, resides upon section 11, Jackson Township, and as one of the typical farmers of the township, we are pleased to present a sketch of his family history. In his township, and in the county as well, he hears an enviable reputation as a gentleman and citizen. He was horn in Scott County, Ill., March 21, 1833, and is the son of Alfred and Nancy (New) Miller. Alfred Miller was born in North Carolina and his wife in Tennessee. They were married in Illinois and all their children were born in that State. Alfred died in 1853, and his widow afterward married John B. Abbey, who was a resident of this county, and one of the first settlers in Baltimore township. Upon the land that he entered in 1840 his widow now resides. He took the claim, made some improvements, and entered the lands at the first land sale held in Burlington. By her second marriage Mrs. Miller had no heirs, but to her first husband she bore Lucinda, now deceased, who was the wife of James Six; Francis M., who became the husband of Mary Steelman; James F., who married Matilda Kirkpatrick in 1853; Lorenzo J., husband of Minerva Blaney; Adam, married to Margaret, a sister of Matilda, wife of our subject; Nancy, deceased, became the wife of Addison McGavick; William wedded Caroline Welsh, while Alfred remains a bachelor.

In 1852 our subject came to Iowa and first located in Lee County. While there the acquaintance was first formed with Miss Matilda Kirkpatrick, and her parents removing to this county in 1853, the wedding was celebrated in Henry County, where they have since resided. Her parents, William and Mary (Pratt) Kirkpatrick, were among the very first settlers of Clark's Point, Lee Co., Iowa, locating there in 1834, and entering over a half section of land. They came from Sangamon County, Ill., where they were married. Miss Kirkpatrick was a native of Ohio, born July 2, 1835, leaving that State when a girl ten years of age. William Kirkpatrick was a soldier during the Black Hawk War, after which he was married, and during his residence in Illinois engaged in farming. They were the parents of ten children, all born in Iowa, except the two eldest, Jane and Charles. Jane, who lives in Missouri, was twice wedded, first to John Thompson, then to Grandville Arnold, both now deceased; Charles married Sarah Stephenson, and resides near Lowell, in this county. In Iowa were born Matilda, wife of our subject; Lucinda, wife of William Tull; Martha, who became the wife of Thomas Dilts; Margaret, the wife of A. Miller, a brother of our subject; Emma, wedded to Marion Daggs; Sarah, who became the wife of Joseph Masters; William, who is the husband of Libbie Rank; and Joseph, wedded to Ella Marsh. All are now living.

The first land owned by Mr. Miller was his present farm. He began domestic and agricultural life in this county on a rented farm in Baltimore Township, and succeeded so well that in a few years he had a farm of his own. All the nice improvements of this farm have been made since 1866, and they are of that substantial character which betokens thrift and energy. He has always enjoyed the confidence of his fellowmen, and although a Democrat from his first vote, has been repeatedly elected to positions of trust in his township, serving as Trustee several times, Assessor three years, and having another year yet to serve. At the last election he was made a candidate without his knowledge, and was elected without opposition. This of itself stamps him as a correct official and public-spirited man.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller have seven children. Those living are: Charles F., who is wedded to Mary Stacker, living in Jackson Township; William, husband of Emma Brazill, now living in Nebraska; Flora, wife of A. D. Brazill, also living in Nebraska; Clara and Linnie, living with their parents, and their birthplace in the roomy old mansion has been to them a happy home. Those deceased are: Josephine, who was the wife of Robert Francey, and left a daughter, Stella; and Clement, who died in infancy. All the children were born in this county, and are in every sense identified with its interests. We are pleased to thus mention this family and assign them a place among those who with them have grown gray and wealthy, since the improvement of Henry County was begun in the days of "auld lang sine." Both Mr. and Mrs. Miller are members of the Protestant Methodist Church and at different dates he has been Superintendent of the Sabbath-school and an officer of the church. Both were members of the first church organization of that society in this section of the country, about 1868, in the Greenwood school-house, Rev. John Mason being the pastor. Among the first members were also William Myers, William Walters and wife, Adam Miller and wife, John Francey and wife, and others. Of these William Myers was the first Class-Leader, and our subject the first Steward. The society is still in a prosperous condition and regular services are held. By such families as those mentioned are the schools, churches, morals and wealth of a community built up, and to none is the good repute of Henry County more due that to Mr. Mill and family.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 237-238) (JC)

 

Nicholas Miller

NICHOLAS MILLER, a prominent pioneer of Henry County, Iowa, of 1841, and President of the New London Old Settlers' Association, was born in Somerset, Perry Co., Ohio, June 7, 1822, and is the son of Jacob and Catherine (Rigal) Miller. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born near Chambersburg, and was an industrious Christian man, and a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, the mother of Nicholas, as also born near Chambersburg, and was of German parentage. Her father was born near Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, and emigrated with his parents to America when but nine years of age. He enlisted in the Continental army, and served during the Revolutionary War.

The parents of our subject, Jacob and Catherine Miller, emigrated from near Chambersburg, Pa., to Somerset, Ohio, about 1800, going by teams over the mountains. Their oldest daughter was born in the wagon on the summit of the Alleghanies [sic], and the family was four months on the road. Nicholas was reared in Somerset, Ohio, where he served an apprenticeship at the wagon-maker's trade. He came to New London, Henry Co., Iowa, June 18, 1841, and purchased a couple of lots in that thriving hamlet, and shortly after returned to his Ohio home, where he spent the winter, returned to New London in the spring of 1842. His trip back to Ohio, a distance of 1,600 miles, was made at a total coast of less than $10. On his return to Iowa he built a small house and a wagon-shop on his New London lots, both of which are yet standing. He made the first wagon that started from that place for California, if not the first in the county. He worked at his trade here until the spring of 1847, when he again visited Ohio. After spending a short time in his native town, he went to St. Louis, where he worked at carpenter work until fall, when he returned to New London. He was united in marriage at that place, Nov. 24, 1847, to Miss Mary Morris, daughter of Isaac and Margaret Morris, who were among the very earliest, if not the earliest settlers of Henry County, and of whom a sketch appears elsewhere. Mrs. Miller was born on the Big Sandy River in Eastern Kentucky, Aug. 4, 1828, and emigrated with her parents to what is now Henry County, Iowa, then a part of the Territory of Wisconsin, in the spring of 1834.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the parents of ten children, six sons and four daughters: Washington Al, born Sept. 24, 1848, died Nov. 17, 1873; Armintha, born April 21, 1850, died April 24, 1850; Samuel, born April 23, 1851, is single and resides in Northern Idaho; Matilda, born Dec. 25, 1853, is the wife of John A. Edblum, has three children, and resides in New London Township; Nicholas H., born Nov. 26, 1855, died March 25, 1858; Jacob W., born Oct. 12, 1857, is single and resides with his father; Mary E., born Feb. 9, 1860, resides in Warren County, Iowa, and is the wife of John W. Edgar, and they are the parents of three children; Sarah Jane, born Dec. 16, 1862; Thomas S., born Sept. 13, 1864; William G., born Nov. 1, 1868. The three younger children still reside at home with their father.

Mrs. Miller, an estimable Christian lady, and devoted wife and mother, died May 9, 1887. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church nearly all her life. Her husband and all her children, except the youngest, are members of the same denomination. Mr. Miller was a Whig in early life, and in 1855 helped to organize the Republican party in Henry County, of which he has since been an active supporter. Mr. Miller moved to his farm one-half mile southwest of New London in the spring of 1848. With the exception of three years spent in New London, he made that his home until the spring of 1865, when he moved to his present farm, which is located on section 13, New London Township, where he has 162 acres of well-improved and valuable land. His post-office address is New London. Mr. Miller is a man of broad views and ripe experience, and is liberal and public-spirited, and most highly respected. He has always taken a warm interest in everything relating to the early history of Henry County and its people, and was the unanimous choice for President at the last meeting of the Old Settlers' Association of his township.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 564-65.)

 

Stephen Miller

REV. STEPHEN MILLER, a farmer residing on section 24, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1844, and is the son of Tobias and Barbara (Yoder) Miller. The father of Tobias, Daniel Miller, was a native of Somerset County, Pa., and married Miss Troyer, and moved to Ohio in 1817, thus becoming one of the first settlers of Holmes County. They were the parents of Tobias, born in 1801, Benjamin, Moses, Joseph, Susannah and Aaron. Their father was for many years a Deacon in the Mennonite Church, and died in his eighty-first year. His second wife was Mrs. Magdalena (Miller) Troyer. After the marriage of Tobias Miller to Barbara Yoder, he began domestic life on a farm, upon which he remained during his lifetime. His wife died in 1849, and he married Mrs. Annie (Hostettler) Yoder. To the first wife was born: Moses, who married Lizzie Yoder; Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Hostettler; Daniel died unmarried; Christian wedded Elizabeth Mast; Lydia died in childhood; John wedded Catherine Mast, and after her death Fannie Zook; Rebecca became the wife of Daniel Stuzman; David married and resides in Goshen, Ind., where he is engaged in retail boot and shoe trade; Jacob wedded Lydia Wenger, and after her death a lady of Lagrange County, Ind.; then our subject; and Fannie, wife of Eli Wenger, of Wayne County, Ohio. The second marriage was graced by the birth of one son, Aaron, now the husband of Miss Scholl, and a physician of Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

Our subject was married first in Ohio, Jan. 4, 1866, to Catherine Degler. She was the mother of two children-Emma I., and Sarah A., deceased. After her death, which occurred March 9, 1869, Rev. Miller remained a widower until Dec. 1, 1871, when Miss Leah Wenger became his wife, which union was blessed by the births of: Frederick, Nettie; David, deceased; Mary; John, deceased; Elmer, deceased, and Samuel. In Ohio Rev. Miller was elected Deacon of the Mennonite Church in 1877. The next year, with his family, he removed to Henry County, purchasing his present farm in Jefferson Township. He was elected by the Men­nonite congregation, of which he became a member, as minister, and was ordained in the spring of 1879, and to this date has faithfully performed the trust reposed in him. He is accounted one of the most worthy citizens, and no family can claim a higher degree of respect. During his ministry the church has prospered greatly, and among those who devote a large portion of their time to the holy calling of sowing the good seed, we are pleased to make mention of Rev. Stephen Miller.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 255-256)(JC)

 

William S. Millspaugh

WILLIAM S. MILLSPAUGH, proprietor of the Millspaugh Mill, of Trenton, was born in Shelby County, Ohio, in 1844. He is the son of Harvey and Sarah A. (Kyle) Millspaugh, the father a native of Orange County, N. Y., and the mother of Clermont County, Ohio. The parents of Harvey Millspaugh, James and Cynthia (Corwin) Millspaugh, were of German descent. William came with his parents to this county in 1856. They settled in Mt. Pleasant, making that their home for two years, when they moved to Tippecanoe Township, where they lived some years, then moved to Trenton Township. Harvey Millspaugh and his wife were both members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He was a miller by trade, and was a well-informed man upon all subjects, especially upon political affairs, and always cast his vote with the Republican party. While in Ohio he held the office of Assessor. Mr. and Mrs. Millspaugh were the parents of seven children, four of whom are yet living: John R., who is owner of a sawmill in Gunnison, Col.; Electa resides with our subject, William S.; and Thomas, who is in Colorado with his brother John. Those who have died are: George W., who died Dee. 29, 1885; Harvey died at the age of twenty-one; and Elizabeth, the deceased wife of Thomas McCall, of Montana Territory, died in 1877; three died in infancy. Mr. Millspaugh departed this life May 28, 1861, at the age of fifty-three. His wife still survives him, and finds a happy home with our subject.

William Millspaugh when twelve years old came with his parents to this county, and here he has continued to reside. He learned the miller's trade, and has been engaged in that business nearly ever since. On the 22d of January, 1885, he was united in marriage with Mary Rivey. She is a native of Jefferson County, Iowa, though her parents, Peter and Permelia (Draw) Rivey, were natives of France. One child, a darling little daughter, has come to make glad the fond parents' hearts. To this daughter, who was born Dee. 31, 1886, the name of Ethel has been given.

The Star Mill, owned by Mr. Millspaugh, was erected in 1879, and has a capacity of six bushels of wheat per hour, and ten bushels of corn. It is a water-power mill, and Mr. Millspaugh being well acquainted with his business cannot but make it a success. Mr. Millspaugh was reared in the Baptist Church, and is a member of the same, taking an active interest in and doing his part of all the work. He is one of the enterprising business men of Trenton Township, and has done much toward developing and building up the county, and among the citizens of Henry County none deserve more honor than he.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 291-292) (JC)

 

Courtland W. Milner

COURTLAND W. MILNER, one of the prominent and enterprising farmers, residing on section 25, Tippecanoe Township, Henry County, is a native of Miami County, Ohio, born March 6, 1839. His parents were Jehu T. and Harriet (Millspaugh) Milner, the father a native of Philadelphia, Pa., though of Welsh parentage, and the mother a native of New York. They were among the pioneer settlers of Miami County, Ohio, and there they reared a family of eleven children, who with the exception of two are all now living, namely: Theodore; Courtland, our subject; Samuel L., a merchant of Hastings, Neb.; Leander, who died at Hastings at the age of thirty-five; William is residing on a farm near Blue Hill, Neb.; Thomas, residing in Seattle, Wash. Ter., is a civil engineer and Superintendent of the Western Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad; Owen is residing in Red Cloud, Neb.; Harvey was a merchant of Hastings, Neb., and died in that city in April, 1887; Franklin is residing in Mexico; Alta is now Mrs. Kershner, of Nebraska, and Harriet is the wife of William Fittz, now of Lincoln, Neb.

Courtland Milner, our subject, was reared upon the home farm, receiving his education at the common schools. He left home, which was then in Van Buren County, Iowa, and at the age of twenty-one went to Missouri, engaging as boss on a construction train of the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad, continuing in this work until the breaking out of the Civil War. At the President's call for troops to put down the Rebellion, he enlisted in the Missouri State Militia, June 21, 1861, but deserted in November of the same year. Going to Keokuk, he enlisted in the 17th Iowa Infantry, serving until August, 1865. He was in the following battles: Siege of Corinth, Iuka Mills, second battle of Corinth, Oct. 4, 1862; Tallahoochie, siege of Vicksburg; Jackson, Miss.; Champion Hills, Missionary Ridge, and the whole of the Atlanta campaign. At Tilton, Ga., Mr. Milner was captured with the entire regiment by the troops of the rebel General, Hood, while guarding a railroad. He was, however, at the time acting as hospital steward. The next morning after being captured he was recaptured by the Major of his regiment. Only sixty of the regiment were recaptured, however, the rest being sent to Andersonville. Those left acted as provost guard to Logan's headquarters until mustered out of service on the 25th of July, 1865, at Louisville, Ky., he being then Sergeant of Company I. On returning to the pursuits of peace, Mr. Milner came to Henry County, Iowa, working in the mill at Oakland until March 12, 1866. He then went back to Missouri, where he was employed as foreman on construction of the Northern Missouri Railroad until the spring of 1867; then returning to this county, he again engaged in the mill in Oakland, which work he continued until the spring of 1868.

On the 24th of December, 1868, the marriage of Courtland Milner and Mary C. Lazenby was celebrated. She is a native of Henry County, and a daughter of Benjamin J. and Edith A. (Sanderson) Lazenby, the father a native of Virginia, and the mother of Kentucky, and of whom a sketch appears elsewhere. Mr.. and Mrs. Milner have been the parents of six children: Mabel, now engaged as a teacher in Oakland, Iowa, was educated at Howe's Academy in Mt. Pleasant; Elsa Maud and Orson E. reside at home; Sarah I. is attending school, while Ernest and Ruth Josephine are still inmates of the parental home. Mr. Milner is a member of Adam Kimple Post, G. A. R.  Politically, he endorses the principles of the Union Labor party, by whom he was nominated for Sheriff in 1887, and endorsed by the Democrats, running ahead of the general ticket. He has held various township offices and is at present a member of the Board of Trustees and of the School Board, which office he has held for four years. Mr. Milner is one of the well-to-do farmers of Tippecanoe Township, his farm of 103 acres being one of the best cultivated in that part of the county. His hard labor, economy and honesty have gained him all that he has, and one cannot but give him the esteem and confidence due to such a man. As an upright man and good citizen he stands high in the community.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 372 & 375.)

  

Samuel L. Milner

SAMUEL L. MILNER, dealer in stock and real estate, now of Hastings, Neb., was formerly a resident of Tippecanoe Township, Henry County, and is a son of John T. and Harriet Milner, for sketch of whose history see Courtland W. Milner. Our subject was born in Pickaway, Miami Co., Ohio, June 4, 1842, and was eleven years old when his parents emigrated to Van Buren County, Iowa, where he lived until 1857, when he went to work in the Oakland Mill in Tippecanoe Township, Henry County, for his uncle, Nathaniel E. Armstrong. There he remained until the fall of 1861, when he volunteered in the company known as "The Tippecanoe Rangers," John Millspaugh Captain, who entered the State service as Home Guards for three months. On the expi­ration of this term Mr. Milner enlisted in Company B, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, being mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, June 16, 1865. He participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bagou, Arkansas Post, the siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Ringgold, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, the siege of Atlanta, the historic "march to the sea," at Savannah, Ga., Columbia, S. C., and the closing scenes of the war, to the great review at the capital, where Company B led the advance of Sherman's army. On his return Mr. Milner rented the sawmill at Oakland, which he carried on until Jan­uary, 1866, when it was wrecked by a freshet. He then went to Louisa County, Iowa, where for three years he was engaged in farming, going thence to Ottumwa, where he entered mercantile life, and also bought a farm four miles from that place, which he subsequently sold. From Ottumwa he removed to Sheridan, Lucas Co., Iowa, running a woolen-mill for two years, and then selling it, engaged in selling implements, traveling for three years. In 1876 Mr. Milner removed to Webster County, Neb., and opened a new farm, on which he lived for seven years, when he sold it and removed to Hastings, Neb., where he has since been engaged in the stock business, and recently has been engaged considerably in real-estate transactions.

December 24, 1865, Mr. Milner was married to Miss Thirza A., daughter of Israel and Mary (Scott) Murphy, who were early settlers in Knox County, Ohio, where Mr. Murphy had for a long time been engaged in carpentering and contracting. The family removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1864, and thence to Louisa County, where Mr. Murphy died in 1867. His wife is now living in Sheridan, Iowa. Mrs. Milner was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Oct. 1, 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Milner were blessed with eleven children, of whom six are now living, namely: John F., Fannie Belle, Allie May, Harry Leonard, Flora and Hattie. Those deceased were Rossie, Ettie and Nora, and two twin infants.

Mr. Milner is an energetic man, who has been quite successful, and has always borne the reputa­tion of an upright man and good citizen. In religious matters he is liberal in his belief, and in politics believes in the doctrines of the Union Labor party.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 276-279) (JC)

 

Adam Miltenberger

ADAM MILTENBERGER, residing on section 2, New London Township, has a fine farm of 160 acres under a high state of cultivation, and has resided in Henry County since 1852. Mr. Miltenberger was born in Rockingham County, Va., now West Virginia, Sept. 18, 1816. His parents were John and Elizabeth (Blass) Miltenberger, who were also natives of Virginia, and were of German descent. His father was born in Augusta County in 1782, and was a farmer by occupation. His paternal grandfather came to America from Germany, in his youth.  Adam's mother was born in Rockingham County, Va., also of German parents.

Our subject was reared on a farm, and when sixteen years of age removed to Warren County, Ohio, where he was married, Oct. 25, 1843, to Miss Catherine Rees, daughter of David and Mary (Richards) Rees. Her father was born in Center County, Pa., of German descent. Her mother was also born in Pennsylvania and was of English origin. Mrs. Miltenberger was born in Warren County, Pa., Feb. 22, 1826. Nine children were born of their union, six sons and three daughters, three of whom died in infancy: Marietta, born Nov. 22, 1845, is the wife of Robert Baxter, a hotel-keeper of Albia, Iowa, and has three children living, a son and two daughters; Charles R., born April 29, 1847, married Martha Jackson for his first wife, by whom he had three children; with his present wife, who was Miss Olive Hine, he resides in New London, Iowa, and is a traveling salesman. Sarah Belle, born Oct. 14, 1848, wife of John W. Jackson, resides in Osborne County, Kan., and has one child, a daughter; Theodore, born June 20, 1850, married Emma Randall, and resides in Lincoln, Neb., engaged in mercantile business, and has one child, a son; John Franklin, born April 25, 1852, and residing in Phillips County, Kan., is engaged in milling; he is married to Martha Thompson, and has one daughter. Margaret Luella, born Oct. 26, 1862, is the wife of John W. Lee, who is engaged in the butchering business at New London, and has two children, girls. William, born Nov. 17, 1855, died in infancy, and two unnamed infants are also deceased.

Our subject emigrated from Warren County, Ohio, to Des Moines County, Iowa, in April, 1852, and located in Flint River Township. He was engaged in farming there for three years and then came to New London Township, and located on his present farm. He is a Republican in politics, and a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.  Mr. and Mrs. Miltenberger are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are highly respected by all who know them.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 553-54.)

 

Ira Mitchell

IRA MITCHELL, SR., is one of the best known men of his age residing in Salem, Iowa, and since his coming has grown grey in years and rich in purse. He was born in Tioga County, Pa., July 3, 1803, and is a son of Ensign and Lucy (Hubbard) Mitchell, both of whom were born, reared and married in Massachusetts. Ensign Mitchell was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, enlisting as a drummer boy when fifteen years of age. His father, also named Ensign, served at the same time, and both spent five years in that war, experiencing all its hardships, which are well known to readers of history. After the marriage of Ensign, Jr., they removed first to New York State, and later to Tioga County, Pa. Our subject was six years of age when his parents removed to Ohio, the journey being made down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. A permanent location was made in Champaign County, Ohio, near Mechanicsburg, and for many years our subject was a resident of Darby Plains, that county, where he was married, Dec. 12, 1826, to Miss Jane Rhodes, daughter of John and Sarah (Brittin) Rhodes, of Welsh origin, who were early settlers of that county, and were residents there before Ohio was a State. They were married in Ross County, and there Mrs. Mitchell was born. Her father was the first man who invented a mowing-machine, and to obtain a patent on it rode on horse­back from Ohio to Washington and back. Her old home was the first one in Champaign County, covered with boards put on with iron nails, and was painted by her father.

There were eleven children of the Mitchell family, all of whom reached maturity, married and reared families, and some of them reached the remarkable age of almost one hundred years. Only two of the children are living to-day, our subject and his brother Abizar, who resides in Madison County, Ohio, a farmer and stock-raiser, and one of the oldest citizens of that county. He was born in 1807, and has lived in that neighborhood since he was a mere lad.

Our subject and his wife removed to Miami County, Ind., in 1834, where a tract of 500 acres of land was entered in the Pottawatomie reservation. This was covered with heavy timber, and only those familiar with making homes in the dense woods can appreciate the labor incident to clear­ing and getting into successful cultivation a large body of land of such a character. Mr. Mitchell was a great lover of stock in his day, and raised and dealt largely in cattle. His prosperity was greatly due to his enterprising habits, and indefatigable labor. Three children were born in Ohio: Sarah, who died when nine years of age; Abigail, who wedded Welcome Walker, a resident of Salem; and Ovid H., husband of Amanda Sittin, living in Springfield, Mo.; in Indiana Ira R., Jr., was born; he is a farmer of Salem Township, and was during her lifetime the husband of Lida Green. His birth was followed by that of Lucy M., now deceased, who wedded H. H. Hess; Elizabeth, another daughter, after the death of her sister, wedded Mr. Hess, a well-known farmer of Salem Township; John E., a resident of Salem, is the patentee of the washer bearing his name, and is married to Elma Henderson; Francis M. is the husband of Annie Kittle, daughter of William Kittle, a well-known hotel man in that part of' the county; Leonard M., the youngest child, was also a resident of Salem, and the husband of Ella Murphy, and died in Salem, Oct. 23, 1887; the last of the family was Claudius, who was also born in Indiana, and died when two and a half years old.

After clearing up his original purchase in Indiana, and adding other lands, Mr. Mitchell decided to come to this State. In 1853 the removal was made, and one year later the family became residents of Henry County, purchasing over half a section one mile west of Salem, where they resided until the spring of 1884, when the farm was disposed of, and the aged couple became residents of the pleasant village of Salem. The children were well married and settled, and the old folks, who are now in their sixty-second year of wedded life, have grown old together, and their love for each other has been strengthened as their life's journey has been made. Their sons, Ira and John, were both members of Company I, 14th Iowa, of which Ira was Sergeant, being promoted from the ranks. They were both taken prisoners at the battle of Shiloh, and confined first at Memphis, then at Mobile, and Macon, Ga.; and lastly Ira was an inmate of Libby Prison, the horrors of which have been told thousands of times. Ira, who weighed when captured 155 pounds, was only the ghost of a man when released, weighing at that time only seventy pounds. John was paroled at Macon, Ga., and escaped the prison walls of Libby. They have been residents of the West since returning to the pursuits of peace. John was only nineteen when he enlisted, but he left his college and became a soldier from pure patriotism. The sketch of this family who from Revo­lutionary times have been patriots and estimable citizens, lends interest to this volume, and among the old settlers and honored families of the county we gladly give it a place.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 313-314) (JC)

 

James M. Mitts

JAMES M. MITTS, prominent among the well-to-do farmers and stock-raisers, resides on section 19, Marion Township, Henry Co., Iowa, and was born in Center Township, this county, April 6, 1837. He is the son of James and Martha (Moffett) Mitts. His father was born July 11, 1807, and his mother March 5, 1809. Her maiden name was Moffett, and she was first married to Calvin Stevenson, by whom she had one child, whose name was also Calvin, who is now a farmer of Marion Township. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Stevenson married Mr. James Mitts, by whom she had thirteen children, eight of whom are now living. The record is: William, born in Sangamon County, Ill., Aug. 5, 1832, now resides on a farm in Macon County Mo.; John, born Feb. 5, 1834, in Sangamon County, Ill., died about the year 1872; Thomas Calvin Stevenson, born April 30, 1833; James M. and Margaret J., born April 6, 1837, in Henry County, Iowa; Margaret married Stephen M. Cook, M. D., and now resides at Belle Plaine; Sarah M., wife of John W. Lee was born Nov. 9, 1839, and resides on a farm in Trenton Township; George H. was born July 18, 1841, and was married to Lyda Ogg, who died in March, 1865; he was again married, to Hettie McCormick, and now resides in Wichita, Kan. Mary E., born March 25, 1843, was the wife of Wesley Allender, a farmer of Marion Township; she is now deceased. Abraham W., born Nov. 8, 1846, died at the age of two years; Franklin, born June 5, 1847, is now a farmer of Barber County, Kan.; Oscar and Osbert, born Oct. 20, 1849; Osbert died in 1875, and Oscar is a farmer in Marion Township, and his wife was Elizabeth Ogg. Martha L., wife of James Logston, was born Dec. 29, 1852, and now resides on a farm in Trenton Township.

James Mitts, Sr., moved from Kentucky to Sangamon County, Ill., about the year 1831, where he remained until 1837, when he removed to Henry County, Iowa, and first settled on the farm now owned by Thomas Carnes, in Center Township. Thus Mr. Mitts was a pioneer settler of both Illinois and Iowa, moving with teams from Kentucky to Illinois, and in the same year from there to Iowa. He made a fine farm of his first settlement, which he sold, and then bought 158 acres in Marion Township, which is now owned by David Harper. Mr. Mitts was of a retiring disposition, but a man who won the hearts of all with whom he came in contact. His death occurred July 13, 1884, and that of his wife Jan. 10, 1865. They were both earnest and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he being a member for forty-five years, and she for thirty. They were very active in both church and Sunday-school work, and instructing their children in the teachings of the Bible, and were always ready to help along any enterprise of worth.

James M. Mitts, Jr., spent his early life at home on the farm, getting his education in the common schools of early days in Henry County. His home has been in this county for over fifty years, and he has seen the county pass from a state of wildness to the condition when a church and school-house grace each hilltop, and fine farmhouses and, well-filled barns have taken the place of the log cabin and straw shed. At the breaking out of the Rebellion Mr. Mitts did not stop to debate as to what was his duty, but at once offered his services to his country, and enlisted in Company K, 4th Iowa Cavalry, for three years. His first four engagements were at the siege of Vicksburg; he was in both engagements at Jackson, Miss., also at Black River, and was in the campaign in Missouri when they drove Price out of the State; was with Giant and Sherman in their campaign through Louisiana and Mississippi and at Mechanicsburg, also in the chase after the rebel General, Forrest. He was with the regiment in all its engagements, except for four months, during which time he was in the hospital at Keokuk, with a low grade of fever. After serving three years and two months he was mustered out at Memphis, Tenn., and received his discharge at Cairo, Ill.

After returning home he again turned his attention to farming. On the 23d of March, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Musgrove, who was born in Clark County, Ill., June 18, 1837. She is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Croy) Musgrove. Her father was from Virginia, and her mother from Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Mitts' union has been blessed with seven children: James H. was born July 3, 1866; Mary F., born Sept. 12, 1867; Martha L., born April 18, 1870; Anna A., born Oct. 29, 1871, and died Aug. 14, 1873; one died in infancy; William A., born May 23, 1882, and Nellie May, Oct. 24, 1883.

Mr. Mitts owns a farm of 132 acres, where he has lived since February, 1866. He and his wife are both active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is also a member of the Trenton Lodge No. 55, I. O. O. F., and of McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., of Mt. Pleasant. In politics he is a Republican, and takes an active interest in church and political matters.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 311-312) (JC)

 

John Monson

JOHN MONSON is a farmer residing on section 20, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. Sweden has furnished many of the best families of Wayne Township, some of whom have risen to prominence in the business and social world. Among these we mention the family of John Monson, which is favorably known as one of intelligence and culture, and as such they are entitled to a place in this, the history of Henry County's best families. John Monson and his wife were both born in Southern Sweden, he in 1831, and Mrs. Monson in 1826. In 1857 they were married, and all their children, except the youngest, were born in the land which gave their parents birth. The father of subject was a farmer in Sweden, and his two sons, John and Nels, followed his example. John is the only one of the family who came to America.

Mr. Monson was united in marriage with Bengta Anderson, the youngest daughter of Anders and Nellie (Johnson) Anderson. They were the parents of six children, of whom Jacob Anderson, of Knoxville, Ill., and Mrs. Monson, are the only ones who came to this country. For several years John Monson and his wife resided upon a farm in Sweden, but decided to make for themselves a home in America. With their children, Anna, Jennie, Nellie, and Nels, they left Gottenberg in the autumn of 1867, landing in Quebec October 9 of the same year. They started West, and located first near Knoxville, Ill., where a farm was rented for two years. In the winter of 1869 a second removal was made, this time a permanent location being secured in Henry County, Iowa, and in Wayne Township the family have resided ever since. Caleb A., their youngest son, was born in Illinois, and while speaking of the children, the first births of the union were twins, both of whom died in infancy.

Mr. Monson has grown from a poor man in 1867 to one well-to-do in 1888, and has reared and educated a family of whom any father might be proud. Loving the free institutions of the United States, and desiring to become of her people in its fullest sense, he long since secured naturalization papers, and for fifteen years has been a voter with the Republican party.

The eldest daughter, Anna, became the wife of Anthony Johnson, of Page County, Iowa, in 1884. Her death occurred June 30, 1886, leaving one daughter, Anna E., who has been taken into the family of our subject, and is loved as one of their own children. Her mother graduated at Red Oak, Iowa, and afterward taught school in Page and Montgomery Counties for several years. The father is now living in Omaha. The eldest son is a graduate of the schools in his township, and is completing a theological course at the Augustana College, at Rock Island, Ill.  The daughters, Nellie and Jennie, have received good English educations in this county, and Caleb A., the youngest son, is with his father on the farm. Since becoming residents of Wayne Township Mr. and Mrs. Monson have become members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, at Swedesburg, and for eighteen years Mr. Monson has been a Deacon in the church. For several years he was Superintendent of the Sunday-school, and in the doctrines of the church all their children have been conscientiously reared. The Monson household are noted for hospitality, and as neighbors and one of the best families, the citizens of Wayne Township highly prize them. The father of our subject lived to be ninety-six years old, and his mother reached the advanced age of ninety-three. Both died and were buried in their beloved Sweden. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 435-36.)

 

MontgomeryAmosRachel.jpg (69594 bytes)   Amos B. Montgomery

AMOS B. MONTGOMERY, deceased, was one of the best known and most influential citizens of Trenton Township, Henry County, in whose affairs he took a deep interest, and exercised a wide influence. He was born in Shelby County, Ind., May 25, 1828, and was a son of James and Catherine (Grunadyke) Montgomery, the former a native of Ireland, and latter born in Holland. The father was a successful farmer, and accumulated a competence before his death. The subject of this sketch remained in his native State until twenty years of age, and in 1848 came to Iowa, purchasing a tract of land near the present capital of the State, Des Moines. The year following, like thousands of others, he sought fortune in the new Eldorado, on the shores of the broad Pacific, and was one of the original '49ers of California. There he engaged in mining, and did whatever other work came to his hand. He staid there but two years, in which time he accumulated some money, and returned to the States in 1851, locating first in Indiana, but in 1853 he again came to Iowa, purchasing land near Trenton, in Trenton Township, from Evan Jay, one of the earliest settlers of Henry County. On this place Mr. Montgomery lived until his death, which occurred Aug. 9, 1877.

On March 11, 1855, Mr. Montgomery was married to Rachel, a daughter of Hopkins and Winnie (Jones) Williams, natives of Wales, who were early settlers of Henry County, coming here from Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where Mr. Montgomery was born. The family settled in Jefferson Township, where Mr. Williams became well known, and where he accumulated a fortune, leaving a large estate at his death, which took place in 1862. He was a man of integrity of character, possessing in a marked degree those sterling characteristics which distinguish the race from which he sprung. His wife survived him, dying in 1877, at the age of eighty-one years. This couple had eight children, two of whom, Mary and John, are deceased. Those now living are: Ann, wife of Evan Evans; William, and Elizabeth, wife of Evan Davis, all living in Jefferson Township, Henry County; Rachel, widow of our subject; Jane, wife of Solomon Cavenuee, in New London Township, this county; and Benjamin, a resident of Page County, Iowa.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery was blessed with seven children: Mary, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Jasper Dutton, of Marion Township, Henry County; Donna is the wife of Isaac Johnson, of Scott Township; Kate, James H., Frank B., Lizzie and Guy, live with their mother on the homestead on section 11, in Trenton Township, where they have one of the best farms in the county, comprising 570 acres, on which they carry on general farming and stock-raising. The death of Mr. Montgomery was felt as a great loss not only by his family, but by the general community. He was an enterprising citizen, who was always foremost in all works for the advancement of society. He took an active interest in the Henry County Institute of Science, of which he was one of promoter and original members, a member of its Board of Managers until the beginning of the year 1877, when he was elected its President, filling that position with honor until death, and always discharging with fidelity all duties imposed upon him. On his decease the society published a eulogy on his character, speaking of him in no stinted terms of praise. Mr. Montgomery was a man of fine business capacity, a thorough manager, and of excellent judgment, and the result if apparent in the splendid property bequeathed to his family. He was of a genial and hospitable disposition, and was never better pleased than when surrounded by his friends, to whom those qualities greatly endeared him. His home was always open, and was ever the scene of healthful pleasure, in which the true-hearted host himself bore a prominent part. He believed in getting from this life all the rational enjoyment possible, and his death left a vacancy which will not easily be filled. Young and old alike enjoyed his society, and the name of Amos B. Montgomery will be remembered for many years with tender regret by hosts of friends. In life he was loved by a devoted wife and loving children, who in his death lost a kind husband and indulgent father, but his example and teachings remain to them as a priceless heritage. In politics Mr. Montgomery was a supporter of the Democratic party, and he took a warm interest in public affairs, in which he was unusually well informed, and his voice will be missed in the councils of his party. He was manly, honest, upright and true, and it is but meet this tribute to his worth should appear in this record of the citizens of Henry County, of whom he was one of the foremost. The warm sympathies of the entire community were extended to his family on their bereavement, which was a mitigation of their affliction, but the void left in the family circle can never be filled. But they have the consolation of knowing that in life, he was ever faithful and upright, and his death was but an introduction to the life to come, in which husband and wife, father and children, will reunited never again to part.

On an adjoining page appear the portraits of Mr. Montgomery and his wife, equally entitled to an honorable place among the best citizens of the county. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 521-22.)

  

E. C. Moore

E. C. MOORE, of Mt. Pleasant, one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, was born in Sangamon County, Ill., March 29, 1835. His parents, Joseph and Lydia (Cooper) Moore, settled in Sangamon County at a very early day, and in 1835 emigrated to Henry County, settling in what is now Marion Township, being among the earliest settlers in the county. There they took a claim of 450 acres, on which he lived until the spring of 1849, when he went to California, and while there he engaged in mining for eighteen months. He then went to San Francisco where he engaged passage for New York. After boarding the vessel he was never heard of again and was supposed to have been drowned. After it became a certainty that he was lost at sea, his estate was divided. During his early residence in Henry County, Mr. Moore built the first house in the limits of the present city of Mt. Pleasant. Mr. and Mrs. Moore were parents of eight children, seven of whom are now living. Rebecca, who was with her father, is supposed to have been drowned at the same time as he was, as neither have been heard of since; Calvin is a resident of Ringgold County, Iowa; Jane, the wife of Benton Cork, who died in 1883, is a resident of Henry County; Amanda, the wife of Daniel Biddlecome, is a resident of Cass County, Ill.; E. C. , the subject of this sketch; John T. and Edward, both living in Dawson County, Neb., and Charles J., a resident of Bates County, Mo.

Mrs. Moore continued to live in Henry County until her death, which occurred on the 14th of August, 1882. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Moore, our subject, has always lived in Henry County, where he attended school in the log school-house common to the early times. He has lived to see the country develop from a state of wildness to a fine state of cultivation, and take a front rank among the counties of the State of Iowa. Mr. Moore was a farmer in this county until 1866, when he removed to Mt. Pleasant, and the following year he began working at the trade of a carpenter, which he followed until three years ago, since which time he has lived retired. As a man and citizen, Mr. Moore stands high in the estimation of his neighbors. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 453-54)

 

Thomas Morehead

THOMAS MOREHEAD, one of the early settlers of Butler County, Ohio, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa, in about 1786. His father, Robert Morehead, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and went to Cincinnati. Ohio, in 1804, and settled in Butler County, where Thomas was married to Hester Ann Shields, a native of Ireland, by whom he had a family of seven children: Mary Ann married George P. Graft, of Butler County, and died in that county; ,Jane, wife of Dr. Joseph Waterman, a celebrated Methodist preacher, died in Oxford, Butler Co., Ohio; Eliza, born in 1811, resides in this (Henry) county; Thomas married Miss Ann Bevis; Hester Ann, wife of William Pottenger, of Preble County, Ohio; Caroline, wife of William Lytle, came to this county where she afterward died; her husband was sup­posed to have been murdered near Hamilton, Ohio, and his body thrown into the Miami River. John, who settled in this county in 1846. Thomas Morehead and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and for some years he was a Class-Leader. He was a man highly respected in the county where he lived. In politics, he was a stanch Jackson Democrat.

John S. Morehead was an early settler of Henry County, Iowa. He was born in Butler County, Ohio, Aug. 12, 1820, and there grew to manhood and received a liberal education. In the fall of 1846 he married Miss Charlott Forbes, a native of Butler County, Ohio, born Jan. 1, 1827. Soon after their marriage they came to Henry County and located in Centre Township, where they remained until their death. Six children were born unto them, four of whom are living: Hester, wife of Erskine Becker, residing in New London Town­ship; Mary, wife of Nelson Cornick, of this county; Callie, residing on the old homestead; Annettie, wife of Cornelius Smith, of Jefferson County, Iowa. The deceased are John and an infant daughter. Mrs. Morehead died in 1865. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a sincere Christian woman, loved by all. Mr. Morehead came to Iowa in the same year it was admitted into the Union of States. The greater part of the country at this time was in a wild state, and in common with the pioneers generally he had but little capital other than a brave heart and willing hands. He went immediately to work and soon had a splendid farm under a high state of cultivation. He was a man of marked ability, one calculated to make friends wherever known. Religiously, he was con­nected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as a member of that body did all in his power to advance the Master's cause. Politically, he was a stanch Democrat, a firm believer in the principles advocated by Jefferson and Jackson. A friend of education, he gave each of his children opportunity sufficient to become well versed in the various sciences of the day. June 21, 1887, Mr. Morehead was trampled by a frightened horse, which caused his death June 26, 1887. He was a kind husband and an indulgent parent, and no man could say aught against him. His death was universally mourned alike by his family and friends.

Miss Eliza Morehead, the sister of John, has always made her home with the family. She is a woman of superior ability and has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. Of a family of seven children she is the sole surviving one.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 180-181.)

 

Charles L. Morehous

CHARLES L. MOREHOUS, editor and proprietor of the Mt. Pleasant Evening News and Weekly Independent, was horn in the State of New York, June 13, 1830. His parents were among the early settlers in Ohio, to which State they removed in 1833, going to New York in 1835, and returning to Ohio in 1839. In 1853 they removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, our subject coming with them. His father, George W. Morehous, was a cattle-dealer and stockman, but since corning to this county has principally lived a retired life. He is still living, in his eighty-eighth year, in Washington, Iowa, of which place he has been a resident for over thirty years. His mother, whose name was Elizabeth Ann, died in 1886, aged eighty-six years. George W. Morehous is a prominent and honored member of the Masonic fraternity. He was the projector and principal organizer of Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., in Mt. Pleasant. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly sixty-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Morehous were the parents of twelve children, of whom the following-named five are deceased: Lucretia, Cornelius B., Abigail, George W., and an unnamed infant. The survivors are: Philo D., a resident of Washington, Iowa, where he has kept a hotel for twenty-five years; Alice Ann, wife of Rev. Cadwallader, living at Jacksonville, Fla.; George W. (2d), who is a mine owner at Star City, Utah, was foreman of the grand jury which indicted John D. Lee; John W., a farmer at Nephi, Utah, was Deputy Sheriff at the time of the conviction of Lee; Rosana, widow of William Timberlake, now living in Harrison County, Ohio; Parker A., an engineer living at Baraboo, Wis., and Charles L., our subject. The latter learned the trade of a printer at Rochester, N. Y., and has been connected with it all his mature life, and since his removal to Iowa has been connected with many newspaper enterprises. In 1859 he removed to Washington, Iowa. In 1865 he went to Ft. Madison, and established there the Democrat, a Republican paper, which he conducted until 1868, when he sold it out and returned to Mt. Pleasant, which he has ever since considered his home, and where his family have lived most of the time. In 1869 Mr. Morehous established the Salem Register, and in 1872 the Mt. Pleasant Daily Reporter, which he sold in 1880, and in the year 1881 began the publication of the Enterprise, in Hedrick, Keokuk Co., Iowa. His next venture was the Journal, at Williamsburg, Iowa County, which he began in 1883. Returning to Mt. Pleasant, he established the Daily News and Weekly Independent, the first number being issued Dec. 26, 1884. He is still at the helm of these enterprises, and the News is a bright newsy afternoon paper, which Mt. Pleasant people could not now do without.

Mr. Morehous was married, Dec. 24, 1853, to Elizabeth A., daughter of William and Sarah E. Meredith. She was born in Indiana, Feb.18, 1832. Her father was a machinist by trade, and removed from Greensburg to Mt. Pleasant in the fall of 1850. In 1852 he started for California, but died of cholera when near Ft. Laramie. His widow continued to live in Mt. Pleasant, where she died in May, 1875, at the age of sixty-seven.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Morehous was blessed with three children. The oldest son, James Frank­lin, is married to Nellie Clark, whose parents came to Henry County from Boston, and lived here a few years, when they returned to Massachusetts, where both now reside. James F. has one child, named Ethel. A daughter, Laura Belle, is the wife of Atwood T. Porter, and a resident of Canton, Ill. The youngest of the family is Frederick D., who is married, assists his father on the newspaper, and lives with his parents. Mr. Morehous and wife are estimable people, who have the respect of all who know them.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 304-305) (JC)

 

Daniel Morley 

DANIEL MORLEY, residing on section 20, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, is one of the pioneer settlers of the county. Where now stand cities and villages, and where are fine farms upon which are elegant residences, then as far as eye could see stretched a vast prairie. In 1839 there was an abundance of wild game, and even deer were plentiful, but now the progress of civilization has changed all this, and Henry County ranks among the first of the State. At the time when Daniel Morley took up his residence in this county he was but fourteen years old. His birthplace was Washington County, Pa., the date of his birth being May 12, 1825. His father, John Morley, was of English descent though born in Maryland, and his mother, Grace (Smith) Morley, was born in Pennsylvania of Dutch and English ancestry. The whole life of John Morley was spent as a tiller of the soil. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and received his Master's summons to the heavenly home Sept. 20, 1885, when eighty-six years of age. The mother was also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died in October, 1877. They reared a family of six children: Joseph, born in December, 1820, died in Wayne County, Iowa, in January, 1887; Sarah, wife of George W. Brummit, a shoemaker of Rooks County, Kan.; next our subject; then Rhoda B., widow of John E. Linn, of New London, Iowa; Eliza D., wife of L.R. Chandler, of Center Township, and Mary F., who married Samuel Clough, of Union, Iowa. Daniel Morley, with his parents, went to Wayne County, Ohio, where they lived until the fall of 1839. They started for Henry County in that year, stopping through the winter near Ft. Wayne, Ind., and the next spring completed the journey in a wagon. They settled three miles southeast of Mt. Pleasant, where John Morley bought a farm, upon which he resided until he made his home with his son Daniel. Until twenty-eight years of age Daniel Morley made his home with his parents, working at various occupations. He engaged in breaking prairie for eleven years with an ox-team, using from five to eight oxen. The first piece of land he owned was 160 acres in extent, situated on section 23 of Scott Township. This he improved, residing there from 1852 until 1858, when he sold and purchased eighty acres on section 20. This was but raw land upon which was a rude cabin, but he made many improvements, and added to the original purchase until he has a fine farm of 170 acres. On the land an elegant country residence has been erected at a cost of $1,600, and also a tenant house worth $500. In June, 1853, the marriage of Daniel Morley and Sarah I. Myers, a native of Virginia, was celebrated. She is a daughter of John and Sarah (Rogers) Myers, the father born in Pennsylvania, of Dutch descent, and the mother, a native of Greenbrier County, Va., born of Irish parentage. Mr. and Mrs. Morley have been the parents of three children: Eliza A., wife of William McGlade, and by their union five children were born; Sarah, wife of Alonzo Eddingfield, a farmer of this township, became the mother of two children; and John M., who has charge of the home farm, married Alice Snelson, and one child was born to them. An adopted daughter, Phoebe F. Morgan, their niece, still resides at home. Mr. and Mrs. Morley are members of the Presbyterian Church at Winfield, as is their eldest daughter. He has held the office of Constable of the township for two years, and in politics holds liberal views. Mr. Morley is one of those men who have made their own way in the world since boyhood. His father was a poor man, and no financial assistance was received from him. What education he obtained he paid for himself. By hard work, good management and habits of industry, he has reared and educated his family, cared for his aged parents, and accumulated a competency for himself. He is a man well known and universally respected by the people of Scott Township and Henry County, and well deserves this mention in his county's history.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 523-524)

 

B.F. Morris

B. F. MORRIS is a merchant and dealer in stock in the new town of Coppack, where he and his wife do the principal business in the mercantile, stock, grain and millinery trade. Mr. Morris is a native of Indiana, born near Knightstown, Henry County, in 1840. His father, Benjamin F. Morris, died in that State, and with the widowed mother our subject came to Jefferson County, Iowa, in 1857. She was a Miss Catherine Williams, and was the mother of ten children: Lucinda, now wife of William Huddleson; Hannah, deceased wife of Joseph Wiggins; Levi, husband of Mrs. Sarah (Tracy) Flannigan; William, wedded to Miss Hollingsworth; Lavina, wife of David Hollopeter; Cyrus, who wedded Rachel Echroid; Martin, the husband of Minnie Williams; Benjamin F., our subject; Kate, who died unmarried; and Louisa, the wife of Thaddeus Cooper, completed the number, all of whom, except Lucinda, Louisa and Hannah, came to Iowa. The family removed from Jefferson County, and located near Brighton, Washington County, the mother finally selling her place and living with her children. She died in Keokuk County, where Keota now stands.

Our subject, Benjamin F. Morris, was engaged in farming in Washington County until 1867, when he bought a farm near Sigourney, Keokuk Co., Iowa, which he sold two years later, removing to West Grove, Davis Co., Iowa, and embarking in mercantile pursuits. A few years later he sold out and rented the farm of his wife's father in Jefferson County. Two years later he bought the latter's business at Brighton, which he carried on there for a year, then removing to Wayland, in this county, in which village he and his wife remained in business for nearly ten years, then selling out and going back to his own farm in Jefferson Township. Farming did not satisfy his energetic temperament, and in 1886 he built his present store in the new vil­lage of Coppack, adjoining the depot of the Iowa Central Railroad, where he is doing a flourishing trade. In October, 1866, he was married to Eliza A. Wood, a daughter of Charles and Catharine (Frederick) Wood, of Jefferson County, both natives of Ohio, coming from that to this State in 1840, making them among the early settlers of Jefferson County. There Mrs. Morris was born, reared, educated and married. Mr. Morris now owns 450 acres of land in a body, adjoining the village of Coppack. Mrs. Morris was the first lady who did a millinery business at Wayland, and also in the future history of Coppack can claim the same distinction. She is a practical business lady, and during her girlhood was a teacher for three years in Washington, Jefferson and Henry Counties. For twenty years she has aided her husband as clerk and counselor, and while he purchases and ships grain and stock, she manages the store and office of the Iowa Central Railroad, of which he is Station Agent. They carry a stock of general merchandise of over $4,000, and do an annual trade of perhaps $9,000. No heirs have come to grace their home, but they are rearing a nephew, Charles Frederick, a son of Martin Morris. In connection with his other business, Mr. Morris manages his extensive farm, and this is indicative of his enterprise, and also adds to his bank account. We are pleased to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Morris to a place in this volume.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 303-304) (JC)

 

Isaac Morris 

ISAAC MORRIS, deceased, was a pioneer of Henry County of 1834, and was born in Kentucky, where he grew to manhood, and was married to Margaret Oney. They were the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters. Mr. Morris emigrated from Kentucky to Macomb, Ill., in an early day, and from there to what is now Henry County, Iowa, then a part of Wisconsin Territory. He made a claim on what is now the old Schote farm, section 24, New London Township, and his second cabin is still standing. Mr. Morris is said by some to have been the first white man who located in the county; the date of his settlement is positively fixed in the spring of 1834. Several of his children were born here, and after their parents' death the younger members of the family were reared by Nicholas Miller, who married the eldest daughter, Mary. Mr. Morris and his wife both died in New London Township, he in the spring and she in the fall of 1847. William Morris is the only member of the family now living in the township.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 574)

 

Asbury C. Morrison

ASBURY C. MORRISON, a farmer residing on section 35, Jefferson Township, was born in that township Feb. 13, 1845, and is a grandson of Joseph and Sarah (Tedron) Morrison. Both were natives of Pennsylvania, married and reared a family in that State. All the children the youngest were born in Pennsylvania, and the eldest was married in that State: Mary, deceased, married Joseph Cremer; Jane married James Green; Samuel married Mahala Braxelton; Jacob, father of our subject, married Margaret McCormick; Rebecca married James McFeron; Julia A. married John A. Leeper; Sarah married Joel Turney, and Ann married David Wilson. All the children, except Mary, who wedded in Pennsylvania and later went to Ohio, came with the parents to Iowa, excepting Ann, who was born here.

Joseph Morrison left Pennsylvania in April 1838, and arrived in December of the same year. They were forced to stop in Ohio for some months, the journey having been undertaken by boat, but at Quincy they had to unload and come across the country to Hillsboro, where they remained a few weeks or until Mr. Morrison found a suitable claim. He secured a claim of 160 acres, and purchased other claims, amounting to about 2,000 acres, but sold a part of it to Hiram Howard, and at the first land sale held State, which was at Burlington in 1840, purchased 1,760 acres. James C. Green purchased for the claimants the township of Trenton, and Samuel Morrison, now in California, was the first Township Recorder. The first house built on the tract, erected by Joseph Morrison, stood where David Wilson built. That was a hewed-log cabin with a clapboard roof, held on with weight poles, and part of the logs are yet in use as a barn. Joseph Morrison was for fifteen years Justice of the Peace in Pennsylvania, but refused every offer of official position after becoming a resident of Iowa. There were many broad acres put under cultivation during his lifetime, perhaps 200, and as the children were married they were given farms, a part of the original tract. His wife survived until 1856. She was an ardent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. At Trenton she became one of those who organized the church. Mr. Morrison was a member of the Christian Church after he came to Iowa, but in Pennsylvania he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His death occurred in 1869, he having lived to see the principles he advocated before and during the war completely established. He was a Whig from boyhood, and was one of those who aided in the formation of the Republican party in this county.

Our subject was married, Nov. 12, 1863, to Miss Margaret I. Probasco, whose parents, William H. and Cynthia A. (Marble) Probasco, came from Clinton County, Ohio, to Henry County, Iowa, about 1854, settling in Trenton. Mr. Probasco purchased a farm later, but his first business experience in this county was as a merchant in Trenton. He was an enterprising man, and aside from the mercantile and real-estate business, purchased and shipped stock for a number of years prior to the war. Both himself and wife are now dead, and the children are widely scattered. Mrs. Morrison is the only one in this county, and two others in the State, Mary E., wife of John Daugherty, of Fairfield, and Kit c., wife of Will G. Garman, of Council Bluffs. Anne E. is a resident of Pierre, Dak.,  wife of John McManima; Daniel B., a resident of Kansas City, and Frank, the husband of Jessie Rheinheimer, also a resident of Kansas City. All these children were well known in this county, and we pleased to mention them severally.

The first school our subject attended was taught by Augustus McCormick in a log school-house which yet stands in Trenton. There he secured the rudiments of a classical education, which was completed later in Trenton, and from the beginning of his business life the greatest good has followed. Upon the homestead of his father, now the patrimony of our subject, he was born, reared, and after marriage the domestic life of the young couple was begun. Here their two children were born, Gilbert and Minnie, and under the grand old trees and over the grassy sward, where our subject frolicked in glee when a lad, there baby feet also trod. It is a dear old spot to Asbury Morrison, who during his lifetime has known no other home, and his thrift has made the farm better and more attractive to-day than ever before. Only a few of Henry County's sons are to-day residents, who were married and first began business for themselves. Most of them have gone to other States, but those who remain are entitled to consideration and a place in the history of her old settlers and among her enterprising men. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.431-32.)

 

Hon. Washington Mullen

Hon. Washington Mullen is the owner of one of the productive farms of Scott township, whose excellent location is also one of its attractive features. He is one of the enterprising and energetic agriculturists of the community and moreover is well known in political circles, being recognized as one of the prominent workers in the Republican party. A native of Ohio, his birth occurred in Montgomery county on the 30th of June, 1838, and he is descended from Virginia ancestry.

His paternal grandfather was Isaac Mullen, who was born in the Old Dominion and was married there to Miss Elizabeth Haynes, a native of the same state. They removed to Warren county, Ohio, where Nathan Mullen, father of our subject, was born and reared. Having reached man's estate he wedded Miss Mary A. Borton, who was born in New Jersey, as were her parents, Edward and Mary ( Braddock ) Borton. For some time Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Mullen resided in Montgomery county, Ohio, and then thinking to have better business opportunities in Iowa, they started for Henry county, traveling by rail to New London. At the same time Washington Mullen came by boat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, landing at Keokuk and bringing with him the household goods and live stock belonging to his father. He then drove across the country from Keokuk to Mount Pleasant, where the family remained until October, when they took up their abode in Trenton, Henry county, the parents there residing until 1859. In that year they returned to Ohio, continuing their residence in the Buckeye state until called to their final rest, Mr. Mullen departing this life in 1881, while his wife survived until 1894. In their family were ten children, three sons and seven daughters, of whom Washington Mullen is the eldest. One brother and three sisters still survive, the brother and two of the sisters being residents of Ohio, while one sister makes her home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Washington Mullen pursued his education in the public schools of Ohio which he attended until seventeen years of age, when he came to Iowa, as before described. In May, 1856, his father purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres situated in the northwest part of Scott township. Eighty acres of this has since been sold and subdivided as town lots of Winfield, while the remaining eighty acres is still devoted to farm purposes. Mr. Mullen of this review returned to Ohio with his parents and remained for six months, but he was pleased with the west and its business opportunities and returned to Henry county, where he purchased the farm his father owned. There was a house of two rooms upon the place which is now used as a corn crib and in that little home he took up his abode. In the fall of 1862 he built a barn, twenty-four by thirty-four feet, and in 1879 he replaced his first house by a large ten-room residence built in modern style of architecture and supplied with many modern equipments and conveniences. He has enclosed the farm with a fence and has the entire place well tiled. There are two hundred rods of hedge fence upon the place, while the remainder is woven wire. He also has a cattle barn, thirty-two by seventy feet, built in 1893, which is also used for hay. A deep well, seventy-two feet, furnishes an abundant supply of water which is pumped by a windmill. His farm is most conveniently located and is unsurpassed in productiveness by any tract of land in the county. The entire place lies within the corporation limits of Winfield, but he is exempt from village taxation. Everything about his place presents a well kept appearance, indicating the careful supervision of the owner, who is practical and systematic in his business methods, energetic and determined in all that he undertakes.

On the 6th of October, 1859, was celebrated the marriage of Washington Mullen and Miss Elizabeth Felgar, who was born in Allen county, Ohio, and with her parents came to Henry county several years before the arrival of Mr. Mullen. She pursued her education in the common schools of Iowa and is a daughter of Samuel and Lucretia ( Trout ) Felgar, both of whom were natives of Washington county, Pennsylvania. On emigrating westward they took up land in Trenton township, Henry county, and were pioneer residents of the state, where they continued to reside until her death. Mr. Felgar assisted in the early improvement and development of Henry county and aided in planting the seeds for the future growth and progress.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Mullen were born the following named: Lucinda, the wife of J. W. James, an attorney of Hastings, Nebraska; Alberta, who married George Keeper, who is a farmer of Scott township; Mary A., the wife of John A. Baxter, a lumber dealer of Winfield; Henry and Harrison, twins, who died at the age of three months; and Virginia, who married Fred Gilyert, who resides upon her father's farm. The wife and mother died February 5, 1901, and her remains were laid to rest in Winfield cemetery. Mrs. Mullen was an estimable lady, who, during the long years of her residence in Henry county had made many friends, so that her death was deeply regretted.

While carefully and successfully controlling his business interests, Mr. Mullen has at the same time found opportunity to faithfully discharge his duties of citizenship and moreover has taken an active and helpful interest in public affairs. He is a standard advocate of republican principles and has been called to all of the township offices save that of assessor. He is active in the work of the party, his efforts being far-reaching and beneficial and in 1897 he was called to represent his district in the twenty-sixth general assembly of Iowa, where he served as a capable member, giving to each question careful and earnest consideration and supporting with all his strength the measures which he deemed would prove of public benefit or opposing in equally strong manner every interest that he believed would be detrimental to the good of county or commonwealth. He is justly classed with the representative men of Henry county and has a wide and favorable acquaintance among the leading citizens of this and other portions of the state.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa; .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 294-295)(PE)

 

William Mullen

WILLIAM MULLEN, a farmer residing on section 24, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Ohio, perhaps in Adams county, in 1832, and is a son of John and Elizabeth J. (Harbaug) Mullen. John Mullen was born in Pennsylvania of Irish parentage, and after attaining manhood went to Hamilton County, Ind., where he worked at his trade of mason. After a residence of some time in that county he formed the acquaintance of Miss Harbaug, a daughter of Philip Harbaug, a farmer of that county, and about 1830 their nuptials were celebrated. John was of a roving disposition, and being master of a good trade remained only a few months in any locality until after the birth of his son, our subject, and the death of his young wife a few months later. At that time he resided in Shawneetown, Ill., and one year later removed to Hamilton County, Ind., purchasing a tract of woodland, which he settled permanently upon, and after making it a farm in its fullest sense, resided upon it the remainder of his life, reaching the ripe age of seventy-three years. He married for his second wife Rachel Harbaug, a sister of his first wife, and ten children were born - Philip, Elizabeth, John, Mary A., Cordilla, Thomas, Bernard, Martin, Sarah (deceased), and Maggie. All have grown to man and womanhood since our subject left the home of his boyhood, and have since married. The second wife and some of her children yet remain in Hamilton County on the old homestead, which was hallowed by their births, their marriages, and the prosperity and happiness which followed in the wake of a well-spent life. At the age of twenty our subject left his home in Indiana, came direct to this State, and made his way later to Wayne County, where he pre-empted a half section of land, then returned to Des Moines County and began work by the month. Mr. Mullen was united in marriage, Feb. 15, 1855, with Catherine Brennan, a daughter of Thomas and Bridget (Donahue) Brennan. That couple were natives of Westmeath County, Ireland, emigrating to America in 1845, settling in Des Moines County upon lands which Thomas had purchased. Eight children were born in Ireland, all of whom came to this county with them: Ester, wife of James Mullen; Mary, wife of Bernard Mullen; Adelia, wife of Joseph Warren; Margaret, who wedded Emanuel Daugherty; Catherine, wife of our subject; James wedded May Murphy; Thomas, husband of Annie Lyon; Michael, also married, and Patrick, who died in childhood. The parents lived a long and useful life upon their Des Moines County farm, and died respected alike by the good people who knew them. Both were ardent Catholics and were aids in organizing the first Catholic Church in their neighborhood, the Dodgeville Church. After the wedding was celebrated by Father Reffee, and his blessing pronounced upon the young couple, Mr. Mullen and his wife began their domestic life upon a farm in Louisa County. Later he sold his Wayne County land, purchasing a farm in Des Moines County near the village of Yarmouth. Upon this they lived a number of years and then came to Henry County, Mr. Mullen having purchased a fine farm upon which he now resides. Here he has grown popular and wealthy and now lives at his ease. Eight children have gladdened their home, all living except one who died in infancy: Francis, Charles, John, Maggie; Mollie, now the wife of Fluke Conden, a prominent young farmer of Henry County; Justin and William deceased. All the children except John are yet under the parental roof, where peace, plenty and happiness reign. Both the parents are members of the Catholic Church at Mt. Pleasant, and the children were reared in that faith. Two hundred broad acres pay tribute to the good management of Mr. Mullen, who is rightly considered one of the enterprising farmers of Southeastern Iowa, and his family enjoy a worthy and enviable place in the society in which they move. We welcome the history of the Mullen family to these pages and point to William Mullen as an example of a self-made man.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 368-369) (CL)

 

Henry Musgrove

HENRY MUSGROVE, deceased, a minister of the Christian Church, was born May 23, 1800, and was united in marriage to Elizabeth Croy Nov. 1, 1820. He was a native of Virginia and his wife was a native of Ohio. By this union there were born unto them seven children: John, born April 21, 1823, who enlisted in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and died in the service of his country; Keziah, widow of W. M. R. Forbes, was born Sept. 5, 1825; Benjamin B., born Feb. 5, 1827, died March 6, 1856; Henry, born March 20, 1829, died in 1876; Tabitha, born April 27, 1832, died in 1881; Christopher, born March 3, 1834, died May 2, 1847; Elizabeth, born June 18, 1837.

Mr. Musgrove and family moved to Illinois in 1836, where they remained until 1855, when they removed to Henry County, Iowa, where they made their home until the time of their death. They resided in Mt. Pleasant until a few years before their death, when they went to live with their daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. James Mitts, of Marion Township. Mr. Musgrove departed this life in September, 1869, and his wife in April, 1870. He devoted many years of his life to the preaching of the Gospel as taught by the Apostles, in its primitive truth and holiness, and under his teachings many were led to seek that better way which leads to life eternal.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 312) (JC)

 

George Myers

GEORGE MEYERS, one of the early settlers of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., April 22, 1821, and is the son of John Lewis and Sarah (Rogers) Myers. There George was reared upon a farm and was educated in a pioneer school-house of that date. He was married, July 21, 1842, to Miss Jane Lynch, a native of Monroe County, W. Va., born March 1, 1818. She was a daughter of William and Rachel (Dolan) Lynch. Her father enlisted in the War of 1812, but before he reached the scene of action peace was declared. Mr. and Mrs. Lynch were the parents of ten children, five of whom are living: John D., a resident of Roane County, W. Va.; James B.., residing in Leadville, Col.;  Jane, of Henry County, Iowa; Sally, wife of Allen Dolan, deceased, resides in Greenbrier County, W. Va., and William, residing in Sissonville, Kanawha Co., W. Va.  Those deceased are Araminta, Martha Ann, Mary S., Rachel and Hannah.

Mr. and Mrs. George Myers came to Iowa in 1852, and settled in Scott Township, which was then one vast prairie. At that time wolves might be heard howling at night, and deer and other wild game abounded. Mr. Myers was an unerring shot with a rifle, and many a deer or chicken shot him furnished for the meal. Mr. Myers settled on the land now used as a fair ground. He came to this county in limited circumstances, but by hard work and economy he accumulated a comfortable property. He was a kind husband and father, and was greatly respected by a large circle of admiring friends, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge in which he was an active worker. He was Master of the lodge and represented the same at the Grand Lodge. Mr. Myers lived an honest, upright life, was a great reader of the Bible, and could repeat a large portion of it. He died Feb. 22, 1887, and was buried under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Myers is still living at the advanced age of sixty-nine, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She is only waiting the call of her Master to meet her husband in the better world. Mr. and Mrs. Myers were the parents of seven children, six of whom are living: James L., of Washington County, Iowa, was a soldier in the late Rebellion, married Tina Bowers, of Henry County; Rilla J., wife of Alexander Ruth, of Henry County; Martha S., widow of Pimbrooks Plants, resides in Windfield; William M., also a resident of Winfield, married Mary Cramer, of New York; Mary H., who died in September, 1887, in Kansas, was the wife of William Boyd, and George E., of this county. Marilda C. died Oct. 25, 1856, aged one year, one month and one day.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.453.)

  

George E. Myers

GEORGE E. MYERS, a resident of Winfield was born in Henry County, Oct. 25, 1854. In the native county he grew to manhood, and was married near Ronceverte, Greenbrier Co., W. Va., to Miss Blanche Ingles, a native of West Virginia, born in Greenbrier County. Four children have graced the union of this worthy couple - Claude W., Edith, Nora and Maud. Mr. Myers now has charge of the home farm situated near the city of Winfield. He is one of the enterprising farmers of Scott Township, and does honor to the noble parents who, by their example, taught him the right way of life. In politics he is a Democrat.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.453.)

 

John Myers

JOHN MYERS, one of the earliest settlers of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Greenbrier County, now West Virginia, in 1799.l There he grew to manhood, and received his education in the subscription schools. He was of German descent, and served as a soldier during the War of 1812, and also in the Whiskey War in Maryland. He married Sarah Rogers, also a native of Greenbrier County, W. Va.  They were the parents of eleven children, seven daughters and four sons, four of whom are living: Mary J., wife of John S. Malcom, of Nicholas County, W. Va.; Susan, wife of James B. Lynch, a resident of Leadville, Col.; John L., of Winfield, and Isabell, the wife of David Morely of this county. In March, 1852, Mr. Myers came to Henry County, Iowa, and took up his residence upon the lands now used for a fair ground. He cast his vote with the Whig party, and was a great admirer of Henry Clay and Gen. Harrison. He and his wife were both members of the United Presbyterian Church. They both died in this county, sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends, by whom they were greatly loved and respected.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.411-12.)

 

John L. Myers

JOHN L. MYERS, a blacksmith of Winfield, was born in Greenbrier County, W. Va., April 8, 1830. He was educated in the primitive log school-house with its puncheon floor, slab seats and greased paper windows. He had to go four miles to school and then could only attend during the winter. In October, 1850, Mr. Myers emigrated to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and following autumn located in Scott Township, where he entered a claim, and in company with his brother, built a house. Into this his father moved in 1852. Mr. Myers and his brother opened the first blacksmith-shop in Scott Township, they having previously learned the trade in West Virginia.

In October, 1864, Mr. Myers was united in marriage with Harriet Tedron, a daughter of the Buckeye State, born in Athens County in 1844. By their union ten children were born, seven of whom are living:  Jenetta, born June 29, 1865; John, born Sept. 17, 1866; Emma, born Oct. 17, 1867, is the wife of Ed Supplee, of Winfield; Sarah C., born Dec. 4, 1868; George B., born March 7, 1872; Lizzie B., born April 8, 1875; Frank, born April 5, 1877; Ida and Ada, twins, born Feb. 27, 1883; Those deceased are: George, died June 5, 1875, and Lizzie Bell died Feb. 21, 1885, and May who died aged eleven months. In politics Mr. Myers is a Democrat. He is active for his party and takes great interest in local elections. Mr. Myers is one of the earliest settlers of Henry County, it being a wiid [sic] and unsettled prairie when he took up his residence here, and there was not a house between Winfield and Big Creek. Scott Township was one vast prairie, and there were but few settlers along the interior. In 1850, Scott and Wayne Townships were all one, called by the latter name, and at the first election which he attended in Henry County at the time when Winfield Scott ran for President, there were but twenty-five votes polled in the two townships, and members of the Myers family cast four of those. Mr. Myers receives the respect due him as an old pioneer settler, and Henry County owes much of its advancement to Mr. Myers. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Master Mason, and belongs to Good Faith Lodge No. 235.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p.415-16.)

 

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