Nelson - Olinger

E. N. Nelson

EDWIN N. NELSON, Steward of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The subject of this sketch was born in Lowell, Middlesex Co., Mass., Oct. 18, 1848, and is the son of Henry N. and Mary G. (Holbrook) Nelson. His father was born in Gilmanton, N.H., and is of English descent. His mother was born at Garland, Me. Edwin N. was educated at Gilmanton Academy, N.H. He went to Illinois in 1869, and was connected for thirteen years with the Central Illinois Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, and held the responsible position of Supervisor of that institution for many years.

Mr. Nelson was married at Winchester, Ill., in October, 1876, to Miss Mary McEvers. Three children were born of their union, two sons and a daughter. The daughter, Bessie H., is the eldest. The sons are Fred H. and Clarence E. The two elder were born at Jacksonville, Ill., the youngest at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Mr. Nelson came to Mt. Pleasant from Jacksonville, Ill., in October, 1882, to accept the position he now holds, that of Steward of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane. He has proved a most efficient and trustworthy officer, and by his fairness and gentlemanly bearing has won hosts of warm friends at Mt. Pleasant during the five years that he has so ably filled the responsible position at the hospital. He is a Republican in politics, and is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity. He is a Knight Templar and a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, R.A.M., and of Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K.T., all of Mt. Pleasant. He and his wife are both members of the Congregational Church.

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


Charles Nilson

CHARLES NILSON, a farmer residing on section 26, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Southeastern Sweden, near the small village of Westerwik. He is a son of Neils W. Swenson and Charlotte Swenson, who were both born, reared and married in Sweden, and after a long lifetime were buried in that far-away land. They were parents of four children-Charles, Gustoph, Orfried and Anna. The second and third sons are still residents of Sweden, married, and are stonemasons in Westerwik. Anna followed her brother Charles to America, coming alone in 1882. Two years later she became the wife of Fred Johnson, a farmer of Wayne Township, who was also born in Sweden, near the birthplace of our subject.

Charles Nilson came to this country in 1869, and after a few months spent in Burlington went to Prairie City, Ill. His marriage was celebrated in Sweden, in April, 1869, and the bridal tour was the voyage made by the young couple across the broad Atlantic. They brought nothing with them but strong arms and willing hearts. The first year Charles found work on the C. B. & Q. R. R. In the year 1870 he began farming rented land, and for thirteen years tilled the same soil, and when the couple came to Henry County, in 1884, they brought money enough that had been earned and saved to buy a nice little farm of eighty acres, and they have a beautiful home one and a half miles southeast of Swedesburg. On the farm in Illinois their children were born-Axell and Gustave.

Our subject became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1878, and became a member of the Republican party of Illinois, and is now prominently identified with the same in Henry County, Iowa. At Prairie City, Ill., Mr. Nilson was made a member of the I. O. O. F., No. 205, in 1875. To this organization he still belongs, and is one of the only three Swedes in Wayne Township who belong to any secret organization. Both himself and his wife love American institutions and the laws and customs which prevail. They came to stay, and as they grow in years and prosperity their sons take their rightful places in the busi­ness world. For them they have lived, have toiled, and to them they give a heritage of honor, truth and enterprise.

Mrs. Nilson is a daughter of Jonas and Anna (Peterson) Johnson. They have nine children- John, Christina, Gustoph, Clara, Louisa, William, Charles, Mary and Augusta. In America live Clara, wife of our subject; William, who married Nellie Johnson, and lives in Illinois; Charles, who married Lotta Johnson, and lives in Illinois. The other children, of whom John and Christina are living, remained in Sweden.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 247) (JC)


Edward Nixon

EDWARD NIXON, a retired farmer and merchant of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Washington County, Ohio, June 3, 1815, and is the son of William and Elizabeth (Stephenson) Nixon. his father was previously married, and had eight children by that marriage. His mother was also previously married, and had nine children by her first marriage. Four children were born of the latter marriage, making the united family number twenty-one. Edward Nixon was the third child of the last marriage, and he and, possibly, two sisters, are all that are now left of the twenty-one. His father was a native of Bedford County, Pa.; his mother was born in Delaware. Mr. Nixon spent his youth on his father's farm, and when sixteen years of age was bound out to learn the trade of a tailor, at which he served an apprenticeship of nearly five years, and then moved to Guyandotte, Va., with his employer, when he was twenty-one years of age. There he was married, April 2, 1840, to Miss Mary A. Phelps, daughter of Samuel Phelps, of Massachusetts. Six children were born of this union, four sons and two daughters, one of whom died in infancy. Edward Herbert, born May 26, 1842, enlisted in the late war in January, 1863, in the 9th Iowa Infantry, Company A, and served till the close of the war. He then went to Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and took a regular course in Eastman's Business College, and graduated in 1866. he married Miss Kate Stewart, of Walla Walla, Wash. Ter., and is now Deputy Postmaster at that place, and is largely interested in ranching in Whitman County, where he has nearly 500 acres of land. He has three children, two girls and a boy - Stella, Laura and Edward S.

His second child by his first marriage is Mary Virginia, wife of Hugh Cozier, residing in Canaan Township, Henry County. She has three children, one boy and two girls - Caddie A., Mary F. and John Edward. Mr. Nixon's third child, Thomas, died when eighteen months of age. The fourth, Samuel Edwin, is now a prominent physician of Burlington, Iowa. He married Miss Lucy Wilcox; they have one child, a son, George Edward, aged six years. The fifth child, Sarah, is single, and is engaged in teaching school in Washington Territory. The sixth child, William A., is a farmer of Northwestern Idaho, and is single. Mr. Nixon lost his first wife by death in September, 1863, and was married again in June, 1865, to Miss Hepsibah Phelps, a sister of his first wife. She was born in Medford, Mass.

Mr. Nixon followed the tailoring business till 1851, when, foreseeing the Civil War, he decided to remove his family northward, and he came to Iowa by team, being one month upon the road. He removed to Jackson County, and improved a farm there, where he resided until the spring of 1865. He then sold out and moved to Danville, Des Moines County, where he was engaged in the mercantile business until January, 1867. He then moved to Henry County, and purchased a farm in Canaan Township, which was then quite new; and he was engaged in farming there until the fall of 1886, when he came to Mt. Pleasant, and retired from active work. He has a handsome and commodious residence in the southern part of the city.

Mr. Nixon served four years as a Justice of the Peace in Jackson County, and ten years in Canaan Township, Henry County, and has held other local offices. In politics, in his early life he was a Whig, and he has been a Republican since the organization of that party. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which denomination he has been a member for fifty-five years. He is a genial, bright, intelligent gentleman, ripe with experience o seventy-two years' intercourse with the world.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 402-3.)


William F. Nixon

WILLIAM F. NIXON, J. P., a wealthy and influential farmer, residing on section 17, Marion Township, was born in Washington County, Ind., April 26, 1824, and is the son of Foster and Susanna (Jordan) Nixon. They were natives of North Carolina, and to them were born six children: Thomas died in Helena, Ark.; Zachariah died in Washington County, Ind., in 1886; William F., of Mt. Pleasant; Benjamin T., a silversmith of Louisville, Ky.; Cyrus, editor of the Chanute (Kan.) Times; Margaret, deceased. The father with his two eldest children removed to Washington County, Ind., in 1825, where he was engaged in mercantile business, and in partnership with his brother was running the Nixon Mills at the time of his death, which occurred in 1832. He was a man full of energy and life, and no enterprise was undertaken by him but what it was accomplished. At one time while shipping a boat load of goods to New Orleans he was robbed of $1,000; the money was recovered, but being a very tender-hearted man, he did not prosecute the offender. Foster Nixon was a fine business man, and was highly respected in the community. By his death the family lost a kind and indulgent parent, and the county of Washington a good citizen. Mrs. Nixon was again married, to Jehosaphat Morris, and by him she had one child. Mr. Morris died in 1872. She was united in marriage, the third time, with Levi Knight. Mrs. Knight yet resides in Washington County, Ind., at the advanced age of ninety, and is a wonderfully preserved lady for her age, being able to take care of her own house. She was clerk of the Society of Friends for many years, of which she and her three husbands were all members.

Our subject lived with his mother until the age of seven, when he was adopted by his grandfather Nixon, living there until the age of twenty. After whipping the wheat out of the straw to feed the cattle he trudged off to the little log school-house, where he received his education. After the death of his grandfather, in 1844, he bought the old mills, taking charge of them for about a year, but was forced to quit this business on account of ill-health, and selling out, he went to work by the month, receiving but $9 per month. On the 17th day of March, 1847, he led to the marriage altar Miss Nancy J. Davis, who was born in Washing­ton County, Ind., Jan. 20, 1833, and was the daughter of Farlow and Sophia (Spoon) Davis, natives of North Carolina. Three weeks after their marriage Mr. Nixon and his young wife started for Henry County, Iowa, traveling from Keokuk to Henry County in wagons. Settling in Marion Township he rented a farm for four years, and in 1851 he bought forty acres of land on section 17. He erected a little log cabin in which they began housekeeping, living here until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enrolled his name among the many brave boys of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. For many weary months he lay sick in the hospital, and was discharged after having been in the service for three years and six months. Returning home he again turned his attention to farming, adding to his first purchase until he now has 120 acres of fine land, all under cultivation. The little log cabin has long since given place to a beautiful two-story residence, and the little saplings have developed into large, stately trees.

Mr. Nixon began life a poor man, but with the aid of his estimable wife, who has truly been a helpmeet to him, he has become independent. They are the parents of five children: Margaret, born Feb. 23, 1849, died in September, 1854. She had gone with her father on a visit to the old home, when she was taken sick and died on the returning journey. Sophia, who was born March 21, 1851, is the wife of John Cubbison, and to them two children have been born-Vinnie and Frank; Benjamin F., born March 27, 1855, is in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Cubbison, in the mercantile business at Fairmont, Neb.; Sarah Belle, born May 2, 1858, is the wife of Levi Miller, a farmer of Cheyenne County, Neb., and to them have been born three sons-Charles, Jesse and Ira D.; Enoch D., born Jan. 28, 1866, is now clerking in a store at Fairmont, Neb.

Politically Mr. Nixon is a Republican; he has held many township offices of trust with credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of his constituents, and is now serving his fourth term as Justice of the Peace, having held the office for six years. Mr. Nixon has given his children good educations, and all of them have been teachers in the county. Mrs. Nixon is a great worker in the temperance cause. They are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have the respect of all who know them, and they are always ready with their time and money to aid in all charitable, temperance and church work. In him the poor find a helper, and his acquaintances a noble friend.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 309-310) (JC)


John T. North

JOHN T. NORTH, residing on sections 26 and 27, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. He was born in Holmes County, Ohio, and is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Stallings) North, both of whom were natives of Maryland, though the father was of German . They emigrated to Ohio in about 1831 and there developed a farm in the timber. In 1841 they emigrated to Henry County, and settled near New London. There were six children in the family, the two eldest, Christian, now the wife of Peter Orn, a carpenter of New Loudon, and Susan, wife of William Wilson, residing in Harrison County, Mo., were born in Maryland. While residing in Ohio three other children were born: Matilda J., wife of J. D. Byers, of New London Township, died in 1872; John T., our subject, and Martha, wife of Charles B. Weller, residing near Kent, Adams Co., Iowa. Emma B., the youngest child, was born in Henry County, married John Wright, and died at Powhattan, Ohio, in 1875. The father resided on his farm in this county until the time of his death, which occurred July 27, 1847, when forty-seven years of age. He was an earnest, sincere Christian, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He owned at the time of his death 140 acres of land, which was a part of the original claim. The mother was born in 1804, and now resides with her daughter near Kent, Adams Co., Iowa. She is an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and took great interest in the pioneer organizations of the county, and was a member of the first church organized in New London Township. Her father was a soldier in the war of the Revolution.

Our subject was reared on a farm in New London Township, receiving his education at the district schools. Being the only son, he was obliged to help his father upon the farm, and after his death had the whole control of it. He formed the sole support of his mother and two single sisters, but when the war broke out he left home and enlisted in Company E of the 1st Iowa Cavalry, June 22, 1861, as a private. He was mustered out March 16, 1865, as Quartermaster Sergeant. He participated in the following battles: Meradozine, Mo.; Lone Jack, Fayetteville, Mo.; Jenkins Ferry, Prairie Grove, Bymerta and Little Rock, Ark. He was on the scout for forty days, during which time he participated in numerous engagements. In the Camden campaign, under Steele, they fought a hard battle at Saline River, and were under fire for ten days in a running fight with Gen. Price.

After returning home Mr. North resumed his occupation of farming on the old homestead, having bought the shares of the other heirs in the same, continuing this until March, 1882. He was united in marriage, April 11, 1867, with Maria L. Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John and Ruth (Whitlatch) Smith, the former a native of Maryland, of English parentage, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania, though of Scotch descent. The father departed this life in Pennsylvania in 1860, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a blacksmith by trade, and served as Colonel in the State Militia of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a prominent man in the neighborhood where he resided. His wife died in June, 1884. She was also a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. and Mrs. North are the parents of four children-Charles S., James H., Frank R. and Mabel, all still inmates of the paternal home.

In November, 1882, Mr. North sold his farm in New London Township, purchasing 160 acres of land on sections 26 and 27 of Scott Township, where he still resides. This farm is one of the best in the county, and a glance is sufficient to show that thrift and enterprise are characteristics of its owner. An elegant residence has been erected, at a cost of $4,000, and the barn is valued at $600. Mr. North is a practical farmer, and one of Henry County's best citizens. He is numbered among the pioneers of the county, and is respected alike by old and young, rich and poor. He is a stalwart Republican, and has held various township offices.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 244-245) (JC)


Jarrett Nugen

JARRETT NUGEN, a farmer residing on section 36, New London Township, is a pioneer of 1840. He has several well-improved farms, aggregating 595 acres, and his post office is New London. Mr. Nugen is a native of Virginia, and was born in Kanawha County, now in West Virginia, in February, 1813. His parents were also natives of Virginia. His father, John Nugen, Sr., was born near Richmond, Va., in 1775, of Irish parents, and was a soldier of the War of 1812. He was married in Kanawha County, Va., to Miss Mary C. Lee. They were the parents of sixteen children, thirteen of whom grew to man and womanhood; and four sons-David, Jarrett, Charles and Silas-came to Iowa, and settled in New London Township, Henry County; Charles came in 1838, Jarrett and David in 1840, and Silas in 1855. Of these David and Jarrett are still residents of this county, are wealthy, and large land-owners. Silas resides in Dakota Territory, and Charles is now deceased. The family are remarkable for their longevity, there being now living eleven of the twelve children who reached maturity. The oldest was born in 1804, and is now eighty-three years of age; the youngest is fifty-seven years old.

John Nugen, Sr., emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, and a few years later to Wayne County, Ind., in 1818. He continued to reside in that county, engaged in farming, until his death, which occurred in 1859. His wife was of an old Virginia family of Colonial times. Her father served through the Revolutionary War as a soldier of the Continental army, and was a warm patriot.

Jarrett Nugen, our subject, was reared on his father's farm, and was united in marriage in Wayne County, Ind., March 8, 1838, to Miss Melinda Butler, daughter of Samuel Butler. Mrs. Nugen was born in Wayne County, Ind., and her father was a native of Georgia, emigrating to the former State at an early day. Seven children were born of their union, five sons and two daughters, and five are now living: William H. was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, Jan. 6, 1841, and served in the late war as a member of Company K, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; he was engaged in the mercantile business at New London for twelve years, four in company with Capt. Richard, and eight by himself, but is now engaged in farming. Mary, born April 6, 1843, is the wife of Gad Lyman, of New London; John Z., born April 25, 1845, married Miss Zora Belle Newell, and resides at New London (see his sketch); Lizzie was born May 28, 1847, and resides with her father; Josephus, horn April 27, 1850, died at the age of four; Ellwood died in childhood; the other being an unnamed infant. Mr. Nugen first came to Iowa Oct. 18, 1839, purchasing a claim in Des Moines County, and after a brief stay returned to Indiana. The following year he returned with his family, arriving at their home in Pleasant Grove Township Oct. 8, 1840. On the 2d of March, 1841, he moved to Henry County, and on the 16th of November of that year he established his permanent home, where he has since resided. Mr. Nugen was a Whig in early life, and since the dissolution of that party has been a Democrat. He is a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M. He has been an active business man, and by industry and good management has accumulated a large property, and his character as a man and citizen is above reproach.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 227.) (JC)


John Z. Nugen

JOHN Z. NUGEN, a farmer residing at New London Village, has 120 acres of land. He was born in New London Township, April 25, 1845, and is the son of Jarrett and Melinda (Butler) Nugen, of whom a history is given elsewhere. He was reared on the farm, and received a common-school education, and when nineteen years of age enlisted, May 1, 1864, as a private in Company G, 45th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served four months in the Army of the Tennessee. On his return from the war he engaged in farming in New London Township. He was married in Des Moines County, Iowa, Sept. 25, 1870, to Miss Zora Belle Newell, daughter of Albert and Martha Newell. Mrs. Newell was born in Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa. Six children have gathered round the hearthstone of this worthy couple, five of whom are now living: Aria, born Nov. 1, 1871; Jarrett, deceased; Elizabeth, William H., Ethel, and an infant daughter, unnamed. Mr. Nugen moved to the village of New London in 1887. Mrs. Nugen is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and Mr. Nugen is a member of Charity Lodge No. 56, I. 0. 0. F., and of J. W. Hardin Post No. 384, G. A. R., and in politics is a Democrat.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 224.) (JC)


Patrick O'Connell

PATRICK O'CONNELL, fireman at the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, has been connected with that institution longer than any other person, having worked on the construction of the first building of the hospital. He helped put in the boilers and machinery in 1860, built the first fires in the furnaces, and has been retained in charge of the furnaces continuously since, covering a period of over twenty-seven years. Mr. O'Connell was born in County Cavan, Ireland, parish of Laara, township of Lisnaglee, in the year 1822. He is a son of Michael and Bridget (Rudan) O'Connell; was reared on a farm and emigrated to America in 1850, landing in New York on the day of the funeral of President Taylor, July 30, 1850. He went directly to Sullivan County, Ind., where he was variously employed for the next four years. He had his living to earn and worked at anything he could turn his hand to, be it railroading, farming or any other work. In 1854 he came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he engaged in brick-making and quarrying for a year. In April, 1855, he engaged with Capt. McMahon, preparing for the building of the Iowa State Hospital, as before mentioned. Mr. O'Connell was married, Feb. 1, 1853, in Sullivan County, Ind., to Miss Rebecca Govan, a daughter of William M. Govan, of Kentucky. Her father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of Tippecanoe under Taylor. Mrs. O'Connell was born in Sullivan County, Ind. Six children were born to this union, of whom five are now living: Isabella, the eldest, died at the age of twenty-two; Wilbur, assistant fireman at the State Hospital, wedded Sarah Melcher, and resides at Mt. Pleasant; Charles P., married Sadie Millispei, and lives at Chariton, Iowa; Cora, residing at Topeka, Kan., is a stenographer, and is employed by the Rock Island Railroad; French E., is married and resides in Missouri; Ollie, residing in Kankakee, is an attendant at the Hospital for the Insane at that place. Mrs. O'Connell died July 16, 1877. Mr. O'Connell is a member of the Catholic Church, and is a Democrat in politics.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 378-379.) (CL)


Elias Brown Ogg 

ELIAS BROWN OGG (King of Bashan), a pioneer of Iowa in 1839 and formerly a prominent business man of Mt. Pleasant, is now a resident of Marion Township, Henry County.  Mr. Ogg is a farmer, and proprietor and manufacturer of Ogg's Hawkeye Liniment, a well-known and popular remedy for many of the ills flesh is heir to.  He was born in Baltimore County, Md., May 6, 1814, and is the son of William H. and Catherine (Logsdon) Ogg.  The first fifteen years ofhis life were spent in his native county, and in 1829 he went with his parents to what is now West Virginia; a year and a half later he returned to his old home, and in 1831 went to Knox County, Ohio, where he began at the age of seventeen years to make his own way in the world.  He was employed at driving a team and doing farm work at $9 a month, for which liberal compensation he was required to render service eighteen hours daily.  He returned to Maryland in February, 1832, and the month of October (1833) in his twentieth year, he was married to Miss Catherine Brothers.  Mrs. Ogg was born in Baltimore County, Md., and was a schoolmate of her husband.  In 1836 Mr. Ogg removed to Knox County, Ohio, and in the spring of 1839 came to Iowa.  He located in Des Moines County, eleven miles west of Burlington, where he bought land and made a farm.  In 1850 Mr. Ogg came to Mt. Pleasant, where he engaged in mercantile business.  He built the first three-story brick building in the city, in which he opened a general store.  After five years spent in this line, he sold his stock to Waters & Eastman and his building to William White.  He then engaged extensively in the land agency business, and was also a Justice of the Peace.  He continued in that business two years, during which time he located more land warrants than any other man in this section of the country, and did a large and profitable business, by which he accumulated a large amount of money.  He then engaged in the banking business, in company with Henry Barclay and Henry Swan, under the firm name of Barclay, Ogg & Swan.  They began business in an unfortunate time, the opening of 1857, the year of the great financial crash.  Mr. Ogg had the misfortune to nearly lose his eyesight by inflammation, and for a long time was incapacitated from attending to business.  The banking business seems to have been badly managed, and in a few years Mr. Ogg found himself financially ruined.  He retired to a small farm in Marion Township, where he now resides, and for several years has devoted his attention largely to the manufacture and sale of his proprietary medicines.  Mr. and Mrs. Ogg were the parents of twelve children: Joshua J., now residing in Florida; William H. died at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, leaving a widow and two children; Ann is the wife of C.T. Stevenson, and lives in Marion Township; Martha E. is the wife of William H. Cox, and resides in Ottumwa, Iowa; Elizabeth is the wife of Oscar Mitts, and resides in Marion Township; Charles B. married Mary Ferguson, and lives on the old homestead in Marion Township; Malachi married Mary Lamborn, and lives in Marion Township; Catherine, deceased; Alfred F., deceased; Elias B., deceased, was married to Mary Ann Anderson; Lydia, deceased, was married to George Mitts; Tom, deceased, married to Sarah Ann Farmer; he left a wife and three children. Mr. Ogg has attained considerable prominence as an interesting writer of local chronicles, under the nom de plume of the "King of Bashan".

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 416)(PW)


George Olinger, Jr.

GEORGE OLINGER, JR., is a farmer residing on section 31, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. One of the best known families of this county was that of George Olinger, Sr., who was a native of Tennessee. His father, Jacob Olinger, was a native of Pennsylvania, was married in that State, and removed to Sullivan County, Tenn. In that State the death of these grandparents probably occurred. George Olinger, Sr., went to Hamilton County, Ill., a single man, but was married to Martha Taylor, in White County, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Weaver) Taylor. The death of Sarah Taylor, mother of Mrs. Martha Olinger, occurred in Illinois, her husband married for his second wife Miss Frankie Gohlson, and in 1842 they came to this county, and yet reside in Trenton Township. Samuel Taylor is in his eighty-fourth year. After Mr. Olinger was married, he engaged in farming for some time in Hamilton County, Ill., and there the two eldest children were born: Henry, who wedded Elizabeth Lozier, and John, the husband of Helen Miller. In 1841, with his family, Mr. Olinger came overland to this county and purchased the claim upon which our subject now lives, and here, for many years, he and his wife resided, growing wealthy and honored as time passed. The first house was built of logs, and occupied the site of the present farm residence. In an early day the clapboard roof and puncheon floor were common and even a dirt floor was not uncommon. In the first cabin were born: Samuel, now deceased; our subject; Phoebe, wife of Milton Connor; Lincoln and Lee, twins. Mary, Ellen and Amanda were also born in Iowa, but in the city of Davenport, the family having resided there for a few years prior to their removal to this county. All of these children grew to maturity in this county, and all except Lincoln and Ellen were here married to well-known citizens. Lincoln married Mabel Whitman, and resides near Hastings, Neb.; Sarah wedded William Palmer; Mary became the wife of James Richardson; Ellen died unmarried, and Amanda wedded Simon Lozier.

Our subject is in charge of the original homestead. The father died Jan. 14, 1884, near Hastings, Neb.  The mother makes her home with her children, who are all owners of good farms. The wedding of George Olinger, Jr., was celebrated March 22, 1877, Miss Belle Marshall becoming his wife. Esquire McClure, the oldest Justice of the Peace of Henry County, performed the ceremony. The parents of Mrs. Olinger, George and Sarah (Eveland) Marshall, are yet living; the father is in his seventy-sixth year, and the mother in her fifty-seventh. To them were born eleven children: John married Amanda Meeker; Mary is the wife of Hiram Crow; Jane, now deceased, was the wife of Spencer Cox; Martha wedded William Taylor; Belle is the wife of our subject; Elizabeth is the wife of William Jones; the others are Griffith D., Hattie L. and Ellsworth, all unmarried. The deceased are Maggie H. and James E.

Since their marriage, Mr. Olinger and his wife have resided in both Kansas and Nebraska. They have had four children, but one has been taken to that better land above: James W.; Fred E., deceased; Don L., and Otis D., who was born upon the grandfather's home in Wayne Township. The family is a representative one of Wayne Township, and a deserved place is given them in this Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 371-72.)


Thomas H. Olinger

THOMAS H. OLINGER. A prominent citizen of this county, residing upon section 21, Marion Township, will be found the subject of this sketch. He was born May 15, 1843, in Sullivan County, Tenn. his parents, John H. and Nancy (Cox) Olinger, were natives of Pennsylvania, but his father was of German descent. Mr. and Mars. Olinger had eleven children: George died in 1863, in Sullivan County, Tenn., and was buried in that county; Mary, widow of W. L. Maury, is now in Kansas; they had one child, Fannie. Our subject was third in order of birth; Sanford, deceased; Sarah, deceased wife of William Walters, a painter by trade, who now resides in Omaha, Neb.; Joan, wife of Aaron Bright; James, a resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Amanda, wife of Lebbius Bright, of Shenandoah, Iowa; John, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Caledonia, wife of James Anderson, of Buffalo County, Kan.; Charles of Ford, Mo.  The mother of this family died July 2, 1878. She was a faithful and useful member of the Protestant Methodist Church, whose example has been followed by her family, all of whom, except three, being professed Christians. The father was also a devoted and pious man, and gave liberally of his time and money to all good works. He died Feb. 26, 1884, and was buried in the cemetery at Shenandoah, Iowa. His death was caused by a cancer that had existed for nine years, the last two years of which he experienced intense pain, but he bore his long suffering without a word of complaint. His last words were that he "hoped his children would all meet him in the better world."

Our subject remained at the home of his father until the age of twenty-six, and received his education in the common schools of Sullivan County, Tenn.  At the age of fifteen he entered his father's wagon-shop, where he remained until Oct. 16, 1862, when he entered the army, enlisting in the 45th Kentucky Mounted Infantry of United States troops. He took part in the capture of King's Salt Works, and with the boys drove the rebel General, John Morgan, out of Lexington and kept him out. At Cynthiana they had another hard-fought battle with Morgan, and ran him out of Kentucky, keeping his forces from attacking Cincinnati. During the year 1864, Company B, of which Mr. Olinger was a member, acted as escort and guard to Gen. Schofield from Lexington, Ky., to Cumberland Gap, Tenn.  The last payment made to the troops was made in the Gap. The company then returned to Lexington, and from there proceeded to Louisville, Ky., where the regiment was discharged.

After returning home, Mr. Olinger began clerking in the dry-goods store of M. Cramer, remaining there three months. He then went back to the old home, remaining there a year. The family then removed to Iowa, settling on section 20, Marion Township, Henry County, where he bought seven acres of land and built a shop, house and barn. Here he has since made his home and followed blacksmithing and wagon-making, in addition to which, as the opportunity was afforded him, he has preached the Gospel, being in 1882 licensed to preach for the Protestant Methodist Church. He was united in marriage with Miss Emeline A. Miller. She was born Jan. 24, 1855. Her parents were James and Caroline (Jelett) Miller, both natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Olinger are the parents of six children: Hugh W.; Fannie, in Van Buren County, Iowa; Roy L, Carrie M., Nellie, James and Lulu.

Mr. Olinger takes great interest in all public affairs, and devotes much of his time to church work. His wife is also a member of the Protestant Methodist Church. They are both highly respected in the community where they live.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 425-26.)


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