Packer - Prince


THOMAS V. PACKER, deceased, became a resident of Henry county in 1851 and since that time the family has figured prominently in this part of the state, Mr. Packer having been an honored and respected resident here up to the time of his demise. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1814, and was a son of Aaron and Rebecca (Dewees) Packer, both of whom were born in or near Philadelphia. The family was established in eastern Pennsylvania at an early period in the settlement of the colony and among its representatives have been many who have attained prominence in various walks of life. John and Samuel Packer have been members of congress from Pennsylvania, and a cousin, William F. Packer, was governor of that state. Asa Packer, of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, was a judge and at one time owned extensive coal mines in Pennsylvania. He was one of the promoters of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876 and at its close found that he was heavily in debt. However, he secured a franchise to operate the railroad from his coal mines to Lake Ontario, and through this means he regained his fortune and was able to leave a handsome competence to his family. He was entirely a self-made man, being in youth employed on the canal, but he judiciously invested his money in land, which proved to be underlaid with rich coal and marble deposits. With all his splendid success he was a man of kind heart and generous disposition, his employees ever finding him not only just but generous, and his wife possessed equally commendable traits of character.

Aaron Packer, father of our subject, was in early life a potter, and afterward conducted an extensive mercantile establishment in Pennsylvania. Later he settled in Jefferson county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and the last years of his life were passed in Clark county, Ohio, near South Charleston. He was always an earnest republican, unfaltering in his advocacy of the principles of the party, and he, and his wife were members of the Friends' church. He died in 1877, when more than ninety years of age, having for some time survived his wife, who passed away in 1851, at the age of sixty years. Their remains were interred in Ohio, the former near South Charleston and the latter near Mount Pleasant, Ohio. In their family were seven children but all have passed away, namely: Isaac, Thomas, Elizabeth, Hannah, Elisha, Sarah, and Benjamin.

Thomas V. Packer acquired his early education in the district schools of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He learned the cooper's trade in the latter state and followed it until 1851, when he came to Iowa. He was an excellent workman in the line of his chosen occupation. After taking up his abode in this state, however, he settled upon a partially improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres on Skunk river near Oakland, Henry county, and turned his attention to the improvement of that farm, which he had purchased, and which he continued to cultivate until 1862, when he removed to a farm in Lee county, near Salem. His last years were spent in retirement in Salem. In 1844 Mr. Packer was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Linton. The original ancestor of the Linton family came to America with the William Penn colony and preached the first Quaker sermon in Philadelphia. Her parents were Mahlon and Ann (Hilles) Linton, in whose family were seven children who grew to maturity: Sarah, William, Samuel Linton, Mary Linton, Joseph Linton, Isaiah, and Margaret, who became Mrs. Packer, was the youngest of the family. All the sons of the Linton family were employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early days of its construction as civil engineers.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Packer was celebrated in Washington county, Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, on the 17th of April, 1844. Mrs. Packer was educated in Washington county, attending the public schools and the girls' boarding school. Her parents died when she was young. She afterward made her home with her brothers and sisters until she was married, at which time Mr. and Mrs. Packer removed to Ohio, where they continued to reside until 1851, when they came to Henry county, residing in this part of the state until called to their final rest, the remains of both being interred in the cemetery at Salem. Mrs. Packer was a successful teacher in Pennsylvania near Brownsville prior to her marriage, and her children and grandchildren seem to have inherited her capability in this direction.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Packer were born nine children, of whom seven are living. Annie E., who began teaching in a country school and has since been identified with school work. She was for seven years principal of the high school at Bonaparte, Iowa, and for more than ten years was assistant principal at Whittier College at Salem, Iowa. She has also been an instructor in teachers' institutes during the summer months, sometimes conducting four during a single season. She was county superintendent of Henry county before entering Whittier College to assist as principal, was also county superintendent of Van Buren county, and in 1899 she was elected county superintendent of the schools of Henry county, entering upon the duties of the office in January, 1900, and has since filled this position in a most creditable and acceptable manner. She is well qualified for the office and under her guidance the schools have made splendid advancement, as she has ever held high the standard of public education. She is a devoted member of the Congregational church and also belongs to the P.E.O. Society and to the Eastern Star. Rebecca, the second member of the Packer family, was a successful teacher in Iowa and Nebraska, and after teaching for eight years near Lincoln, Nebraska, died in that city in 1891. Ada Packer became the wife of Thomas H. McConnaughey, who died in July, 1903. She became a teacher before her marriage and is now teaching in the Central school at Mount Pleasant. Mr. McConnaughey was a sergeant in Company M of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry in the Civil war and served throughout the period of hostilities. He was wounded at Vicksburg, which occasioned a slight lameness throughout his entire life. Mahlon L. Packer, residing in Salem, Iowa, married Sarah Jacobs, a niece of William Jacobs, who was one of the compilers of the Lippincott Encyclopedia. They have four children: Joseph L., Harold, Paul, and Leah. William Albert Packer resides at Bonaparte, Iowa. A. H. Packer, who is principal of the Lincoln school in Fort Madison. I. L. Packer resides in Salem. Emma married J. H. Jacobs and died in Kansas in 1895. Nellie married J. H. Collatt, of Salem.

In his political affiliation Mr. Packer of this review was an earnest democrat and served as township trustee and in other local offices. He was greatly interested in the cause of public education, served as a member of the school board, always declaring that "his school tax was the best tax which he paid." He, and his wife were members of the Friends' church and honorable principles and upright conduct characterized their entire lives. Mr. Packer passed away in February, 1898, at the age of eighty-four years, while his wife died February 15, 1897. No more worthy or respected people were numbered among Iowa's citizens. They were kindly in spirit, generous in disposition, loyal to justice, truth, and right and they stood as champions of every interest for the public welfare and at the same time reared a family who are indeed a credit to their name.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 84-87) (PE)


HON. JOHN WEST PALM, who served as postmaster at Mount Pleasant a number of years, was born in Southington, Trumbull county, Ohio, October 23, 1850, his parents being Adam and Jane (West) Palm. The father was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, March 26, 1816, and was of German extraction. His death occurred in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, October 11, 1889, when he was seventy-three years of age. He was a farmer and brick mason, and in 1856 came to Iowa, settling in Marion township, Henry county, where he followed farming, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits for many years. He afterward removed to Mount Pleasant, where he lived retired up to the time of his death. His wife was of Scotch and English parentage, and became a resident of Ohio in early girlhood. Her death occurred in this county in 1857, and, like her husband, she was laid to rest in the Ebenezer cemetery in Marion township. In their family were seven children: Mary, the wife of Hon. J. W. Vernon, of Memphis, Tennessee; Martha, who became the wife of Col. R. K. Miller, of East Des Moines, but both are now deceased; Julia, who became the wife of Colonel Miller after the death of her sister, and is now living in Des Moines; Permelia, who is the widow of William Faulkner, and resides in Lincoln, Nebraska; William, who died in infancy; John W., of this review; and Alice, the deceased wife of Wilbur Davis. In his political views, the father was a republican. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Methodist church, and he died as he lived, with unfaltering faith and trust in the Christian religion. He ever followed the best impulses of his nature, and his life conformed to a high standard of morality. He faithfully met every obligation that devolved upon him in his relations to his family, his friends and his community, and his life of rectitude and honor constitutes an example well worthy of emulation. His neighbors, friends and all who knew him will long remember his sturdy integrity and his uplifting influence, his generous spirit and his many benevolent and kindly acts. He spent his last days in the home of his son, John West Palm, and was a resident of Mount Pleasant from 1869 to the time of his death. Following the demise of his first wife, he remained unmarried for twenty-two years, and then wedded Mrs. Emma Gregg, by whom he had one son, George, who is now living in Kila, Montana.

John West Palm pursued his education in the schools of Mount Pleasant, and was graduated from the high school in the class of 1869. He also spent two years as a student in Howe's Academy, where he prepared for teaching, and entered upon the work of the classical course in the Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, graduating in 1876. In 1877 he was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Professor S. L. Howe, who was the superintendent of county schools, and the following year was elected to the office, but resigned ere the expiration of one year and purchased the Journal, a newspaper published in Mount Pleasant. He became part owner in 1878, and continued as editor and joint proprietor for nine years, on the expiration of which period he was elected county treasurer. His wife continued the publication of the paper as local editor for four years, and thus Mr. Palm remained owner of the Journal for thirteen years. In 1887 he was elected county treasurer and filled the office two terms, and afterward served for one year as deputy county treasurer, during which year he was nominated and elected to the office of country auditor, in which he was also continued for two terms by re-election. Following his retirement from that position, he was appointed postmaster of Mount Pleasant, in 1897, and held that position until 1906, giving a public-spirited and progressive administration, which has won him high encomiums from the general public. His entire official service has been characterized by an unfaltering fidelity to duty, and during twenty consecutive years spent in office he has ever won the respect and trust of his fellow townsmen, who have conferred upon him these official honors.

On the 19th of February, 1879, Mr. Palm was married to Miss Florence E. Andrews, who was born in Mills county, Iowa, February 11, 1859, a daughter of Judge M. L. and Maria (Deming) Andrews, both of whom were natives of Trumbull county, Ohio, who are mentioned on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Palm have reared three children, and have also reared Mr. Palm's half-brother, George H. Palm. The eldest, Edward, is now a resident of Kalispell, Montana. Mary, a graduate of the high school, is at home. Margaret is attending school. Mrs. Palm is a lady of superior intellectual and literary culture, and is the author of various writings that have won her prominence in local literary circles. From her pen has come the Web-Weavers. She has a fine descriptive faculty, in which there is also a vein of humor. She writes with great facility, and is master of the art of description. She also wrote the Minor Note, A Gray Day, A Mount Pleasant Procession, and other sketches which indicate an appreciation for truth, beauty and humor in life. She has always been a great reader and is familiar with the best authors of ancient and modern times. She is a charming hostess and her home is the center of a cultured society circle. She gives generously of her best for the delight of her guests. Mr. Palm has long been associated with the interests of the community, and his efforts for public progress have been far-reaching and effective. He was for years at the head of the county fair association, but at length had to give up that work because of the great strain of his personal and public duties. Mr. Palm, possessing a retentive memory, has long been regarded in Henry county as an authority on historical events. He, too, is a strong and forceful writer, and he is especially well known in connection with his commemorative writings.

One of his more recent public utterances was given in the event of a memorial address delivered at Pleasant Hill chapel in Henry county on the 30th of May, 1904. Perhaps no better idea of his understanding of the great events of history at the time of the Civil war his patriotic spirit can be given than by quoting from that address. "I am sure you veterans-and it is you I am to chiefly address my remarks today-I am sure you would rather listen to one of your own comrades in arms than to the voice of a 'layman' upon those themes appropriate to consider, and proper, in some measure, to review upon this melancholy, yet inspiring, memorial occasion. Yet the army of the noncombatants were not all so from choice. Many are they who bitterly deplored the cruel partiality of the government census, which classed them with "women and children," unfit for duty on the firing line. In my youthful enthusiasm I did get to be marksman, or small flag bearer to the home guards. A neighbor boy and I were chosen to carry small flags, and in the evolutions of the rude militia on the prairies of Marion township we were called upon to take our place on either side of the ensign and hold ourselves in readiness to run upon command as fast as our legs would carry us forward to the head of the column, and there stand to enable it to make a square turn to the right or left. No doubt this is quite as far as a ten-year-old boy could be expected to advance in military science or experience; but the disappointment was hard to endure, for to be a real soldier, with knapsack and gun, was the fond hope of my waking and the fitful dream of my sleeping hours. I had a uniform of gray, with a yellow stripe running down the leg of my pants. I think we were called the 'Ebenezer Grays,' and when under drill we stretched our boys' legs far out to keep in step with the men, and to our bedazzled youthful imagination there was no palliation or excuse for being born in the '50s and still less for barring young gentlemen of ten summers from enlistment in the army.

"I hesitate to address you men of the '60s I feel a special disqualification the fatal disqualification of not being one of you. For to no one are the scenes and circumstances of war so real, so tangible, as to those who themselves witnessed them, and by none can they be so well and so truthfully portrayed as by the men who themselves felt the shock of battle, and themselves, each for himself, saw the lean and hungry demon of war staring him fair in the face. There is indeed comradeship, deep, abiding comradeship, between you boys of the '60s. A comradeship which we 'laymen' admit our inability fully to enter into and adequately to portray. Yours is a comradeship born of a common danger and a common duty; a common obligation of patriotism and a common love of the flag. There remains to you, the mere remnant now of the grand army of Grant and Sherman, there remains to you a comradeship born of the heat of battle and cemented by the grim certainty that of some would be demanded the forfeit of their lives to save their country. Yours is a comradeship born in an heroic hour; born when there were called into play every resource of manhood, every obligation of honor; every sense of patriotism, every prompting of duty; every sentiment which the love of home and country contribute to manly courage and prompt to noble sacrifice."

Then follows a review of the important events which led up to the opening of the war. "Men will fight, but civilized man fights only to escape conditions worse than war, and to secure that good which only the god of battles can give. I want here publicly to thank you boys in blue, you gentleman of the '60s, for doing my fighting for me. In the name of my generation, on behalf of the millions of men of today who in 1860 were boys not tall enough by a hands' breadth to get behind a gun and go forth to battle, in the name of the women and children and the great army of helpless noncombatants for whom you fought, for the love of whom you gave the last supreme test and measure of devotion-in their name and in the name of the common rights and just destines of men "Of whom were the great armies of and nations, I want to thank you old soldiers for your sacrifice and your service.

Grant and Sherman composed? From whence did the boys in blue come? The men who fought at Shiloh and at the Wilderness were not veterans. They did not come out of the standing army. They were not making war a profession. Before Lincoln's first call and the fall of Sumpter they had scarcely dreamed of war's alarm. The great armies that put down the rebellion and saved the nation were drawn from the whole body of the people. The college professor, the men of the learned professions, the scholars and thinkers did not put down the rebellion, but they contributed a great and valuable service to that end. The farm boys from the prairies and the mechanics and day laborers of the great cities did not put down the rebellion and save the nation, but they, too, contributed their full share to that end. The grand army of Grant and Sherman was drawn from every walk of life. There you would see the pale-faced college student, the sons of wealth and station, the boys brought up in luxury and ease, marching side by side with the sunburned plowboy of the prairies and the smoke-begrimed factory men of the cities. There you found the hollow-eyed professor, fresh from the intricacies of Calculus and the mysteries of metaphysics, plodding along side by side with the boys recruited from the slums and alleys of our great cities. No one class held a patent on patriotism in that great and bloody drama. Thank God, patriotism is not a thing of station, of wealth, of opportunity, or education, but is the rich heritage as well of the poor, of the unfortunate, and even of the wicked and degenerate. Boys of small promise, even those of wild and reckless life and habits at home, often made the most sturdy, heroic and fearless soldiers at the front.

"I cannot let pass this memorial to our heroic dead without directing your attention for a brief moment to the chief figure in this melancholy yet glorious drama-the tall, gaunt, manly figure with deep, sad eyes and melancholy face, who occupied the chair of state at the white house and who at length gave to freedom its crowning sacrifice, the sacrifice of his great heart and life-Abraham Lincoln. What a rare product of the mighty forces of those troublous times was he. What a sane and understandable quantity, what an approachable and kindly man he was; what a sympathetic and tender heart he had, and with it all what a deep and intuitive understanding of the forces in that mighty play. How patient, how forbearing, how forgiving he was to our erring brethren of the south, and how pathetically, how earnestly he appealed to them as friends, as brothers, as countrymen, and how sorrowfully at last he invoked the cruel arbitrament of the god of battles to save the nation and sustain the flag."

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 685-689) (PE)

Hon. Leroy Griffin Palmer

HON. LEROY GRIFFIN PALMER, a prom­inent attorney of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Christian County, Ky., Nov. 3, 1821. His parents were Lewis G. and Ann H. (Tutt) Palmer. His father was born in Spottsylvania County, Va., in June, 1781, and was the son of Isaac Palmer, who was a prominent Federalist and a soldier of the Revolution. Judge Palmer's mother was born in Culpeper, Va., and emigrated to Kentucky with her father in 1805, or about the same time that the Palmers settled in that State.

Our subject accompanied his father to Madison County, Ill., in the spring of 1831. He received a common-school education, and not having collegiate advantages he entered upon a course of self-instruction and qualified himself for the vocation of a teacher and taught several terms of school. While thus employed at Carlinville, Ill., he engaged in the study of law, under the direction of his brother, John M., then an eminent attorney of Macoupin County, and since Governor of Illinois. He was admitted to the bar at Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill., in 1846, and formed a law partnership with his brother, John M., under the firm name of J. M. & L. G. Palmer. That connec­tion continued but a short time, on account of our subject's enlistment in the volunteer service for the Mexican War, which occurred May 26, 1846, at Springfield, Ill., where he became a member of Company B, 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was assigned to the Quartermaster's department, and served in Mexico until April 27, 1847, when he was discharged at Ft. Polk, Point Isabel, for physical disability. His condition was such at the time of his removal from the fort to the transport that he was not conscious of being carried on ship­board. He returned to Illinois in May following, where he recruited his health, and in November, 1847, came to Iowa and opened a law office at Mt. Pleasant. He has pursued the practice of his profession at that place continuously since, and has been called to fill various public positions of honor and trust. He has served two terms in the City Council of Mt. Pleasant, and was a member of the State Senate from 1861 to 1864, and served one term, from 1862 to 1864, as County Judge of Henry County.

Judge Palmer was married at Mt. Pleasant, Aug. 7, 1850, to Miss Orphia Bowen, a daughter of Isaac Bowen, a worthy pioneer of Henry County. Mrs. Palmer was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, and came to Henry County, Iowa, with her parents in childhood. Five children were born of their union, four sons and a daughter: Leroy A. was born at Mt. Pleasant in August, 1857, and was educated in the common schools of the city and at Howe's Academy in same city, under the care of its founder, the late Samuel Howe, and studied law with his father, and in an office at Keokuk, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar at Mt. Pleasant in 1878. He married Miss Lucy McCarty, and is now in Government employ in the Patent Office at Washington, D. C. Charles F. was born at Mt. Pleasant in June, 1853, and is now engaged in mining with his uncle, Senator Bowen, at Summitville, Col.; Horace LaMont was born at Mt. Pleasant in April, 1857, and is a musician of marked talent and superior culture; Jessie L. was born at Mt. Pleasant in May, 1864, and is the wife of Dr. D. D. Robinson, a druggist of Burlington, Iowa; George L. is employed in the United States Mail Service, with headquarters at Burlington.

Judge Palmer is a Democrat, but opposed his party and voted for Abraham Lincoln both in 1860 and 1864. As a Democrat, he is earnest and pronounced in his views, especially in his hostility to the States meddling with the rights of the individual citizen, and has borne a more or less prominent part in political affairs. The Democracy always in the minority in both county and State, his personal popularity has induced his party to place him in nomination for various offices a greater number of times than almost any other man in the State. At every election in which he was a candidate he succeeded in polling a vote many times over his party strength. In 1874 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Hon. George W. McCray, and succeeded in cutting the Republican majority down from about 5,000 to 1,500. He, has been the most determined and persistent opposer of the building of railroads by means of a public tax, and of every scheme of the Government engaging in business in any way.

Judge Palmer has always been of studious habits, and is well versed in his profession, as well as in his­tory and general practical information. He is gifted as a conversationalist, and is a companionable man, whose superior attainments command respect and esteem.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 245-246) (JC)

Charles B. Pangborn

CHARLES B. PANGBORN, a farmer, and Township Trustee, residing on section 14, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N. Y., Dec. 31, 1840, and is the son of Cyrus and Annie (Mulkins) Pangborn. Cyrus was born in Vermont, and his wife in the town mentioned, in which village she was married to Mr. Pangborn, and all their children were born in Cazenovia. The marriage was celebrated April 10, 1839. The parents lived upon a farm until the removal to this county in September, 1856, locating on a farm in Tippecanoe Township. Cyrus died while in the United States service, being a member of the celebrated "Graybeard" regiment, which mainly did guard duty and was composed of Iowa men fifty years of age and over. From illness contracted during his service, the death of Mr. Pangborn occurred in 1864, while coming up the Mississippi from Memphis, and his remains were interred at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., below St. Louis. He was the father of three children: Charles B.; Nellie N., wife of James Rouse, of Mt. Pleasant; and James, who died in infancy.

The first husband of Miss Annie Mulkins was Marara Lewis, of French ancestry. He was the father of three children by this marriage: John S., husband of Adeline Bates, is a resident of Oswego County, N. Y.; Edward A. became the husband of Kate Driver, and is a resident farmer of Jefferson County, Iowa; and Adeline, deceased, who married Daniel Hopkins, a resident of Alamakee County, Iowa. All the sons of Mrs. Pangborn were soldiers during the war, as well as her devoted husband. Coming from patriotic blood on both sides, the father a Whig, and later a Republican, he advocated the sentiments which have made this a grand country, and his sons were taught thus from infancy. John S. Lewis was a member of a New York regiment, serving the last two years of the war; Edward of the 12th Iowa, and our subject, a member of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, of which he was Sergeant of Company N. He enlisted in 1861, and in 1862 was discharged on account of disability. While his regiment was in camp at Camp Harlan, near Mt. Pleasant, Charles Pangborn was married to Miss Cassandra L. Richardson, of this county, born in Clarke County, Ohio, and a daughter of Elijah and Delia A. (Bishop) Richardson, who came to this county in 1856. The parents are both dead, and three children only are living: Edward, a resident of Fair Play, El Dorado Co., Cal. ; Emeline, wife of John Brown, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; and Cassandra, wife of our subject. Her father was a large manufacturer of boots and shoes in Springfield, Ohio, but lived a retired life in this county, dying in his sixty-ninth year.

After his return from the service Mr. Pangborn began farming near Rome, and excepting one year, has been a resident of this county from 1856 up to the present time. His present farm was purchased in 1883, although being a resident farmer of this neighborhood for several years. Three children have graced their union: John H., husband of Mary E. Stone; Freddie H., deceased; and Annie C., now in her eleventh year. Our subject, Charles Pangborn, has filled for a long term of years various offices in this township, a member of the School Board, Supervisor, and in 1886 was elected one of her Trustees, and is the present incumbent. In all the business enterprises of his county Mr. Pangborn is an important factor. His mother, now in her seventieth year, finds with her son and kindly daughter a home, known far and wide as one of the most hospitable and cheery in the neighborhood. As a representative family, we welcome the Pangborns, and are pleased to present their sketch to the good people of Henry County.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 206-207.)(JC)


ParkinsDavid.jpg (66454 bytes)   David Parkins

DAVID PARKINS, farmer, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, July 22, 1812, and is a son of Stephen and Catherine (Ogan) Parkins. Both families were natives of Virginia, near Winchester, and both emigrated to Ohio about the same time, settling in the same locality, when the Ohio country was new and undeveloped. Our subject thinks it was prior to 1800, and in the adjoining county west the Indians held undisputed possession. Only a small settlement was made at Cincinnati, a small one at the mouth of the Muskingum River, and only a few men had taken claims or entered land along the Ohio. Stephen Parkins lived to see almost ninety-three years of life, and both himself and wife lived and died in Ohio. They were Friends, and Mr. Parkins would not take up arms during the War of 1812; but after being drafted and still refusing to serve, officers came and took all his hogs, his cow, and whatever else they could find, which were sold to pay his fine. This, coming in the dead of winter, made it hard for the family to subsist; yet they managed to recover the loss, and at the time of his death Stephen Parkins was in prosperous circumstances. They were the parents of fourteen children, thirteen reaching maturity, and all are living except one daughter, Phemy, who was the wife of Jesse Hartsock. The others were named respectively: David, our subject; Ann, Hannah, Peter, Stephen, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Lewis, John, Catherine, Martha and Mary. Six of these children came to Iowa, and are now residents of this State. All were married in Ohio, except our subject, and the families are well settled in life in their respective localities.

David Parkins was married in Henry County, Ind., in 1837, to Miss Mary Buck, daughter of Thomas and Rachel Burk, who were natives of Virginia. They were also early settlers in Belmont County, Ohio, but prior to the death of her parents all removed to Indiana. David intended entering land further west before his marriage, but after securing the lady to whom his troth was plighted, before the Burks left Ohio, he rented a little farm, and the young couple settled near her parents; and about four years later he purchased land upon which they remained until their removal to Iowa. Children blessed their union, all born in Indiana. William H., who wedded first Eliza J. Hobson, and after her death another Iowa lady; Stephen, a resident of Fairfield, wedded Mary, a sister of Eliza Hobson; Levi, who manages his father's farm, wedded Hannah Tribby. In 1854 Mr. Parkins and family removed to this State, settling four miles north of West Point, in Lee County, where he purchased an 80-acre farm. In 1856 he sold that land and removed to Henry County, purchasing the farm upon which he now resides. He purchased a 130-acre tract, and his successes in life are due to his own energy, for when he was first married he was worth only $100, but his wealth to-day is estimated by thousands. His wife, who was a true helpmeet during their married life, died in 1869, and one year later he was wedded to Miss Rhoda Comstock, of Wisconsin, born in New York State, who came to this county in order to be in a neighborhood of the Society of Friends. She found favor in the sight of our subject, and became his wife. For some time her health has been failing, but her devoted husband lightens every care, and she is provided with all the comforts that wealth brings, and in their roomy house all attention is given to her that is possible to bestow.

In his seventy-sixth year, our subject finds himself a retired farmer, with the esteem of his fellowmen, with abundance at his command, and within fifteen minutes' ride of village, church and railway. His farm has increased from 130 to 250 acres of land.

We are pleased to give him a place among those of his fellow-townsmen, and this sketch will be welcomed by all readers of the Album.

The portrait of Mr. Parkins, on the adjoining page, will be welcomed by his many friends in the county, who justly regard him as one of its most upright and conscientious citizens. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 590-93.)


Joseph T. Patch

JOSEPH T. PATCH, attorney-at-law, has been a resident of Mt. Pleasant since December, 1869, and has been engaged in practice since February, 1876. He was born in Rutland County, Vt., Sept. 25, 1838, and is a son of Abram and Lydia (Tucker) Patch. His father was born in Groton, now a suburb of Boston, Mass. His mother was a native of Rutland County, Vt. On the paternal side, the family had been residents of New England since the advent of the "Mayflower," on which historic vessel the first Patch came to the New World. His mother was also a descendant of one of the old Colonial families of Massachusetts. In his father's family there were two sons and three daughters. His brother is Joel V. D. Patch, a portrait painter living at Monroe, Iowa; the oldest sister was Lydia J., who died at the age of seventeen; Arethusia is the wife of Hon. E. C. Calkins, a prominent attorney of Kearney, Neb.; the youngest, Orvilla, died aged sixteen; the subject of this sketch was the eldest of the family. When he was seven years of age his parents removed to Erie County, N. Y. he attended the Ellington Academy, in Chautauqua County, N. Y., for two years when he entered Union College at Schenectady, N. Y., then under the presidency of the celebrated Dr. Nott. After completing his junior year he left college and engaged in teaching school, following the profession for several years in the States of New York and Ohio. In 1863 Mr. Patch entered the law department of Michigan University at Ann Arbor, and graduated thence in 1865. That summer he went to Polk County, Mo., and was for one year Principal of the academy at Bolivar, in that county. The following year he practiced law in Hickory County, Mo., and in 1867 took a trip which led to his settling in Mt. Pleasant. In 1869 Mr. Patch began working at carpentering, at which he continued until 1876, when he resumed the practice of his profession in Mt. Pleasant, following it to the present time and also making a specialty of Government claims, at which he has been very successful.

September 28, 1869, Mr. Patch was married at Mt. Pleasant to Miss Mary E. Vernon, only daughter of Rev. J. B. Vernon, a pioneer of Henry County. She was born in Montgomery County, Ind. They have three children living, one boy and two girls, and have lost a daughter, Olivia M., who died at the age of seven years. The other children are: Mary Edna, aged thirteen; Leroy Vernon, twelve; and Alline L., four. Mr. and Mrs. Patch are members of the First Methodist Episcopal C1iurch in Mt. Pleasant. In politics he is a Republican, and socially is a worthy and estimable gentleman.

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

James H. Patterson 

JAMES H. PATTERSON, son of Ledgerwood and Drusilla Patterson, is one of the prominent farmers and pioneer settlers of Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, and was born in Augusta County, Va., Oct. 21, 1834. He came with his parents to this county in 1842, when but a lad of eight years. His first education was received in the common schools, and afterward he attended Howe's Academy in Mt. Pleasant. In September, 1861, he responded to the President's call for troops, and enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, Company C. He was mustered into service at Camp Harlan, and the following spring went to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, from there to Raleigh, and subsequently to Springfield, Mo. He enlisted as a private, but at the organization of the company was elected Second Lieutenant, and was later appointed Quartermaster. An order was issued by the War Department in Washington, relieving all supernumerary officers, and he was one of those coming under that designation. Not wishing to go back into the ranks as a private, he resigned, after serving about fifteen months. After his return home he lay sick at Mt. Pleasant for some time. On the 8th of October, 1863, James H. Patterson led to the marriage altar Miss Fannie Wallace, and the ceremony was performed which made them man and wife. She was a daughter of Benjamin and Mary Wallace. Her parents died with that dread disease, cholera, in 1855, leaving Fannie an orphan at the age of twelve. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, and both were buried at Flemingsburg, Ky. In 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Patterson removed to Winfield, locating upon a farm adjoining the town. To them have been born six children: Anna, now attending college at Oskaloosa, Iowa; William W., at home; Eva, now attending college at Mt. Pleasant; Essie, John H. and James M.C., also at home. In politics Mr. Patterson is one of the stanch Republicans of Henry County, and an active worker for his party, although not aspiring to office. He is also a great friend to education. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson have a fine farm of 400 acres, all of which have been developed since moving upon the land, with the exception of eighty acres, which had been partially broken. A nice home has been erected, which is presided over by a most genial host and amiable hostess. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson stand high in the community where they reside, and have the respect of all who know them. He is active in the advancement of any enterprise which is for the good of the township or county. He is a member of the Mort Hobart Post No. 280, G.A.R., and he is also a member of Winfield Lodge No. 154, I.O.O.F., of Winfield.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp. 596-597)

Ledgerwood Patterson 

LEDGERWOOD PATTERSON, deceased, was one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa. He was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1801, and there grew to manhood, receiving his education in the schools of his native county. About the year 1828 Mr. Patterson was united in marriage with Drusilla T. Henry, of the same county. She was a native of that county, born in 1809. In 1835 Mr. Patterson and his young bride removed to Henry County, Ind., remaining there for seven years, and in 1842 came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which was then but a small village. Soon after their arrival the husband was taken sick, never recovering from his illness, and dying in November of the same year. Politically Mr. Patterson affiliated with the Whig party. To him and his wife six children were born, four of whom are living: Mary M., wife of James Craig, of Cameron, Mo.; William W., of San Jose, Cal.; James H., and Elvira, also at Cameron, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson were among the founders of the Presbyterian Church of this county, in fact the society was organized in their home. Mrs. Patterson died in 1871, in Kansas City, at the age of sixty-two, and she and her husband were buried in the cemetery of Mt. Pleasant. None stood higher in the community than did Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, and their deaths were sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 597.)


Matthias Paxton 

MATTHIAS PAXTON, residing in Rome, Henry Co., Iowa, carries on a shop for general repairing in that village. He was born in Stark County, Ohio, July 21, 1837, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Farley) Paxton, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Pennsylvania. John Paxton was a carpenter by trade, and in 1842 emigrated to Wayne County, Ill., with his family, remaining four years, and then removed to Dayton, Ohio, residing in that city until 1849, working at his trade. He then removed to Ft. Dependence, Henry Co., Ohio, and from there to Lafayette, Ind., where he lived until he came to Henry County, in the fall of 1854. He first located at Mt. Pleasant, residing there for a year, and then purchased a farm near Rome, where he lived until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enlisted in the 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war, when he returned home and spent the remainder of his life upon his farm, with the exception of a short time spent in Illinois and Southern Missouri. His death occurred April 22, 1872, at the age of sixty-six years. Politically, John Paxton was a Democrat. His widow still survives, and resides in Rome, at the advanced age of seventy-eight. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To this worthy couple were born seven children, two of whom died in infancy, and the others growing to man and womanhood, namely: Jared, now in Appanoose County, Iowa, engaged in milling; Matthias, our subject; William M. was a soldier in the late war, serving as a member of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, and afterward of the 19th Iowa Infantry, and is now residing in Rome; Ursulina, wife of John Cole, died in 1878, and Elizabeth, now residing in Georgia, is the wife of Isaac Archibald, a soldier in the late war, who is now engaged in farming.

Matthias Paxton received his education in the common schools. He enlisted in the army for the Union, serving as a member of Company G, 11th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in Sept. 16, 1861, prior to which he and his father were with Col. Moore in Missouri, for a month. He served until April 15, 1865, and participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg, Kennesaw Mountain, Nick Jack and Atlanta, where he was captured and taken to the loathsome Andersonville Prison, and from there to Florence, S. C.; thence to Goldsboro, S. C., and from there to Wilmington, and then back to Goldsboro again. Being hard pressed by the Union forces, the rebels were forced with their captives into a swamp, where they had to remain three days. They were then taken to Neuse River Bridge, where they were exchanged. Mr. Paxton having been a captive form July 22, 1864, to March 3, 1865. He was discharged April 15, 1865, at Clinton, Iowa. After his discharge he returned home, but was in poor health for some time after in consequence of ill treatment while a prisoner.

In 1865 he commenced learning the trade of a wagon-maker, serving an apprenticeship for a year. He then worked as a journeyman until 1867, when he engaged with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company as a bridge carpenter. He made rapid progress in this work, in four months taking charge of a division from Burlington to Frederick, and in less than year's time he took charge of a bridge gang; this he continued until December, 1872, having commenced as a common hand. He was compelled to quit this business on account of ill-health, and has since lived in Rome, and carries on a job shop, doing general repairing in wood work. He is also agent for the Ray Plow Company of Burlington and George Haw Implement Company of Ottumwa, and Nolton's mower and reaper of Rocksford, Ill., and for the Buckeye pump, P. P. Mast & Co., of Peoria, agents; and also of the Barbed Wire Fence Company of Burlington.

Mr. Paxton was married, Dec. 7, 1865, to Christina C. Anderson, a native of Sweden, and a daughter of Peter and Sophia (Skendle) Anderson. Mrs. Paxton was born in 1849, and came to America with her parents when she was but five years old, and settled in Jefferson County, Iowa, where they lived for a few years, and later came to Henry County, Iowa. Her father was a carpenter by trade, but engaged in farming after coming to America. He died in Henry County in 1860. Her mother is still living, in Tippecanoe Township, at the age of fifty-seven, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. he was a member of the Lutheran Church. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Paxton has been blessed with three children: Elmer E. died in 1872, at the age of four years and four months; Nellie Rosmie died Nov. 18, 1869, when six months old; May is now attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Paxton are members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and he is also a member of Robert Crawford Post, G. A. R.  Politically he is stalwart Republican. he has been Mayor of Rome for a year, and for years was a member of the Council, and at present is a member of the Board of Trustees. he owns a neat residence and shop in Rome. He is a self-made man, having commenced life a poor boy, and much honor is due him for the care and attention he has given to his parents, having contributed to their support since he was old enough to labor. He is a man well known and universally respected by the people of Tippecanoe Township and Henry County.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 400-401.)


Charles W. Payne 

HON. CHARLES W. PAYNE, residing on section 36, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in this county, June 1, 1840, and is a son of Henry and Margaret J. (Boak) Payne, both natives of Berkeley County, Va., where they were married, and four daughters were born to them prior to their emigration west. In the spring 1836 they left their home in old Virginia, all their goods paced in covered wagons, and journey was completed in the autumn of that year. Iowa was then a part of the Territory of Michigan, and as lands were not subject to entry, Henry Payne claimed the 200 acres upon which our subject resides, and eighty acres of timber land in Trenton Township. He built a hewed-log cabin in 1837 and moved his family into it, and there the rest of the children were born. The old cabin was later weatherboarded, and still stands as a landmark of fifty years ago, and a relic of pioneer days. Its roof covered a family who have risen to a high position in the social, business and political world, and the old homestead was the playground of a family of children who now rank among the old settlers of the county. Eight children blessed the union of Henry and Margaret J. Payne, as follows: Rebecca, the deceased wife of Joshua Gardner; Martha, wife of L. M. Rhodes; Isabella, wife of J. D. Smith; Rachel, wedded to M. M. Culver, all born in Virginia. Henry now a farmer in Jefferson Township, was born in Illinois, while the family were en route for Iowa; and our subject was the first child born in this county. His birth was followed by that of Hayden, the husband of Sarah McPheron; and Elisha, who wedded Amanda Leach. All grew to maturity in this county, and all but the youngest sister were married here. The father of our subject reached the age of seventy-nine, and his wife survived him several years. She lived to be seventy-three, and saw all her children happily married and settled in life.

Charles W. Payne was a member of Company B, 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and his two younger brothers were members of the 4th Iowa Cavalry during the Civil War. Elisha was severely wounded at the battle of Guntown, and was later discharged on account of the same. Our subject was engaged in many of the prominent battles of the war, and at the battle Arkansas Post he volunteered to carry the colors (the color bearer being ill), and the report of Gen. Wood in his History of the Soldiers of Iowa, pays Mr. Payne a high compliment for bravery displayed upon that occasion. From that date he was appointed by Col. George A. Stone color bearer of his regiment, and served till the end of his term of enlistment as Sergeant. He was on duty, with the exception of thirty days, from his enlistment until his discharge. At the siege of Vicksburg he faced the shot and shell; at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge he was at the front; at the siege of Atlanta, and in every engagement fought during the campaign he participated. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and from thence to the surrender of Johnston at Rolla, N. C., and took part in the great military review at Washington after the close of the war.

In 1868 his marriage to Miss Maggie Patton was celebrated. She was born in Ohio County, W. Va., in 1841, and is a daughter of Matthew and Nancy Patton, who came to Iowa in 1856, settling in New London Township, this county. They now live on a farm adjoining Mr. Payne's, and are well advanced in years. Their living children are: James, a farmer in Center Township; Agnes, wife of T. J. Sparks, attorney, of Bushnell, Ill.; John, living in Jefferson Township, this county; Etta, wife of Oliver Newell, a farmer at Bushnell, Ill.; Jennie, unmarried, and living in Lucas County, Iowa; and Mrs. Payne. Several children died young.

C. W. Payne and wife began their married life on the old homestead, and in the same cabin in which he was born. Nineteen years of happy wedded life have brought great changes to this couple. An interesting family has graced their home. The old cabin has been exchanged for a mansion of more modern architecture. The husband has been honored by the people of his county with one of the highest places they could bestow. He was the choice of the Republican party, and was elected member of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth General Assemblies, receiving a popular vote far in advance of his ticket. His official acts were satisfactory to his constituents, and Mr. Payne retired from his position with the esteem of the people he had faithfully represented. As a farmer Mr. Payne has been successful. His farm is well stocked, and no happier home can be found in the township, and everything about the place betokens prosperity.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Payne are named: Frank, Clyde, Blanche and Mabel. The eldest son is a graduate of the Bushnell (Ill.) High School, and all are at home. His many friends will read with interest this sketch of the family of the soldier, the legislator, and the useful and well-known citizen and representative of one of the pioneer families, and a son born upon her soil, and we welcome him to a place in the history of Henry County. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 474-75.)


Corridon Peck 

CORRIDON PECK, one of the prominent stock-dealers of Scott Township, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, Oct. 23, 1840. His parents were David and Elinor (Stockey) Peck, both of whom were natives of Belmont County, Ohio. They were the parents of nine children, eight of whom are are living: John T., a resident of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is engaged in stock-shipping; Corridon, of this sketch; Susan, wife of John W. Willis, of Louisa County, Iowa; Jennie married Moses Hutchinson, of Belmont County, Iowa; Mary A., widow of John Cameron, who was a soldier in the late war, taken prisoner and confined in the Libby, where he underwent all of the hardships of prison life, and died soon after being sent home; Elinor, married Mr. Berry, of Belmont County, Ohio; Angeline, who is still single; George W., of Henry County, Iowa, and William C., who is a school teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Peck were noted for their honesty and fair dealing were highly esteemed by all who knew them. They were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church. In politics Mr. Peck with a Jefferson Democrat.

The subject of this sketch was reared upon a farm and received a liberal education in Duff's Academy, at Pitsburg, receiving a diploma from that institution. On the 28th of August, 1862, he enlisted in the 98th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, and was mustered into the United States service at Steubenville, Ohio. He was sent to Richmond, Ky., to reinforce Nelson, and while on the road to Louisville, was fired upon at Cynthiana. He participated in the battle of Perryville against Gen. Bragg, and was there detailed in the hospital. He was mustered out of the service on account of disabilities.

He first entered Iowa on the 8th of February, 1866, crossing the river on the ice at Burlington. When he left Ohio he intended going to California, and going to Omaha, he offered his services as a teamster, only asking his expenses to be paid. Not obtaining any chance to make the desired trip, he procured a situation as clerk in the Herndon House at $50 per month. Soon after securing this situation it was reported that there was smallpox in the city, so Mr. Peck left, going to Louisa County, where he had a brother living. Mr. Peck was engaged as a teacher in the Washington school for eight years during the winter, and during that time he spent his summers in farming. He subsequently purchased land, and has been engaged in farming and stock-raising ever since. He is one of the most extensive stock-buyers in this part of the county, and his farm, a fine one of 250 acres, is well stocked with the best grades of horses and cattle. In politics, Mr. Peck casts his vote with the Democratic party.

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


Frank P. Peck

FRANK P. PECK, M. D., Second Assistant Physician and Pathologist of the Iowa State Hospital, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, since April 1, 1883, was born in Will County, Ill., near Joliet, Oct. 1, 1858, and is the son of Armenius D. and Hannah H. (Flopping) Peck. He received his literary education at the Lockport (Ill.) High School, and taught school for five years before entering the Chicago Medical College in 1879, where, after a regular course, he graduated in the class of 1883, having spent eighteen months of that time in Cook County Hospital. He then came directly to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to accept the position he now holds, as stated above. In polities he is a Republican; religiously a member of the Baptist Church, and fraternally a Master Mason, a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.

Dr. Peck is a young physician of fine ability, a thorough student of advanced ideas, and has spared no pains to familiarize himself with all that pertains to a thorough knowledge of his profession as rapidly as possible, and has already won a high place in the estimation of those best qualified to judge of his merits. His father, Armenius D. Peck, was a farmer by occupation, and a worthy man of good repute. He was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., Oct. 20, 1820. In his youth he went to Chautau­qua County, and then in 1835, to Danville, Ill., with his parents. The following year the family removed near Joliet, Will County, where the father engaged in farming. He married Miss Hannah Hopping. Five children were born to them, three sons and two daughters, Frank P. being the third child. Mr. Peck is connected with the Baptist Church, and in politics is a Republican. Mrs. Peck was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., Nov. 23, 1821. She was an estimable lady, a devoted wife and mother, an earnest Christian and member of the Baptist Church. Her death occurred Oct. 23, 1879.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 231-232.) (JC)


Edward L. Penn 

EDWARD L. PENN, a leading merchant and old settler of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and one of the most prosperous business men of that thrifty city, was born in the good old city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia), which was founded by his namesake, William Penn. His father, Abraham Penn, was a Quaker, born in Chatham, England, and descended from an old Quaker family of that locality. His mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Livingston, was born at Philadelphia, and was a daughter of Capt. John Livingston, who was killed at the battle of Brandywine. She was also a niece of Robert R. Livingston, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The subject of this sketch while a youth removed with his parents to a point near Chillicothe, Ohio. He was trained to mercantile pursuits early in life, and was engaged in merchandising in various places South and West. He spent twelve years in that line at Lafayette, Ind., and came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in October, 1856. On coming to this city, he engaged in the dry-goods and boot and shoe business, having a double store. Mr. Penn devoted his whole attention to his business, which he conducted so successfully that he acquired a comfortable fortune. For the past twelve years Mr. Penn has retired from active participation in the details of the business, though still retaining his interest therein. In 1878 he formed the existing partnership with Mr. C. A. Holwick, under the firm name of Penn & Holwick. This house carries and extensive stock of staple dry-goods, carpets, boots and shoes.

Mr. Penn was united in marriage at Lafayette, Ind., Aug. 12, 1851, with Miss Amelia A. Weaver, daughter of Dr. Jacob Weaver. Mrs. Penn's father was a Trustee of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and Professor of art of elocution. He lectured and wrote extensively on the subject, and was the author of text books on elocution which are the standard authority among students and elocutionists. He was a man of superior ability, and enjoyed a wide and flattering reputation. Mr. and Mrs. Penn were blessed with three children, daughters: Ella A. and Lulu B. were born in Lafayette, In.; Katie Alma, the youngest, was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Mr.. Penn, his wife and daughters, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a Republican in politics, but in no sense a politician in the way of seeking for office, which he would not accept. He has never coveted political preferment, desiring the more quiet and unpretending life of a man of business. He has taken an active interest in educational matters, and for twenty years has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa Wesleyan University, and for the past fifteen years has been President of the Executive Board of that institution. He was one of the incorporators of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, of which is a large stockholder, and has served as member of the Board of Directors since the establishment of the bank.

Mr. Penn has been a resident of Mt. Pleasant for the past thirty-one years, during which time he has been prominently identified with the mercantile interests of the city, and has always been recognized as one of its leading merchants, and most highly respected citizens. he is now living in the quiet enjoyment of well-earned influence. His residence on North Jefferson street, surrounded by extensive and tastily arranged grounds, is one of the finest and most attractive in the city.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 224-25.)


M. Newell Percival 

M. NEWELL PERCIVAL, a harness-maker and dealer in grain, Hillsboro, Iowa. New England has furnished quite a number of the men who do the business of Henry County, among whom is the above-named gentleman, who was born in Campton, Grafton Co., N. H., Dec. 16, 1832. He is a son of William and Priscilla (Holmes) Percival, both natives of the same State. In the war of the Revolution the Percivals took an important part, having emigrated from England prior to that time. One was a Captain, and others were also engaged in the war, among whom was Roland Percival, the grandfather of our subject. Roland married Silence Gates, to whom Gen. Gates of historic fame was related. Roland Percival was in his day a noted surgeon, and practiced his profession in New Hampshire during his lifetime. He was a native of Connecticut, but settled in New Hampshire when a young married man. William, father of the subject of this sketch, was his third son. He was born in New Hampshire, May 28, 1800, and died in Van Buren County, Iowa, April 25, 1886, lacking but a month of having completed his eighty-sixth year. In November, 1859, he removed from his native State to Harrisburg Township, Van Buren Co., Iowa, where he lived until his death. His wife, Priscilla, was born in June, 1802, and died on the Iowa farm in May, 1882, aged nearly eighty years. They were the parents of eight children: Emma J., who wedded Charles Colby, one of the city officials of Manchester, N. H.; M. N., our subject; William S., who enlisted during the late war and lost his life from disease contracted in the service; Catherine was accidentally killed in childhood; Warren O. is a resident of Hoxie, Sheridan Co., Kan., by trade a carpenter, and the husband of Sarah Eaton; Josiah B., a farmer of Van Buren County, Iowa, and the husband of Lottie Tade; Mattie A., deceased, wedded Dixie Smith, a resident of Plum Creek, Neb.; Ellen L., deceased, married Henry McCoy, farmer of Sheridan County, Kan.; Laura wedded Willis J. Barnes, a well-known citizen formerly of this township, but now a resident of Sheridan County, Kan.

M. Newell, the subject of this sketch, was married in New Hampshire to Sarah Davis, whose death occurred three months after she and her husband came to the new country, he having in May, 1860, followed his parents to Iowa. From that date for two years Mr. Pericival was employed at the Asylum of the Insane at Mt. Pleasant, assuming charge of Ward 6, after which he returned to New Hampshire, engaging in the manufacture of harness at the town where he was born. While a young man he had gone to Canada in the employ of a railroad company, and learned that business in detail. He was employed by the Government in 1864, after having been for some time engaged in business at Campton, and was sent South on the George & Chattanooga Railroad, remaining five months. The malarial climate caused an illness which forced him to return North, and he came to Iowa with intention of again going South after recuperating his health. In 1865 he began farming in this county, having in 1864 been married to Miss Hannah Pickering, at Mt. Pleasant. She was a native of Zanesville, Ohio, and with her mother came to Iowa and settled in Mt. Pleasant. Later, the remainder of the family moved further West.

On New Year's Day, 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Percival removed to Hillsboro, where Mr. Percival established himself in the harness business, and has continued manufacturing harness to this date. After five years of wedded life, his wife's death occurred, and she laid to rest in the village cemetery. In 1870 Miss Ophelia Eaton became his wife. Miss Eaton was born in Washington Township, Lee County, and is a daughter of Ebenezer A. and Elizabeth (Rice) Eaton, who were early settlers of that county, emigrating from Boston, Mass., in 1838. Mr. and Mrs. Eaton were married four years prior to coming to Iowa. Mr. Eaton entered lands in Lee County, and in 1852 went to California, was taken violently ill, and died in February, 1853. He was the father of eight children - Jonas A., Ophelia, George, Edward, Sarah A., Julia, William and Eugene. The eldest son was a member of Company I, 30th Iowa, of which regiment he was color-bearer. He was wounded in the grand charge at Vicksburg, his arm being shattered by a rebel bullet. After his discharge he studied law, was admitted to the Lee County bar, and practice law for several years in Boone County. The wound received was the indirect cause of his death in December, 1876. Ophelia graduated in classics at the Denmark Academy, and for several years was a teacher in the public schools of Lee County, continuing in the profession until her marriage to Mr. Percival; George is a farmer of Hamilton County, Neb., and is the husband of Margaret Wood, formerly of Mansfield, Ohio; her father was a lawyer of that city. Sarah wedded Warren Percival, a carpenter of Hoxie, Sheridan Co., Kan., and brother of our subject; Julia taught school for several years, but died unmarried in 1869; Edward died in childhood; William was a graduate of Denmark Academy, and is an attorney at Sidney, Fremont County, this State, a partner of Congressman Anderson; he wedded Miss Anna Grundy of Christian County, Ill., a native, however, of England. Eugene married Etta C. Fligg, of Van Buren County, and is a resident farmer of Hamilton County, Neb. The widowed mother finds a cordial welcome at the homes of her children. She is now in her seventieth year.

Since the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Percival, four children have gladdened their home. The first, Clyde, died when two years of age. Later came Leo C., Ruby J. and Agnes E., all bright, beautiful children, fitted to grace the home of parents who lavish upon them a wealth of love and care. Enterprising in every sense, we are pleased to accord to Mr. Percival a place among the business men of his village, and his family their proper station among the best families in the land. Early in his business experience in Hillsboro, Mr. Percival became a dealer and manufacturer in boots and shoes, engaging three men in that line. Later, and after the railroad was completed, he began the purchase and shipment of grain, and is also a dealer in flour, feed, etc., carrying on that and his harness business at the same time. Mr. Percival is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 537-38.)


Moses Pero 

MOSES PERO is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 12, Jackson Township. Although of French descent he was born in Vermont in 1825, and is a son of Francis and Louisa (D'Uno) Pero, who emigrated to Massachusetts, and engaged in farming and other pursuits until their removal to Center Square, New York State. There the father died in his one hundred and fifth year. His widow yet resides there, and is now past ninety years of age. She is the mother of nine children: Francis, Gilbert, Jerry, Eliza and Clara, deceased; and Oliver, Moses, James and Matilda, living. All except Matilda and Jerry were married. Moses and Oliver were both married in New York State, and came together to Iowa, in 1868, settling in Henry County. Oliver wedded Julia Hope, who bore children, and after her death he was married in this county to Mrs. Mahala Kicheon, who has borne no heirs to the last husband. They reside on the Lowell road, in Baltimore Township. Our subject wedded Miss Eunice Menard, born in Canada, a daughter of Francis and Florence (Miller) Menard. The grandparents of Mrs. Pero were both born in the old country, he in Germany, and she in France. Francis and Florence Menard were the parents of five children, all of whom were born in Canada, viz: Sophia, Eunice, Elizabeth, Aurelia, Philomena and Francis. The two latter died in infancy, and the father when Mrs. Pero was but five years of age. The mother remained during her lifetime in Canada. The four eldest daughters are all living and married. Aurelia is a resident of West Virginia, and wife of Horatio Peabody. When Eunice Menard was seventeen years of age she made a visit to New York State, and while there met Mr. Pero, with whom the acquaintance was formed which culminated in marriage, Aug. 5, 1853, J.W. Byrn, J.P., officiating. The young couple began their married life with bright prospects, in the city of Troy, N.Y. Mr. Pero purchased a sawmill soon afterward in Constantia, Oswego County, to which place they removed, and this he operated for several years. Children came to grace their home, five stalwart sons and two daughters, all born in New York State, except the youngest daughter. They are named Oliver, Moses, George, Horatio, Nelson, Emma and Louisa. The family removed from Oswego County, N.Y., to Henry County, Iowa, in 1868, and from that date they have been regarded as among the best families of the township in which they reside. Mr. Pero purchased his farm in 1870, and is comfortably situated. The eldest daughter, Emma, has taken a classical course at Howe's Academy, in Mt. Pleasant, and intends taking up teaching as a profession. The sons have been educated in the public schools, and the historian has met no family in which the evidences of birth and breeding are more marked than in the Pero family. The family circle is unbroken either by death or marriage, and in one of the cosiest little homes the greatest unity prevails. Music, literature and good taste make their home a miniature paradise, and as a family who have prestige in their neighborhood we welcome them to a place among their neighbors and friends.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 403)(PW)

Alex. S. Perry

ALEX. S. PERRY is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 15, Center Township. He was born in Washington County, Pa., Jan. 12, 1826, and is the son of T. J. R. and Margaret (Gaston) Perry, the former a native of Maryland, and the latter of Pennsylvania. They were the parents of nine children: John G., deceased; Alex. S., the subject of this sketch; Charity A., wife of Wesley Howard, of Des Moines; Samuel G., who enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, was killed May 22, 1836, during the siege of Vicksburg; Hon. Thomas, Jr., enlisted in the 1st Iowa Cavalry, served nearly four years, and now resides in Western Kansas; William P. enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving out his time, reenlisted and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, being stationed at Indianapolis, Ind., where he was engaged guarding prisoners; he now resides on the old homestead. Margaret married Jerome Turner, and is now deceased; Mathew M. enlisted in the 45th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, served out his time, and now resides in Chariton, Iowa; Rebecca is the wife of W. W. Perry, of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. In 1845 the family emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, where the father located a large tract of land where he resided until death. Politically, he was an old-line Whig in his early life, but became a Republican on the organization of that party. He was elected a member of the House of Representa­tives of the General Assembly of Iowa, and served with credit to himself and constituents. A man of more than ordinary ability, he was a friend to education, and everything calculated for the public good, was a strict temperance man and did much for that cause.

The subject of this sketch remained in his native State until nineteen years of age, when he came to Iowa with his parents, and settled in Des Moines County. The educational advantages enjoyed by him were those of the common school, but the information obtained therein has been supplemented by extensive reading since that day. On coming to Iowa he helped his father improve his farm, and for some time was engaged in breaking the wild prairie land.

In 1855 Mr. Perry was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Baumguardner, a native of Eastern Pennsylvania and daughter of John Baumguardncr, who settled in Des Moines County in 1849. After his marriage, Mr. Perry engaged in farming until 1862, when, in response to the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 more men to put down the Rebellion, he enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into United States service at Keokuk. From Keokuk the regiment was sent to Benton Barracks, near St. Louis, where it remained a short time, and was sent from there to Helena, Ark., and then to Chickasaw Bayou, where it was engaged, and where Mr. Perry was wounded in the hand. From the field, he was sent to the hospital at Paducah, Ky., where he re­mained three months, and was then discharged, returning to his home in Des Moines County, where he remained until 1868, when he moved to Mt. Pleasant, where he continued to reside until the spring of 1888, when he removed to his farm on section 13, Center Township, where he now lives. In politics, Mr. Perry is a Republican, and has affiliated with that party since its organization. In 1866, while a resident of Des Moines County, he was elected Sheriff, and served one term. Mr. and Mrs. Perry have no natural heirs, but have reared three children, one of whom, Maria C. Wennick, is now the wife of William M. VanVleet, of New London. Mr. Perry is a member of McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R. Mrs. Perry is a member of the Christian Church of Mt. Pleasant. Both are highly respected citizens of the county.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 330-331) (JC)


PetesonRobertHenry.jpg (99031 bytes)   Robert Henry Peterson 

ROBERT HENRY PETERSON, dealer in general merchandise, New London, Iowa, established business in that town in the spring of 1871, and carries and manages a stock of $18,000 value, the largest of the local mercantile houses of the town, and one of the most important in the county. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., Feb. 22, 1831, and is the son of Elias and Margaret (McCall) Peterson. His father was born in the State of New York, was a blacksmith by trade, and followed that occupation in early life, but later on made farming his business. His father, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of this country. The family is probably descended from a member of a Swedish colony that settled in Eastern New York in Colonial times. The mother of our subject was of Irish descent. Robert H. Peterson received his preparatory education in the public schools, and entered Jacksonville Academy, in Indiana County, Pa., in 1852, and later entered Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pa., graduating in 1854, in a class of fifty-six, the largest class ever graduated from that institution up that that time. Mr. Peterson had been engaged in teaching school in the winters, with the exception of two years, from the time he was nineteen years old, and in 1855 he went to Mississippi to serve as assistant teacher of Black Hawk Academy in Carroll County. He taught one term there, and then came to Iowa, teaching one term in Boone County, two in Monroe, Jasper County, and then went to Nebraska, where he was engaged in various occupations. He remained there but a short time, however, when he returned to Iowa and taught at Eddyville and Albia. While teaching in the public schools in Monroe, Jasper County, he formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah Elizabeth Shelledy, who afterward became his wife. They were married April 11, 1858. Mrs. Peterson was the daughter of John B. Shelledy, and was born in Coles County, Ill.  Mr. Peterson was engaged in farming in Monroe County, Iowa, working on the farm in the summer, and teaching school in the winter till 1870, when he sold out and came to New London, in October of that year. He spent the first winter in teaching school, and in the spring of 1871 he began business in a small way as a dealer in general merchandise. he increased his stock as his capital permitted, till he now has one of the best stocked establishments of the kind in the State.

Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have had four children, of whom three are living: Robert Howard, the eldest, died in childhood, aged one year; John Edgar married Miss Flossie Lee, daughter of Samuel Lee, of New London Township, and is now a partner of his father, under the firm name of R. H. Peterson & Son. Ida A. and Laura M. are residing with their father, the elder serving as housekeeper, and the younger attending school. Their mother, an estimable Christian lady, died Oct. 22, 1882.

Mr. Peterson is a Master Mason, a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.  He is a member of the Protestant Methodist Church, and independent in politics, with strong Prohibition sentiments, and is widely known and respected as an upright merchant, an honorable man and good citizen.

We are pleased to present on an adjoining page a portrait of this well-known citizen of Henry County, and representative merchant of the village of New London.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 468-71.)


Jonathan Phelps

JONATHAN PHELPS, farmer in Jackson Township, section 36, was born in Randolph County, N. C., July 5, 1823, and is the son of Samuel and Sarah (Newby) Phelps, who owned a plantation in that State, but never owned a slave. They emigrated to Henry County, Ind., in 1842, and purchased a farm, where both died. Their children were all born in North Carolina ex­cept Mary, Joseph and Jabez, whose births took place in Indiana. Jane was the wife of Joseph Small, a farmer of Hendricks, Ind., and both she and her husband are deceased; Elias, who is married to Anna Hill, and is a resident farmer of Henry County, Ind.; Eleanor, deceased, who became first the wife of John Hodson, and after his death married William Stanley; Frederick, who wedded Dorcas Boone, and both died, he in Indiana and she in Poweshiek County, Iowa; prior to his death he was married to Sarah Newby. Bethany married Robert Cross, and formerly resided in Boone County, this State, but both are deceased; Mary, also deceased, was wedded to Abner Ratliffe, who is again married, and resides in Henry County, Ind.; Ezekiel married Sarah Hoover, and also resides in Henry County, Ind.; Joseph died unmarried while a young man; Jabez married Miss Hodson, after whose death he married again; Jonathan, the subject of this sketch, is the second son, and was married in Henry County, Ind., to Asenath Jay, April 13, 1848. She was born in Randolph County, Ind., Feb. 1, 1825, her parents being Joseph and Edith (Mills) Jay, who were Friends. They were among the first settlers of that county, and came from Belmont County, Ohio. The death of Mr. Jay occurred in Randolph County., Ind., his widow afterward marrying Thomas Kirk, and both dying in Henry County, Ind. Three children were born to the first marriage: Ruth A., deceased, who wedded Davis Grey; Hugh, who became the husband of Mary J. Martin, both deceased, and the wife of our subject, Asenath.

After his marriage, Jonathan Phelps farmed in Indiana for five years, and in 1853 the young couple came to Lee County, Iowa, and purchased the farm now owned by Henry Minke, which they disposed of in 1865, and became residents of Henry County. When the war broke out he was full of patriotism, and was one of the first to volunteer in the 100-days service. After his term was served he returned home, was drafted, and this time sent a substitute. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps have two children, both born in Indiana-Seth and Joseph J. The first was educated at Burlington, and married Rose Miller; Joseph J. became the husband of Addie Lessinger, whose father has always been a prominent man in this county, and is now manager of the Henry County Infirmary. Joseph was a teacher in this county for several years, but resides upon the home farm, and is one of the enterprising young men of Jackson Township. He is the father of four children: Rudolph, deceased; Fred, Carl and Maud. He is a prominent local politician, and has held many offices within the gift of the people of his township, having been Assessor, Township Clerk, Trustee and Justice of the Peace, and for years has been connected with the School Board. He was educated in the public schools and is fitted to fill any position of trust. Of the Phelps family we are pleased to make mention, for they honor the community in which they live. The father is comfortably situated, and the sons possess his characteristics.

For thirty-two years Mr. Phelps has been en­gaged in the sheep business, in which he has made a fortune, and no man in the county or State is more widely known in business circles. He and his good wife have no need for further labor, and their home is always bright, but years of labor have so imbued them with the spirit of enterprise that it is impossible to refrain from work. We find Mr. Phelps holding the plow while this sketch is written, and he is yet hale and hearty and as jovial as in his boyhood days. In private and public life he bears the repute of a man of uprightness and integrity.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 324-325) (JC)

James H. Philpott

JAMES HARVEY PHILPOTT, M. D., a pioneer physician and surgeon of New London, Henry County, and a resident of Iowa since 1837, was born in Barren County, Ky., Nov. 7, 1828. His parents, Jonathan and Sarah (Frazier) Philpott, were also pioneers of Iowa. Jonathan Philpott was born in Barren County, Ky., Aug. 27, 1806, came to Des Moines County in 1837, and to Henry County in 1854. His death occurred in New London Township, April 29, 1857. His wife, Sarah Frazier, was born in Tennessee, Nov. 12, 1809, and died in Des Moines County, Iowa, July 4, 1841.

Dr. Philpott emigrated from Kentucky to Des Moines County, Iowa, with his parents in 1837. He attended a select school at Burlington and the Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, where he received his literary education. On the completion of his college course he entered upon the study of medicine at Burlington, with Dr. E. D. Ransom as preceptor. He attended both medical colleges of St. Louis, the Missouri Medical and the State Medical, but did not complete a course in either. He then attended the American Medical College at Cincinnati, then a regular medical school, later eclectic in its system of instruction, and graduated in the class of 1854. He entered upon the practice of his profession at New London, Iowa, July 6, 1854, and has pursued it with marked success continuously since, covering a period of over thirty years. Studious in his habits and a close observer, Dr. Philpott has kept well up with the times, and is thoroughly skilled in his profession, both as a physician and surgeon. His practice has extended through Henry and adjoining counties, and has proved eminently successful. The fact that his books show that he has attended 2,683 obstetric cases should convey something of an idea of the extent of his practice in that direction, while his general practice, both as a physician and surgeon, has been extensive. The Doctor is the oldest, both in years and experience, of the local physicians of New London, and justly ranks as one of the leading members of the profession in Henry County.

He was united in marriage at New London, Iowa, Aug. 15, 1854, with Miss Louisa M. Farrar, daughter of Philetus and Calista (Farrell) Farrar. Mrs. Philpott was born in Rupert, Bennington Co., Vt., April 26, 1831. Her father was born in New Hampshire, and her mother in Vermont. Four children were horn of their union, two sons and two daughters: Sarah Calista was born Aug. 23, 1855, and died Sept. 11, 1856; John William was born Dec. 24, 1856. He began the study of medicine with his father and is a graduate of the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, of the class of 1878, and also of the medical department of the University of Vermont, of the class of 1884. He is at present the local surgeon, at Ft. Madison, Iowa, of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and enjoys an extensive and lucrative practice. He is thoroughly skilled in the science of medicine and surgery, and has won a place in the foremost ranks of the profession. Dr. J. W. Philpott married Miss Lucy L. Bollinger, daughter of Alexander Bollinger, and has one child, Austin Flint, born Feb. 15, 1882. The Doctor is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to the Lodge, Chapter and Commandery in Ft. Madison. Charles Harvey, the second son, was born at New London, Iowa, May 22, 1860. He, too, entered upon the study of medicine with his father, and is a graduate of the medical department of the State University of Iowa, of the class of 1882. Soon after his graduation he located at Omaha and engaged in practice, and was admitted to membership in the Nebraska State Medical Association, which he had the honor to represent in the American Medical Association at Chicago in the session of 1887. He is also a member of the Iowa State Medical Association, and a member of the Des Moines Valley Medical Association, and is engaged in practice at Burlington. Four years since, he was appointed local surgeon of the Iowa Central and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroads, which position he still holds. He has built up an extensive practice and stands at the head, of his profession. As a skillful surgeon his services are sought far and near, in difficult and dangerous cases, and his reputation is already assured. He was united in marriage with Miss Eva E. Smith, daughter of the Rev. U. B. Smith, of Danville, Iowa. Dr. C. H. Philpott and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he, like his brother, is also a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Malta Commandery No. 31, of Ottumwa. Dr. J. H. Philpott's daughter, Mary Ellen, or "Minnie," as her friends call her, was born at New London, Jan. 23, 1862, and is the wife of E. A. Lyman, editor and publisher of the New London Eclipse, to whom she was married Sept. 4, 1883.

The Doctor is a Master Mason, and a member of New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and politically the Doctor and both his sons are Republicans.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 343-344) (JC)


Isaac Pidgeon

ISAAC PIDGEON, a farmer on section 25, in Salem Township, is a son of Isaac and Phoebe (Kester) Pidgeon, who were both natives of North Carolina. His great-grandparents were born in England, and died in North Carolina, he in 1783, and she in 1814. On both sides the ancestors were residents of America prior to the Revolutionary War. They were Friends and, as is well know, never engaged in military service. The authentic history of the Pidgeon family dates from the grandfather, Charles Pidgeon, who with his wife resided on a plantation in North Carolina, and both died in that State. Their children were Elizabeth, who married Raddock Mendenhall; Isaac, father of our subject; Sarah, wedded to Joseph Hiatt; Jane married Levi Buckingham; David and Charles were also married; Prudence married John Harney, and her second husband was James Ballard; Achsah became the wife of Solomon Stanley, after whose death Samuel Ballard became her husband; Mary wedded a Mr. Stephens; and Susannah died unmarried. Only three of these children came West; first came Prudence and her first husband, John Harney, and located near Rushville, Schuyler Co., Ill., in 1829. Their encouraging letters regarding the fertile soil of the West was one inducement which led Isaac to leave the South, and slavery, that curse which cast its blight for many years upon the entire South, was to him so odious that he determined to leave the home of his boyhood and seek a residence in a State where the rights of every many was acknowledged, and slavery in any way had no existence. Isaac owned a small plantation which he sold for $400, and with his wife and family, accompanied by his sister Aschsah and her husband, formed a party who journeyed from North Carolina to Illinois in wagons drawn by horses. The trip was made in fifty-two days, traveling a few miles every day. It was completed without any particular incident or accident, but when the party arrived at Rushville, they learned that Prudence and her husband had gone to Indiana, having had hard times in the new country. They remained in Indiana, where Mr. Harney secured a position as a teamster between Richmond and Cincinnati, and upon one of these trips it is supposed he was murdered, as the team was found standing and no trace of Harney was ever discovered. Prudence subsequently married James Ballard, reared a family, and died in Indiana.

The party of emigrants remained one year near Rushville, and raised a crop on rented land. Isaac then took a claim in Hancock County, Ill., the tract adjoining the site of the present town of Plymouth on the southeast, and Aschsah and her husband occupied a claim adjoining that of Mr. Pidgeon. Both families remained there three years, and in the summer of 1835 Isaac came to Iowa, located a claim, made some improvements, built a cabin and made ready for removal, which was done in December, 1835. Achsah and her husband went to Indiana, where Solomon Stanley died, and she subsequently went to North Carolina and married to Samuel Ballard, and they located permanently in Ohio, where he death afterward occurred. Isaac, Jr., had taken a claim in the new country yet unsurveyed, and as he was a Friend and none of his faith resided in his neighborhood in Illinois, he and Aaron Street, Sr., conceived the idea of building up a settlement of their own people in Iowa. Aaron Street might be considered the prime mover in this enterprise, and he had previously made a trip to this neighborhood in company with his widowed sister-in-law, Polly Pugh, and her four children, then almost grown. They remained in camp on Little Cedar while Mr. Street returned to Hancock County for his family, and the same year the Streets, Pidgeon and Peter Byer families located here and made claims in the same neighborhood. Isaac Pidgeon and his family were the first members of the Friends' society in Salem Township, and the first actual cabin house, not a bona fide shanty, was the one built by Mr. Pidgeon. Several cabins were completed the same autumn, and quite a settlement was made. The first religious services of the Society of Friends were held in the cabin of Mr. Pidgeon, and he was largely instrumental in the erection of their first church building, where the Whittier College building now stands.

Isaac and Phoebe Pidgeon were parents of eleven children: Ruth was the wife of Stephen Hockett, after whose death Benjamin Knight became her husband; Orpah wedded Elihu Frasier [Frazier]; Elizabeth was the wife of John Hockett; William wedded Peninah Trueblood; Mary died unmarried; Phoebe also died unmarried; and Achsah wedded Stephen Thatcher; Isaac has been thrice married; Jane wedded Nathan Cammack; two other children died in infancy.

Isaac Pidgeon, Sr., and his wife, were prominent factors in the settlement of this county, and during a long lifetime they were looked upon as a model couple. Their family grew to maturity, were married to good men and women, and lands which were part of his original claim are yet in the possession of his children. William and Isaac Pidgeon, Jr.  The death of the father occurred in his eighty-fourth year, and of wife in her seventy-third year. They both lived to see the lands which were covered with wild flowers in the early days, under the most advanced cultivation, and the log cabins replaced by handsome dwellings of modern architecture. Across their original claim, and near where the first cabin stood, the heavily loaded trains now thunder past. Cities and towns have been built in the county, and all traces of a pioneer life are vested in a few cabins which skirt the streams. All the children remained in the neighborhood, and the last days of the parents were spent amid peace and plenty. Only four of the children are yet living - Orpah, Jane, Isaac and William. the last named is the father of twelve children, all born on the old homestead. The Pidgeons are proud of their record as business men and citizens, and to such men and women are we indebted for the high state of morality and culture that abounds in the township. From the beginning their names have been linked with every prominent enterprise, and to-day they are in easy circumstances, and occupy a most enviable position in the business world and in society.

Isaac Pidgeon, Jr., was the first white child born inside the boundaries of Salem Township, his birth occurring Sept. 2, 1836. As before stated, he resides upon the original tract entered by his father, and his modern farmhouse, stately trees, commodious barns and out-buildings, all point toward the easy circustances which come to the prudent and successful farmer.

His first wife was Mary E. Abbes, who bore Walter G., Harry C. and Hennie O. After her death Alazannah Alexander became his wife, who was the mother of one daughter, Alazannah. The death of the second wife occurred, and for the third time Mr. Pidgeon was married, Miss Nancy Montgomery, born in Putnam County, Mo., March 22, 1845, becoming his wife in 1875. She is the mother of five children - Angeline, Julia, Evaline, Annie M. and Caroline. All the children are under the parental roof. Mrs. Pidgeon's parents were natives of Kentucky, who emigrated to Missouri nearly fifty years ago. The father died there in 1862, and the mother in 1885.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 627-29.)


L. B. Pierce 

L. B. PIERCE established the Winfield Tile Works in 1881. In 1884 C. B. Pierce purchased a half interest in the same, and the firm is known as Pierce Bros. They have a fine building, consisting of the main building and two wings. The main building is 32x36 feet, and three stories in height; one wing is 48x30, and two two stories high; the other is also two stories in height, and 40x20 feet, while under the whole building is a good basement. This factory turns out about 400,000 feet of tile per year, valued at $6,000. The works are run by a 20-horse-power engine. The first tile factory in the State was started in Kossuth, Des Moines County, by Isaiah Messenger, now proprietor of the Fairfield Tile Works. Mr. Pierce soon after became a proprietor in that factory, and has been engaged in tile-making for thirteen years.

L. B. Pierce was born in Windsor County, Va., Jan. 14, 1835, and is the son of Edmund and Louisa (Stone) Pierce, who emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, in the spring of 1856. In 1872 they removed to Manhattan, Kan., where they both died. Mr. Pierce was an old-line Whig. He was well informed on all political affairs, and several times was candidate for the Legislature. They were the parents of six children, four of whom are living: Catherine F., wife of Judge Harper, of Riley County, Kan.; C. B., a retired merchant of Leavenworth, Kan.; Nellie L., wife of George Coleman, a grain dealer of Shenandoah, Iowa, and our subject. Those deceased are Henry and Edward.

L. B. Pierce during early life attended the common schools, and afterward took a six-years course in Yellow Springs College. In 1861 he enlisted with the other brave boys of the 2d Iowa Cavalry, being a member of Company K, and participated in forty-three engagements. He entered the service as a private, but was promoted to the rank of color sergeant. The battles participated in by him were: Farmington, New Madrid, Booneville, Rienzi, Iuka, Corinth, Holly Springs, Ockaloma, Palo Alto, Collierville, Saulsbury, West Point, Prairie Station, Pontotoc Roads, Ripley, Tupelo, Old Town Creek, Hurricane Creek, Shoal Creek, Crawfordsville, Mt. Carmel, Franklin, Nashville, where he was made color bearer; Little Harpeth, Rugersford Creek, Andersonville, and others. He received a complimentary furlough, signed by Col. Horton, Gens. Coon, Hatch and Thomas, for gallant conduct in the battle of Nashville, in carrying the colors after the color bearer was killed. He has now in his possession the original application to Gen. Thomas signed by the three first-named officers. He was mustered out at Selma, Ala., Sept. 19, 1865, and was discharged at Davenport, Iowa, in October. he re-enlisted at Memphis, March 1, 1864, serving in all four years and two months. During his whole army life he was never on the sick list, but always ready for duty.

In June, 1865, in Des Moines County, Iowa, L. B. Pierce was united in marriage with Leah A. Bandy, a daughter of John Bandy, who came to Des Moines County in 1839 from Indiana. Seven children have blessed their union - Claude H., Gracie May, John E., Mary L. and Katie W., living, and Georgie and Nellie, deceased. Mr. Pierce is a member of the G. A. R., and in politics is a Republican. He and his wife are both members of the Presbyterian Church. They came to Winfield in 1881, and throughout the community where they reside they are universally respected. 

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 544-45.)


John R. Pontius 

JOHN R. PONTIUS, a farmer residing on section 6, New London Township, post-office, Mt. Pleasant, settled in Henry County in the fall of 1858, and has a valuable and highly improved farm of 250 acres. Mr. Pontius is a native of Ohio, and was born in Ross County, near Chillicothe, Oct. 14, 1828. His parents were Andrew and Mary A. (Bitzer) Pontius, both of Pennsylvania, but of German descent. His father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in Ross County, Ohio, and the latter died at the age of seventy-two, the father at the age of seventy-six.

Our subject grew to manhood on a farm, and was married in Ross County, Ohio, Sept. 15, 1855, to Miss Mary Compton, daughter of John Compton. Her birthplace was Ross County, Ohio. Four children were born of their union, three sons and a daughter: Horace M., now living in Nebraska; Andrew J. is now railroading on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Road; Jessie A. and Charles E, living at home. Mrs. Pontius died Aug. 4, 1871, and Mr. Pontius was again married, Aug. 29, 1882, in New London Township, to Mrs. Mary Watkins, widow of Richard Watkins, and a daughter of Hanson Jackson. Mrs. Pontius was born in Center Township, and her family were old settlers of Henry County. She has two children by her former marriage, one of whom is now living, Richie Watkins. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Pontius is a member of the Henry Lodge No. 10, I. O. O. F., of Mt. Pleasant. His father was born in Pennsylvania, but removed to Ross County, Ohio, while yet a child. He continued to reside on the the old homestead, where he died, having passed seventy-three years of his life on the same farm. Mr. Pontius is one of the leading farmers of New London Township, and is held in high esteem by a large circle of acquaintances.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 563-64.)



W. L. POWELL, who is engaged in the real-estate business in Mount Pleasant and is thoroughly conversant with realty values in this city and section of the state, was born near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, January 14, 1851, a son of George W. and Nancy (McCracken) Powell. The father was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and when a young man went to Ohio, where he engaged in farming until 1864. In that year he arrived in Lee county, Iowa, settling on a farm in the northwestern part of the county in Marion township. His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he died May, 1883. He was a liberal democrat and held various township offices in Lee county. A lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he took an active and helpful part in its work and filled all of the local offices of the church save that of preacher. His wife was born and reared in Ohio and by their marriage they became the parents of eleven children, of whom ten are living.

Clarissa A., the eldest, married W. A. Geese and they reside in Mount Hamill, Iowa. They have five children: Otis Taft, civil engineer in Arkansas; Emma, who married Elijah Tyner, who resides upon a farm near Salem, Iowa, and by whom she has six children; Effie, the wife of Frank Worthington, paymaster in the Western Wheel Scraper Works, at Aurora, Illinois; Frank, who resides upon a farm near Mount Hamill, and married Letitia Brown; and Nannie, who married Joseph Reid, a real-estate dealer in Aurora, Illinois.

Syrena Powell, the second child of George W. Powell, married Oliver Hempy, by whom she had three children. Ella married William King, near Parsons, Kansas. They have ten living children, Ida, now the wife of E. Hough, a merchant of Mount Hamill. They have one son. Olive, who married Rev. J. L. Dimmitt, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, of Sturgis, South Dakota. They have three children. Her second husband was Mathew Newby. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Newby are: Mary, the wife of Sherman Taylor, a farmer of Cedar township, Lee county, Iowa; Alta, a missionary of the Methodist church, in Nanchang, China; Anna, the wife of Clyde Bell, a farmer living near Mount Hamill; Ada and Edward, twins, at home; and Joseph, who married Anna Bell, a sister of Clyde Bell, also near Mount Hamill, Iowa.

J. T. Powell, the third member of the family of George W. Powell, resides near LaCrew, Iowa. He married Miss Clara Miller, of Columbus, Ohio, and they have five children: Elmer, a farmer of Davis county, Iowa, who married Ollie Caldwell; Nannie, the wife of Commodore Dawson, a farmer near LaCrew; Aldia, who married Berry Paschal, and has one child, their home also being on a farm near LaCrew; Emma, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Ottumwa, Iowa; and Lulu, the wife of William Young, a farmer, near Ottumwa, Iowa.

David M. Powell, the fourth member of the family, married Miss Arey Overton, and resides in Cedar township, Lee county. They had three children: George, of Lee county, who married Luella Ransom; Dr. Charles Powell, near Marshalltown, Iowa, who married Nellie Buechler, and has one child; and Allie, who is living in Mount Hamill, Iowa, and who married Dr. Wright, of Farmington, Iowa, where he died, leaving three children. The wife of David Powell died in April, 1905.

Aurilla J. Powell, the fifth member of the family, is the wife of P. M. Mathews, of Warren, Iowa, and they have five living children and four who are deceased: Jesse, who is married and has three children, lives in Clark county, Missouri; Floyd, proprietor of a general store in Stockport, Iowa, who married Miss Russell, of Warren, Iowa, and has one child; Nannie, the wife of James McGeehan, who is living on a farm near Primrose, Iowa; George, who married Miss Murray and resides on a farm near Warren, Iowa; and Stella, who is at home.

John, the sixth of the family, married Sarah Overton, by whom he has two children and is living retired in Pineville, Missouri. Of his children, Frank married Lulla Cruickshank, by whom he has three children. They reside in Arkansas, although their postoffice is Caverna, Missouri; Charles is married and lives on a farm in Arkansas, and has two children.

William L. Powell, whose name introduces this review, is the seventh in his father's family. George Theodore, the next younger, married Cora Mathews and is a stock dealer living at Mount Hamill. Oliver L., now of Donnelson, Iowa, married Hattie Bealer, who died in 1903. Laura, the tenth member of the family, is the wife of Dr. R. H. Todd, of New Sharon, Iowa, and they have two sons, Fred and Ray. Olive Powell died in infancy, while Mrs. Nancy Powell, the mother, passed away in 1897. The parents were buried in Clay Grove cemetery, in Lee county.

William L. Powell was educated in the district schools of Iowa, and after attaining his majority pursued a commercial course in Keokuk, being graduated at the Bayles Commercial College, in that city. He then returned to his father's farm, which was his home until the time of his marriage, after which he owned a farm in Cedar township, where he established his first home. He bought, sold and resided on different farms in Lee county, having usually a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres. During that time he carried on general farming and stock-raising. In 1896 he left the farm and located in Mount Pleasant and has here made his home. Always having been interested in the real-estate business, he was in Mount Pleasant variously engaged, until 1901, when, with his family, he went to the different parts of the Pacific coast, after his children had finished their school education, spending the season there. After their return to Mount Pleasant Mr. Powell became more actively engaged in the real-estate business, with office over the State National Bank, doing business under the name of Stewart & Powell, handling both city and farm lands to a large extent, and also has become largely interested in the emigration business to Texas and other parts. He still retains his Lee county homestead and other valuable property.

Mr. Powell was married April 19, 1887, to Miss Julia Courtright, of Lee county, a daughter of Hiram and Eliza (Taylor) Courtright and a native of Washington, Illinois, born in September, 1853. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and died in the year 1883, while his wife passed away in 1891. He was twice married, and by the first union had two children, one of whom is now living-John Courtright, who married Nancy Mallett, and resides at Rockville, Missouri. Mary Courtright, the eldest child of the second marriage, became the wife of W. S. Smith, by whom she has two children, and their home is in Portland, Oregon. Edward, living near Edmonton, Canada, married Emma Barnes, and has four children living. Julia is now Mrs. Powell. Mrs. Eliza Courtright was also married twice, her first husband being Joseph Fashner, by whom she had one child, Cyrena, the wife of Isaac Bell, who resides near Big Mound, Iowa, and by whom she has three children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Powell have been born two children, Ada and Pearl, both at home. The former is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music of Mount Pleasant, and Pearl is a graduate of Howe's academy, later attended the State Normal School at Cedar Falls, and is now a teacher in the Henry county schools.

Mr. Powell was made a Mason at West Point over thirty years ago, and on coming to Mount Pleasant demitted to Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Powell and daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he was a democrat until 1893, since which time he has been a republican. He never aspired to office, however, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business interests. In 1896 he came to Mount Pleasant, and has built a fine modern home on Broadway, where he now resides. In his business life he has been prosperous, and is a pleasant and affable man, who has broad and liberal views, the result of extensive travel and observation.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 149-152) (PE)

Daniel Price

DANIEL PRICE was horn in Wales, in March, 1804, and was the son of John and Mary (Jones) Price, who were also natives of that country, where his father was a large land-owner. While a young man, he worked as a foreman on the railroad and in the mines, for twenty years. He left his native land and emigrated to America in 1851, first locating at Philadelphia, Pa., but remained there only three weeks, and then went to the State of New Jersey, residing there one winter, engaged in chopping wood. He then removed to Franklin County, Ind., remaining there three years, engaged as a common laborer. He then emigrated to Henry County, Iowa, locating in the village of Trenton, remaining one winter, and on the 1st of April, 1856, he removed to section 22 of Trenton Township, where he purchased ten acres of timber land. Here he lived until his death, which occurred Oct. 19, 1887. He added to his possessions until he had a fine farm of 126 acres at the time of his decease. He was so poor when he bought his first ten acres that he had to go in debt for it, but by hard labor and good management, he gained a competence. Mr. Price was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a sincere, earnest Christian. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a self-educated man, and always kept well informed upon public affairs, whether political or otherwise. His wife still survives him, and resides on the home farm, at the age of sixty-four. She also belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. This worthy couple were the parents of four children: William Penn, a farmer residing in Mills County, Iowa; Mary Ellen; Margaret Jane, wife of George Dies, of Brighton, Iowa; and John M., who has charge of the home farm, and was married, Dec. 21, 1887, to Miss Sally Wood, daughter of Clark and Catherine Wood. Among the pioneers and prominent men of Henry County, Iowa, none more truly deserved the respect and confidence of all than Daniel Price.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 316 & 319) (JC)


Thomas J. Price 

THOMAS J. PRICE, of the firm of T. J. Price & Son, dealers in general hardware, stoves and tinware, also of the firm of Price & Keiser, extensive dealers in farm implements, New London, Iowa, was born near West Point, Lee Co., Iowa, Jan. 1, 1844. His parents, Calvin J. and Frances A. (Langford) Price, were early settlers of that county, having come  there in 1835 or 1836. His father was born near Rolla, N. C., in January, 1801. He emigrated from that State to Southern Illinois while it was yet a Territory. He was married in that region and remained there until 1835, when he emigrated to Lee County, Iowa, and settled on a farm near West Point. He was a member of the first Iowa State Legislature, and was re-elected three times afterward. His death occurred April 10, 1860. His wife survives him and resides at Lowell, Iowa.

Thomas J. received his preparatory education in the common schools, and entered the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant as a student, but left on account of business considerations before completing the regular course. He was united in marriage, at Salem, Iowa, Oct. 21, 1863, to Miss Josephine McFarland, a daughter of Mr. R. G. McFarland, of Lowell. Mrs. Price was born near LaHarpe, Ill.  One child was born of this union, a son, Frank, born on a farm near New London, April 19, 1865, who is now in business with his father.

Mr. Price was engaged in farming two years in New London Township, form 1865 to 1867, inclusive, then went to Lowell, Iowa, where he carried on a general store for ten years. He was next engaged in milling at Lowell for seven years, then returned to Lee County, where he spent one year on the old home farm; he then came to New London and engaged in his present business, in November, 1885. The firm of T. J. Price & Son carry an average stock of about $2,500 in the hardware line, and the firm of Price & Keiser do an annual business of about $20,000 in the farm implement trade. Theirs is the largest business of the kind in Henry County. They handle only the best tools and machinery and have built up a good trade.

Mr. Price and his son are Democrats in their political views. They do business on correct business principles, and take rank among the leading firms of their line in the county.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 574-75.)


Charles Prince 

CHARLES PRINCE, a machinist of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Warwickshire, England, Aug. 30, 1822, and there received a common-school education. When but thirteen years of age he was apprenticed to learn the trade of a machinist, working for eight years. For all of his hard labor he received no compensation but his board and clothing. He then worked at journeywork until coming to this country in 1853.

In 1845, previous to his coming to America, he was united in marriage to Miss Emma Taylor, who was also a native of Warwickshire, England. After arriving in America he settled in Van Buren County, Iowa, where he worked at his trade as a journeyman for three years, and then removed to Henry County. For a year he worked in Wayland, and then came to Mt. Pleasant, working for the Mt. Pleasant Foundry, and buying an interest in the business in 1865. In 1866 Mr. Prince purchased some land, on which he built a shop, and commenced business for himself. He was the first machinist who ever worked in this city. He still carries on the business in the shop which he built in 1866.

Mr. and Mrs. Prince are the parents of seven living children: Elizabeth, residing at home; Charles A., who is a machinist working for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and living at Beardstown, Ill.; Joseph H., a machinist, living in Chicago; Frederick, Superintendent of Water Service for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, on the St. Louis & Rock Island Division, and a resident of Beardstown, Ill.; Herman, now residing in Rockbridge, Ill., and also in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; Julia, wife of Thomas Johnson, a fireman on the same road, is residing in Beardstown, Ill.; Frank, who is a resident of Galesburg, Ill., is also a fireman running on the C. B. & N. Division. One daughter, Susan, was the wife of Mr. Brakebill, of Mt. Pleasant; she is deceased.

Mr. Prince holds liberal religious and political views, and always votes for the one he believes the best man, of whatever party he may be. Mr. and Mrs. Prince came to this country poor, but they have not only managed to keep the wolf from the door, but by their industry and thrift have been able to accumulate money. They are a credit to the community in which they have so long lived, and are highly respected by all who know them.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 527-28.)


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