Rainey - Ruth

David Rainey

DAVID RAINEY, one of the enterprising farmers of Henry County, Iowa, residing on section 30, Tippecanoe Township, is a native of Ireland, born in that country in 1818, and is the son of James and Nancy (Green) Rainey. David Rainey was reared on a farm in the old country, and leaving his native home in 1833, he emigrated to America, settling in Belmont County, Ohio, remaining there until 1844. Deciding to come West, and being pleased with Henry County, he moved here, settling first on a farm one mile west of Mt. Pleasant. After remaining for a year on that farm, he settled in Trenton Township, there residing for two years. In 1847 Mr. Rainey purchased sixty acres of land in Tippecanoe Township, where he still resides, but since that time he has sold twenty acres, leaving a farm of forty acres in extent. In Belmont County, Ohio, the marriage of David Rainey and Catherine Hall was celebrated. She was a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Samuel and Christiana Hall, who were also born in the Buckeye State. Three children graced this union: Christiana was taken from them while yet an infant; Samuel enlisted in Company H, 4th Iowa Infantry; after having served three years he re-enlisted, but was killed at the battle of Atlanta, and lies buried among the lost heroes who died on that field. Mary Ann died at the age of sixteen in 1857. Mrs. Rainey was called to her heavenly home at the age of twenty-eight years, in the winter of 1845. Mr. Rainey was again married, in the spring of 1848, to Christiana Barton, the widow of William Barton. One child was born to the fond parents, John, who was taken from them at the age of six years, in 1853. The mother departed this life in February, 1885; she was a member of the Baptist Church and was an earnest, sincere Christian.

Mr. Rainey was among the loyal Irish who fought so gallantly during the late Rebellion. At the President's call for troops to defend our Union he responded, enlisting in Company I, 14th Iowa Infantry, serving nearly four years. He participated in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Ft. De Bussey, La., Pleasant Hill, Tupelo, and was taken prisoner at Pittsburg Landing. For three months he was held captive, confined in the loathsome prison at Macon, Ga.  The 14th Iowa Infantry, of which he was a member, did some of the hardest fighting that was done during the war. Mr. Rainey was always at his post, never known to shirk his duty, and during battler was ever in the thickest of the fight. After he returned to his home, he again engaged in farming, which business he has followed ever since. Socially, Mr. Rainey is a member of the G. A. R. Post, while politically, he is a stalwart Republican, believing yet that a great work will be performed by that party, and its interests he is always ready to advance. The example of Mr. Rainey any boy might well follow. Landing in America in 1833, without money, without friends, without home, he has worked his way through difficulties and discouragements, until now he can look back on a well-spent life, more enjoyable in contract with the hardships of other days. Mr. Rainey is a member of the Baptist Church, and his time, money and influence are always ready to aid in the advancement of his Master's cause.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 398-99.)



JOHN HAYWOOD RANDOLPH, whose life exemplified all the traits of the good and therefore truly great citizen and whose activity in business and public affairs made him one of the representative and honored men of his day in Mount Pleasant, was a native of Richmond, Virginia, and belonged to one of the oldest and most distinguished families of the Old Dominion, being a descendant of Peyton Randolph.

His natal day was November 13, 1804. His parents were also natives of Richmond, Virginia, but in boyhood he was left an orphan. He attended school to some extent in the state of his nativity and afterward greatly broadened his knowledge through travel and experience in business life. The opportunities and possibilities of the great and growing west seemed to invite him and in 1836 he became one of the firm of Chase Kimball & Company, which continued in the dry goods trade in Burlington for a number of years.

Later Mr. Randolph came to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and established the second store in Henry county, his predecessor in the field of commercial pursuits here being a Mr. Presley Saunders. For some time Mr. Randolph carried on his store, meeting with merited success in his undertakings and after disposing of his mercantile enterprise he turned his face toward the setting sun. At the time of the discovery of gold in California he was attracted to the west by the hope of rapidly realizing a fortune on the Pacific coast, and in 1849 made his way to the golden state, where he remained for a year, interested in mining. He took with him seven men, paying their transportation, that he might have the benefit of their assistance, and while in the mines he was in charge of twenty men.

Following his return from California, Mr. Randolph became an active factor in the upbuilding and improvement of Mount Pleasant and Henry county. He hauled the lumber from Burlington with which to build his residence on East Washington street. It required almost a year to complete his home, for he gave to it his personal supervision in his leisure hours. When the task was accomplished he embarked in the hardware business, which he conducted successfully for a number of years, or until selling out to Mr. Hawley.

He then retired permanently from business life, thus crowning years of intense and well directed activity by a period of ease. He was known everywhere as the soul of honor whether in business relations, in public life or in social circles. He was called by the complimentary title of Colonel Randolph and he enjoyed to the full extent the good will and respect of all with whom he was associated, while those who came within the closer circle of his friends entertained for him a deep affection. In the midst of an active business career he found hunting a great source of pleasure and recreation, being a lover of the chase from his boyhood days and always keeping a pack of hunting, and bird dogs.

On the 1st of December, 1837, was celebrated the marriage of John Heywood [sic] Randolph and Miss Lucinda Caulk, a daughter of Robert and Jane (Hemphill) Caulk and a native of Guilford county, North Carolina, born on the 10th of May, 1818. Her maternal grandparents were of Scotch-Irish lineage. In 1833 her father, who was a farmer of North Carolina, removed westward to Georgetown, Illinois, where he remained two and one-half years, when in 1836 he came to Henry county, Iowa. He bought a large tract of land adjoining Mount Pleasant, which he improved by both bringing the land under cultivation, and with a good residence and other farm buildings. This place also had one of the best springs hereabouts, and on account of the abundant supply of fine water one or two troops of cavalry were encamped there during organization preparatory to going to the front during the Civil war. The farm is now owned in part by G. B. Seeley and he uses it for fine stock. He remained one of the worthy and respected residents of this part of the state until his death, which occurred about 1855. His wife also passed away in Henry county. They were the parents of seven children, but only two are now living, the sister of Mrs. Randolph being Mrs. Evelyn Allen, the widow of Reuben Allen, who died recently in Des Moines, where Mrs. Allen still makes her home.

Mr. and Mrs. Randolph became the parents of five children: Amanda Melvina and William Henry, both of whom died in infancy; Emily; John Milton; and Charles, who died when about twenty-one years of age.

Emily Randolph, born in Mount Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa, in 1844, is the wife of Joshua W. Satterthwait, a native of Ohio, and they have become the parents of four children: Mira, born January 21, 1865, who married William Benedict, of Pasadena, California, and died in 1890; Lulu, born April 23, 1867, the wife of Hiram Sherman Nettleton, of Seattle, Washington, who is engaged in the furniture business and by whom she has two children, Emily and Alice; Stella, born October 10, 1869, was educated in the high school and is also a graduate of the Columbia School of Oratory, of Chicago, and was a teacher of the State Normal School nearly six years, is the wife of Harry Smith, of Chicago; and Gladys, born July 10, 1885, a graduate of the Mount Pleasant high school and also a graduate of the State Normal School, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mrs. Satterthwait is a very intelligent lady of natural culture and refinement and is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. She is now living in Mount Pleasant in order to care for her widowed mother, Mr. Randolph having died June 11, 1873. They still live on the old homestead on East Washington street.

John Milton Randolph, the only son, was born in Mount Pleasant in 1845, and has always been employed as a lumber salesman. He passed his boyhood youth and early manhood until twenty-five years of age in Mount Pleasant and he has lived at different times in Nebraska, Texas, and Dakota, where he has been nected [sic] with the lumber trade and at the present writing he is a resident of Des Moines. He married Miss Emma Cady, of Dakota, and they have three sons and one daughter: Paul, Charles, Peyton and Ruth.

At the time of the Civil war John M. Randolph served as a soldier of the Union army for three months.

Mrs. Randolph's people have long been connected with the Episcopalian church and Mr. Randolph's preference was for that denomination. He gave the lot upon which the Episcopal church is built in Mount Pleasant and he was a generous contributor to church and charitable enterprises and to movements for the public good. He was a most honorable and upright man, and his word was as good as any bond ever solemnized by signature or seal. For five or six years prior to his demise he was in poor health but he maintained his interest in public affairs to the last. He had prospered in his former years of activity and had learned that success is ambition's answer. He was thus enabled to leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances but more than that he was able to leave to them an untarnished name.

He is now numbered among the honored dead of Henry county; but he left behind a memory which will be cherished as long as any who knew him are still upon this earth, for he endeared himself closely to those with whom he was associated and won their warmest regard and friendship by reason of a kindly spirit, genial disposition, unfailing courtesy and deference for the opinions of others.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. p. 245-247) (PE)


RatliffeSamuelP.jpg (75018 bytes)   Samuel P. Ratliffe

SAMUEL P. RATLIFFE was born in Randolph County, N. C., March 16, 1813, and is the son of Joshua and Letita (Prevo) Ratliffe. The ancestors of the Ratliffe family are of Scotch and Welsh origin. William, the great-grandfather of our subject, came with his family from England, settling near Elizabeth City, N. C., prior to the war of the Revolution. He was one of the men who purchased a large tract of land in North Carolina, of the English Crown, thirteen miles square. After the settlement upon this land by the family, William engaged in seafaring, owning several vessels plying between England and America, one of which he commanded in person. During one of these trips his death occurred, and his men favored throwing the body overboard, but his faithful negro servant prevented it, and the body was brought to the United States and interred at Elizabeth City. On the same vessel his wife returned to England to settle the estate, and neither she nor the vessel was ever heard of again. Thomas, his on, the grandfather of our subject, was thus left an orphan. Upon reaching manhood he married Catherine Bundy. Their children, nine in number, were named Joshua, Benjamin, Ephraim, Phineas, Margaret, Asa, Elizabeth, Sarah and Hannah, all now deceased. Joshua, the father of our subject, was born in North Carolina. Thomas Ratliffe, with the other children, all minors, after the death of their parents were cared for by residents of the locality until their estate was disposed of. He, with Cornelius, Richard and two daughters, comprised the family, and the sons later removed to Indiana and died, and were buried in that State. One of the daughters married William Newby, who subsequently died in Indiana. Joshua married Letitia Prevo, a daughter of Samuel and Rachel (Gibson) Prevo, of French nationality. They probably came from the Island of Guernsey, but this is not authentic. Samuel Prevo was a son of Sir Robert Prevo, who was engaged in some of the reformatory wars which proved unsuccessful. His death occurred in England, and his son Samuel came to America, and in Lancaster County, Pa., wedded Rachel Gibson, and they emigrated to North Carolina. They were the parents of several children, and several of the sons, as they became old enough, participated in the war of the Revolution. John, Samuel and Alexander were among these, but James and Asa were too young to be of service, but the elder brothers held commissions in the army. The daughters were Mary, Letitia and Rachel, the latter dying in infancy. The parents lived and died in North Carolina. Letitia was the mother of our subject, and removed with the family to Wayne County, Ind., locating there in 1821. The parents of Mr. Ratliffe, with their children, started from Indiana for Henry County, Iowa, but the father died just as they got loaded up ready to start. After his burial the family, as soon as legal forms could be complied with, separated, but finally all came to this county. Their children were Ruth, Mary, Hannah, Thomas, Samuel P., Ephraim B., Joseph B. and Emily L.  The mother and son Thomas afterward returned to Hendricks County, Ind., where both died. Hannah, Emily and Joseph died unmarried; Ruth became the wife of David Hiatt; Mary wedded Robert Price; Thomas married Jane Small, and Ephraim wedded Annie Small, in Rush County, Ind., Dec. 12, 1836. Samuel P. Ratliffe, our subject, was wedded to Mary Hobson in Salem, Iowa, in July, 1839. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Gibbs) Hobson, who were early settlers of this county. Samuel P. had taken a claim east of his brother Ephraim, and their first experience in married life was had in a shanty far worse than a pole cabin. The house was not yet completed when the first snowstorm came. This shanty was built by nailing sheeting-boards to posts set in the ground, but these afforded but little protection form the inclement weather. The first visitor that came to the shanty was a lean, gaunt wolf, and these brutes often prowled about the place in the night-time. A neighbor of Mr. Ratliffe gave him a dog, but the acquaintance between the cur and his owner was far from confiding, and when his master urged him to chase the hungry wolves, the hound would crawl under the shanty and howl. Soon, however, the new frame house was completed, and the greater part of the winter of 1839 was spent in it. After fairly opening his new farm, Mr. Ratliffe sold it and purchased a claim in Keokuk County, near timber. This he entered and improved, but three years later returned to Henry County and purchased his present farm on section 32, Jackson Township, which has been his home to date. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ratliffe: Emily, married to Joseph Hiatt, is the mother of Albert, Samuel and Minnie, the latter being educated at Whittier College and graduating at the Normal School, has taught twelve consecutive terms of school in this and other counties, and during the winter of 1887 taught school in District No 7, Jackson Township. Albert, Mr. Ratliffe's eldest son, was a volunteer soldier, and belonged to Company E., 14th Iowa Infantry, and died of disease while in camp at St. Louis; George died in childhood; William, unmarried, was three years a soldier in the 30th Illinois Infantry, and passed unharmed through some of the most desperately fought battles of the war; Tamar is the wife of J. H. Taylor, of Red Oak, Iowa, a prosperous farmer; Thomas, also a farmer, resides in the same neighborhood, and is the husband of Alice McAllister; he is a student of Whittier College, and taught school for several years in Montgomery County, Iowa. Mary L. became the wife of Joel Stewart, a farmer of Richland, Keokuk Co., Iowa; Laura is the wife of A. J. Butler, of Sherman County, Kan.; Oscar is unmarried and resides at Red Oak; Huldah married James Hall, a resident farmer of Sherman County, Kan.; and Charles died unmarried, at the age of twenty-two years. Mrs. Ratliffe died March 3, 1874. Her husband has remained true to her memory, and has for his housekeeper his daughter, Mr. Hiatt, who in the care of her aged father, now an invalid, finds an opportunity to repay in part the attention given her when a favorite daughter under the paternal roof.

Forty-eight years spent in this county, with their toil and care, have whitened the hair of our subject, and made him an aged man. His congeniality has, however, not diminished, and his pioneer friends of the early days still find pleasure in his companionship. An old and well-known citizen, he has in a marked degree the respect of his friends and neighbors, and not only they but future generations will look with interest upon his portrait, which he take pleasure in presenting as the fit embellishment of this sketch.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 603-4.)


Jacob L. Renshaw

Jacob L. Renshaw, residing on section 27, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Fayette County, Pa., Feb. 22, 1841. His parents, Samuel and Mary (Longmecker) Renshaw, were both natives of Pennsylvania, though the mother was of German descent and the father of Irish. Jacob was reared upon a farm, and at the age of twenty-one he responded to the country's call for volunteers to put down the Rebellion, and became a member of the 168th Pennsylvania Infantry in 1861, serving thirteen months. He participated in the battles of Goldsboro, N.C.; Ft. Macon and Harper's Ferry. After his discharge he returned to Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in farming until 1867. He then sold out, coming to Henry County, where he purchased forty acres of land on section 27 of Scott Township, which has been his home ever since.Besides his farm in Henry County, Mr. Renshaw owns 160 acres of land in Dakota.

In 1865 Mr. Renshaw wedded Emily Nixon. She was born in Pennsylvania, and her parents, Moses and Louisa (Bailey) Nixon, were natives of the same State. Mr. and Mrs. Renshaw have three children: Ewing, a carpenter of Winfield, Iowa; May, wife of Walter Henderson, a resident of Neosho County, Kan., and Ray P., at home. Mr. Renshaw and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically, he is a Republican, while socially, he is a member of the G.A.R. and A.F. & A.M.

Samuel Renshaw, the father of our subject, spent his whole life upon a farm. He died at the age of fifty-nine, and his wife at the age of fifty-seven years. They were both members of the Dunkard Church, and reared a family of eight children, four of whom are now living: James residing in Pennsylvania; our subject; Frances, wife of Robert Ross, of West Virginia, and John, who now resides in Kansas.

Mrs. Renshaw's father also spent his life in tilling the soil. He departed this life in 1857 at the age of forty-five years. Her mother is still residing in Pennsylvania at the ripe old age of seventy-three.She is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Nixon were the parents of ten children, all of whom reside in Pennsylvania with the exception of Frances, wife of Azel Freeman; Anna, wife of Thomas Ringland, of Scott Township; Presley, of Wayne Township, and one brother in Dakota. William, a former resident of this county, was a soldier in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 434)(PW)


Elijah Richard

ELIJAH RICHARD, deceased, was for many years a prominent merchant in New London, where he located on his first arrival in Iowa from Virginia, in which State he was born, near Pembroke, Frederick County, Nov. 14, 1798. The ancestry of Mr. Richard on both sides were of German extraction, his mother being a native of Germany, who came to this country with her parents, landing on her eighth birthday. His boyhood days were spent in Winchester, in his native county, in which place he was engaged in mercantile business for Samuel Brown, a member of the Society of Friends. When a young man he removed to Woodstock, Shenandoah Co., Va., where he began business for himself, and where a few years later he was married to Miss Eliza H. Thompson, a native of Chester County, Pa., who came to Woodstock with her parents when a child. Their marriage was celebrated in April, 1818. After some years spent in business in Woodstock, Mr. Richard went onto a farm given him by his father, situated in the same county, and on that place he remained until his removal to Iowa. In that county all of Mr. and Mrs. Richard's children were born. The eldest was an infant who lived but a few hours; the next was Catherine A. G., now the sole survivor of the family, and the occupant of the old family home in New London. The others were: William Thompson Henry, who died when but a little over four years of age; John Thompson, who came to Iowa with his parents and died in New London in September, 1845, having been twenty-one years old the preceding month; Mary Elizabeth, who was twice married in Henry County, her first husband being John Green, of Mt. Pleasant, where he died; her second husband was Elisha Saunders, also of Mt. Pleasant, but who subsequently removed to New London, where both died. The youngest of the family was Ignatius Perry McCandless, who also accompanied his parents to Henry County, and died in August, 1844, having been sixteen years old the preceding April.

The new Territory of Iowa at that time attracting much attention, in 1841 Mr. Richard deter­mined to remove thither, and selling his Virginia farm he made the journey overland, crossing the Mississippi at Ft. Madison in the beginning of October of that year. A few days later he bought a place at New London, to which he at once removed his family, arriving there Oct. 27, 1841. For two years he cultivated the small farm with the aid of a man he had brought from Virginia, but this did not satisfy his active temperament, and in the spring of 1844 he engaged in mercantile business in New London, which he carried on until the increasing infirmities of age caused him to retire a few years before his death. During eight years of that time he was Postmaster of New London, but on the inauguration of President Lincoln in 1861, resigned the position, he being a strong and uncompromising Democrat. During the later years of his life he lived retired, in the enjoyment of ample means in the home which was selected as their future residence by his daughter Catharine, on the very day on which they arrived in New London, and on which he subsequently built the commodious residence which she yet occupies.

For more than forty years Mr. Richard was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had many times offered a site for a church edifice in New London, but the matter had not been settled when he passed away and his daughter, faithful to her father's memory, kept his pledge, and in 1887 donated to the society over an acre of ground in the center of the village, on which the neat frame church now stands and in which services are regu­larly held.

In April, 1848, Mrs. Eliza H. Richard passed from this life, mourned by her husband and sur­viving children, and with the love and esteem of all who knew her as she was, a loving wife and de­voted mother. Mr. Richard followed her June 22, 1881, passing away suddenly, unexpectedly and painlessly, living but a few minutes after he was attacked by illness. He left behind him the repute of an honorable man, a good citizen and faithful friend, who was never known to do wrong. His loving daughter still occupies the family home, calmly waiting for the summons which will reunite her to those who have gone before. The excellent portrait on an adjoining page of this ALBUM is a tribute of her affection for the memory of the parent whom she so dearly loved and so greatly respected.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 228-231.) (JC)


B. M. Richardson

RICHARDSON, B.M. -- Railroad Commissioner, residence Cedar Rapids. Born at Brighton, Iowa, February 19, 1896. Attended Washington county schools and academy at Pleasant Plain. Married September 22, 1917, to Indamae Sieg of Topeka, Kansas. Has one son, Donald. Traffic and transportation experience; has been general clerk, chief clerk, freight inspector, transit auditor and special representative. Eight years with Western Railway Inspection Bureau. Served in world war. Is member of American Legion, Mason and Knight Templar. Republican in politics. Elected for full term as member of railroad commission, November 4, 1924. 

Iowa Official Register, 1927-1928; Biographies of State Officials. (SF)


James Dorsey Roberts

JAMES DORSEY ROBERTS, one of the most substantial and respected farmers of New London Township, Henry Co., Iowa, resides on section 2, where he has a valuable and well-improved farm of 165 acres. Mr. Roberts was born in Ohio County, Va., now Marshall County, W. Va., July 25, 1823, and is the son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Barton) Roberts, who were born in Maryland, and were of Welsh descent. They emigrated to Iowa in 1838 and settled in Danville Township, Des Moines County. The father was engaged in farming, and made his home in that township during the remainder of his life.

James D. was reared on the farm in Danville Township, and was married in that township, March 4, 1845, to Miss Susan McDonald, daughter of Alexander and Mary (King) McDonald. Mrs. Roberts was born in what is now Marshall County, W. Va., June 14, 1826. Her parents were natives of Butler County, Pa., her father of Scotch-Irsh descent, and her mother of German origin. Her parents settled in Danville Township Nov. 11, 1837. Mr. Roberts was engaged in farming in Danville Township until October, 1855, when he removed to New London Township, Henry County, and purchased his present farm. He and his wife have four children, three sons and a daughter; William Barton, born Dec. 22, 1846, married Luella Rogers, and resides at Plattsmouth, Neb., where he is a railway yardmaster, and has two sons and two daughters; Alexander Holt, born Aug. 26, 1848, wedded S. Elizabeth Pritchard, and lives in Audubon, Iowa, engaged in the drug business, and to them were born two sons; Theodore Lane, born Sept. 26, 1850, married Olive Bridges, and lives in New London Township, where is engaged in farming; Mellie was born Nov. 6, 1855, and is the wife of William L. Weller, a farmer of New London Township, and has one son and a daughter; William B., the eldest son, was a soldier of the late war and enlisted in the 1st Iowa Battery, in January, 1864, serving until the close of the war.

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts and the three younger children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, Mr. Roberts is a Democrat, and is a worthy, honorable man, whose word is as good as his bond.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 398-99.)


David W. Robinson

DAVID W. ROBINSON, M. D., one of the most eminent physicians of Henry County, was born in Harrison County, W. Va., June 14, 1826, and is a son of David R. and Sarah (Walmsley) Robinson, both natives of the same county, the former born in 1789,and the latter in 1791. The elder Robinson was a farmer, in connection with which he ran a flouring-mill for many years. He was a Whig and an ardent admirer of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, whom he strongly supported. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, a reader and thinker, who wielded considerable influence in that locality, but attended closely to his own affairs. Mr. Robinson died in 1853, his wife in 1832. Of their nine children but two are now living, the Doctor and a brother, Fernando, who is a resident of Clarksburg, W. Va., engaged in the jewelry business. On its organization he joined the Republican party, and when it gained the ascendancy he was elected Clerk of the District Court of Harrison County.

When the subject of this sketch was a boy there were no public schools in his native State, and he was educated in subscription schools, but is mainly self-taught, with the exception of three months that he spent with a private tutor. In his youth he wished to go to West Point, but was persuaded that if he did so he would become the property of the United States, and therefore relinquished the idea. He was always a great reader and student, and read all the miscellaneous books in his father's library, and as many more as he could obtain. He decided upon the practice of medicine as his life work, and in 1848 began reading and studying with that end in view. Later he took up the study of theology, and in 1850 joined the Methodist Church, and his friends were desirous that he should enter the pulpit, but he felt then that he had no call to the ministry, and continued the study of medicine. In 1852 and 1853 he attended the Eclectic Medical College at Cincinnati, whence he graduated in the latter year. Returning to Virginia he remained there until 1855, when he emigrated to Iowa, landing at Muscatine, where he engaged in practice. While there, in 1857, he was licensed to preach, and was recommended to Conference and given a charge at Pella, Iowa, and in 1858 was appointed to Montezuma, Poweshiek Co., Iowa, to which place he removed. In that year he married Miss Sarah Dudley, of Mainville, Ohio. He continued to fill the pulpit until the meeting of the Conference in the fall of 1858, but had previously resumed the practice of medicine, and had built up a lucrative practice, in which he was engaged until August, 1862, when he decided to take part in the struggle for National existence, and in connection with Wesley Carr, then a student in his office, enlisted 204 men. Part were enrolled as Company B, 40th Iowa Volunteers, with the Doctor in command as Captain; and part were made a company of the 28th Iowa, with Capt. Carr in command. While at Camp Post, at Iowa City, Gov. Kirkwood came to him and asked him to resign as Captain, and he would immediately commission him as Surgeon, efficient surgeons being at that time very much needed. Willing to give his services where they could be most effective, he accepted, and went to the field as Surgeon of the 40th Iowa. The regiment was ordered to join the Army of the Tennessee, and were sent to Vicksburg, where they remained until its capture. They were then sent to Helena and Little Rock, Ark., and later took part in the Red River Expedition. In 1864 Dr. Robinson resigned his commission, and the following year located in Mt. Pleasant, where he has since lived continuously, building up a large practice, and acquiring an excellent reputation as a physician and a citizen. Still a student, he is continually adding by reading and experience to his knowledge, and his advice is eagerly [s]ought by a large clientage at home. Abroad his reputation stands equally high. He is a member of the Henry County Medical Society.

Dr. Robinson was reared in a belief in the doctrines of the Whig party. He was always an antislavery man, but a great admirer of Stephen A. Douglas. In 1860 he cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln, and in 1864 again voted the Republican ticket. Since then, however, he has affiliated with the Democratic party. In 1869 he purchased the Henry County Press, which he conducted as a Democratic newspaper, but in 1872 sold it to Messrs. Throop & Van Cise. The Doctor has three sons: Edward H., the eldest, is a druggist, and has begun the study of medicine, attending two courses of lectures at the University of Iowa and a term in Rush Medical College, Chicago. The second son, David D., is a druggist in Burlington, Iowa, and the youngest, Charles, is yet with his parents. Dr. Robinson is a member of McFarland Post No. 13, G. A. R., of Mt. Pleasant, and is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M., of Henry Chapter No. 8, R. A. M., and Jerusalem Commandery No. 7, K. T.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 623-24.)


John Q. Robinson

JOHN Q. ROBINSON, a farmer residing on section 32, Canaan Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1825, and is a son of Joshua and Hannah (Rodgers) Robinson. Joshua Robinson, Sr., the grandfather of our subject, was killed by Indians in 1795 at the time the city of Chillicothe, Ohio, was being laid out by Gen. Massey. The cuff-buttons worn by him at the time are now in the possession of Mr. Robinson, being more than a century old. His youngest son was the father of John Q., and married Hannah Rodgers in Ross County, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1818. She was descended from the Scotch Irish on the paternal side, and from the Welsh and German on the maternal side. Both she and her husband lived and died in Ohio, and as in life they were united, in death they were not long divided, dying within six weeks of each other in 1867. Joshua Robinson was born June 10, 1795, his wife Sept. 3, 1797. They were the parents of James C., who married Kate McAuley; William R., husband of Elizabeth Ingersoll; John P., who died in infancy; Sarah A. also died in childhood; John Q. and Elizabeth P. were twins, born Oct. 19, 1825; she became the wife of Nathaniel Hillhouse; Mary J. wedded William McLean; Hamilton married Abigail Grubb; Henry S. wedded Clementine Evans; Hugh K. S. was a member of Company I, 81st Ohio Volunteers, of which he was First Lieutenant, was wedded to Mary Pinto, and after her death to Mary Farr; Sarah C. died in childhood; Erskine P. was also a soldier, and died at Baltimore, July 7, 1864, aged twenty-three.

John Q. Robinson was the fourth son, and was educated in Ohio, where his early life was spent upon a farm. Having a desire to see something of the western country, he made a visit to Iowa in 1850, and conceiving it would be a desirable place to live, purchased land. In 1855 he again came to Iowa, and began the improvement of a farm the following year. He erected a small shanty on the site of his present farmhouse, and began fencing, and breaking the sod. The first three crops were complete failures, but this brought but little discouragement to the young man, who had come to the West to live and make a home. For eleven years after coming to Iowa Mr. Robinson remained a bachelor. Visiting friends at Fairfield, he formed the acquaintance of Miss Anna Mount, who became his wife Dec. 5, 1866, Rev. James Haines, a Methodist Episcopal minister, officiating. Her father was Jedediah Mount, a nurseryman and florist of Fairfield, who came from Zanesville, Ohio, to Iowa in 1854, establishing his business the same year. We wedding Mary Ruth in Ohio, and nine children were born in that State prior to their removal: Kate J., wife of George Howell; Samuel, husband of Mary Bloss, was a soldier during the war; William was also a soldier; Anna, wife of our subject; Eliza, wife of John Hoopes; Sarah, deceased wife of Joshua Robinson, nephew of our subject; Callie, wife of Henry Knight; Henry, who married Mary Calhoun; and Laura, wife of Elijah Spry. After coming to Fairfield, James and John were born, but neither are now living. The mother of Mrs. Robinson died Dec. 30, 1871; her father yet resides in Fairfield, and is seventy-six years of age.

After the marriage of Mr. Robinson, his young wife was duly installed mistress of the house, over which she has presided for more than a score of years, and which has been hallowed by the birth of her children, and made happy by successes that come to those who diligently labor. Her husband now a man of large experience, and ripe with years, has developed a model farm in Canaan Township, and since his coming has grown wealthy as his years have increased. A residence of more than thirty years has won for him the esteem of the public as a good citizen, a kind neighbor, and genial gentleman, and in the northern part of the county no family is more highly respected than the one under consideration. Before children of their own came an infant had been adopted, Edith Emily, then one year old. She has been as carefully reared, as tenderly loved, and is in every way as dear to those good people as their own children. Their first born was Lulu M., followed by Charles W. and Edgar, all yet school children, Lulu M. being now in her seventeenth year.

Mr. Robinson has served many terms upon the School Board, and in 1866 was elected Township Trustee, holding that position for ten consecutive years. Mrs. Robinson gradually lost her eyesight until in 1882 she became totally blind, but has since become so accustomed to the change that she does much of the work about the house. Two hundred and forty acres of excellent land comprise the admirable farm of Mr. Robinson, and everything in the way of improvement on the farm has been made by Mr. Robinson, and there is no finer farm in Canaan Township. To such men as he the prosperity of the county is largely due.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 576-77.)


James Bentley Rose

JAMES BENTLEY ROSE, Justice and Mayor of Salem, Iowa, was born June 1, 1819, in Uniontown, Belmont Co., Ohio, and is the son of Solomon and Narcissa (Arnold) Rose. Solomon Rose was born in New York City, and there learned the trade of cabinet-maker. He later went to Washington County, Pa., where his marriage with Miss Arnold was celebrated in October, 1817, during which time he was private secretary of Gen. Proctor. The land warrant then obtained was laid out in Mills County, Iowa, after he came to this State in 1837. Mr. Rose with his young wife removed to Senecaville, Guernsey Co., Ohio, where he purchased a hotel, which in connection with his trade was carried on during his residence in that city. James B. was then but a lad and learned the hotel business perfectly.

Reason A., Solomon C., Sarah, William H. and Silas comprise the family. their removal to Iowa was made Oct. 1, 1837, they taking passage on a steamer down the Ohio, then up the Mississippi to Ft. Madison, where they landed Nov. 11, 1837. At West Point Mr. Rose purchased property, and during their residence in that city he carried on cabinet and carpenter work. He was a finished workman, and in that early day was a most welcome accession to that country. The family became permanent residents of Salem Oct. 9, 1846. Here Mr. Rose purchased property, and carried on farming during the remainder of his life. His death occurred May 6, 1860; his faithful wife, who survived him eleven years, died and was buried at Omaha, Neb. Of the children, Reason A., a farmer, and minister of the United Brethren faith of Marysville, Ore., wedded Mary Mickum; Solomon C. married Samantha Beard, of Salem, the ceremony being performed by our subject, who was then Justice of the Peace, and is a farmer of Herman, Washington Co., Neb.; Sarah, deceased wife of C. M. Wheelock, this being one of the first marriages in Lee County; the death of William H. and of Silas occurred at West Point. Mr. Rose, prior to coming to Henry County, in partnership with his son-in-law, Mr. Wheelock, purchased the lands near Keokuk upon which the infirmary now stands.

The primary education of our subject was received in Ohio, but after coming to Iowa he concluded to complete it. He was a fine mathematician for a lad, and when presenting himself to Robert Stephenson, who conducted a subscription school at West Point, told the teacher "to start him anywhere." Not having attended school for several years, he found it hard to make a start, but after getting some assistance from Granville Pitman (now in business in Keokuk, Iowa), progressed very well until he had nearly finished the arithmetic. One problem brought him to a standstill, and after vainly trying to solve it, he asked his tutor to aid him. "Pass it, pass it," said Mr. Stephenson. "No, sir," said the lad, "I never pass anything." Although the teacher advised him to leave it unsolved, the boy persisted, and both he and Mr. Stephenson carried it home several nights. The morning greeting of each was, "Have you done it?" The third morning, while lying in bed, James mentally solved the problem, demonstrated the same on his slate, and triumphantly carried it to school the next morning. In response to the usual salutation, he produced the figures. "Did you do this?" asked the teacher. "Yes, sir," responded the lad. Erasing the figures, the slate was returned with the remark to do it again, which James did in a few moments and again produced the proof. After the teacher looked it over he said, "Leave my school, young man; I don't want anybody around here who thinks he knows any more than I do." Taking his book and slate, James went home, and that exercise ended his school days. He learned the carpenter's trade but this did not pay, and Mr. Rose learned the cabinet trade with William Alexander, whom he served four years. Mr. Alexander was Postmaster and our subject Deputy, while a resident of West Point.

James Bentley Rose was married to Miss Amy Welch, June 6, 1844, Rev. William Simpson, a Methodist Episcopal minister, performing the ceremony. Two years later the young couple came to Salem, Mr. Rose engaging work with Isaac Ong at the carpenter's trade, and subsequently he and Mr. Ong's son formed a partnership, which lasted two years. The first work done by Mr. Rose was upon the brick house at the southeast corner of the square, now occupied by Charles Conrad. After the partnership was dissolved, he rented Mr. Stanley's cabinet-shop, and for a number of years engaged in business. In 1849 he was elected Constable, and in 1850 was elected Justice of the Peace, being continuously his own successor until 1863. At that time he was appointed Deputy County Treasurer by C. V. Arnold, and the Justiceship was resigned. Mr. Rose, the same year, with his family, became a resident of Mt. Pleasant, remaining there and holding the same official position until April, 1871. In 1869 he was appointed Notary Public, through the influence of Gov. J. G. Newbold, and this office he has since held. The family returned to Salem in 1871, and the same autumn Mr. Rose was re-elected Justice of the Peace and has always been his own successor. For several years he has served the village as an officer, both as clerk and member of the board. He is now Mayor, and for six years was Postmaster of Salem, retiring in1877.

The eldest daughter, Louisa, now wife of Joseph Yeager, a clothier of Afton, Iowa, was born in West Point. Joseph W., William H., Malvin H., Edwin F. and Curtis C. were born in Salem. Joseph was appointed Postal Clerk during Grant's administration, and is Deputy in the department at Kansas City; his wife is Eliza J. Adams. William H. wedded Julia Hayes, and is an employe [sic] of the Iowa Central Railroad, residing at Marshalltown; Malvin H., husband of Lutie Beal, is in business at Afton; Edwin F. was accidentally drowned; Curtis C. is an operator of Hannibal, Mo.

For more than a quarter of a century Esquire Rose has been an official of the county, and the same energy which characterized his scholastic days has been maintained through life. The family in social circles have always ranked high, and in a business sense, none have a clearer record than our worthy Mayor. Forty-three years of wedded life make Mr. and Mrs. Rose one of the oldest married couples in the neighborhood, and we are pleased to give them a place among the deserving of their county.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 444-45.)


Israel Ross

ISRAEL ROSS, a farmer residing on section 9, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Brown County, Ohio, Nov. 16, 1815. He is a son of Thomas and Deborah (Jennings) Ross. The Ross family were natives of Virginia, of Scotch ancestry. Of the Jennings family but little is known except that the grandmother, Charity (Freeman) Jennings, was born in Europe, and when a child came to America. Her parents later moved to Kentucky, and were there during the troublous times when the Indians were hostile, and the family were occasionally forced to take refuge in a boat, and to avoid capture would paddle to the other side of the Ohio River. The Jennings family later removed to Brown County, Ohio, near Georgetown, where the venerable parents lived and died. Thomas Ross became the husband of Deborah Jennings in Brown County, where both families were early settlers. Prior to marriage Mr. Ross ran a keelboat upon the Ohio River, and made regular trips between Cincinnati and Pittsburg. His boat occasionally made a trip to New Orleans, carrying the products of the country, as there were no railroads at that time. When a boat was sent to New Orleans the return journey had to be made on foot or horseback, it being impossible to bring the boat up stream.

After his marriage Thomas Ross settled on a farm, and reared a family of children: Israel, our subject; Margaret, who wedded David Vandyke; Sarah, the wife of Winfield Wright, and after his death of Dr. Dennis Callihar, of Hillsboro, Highland Co., Ohio; John W. became the husband of Miss Power; Thomas wedded Amy Snedaker; Isaac wedded Hannah Day; and three others died in childhood. All the sons of Thomas Ross, Jr., are ministers in the Methodist Church, except our subject, who learned the tanner's trade with the father of Gen. Grant, and was a bosom friend of the lamented General and President. They frequently slept together, and on one occasion, while bathing in a creek, Israel saved the life of the future President, who was younger than he, and had strangled and gone down in the water. After completing his trade Mr. Ross farmed for awhile, and then worked at journeyman's wages for Mr. Grant for some time.

For two years prior to his marriage Israel Ross engaged in farming, and on April 13, 1841, Miss Elizabeth Jennings became his wife. They began their domestic life upon a small farm, and two years later Mr. Ross erected a tannery upon his father's farm, and for several years was engaged in business there. In 1855 he removed with his family to Marion County, Iowa, settling first in Knoxville Township, near Knoxville. In March, 1861, he purchased and removed to the farm, at that time fairly improved, and which he yet owns. Here for years Mr. Ross has lived and prospered, his children have grown to maturity, the good wife and mother, who was a true one in every sense, lived to see the country well developed, schools, churches and railroads built, and to her all seemed prosperous, when the death angel came and carried her away, Jan. 13, 1885.

Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ross: The three eldest died in childhood, while the family were living in Ohio. The others were: Jasper, now husband of Melinda Ross; John A., married to Emma Blockmartin; Isaac W., wedded to Emma Willis; and Diana, were all born in Ohio. Adeline, wife of John Rittenhouse; Arethusa, J. F., Amy and Maggie J. were born in Iowa, the two latter in this county, on the old homestead.

Township offices have been repeatedly filled by our subject, who has, however, always preferred the management of his farm, and the privacy and comfort of his pleasant home. Since the death of his wife Mr. Ross has taken life easy, and his son Jay assumes the management of the farm. In an elegant home, made attractive by prosperity and the bright faces of his younger children, Mr. Ross is passing the evening of a well-spent life in deserved ease and comfort, and for his years is a remarkably youthful and well-preserved man. He has ever been a citizen of whom his countrymen are proud, and his family rank second to none in social circles.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 586)(PW)


Samuel Ross

SAMUEL ROSS, deceased, was among the settlers of Henry County in 1848. He was born in Perry County, Pa., Feb. 4, 1808.

In his native State he remained until he was sixteen years of age, in the meantime receiving a liberal education in the common schools, being of a studious nature. From Pennsylvania he removed to Ohio in 1824, where he remained until he came to Henry County. Mr. Ross was twice married, first to Maria Elliott, who died in 1842. One child of this union, Thomas Scott Ross, is now residing in Boone County, Iowa. Mrs. Ross was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ross, in 1843, wedded Miss Eliza Knox, a native of Roane County, Tenn., born Dec. 11, 1812, a daughter of William and Margaret (Armstrong) Knox, who emigrated to Miami County, Ohio, in 1815, at which time that county was very sparsely settled, Mr. Knox locating in the heavy timber, which he cut down and transformed into a well-cultivated farm. In politics he was an old-line Whig and took an active interest in political affairs. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Knox consisted of seven children, four of whom are living: Armstrong, in Preble County, Ohio; Mary, widow of John Brown, resides near Pickaway, Ohio; Eliza, widow of Samuel Ross, the subject of this sketch; James resides in Paris, Ohio. Mr. Knox died July 10, 1827, and Mrs. Knox in 1839. They were reared in the Presbyterian faith, but in later life were members of the Christian Church.

In 1848 Mr. and Mrs. Ross came to Henry County, Iowa, and located in Center Township, Henry County, a mile and a half from the business center of Mt. Pleasant. Here Mr. Ross engaged in farming, in which occupation he continued until his death, Sept. 12, 1872. Three children blessed the union of Samuel Ross and Eliza Knox, all of whom are yet living: Demaris, now the wife of Oliver Berriman, of Atchison, Kan.; M. Ella and Fanny. Two daughters are now engaged in the chinaware business at Mt. Pleasant and are enjoying a fine trade. Mr. Ross was a friend of education and gave to each of his children all the privileges desired in the way of becoming thoroughly educated, which privileges they readily availed themselves of, and which have been of great practical benefit to them. He was a sincere Christian man, a member of the Presbyterian Church for many years. A kind and loving husband, and an indulgent father, his death was sincerely mourned. Mrs. Ross is still living and is the owner of 152 acres of fine land, valued at $75 per acre. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church, with which body she has been connected for many years. In all work of the church she is greatly interested, and has always been ready to do her part for the advancement of the cause. A resident of the county for a period of forty years, she is well known and universally respected.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 434) (DB)


Samuel H. Ross

SAMUEL H. ROSS, a prominent and influential citizen of Henry County, residing on section 27, Marion Township, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., Nov. 25, 1799. His parents were John and Mary (Cochrane) Ross, she being a niece of William Finley, associate of Gen. George Washington, and a brother-in-law of one of the members of the old Continental Congress. Her grandfather Cochrane was a Captain in the Light Horse Guards of Gen. Washington, he acting as Washington's body-guard for seven years afterward. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were the parents of eight children: Samuel H., of Mt. Pleasant; Sarah married John Magill, both how deceased; their son William is one of the prominent men of Pennsylvania, having served as Justice of the Peace in West Deer Township, Allegheny Co., Pa., and four terms in the State Legislature, being prominently spoken of for State Senator by the Republican party. John died in Allegheny County, Pa. in 1885, leaving four sons and two daughters; he was an Elder in the United Presbyterian Church. Rhuma, wife of Thomas Cox, died in Cincinnati, Ohio; George W. was united in marriage with Miss Ester Irvin, and now resides in Allegheny County, Pa., on the old home farm; Eliza, deceased wife of Robert Cunningham, a resident of Allegheny County, Pa.; William died when a young man, and Mary A., the widow of Allen Aber, resides in Allegheny County.

Our subject remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-two years of age. The father being an invalid, the care of the family fell upon the mother and himself, while he was yet a boy. He worked at stone-cutting and various occupations in his native State. The father and mother both died in Allegheny County, Pa., and were devoted members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ross was a cousin of Gen. Ross, who was killed by the Americans at Baltimore. Samuel Ross wedded Miss Sarah Livingston, a daughter of James and Martha (Robertson) Livingston, both natives of Pennsylvania, and in that State, in Westmoreland County, May 19, 1803, their daughter Sarah was born.

Shortly after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ross removed to Allegheny County, where he leased a farm for ten years. At the expiration of the time, he decided to try the far West, so in 1841 he with his wife and four children came to Henry County, Iowa, locating in Center Township, his post-office being Mr. Pleasant. Mr. and Mrs. Ross are the parents of six children: John P., residing in Baker City, Ore.; James; Martha, now Mrs. Thomas Lash, of Mt. Pleasant; William E. owns a large ranch in Nevada; Sarah, wife of John Huling, a farmer of Center Township; and Sam, a resident of Oregon. Mr. Ross is one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, has witnessed the many changes that have taken place, and has ever been identified with all public improvements. He and his estimable wife traveled life's journey together for nearly fifty-seven years, she being called to her final home Sept. 24, 1887. They were both members of the United Presbyterian Church, doing their part in all church work. As a pioneer, citizen and friend, none more truly deserve the respect and love of all than does Samuel H. Ross. Politically, he is a Republican, having voted with that party since its organization.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 618) (DB)


Christian Roth

CHRISTIAN ROTH, a farmer residing on section 9, Jefferson Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in France, April 10, 1845, and is the son of Christian and Katie (Wittmer) Roth, mention of whom is made in the sketch of Peter Roth, brother of our subject. In this county Christian Roth, Jr., grew to manhood, and was married, Feb. 15, 1877, to Miss Fannie Augsperger, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Shantz) Augsperger, the father born in Strasburg, France, and mother in Germany. Jacob was but six weeks old when his parents came to America. They settled in Butler County, Ohio, near Hamilton, and were among the early settlers there. The Shantz family located in Wayne County, near Worcester, and the parents lived and died there. They had eight children: Jacob married Miss Blouth, and resides on the homestead farm in Wayne County, Ohio; Christian, for his second wife, wedded Annie Creaser, and resides in Fulton County, Ohio; Joseph, a resident of Butler County, wedded Katie Augsperger; Peter wedded Annie Roth, and resides near West Point, Lee Co., Iowa; another son died in infancy; Lena, wife of Joseph Reece, and Elizabeth, complete the family. She was mother of seven children, all living except one: Christian, deceased, married Elizabeth Augsperger; his widow married Peter Schroch, of Butler County, Ohio. Katie married Joseph Meyer, of the same county; Mary is the wife of Joseph Houder, a resident of Bureau County, Ill.; Lena married Peter Imhoft, of Butler County; Annie is the wife of Nicholas Summer, of the same county; Fannie married our subject; and George is the husband of Mollie Shafer, and resides in Butler County. Mrs. Roth's father reached the age of sixty-six years, and his wife is yet living, now nearly seventy years of age.

Since the marriage of Christian Roth, Jr., and Miss Fannie Augsperger three children have been born - Albert, Edward and Katy A.  They are pleasantly located upon a nice farm near the village of Wayland, a part of the first lands purchased by Christian Roth, Sr.  Our subject is one of the most enterprising of men, and is rapidly growing wealthy. The Roths have ever been noted for their integrity and honor in business dealings, and for their upright conduct. Christian Roth and his wife are both members of the Mennonite Church, and we gladly make mention of the family.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 443-44.)



Peter Roth is the proprietor of a hotel and livery stable in Wayland. The history of Wayland would be incomplete without a sketch of the genial landlord and landlady of the Central House, which under their combined management has become one of the most popular inns along the line of the Iowa Central Railroad. In connection with the hotel is a barn and livery stable which furnishes accommodations to commercial travelers and brigs a good income to the proprietor. The table is well furnished and Mrs. Roth makes the house a model of neatness and guests find better accommodations than at many houses of greater pretensions.

Peter Roth, the owner and proprietor was born near Mombelier, France, March 9, 1847 and is the son of Christian and Catherine (Wittmer) Roth. The father was born in France and his wife in Switzerland, and their seven children were also born in France, three of them dying after coming to America. As the family has been favorably known to the people of Henry County since 1855, we are pleased to make special mention of each member. The father, Christian, died November 28, 1887 in his eighty-first year and the mother is now living on the old homestead, near Wayland, in her sixty-seventh year. Christian Roth, Sr., was an enterprising farmer and purchased on his arrival in Henry County 160 acres of land to which he made large additions later in life. He erected a brewery on the homestead the next year after coming to the county, which was completed at a cost of over $4000 and until its closing by the laws passed in the State of Iowa, in 1884, did a prosperous business, and had a capacity for ten barrels a day. In the distribution of his estate among his children, Peter, who was a practical brewer, took the brewery in lieu of real estate, and its closing has entailed upon him a severe loss.

Peter Roth was married March 31, 1873 to Miss Anna, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Schantz) Frienberger who were both born, reared, and married in Alsace, France, now a part of the German Empire. Four children were born to them, of whom only Anna, wife of Mr. Roth, our subject, is living. The others were Mary, Barbara, and Mattie. Their mother was the second wife of John Frienberger who first wedded Elizabeth Rupp, who was the mother of several children, four of whom are living: Joseph, wedded to Mary Slaughter (sic); Christian, married to Katie Fry; Elizabeth who became the wife of Christian Rupp, and Katie, wedded to Jacob Rupp. The three latter reside on farms in Fulton County, Ohio. All the children of the Roth family are happily married and well settled on farms with the exception of our subject, who is a permanent resident of Wayland. Jacob married Barbara Yoder, and lives a retired life at Louisville, Ohio. Fannie is now the widow of Joseph Mast, who died November 29, 1887; her first husband being Christian Wise (sic). Christian married Fannie Augsberger; Katie became the wife of Peter Wise (sic); Joseph is the husband of Barbara A., daughter of Christian Eicher; and Mary died unmarried.

Mr. and Mrs. Roth have no children of their own but are rearing a pretty and vivacious little girl, Mamie Whitman, born December 31,. 1876. To her they give the love and care that parents could bestow upon their own child and she never feels the lack of anything that affection can provide. In the enterprising village of Wayland, the Roths are deservedly held in esteem.

(Biographical Review of Henry County, Iowa. .Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 351-352) (AW)


Charles B. Rukgaber

CHARLES B. RUKGABER, Clerk of the Dis­trict Court of Henry County, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, May 14,1834, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (Baur) Rukgaber. He was reared and educated in his native country, and in 1857 emigrated from Germany to America in company with his mother and sister, his father having died July 6, 1845. The latter was in his youth a door and sash and cabinet-maker, but after his marriage became a farmer. He was a Town Councilor of Felldorf, in Wurtemberg, a position of trust and responsibility. He was a man of integrity, a good husband and father. He was born in 1800, and was therefore forty-five years old at the time of his death, which was caused by the fall of a tree he was felling, by which he received injuries from which he never recovered, dying in less than a year afterward. His wife was also a native of Wurtemberg, born in 1798. Since her emigration to America she has made her home mainly with her son Charles B., with whom she is now living, in exceptionally good health, al­though in her ninetieth year. One brother, John, had preceded the others to this country. He lived first in Richmond, Va., and in 1857 removed to Washington, D. C., and the following year came to Mt. Pleasant, where he has since resided. Another brother, David, of whom see sketch, came to America in 1858; Christian emigrated in 1869, and is also a resident of Mt. Pleasant. The sister was named Rosa. In 1859 she became the wife of Charles Williams, and died in that city in 1876, leaving a son Charles, now living in Kansas. Mr. Williams also died in Mt. Pleasant.

On coming to America Charles B. made his home first in Washington, D. C., where he resided one year, and in 1858 removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in company with his brother David, arriving in this city August 16. Here he engaged in the boot and shoe business until the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, when on the 18th of August, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company C, 4th Iowa Cavalry. He was promoted Orderly Sergeant, and re-enlisted as a veteran Dec. 12, 1863, and served four years, or to the close of the war, being mustered out with his regiment at Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 10, 1865. His regiment was attached to Grant's army during the siege of Vicksburg, and during his term of service did some hard work. The following is a list of the principal battles and engagements in which Mr. Rukgaber participated: White River, Helena, Brown's Ford, and Red River, in Arkansas; at Fourteen-Mile Creek, Raymond, Mechanicsburg, first and second Missis­sippi Springs, first and second battles of Jackson, siege of Vicksburg, at Canton, Brandon, Browns­ville, Meridian and Cold water, all in Mississippi; at Memphis, Tenn.; at Guntown, Ripley and Tupelo (Old Town Creek), Miss. He was mustered out in August, 1865, after four years of hard campaigning, in which he won the reputation of a brave and gallant soldier.

On his return from the army Mr. Rukgaber engaged as clerk for J. B. Shaw, hardware merchant of Mt. Pleasant, continuing in that capacity from 1866 to 1872, when he bought an interest in the business, the firm being Shaw & Rukgaber. This connection continued till the death of Mr. Shaw in 1875, when Horace Clark bought the interest of the Shaw heirs, and the new firm became Rukgaber & Clark. Four years later Mr. Clark went out, and J. S. McGregor and Edward Baines bought in, forming the firm of Rukgaber, McGregor & Baines, which connection continued till Mr. Rukgaber's election in the fall of 1886 to the office he now holds, when he sold out to give his entire time to his official duties, which he performs in the most thorough and satisfactory manner.

Mr. Rukgaber was united in marriage at Mt. Pleasant, April 11, 1861, to Miss Joanna Mueller, daughter of Victor and Amelia (Fehrenbach) Mueller. Mrs. Rukgaber was born in Baden, Germany, in 1843, and came to America with her par­ents in 1845, and to Henry County, Iowa, in 1855. Her parents landed in New Orleans, where they lived for nine years, and in 1854 entered some land in Putnam County, Mo., on which they lived for a year, when they came to Mt. Pleasant. In 1859 Mr. Mueller and a brother, like thousands of others, crossed the plains to Pike's Peak in search of gold. Disliking the country, he went to California, where he was joined by his wife the following year. In 1867 he returned to Mt. Pleasant, and soon after went to their Missouri farm, where both died, the husband in 1878, and the wife in 1876. Mr. Mueller served his time in the army in Germany, and was by trade a carpenter. He was an industrious man, and in his labors in the mines contracted rheumatism, from which effects he died. An upright, honorable man, he was held in esteem by his neighbors.

Mr. and Mrs. Rukgaber are the parents of five children four of whom are living, all born in Mt. Pleasant. Louisa, born Oct. 25, 1866; Emily, born March 27, 1868, died Sept. 13, 1887; Mina, born Nov. 23, 1869; Carrie, born June 16, 1871; and Victor, born March 11, 1873. The daughter Emily, who died, was a beautiful and highly accomplished young lady, possessing rare musical talents, and had been the organist of St. Michael's Episcopal Church for a long time. She was a great favorite in society, and her untimely death was a sad blow to her family and numerous friends. The members of the church of which she was an ornament, and in which she was universally beloved, decided to erect a testimonial to her mem­ory, which has taken the form of a beautiful stained glass window.

Mr. Rukgaber has borne an active part in local public affairs. He has served one year as Secretary of the Henry County Agricultural Society, and six years as a member of the Mt. Pleasant Board of Education. He is a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 8, A. F. & A. M.; Henry Lodge No. 10, I. O. O. F., and of McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., of which he is one of the charter members, and has been Junior Vice Commander. In politics he is a Republican, and has been active in all party affairs. Religiously he is a member of the Episcopal Church, his wife and children being also members of the same society. He is an honorable gentleman, courteous in his intercourse with the public, and capable and attentive in the discharge of the duties of his office, and is justly held in high esteem for his upright and manly character.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 242-243) (JC)


David Rukgaber

DAVID RUKGABER, of Mt. Pleasant, a son of Joseph and Mary (Baur) Rukgaber was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Dec. 30, 1830, and is one of a family of five children. The family history is given under the name of Charles B. Rukgaber. Joseph Rukgaber departed this life in 1845, in Germany, and in 1857 Mrs. Rukgaber emigrated to America, locating in Mt. Pleasant, at which place she still resides. The family are members of the Catholic Church.

David Rukgaber is a well-educated man, having received a liberal education while in Germany. At the age of twenty he enlisted in the German army, serving for six years. After being discharged he immediately came to America in 1858, and located at Mt. Pleasant, and in 1859 he led to the marriage altar Miss Magdalene Ruprecht, who was also a native of Germany, born in Hohenzollern in 1830. He farmed until 1861, when at the break­ing out of the Rebellion, Mr. Rukgaber enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, and was mustered into service at Mt. Pleasant. The regiment then went to St. Louis, where they were armed and equipped, remaining there three weeks. It then proceeded to Springfield, Mo., was in the raid after Price, and was in several skirmishes and fought in the engage­ments at Guntown, Tupelo, Holly Springs, and other places. The regiment was afterward made a part of Grant's army, and was at the siege of Vicksburg.

Mr. Rukgabcr served four years, but was mustered out at Memphis, before the remainder of his regiment, on account of losing his sight. He was a brave soldier, always at his post, never shirking his duty though danger threatened on every side. The Government has awarded him a pension of $30 per month for the injuries he sustained. He is a member of the McFarland Post No. 20, G. A. R., taking an active interest in all work pertaining to the order.

Mr. and Mrs. Rukgaber have the respect and good-will of all. They have a family of five children: Mary, now the wife of Lewis Scheuneman, a resident of Mt. Pleasant; Amelia, Bertha, Otto A. and Willie. The parents are members of the Catholic Church. In politics he is a Republican.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, pp 243-244) (JC)


Caleb Russell, Jr..

CALEB RUSSELL, Jr., is a farmer residing on section 24, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. Since 1855 the family bearing the name of Russell have been well known in Henry County. Originally they came from Scotland, and are of both Scotch and Irish lineage, but were natives of Old Virginia. Caleb Russell, Sr., was a native of Maryland. He was first married to Miss Harriet Fairfax, a daughter of Capt. Fairfax of Revolutionary fame. Her grandfather, Lord Fairfax, received a large grant of land from the British Crown, and that comprised the county of Fairfax, Va., and in his honor the county was named. Harriet Russell became the mother of four children: Llewellyn is a prominent merchant of New Albany, Ind.; Edgar M., the husband of Mary A. Camby, a well-known contractor and builder of Wayne Township; then our subject; and lastly Thomas, who wedded Phoebe Hatton, a second cousin of Frank Hatton, and resides in Wayne Township. The mother of these children died when Thomas was but six weeks old. The family resided at that time within thirteen miles of Harper's Ferry. Mr. Russell was a woolen manufacturer, and operated a factory at Rockbridge, and until the family came to Iowa in 1855 they had never farmed.

The second wife of Caleb Russell, Sr., was Elizabeth Matthews, daughter of Thomas Matthews, a farmer of Harford County, Md. The marriage was celebrated in 1843, and their children are: Sarah A., now the wife of William H. Camby, a farmer of Wayne Township; Theodore, also a farmer of the same township, and the husband of Hannah M. Brown; and Harriet, who died at five years of age; who were all born in Virginia. In 1851 Mr. Russell and Mr. Hurst went to California, and ran a sawmill near Nevada City. After that new city was destroyed by fire, their mill manufactured the lumber which rebuilt it. In 1854 Mr. Russell returned to Virginia, and the next year made a prospecting trip to this county and was so well pleased that he decided to bring his family and make a home in the new Northwest. After the family arrived a quarter section was selected on section 24, a part of which is now in possession of our subject. Every improvement has been placed upon this land by the Russells. The first house occupied the site on which Theodore Russell's mansion now stands, but was destroyed by fire Dec. 19, 1875. From that date a marked decline was noticed in the physique of Caleb Russell, Sr., who worked heroically, but saved only a part of his personal property. He rebuilt in 1876, and until his death in January, 1880, was happily domiciled in the new home in which his son Theodore now resides. Caleb reached the mature age of seventy-six years, and his widow, born in 1804, is yet living with her son Theodore, but is now very feeble.

Mr. Russell was one of the early officials of Wayne Township, and for many years was the Assessor, and when the new law was passed creating a Board of County Commissioners, he was the first member elected from Wayne Township, and as long as it was in force, was regularly elected his own successor. A Friend by birth and profession, he was an ardent promoter of every enterprise, in not only a social, but a political sense. Mr. Russell was one of the first to establish the Society of Friends at Prairie Grove, and was the first clerk, and served for many years. The death of that good man was deeply regretted, and he is oft quoted as being a man who did great honor to his county. Two of his sons were soldiers, Llewellyn and Theodore. The first was a member of an Indiana regiment, a clerk in the commissary department, and the latter of an Iowa regiment.

Our subject, Caleb Russell, Jr., was born in Prince William County, Va., Feb. 13, 1837. Being a lad thirteen years of age when his parents came to Iowa, he took an active part from that time in the development of the same. Most of his education was obtained here, and he has made himself a central figure in its business circles for many years. He was married, in 1864, to Miss Phoebe Fenton of this county, whose father, John Fenton, came from Frederick County, Va., to Iowa, in 1855, and settled near the Russell home. At the time of his marriage Caleb Russell, Jr., purchased a part of his father's farm, and made fine improvements. Here the young bride began housekeeping, and for almost a quarter of a century a happy domestic life has been hers. Here their children were born: Oscar, deceased; Upton, deceased; Mary B., Lizzie E., Jesse and Emmet P. The two eldest sons died in childhood. The eldest daughter is a student of Howe's Academy, and intends teaching as her profession. In 1864 Caleb Russell began the business of public auctioneer, and for almost a quarter of a century he has been the leading auctioneer in the northwestern part of the county. No man in the neighborhood enjoys a wider repution [sic] than he. At a low estimate, Mr. Russell has disposed of over $300,000 worth of property at public sales. He has also served several terms as Trustee of his township, and for almost twenty years has been a member of the Agricultural Board of Henry County. He was one of the organizers of the Eastern Iowa District Agricultural Society, and a member now of the Board of Directors. Mr. Russell is a member of "Good Faith" Lodge No. 235, A.F. & A.M., Winfield, Iowa, of which he is at present S.W. Both himself and wife are members of the Society of Friends, as are also the heads of the other Russell families.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p. 535)(PW)


Alexander Ruth

ALEXANDER RUTH, a prominent farmer residing on section 6, Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, was born in Rockbridge County, Va., Nov. 7, 1833. His father, Daniel Ruth, was born in Berks County, Pa., in 1794. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of Baltimore. He formed a matrimonial alliance with Sarah E. Imboden, who was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1800. The marriage was celebrated in her native county at Waynesboro. Eleven children blessed their union, seven of whom grew to man and womanhood: Henry, a resident of Warren County, Iowa; George was a soldier in the Mexican War, and died from disease contracted at Matamoras; Benjamin F., who has been a resident of Washington Territory, residing near Puget Sound since 1855; Elizabeth is the wife of John Webb, of Warren County, Iowa; Alexander is our subject; Mary E., wife of John Loring, of Cincinnati, Ohio, died in Indianola, Iowa, in 1858; David is a resident of Helena, Mont.; Samuel and Daniel are deceased, while two died in infancy. In 1840 Daniel Ruth emigrated with his family to McLean County, Ill., settling near Bloomington. The county was but sparsely settled, and Bloomington was but a small village. Mr. Ruth cast his last vote for William Henry Harrison while on his way to Illinois. He died in the fall of 1841. She kept the family together, and securing eighty acres of land, made a home for herself and children. In 1857 she came to Iowa, settling in Indianola, where she died in 1884, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. She was a woman of more than ordinary ability, and much credit is due her for the admirable management and energy shown in the manner in which she provided for her large family. She was a relative of Colonel and General Imboden. She and her husband were both members of the Presbyterian Church.

The subject of this sketch was but seven years old when his parents removed to Illinois. There he received his education in a log school-house. He was united in marriage in 1862, in Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, with Miss Rilla J. Myers, a daughter of George and Jane (Lynch) Myers. She is a native of Greenbrier County, W. Va., born in 1844. Seven children have gathered round the hearthstone of this worthy couple: Lois, the wife of George Brown, of Louisa County, Iowa; Minnie Ila, who wedded Harvey Beauchamp, of Scott Town­ship; Sarah J., Mary E., Cohn, Marie and Frank are still inmates of the parental home.

Mr. Ruth was poor in this world's goods when he came to Henry County, but by economy and enterprise, assisted by his good wife, he has accumulated a comfortable property. He owns a farm of 115 acres, most of which is timber land, but seventy-five are under cultivation. In politics Mr. Ruth is a Greenbacker, though liberal in his views. Of the good people of Henry County, none stand higher or more truly deserve a place in her history than do Mr. Ruth and his interesting family.

(Portrait and Biographical Album, Henry County, Iowa; Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888, p 348) (PW)

Biographies Index  **  Henry County Home

Copyright  IAGenWeb, the submitters & IAGenWeb

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimers

~all of which applies to the Henry county website.~