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Iowa History

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Transcribed by Debbie Clough Gerischer




Benjamin Townsend Nix was born in Butler County, Kentucky, September 15, 1840, and died at Afton, Iowa, March 18, 1914.  He obtained his education in the common schools and at La Grange, Kentucky.  In 1862 he enlisted in the Union Army in a Kentucky regiment, was made captain of his company and served one year, when the regiment was mustered out.  He then re-enlisted in the Fifty-third Mounted Infantry and was again chosen captain of his company, and served until the end of the war.  In 1868 he removed to Des Moines County, Iowa, in 1870 to Clarke County and in 1875 to Union County, following farming during this time.  In 1880 he was elected clerk of the district court of Union County and, because of re-elections, served eight years.  In 1906 he was elected representative and served in the Thirty-second and Thirty-second Extra General Assemblies.

Sabret T. Marshal was born at Keokuk, Iowa, November 20, 1869, and died there, September 20, 1914.  He attended public school in Keokuk, later read law with his father, Col Samuel Taylor Marshal, and was admitted to the bar in 1895.  Because of ill health he spent a few of the following years in Colorado and in the southwest.  He was elected representative from Lee County in 1899 and re-elected in 1901, serving in the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth General Assemblies.

William B. Towner was born at Castleton, Vermont, December 25, 1831, and died at Charles City, Iowa, October 3, 1914.  He came to Floyd County, Iowa, in 1864, purchasing land in Cedar Township.  He served as school director, justice of the peace over twenty year, township trustee, a member of the county board of supervisors, and in 1897 was elected representative, and re-elected two years later, serving in the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth General Assemblies.

Madison Bartlett Davis was born at Canaan, New Hampshire, November 12, 1838, and died at Sioux City, Iowa, July 28, 1914.  He attended school at Salisbury, New Hampshire.  He enlisted in the First New England Cavalry, later changed to the First New Hampshire Cavalry, and came out at the close of the war as an orderly sergeant.  Soon after the war he came to Denmark, Lee County, Iowa.  He read law with J. M. Casey, of Ft. Madison, and was admitted to the bar in December, 1871.  In June, 1874, he removed to Sioux City and soon became a successful and noted lawyer, practicing largely in the federal courts.  He was attorney for the settlers in the Iowa railroad land grant cases.  he also gained prominence as a real estate owner and promoter.  He was department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in 1900.

William Henry Freeman was born at Rockford, Illinois, in 1844, and died at Oakland, Iowa, January 23, 1914.  He removed with his father in 1855 to Lafayette County, Wisconsin, remaining there until he was twenty-one years old.  He came to Big Grove (now Oakland) in 1865 and engaged in railroad culvert construction a few years.  In 1869 he engaged in the sawmill business and then the mercantile business at Oakland.  In 1876 he went to Green County, Wisconsin, and followed the lumbering business until 1881 when he returned to Oakland and engaged in banking.  He was elected mayor of Oakland in 1882 and also served as justice of the peace and on the school board.  He was first elected representative in 1901 and served in the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first General Assemblies.

Timothy P. Murphy was born at Boston, Massachusetts, September 28, 1832, and died at Sioux City, Iowa, September 4, 1914.  When four years old he came with his parents to Waupon, Wisconsin, and afterwards to Iowa City, Iowa.  Here he attended the State University for a time and then read law with his brother, Jeremiah Murphy, then of Marengo, later of Davenport, and who was congressman from that district.  He removed to Sioux City in 1880 and obtained an extensive law practice.  He was appointed United States attorney for the Northern District of Iowa by President Cleveland in 1885 and served until 1890.  He was a leader of the Democratic party in Woodbury County.  At the time of his death he was the oldest practicing attorney in Sioux City.

William W. Hawk was born in Ohio November 26, 1843, and died at Newton, Iowa, September 15, 1914.  Interment was at Colfax, Iowa.  He came with his parents to Keokuk County, Iowa, when a boy and when the car came on enlisted in Company E, Thirty-third Iowa Infantry, and served three years.  He graduated from Keokuk Medical College in 1876 and commenced practice at Greencastle, near the present town of Mingo, Jasper County, where he attained success in his profession.  He removed to Colfax in 1890 and thereafter remained a resident of that place.  In 1899 he was elected representative and was re-elected two years later, serving in the Twenty-eight and Twenty-ninth General Assemblies.  He was postmaster at Colfax from 1908 to 1913.

John A. Cousins was born in what is now Dubuque County, Iowa, but which was then Dubuque County, Wisconsin Territory, on April 15, 1837, and died at his home in New Hartford, Butler County, Iowa, March 12, 1918.  He attended common school and, later, Epworth Seminary.  Farming was his vocation in early life.  In 1865 he removed to Grundy County, continuing farming.  In 1873 he removed to New Hartford and engaged in hardware, lumber and implement business, continuing this until 1900.  He was also interested in banking at New Hartford and Plainfield.  In 1908 he was elected representative and re-elected two years later, serving in the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth General Assemblies.

Edward Knott was born in London, England, March 4, 1842, and died at Waverly, Iowa, August 16, 1914.  He removed with his parents to Boone County, Illinois, in 1855 and, in 1863, to Bremer County, Iowa.  He did farm work, then bought grain, did a livery business and also imported horses from England and France.  In 1876 he was appointed United States marshal for the Northern District of Iowa, and held the position until 1891.  He was again appointed in 1897 and served until 1914, making in all twenty-three years' service in that office.  He was an active and influential Republican.

John Schoenenberger was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 5, 1850, and died at his home near East Peru, Madison County, Iowa, April 23, 1915.  He came with his parents to Madison County in 1855, attended country schools and eventually became a very successful farmer and stockman.  At different times he served at township assessor, clerk, trustee and school treasurer.  Although a Democrat, in 1906 he was elected representative form Madison County, which was strongly Republican, and served in the Thirty-second and Thirty-second extra General Assemblies.  In 1912 he was his party's candidate for senator in the Adair-Madison District, but was defeated.

John Parker was born in Lincolnshire, England, December 18, 1837, and died at his home at Malvern, Iowa, April 7, 1915.  He had to quit school when seven years old and work to help support the family.  He emigrated to America in 1857, settling in Marion County, Ohio.  He came to Mills County, Iowa, in 1867, and became a progressive and successful farmer.  He was elected representative in 1895 and was re-elected in 1897, serving in the Twenty-sixth, Twenty-sixth extra and Twenty-seventh General Assemblies.

William Lytle Carpenter was born at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, October 5, 1841, and died at his home in Des Moines, September 26, 1915.  He came with his parents' family to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1852, and a few years later they removed to a farm in Black Hawk County.  He enlisted in the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry in 1861 and served four years, becoming adjutant of the regiment.  After the war he returned to farming in Black Hawk County, but in 1866 removed to Des Moines.  For many years he was secretary of the Iowa State Grange and as secretary of the Farmers' Protective Association lead in organizing a barb wire manufacturing company in Des Moines and became its manager.  The famous legal battle of the barb wire trust against the independent manufacturers was fought out over this plant.  Mr. Carpenter had associated with him in this contest such leaders as John H. Given, Henry Wallace, James Wilson, Col. John Scott, L. S. Coffin, M. L. Devin, G, H. Crosby, B. F. Gue and others.  Hon. A. B. Cummins, then a rising young lawyer, was their attorney, and won for them a signal victory, the price of barb wire soon declining from fourteen cents to three cents a pound.  Mr. Carpenter became prominent in politics.  He was the Democratic candidate for congress in 1886 against Maj. Conger in the Seventh District, was elected mayor of Des Moines in 1888 and served one term, and was custodian of the State Capitol under Governor Boies from 1890 to 1894.  he lived in retirement the last few years of his life.  He left many of the records of his activities in the collections of the Historical Department of Iowa.

Christopher T. Jones was born in Barren Count, Kentucky, September 11, 1837, and died at his home in Des Moines, September 14, 1915.  He came with his parents to Iowa in 1842, settling in Louisa County.  The following year he was left an orphan in the care of friends, but at twelve years of age became self-supporting.  In 1850 he went to Washington, attended public school and took a partial course in Washington College, which was broken up by the war.  He studied law and was admitted to practice in 1859.  When the war broke out he enlisted in Company H, Second Iowa Infantry.  In the fall of 1861 he was discharged because of sickness and a hurt he received while in the service, and from which he never fully recovered.  In 1865 he was elected clerk of the courts in Washington County and served until 1875.  Then for a few years he practiced law, but because of poor health he abandoned it.  In 1880 he was a Republican presidential elector.  He came to Des Moines that year and on January 1, 1881, went into the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court as an assistant, remaining for two years.  From 1883 to 1895 he was a deputy clerk under G. B. Pray.  He was a clerk of the Supreme Court from 1895 to 1903.  For some years after that he assisted later incumbents of that office.  He was an efficient public servant.

George W. Ball was born near Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, June 7, 1847, and died at his home in Iowa City, July 18, 1915.  He spent his youth on his father's farm in Jefferson County, attended common school, and Wesleyan University, Mt. Pleasant, graduating in 1867.  He also graduated from the law department of the State University of Iowa in 1869.  He practiced law a short time in Des Moines and in Mt. Ayr, Iowa, and then in Chicago, but in November, 1874, he removed to Iowa City and formed a partnership with Charles Baker, which continued until Mr. Baker's death in 1910.  Then he formed a partnership with his son, George W. Ball, Jr.  In 1885 he was elected representative and served in the Twenty-first General Assembly.  He was county attorney of Johnson County for four years, 1893 to 1896.  In 1899 he was elected senator and served in the Twenty-eight and Twenty-ninth General Assemblies and was mayor of Iowa City from 1905 to 1909.  He was vice president of the First National Bank of Iowa City.  He was a member of the board of curators of the State Historical Society.  He was prominent in the different branches of Masonry, and was grand master of the Grand Lodge of Iowa two terms, 1895 and 1896.

Lew Wallace Anderson was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 6, 1867, and died at his home in that city, September 21, 1915.  He graduated from Cedar Rapids High School in 1884 and for a year was on the editorial staff of the Cedar Rapids Republican.  He entered the insurance business with his father, and after his father's death in 1905, he conducted the business alone.  He built up one of the largest insurance agencies in the state.  From 1907 he was actively engaged in real estate developments in Cedar Rapids.  He was the leader in purchasing, landscaping and putting on the market Vernon Heights, and other fine residential districts of the city.  He also was the foremost promoter in building the Montrose Hotel, the Killian department store and the principal new office buildings in the city.  He was alderman-at-large in 1906, was a member of the public library board, and a member of the River Front Improvement Association.  Governor Carroll appointed him on the Iowa State Waterways Conservation Commission.  He was for several years considered the leader in the big enterprises that marked his city's progress.

John A. Green was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, December 10, 1844, and died at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, February 25, 1920.  Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Anamosa.  He emigrated to America with his parents in 1852, stopping in Boston, where he attended school.  He then for ten years worked as a stonecutter and letterer.  He came to Joliet, Illinois, in 1865, and to the hills west of Anamosa, later known as Stone City, in 1868.  Here he opened the limestone quarries which in a few years developed into a concern employing at one time several hundred men, thriving until cement came into general use, when the quarries declined.  Mr. Green also successfully conducted farming and fine stock raising.  He was progressive, successful and generous, and was a liberal supporter of church and hospital work.  He was a leader in the Democratic party of his county and district.  In 1891 he was elected senator from the Cedar-Jones district, and served in the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies.  In 1904 he was the unsuccessful candidate for congress in the Fifth District.

William F. Johnston was born in Westmoreland County,  Pennsylvania, August 20, 1833, and died at Toledo, Iowa, August 8, 1914.  He came to Iowa City, Iowa, in 1856 and removed to Toledo in 1858 and entered the mercantile business, continuing until 1879.  He was actively interested in banking and railroad building and became the largest individual land owner in Tama county, where he owned some 3,200 acres, with some 3,000 acres elsewhere.  He was interested in many corporations.  When Leander Clark resigned as representative in the Ninth General Assembly to enter the Union Army, Mr. Johnston was elected at the regular election of 1862 to fill the vacancy, but as there was no extra session called after that election and before the expiration of his term, he never sat in the assembly.  For forty-three years he was a member of the board of trustees of Cornell College, Mount Vernon, and from the time Leander Clark College was located at Toledo, or for over thirty years, he was a member of the executive committee of that institution.

Thomas D. Foster was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, November 25, 1847, and died in Ottumwa, Iowa, July 22, 1915.  He removed with his parents in 1858 to County Kilkenny, Ireland.  There he attended public school until sixteen years old when he began work for John Morrell & Company, a meat packing concern.  In 1865 he was by them transferred to Liverpool, in 1868 to New York City, and in 1871 to Chicago.  In 1872 he became that company's general manager for the United States and Canada.  In 1878 he removed to Ottumwa, Iowa, and established the packing plant there.  In 1893 he was elected chairman of John Morrell & Company, Ltd., which position he held at the time of his death.  Owing to failing health he retired in 1914.  For many years he had been active in Y. M. C. A. work.  He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Lenox College in 1906.  He was a member of the board of trustees of Parsons College and a member of the State Board of Education from 1909 to 1911.

Alexander M. Garrett was born on a farm near Letts, Iowa, March 31, 1857, and died at Letts, August 15, 1915.  He attended common school in that community, became an extensive farmer and stockman and also engaged in the grain business at Letts, to which place he removed in 1900.  In 1910 he was elected senator and served in the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth General Assemblies.  He was a Democrat in politics.

Thomas B. Hanley  was born in Ohio December 11, 1853, and died at his home in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 1919.  When a small boy he came with his parents to LeClaire, Iowa.  Considerable time was spent in his boyhood in employment on the Mississippi River.  After attending school one year at the State College at Ames he followed school teaching a few years and in 1880 graduated from the law department of the State University of Iowa.  He commenced practice at LeClaire but in 1888 removed to Tipton, forming a partnership with William P. Wolf as Wolf & Hanley, which continued until Mr. Wolf went on the bench in 1895.  He was mayor of Tipton two years.  In 1894 he was the leader in organizing the Modern Brotherhood of America, a fraternal insurance association, an became its first president.  He continued to hold that office until his death.  The Modern Brotherhood of America has had a phenomenal growth, largely due to Mr. Hanley's leadership.  The headquarters were removed to Mason City where the order erected a million dollar office building a few years ago.  He removed to Des Moines in 1907 and maintained his office there.  He was one of the most prominent fraternal as-  (Note:  This is how the book left it! )

George Carson was born in Jennings County, Indiana, February 5, 1841, and died at Council Bluffs, Iowa, February 18, 1919.  In his youth he attended public school and an academy.  He enlisted as a private in the Union Army in 1861 and was discharged in 1865 as a first lieutenant.  After the war he attended Hartsville University for a time and the law department of the Michigan State University, graduating from the latter in 1868.  In 1869 he removed to Council Bluffs and the following year formed a law partnership with S. Smith, the firm being Smith & Carson.  In 1879 it became Smith, Carson & Harl.  In 1877 he was elected representative, and re-elected two years later, serving in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth General Assemblies.  In 1883 he was elected senator and served in the Twentieth and Twenty-first General Assemblies.  In 1886 he was elected one of the judges of the Fifteenth Judicial District and served four years.  In 1896 he was elected mayor of Council Bluffs.  His services in all these public stations were marked by a high sense of duty.

Charles McAllister was born at South Lee, Massachusetts, February 1, 1840, and died at South Lee, July 20, 1913, while there making his annual visit to the old family homestead, which he still owned.  His interment was there.  After obtaining an education in the common branches, he taught school two years, then entered Williams College and graduated in 1863.  He graduated from Berkshire Medical College in 1865.  He practiced medicine at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, five years and at Dixon, Illinois, two years.  He came to Spencer, Iowa, in 1872 and was in an active and extensive practice there forty-one years, or until his death.  He was a representative in the Seventeenth General Assembly, being elected in 1877.

A. D. Garlock was born in Otsego County, New York, December 4, 1842 and died at his home in Escondido, California, April 5, 1913.  He emigrated to De Kalb, Illinois, in 1859.  In 1861 he enlisted in Company K, Forty-second Illinois Infantry, as a first sergeant and later was commissioned a lieutenant.  He removed to Pocahontas County, Iowa, in 1869 and became the first permanent settler of Cedar Township for that county.  In 1871 he was elected county auditor and served eight years.  In 1887 he was elected stare senator and served in the Twenty-second General Assembly.  He engaged in banking in Pocahontas County but removed to Des Moines in 1890.  After 1902 he spent most of his time in California.

Thor O. Hanson was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, June 15, 1859; he died at his home near Bode, Iowa, February 18, 1915.  He removed with his parents to Emmet county, Iowa in 1869.  His early education was received in the rural schools and in 1878 he engaged in teaching in Emmet, Kossuth and Humboldt counties for about ten years.  From 1886 to 1892 he was in the general mercantile and real estate business and after that time was connected with the state bank of Bode.  He was the first mayor of Bode and a member of the school board for fourteen years.  He served as representative from Humboldt county in the Thirty-second, Thirty-second Extra and Thirty-third General Assemblies.

Henry M. Eicher was born in Marion township, Washington County, Iowa, May 29, 1858, and died at Washington, Iowa, July 27, 1919.  In the early '80's he read law in Washington with Dewey & Templin.  In 1883 he entered a partnership with A. R. Dewey which continued until 1891,  when Mr. Dewey went on the district bench.  He then formed a partnership with C. J. Wilson.  Later he was of the firm of Eicher, Livingston & Eicher.  For three years during President Cleveland's last administration he was Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.  In 1912 Governor Carroll appointed him a member of the State Board of Education, where he served until his death.  He was an active member of the Council of Defense during the World War.

George W. Hanna was born in Waterloo, Iowa, June 3, 1850, and died at Luverne, Iowa, January 16, 1918.  He attended common school at Waterloo and at Goldfield, Wright County, and spent some time at Upper Iowa University.  Early in life he taught school and herded cattle.  When the Northwestern railroad was constructed through Iowa to Eagle Grove, and north of there in 1878, he and a partner started a store at what is now Luverne.  He has been considered the real founder of that town.  He was postmaster and mayor and was interested in baking there.  He early began to invest in land and at the time of his death owned 6,000 acres in Luverne township, Kossuth County, as well as large mining interests in Mexico.  He became a leader in politics in his part of the state, was a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1888, and was elected representative in 1903, and served in the Thirtieth and Thirty-first General Assemblies.

Edgar S. Garrison was born at Clarence, Iowa, January 10, 1873, and died at Herconcitos, Province of Cheriqui, Republic of Panama, July 16, 1915.  He removed with his parents to Denison, Iowa, when seven years old, attended school there, spent two years at Notre Dame University, and graduated from Iowa State University in 1895.  He then entered the law office of his father, T. J. Garrison, of Denison, but later removed to Missouri Valley, forming a law partnership with J. S. Dewell.  In 1896 he was elected clerk of the district court of Harrison County, and was re-elected clerk of the district court of Harrison County, and was re-elected the two succeeding terms, going out of office in 1903.  Soon thereafter he went to the Panama Canal Zone entering the office of the prosecuting attorney as an assistant.  In 1908 he was appointed district judge there and served until 1914, when he resigned, traveled extensively in Venezuela and other countries and entered into stock ranching business in Panama.  He met his death through a prevalent tropical disease.

William Desmond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1850, and died in Seattle, Washington, March 28, 1915.  His parents brought him with them, in 1852, when they removed to near De Witt, Clinton County, Iowa.  He served as constable and marshal of De Witt from 1872 to 1876, as deputy sheriff of Clinton County from 1876 to 1882m as sheriff from 1882 to 1885, as United States marshal for the Northern District of Iowa from 1885 to 1889, as sheriff again from 1889 until 1894, and again as United States marshal from 1894 to 1898.  In 1909 he removed to Seattle where he was largely interested in real estate.  He was one of the best and most popular peace officers of Iowa, singularly adapted physically, intellectually and morally for such responsibility.  He was over six feet tall, weighed two hundred pounds and was a terror to evil doers, but kind to others.  He broke up the famous "Fan" Burns gang of thieves as well as many other gangs.  It is said President Cleveland first appointed him marshal chiefly because he looked to be what his friends claimed for him, "Iowa's greatest peace officer."

Louis F. Springer was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1853, and died at Reading, Pennsylvania, April 19, 1914.  He graduated from Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, and came to Independence, Iowa, in 1880 and engaged in the practice of law.  In 1881 he was elected county attorney of Buchanan County and was re-elected two years later, serving four years.  In 1885 he was elected mayor of Independence and served one year.  He was clerk of the district court from 1891 to 1895.  In 1901 he was elected representative and regularly re-elected until 1906, serving in the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, Thirty-second and Thirty-second extra General Assemblies.  As this was a Republican county and he was a Democrat, his career attested to the confidence his constituents reposed in him.  Owing to his declining health he returned to and remained a resident of his old home in Pennsylvania a year or so before his death.

Albin C. Blackmore was born in Alleghany, New York, August 19, 1843, and died at Northwood, Iowa, August 29, 1915.  He lived on a farm with hi parents until August, 1861, when he enlisted in Company I, Sixty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, attaining the rank of first lieutenant.  He was seriously wounded in battle at Spottsylvania Court House.  After the war he went to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where his parents had removed.  He came to Worth County, Iowa, in 1866 and followed farming and stock raising.  he was elected township clerk and then county supervisor.  In 1883 he was elected county auditor and served nine years,  Following that h was manager of the Farmers' Lumber Company at Northwood.  In 1906 he was elected representative and re-elected in 1908, serving in the Thirty-second, Thirty-second extra and Thirty-third General Assemblies.

Norman Haskins was born in New York in 1825, and died March 2, 1914, at Denver, Colorado.  Burial was at Rockford, Illinois.  He came to Des Moines in 1876 and taught school for some time.  He then engaged in the operation of coal mines and prospered financially.  He withdrew from coal mining and dealt in Des Moines real estate, and was very successful in that business.  He also made investments in Colorado land which proved profitable because of mineral discoveries thereon.  He was a great friend of Drake University, was a trustee and gave liberally to it.  He was one of the group of men with George T. Carpenter, the first president, who selected the site of the main building of the University.  He gave the University the Drake Stadium as a memorial to his son, Alvin Haskins, who died a few years after graduating from Drake.


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