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J. H. Bahne

In the recent passing of the veteran journalist, Jacob H. Bahne, for years editor of the Osceola County Tribune at Sibley and one of the best known and best loved newspaper men in northwestern Iowa, the craft in this state sustained a loss which brought out expressions of sincere regret in all the editorial columns throughout this region.  For nearly forty years Mr. Bahne had been connected with newspaper work in Iowa and not only was his name widely known in the profession but his work was even more widely known, for his editorials, and particularly those choice, terse aphoristic paragraphs of his, were quoted by the newspapers all over the country, he thus winning fame that was recognized generally by the profession.  It often was remarked concerning Mr. Bahne's work that he could put more punch into a two line paragraph than most writers could crowd into an essay, and that as a newspaper paragrapher he was a positive genius.  He also has frequently been referred to as a man of rare intellect, possessed of a fine sense of wit, but utterly without pretense, hating shams and hypocrisy of all kinds and forever sidestepping the limelight.  "Backslapping" never appealed to him and he had little use for verbal bouquets, even when cast in his direction.

Though not a rich man measured by those terms by which the world is accustomed to gauge varying degrees of wealth, "Jake" Bahne possessed a fund of philosophy and a sense of humor that were to him assets of inestimable value and these treasures of sense and appreciation he ever gladly shared with his friends and with all the world.  His coworkers in the field of journalism in Iowa recall him as a man of pleasing personality, whose presence lent pleasure to the duties of the routine working day.  One of his old time fellow craftsmen at Sioux City points out that "he had an active and persuasive sense of humor.  He could tell a Bible story so that it would sound interestingly humorous, and yet never would he cross the border line to where the story would offend as being sacrilegious.  He had no patience with either religious or political intolerance.  He could respect the sincerity of those whose opinions differed  from his own, and even his editorial criticisms were given in a broadminded, kindly manner."

It was in 1910 that Mr. Bahne left Sioux City, where he had for years been actively engaged in newspaper work, and bought the Osceola County Tribune at Sibley.  Those familiar with conditions in the Tribune office at that time recall that the paper was in a badly "run down" state and that for some time it had been carrying on against odds that might have seemed insuperable to all save so stout and valiant a soul as that possessed by "Jake" Bahne.  Under the management of Mr. Bahne and his son, Raymond Bahne, the latter of whom also had become an experienced newspaper man, the Tribune soon became recognized in the craft throughout this section of the country as one of the "snappiest" small-town newspapers in the northwest.  Since the death of the veteran editor the Tribune has been carried on by the surviving son, Raymond Bahne, and a partner, under the firm name of Bahne & Vance, and is holding its own admirably.  It is recalled in political circles that "Jake" Bahne claimed to be the original Wilson man in Iowa.  He maintained that the Sibley Tribune "boomed" Woodrow Wilson for the White House months before any other Iowa newspaper took up the cause of the New Jersey college professor, who in the fullness of time was destined to take so conspicuous a part in worked affairs.  During the time of the first Wilson campaign, in 1912, Mr. Bahne was chairman of the democratic central committee in Osceola county and he undoubtedly did much toward putting Iowa in the Wilson column in that eventful year.

Jacob H. Bahne was born in northwestern Illinois on December 15, 1844, and was working "at the case" as a printer's apprentice at Galena in that state when the Civil war broke out, he then being in his seventeenth year.  He presently threw down his "stick" and the other implements of the craft and got into the fight, serving thereafter until the close of the war as a valiant soldier of the Union, a member of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which gallant command he participated in some of the most important campaigns of the war.  Upon the completion of his military service the young printer went to the Pacific coast and in the cities on the coast and in the mountain country was for some years employed as a journeyman printer, becoming widely known in the ranks of that interesting band which in those days lent a certain measure of picturesqueness and human interest to the printing craft in the west that gave it a tone and a zest all its own and around which grew traditions of sorts in the narration of which a most interesting volume could be written.  Included in the cities in which Mr. Bahne found ready employment at the case was Virginia City, Nevada, going to work there in the rude composing room of the Enterprise, one of his fellow case-holders there at that time having been another itinerant printer, Henry George, who later was destined to achieve worked fame as a political economist, the ardent apostle of the single tax theory.  This was at the time that Samuel L. Clemens, a stroller from Missouri, was working as a reporter on that paper, in which first was printed matter over the pseudonym "Mark Twain."  "Jake" Bahne was in interesting company.

In 1887 Mr. Bahne came to Sioux City from Yankton and was employed as a proofreader on The Journal.  His quickly recognized capability as a writer soon caused him to be transferred to the editorial room and there for some years and on through the stirring period of the Spanish-American war he rendered editorial service on that paper.  When George D. Perkins, owner of the Journal, was in congress the editorial direction of the paper was turned over to Mr. Bahne, and that he did his job well is attested in an appreciation of this service published in the Journal after his death and in which it is declared that "some of the best editorials ever appearing in this paper were written by him and often copied and quoted in such papers throughout the country as the Chicago Tribune."  This paper also recalled that many now employed on the Journal and who at the time of Mr. Bahne's connection therewith were just "breaking into the game" practically were his pupils, going to him with their problems and always receiving aid and advice, and that among these his recent loss is felt with particular poignancy.  "Jake" Bahne certainly left a good memory at his passing and that memory long will be cherished in the fraternity which he for so many years adorned.

Mr. Bahne has been twice married and twice bereaved of a helpmate.  A daughter, child of his first union, also had preceded him in death, and the sole lineal survivor is his son, Raymond Bahne, born of his father's union with Miss Naomi Richardson, his second wife, whom he married in Maquoketa, this state, while he was engaged in newspaper work in that place.  An adopted son, Ted Bahne, a relative of the late Mrs. Bahne, also survives.  Mr. Bahne's first wife died a few years after their marriage, leaving a little daughter.  His second wife died at Sibley.

R. J. Barrett

One of the best known and most reliable business firms in Sioux City is that of the R. J. Barrett & Sons Company, cut stone contractors, who also bear the distinction of having been the pioneers in that line in this city.  For four decades this firm has furnished practically all the cut stone for building operations in this vicinity and during this period has been regarded as absolutely trustworthy in every respect.

Robert J. Barrett was born in London, England, on the 16th of March, 1867, and is a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Young) Barrett, but also natives of that country, the father born at Portsmouth and the mother at Market Rasen.  The family emigrated to America in 1871, locating first in Toronto, Canada, where they remained until 1881, when they crossed the border into the United States, settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the father engaged in business as a cut-stone contractor and where Robert J. Barrett of this review learned the trade.  In 1887 Robert Barrett, the father, came to Sioux City, and established the firm of Barrett Brothers, his partner being James Barrett, who represented this district in the state legislature for two terms.  The present firm of R. J. Barrett & Sons Company is a continuation of the original firm, which owned the first stone yard in Sioux City.  The business was originally located at Third and Court streets but was later removed to its present location at First and Nebraska streets.  This firm furnished the stone and stone work for practically all of the early buildings and schoolhouses of this locality, their first job being the Security National Bank building, at Fourth and Pierce streets, since remodeled and now occupied by the F. W. Woolworth Company.  The Barrett concern was also awarded the contract for the first Bancroft school building and all subsequent school buildings in this city.  Other buildings of note for which the Barretts supplied the stone were the Knapp & Spencer Company building, the First Presbyterian, First Methodist Episcopal and Lutheran Evangelical churches, the Tolerton & Warfield Company building, Warfield-Pratt-Howell Company, the Dymond (Winchester-Simmons Company), Farmers Loan & Trust Company building, First National Bank building, the new city hall and other important structures.  Robert Barrett passed away in 1904 and is survived by his widow, who is still living in Sioux City at the age of eighty-one years.

Robert J. Barrett, whose name introduces this article, acquired his education in the public schools of England and Canada and then learned the trade of jeweler and copper plate engraver.  In 1894 he entered into partnership with his father under the firm name of R. Barrett & Sons, his father at that time becoming engineer of construction on the state building at Anamosa, Iowa.  On July 1, 1920, the business was incorporated as R. J. Barrett & Sons Company, of which Robert J. Barrett is the president, Mrs. Maria Barrett the vice president and Robert W. Barrett the secretary and treasurer.

In 1891, at Luton, Woodbury county, Iowa, Mr. Barrett was married to Miss Ruby Howe, the daughter of William Howe, of Braidwood, Illinois.  They became the parents of three sons and one daughter, as follows:  Florence, who is deceased; Robert W., who wedded Miss Katherine Kuhl and is the father of three children - Robert L., Betty Jane and Shirley May; George F., who was married to Miss Betty Nelson and has two children, Loraine F. and Phyllis M.; and Ralph W.   Robert W. Barrett served on the Mexican border with the Second Iowa Regiment and was discharged in 1917 with the rank of sergeant.  In June, 11917, he reenlisted in the Second Iowa Regiment and was stationed at Deming, New Mexico.  He was made a sergeant and was assigned to the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Machine Gun Battalion.  Later he was transferred to the machine gun battalion of the One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment.  He was sent to the Third Officers Training Camp at San Antonio; Texas, where he was commissioned second lieutenant and assigned to the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Machine Gun Battalion, with which he was sent overseas.  While in France he was detailed to various camps and used in machine gun training until the signing of the armistice.  He was discharged on July 8, 1919, as a second lieutenant, and returned home.

Politically Mr. Barrett is independent of party lines, voting according to his judgment as to the fitness of candidates for the offices they seek.  He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Improved Order of Red Men and formerly belonged to the Rotary Club, the membership in which is now held by his son, Robert W. Barrett.  The name of Robert J. Barrett is on the membership rolls of the International Cut Stone Contractors' and Quarrymen's Association.  He is a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal church.  As a diversion form the routine of business Mr. Barrett engages in the breeding of pigeons and rabbits, on which he is considered an authority, being a judge for the National Rabbit and Cavy Association, in which capacity he has served at Chicago, Omaha and other cities and at state tournaments.  He is also fond of the game of billiards.  Mr. Barrett owns a summer home on Madison lake in South Dakota.  He is regarded as a man of sound judgment and keen foresight, progressive in his methods and public spirited in his attitude towards all efforts to improve his community along material, civic or moral lines.  He has been a worthy example in all that constitutes true manhood and good citizenship and none more than he is deserving of the confidence and esteem of the entire community.

R. I. Beaty

The law of compensation holds good throughout the world.  Industry and tenacity of purpose win success when intelligently directed, while strength of character commands uniform regard.  Both of these Robert I. Beaty has won and for more than twenty years his name has been closely and prominently associated with building operations in Sioux City.  He was born August 18, 1872, in Clinton county, Missouri, and in both the paternal and maternal lines is of Scotch and Irish descent.  His parents were Robert H. and Mary B. (Slemons) Beaty, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter a Virginian.

Mr. Beaty was educated in the public schools of Clinton county and remained in his native state until he reached the age of twenty-eight years, working his way steadily upward in the business world.  He was made superintendent of the Northern Building Company of Minneapolis and in 1900 arrived in Orange City, Iowa.  He had charge of several large construction jobs and remained with that corporation until 1903.  He supervised the building of the Sioux county court house at Orange City, devoting one and a half years to that task, and in 1904 moved to Sioux City, becoming a member of the Haakinson & Beaty Company.  The business was incorporated in 1904 and has since been conducted under the style of the Haakinson-Beaty Company, of which Carl E. Haakinson is the president.  Mr. Beaty acts as secretary and treasurer of the company and his broad experience and detailed knowledge of the business have been essential to its success.  The corporation specializes in fabricated steel and ornamental iron work and in construction circles of this part of the state the firm name has long been synonymous with enterprise and reliability.  The company has furnished the material for many of the finest buildings in this part of the country and since its inception the business has made rapid strides.

In 1904 Mr. Beaty was married in Orange City, Iowa, to Miss Marie Oggel, whose father is the publisher of Volks Vriend, a widely read journal of that city.  Helen M., the only child of this union, is nineteen years of age and a student at the State University in Iowa City.  Mr. Beaty belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and is also a Rotarian.  He is a consistent member of the First Baptist church and a good citizen whose influence is always on the side of reform, progress and improvement.

G. H. Bliven

George H. Bliven has been actively and successfully engaged in the practice of law in Sioux City for the past twenty-eight years and is accorded a liberal clientage.  He is a western man by birth, by training and by preference and possesses the enterprising spirit which has ever been characteristic of the growth and development of this section of the country.  He was born on a farm in Dakota county, Nebraska, October 22, 1875, his parents being Curtis B. and Sarah (Stormer) Bliven, the former a native of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania.  They were married in 1867, became residents  of Sioux City, Iowa, in 1888 and his mother still makes her home there.  His father died in September, 1916.  The Bliven family comes of Welsh ancestry, the lineage being traced back to the immigrant ancestor who left the little rock-ribbed country of Wales in 1634 to establish a home in the new world.  The grant-grandfather, Samuel Bliven, served in the Revolutionary war, going to the front with the troops from Rhode Island.  The grandfather, Charles B. Bliven, was a private of the Second Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry in the Civil war, serving from May, 1863, until June, 1864.  He also did military duty against the Indians in South Dakota and he is acquainted with every phase of pioneer life, having settled in Dakota county, Nebraska, when it was a frontier region in 1857.

George H. Bliven attended country schools in Nebraska to the age of twelve years and then, following the removal of the family to Sioux City, continued his education in the public schools there, being graduated from the commercial department of the high school with the class of 1891.  After farming for four years he determined to make the practice of law his life work and with that end in view became a student in the Iowa department of the State University of Iowa at Iowa City, from which he was graduated with the degree of LL. D. in 1898.  Immediately afterward he opened a law office in Sioux City, where he has since remained.  A contemporary biographer said of him:  "His preparation of cases is most thorough and exhaustive.  He seems almost intuitively to grasp the strong points of law and fact, while in his briefs and arguments the authorities are cited so extensively and the facts and reasoning thereon are presented so clearly and unanswerably as to leave no doubt as to the correctness of his views or of his conclusions.  Every point is given its true prominence and the case is argued with ability and power, so that he rarely fails to gain the verdict desired.  In addition to his law practice he has other business interests, being president and treasurer of the Hawkeye Investment Company and secretary of the Central Adjustment Company."

On the 19th of October, 1904, in Sioux City, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Bliven and Miss Sara E. Murphy, whose father, George Murphy, came to Sioux City in 1854.  They are the parents of a daughter and a son:  Katherine, who was born October 13, 1905, and who is the wife of R. B. Plotts, of Omaha, Nebraska; and George H., Jr., whose birth occurred on the 8th of October, 1906, and who is now a student in the State University at Iowa City, Iowa.

Mr. Bliven gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has never been a political in the sense of office seeking.  He is interested in municipal welfare, however, and cooperates in many movements which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride.  He made a creditable record as a member of the school board from 1912 until 1924.  The military chapter in his life history covers five and one-half years' service as a private and first sergeant of Company L of the Fifty-second (now Fifty-sixth) Regiment of the Iowa National Guard.  In religious faith Mr. Bliven is a Presbyterian, while fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, belonging to Landmark Lodge No. 103, A. F. & A. M.; Sioux City Chapter No. 26, R. A. M.; Columbian Commandery No. 18, K. T.; Sioux City Consistory No. 5, A. N. O. S. R.; and Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.  He is a director of the Masonic Building Association and also belongs to the Lions Club, the Sioux City Boat Club and Sioux City Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.  Almost his entire life has been passed in Sioux City and his record is as an open book to his fellow townsmen, who entertain for him warm regard and recognize the fact that he has made wise use of his time and opportunities, while his talents have brought him enviable success in his chosen life work.

W. N. Bowman

Wilbur N. Bowman is at the head of a job printing establishment in Spencer which he is successfully conducting under the name of the Bowman Printing Company.  His birth occurred in Marquette county, Wisconsin, on the 2d of June, 1862,his parents being William Parker and Lestina Charlotte (Boynton) Bowman.  The father was born in the town of Jay, Essex county, New York, February 12, 1823, a son of Thaddeus and Martha (Upham) Bowman, both of whom were natives of Windsor county, Vermont.  The family was established in New England when this country was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great Britain.  Thaddeus Bowman, Sr., the paternal grandfather of William Parker Bowman, was born in the Green Mountain state and was of German and English linage.  He was a shoemaker by trade, and at the time of the second war with England he put aside business and personal considerations to fight in defense of American interests.  He lived to be more than ninety years of age and was twice married, having a family of five children by his first marriage, this number including Thaddeus Bowman, the father of William Parker Bowman.  The maternal grandfather of William P. Bowman was Alonzo Upham, who also lived in Windsor county, Vermont, where he devoted his life to the pursuits of the farm.  He, too, was twice married and to him was allotted a ripe old age, his years numbering more than ninety when he was called to his final rest.

Thaddeus Bowman, Jr., the father of William Parker Bowman, engaged in the tilling of the soil as a life work, but did not remain always a resident of New York.  In fact, he became one of the pioneer citizens of Wisconsin, locating there when it was under territorial government.  He took up his abode in Waukesha county and was closely identified with the early development and progress of that part of the state in the effort to plant the seeds of civilization upon the virgin soil of the west.  After following farming in Wisconsin for a number of years, he removed to Mitchell county, Iowa, where he remained for seven years, passing away in 1880 at the age of eighty-nine years and seven months.  His wife died in 1833 in the faith of the Congregational church, to which Mr. Bowman also belonged.  While living in New York he served as justice of the peace.  Following the death of his first wife he wedded Nancy Nichols.  His eight children, five sons and three daughters were all born of the first marriage.

In his boyhood days William Parker Bowman worked on his father's farm in Essex county, New York, taking his place in the fields as soon as he was old enough to handle the plow.  When the corps were all harvested in the autumn he had the opportunity of attending the district school, the sessions of which covered little more than the winter months.  He was twenty-four years of age when in 1847 he became  a resident of Wisconsin, living in Waukesha county.  Subsequently he took up his abode in Rock county, that state, and afterward lived at Marquette, Wisconsin.  In 1864 he donned the nation's blue uniform and went to the front in defense  of the Union, enlisting as a member of Company K, First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, in which he served until the close of the war.  After the war was ended and victory perched upon the northern banners, he resumed the pursuits of peace, returning to him home in Marquette county, Wisconsin, where he engaged in general farming.  The following year, however, he came to Iowa and it was in this state that the remainder of his life was spent.  He located first in Mitchell county, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land.  Eight years were devoted to farming that tract, and in 1874 he took up his abode in Spencer, Iowa, where he continued to reside until called to his final rest.  Here he made investment in three hundred and twenty acres of land in Lone Tree township and operated the farm for three or four years, after which he sold that property.  His bank deposits and other investments were amply sufficient in the evening of life to supply him with all necessities and many comforts and luxuries, and thus in his declining days he did not find it necessary to labor for those things which contributed to his welfare.

On the 2nd of June, 1847, William Parker Bowman was married to Miss Lestina Charlotte Boynton, a daughter of Ephraim and Alice (Thurston) Boynton.  She was born in the town of Jay, Essex county, New York, and in her girlhood days was a schoolmate of him who later became her husband.  For more than sixty years they traveled life's journey together, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, adversity and prosperity, their mutual love and confidence increasing as the years went by.  At length, however, they were separated in the death of Mrs. Bowman, who passed away January 4, 1908, at the age of eighty years and five months.  There were eleven children in their family, five sons and six daughters, namely:  Harriet, Caroline, Henry, Charles, Martha, Minnie, Wilbur N., Ella and three who died in infancy.

William P. Bowman belonged to Spencer Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and to Annett Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.  He was a stalwart advocate of republican principles from the organization of the party, and while in Wisconsin served as supervisor.  In Spencer, Iowa, he became a member of the city council.  A life of activity and usefulness won for him an enviable position in the regard of his fellowmen.  He early learned to value life's opportunities and appreciate its purposes, and never was content to choose the second place.  He was one of the revered patriarchs of his community, who was born during the administration of President Monroe and lived to witness the notable events which not only shaped the history of the country but also largely molded the destiny of the world.  His reminiscences of the earlier days were interesting and gave a glimpse into the bygone civilization almost totally unknown to the youth of the present time.

Wilbur N. Bowman, whose name introduces  this review, spent a brief period with a surveying party in his young manhood and subsequently engaged in newspaper work for a short time.  Thereafter he followed the printing trade in South Dakota and in Iowa for a number  of years.  He purchased the Spencer Herald in 1915 and on selling that paper turned his attention to the job printing business, which has claimed his time and energies continuously since and in which he has become well known as proprietor of the Bowman Printing Company in Spencer.  In former year he did composition work at Faribault, Minnesota, and Mason City, Iowa.

On the 5th of January, 1885, Wilbur N. Bowman was united in marriage to Miss Nellie M. McKay, a native of Decorah, Iowa, and daughter of Cyrus and Livia Ann (Porter) McKay, who were born in Pennsylvania and New York, respectively.  Mr. and Mrs. McKay came to Iowa by wagon, locating first at Freeport, this stare, while subsequently they took up their abode in Decorah.  Cyrus McKay served as a county official for a number of years.  To him and his wife were born eight children, as follows:  Arthur L., who is a resident of San Diego, California; Eva M., who is the widow of W. T. Bowen and also lives in San Diego, California; Alice J., deceased; Allan M., who has also passed away; Frank, who makes his home at Pomona, California; Mrs. Nellie M. (McKay) Bowman;  Charles S., deceased; and Jessie, who is deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur N. Bowman became the parents of four children, namely:  Lyle, who died in infancy in South Dakota;   Clifford, who was born in Sturgis, South Dakota, and who is associated with his father in the printing business; Jessie A., the wife of Leo C. Dailey, of Spencer, Iowa; and Lloyd, who died in Mason City, Iowa.

In politics Mr. Bowman maintains an independent attitude, supporting men and measures rather than party.  He is a worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity, to which he belongs, and is also a consistent member of the Congregational church.  In his community he is respected for his character, trusted for his counsel and honored for his service.


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