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Charles Edmund Underhill is entitled to mention among those who have for years held front rank among the members of the Monona county bar, for he has been more than ordinarily successful in the practice of law and his high personal character has given him an enviable standing among his fellow citizens.  Born in Cambridge, Guernsey county, Ohio, on the 19th of August, 1859, he is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Rollins) Underhill.  His father was a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared to the life of a farmer, which vocation he afterwards followed.  He was captured by Morgan and forced to accompany him during his raid through Ohio.  The mother was a native of the District of Columbia, but in girlhood accompanied her parents on their removal to Ohio.  In 1865 the family removed to Murphysboro, Illinois, where they lived until 1877, when they came to Cherokee county, Iowa, where the father died two years later, the mother's death occurring in 1887.

Charles E. Underhill attended the public schools of Cherokee county, and then entered the State Agricultural College, at Ames, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1885.  He then began the study of law in the office of M. Wakefield, of Cherokee, and was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1887.  In October of that year he came to Onawa and engaged in the practice of law, which he carried on alone until a few years ago, when he entered into a partnership under the firm name of Underhill & Miller.  A keen and able lawyer, Mr. Underhill has long enjoyed a large and remunerative practice and has won the reputation of a sound and safe counselor.  In discussions of the principles of law he is noted for his candor and clearness of statement, though tenacious of every opinion which he believes to be valid. He has consistently stood for those things which count for most in life and has been an influential figure in civic affairs.  He has always been relied upon to support by voice and by example the cause of righteousness and his influence for the betterment of the community has been constant.  Mr. Underhill served as county attorney in 1889-90, and was a member of the school board for sixteen years.  He has served as attorney for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad for a number of years, and is also local attorney for the Illinois Central and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads.

On June 27, 1889, at Steamboat Rock, Iowa, Mr. Underhill was united in marriage to Miss Winnie Wertz, daughter of J. W. Wertz, of an old Pennsylvania family, who settled in Iowa in 1855.  Mrs. Underhill is a member of the Ladies' Art Club, the Woman's Club and of various church societies.  To Mr. and Mrs. Underhill have been born two children:  Herold Wertz, who is an architect and contractor of Wichita, Kansas, and Robert M., who is a student in the law school of Iowa State University.  Politically, Mr. Underhill has been a lifelong supporter of the republican party, in the campaigns of which he has long been an active figure, having served a number of years as a member of the county central committee.  During the World war he was a member of the legal advisory board for Monona county.  He is a member of the Monona County Bar Association and the Iowa State Bar Association.  He is a member of the Congregational church and also belongs to the Onawa Community Club.  Personally, he is a genial and companionable gentleman, extremely popular among his associates, and greatly esteemed throughout the community of which he has so long been an honored resident.


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