ITS HISTORY AND TRADITIONS
Phil Carlin belongs to that public-spirited and helpful type of
men whose activities are centered in those lines through which comes the
greatest and most permanent good to the largest number and his achievements as
superintendent of the municipal waterworks plant of Sioux City have brought him
national prominence as well as the unqualified admiration and respect of his
fellow citizens. He was born December 22, 1852, in Ottawa, Illinois, and
his parents, Patrick J. and Letitia (Shannon) Carlin, were natives of the north
of Ireland. In 1844 they followed the tide of emigration to the United
States and first located in New York city. Subsequently they journeyed to
Illinois and in that state the father followed the trade of blacksmith, residing
at various periods in Geneva, Batavia and Ottawa. In 1861 he enlisted in
the Union army, becoming a private in the Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, and at the
battle of Pittsburg Landing sustained injuries which caused his death in 1863.
He was long survived by the mother, who made her home in Sioux City, Iowa,
with her son until her demise, which occurred in 1905, when she was eighty years
Phil Carlin received his early instruction at Lyons, Iowa, and
in 1870 became a student in the public schools of Correctionville, this state.
He taught school in Woodbury county for nine fall and winter terms and
during the summer months engaged in farming. He was placed at the head of
the schools at Oto, Iowa, and in 1889 was elected recorder of Woodbury county.
His work was very satisfactory and for eight years he was the incumbent of
that position. He was in the employ of the Boston Investment Company for a
year and in March, 1891, was appointed superintendent of the waterworks system
of Sioux City. For thirty-six years he has continuously filled this
office, establishing a record of public service equaled by few and surpassed by
none. Throughout this period the work of his department has been
maintained at a high standard and Sioux City is indebted to him for a model
waterworks plant which ranks with the most complete and best managed systems in
the United States - an accomplishment which has earned for him the enduring
regard of the residents of this community.
On Christmas day of the year 1877, Mr. Carlin married Miss Ida
Moffatt, a daughter of George C. and Julia (Harrington) Moffatt, natives of New
York state. Mrs. Carlin's grandfather was a veteran of the War of 1812 and
her father fought for the Union cause during the conflict between the states.
Mr. Moffatt moved to Sioux City in 1866 and became one of the pioneer
farmers of Woodbury county. He passed away in Los Angeles, California, at
the advanced age of eighty-eight years and his wife is also deceased. Mrs.
Carlin became well known as an educator and previous to her marriage was a
teacher in the public schools of Woodbury county for a number of years.
Mr. and Mrs. Carlin have had three children but Jessie did at the age of
thirteen. Harry P. was a guest in a hotel at Hot Springs, Arkansas, when
the building caught fire and he received injuries which caused his death when a
young man of twenty-two years. George M. Carlin, the other son, has been
identified with the Sioux City Telephone Company for twenty years. He
married Miss Alma Reimers and they have two children: George M., Jr., and
Mr. Carlin is a republican and for three years was an
influential member of the local board of education. He has been a member
of the Knights of Pythias for forty-four years and his identification with the
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks covers a period of twenty years. He is
also identified with the Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of
United Workmen. He is a faithful member of the Methodist church and a
high-minded man who would be a valuable acquisition to any community.
W. H. CHRISTY
Among the leading enterprises of Morningside, Sioux City, one of
the outstanding successes is the undertaking establishment of W. Harry Christy,
which is advantageously located in the Masonic temple, where every facility is
provided for the proper handling of his business. Mr. Christy is well
qualified by training and experience, as well as by natural aptitude, for the
profession which he is so successfully following, and commands his full share of
the public patronage in his line. W. Harry Christy is a native of Sioux
City and is a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Christy. He attended the public
schools here and Osceola Academy, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He then
entered the department of embalming of the International College of Embalming
and Sanitation, a part of the Post-Graduate Medical School of Chicago, where he
was graduated in 1912. In the same year he became a licensed embalmer in
Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois and Nebraska. On January 1, 1913, he engaged
in the practice of his profession at Akron, Iowa, where he remained until 1916,
when he moved to Alton, Iowa, where he became identified with and was made vice
president of the Sioux Furniture Company, which operated five furniture and
undertaking establishments, at Alton, Orange City, Maurice, Rock Valley and
Sheldon, all in Iowa. In June, 1921, Mr. Christy severed his connection
with that company and in the following December came to Morningside, Sioux City,
and established his present business, having at that time the only exclusively
undertaking business in Morningside. In the New Masonic temple, at 4110-12
Morningside avenue, of which he was the first tenant, he established one of the
most elaborate and thoroughly equipped mortuaries in the city, including Sioux
City's most beautiful private funeral chapel, parlors for families, operating
room, rest room and attendants' quarters. A twenty-four-hour ambulance
service is maintained. by his thoughtful and intelligent attention to the
desires and needs of those who seek his services, Mr. Christy has not only built
up one of the largest clienteles in the city, but has also gained a large circle
of loyal and appreciative friends.
On April 19, 1913, Mr. Christy was united in marriage to Miss
Eva Adams, of Akron, Iowa, daughter of the late Bart R. Adams, one of the
earlier pioneer settlers of Plymouth county, Iowa. To Mr. and Mrs. Christy
has been born a daughter, Eunice. Mr. Christy is a member of Morningside
Lodge, No. 615, A. F. and A. M.; Sunrise Chapter, No. 141, R. A. M.; Woodbury
Lodge, No. 684, I. O. O. F., and Sun Dance Camp, No. 184, M. W. A. He also
belongs to the Hi-Twelve Luncheon Club, the Morningside Country Club and was one
of the organizers of the Morningside Commercial Club, serving for two years as
its first secretary, and is now a member of its board of directors; he is also a
member of the Morningside planning commission and has taken a commendable
interest in all civic affairs, cooperating in the support of all movements for
the betterment of the community. While living at Alton, Iowa, Mr. Christy
was elected coroner of Sioux county, serving one term. He is wide awake
and progressive in his business methods, one of the evidences of which was his
installation of a complete fleet of Cadillac cars, limousine hearse, Cadillac
ambulance, pall bearers' coach, and funeral sedan cars. Other up-to-date
features of his equipment testify to his determination to leave nothing undone
that will help in making his service as complete and satisfactory as it is
possible to make it. He is at all times courteous and friendly, kindly and
sympathetic, and he has so conducted his affairs as to win the respect and
esteem of his fellowmen.
S. T. CHURCHILL
A representative citizen of Ida county and a member of one of
its worthy old families was Samuel T. Churchill, of Arthur, who died April 26,
1926. He spent practically his entire life in this county and contributed
his full share to the development and prosperity of this section of the state,
belonging to that class of citizens who while advancing individual success also
promote the public welfare.
Mr. Churchill was born in Clinton county, Iowa, on th e4th of
July, 1861, a son of Enoch and Susan (Williams) Churchill, the latter of whom
was a native of New York state. Enoch Churchill was born June 10, 1830,
near Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, and died on his farm in Ida county,
Iowa, March 16, 1912, in his eighty-second year. At an early age he was
brought to the United States, the family stopping first in New York state, where
they remained about five years. In 1841 they came to Iowa, where he was
reared to manhood and secured his education. In 1879 he came to Ida
county, where he engaged in farming, becoming the owner of a fine farm of two
hundred and sixty-three acres, and here spent his remaining years. On May
1, 1860, Mr. Churchill was married to Miss Susan P. Williams, of Dewitt, Iowa,
and they became the parents of six children, namely: Samuel T., whose name
appears at the head of this sketch; Robert, of Omak, Washington; Elizabeth, the
wife of G. E. Clifford, of Arthur, Ida county; John of Des Moines, Iowa; Mary
Grace, who still lives on the home place; and Stephen, who died in infancy.
Enoch Churchill was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted
as a member of Company C, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with
which command he served until the close of the conflict. He took part in
many of the important battles and campaigns of that great struggle, including
Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea, and was mustered out of the service at
Washington, D. C. Politically he gave his support to the republican party,
while his religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, the
society at Arthur having been founded by him and his wife. He was long a
member of the Grand Army of the Republic and was a public-spirited man, taking a
commendable interest in everything relating to the welfare of his community.
There were in him sterling traits which commanded uniform confidence and
regard, and his memory is today honored by all who knew him and is enshrined in
the hearts of his many friends.
Samuel T. Churchill resided on the old homestead and devoted
himself to its operation until his death. Among his fellow argiculturists
he was regarded as a man of more than ordinary capacity and business ability,
his career having been marked by sound judgment and wise discretion. His
splendid character and his industry were recognized and appreciated, and he left
many friends who mourned his passing.
W. E. CODY, M. D.
Dr. William E. Cody is a native of the city of which he is now
an honored resident, and was born on the 1st day of January, 1888, the son of
William E. and Eugenia (Scholes) Cody. His parents were natives of
Illinois, from which state their respective families came to Monona county,
Iowa, of which locality they were pioneer settlers. Following his
marriage, William E. Cody, Sr., came to Sioux City and for many years served as
court reporter. His death occurred in 1908, at the age of fifty-two years.
The mother is still living and resides in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Cody acquired his preliminary education in the public
schools of Sioux City, graduating from high school, and then matriculated in the
medical school of Iowa State University, from which he was graduated with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1911. During the ensuing year he served as
interne in the University Hospital at Iowa City and in 1912 began the practice
of his profession at Merrill, Iowa, where he remained about five years. He
was a member of the United States Medical Corps in the World war and during 1918
was stationed at Fort Riley. In 1919 the Doctor went east and took special
post-graduate work in Baltimore and Boston, and in 1920 located in Sioux City,
where he has built up a large and remunerative practice, specializing in
In 1912 Dr. Cody was united in marriage to Miss Vera Wilcox, of
Ida Grove, Iowa, and to them has been born a daughter, Eugenia. The Doctor
is a member of the Woodbury County Medical Society, of which he is the present
president, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
Fraternally he is a member of Giblen Lodge, No. 322, Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons, of Le Mars, Iowa; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, Ancient
Accepted Scottish Rite; Floyd Valley Lodge, No. 208, Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, and Le Mars Lodge, No. 428, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
He also belongs to the Sioux City Country Club and the Knife and Fork
Club. His religious connection is with the Congregational church.
Few men of Ida county, Iowa, were as widely and favorably known
as the late Seymour Conger, of Ida Grove, whose death occurred there August 26,
1924. He was one of the strong and influential citizens whose lives were a
part of the history of this section of the state and his name was synonymous for
all that constituted honorable and upright manhood. Tireless energy, keen
perception and honesty of purpose, combined with everyday common sense, were
among his chief characteristics, and while advancing individual success he also
contributed to the moral and material welfare of the community.
Mr. Conger was born in Lawrence county, New York, on the 22d of
October, 1846, and was therefore in the seventy-eighth year of his age at the
time of his death. He was a son of Ezra and Sarah (Cady) Conger, both of
whom were natives of New York state. In 1862 they brought their family to
Wisconsin, locating on a farm, and there the mother died five years afterward.
Later the father came to Iowa and made his home with his son, the subject
of this memoir, until his death, which occurred in 1882. Of the
eight children in the family, but one is now living.
Seymour Conger was reared on the home farm and secured his
education in the public schools of his native state. He accompanied his
parents on their removal to Wisconsin, remaining with them until about the time
he attained his majority, when he was married. He then engaged in farming
on his own account there until 1876, when he came to Iowa. In the
following year he located in Ida county, where he bought and operated a small
dairy farm, becoming a successful stock and dairy farmer. He continued to
live there until 1892, when, having accumulated a competency, he retired and
moved into Ida Grove, where he spent his remaining years. He was man of
energetic methods and progressive ideas.
In 1867, in Wisconsin, Mr. Conger was united in marriage to Miss
Laura Kella, who is a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of James E. and
Catherine (Miniken) Kella, the former of whom was a native of Canada and the
latter of England. They were married in Syracuse, New York, and in 1849
moved to Dodge county, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming. Of
their seven children, Mrs. Conger is now the only one living. No children
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Conger, but out of the kindness of their hearts they
reared and educated six children, one of whom is now stare secretary and
supervisor of sixteen counties in northwestern Iowa for the Bankers Life
Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Conger was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in
the First Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Cavalry, with which he rendered faithful
service for three years. He took part in a number of the most important
engagements of that great struggle and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg.
He was a member of the Friends church and took a deep interest in
everything pertaining to the society's welfare. Mrs. Conger is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church and takes an active part in church work.
She lives in a comfortable, attractive home in Ida Grove and is also the
owner of sixty acres of fine timber land in Washington. She is a lady of
gracious qualities and has a large circle of warm and devoted friends. Mr.
Conger was a man of sterling character and upright life, whose career earned for
him the unbounded confidence and esteem of his fellowmen, and his death was
deeply regretted throughout the community of which he had been an honored
J. T. CONN, D. C.
Dr. John Thomas Conn, one of Iowa's loyal sons, is a valuable
citizen of Battle Creek and enjoys an enviable reputation as a chiropractor.
He was born September 2, 1872, in Benton county, and his parents were
James and Elizabeth (Coon) Conn, the latter a native of Ohio. The father
was born in Belfast, Ireland, and as a small boy came to the United States
with his parents, who first located in Ohio, where he attended the public
schools. He was engaged in teaching for a time and his wife also followed
that profession. They settled on a farm in Benton county, Iowa, and in
1882 moved to Battle Creek, in Ida county, where both passed away. James
Conn conducted a large livery business and was also a well known veterinarian.
He was the father of seven children: Barbara and Almeda, who died in
infancy; J. E., also deceased; Anna, the wife of D. H. Hendrick, of Battle
Creek; John Thomas; Carl E., who resides in Hollywood, a suburb of Los Angeles,
California; and Dolly, who has passed away.
Dr. Conn was ten years of age when his parents established their
home in Battle Creek, and after completing his public school education he became
a veterinary surgeon. He followed that profession for about twenty-seven
years, augmenting his knowledge by a two years' course in the State University
at Iowa City, and then took up the study of chiropractic science. He is an
able exponent of the drugless method of healing and has been very successful in
his efforts to restore health, enjoying a large practice. He is attentive
to his patients, reserving all of his energies for his professional duties, and
fills an important place in the community, in which he has many steadfast
Dr. Conn married Miss M. Stoughton, and eight children were born
to them, namely: Myrtle R., the wife of W. H. Frutel, of California;
Enuice, whose husband is the Rev. Lee Soule, pastor of St. James' church at
Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Leo C., of Battle Creek, Iowa; Cuma, who is the wife of
Kenneth C. Moore, of Slayton, Minnesota; Kenneth, who is connected with
educational work in Nebraska, filling the position of school superintendent;
Fern, who married Allen McAllester, of St. Louis, Missouri; John S., who resides
in Battle Creek, Iowa; and Laura May, a teacher in the public schools of Iowa.
C. B. CONOVER
For more than fifty years Cornelius B. Conover has watched the
progress of civilization in Iowa, bearing his share in the work of developing
the resources of this great commonwealth, and a life of rightly directed
endeavor has brought him the merited reward of honest labor - success and an
honored name. He resides in Holstein and has long been numbered among the
foremost agriculturists of this district. He was born October 28, 1853, in
New Jersey, and his parents, Peter and Sarah (Burroughs) Conover, were also
natives of that state, in which they resided for many years. To their
union were born nine children: Elizabeth, Mary and Daniel, all of whom are
deceased; Hannah, who is the widow of William Hendrickson, of New Jersey; Mrs.
Harriet Bond, of New Jersey, also a widow; Sarah, whose husband was Charles
Madena, of New Jersey, now deceased; Cornelius B.; John, who still makes his
home in his native state; and Clark, who has passed away.
Cornelius B. Conover was educated in the public schools of the
Garden state and in 1873, when a young man of twenty, started for the west.
In Benton county, Iowa, he rented land which he operated for a year, and
then went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, following the life of a cowboy for twelve
months. On the expiration of that period he returned to Benton county,
resuming his agricultural activities, and a year later transferred the scene of
his labors to Linn county, in which he spent three years. He next came to
Ida county and in 1879 purchased a quarter section in Battle township, in which
he established his home in the following year. From time to time he has
increased his holdings and now owns six hundred and eight acres, converting his
place into one of the valuable farms of the township. He has acquired that
expert knowledge of his occupation which results from years of practical
experience, and his standards of farming are high.
While a resident of Linn county, Iowa, Mr. Conover married Miss
Samantha A. Rogers, who passed away December 23, 1918. She was a daughter
of Henry and Fanny (Bixler) Rogers, who migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio and
thence to Iowa. They made the journey in a covered wagon and were among
the pioneer settlers of Linn county. Mr. and Mrs. Conover were the parents
of four children: Clark Henry, who was born in Linn county October 9,
1879, and resides on the old homestead; Clifton E., whose birth occurred October
2, 1881; Claud D., who was born March 30, 1884; and Cornelius B., Jr., born
December 8, 1887.
Mr. Conover is a Mason and endeavors to fulfill in his life its
principles concerning mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness. He has
many friends in the county and time has strengthened his hold upon their esteem.
C. D. CONOVER
Claud D. Conover, residing on section 18, Battle township, is
numbered among the representative and successful agriculturists of Ida county.
His birth here occurred on the 30th of March, 1884, his parents being
Cornelius B. and Samantha A. (Rogers) Conover, more extended mention of whom is
made on another page of this work. From the beginning of his business
career he has devoted his attention to agricultural interests with excellent
results, and he has become widely recognized as one of the enterprising,
progressive and up-to-date farmers of the community which has always been his
On the 28th of January, 1907, Mr. Conover was united in marriage
to Miss Tracy Paulsen, a native of Ida county, Iowa, and a daughter of Nicholas
and Mary (Francho) Paulsen, both of whom were born in Germany. Mr. and
Mrs. Conover have become the parents of eight children, namely: Wendell
Holmes, Harold Joseph, Chester D., Marie E., Elden Burroughs, Samantha Opal,
Claud D., Jr., and Forest Nicholas.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Conover
has supported the men and measures of the republican party at the polls,
believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. His
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church.
Both he and his wife have always lived in Ida county and are well known
and highly esteemed throughout the community.
C. E. CONOVER
Clifton E. Conover, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Ida
county, Iowa, is a worthy native son of that county. He was born on the 2d
of October, 1881, his parents being Cornelius B. and Samantha A. (Rogers)
Conover, to whom extended reference is made on another page of this publication.
He attended the country schools in the acquirement of an education and
following his graduation took up farming pursuits, to which he has devoted his
attention continuously to the present time. Mr. Conover first purchased
one hindred and thirty-six acres of land in association with his brother, Clark
Henry Conover, and in the year 1920 bought an additional tract of one hundred
and thirty-six acres. Golden harvests annually reward his well directed
labors, for he utilizes the most scientific methods of farming and is at all
times industrious and diligent. He keeps a herd of thirty pure bred
Hereford cows (not registered) from which he raises every year a load of calves,
which he feeds as baby beeves. He also feeds two or three loads of other
cattle for the market yearly, and he is meeting with splendid success as a
In early manhood Mr. Conover was married to Miss Cora M.
Nicholson, daughter of Alexander and Margaret (Park) Nicholson. A
biography of her father, Alexander Nicholson, may be found in another part of
this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Conover have been born six children, namely:
Alexander Burdette, whose birth occurred August 24, 1909; Cathleen Beryl,
whose natal day was March 18, 1912; Cornelius Bourghs, who died in infancy;
Sarah Maybell, born May 18, 1917; Jean Elizabeth, born December 19, 1922; and
Thomas Wayne, who was born on the 15th of March, 1924.
Mr. Conover gives his political support to the republican party
and is now serving acceptably as chairman of Logan township. In religious
faith he is a Presbyterian. He enjoys an extensive and favorable
acquaintance in the community which has always been his home and in the
development of which he has taken an active and helpful part.
R. M. COOMER
Among the men who during the past fifteen years have been
closely and actively identified with the material building up of Sioux City,
Ross M. Coomer holds a prominent place, the contracting concern of Coomer &
Small Company having erected a number of the most important structures in this
locality. Mr. Coomer was born in Delaware county, Ohio, March 12, 1883, a
son of William A. and Emma L. (Johnson) Coomer, both of whom were born and
reared in the Buckeye state. For many years the father was a station agent
for the Michigan Central Railroad, being located during the greater part of the
time at Bay City, Michigan, but is now retired from active service.
Ross M. Coomer attended the public schools, graduating from the
Bay City high school, and then entered the engineering school of the University
of Michigan, being graduated in 1905 with the degree of Bachelor of Science of
civil engineering. In 1908 he was made a member of the American Society of
Civil Engineers and in 1915 was made a full member. On leaving college Mr.
Coomer entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, being employed six
months at Altoona, after which he allied himself with the Trussel concrete Steel
Company, of New York city, a pioneer in that industry, which was then in its
infancy. Eight months later he went to work for the New York Central
& Hudson River Railroad as assistant engineer, remaining with that company
until March 1, 1912, at which time he came to Sioux City and formed a
partnership with Charles I. Small, under the firm name of Coomer &
Small, contractors. In August, 1917, the business was incorporated as the
Coomer & Small Company.
In May, 1917, Mr. Coomer enlisted for service in the World war,
being commissioned a captain of engineers, and on July 17th was ordered
overseas. He was made a major of engineers in April, 1918, and
lieutenant-colonel on April 9, 1919. He was made engineer officer in
charge of hospitalization and later was put in charge of all building
construction coming under the division of construction and forestry. At
Washington, D. C., May 20, 1919, he was mustered out, since which time he has
devoted his attention closely to his business affairs in Sioux City. Among
the structures erected by the Coomer & Small Company are all the buildings
of Morningside College, the dormitory and gymnasium at Trinity College, the Elks
Club, Princess theater, Riverview school, Chesterman Company building, General
Manufacturing Company plant, Whitfield Methodist Episcopal church, Rustin Avenue
Methodist Episcopal church, Danish Lutheran church, Swedish Mission church and
parochial schools for Immaculate Conception parish and parish of the Blessed
Sacrament. This firm now has a large contract for the new engine terminal
and mechanical facilities of the Illinois Central Railroad at Sioux City.
A man of thorough technical training and experience, and possessing high
ideals as to the execution of contracts, Mr. Coomer has gained marked prestige
in building circles and commands the respect and confidence of all who have had
dealings with him.
On February 1, 1916, Mr. Coomer was united in marriage to Miss
C. Grace Jerolaman, of Belleville, New Jersey, and they are the parents of two
children, Theodore William and Elizabeth Jean. Mr. Coomer is a member of
Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. & A. M.; Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M.;
Columbian Commandery, No. 18, K. T.; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R.;
Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and also Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, B. P. O.
E. He also belongs to the Lions Club of Sioux City, the Interstate Reserve
Officers' Association, the Iowa Engineering Society, and the Sioux City Chamber
of Commerce. He is vice-president of the Citizens' Industrial Loan Company
and vice-president of the Citizens' Industrial Loan Company and vice-president
of the Auditorium Company. His religious connection is with the First
Methodist Episcopal church, and he is a member of its official board. In
every relation he has been true and loyal, stands for the best things in
community life and supports all measures calculated to advance the interests of
O. M. COVELL
Orrin M. Covell, an honored veteran of the Civil war, is widely
and favorably known in Cherokee county, where he has made his home for forty-six
years, witnessing remarkable changes as pioneer conditions have given way before
an advancing civilization. He was born January 11, 1845, in Knox county,
Ohio, and is the second of the seven children in the family of William H. and
Jane Covell. The others were Angenette, Merritt A. and Amasa, all of whom
have passed away; William, a resident of Waterloo, Iowa; two who died in
infancy. The father was born in New York state and in 1848 went to
Wisconsin, where he hewed a farm out of the wilderness and the remainder of his
life was passed in the Badger state.
There Orrin M. Covell was reared and educated and when a youth
of eighteen he enlisted in the Union army, joining Company K, Twenty-second
Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, on December 31, 1863. He participated in
many notable battles, never faltering in the face of danger, and was honorably
discharged in July, 1865, at the close of the war. He returned to
Wisconsin and in 1879 journeyed from that state to Iowa, settling in Cherokee
county, in which he has since resided. He engaged in agricultural pursuits
for many years, in the course of which he developed five farms in the county,
and at the time of his retirement established his home in Cherokee, where he is
now living. In the cultivation of his land he utilized scientific methods,
keeping well abreast of the times, and did much to promote the standards of
farming in this section of the state.
Mr. Covell's first marriage was with Sarah Bryan, now deceased,
by whom he had a son, Edwin, and a daughter, but both have passed away. He
subsequently married Miss Hattie O. Upson and two children were born to them:
John, a resident of Cherokee; and Jennie, who was united in marriage to
Albert Stanley, of Idaho. After the death of his second wife
Mr. Covell married Mrs. Amelia Gilbert, the widow of Charles Gilbert. Mr.
Covell belongs to Custer Post, No. 25, of the Grand Army of the Republic and is
serving as its commander. He is a Baptist in religious faith and his
political views are in accord with the principles of the democratic party.
He has found life well worth the living, making the most of it day by day,
and although he has reached the age of eighty-two years, is still young in
spirit, possessing a keen mind and a retentive memory. Mr. Covell is a
sincere Christian and occupies a high place in the esteem of his fellow
W. J. S. CREMIN
One of the ablest and most successful surgeons, as well as one
of the most popular citizens, of Sioux City is Dr. William J. S. Cremin, who has
continuously engaged in the practice of his profession here since 1907, during
which period he has risen in the esteem and confidence of the people until now
he commands one of the largest and most remunerative practices in the city.
Dr. Cremin was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on the 15th of April, 1881,
and is a son of Dr. Michael A. and Sarah (Donnelly) Cremin, both of whom were
natives of that state, the former born at New Britain and the latter at New
Haven. The father was a graduate of St. Xavier College, where he received
the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts, and then attended the
medical school of Columbia University, which conferred upon him the degree of
Doctor of Medicine. He spent five years in hospital work in Paris, France,
and one year in similar work in Dublin, Ireland. He became one of New
Haven's foremost physicians but his career was cut short by death in 1896, at
the age of forty-four years.
Dr. William J. S. Cremin attended the public schools and Dwight
Preparatory School and then entered Manhattan College. He later graduated
from the New York State College of Pharmacy and next matriculated in the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of the University of Illinois, where he was graduated
in 1906, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. During 1906-07 he served
as interne in the New York Post-Graduate Hospital, and in December, 1907,
located in Sioux City, where he has since resided.
In 1907 Dr. Cremin was married to Miss Kathleen Story, of
Winnipeg, Canada, and to them have been born four children, Frances E.,
Patricia, Constance and Mary. The Doctor is a member of the Woodbury
County Medical Society, the Sioux Valley Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical
Society, the American Medical Association, the Iowa Clinical Surgical Society
and the New York Post-Graduate Alumni Association. He belongs to the
Sioux City Country Club, the Greater Sioux City committee, and is active and
popular in social circles here. He gives his earnest support to all
movements for the betterment of the community in any way and no worthy cause
appeals to him in vain. Because of his splendid professional career, his
cordial and friendly manner and the large part he has taken in local affairs of
moment, he holds a high place in the confidence of the entire community.
G. M. CRESSEY
George M. Cressey, a member of one of the honored pioneer
families of Iowa, has contributed his share toward the agricultural progress of
the state and after many years of strenuous labor is spending the evening of
life in ease and comfort, making his home in Authur. He was born February
28, 1854, in Illinois, and his parents, John and Hannah (Mason) Cressey, were
both British subjects. They sailed from an English port with America as
their destination and early in the '50s located in Illinois, where the father
followed the trade of a brick maker. In 1854 he brought his family to Iowa
and preempted a farm in Clinton county. He was one of the earliest
settlers in that locality and his first home was a log cabin with a clapboard
roof and puncheon floor. The building was fourteen by sixteen feet in
dimensions, and the latch string always hung on the outside, for the home,
through small, was a hospitable one. The district was sparsely settled and
travelers who passed that way were always assured of a hearty welcome. By
arduous labor the father cleared his land, preparing the soil for the sowing of
seed and the growing of crops. His labors were productive of excellent
results, and in 1884 he was able to retire. After selling the farm he
moved to Lost Nation and there passed away in 1896. His wife's demise had
occurred in 1890, and both reached an advanced age. To their union were
born eleven children, and four sons are now living.
George M. Cressey received a common school education and
remained with his parents until he attained his majority, aiding his father in
the operation of the homestead. He worked as a common laborer for two
years and after he gained a start in life acquired land in Sac county, Iowa, in
which he still owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, supplied with
all modern improvements. He kept in close touch with the latest
developments in agricultural science and demonstrated the effectiveness of
system in promoting productiveness. He resides in an attractive home in
Arthur and is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company.
In 1875 Mr. Cassey married Miss M. Dewitt, who was born in Jones
county, Iowa. Their union was severed by her death June 20, 1924, and she
was laid to rest in the cemetery at Odebolt, Iowa. Her parents were
natives of Ohio and were among the pioneer settlers of Jones county, Iowa, in
which both passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Cressey were born seven children:
Hannah M., the wife of Robert Stewardson, a well known grain dealer of
Arthur; Lillian G., who married F. A. Kindwall and is living in Wynot, Nebraska;
Maud J., the wife of H. P. Benedict, of Spokane, Washington; Frank M., who
responded to the final summons June 13, 1924, leaving a widow and three children
to mourn his death; John F., of Arthur; Robert E., also a resident of Spokane;
and Vernon, who died in infancy.
Mr. Cressey is a strong republican in his political views and
during the Roosevelt administration was appointed postmaster of Arthur.
His work was highly satisfactory and for thirteen years he faithfully
discharged the duties of the office. Along fraternal lines he is connected
with the Modern Woodmen of America and is also a Mason, belonging to Arthur
Lodge, No. 611, F. & A. M., of which he has been worshipful master, and to
the chapter at Ida Grove. Early in his career he realized that one must be
willing to pay the price of success, which is gained only through earnest,
untiring application, and his present prosperity is the merited reward of a life
of industry, thrift and probity.
R. E. CROWDER
Among the younger members of the medical profession in Sioux
City who are rapidly acquiring enviable reputations as successful practitioners,
stands Dr. Roy E. Crowder, whose offices are in the Frances building. He
was born in Union county, South Dakota, on October 14, 1896, and is a son of
Robert M. and Maud (Hershey) Crowder, both of whom were born and reared in Macon
county, Illinois. They were married there and shortly after that event, in
1893, moved to Union county, South Dakota, where they settled on a farm, living
there until 1907, when they moved into the town of Elkpoint, the county seat of
Union county, from which place Mr. Crowder has since managed his farming
operations. He has attained a placer of prominence and influence in his
community, has served as mayor of Elkpoint and is active in Farm Bureau work.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd
Roy E. Crowder attended the public schools of Elkpoint,
graduating from the high school in 1914, following which he entered the
University of South Dakota, where he was graduated in 1918, with the degree of
Bachelor of Arts, and next matriculated in Rush Medical College, of Chicago, now
the medical school of Chicago University, from which institution he received the
degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1921, following one year's internship in St.
Joseph's hospital, Sioux City. Later he devoted one year to post-graduate
work in obstetrics at the Presbyterian hospital in Chicago, and in April, 1922,
returned to Sioux City, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice
of his profession, specializing in obstetrics. He has built up a large and
remunerative practice and enjoys marked prestige in the professional circles of
On September 11, 1918, Doctor Crowder was united in marriage to
Miss Jennie Engebretson, of Garrettson, South Dakota, and they were the parents
of a son, Roy Elwin. The Doctor is a member of the Woodbury County Medical
Society and the Iowa State Medical Society, is serving on the staff of the
Woodbury Free Medical Dispensary, is attending physician at the Florence
Crittenden Home, and is a member of the medical staff of the St. Joseph
hospital, and of the Lutheran hospital of Sioux City. He is a member of
Elkpoint Lodge, No. 3, A. F. & A. M., at Elkpoint, South Dakota, and Western
Star Lodge, No. 282, I. O. O. F., at Sioux City. In addition to his
creditable career in one of the most useful of professions, he has also proved
an honorable member of the community, giving his earnest support to every
movement for the advancement of the general welfare. Kindly and courteous
in manner, he has gained a wide acquaintance and has won a large circle of warm
and loyal friends.
G. H. CUMMINGS
George H. Cummings, for many years secretary of the Sioux City
Seed Company and widely known as an able business man as well as an effective
reform worker, was in the sixty-seventh year of his age at the time of his
tragic death on the 6th of October, 1917. He was born November 25, 1850,
near Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and came of pious Scotch-Irish
ancestry. His parents, Stephen and Amelia (Mohn) Cummings, were both
natives of Harrison county Ohio. The father, an agriculturist by
occupation, died on the farm which had been home for many years.
George H. Cummings attended the common schools and subsequently
pursued a course of study in the Hopedale Normal College in Harrison county,
Ohio. His improvement of superior educational opportunities and his strong
natural mental qualifications well equipped him for educational work, and
following his graduation he came west, accepting the position of superintendent
of schools at Seward, Nebraska, in which capacity he served for three years.
The year 1884 witnessed his arrival in Sioux City, Iowa, where he made his
home to the time of his death a third of a century later. At its
organization he became identified with the sioux City Seed & Nursery
Company, which later became the Sioux City Seed Company, with which he was
officially connected in the important capacity of secretary throughout the
remainder of his life.
On the 13th of March, 1877, Mr. Cummings was united in marriage
to Miss Evaline Rebecca Dunn, of Flushing, Ohio, daughter of Robert S. and Sarah
A. (Beatty) Dunn, the former a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and the
latter of York, Pennsylvania. Robert S. Dunn and Sarah A. Beatty removed
to Ohio as boy and girl with their respective parents. Throughout his
active business career Robert S. Dunn devoted his attention to farming pursuits
with excellent success.
The accident which resulted in the death of Mr. Cummings
occurred when a rear tire of his car blew out near LeMars, Iowa, causing the
machine to turn a complete somersault. Mr. Cummings was crushed about the
head and chest and death came within a few minutes after the tragedy occurred.
He was a Christian by inheritance and throughout his life he showed the
predominating characteristics of his forefathers; an intensity of purpose
manifesting itself in many lines of useful activities and impelled by a deeply
religious motive. In 1874 he made a profession of his faith in Jesus
Christ and united with the Beech Spring Presbyterian church in Ohio.
Henceforth his life was devoted to the service of God and the church.
He touched lives everywhere; he was a member of many worthy organizations;
a leader since the days of Haddock of the temperance movement; a strong tower
with the Gideons, the great Christian Traveling Men's Association; a trustee of
Buena Vista College of Storm Lake, Iowa, and most generous giver to and stanch
supporter of Christian education; president of the Presbyterian Alliance and
eager for greater things for Christ and Presbyterianism in Sioux City and
regions beyond; the one who was used of God to build the Sheldon Jackson
Memorial Monument on Prospect Hill; an earnest Sabbath school worker all his
life; Sabbath school superintendent of the Third Presbyterian church of Sioux
City for a quarter century, and glorying in the opportunity to work with the
young and for the young. But above all, he loved the church of God.
For almost fifty years - in Ohio and Nebraska and chiefly in Sioux City -
he had been an honored elder of the Presbyterian church. A member of the
First Presbyterian church when he first came to Sioux City, he made the venture
in faith and all the churches of Sioux City felt the impress of his life.
He is the spiritual father of several, and the Third Presbyterian church
is the memorial of his love, and his crowning work. Below are some
sentences from the appreciation of a former pastor: "In the local
church he was a whirlwind for work. Through all the years he was treasurer
of the church. For almost all the years he was superintendent of the
Sabbath school, besides teaching a class. He was general adviser and
helper to the membership which needed just such a man. He was pastor's
assistant without salary. He was untiring in securing jobs for men and
women out of work, in stimulating young people to get an education. In
order to have an orchestra in the church and help the young people musically, he
gave an instrument to any boy who would learn to use it and play in the
orchestra. He was never absent from a session meeting when in town, always
at the session prayer meeting before the morning service, ever holding up the
pastor's hands in prayer, and planning for the salvation of souls. As his
business prospered and means multiplied he gave not only to the local church but
was interested in everything that pertained to the kingdom at large; to colleges
he gave largely, especially to Buena Vista, to Sabbath school missionary work,
and to all causes of the church. His intensity of conviction and action
often carried him farther than some of his friends could go with him, but this
intensity was always on the right side."
The following article appeared in the Sioux City Daily Tribune
under date of July 21, 1917, with the caption "Suggest Monument for Two Men
Who Led Thirty Years War Against Liquor Trade." "If you were
growing old and could look back over the toil and moil of thirty years, wouldn't
it be something of a satisfaction to know that ideas you had championed when
everyone else scouted and ridiculed them were now accepted by a great majority
of the people? Such is the satisfaction which N. R. Hathaway, 709 Rebecca
street, and G. H. Cummings, 1822 Court street, both pioneers in the anti-saloon
movement, must feel in surveying the thirty-odd years which they have been
actively engaged in temperance work in Sioux City. The agitation began
about the time of the notorious murder, when a Sioux City minister actively
engaged in securing evidence against the saloons, was shot down in cold blood at
the corner of Fourth and Pearl streets. Mr. Cummings was one of the first
to ally himself with the movement and Mr. Hathaway joined the following year
when he moved here from Springfield, South Dakota. It is easy enough to be
a prohibitionist after the state has gone 'dry,' but it was a different matter
years ago when no one dreamed that it would ever be possible to put the saloons
out of business.
'Be not the first by whom the new is tried, Nor yet the last
to lay the old aside,'
said the poet, but where would progress be if everyone obeyed?
In those early days a 'dry' was looked upon as a 'crank,' and fingers were
pointed and sly smiles and winks were exchanged whenever he walked down the
street. Many deplored the liquor situation, but considered it a necessary
evil. Few imagined that thirty short years would compass the life of the
booze emporiums. And so the 'drys' were scoffed at and denounced as
visionaries, 'the idle singers of an empty day.' To be scoffed at was hard
enough, but the trials were often of a more serious nature. The 'wets'
formed combines against the prohibitionists and attempted to boycott them.
At that time Mr. Hathaway was owner of the Blue Valley creamery.
'One morning as I was making my rounds,' he said, 'seven of my regular
customers flatly refused to patronize me any longer unless I would cease to work
against the saloon interests. Trade fell off for a time after each of
these spasmodic "combines" of the "wets," but in the end I
always gained more than I lost.' Anonymous threats to burn their homes and
businesses were often received by the antis.
"The organization with which Mr. Cummings and Mr. Hathaway
were associated began its work by simply trying to get the police to enforce
ordinances already in effect but universally disregarded. But progress
along this line was slow. The league employed an attorney and prosecuted
offenders but the courts for the most part were afraid to return a decision
unfavorable o Sioux City's powerful liquor element. The league promptly
appealed to the supreme court each unjust verdict. 'At one time,' declared
Mr. Hathaway, 'we had twenty-one cases in the supreme court, twenty of which
were decided in our favor, one being lost through a legal technicality.'
In those days saloons were open for business seven days in the week and
twenty-four hours in the day. There were laws on the statute books
prohibiting Sunday opening and all night service, but such laws were regarded
here as unwholesome relics of Puritanism and were consigned to oblivion.
But when time after time the decisions of the inferior courts in liquor
trials were reversed by the supreme court, Sioux City woke up and once the tide
turned the reaction was swift and sure. Step by step the saloons were
crowded out and the public approved of their going. Many of the men who
were actually engaged in the liquor traffic now admit that they would vote
against the saloon if the issue should ever come before the people again.
The list of contributors to the Anti-Saloon league fund now boasts the
names of many erstwhile supporters of John Barleycorn. And so by the
inevitable and monotonous operation of the universal law of progress, the years
have justified the 'cranks,' and the works of the pioneer prohibitionists, the
'visionaries,' have borne fruit. In his sermon Sunday morning Rev. H. A.
Keck, of the Grace Methodist Episcopal church, spoke of the part played by Mr.
Cummings and Mr. Hathaway in the prohibition movement in Sioux City. 'A
monument,' said Rev. Mr. Keck, 'should be erected to those two men who were
brave enough to stand out against the saloons in those early days when everyone
either tolerated them as a necessary evil or openly favored them. If such
a monument were erected, I should engrave upon it the following simple tribute:
"Erected to the memory of two highminded citizens whose fearless
espousal of prohibition in the early years of the anti-saloon crusade placed
every citizen of the municipality under an everlasting debt of gratitude and
respect." ' "
The concluding three paragraphs are editorials from the local
"In the sudden and tragic death of George H. Cummings last
Saturday, Sioux City and Iowa lost a citizen of high ideals and genuine worth.
Those who knew him intimately realized that no man was more active and
devoted to business and the secular affairs of life, yet with all this, there
was not a man of the city more willing and ready to give time and money to the
higher things. He was an enthusiastic almsgiver and rejoiced in the
sacrifices he made. In Christian effort here he had come to be relied upon
as a mainstay. He brought many projects to successful fruition by his
energy, the influence of his optimism and his own cheerful contributions.
Buena Vista College owes him a lasting debt of gratitude. In the
past year's campaign for funds for the Storm Lake institution, the largest
contribution among the many in Sioux City came from Mr. Cummings. But to
the public he was most widely known as the president of the Woodbury County
Anti-Saloon League. In the cause of temperance he was an courageous as he
was tireless and disinterested. His work had but one inspiration, the
common good. When others despaired in the long battle, he cheered and gave
and worked. For thirty years he labored with rare devotion for the
prohibition of the sale of intoxicants. Within the past week he remarked
at a meeting of his associates: 'The vote October 15 for constitutional
prohibition in Iowa is the culminating event of my life, and if we win, I will
die happy.' The issue seems certain, but the glad news of it must be
wafted to Mr. Cummings in another sphere where he has already met thousands and
will later meet other thousands who have here been brought under the saving
influences of the great reform of which he was one of the pioneers. It is
easy to imagine George H. Cummings sending an appeal for one more good day's
work in the temperance cause."
"A good man died tragically last Saturday afternoon when
George H. Cummings succumbed after an automobile accident on the Sioux City-LeMars
road. The community can afford to take a moment off to reflect in such a
circumstance. Good men are not so numerous as to be spared indifferently.
Neither in the community nor in the world. Most people who know of
the life of George H. Cummings know of it as an existence devoted to
whole-hearted interest in the cause of reform, chiefly liquor reform. He
was conspicuous as an enemy of the saloon and the things the saloon connotes.
It would not be fair to speak of him as an opponent of liquor, for he
never deteriorated into mere opposition. He was relentless. The
presidency of the Woodbury County Anti-Saloon League was a minor matter.
His hostility to the saloon was essentially individual, not official.
So far as The Journal knows no one ever tried to attach to Mr. Cummings in
his reform activity the stigma of self interest. Even those against whose
business he campaigned would doubtless have confessed a degree of respect for
the man whom they fought. In this fact resides a clew to the fundamental
thing in Mr. Cummings' character. He did not court popularity. In
the 'hale fellow' sense he never acquired it. He was too unequivocal for
that. Possessing convictions of the most positive type, he acted in every
case according to them. In the ordinary sense, he was not a tolerant man.
His tolerance, that is, did not extend to the things or the people that he
felt to be evil. But he was benevolent. He was in a large way
generous of his substance. He impressed folks with his genuineness.
Mr. Cummings was a competent business man. As a member of the Third
Presbyterian church in Sioux City he was prominent for his leadership and
helpfulness. He was a trustee of Buena Vista College, a Presbyterian
institution, and on the occasion of the last campaign to raise funds for the
school his was the largest contribution in Sioux City. Although nearly
sixty-seven, he seemed youthful physically and was youthful spiritually.
The last months of his life were associated unforgetably with the fight to
make prohibition a part of the constitution of Iowa. He sometimes said
that if he could know the issue would be settled right at the election of
October 15 he would die happy. There is no reason why the inspiration
which his positive life afforded should not continue in its potency a long time
after October 15 shall have become also a memory."
"George H. Cummings has finished his life work. How
great that work has been, only the generations to follow can estimate. A
man of deep convictions, strong, forceful personality, untiring energy. and
withal a broad humanity that called for personal sacrifice that good might come
to his fellowmen. It has been our privilege to be more or less intimately
associated with Mr. Cummings at times during the past thirty years, particularly
in those days when he saw and followed a vision, far in advance of most of his
coworkers. With George Knox and Haddock he saw that temperance was only
one phase of Christian living. He made it a life work to bring about, so
far as in him lay, legalized temperance in the state and nation. The work
then taken on was never laid down; he died in the harness, so to speak, one of
the foremost workers for constitutional prohibition. His vision taught him
that prohibition was right. That was all that was necessary to urge him to
his utmost to bring about the supremacy of right. Another vision that Mr.
Cummings had was that the Christian field in Sioux City was ripe for the harvest
and that he as a Christian woed it to the people to use what energy he could to
propagate the cause of Christ throughout the city. An official member of
the First Presbyterian church, he severed his pleasant relations there to go out
into the field and garner the sheaves. The beginnings and struggles and
early history of each of the Presbyterian churches clustered around the parent
church in the city, speak eloquently of the man Cummings. The Second, now
the Knox, Presbyterian church was built around his personality. His
personal effort and energy was manifest in the inception and starting of each of
the other Presbyterian churches of the city, and particularly the Third
Presbyterian church, east of the viaduct, where he has spent his later years in
building up a community, which many a man with less of Christian spirit would
have avoided, as a field for useful activity. He was broad in his
activities. A very busy man in the business of his life work, the seed
business, to which he had devoted the past thirty years as secretary of the
Sioux City Seed Company, he still found time to help the fallen, to show the
path of light to those in darkness, and to relieve beyond the measure of most
men, the want and suffering around him. In his tragic death his family,
his friends, his business associates, the community and city in which he lived,
the state and nation, have lost a Christian man, four square, dependable and
faithful unto the last."