IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
J. C. WADE
The tremendous growth of the automobile business in recent years has attracted men of ability and energy and in no other field is there a better opportunity for the exercise of progressive and enterprising methods. One of the most important and successful business houses in Sioux City is that of Wade & Brunight, dealers in Buick cars, for which they hold the agency for southern South Dakota, four counties in Nebraska and four counties in Iowa, including Woodbury. In the splendid growth which this company has enjoyed, John C. Wade has been an important factor, having devoted himself closely to its interests, and is now numbered among the able and successful business men of this community.
Born in Clayton county, Iowa, on the 20th day of November, 1869, he is a son of Frank F. and Cynthia (Dow) Wade, who were natives of New York state, where they were reared and married. Soon afterward they came to Iowa, settling in Clayton county in 1865 and remaining there until 1872, when they moved to Union county, South Dakota, where the father engaged in farming. In 1887 he settled in Hawarden, Iowa, where he engaged in teh hardware business until his death, which occurred in 1903, at the age of fifty-five years. His wife is still living at Hawarden, at the age of eighty-six years, and is remarkably active of one of her age.
John C. Wade attended the district schools to his eighteenth year and after the family located in Hawarden engaged in the newspaper business, becoming half owner of the Sioux Valley Blade, to which he devoted his attention for two years. He then sold his interest in the paper and established a grocery business in Akron, Iowa, which he carried on until 1907, when he sold the store and entered the automobile business, becoming associated with Thomas L. Burnight, under the firm name of Wade & Burnight. At that time they secured the agency for the Buick car for a territory including six counties. They were very successful in this venture and in 1914 came to Sioux City, their territory being increased to ten counties, including Woodbury. The steady and continuous growth of their business, which has been very gratifying, is evidenced by the fact that the volume of sales had increased from one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars in 1917 to over a million and a half dollars in 1925.
In 1890 Mr. Wade was united in marriage to Miss Elsie B. Phillips, of Elk Point, South Dakota, and to them have been born two daughters: Grace F., who graduated from Drake University, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and is now the wife of Guy F. Phellis, of Sioux City; and Jessie E., who graduated from Morningside College, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Mr. Wade is a member of the board of directors of the Toy National Bank. Because of his splendid business record, his very commendable interest in the progress and prosperity of his city, and his forceful personality, he has won a high place in the esteem of all who know him.
V. E. WADHAMS
That so many of the enterprising and successful business men of Sioux City are native sons, indicates that here are are to be found all the opportunities necessary to insure success in the material affairs of life and that morally and socially it is all that could be desired. In this class stands Victor E. Wadhams, secretary-treasurer and general manager of the Sioux City Paper Company, one of the prosperous and substantial concerns of this thriving city. Mr. Wadhams was born here on the 10th day of April, 1884, and is a son of John S. and Anna L. (Swan) Wadhams, both of whom were natives of Sweden. They came to this country in youth, each locating in Chariton, Iowa, where they were eventually married. The father engaged in the grocery business there until 1883, when he came to Sioux City and again embarked in teh same line of business, in which he continued for thirty-five years. In 1918 he disposed of his store and a year later became a member of the office force of the Sioux City Paper Company, where he was employed until his death on March 16, 1926.
Victor E. Wadhams attended teh public schools of Sioux City, graduating from the commercial department of the high school in 1900. He then accepted a position with the Tolerton & Warfield Company, wholesale grocers, with whom he worked in the claim department until 1907, when he resigned and went to work for the Tackaberry Company, wholesale grocers, being made buyer in the paper and woodenware department. He continued in that capacity until 1913, when he resigned in order to embark in business on his own account, organizing the Sioux City Paper Company, a copartnership, of which he was made manager. In 1915 the business was incorporated and Mr. Wadhams became secretary-treasurer and general manager of the company, which has enjoyed a steady and substantial growth, being now numbered among the most important firms in its line in the state of Iowa.
In 1909 Mr. Wadhams was united in marriage to Miss Alice Stone, of Sioux City, and they are the parents of three children, namely: Dwight Stone, who is in high school, and Daniel Edward and Betty Ann, who are in the grade schools. Mr. Wadhams is a member of Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. & A. M.; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R., and Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. He and his family are members and active supporters of the McClintock Community Presbyterian church. H is interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of the people and the commercial progress of the city, and occupies an enviable position in business circles.
A. O. WAKEFIELD
A lawyer of widely recognized ability, a jurist of the highest type and a man of integrity and honor, Albert Orin Wakefield, judge of the fourth judicial district of Iowa, has made a definite impress on the history of the state, of which he is one of her distinguished native sons. Iowa has been dignified by his life and achievements and he stands as a worthy member of a striking group of public men whose influence in the civic and social life as well as in professional circles of the state has been of a most beneficent order. Judge Wakefield was born in Sioux City in the 16th of May, 1875, and is a son of Judge George Washington Wakefield, who was for twenty years on the bench, two years on the circuit court and eighteen years on the district court bench. His death occurred March 10, 1905.
Albert Orin Wakefield attended the public schools of his native city, graduating from high school as the valedictorian of his class in 1893. He then entered Lombard College, at Galesburg, Illinois, where he took a four years' course in two years, graduating in 1895, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then entered the law school of Iowa State University, and was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1897. Returning to Sioux City, he engaged in the practice of his profession in association with the firm of Marsh & Henderson until 1899, after which he practiced independently for the ensuing two years, in 1901 forming a law partnership with Edmund Pendleton, under the firm name of Pendleton & Wakefield, which continued to the time of his appointment of the district bench, on July 18, 1922. In July, 1906, he was appointed United States commissioner for the northern district of Iowa by Judge Henry T. Reed and rendered effective and able service in that official capacity to the time of his elevation to the bench.
On November 5, 1903, Judge Wakefield was united in marriage to Miss Elinor Josephine Rederich, who was born and reared in Sioux City, a daughter of Dr. A. J. and Alice (Elward) Rederich. Her father was for forty years one of Sioux City's leading dentists but is now retired from active life. Judge and Mrs. Wakefield have three children: Alice Kate, who was graduated from the Iowa State University with the degree of A. B. and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; George Rederich, who is a student in the Central high school; and Elinor Alberta, who is in the Junior High school. The judge is a member of the Phi Delta Theta, a college fraternity, and Phi Delta Phi, a law fraternity. In Masonic circles he is widely known as a member of Landmark Lodge, No. 103, A. F. and A. M.; Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M.; Zadok Council, No. 24, R. and S. M.; Rose Croix Chapter, No. 400, O. E. S., to which Mrs. Wakefield also belongs; and Mizpah Shrine, No. 13, Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem. He is president of the Sioux City Masonic Building Company, and belongs to the National Masonic Research Society, to the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, the Academy of Science, the Sioux City Kiwanis Club and the Sioux City Boat Club. In Judge Wakefield are found united many of the rare qualities which go to make up the successful lawyer and jurist. He possesses the acumen of the judicial temperament, and it is a matter of general knowledge among the members of the bar that no labor is too great, however onerous, no application too exacting, however severe, if necessary to the complete understanding and correct determination of a question. Not only in the judiciary has Judge Wakefield been accorded evidences of popular confidence and regard, but also in other directions, and he fills a large place in the general life and activities of the community.
H. T. WALENSKY
In studying the life history of Hans Theodore Walensky, who is actively identified with important business interest in Sioux City, there are found certain qualities which make for definite success, and the prosperity which has come to him is directly traceable to the salient points in his character, for he started in life at the bottom of the ladder, which he has mounted unaided. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 21st of February, 1872, and is a son of Stefan and Katherina M. Walensky. The mother is still living in Copenhagen, but the father is deceased.
Hans Theodore Walensky secured his education in the public schools of Copenhagen and on leaving school at the age of fifteen years learned the carpenter trade. In 1890, when eighteen years of age, he came to the United States, landing at Baltimore, whence he came on west, landing at Parkersburg, Iowa, with three cents in his pocket and in debt sixty dollars for his passage money. He immediately went to work at the carpenter trade, and later was employed for two years as a bridge carpenter on the Illinois Central railroad. He then turned his attention to the lumber business, gaining thorough knowledge thereof. He went to Buffalo Center, Iowa, where for two years he worked for a lumber company, and then went to Klemme, Iowa, where also he worked in lumber yards, followed by two years in the same line of work at Burt, Iowa. At Armour, South Dakota, he spent three years in lumber yards and in February, 1904, came to Sioux City, entering the employ of the J. H. Queal Lumber Company, with which he remained until the plant was sold to the Thompson Lumber Company, in 1917. In 1918 Mr. Walensky took charge of the Fullerton Lumber Company's business, remaining as manager of that business until 1924, when he bought out the business and plant of the McNeil Lumber Company, which he is still conducting on his own account. He has been successful in this, for he thoroughly understands every phase of the lumber business and is a man of sound business judgment, the splendid prosperity which has come to him being well merited.
In 1893 Mr. Walensky was united in marriage to Miss Gertha Pedersen, a native of Denmark, who came to the United States in young womanhood, settling in Parkersburg, Iowa, where she met and was married to Mr. Walensky. They are the parents of two sons, Grant Theodore and Frank Peter, both of whom are in business with their father. Mr. Walensky is a member of Tyrian Lodge No. 508, A. F. & A. M.; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R.; Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, B. P. O. E.; and the Modern Woodmen of America. He also belongs to the Lions Club and the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Walensky's record since coming to the United States has been one of which he may justifiably be proud, for by his determination, persistency along well-defined lines of action and the exercise of that sound judgment which is ordinarily called common sense, he has been enabled to forge ahead, until today he is regarded as one of Sioux City's enterprising and progressive business men.
E. J. WALLEN
E. J. Wallen, who was long a prominent representative of industrial interests in northwestern Iowa as head of the Sioux City Tent & Awning Company, which he founded, had been a resident of the municipality for a third of a century when he passed away in the winter of 1924, aged sixty-two years. His birth occurred at Marshalltown, Iowa, July 17, 1862, and there he spent the period of his minority. After leaving Marshalltown, he moved to Mitchell, South Dakota, where he was a salesman for several years. On the 4th of August, 1886, while a resident of Mitchell, he was married to Miss Ida A. Reitzel, of Pennsylvania Dutch stock.
In 1889 Mr. and Mrs. Wallen moved to Dallas, Texas, where he was engaged in teh tent and awning business for a time. In 1891 Mr. Wallen became ill and returned north for his health. He settled in Sioux City and became affiliated with the Hopper & McNeil Company. In 1899 he severed relations with that firm and established the Sioux City Tent & Awning Company, doing business at 630 Fifth street, then at 317-19 Fifth street, and for fifteen years at 308-10 Jackson street. In 1920 the company purchased the building where it is now located at 914-16 Fourth street and installed the most modern machinery for manufacture of its products.
The following is an excerpt from an article concerning the business which appeared in the Diamond Jubilee section of the Sioux City Daily Tribune of June 8, 1924: " 'Ye Old Timers' well remember the old schoolhouse at 412 Jackson now occupied by the Princess theater. Do you remember back in 1899 when the building was occupied by E. J. Wallen with his tent and awning business? That was the real beginning of a business that now has the distinction of being one of the largest of its kind between Chicago and the Pacific coast. * * * The company has four men on the road distrubuting goods in six tributary states, and has about fifteen men and women in its employ, with an annual pay roll of approximately twenty thousand dollars. Mr. Wallen died last winter. His four sons, who have succeeded him, are conducting the business along the same lines and ideals laid down by the father. The company manufactures tents, awnings and other canvas products for the wholesale and retail trade. The firm carries a most extensive line of tourists' supplies, including auto tents, camp tents, bedding, folding stoves, camp furniture and accessories. They also carry a large number of tents for rental purposes, claiming that they have enough canvas to house the entire population of the city. The company is incorporated with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. The officers are: Mrs. E. j. Wallen, president; Claude R. Wallen, vice president; Numa James Wallen, treasurer; Day E. Wallen, secretary. George S. Wallen has charge of the Aberdeen branch, established eight years ago, and doing a prosperous business in that territory. This is strictly a Sioux City concern, the young men in charge of the business being reared and educated in the city. They have been brought up in the business, and know its every angle."
The following article was printed in one of the Sioux City papers with the caption, "The Man Who Works is the Man Who Wins": "Development of 'sunshine plants,' where pure air and clean surroundings assure high grade products, has brought about a remarkable enlargement of the awning business. The modern method of taking the best products to the people for approval has also developed a remarkable demand for tents in which to house such displays during fair and home-coming weeks. Man has passed the period where the tent longer serves to house him, save for an occasional vacation trip, but the tent has come to stay, because of the place it fills in the list of possible advertising mediums. This turn in the business, incidentally, has been the cause of the upbuilding in Sioux City of one of the strongest tent and awning concerns of the country. When E. J. Wallen came to Sioux City, some twenty-three years ago, the business was in its infancy, but he saw opportunities and he grasped them, with the result that when he became the sole owner of the Sioux City Tent & Awning Company, in 1899, the business was on a basis that made possible the development here of a powerful concern, having dealings with hundreds of towns and cities in the trade territory. The company having been conceived with an eye to the future, Mr. Wallen took note of the development possible in this field and the company now issues a catalogue covering hundreds of special items. Stores and office blocks within a radius of one hundred miles of Sioux City are now shaded from hot suns by Wallen awnings and are further protected by this concern's window shades. The company took note of demand for such canvas goods as grain stack covers, carpet, horse and piano covers, and developed that side of the business. Boat cushions, seat cushions for grandstands, got pace in the catalogue alongside covers for the veteran prairie schooner, while all standard tents continued to hold several pages in the price lists. One annual demonstration of the growth of this company and its ability to serve is had each year during the Interstate Live Stock fair. In that week the company has tents on the fair grounds that accommodate thousands of guests. The tents range in size from the circus tent, where prize animals are judged, to the frankfurter stand, where 'prize animals' are eaten. The success of the local company having been so astounding, Mr. Wallen decided to extend his operations, with the result that George S. Wallen, a son, become manager of the Wallen Tent & Awning Company in Cedar Rapids. The policy of this concern is the same as that of the parent company and the reiterated statement of both companies that they will sell only full weight and full size goods has served to center business of the central Iowa field with the Wallen company in Cedar Rapids. After one year in that field the size of the plant was doubled and further additions in a capacity way will soon be demanded."
Still another article reads as follows: "Throughout this section of the state, this concern is known as one of the foremost firms engaged in the business of making custom tents and awnings for the public at large. They have attained a position in the trade in this line that brings them an ever increasing business an as a consequence their place is the scene of continued activity.
"The many tents and awnings that they have manufactured for business and home owners in this part of the state have been the admiration and comment of everyone. They have their place equipped with all the necessary machinery and they are expert men in these lines. Their activities embrace all branches of this business, including the manufacture of awnings for store fronts and windows. If a particular idea is to be carried out in either a tent or an awning, this firm will be able to give suggestions, as they are excellent craftsmen and designers and have direct supervision of the place. This assures the public of awnings of the highest character and workmanship. Their reputation as designers of tents and awnings is well merited and they have been able to make old ones present an excellent appearance."
Mr. Wallen was a prominent worker in the Masonic order. He was a charter member of Morningside Lodge No. 615, A. F. & A. M., having transferred from Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. & A. M. He also belonged to Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, S. P. R. S.; and Abu-Bekr Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Characterized as one of Sioux City's "live wires," he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Iowa State Manufacturers Association and one of the first and most popular members of the Rotary Club. He was elected president of the manufacturers' bureau of the Commercial Club, of which organization he had been an active member since its inception. On the 4th of November, 1919, Rotarians observed the seventh birthday anniversary of the Rotary Club as the guests of E. J. Wallen in the new home of the Sioux City Tent & Awning Company at 914-16 Fourth street. A local newspaper described the event in part as follows: "A weird mystic atmosphere was created by the Halloween decorations that graced the banquet tendered to the members of the Rotary Club and their wives last night by E. J. Wallen. As the guests arrived they were conducted through a labyrinthine maze of canvas within which were encountered several skeletons of men and gruesome objects suggestive of current and ancient superstitions. Mr. Wallen was host to more than three hundred guests. The banquet was served on the second floor of the reconstructed building occupied by the Sioux City Tent & Awning Company at 914-16 Fourth street. The event was of double significance to Mr. Wallen, because yesterday was the twenty-eighth anniversary of his arrival in Sioux City, and the thirty-third anniversary of his marriage. As an expression of appreciation of the entertainment tendered, the Rotarians presented Mr. and Mrs. Wallen with a clock, the presentation address being made by Henry Hoskins. In accepting the gift Mr. Wallen said he had enjoyed his relationship with the Rotary Club, and that it had been a source of inspiration to him."
E. J. Wallen was survived by his widow and by four sons and two daughters, as follows: Claude R., Day E. and Numa James Wallen, of Sioux City; George S. Wallen, of Aberdeen, South Dakota; Mary Ann, the wife of J. B. Tasker, of Sioux City; and Irene A., the wife of Dr. W. H. Empey, of Battle Creek, Iowa. There are also thirteen grandchildren.
Energy, perseverance and thrift are recognized the world over as the fundamentals of material prosperity, and these qualities have brought James Warnock to the fore in business circles of Battle Creek, while he is also a leader of civic affairs. He was born October 16, 1856, in Farley, Dubuque county, this state, and his parents, Richard and Fanny (Kennedy) Warnock, were both natives of Ireland. They emigrated to the United States in 1845 and resided for some time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They journeyed to the west early in the '50s and the father became one of the pioneer farmers of Iowa. To their union were born nine children: David, of Battle Creek, Iowa; Samuel, who died in infancy; Margaret, who passed away in 1924; Samuel, whose demise occurred in 1890; James; Frank B., William and Loury L., all of whom are living in Sioux City, Iowa; and George, deceased.
James Warnock received a public school education and assisted his father in the tasks of plowing, planting and harvesting. At the age of twenty-one he began farming for himself and successfully followed that occupation for many years, bringing his land to a high state of development. In 1904 he moved to Battle Creek and embarked in the automobile business, with which he has been identified for about a quarter of a century, operating with his son, James A. Warnock, as partner. He handles Ford cars and is one of the best known dealers in this section of the state. Years of experience and study have made him thoroughly familiar with every phase of the trade, and in order to accommodate his rapidly growing business he erected a modern building, sixty-five by one hundred feet in dimensions and three stories in height. In dealing with the public he has always followed honorable, straightforward methods, and his annual sales now amount to a large figure.
On January 26, 1882, Mr. Warnock was married to Miss Rettie M. Spotts, and they have three children: Katy P., at home; James A., who is associated with his father in business; and Ella, the wife of V. B. Hoyer, of Battle Creek. Mr. Warnock has attained the thirty-second degree in the Masonic order and has crossed the hot sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, He is affiliated with the Presbyterian church and casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party. He has a high conception of the duties of citizenship and his public activities cover ten years' connection with the common council of Battle Creek and twenty-one years' service on the school board. Mr. Warnock has met every obligation in life to the best of his ability, making each day count for the utmost, and time has proven his worth.
J. N. WARREN
Dr. John Nelson Warren, one of the best known and most highly respected residents of Sioux City, where he has made his home during the past thirty-eight years, has been an active representative of the medical profession for fifty-six years and has specialized in surgery since 1892. His birth occurred in Dewitt, Iowa, on the 30th of April, 1846, his parents being Monroe and Betsey Ann Warren, the former born on a farm in the Western Reserve of Ohio. The father was of English descent, while the mother came of English and French lineage.
John N. Warren acquired his early education as a public school pupil at the place of his nativity and during the year 1862 pursued academic studies in Mount Carroll Seminary of Mount Carroll, Illinois. He entered Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa, for the session of 1863 and in March, 1864, enlisted for service in the Union army, becoming a member of Company F, Forty-fourth Iowa Infantry. Having determined upon the practice of medicine as a life work, he entered upon preparation therefor in the medical department of the University of Michigan, which he attended in 1869 and 1870, and on the 1st of March, 1871, he was graduated from the medical department of Miami University of Ohio. His initial experience in the field of his chosen profession was gained at Dewitt, Clinton county, Iowa, where he remained until March, 1878, when he moved to Storm Lake. It was on the 1st of November, 1889, that he took up his abode in Sioux City, Iowa, where he has resided continuously to the present time and where he has been accorded a practice of steadily growing volume and importance. As above indicated, he began specializing in surgery thirty-five years ago, and his success in this field of professional science has been pronounced. For a period covering more than a half century he has effectively utilized his knowledge to the best possible advantage in his efforts to alleviate suffering and check the ravages of disease, and he has long enjoyed an enviable reputation among his professional colleagues as well as the laity.
On the 27th of June, 1877, at Lyndon, Illinois, Dr. Warren was united in marriage to Mary V. M. Hubbard, who was there born on the 3d of February, 1846. They became the parents of two sons and a daughter, namely: Dr. Alexis M. Warren, who married Beatrice Orton and resides at Bellingham, Washington; Nelson J. Warren, also living at Bellingham, Washington; and Mrs. R. M. Jordon, of Winside, Nebraska.
Dr. Warren gives his political allegiance to the republican party, believing its principles most conducive to good government. In Masonry he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, belonging to the lodge, chapter, commandery, consistory and Shrine. Though now an octogenarian, he is still an active factor in the world's work and may look back with justifiable pride upon a long, honorable and useful career.
T. M. WATTS
Thomas McCoy Watts, a member of one of the honored pioneer families of Iowa, has long been the recognized leader of the drug trade in Holstein, and his name also figures conspicuously in public affairs. He was born April 3, 1882, on a farm in Keokuk county, Iowa, and his father, George W. Watts, was a native of Owens Grove, Greene county, Indiana. He was born November 22, 1850, and was the fourth child of Charles W. and Mary Ann Watts, in whose family were ten children, seven sons and three daughters.
When George W. Watts was four years old his parents joined the bands of immigrants who journeyed westward in covered wagons drawn by oxen to settle on the prairies of the newly admitted state of Iowa. They crossed the Mississippi river in the fall of 1854 and spent the following winter with the Donohue family at Washington, Iowa. In the spring of 1855 they moved to the open prairie three and a half miles west of Hedrick, where they endured the hardships of the early settlers and reared their large family. In the winter months the children attended the old log schoolhouse with its puncheon floor and slab seats, receiving the best education afforded in those early days. In the summer of 1875 George W. Watts became acquainted with Estella White and on April 27, 1879, they were married at the old White homestead, situated a mile east of Fremont. They established their new home just across the road from the old place and there lived for three years. In 1880 Mr. Watts built a store at Butler, Iowa, and embarked in business as a merchant and grain buyer. Soon afterward he was made station agent for the new Iowa Central Railroad and opened the Butler post office. In 1886 he returned to the property south of Butler, where he spent seven years, and in 1893 purchased a farm adjoining the town of Hendrick. There he resided from 1894 until his demise on June 10m 1924, at the age of seventy-three years, six months and nineteen days. His widow was born in Iowa, and she now makes her home in Fremont. Of his brothers and sisters the following survive: H. A. Watts, of Hendrick, Iowa; H. D. Watts, of Enid, Oklahoma; and J. M. Watts, of Wallace Idaho. To Mr. and Mrs. George W. Watts were born seven sons: J. C.,m Jr., of Hedrick; Thomas McCoy of this review; F. V., who lives at Melstone, Montana; H. A., Jr., of Fremont, Iowa; L. H., of Odebolt; L. J.; and Lee R., whose home is in Corning.
Mrs. Watts' parents, John Q. White and Elvira Huff, were married in 1844 and on February 8, 1914, at their home in Fremont, celebrated the seventieth anniversary of their marriage. When they located in Mahaska county there were but two houses where Fremont now stands, and in the work of development and progress they bore an important part. Mr. White was born July 24, 1824, in Dearborn county, Indiana, and his wife was born July 15, 1828, in Shelby county, that state. They were married at the home of the bride's parents, in the same house in which Mrs. White was born, and the ceremony was performed by the Rev. John Reece, a Baptist clergyman. In the fall of 1848 Mr. White came to the west and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Cedar township, Mahaska county. This land was later known as the Charles Lott farm and is now owned by John H. Harist. Mr. White returned to Indiana and on April 2, 1849, with his wife and two children and a small company of other homeseekers, started overland for Iowa. The spring of 1849 was an extremely wet one and much difficulty was encountered in traveling, as the horses would cut through the sod. They were almost four weeks in making the trip and finally arrived at their destination on April 29. In the fall of 1852 Mr. and Mrs. White revisited their old home in Indiana, going and coming by the overland route, and in 1853 the family moved to Fremont. There Mr. White opened a general store, which he conducted until 1861, and during that period served for eight years as postmaster of the town. In 1861 the family moved to a farm just east of Fremont and the place has since been known as the old White homestead, although it is now the property of George Helm. They remained on the farm until 1890 and then returned to Fremont, where they spent the remainder of their lives. At one time Mr. White owned eight hundred acres of land and his holdings stretched north and south for more than two miles. While living on his farm east of the town he bought and sold stock and was one of the pioneers in that business. People from many sections of the state were entertained at the White home, which was known far and wide for its warmhearted hospitality.
Mr. and Mrs. White were the parents of twelve children. Frances, the eldest, is the wife of J. P. Brownfield, a traveling salesman living in Monroe, Iowa, and they have three daughters. Mary Jane is the widow of G. L. Phillippe and makes her home in Fremont. She has four children, two sons and two daughters, and all are married. Rachel E. is the wife of Frank Rockley, a retired farmer residing in Hendrick, and they have three children, two sons and a daughter. James A. married Miss Frances C. Reynolds and their only child, James A., Jr., died August 27, 1885. George W. married Miss Belle Wray and passed away May 21, 1877, leaving one child, a son. Florence A. is the wife of C. A. Eastburn, a prosperous farmer living north of Fremont, and they have four children, a son and three daughters. John Q., the seventh in order of birth, died July 14, 1860, at the age of three years. Estella is the widow of George W. Watts. Eva became the wife of Walter A. Wells, head of the firm of Wells & Stump, a large plumbing concern of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Harry, a traveling salesman now living in Kirksville, Missouri, married Miss Hattie Lawson, by whom he has three children, a son and two daughters. Webb W., a well-to-do farmer residing near Bloomfield, Iowa, married Miss Minnie Bottorff, and they have three children, a son and two daughters. Rhoda is the wife of A. W. McClain, who owns and operates a productive farm situated west of Fremont.
Thomas M. Watts was a pupil in a country school near Butler until March, 1894, when his parents moved to a farm in the vicinity of Hedrick, and there he attended the public schools. In 1901 he was graduated from the Hendrick normal and high school and in 1902 was a student in the academy of Drake University at Des Moines, Iowa. During 1902-3 he taught a country school and in the fall of the latter year entered the pharmaceutical department of Drake University, completing his course in June, 1905. He engaged in clerking for a year and in February, 1906, purchased his present store in Holstein. He is an expert pharmacist, well acquainted with the chemical combination of drugs, and in filling prescriptions is thorough, painstaking and reliable. He carries a fine stock and his success is due to the fact that the master formula of his business - honor, integrity and trustworthiness - has ever remained unchanged.
On June 30, 1909, Mr. Watts was married, in Holstein, to Miss Mattie Kastner, a native of Iowa, and they have two daughters, Ruth Maurine and Betty Mae. Mr. Watts is a Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is affiliated with the Christian church and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. He is deeply interested in everything that touches the welfare and progress of his community and since 1910 has been secretary of the local school district. He has been president of the Holstein Fire Comp[any and is third vice president of the Iowa Pharmaceutical Association. He was honored with its presidency in 1917 and in 1918 was reelected, while he is now serving on the executive committee. For over twenty years he has been a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the National Association of Retail Druggists, and he also belongs to the Iowa State Historical Society. he likewise has membership in the Sons of the American Revolution, a grandfather in the fifth generation back having served in a Pennsylvania regiment during that conflict. Mr. Watts is a loyal Iowan and displays in his character the substantial qualities of his pioneer ancestors. He is a citizen of worth, and merits and receives the respect of his fellowmen.
R. G. WEBB
Roy G. Webb, of Spencer, Clay county, needs no introduction to the readers of this work who know anything of the affairs of that locality, for he has for many years held a place in the forefront of those who have promoted the public welfare while advancing their individual interests. Mr. Webb has been a lifelong resident of Spencer, his birth having occurred here on the 30th of September, 1878, and is a son of William Henry and Eva May (Goodwin) Webb. His parents, who were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, came to Spencer in 1877, the father engaging in farming and stock raising, in which he was very successful. He took an active interest in public affairs and represented his district one term in the state legislature. He died May 3, 1914, and his wife passed away in 1906. Her father, James Goodwin, also was prominent in public affairs and served as a member of the general assembly of Iowa. He was one of the two first merchants in Spencer before the railroad was constructed to this point. To Mr. and Mrs. Webb were born three children, namely: A son who died in infancy; Roy, of this review; and Anna Grace, who died at the age of fifteen years.
Roy G. Webb was reared on the home farm and secured his education in the public schools. He has carried forward the operation of the farm since his father's death and has been more than ordinarily successful, being a man of sound judgment and energetic methods. His now farming three quarter sections of land and gives the major portion of his attention to the raising of live stock.
On October 2, 1900, Mr. Webb was united in marriage to Miss Mabel H. Crowther, who was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and they now have two children, Lola Mae and William Forrest. Politically Mr. Webb is an ardent supporter of the republican party, while his religious connection is with the Grace Methodist Episcopal church, which was named after his sister. His father was for many years a member of the board of trustees of this church and on his death Roy G. Webb was elected in his place, and has been president of the board continuously since. He is an active and appreciative member of the Masonic order, in which he has taken the degrees of the various branches while in 1921 he was made a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, the preliminary degree to the thirty-third and last degree in Freemasonry. He has presided in the chairs of three bodies and at present is the presiding officer of the Royal Arch Chapter and also commander of the Knights Templar Commandery. He joined the order in 1906 and one year later was elected to the office of junior warden and in January, 1908, was installed and has held office in other of the Masonic bodies continuously since, a period of nineteen years. In 1910, as master of the lodge, he conferred the degrees on his father. He was also president of the Masonic Temple Association for nine consecutive years and he belongs also to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has taken a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and was for seven years president of the Clay County Fair Association. Mrs. Webb was worthy matron of the Order of the Eastern Star for two years and has been very actively engaged in church work, having been for seven years district treasurer of the Women's Home Missionary Society. Mr. Webb is a man of strong individuality, earnest in motive and action, and intensely loyal to his community, of which he has long been regarded as a representative citizen.
N. T. WELLS
The history of the loyal sons and representative citizens of northwestern Iowa would not be complete should the name of N. T. Wells be omitted. When the fierce fire of rebellion was raging through the Southland, threatening to destroy the Union, he responded with patriotic fervor to the call for volunteers and ins some of the bloodiest battles for which that great war was noted he proved his loyalty to the government. During a useful life in the locality where he now lives he has won success in business as the result of his persistent and well-applied industry, and at the same time he has contributed to the best of his ability to the prosperity and upbuilding in his community.
Mr. Wells was born in Lincoln county, Missouri, October 25, 1845, and is a son of Thomas E. and Susan Wells, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of West Virginia. They were married in Missouri and in 1846 moved to Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming for many years. Eventually they went to Jewell county, Kansas, where their deaths occurred. They became the parents of eleven children, of whom two are living.
N. T. Wells was about a year old when the family moved from Missouri to Wisconsin and in teh public schools of the latter state he secured his education. In 1864, when eighteen years old, he enlisted in Company K, Fortieth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served until th end of the war, being honorably discharged at Madison, Wisconsin. He the engaged in farming in Wisconsin, which occupation he followed there until 1877, when he came to Iowa and bought a tract of land in Pottawattamie county, on which he lived about four years, when he sold that place and moved to Cherokee county, buying a farm in Tilden township. To the improvement and cultivation of this place he devoted his attention for a number of years until, having accumulated a fair share of this world's goods and feeling the burden of advancing years, he sold his farm land and built a good home in Marcus, where he has since lived, retired from active business.
In 1871 Mr. Wells was married to Miss Jane Parker, who is a native of Ohio and a daughter of Elijah and Margaret Parker, natives of Pennsylvania and Scotland, respectively. They moved to Wisconsin in an early day and both died in that state. To Mr. and Mrs. Wells were born five children, as follows: Edith N., who remains at home; Ernest N., of Marcus; Benjamin D., of Sioux City, Iowa; Violet D., of Pierson, Iowa; and Chester A., who lives in Minnesota. Politically Mr. Wells has been a lifelong supporter of the republican party and formerly took an active part in local public affairs, having served sixteen years as a member of the school board. Fraternally he is a member of Marcus Lodge No, 463, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Curtis Post No. 25, Grand Army of the Republic. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church, to which he gives liberal support. He is in the truest sense a self-made man, having earned every dollar which he possesses through his indefatigable efforts and his sound business judgment, and he well merits the high place which he holds in the esteem of his fellowmen.
F. W. WERNER
Although of foreign birth, Frederick W. Werner has spent the greater part of his life in the United States, proving his loyalty to his adopted country by gallant service in its behalf during the dark days of civil strife. He brought to the new world youthful energy, a determined spirit and a self-reliant nature and with these assets has overcome many obstacles, pressing steadily onward to the goal of success. He has lived in Iowa for over sixty years and is one of the venerable citizens of Holstein.
A native of Germany, Mr. Werner was born January 27, 1842, and his parents, William and Elsa Werner, were lifelong residents of the fatherland. He has reached the advanced age of eighty-five years and is the only surviving member of a family of five children. He was educated in the schools of Germany and in 1865, when a young man of twenty-three, severed home ties, seeking the broader opportunities for advancement offered by the new world. The Civil war was then in progress and he at once offered his aid to the Union. He was accepted for military duty, becoming a member of Company D, Seventy-fifth New York Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of hostilities between the north and south. He was mustered out at Savannah, Georgia, and returned to New York, spending a short time in that state. In the fall of 1865 he journeyed to the middle west and secured work on a farm in Scott county, Iowa. He lived in that district for sixteen years and in 1881 started for Ida county, and he was four weeks in making the trip. He purchased a farm in section 24, Griggs township, and his work was carefully planned and systematically conducted. He utilized advanced methods of agriculture, reading everything available on the subject, and eventually transformed his place into one of the model farms of that locality. He resided on the property for twenty-six years and since his retirement has made his home in Holstein, leading a calm, restful and enjoyable life.
In 1868 Mr. Werner married Miss Christina Moeller, also a native of Germany. She was born in 1848 and reached the ripe age of sixty-six years, passing away in 1914. She was the mother of thirteen children, eight of whom survive: Mary, the wife of G. N. Wienert, who is living retired in Holstein; Sophie, who married Henry Pewe, of McHenry, North Dakota; Chris, who operates the home farm; Hans, a resident of North Dakota; Peter, who is engaged in farming in Ida county; Edward, who now makes his home in Minnesota; Anton, who lives in North Dakota; and Alma, who is the wife of Albert Schmidt, a well known farmer of Ida county.
Mr. Werner exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates of the republican party, and the only public office which he has ever consented to fill was that of school director. Modest and retiring by nature, he has ever avoided the public gaze, but possesses many admirable traits of character, as his fellow citizens attest, and the years have brought him an ever widening circle of loyal, steadfast friends.
E. O. WESLEY
Erick O. Wesley, a large property owner of Sioux City and formerly a prominent contractor, owes his success in business life to the sterling traits of character which he inherited from his Scandinavian ancestors and further developed. For many years his name has also figured conspicuously in civic affairs. His birth occurred in Story county, Iowa, in June, 1863, and his parents, Hogan and Anna Wesley, were natives of Norway. In 1857 they made the voyage to the United States and established their new home in Illinois. In that state the father followed agricultural pursuits until 1861, when he came to Iowa and purchased land in Story county, developing one of the fine farms of that locality. Subsequently he settled in the Vermillion district of South Dakota and there engaged in farming; for five or six years he lived in Vermillion and for a time operated a hotel there. Subsequently he removed to Union county, South Dakota, where he died in 1881. He was long survived by the mother, who passed away in 1915.
Mr. Wesley was reared in Union county, South Dakota, and attended the public schools of Vermillion, continuing his studies in Webb City, Iowa. He remained at home until his father's death and in 1882 came to Sioux City, when a young man of nineteen years. Later he entered the contracting field, specializing in railroad grading and did much work of that character in Illinois and Iowa. He attained to a position of leadership, owing to his thoroughness and reliability in the execution of contracts, and built up a large business. He retired in 1906 and devoted his attention to the supervision of his investments for some time. He has considerable residence property in Sioux City, which he rents, and also owns valuable farm land in Union county, receiving a good income from his holdings.
In November, 1888, Mr. Wesley married Miss Ellen Christenson and they have one son, Charles, who was born in September, 1891, and is a well known civil engineer of Sioux City. Mr. Wesley is a Lutheran in religious faith and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. His connection with public affairs constitutes an important chapter in his life history. His first office was that of street commissioner, which he filled for several years, and during that period many improvements were made in the city council and served for six years. He was recalled to that office in 1922 and in the spring of 1924 was reelected. His influence is given to the cause which he believes to be just and to the solution of all municipal problems he applies the mature judgment of a practical business man, actuated by the sole motive of honest and efficient expenditure of the citizens' money. Mr. Wesley belongs to the Commercial Club and along fraternal lines he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. With a keen sense of life's duties and responsibilities and unfailing regard for the rights and privileges of others, he has won and retained a high place in public esteem and his labors have been resultant and beneficial.
F. H. WEST
With the history of progress in Ida county the name of West has long been closely and prominently identified, and the enterprise, ability and public spirit of his father are outstanding qualities in the career of Frank H. West, whose work as an agriculturist has been a vital force in the development of this district. He was born May 5, 1865, in Delaware county, Iowa, and his parents were Eli B. and Artimza (Ashburn) West, the former a native of Campbell county, Kentucky, and the latter of the state of Tennessee. They migrated to the west in 1860, locating in Delaware county, Iowa, and with an ox team and wagon journeyed to Ida county in 1867, settling near Battle Creek. Theirs was the seventh family established in Ida county, of which Eli B. West was elected auditor in 1870. He filled the office for one term, and in partnership with Frank Burns conducted the first store in Ida Grove. He possessed the sturdy qualities of the pioneer and was highly esteemed in his community. On July 14, 1913, he was removed from his sphere of usefulness, and his wife's demise occurred in December, 1905. Six children were born to them, namely: Clara, deceased; Frank H,.; Lizzie, who has passed away; George Everett, a resident of Manning, Iowa; Laura, now Mrs. W. H. Ertle, of Sioux City; and Leah, who is the wife of H. E. Harvey, also of Sioux City.
Frank H. West was but two years old when his family came to Ida county, and his education was obtained in the public schools near his home. He decided to adopt the career of an agriculturist and when a young man of twenty-two assumed charge of the home place, which he operated for nine years. He now owns a valuable ranch of five hundred and sixty acres and is engaged in general farming and stock raising. He raises high-grade cattle and grows the crops best adapted to soil and climatic conditions in this locality. His work is systematically conducted and the methods employed in the cultivation of his farm are the expression of the latest scientific developments along agricultural lines.
On February 27, 1896, Mr. West married Miss Louise A. Corrin, a native of Clinton county, Iowa, and a daughter of John and Anna (Cain) Corrin, both of whom were born on the Isle of Man. As young people they made the voyage to the new world and lived for a time in Pennsylvania. They came to Iowa in 1882, settling in Sac county, in which the father engaged in farming for a number of years, but he now makes his home in Wray, Colorado. There were eight children in his family: Margaret, deceased; Joseph, who still lives in Sac county; Thomas, who has passed away; Louise; three children who died in infancy; and Edith, who is the wife of A. A. Cuney, of Wray, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. West have a family of ten children: Russell, J., Fred Eli, Annie Marie, Frank H., Jr., Agnes Louise, Ray Howard, Viola C., Jean Delight, June Elizabeth and Esther Ellen, all of whom reside with their parents. Mr. West votes the republican ticket but has never sought office as a reward for party allegiance. He has many friends in Ida Grove and throughout this county, and his record sustains the high reputation which has ever been borne by the family.
C. E. WHITING
An important chapter in the annals of western Iowa is that which takes into account the life and work of Charles E. Whiting. He was a man of ideals and bent every energy toward their accomplishment. Moreover, his ideals were attended by the most practical and beneficial results, and there stands today not only a splendid modern town but also an equally splendid farming community as the result of his labors and his progressive spirit. Investigation into such a career as that of Judge Whiting is a verification of the words of George Washington that farming is the most useful, as well as the most honorable, occupation of man. A native of New York, Judge Whiting was born in Otsego county, January 17, 1821, a son of Charles and Lorinda (Eveleth) Whiting, both of whom were natives of Princeton, Worcester county, Massachusetts. They became residents of Otsego county, New York, in 1815, and in 1824 removed to Wayne county, New York, while in 1837 they became residents of Kirtland, Lake county, Ohio.
Judge Whiting, who was reared upon the home farm near Kirtland, acquired an excellent education, supplementing his public school course by study in the Western Reserve Seminary. On the 13th of April, 1843, he left home and became a resident of Madison county, Alabama, being at that time but twenty-two years of age. There he engaged first in teaching school, but soon afterward established a business for the sale of dry goods and the purchase of cotton. It was at that period that the Mississippi was the great highway of trade between the north and the south. In Alabama, Judge Whiting was joined by his brother, Newell A., who became his partner in business; but there were various reasons which tended to prove to him that it was wiser for him not to continue a resident of the south and in 1850 he went to California by way of New Orleans and the Isthmus route. He staked out a claim in that state and remained there for three years. He was a man of determined purpose - men knew that what he said he would do. In an age when crime of all kinds was rife and when it seemed that might made right, he had no trouble in retaining possession of his claim and did this without having to use a gun. The party to whom he sold his claim, however, was unable to hold it long against the claim jumpers.
After three years spent upon the Pacific coast, Judge Whiting returned to Alabama and closed out his affairs there, after which he made a visit to his parents in Ohio and then came to Iowa and established his home in Iowa county, a little west of Iowa City. There by purchase and preemption he secured a large tract of land, but in 1855, two years after his arrival in Iowa, German socialists representing the Amana colony began buying land all around him and he felt that it was only a question of time when he would be forced to move. Receiving an advantageous offer for his property, he sold out. All through the years he was entertaining high ideals concerning farm life, but up to this time he had not found the opportunity to bring his ideals into play. He wished to find an extensive tract of fertile land which he could obtain cheap and upon which he and his brothers might work out for themselves and their descendants their idea of rural civilization. He remembered the tales of an old trapper, whom he had met in Iowa county, that between the Missouri river and the hills was a great valley in which two kinds of grass were growing. The one was the bluestem, which is an indication that the land is well drained, and the other the slough grass, indicating the need of drainage. Feeling that he might have a chance to work out his idea if he could get several thousand acres of that well drained Missouri valley land, Mr. Whiting started out in search of it, following the wagon trail which is now the main line of the Northwestern Railroad. He chanced to come across John I. Blair, then president of the Northwestern, who was following the same trail and, broadminded men as both were, they found much of common interest between them. At length Mr. Whiting left the wagon road and made his way northward into Woodbury county. Still he was not thoroughly satisfied and turned south again until he reached West Fork township in Monona county, where the ground stretched away level, covered with the tall bluestem grass, indicating little need of artificial drainage. He started for Council Bluffs, determined to preempt and buy for himself and his brothers as much of the land as he could get. In the evening he ran across another party and incidentally learned that they were bent on the same errand. This party had a light rig, while Mr. Whiting and his friends were driving a heavy one. He knew that if they started at the same time in the morning the other party would outdistance him, so in the night he drove on, reaching Council Bluffs first and securing for himself and his brothers seven thousand acres, some of which he preempted, while the remainder he secured at the government price of a dollar and a quarter per acre.
The next year four of his brothers joined him, leaving one son in Ohio to care for their mother. The five men started to make homes on the wild prairie. All the hardships and privations of pioneer life confronted them. There was no market for farm products. There were no railroads; mosquitoes and flies were a great pest in the low lands; and when they planted corn the harvest proved of poor quality, but every fall Mr. Whiting picked out the best raised and used it for seed in the spring. There was no imported stock and he sent to the east for pure bred shorthorn cattle and Berkshire hogs. It was the common opinion that the tame grasses would not grow in that region, but during the period of his early residence there Mr. Whiting sent east for blue grass and clover seed and with the building of the railroad in 1867 he brought in a carload of blue grass seed. From the time of his arrival he continuously carried forward the work of development along all lines leading to the improvement of a model farm. He cared little for the towns and cities, but made the most of his opportunity for farm development. However, when it was proposed to build the Northwestern from Sioux City to Council Bluffs, Mr. Blair learned that Mr. Whiting and his brothers were settled on land across which the railroad must pass and established the town which he called Whiting in compliment to his acquaintance of former years.
Judge Whiting was a great lover of flowers, fruits and trees. In the early days his garden and orchard were noted throughout the country around. He had to experiment with fruit before he could find the qualities which would do the best. The rich prairie soil would cause very rapid growth, but the hard freeze of winter would kill the stock. At length he learned from the Iowa Agricultural College to use the Russian varieties of apples, which proved hardy, and by experiment he found that if he planted grapes at more than the ordinary depth they would survive the winter. He experimented with other fruits until he found what could be produced upon his land and he had every reason to feel justifiable pride in his orchards and vineyards. He also sent out hundreds of walnut trees and many acres were planted to cottonwoods and maples. In some places where they have been planted on both sides of the road their branches now interlace.
Judge Whiting was also largely interested in live stock and became one of the big cattle feeders of western Iowa, feeding as many as eight hundred head of cattle at a time. These he would buy in Minnesota, the Dakotas and northern Iowa. The improvements which he placed upon his farm, too, were of the best. He used the best machinery which he could secure and erected substantial buildings, and at the time he built his residence it was probably one of the ten finest homes in the state and was the first in Monona county to be equipped with water, gas light and furnace heat. The interior finishing is black walnut, which gives to the house a most handsome appearance. Of the seven thousand acres of land which Judge Whiting secured practically all is still in possession of the family at the present time, and the ideas which dominated his work are still in force in the Whiting community.
On the 7th of September, 1848, in Madison county, Alabama, Judge Whiting was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Criner, a native of that county and a daughter of Isaac and Nancy (McCain) Criner. She passed away in Whiting, Iowa, and was the mother of the following children: Julia, who is the widow of M. B. Pullen, of Onawa, Iowa; Ida, who gave her hand in marriage to E. M. Cassady, of Whiting; Hon. Will C. Whiting, merchant, banker, lumberman, landowner and stock breeder of Whiting and former state senator; Ella, the wife of Charles G. Holmes, who is proprietor of the Wayside farm of the Whiting settlement of Monona county and is known as a prominent agriculturist and a successful dairyman and breeder of registered pure bred Holstein cattle; Woodson, who gave her hand in marriage to Chalmer S. Cozine, of Whiting; and Edwin M., a resident of Whiting, Iowa.
While never a lawyer, Mr. Whiting was elected the first judge of Monona county, being called to the office in 1857. He filled the office of supervisor from 1864 to 1870, and in 1874 he was the democratic nominee for congress. In 1883 he was elected a member of the state senate and in 1885 he was a candidate for governor. Although the state gave a large normal republican majority, he succeeded in reducing this from seventy-nine thousand to five thousand, three hundred and forty-nine - a defeat amounting almost to a victory and one which indicated his wide personal popularity and the high regard entertained for him. Judge Whiting was ever deeply interested in the welfare of county and state and cooperated in many plans for the public good, yet his chief interest was in the farm, and the standards which he established and inculcated in Monona county have had a most farreaching influence in keeping high the standards of farm labor and methods in his part of the state. His life was indeed an element for good. He pushed forward the wheels of progress, and it will be long ere the influence of the impetus which he gave will cease to be felt.
L. J. WHITNEY
Among the highly respected residents of Spencer, Clay county, Iowa, is Leroy J. Whitney, who, after an active and successful business career of many years here, is now retired and spending the evening in his life well earned leisure. He is also a member of that rapidly, diminishing band of patriots, who, in the early '60s offered their services, and their lives, if need be, to their county. A native of New York state, he was born on the 15th of March, 1850, and is a son of R. L. and Louise (Moser) Whitney, also natives of the Empire state. In 1857 they moved to Winnebago county, Illinois, where the father engaged in the grocery business until 1870, when he went to Kansas and engaged in farming, he and his wife dying in that state. They became the parents of five children, three of whom are living.
Leroy J. Whitney was reared in Illinois, where he attended the public schools, and at an early age of fourteen years he enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company C, One Hundred and Forty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served with this command until the close of the war and was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois. On his return home he learned the trade of harnessmaking, at which he was employed until 1881, when he came to Spencer, Iowa, and engaged in harnessmaking on his own account. He was successful and carried on the business for forty years, or until 1921, when he sold out and retired from active business affairs.
Mr. Whitney has been married twice, first, in 1880, to Miss Alice J. Christie, who was a native of Wisconsin. To them was born a son, G. C., who now lives in Spokane, Washington. Mrs. Alice Whitney died in 1905, being laid to rest in the Riverside cemetery, and on June 16, 1909, Mr. Whitney was united in marriage to Miss Anna b, Baldwin. Mr. Whitney has always given his political support to the republican party and has taken an active and effective part in the public affairs of his community, having served three years as a member of the school board and two terms as mayor of Spencer. He is a member of Annett Post, No. 124, Grand Army of the Republic at Spencer, of which he is commander, and of Spencer Lodge, No. 247, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all the chairs and of which he was secretary for twenty years. His standard is a high one and he has always maintained it faithfully, being universally recognized as a substantial citizen, of lofty character, sturdy integrity and true to his ideals, so that he well deserves the exalted place which he holds in public esteem.
Henry Wigand was born in Rinsburg, Germany, April 6, 1853, and came to America in October, 1873, settling first at Galena, Illinois, and later in Scott county, Iowa. In the 1878 he sought the opportunities of the western part of the state, locating on the prairies of Maple township in Ida county.
Mr. Wigand bought one hundred and sixty acres of prairie land from the railroad company, which he broke and improved. At that time there were very few settlers in Maple township and no railroads. He hauled the lumber used in building from Denison, a distance of over thirty miles, the nearest railroads being located at Denison and Storm Lake.
In 1880, he was married to Ann Vinall of Scott county, Iowa. They resided in Maple township until the year 1893, when they moved to Ida Grove, where he bought a tract of land at the edge of town and followed the occupations of dairying and raising poultry. During the year 1907, he bought eighty acres more in Maple township and resided there until his death April 25, 1917. Mrs. Wigand then moved to Ida Grove, where she lived until her death August 18, 1922.
The family consisted of six children: Amanda Matilda, now Mrs. E. Babcock of Ida Grove; Lizzie Elvira, now Mrs. C. W. Jensen, of Arthur; Vena Clarinda, now Mrs. W. F. Luscombe, of Battle Creek, Iowa; Henry V., also of Battle Creek; Kate May, deceased; and Ruth Janette, of Arthur.
RUTH J. WIGAND
Dr. Ruth Janette Wigand, one of Iowa's loyal daughters, is devoting her talents to the service of humanity and enjoys a pleasing reputation as a chiropractor, practicing in Arthur. She was born in Ida Grove and her parents were Henry and Ann (Vinall) Wignad, the latter a native of Ohio. The father was a German and left the fatherland in 1873, when a young man, following the tide of immigration to the United States. He sought the opportunities of the west, locating first in Galena, Illinois, and later in Scott county, Iowa. He moved to Ida county about 1878, settling in Maple township near Ida Grove, and there followed the occupation of farming until his demise, which occurred in 1917. The mother passed away in 1922. To their union were born six children: Amanda Matilda, the wife of Ernest Babcock, who is operating the home farm; Lizzie Elvira, who married Chris W. Jensen, of Arthur; Vena Clarinda, now Mrs. W. F. Luscombe, of Battle Creek, Iowa; Henry V., also of Battle Creek; Kate May, deceased; and Ruth Janette.
Dr. Wigand attended the public schools of Ida Grove and afterward entered the Palmer School of Chiropractic at Davenport, Iowa, of which she is a graduate. She opened an office in Ida Grove in 1920 and in 1924 located in Arthur. She has a thorough understanding of this method of coping with disease, which is most effective in its results, being founded upon the principle that the organs of the body function normally only when vital energy is permitted to pass without interruption from the brain to the tissue cells. Dr. Wigand has successfully treated many cases and in a short time has established a large and remunerative practice. She enjoys her work and is a constant and untiring student of her profession.
C. E. WILCOX
Sioux City has been signally favored in the class of men chosen to fill her public offices and none has been more faithful to duty than Charles E. Wilcox, commissioner of public safety and also at the head of important business interests. He was born June 19, 1880, in East Smithfield, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and his father, Lyman E. Wilcox, was also a native of the Keystone state. In 1880 the father came to the west and took up a claim in Woodbury county, Iowa. By arduous labor and good management he converted the tract into a valuable farm supplied with many improvements, and thereon resided until 1901, when he moved to a smaller place near Morningside, Iowa, in order that his children might have better educational advantages. For fifteen years he operated the farm and then sold the property, having decided to establish his home on the Pacific coast. He spent the remainder of his life in California and reached the age of sixty-four years, passing away November 11, 1919. His widow, Mary (Powell) Wilcox, is a native of Wales and resides at Long Beach, California.
Mr. Wilcox received his education in the public schools of Moville, Iowa, situated seven miles from his father's farm, and covered the distance on a bicycle. He was employed in various capacities and eventually became a steam shovel engineer, working for the Sioux City Traction Company for two years. Four years later he abandoned that line of activity and in 1913 became a dealer in bicycles and motorcycles. He conducted the business until 1918, when he offered his aid to his country in its time of need. He was assigned to duty with the tank corps, becoming sergeant of his company, with which he went overseas. He returned to the United States at the end of seven months and was honorably discharged March 27, 1919. He then purchased his old business in Sioux City and continued the undertaking until 1921, when he disposed of his stock, having received the appointment of deputy sheriff. His work was very satisfactory and in the spring of 1924 he was elected commissioner of public safety. He has clearly demonstrated his qualifications for this responsible office and his service has been marked by a singleness of purpose that has produced valuable results. Several years ago he proved up on a homestead in the western part of South Dakota and in association with his brother he now owns and operates a ranch of twenty-two hundred acres in Butte county, South Dakota. Their standards of farming are high and the land is rich and productive, showing the result of scientific methods and systematic work.
On August 13, 1905, Mr. Wilcox was married to Miss Josephine Colwell, a daughter of William and Margaret (Berry) Colwell, who were natives of the Hawkeye state. Mr. Wilcox is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Noble of Abu-Bekr Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is also connected with the Eastern Star, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a member of the American Legion, the Sioux City Boat Club, and the Lions Club, a business men's organization devoted to Americanism. He is affiliated with the Congregational church, of which he is treasurer, and his political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party. Mr. Wilcox is a citizen of worth and his prosperity is the legitimate reward of hard work, honest dealing and the wise use of his opportunities.
It has been said that experience is the harvest of life and every harvest is the result of a sowing. Richard Williams has sown wisely and well and in the fullness of time has reaped the rich harvest of his labors and also the aftermath. For a half century he has made his home in Ida county and his name is enseparably associated with the history of its progress along agricultural lines. he has reached the venerable age of eighty-one years and in the autumn of life is enjoying a well earned rest, knowing that he has accomplished something worth while.
Mr. Williams was born October 22, 1845, in Pennsylvania. His parents, Thomas and Margaret (Waters) Williams, were married in England, of which country his mother was a native. They crossed the Atlantic about 1830, locating in Pennsylvania, and in 1854 migrated to Tennessee, where they lived for two years. On the expiration of that period they started for the west, settling in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, where Thomas Williams passed away in 1864. By his first wife he had three children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the only one now living, and four children were born of the second union.
Richard Williams was a pupil in the public schools of Pennsylvania and Tennessee and completed his studies in Jo Daviess county, Illinois. In 1864, when a young man of nineteen, he enlisted in the Union army, becoming a member of the First Illinois Light Artillery. He participated int he battle of Nashville and, although in the midst of many dangers, escaped without injury. He remained in the service until the close of the war and was honorably discharged in the city of Chicago. Returning to Jo Daviess county, he worked as a farm hand for four years and in 1868 came to Iowa. He obtained employment in a coal mine near Boone and remained in that city for eight years. In 1876 he settled in Ida county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of virgin land in Grant township. Through arduous labor he prepared the soil for the growing of grain and built a small house on the property, hauling the lumber from Denison. Later he purchased an additional tract of eighty acres, and still owns two hundred and forty acres in Ida county. He brought to his occupation a true sense of agricultural economics, never allowing a foot of the land to be unproductive, and added many improvements to the place. He also owns a valuable ranch of three hundred and twenty acres in Potter county, South Dakota, but lives ina a comfortable home at 311 Quincy street, in Ida Grove.
In 1871 Mr. Williams was married, in Boone county, Iowa, to Miss Agelian Ewer, who was a native of Grant county, Wisconsin, and who passed away in 1904, being laid to rest in the Ida Grove cemetery. She has become the mother of ten children: but W. H. and Harry are deceased. Those who survive are: T. F., who lives in Canada; Ellen P., who is still at home; Rosa, who is the wife of E. J. McGee, of South Dakota; Albert G., who also makes his home in that state; Clara E., the wife of Edgar Tenney; Orme, a resident of Arthur, Iowa; Charles W.m who operates a farm in Ida county; and Florence F., who married Clayton F. Winslow of Ida Grove.
Mr. Williams is a stanch republican in his political views and has never wavered in his allegiance to the party. He was elected county supervisor, acting in that capacity for nine years, and for some time was school director, working earnestly and effectively for the public good. His struggle to earn a livelihood brought out the strongest traits in his character, enabling him to solve life's problems and difficulties, and his success has been honorably won and well used.
F. W. WONDER
Frederick W. Wonder, editor of the Onawa Democrat since January, 1917, was born at Mondamin, Iowa, October 9, 1882. He attended the public schools of Onawa and took a business course in the commercial department of Drake University at Des Moines. He then entered his father's newspaper office, where he learned every phase of the business, and later started out on his own account, establishing the Soldier Herald (now the Soldier Sentinel), which he published for several years. He next became editor of the Blencoe Herald at Blencoe, Iowa, retaining that position until the death of his father, in 1917, when he came to Onawa and took charge of the Democrat, at the head of which he has remained to the present time. For years this has been the most influential paper in the county and Mr. Wonder has continued to conduct it along the same sound and wisely conservative lines that characterized it under his father's able direction. Mr. Wonder is a forceful writer and his editorial columns have ever been devoted to the highest and best interests of the people generally. He has the newspaper man's genuine instinct for news, which he presents in an attractive and readable style, and as an advertising medium the Democrat is not equaled in the county.
In 1907, in Onawa, Mr. Wonder was united in marriage to Miss Nettie M. Day, daughter of Harry and Harriett (Naden) Day, the former of whom was for forty years a resident of Iowa but is now living in Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Wonder are the parents of a son, William Harry.
During the World war Mr. Wonder served as food administrator for Monona county and also gave valuable assistance in the Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in which he has taken the degrees of the chapter, and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has taken the work of the encampment. He is chairman of the public amusements committee of the community and is leader of the Onawa band, a fine organization of forty pieces. He is a member of the Onawa Golf and Country Club, the Iowa Newspaper Editors Association, the Iowa Press Association and the American Press Association. His religious connection is with the Christian church. Travel and music are strong interests in his life, and he has long been an active factor in the musical circles of his community. Every movement calculated to advance the interests of Onawa or Monona county receives his hearty endorsement and support, and he has a host of warm and loyal friends, who appreciate his worth as a man and citizen.
W. H. WONDER
William Henry Wonder, who was considered one of the best editorial writers in northwestern Iowa and was well known as a composer of gospel songs, had been identified with journalistic interests as editor and publisher of the Onawa Democrat for more than a quarter of a century when he passed away in January, 1917, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. His birth occurred at Reedsburg, Wayne county, Ohio, on the 9th of November, 1849, his parents being Enos W. and Jane (Miller) Wonder. His paternal ancestors came from Alsace, Germany, and joined the Penn colony in the seventeenth century. It was Christian Wunder who founded the family on American soil. He spelled the family name in the way designated and it was Mathias Wonder, grandfather of William H. Wonder, who first changed the spelling to the present form. Andrew Wunder, son of Christian Wunder and a resident of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war. His son, Mathias Wonder, was the grandfather of William H. Wonder.
Enos W. Wonder was cabinet maker by trade and resided in Ohio for a number of years. He afterward engaged in farming in Greene county, Indiana, to which place he had removed with his family in the early '50s, and eventually settled at Mondamin, Harrison county, Iowa, in 1874, there continuing his residence up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1909. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Jane Miller, passed away at Mondamin in 1913. They were survived by the following children: William Henry, Elizabeth, Sarah, George, Jane, and Oscar G.
William Henry Wonder acquired a common-school education in Indiana. A natural musician, he took up the profession of teaching vocal music. He completed a course in the Indiana Conservatory of Music at Terre Haute and for several years taught voice and also conducted musical conventions. He likewise composed many gospel hymns which were published in book form and enjoyed an excellent sale, and he also published a paper devoted to musical affairs. In an endeavor to lessen the cost of printing the paper he bought a printing outfit, and in 1882 he established the Mondamin Independent, which he conducted for eighteen months and then sold to D. W. Butte, a pioneer printer of western Iowa. He afterward established the Whiting Herald, which he conducted until 1889, when he founded the Monona Democrat, now the Onawa Democrat, which he continued to publishe to the time of his death and of which his son, Frederick W. Wonder, has since been the editor.
In January, 1871, Mr. Wonder was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Beaman, her father being John Beaman, formerly an agriculturist of Worthington, Indiana, and later of Mondamin, Iowa. They became the parents of five children, namely: Effie J., who is the wife of S. T. Skidmore, of Whiting, Iowa; Enos Elmer, deceased; Mary Etta, who is the wife of E. L. Hogue, director of the State Budget of Des Moines, Iowa; Stella, who is the wife of the Rev. J. R. Perkins, former state warden and now pastor of the First Congregational church of Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Frederick W., who is mentions at greater length above.
William H. Wonder exerted a marked influence in politics, largely shaping the destinies of the democratic party in Monona county, where he built up a strong political organization. During the four year period between 1893 and 1897 he served as postmaster of Whiting, Iowa, by appointment of President Cleveland. He served as chairman of the democratic county central committee and was its secretary for four years. He held membership in the Christian church and was actively interested in its work. A contemporary biographer characterized him as "a progressive citizen, interested in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community and stanchly advocating those measures which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride."
Jacob Wunn, who after a long, busy and useful life as a farmer, is now retired from active labor and is living in his comfortable home in Spencer, Clay county, was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, June 23, 1858, and is a son of John and Louisa (Wagner) Wunn, both of whom were natives of Germany. They came to the United States in youth, were married in this country and became the parents of ten children, only thee of whom are now living, the others having died in infancy. The survivors are, Charles H., of Coggsville, North Dakota; Lucy, the wife of Henry Darty, of Iowa Falls, Iowa; and Jacob.
The last named spent the years of his youth on the paternal farmstead and attended the public schools of that neighborhood. He then spent five years in farming at monthly wages, and in the fall of 1883 turned his face westward, going to O'Brien county, Iowa, where he rented two hundred and forty acres of land, to the operation of which he closely devoted his attention for ten years. On February 14, 1894, he came to Sheldon, Iowa, and located on the land that he had rented in the fall of 1893. Subsequently he came to Dickinson, Iowa, and bought a half section of land, on which he lived for twenty-one years, developing it into a good, productive farm, in the operation of which he met with very gratifying success. In 1915 he rented the place to his oldest son and moved to Everly, Iowa, and in 1922 he moved to Spencer where he is now living.
On January 15, 1884, Mr. Wunn was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Jones, who was a native of Wisconsin, but who died March 4, 1915. Their children were: Lula E., born January 5, 1885, died April 10, 1889; Charles H., born july 14, 1886, died July 16, 1886; William Harrison, born May 3, 1889, lives at Haverhill, Iowa; Amil Fremont, born October 12, 1891, is living in Everly; John D., born August 2, 1893, died September 20, 1893; Letha E., born August 15, 1897, is living at home with her father; and Wesley L., born October 20, 1900, is now living in Spencer. Politically Mr. Wunn has always given his support to the republican party, has kept well informed on the issues of the day and has maintained a deep interest in local public affairs. he was honored by election as mayor of Everly, in which position he gave a good administration, and in every possible way has contributed to the general welfare of his community. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, belonging also to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite branch of that order, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His religious membership is with the Congregational church. A gentleman of unassuming manner, but possessing a forceful personality, he has long enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his fellowmen, who look upon him as a representative citizen of their community.
Northwestern Iowa Table of Contents
Vol III Biographical Index