MORGAN H. DAKE, a native of Northern New York, came to Iowa when a
small boy, after graduating from college taught school, gained a law diploma,
but most of his active years have been spent in banking. He is president
of the First National Bank of Lost Nation.
He was born at Brier Hill in St. Lawrence County, New York, November 12,
1889, son of Henry and Bessie (Hammil) Dake. His father was a New York
State farmer and died when his only son was eight years of age. The
mother passed away a year later. There were two daughters, twins, Iva
Morgan H. Dake attended grade school in Brier Hill and after his father died
he sold newspapers, including the old Utica Saturday Globe, and when
ten years of age spent his summer vacation working on a neighbor's farm for
twenty-five cents a day. Soon afterward he came to Iowa to join his
uncle, C. G. Dake, who was an instructor in the Epworth Seminary. He
attended that school, and later entered Cornell College at Mount Vernon,
Iowa. His college expenses were paid by the running of a cleaning and
pressing establishment and an eating house, and in all the circumstances
of life he has never been at a loss to make his own way and stand on his
own feet. When he graduated from Cornell College, in 1908, he became
superintendent of schools for two years at Rippey, Iowa. From there
he entered the law school of Harvard University, taking his diploma in 1912.
After one year at the Epworth Seminary he was made superintendent of
schools at Lost Nation, in the fall of 1913, and graduated from school work
into banking four years later. His first post in the First National
Bank was as assistant cashier and in 1919 he was advanced to cashier and
since 1927 he was advanced to cashier and since 1927 has been president of
Mr. Dake has also served four years as mayor of his town and has been treasurer
of the school board. He is a Scottish Rite Mason, member of the Reformed
Church and a Republican in politics.
He married, August 26, 1913, Miss Florence Collins, daughter of Josephus
and Toinette (King) Collins. Her father was a Congregational minister.
Her widowed mother lives at Cedar Rapids. The three sons of Mr.
and Mrs. Dake are Henry, Richard and David.
HAROLD E. DAVIDSON, of Clarinda, is one of the accomplished young
members of the Iowa bar, a man who has come to the maturity of his experience
and his work in the decade since the close of the great World war.
Mr. Davidson was born at Olin, Jones County, Iowa, March 1, 1891. He
is a son of Homer E. and Allie E. (Easterly) Davidson, both natives of Iowa,
his father for many years a substantial farmer. His father was born in Cedar
County, Iowa, and his mother in Jones County. His father is a Republican,
a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to the United Presbyterian
Church, while his wife is a Presbyterian. There were two sons in the
family, Harold E. and Forrest H. The latter is a graduate of Drake
University, and is now associated with his brother in law practice. He
married Harriet Rochey, of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Harold E. Davidson attended country schools while a boy on the farm, finished
his high school course at Olin and then entered Drake University at Des Moines,
where he was graduate in the law department in 1916. For about six
months he was associated with E. B. leaf and then practiced alone until the
spring of 1918, when he gave up his professional work to join the colors.
He was in the Officers Training School at Camp Pike, Arkansas, was
commissioned a lieutenant in October, 1918, and while still in the camp
was elected a member of the Iowa Legislature. He took his seat in the
General Assembly at Des Moines in 1919, serving one term. For the past
ten years he has devoted his time and labors to a steadily increasing volume
of general law practice.
The community of Clarinda thinks very highly of this young lawyer and for
four years he served as mayor of the city. Mr. Davidson is a Republican
in politics, is a Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, member of the American
Legion and the Presbyterian Church.
He married, July 2, 1924, Miss Thelma Cheese, who was born and educated at
Lenox, Iowa, and graduated with the A. B. degree from Drake University in
1918. The year she graduated she was chosen May Queen at the university.
She is a member of the Zeta Phi sorority, while Mr. Davidson belongs
to the Chi Delta social fraternity and the Delta Theta Chi legal fraternity.
Mr. and Mrs. Davidson have two children, Martha Jean, born September
2, 1926, and Richard George, born March 16, 1929.
JAMES COX DAVIS. For over thirty-five years Hon. James Cox Davis,
one of the most distinguished sons of Iowa, has been a representative of
the Iowa bar, and has practiced continuously for nearly thirty years at Des
Moines. Although fully qualified for successful practice in any branch
of his profession, Mr. Davis has largely concentrated upon corporation law,
and today is nationally recognized as one of the ablest corporation lawyers
in the country, and is general attorney for the Chicago & Northwestern
Railroad Company in Iowa.
A native son of the state, Mr. Davis was born at Keokuk, Iowa, September
12, 1857, eldest son of Caleb F. and Caroline (Thistle) Davis, both of whom
were born and reared in West Virginia. They came to Iowa at an early
day and were pioneers of Keokuk, in whose early history they took part.
Attending the public schools of Keokuk, James Cox Davis early displayed abilities
of no ordinary character, and his watchful parents encouraged him to continue
his studies, which he did at Hellmouth College, Canada. Lack of funds
made it impossible for him to attend law school but he studied law in the
office of P. Thomas & Gillmore & Anderson, Keokuk, Iowa, and did
so to such good results that he was admitted to the bar August 17, 1877,
at which time he was not quite twenty years old. In spite of his youth
he entered upon practice in his home town, and has worked his way up to
prominence and distinction.
While Mr. Davis has for years been connected with very important litigation,
there are several cases which are outstanding ones, notably that of Lelsy
vs. Hardin, 135, U. S. 100, decided by the Supreme Court of the United States,
April 28, 1890. In this case was involved the constitutionality of
the Iowa prohibitory law. The United States Supreme Court held the
law unconstitutional, and this decision was largely instrumental in changing
the policy of the State of Iowa in regard to the sale of intoxicating liquors,
and bringing about the legislation known as the Iowa "Mulct" law. At
the time of this decision it was popularly known as the "Original Package"
case, and attracted very general attention and comment throughout the whole
Not only did Mr. Davis serve most ably as city attorney of Keokuk, but he
was twice elected and served for two terms as mayor of that city. In
1896 he was a delegate to the national convention of his party held at Saint
Louis, Missouri, and in 1901 was temporary chairman of the Iowa State convention
of his party, and he has always been a stalwart Republican. For years
he has been a keen member of the Grant, Des Moines, Golf and Country
Clubs, the Chamber of Commerce and Prairie Club, and in 1916 he served the
latter as president. The Episcopal Church holds his membership, and
his family also belongs to it, and are active in good work connected with
On December 10, 1884, Mr. Davis married in Keokuk, Iowa, Miss Clara B. Moar,
a daughter of late Judge Daniel Moar, of that city. Mrs. Davis died
March 21, 1895, having borne her husband three children: Daniel Moar,
Ora and Caroline T. On August 15, 1901, Mr. Davis married Miss Louise
Pomeroy, a daughter of Dr. Joseph C. Pomeroy, of Waverly, Iowa. Their
children are: James C., Junior, Joseph P. and Frank W.
For some years Mr. Davis maintained headquarters at Chicago as general counsel
for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company. Since 1916 he
was been very active in railroad and government affairs. He was on
the staff of R. H. Aishton, one of the regional directors of railroad during
the World War.
On the 15th of June, 1920, he was appointed general counsel for the United
States Railroad Administration under John Barton Payne, as director general
of railroads and agent of the President. After Mr. Harding was elected
and qualified as President, on the 28th of March, 1921, he was appointed
director general of railroads and agent of the President, and served in that
capacity for some four and a half years.
During this period the railroads presented claims against the Government
which were originally in excess of $1,000,000,000 but afterwards reduced
to $768,003,274.33. As against these claims the Government set up sundry
tentative claims which aggregated $438,130,811.74. These claims were
all adjusted under the supervision of Mr. Davis, and without litigation.
This settlement involved perhaps one of the largest controversies that
As a final result the creditor roads were paid $243,647,196.91, and there
was collected from the debtor roads $195,072,295.17, the Government paying
to the railroads, in excess of what was collected, $48,574,901, or a little
less than five per cent on the claims as originally presented.
In addition to this there was collected during this period by the director
general some $500,000,000 which the railroads were indebted to the Government
on account of advances made for capital expenditures, and these collections
were all returned to the treasury of the United States.
One of the most prized possessions of Mr. Davis is the letter he received
from President Coolidge that chooses this article, in which the President
states that this was the largest financing project of the United States and
probably of the world. Mr. Davis considers his work in this connection
the biggest thing he has accomplished. In 1926, after the conclusion
of the settlement, he retired and returned to Des Moines, where he formed
a partnership with Mr. A. A. McLaughlin and George E. Hise, and is now engaged
in a general law practice under the firm name of Davis, McLaughlin &
Hise, with offices in the Bankers Trust Building, Des Moines.
The following letter from President Coolidge bears the date of December 14,
"My Dear Mr. Davis:
"I hereby accept your resignation as Director General of Railroads and Agent
of the President, to take effect at midnight of December 31, 1926, your successor
having been duly appointed and qualified at that time.
"The liquidation of the controversies growing out of Federal control of the
railroads has been substantially completed in a most satisfactory manner,
due to your energy, ability and tact. Therefore, I cannot well ask
you to remain longer at your post. When one contemplates the extent
of the work accomplished under your direction, he feels that the tanks of
the country should be extended to you in most generous measure. Instead
of endless litigation as prophesied by many, we have seen such adjustments
of the claims between the railroads and the government, growing out of our
handling of these vast properties during the war, as to bring about satisfactory
settlements out of court. The claims of the railroads against the
government, amounting to over one billion of dollars, were adjusted for less
than $244,000,000. Our claims against the carriers, amounted to
approximately $440,000,000, resulted in our collection of nearly $200,000,000.
the net result is that the claims against the government have been
liquidated on a basis of less than five per cent. All through these
operations, you have preserved cordial relations with the railway executives,
obtaining their generous co-operation and helping to establish an era of
good feeling between the government and the carriers, which are so vital
a factor in the nation's life.
"In extending my personal appreciation of your fine service, let me add best
wishes for the future.
"Most sincerely yours,
"Honorable James C. Davis
Director General of Railroads and Agent of the President
Washington, District of Columbia."
This most valuable document is, as before stated, cherished by Mr. Davis,
and it will be handed down to his children as a memorial of the work of their
father and proof of the warm friendship which existed between him and the
chief executive of the country.
J. W. AND FRANK L. DAVIS are president and secretary, respectively,
of the J. W. Davis Company, whose famous gardens constitute one of the most
interesting and attractive business institutions in the vicinity of Davenport,
located on rural free delivery route No. 1 near Bettendorf. Members
of the Davis family have been remarkable for their genius in the business
of gardening, an occupation they have followed for several generations.
The Davis Gardens at Davenport are now only one of a half dozen similar
institutions in different parts of the country. The Davis's are know
as the world's largest growers of cucumbers, though there output is not limited
to that one crop.
They also operate greenhouses at Terre Haute, Indiana; Aurora, Illinois;
Kankakee, Illinois; Glendale, California. These combined plants produce
during the winter months more cucumbers than any other similar organization
in the world, and these cucumbers enter into the menus of many of the largest
hotels from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.
The father of the Davis brothers was Robert Davis, who followed gardening
at Morrison in White County, Illinois. There are now three of the Davis
Brothers living. W. B. Davis has charge of the garden at Glendale,
California, and has a son, Kenneth. Another brother, who died in 1928,
was manager of the plant at Kankakee, Illinois. J. W. Davis, who was
the active head of the company when the ground was acquired and the plant
built at Davenport, has now given over many of the responsibilities of the
management and his brother Frank L. is the active representative of the company
at Davenport. J. W. Davis married Mary Griffin and has a daughter,
Ruth, who is the wife of O. K. Owen, manager of the Terre Haute plant of
the company. Frank L. Davis married Clara Beckwith and has a daughter,
Genevieve. Both brothers are members of the Davenport Chamber of Commerce,
Davenport Country Club and Rotary Club.
The J. W. Davis Company in January, 1911, bought twenty-six acres of bottom
land five miles on the river from Davenport. Of this land now ten acres
are glass, covered with immense green houses, making a great factory
for the production, by the aid of the chemical resources of the soil, by
coal for heating and sunlight, of a continuous product of vegetables and
flowers. From the first the Davis's have specialized in cucumbers,
but here are auxiliary and inter-season crops. During the early summer
the houses are used largely for the production of tomatoes. They also
grow in great abundance sweet peas and chrysanthemums. Greenhouse men
all over the country visit the various plants of the Davis system as models
of systematic industry. The business has been brought to a perfection
by arrangements permitting every time and labor saving device.
The Davis Company ship cucumbers to New York, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle,
Portland, Winnipeg and even south to New Orleans. Their delivery trucks
send out almost daily shipments to every town in Iowa of over 1,000 inhabitants.
LAKE E. DAVISSON, county clerk of Story County at Nevada, Iowa, is
a disabled veteran of the World war, and he comes of a long line of patriotic
ancestors who rendered their full duty to the country in time of war.
Mr. Davisson was born at Earlville, Illinois, May 23, 1892, son of Murlin
J. and Grace E. (Boozel) Davisson. His great-great-grandfather, Josiah
Davisson, was a captain in the American army in the Revolutionary war. The
great-grandfather died as a result of wounds received in the War of 1812.
His name was Jesse Davisson. Mr. Davisson's grandfather,
Alexander H. Davisson, was a Virginian. Although his sympathies were
with the Union side of the Civil war, he was not a participant of it. He
was an early settler at Earlville, Illinois, where he died in 1921, at the
great age of one hundred and five years. Murlin J. Davisson was born
at Earlville, Illinois, married there an din 1894 moved to Des Moines, Iowa.
He was a merchant in that city and since 1898 has lived at Nevada,
where he located on a farm. His wife died in 1912.
Lake E. Davisson attended public schools in Des Moines and the Zearing High
School. As a young man he entered the railroad service, becoming a
locomotive fireman for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, and
after four years was promoted to engineer. He was in Montana, on duty
as a railroad man, when American entered the World war.
On September 22, 1917, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixty-third Montana
Infantry and in November, 1917, went overseas to France, being transferred
to the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Infantry. He was three times
wounded, by bayonet, by hand grenade and high explosive shell, and was left
on the field for two days and was reported as dead to his father by the war
department at Washington on August 5, 1918. He still retains the official
death certificate issued by war department as killed in action. After
a long time in hospital, slowly recovering, he was discharged while on crutches,
March 4, 1920, being rated 62 per cent disabled.
Mr. Davisson in March, 1920, was made county clerk of Story County and referee
in probate matters, and has served consecutively, with credit to himself,
in that position for the past ten years. Mr. Davisson married at Geneva,
Illinois, July 13, 1923, Mary Imo Barber. They have a daughter, Virginia
Imo, born June 29, 1927.
Mr. Davisson is a Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, member of the Knights
of Pythias, and Easter Star. He belongs to the American Legion and
Disabled American Veterans of World War, is president of the local chapter
of the Sons of the American Revolution, member of the Iowa State Historical
Society. He still has a card of membership in the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Fireman and Engineers, and is a member of the Episcopal Church.
HENRY E. DAY, of Dumont, Butler County, has since his graduation from
Iowa College of Medicine, in 1897, given a third of a century to the demands
and duties of his calling. He has had a large practice, and in recent
years has largely confined his work to the special field of consultation
in chronic diseases.
Doctor Day was born at Somerset, England, July 21, 1868, son of John and
Sylvia (Day) Fay. His father was an English farmer and died in the
Henry E. Day received his early school advantages in his native country.
He was seventeen years of age when he came to America, and subsequently
his mother and other members of the family followed him and settled at Auburn,
New York. Doctor Day has two brothers who are living in Butler County,
Iowa. One is Dr. W. E. Day, a well known physician at Clarksville.
The other is Fred E. a poultry dealer at Dumont.
Henry E. Day after coming to America first located in Franklin County, Iowa.
He was not possessed of any capital, had no special experience, and
he accepted the only line of work which he had learned as a boy, farming.
He was a farm hand during the summer months, and during the winter
supplemented his educational advantages by attending district schools.
From Franklin County he went to the Bristow community of Butler County,
where he continued his employment as a farm hand and went on through the
higher grades of school. This phase of his educational preparation
was supplemented by two years in the Western College at Toledo, Iowa. In
the meantime he had qualified himself for teaching and he taught in rural
districts south of Dumont for three years, keeping up his farm work in the
summer seasons. Through all of these various efforts to support himself
and get an education ran the thread of a definite purpose, long formulated
and cherished, of becoming a doctor. He began his medical readings
in the office of Doctor Hobson, and was associated with that physician, before
and after graduating, for ten years, both at Bristow and Hampton. Doctor
Day was graduated from the Iowa College of Medicine in 1897. While
an interne in the Iowa City Hospital he specialized in obstetrics. His
private practice has always made heavy demands upon his time and energies,
but has not prevented him from continuing his studies and keeping in touch
with the advancing progress of his profession. He has taken courses
in electro therapy in Chicago, under Doctor Eberhart and Doctor Charles Ireland,
special work in proctology in the same city, under Dr. C. V. Ireland, and
has brought to his profession a great deal of the new knowledge acquired
by scientific and laboratory research in the virtues of light and other physical
agencies. He has been a student of Spectro Chrome Therapy. He
has also attended numerous clinics, and his own experience as a practicing
physician has been set down in a number of papers he has read before medical
associations and for publican in journals of his profession. Along
with his general practice he performed the duties of local surgeon for the
Chicago & Northwestern Railway, but since 1917 has largely limited his
work to office practice and as a consulting physician. He maintains
a well equipped clinic and his work is known from coast to coast. He
is a member of the Butler County, Iowa State, Austin Flint-Cedar Valley Medical
Associations and Medical Physical Research Association of America.
Doctor Day married, December 29, 1898, Miss Fannie Coryell, daughter of C.
H. Coryell, who was an early settler at Hampton, Iowa. They have three
children, Mina E. Donovan H. and Clifford C. Donovan H. attended the
Wentworth Military Academy at Lexington, Missouri, and both sons enrolled
in 1929, in the University of Iowa, for pre-medical work. Doctor Day
is a member of the Masonic fraternity and his family are Episcopalians.
EMMETT PATRICK DELANEY since his admission to the Iowa bar has given
the benefit of his professional work to his native City of Clinton, where
the Delaney name has been a highly respected one for a great many years.
He was born there November 10, 1890, and his father, John A. Delaney, was
born in Clinton County, Iowa, in 1860. John A. Delaney for thirty years
carried on a successful retail clothing business in Clinton, where he died
in 1922. He married Catherine Carroll, also a native of Clinton County.
Emmett Patrick Delaney was educated in St. Mary's parochial school, was graduated
from the Clinton High School in 1910, and he completed his literary and legal
education in the University of Iowa. He received his diploma in the
law school in 1915 and in the same year offered his services to his first
group of clients in Clinton. His clientage has been steadily growing
and from time to time various public honors have been added to his successful
In April, 1918, he was elected city attorney, but was absent from the duties
of this office when he joined the colors in October, 1918, entering the Central
Machine Gun Officers Training School at Augusta, Georgia. He was discharged
December 10, 1918, with the rank of second lieutenant in the Reserves, and
on returning to Clinton resumed his work as city attorney until 1920. From
1922 to 1925 he was county attorney of Clinton County. During the following
four years he carried on a general law practice and at the same time handled
a large volume of business in real estate and insurance. In March,
1930, he was elected judge of Municipal Court of the City of Clinton and
is serving in that capacity.
Mr. Delaney is a member of the Law Association, the Knights of Columbus,
the Fraternal Order of Eagles, is a past president of the Kiwanis, Club and
is a past commander of the Clinton Post of the American Legion.
He married June 25, 1919, Miss Irene Schneider, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, daughter
of C. Ludwig and Mary Schneider. Her parents are now deceased. Her
father for many years carried on the plumbing and heating business at Ann
Arbor. The four children of Mr. and Mrs. Delaney are Emmett P., Jr.,
Marion I., John L. and David James.
JOHN D. DENISON. An able lawyer, a public spirited citizen,
and a man of the highest personal and professional character, John D. Denison
measures up to the requirements of the best classes along all lines, and
is accorded the confidence of the people of Des Moines and Polk County. He
was born at Clarion, Wright County, Iowa, September 29, 1872, a son of John
D. and Triphena (Gorton) Denison.
The parents, both of whom are deceased, were born in Madison County, New
York. All his life the father was an agriculturist, and he was a splendid
farmer, many of his methods having been far in advance of his times. He
used everything on his farm, his crops were rotated, and ever so often he
seeded down with blue grass, and he put back into the ground through fertilizers
what he took out of it. His farm of 160 acres he bought in 1879 for
$2,000 and he so improved it that he sold it in 1905 for $16,000. He
then moved to Lincoln Township, the same county, and bought a well developed
farm, on which he continued to live until his death. To him is accorded
the honor of introducing the Holstein strain of cattle in Wright County,
in spite of the ridicule of his neighbors, but he lived to see these same
farmers follow his example when he had proved the success of his experiment.
And this was true of other innovations of his in farming. A man
of strong will, he was always willing to live up to his convictions. Six
children were born to him and his wife, four of whom survive: Laura,
who married E. J. Cameron, of Moline, Illinois, foreman of a plow manufacturing
company; John D., who is the second; Daisy O., who married J. F. Auner, a
physician of Des Moines; and Louise R., who married Robert J. O'Connor,
road-master of the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul Railroad, and resides
at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mrs. Denison was a member of the Congregational
Church. During the war between the states Mr. Denison served in the
Forty-eight Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and after the close of the war
he became an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In political
faith he was a Republican. His father, John De Loss Denison, was born
in New York State, from whence he first migrated to Wisconsin, and then,
in 1868, came to Iowa and bought land in Wright County, where he died. He
cleared a farm out of the woods in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, and had many
pioneer experiences there, and before he finally settled in Wright County
he lived in several localities in Iowa, not at first finding what he wanted.
However, he was satisfied with what he found in Wright County, and
so never moved again. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Denison of this
review was Joseph Penz Gorton, a native of Pennsylvania, who came west to
Jefferson County, Wisconsin, and there cleared a farm. He, too, moved
to Iowa, and died in this state.
John D. Denison attended the Clarion High School, and in 1893 entered Upper
Iowa University, from whence he went to the University of Nebraska, and was
graduated there from in 1898, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws.
Immediately thereafter he entered upon the practice of his profession
at Clarion, and continued there for seven years, after which he went to Dubuque,
and was in practice in that city for ten years, and then, in 1915, came to
Des Moines, here he has since continued, building up a very large and valuable
practice, with offices in the Polk Building.
In 1900 Mr. Denison married Miss Maude Lulu Clark, who was born at Lena,
Illinois, and educated in Jennings Seminary, Rockford, Illinois, and Upper
Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa, and completed her education at the University
of Chicago. She taught English in the Freeport High School, Freeport,
Illinois, before her marriage. Mrs. Denison died in November, 1916,
leaving one child, John D., Junior, who was born in 1903. He had two
years in Kemper Military Academy, and was graduated from the University of
Wisconsin. He is now manager of the national advertising department
of the Oklahoma News, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In September, 1918, Mr. Denison married Nannie McDaniel Dewey, of Tappahannock,
Virginia, who was educated in an academy of Richmond, Virginia. She
is a daughter of J. F. McDaniel, a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
and a theatrical magnate. Mrs. Denison taught school in her native
state prior to her marriage, and is a lady of social charm, and very popular
in Des Moines society. Mr. and Mrs. Denison have one child, Gordon
Dewey, who is attending the Roosevelt High School of Des Moines. Mrs.
Denison is an Episcopalian, while Mr. Denison is a Congregationalist. He
is Scottish Rite Mason, and also belongs to the independent Order of
Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order
of Elks. In political faith he is a Republican, although, being a warm
admirer of William Jennings Bryan, he supported him and other Democrats at
different times until 1922k, since which time he has adhered to the straight
party ticket. While living at Clarion he served on the school board,
and was assistant county attorney for three years while a resident of Dubuque.
As is but natural, his fellow members of any association with which he is
or has been connected, look to him for advice and service, and for four years
he was head auditor of the Modern Woodmen of America, was director in the
Brotherhood of Yeomen and its trial attorney and general counsel for sixteen
years, and for three years was a member of the beneficiary board of the Royal
Neighbors, but increasing obligations of various kinds have necessitated
his withdrawal from these three organizations, for which he, however, has
the greatest respect and in whose progress he takes great interest.
CHARLES S. DENMAN, general manager of the Des Moines Water Company,
became a resident of Iowa's capital city in his boyhood days, and here has
found ample opportunity for successful achievement. He was born in
New York City, March 20, 1862, is a descendant, through both paternal and
maternal sides, of English families that were founded in America in the early
Colonial era, members of whom were founders of the Greenwich and New Haven,
Connecticut, colonies. He is a son of Augustus N. and Mary (Holmes)
Denman. Augustus N. Denman, after having been actively identified with
banking business in New York City, came with his family to Des Moines, Iowa,
in 1875, representing the Bank of Allen-Stevens and Company of New York City
and the interests of the charter Oak Life Insurance Company of Hartford,
Connecticut. And here he assumed the executive duties in connection
with the business of a bank that had been founded by B. T. Allen and that
had failed, Mr. Allen having been a pioneer banker in this city.
In April, 1880, he became connected with the Des Moines Water Company as
secretary and manager, acting in that capacity until 1896, when he retired
and moved to Hollywood, California, where he passed away March 11, 1906.
His wife passed away in July, 1906, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Charles S. Denman had received his preliminary education in the schools of
his native state, and was a lad of thirteen years when the family was established
in Des Moines. Here he continued his studies in the public schools
until he had attained to the age of nineteen years, and for several years
thereafter he was here identified with the mortgage loan business. In
1886, at the age of twenty-four years, he became representative of the Lombard
Investment Company in Kansas City, Missouri, where he thus remained six years,
at the expiration of which, in 1892, he resigned his position and assumed
the office of vice president of the Franco-American Trust Company, with
headquarters in London, England. In October, 1892, after his return
from London, England, he became associated with his assistant, and upon the
retirement of his father in 1896 he assumed the responsibilities of secretary
and general manager, the positions held by his father, his regime in this
capacity having thus covered a period of many years, during which time, under
his able management, he has made the company one of the strongest and most
outstanding in the state.
He is a member of Engineering Societies of Boston, American Water Works
Association, New England Water Works Association, the Archaeological Institute
of America, the Iowa State Historical Society, Des Moines Chamber of Commerce,
the Des Moines Club, the Wakonda Club and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Politically he is a Republican. In the Masonic fraternity he
is affiliated with both the York and Scottish Rite bodies and the Mystic
Shrine. He is well known in the city that has represented his home
during the greater part of his life, and here his circle of friends is coincident
with his acquaintances.
While residing in Kansas City Mr. Denman was there united in marriage to
Miss Anna Simmons, daughter of Milton F. Simmons. Mrs. Denman passed
away June 28, 1919. The two children of this union are Mary Simmons
(Denman) Cavanagh and Milton Simmons Denman. The marriage of the daughter
to John A. Cavanagh was solemnized February 21, 1915. Milton S. Denman
is a member of the firm of Witmer-Kauffman-Evans Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Denman is a communicant of Saint Paul's Church, Protestant Episcopal,
and he has served as a member of its vestry, as well as treasurer of its
THOMAS COLLINS DENNY was a physician and surgeon, but his professional
service was turned into the insurance field with the Central Life Assurance
Society (Mutual) of Des Moines, and he has since become identified with the
executive management of the society and is now its president.
He was born at Maitland, Missouri, May 2, 1887, son of Barton Stone and Mary
E. (Massie) Denny and a grandson of Thomas Denny, who was a native of Indiana,
and prior to the Civil war moved out to Northwest Missouri and settled at
Maitland. He was a farmer, and was a minister of the Quaker Church,
though three of his sons, Otho, Joel and Walter, became soldiers in the Civil
war. Barton Stone Denny was born in Putnam County, Indiana, and from
early manhood lived at Maitland, Missouri. He has been a prominent
figure in the Christian Church and for twenty-two years held the office of
state secretary of this denomination in Iowa. He and his wife are now
living retired at Des Moines. His wife, Mary E. Massie, was born at
Leesburg, Ohio, daughter of Collins Massie, who was also born in Ohio
and about 1856 moved out to Northwest Missouri. Collins Massie was
a grandson of Gen. Nathaniel Massie, one of the most conspicuous early figures
in the history of Ohio, was a Virginian, a Revolutionary war officer, Indian
fighter, and was elected the first governor of the State of Ohio. He
had a grant of land at Leesburg, Ohio, where he died. Barton Stone
Denny and wife had three children: Mrs. Charles L. Coffman, wife of
the president of a lumber company at Spokane, Washington; Thomas Collins;
and Pearl, wife of Lucius F. Wright, a major in the Army Medical Corps.
Thomas Collins Denny attended the West Des Moines High School, graduated
from Drake University in 1910, doing his pre-medical cork there, and in 1912
took his M. D. degree at Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. After
returning to Des Moines he was made assistant medical director of the Central
Life Assurance Society (Mutual), subsequently became medical director, then
secretary and medical director, and in 1927 was chosen president of the company.
Doctor Denny married, December 22, 1910, Miss Vesta Peak. Her father,
the late George B. Peak, was born at Warsaw, Kentucky, moved to Des Moines
in 1891, and in 1896 organized the Central Life Assurance Society, becoming
its first president, and held that office until his death on August 24, 1923.
Mrs. Denny was a schoolmate of her husband both in high school and
Drake University. They have four children: Allan W., born in
1914; Alice, born in 1916; Ralph, born in 1918; and David R., born in 1920.
The family are members of the University Christian Church. Doctor
Denny is a York and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, member of the B. P.
O. Elks, the Des Moines Club, Wakonda Club, University Club, Underwriters
Association and Association of Life Insurance Presidents. He has also
been on the board of the Life Agency Officers Association. He is a
director of the Des Moines Y. M. C. A., is a member of the Convention Bureau
of the city and a Republican in politics. Doctor Denny is executor
of the George B. Peak estate.
JAMES ARTHUR DEVITT, a former president of the Iowa State Bar Association,
has been in practice for over thirty years at Oskaloosa, and the success
of his work and his intellectual attainments and public services were all
included in the recognition given him by his fellow members of the state
bar when they made him president of their association.
He was born at DeWitt in Clinton County, Iowa, June 1, 1872. His parents,
John and Mary (Laurent) Devitt, were natives of Ireland and settled in Clinton
County about 1852, being pioneers of this great state, and by their sturdy
character and industry won the respect and esteem of many friends. John
Devitt was a teacher and educator. Both parents died when their son
James Arthur was only two years of age.
The latter in consequence grew up in the house of relatives, spent his boyhood
in rural districts and attended country schools. Before going to the
university he taught school in Hardin County. At the University of
Iowa at Iowa City he attended the literary department and then enrolled in
the law school, from which he was graduated in June, 1897, with the degree
LL. B. Mr. Devitt put himself through college by his own efforts, having
the necessary grit and ability to grasp each opportunity for advancement
as it came to him.
After his graduation he and his classmates, Walter C. Burrell, opened a law
office in Oskaloosa. Both were young men of unusual promise, and they
made rapid progress in accumulating a volume of business, becoming known
as lawyers able to give their clientage sound advice and the benefit of
resourceful legal minds. They became attorneys for many leading
corporations, including the Minneapolis & Saint Louis Railroad Company,
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, the Chicago, Rock
Island and Pacific Railroad Company and also counsel for several Oskaloosa
companies, such as the Oskaloosa Traction & Light Company, Light &
Fuel Company, People's Water Company. This firm partnership was maintained
for over twenty years, finally being dissolved in 1920 when Mr. Walter C.
Burrell retired. Mr. Burrell died December 8, 1921.
In addition to his law practice Mr. Devitt from time to time has assumed
public responsibilities and many interesting relationships with social and
civic affairs. He was county attorney from Mahaska County from 1900
to 1904, and in 1913 was appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa
as a member of the Iowa State Board of Law Examiners and has served continuously
on that board for over fifteen years. Mr. Devitt is a Republican and
represented the sixth Congressional District as a member of the Republican
State Central Committee for a number of years and on different occasions
has represented the Republican party as a delegate to its national conventions.
He is a thirty-second Scottish Rite Mason, being a member of the des
Moines Consistory and also is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and
B. P. O. Elks.
Mr. Devitt is a member of the American Bar Association and for a number of
years has been active in its affairs, serving as the Iowa member of the General
Council of the Association. He has been a member of the Iowa State
Bar Association since his appointment to the bar, and it was in 1923 that
h was given the honor of being elected president of the state association.
He has served that body in many capacities and for a number of years
has been chairman of the American Citizenship Committee. Since locating
at Oskaloosa he has been a member of the Mahaska County Bar Association and
is a past president. Mr. Devitt had to make his own early opportunities,
and the creditable position he has attained is a real measure of his abilities
and his worthy ambition.
Mr. Devitt married, August 20, 1902, Pauline Lewelling, a daughter of former
Governor Lorenzo D. Lewelling of Kansas. To this marriage three children
have been born. The son James Lewelling Devitt recently graduated from
the University of Iowa and was admitted to the bar in June, 1929, and is
now associated with his father in practice at Oskaloosa. The daughter,
Pauline Devitt, in 1926 graduated from the Finch School for Girls in New
York City, and since leaving school has been engaged in the theatrical and
literary work in New York City. The younger son, John Branson Devitt,
is a senior in the Oskaloosa High School. Mrs. Pauline Lewelling Devitt
has been active in public work for a number of years, having served as president
of the Iowa Suffrage Association and in 1921 was appointed by Governor N.
E. Kendall as a member of the Iowa State Board of Education. Mrs. Devitt
and Anne Lawther of Dubuque were the first women who ever served on this
board. After a term of six years Mrs. Devitt was reappointed a member
of the board in 1927.
WILLIAM CORNELIUS DEWEL is owner and publisher of the Kossuth County
Advance at Algona. Newspaper work was not the only choice of a
career on his part. He studied law, and for several years carried on
a successful practice. His various activities have made him one of
the outstanding men of influence in Kossuth County.
Mr. Dewel was born at Louisville, St. Lawrence County, New York, September
2, 1875, and was six years of age when his parents, Ira G. and Jennie M.
Dewel, came out to Iowa. The family first lived near Goldfield and
in 1895 moved to Maxwell, Iowa, and later his father lived at Des Moines
and Bondurant, and in 1909 came to Algona, which was his home until his death
in 1928. Ira G. Dewel was a contractor and builder until 1887, then
entered the lumber business and still later was a banker.
William Cornelius Dewel made good use of his opportunities in the public
schools during his boyhood. In 1889, when he was fourteen years of
age, he was handicapped physically by the loss of his left arm, and the range
of things which he could do was necessarily limited. He carried on
his studies at the University of Iowa until graduating with the A. B. degree
in 1896, and in 1897 took his law degree at Drake University. Mr. Dewel
began the practice of law in 1899 and at the same time was interested in
a newspaper at Goldfield, Wright County. In 1900 he moved to Burt,
Kossuth County. He was elected and served six years as clerk of the
District Court. During the past twenty-one years he has given all his
time and attention to the work of editing and publishing the Kossuth County
Advance. It is the leading newspaper of the county and in its editorial
columns reflects the keen mind and long public experience of its editor and
owner. Mr. Dewel is a Republican, and fraternally has affiliations
with the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen
of America, and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.
He married Miss Emma L. Patton, a native of Luverne, Iowa, and daughter of
F. H. and Barbara (Gouchenour) Patton. Her father and mother are both
deceased. Her parents were born in Ohio and they came to Iowa in 1860.
Mr. and Mrs. Dewel have five children: Duane E., who is associated
with his father in the newspaper; Dr. B. F. Dewel, an orthodontist practicing
at Evenston, Illinois; Gordon and Donald, students at the University of Iowa;
and Bobby, at home.
FRED B. DEWITT, banker at Griswold, was born in Southwestern Iowa, and is
a member of a family that has been in this section of the state since early
He was born in Pottawattamie County, October 15, 1884, son of Virgil and
Alta M. (Baker) DeWitt. His grandfather, Paris DeWitt, went out to
California soon after the discovery of gold on the Pacific Coast and found
occupation in hauling gold from the mines to the mint at Sacramento. He
brought the same wagon back to the Middle West, and thirty-five years later
he burned the old vehicle and from the ashes secured a hundred dollars worth
of gold. He was a pioneer farmer an dearly settler of Pottawattamie
County. Virgil DeWitt was born in a covered wagon in Minnesota, grew
up in Warren County, Iowa and spent his active life as a farmer. For
the last ten years he lived at Griswold, retired, and died there July 6,
1929. He was a member of the Methodist Church. His wife, Alta
M. Baker, who died at Griswold in 1922, was born in Fairfield, Iowa, and
was a school teacher in early life. Both parents were laid to rest
in the Whippie Cemetery in Pottawattamie County. They were the parents
of five children: Fred B.; Mrs. Ora Philips, who was born in Pottawattamie
County in 1887; Guy L., born in 1889; Clyde H., born in 1891; and Clarence
V., born 1895. The sons Clyde and Clarence were both in France during
the World war. Clyde was wounded in one engagement three months after
he reached France. He is now proprietor of a dental laboratory in
Fred B. DeWitt grew up on a farm in Pottawattamie County, attended public
schools here and was graduated from the Griswold High School in 1902. For
two years he was a student in the commercial department of Simpson College
at Indianola, and on getting his diploma he went to work in the bank at Griswold
as janitor and bookkeeper, at a salary of twenty dollars a month. He
has been with the bank continuously for a quarter of a century. On
the reorganization of the bank in 1907 it became the Griswold National Bank,
and Mr. DeWitt now holds the office of cashier. He is also executor
for his father's estate. Mr. DeWitt owns three farms in Pottawattamie
County, one of them being the original land taken up by his grandfather and
on which all the members of the family were born. It has been in the
ownership of the DeWitt family ever since the Government patent was issued.
Mr. DeWitt married, October 15, 1907, Miss Stella B. Milner, who was born
at Griswold, Cass County, Iowa, and is a graduate of the Griswold High School,
with the same class as her husband. She was in the millinery business
at Griswold from 1902 to 1907. She is treasurer of Chapter G. L. of
the P. E. O. Sisterhood. She was one of the organizers and is a member
of the Music Club at Griswold and for years has taken a leading part in musical
affairs. She is a soprano soloist, is leader of the choir of the First
Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been singing in the choir for many years.
She frequently sings over the radio. Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt have
two daughters, Dorothy V., born in Griswold in October, 1909, and Maurine
Janet, born at Griswold August 30, 1924. Dorothy is a graduate of the
Griswold High School, attended Simpson College at Indianola for two years,
and is now taking work in domestic science and music at the University of
Nebraska, at Lincoln, being a member of the class of 1930. Mr. DeWitt
for many years has had an interesting hobby in collecting old furniture,
documents and other relics, particularly those connected with pioneer things
in Iowa, and has assembled a very unusual collection.
TALBERT M. DICK. An exceptionally able lawyer practicing at
the bar of Des Moines, Talbert M. Dick has devoted his energies and talents
to that domain of the law connected with patent office practice and procedure,
and has become one of the best known authorities on patent laws in Iowa and
surrounding states. he has been legal counsel on one side or the other
in some of the most important cases brought before the courts during the
past few years, in which he ha proved his knowledge of this subject and handled
his facts with masterly effect. No doubt one of his best clients is
the State of Iowa, as he handles the various patents, patent applications
and matters pertaining thereto in which the State of Iowa is interested.
Talbert M. Dick was born at Medford, Oklahoma, November 13, 1899, a son of
Adelbert E. and Phoebe Elizabeth (Graves) Dick, natives of Missouri and Illinois,
respectively, now residents of Oklahoma, in which state his father is prominent.
The parents have two children, Mr. Dick of this review and Elvyn Dick,
a realtor of Chicago, Illinois. Politically the family are Republicans
and can trace their ancestors back to the days of the American Revolution.
The paternal grandfather, Granville Dick, a native of Ohio, was for
many years engaged in business as a merchant. The maternal grandfather,
Rev. Samuel B. Graves, spent his life time in the interest of the church.
Talbert Dick attended local schools in Oklahoma and graduated from high school
in Texas in the year of 1916. In 1916-17 he completed a course in a
business college at Arkansas City, Kansas. While in high school he
was active in athletics and was chosen all stare in basketball. As
his father's ranch was on the Texas border, he experienced a colorful life
during the border trouble from 1914 to 1916. In spite of his youth
he volunteered for services in the World war in May, 1917, was in the aviation
branch and was honorably discharged in 1919, after having served nearly
two years in France. He was with the first United States air service
to reach England and with the first United States air service to set foot
on French soil. He completed a complete air dynamic training under the
French Government, Second Groupe De Escadrille, and his United States
communication reads as follows: "It is largely due to such as he that
our pilots gained and held the supremacy of the air."
Following his army service he entered the Chattanooga College of Law,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was graduated there from in 1921 with the Degree
of Bachelor of Laws. He was the first to pass the state bar from this
school with only one year of law study. In 1921 and 1922 he was a t
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in various branches
of the law and in public speaking. In 1922 he wrote two books and one
volume of verse, proving his versatility. In 1923 he was a post-graduate
student at the National University, Washington, District of Columbia, where
he received two degrees in one year, namely: Master of Laws and Master
of Patent Laws.
He is a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military
Order of the Cootie, Roosevelt Club, University Club, The Harvard Club, Grant
Club, Sigma Delta Kappa, National Rifle Association, National Aeronautical
Association, and is a Shriner and thirty-second degree Mason. He is
a past state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a past commander
of the M. O. C. and reserve officer U. S. air service.
Talbert M. Dick began the practice of patent law in Chicago in 1924, and
directly thereafter came to Des Moines, Iowa, where he is now engaged in
practice as a registered patent counselor, as already noted.
GEORGE LANE DIXON, M. D. While the modern physician has had
many opportunities to perfect himself for his profession, he has also been
required to give a long period to training, and much more is asked of him
today than was of the members of the profession even in the latter part of
the last century. One of the highly-trained and skilled men of this
learned calling who entered upon his work fully qualified to meet every emergency
is Dr. George Lane Dixon, of Burlington, with offices in the Tama Building,
and residence on Sunnyside Avenue. He was born at Burlington, Iowa,
July 13, 1895, a son of Dr. John Wesley and Anna Van de Vere (Lane) Dixon,
he born in Canada and she at Burlington. In 1892 the father came to
Burlington, and here he has been engaged in the practice of medicine ever
since, being today one of the leaders of his profession. The maternal
grandparents, George H. Land and his wife, were born in Ohio, but became
early residents of Burlington, where he was long engaged in the practice
of law, and deeply interested in the development of the city during its formative
His preliminary education secured in the grammar and high schools of Burlington,
Doctor Dixon entered the medical department of the University of Iowa, and
was graduated there from in 1922, although he had enrolled in 1913. In
June, 1917, he left the university to enlist in the United States army, and
he served in France with the French troops, having been transferred to the
French army. While with these troops he was awarded the Croix d' Guerre.
After the armistice he became a second lieutenant in the motor transport
branch of the service, in which he continued until July, 1919, when he sailed
for the United States, and was honorably discharged at Des Moines, Iowa,
August 29, 1919. Returning to the University of Iowa, he completed
his medical course, as already stated, and then for a year specialized in
surgery. After three months' practice at Burlington with his father
he went to Detroit, Michigan, and held an internship in Harper Hospital,
the children's free hospital of Michigan, and in Herman Keefer Hospital,
being there in all for fifteen months. In December, 1924, he once more
joined his father, and since then the two have been engaged in practice together
as physicians and surgeons.
On July 12, 1924, Doctor Dixon married Miss Ellen C. Swanson, who was born
in Sweden, a daughter of John and Ingrid Swanson, and they have one daughter,
Sally Ann, who was born September 18, 1926, and one son, George Lane, Jr.,
born October 10, 1928. The First Presbyterian Church of Burlington
is Doctor Dixon's religious home, and he is interested in church work.
Politics have never interested him in any great degree, and he is an
independent in his views. While at the University he made Phi Kappa
Psi and Nu Sigma Nu. He belongs to the Des Moines County Medical Society,
the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. A
close student, Doctor Dixon follows the advances made by his profession,
especially in diseases of children, and he is building up a wide connection
in this line, although not confining his practice to it.
GEN. GRENVILLE MELLEN DODGE was one of the great
Americans of his generation. His contribution to Iowa history and his influence
upon the history of the state have been adequately treated in the historical
volumes. In this sketch the purpose is to note some of his achievements, and
experiences that lie outside the general history of the state, and belong rather
to the field of biography.
General Dodge was in an important sense a man of the world, yet for over
fifty years he maintained a home in Council Bluffs, and after 1894 he spent most
of his time there. He never voted elsewhere. His affection for his home city
is shown in some of the trusts established by his will - $50,000 for a railway
men's club and library; a similar sum used by the city council for the relief of
Civil War veterans and their dependants. To the Historical Department of Iowa
he gave all the records of his military and engineering career and the
manuscript records of his life, and provided for their publication. From this
has come one of the notable biographies of recent years, Trails, Rails
and War, which is the authentic life of General Dodge.
Grenville M. Dodge was born at Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts, April
12, 1831, and died at Council Bluffs January 3, 1916. He was a son of Sylvanus
and Julia Theresa (Phillips) Dodge, and a descendant of Richard Dodge, who came
from his native England to the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1689, in
company with his brother William. General Dodge depended on his own resources
in advancing his education. At the age of fourteen years he became a student in
an academy at Durham, New Hampshire, and in the following year entered Norwich
University in Vermont, a semi-military institution in which he completed the
scientific course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1850, as a civil
and military engineer. Soon afterward he came west, and his connection with
railroad surveys and construction in Iowa have been noted.
In 1854 General Dodge established residence at Council Bluffs, then a mere
frontier village but one of vitality and territorial importance. Out of the
real estate firm of Baldwin & Dodge, came later the Council Bluffs Savings Bank,
of which his only brother, Nathan P., served thirty-two years as president.
General Dodge organized and at the inception of the Civil war he and his little
military organization tendered service to the state government. Then followed
the brilliant military career which is here reviewed.
"General Dodge was successful in many brilliant engagements and especially
distinguished himself in the greatest and most decisive battle of the Atlanta
campaign, July 22, 1864, in first meeting and checking and finally in defeating,
with the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, General Hood's able and desperate
movement to the rear of the Army of the Tennessee. While standing in a trench
before Atlanta he was severely wounded in the head, August 19, 1864, and was
sent north to recover. Within his period of convalescence he visited General
Grant at City Point, Virginia, and saw the splendid Armies of the Potomac and
James. On the restoration of his health he was assigned, in November, 1864 to
command of the Department and Army of Missouri. The western country was overrun
with guerillas and the army was in bad condition. General Dodge at once
proceeded to restore order, introduce discipline and demand obedience, besides
which he quelled the general Indian outbreak that threatened along the entire
frontier, thus opening the overland mail routes to Denver, Salt Lake City and
California, which had been closed by the Indians three months. At the same time
he made a vigorous war on the guerillas. General Jefferson Thompson's command,
with 8,000 officers and men, surrendered to him in Arkansas. At the close of
the war General Dodge's command was made to include all the Indian country west
of the Missouri River and north of Indian Territory, and for a year thereafter
he was in command of the Indian campaigns that extended from the Arkansas to the
Yellowstone River. Many Indian battles were fought by his troops, and thus was
brought about a temporary peace with all the plains tribes."
His resignation from teh United States Army was accepted May 30, 1866.
General Grant had desired to retain him in the regular army with the rank of
major general, and had placed his name at the head of the list of those
recommended for such preferment.
Returning to civil life, General Dodge was elected, on the Republican ticket,
to represent his Iowa district in the United States Congress, his nomination
having been made with no solicitation on his part. While in Congress he
continued his service as chief engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad, a
position he had accepted upon his retirement from the army. To his enduring
honor will in large measure be attributed the successful completion of this
first of American'a great transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific's
original line of 1,086 miles was completed in three years, with 550 miles
completed in a single year. The driving of the golden spike that marked the
completion of the road was driven at Promontory Point, Utah, May 10, 1869, and
up to the present time this time-record in railroad construction has not since
been equaled. In 1871 General Dodge was chief engineer in teh building of the
Texas & Pacific Railroad from Shreveport to Dallas and from Marshall to Sherman,
and he located and constructed the eastward line from San Diego, California.
During the period of 1880-85 he was engaged in the construction of the Texas &
Pacific Railroad line from Fort Worth to El Paso; the new Orleans & Pacific
Railroad from Shreveport to New Orleans; the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad;
the International & Great Northern Railroad; the Mexican Central Railroad in
Mexico; and the Fort Worth & Denver City Railroad. In the interval of 1886-90
he was engaged in the construction of the Denver, Texas & Fort Worth, the
Denver, Texas & Gulf and other railroads, and in 1894 he was elected president
of the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railroad. The name of General Dodge will
ever rank high among those of the great railroad builders of the nation and th
eworld, and through his professional activities along this line he added much to
the development of the great western and southwestern areas of our national
domain. From 1874 until 1900 General Dodge passed a portion of his time abroad,
and was a valued advisor in connection with the building of the great Russian
trans-Siberan railway from St. Petersburg to the Pacific ocean, besides which he
was consulted in other foreign enterprises and was solicited to assume charge of
a system of internal improvements in China.
General Dodge served as delegate at large from Iowa to the Republican
National Conventions held in Philadelphia, Chicago and Cincinnati. In
September, 1869 he declined appointment to the office of secretary of war in the
cabinet of President Grant, and in January, 1876, refused candidacy for the
office of United States senator from Iowa. Honors of highest order came to this
great Iowa citizen. His equestrian statue is an outstanding part of the
Soldiers' Monument in the Iowa state capital, Des Moines, and in the national
capital his statue appears in bold relief upon the pedestal of the fine statue
of General William T. Sherman. He continued the close friend of his commanding
officers in the Civil war, and in his memoirs General Grant paid to him high
tribute, and concerning his relations with General Sherman the following tribute
was paid by General O. O. Howard: "General G. M. Dodge was Sherman's special
favorite, on account of his work with the bridge making and railway
construction on marches or in battles. Dodge's capabilities and personality
alike drew Sherman to him. I never knew an officer who on all occasions could
talk so freely and frankly to Sherman as Dodge. One good reason for this was
that Dodge's courage was always calm and his equanimity contagious, no matter
how great or trying the disturbing cause."
President Roosevelt stated that when the construction of the Panama Canal was
instituted General Dodge would have been given entire control of the work had he
been ten years younger, and in a speech, delivered at Indianapolis, Indiana,
Colonel Roosevelt paid the following tribute: "Iowa did its share in the work
of building railroads when the business was one that demanded men of the utmost
daring and resourcefulness - men like that gallant soldier and real captain of
industry, Grenville M. Dodge; men who ran risks and preformed feats for which it
was difficult to make reward too high; men who staked everything on the chances
of a business which today happily involves no such hazards."
General Dodge was associated with the founding of the Military Order of the
Loyal Legion of the United Stares, and was two years commander of its New York
Commandery, besides which he received the ultimate distinction of being chosen
commander-in-chief of the national organization of this great patriotic order.
He was a revered and appreciative member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and
upon the death of General Sherman he was elected the latter's successor in the
presidency of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee. He served as vice
president of the Grant Monument Association, and was grand marshal, in 1897, at
the dedication of the beautiful tomb of General Grant, on Riverside Drive, New
York City. In that city he was likewise president of the Grant Birthday
In April, 1898, General Dodge was appointed major general of volunteers for
service in the Spanish-American war, and in September of the same year he became
president of the commission appointed by President McKinley to investigate the
actions of the war department in its relations to the conduct of the war. In
New York City General Dodge had membership in the Union League, the Army and
Navy Club and the National Geographic Society, besides having there served as
president of the Iowa Society. He likewise was called to the presidency of the
Norwich University Alumni Association
WILLIAM J. DONLIN is a native of Union County, Iowa, and for over
forty-five years has been one of the active business men of the City of Creston,
a merchant, real estate and insurance dealer, and banker.
Mr. Donlin was born in Union County in 1863, son of Edward and Mary (Harsh)
Donlin. His father was born in New Orleans, where the grandfather settled
on coming from Ireland. Later the family came north to Peoria, Illinois,
where Grandfather Donlin died. Edward Donlin came to Iowa about 1862,
lived on a farm in Union County and later was in the mercantile business
at Xenia and Hopkins, Missouri, where he passed away in 1887. He married,
in Illinois, Mary Harsh, a native of Pennsylvania. Her father died
in that state and her mother, whose maiden name was Nancy McKay, then took
her family to Ohio, from there moved to Bureau County, Illinois, and about
1860 came to Union County, Iowa. Mrs. Nancy Harsh was a women of remarkable
energy and business ability. She bought a farm in Iowa, reared her
family there and lived to the good old age of 102, spending her last years
with her daughter, Mrs. Donlin. She died at Hopkins, Missouri. Mrs.
Edward Donlin passed away at the age of ninety-one. Of her six children
three are living: Mary, wife of Dr. D. A. Sargent, a practicing physician
at Hopkins, Missouri; William J.; and Cora, wife of R. L. Hubbard, a member
of the bar at Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Mary Donlin was an active
member of the Presbyterian Church. Her husband was a Democrat and was
affiliated with the Masonic fraternity.
William J. Donlin attended public school in Missouri and spent three years
in the University of Missouri at Columbia. He had a good business training
while in his father's store and in 1884 came to Creston, Iowa, and sold out
a stock of goods for the Creton National Bank. He then entered the
service of that bank and for seventeen years was its assistant cashier. In
the meantime he established a real estate and loan business, but later returned
to active work with the bank. He was called upon to settle up the estate
of J. B. Harsh, former president of the bank, who died in 1923. In
recent years Mr. Donlin has carried on a general loan and real estate business.
He married, in 1891, Letta Curtis. She was born in England, but was
reared and educated at Creston and taught school there until her marriage.
Her parents were Thomas and Mary Curtis, her father being a stationary
engineer by trade. Mr. and Mrs. Donlin attend the Congregational Church.
He is a member of the Kiwanis Club. He and Mr. Thomas Hamilton
recently organized the Union County Historical Society and have made this
an effective instrument for preserving local history and arousing a proper
interest in the subject.
RT. REV. MGR. CHARLES J. DONOHOE, pastor of St. Paul the
Apostle Church at Davenport, was the first and has been the only pastor of this
parish, and its prosperity and upbuilding are the reflection of his earnest and
zealous work since coming to Davenport twenty years ago. Davenport has been a
very congenial field for him, not only because his work has prospered, but
because he has found there working fellowship with the people of his own creed
and all classes and denominations.
Father Donohoe is a native of Iowa, born on a farm near
Holbrook in Iowa County, October 4, 1873. His parents, James and Ellen (Balton)
Donohoe, left Ireland at the time of the terrible famine of the late '40s, and,
coming to America, first located in Canada, then at Joliet, Illinois, and from
there sought the new lands of Iowa. In their journey to this state they crossed
the Mississippi River on the ice before there was a bridge or railway over the
stream. They went on out to Iowa City and started a home near what is now the
town of Holbrook, taking up Government land. Some of the old homestead is still
owned by their descendants. The land title was signed by President Fillmore.
When Rev. Charles J. Donohoe was ten years of age his parents
moved to Iowa City, where he attended public schools. Later he was a student in
St. Ambrose College at Davenport and completed his theological education in St.
Paul's Seminary at Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained in 1899, after which
he continued his studies for a year in the Catholic University of America at
Washington. Father Donohoe for several years was a member of the teaching
faculty of St. Ambrose College.
In the fall of 1909 he accepted the assignment of Bishop
Davis to form and build up the parish of St. Paul the Apostle. Bishop Davis
several months earlier had secured the property at Tremont Avenue and Rusholme
Street as the site of a church. A new congregation was to embrace all the
territory north of Locust Street and east of Harrison Street. Father Donohoe
accomplished his difficult task promptly and celebrated mass for the first time
in the new church on December 12, 1909. St. Paul's Church was dedicated June 18,
1911. Then followed some busy years, attended by rapid growth in the parish, so
that in 1915 the church was enlarged to more than twice its original size. St.
Paul's now has a seating capacity of 650, and other provisions have been added
to give the church opportunity for its full service in the parish. Its parochial
school is one of the model school buildings of the city, and a convent has been
built adjoining the school. In addition to the heavy responsibilities of
building up the parish Father Donohoe has for a number of years been a director
and secretary-treasurer of the St. Vincent's Orphanage Home. During the World
war he was s four-minute speaker, assisting in the Liberty Loan and Red Cross
drives. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club. October 20, 1929, he was made a
domestic prelate, with the title of monsignor, by his Holiness, Pope Pius XI.
JAMES W. DOWNING is an Iowa man whose energies have gone completely
into one line of work and practically with one business at the same old stand.
He is editor and publisher of the Ute Independent in Monona
This paper, a weekly, published on Friday, was founded in February, 1890,
by C. C. Coe. James W. Downing at that time was about fourteen years
of age, and his training as a printer's apprentice began about the time the
Independent came into existence. He has been with it ever since,
and during half of the Independent's career he has been its publisher.
Mr. Downing was born in Monona County August 3, 1875. His father, John
A. Downing, was also a native of Iowa, and was a highly respected farmer
of Monona County, where he died at the age of seventy-eight. John A.
Downing married Emma Leach, a native of Indiana. She died as the result
of a surgical operation at the age of sixty-eight. There were three
children: C. P. Downing, of Ute; Olive, wife of Thomas Holt, of Ute;
and James. W.
James W. Downing's birthplace was a log house in Monona County. He
grew up on a farm, attended the district schools and for a short time had
the advantages of the village schools in Ute. In accepting an opportunity
to go to work in the office of the Ute Independent he found the work
and occupation that have kept him usefully and honorably employed for over
forty years. He has been owner and publisher since 1910. Personally
he is a Republican, but conducts a paper independent in politics.
Mr. Downing married Miss Anna Cunningham, a native of Iowa. Their two
children are Miss Edna, who assists her father on the paper, and Rita, wife
of Ray McGrew, of Los Angeles, California.
COL. WILLIAM GREENE DOWS. Since 1855 three generations of the
Dow family have been conspicuously identified with the successive phases
of the development of Cedar Rapids as a transportation, manufacturing and
wholesale center. The pioneer of the name was Stephen Leland Dows,
whose career is sketched in detail on other pages of this publication.
Stephen L. Dows, who was born in New York City, October 9, 1832, came
to Cedar Rapids in 1855, and from that time until his death was directly
concerned with nearly every important enterprise from the foundation of the
city. He was a manufacturer, a railroad contractor and real estate
operator, and his enterprise outside of Cedar Rapids contributed to the
development of the towns of Dows, Estherville, Armstrong and Elsworth, Iowa.
He was instrumental in the construction or in the bringing to Cedar
Rapids of two of its chief railroads. Stephen L. Dows married Henrietta
Their son, the late Col. William Greene Dows, was born in Clayton County,
Iowa, August 12, 1864, and died at the University Hospital at Iowa City on
Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1926. During the sixty-two years of
his life he accomplished a tremendous amount of work.
He was educated in Coe College at Cedar Rapids, in the Shattuck Military
Academy at Faribault, Minnesota, and as soon as his school days were ended
he joined his father, at first as a clerk and later as a partner. He
was one of the organizers and became vice president of the Cedar Rapids Loan
& Trust Company on February 1, 1900, and was with that institution until
January 1, 1908. For several years he was a director of the Merchants
National Bank. His father had been chiefly interested in the building
of steam railroads and the founding of manufacturing industries. Colonel
Dow's time and energies were directed to the field of electrical power
development and transportations. At the time of his death he was president
of the Iowa Railway & Light Company, president of the Cedar Rapids &
Iowa City Railway, president of the Iowa Electric Company and president of
the Central States Electric Company. He was one of the chief figures
in the electrical public utilities field.
His recreation and hobby was a fine dairy farm, one of the wonderful country
estates of Iowa, the "Manati" farm in Linn County, which he had stocked with
one of the finest herds of Jersey cattle in the state.
The work and influence of Colonel Dows were translated into many forms of
benefit to his community and state. He was an alderman of Cedar Rapids
in 1896-97, was a member of the State House of Representatives in 1897-99,
in the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eight General Assemblies. He was chairman
of the Linn County Republican Committee, a member of the state central committee
for a number of years, was active in the First Presbyterian Church, on the
Board of Trustees of Coe College and Saint Luke's Hospital. He was
master of Mount Hermon Lodge No. 263, A. F. and A. M., a member of Trowel
Chapter No. 49, Royal Arch Masons, Apollo Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar,
Iowa Consistory of the Scottish Rite, El Kahir Temple of the Mystic Shrine,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, B. P. O. Elks and Cedar Rapids Country
He had a long military record. He was made a private in Company C,
First Regiment, Iowa National Guard, January 9, 1884; first sergeant, August
4, 1884; second lieutenant, April 6, 1885; first lieutenant, January 18,
1886; adjutant, First Regiment, January 6, 1890; major, December 21, 1891;
lieutenant colonel, April 30, 1897; colonel, First Regiment, April 4, 1898.
At the beginning of the Spanish-American war he was commissioned colonel
of the Forty-ninth Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, April 26, 1898, and served
with the regiment in Cuba, this regiment being one of the last of the volunteer
organizations to leave the island. He was mustered out May 13, 1899.
He was colonel of the Forty-ninth Regiment, Iowa National Guard, March
26, 1900, until March 26, 1905; colonel of the Fifty-third Regiment, Iowa
National Guard, March 26, 1905, until he resigned January 8, 1909. He
served as colonel and aide-re-camp to Governor B. F. Carroll from February
1, 1909 to December 31, 1913. Colonel Dows was a member of the
Spanish-American War Veterans, the Loyal Legion, and during the World war
was a member of the State Council of Defense.
Colonel Dows married, October 9, 1890, Margaret B. Cook, daughter of Joseph
Sutherland and Valissa L. (Burnell) Cook, of Cedar Rapids. Joseph
Sutherland Cook was another constructive figure in the development of Cedar
Rapids, where he arrived in 1857. He was a retail and later a wholesale
merchant, and the firm of Cook & Augsberry built up one of the largest
wholesale dry goods and grocery houses in the state. He was one of
the organizers of the First National Bank and Merchants National Bank, was
a director of the Cedar Rapids National Bank, Cedar Rapids Water Company,
Cedar Rapids Railway Company. Mr. Cook died February 22, 1899.
Colonel and Mrs. Dows had two children, Sutherland Cook and Margaret Henrietta.
The daughter is now Mrs. Earl Muzzy, of Cedar Rapids.
Sutherland Cook Dows, who represents the third generation of this family
in Cedar Rapids, was born in that city July 3, 1891. He attended Coe
College, and graduated Bachelor of Philosophy from the mechanical engineering
department of the Shelffield Scientific School of Yale University. During
the World war he was a first lieutenant in the Seventy-fifth Coast Artillery
Corps. he is now vice president of the Iowa Railway & Light
Corporation, the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway, the Iowa Electric
Company, the Central States Electric Company and is a director of the Cedar
Rapids National Bank. Mr. Dows is a trustee of Coe College and of St.
He married Miss Frances Daisy Mills, of Brookline, Massachusetts. Their
three children, comprising the fourth generation at Cedar Rapids, are Peter,
Henrietta and Sutherland.
JAMES CLARK DUNCAN had a place among the citizens of Davenport with
a rich portion of esteem due not only to his work, but to his personal character
and his interesting social qualities. He was for many years proprietor
of the Duncan Davenport Business College, and the splendid reputation of
the capability of James Clark Duncan as an educator.
He was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, December 14, 1840, and was
about fifteen years of age when his parents, James and Jane (Wilson) Duncan,
moved out to Iowa and settled on a farm in Scott County. His grandfather
James Duncan, came from Scotland.
James Clark Duncan was the oldest son of a large family of eleven children,
and from early youth he realized a sense of responsibility and shared in
the heavy work of developing an Iowa homestead. He attended country
schools, at the age of nineteen went out to Kansas, and spent two years in
that territory just before the outbreak of the Civil war. Not long
after his return to Iowa he enlisted for the stern duties of a soldier, becoming
a private in Company G of the Twentieth Iowa Infantry on August 15, 1862.
He saw service in the border states of Missouri, Arkansas and Indian
Territory, was at the siege of Vicksburg and finally at Fort Morgan, Alabama,
toward the end of the war. After the war he engaged in farming, left
the farm to attend Bryant and Stratton Business College at Davenport, and
after graduating was kept in the institution as a teacher. In 1883
he became a part owner and in 1883 he became a part owner and in 1886 bought
the school, changing the name to the Duncan Davenport Business College. He
was the actual head of that institution forty years, until his death on May
13, 1923. Many of the prominent business men and bankers of Davenport
and throughout Iowa gave a high degree of credit to this institution and
the personal instruction of James C. Duncan. He was unexcelled as a
lightning calculator. He trained his students thoroughly in an art
which was valuable to every accountant in the days before adding machines.
He had practically retired from the active management of the school
in 1911. He was a resident of Davenport from 1876.
James Clark Duncan was associated with the late John B. Fidlar in the
organization of the Register Life Insurance Company in 1888, and he became
the first secretary of the company. He was a thirty-second degree Scottish
Rite Mason and Shriner, member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the
Grand Army of the Republic.
James Clark Duncan married, May 28, 1862, Miss Nancy J. McConnell, who was
also born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She died February 24,
1913. Of their eight children a daughter, Mabel died in childhood.
The living children are: E. H. Duncan, of Eldorado, Kansas; J.
D. Duncan, of Davenport; Charles; Mrs. Edward H. Hartz, of Port Byron, Illinois;
Mrs. Philip Freytag, of Reynolds, Illinois; Miss Ella and Miss Violet, both
Charles Duncan has had a notable business career and for many years has been
closely associated with the widespread activities of Herman J. Zeuch.
Mr. Duncan grew up in Davenport, attended high school and business college
there, and as a young man entered the employ of the Van Patten & Marks
Wholesale Grocery Company, one of the pioneer firms of that city. When
this partnership was dissolved, in 1903, he became the first secretary
of the Morton L. Marks Company, and treasurer of this outstanding wholesale
grocery house. The president of the company is Mr. Herman J. Zeuch.
Mr. Duncan is an official in several of the companies representing the far
flung enterprises of Mr. Zeuch, extending from Florida to Northwestern Canada.
He and Mr. Zeuch in 1912 acquired a large acreage in Florida, and after
an enormous expenditure of labor and capital in draining and development
laid out the town of Vero Beach. They were pioneers in putting down
driven wells and bringing in a supply of pure water, which insured the community
against the repeated visitations of typhoid fever. Mr. Duncan is a
director of the Indian River Farms Company, and is also a director of the
Register Life Insurance Company, the Davenport Morris Plan Bank, the Crossett
Western Company and Gales Creek Logging Company, the last two being located
in the State of Oregon, is a director of the Northern Warehouse Corporation
of Davenport, of the Northwestern Loan & Insurance Company, and is secretary
of the Indian River Farms in Florida. Mr. Duncan is unmarried. He
is a popular member of several social and business organizations, including
the Chamber of Commerce, Outing Club, Davenport Country Club, Rock Island
Arsenal Golf Club, and is a Methodist.
EDGAR KIRKLAND DUN VAN, M. D., is one of the leading physicians and
surgeons of Tama County, as well as one of the leading citizens of his home
community of Chelsea, where he has ministered to the needs of his fellow
men for more than twenty years.
Doctor Dun Van was born in Brooklyn, New York, March 16, 1872, in the house
that had served as the ancestral home for several generations. He is
of Scotch ancestry and he come of a family that was founded in New York State
at an early date. He is a son of Henry and Jennie Dun Van, who passed
their entire lives in the State of New York, the father having been a lawyer
by profession. Both parents died while he was still an infant, and
from that time until he was ten years of age he was reared in the New York
State Orphanage at Albany.
Edgar Dun Van then spent his eleventh and twelfth years in the family circle
of Silas Holmes, in Connecticut. At twelve years of age he began to
shift for himself, beginning as an office boy in the office of a Wall Street
lawyer. Later he spent four years as a student in Wyoming Seminary
at Kingston, Pennsylvania, an institution maintained by the Methodist Episcopal
Church. While at this school he worked to support himself at whatever
jobs he could find, such as snow shoveling, operating a stationary engine
and operating the pumps at a camp ground, etc. After leaving this school
he worked in a drug store at Oswego, New York, where he also worked an additional
two hours a day as a piano tuner in a local music store.
This experience in piano tuning came in mighty handy when he came out to
Iowa to attend the medical school at the State University of Iowa, where
it enabled him to finance his way through the college. He graduated
from the University of Iowa with the M. D. degree in 1897 and then spent
a year as an interne in the City Hospital of Rochester, New York.
For the next twelve years Doctor Dun Van served as camp physician and surgeon
with railroad construction camps in Wyoming. Montana and California,
which experience has proven highly valuable to him in the practice of his
About 1910 Doctor Dun Van established his residence at Chelsea, Iowa, where
he has continued in the practice of his profession since. He is serving
as local surgeon for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and is the health
officer of Chelsea, in addition to his large general practice.
He has membership in the Tama County Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical
Society and the American Medical Association. During the World war
he was a member of the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States army and
was active in the advancement of local patriotic measures and movements.
He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows.
It will be soon from the above record that Doctor Dun Van has been required
by the exigencies of life to develop self-reliance, resourcefulness, initiative
and hardihood from an early age and has had to depend upon his own efforts
to carve out for himself a noteworthy career, which is the more noteworthy
because of that fact. In this battle with life he has been fortunate in
possessing a buoyant, optimistic spirit to help carry him over the rough
spots. His chief satisfaction in life is the one that distinguishes
his profession above all others, namely the satisfaction of genuine service
to his fellow men.
While in the State of Wyoming on duty as railroad camp physician he met Miss
Hazel Hamlin, who was born and reared in that state. They were married
in California, in 1910. They have five children: Agnes, who married
Edward Tesar and resides at Chelsea; Jennie, who will graduate from Chelsea
High School in 1932; Eric, who is in the class of 1933 at Chelsea High School;
and Douglas and Wilford, who are in the grade school.
JOSEPH M. DYE. In the little community of Swea City, Kossuth
County, the outstanding figure in many ways is Mr. Joseph M. Dye, lawyer,
business man, public official, who has been longer in business in that community
than any other resident. Among other distinctions he is the only qualified
lawyer in Kossuth County outside of Algona.
Mr. Dye is a native of Iowa, born in Linn County April 1, 1869. His
father, Enoch Dye, was a native of Ohio and of English and Scotch ancestry.
A brother of Enoch Dye became a celebrated military figure. His
name was Col. William Mackay Dye. He took service with foreign countries,
was in Egypt and in the Abyssinian war, and later acted as military instructor
for the Dowager Empress of Corea. Enoch Dye was an early settler in
Linn County, Iowa, and lived in that county until his death at the age of
eighty-seven. He was a teacher in early life, later a railroad man,
and continued that work until failing eyesight forced him to retire. Enoch
Dye married Mahala Kay, who was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Joseph M. Dye attended public schools in Linn County and his early law studies
were in the office of Judge William G. Thompson at Marion. He was admitted
to the Iowa bar before the Supreme Court at Des Moines, and first practiced
at Marion, then at Belmont and from there came to Swea City, Kossuth County,
where he made himself a factor in the community not only as a lawyer but
as a business man. He has been one of the influential factors in the
Republican party of Kossuth County for many years. Mr. Dye was eleven
times elected mayor of Swea City. During 1896-98 he was one of the
men who conducted the Swea City Herald, under the firm name of Richman, Edson
& Dye. He is a member of the Baptist Church.
Mr. Dye married Lulu E. Doan, who was also born in Linn County, Iowa.
Their only son Dewey B., is a business man at Clarksburg, Iowa.