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Harlan, Edgar Rubey.
A Narrative History of the People of Iowa.
 Vol IV. Chicago: American Historical Society,  1931

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JAMES DAVID EASTON, whose death occurred December 30, 1909, was long an influential figure in banking enterprise in the City of Waterloo, judicial center of Blackhawk County, and by his sterling character and worthy achievement he made for himself inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem, having been one of the honored and influential citizens of Waterloo when his life closed, he having died at the age of fifty-eight years.

James D. Easton was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, November 19, 1851, and was one of the eleven children of James and Christian (Youngson) Easton, who passed their entire lives in Scotland, the subject of this memoir having been the only member of the immediate family to establish residence in the United States.  The schools of his native land afforded James D. Easton his youthful education and he was nineteen years of age when he severed the home ties and came to the United States.  In New York City he found employment in the A. T. Stewart mercantile establishment, which at the time was the largest and most famous concern of its kind in the entire United States.  Upon resigning his position with this house Mr. Easton became a commercial traveling salesman for the firm of Jaffrey & Company, with which he continued his service until he established his residence in Waterloo, Iowa, where he was engaged for some time in the mercantile business, as a partner in the J. T. Collidge Company.  He finally effected the organization of the Waterloo State Bank, which was subsequently converted into the Waterloo National Bank, in which institution he  served first as cashier and later as president.  That bank was merged with the Blackhawk Bank and Mr. Easton and his friends organized the Iowa State Bank of Waterloo, with which he continued his executive alliance until his death.  Mr. Easton was known for his exceptional business ability, particularly in connection with banking enterprise, and at all times he stood exponent of careful, reliable and conservative financial policies and methods.

The political allegiance of Mr. Easton was given to the Independent Democratic party, and while he was reared in the faith of the First Presbyterian Church he regularly attended and gave liberal support to the Congregational Church in Waterloo, his wife being a member of this church.  In the Masonic fraternity Mr. Easton attained to the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and in this division of the time-honored fraternity he took deep interest, perhaps by reason of its having its origin in his native land.  He was affiliated also with the Knights of Pythias.  His widow, whose maiden name was Marion Louise Johnson, still maintains her home in Waterloo, Mrs. Easton is a daughter of the late Emmons Johnson, an honored and influential Iowa pioneer to whom a memorial tribute is paid in the preceding sketch, so that further review of his career and the family history is not here required.  Mr. Easton is survived by one son, James Gordon Easton, who was born October 31, 1903, and reared in Waterloo, where he profited by the advantages of the public schools, he having later attended the Lawrenceville Preparatory School at Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and having later entered historic old Yale University, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1927, Ph. D. degree.  For two years he was employed by the Continental Illinois National Bank in the City of Chicago and is now with the Waterloo Savings Bank, established by his grandfather, Emmons Johnson.


GEORGE ERWIN ELLISON is a native Iowan whose career from boyhood has been identified with the printing and publishing business.  He is publisher of a live paper in a live town, the Nashua Reporter.

Mr. Ellison was born at Vinton, Iowa, February 15, 1870, son  of George Leonard and Hespie (Burnham) Ellison.  His father came to Iowa from New York State in 1865 and spent his active career as a farmer, George E. Ellison was educated in rural schools, attended the Tilford Academy at Vinton, and while a boy learned to set type on the Weekly Wymorean at Wymore.  He continued his apprenticeship with the Vinton Eagle, under Lieutenant Governor Pat Murphy, and remained with the Eagle until March, 1899.

At that date he bought Miss Minna Murray's interest in the Nashua Reporter.  J. M. Keller was his associate in the ownership and management of the Reporter until February, 1915.  Mr. Keller died in that year.  Then by the purchase of the Keller interests Mr. Ellison acquired the ownership and control.  In 1918, by purchase of the Post, he combined two papers and made the Reporter, the dominant factor in the local newspaper field.  The Post many years ago was published by the veteran of Iowa journalism, Joseph F. Grawe.

Mr. Ellison married Miss Luella York, of Vinton, Iowa.  They have a son, George E., Jr., who graduated from the Nashua high School, from Coe College at Cedar Rapids, and is now a senior medical student in the University of Iowa.

Mr. Ellison has long been an active member of the Masonic fraternity and his son is also an interested Mason.  He was master of Bradford Lodge No. 129 in 1906-08, served for a number of years as secretary of his lodge, is a Royal Arch Mason, member of DeMolay Consistory No. 1 of the Scottish Rite at Vinton, and El Kaher Temple of the Mystic Shrine.  he was chancellor commander in 1913-14 of the Knights of Pythias.  Mr. Ellison is a Congregationalist, a Republican, and was a member of the Nashua city council from 1905 to 1908, and for eleven years held the office of city clerk.  The community of Nashua has learned to call upon him wherever  a man is needed for important public service, and his response has always been generous.  For three years he was president of the local school board and was on the library board at the time it was established.  During the World war he lent the influence of his paper as well as all his personal efforts to the success of the cause.  He has been a member of the Republican central committee and many times has been a delegate to county conventions and also the state conventions.  He is a member of the Iowa Press Association and National Editorial Association.


AUGUST ENGELBRECHT, a distinguished figure in the educational life of Iowa, has been since 1890 connected with the Wartburg Normal College at Waverly, and since 1909 has been president of that institution.  He is well known over the country in Lutheran Church circles, having for twelve years served as general treasurer of the Synod and member of the Synod board of education.  Professor Engelbrecht has has constantly sought to raise and broaden the standards of instruction in the Normal College, and at the same time the school has enjoyed a very progressive administration in the amplification and improvement of its physical plant.  Since he became president a number of buildings have been added to the campus, including Wartburg Hall, Grossmann Hall, gymnasium, several houses for professors and extension to North Hall.  The latest improvement is the erection, in 1925-26, of Luther Hall, which is a beautiful appointed and modernly equipped Administration Building.

Professor Engelbrecht comes from a gifted family.  Musical talent has been strongly in evidence in his own family, and his father was gifted musician.  August Engelbrecht was born in the Province of Hesse, Germany, April 8, 1862, son of Henry and Marie (Knaus) Engelbrecht.  His father was a farmer, and well known in the affairs of his German community, serving as municipal treasurer and was leader of an orchestra.  He died in 1873.  In the same year the widowed mother, accompanied by four of her children, came to America to join her oldest son, Simon, then a contractor at Iowa City, but who died in 1917, at Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, where he owned a large ranch.  Mrs. Marie Engelbrecht died in 1881.  The other children still living are Fred S. a farmer at Conover, Wisconsin, and Mrs. Lizzie Shermer, of Keystone, South Dakota.

August Engelbrecht was eleven years of age when he came to America.  He had attended the popular schools in Germany and continued his education in the parish and public schools at Iowa City.  He was a student in Wartburg College at Mendota, Illinois, and also attended the Teachers Seminary, now the Wartburg Normal College at Waverly.  Professor Engelbrecht had eight years of experience as a teacher in Lutheran parochial schools, at Paducah, Kentucky, Defiance, Ohio, and Chicago.  In 1890 he accepted the call of the Synod to return to the Normal College at Waverly.  Since 1882, in a period of forty-eight years, he lost only a day and a half from his school work until the winter of 1929.  Professor Engelbrecht served his Synod for twelve years as general treasurer, was president of the board of publications and member of other committees of his church.  He has attended the meeting of the North Central Association of Schools, the Iowa State Teachers Association, the National Lutheran Educational Conference and the American Association of Junior College conventions.  He is president of the Iowa Junior College Conference, Professor Engelbrecht is an independent in politics, but has been honored with election to the city council of Waverly for twelve years and has served on the finance, light and other important committees.  During the World war he was working with the loan and other committees.  He is a member of the Rotary Club and the Community Club.

Wartburg Normal College, of which August Engelbrecht is president, is co-educational institution, owned and controlled by the American Lutheran Church.  The school was founded in 1879, by the Rev. George Grossmann, then president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and other states, a church body which is now a part of the American Lutheran Church.

In 1879 the school began its activities in a small rented building, and now its campus and building represent a value of over $431,000.

The following departments are conducted:  Junior College, including a liberal arts course, a normal course, and a proseminary course, all fully accredited; the Commerce Department, offering business, stenographic and secretarial courses; the Academic Department, equivalent to a standard four year high school, is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; the School of Music, offering thorough and sound instruction on all leading instruments, in voice, harmony, chorus and orchestra work.

The school owns two modern dormitories, and its laboratories, library and reading room meet the required high standards of a modern school.

Mr. Engelbrecht married Marie Deindoerfer.  Her father, Rev. John Deindorerfer, D. D., was  a native of Germany, and for many years was president of the Lutheran Synod of Iowa.  Mr. and Mrs. Engelbrecht have five children.  Their son Rev. August W. is pastor of the Lutheran Church at Mendota, Illinois.  Edwin G., assistant cashier of the Waverly Savings Bank, was overseas during the World war, with the Medical Corps and also with the artillery.  Miss Ella is at home with her parents.  Miss Rosa married Rev. H. Schalkhauser, superintendent of the Lutheran Orphans and Old Peoples Home at Toledo, Ohio.  Herbert C., science teacher in the Belmond (Iowa) High School, was educated in the Wartburg Normal College and graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in 1929.


FOREST CHESTER ENSIGN, since 1916 professor of history and philosophy of education at the University of Iowa, is an educator of wide and successful experience, and a man of authoritative knowledge, whose work has contributed to the great prestige of the State University of Iowa as one of the leading educational institutions of the Middle West.

Doctor Ensign was born in Defiance County, Ohio, March 22, 1867, son of Dwight Pepoon and Charity (Southworth) Ensign.  He had his preliminary education in Ohio and came to Iowa in the spring of 1890, where he worked for a time on a farm and entered Cedar Falls in the winter and later taught a year, returning to Cedar Falls to complete his course.  He began teaching in rural schools in 1892.  He graduated with the degree Master of Didactics from the Iowa State Normal School in 1895, took his Bachelor of Philosophy degree at the University of Iowa in 1897, was made Master of Arts in 1900, and in the intervals of his other work also did post-graduate work in Harvard and Columbia Universities, and in 1921 was given the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Columbia University Teachers College.

Doctor Ensign except for a few years has been a resident of Iowa City for over thirty years.  He was principal of the Iowa City High School from 1897 to 1900.  From 1900 to 1905 he was principal of the high school at Council Bluffs.  On returning to the State University he was made professor of education and inspector of high schools, in 1911 was made dean of men and registrar, and in 1916 was given the chair of professor of history and philosophy of education.  Doctor Ensign in 1927 was exchange professor in education at the University of Bristol, England.

He has been a writer on various phases of education, but his most permanent literary work has been the outcome of his studies on the care of the insane in Iowa, on county and city jails and prisons, and the relations of compulsory education and child labor.

Doctor Ensign was president of the Iowa State Teachers Association in 1918-19.  He is a member of the National Education Association, North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Western Association of College Teachers of Education.  He is a Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa and member of the Acacia fraternity, is a Mason, a Republican and Presbyterian.  He belongs to Iowa Union and the Triangle Club at Iowa City.

On December 29, 1896, he married Lucie M. Smith, of Red Oak, Iowa.  They have two children, Dwight Chester, who is a physician in Detroit, and Elizabeth, who married Howard Gordon and now lives at Moline, Illinois.


ARTHUR T. ERWIN, professor in horticulture at Iowa State College at Ames, has done a great deal of work beyond the class room and the laboratories of the college to the value and advancement of Iowa horticulture.

Professor Erwin was born at Fulton, Missouri, November 8, 1874, son of John L. and Elizabeth (Birney) Erwin.  His parents were natives of Ohio, were married there, and the father was a first lieutenant in the Ninety-eight Ohio Infantry in the Civil war.  Immediately after the close of the war they moved out to Missouri and located in one of the richest agricultural centers in Central Missouri.

Arthur T. Erwin attended grade and high school at Fulton, and his scientific education was pursued as a special student in the Shaw School of Botany of Washington University, St. Louis.  He also did special work in the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the latter, and was graduated with the Master of Science degree from Iowa State College at Ames in 1900.  Since graduating he has been connected with the college at Ames, and for a number of years has held a chair as professor in horticulture.

Mr. Erwin's special researches have been along the line of vegetable crops, and most of his writings, published in bulletin form, has been on such subjects.  He has issued a series of bulletins form the Iowa Experimental Station.  Mr. Erwin is a life member of the Iowa Academy of Science, president of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 1930, former president Iowa State Horticultural Society and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mr. Erwin through his writing and his personal influence contributed to the movement for the extension of the state capitol at Des Moines and helped secure that desirable improvement, to which there was at one time a great deal of opposition. Mr. Erwin is a member of the local school board of Ames, the Mary Greeley hospital board, the Ames Building and Loan Association.  He formerly was on the staff of contributors to the Pierce Farm publications.  He is a Knight Templar Mason and member of the Congregational Church.

He married Miss Mary Turner, of Oskaloosa, Iowa.  Her grandfather, Asa Turner, was one of the distinguished early scholars and educators of Iowa.  A graduate of Yale College, he came out to Iowa in 1856 and founded an academy at Denmark, out of which subsequently grew Grinnell College.  He also founded the first Congregational Church west of the Mississippi River, at Denmark, Iowa.  Mrs. Erwin's father, Robert Turner, was a farmer in Polk County and later at Oskaloosa.  Three children were born to Professor and Mrs. Erwin.  Doris, the oldest, born at Ames in August, 1908,  is a graduate of Iowa State College.  Howard R., born September 3, 1910, at Ames, is majoring in chemistry at the Iowa State College.  Evelyn, born in November, 1912, is a student at the Iowa State College.


FOLSON EVEREST.  Among the able, learned and thoroughly experienced lawyers practicing at the bar of Council Bluffs, few have a larger following or are held in higher public confidence than Folsom Everest.  Aside from any consideration that may be given him because of his membership in an old and honored family of the Hawkeye State, his personal accomplishments have been such as to entitle him to esteem among men who recognize and appreciate his worthy qualities of others.

Mr. Everest was born at Grinnell, Iowa, November 21, 1894, and a history of the family will be found on another page of this wok, in the sketch of F. F. Everest, also of Council Bluffs.  Folsom Everest acquired his early education in the public schools of Council Bluffs, following which he was sent to the Peddie School, in New Jersey, one of the old and cultured educational institutions of the East.  Upon his graduation he returned to Grinnell, and when the United States became embroiled in the great World war raging in Europe, in 1917, he enlisted in the United States army and was sent for intensive training to Camp Cody, Deming, New Mexico, where he remained for nine months.  He then went to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, where he became commander of the Eight Hundred and Eighty-first Air Squadron, but was transferred to the Eighty-fourth Division, and in August, 1918, went to France with that division as a first lieutenant in the Three Hundred and Ninth Ammunition Train.  He served in France until the signing of the armistice, and in 1919 returned to the United States.  In 1920 he joined the National Guard and was commissioned captain of Company L, One Hundred and Sixty-eighth Infantry, and in 1923 took command of the Third Battalion of that regiment.  In November, 1924, he was made lieutenant-colonel and adjutant of the Thirty-fourth Division, and still retains this rank.

Upon his return from France Mr. Everest entered Creighton University, where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws as a member of the class of March, 1921.  Shortly thereafter he successfully passed the bar examination and was admitted to practice.  After practicing alone for about five years, in 1926, he became a member of the firm of Tinley, Mitchell, Ross & Mitchell.  This is accounted one of the strongest legal combinations of Council Bluffs and Mr. Everest has been identified with much important litigation, in which he has shown himself capable and thorough, a master of principles and precedents and a man thoroughly familiar with courtroom procedure.  He is a valued member of the Pottawattamie County Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, in all of which he has numerous friends.  His religious connection is with the Congregational Church, and he holds membership in the Masons, B. P. O.  Elks, No. 531, National Sojourners and American Legion.  He has always displayed his civic pride in a practical manner, and is a member of the Greater Council Bluffs Association and the Rotary Club.  A Republican in his political views, he attends most of the Republican conventions and is something of an influence in his party.

On June 14, 1921, Mr. Everest was united in marriage with Miss Elsie Tinley, daughter of Emmet Tinley, a prominent lawyer of Council Bluffs, a member of the firm of Tinley, Mitchell, Ross & Mitchell, and a sketch of whose career appears elsewhere in this work.  To this union there have been born three children:  Mary Rose, born in 1923; Frances, born in 1924; and Emmet Tinley, born in 1926.  Mrs. Everest is a consistent and active member of the Episcopal Church.

Jeremiah Folsom, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Everest, came to Iowa in 1856, and bought land from the Government, on which he was engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years.  At the time of his arrival, and for years afterward, the plains of Iowa and Kansas were unsafe for the white settlers, and Mr. Folsom assisted in the organization of the military company at Council Bluffs which was the predecessor of Company L, One Hundred and Sixty-eight Infantry, the oldest in the Iowa National Guard, to fight the hostile Indians.  This organization has fought in every American war since then, and it is a significant and interesting fact that Mr. Folsom's grandson, Mr. Everest, should have later become its commander.


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