GEORGE H. RAMSAY, president of the Economy Coal Company,
which has its general offices in Des Moines and the business of
which is of both wholesale and retail order, finds satisfaction in
giving his active attention to business affairs, though in December,
1928 he celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday anniversary. Vital and
alert in both mental and physical powers, Mr. Ramsay is consistently
to be designated as one of the grand old men of the business circles
of Iowa's capital city.
Mr. Ramsay was born in the County of Durham, England, December 29,
1844, and is a son of William and Ann (Heckels) Ramsay, he being now
the only surviving member of a family of nine children. William
Ramsay passed his entire life in England, and was forty-five years
of age at the time of his death, he having been manager of one of
the Durham mines of the Cowen Coal Company. In 1863 Mrs. Ann (Heckels)
Ramsay came with her children to the United States and made
settlement at Morris, Illinois, the closing years of her life having
been passed at Streator, that state, and she having been a devoted
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. William Ramsay, Sr.,
grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in Scotland and
was a farmer in England at the time of his death. The maternal
grandfather, William Heckels, passed his entire life in England and
was there identified with the coal-mining industry during a long
period of years. Thus it may be said that, along both paternal and
maternal lines, George H. Ramsay had inherent predilection for the
coal business, of which he is now a prominent representative in
Iowa. He began work in the coal mines of his native county when he
was a lad of ten years, and in the schools of England he gained his
youthful education at night school, but his education was somewhat
limited. He was eighteen years of age when he accompanied his
widowed mother and other members of the family to the United States,
and among his early experiences in Illinois was that of assisting in
the laying of tracks on the line of railroad between Perkin and
Peoria. Thereafter he worked in the coal mines of that state and
finally was made mine foreman at Braidwood, Will County. Upon coming
to Iowa he became superintendent of coal mines at Albia, and
thereafter he was superintendent of the Oskaloosa mines of the
Excelsior Coal Company. He finally became independently interested
in coal-mining operations in the vicinity of Oskaloosa and Des
Moines, and the company of which he is now the president owns and
operates mines in the vicinity of Knoxville, Marion County, these
mines supplying much of the product used in the wholesale and retail
trade of the company. Mr. Ramsay, as previously noted, is president
of the Economy Coal Company, and his son John H. is its vice
president and manager.
The political convictions of Mr. Ramsay place him in the ranks of
the Republican party, and his religious faith is that of the
Nazarene Church, of which his wife likewise was a devoted member. He
is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity.
Mr. Ramsay is indebted to his own ability and efforts for the
success he has achieved, as he became virtually dependent upon his
own resources when he was ten years old and found employment in coal
mines in his native land. In 1906 he made a month's visit to
England, where he enjoyed the surveying of the scenes of his boyhood
and the meeting with old family friends, but he states that he was
more than glad to come back to the land of his adoption and to his
home state. He has made twenty trips to California, but has never
faltered in his loyalty to Iowa.
In the year 1869 Mr. Ramsay was united in marriage to Miss Mary A.
Caswell, who was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, but reared and
educated in Illinois. The devoted companionship of Mr. and Mrs.
Ramsay continued nearly sixty years, and the gracious bonds were
severed by the death of Mrs. Ramsay in June, 1927. Of the twelve
children nine survive the loved mother: John H., who celebrated in
1928 his fifty-eight birthday anniversary, is now vice president of
the Economy Coal Company, as previously noted. He married Miss
Myrtle Phinney, who was born at Iowa Falls, and they have three
children: Bertha, John C. and Charles D. Miss Bertha remains at the
parental home; John C., who was reared and educated in Des Moines
and Oskaloosa, married, in 1919, Miss Lella Stevens, and they have
one child, Dorothy May; and Charles D., who received the advantages
of the University of Iowa, is now foreman of the mines operated by
the Economy Coal Company, five miles east of Des Moines. Ann, second
of the surviving children of the subject of this review, is the wife
of Frank Ewing, of Des Moines, who is bookkeeper for the mines of
the Economy Coal Company, their children being Wilma and John.
Clara, next younger daughter, is the wife of John Nowles, who is
engaged in mercantile business in Des Moines. Stella is the wife of
Dr. George W. Miser, a physician and surgeon engaged in practice in
Des Moines. Robert C. is engaged in the machinery business in
Oakland, California. Roy resides in Des Moines and is weighmaster at
the mines in his father's company, his one child being a son, Roy,
Jr. Dora is the wife of Carl Mayer, who is identified with banking
enterprise in the City of Oskaloosa. Margaret is the wife of Thomas
Beal, and they maintain their home in Des Moines, Mr. Beal being a
commercial traveling salesman.
HON. JOHN MCDONALD RAMSEY is an Iowa newspaper man with a
continuous record of forty years' association with one paper, the
Clarksville Star. These years have been rich in other service to his
community and state, especially noteworthy having been the eight
years he spent in the Legislature at Des Moines.
Mr. Ramsey was born on a farm a mile north of Clarksville in Butler
County. February 25, 1870. He is Scotch ancestry and through his
mother is classified with that stock known as Scotch-Irish, due to
the fact that a family long seated in Scotland moved across the
channel to Northern Ireland, whence representatives came to America.
Mr. Ramsey is a son of Charles and Margaret Jane (Gabby) Ramsey. His
grandfather, Adam Ramsey, came from Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a
cabinet maker by trade and was a young man when he sought home and
fortune in the new world. Charles Ramsey was born at Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, in 1836, and as a young man located at West Union,
Ohio, where in 1861 he married Margaret Jane Gabby. Her father,
Alexander Gabby, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, was also a
cabinet maker, and on coming from Ireland to America settled in
Washington County in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Adam Ramsey and
Alexander Gabby were both members of the Masonic fraternity and very
devout United Presbyterians, maintaining their religious activities
strictly according to the rites of that substantial old church. Both
served as superintendents of their Sunday School. Charles Ramsey
after his marriage tried to get accepted for service in the Union
army, but for some reason was rejected. However, he was with the
Ohio Home Guard and was called out for active duty at the time of
the Morgan raid through the southern part of the state. Morgan made
one of his camps on the Gabby farm.
In 1865 Charles Ramsey brought his family to Iowa, acquiring a tract
of land a short distance northeast of Clarksville. Later he moved to
the property of M. B. Wamsley, one mile northwest of Clarksville,
and two years later he bought a farm four miles southeast of Greene.
He had acquired the skill of a cabinet maker from his father and was
always an adept with tools and machinery. The furniture and other
equipment for his Iowa home were made by his own hands during his
hours of leisure. He developed a fine farm and in later years was a
representative of the International Harvester Company. He died in
1906, at Sioux City, Iowa. His wife was born in 1840 and died in
1887. Charles Ramsey took an active part in local affairs, serving
as trustee, treasurer and clerk of his township and as a school
director. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at
Greene and voted Democrat, though two of his sons became very
staunch Republicans. There were eight children in all, only two of
whom are now living. Arthur died in infancy. George passed away in
1878, when a small boy. Ida Ellen died in early girlhood. Agnes
Euphemia became the wife of W. W. Moss and died at Osage, Minnesota.
William M., a farmer and carpenter, died at Clarksville in 1905.
Charles met an accidental death at Sioux City in 1921. The only
surviving child besides John M., is Mrs. J. L. Caskey, of Akron,
Farm life during the years when John McDonald Ramsey was a boy was
not a series of prosperous years. There were crop failures, and with
a large household to provide for Charles Ramsey had need to
economize and there was little money to provide the children with
advantages outside of those of the community church and school.
Consequently John M. from early boyhood buckled down to a routine of
hard work, and his earnings paid for all his education beyond the
limited advantages of the neighborhood school. Part of the time he
carried water for a gang of section hands at fifty cents a day. It
was more or less of a struggle for him to complete the work of the
Greene High School. Borrowing money, he enrolled as a student in the
Cedar Rapids Business College. His training there made him a good
penman and a capable accountant, and for several years he was
employed in the clerical department of the Chicago Great Western and
Rock Island Railroads.
His political career began before he reached his majority, when he
was elected township clerk. Following that he was made recorder of
Clarksville, for ten years was township assessor and five years
township trustee, and for five years was assistant state game
In 1920 Mr. Ramsey went to the Legislature. He represented Butler
County four years in the Lower House and for four years was in the
Senate from the district comprising Butler and Bremer counties He
proved himself one of the most valuable members of both Houses,
being hard working, taking an intelligent attitude toward all public
questions and was given important committee assignments, being a
member of the judiciary, ways and means, text books, cities and
towns, and was chairman of the committee on education. He was in the
Legislature during the code session, and he read proof on the
revised laws. His legislative experience gave him a wide
acquaintance with prominent men all over the state.
His first lessons in the printing trade were acquired in the office
of a Waterloo newspaper. For twenty years he was an employee of
Edward Madigan, owner of the Clarksville Star, and in 1909 he bought
the paper, so that for fully forty years he has been associated with
that live publication. His newspaper files are mines of historic
interest for this section of the state. Mr. Ramsey is a master of a
forcible newspaper style and his editorials and comments on public
questions have been widely quoted in the press of the state. He has
for twenty-five years been attending state Republican conventions
and twenty-two years of that time has been a delegate. He is a
member of the Iowa Press Association and National Editorial
Association, is a past chancellor commander of the Knights of
Pythias Lodge at Clarksville, and has taken all the degrees of Odd
The record of his life shows that he has been a very busy man, but
he has hobbies, one in particular being geology. He has gone about
with an observing eye examining the rocks and soils of Iowa, and in
collecting specimens illustrating geologic history he has been
naturally drawn to the kindred investigations in local archaeology
and has gathered up many interesting specimens and curios.
Mr. Ramsey married Miss Della Shafer on September 30, 1893, daughter
of the late W. W. R. Shafer, who passed away in 1929. Mrs. Ramsey
was born in Butler County. They have two daughters, Georgia Edna and
Alice Lavon. Georgia is the wife of Gay Jackson, and they have three
children: Robert G., Barbara A. and Billy Joe. Both daughters
graduated from the local high school and attended the State Teachers
College at Cedar Falls, and Alice Lavon is also a graduate of the
Ingram School of Expression.
RICHARD ROEMER RAMSELL. Aside from any distinction that may
be his because of his connection with two of the foremost pioneer
families of Iowa, of that sturdy stock so closely identified with
the progress and development of the Hawkeye State, Richard Roemer
Ramsell, of Ottumwa, has gained recognition as being one of the
leading members of the Iowa bar. During his career he has been
associated with some of the most important litigation that has been
brought before the state and federal courts, and from 1917 until
1926 was the incumbent of the highly important position of chairman
of the committee on appeals and review of the United States Treasury
Department at Washington, D. C.
Mr. Ramsell was born in Wapello County, Iowa, November 7, 1881, and
is a son of William B. and Caroline A. (Roemer) Ramsell. His
paternal grandfather, Moses Ramsell, was born at Bangor, Maine, and
became an early pioneer of Iowa in the '40s. During the war between
the states he served four years as a member of Company C. Seventh
Iowa Cavalry, in which he won a sergeant's stripes. Gustavus
Adolphus Roemer, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Ramsell, was born
in Switzerland, where he married Anna Fritag, and served his term of
service in the Swiss army. In 1847 he came to the United States and
settled as a pioneer in Wapello County. He was then a man of small
means, but possessed his military overcoat, and this he traded for
forty acres of land possessed by a former settler. All of this land
is now within the city limits of Ottumwa and is the site of the
Franklin School. He also secured land from the Government and other
land by purchase and became one of the leading and substantial
citizens of his community. The old house, greatly remodeled and
enlarged, still stands, and is now the home of the fourth generation
of the Roemer family in Iowa.
Richard Roemer Ramsell attended Willis Academy at Iowa City, and in
1906 graduated with the degree of Bachelor of laws from the law
department of the State University of Iowa. In the same year he was
admitted to practice in the state and federal courts, and
established himself at Ottumwa, where he soon was recognized as a
talented and reliable attorney. From 1917 until 1926, inclusive, he
was chairman of the committee on appeals and review of the United
States Treasury Department at Washington, D. C., and then resigned
to return to the home state and resume his law practice. During the
Quartermaster's Department, and still holds that commission as a
member of the Officer's Reserve Corps. He is allied with the
Republican party and actively interested in all public and political
affairs, and has served two terms as police judge of Ottumwa, and in
December, 1929, was appointed police judge for the third term. Mr.
Ramsell is an out-door enthusiast, and in particularly fond of
hunting and fishing.
On September 11, 1912, at Ottumwa, Iowa, Mr. Ramsell was united in
marriage with Miss Alma Ethel Glew, who was born at Creston, Iowa, a
daughter of Henry G. and Lucy (Hawcock) Glew, of Washington, D. C.
natives of England, who came to the United States in 1880 and
located in Iowa. Mrs. Ramsell graduated from the Ottumwa High School
and for a time taught in the Ottumwas public schools. As a loyal
Republican she is actively interested in politics, takes a
constructive part in the work of the Presbyterian Church, is a past
president of the Parent-Teachers Association, and is active and
popular in club circles. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsell are the parents of two
sons: Richard Roemer and William Henry, both of whom are attending
the Ottumwas High School. The attractive family home is situated at
2223 Roemer Avenue.
VERON C. RAMSEYER, manager of the Ramseyer Hatchery, is one
of the aggressive young business men of Oskaloosa, and ne whose
public spirit in proverbial. A veteran of the World war, he not only
did his duty during the war, he not only did his duty during the war
period, but upon his return to civilian life took up the burdens of
reconstruction, and has achieved a prosperity that is all the more
to his credit, in that he has made his own way in life. He was born
at Pulaski, Iowa, August 15, 1894, a son of John H. and Elizabeth (Brenneman)
The birth of John H. Ramseyer occurred in Switzerland, and in the
early seventies he came to the United States, locating in Davis
County, Iowa. The Ramseyer family is a well known one in Iowa, and
his brother, Hon. C. W. Ramseyer, is representing the Sixth
Congressional District of Iowa in the National Assembly. Mrs.
Ramseyer was born in Davis County, Iowa.
Growing to vigorous young manhood amid healthful surroundings,
Vernon C. Ramseyer attended local schools and later Bluffton, Ohio,
College, from which he was graduated in 1919 with the degree of
Bachelor of Arts. He was a student of the law department of the
University of Michigan, and also of the University of Chicago. In
the meanwhile, however, he gave his country a military service, in
1918 being inducted into the army for the World war, and was a
member of Company E, Three Hundred and Fifty-first Infantry, of
which he was ranking sergeant. Sent overseas to France, he saw
service at the front, and was honorable discharged after his return
to the United States at Camp Dodge, Iowa. While in France he was
given intensive training in the Officers Training School La Valbonne.
Following his discharge in 1919 Mr. Ramseyer went to college and
continued his education as already stated.
From 1919 to 1922 Mr. Ramseyer was superintendent of Bureau Township
schools, Princeton, Illinois, and during 1923 to 1924 he was
superintendent of the schools of Pulaski, Iowa. In 1923 he, his
father and two brothers, Harry W. and Obern B., the latter of whom
has since died, launched the Ramseyer Hatcheries, Incorporated, thus
entering the baby chick industry at Pulaski, Iowa. This enterprise
has proven a great success, and expanded to such an extent that in
1925 a branch was established at Washington, Iowa; and in 1926 a
fine plant was opened at Oskaloosa, and since then the home office
has been at Oskaloosa, but all three plants are operated. Each year
approximately 1,000,000 chicks are hatched the output in season
averaging 50,000 per week. These chicks are sent to every state in
the Union. There are fifteen varieties produced, known as the
Ramseyer Master-Mated chickens, and they took grand champion award
at Iowa State Chick Show at Ames in 1928-1929, and 1930, besides
winning sweepstakes in Kansas and Michigan. For several years Mr.
Ramseyer of this review has been general manager of the corporation,
and is devoting himself to the further expansion of the business.
In August, 1920, Mr. Ramseyer married at Berne, Indiana, Miss
Florence Lehman, born in Indiana, a daughter of J. F. and Elizabeth
(Neuenschwander) Lehman, of Swiss parentage, but both born in the
same state as their daughter. Mr. Lehman is a banker and poultryman.
Mr. and Mrs. Ranseyer have a daughter, Janqueline Rose. Both Mr.
Ramseyer and his wife are Mennonites, but there being no church of
their faith at Oskaloosa they are associated with the First
Presbyterian Church of this city, and he is superintendent of the
Sunday School. He belongs to the Kiwanis Club, Gamma Eta Ganna of
the University of Chicago; is president of the Iowa Poultry
Improvement Association, also chairman of the Iowa Poultry Council;
president of the Mahaska County Red Cross; and is a member of the
Iowa State Sunday School Executive Council. Mr. Reamseyer is
regarded among his associates and fellow citizens as a man of high
moral and business character, and the few years he has resided at
Oskaloosa have been a period of constant and honorable advancement
in the business and social relations of life.
HARRY E. RANSOM, M. D., has been engaged in the practice of
his profession in Iowa since 1915, save for the interval of his
overseas service in the World war, and he is now one of the
representative physicians and surgeons in the City of Des Moines,
with office headquarters in the Iowa Building.
Doctor Ransom was born on the parental home farm near Avalon, Rock
County, Wisconsin, October 16, 1884, and is a son of Ensign H. and
Nellie Marie (Verbach) Ransom, who still maintains their home in the
Badger State, where both were born and reared. Ensign H. Ransom
having been born near Avalon, Rick County, and his wife at Johnstown
Center. Hubbell Ranson and George Verbach, respective paternal and
maternal grandfathers of Doctor Ransom, were numbered among the
sterling pioneer and substantial farmers of Wisconsin. The active
career of Ensign H. Ransom has been one of close and successful
alliance with farm industry in Rock County, Wisconsin, where he is
still the owner of a valuable farm estate and where he is an
influential and progressive citizen who commands unqualified popular
esteem. He is a stalwart in the local ranks of the Republican party,
and in addition to having served as a member of the Board of
Commissioners of his native county he gave two terms of service as
county sheriff. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife are
zealous members of the Congregational Church. Dr. Harry E., of this
review having been the first born of their five children.
After completing his studies in the high school at Clinton Junction,
in his native county, Dr. Harry E. Ransom followed the dictates of
his youthful ambition by entering the medical department of
Marquette University in the City of Milwaukee, and in this
institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1914. After
receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine he further fortified
himself in the valuable clinical experience he gained while serving
as interne in the hospital maintained by the Illinois Steel Company
at Gary, Indiana, and in the Englewood Hospital, Chicago. In
November, 1915, he engaged in the private practice of his profession
at Valley Junction, Polk County, Iowa, where he continued his
practice until the nation became involved in the World war, when he
subordinated all personal interests to the call of patriotism and
enlisted for service in the Medical Corps of the United States Army.
He was thereafter stationed at Camp Grant, Illinois, and, with the
rank of first lieutenant, he accompanied his unit overseas, where he
continued in active service thirteen months and was advanced to the
grade of captain, which rank he retains as a member of the Reserve
Medical Corps of the United States Army. After the close of the war
and the reception of his honorable discharge Doctor Ranson returned
to Polk County, Iowa, where he has since continued in active general
practice in the City of Des Moines and where he has made such record
of success as to mark him as one of the representative physicians
and surgeons of Iowa's capital city. In his practice he gives major
attention to internal medicine. The Doctor has membership in the Des
Moines Academy of Medicine and the local Medicine Study Club, of
which latter he was president in 1928. He gave three years of
service as secretary of the Polk County Medical Society, and in
addition to his membership in this organization he is a member of
the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
He has held since 1923 the office of assistant health commissioner
of Des Moines.
Doctor Ransom is found loyally arrayed in the ranks of the
Republican party, and he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Phi Beta Pi college
fraternity and the American Legion.
In January, 1926, Doctor Ransom was united in marriage with Miss
Gladys Marie McMurray, of Iowa Falls, where her father, J. H.
McMurray, is engaged in the shoe business and where she was reared
and educated. Doctor and Mrs. Ransom have a son, Ensign, who was
born November 20, 1927, and who was named in honor of his paternal
grandfather. Doctor and Mrs. Ransom are members of the Methodist
REV. CLIFTON E. RASH has a prominent place among the
ministers of the gospel of the capital city of Des Moines, where he
is in charge of the First Federated Church, with a large
congregation, and a splendid organization for social and religious
Rev. Mr. Rash was born in Salina, Kansas, March 23, 1885, son of
Howard C. and Ella M. (Underwood) Rash. His grandfather, John C.
Rash, was born in Tennessee, and shortly after the Civil war moved
to Dallas County, Missouri, and in 1870 went to Salina, Kansas,
where he was a merchant, continuing active in business until his
death in 1891. The maternal grandfather, Charles R. Underwood, was a
noted pioneer of Salina, Kansas, where he built the grist mill on
the Smokey Hill River in 1867. This mill is still in operation,
owned by the Western Star Milling Company. Howard C. Rash and wife
are living at Salina. He was born in Tennessee and his wife in Ohio.
Howard C. Rash became associated with his father in merchandising at
Salina, and later built up an important business of his own, known
as the Natural Body Brace Company, of which he has been president
for thirty years. He is also vice president of the Farmers National
Bank. He has been one of the most active members of the Christian
Church at Salina, and has taught in Sunday School and for many years
has been a member of the International Sunday School Association. He
established the first graded Sunday School in this part of Kansas.
Howard C. Rash is a Knight Templar and Scottish Rite Mason, having
attained the thirty-third supreme honorary degree in the Scottish
Rite, and is a Republican in politics, though not a seeker for
political honors. He and his wife had five children. The two now
living are: Leon C., associated with his father in business; and
Clifton E. Clifton had a twin brother, Carlton H. Rash, who died
when twenty-one years old.
Clifton E. Rash was educated at Salina, in the grade and high
schools there, and in 1904 received the Bachelor of Science degree
from the Salina Normal University. He then spent two years in Drake
University at Des Moines, pursuing theological work, and after being
ordained a minister of the Christian Church spent six months in a
pastorate at Chase, Kansas, for two and a quarter years was located
at Plainville, and five and a half years at Lyons, Kansas. His next
calls was to the Central Park Christian Church at Topeka, where he
remained three and a half years and for two years, while recovering
his health, did pastoral and missionary work in Stone County in
Rev. Mr. Rash came to Des Moines in 1922 and took charge of The
Urbandale Federated Church, now known as The First Federated Church.
The church has a membership of 1,250, with an average attendance at
Sunday School of 650. The church is non-denominational, and its
members represent approximately thirty-two different denominations.
Under the direction of Rev. Mr. Rash it is doing a splendid work and
developing into an efficient instrument of religious service. Rev.
Mr. Rash is a very able speaker, and outside of his regular pulpit
services he averages about ten addresses and speeches in and out of
the city every month.
He married, in 1908, Miss Alice Young, of Salina, Kansas, daughter
of John A. and Alvine (Henry) Young. Her father was born in
Pennsylvania and her mother in Belgium. Her father was in the
transfer and merchandise business at Salina. Her grandfather Young
was a pioneer Lutheran minister in Kansas. Her grandfather Joseph
Henry was an old-timer of Kansas, operated a truck garden and was
widely known for his scientific knowledge of botany and related
sciences, and frequently wrote articles on these subjects. Rev. Mr.
and Mrs. Rash have had two children: Paul Reaville, who was born at
Lyons, Kansas, September 28, 1912; and Wayne Clifton, born at Lyons
April 28, 1916. Rev. Mr. Rash is a York and Scottish Rite Mason.
CARL RAUSCHER. Ottumwa banker, was born in that city October
25, 1879, and during his career has cultivated a number of active
interests that have brought him a considerable degree of prominence
outside banking circles.
Mr. Rauscher's parents, Gottlieb and Margaret (Sonntag) Rauscher,
were natives of Germany. His father came to the United States at the
age of eighteen, and for a business followed his trade as potter.
Carl Rauscher graduated from the Ottumwa. High School in 1898. For
thirty years he has been identified with the Iowa National Bank of
Ottumwa, of which he is now cashier.
Mr. Rauscher has long been a golf enthusiast, and was secretary and
during 1913-14 president of the Iowa State Golf Association. He has
been secretary and treasurer of the Wapello Club, secretary and
treasurer of the Ottumwa Country Club, and was one of the organizers
and charter members and is a past president of the Ottumwa Kiwanis
Club. He is a thoroughly well qualified business man, and at all
times has responded to the call for participation in the important
civic movements in his city and county. He and his family are
identified with the various departments of activities of the Trinity
Episcopal Church, in which he has held the office of senior warden
for several years.
Mr. Rauscher married at Ottumwa, April 15, 1903, Miss Elizabeth
Martin. She was born in Ottumwa, daughter of Richard and Mary
Martin. Her parents came from Wales to Iowa. Her mother was of the
same family as Ivor Novello, the celebrated Welsh singer. Mr. and
Mrs. Rauscher have a son, Richard, now attending Ottumwa High
HARRY D. RAWSON is a native son of Des Moines and for over
thirty years has practiced his profession as an architect. He is a
member of a firm that in the individual and aggregate of attainments
of its members and in the work accomplished of its members easily
stands in the front ranks of architecture in the Middle West.
Mr. Rawson was born at Des Moines, September 1, 1872, member of an
old and well known family of this city. His parents were A. Y. and
Mary (Scott) Rawson, both of whom were born at North Craftsbury,
Vermont. A. Y. Rawson came to Iowa in the early 1850s and founded
what has been known for many years as the Iowa Pipe and Tile
Company. He was active in that business until his death. He was also
a coal operator and in other lines of enterprise. He died in 1895
and his wife in 1900. They were members of the Plymouth
Congregational Church and in politics the father was a Republican.
There were four sons: Charles A., of Des Moines; J. Scott, in the
insurance business at Des Moines; Hollis A., with the Iowa Pipe and
Tile Company; and Harry D. Harry D. Rawson attended public schools
in Des Moines, Grinnell College and was graduated in 1896 from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For two years he had
practical training with a firm of architects in Chicago and in 1898
started practice at Des Moines as member of the firm Hallett &
Rawson. He has been in practice continuously, has had a number of
different associates, and is now of the firm Proudfoot, Rawson,
Powers and Thomas. His professional skill has been employed in a
great variety of architectural work, but chiefly public buildings,
including schools and office buildings. He was architect for the
Polk County Courthouse, the Equitable Life Insurance Building, the
Liberty Building and Valley National Bank Building at Des Moines and
has handled a great deal of the work for the State Board of
Education, including building groups at Ames, Iowa City and Cedar
Falls. The Memorial Union, Home Economics and Dairy Buildings on the
campus of the Iowa State College at Ames, the University Hospital
and medical group at the State University at Iowa City.
Mr. Rawson married, in 1902, Miss Louise Gilmore, who was reared in
Des Moines, and was educated in that city and in Bradford Academy in
Massachusetts. Her father, Charles Gilmore, was with the Rock Island
Railway for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Rawson have two children:
Charles Gilmore, who was educated in the Boston Institute of
Technology and the School of Applied Fine Arts in Paris and is now
practicing interior architecture in New York; and Mary Scott, wife
of Richard R. Rollins, connected with the Bankers Trust Company of
Mrs. Rawson is a member of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. Mr. Rawson
is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, the Wakonda Country Club,
Des Moines Club and the American Institute of Architects. He is
acting as the first president of the Board of Architectural
Examiners for Iowa.
FRANK GUY RAY has been a resident of Vinton Fifty-eight
years. His activities have made Vinton a better place commercially
and otherwise, and the community has come to look upon him not only
as a landmark in business affairs, but as a sterling citizen whose
support and helpfulness can always be relied upon when cooperative
effort is needed.
Mr. Ray for many years was an active merchant. In 1891 he was one of
the organizers of the State Bank of Vinton, becoming a member of the
first board of directors, and since the death of Paul Carrell, Mr.
Ray has served as president of the bank. Recently the State Bank
completed a new banking home, architecturally in keeping with the
spirit of the times and also in keeping with forty years of splendid
financial service the bank has rendered. This new building was
opened for business, July 5, 1930.
Mr. Ray is a native of Illinois. He was born in Portland Township,
Whiteside County, three miles southwest of Prophetstown, and the
time of his birth as subsequently told him by his parents has always
been fixed in his memory. It was just four hours before the advent
of the new year, on December 31, 1851. His parents were Guy and
Louise (Pomeroy) Ray. His father came from Massachusetts and in 1835
made a trip of investigation through Illinois, discovering a tract
of land that suited him, and in 1836 he came out to effect a
permanent settlement. He became one of the prosperous farmers of
Whiteside County, took an active part in local affairs, serving in
township offices, and was one of the early voters of the Republican
ticket. He was a Presbyterian. Guy Ray died in 1881. By his first
marriage he had two daughters, Mrs. Emma R. Sleight, of Moline,
Illinois, and Mrs. Camilla Frazelle, of South Charleston, West
Virginia. Louise Pomeroy was his second wife. She was born in Ohio.
Frank Guy Ray as a boy on a farm attended the district schools
regularly each winter until he was eleven. Then, after a lapse of
four years, he resumed his schooling, three winters at Geneseo,
Illinois, later as a student at Mount Morris, and his educational
opportunities were rounded out with a year in Oberlin College of
Ohio. In the meantime he had taught school one term in his old home
It was in 1873 that Mr. Ray came to Vinton, and being impressed by
the appearance of prosperity and the character of the people and the
opportunities of the outlying trade territory, he decided that this
way the place to anchor himself permanently. He found employment in
a local implement house, at a monthly salary, but two years later,
in 1875, set up in business for himself. He and his partner
conducted two implement stores, one at Vinton, and the other at
Spencer, Mr. Ray in charge of the Vinton establishment and his
partner at Spencer. After a few years they found it to their
advantage in dissolve the partnership and each one take over entire
responsibility for his local territory. Mr. Ray was in business for
over thirty years. The steady enlargement of the volume of his
annual sales was a source of great satisfaction to him, and also he
found satisfaction in the commercial contacts he made with the
farmers not only of the immediate locality, but those at a
considerable distance as well. His dealings were such as to inspire
confidence, and many of his steadiest customers were the Germans in
the neighborhood. As an aid to doing business with them to better
advantage he acquired a considerable familiarity with the German
Mr. Ray finally retired from the implement business, in 1909, and
since then has devoted most of his time to banking, and the Portland
Cement business and other interests. For a number of years he was a
director of the Northwestern Portland Cement Company at Mason City,
in which connection he was associated with Charles H. MacNider,
father of Hanford MacNider, former national commander of the
American Legion, and Mr. Ray counted the senior MacNider as one of
his closest friends. About 1914 Mr. Ray became one of the organizers
and directors of the Trinity Portland Cement Company, with
headquarters at Dallas, Texas, and branch factories at Houston and
Fort Worth, and still remains on this board, of which he holds the
title of secretary. He is also one of the organizers and now
president of the Iowa Canning Company, with headquarters at Vinton
and six other branches in Iowa.
Mr. Ray is also president of the Virginia Gay Memorial Hospital,
which is a credit to the City of Vinton. It was endowed with a gift
of $100,000 by Doctor Griffin and a $50,000 gift from Mrs. Virginia
He married Miss Emma Whiteside, who came from Pomeroy, Ohio. They
were married September 13, 1876, at the bride's parental home. Mrs.
Ray has been a life-long member and an active worker in the
Presbyterian Church. They have two children. Their son, Earl K.,
first gained several years' banking experience and then took
advantage of an opportunity to become an officer in the Corona
Typewriter Company, which at that time was a comparatively new
venture, and his ability and energy contributed largely to the
success of the Corona Typewriter until it was merged with the L. C.
Smith Company. His home is in New York City. He married Miss Mary
Latham, of Vinton, and they have one daughter, Emma Janet, who
married Leland E. Roseman, of Boston, Massachusetts, and they have
one son, Leland Ray Roseman, who is the joy and pride of his
great-grandparents. Mrs. Roseman is an accomplished musician. The
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray is Belle, who married Dr. J. M. Knapp,
Mr. Ray's chief hobby and diversion is Masonry. He is a past master
of his lodge, a past eminent commander of the Knights Templar and a
member of the Clinton Consistory. The thirty-third, supreme
honorary, degree in the Scottish Rite was conferred on him at his
home by Ex-Governor B. R. Sherman, who was a member of the Supreme
Council of Washington, D. C. In politics Mr. Ray is a Republican.
He is also known as the father of the Country Club at Vinton. It is
a tribute to his youthful spirit that when the younger folks of
Vinton need help in carrying through a project they turn to Mr. Ray
for counsel. Thus they came to him with their need for a country
club, and he devoted a large amount of his time for several years in
personally supervising the actual construction of the club and in
helping to work out the numerous problems involved, with the results
that today Vinton is the recreational center of a considerable area,
members coming from many miles around to use the facilities of the
Mr. and Mrs. Ray will soon celebrate their fifty-fifth wedding
anniversary, and it is worthy of note that the contribution they
have made to the development of our great State of Iowa and the
heritage of honor they are thus able to pass on to their children
and grandchildren and great-grandchildren is a source of pride and
satisfaction to all who know them.
JOHN E. RAY, who is general agent for the Equitable Life
Insurance Company of Iowa, with executive headquarters in the City
of Waterloo and with office in the Pioneer Building, is a native son
of the Hawkeye State and a representative, in the third generation,
of one of its sterling pioneer families.
Mr. Ray was born on the parental home farm three miles southeast of
Shellsburg, Benton County, Iowa, on the 4th of January, 1872, and is
a son of John H. Ray, Jr., who was born in New York City, he having
been a son of John H. Ray, who was born in Sweden and who became an
orphan when he was but a child. He was a lad of nine years when he
initiated his seafaring career, and he continued a sailor on ocean
ships during a period of twenty years and having voyaged far and
wide. After retiring from the sea he maintained a Sailor's Home in
New York City for a time and then removed to Indiana, from which
state he came with his family to Iowa and became a pioneer settler
in Linn County. There he owned and developed a productive farm, and
he passed the closing period of his life in the village of Palo,
that county, where he died November 13, 1902, at the venerable age
of eighty-one years. He was a man of strong mentality, was well
fortified in his political convictions and was an ardent supporter
of the cause of the Republican party, as a representative of which
he voted for Abraham Lincoln for the presidency of the United
States. He was long and actively affiliated with the Masonic
fraternity and received in the same the thirty-second degree of
Scottish Rite. His wife, who was of German ancestry, preceded him to
the life eternal.
John H. Ray, Jr., father of the subject of this review, was a boy at
the time of the family removal to Linn County, Iowa, where he was
reared on the pioneer farm and received the advantages of the public
schools of the period. His youth was one of industry, as he early
began to assist in the work of the home farm, and he started his
independent career as a farmer by renting land from his father. He
thus continued his operations three years and then, in 1874, removed
to Sioux County, where he entered claim to a homestead of eighty
acres. Like many of the other pioneers, he went through the three
year grasshopper scourge soon after his arrival. He reclaimed this
land to cultivation, erected good buildings and made other
improvements, and there the family home was maintained until 1884,
when removal was made to Hull, that county, in order to give the
children the advantages of the public schools of the village. He
continued to supervise the affairs of his old home farm and also of
a farm adjoining Hull. There he remained until 1894, when he removed
to Riceville, Iowa, where he died April 5, 1896, at the age of
forty-seven years. His wife, whose maiden name was Lucinda Miller,
survived him many years and was within a week of eighty-three years
of age at the time of her death, October, 3, 1928. She was born in
Ohio and was a daughter of Paul and Catherine Miller, who were
residents of Iowa at the time of their death. John H. and Lucinda
(Miller) Ray became the parents of four children: Paul M., vice
president and superintendent of agents of the Provident Life
Insurance Company at Chattanooga, Tennessee; John E.; Daniel G.,
manager of the Farmers Cooperative Association at McGregor, Iowa;
and Martha Gertrude, who lives at Blackwell, Oklahoma.
John E. Ray supplemented the discipline of the rural district school
by attending the public school at Hull, including the high school.
That he profited by the advantages thus afforded him is shown by the
success that attended his service as a teacher in the public
schools, he having been principal of schools at different places and
after continuing his pedagogic service several years he was a
traveling salesman twenty years, during the period of 1898-1918. In
the latter year he assumed his present position of general agent for
the Equitable Life Insurance Company of Iowa, and he has marked the
passing years with successful administration in this position. His
political support is given to the Republican party and he takes
loyal interest in all that concerns the welfare of his home city and
In the year 1892 Mr. Ray was united in marriage to Miss Etta M.
Sanborn, who was born at Columbus, Wisconsin, a daughter of George
E. and Mary (Tompkins) Sanborn, representatives of families that
came from England to America in an early period of the nation's
history. Mr. and Mrs. Ray have five children: Elfa married John L.
Thorson, a grocer at Waterloo, and they have one daughter, Patricia
Darleen, born November 19, 1922; Lula E. married Blaine W. Gilda, a
bank cashier at Grimes, Iowa; Mary E. married Frederick Thorne,
inspector for the Viking Pump Company at Cedar Falls, Iowa, and they
have one son, Ray F., born September 22, 1924; John H. III is a
soloist and choir director and music teacher; and Paul E. is
traveling in several Southern States for the Florsheim Shoe Company.
THOMAS JOHN REEVES, clerk of the District Court at Orange
City, has spent a long and active life in Northwestern Iowa, and
enjoys a place of special regard in Sioux County, the people of
which have chosen him five successive times to his present office.
Mr. Reeves was born at Kaneville in Kane County, Illinois, December
5, 1856, a son of Stephen and Abigail (Snell) Reeves, his father a
native of England and his mother of New York State. Thomas John
Reeves was twelve years old when his parents moved to Iowa, in 1868.
He had attended Illinois schools and finished his education after
coming to Iowa.
When he was about sixteen years of age he went to work as clerk in a
drug store, studied pharmacy largely by practical experience, and in
1878 was registered as a pharmacist. In the same year he opened a
business of his own at Seney, Iowa, and was the local druggist of
that community for ten years. He was also appointed postmaster in
1878, and held this office all the ten years he was in the general
mercantile and drug business there. On selling his interest at Seney
Mr. Reeves moved, in 1888, to Earlville, Iowa, where he was in the
drug business one year, in 1888 located at Racine, Wisconsin, and
soon afterward took up a Government homestead in Northwestern
Nebraska, but in 1891 returned to Iowa and settled on a farm at
Westfield. In the spring of 1892 he bought a farm in South Dakota
and was a part of the rural community and the agricultural life of
the state for thirteen years.
On returning to Iowa Mr. Reeves settled at Hawarden in Sioux County,
and in 1904 he and his nephew, S. W. Harker, engaged in the drug
business. Their partnership continued for ten years, and when Mr.
Reeves sold out, in November, 1914, he retired from business except
for the supervision of his private interests and has had time to
devote to the duties of public office. Mr. Harker still continues in
business, with G. F. Burket.
Mr. Reeves was city clerk of Hawarden from 1907 to 1923. On January
1, 1923, he took up his duties as clerk of the District Court at
Orange City and is now serving in his fifth term. While living in
South Dakota he was for twelve years, 1893-1904, a justice of the
peace. He is a Republican in politics, is a member of the Masonic
fraternity, having attained the thirty-second degree and being a
life member of the Grand Lodge, and a member of the Mystic Shrine.
He is a past junior grand warden of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and
district lecturer of the Grand Lodge. He is also a member of the
Knights of Pythias, the Lions Club and of the American Reformed
Church. He has the honor, too, of being president of the County
Clerks Association of Iowa.
Mr. Reeves married at Seney, Iowa, September 5, 1878, Miss Jennie L.
March, daughter of John March. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves lived together
for nearly half a century, until the death of his wife on May 14,
1926. She was the mother of three daughters. Pearl B., the oldest,
was born June, 1879, and died in November, 1882. Maude, born in
July, 1881, is the wife of A. L. Bennett, of Hawarden, Iowa, and has
two children, Marian, born in 1911, graduated from high school in
1929 and is now a stenographer at Hawarden, and Duane K., born in
1913, graduated from high school in 1930. The other daughter is Miss
Mae, born in 1895, now deputy clerk of the District Court under her
father. She married, May 2, 1930, Arthur Z. Kubicek, of Tama, Iowa,
now an electrician at Orange City.
O. N. REFSELL, attorney and banker of Emmet County, is a resident of
Esterville and descended from one of the sturdy early Norwegian
families in this section of Iowa.
His grandparents, Ole and Mary (Paulson) Refsell came from Norway
shortly after the close of the Civil war, and arrived in Emmet
County just in time to secure the last tract of land still available
from the public lands owned by the Government. This land had been
filed on, but the first claimant had not completed the necessary
improvements and it was a relinquishment when the Refsells secured
it. Ole Refsell adapted himself to the circumstances of a new
country, made a good record as an industrious farmer, and he and his
wife enjoyed the respect and esteem of a large circle of
acquaintances in Emmet County. He died March 2, 1895, and his wife
in October, 1900. They were Lutherans in Iowa, as they had been in
Norway. Their four children were: O. O., of Emmet County; Peter O.,
who died on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1930; James; and I. S., who
died in Emmet County in March, 1930.
James Refsell, father of the Esterville attorney, was six years of
age when brought to America. He was born in Norway July 31, 1860. He
was sixty-six years old when he died, April 19, 1926, and no citizen
of Emmet County left behind him a record showing more enterprise in
a business way, and more hearty public spirit and generosity in his
relationships as a citizen and community builder. He grew up in
Emmet County, had the advantages of the common schools, and for a
number of years devoted all his personal attention to his farming.
When he left the farm, in 1915, he moved to the Village of
Wallingford in Emmet County, where he helped organize and became the
first president of the Farmers Savings Bank. He was president of the
bank when he died, and also president of the Farmers Elevator
Company, was a director in the creamery company and telephone
company. When he moved to town he did not dispose of his farming
property and at his death he owned one farm of 280 acres, another of
188 acres and also the twenty acres in the home place at
Wallingford. His bank was the only one in that section of Iowa which
did not close during the epidemic of bank failures. The integrity of
the bank was in keeping with the integrity of its president. Mrs.
James Refsell lives at Wallingford and the only daughter, Miss Emma,
is also a member of the household there. James Refsell married, in
1886, Annie Osher. She was born in Dane County, Wisconsin, daughter
of Neis and Ingeborg (Nordheim) Osher. Her parents came from Norway
and settled in Wisconsin in 1850 and in 1870 moved to Emmet County,
O. N. Refsell, only son of his parents, was born and reared in Emmet
County, graduated form the Lutheran College at Red Wing, Minnesota,
and later attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of
Chicago. For a time he was an instructor in the Lutheran College at
Jewell, Iowa. Leaving school work, he took up the study of law at
the University of Wisconsin and University of Iowa and was admitted
to the bar while with the colors during the World war. He enlisted
April 29, 1918, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the
Nineteenth Division and was stationed at Camp Dodge until
discharged, November 30, 1918. Mr. Refsell for a few months worked
in the office of E. A. Morling, of Emmetsburg, now chief justice of
the Iowa Supreme Court, and then established himself at Estherville,
where he has enjoyed a successful general law practice. Since the
death of his father he has also been president of the bank at
Wallingford and since the organization of the Iowa Trust & Savings
Bank at Estherville, in 1926, he has been its vice president. Mr.
Refsell is a Republican and a member of the Lutheran Church, the
American Legion, Chamber of Commerce. He was county attorney from
January 1, 1925, to January 1, 1929, and in 1930 was candidate for
representative in the State Legislature.
He married, April 29, 1919, just one year after his enlistment, Miss
Josephine Peterson who attended the University of Nebraska and the
University of Minnesota. She was born in Nebraska. They have two
daughters, Helen Ann, born July 25, 1922; and Eunice, born February
JAMES RUTHERFORD RHODES, publisher of the Newton Daily News,
is a native of Iowa, and of Jasper County, and has been interested
in journalism and newspaper work since his college career.
He was born on a farm near Newton December 31, 1882. His father,
James W. Rhodes, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, April 9, 1849,
and was brought out to Iowa in 1852 by his parents, who settled near
Monroe. His active lifetime was given to farming and stock raising,
and he died in January, 1923. His wife, Maria Hill, was born March
26, 1828, and died April 17, 1917. Of their six children four are
living: Mrs. Winifred Wright, of Traer, Iowa; Hugh M., of Salt Lake
City; George W., of Indianapolis; and James R.
James R. Rhodes attended rural schools while a boy on the farm in
Jasper County, graduated from high school in 1901, and had some
experience as a teacher in his native county. In 1902 he entered
Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, pursuing the four year
liberal arts course and taking his A. B. degree in 1906. He was
president of the student body in his senior year, was awarded a
college letter for participation in baseball, and was active in
college journalism in connection with the college papers and college
annuals. It was at Monmouth, Illinois, that he gained his first
regular experience as a reporter for the Daily Review. Mr. Rhodes in
1907 entered Princeton University in New Jersey, specializing in
economics, and received his Master's degree in 1909. After about a
year of travel he bought the Daily News of Newton in March, 1910,
and has been the responsible editor and manager of that successful
journal for more than twenty years. He has been a director of the
Iowa Press Association and the Inland Press Association. Mr. Rhodes
has been president of the Newton Chamber of Commerce. At Princeton
he was a Sigma Delta Chi and member of the Friars Club. He is a
Knight Templar Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine at Des Moines,
the B. P. O. Elks, Rotary Club, and is a Republican and a United
He married, September 11, 1926, Mrs. Helen A. Smith, of Des Moines,
Iowa. He has a stepdaughter, Marian Smith, at Minneapolis.
WILLIAM H. RICE, of the firm Mitchell & Rice, owners of a
dental laboratory at Fort Dodge, is a native of Iowa, born on a farm
near Mount Ayr, February 11, 1882. His parents were John and Sarah
Rice. His father came to Iowa at an early date, spent his active
life as a farmer and is now living retired at Mount Ayr.
Dr. William H. Rice attended school at Mount Ayr and then completed
a course in mechanical dentistry and is an expert in the technical
work done in dental laboratories, including the making of bridges
and the other delicate and marvelous work which has become one of
the most important departments of the modern science of dentistry.
Doctor Rice is a member of the Dental Study Club. He is a Republican
in politics and has been a member of the vestry of the Episcopal
Church at Fort Dodge.
On October 15, 1908, Doctor Rice and Miss Florence Gretchen Clark
were united in marriage. Mrs. Rice was born in Iowa City, July 9,
1882, and is a great-granddaughter of Gov. Robert Lucas, the first
territorial governor of Iowa, who came to Iowa from Ohio, where he
had been conspicuous as a public official. Mrs. Rice is a daughter
of Augustus L. and Florence (Lucas) Clark. Her father was born at
Rahway, New Jersey and her mother at Piketon, Ohio, in the old
Governor Lucas home. Augustus L. Clark came to Iowa in 1849 and soon
moved to California, spending five years in the gold mines of that
state and on returning to Iowa he invested his fortune in this
state. He lived at Iowa City and for many years carried on a
business as a building contractor. Mr. and Mrs. Clark had five
children and the three now living are: Miss Caroline, who lives with
her sister, Mrs. Rice; Dr. George Warfield Clark, a dentist at Fort
Dodge; and Mrs. Rice.
Mrs. Rice attended public school at Iowa City and St. Catherine's
Episcopal School at Davenport. She is an active member of St.
Margaret's Guild in the Episcopal Church.
Doctor and Mrs. Rice have three children, John Clark, William Rice
and Barbara. The two youngest children are twins, born in 1917, and
are attending junior high school. John Clark Rice, who was born in
1910, is a student in the School of Commerce in the University of
Iowa, is a member of the Delta Tau Delta and has won five letters in
EMMETT E. RICHARDS, M. D. The medical profession of Fremont
County numbered among its members no more capable or learned
physician and surgeon than Dr. Emmett E. Richards, who had been
engaged in practice at Hamburg for more than two decades, and died
August 10, 1929. During the time he spent in practice at Hamburg he
not only built up a reputation for splendid talent along
professional lines, but also as a citizen of public spirit, who
accepted and discharged official responsibilities in a highly
capable and commendable manner.
Doctor Richards was born on a farm in Atchison County, Missouri,
December 11, 1870, and was a son of John and Elizabeth (Hayes)
Richards. John Richards was born in Ohio, where he secured an
excellent education for his day, and became a pioneer of Missouri in
1856, arriving in that state with only seventy-five cents in cash.
He soon found employment as a teacher in the primitive rural
schools, and was thus engaged for several years, then turned his
attention to farming. During the war between the states he espoused
the cause of the Union and served as a member of the Home Guard, and
at the close of the struggle laid down the arms of war to take up
again the implements of peace. For many years he was leading
agriculturist of Atchison County, where he developed a highly
cultivated farm and raised grain and cattle, at his death leaving an
estate of about 100,000, including the old home place, which is
owned by four of his children. Mr. Richards was not only prominent
as an agriculturist, but as a man who was active and capable in
public affairs. For nearly a quarter of a century he was president
of the local board of supervisors, and in addition served as
chairman of the Democratic county committee for a long term. He
married in Atchison County Miss Elizabeth Hayes, who was born in
Indiana and was one year old when taken by her parents to Missouri.
She was a member of the Christian Church, and, like her husband,
passed away in Atchison County, greatly honored and respected by all
who knew their many sterling qualities of mind and heart. Of their
ten children nine are living, and Emmett E. was the fourth child in
order of birth. As an example of the progressive spirit of John
Richards it may be noted that in 1874 he brought into Missouri the
first alfalfa seed that ever came over the Rocky Mountains.
Emmett E. Richards attended the local schools of his native
community, the Western Normal School at Shenandoah and Dixon
(Illinois) College, and then entered Washington University, of Saint
Louis, Missouri, from which he was graduated with the degree of
Doctor of Medicine as a member of the class of 1898. He served his
internship in the City Hospital at Saint Louis, and commenced the
practice of his profession at Tarkio, Atchison County, Missouri,
remaining ten years. In March, 1909, he took up his residence at
Hamburg, Iowa, where he built up an extensive and remunerative
practice. Doctor Richards won a substantial position in his
profession through hard work, close application and steady
development of accumulative knowledge and talent. He was a close
student of his profession, and his offices contained a large and
comprehensive medical library and all of the implements known to
modern medical and surgical science. He was a specialist in no one
line, as he was familiar with all departments of his science, and
was a member of the Fremont Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical
Society and the American Medical Association. A Democrat in
politics, he bore his full share of the duties of citizenship, and
served as mayor of Hamburg for three terms and as a member of the
school board for twelve years. He was always interested in farming,
and was the owner of a valuable and highly-improved property located
in Union County, Iowa. He was a York Rite Mason and Shriner and with
his family belonged to the Christian Church.
On June 28, 1899, Doctor Richards was united in marriage with Miss
Bessie Carpenter, who was born in Atchison County, Missouri, and
educated at Peru, Nebraska, and was a teacher in the public schools
prior to her marriage. To this union there have been born two
children: Mary Elizabeth, who has been well educated; and Charlotte
Louise, who graduated from the Hamburg High School as valedictorian
of the class of 1929.
FRANCIS G. RICHARDSON, Doctor of Dental Surgery, in the First
National Bank Building at Mason City, grew up as a boy on a farm in
Cerro Gordo County, and the family have lived in this section of
Northern Iowa for over half a century.
Doctor Richardson is a native of Minnesota, born on a farm in
Fillmore County, December 15, 1866, son of John A. and Nellie M.
(Stevens) Richardson. His father was born in New York State and his
mother at Concord, New Hampshire. The Richardsons came from England
to America in Colonial times, and the Stevens family were also of
English ancestry. The grandfather of Nellie M. Stevens was a soldier
in the Revolutionary war. John A. Richardson came to Cerro Gordo
County, Iowa, in February, 1874, and homesteaded just north of Mason
City. The old home is still owned by the family. He always took a
deep interest in local affairs, was a Republican, and died in 1907,
and his wife in 1909. Doctor Richardson was the oldest of four
children. The sister Grace died in 1880. Ralph, an industrial
engineer, lives at Saint Paul. Mrs. Gladys Yelland, a widow, is a
resident of Mason City.
Francis G. Richardson is a graduate of the Mason City High School,
also attended the University of Iowa, and was graduated from the
dental school of Northwestern University at Chicago in 1896. He has
spent over thirty years in the practice of his profession at Mason
City. For a short time he was associated with Doctor Beemer, but
since then has conducted an office alone. He is a member of the
State, District and National Dental Associations.
Doctor Richardson joined other patriotic citizens at Mason City in
carrying out the local program for the winning of the World war. He
is a Democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity, Knights of
Pythias, B. P. O. Elks and the Chamber of Commerce. He enjoys
occasional diversions in hunting and fishing. His family are members
of the Baptist Church.
Doctor Richardson married, August 15, 1904, Miss Alice Thee, of
Mason City, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Thee. Her parents moved
out to California in 1909, and her mother died there in 1926. Their
children were Anna, Clara, Alice, Martha, Hulda, Lillian, wife of
Dr. Earl B. Lloyd. All are residents of Pasadena and Los Angeles
except Mrs. Richardson.
The oldest of the children of Doctor and Mrs. Richardson is Donald
F., born October 1`5, 1905, who is married and lives at Pasadena,
California. The younger children are: Douglas, born September 17,
1908; Robert, born May 8, 1917, and died August 10, 1917; Mary, born
October 18, 1918; and Curtis A., born May 16, 1922.
EDWIN CLAY ROACH is the dean of the bar of Lyon County. He
has practiced law at Rock Rapids for over forty-five years, and his
work as a lawyer has been accompanied by a varied service of a
public nature and a constant participation in the work of the
Mr. Roach was born in Knox County, Illinois, December 31, 1850, son
of James P. and Jane (Castle) Roach. His father was a captain in the
Twenty-third Iowa Regiment in the Civil war. Edwin Clay Roach
attended school at Oskaloosa, receiving part of his education in
Oskaloosa College, now a part of Drake University, and in 1875 was
graduated from the law department of the University of Iowa. During
the following seven years he practiced in Jasper County and in 1882
moved to Rock Rapids, which was then a small town in a comparatively
sparsely populated section of the state. Mr. Roach has practiced law
ever since coming to Rock Rapids.
He was elected and served as a member of the Twenty-first and
Twenty-second General Assemblies in 1886-88 and was a delegate to
the National Republican convention at Saint Louis in 1896. He is
affiliated with Lodge No. 406, A. F. and A. M., is a Knight Templar
Mason and Shriner and attends the Congregational Church.
He married, December 31, 1875, Miss Mary A. Ramsey, of Jasper
County, Iowa, daughter of John and Catherine (Humphrey) Ramsey. They
have four children: Loran J., born in March, 1878, served in the
Fifty-first Iowa Regiment during the Spanish-American war and in the
Philippine Island, being discharged in 1900. He graduated from the
Iowa State University and took his law course at Columbia
University, New York, and is now in the employ of the Oklahoma Gas &
Electric Company at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He married Georgine
Reed, of Texarkana, Texas, and they have three children: Edwin R.,
George L. and Lillian. Lena, born in 1880, is a teacher at Rock
Rapids. Rollin E., born in 1885, died in 1911. Paul R., born March
1, 1893, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, at Madison, and
served in the World war, in Battery E. One Hundred and Tenth Field
Artillery, and later in the Aviation Service and is now in the life
insurance business at Rock Rapids. He married in 1921 Miss Doris
Kline, of Saint Paul, and they have two boys, James and Frederick.
ROBERT L. ROACH, head of Roach Investment Company, is one of
the active and prominent younger business men of Muscatine, which is
his native city and the Iowa locality with which the Roach family
have been identified for three generations.
Mr. Roach is a son of William LeRoy and Margaret (McCarthy) Roach
and was born at Muscatine February 27, 1894. More extended reference
is made to his father in the preceding sketch. His father died
December 18, 1916 and his mother in 1909.
Robert L. Roach attended parochial schools, for three years was a
student in St. Mary's College in Kansas, and completed a four years'
liberal education in Notre Dame University of Indiana in 1915, being
president of the senior class in that year. Throughout the years
since he left college he has been interested in the lumber business.
In 1916 he went to Live Oak, Florida, to enter the employ of the
Standard Lumber Company and in 1917 was elected secretary. On
returning to Muscatine in 1922 Mr. Roach became associated with the
Roach & Musser Sash & Door Company and the Roach Timber Company. He
is still secretary of the Roach Timber Company and director of the
Roach & Musser Sash & Door Company. However, since 1927 he has given
most of his time to the investment business as head of the Roach
Investment Company, with offices in the Laurel Building. Mr. Roach
is a very popular member of the business and social community of
Muscatine. For one year he was president of the Lions Club, and for
three years was president of the Geneva Golf and Country Club and is
a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Mathias Catholic Church.
He has been chairman of the finance committee of the Muscatine
Welfare Association for the past three years and chairman of the
joint committee of the Muscatine Service Club for the past two
He married, December 27, 1915, Miss Julia S. Schneider, of Iowa
City, daughter of A. J. and Mary (Hanley) Schneider. Her father is a
member of Schneider Brothers, furniture dealers and undertakers of
Iowa City. Mr. and Mrs. Roach have one son, William LeRoy, born in
WILLIAM LEROY ROACH. Many of the important facts of
Muscatine's industrial and commercial history revolve around the
name Roach. The Roach family has been in Muscatine since 1862.
The founder of the family there was William Martin Roach, who was
born in Canada, his father being a Canadian, of Irish descent, and
hi smother of French parentage. William Martin Roach was born in
Canada, learned the trade of tanner and furrier, and on moving to
Muscatine, in 1862, engaged in the boot and shoe and wholesale
leather business with Andrew Davidson, his father-in-law. Later he
became connected with the hide and fur business, and was an active
figure in Muscatine's commercial circles until his death in 1898, at
the age of seventy-seven. William Martin Roach married Sarah Mary
Davidson, whose father, Andrew Davidson, came to Iowa from Ohio. Her
mother was Elizabeth (Meek) Davidson. William Martin Roach reared a
family of six children, Elizabeth D., William LeRoy, Lillian M., Ada,
Ellen V. and Grace E.
William LeRoy Roach, of the second generation of the family at
Muscatine, became conspicuous in the lumber industry, one of the men
who made Muscatine of the leading centers of lumber manufacture in
the Middle West. He was born at Muscatine, October 10, 1862, was
educated in grade and high schools in his native city, and form an
early age established his habits at thrift and industry by working
on holidays and in vacations. When he was eighteen years old he was
bookkeeper and clerk for the Davidson & Roach Boot & Shoe Store.
After two and a half years he became bookkeeper for M. S. Ritchey,
with whom he remained two years. Out of his earnings he saved $600
which he gave to his father, and then started to accumulate for
himself, working steadily until he had an initial capital of $1000.
It was in June, 1881, that he left Muscatine and became bookkeeper
and clerk for the Muscatine Coal Company at What Cheer in Keokuk
County, but the real opening of the doors of opportunity began in
January, 1883, when he went to work for the Huttig Sash & Door
Company at Kansas City. After he had accumulated $1000 he invested
in stock in the Huttig Company. In 1885 he established the Roach &
Wilker Manufacturing Company, manufacturing sash, doors and mill
work, at Kansas City. Still later he concentrated his interests in
the Western Sash & Door Company. He was also a stockholder in and
was made vice president of the Huttig Sash & Door Company of St.
Louis. Selling out his interests in these two organizations, in
June, 1888, he organized the Roach & River Manufacturing Company of
Mr. Roach in June, 1889, returning to Muscatine, organized the
Muscatine Sash & Door Company, and for several years shipped
finished products all over the United States from the plants at
Muscatine and Kansas City. Later he concentrated his interests in
Muscatine, in the industry known as the Roach & Musser Sash & Door
Company, of which he was president and general manager until his
death on December 18, 1916. This business at that time was one of
the largest of its kind in the United States and was instrumental in
bringing a large share of substantial prosperity to the city. Mr.
Roach also had large holdings in timber lands in different parts of
the country. He is recalled as a man of not only superior business
judgment but always generous in the spirit of helpfulness to his
fellow men and public spirited wherever any cause for general
benefit was concerned.
He married, February 21, 1887, Miss Margaret E. McCarthy, of Kansas
City, daughter of Michael McCarthy. She died in 1909, leaving four
children: John William, James, Edward Andrew and Robert Leonard.
PHILIP F. ROAN, an Iowa attorney practicing law at Fort Madison,
grew up in that town, was a salesman and business man until after
the World war, in which he saw service overseas, and has made an
excellent record in his profession.
He was born at Marceline, Missouri, December 9, 1892, son of Peter
F. and Mary (Fagan) Roan, both of whom were born in Iowa, his mother
at Burlington. The parents live in Fort Madison. His father has
spent all his active life as a railroad man, an engineer with the
Santa Fe Company, and was living t Marceline on that road when his
son Philip F. was born. The other children are: Leo, of Fort Worth,
Texas; Mrs. Cecilia Riley, of Marceline; Mrs. Rosana Freesmeier, of
Detroit, Michigan; Miss Margaret, of Fort Madison; and Peter F. Jr.,
Philip F. Roan grew up at Fort Madison, and attended public schools
there, graduating from high school in 1914. For two years he was a
salesman for the Moon Motor Car Company at Saint Louis, and during
1916 was a timekeeper for the Sante Fe Railway Company.
Mr. Roan in December, 1916, enlisted with an ambulance corps for
service in the French army, had training at Fountainpieau, near
Paris, and was in active service eight months, and was awarded the
Croix de Guerre. After being released from this service he returned
to America and joined the Tank Corps, being trained at Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, with Company A of the Three Hundred Second Battalion,
with the rank of sergeant. He again went overseas, was stationed at
Langres, and for six months after the armistice was in Germany.
After his honorable discharge in September, 1919, entered the
Detroit College of Law, which he attended three years, getting his
LL. B. degree in 1924. During the summer vacations he carried on his
studies at the University of Michigan, and after graduating he spent
a year in the University of Detroit, where he won his Master's
degree in 1925. For one year he was connected with the legal
department of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, and in 1927
returned to Fort Madison to engage in a general law practice, and
has accumulated a very promising business in his profession.
He is a member of the Sigma Nu Phi fraternity, the B. P. O. Elks,
and was active on the school debating teams the three years he was
in law college. He has served several years as chairman of the Lee
County central Republican committee.
Mr. Roan married, June 23, 1923, Miss Elinor Smith, of Scranton,
CHARLES BURTON ROBBINS is a native of Iowa who has packed
into a life of a little more than fifty years a heaping measure of
experience, service and achievements, representing not only an
exceedingly busy but a most useful career.
He was born on a farm near Hastings in Mills County, Iowa, November
6, 1877, son of Lewis and Harriett E. (Benson) Robbins. The earlier
generations of the Robbins family were found in New England, and
members of the family were soldiers in the Revolutionary war. His
grandfather, Joseph Robbins, was a miller at Nelsonville, Ohio, and
Lewis Robbins also followed that occupation in Ohio until his
marriage with Harriett E. Benson. She was born at Buffalo, New York,
but before her marriage had taught school in Nelsonville. Her
father, James Benson, was a native of England.
On coming out to Iowa Lewis Robbins took up a homestead in Mills
County, and made a good farm out of it. He remained in Mills County
until March, 1893, when he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and died in
that city in October, 1893. The mother passed away in May, 1896.
Charles Burton Robbins spent his early years on an Iowa farm,
attended country schools in Mills County, was a student in a private
school at Hempstead on Long Island, and in 1898 took his A. B.
degree at the University of Nebraska. Shortly before graduating from
that school America declared war on Spain, and on April 27, 1898, he
enlisted as a private in Company B, First Nebraska Infantry. On May
10, 1898, he was promoted to first sergeant, and on June 17th left
San Francisco for the Philippines. The regiment participated in the
battle of Manila on August 13, 1898, and was engaged in duty during
the Philippine insurrection from its outbreak until June 18, 1899.
All told, the regiment participated in twenty-eight battles, more
than any other regiment in the Philippines. Colonel Robbins was
cited for gallantry on February 5, 1899, and was wounded in the head
at the battle of Marilao, March 27, 1899. He was commissioned a
second lieutenant April 24, 1899, in Company I of the First Nebraska
Infantry. He accompanied the regiment in June, 1899, and the
regiment was formally disbanded in August of that year. After
leaving the army Colonel Robbins did some post-graduate work in the
University of Nebraska and in April, 1900, started on a trip around
the world, revisiting the Philippines, and at the close of the trip
entered Columbia University at New York, where he won his Master of
Arts degree in June, 1903. While in New York he was a member of
Company C, Seventh Regiment, New York National Guard, from 1901 to
He studied law while in Columbia and after returning to Iowa entered
the law offices of Grimm, Trewin & Moffitt, at Cedar Rapids. He was
admitted to the bar in October, 1904, and then became junior partner
of Grimm, Trewin & Robbins. His time and abilities were taken up by
private practice until July 16, 1909, when Governor Carroll
appointed him judge of the Superior Court, and he was on the bench
until 1919. His service on the bench was distinguished by something
more than the able conduct of the routine of office. It was he who
instituted juvenile court work at Cedar Rapids, and he was in large
measure responsible for getting through the Legislature the
contributing dependency act, the Perkins law and widow's pension
act, all important pieces of legislation in Iowa social welfare.
Judge Robbins for many years has been known as an authority on
insurance law, and since 1905 has been associated with the Cedar
Rapids Life Insurance Company, being general counsel and chairman of
the executive committee of the board of directors until 1914, and
since that year president and general counsel of the company. He is
also a director of the Cedar Rapids National Bank and the Cedar
Rapids Candy Company.
His military record did not close with his service in the
Philippines. He was captain of Company D of the First Infantry of
the Iowa National Guard from 1914 to 1916. On November 2, 1916, he
was commissioned major in the adjutant general's department of Iowa,
while on duty on the Mexican border. From August, 1917, until May,
1919, he was major and adjutant of the Sixty-seventh and later the
Sixty-ninth Infantry Brigade, with the United States Army, and was
with the American Expeditionary Forces during 1918-19. In 1921 he
was commissioned a major in the United States Reserves,
lieutenant-colonel in 1923, and colonel in 1926, and is now colonel
and commanding officer of the Three Hundred Forty-ninth Infantry.
Colonel Robbins was chosen commander of the Iowa Department of the
American Legion in 1922, and in 1924 was civilian aide to the
secretary of war for the Citizens Military Training Camps.
In 1928 he was called to Washington as an assistant secretary of
war, and served in that capacity until March 5, 1929. When he left
his post in Washington, after a year of service, the department
employees voted him the most popular man who had ever held an
assistant secretaryship, and subsequently the seven major general in
charge of the Army Supply Department presented him with an American
flag in appreciation of his work. In commenting on this signal
recognition of one of Cedar Rapids' citizens, a local newspaper
editorially said: "In other ways Colonel Robbins achieved a
remarkable record during his short term of service in Washington.
Hanford MacNider had set an enviable record, but Colonel Robbins
kept well abreast of it. He could see no reason why the Government
should be victimized just because it is supported by taxpayers. On
one occasion the department was to sell one and a quarter million
uniforms. The assistant secretary discovered that all of the bidders
had gotten together on their bids. The plan was to split the
profits. The uniforms were promptly withdrawn from sale and later
were disposed of at an increase of several hundreds of thousands of
dollars above the former high bid.
"Col. Robbins' skillful maneuvering also is responsible for the
appropriation of $250,000 annually for three years to furnish tanks
for the army, and mechanize it in other ways. His own experience in
war taught him the importance of tanks and motor trucks. Doubtless
his keen appreciation of army needs contributed to the high esteem
in which he is held by the generals. He brought to his post a rare
combination of business ability and first-hand knowledge of military
affairs. Add to this his knack of making friends and getting things
done and you have the secret to his brilliant record as assistant
secretary of war."
Like many other very busy men Colonel Robbins has a hobby. He is
collecting old coins. He is a Republican in politics, a member of
the Universalist Church, a member of the Iowa State Bar Association,
Iowa Historical Society, Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and is a
thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, also belongs to the York
Rite bodies, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is past
exalted ruler of the B. P. O. Elks. He is a member of the Sojourners
Club of Washington and was twice president of the Cedar Rapids
Commercial Club. While with the organization he was chairman of the
committee that started the movement, later became chairman of the
election committee, for the bond issue to provide for the Memorial
Building. The result is the million dollar building that is one of
the finest war memorials in the country, serving a great utilitarian
purpose as a community center of Cedar Rapids, being used as city
hall, Chamber of Commerce quarters, armory for the National Guard,
club rooms for the Grand Army of the Republic and Spanish War
Veterans, and also as a civic auditorium. Colonel Robbins is
president of the American Life Convention.
He married, September 19, 1903, Miss Helen Larrabee of Clermont,
Iowa, who died August 9, 1919. Her father, the late William Larrabee
was the distinguished Iowan, educator, author, manufacturer, farmer
and banker, member of the State Senate, and with a career
culminating as the twelfth governor of Iowa. He was also the first
president of the Iowa state board of control. Colonel Robbins has
two daughters, Anna Marcella and Julia Larrabee, both at home, and
one son, Lewis Frederic, a student in the State University of Iowa.
MANFORD A. ROBINSON, Doctor of Dental Surgery, has for many years
occupied an honored place in his profession and in the citizenship
of Maquoketa. He is a native of Iowa, and his people were pioneers
in Clinton County.
Doctor Robinson was born in Clinton County, Iowa, August 3, 1868,
son of James M. and Cynthia (Ross) Robinson. His parents came from
Indiana, his father settling in Clinton County in 1852. In 1854 he
bought forty acres in Welton Township, later added 300 acres by
purchase, and was one of the well-to-do and prosperous farmers of
that locality. He has lived a long and useful life, passing away in
February, 1917, at the age of ninety-four. His wife died in 1907,
when eighty-three. Seven children were born to their marriage:
Eliza, who became the wife of Lorenzo Hastings; Sarah, who married
J. W. Knight; James W., deceased; John Q., a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal Church; Frank S., deceased; Olive, who died in
infancy; and Manford A.
Dr. Manford A. Robinson was reared on a farm, attended the district
schools of Clinton County and attended Cornell College at Mount
Vernon, Iowa. In 1891 he was graduated from the dental department of
the University of Iowa. Doctor Robinson has kept in touch with the
great advance made in the methods and technique of dental surgery
during the forty years since he was in dental school. He completed a
special course in the University of Iowa, later had other special
training and attended a special clinic with the Mayo Brothers
Hospital at Rochester, Minnesota. Doctor Robinson after graduating,
in 1891, practiced for five years at Dewitt, Iowa. In April, 1896,
he established his home and office at Maquoketa, where he has
enjoyed general recognition of his talents and skill. Doctor
Robinson is a Republican in politics, is a Knight Templar Mason and
a member of the Congregational Church.
He married, September 10, 1890, Miss Emma C. Everhart, daughter of
Miller A. and Emma (Clark) Everhart. Both parents are now deceased.
Her father was a veteran railroad man, being in the service
fifty-two years, and for forty-five years was with the bridge
department of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul System, at first at
Wheatland and later at Oxford Junction, Iowa. Doctor and Mrs.
Robinson have a family of six children: Manford E., a farmer in
Jackson County; Millard M., a merchant at Hurstville; James E., a
Maquoketa pharmacist; John Q., associated with his brother in
business at Hurstville; Lucile, now the wife of O. H. Cuddy, cashier
of the First National Bank of Maquoketa; and Ruth, the wife of
Russell D. Baker, sales manager of the Redwood Lumber Company of San
MARIA M. ROBERTS, dean of Iowa State College at Ames, has
distinguished herself by rare gifts as an administrator and
educator. She is also a scientist, and it was her attainments as a
mathematical scholar that brought her to the Iowa State College
Miss Roberts is a native of Ohio, born at Dunlap, and represents a
family of culture that left its impress on the early traditions of
the state. She is a daughter of Benjamin F. Roberts, who came from
Connecticut to Iowa in 1857, traveling by train as far as Iowa City
and then walked, guiding the ox teams that hauled wagons containing
household goods, women and children. He and seven brothers settled
on adjacent farms in Harrison County, Iowa. He was engaged in
farming there until 1908, when he removed to Ames and spent his last
years in the college community, where he died in 1921. He was a
Union soldier; in Company C of the Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. It
was shortly after his discharge at the close of the war that he
married Ellen Rogers, who had come to Iowa from Michigan in 1860.
She was one of the early school teachers of Harrison County. The
father and mother of Benjamin F. Roberts established in Harrison
County in 1861 the Farmers Wives Society, which was probably the
first woman's club in the state. Dean Roberts has one brother, O. W.
Roberts, who was born in Harrison County, attended high school at
Dunlap, and graduated from Iowa State College, and is now head of
the weather bureau at Bismarck, North Dakota.
Maria M. Roberts attended the common and high schools of Dunlap,
Iowa, graduated from high school in 1884, and in 1890 took the
Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State College at Ames. The
following year she taught at Des Moines and in 1891 returned to Ames
as an instructor in mathematics in the State College. Besides her
many years of work as teacher of mathematics Dean Roberts is known
among mathematicians for her contributions as joint author with
Julia T. Colbert on the text book on Analytic Geometry, published in
1918 by John Wiley & Son, and now used as a text book by many of the
leading institutions of the country, including the state
universities of Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Miss Roberts is a
member of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical
Association of America.
Her special gifts in work of administration caused Miss Roberts a
number of years ago to be appointed vice dean, and on the death of
Dean Stanton, in 1920, she was made acting dean, and a year later
was given her present title as dean of Junior College at Iowa State
College. She now has fifteen faculty assistants besides several
secretaries and stenographers, and has full charge of all the
scholastic work of the freshman and sophomore years, with a more or
less general supervision of the activities of 2,500 students. Dean
Roberts has done graduate work in Columbia, Cornell and Chicago
universities, and is a member of many learned and civic
organizations. She is a member of Chapter 99 of P. E. O., also of Pi
Beta Phi Sorority and a member of the Congregational Church.
ORRIN ROBERTSON, originator and founder of the Vita-O-Pathic
Non-Surgical Sanitarium of Clariton, who enjoys a large following of
patients and friends, is a man of intellectual gifts, and life long
habits of study have brought him in contact with the deepest sources
of philosophy, religion and the science of medicine. He was born in
Cass County, Missouri, May 28, 1858, son of Jefferson and Martha
Robertson. Doctor Robertson has received thirty-one diplomas from
various institutions of learning both in America and in Europe. He
holds degrees in law and medicine from the University of Iowa. He
studied and qualified for the ministry and spent two years in
missionary work in old Mexico. For four years he was an instructor
in the New York College of Megnetics, holds a diploma in osteopathy,
is a fellow of the Eastern Section of Theosophy, is a Doctor of
Spiritual Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and in the ministry was
identified with the Chirothesian Church of Faith at Los Angeles. He
is a member of the Society of Oriental Mystics.
For some years he was on the lecture platform, devoting most of his
attention to topics along new thought lines. He has conducted
several sanitaria similar to the one he established at Chariton. He
has written extensively on medical and health subjects, and in his
practice has held to the central ideas expressed in the slogan "Eat
right - Breathe right - Think right."
ABRAHAM H. ROGERS, who is living retired in the City of
Oskaloosa, judicial center of Mahaska County, was born and reared in
this county, is a representative of one of its very early pioneer
families, and here he so ordered his course during his many years of
identification with farm industry as to gain the substantial success
and prosperity that enable him to pass the gracious evening of his
life in well earned retirement and under conditions that are in
every way benignant. The family name has been honorably and
prominently linked with the annals of Iowa history during a period
of more than eighty years.
Abraham H. Rodgers was born on the pioneer home farm of his parents
in Spring Creek Township, Mahaska County, October 11, 1846, and is a
son of Daniel and Sarah E. (Comstock) Rodgers, who here reclaimed
from the virgin prairie the productive farm that was their place of
abode until their death, they having contributed their quota to
civic and industrial progress in Mahaska County and their names
merit enduring place on the roster of the honored pioneers of the
Abraham H. Rodgers was reared to the sturdy discipline of the
pioneer farm, and in the meanwhile profited by the advantages of the
common schools of the locality and period. It is interesting to
record that in the rural school he attended in his youth his two
sons later prosecuted their studies under the preceptorship of the
same teacher who had there been the instructor of their father many
Mr. Rodgers was a lad of about fifteen years at the inception of the
Civil war, and before its close he was able to give expression to
his youthful patriotism by enlisting for service in defense of the
nation's integrity. In 1864 he enlisted as a member of Company I,
Forty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and with this command he
continued in active service until the close of the war, he having
been with his regiment in Arkansas when he received his honorable
discharge in the early summer of 1865. He has ever retained deep
interest in his old comrades, whose ranks grow less day by day and
year by year, and has signalized this by his appreciative
affiliation with Phil Kearney Post No. 40, Grand Army of the
Republic, at Oskaloosa, where also he maintains affiliation with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
After the close of his military career Mr. Rodgers resumed his
active association with farm industry in his native county. He
became the owner of a fine farm estate of 200 acres five miles
northeast of Oskaloosa, and there he staged his activities as a
progressive representative of general farm enterprise until he
retired and established his home in the City of Oskaloosa, where he
owns and occupies an attractive residence at 328 North D Street, he
still retaining possession of his farm property. The political
allegiance of Mr. Rodgers is given to the Republican party, and he
has ever been loyal and public-spirited in his civic attitude. While
on the farm he served as a member of the school board of his
district and also held various township offices. He and his wife are
zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as was also his
In 1874 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Rodgers and Miss Mary
Josephine Millice, of Warsaw, Indiana, and at their home in
Oskaloosa her death occurred January 31, 1922, after their
companionship had covered a period of nearly half a century. Of the
children of this union the eldest is Deuward, who is one of the
representative farmers of Mahaska County, the maiden name of his
wife having been Maude Glasscock and their children being Bernice,
Blance and Floyd. Harry Wilkins Rodgers, the second son, is likewise
a progressive farmer in his native county. He married Miss Annis
Buckner, and they have three daughters, Beulah, Wilmer and Lorena,
the eldest daughter, Miss Beulah, having won in 1928 the Iowa State
prize in canning and this having gained to her a free trip to
Europe, James D., youngest of the sons and a successful farmer in
Mahaska County, married Miss Lena Melchur, and their three children
are sons, Harry, Roy and James D., Jr. As loyal and progressive
citizens all three sons are well upholding the honors of the family
name and are representatives of the third generation of the family
in Mahaska County.
The second marriage of Mr. Rodgers occurred June 7, 1923, when he
wedded Mrs. Mary (Roenspiess) Moore, widow of J. C. Moore, she
having had by her first marriage one son, Leo Moore, who is deceased
and whose widow, Mrs. Mary (Griffin) Moore, and their one child,
Leo, Jr., reside in the City of Fort Dodge. Mrs. Rodgers is the
popular chatelaine of the attractive home in Oskaloosa.
THOMAS J. ROGERS, a retired citizen of Moulton, has lived a
long and interesting career. One fact that makes him distinguished
among the present generation is that he is a surviving veteran of
the Union army of the Civil war. His home has been in Appanoose
County for over three-quarters of a century.
He was nine years of age when his parents moved to Appanoose County
in 1850. Mr. Rogers was born in Pike County, Illinois, September 26,
1841, son of Thomas J. and Phoebe (Shinn) Rogers. Thomas J. Rogers,
Sr., who was born in North Carolina, in 1810 moved across the
Mississippi River and bought land in Appanoose County in 1850. He
was for a number of years a merchant, and helped organize one of the
first Methodist churches in Appanoose County. His wife, Phoebe
Shinn, was born in Ohio, in 1817.
Thomas J. Rogers grew up on an Iowa farm, had the advantages of the
schools of that day, which were still of a pioneer character, and in
1861, when he was twenty years of age, he went across the state line
and enlisted in Company H. of the Second Missouri Cavalry. He ranked
as a master sergeant. His regiment was employed in general scouting
duty over Northern Missouri and he participated in the fight at
Kirksville and in several other engagements. He received his
honorable discharge at Saint Louis in 1865 and soon returned to
Appanoose County. Mr. Rogers' business career was devoted to farming
and stock raising. For over sixty years, a record for continuous
service seldom equaled, he was engaged in farming and the raising of
blooded sheep and cattle. Since 1919 he has had his home in the town
of Moulton. All who know him respect him for his integrity of
character and his worth and standing as a citizen. He has for many
years been a member of W. A. Clarke Post No. 434 of the the Republic
and has been on the pension rolls of the Government for his army
service. His family are active in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Rogers married, in June, 1865, Sarah M. Willet. She lived only a
few months after her marriage. In 1869 Mr. Rogers married Lovena
Miller, who was born in Unionville, Iowa, and as a young woman
taught school in that state. She passed away October 19, 1929, after
they had been married for sixty years. Twelve children were born to
them, and ten of them are still living. There are also forty-five
grandchildren and forty-eight great-grandchildren. The oldest of the
children is Mrs. Clementine Ransom, and her four children are Lou,
Thomas, Velta, and Roland. The son James G., now deceased, left five
children, Garret A., Thomas A., Vera, Grace and Esther. Mrs. Ann
Blosser, who lives at Moulton, has two children, Roger and Claudia.
Mrs. Martha Murdy, of Albia, Iowa, is the mother of seven children,
Lester, Theodore, Louemma, Mildred, Ellen, Wendle and Enid. Mrs.
Alda Richardson, whose home is at Saint Cloud, Florida, also has
seven children, Thane, Charles, Eva, Victor, Lou, Theodore and Alda.
Mrs. Laura Cox, of Orlando, Florida, has seven children, named
Rolla, Hobart, Madaline, Geneva, Justice, Wilma and Carlos. Frank
M., who occupies the old farm homestead in Appanoose County, is the
father of five children, Thomas, Georgia and Virginia, twins, Hazel
and James. Mrs. Mina Swartz, who lives at Moulton, has three
children, Mary Elizabeth, William F. and Margaret. Georgia and
Virginia are twin daughters. Georgia is the wife of Dr. Earl Frank,
of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and their children are Stuart and Rogers
M. Virginia married Earl French and lives at Alhambra, California,
her two children being William and Robert. Chester Rogers, the
youngest of the family, lives at Ontario, Canada, and has a
WILLIAM AMOS ROHLF, distinguished Iowa surgeon, has attained
many honors in the course of his labors and one of the most
gratifying to him personally came when he was elected president of
the Iowa State Medical Association for the year beginning May, 1930.
It was a well deserved professional compliment paid to a man who for
thirty-three years has practiced at Waverly and during that time has
given a reputation to this Iowa city as a surgical center out of all
proportion to its population.
Doctor Rohlf was born in Davenport, Iowa, January 5, 1867, son of
Amos and Doris (Schroeder) Rohlf. His parents were natives of
Germany, and his father was eleven and his mother nine when they
were brought to America, their respective families leaving the old
country and seeking the new to be rid of some of the oppressive laws
and customs there. Amos Rohlf was a shoemaker by trade, but in 1872
located on a farm in Scott County, and after retiring lived at
Sheldon, Iowa. He and his wife were devout Lutherans.
Doctor Rohlf was one of a family of seven sons and two daughters.
His early life was spent on a farm. He had the advantages of the
common schools but after that had to work and earn every step of his
advancement. He taught school, and the funds that enabled him to go
on through high school and college were earned by washing dishes,
selling books and for a time he sold surgical instruments to
physicians. In 1891 he was graduated M. D. from the University of
Iowa, and he began his practice at Hampton, having only thirty-five
dollars when he went to the town. He paid a month's board and bought
the furniture for his office on credit. He remained at Hampton six
years and in 1897 moved to Waverly. He has always been a hard
worker, noted for his skill as a surgeon, has been interested in all
phases of medical and surgical progress, and his research studies
have brought him in contact with renowned surgeons throughout the
world. In 1923 he went to South American, under the auspices of the
American College of Surgeons. During 1924 he was in Europe. He has
visited famous clinics all over the country. During his early years
he took special surgical work under Dr. D. W. Middleton, of
Davenport, and Dr. W. F. Peck, of Davenport. For twenty-five years
his time and abilities have been largely taken up with his work as a
surgeon. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has
frequently read papers before professional organizations.
Doctor Rohlf had much to do with the building of the Mercy Hospital
in Waverly. His associate in practice for a number of years has been
Dr. H. W. Rathe. It has been the custom of Doctor Rohlf for many
years to celebrate his birthday with what is known as a birthday
clinic. The most notable of these came in January, 1930, when about
110 physicians and surgeons gathered at Waverly to attend the Rohlf
clinic and birthday celebration. It was an interesting event from
many standpoints. The presence of so many able physicians and
surgeons not only from Iowa but other states and cities, including
Chicago and Rochester, Minnesota, gave to this district of Iowa the
benefit of examination and attention from the ablest men in the
country and many major operations were successfully performed in the
course of the two days. Members of the profession also participated
in interesting discussions and the social feature was climaxed by a
banquet in the Fortner Hotel. Among other distinguished guests
present was Dr. J. H. Peck, whom Doctor Rohlf succeeded as president
of the Iowa State Medical Association in May, 1930.
Doctor Rohlf during the World war was a member of the local
exemption board. He is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, member of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Phthias and B. P.
O. Elks. Doctor Rohlf married Miss Lottie P. Beed, daughter of James
and Charlotte Beed, of Hampton, Iowa.
RT. REV. HENRY P. ROHLMAN, bishop of the Davenport Diocese,
was brought to Iowa when two years of age, and in some measure, at
least, the value of his services has been due to his long and
intimate knowledge of the people of the Mississippi River Valley.
Bishop Rohlman was born in Germany, March 17, 1876, and was but two
years of age when his parents came to America and settled in Carroll
County, Iowa. He was educated in the high school department of St.
Lawrence College, at Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, attended Columbia
College at Dubuque, graduating in 1898, and pursued his theological
course in the Grand Seminary at Montreal, Canada. He was ordained to
the priesthood December 21, 1901, at Montreal, and at once returned
to Iowa and became assistant to St. Mary's Church in Dubuque. His
labors in Dubuque made him one of the best loved priests of that
community. After four years he was sent to the Catholic University
of America at Washington, pursuing special sociological studies with
a view to entering the missionary field. Then followed the years of
his work in the Apostolate, an organization fostered by the Most
Rev. James J. Keane, archbishop of Dubuque, for conducting missions
in the churches of his diocese.
Father Rohlman in 1911 was appointed pastor of St. Mary's Church at
Waterloo, remaining there six years. In 1917 he was selected by
Archbishop Keane as chairman of the Columbia College endowment drive
and was head of the committee which raised more than a million
dollars for that Iowa educational institution. He continued for some
time as business manager of the college and in 1923 was chosen to
organize a new parish in the City of Dubuque. As a result of his
great zeal and energy the parish of the Church of Nativity came to
be one of the most important in that city within three years after
its organization. Then came still greater honors when, on July 25,
1927, he was consecrated the fourth bishop of the Catholic Diocese
of Davenport. He was consecrated on the forty-sixth anniversary of
the consecration of Bishop John McMullen, who was the first bishop
of Davenport. The consecrator in the impressive service was
Archbishop Keane, of Dubuque, and there were many churchmen and
laymen from Dubuque who joined in the tributes to the former priest
who had labored so long and unselfishly in that Iowa city.
DILLON L. ROSS is an accomplished lawyer, member of the bar
of Council Bluffs for many years, and his own work as a lawyer
supplements the professional record of his father, also an early
member of the Council Bluffs bar.
Mr. Ross was born at Council Bluffs, December 1, 1869. The family
were among the earliest settlers on the eastern side of the Missouri
River, coming here before the building of the first railroads. His
grandfather was Amos Ross, a native of New Jersey, who moved to Ohio
and spent his life as a farmer. Lewis W. Ross was born in Ohio,
finished his education in Miami University and began the practice of
law. He came out to Iowa and practiced for two years at Lewis and in
1861 settled at Council Bluffs and for over forty years was an
honored member of the profession in the southwestern corner of the
state. He was a great scholar and from 1881 to 1887 was a law
teacher at the University of Iowa. He also served in the State
Senate, was a leader in the Republican party and a member of the
Congregational Church. He died in 1902. His wife Zoe M. Brown, who
died in 1914, was also born in Ohio, daughter of Simeon Brown, a
native of the same state and a minister of the Presbyterian and
later of the Congregational Church. Lewis W. Ross and wife had a
family of five children, four now living: Mrs. Hester R. Moon, a
widow at Council Bluffs; Miss Edith W., of Council Bluffs; Miss Anna
Z., who taught in the city schools for a number of years; and Dillon
Dillon L. Ross was educated at Council Bluffs, spent two and a half
years in the University of Iowa and studied law with his father. He
was admitted to the bar in 1891, and has been successfully engaged
in the varied routine of the work of his profession for nearly forty
years. During the first eleven years he was with his father, was
alone in practice from 1902 to 1913, and then became associated with
another eminent member of the Iowa bar, Emmet Tinley, in a firm that
is reputed to have some of the most valuable law practice in the
state, representing a number of railroads and other corporations.
Mr. Ross for many years has specialized as an authority on real
He is a member of the Pottawattamie County and Iowa State Bar
Associations. He is a past exalted ruler of Lodge No 531, B. P. O.
Elks, is a member of the Country Club and enjoys the game of golf.
His wife is a Congregationalist.
He married in 1894 Reta M. Miller, who was born in Missouri, grew up
in Illinois, her father, Robert D. Miller, being a minister of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Ross have four
children: Harold M., in the real estate and farm loan business at
Council Bluffs; Lewis W., connected with a bank at Oakland, Iowa;
Dillon L., in the real estate business at Park Ridge, Illinois; and
Miss Doris, at home. The sons Harold and Lewis were overseas during
the World war, Harold being in the Hospital Corps and reaching
France in December, 1917, while Lewis went overseas in September,
LEWIS W. ROSS, banker, is a native of Pottawattamie County,
and since the close of the World war, in which he was enrolled with
the colors, his home has been in Oakland.
He was born in Council Bluffs, son of a prominent citizen of that
locality, D. L. Ross. Lewis Ross was born November 6, 1897, and
attended schools in his native city. During the World war he was
with the air service and was overseas in France seventeen months. He
received his honorable discharge in April, 1919.
On locating at Oakland, Mr. Ross bought an interest in the Citizens
State Bank, and has since been in active control of that
institution, holding the office of cashier. He is also a stockholder
in the Oakland Savings Bank.
Mr. Ross married, in 1922, Miss Muriel C. Smith, who was born at
Oakland and attended school there and the Westlake School for Girls
at Los Angeles. Her father, Dr. Ralph G. Smith, was a native of
Perth, Ontario, Canada, and for many years was the outstanding
physician in Oakland, where he died in June, 1921. Mrs. Ross'
grandfather, W. H. Freeman, was an early settler at Oakland, a
farmer and stock man, and was the founder of the State Bank. Mr. and
Mrs. Ross have one daughter, Elizabeth Ann, born in 1925.
Mrs. Ross is a member of the Christian Church, while he is
affiliated with the Congregational denomination. For two years he
held the office of worshipful master in the local lodge of Masons
and is a Republican in politics. In addition to his interests as a
banker Mr. Ross owns 1200 acres of land and has some investments in
lands in Colorado and Mexico.
LEWIS W. ROSS, a pioneer member of the Pottawattamie County
bar and former chancellor of the law department of the University of
Iowa, was born October 15, 1827, in Hanover Township, Butler County,
Ohio, a son of Amos Ross and a grandson of Ezekiel Ross, both of
whom were natives of Essex County, New Jersey, whence they moved to
Butler County, Ohio, in 1814.
Upon the home farm Lewis W. Ross was reared, and there remained
until his twentieth year. He was educated in the country schools and
in 1848 entered Farmer's College, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where he
was a student until 1850. He then matriculated in Miami University
at Oxford, Ohio, where he was graduated in June, 1852. After leaving
college he took up the study of law in Hamilton, Ohio, reading for
two years under Joseph Scott and N. C. McFarland, the former of whom
was afterward for many years one of the Supreme judges of the State
of Ohio, while the latter served under President Arthur as
commissioner of the general land office. Mr. Ross was admitted to
the bar in 1854 and entered upon active practice in Hamilton, Ohio,
where he remained until August, 1856. He then came to Iowa, settling
in Cass County, an din January, 1861, he removed to Council Bluffs,
where he continued to reside until his death, save for the period
when he was a member of the faculty of the State University at Iowa
City. He immediately rose to the front rank in the legal profession
of the city and state and also became active in public life. For
many years he was master in chancery. He was elected to the State
Senate as a member of the Tenth and Eleventh General Assemblies, and
during that period was a member of the judiciary and public land
committees. His record as a senator was one which established his
public spirit, his patriotism and his unfaltering devotion to the
general welfare, while his legal knowledge and ability as a member
of the bar were much in demand, not only as a member of the
judiciary committee but in other connections, his counsel being
frequently sought by contemporary members of the Senate. In 1861 he
was elected a trustee of the Iowa State University for a term of
four years and was reelected in 1868. For many years he was closely
associated with advanced educational interests, of which he was ever
a stalwart champion. In 1874 he was elected a regent of the State
University for a term, of six years and in 1880 was made resident
professor of the law department of the university and removed to
Iowa City. In 1881 he became chancellor of the law department of the
University and continued in that capacity until 1887, when he
returned to Council Bluffs, and once more entered upon the private
practice of his profession. During all the years of his association
with the State University he labored untiringly to elevate its
standards, and his influence was far-reaching and beneficial in that
connection. He believed that the training should give a practical
working basis for success in after life and that no labor or expense
should be spared that would contribute to this end. While his ideals
were high, his efforts were at all times practical and resultant. As
trustee and regent he worked hard for the development of the
university and was largely instrumental in organizing the law,
medical and homeopathic-medical departments. During his seven years
as professor and chancellor he taught, with other subjects, equity,
real property, torts, common law and code pleading. He was very
capable and successful as an instructor and was greatly beloved by
his students. He not only had the ability to impart clearly and
readily to others the knowledge he had acquired but he also had the
faculty of winning the confidence of his students, who recognized
his sympathetic understanding and profited by his ever-ready word of
encouragement and counsel. As chancellor of the law department he
was the responsible head of the faculty, composed of men eminent as
jurists, lawyers and teachers, and it is worthy of note that the
most perfect harmony prevailed between him and the other members of
the faculty at all times. He had in his make-up the qualities of a
diplomat, yet never deviated from a course which he believed to be
right, nor did he fail to express himself clearly upon any vital
After his return to Council Bluffs Mr. Ross resumed practice in
partnership with his son, Dillon Ross, under the firm name of Ross &
Ross, which association continued until his death. He made a
specialty of equity and real estate law, and was recognized as one
of the foremost authorities in those branches of practice in the
In 1855 Mr. Ross was united in marriage to Miss Zoe M. Brown, of
Lebanon, Ohio, and to them were born five children, Charles, Hester,
Edith, Anna and Dillon. Mrs. Ross died February 9, 1914. Mr. Ross
was a man of noble character who was loved and respected not only by
the members of his own family, but by a legion of friends. The young
man and especially the young law student always knew that his
friendship could be counted upon. He was looked upon as one in whom
the young man could confide, ask for advice and receive wise
counsel, encouragement and inspiration. He was ever ready to extend
a helping hand to the younger members of the profession, and many a
one has reason to hold him in grateful remembrance because of kindly
assistance in word and deed.
He was ever a stanch Republican but not a politician. He look upon
politics not as a game to be played but as a exercise of the divine
right of franchise. He labored untiringly for purity in politics,
for he was a lover of his country and a patriot in all that the word
implies. He was in the truest sense of the term a scholar and a man
of literary tastes. His home and his church were dominant interests
in his life, and aside, too, from his political affairs, he devoted
considerable time to the Council Bluffs Club, of which he was the
founder and president. He was a pioneer member of the Pottawattamie
County Bar Association and one of its foremost representatives. A
life long member of the Congregational Church, during the forty
years of his residence in Council Bluffs he was one of the leading
workers and supporters of the First Congregational Church of this
city, serving on its various boards having to do with its business
management, and was an active factor in the promotion of its
spiritual life. His personal life was spotless and his influence for
good and for morality was felt by all with whom he came in contact.
His home life was ideal. Culture in its highest sense was there
manifest and there was radiated an atmosphere of refinement. Death
called him November 22, 1902, and the regret felt at his passing was
state-wide. Of him his many friends have said:
"He was a man. Take him for all in all.
I shall not look upon his like again."
HON. MILLARD FILLMORE ROHRER, president of the Rohrer Park
Improvement Company, district agent of the Penn Mutual Life
Insurance Company of Philadelphia, president of the board of park
commissioners of Council Bluffs, former mayor of the city, is a man
whose kindly sympathy and cheerfulness under all circumstances have
won for him the title of the "City's Sunshine Man." He was born on
the old family farm at Rohrersville, Washington County, Maryland,
August 30, 1850. This homestead lies near the battlefield of
Antietam, where one of the bitterest conflicts of the war between
the states was waged, September 17, 1862, when he was twelve years
old. However, he had come into contact with public events through
the exciting incidents relative to the visit of John Brown to
Harper's Ferry, and the subsequent capture and execution of that
unwisely advised resident of Kansas. The little nine-year-old lad
knew more of the matter than would have been likely because of the
fact that his home was only eight miles away from Harper's Ferry,
then in Virginia, now West Virginia. In fact the location was such
as to bring the family into much of the contested ground over which
the great armies of the North and South fought their way during the
more than four years of conflict, and in a way these momentous
events developed the boy named for one of the presidents of the
United States. They developed his mental faculties, but they did not
overshadow them, for he has ever moved through life a man who never
speaks ill of anyone, and who looks at life through his own cherry
interpretation of it. The atmosphere of his childhood home was such
as to lead him to adopt such a policy, for he has said of himself:
"Whatever reputation I may have established thus far by looking only
on the bright side of everything in the work and thinking only of
the best in every man, woman and child, is due to my father and
mother, who taught me the philosophy of sunshine." A beautiful
recollection for a man to carry through life of those who gave him
As the battle of Antietam was raging stretcher bearers began to
carry the wounded and dying from the field of carnage, and the
Rohrer house, barn, woodshed, and even grounds were utilized for
hospital purposes, and little twelve-year-old Millard Fillmore began
his work for humanity by ministering to the soldiers, no difference
being made to the color of the uniform they wore.
While the lad was taught cheerfulness and kindness to others, he was
also instructed in the necessity of being useful, and the first
money ever earned by him was gained by selling the daily newspapers
and pictorials to the wounded soldiers and attendants of the two
large army hospitals known as the Smoketown and Locust Spring ones.
Remaining at home until he was twenty years old, as the '70s began
their decade, he felt that he must seek a broader field for his
expanding abilities, and so went on the road as a commercial
traveler, but in that occupation did not find the calling he could
enjoy. Therefore, in the fall of 1870, he went to Avalon, Livingston
County, Missouri, and that winter taught school. In the spring he
established what later became the family homestead for his family, a
tract of 280 acres, which he helped to plant for the summer season.
It was not his intention to become a farmer, simply to found a
substantial home, and in 1871 he began representing the milling
company of Snively & Hedges at Wathena, Kansas, the first railway
station west of Saint Joseph, Missouri. The atmosphere of the then
rapidly growing town and the enterprise of its people led him to
resign his position, settle permanently in their midst, and become
clerk of the Biggs House. Later he held positions with the
post-office and bookstore of Brackett & Goulden, and still later he
was deputy sheriff under Sheriff George Doughty.
Still later, when J. M. Palmer opened the first frame hotel and
depot on the present site of the assistant, and the manner in which
he discharged his duties and his diligent ways and unfailing
courtesy attracted the attention of railroad officials and he was
appointed agent for the Burlington & Missouri Railroad in Nebraska,
and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad's bill clerk in
Council Bluffs, and in his dual capacity his time was fully occupied
until 1875, when he and former Congressman Thomas Bowman established
a fire insurance agency.
During the period he was connected with the railroad service he
acted for The Nonpareil as railroad reporter, and because of his
work and the high regard in which he was held, in 1888 he was
elected an honorary member of the Council Bluffs Press Club, and
highly prizes his card, which he still holds.
So interested did he become in the insurance business that after
January 1, 1878, he was the sole proprietor, and in 1881 he branched
out and became a member of the commercial storage and agricultural
implement firm of Bowman, Rohrer & Company, and continued with it
until the business was sold January 1, 1885. About that time Mr.
Rohrer accepted the general agency for the Mutual life Insurance
Company of New York, and later became district agent for the Penn
Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia. He is also one of the
leading realtors of Council Bluffs, and a stockholder and director
of the Council Bluffs Savings Bank. In 1908 he laid out the
residential district known as Rohrer Park, and about the same time
Council Bluffs received a magnificent gift from Mrs. Rohrer, who
bestowed upon the city and it's people Lincoln Park.
When Hon. William Groneweg was elected state senator Mr. Rohrer was
elected to fill out his unexpired term as mayor of Council Bluffs;
and in March, 1888, he was reelected for a full term on the
Democratic ticket, and held that office until March 17, 1890. While
in office the steamer M. F. Rohrer was launched at Lake Manawa, July
11, 1888; another incident of note was the opening of the wagon and
street railway bridge between Council Bluffs and Omaha, in October,
1888, both Iowa and Nebraska participating in the ceremonies. The
Iowa delegation led by Mayor and Mrs. Rohrer and Governor and Mrs.
Larrabee, met that from Nebraska, led by Mayor and Mrs. W. J.
Broatch of Omaha, and General and Mrs. Thayer, in the middle of the
bridge, where appropriate and impressive ceremonies were held in
honor of the occasion. In keeping with the time of that day two
bottles of wine, furnished by a prominent citizen of Mills County,
Iowa, were used at the celebration in commemorating the now historic
event, a bottle being broken by each of the mayors' wives (Mrs.
Rohrer and Mrs. Broatch). As the ladies broke the bottles the wines
slowly trickled over the bridge and into the Missouri River. When
Mayor Rohrer made his last address to the council he urged the
improvement of what is now East Omaha, a part of Council Bluffs, and
his advice, acted upon, has resulted in a prosperous community.
Three streets of Council Bluffs, Millard Street, Fillmore Avenue and
Rohrer Avenue, have been named after him, and he is the only
resident of Council Bluffs to be so honored.
Mr. Rohrer is a Mason, an Odd Fellow, Elk and Rotarian, and he also
is a member of the Council Bluffs Real Estate Board, which recently
voted him its most popular member, of the Omaha Club, to which he
has belonged since 1899, and a first year member of the Knights of
AK-Sar-Ben in Omaha. In addition to the above he is a member of the
American Institute of Park Executives, and attends all of the
national and international meetings. The institute has a society
known as "Yellow Dog," and at all of the conventions Mr. Rohrer is
official musician as well as at all of the annual initiations,
playing on his "magic flute."
On September 11, 1877, Mr. Rohrer was married to Miss Sarah Beach
Beers, who died December 23, 1925. They had three children: John
Beach Beers Rohrer, born December 31, 1878, died February 8, 1880,
at Council Bluffs, Iowa; Isaac Beers Rohrer, born in August, 1881,
at Council Bluffs; and Caroline Test Rohrer Theinhardt, born April
4, 1884, at Council Bluffs. There are two grandchildren, Caroline
Rohrer Theinhardt and Pauline Mears Rohrer.
Since Mr. Rohrer was elected a member of the Council Bluffs park
board many improvements have been made, as well as scenic drives and
boulevard systems, and the more than 1,000 acres owned by the board
are well improved, and many acres beautifully laid out. The parks
comprise Baylis, Cochran, Cook, Fairmount, Graham, Greenwood, Graham
Avenue Parkway, Houston, Island, Illinois Central Railroad, Kimball,
Lake View, Lincoln, Nathan P. Dodge Memorial Park, Susanna Lockwood
Dodge Memorial Park, Prospect Park, Park Circle; and Sarah Beech
Beers Rohrer Memorial Point, Rainbow Memorial, Rotary Point,
Riverside, South Side, Sunset and Sloan parks.
When asked how he preserves his health and strength Mr. Rohrer
declares that the following are his rules:
"Speak ill of no person. If you cannot speak well of him, speak not
"Avoid worry and anger as you would pestilence. They bring wrinkles
and shorten life.
"Strive to do right and see the bright side of things. Be cheerful
and radiate sunshine. A kind word turneth away wrath. It leaves a
good impression. It may mean your fortune.
"Avoid argument. Express your opinion and let that suffice. An
argument has lost many a friendship.
"Live right. It means happiness and longevity.
"Always keep your word.
"Live by the Golden Rule. That is the whole groundwork of
On October 23, 1928, at the seventy-fifth anniversary banquet and
program of Council Bluffs Lodge No. 49, I. O. O. F., Mr. Rohrer made
a memorable address, extracts from which are quoted below:
"This lodge was established by the pioneers of Kanesville-later
named Council Bluffs and hence is the pioneer fraternal order
established in this city.
"In order that our members may grasp the lapse of time, a few short
years before the lodge was founded this state was occupied by the
tribe of Pottawattamie Indians, from which tribe our county takes
its name. By a treaty dated June 5, 1846, the Pottawattamies were
required to move to a new reservation in Kansas, and during that
year and the following their removal took place.
"The following month - July, 1846, about 5,000 Mormons, headed by
Brigham Young, from Nauvoo, Illinois, arrived here en route to Salt
Lake City, Utah. The Mormons named this locality Kanesville in honor
of Thomas L. Kane, a friend of Brigham Young. Thomas L. Kane was a
younger brother of the great arctic navigator, Elisha Kent Kane.
"Now, after a short lapse of seven years, an act of General Assembly
of Iowa, on January 19, 1853, changed the name of the town from
Kanesville to Council Bluffs, being the name selected for this
locality, recorded in the diary of Lewis and Clark, who explored the
Missouri River in 1804 and camped in the vicinity of Mynster Springs
and held council with the Indians in the vicinity of Rainbow Point.
For the information of our members I will state that in the year
1804 the main channel of the Missouri River was undoubtedly what is
now known as Big Lake, and Mynster Springs emptied into the river,
making it an ideal place for the Lewis and Clark expedition to camp.
"Now you see, Council Bluffs Lodge No. 49 was founded only nine
short months after our beloved city was christened its present name
Council Bluffs, or on October 26, 1853.
"The men who petitioned to establish this lodge were: Hadley D.
Johnson, John T. Baldwin, J. P. Cassady, H. R. Hall, B. R. Pegram
and Anson Belden. Hadley D. Johnson came here from Indiana. He was
admitted to the bar of his district on the first day of the first
term the district court convened in this county. He subsequently
became the first senator from this district in the Legislature, and
was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the special
charter of this city on January 24, 1853.
"John T. Balwin was always a prominent and conspicuous citizen. He
was city alderman in 1856 and 1857, and mayor during the year 1877.
In the year 1856 he and Gen. G. M. Dodge established the banking
firm of Baldwin & Dodge, which was succeeded by our present Council
Bluffs Savings Bank. He was half owner of the City Flouring Mills,
which was on the site now occupied by our city auditorium.
"In 1867 the Ogden House, at a cost of $85,000, was erected on the
southeast corner of Broadway and Park Avenue. This was the finest
hotel at that time west of Chicago, and at once took a commanding
position with the traveling public. A misfortune occurred by its
being burned in October, 1874. John T. Balwin was the only citizen
with money and enterprise to rebuild the same, which he did in the
year 1876, and for many years it was the principal hotel in Iowa and
Later on in his speech he said: "Judge J. P. Cassady was of sturdy
Scotch-Irish stock. He came to Iowa from Indiana, was admitted to
the bar at Des Moines, came here and formed a partnership with Sen.
Hadley T. Johnson. In 1858 he was, as an independent, elected county
judge. In 1861 he was chosen a director of the Council Bluffs &
Saint Joseph Railroad, and was afterward elected its president. In
1867 he was elected to the State Senate and secured the first
appropriation for the erection of buildings for what was then known
as the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and now known as the Iowa
School for the Deaf.
"B. R. Pegram was an extensive merchant on the north side of
Broadway, west of First Street. He was also a banker. He was at one
time a partner of Gen. G. M. Dodge in the flour milling and
freighting business, and they delivered the first train load of
flour in the city of Denver. He went from here to Saint Louis and
was later captain of the first steamer running between Saint Louis
and New Orleans. He was city treasurer in 1855.
"J. B. Stutsman was a prominent merchant, member of the first city
council in the year 1853 and served with the first mayor of the
city, Cornelius Voorhis. He was also a member of the city council in
1854. He was foreman of the first grand jury ever convened in this
county. He was the first white gentile settler in this entire
settlement. In later years he removed to Harlan, Iowa, continued to
the retail dry goods business, and became one of the most respected
citizens, and died full of years and honor.
"One month after the lodge was organized Col. J. D. Test was elected
secretary, and was long one of the most active members. He was city
alderman in 1856. He was a partner of Judge J. P. Cassady, forming
the real estate and law firm of Cassady & Test. He was an able
lawyer, and when he died, with one or two exceptions, received the
largest testimonial of respect at his funeral of any of our
"Cornelius Voorhis, the second white gentile settler, was a merchant
and was the first mayor of Council Bluffs in 1853 and lived to a
ripe old age, always prominent and always respected.
"Rev. Moses F. Shinn, a Methodist minister, joined the lodge. He was
a good man, but he knew he was living in a somewhat wild and new
country and deemed it best to be friendly where he could not
convert. He collected money from all sources to maintain the Gospel
in the great western wilds, and Judge Walter I. Smith said in his
address at the sixtieth anniversary that a prominent citizen told
him that a prominent citizen told him that he was present at the
Ocean Wave, the leading gambling house and saloon which occupied the
present site of the First Methodist Church, and heard the proprietor
say: 'Here comes Elder Shinn, I suppose I must give him something.'
"N. T. Spoor was the first city marshal in 1853, fourth postmaster
of this city and captain of a battery of artillery in the Civil war,
commonly known as Dodge's Battery, to which Judge J. R. Reed
belonged as first lieutenant. In 1872 to say 1880, he was general
agent of the Union Pacific Railroad at the freight transfer.
"Dr. J. D. Honn was a well-known physician and early druggist.
"George Doughty was a pioneer furniture dealer. He was mayor in 1859
and sheriff in the early '70s. I was well acquainted with him,
having served under him as deputy sheriff, during which time I rode
on horseback over the entire county serving papers on jurors and
court witnesses. At the time, in the year 1872, none of the few
farms were enclosed with fences and on defined north and south roads
in the country through the high prairie grass. Farm lands were
selling at $5 to $10 per acre which now command $150 to $250 per
"In the year following the institution of this lodge of during the
year 1854, the majority of the founders or first inhabitants of what
is now known as the metropolitan City of Omaha went over from
Council Bluffs, where they had resided one, two, or three or more
years. Many of the citizens of Council Bluffs afterwards went to
Omaha and permanently remained there.
"A substantial ferry boat, the General Marion, was purchased in
Alton, Illinois, by Doctor Lowe, and it reached Council Bluffs in
September, 1853, but did not begin running regularly across the
Missouri River from Council Bluffs until May, 1854.
"In reading The Story of Omaha, written by my esteemed friend,
Alfred Sorenson, who settled in Omaha the same year that I did in
Council Bluffs, 1871 - I learn that in November, 1853, A. D. Jones,
a member of this lodge, in company with Thomas Allen and William
Allen, all of Council Bluffs, borrowed a leaky scow of Mr. Brown.
One rowed, one steered and the other had all he could do to bail out
the water as it came in. They landed a short distance below the
place where the Union Pacific Railroad bridge now stands. There they
staked out their claims, the north line of A. D. Jones' claim being
marked out on the north side of the former residence of the late
Herman Kountze, which was converted some years ago into Saint
Catherine's Hospital. A. D. Jones maintained that this was the first
claim, and that he was entitled to the honor of being called the
pioneer squatter and first settler in Omaha.
"The Indians, however, became uneasy over the encroachments being
made by A. D. Jones and others, and they accordingly requested Mr.
Hepner, the Indian agent, to order him to vacate "Park Wild," as he
called his claim. Other claimants were served with the same notice
and the command was obeyed.
"A. D. Jones then applied for the establishment of a post-office, a
piece of strategy to enable him to hold his claim. The application
was made through Col. J. D. Test, of Council Bluffs, the secretary
of this lodge, which resulted in A. D. Jones being appointed first
postmaster of Omaha on May 6, 1854, and he also, the same year,
surveyed and laid out 320 blocks of Omaha with streets 100 feet
wide, which in turn made him the first surveyor - Jones Street
bearing his name.
"F. T. C. Johnson was a brother-in-law of Col. Lysander W. Babbitt
and a member of the contracting firm of Johnson and Orr, who built
the brick courthouse on the site of the present stone one. He was a
member of the city council during the years 1866, 1867 and 1868, and
for many years afterwards a prominent farmer. I know him well.
"Milton Rogers was a prominent hardware merchant, who moved to Omaha
and became the largest retail dealer in the same line in that city.
He was city alderman in 1856 and from 1858 to 1861. He has been dead
for many years. However, his family still continues the business
under the firm name of Milton Rogers and Sons Company, Omaha.
"Judge W. C. Janes, 'Old Blackhawk,' the handsomest man the city
ever produced, was a lawyer, county judge, mayor in 1874 and city
alderman several terms. He built many of the largest buildings in
the city to this day.
"J. Smith Hooton was mayor in 1857 and 1858, and a conspicuous
"Squire W. L. Biggs was proprietor of one of the leading hotels of
the city - The Biggs House - in which many of our prominent citizens
lived. I enjoyed the pleasure of serving him as his hotel clerk in
1871. He was an active Odd Fellow and every rarely missed attending
meetings. He was city alderman in 1859, 1861 and 1862, an din later
years was justice of the peace.
"Dexter C. Bloomer, LL. D., was a newspaper man and a lawyer. He was
the first receiver for the United States land office here. He was
mayor in 1869 and 1871, and city alderman in 1856. He was trustee in
1867 of the Young Men's Library Association, a trustee of the public
school library, 1871 to 1876, and a trustee of the Council Bluffs
Library Association, 1878 to 1882. The Free Public Library was
organized in 1882 and he was a trustee continuously from the
organization to the time of his death, February 24, 1900. I served
with him as trustee continuously from 1888 and succeeded him as
president of the board of trustees by election on March 12, 1900.
For eleven years he was a member of the board of education.
"Bloomer School was named in his honor. He was editor of the
Northwest Odd Fellow, a publication issued in this city abut 1872 to
1876. When nearly four score years of age he spent his time in
preparing a life of his his wife, Amelia Bloomer, which was
published in book form. His wife was the designer of the famous
'bloomer costume,' and bought it to public notice throughout the
United States by wearing it herself.
"Thomas H. Benton was a banker, colonel of the Twenty-ninth Iowa
Regiment, brevet brigadier general, a state officer and, next to
General Dodge, the most conspicuous soldier from south-west Iowa.
"Louden Mullen was a large landowner and platted Mullen's
subdivision to this city.
"Seth H. Craig, a soldier of the Mexican war and captain of Company
A, of the Twenty-ninth Iowa Regiment, was sheriff of this county and
warden of the state penitentiary at Fort Madison.
"With the names of the very early members of this lodge, last, but
not least, I record the name of our most distinguished citizen, Gen.
Grenville M. Dodge, who spent his early life chiefly in building
railroads. He was a member of the city council in 1859 and 1860, and
elected a member of Congress in 1866. He was made a member of this
lodge on Christmas Eve, 1855.
"It was fortunate for Council Bluffs and Omaha that Abraham Lincoln
paid a visit to Council Bluffs sixty-nine years ago, or in August,
1859, at which time history says he was being favorably mentioned as
a candidate for President of the United States and elected the
following year to said office.
"It did not take Mr. Lincoln very long to learn after his arrival in
Council Bluffs that Grenville M. Dodge had been making explorations
and surveys west of the Missouri River for the Union Pacific
Railroad. Mr. Lincoln stated that there was nothing more important
before the nation at that time than the building of the railroad to
the Pacific Coast.
"General Dodge in his published Recollections of President Abraham
Lincoln says that while Lincoln was in Council Bluffs he and the
citizens took him up what is now Oakland Avenue, to the point where
the road turns into Rohrer Park, and he was greatly impressed with
the beauty of the landscape.
"The exact spot on which Lincoln and Dodge stood has been made
beautiful by the erection of the Lincoln memorial by the Lincoln
Memorial Association, of which General Dodge was president, and the
Daughters of the American Revolution.
"In view of the competition on the north and on the south for the
location of the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, it
was fortunate, indeed, for the cities of Council Bluffs and Omaha
that Lincoln and Dodge met in Council Bluffs in August, 1859, which
resulted in making Council Bluffs and Omaha a metropolitan center of
the United States today; otherwise, they might not be on the map.
"I was personally acquainted with General Dodge about forty-four
years previous to his death. January 3, 1916. General Dodge was a
civil and military engineer, a soldier and builder of the Union
Pacific Railroad and many other railroads. He presented the city
with what is known as the Nathan P. Dodge Memorial Park. He was far
the greatest man ever produced in Iowa, and did more to make the
city famous than any man who ever dwelt in it."
The oldest member of the lodge is R. W. Ball, of San Francisco,
California, former city circulator of The Nonpareil, who left the
city fifty years ago. Mr. Rohrer is the oldest resident member. He
became a member December 27, 1872.
On the occasion of his eightieth birthday he was honored with a
dinner, at the Chieftain Hotel in Council Bluffs, by forty of his
closest friends. For years he had been in the habit of entertaining
his friends, but this time they turned the tables on him, and gave
him the honor of being guest. Lauded by the toastmaster, Emmet
Tinley, as a constructive citizen who had spoken "not one unkind
word in sixty years." Mr. Rohrer was presented with a gold wrist
watch with the expressed hope that he would be able to enjoy it for
the next twenty-five or thirty years. There were several other
prominent speakers present, and in response Mr. Rohrer recalled high
lights in his long career of public service and expressed
appreciation of the honor conferred upon him at the dinner.
BURTON RUSSELL was born and reared in Dallas County, Iowa, is
a representative of a family that was settled in this county
somewhat more than three-quarters of a century ago, and here he has
gained and retained a secure vantage ground as one of the prominent
members of the bar of his native county. Mr. Russell has been
engaged in the active practice of his profession at Adel, the county
seat, for over twenty-five years and here controls a substantial and
representative general law business.
Burton Russell was born on the parental home farm in Dallas County
and the date of his nativity was February 6, 1873. He is a son of
William S. and Ada (Greene) Russell, the former of whom was born
March 28, 1843, and the latter on February 3, 1849. William S.
Russell was about ten years of age when he accompanied his parents
from his native State of Indiana to Iowa, in 1853, and the family
home was established in Dallas County, where he was reared on the
pioneer farm and where he eventually gained success and prestige in
his independent association with the great basic industries of
agriculture and stock-growing, besides which he was engaged in
mercantile business a number of years. He was an honored and
influential citizen of the county and represented the county two
terms in the State Legislature. He passed the closing days of his
life in the City of Perry, this county, where his death occurred
April 13, 1909, his widow being now a resident of Adel and being one
of the venerable and revered pioneer women of Dallas County.
In the Dallas County public schools Burton Russell continued his
studies until he was graduated in the high school at Perry, and
thereafter he was a student in Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso,
Indiana, until he was there graduated in 1896, with the degree of
Bachelor of Science. In preparing for his chosen profession he
availed himself of the advantages of the law department of the
University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and there he was graduated as
a member of the class of 1901, his reception of the degree of
Bachelor of Laws having been followed by his admission to the
Michigan bar. Prior to that Mr. Russell had made a record of
successful service as a teacher in the public schools of his native
county, he having served as superintendent of schools at Linden and
also at Woodward. After receiving his degree of Bachelor of Laws he
taught one year at Woodward, and in 1902 he was admitted to the Iowa
bar and engaged in the active practice of his profession at Adel,
where he has centered his professional activities during the
Mr. Russell is a Republican in politics, is affiliated with the
Masonic fraternity, he and his wife hold membership in the Christian
Church in their home community, and he is a member of the Dallas
County Bar Association and the Iowa State Bar Association.
June 14, 1906, recorded the marriage of Mr. Russell to Miss Nellie
Burton, who likewise was born and reared in Dallas County. Mrs.
Russell was graduated in the West High school in the City of Des
Moines and there studied also in Drake University. Prior to her
marriage she was a teacher three years in the high school at Adel,
and her interest in educational work remains vital and helpful, as
she has since continued to serve as a valued member of the local
board of education. Gordon B., eldest of the three children of Mr.
and Mrs. Russell, was born May 1, 1908, is a graduate of the Adel
High School, and is a graduate of the class of 1930 in the college
of liberal arts at the University of Iowa, where he has affiliation
with the Delta Chi fraternity. He is now attending the law school at
the State University of Iowa, where he is a Phi Alpha Delta.
Marguerite A., who was born January 8, 1910, likewise was graduated
in the Adel High School and is a graduate of the class of 1931 in
the University of Iowa, where, like her brother, she has been a
student in the college of liberal arts, and where she is a member of
the national sorority Delta Zeta. Christine M., youngest of the
children, was born May 8, 1913, and is a member of the class of 1931
in the high school at Adel.
JAMES B. RYAN, of Des Moines law firm of Ryan & Ryan, was
born at Winthrop, Iowa, May 7, 1894. His people have been in Iowa
for three generations.
He is a son of James B. and May (Farrell) Ryan. His parents were
born in rural districts in Buchanan County, Iowa. His grandfathers,
Malachi Ryan and Thomas Ferrell, were natives of Ireland and were
brought to this country in early childhood. James B. Ryan, Sr., is
an honored citizen and substantial business man of Winthrop, where
he has been in the drug business since 1887 and for nearly forty
years has been president of the Winthrop State Bank. His wife died
February 4, 1925. James B. Ryan of Des Moines is the oldest of six
children. His sister Mary is teacher in an Indian school in South
Dakota; his brother Ronald is claim agent for the United States
Fidelity & Liability Company of Des Moines; L. T. Ryan is junior
member of the Des Moines law firm of Ryan & Ryan; Miss Marjorie
lives at Des Moines; and Miss Dorothy is a graduate of the
University of North Dakota.
James B. Ryan, after finishing the work of the Winthrop High School,
attended St. Joseph Academy at Dubuque and was a student in the
University of Iowa until the war. Joining the colors, he want
overseas with the Thirty-ninth Engineers, served as first sergeant,
and on getting his discharge, in August, 1919, had to his credit
twenty-seven months of service. Mr. Ryan in June, 1920, graduated
from the law department of Drake University, and since that date has
been engaged in practice at Des Moines. The firm of Ryan & Ryan is
the legal representative of all the credit insurance companies in
the capital city.
He was president of the Drake Law Club in 1924, first vice president
of the International Cooperative Club in 1927, is secretary of the
Commercial Law League of America, member of the Polk County, Iowa
State and American Bar Associations. His college fraternities are
Phi Kappa and Delta Theta Phi. Mr. Ryan has been a member of the
Democratic district committee. He is a Catholic, member of the
Knights of Columbus and B. P. O. Elks.
He married, July 12, 1926, Miss Florence Carlson. She was born in
Sweden but was reared and educated in Des Moines.