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Among the good, honest farmers of an early day, we mention Mr. Thomas Gainor. He was a man of great tenacity of purpose, and he always clung to the home where he first located till near the close of his life, when the infirmities of advancing years made it necessary for him to retire from the arduous labors which a farmer’s occupation demand.

He was somewhat old-fashioned and non-aggressive in his character and habits of life, but he was always considered one of our good, substantial men, such as the pioneers were glad to welcome among their number. He appeared to be a man of strong constitution, and seemed to be well adapted to meet the trials and hardships of a new country.

A great bereavement came to his home at a time and under circumstances that made it peculiarly hard to bear. His wife, after giving birth to a little girl in May following her arrival here, was, a few days later, called to exchange her new home in this world for one beyond the boundaries of earth. It was the first death in this region of country among the white settlers, and it cast a gloom over the whole community.

The little child for whose life she had laid down her own, was the first to be born in this vicinity. It survived, however, but a few months and then followed its mother to the grave. Mr. Gainor and his wife were honored members of the Methodist church.

For his second wife he married one of the sisters of Mr. Levi Lewis. Mr. Gainor’s last years were spent in retirement at his home within the city limits on the west side of the river where, at a good old age, he passed away a few years ago.

Source: Carroll, Rev. George R., Pioneer Life In and Around Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from 1839 to 1849, Times Printing and Binding House, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1895, pages 97-8.

Contributed by: Terry Carlson


This well-known farmer and stock raiser residing on section 23, Franklin township, was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 19, 1847, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah S. (Steele) Gamble, both natives of Ireland, the former born in county Tyrone, in 1815, the latter in county Donegal. They were married in New York May 22, 1845, by Rev. H. H. Blair and continued to make their home in that city and Brooklyn throughout the remainder of their lives. The mother died August 2, 1856, the father November 9, 1857. They had three children: Mary, born September 21, 1846, died in infancy; William, our subject; and Isabella, born September 29, 1849, died January 27, 1868.

Our subject was left an orphan at the age of ten years. He attended the public schools of his native city until eighteen years of age, and then commenced in driving a truck, being thus employed for one year. He also drove a hack for the same length of time. In 1869 he came to Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and worked on a farm near that city for two years. He was next employed on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad as a switchman and brakeman for the same length of time. Since then he has devoted his entire time and attention to agricultural pursuits.

On the 4th of April, 1871, in Cedar Rapids, Mr. Gamble was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda C. Moffitt, who was born in Cedar county, Iowa, November 12, 1850. Her parents, Andrew and Catherine (Smyth) Moffitt, were natives of county Tyrone and county Antrim, Ireland, respectively, and were married in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. For two years they resided on a farm in Cedar county, where the father died July 4, 1851, and the mother subsequently returned to Mt. Vernon, where her death occurred June 17, 1862. Of their two children Mrs. Gamble is the older. Andrew S., born in Mt. Vernon February 10, 1852 is still a resident of that place.

Mr. and Mrs. Gamble have become the parents of seven children, namely: (I) Sarah C., born August 15, 1872, is the wife of Albert Kohl, of Lisbon and they have four children, Willis, Harry, Burt and Irene. (2) Samuel J., born October 29, 1874, resides with his parents. (3) Martha I., born March 19, 1877, is the wife of Ross Wilson of Jones county, Iowa, and they have one child, Elbert A. (4) Mary E., born December 13, 1879, is the wife of Charles Russell, a farmer of this county, and they have one child, Willa C. (5) E. W. Roy, born October 1, 1882, and (6) Maggie A., born October 2, 1887, are both at home. (7) Willard C., born October 29, 1890, died January 16, 1891.

In the fall of 1871 Mr. Gamble removed to a farm of one hundred and thirty acres in Cedar county owned by his wife, and on selling that place they bought eighty acres in the same county, which was their home for eighteen years. During that time Mr. Gamble was most successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, making a specialty of the breeding of Hereford cattle. He then returned to Linn county, and after living for one year on the Robinson farm he removed to the Rose farm on section 23, Franklin township, where he still resides. Here he successfully operates one hundred and sixty acres of land, and also raises a high grade of horses, cattle and hogs. He attends the United Brethren church and is a stanch supporter of the Republican party and its principles.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 75-6.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


Dr. John Raphael Gardner, who has been successfully engaged in the practice of medicine at Lisbon since April, 1900, is also the present mayor of the town and acts as chief of the fire department. His birth occurred in Johnson county, Iowa, on the 23d of September, 1875, his parents being Enos Howard and Susan (Marshall) Gardner, who were natives of New York and Ohio respectively. Their marriage was celebrated in the latter state on the 28th of February, 1861, and about 1865 they took up their abode in Johnson county, Iowa. Enos H. Gardner devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career and passed away in 1880. At the time of the Civil war he offered his services in defense of the Union, enlisting in an Ohio regiment. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which he took an active and helpful interest. His widow still survives him and now makes her home with her son, John R. She has reared the following children: Howard Enos, who is now a resident of Hayes county, Nebraska; Mary L., the wife of C. W. Drake, of Linn county; William A., living in Dundy county, Nebraska; Charles G., of Davenport, Oklahoma; Dr. Herbert H., a practicing dentist of Williamsburg, Iowa; Lucy F., the wife of A. T. Greenman, of Boyne, Michigan; John Raphael, of this review; and Grace R., the wife of Dr. A. W. Howe, of Los Angeles, California.

John R. Gardner was reared on the home farm in Union township, Johnson county, and in the acquirement of an education attended the grammar and high schools of Iowa City. He also pursued an academic and commercial course at Iowa City and in the fall of 1896 took up the study of medicine in the State University, from which institution he was graduated in 1899. For one year he served as house surgeon in the State University Hospital and in April, 1900, came to Lisbon, where he has since been continuously engaged in the general practice of medicine. His efforts to restore health and prolong life have been attended with excellent results and his practice is continually growing in volume and importance. He is connected with the Linn County Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society, the Iowa Union Medical Society and the American Medical Association and thus keeps in touch with the progress of the profession through the interchange of thought and experiences among the members of these organizations.

There is also a creditable military chapter in the life record of Dr. Gardner, who for eight years served in the Iowa National Guard, attaining to the rank of captain in the Fiftieth Regiment. During the Spanish-American war he served for eight months as orderly sergeant of the Fiftieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

On the 1st of April, 1905, Dr. Gardner was united in marriage to Miss Pearl 0. Smith, a native of Lisbon, Iowa, and a daughter of John and Mary Smith. The father is deceased but the mother still survives and makes her home in Lisbon. Dr. and Mrs. Gardner now have two children, namely: Raphael S., who was born February 26, 1906; and Lucile, whose natal day was June 22, 1908.

Politically Dr. Gardner is a stanch advocate of republican principles and is now serving for the third term as mayor of Lisbon, his former administration having gained public approval because of the many reforms and improvements which characterized it. He is likewise the chief of the fire department and in this connection has done much toward promoting a high degree of efficiency in its various branches. He is a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal church and takes an active interest in its work, serving on its official board. In Masonry he has attained high rank, belonging to the blue lodge at Lisbon; Iowa Consistory, No. 2, of Cedar Rapids; and El Kahir Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Cedar Rapids. He is likewise identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Lisbon. In all the relations of life he has stood as a man among men, accepting no false standards, holding to high ideals and exemplifying his sympathy with the world’s progress in his own life.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 15-16.

Contributed by: Terry Carlson


Among the honored and highly respected citizens of Marion is this well-known retired farmer, whose home is at the corner of Eleventh street and Fourteenth avenue. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, May 8, 1838, a son of Aaron and Hannah (Miller) Garretson, natives of the same state. When a young man the father went to Ohio, making the journey on foot, and took possession of a farm near Dayton which his father had given him. That region was then all wild and unimproved, and after spending one year there he returned to the Keystone state. After his marriage he purchased a farm in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, at the foot of the Allegheny mountains, and to the improvement and cultivation of that place devoted his energies until called to his final rest, at the age of fifty years. Both he and his wife were members of the Society of Friends, but after his death she united with the Dunkard church. For almost thirty years she made her home with our subject, where she died in 1892, at the age of ninety-one.

In the family were nine children, of whom five are still living, namely: Thomas, a resident of this county; Mary, a widow and a resident of Marshall county, Iowa, who first married Moses Rogers, and after his death wedded John Merry; Mrs. Deborah Snyder, a widow of Benton county, Iowa; Edwin, our subject; and George, a resident of California. The family has always been a patriotic and loyal one, and during the Civil war four of the brothers were numbered among the boys in blue. Thomas served four years in the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which was a part of the Army of the Potomac. Moses and George were both members of Company H, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The former was overseer of a fort in South Carolina until he received a sunstroke on the battlefield. This brought on quick consumption. He was first taken to Baltimore and later to Philadelphia, from which city our subject brought him to Iowa, where he died eight days later at the age of twenty-five years. He was a Quaker by birthright, but belonged to no church. Prior to entering the army he took care of his mother. After serving two years George was also taken ill and returned home, but eight months later he had so far recovered as to be able to re-enlist, and he remained in the service until the close of the war. He was once wounded in the right shoulder. The sisters who have passed away were Sarah, who died at the age of twelve years; Martha, who died at the age of twenty-one; and Edith, who died at the age of nineteen.

During his boyhood Edwin Garretson attended the common schools of his native state and assisted in the labors of the farm. He was only ten years old when his father died, and he then started out in life for himself as a farm hand, working for two dollars and a half per month. He continued to follow farming until after the inauguration of the Civil war. Laying aside all personal interests, he enlisted in July, 1863, in Company E, Twenty-first Pennsylvania Cavalry his command being one of four companies which were placed on detached duty. During his service he contracted typhoid fever, but remained at the front and did not return home until chronic diarrhea set in, when he was granted a two weeks’ furlough. As his term of enlistment had expired, he never returned to the front, but was mustered out in February, 1864.

It was on the 29th of April, 1864, that Mr. Garretson landed in Cedar Rapids, and has since made this county him home. He was accompanied by his mother and older brother, Eli, his wife and three children. The brother died at the age of forty-five, leaving a widow and eight daughters who now reside in Toddville, this county. For several years after coming to Iowa our subjects engaged in farming upon rented land.

On the 17th of May, 1865, Mr. Garretson married Miss Angela W. Andrews, a native of Morgan county, Ohio, and a daughter of C. C. and Delilah (Jordan) Andrews, who were also born in that state, and came to Iowa in 1850, locating three miles west of Marion. Her mother was born December 26, 1819, and died July 27, 1877. She was a member of the Baptist church. The father served as captain in the Ohio Militia, but took no active part in war. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews were married February 7, 1840, and were the parents of seven children, namely: Sarah T., widow of D. S. Hindman, and a resident of Cedar Rapids; Angela W., wife of our subject; Wallace, a farmer of Buchanan county, Iowa; Emeline, wife of Henry Fleming, of Marion township, Linn county; Rachel, wife of Paul Stevens, a farmer of Tama county, Iowa; Francis, a farmer of this county; and Mary, wife of Brooks Stevens, of this county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Garretson were born three children: Ella, who died in 1880, when nearly twelve years of age; Etta M., wife of C. A. Plummer, who is engaged in farming in the northeast part of Marion township, and by whom she has one child, Geraldine C.; and Della, at home.

Mr. Garretson’s first purchase of land consisted of forty acres in Spring Grove township, and on selling that bought an eighty-acre tract, which he subsequently disposed of. For seventeen years he and his wife efficiently carried on the county home, and so acceptable were their services that the board of supervisors were loath to have them give it up. On retiring from that position Mr. Garrettson bought one hundred and fifteen acres of well improved land in Marion township, which he still owns. He operated the farm until February, 1899, when he removed to Marion and has since lived a retired life, enjoying a well-earned rest. He rents his farm on the shares, but still looks after his business interests, and is now feeding a carload of cattle upon the place. He buys both steers and hogs which he fattens for market.

In his political views Mr. Garretson is an ardent Republican, and he has filled the offices of assessor and school director, having taken an active interest in educational affairs in his locality. He and his estimable wife are active and prominent members of the Christian church, in which she is now serving as deaconess. They have a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county who appreciate their sterling worth and many excellencies of character.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 127-129.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


There are few men more worthy of representation in a work of this kind than the subject of this biography, who is spending his declining years in retirement from active labor in Lisbon. His has been a long and useful career, in which he has established himself in the esteem and confidence of all who know him. He was born on the 12th of March, 1813, in Berks county, Pennsylvania, of which his parents, Daniel and Susan (Synder) Gauby, were also natives, and they spent their entire lives in the Keystone state. In their family were fifteen children, eight sons and seven daughters, but only our subject and one brother are now living.

Benjamin Gauby grew to manhood in the county of his nativity, and there married Esther Shirar, who was also born in Pennsylvania, and died in Lisbon, Iowa, in 1873, at the age of sixty-two years. She was a faithful member of the United Brethren church, and a devoted wife and loving mother. Of the nine children born of this union seven died in infancy, while those still living are Jonas S., a resident of Lisbon; and Susan, wife of Amos Brenneman, a carpenter of Marion, Iowa.

After his marriage Mr. Gauby removed to Union county, Pennsylvania, where he remained nine years, where he worked at his trade of a mason. Later he removed to Lebanon county, and in 1856 came to Iowa, locating at Lisbon, where he followed the same occupation for a number of years. Subsequently he purchased a farm in Franklin township, this county, but just at this time his wife died, and he rented same for some years, when he sold it, having since lived a retired life on Market street. In 1852 he went to California, where for three years he successfully engaged in mining. He has prospered in most of his business ventures, and is to-day quite well-to-do, having won success by giving close attention to every detail of his business. He now owns several large residences in the city, and also business property.

Mr. Gauby is a member of the United Brethren church, and before coming west was also connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His political support is always given to the men and measures of the Republican party, but he has never sought official honors. He was a member of the city council one term, being one of the first aldermen elected in Lisbon. Coming to this place when it was a mere hamlet, containing only a few houses, he has been prominently identified with its upbuilding and development, and is to-day numbered among its most honored and highly respected citizens. His support is always given any worthy object for the public good and educational and moral interests have been promoted through his efforts.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 200-3.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


After many years of active labor principally devoted to agricultural pursuits and teaming, William M. Gillespie is now living a retired life in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he has made his home for twenty-one years. He is a native of county Tyrone, Ireland; and was a young man of twenty-two years when he came to the United States in 1855. He landed in New York and proceeded at once to Granville, Vermont, where he worked as a laborer for a few years. He then purchased a farm in Addison county, that state, and was engaged in its operation until he entered the Union army during the Civil war. His father, William Gillespie, died in Ireland and after the close of the Civil war his mother, Martha Gillespie, came to America and located in Gouldsville, Vermont, where she died in 1884. Our subject has one brother and two sisters residing in the last named place.

In 1864 Mr. Gillespie enlisted in Company H, Seventeenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the service until hostilities ceased. He participated in the battles of Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania Court House, Petersburg Mine, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Church, and Hatchie’s Run. He was wounded in the knee in an engagement before Petersburg, April 2, 1865, and was also hit by a piece of shell just between the eyes. He now draws a pension of fourteen dollars per month as a sort of compensation for the injuries received. His brother James was a member of Company F, Fifth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and was killed in the battle of the Wilderness at the age of twenty-seven years.

Mr. Gillespie was discharged from the service at Alexandria, Virginia, and returned to Granville, Vermont, where he continued to follow farming until his removal to Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1880. Here he engaged in teaming for some years, but for the past few years has been living a retired life, enjoying a well-earned rest.

Before leaving Ireland Mr. Gillespie married Miss Lydia Ann Reilly, also a native of that country, and to them were born ten children, six of whom are still living, namely: William James, who owns and operates a small farm in Franklin township, this county; Robert, a teamster residing at home; George, who also has a small farm near the city and lives with his parents; Anna, wife of Frank Keiler, an engineer of Bethel, Vermont; Carrie, wife of James Thompson, a teamster of Mt. Vernon; and Susan, wife of Harry Nower, a painter of Cedar Rapids. The others all died when young and the wife and mother departed this life in 1877. For his second wife Mr. Gillespie married Miss Jane Anderson, a native of Iowa. He is a faithful member of the Methodist church and is also connected with the Grand Army Post at Mt. Vernon. In his political affiliations he is a Republican, and that he is a loyal and patriotic citizen of his adopted country is attested by his gallant service in the Civil war.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 198-199.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


C. A. Gillette, who is now residing on section 11, Franklin township, has the honor of being one of Linn county's native sons, for he was born in Franklin township January 24, 1846, his parents being Harvey and Mary Maria (Snyder) Gillette. The father was born in Connecticut June 15, 1797, and belonged to a family of English origin which was founded in that state at an early day. Our subject's grandfather, who was known as Captain Gillette, is supposed to have been in the Revolutionary war. At the age of nine years the father left his native state and went to Westfield, Massachusetts, where he made his home for a number of years.

He then came west as agent for a company who were buying lands from the half-breed Indians, and went up the Missouri river near Eddyville. He bought quite a large amount of land and spent some time with the Black Hawk tribe, there being six weeks that he never saw a white man. He first married a Miss Lee, a native of Massachusetts, and they lived for some time in Muscatine, Iowa, but later returned to the east where she died. Later, while on his way to Iowa, he met the lady who subsequently became his wife, she being the mother of our subject. They were married in Tipton, Iowa, in 1845. She was born in New York state July 15, 1827, of Holland ancestry, and died February 5, 1883, and both were buried at Tipton.

By his first marriage he had six children, only two of whom are now living. Those born of the second union were C. A., our subject; J. A., now deceased, married Martha Stonacker, now a resident of Cedar Rapids; F. A., a resident of Marshalltown, Iowa, who first married Jennie Mills and after her death wedded Sarah Kennedy; John H., who married and lives in Burlington, Iowa; Sarah M., deceased, who first married William Carnahan, and second C. W. Morton, of Dennison, Iowa; and Emma, who died at the age of six years.

C. A. Gillette was reared in this state and attended the district schools until fourteen years of age. He was next a student at the Tipton high school for about five months, and completed his education at Cornell College at the age of sixteen. During the terrible tornado of 1860 he was with the family upon the home farm, while the father was serving as postmaster at St. Mary's. Our subject was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1866, when the father traded his farm for a stock of merchandise at Mt. Vernon, and the following year bought a hotel, a part of which he converted into a store room. Our subject assisted his father in conducting the store until it was destroyed by fire in 1868, after which they ran a dray and hack line for some time.

This business was subsequently carried on by our subject and his brother until 1876, when the former commenced traveling through northeastern Iowa buying wool and selling woolen goods. The following year he traveled through the country introducing the patent medicines now known as the Chamberlain remedies, which are manufactured at Des Moines. He was next engaged in teaming until 1881, when he embarked in the creamery business, establishing a regular route, over which he traveled in the winter time buying poultry, and also spent some winters in the poultry house at Lisbon. His time was thus taken up until the fall of 1899, when he rented a place belonging to his father-in-law and resumed farming. He is also interested in the fruit and nursery business, owning two acres of land which he has devoted to the same.

On the 25th of January, 1882, in Franklin township, Mr. Gillette was united in marriage with Miss Alice Yeisley, who was born in Monroe county, Pennsylvania, August 9, 1858, and is of German descent. Her parents were Philip and Margaret (Steele) Yeisley, the former also a native of Monroe county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of New York state. They were married at Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, and came west in 1870, locating first in Jones county, Iowa. In 1881 they came to Franklin township, Linn county, where the father purchased a farm on which they still reside.

Mrs. Gillette is the youngest of their three children, the others being Horace, who married Josephine Shaler and resides in Lisbon, Iowa; and Charles, who wedded Mary Hilbert Caster Gilbert, now deceased, and makes his home in California. Mr. and Mrs. Gillette have three children: Harry A., born November 19, 1882; C. Edgar, born March 5, 1887; and Earl LeRoy, born March 19, 1892. The oldest son will graduate at the Lisbon high school in the class of 1901.

The Republican party has always found in Mr. Gillette a stanch supporter of its principles, but he has never taken a very active part in political affairs and cares nothing for office. He was formerly a member of the Legion of Honor and Star of Bethlehem Lodge, No. 3, K. P., of Mt. Vernon, and has been officially connected with both orders. He attends St. Paul's Lutheran church of Lisbon, and is held in high regard by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, p. 333-335.


The subject of this review is one of the very earliest settlers of the state, and is today a prominent and highly respected citizen of Mr. Vernon, where he is living a retired life, enjoying a well-earned rest. He was born in Logan county, Ohio, April 16, 1814, a son of Nathan and Jane (Edmondson) Gilliland, both of whom were natives of Virginia. In 1810 they removed from Greenbriar, that state, to Ohio, where they made their home throughout the remainder of their lives. The father, who was a soldier of the war of 1812, died in 1823 on his forty-seventh birthday, and the mother died in 1835. They were the parents of nine children, three sons and six daughters, all of whom are now deceased with exception of our subject and his sisters, Nancy Ann, wife of Peter Jacobs, a retired farmer of Tipton, Cedar county, Iowa.

Samuel Gilliland spent the first twenty years of his life at the place of his nativity and obtained his literary education in the primitive log school house so common in those days. He then went to Indiana, where he spent two years, and in the fall of 1836 came to Iowa, locating in Cedar county, on the day Martin Van Buren was elected president of the United States. For many years he successfully engaged in farming there, and together with his sons still owns two hundred and forty acres of land, which he purchased from the government at one dollar and a quarter per acre.

In Pioneer township, Cedar county Mr. Gilliland was married, July 18, 1839 to Miss Martha Comstock, theirs being the first marriage celebrated in the township. She too was a native of Ohio and a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Fox) Comstock. Her father was born in Massachusetts, in 1795, and was twelve years of age when he removed with his parents from that state to New York. He was one of the defenders of his country in the war of 1812.

At an early day he went to Ohio, and in the spring of 1836 came to Iowa, settling fifteen miles north of Muscatine, where he made his home for three years. He was accompanied by two other families and they were the first to come out from Muscatine with teams. He next located in Pioneer township, Cedar county, where he followed farming until his death, which occurred July 19, 1864, when he was seventy-one years of age. His wife died there at the age of fifty-nine years. they had a family of ten children, but only three are now living. Prior to his marriage with Elizabeth Fox, Mr. Comstock was married in New York. By this wife he had two daughters - Angeline, who married M. Sterns and Julia, who married George Lattimer. Mrs. Comstock died prior to Mr. Comstock's emigration west. Mr. Comstock took a very prominent part in public affairs and was called upon to fill many local offices, including that of county trustee. He also assisted in the platting of the town of Tipton.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gilliland were born seven children, namely: (1) Francis Marion, born May 28, 1840, engaged in farming on the old homestead in Cedar county for a number of years, but is now living retired in Mr. Vernon. He married Louise Freeman, of Cedar county, a daughter of Walter Freeman, a native of Ohio, who settled in Sugar Creek township, Cedar county, in 1836, and followed the miller's trade throughout the greater part of his life. In 1852 he went to the Pacific coast and died in Oregon, at the extreme old age of ninety-three years. His wife died in 1842 when Mrs. Gilliland was only nine months old. Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Gilliland had three children, all born in Cedar county, namely: Dollie, deceased; Harry C. and Don W., deceased. (2) Nathan, born December 3, 1842, enlisted September 23, 1861, at the age of nineteen years, in Company A, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, and was mustered into the United States service on the 18th of October, following. While at Vicksburg he re-enlisted January 4, 1864, as a veteran and was made corporal of his company.

He participated in the battle of Shiloh, the siege of Corinth, and the engagements at Bolivar, Iuka, Holly Springs, Vicksburg, Monroe, Jackson, Meridian and Atlanta. He was wounded in a charge on the works at Nickajack creek, July 5, 1864, and was again wounded on the 21st of the same month, and died a few hours later, his remains being interred at Marietta, Georgia. (3) Julia A., born January 16, 1844, died in 1864. (4) Elizabeth, born November 18, 1850, died at the age of fourteen years, five months and eleven days. (5) Mary, born November 5, 1852, died January 23, 1865. (6) Daniel C., born June 27, 1855, is engaged in the agricultural implement business in Mechanicsville, Iowa. He married Florence Brogan, and they have three children, Maude, Ethel and Haven. (7) William M. born November 29, 1861, married Annie Wareham and died in Toledo, Ohio, November 10, 1886. The mother of these children departed this life May 31, 1865. She was a devoted wife and loving mother, and a consistent member of the Methodist church.

For his second wife Mr. Gilliland married Mrs. Abigail Puffer, a younger sister of his first wife and the widow of Charles Puffer, who was born near Keene, New Hampshire, and lived there until twenty-three years of age, when he removed to Cedar county, Iowa. There he was united in marriage with Miss Abigail Comstock, June 13, 1847, and was successfully engaged in farming and stock raising in that county until called to his final rest February 15, 1863, at the age of forty-three years. He was a prosperous man and had the respect and confidence of all who knew him as he was upright and honorable in all his dealings.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Puffer were born the following children: (1) Authernial G. W., born in 1848, followed farming on the old homestead in Cedar county, where he died at the age of forty-seven years. He married Amanda Boyles, and they had three children, Ray, Mabel and Everett. (2) Levi died in infancy. (3) Priscilla H. is the wife of William Bassett, a farmer of Bloomfield, Davis county, Iowa, and they have four children, Frank, Ora, Austin and Guy. (4) Daniel married Laura Boland, and is successfully engaged in farming in Mercer county, Missouri, where he owns seven hundred acres of land. (5) Jemima died at the age of fifteen years. (6) Mary is the wife of George Keister, an architect of New York City, and they have one child, George (7) Nathan, a farmer of Bloomfield, Davis county, Iowa, married Dora Van Zent, and they have two children, Helen and a boy.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, p. 444-446.


JOHN P. GLASS.  The name of this honored old citizen and pioneer settler of the Hawkeye State is a familiar one throughout the county of Linn.  He came to this vicinity at a very early date in the history of the Territory, and still occupies the site upon which he first located, on section 9, Rapids Township.  For forty years he has watched the growth and development of the county with keen and absorbing interest.  He and Uncle Sam have been the sole owners of his property since it was given up by the Indians.  Of the changes which have occurred since he first crossed the Mississippi and selected the spot where he determined to establish a home, it would take a volume to speak.  The township was very fortunate in having secured such a man as Mr. Glass for its first citizen.  His interests were by no means confined to his own personal affairs, and as the settlers slowly came in one after another, he made their interest and their welfare his own, and encouraged them by every means in his power in the building up of a community which should be an honor to them and to the county at large.
Mr. Glass is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born on the banks of the Allegheny River, on Pike street in the city of Pittsburgh, May 17,1818.  His father, Alex Glass, a merchant and stock-dealer, was of good old Scotch ancestry, born in Donegal, Ireland, reared there, and was there married to Isabel Devett.  Their bridal trip was a journey across the Atlantic, and after landing upon American shores they settled in Pittsburgh, Pa.  Alex Glass there engaged in business, and remained there until his death, which occurred in 1857.  He was a man of great strength of character, and held the different offices within the gift of his community.  He had strong and decided opinions, and never hesitated to give an honest voice to them.  Politically he was a Jacksonian Democrat, and religiously a consistent member of the Episcopal Church.  His wife was a woman of brave spirit, and stood by her husband's side in all his undertakings, and alter living together until a ripe old age was reached, they gave up their lives with a consciousness that they had done their duty as good citizens, neighbors, parents and friends.  The mother lived to the advanced age of more than a hundred years, and died in 1882.  They were the parents of ten children, five sons and five daughters.  Two of the sons and four of the daughters are yet living.  The subject of our sketch is the fourth child of his parents' family.  Those who survive are somewhat scattered, two living in Pennsylvania, two in Virginia, one in Ohio, John P. having been the only one who sought a home this side of the Mississippi.  One of the daughters became the wife of the great iron king of Virginia, Mr. S. H. Woodward, who is now deceased.  Mrs. W. lives in Virginia.
The early days of John P. Glass were passed on his father's homestead, where he lived until he became an apprentice to learn the carpenter and joiner's trade.  He was always of an enterprising disposition, ambitious and industrious, and after completing his apprenticeship, at the early age of seventeen years, he started out to see the country.  He first proceeded to New York City by the Lakes, thence turned his steps westward, visited Missouri, retraced his steps to Illinois, and after a period of eight months sought the old homestead.  After tarrying there for a time, he again became a rover, setting out for the Lone Star State.  The boat on which he was making the trip down the Ohio sunk at Henderson, and he went no further.  He went to Beverly, Washington Co., Ohio, where he had a sister residing.  There he became interested in an estimable lady, Miss Eliza A. Dodge, and they were there married, July 11, 1843.  Mrs. Glass was a native of Washington County, Ohio, born July 5, 1817.  She was the daughter of Capt. John and Mary (Stone) Dodge, natives of Massachusetts.  The father of Capt. Dodge also bore the title of Captain, obtaining it on account of being commander of a boat.  The former gained his title on account of being a military man, and serving at the time of the early settlement of Ohio to assist in protecting the whites from the Indians.  The grandfather of Mrs. Glass was of New England parentage and English ancestry.  She is a cousin to E. E. Dodge, the wealthy philanthropist of New York City, now deceased.  The elder Dodge came to Ohio in 1798, when his son, Capt. John, Jr., was a lad of nine years.  They settled along the borders of Wolf Creek, Washington County, and the elder Dodge built the first mill that was set running in the Buckeye State.  Mrs. Class, the wife of our subject, has a piece of the stone of this mill, which ground the first Hour in the State.  The stone was brought from Virginia.  She has also a pick that was used in dressing the stone, the handle of which is made from timber used in the construction of the dam whose waters turned the mill-wheel.  As may be supposed, these relics are highly prized.  In early life Mrs. Glass had the advantages of a thorough education, being a graduate of Granville Female Seminary, of Ohio.  This has been supplemented with careful reading and reflection, and now we find her to be a lady of broad and more liberal culture than is often found among the pioneer women of the State.  She has for years been identified with and an exponent of the movement to secure woman's rights, believing that the same rights and privileges accorded to man should be accorded to her sex.  She has been a frequent contributor to various publications, in which she has advocated these measures.  Her children received most of their training and education under the mother's care, and all of them are well educated, some of them graduates.
Shortly after his marriage our subject and his wife set out for Iowa, making their first halt in the little hamlet which is now Iowa City.  They soon afterward, in 1845, purchased their present home, which now consists of about 400 acres.  His farm formerly consisted of 900 acres, the balance of which he sold.  John P. Glass possessed an extraordinarily busy mind, his brain always devising new projects by which to advance his own interests, which he intended should also become identified with the welfare of the community around him.  He accordingly investigated the northern part of Iowa, in the belief that the manufacture of woolen goods would be a wise investment for some of the ready capital which he commanded.  He accordingly
selected a site and began the construction of the woolen-mill, which he operated about thirty years.  This completed and set in running order, he then erected the first steam grist-mill which was put up in the county, a few rods from the site of his homestead, which he operated about fifteen years, when it was destroyed by a cyclone, leveling the building to the ground.  He then abandoned the milling business.  He also operated a sawmill. He is now engaged in diversified farming and stock-raising.
John P. and Mrs. Eliza A. Glass are the parents of twelve children, three of whom are deceased.  The record is as follows : The eldest daughter, Annie E., is residing at home with her parents; Mary I. is the wife of John Murphy; Selina C. married A. A. C. Graves, and is deceased; Harriet M. is the wife of Archibald Woodfern, and they are residents of Waterloo; Jasper D. married Nancy Lane ; he is a farmer of Rapids Township; Sarah A. is the wife of Frank Fuller, a farmer of Nebraska; Israel O. lives at home; Vesta E. married George Hartsell, and they live in Texas; Amanda C. became the wife of William Jameson, a railroad conductor; Eunice A. is a bright and intelligent young lady, residing at home, and employed as a book-keeper for Umpstead & Co., in Cedar Rapids; she was formerly a teacher.
     The mother and three daughters are members in good standing of the Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Glass was formerly a Whig, but when the old party was abandoned and the new Republican party organized, he became a stanch Republican.  He is decided in his opinions, brave and courageous in the expression of them, and conscientious in the endorsement of everything he believes to be right and good.  It is hardly necessary to add that he is one of the most valued members of the community which he has done so much to build up and maintain.  To such men as Mr. Glass is the United States indebted tor the position which she holds among the nations.  The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Glass are shown on another page of this work, as is also a view of the home place, together with the old mill.

Source: John P. GLASS’ portrait, his wife’s portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 779 - 781, his portrait and his wife’s portrait on page 778

Submitted by:  Eric & Marcia Driggs


The subject of this sketch needs no special introduction to the readers of this volume, but the work would be incomplete without the record of his life. No man in Cedar Rapids has been more prominently identified with is business interests or has taken a more active part in its upbuilding and progress. He has cheerfully given his support to those enterprises that tend to public development, and has been connected with various interests that have promoted general welfare, though he is now practically living a retired life.

Mr. Goodrich was born in Utica, New York, December 15, 1826, and belongs to an old colonial family of Welsh origin which was founded in Berlin, Connecticut, at a very early day in the history of this country. His paternal grandfather, Leonard Goodrich, was a native of that state and was a pioneer of New York, settling near Utica. He fought for American independence as a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and lived to the advanced age of ninety-four years.

Curtis Goodrich, the father of our subject, was born near Albany, New York, in 1801, but reared on his father’s farm near Utice, and during his active business life engaged in farming and stock raising, making a specialty of sheep and cattle. He married Sophia Brigham, a native of Massachusetts. In October, 1855, they came to Linn county, Iowa, where they spent their last days, his wife dying in 1878, while his death occurred in March, 1884. All of their ten children reached mature years, but only three now survive, these being John E., the subject of this sketch; Francis, a florist of Ocala, Florida; and James C., who was a soldier of the Civil war, and after that struggle went to California, but is now a resident of Montana, where he is interested in mining.

Mr. Goodrich, whose name introduces this review, grew to manhood on the home farm and received a good academic education, after first attending the common schools. He began his business career as a hardware merchant in Utica, but soon sold out and went to Buffalo, where he engaged in clerking for the firm of Jewett & Root for two or three years. In 1845 he went to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he was similarly employed for about a year, and then came to Iowa, locating first at Iowa City, where he was engaged in teaming and railroad construction for a time. He next conducted a hotel at that place, it being a favorite stopping place for those emigrating westward. Subsequently he had charge of the Shields House at Vinton, Iowa, for one year, and in the fall of 1856 came to Linn county, locating at Lisbon, where he conducted the New York House until 1869, when he took charge of the Valley City House at Cedar Rapids, and carried on the same for thirteen years. He continued to successfully engage in the hotel business in this city for thirteen years, and then sold out. In the meantime he had become interested in other enterprises, and bought and improved a large amount of city property. In 1876 he purchased a lot and erected a house where he now resides, and at different times has owned about twenty houses in Cedar Rapids. In advancing his own interests he has materially aided in the growth and upbuilding of the city, and is to-day numbered among its most public-spirited and enterprising citizens.

On the 1st of June, 1865, at Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Goodrich was united in marriage with Miss Harriet E. Speck, who was born, reared and educated near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. They have become the parents of six children, who are still living, namely: Minnie, wife of J. R. Morrin, of Chicago; Almeda, wife of J. E. Byers, of Cedar Rapids; Belle, wife of E. E. Marquis, of Hastings, Nebraska; Fred, who holds a business position with Swift & Company, of Chicago; Gerturde, at home; and Garfield, also with Swift & Company, of Chicago.

In his political affiliations Mr. Goodrich was originally a Whig, and cast his first presidential ballot for Zachary Taylor. He joined the Republican party on its organization, voting for John C. Fremont in 1856, and for every presidential nominee of that party since that time. He has never cared for the honors or emoluments of public office, preferring rather to give his undivided attention to his business interests. He and his wife are earnest and consistent members of St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal church and stand high in public esteem. He is always mentioned as one the invaluable citizens of Cedar Rapids, and on the rolls of Linn county’s most honored pioneers and representative citizens his name should be among the foremost.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 137-8.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


For over forty years this gentleman has been prominently identified with the agricultural interests of Linn county, and is still actively engaged in farming and dairying in Marion, having forty acres of land within the corporate limits of the city. His home is on Eleventh street.

Mr. Granger was born in Windsor county, Vermont, August 28, 1843, and is a son of Samuel T. and Martha Jane (McIntosh) Granger, also natives of the Green Mountain state. The mother, who was a devout and zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church, died there September 17, 1859. In the spring of 1860 the father removed to Iowa and took up his residence in Marion, Linn county, where he owned a farm, all of which is now within the corporation. He also had another farm in Marion township, upon which he spent the last two years of his life, and throughout his business career followed farming. He was born July 25, 1808, and died in 1882. He took a very active and prominent part in church work, and filled all the layman offices. During the Civil war he served two years as wagon master in the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and was on duty among the Indians in the Dakotas, but he longed to take part in the active operations in the south, where he believed he could do more good. Although he was ill from exposure on his return home and never recovered his health, he would not apply for a pension.

Joseph Granger is the fourth in order of birth in a family of six children. He was reared to agricultural pursuits upon the home farm, and acquired his education in the common schools of Vermont. On laying aside his text books he devoted his time and energies solely to farming. In the fall of 1859, he came to Marion county, Iowa, where his father had previously purchased a farm, but had not removed here on account of his wife’s health. After he death he came west in the spring of 1860, as previously stated. Here our subject has engaged in farming, butchering and dairying and now keeps thirty milk cows.

On the 5th of October, 1870, Mr. Granger was united in marriage with Miss Caroline W. Cooper, who was born in Morgan county, Ohio, in 1849, but was brought to Linn county in the spring of that year by her parents, William and Laura Cooper. A sketch of her father appears on another page of this volume. Her mother died in 1855, at the age of thirty years, leaving four children, namely: Augusta M., wife of John Stockburger, of Marion; Caroline W., wife of our subject; Plymet P., wife of Fergus Cooper, of Buchanan county, Iowa; and Elizabeth, wife of Charles Eddy, of Seattle, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Granger have three children: Charles, a resident of Marion, has been twice married, and by his first wife had one son, Herbert Carlton, a most interesting and lovely child. His present wife was in her maidenhood Anna Day. Laura Ann is the wife of Herbert Shafer, of Cedar Rapids, of Cedar Rapids. Mary B. will graduate from Marion high school in the class of 1901.

The Republican party has always found in Mr. Granger a stanch supporter of its principles, and he is a most worthy and valued citizen of Marion, such a one as renders excellent service in any community. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and both are held in high regard by all who know them.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 119-120.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


There is no family better known in the northeastern part of Linn county or more deserving of prominent mention in its history than the Green family. The late Alfred F. Green, who for several years was one of the foremost business men of Coggon, was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1841, a son of Thomas and Mercy (Hancock) Green. The father was also a native of the same state, born in 1805, and continued his residence there until 1844, when he removed with his family to Iowa, settling in Dubuque county, where he followed farming for some years.

He then removed to a farm in Delaware county, where he resided about three years. Subsequently he came to Linn county and located in Jackson township, where the village of Coggon now stands, erecting there the house in which his son-in-law, I. S. Hanna, now resides, where his last days were spent with his children in retirement from active labor. He died May 9, 1887, and his wife passed away November 19, 1882.

Unto this worthy couple were born eight children, as follows: Sarah Ann, deceased, was the wife of John De Woody; Lydia, deceased, was the wife of Anthony English, of Dubuque county; Amos H., was one of the prominent citizens of Coggon, was a director of the Coggon State Bank, and was engaged in the milling business at that place for a number of years, after which he conducted a boarding house until his death, March 18, 1901. He married Sarah Spurgeon, and his widow and daughter now carry on the boarding house; Ruth is the wife of Milton Haggard, a resident of De Soto, Iowa; Alfred F., our subject, was next in order of birth; William died young; Maria is the wife of I. S. Hanna, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Henry married Mary Coquillette and lives in Clark, South Dakota.

On the 12th of June, 1870, Mr. Green was united in marriage with Miss Lydia Castle, who was born in Canandaigua, New York, April 2, 1853, and is a daughter of Lemuel and Mary (Case) Castle, also natives of the Empire state. It was in 1860 that her family came to Linn county, Iowa, and for several years her father was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Jackson township, but spent his last years in retirement with our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Green became the parents of seven children: Francis, who died in infancy; Milan J., who married Emma Mammoser and resides in Wesley, Iowa, where he is editor of the Wesley World; Minnie, wife of G. W. Olinger, a teacher of vocal music residing in Coggon; Carl A. and Ray L. are engaged in the hardware business in Coggon; Leo Rex and Glen Castle are at home.

During his residence in Delaware county Mr. Green taught school and also taught vocal music, but after coming to Coggon embarked in general merchandising and the milling business, he and his brother Amos H. owning the mill at this place, known as the Green Brothers gristmill, which they conducted for about twenty-five years. Our subject was also land agent and served as postmaster at Coggon for several years. He successfully carried on the mercantile and milling business until his death, which occurred November 23, 1899. He was a wide-awake, energetic and reliable business man, whose word was as good as his bond, and his affairs were so managed as to win for him the confidence of the public and the prosperity which should always attend honorable effort.

In politics he was a Democrat, and in his social relations was a charter member of both the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges of Coggon. After Mr. Green removed to Coggon he took up the study of law, in which he met with fair success, although he was never admitted to the bar. He always took an active interest in church work, both he and his wife belonging to the Christian church of that place. Mr. Green was a man who was beloved by all and at all times his hand and pocket were ready to assist any one in need of help. His family is one of prominence in both social and business circles, and own considerable property in Coggon and Jackson township. They have a pleasant home in the eastern part of the village, where hospitality reigns supreme.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, p. 775-776.


In the practice of law, in financial circles and in railroad building Judge Greene attained such success and prominence that his activities in any one of those fields would alone entitle him to representation among the men whose life work has conferred honor and dignity upon the history of Linn county. Moreover, his name is inseparably interwoven with the annals of Cedar Rapids in that he was one of the founders of the city and remained thereafter until his death one of the most helpful factors in its progress and improvement.

George Greene was born in Alton, Staffordshire, England, a son of Robert and Sefer (Woodward) Greene, who were also natives of Staffordshire, and a brother of William and Joseph Greene, who, like Judge Greene, gave liberally of time, thought and energy to the work of upbuilding in the west. The parents came to the United States when their son George was only two years of age, and it was in Buffalo, New York, that the other sons were born and there the father died in 1825. After his demise the mother returned to England in the hope of obtaining possession of some property which was rightfully hers, but failed in this and passed away at her old home in 1827. She had left her children in Buffalo when she returned to England and George Greene was thus left an orphan at the age of ten years. During the ensuing four years he managed not only to support himself but also provide for his younger brothers. Then he, too, went to England hoping that he might recover the property which his mother had failed to secure. He worked his passage and had to provide for his own support by securing employment when in his native land. He, too, failed in this mission and then he worked his passage back to America, saddened but not discouraged by his failure. He resolved that industry and economy should accomplish what he had failed to secure through inheritance and, realizing the value of education, he most carefully saved his earnings in order that he might further attend school. In this way he managed to supplement his early advantage by a year’s study in the Carysville Collegiate Seminary, a year in the Aurora Seminary and two years at French’s Collegiate Institute in Geneva, New York. During that period he taught school and did such other work as he could find to do. He next took up the study of law, hoping to make its practice a life profession. His reading was directed by the Hon. George P. Baker of Buffalo and he met his expenses during that period by assisting in the office and acting as bookkeeper for Dr. Chapin, with whom he made his home.

The year 1838 witnessed the arrival of Judge Greene in Iowa. He proceeded to Davenport, where he entered the employ of David J. Owen, who was making a geological survey of the state, and six months were devoted by Mr. Greene to surveying. This brought him a broad knowledge of the country and at the same time he was paid a liberal salary, from which he saved a considerable sum. He then made his way to Ivanhoe, Linn county, where he continued his law studies while teaching school, and in 1840 he was admitted to the bar at Iowa City. Choosing Marion as his place of location, he entered upon active practice there and the following year was chosen a member of the territorial legislature. In 1845 he engaged in law practice and in journalism in Dubuque, having purchased the Miners Express, which he published for several years. There he entered into partnership with J. J. Dyer, who was soon afterward appointed judge of the United States district court. In his law practice Mr. Greene made steady progress, giving proof of his ability to handle the complex and intricate problems of the law in his successful. conduct of litigation before the courts. His reputation was such that in 1847 he was appointed one of the supreme judges of the state to ff1 a vacancy and the following year was regularly elected. He sat upon the bench for eight years and proved himself the peer of the ablest jurists of the west at an early day. He also compiled Greene‘s Reports, which were published in four volumes. Throughout his life he remained a learned and discriminating lawyer and in his practice ranked with the eminent members of the Iowa bar. He did not confine his attention alone to his work as counselor and advocate, however, but in other fields did service of far-reaching benefit and value. He became one of the founders of Cedar Rapids, joining in 1849 with others who. owned the site in surveying and laying out the original town. He never ceased to feel the keenest interest in its upbuilding and progress and put forth earnest and effective effort in its behalf. He took up his abode in this city in 1851 and remained here continuously until his death save for a brief period.

Judge. Greene contributed to the material development of the city in financial circles, becoming associated with John Weare, D. 0. Finch, W. H. Merritt and others in the banking business and when the financial panic of 1857 came on he was actively connected with the management of nine banks in different localities. He was largely interested in real estate in most of the counties arid in nearly every large town of Iowa, and his initiative spirit enabled him to institute and successfully control such enterprises.

In 1859 Judge Greene formed a law partnership with Cyrus Bently, of Chicago, which continued for five years and during most of that time he lived in that city. He made his home in the winter of 1863-4 at McGregor, Iowa, while he and his brothers were building the McGregor Western Railroad to Conover. At the same time and for several years thereafter he was a factor in the building of the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad and thus became actively associated with the field of labor which is one of the most important sources of the upbuilding of any section of the country.

On his return to Cedar Rapids Judge Greene resumed the practice of law in partnership with Judge Dudley and his son-in-law, A. S. Belt, and the firm became solicitors for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. Continuing in active connection with railroad building and operation, Judge Greene was chosen to the presidency of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota Railroad and took active part in the building of that line, which was afterward operated under the name of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad. He constructed several other smaller railroads and was most prominent in the building of railway lines in Iowa, Illinois. Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas. He also took active part in the material development of Cedar Rapids through the erection of many buildings here and through the financial support which he gave to the Cedar Rapids & Marion Railway. Hardly an enterprise of any importance was instituted in Cedar Rapids in which he was not financially associated or had voice in its management. lie always looked beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities of the future and labored for coming years as well as for the present.

Judge Greene was married twice. On the 30th of May, 1838, he wedded Miss Harriet Merritt, a daughter of Jesse and Harriet (Hilton) Merritt, of Buffalo, New York. They became parents of four children: George W., who was born April 4, 1839, and died in Ivanhoe, Iowa, March 13, 1840; Susan H., who was born March 3, 1841, in Marion, and was married November 26, 1862, to Algernon S. Belt, an attorney of the Cedar Rapids bar, and is now residing in San Francisco, California, her husband having died in 1878; Mary Ely, who was born in Dubuque, June 7, 1843, and died July 28, 1844; and Edward Merritt, who was born March 29, 1b45, in Dubuque, and married Emma Eberhart. He was at one time engaged in the lumber business in Cedar Rapids, and died in Chicago. The mother passed away in Dubuque, April 25, 1850, and on the 21st of January, 1855, Judge Greene married Miss Frances R. Graves, whose parents were Calvin and Fanny (Carlisle) Graves, of Cooperstown, New York. Six Sons and two daughters were born to that union: Calvin G., born February 18, 1856, is now engaged in the real-estate business in Cedar Rapids; Fanny C., born January 19, 1858, died in October, 1859; George, born December 28, 1859, was married September 1, 1886, to Charlotte Winton, and resides at Brookline, Massachusetts; William J., born November 28, 1861, married October 7, 1896, to Mae Huldah Whittam, and is construction engineer of the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway and Light Company; Elizabeth, born August 13, 1864, was married Co Nicholas Williams McIvor, and is now a resident of Yokahama, Japan, where her husband (formerly United States consul general) is now engaged in the practice of law; Robert C., born December 22, 1867, died June 19, 1885; Francis, born May 14, 1870, is a mechanical engineer and now resides in Madison, Wisconsin; Woodward K., born August 2, 1873, married Ellen Belle Safely, May 29, 1899, and is a special agent of the National Biscuit Company, residing in Chicago.

While Judge Greene was an eminent lawyer and a successful business man he was not unmindful of his obligations of citizenship and, on the contrary, took active and helpful interest in those things which tended to promote the intellectual and moral progress of the community. He was one of the founders and a warden of Grace Episcopal church and one of the most loyal promoters of Coe Collegiate Institute, which has since become Coe College, serving for many years as president of its board of trustees. His life record is a splendid illustration of the power and force of character and ability when the individual is deprived of the advantages which come through wealth and advantageous early environment. Strong and resourceful and possessed of discriminating judgment, Judge Greene seemed to know when and where and how to put forth his efforts to obtain the best results. Gifted by nature with strong intellectuality, he so used his natural gifts that they grew and developed with the passing years. He stood for that which is highest and best for the individual and for the community and his labors were ever far-reaching and beneficial in their effects. He stands today not only among the promoters and upbuilders of Cedar Rapids but is numbered among those to whom the middle west is much indebted because his business activities were largely of a character that contributed to the progress of this section of the country. He was laid to rest with Masonic honors following his demise, which occurred at his home in Cedar Rapids, June 23, 1880.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 4-7.

Contributed by: Terry Carlson

John M. Grimm

Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from February 1, 1929, when he was appointed in compliance with a legislative act increasing the personnel from eight to nine members, until he resigned September 15, 1932.
Born in Henry county, Illinois, December 21, 1866.  In 1877 the family moved to a farm near Williamsburg, Iowa.  He was graduated from the Law Department of the University of Iowa in 1890 and began the practice of law at Cedar Rapids where he formed a partnership with a son of former Judge Rothrock.  For six years he was County Attorney of Linn county.

After his retirement from the bench he returned to private practice of the law at Cedar Rapids.

Judge Grimm died at Cedar Rapids December 22, 1943.

Source of biographical sketch (verbatim transcription) and portrait:  “Annals of Iowa”, 3rd series, volume XXVI, issue 3, January, 1945, page 221

(Transcriber’s note:  John M. Grimm is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Linn County, Iowa)

Submitted by: Eric & Marcia Driggs

John M. Grimm, B. S., LL. B.

Among Cedar Rapids' prominent and successful attorneys must be numbered John M. Grimm, who has been connected with the bar of this city since July 1, 1890, but has already made for himself an enviable reputation in professional circles. He was born in Wethersfield township, Henry county, Illinois, December 21, 1866, and is a son of Charles H. and Catherine (McLennan) Grimm, the former a native of Germany, the latter of Ross-shire, Scotland. Soon after his emigration to America the father located in Henry county, Illinois, and later came to Iowa county, Iowa, taking up his residence near Williamsburg, where he followed farming very successfully until life's labors were ended. He died in 1873, at the age of forty-five years, and his wife departed this life in 1885, at the age of about fifty years. Of their two children one died in infancy, so that our subject is the only representative of the family now living.

John M. Grimm began his education in the public schools of Illinois, and after coming to this state pursued a high-school course at Marengo, where he was graduated in 1883. He passed his boyhood and youth upon a farm, where he remained until he entered upon a collegiate course at the Iowa State University at Iowa City. While attending that institution he cut short the college year, and for several summers engaged in civil engineering, spending one season in Nebraska with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad; one in Iowa with the Illinois Central Railroad; and two years in Sioux City. It thus took him five years to complete the college course, graduating in the class of 1889 with the degree of B. S. During the last year of his collegiate course he took up the study of law, and one year after receiving his degree of B. S., in June, 1890, graduated from the law department of the State University.

Coming to Cedar Rapids, Mr. Grimm formed a partnership with James H. Rothrock, Jr., under the firm name of Rothrock & Grimm, the senior member being a son of Judge J. H. Rothrock, who was on the supreme bench twenty-one years. After the Judge retired from that office, in January, 1896, he became connected with his son and our subject in the private practice of law, and continued with them until his death, in January, 1898. The son was still a member of the firm until after his election as judge of the superior court of Cedar Rapids, when, in January, 1901, the partnership was dissolved. Later the firm of Preston, Grimm & Moffit was formed, consisting of J. H. Preston and J. M. Grimm, of Cedar Rapids, and J. T. Moffit, of Tipton, Iowa, with offices at Cedar Rapids and Tipton, Cedar county, Iowa.

Mr. Grimm makes a specialty of corporation practice, and now represents the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, the Illinois Central Railroad as local attorney, and the order of Railroad Conductors of America as general counsel. In the fall of 1892 he was elected county attorney on the Republican ticket, and entered upon the duties of the office January 1, 1893. He filled that position three successive terms, and the county reports show that while in office he transacted more business at less expense than any county in the state, giving every detail of the business his personal attention, keeping down expenses and discouraging improper criminal litigation. He is a very able and efficient attorney, and his growing business has given him prestige in the city.

Mr. Grimm has also become interested in several business enterprises, and is now a stockholder and secretary of the Cedar Rapids Canning Company, organized in 1898, and a stockholder of the Cedar Rapids New Telephone Company. He is attorney for the Cedar Rapids National Bank, and also for many leading fire and casualty insurance companies and mining corporations of the city. He is an active member of the Commercial Club, and a director of the Cedar Rapids Auditorium Company, which has erected a commodious building especially for public meetings. He was one of the prime movers in organizing this company and in furthering its plans.

December 27, 1894, Mr. Grimm married Miss Orphea Bealer, a daughter of E. J. C. Bealer. They now have one son, Donald Stephen, who was born January 27, 1896. Mrs. Grimm is a lady of domestic tastes, who takes an exceptional pride in her home and family, and makes friends wherever she goes.

Mr. Grimm is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, and the D. O. K. K. He takes an active part in the social features of these orders, has filled all the chairs in the Knights of Pythias Lodge, and in 1892 delivered the address of welcome to the grand lodge which met at Cedar Rapids. Being an orator of exceptional ability, he has often been called upon to deliver addresses on Memorial day and the 4th of July throughout the county.

He is a supporter of the Universalist church, and one of its prominent workers, though not a member. Public spirited and progressive, he takes a deep interest in all enterprises which he believes calculated to promote the moral, social or material welfare of the community. Mr. Grimm has always been actively identified with political affairs, has served as president and secretary of the Republican county committee and of Republican clubs at different times, but has never been an office seeker. He is one of the most popular young men of the city, and owes his success in life to his perseverance, energy and a laudable ambition to succeed.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, p. 739-740.


Among the leading representatives of the industrial interests of Cedar Rapids is Joseph P. Grissel, who came to this city in 1889, and has since been quite extensively engaged in the manufacture of cornice. He was born in New York city, on the 7th of July, 1859, and is a son of Vincent and Annie (Katzerovsky) Grissel, both natives of Germany. The father was born November 22, 1828, and remained in the land of his birth until 1852, when he came to the United Stated, accompanied by his wife and one son, John. He ifrst located in New York, where he followed farming until about 1862, when he came to Iowa, and here worked as a farm hand for several years, but was finally able to purchase a farm near Iowa City, and to its operation devoted his time and energies for several years. He is now living retired in Iowa City, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned. As a voter he has always been an active worker in political circles, and has held minor offices in his township and city. Fraternally he affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. During his long residence in this state he has watched with interest its wonderful development, has seen towns and cities spring into existence, and in the work of upbuilding and advancement he has ever bore his part. His wife died in February, 1897.

Of the nine children born to this worthy couple, one son, Frank, died at the age of four years, and John, the oldest, died at the age of thirty-five. The latter was admitted to the bar and engaged in the practice of law for some time before his death. Those of the family still living are Rudolph, a general merchant of Woonsocket, Sanborn county, South Dakota; Charles, a farmer of Iowa City; Joseph P., our subject; Annie, wife of J. J. Cerney, an employe of the Golden Eagle Clothing Company, of Iowa City; Mary, at home with her father; Vincent M., a traveling salesman, and George, a tailor by trade, who is also at home. The children were educated in the public schools.

Joseph P. Grissel is indebted to the schools of Iowa City for his educational advantages. At the age of sixteen he began his business career by learning the tinner’s trade, which he has since followed, doing general repair work and manufacturing cornice. He remained at Iowa City until coming to Cedar Rapids in 1889, and has since conducted business at this place. He formed a partnership with V. W. Maresh, a resident of Iowa City, who sold his interest in the business in 1895 to his son, S. E. Maresh, and the latter was a member of the firm until 1900, since which time Mr. Grissel has been alone in business, though V. W. Maresh is still connected with him in the ownership of what is known as the A. O. U. W. block on First avenue. For a number of years he was the only manufacture of galvanized iron cornice, roofing, etc., in Cedar Rapids, and has met with excellent success in this enterprise.

In 1884, in Iowa City, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Grissel and Miss Annie Pisha, who was born in Bohemia, in December, 1859, and came to this country with her parents when only a year old. Six children bless this union, namely: Walter R., Ella M., Clarence, Earl, Elmer and Annie.

Fraternally Mr. Grissel is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Masonic fraternity, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in the last named lodge he has passed through all the chairs. He is a supporter of church work and gives his influence to all enterprises which he believes will prove of public benefit. On coming to Cedar Rapids he at once became identified with the Democratic party of this city and has taken an active part in its work.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 129-130.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


John Grover, born in Herefordshire, England, on October 5, 1815, immigrated to the United States as a young man of 18 years (1833) and found employment as a lead miner near Potosi, Wisconsin. While in Potosi, he met Deborah Denio and about three years later the couple were married. It is interesting to note that all members of the Denio family were explorers. The new world progenitor of this family was born in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada, in 1704, where his father and two uncles were guides for the French explorers searching for the Northwest Passage.

The descendants of this man were scouts for our revolutionary army and leaders of the several Indian allies against the British. Deborah's father had explored Illinois, Wisconsin, and most of Minnesota, prior to 1811, and in 1812, he founded the town of Oneco, Illinois. His oldest daughters, Luanna and Arvilla, were married there by an Indian Missionary enroute to an outpost in northern Wisconsin. Both of these girls had large families and lives in that area for many years.

John and Deborah moved their family to Linn County, Iowa, where John established himself as a farmer and businessman. Two of their daughters became early residents of Ocheyedan, Mary Elizabeth as the wife of Isaac Cahill Stewart and Jane as a school teacher and long term resident. Mary Elizabeth has been described as a tender hearted person, strong willed with an indomitable spirit.

Jane Grover was affectionately known as "Aunt Jane" to the family and her very close friends. She never married but chose to attend normal school and become a teacher. Her first professional position was near Dickenson, Dakota Territory (about 1885). Her pay was $360 per year plus board and room at a nearby ranch and a horse with saddle to ride to school. One of her favorite stories was how she bribed the cowhands at the ranch to build a corral and shelter for her horse at the school by treating them to homemade candy. She continued her teaching in various schools throughout the Dakota

Territories and Iowa, and made frequent visits to her friends and relatives in the Ocheyedan area. She finally settled permanently in Ocheyedan, in her home near the post office (late 1920s or early 1930s), where she was looked after by her nephew A.L. Stewart, and a niece, Mae Grover Jones. Aunt Jane died October 26, 1948, and is buried in the Issac Cahill Stewart family plot in the Ocheyedan Cemetery.

Ocheyedan Centennial


Father Gunn, pastor of the Immaculate Conception church of Cedar Rapids, has for over twenty years ministered faithfully to the spiritual needs of his people here and has given powerful and effective aid to all influences which work for the advancement of the community. Revered and beloved by his own congregation, he has also won the honor and esteem of all others who have seen his devotion to his noble calling.

A native of Ireland, he was born in Roscommon county, December 3, 1840, and is a son of Thomas and Catherine (Murray) Gunn, who spent their entire lives in that country. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died at the age of seventy-three years, and the mother only survived him three months, dying at the age of sixty-eight. Of their eleven children our subject is the fifth in order of birth. Eight are still living, and one brother, Francis Joseph, is now pastor of the Immaculate Conception church at Elma, Iowa.

While a boy in his native land Father Gunn attended the public schools of Roscommon, and also the classical academy at Longford, completing his classical course at Alphin, Roscommon county. In 1861 he came to America and located at Galena, Illinois, where a first cousin, John McGann, was serving as priest, remaining with him until the latter's death, two months later. He then came to Iowa, and by order of the Bishop Smith was sent to St. Michael's College, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he spent one year. He next took up the study of theology at St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he remained three years and a half.

On the 15th of February, 1867, Father Gunn was ordained a priest by Archbishop Haney, now deceased, and was first stationed at Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he spent three years. He was then called to Dubuque to take charge of the Cathedral in the absence of the bishop, who was attending the Vatican council in Rome, and on his return Father Gunn was retained at Dubuque to build the cathedral, which he accomplished, expending about forty thousand dollars. At the end of three years he was appointed pastor of St. Paul's church at Burlington, where the following seven years were passed and where he built the Academy of Lourdes, and in October, 1880, he came to Cedar Rapids as pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, with which he is still connected. During his residence here he has expended about fifty-six thousand dollars in improving the church, and has established a school, a co-educational institution, which is conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, and is now in a flourishing condition. He has also erected a fine parsonage, and has put a new organ in the church, costing thirty-five hundred dollars. He also built the priest's house and also the sister's house, and in fact all the improvements of the parish. These evidences of material progress, however, give no indication of the great work he has done in molding and shaping to higher issues the lives of those to whom he gives his best thought.

Father Gunn is now senior dean of the arch diocese of Dubuque, and has about ten churches in his district, to which he gives his active supervision in case of need. He is recognized as one of the ablest men in the Catholic church in Iowa. Personally he is very popular, not alone in his own church but with the people of all denominations, and is a man of fine personal appearance and a ready and eloquent speaker.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, p. 61-62.

Contributed by Terry Carlson

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