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Charles J. Haas, county attorney of Linn county, who enjoys the distinction of being the only democrat elected in 1906 and again in 1908, was born in Central City, Iowa, on the 14th of December, 1867, and is a son of William and Virginia (Gillilan) Haas. The father came from the vicinity of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and settled in Linn county in pioneer times. He had been educated in the schools of his native state and was a young man of twenty-one years when he arrived in Linn county. He accepted whatever employment he could secure and carefully saving his earnings was at length enabled to purchase about forty acres of land near Central City. Subsequently he disposed of that and acquired another farm near Central City, which is still known as the Haas homestead and comprises about two hundred and twenty-five acres of rich land which was carefully cultivated by the father for many years and transformed into productive fields. He is now living retired and is one of the respected citizens of his community. unto him and his wife have been born six children: Charles J.; Mamie, who has departed this life; Josie; Frank, who wedded Miss Mary Rider; Paul, who is deceased; and Irma.

The Haas family is an old one in America. The parents of William Haas were Charles and Sarah (Aten) Haas. The former was born in New Jersey, removing to Pennsylvania in his boyhood, and he, too, followed agricultural pursuits.

Charles J. Haas, reared in this county, attended the district schools and worked on the farm during his boyhood days, dividing his time between the acquirement of an education and the labors of the fields. After he was seventeen years of age he pursued a course in Duncan's Commercial College in Davenport and subsequently engaged in teaching school for a few years. He then went to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he spent two years in study, after which he resumed the teacher's profession. Later he turned his attention to the study of law, which he also pursued in the Northern Indiana Law School at Valparaiso, from which he was graduated with the class of 1891. He was then admitted to the bar in Porter county, Indiana, and also admitted to practice before the supreme court of that state. He returned, however, to Iowa, and again engaged in teaching school for a few years. In 1895 he took up his abode in Marion, where he has since resided, giving his attention to the practice of law. In 1897 he was elected city attorney and filled the position in an acceptable manner for three terms. In November, 1900, he formed a partnership with D. E. Voris, with offices in the Farmers & Merchants Bank building and enjoyed a good clientage in the private practice of law until the fall of 1906, when he was elected county attorney. In 1908 he was reelected and was the only democratic candidate who received a majority in those two years - a fact which indicates his personal popularity and the confidence and trust reposed in his professional ability,. He is now filling the office in most creditable manner for the second term and is justly accounted one of the foremost representatives of the Linn county bar.

Mr. Haas belongs to the Trojan Lodge, No. 268, A. F. & A. M., to Mariola Lodge, No. 8, K. P., of which he is past chancellor, while in 1907 he was a member of the judiciary committee of the grand lodge. He also holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a past noble grand. His life has been characterized by steady progress along lines demanding keep intellectuality, and in the practice of law he displays careful analysis, clear reasoning and sound logic, whereby he has won many notable verdicts.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, page 303-4.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Among the sturdy, energetic and successful farmers and stock raisers of Franklin township, who thoroughly understand the vocation which they follow and are consequently enabled to carry on their calling with profit to themselves, is the subject of this sketch, whose farm is on section 16, Franklin township. He was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, March 19, 1858, and in 1862 came to Iowa with his parents, Amos and Henrietta (Barnes) Hahn, whose entire lives up to that time had been passed in the Keystone state. On the paternal side our subject's ancestors came from Holland, but the Barnes family originated in Scotland. On coming to this state Amos Hahn first located near Lisbon, in Franklin township, Linn county, but later removed to section 3 in the same township, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty-five acres, making it his home throughout the remainder of his life. He died February 12, 1897, and his wife departed this life December 20, 1896 both being buried in the Lisbon cemetery. They had five children: Sarah, now the wife of William Dixon, of Linn Grove, Linn township; Clarence E., our subject; Frank, who married Hattie Leese, and is a carpenter and contractor of Mt. Vernon; Ella, wife of John Hoodmaker, who runs a dray and hack line in Mt. Vernon; and Philip, who married Ella Davis and is engaged in teaming in Mt. Vernon.

Clarence E. Hahn began his education in the Glenwood school, and completed it in the Mt. Vernon public school, and after laying aside his text books at the age of seventeen years he devoted his entire time and attention to the operation of the home farm. Six years later the family removed to the farm which he now owns and occupies, and he managed the same until his father's death. He has since purchased the interests of the other heirs, and has made many improvements upon the place, the model country residence being surrounded by beautiful trees, which forms a most attractive spot in the landscape.

At Anamosa, Iowa, August 31, 1899, Mr. Hahn married Miss Catherine McDonnell, who was born in Fairview township, Jones county, Iowa, January 22, 1865. Her father, John McDonnell, was a native of County Clare, Ireland, and in 1853 came to America on the British Queen, a sailing vessel, which was three months in crossing the Atlantic at that time. He landed in New York, and engaged in farming in the Empire state for seven years before coming to Iowa. Locating in Jones county, he worked as a farm hand until 1857, and then purchased eighty acres of land in Brown township, Linn county, where he still continues to reside. He has added to his original purchase from time to time, however, until he now has two hundred and forty acres of very valuable and productive land. His parents, two brothers and two sisters also came to the United States. While in New York he became acquainted with Margaret Lynch, who was working in the same family where he was employed, and their friendship ripening into love they were afterward married at Cascade, Jones county, Iowa. She was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, and she came to the new world in 1855 on the steamer Lucy Thompson, which sailed from Liverpool to New York. Two years later she went to Dubuque, where she made her home until her marriage. She died November 18, 1891. The McDonnell family lived originally in Scotland, and from that country went to Ireland. Mrs. Hahn is the third in order of birth in a family of eight children, the others being Mary, who resides with her father; William, who died in 1889, at the age of twenty-seven years; Thomas, who died in 1893, at the age of twenty-eight; Margaret, also at home with her father; Alice, wife of Albert Dunn, of Linn township, this county; Lucy, at home; and Louis, who now manages his father's farm.

In his social relations Mr. Hahn is a prominent member of Bethlehem Lodge, No. 3, K. of P., of Mt. Vernon, of which he is past chancellor, and he also belongs to the Modern Brotherhood of America. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and he has most capably and satisfactorily filled the office of road supervisor in his district.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 25-26.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


One of the oldest pioneers who yet lives to tell of the trials and struggles through which the early settlers passed in establishing homes in Linn County, is the gentleman whose name heads this notice.  He came here in 1837, and for a period of half a century has been closely identified with the development of the county, and has gained a reputation for honesty and straightforward dealing second to none within her boundaries.  He has witnessed the county's development from a wild, uncultivated tract of land to one of the richest and most productive agricultural districts in the State, and has contributed his quota to her advancement in these directions.
Daniel Hahn was born in Butler County, Ohio, June 8, 1809.  His father, Joseph Hahn, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his father, the paternal grandfather of our subject, at one time owned the site of the present thriving and populous city of Cincinnati.  The grandfather was killed by the Indians at North Bend, while there for the purpose of selling a tract of land to raise money to pay the balance which he owed on the site of the city of Cincinnati.  It is not certain whether the grandfather was born in this country or not, but if not, he was of German parentage.
The father of our subject was born in Pennsylvania, but after the death of his father the family removed to Butler County, Ohio, where they secured land and where our subject's father was reared to manhood.  He followed the vocation of farming, and continued to reside in Butler County until 1820, when he removed to Indiana, settling near Crawfordsville and clearing a farm.  He removed from the latter county to Knox County, I11., where he was a pioneer, and where he also improved a farm and erected thereon a good set of frame buildings, and was busily engaged at farm work until his death, which occurred in 1850.
The maiden name of our subject's mother was Susannah Seward, who was a native of York State and a cousin of the Hon. W. H. Seward.  She died in Butler County, Ohio.  Our subject was the fourth in order of birth of his parents' family of five children, and the youngest of four sons and the only child now living.  He was but five years old when his mother died, and twelve years of age when the family removed to Indiana, and there lived to attain his majority.  His opportunity of acquiring an education was limited, as there were no free schools in those days, and what education he received was through the instruction of a private tutor.
Mr. Hahn married, in 1830, Permelia Epperson, who was born in Tennessee and reared in Kentucky.  He leased a tract of land in Montgomery County, Ind., after his marriage, and lived there until 1834, engaged the while in farming.  He then, accompanied by his wife and four children, started for Illinois overland, bringing his household goods with him.  Arriving in that State, he located at Henderson Grove, and worked his father's land until the fall of 1836.  He then moved to Mercer County, that State, but could not obtain a clear title to land desired in that county, and in the spring of 1837, in company with his brother-in-law, Charles Moberley, started for the Black Hawk purchase.  They had one horse, and on their journey purchased corn and bread sufficient to satisfy their hunger.  They, however, remained only a short time when they returned to Illinois and, with two yoke of oxen, came to this State and located in Cedar County, where his brother-in-law had a claim.  Remaining with him a short time, our subject then came to this county and located on the identical tract of land on which he now resides.  He broke a few acres, erected a log house on his claim, and in July returned to Illinois for his family, and brought them and his household goods to his new home with his faithful ox-teams.  At this time he was the owner of two yoke of oxen, a mare and a colt, four cows and about fifty cents in money.  He put in a crop of buckwheat on his brother-in-law's sod land, which, after harvesting and placing in a bin, he was extremely discouraged to see the angry flames destroy, and he was consequently obliged in buy buckwheat, which he ground in a coffee-mill to keep the wife and children from starving.  The following year he raised a crop of winter wheat which he reaped with a sickle and threshed with a flail.  The nearest mill was on Rock Creek, twenty miles distant.  Wild game of all kinds was plenty, and had it not been so the early pioneers would have had an extremely hard time to keep from starving to death, and our subject still retains possession of the old gun which he had in those days, and with which he killed many a deer, the same gun having been owned by his father.  Mr. Hahn was always fearless, and was a terror to horse-thieves who roamed the country during the early settlement of this county.  His life was threatened by them time after time, and he always went armed and prepared for any emergency that might arise.  The land when he first came here was unsurveyed, and the log cabin in which he first lived was covered with shakes, and he even lived in it for several months without ever having a floor.
After the land came into the market our subject entered eighty acres, which took nearly all the money he had.  This he had made off the land by raising wheat, corn ami pork, which he sold at Muscatine and Dubuque.  He afterward entered other land as he could obtain the means to do so, and the last eighty acres of his claim he paid for with money received from a man who came along while he was confined to the house, sick, and who bought some hogs from him and paid him just enough money to enter his last eighty acres.  He entered in all 280 acres, and is now the proprietor of 258 acres of the identical land which he entered from the Government almost fifty years ago.  He has a fine stone quarry, good timber and running water on his place, and from the insignificant price which he paid for it, it has advanced in value until it is now a handsome competency on which he can live and enjoy his declining years in peace and quiet.  His place is on section 15, Franklin Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Hahn became the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters.  The faithful wife and mother departed this life Nov. 16, 1881.  Five sons are still living.  Charles is a resident of Johnson County, Iowa; Joseph, of Osborn County, Kan.; Daniel, of the little city of Mt. Vernon, in this State; and Sarah, the wife of William Murray, lives in California; Mary E. married Edward Haley, of Franklin Township; Jane became the wife of George Johns, and lives in Mt. Vernon; Elias lives in Kansas; Permelia lives in Mt. Vernon, and John manages the old homestead.
Mr. Hahn, politically, affiliates with the Democratic party.  He cast his first vote for Gen. Jackson, and has remained firm in the faith of his early manhood, and is perfectly satisfied with President Cleveland's administration.  In religion he is an old school predestinarian Baptist.
A lithographic portrait of Mr. Hahn is shown on another page of this work.

Source: portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, pages 377 - 379, portrait on page 376

Submitted by:  Eric & Marcia Driggs


Among those who fought so gallantly for the preservation of the Union during the dark days of the Rebellion and have always been numbered among the most public-spirited and loyal citizens of the community in which they reside is H. S. Hale, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, who was for many years identified with the business interests of that place, but is now living a retired life.

A native of New Hampshire, he was born June 3, 1833, and is a son of Joseph W. and Susan (Emerson Hale, both of whom were born in Barrington, New Hampshire, and died in Conway, that state. In order of birth their children were as follows: Lorenzo T., who married Hannah Hill, served fourteen months in the Fourteenth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, and is now a resident of Conway; Lydia married Silas Von Dexter, and both are now deceased; Susan died unmarried; John married Ann Willey and lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa; Mary is the wife of George Perry, of Des Moines, Iowa; H. S. is the next of the family; and Thomas married Addie Holman and during the Civil war enlisted in Company F, Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged on account of illness at Helena, Arkansas, and died soon after his return home; and Edgar is engaged in the mining business in Colorado.

During his boyhood H. S. Hale attended the district schools of his native state through the winter. On leaving home at the age of eighteen years he went to Boston, Massachusetts, and obtained employment in the ship yard, where he worked on the Great Republic, the largest sailing vessel which had been built up to that time. He remained there from 1852 until 1859, and in the fall of the latter year came to Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he worked as a laborer until the Civil war broke out.

In 1862, Mr. Hale enlisted at Mt. Vernon, in Company F, Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and went into camp at Muscatine, Iowa, whence he went to St. Louis and later to Helena, Arkansas, where the regiment remained through the winter. While in camp the regiment made three expeditions first to Moose Lake, then up the St. Francis river and up the White river to DuBall’s Bluff. In April they started the Vicksburg campaign, and took part in the skirmishes at Grand Gulf and Port Gibson; the battles of Champion Hills, Raymond and Jackson; and the siege of Vicksburg. After the surrender of that stronghold July 4, 1863, the regiment went in pursuit of General Johnston’s forces, to Jackson, Mississippi, but on the 17th of that month returned to Vicksburg. They next went to Natchez, Mississippi, and later to Carrolton, Louisiana, and were in a number of skirmishes during the fall and winter. The next spring they went with General Banks on the Red river expedition, and returned to New Orleans in June, 1864. There they embarked on a large vessel, known as the Star of the West, and went down the Mississippi, across the Gulf and up the coast to Washington, D. C. They joined General Sheridan in the Shenadoah Valley in July, and were in and around Harpers Ferry until the battle of Winchester, September 19. They also took part in the famous engagement at Cedar creek on the 19th of October, when General Sheridan made his memorable ride. Our subject heard the General say, “We will camp this evening where you left this morning.” He went with his command to Harrisburg, and from there to Stephenson’s Station, where they remained in camp through the winter. In April, 1865, they went to Washington, and there took passage on board a ship for Morehead City, North Carolina, and from there went to Gouldsburg, that state. On their return to Morehead City they shipped for Susannah, and on reaching there were ordered to Augusta, Georgia. They finally returned to Savannah, where they were mustered out of service July 17, 1865. They returned to Davenport, Iowa, by way of Washington, D. C., and were discharged on the 2nd of August.

On again taking up his residence in Mt. Vernon, Mr. Hale was engaged in the lumber and grain business for three years, and later followed contracting and painting. He purchased six acres of land in what is now the heart of Mt. Vernon, which was divided into town lots. He has steadily prospered owning to the increase in value of his property, and his good business ability, and is now able to lay aside all business cares, and spend the remainder of his life in ease and quiet. He still owns some property which he rents.

On the 25th of November, 1859, Mr. Hale was married in Chicago, Illinois, to Miss Abbie Hill, who was also born in New Hampshire, January 16, 1837. Her parents, Charles and Nancy (Russell) Hill, spent their entire lives in that state, and their remains were interred at Conway, New Hampshire. They had six children, namely: Hannah D., wife of Lorenzo T. Hale, of New Hampshire, brother of our subject; Richard, who wedded Mary Chase, now deceased, and lives on the old homestead in Conway, New Hampshire; Eunice, who married Joseph Cloutman and died in Conway in 1884; Abbie, wife of our subject; Charles, who was a member of the Fourteenth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry and died in 1900; and Sarah, a resident of Conway, New Hampshire.

Mr. and Mrs. Hale are the parents of six children: Homer, born November 4, 1861, died July 9, 1863; Jesse, born April 28, 1867, was married August 16, 1893, to Mary Motherall, a native of this state, and is now a contractor in painting at Sioux Rapids, Iowa; Charles, born in a log house at McMinnville, Warren county, Tennessee, August 1, 1870, and is engaged in painting at Mt. Vernon. He was married, December 2, 1897, to Roxey Easterly, a native of Linn county, and they have once child, Mary M., born in May, 1899; Grace A., born June 3, 1872, was married, March 3, 1900, to George Towne, who is a bookkeeper in a bank in Chicago; an infant born December 30, 1874, died December 3, 1875; Sadie M., born September 14, 1876, lives with her parents.

Mr. Hale was reared a Whig and became a Republican on the organization of that party, casting the first presidential vote for John C. Fremont. He is a honored member of the Legion of Honor and W. C. Dimmock Post, No. 400, G. A. R., while his wife is connected with the Women’s Relief Corps and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. For over forty years they have been numbered among the leading residents of Mt. Vernon, and they have a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the county who esteem them highly for their sterling worth.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 113-115.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion

HON. JOHN T. HAMILTON (from 1901 History)

Honored and respected by all, there is no man in Cedar Rapids who occupies a more enviable position in mercantile and financial circles than John T. Hamilton, not alone on account of the brilliant success he has achieved, but also on account on the honorable, straightforward business policy he has ever followed.

A native of Illinois, he was born in Geneseo, Henry county, on the 16th of October, 1843, and is a son of James Steele Hamilton, whose birth occurred in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1812. His paternal grandfather, Alexander Hamilton, was born in Ireland of Scotch ancestry. The father grew to manhood in his native state, and about 1839 removed to Henry county, Illinois, where he married Miss Mary E. Taylor, a native of Antrim, New Hampshire, and a daughter of Andrew Taylor, who was also one of the pioneer settler of Henry country. There the father of our subject engaged in farming throughout the greater part of his active business life, and there he died in 1889, though he had lived for a few years in Benton county, Iowa. He was always a Democrat in politics and a Presbyterian in religious belief. His wife is still living. Of their five children John T., of this review, is the oldest; W. W. and Porter are also residents of Cedar Rapids; Sarah E. is the wife of William Orr, of Geneseo, Illinois; and James W. died at Coggon, this county, in 1895.

John T. Hamilton began his education in a small log school house, and later attended the Geneseo Seminary. He remained under the parental roof until reaching manhood, and from 1864 until 1868 was in the fire insurance business in Geneseo. On the 2d of February of the latter year he came to Cedar Rapids, and formed a partnership with A. T. Averill, under the firm name of Averill & Hamilton, as dealers in farm machinery, seeds and coal on North First street, where they continued to carry on business in a frame building until 1873, when they built a part of what is known as the Merchants block, now a part of the Fair, and removed to that location. A year later Mr. Averill sold his interest to J. R. Amidon, and business was successfully conducted under the style of Hamilton & Amidon. Needing more commodious quarters, in 1883, they erected a larger block at the corner of First street and Third avenue, where they did business until 1891, when our subject’s brothers purchased Mr. Amidon’s interest, and the name was changed to Hamilton Brothers. In 1899 they built a fine four-story brick block, one hundred and twenty feet square, exclusively for their own use. They handle seeds, coal and all kinds of vehicles, and do a large wholesale business which extends throughout the state.

Mr. Hamilton has not confined his attention alone to this line of trade, but has become prominent in banking circles. He was a stockholder of the City National Bank, and one of the organizers of the Cedar Rapids Savings Bank, which was the first savings bank established in the city. Its capital stock has been increased from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars, and it now has a surplus of thirty-five thousand dollars, while its deposits amount to one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which is the heaviest of any savings bank in the city. They began business at No. 8 First street, but in 1896 removed to their new six-story building, the two lower stories of which are of Sioux Falls jasper. The vaults are all steel lined. Mr. Hamilton has served as president of this bank since its incorporation, and not a little of its success is due to his able management and sound judgement. In 1898 the old City National Bank was re-organized as the Citizen National Bank, of which he was a director, but he finally sold his interests there, and bought stock in the Merchants National Bank, of which he was elected president in July, 1899. It has a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars and is the oldest national bank in the city, as well as one of the most solid financial institutions in the state. Mr. Hamilton was one of the re-organizers of the Cedar Rapids Light & Power Company, of which he was president from January, 1893, until selling out his interest in the same in December, 1899, and he made the enterprise an eminent success.

On the 16th of October, 1873, Mr. Hamilton married Miss Sarah A. Jones, of St. Andrews, Quebec, and of the four children born to them two are still living, namely: James E., who is now assistant cashier of the Merchants National Bank; and Mabel Faun. Our subject attends and supports the Episcopal church, of which his wife is an earnest member, and he has served as vestryman in the same. The family is quite prominent socially.

In his fraternal relations Mr. Hamilton is a member of Crescent Lodge, No. 25, F. & A. M., of which he was master three years; has also served as high priest of Trowell Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M.; is a member of Iowa Consistory, No. 1; and Apollo Commandery, No. 26, K. T., of which he was the first commander, and held that office two terms. He was also a charter member of Star of the West Lodge, No. 1, K. P. He is one of the prominent Democrats of the city and in 1878 was elected mayor, in which capacity he served for one year. He was a member of the board of supervisors for three years early in the ‘80s, and during that period bridges were built across the Cedar river at First avenue, Cedar Rapids, Center Point and Palo. For six years he was a prominent member of the Iowa legislature, and was speaker of the twenty-third general assembly. In 1890 he was elected to congress from the fifth district of Iowa, and took his seat in December, 1891, becoming a member of several important committees. He was a candidate for re-election, but his district being strongly Republican he was defeated. As a business man he possesses untiring energy, is quick of perception, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution; and his close application to business and his excellent management have brought him to the high degree of prosperity which is to-day his.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 86-90.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion

HON. JOHN T. HAMILTON (from 1911 History)

The analyzation of the life work of John T. Hamilton indicates that tireless energy, keen persistence, honesty of purpose, genius for devising the right thing at the right time, joined to every day common sense and guided by resistless will power, are the chief characteristics of the man. While he has gained notable success it has not been alone the goal for which he was striving. He has never been unmindful of the duties of citizenship and while advancing individual interests has promoted public progress.

John T. Hamilton was born in Henry county, Illinois, on the 16th day of October, 1843, and is a son of James S. and Mary B. (Taylor) Hamilton, the former a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of Antrim, New Hampshire. The American ancestors came from the north of Ireland and were of Scotch-Irish lineage. The parents of John T. Hamilton were married in Henry County, Illinois, to which district they had accompanied their respective parents. Later James S. Hamilton turned his attention to agricultural pursuits with which he was identified during the active years of his life. On his retirement he removed to Geneseo, Illinois, where he resided until his death, which occurred when he was seventy-seven years of age. His wife also passed away there at the advanced age of eighty-two years. The Hamiltons were Scotch Presbyterian in religious faith, while the mother’s people were of the Unitarian belief.

John T. Hamilton, spending his boyhood days under the parental roof, acquired his education in the public schools and in the Geneseo Seminary. When he put aside his text-books he turned his attention to the fire insurance business, selling insurance to the farmers for three years, at the end of which time the company which he represented failed. He was given a note for his three years’ salary but he never realized on it. The year 1868 witnessed his arrival in Cedar Rapids. He reached this city on the 2d of February, and from that time until the following October represented C. H. McCormick of Chicago, in the reaper business, but anxious to engage in business on his own account he formed a partnership, under the firm style of Averill & Hamilton, and on the 1st of October, 1868, entered the agricultural implement business, thus laying a foundation for the extensive enterprise of Hamilton Brothers, one of the largest houses of its kind in Iowa. Late in the fall of 1873 Mr. Arverill sold his interests to John R. Amidon and the style of the firm became Hamilton & Amidon. In the spring of 1891 Mr. Hamilton’s brothers, W. W. and Porter Hamilton, acquired Mr. Amidon‘s interest in the business, which has since been conducted under the firm name of Hamilton Brothers. Theirs is one of the most widely known implement houses of the west. They have maintained a high standard in the personnel of the house, in their business methods and in the character of the service rendered to the public. In 1899 the firm erected a commodious brick business block one hundred and twenty by one hundred and twenty feet and four stories and basement in height. It is one of the best structures in Cedar Rapids and at this point the firm handles farm machinery, farm wagons, buggies, binder twine and seeds and coal. The trade of the house extends largely throughout the west and the business is constantly expanding along substantial lines, each year recording an increase in its volume.

Not only has John T. Hamilton been instrumental in developing and promoting the extensive commercial enterprise conducted under the name of Hamilton Brothers, but has also been one of the active promoters of financial interests in this city. In May, 1883, on the organization of the Cedar Rapids Savings Bank, he became president of the institution, which he had helped to organize, and has since remained its chief executive officer. On the 1st of July, 1899, he became identified with the Merchants National Bank and was elected its president, since which time he has filled the office. In these connections he has kept abreast with the rapid development manifest in financial centers, constantly broadening the policy of the institutions of which he is at the head and at the same time tempering the progressive spirit with safe conservatism. He is also a stockholder and one of the directors of the Cedar Rapids Hotel Company, owners of the Montrose Hotel, and is a stockholder of the Acme Fire Insurance Company of Cedar Rapids.

His business interests, extensive, varied and important as they are, do not cover the field of his activities, for in public relations Mr. Hamilton has done work as effective, far-reaching and beneficial as are his business interests. He is a recognized leader of the democratic party in Iowa and in 1878 was called to the mayoralty, thus guiding the municipal affairs of the city after a residence here of only ten years. In the early ‘5Os he was chosen a member of the board of supervisors of Linn county for a term of three years and still higher honors awaited him in his election to the state legislature in which he served in the twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-third general assemblies, being three times chosen a member of the house and honored with the speakership in the twenty-third assembly—the year of the deadlock. He was elected to the fifty-second United States congress, and from 1906 to 1909 served as a member of the board of control of state institutions. He was first appointed to fill an unexpired term of two years because of the death of Judge Kinnie and at the expiration of that time he was reappointed for six years, but resigned a year or so later. The fact of his reelection to office is the highest encomium that can be paid to the service that has ever been characterized by unfaltering loyalty to duty, prompted by high sense of conscientious obligation and patriotism.

Mr. Hamilton laid the foundation of an attractive home life in his marriage, on the 16th of October, 1873, to Sarah Ann, daughter of Edward and Phoebe (McArthur) Jones of St. Andrews, Canada, and unto them have been born four children, of whom two are yet living: James E., second vice president of the Merchants National Bank; and Mabel Fawn, the wife of Robert S. Cook, purchasing agent for the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway and Light Company. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton hold membership in the Episcopal church, in which he is one of the vestrymen. He is highly ranked in Masonry, holding membership in Crescent Lodge, No. 25, A. F. & A. M.: Trowel Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M.; Apollo Commandery, No. 26, Knights Templar; Iowa Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R.; and El Kahir Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. He is also a demitted member of the Star of the West Lodge, No. 1, K. P., of which he was one of the organizers, and is a member of Cedar Rapids Lodge, No. 251, B. P. 0. E. Such is the history of John T. Hamilton, who by the consensus of public opinion is accorded a prominent position in the commercial and political circles of Iowa. Those who differ from him in opinion entertain for him the highest admiration and respect because of his known loyalty to his honest convictions and because of the straightforward policy he has ever followed in commercial pursuits. His life has been varied in activity and its effects hare been so far-reaching and beneficial as to become not only an integral part of the history of Cedar Rapids, but also of the state.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, page 52-6.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


For many years I. S. Hanna, of Coggon, was one of the active and progressive business men of this county, as well as one of its most reliable and honored citizens and he is now enjoying a well-earned rest, free from the cares and responsibilities of his business life. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Fayette county, September 14, 1845, but his parents only resided there about two years when they moved back to Mahoning county, Ohio, where they had formerly resided. In 1854 he came to Iowa with his parents, Henry D. and Mary Hanna, who located in Jackson county. There the father worked at his trade, that of wagon making, until 1860, when he removed to Clayton county, Iowa, and turned his attention to farming In 1863 he came to Linn county and purchased an unimproved tract of land in Bowlder township for four dollars per acre, and at one commenced to improve the farm. In 1864, during the dark days of the Rebellion, he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry. In the early part of his service he was injured by being thrown from a car. From the effects of that injury he was discharged in November, 1864. After his return from the army he located at Hopkinton, Iowa, where the family had resided during his absence, but resided there only a short time, and then returned to this county and resumed the operation of his farm in Bowlder township. He subsequently engaged in farming on another place in that township until 1873, when he sold out and removed to Jones county, Iowa, where he carried on the merchandising and creamery business and also bought and shipped grain. There he resided until his death, which occurred July 16, 1881. The mother of our subject had died in 1849, and the father subsequently wedded Miss Mary Dice, who departed this life October 26, 1890. By the first union there were two children: I. S., our subject; and Martha A., who died in infancy. The children born of the second marriage were Charles M., now a resident of Manchester, Iowa; Clara M., deceased; and Maggie J., a resident of West Liberty, Iowa. They were all educated in the public schools of this county.

Like his father, I. S. Hanna also decided to shoulder his gun and fight for his country in her hour of peril. Although only sixteen years of age, he enlisted on the 15th of August 1862, in Company E., Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel James I. Gilbert and Captain Thomas G. Drips. He was then living in Clayton county, Iowa. This regiment participated in many important engagements and a large number of skirmishes, including the battles of Fort De Russy, Pleasant Hill, Kane River, Old Oaks and Tupelo, Louisiana; Old Town Creek, Mississippi; Nashville, Tennessee, under General Thomas; and Fort Blakely, Alabama, taking part in the last named engagement April 9, 1865, -the day of Lee's surrender. During the last ten months of his service Mr. Hanna was leader of the regimental brass band and played an E flat instrument. He was never wounded nor injured during his entire service, and when hostilities ceased was honorably discharged at Clinton, Iowa, August 8, 1865.

Returning from the war Mr. Hanna rejoined the family in Linn county, they having located in Bowlder township during his service. After assisting his father on the farm for a short time, he commenced work at the plasterer's and stone mason's trades, following those occupations all through the northeastern part of the county.

On the 12th of December, 1868, Mr. Hanna married Miss Maria Green, a native of Dubuque county, in 1845, and a daughter of Thomas P. and Mercy (Hancock) Green, who were among the first settlers to locate here. The father was born in 1805 and followed farming throughout his active business life. He lived in the house in Coggon now occupied by our subject, it being the old Green homestead. For a time he resided in Delaware county, but returned to this county and lived retired with his children on the old homestead until his death, which occurred May 9, 1887. His wife had departed this life on the 19th of November, 1882. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanna were Stella M., who died at the age of twenty years; Jessie L., wife of A. W. Savage, of Coggon; Cora, at home with her parents; and Elmer and Ethel, who both died in infancy.

After his marriage Mr. Hanna commenced farming in the western part of Bowlder township, where he lived for twelve years, and then removed to Scotch Grove, Iowa, where he engaged in the creamer business with his brother for a year. In 1882 he came to Coggon and built a creamery, which he opened for six years, and in the meantime entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, A. F. Green, in the general mercantile business and continued his connection with the store until June, 1899, when he sold his interest in the business and has since lived retired. Besides his property in Coggon he still owned the old farm in Bowlder township, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres of rich and arable land.

Politically Mr. Hanna was formerly a Republican, but is now a supporter of the Prohibition party. He has never sought official honors, but has served as school director in Coggon for six years, and was secretary of the board for some time. Socially he is a member of John Kyle Post, No. 457, G. A. R., of Coggon, of which he is now quartermaster. Both he and his wife are earnest and consistent members of the Christian church of that place, which was organized in 1866, and he is now senior elder of the same. He has always taken quite an active part in church work, and has given his support to every enterprise calculated to advance the moral, social or material welfare of his town and country.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 747-9.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


As a contractor and builder Adam Harrier was for over thirty years prominently connected with the business affairs of Cedar Rapids, and having met with excellent success during his residence here he is now able to lay aside all business cares and spend the evening of his life in ease and quiet, enjoying the fruits of former toil.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Harrier was born in Bedford county, December 24, 1826, and is a son of Daniel Harrier, whose birth occurred in the same county in 1808. The paternal grandfather was of English descent and one of the pioneers of Bedford county, where he died in 1816. On reaching manhood the father was married there to Miss Elizabeth Dihel, who was born in the same township where her husband's birth occurred. By trade he was a carpenter and joiner, but devoted the latter years of his life to farming. For a few years he worked at his trade in Allegany county, Maryland, but about 1839 or 1840 returned to Bedford county, Pennsylvania, where he followed farming until his death in 1875. His first wife, who was the mother of our subject, died in 1844, and later he married again.

Adam Harrier passed the days of his boyhood and youth in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and not only became familiar with agricultural pursuits, but also learned the carpenter's and joiner's trade. In September, 1864, he joined the boys in blue of Company K, Eighty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and joined his regiment at Petersburg. He took part in the engagements in front of that stronghold and Richmond, and assisted in driving Lee's army out. On the 6th of April, 1865, he was in the battle of Sailor's Run, and saw the flag of truce raised at the time of General Lee's surrender. He lost no time from illness or other causes during his army life, but was able to stake arms with his company each night. He was honorably discharged at Hall's Hill, Virginia, in May, 1865, but two or three days later when on the return march he was taken ill and sent to a field hospital in Virginia. Later he was transferred to Washington, and from there to Chestnut Hill hospital, Philadelphia, where he remained until sufficiently recovered to return home in July.

Mr. Harrier had only partially regained his health when he came to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in March, 1866. After working at his trade for others for a short time, he formed a partnership, and commenced contracting and building on his own account in 1867. Later he was alone in business until his retirement in 1899. Many business blocks and private residences in Cedar Rapids show his architectural skill and handiwork, and he also bought lots on the wet side and erected thereon five houses for himself.

In Bedford county, Pennsylvania, Mr. Harrier was married, October 28, 1851, to Miss Mary C. Valentine, also a native of that county, and a daughter of Jesse Valentine, who was born there. Ten children blessed this union, but only five are now living, namely: Sarah Jane is the wife of George Hull, of Cedar Rapids; Louisa B. is the wife of Robert Stark, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and they have one child, Harry A.; Loyal R. is part owner and foreman of the Cedar Rapids Lumber Company; James Albert is connected with the same company as yard foreman; Lora is at home. Those deceased were Anna Maria, who married Ira B. Taft, by whom she had three children, Lena, Ray and Inez. She died April 2, 1901; Martha, who died at the age of four years; Mary, who died at the age of thirteen; Minnie, who died at the age of Sixteen; and Alice, who married Thomas A. Grist, of Cedar Rapids, and died in 1892, at the age of twenty-nine.

Jesse Valentine, who was born in Virginia in 1808, married Mary Ann Keefer, born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in 1809. He was a farmer in Pennsylvania, but later in life (1865) moved to Benton county, Iowa, where he died, and the mother also. Andrew Valentine, father of Jesse, was a farmer of Virginia. The grandfather was Jacob Keefer, a native of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, of German descent, but who after his marriage was a farmer of Bedford county, Pennsylvania.

Mr. and Mrs. Harrier were among the original members of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal church, which they assisted in building, and they have led earnest Christian lives. Fraternally Mr. Harrier is an honored member of the Grand Army Post, of Cedar Rapids, and politically he is identified with the Republican party, having supported all of its presidential candidates since casting his first vote. He is a worthy representative of that class of citizens who lead quiet, industrious, honest and useful lives, and constitute the best portion of a community. Wherever known he is held in the highest regard, and is certainly deserving of honorable mention in the history of his adopted country.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 33-34.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


On the 26th of May, 1900, there passed away at his home in Cedar Rapids this well-known and honored citizen, whose death occasioned the deepest regret throughout the community. For many years he labored with all the strength of a great nature and all the earnestness of a true heart for the bettering of the world about him; and when he was called to the rest and reward of the higher world his best monument was found in the love and respect of the community in which he lived for so many years.

Mr. Hart was born in Frederick, Maryland, November 18, 1831, a son of Jacob and Mary (Herring) Hart. He was a good scholar and received his education in the best schools of the east, always making good use of his opportunities. He began his business career as a clerk in his father's grocery store, and later embarked in the tobacco business on his own account. Subsequently he was in the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company as conductor for a time, from Baltimore toward the west.

In April, 1855, Jacob Hart, father of our subject, left Maryland, accompanied by his family, consisting of his wife, two sons and three daughters, and came to Linn county, Iowa. They purchased a farm south of Cedar Rapids, but after residing there for a short time sold the place and removed to Cedar Rapids, where they bought property. The father died October 25, 1857. Of their children only two are now living, these being Mrs. Frederick Kehne, who lives in Rapids township, this county; and Mrs. Sarah Morris, who lives at the Otter Creek settlement. The son, Casper J., who was in business with our subject for many years, served three years in the Twentieth Iowa Regiment during the Civil war, and died in Cedar Rapids in January, 1892.

After a summer spent in this county Jacob A. Hart returned to Frederick, Maryland, where he was married, October 17, 1855, to Miss Eleanor Louise Haller, who was born in that city in 1835, and was provided with good school privileges. Her father, Daniel Haller, who was connected with the Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of Frederick, died in that city July 10, 1876, and the mother died in Baltimore in 1885. In their family were six children, namely: Margaret, a resident of Frederick, Maryland; Eleanor L., now Mrs. Hart; William T., of Baltimore, Maryland; Thomas G., of Clinton, Iowa; Frances V., of Baltimore; and Daniel G., also of Clinton, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hart were born three daughters, namely: (1) Mary M., who now resides with her mother, is the widow of William E. Watts, of Chicago, and has two children, Eleanor M. and Jay Hart. (2) Eleanor L. married William Huttig, of Kansas City, where she was accidentally killed in 1889, leaving two children, Ewart Hart and Frederick Jacob, who are still residents of that place. (3) Frances Virginia married W. L. Myers and died March 20, 1892, leaving two children, Hart H. and Willard Lee. The latter makes his home with his grandmother. Besides her daughter and three grandchildren, Mrs. Hart's household now includes Oliver C. and Jacob A., the two sons of Casper Hart.

After their marriage Mr. Hart brought his bride to the home he had prepared for her in Cedar Rapids. They left Frederick on Monday evening and arrived here the following Sunday morning. At that time Cedar Rapids was a mere village and their house stood practically alone, but it is now in a densely populated district. On first locating here Mr. Hart found employment in the Ely & Angle Mills, and later was with the Washburn Lumber Company, of Minneapolis, in their yard at this place. Subsequently he was agent for the Lambs of Clinton, Iowa, having charge of the lumber yard in Cedar Rapids, which he and his brother Casper J. purchased after a few years, and which they conducted under the firm name of Hart Brothers for many years, of the business being closed out soon after the death of the junior partner, Casper J. Our subject was a good bookkeeper and excellent manager, and by giving close attention to his business affairs was very successful. In a few years the business of the firm had assumed extensive proportions, and they invested largely in real estate. In partnership the brothers owned a farm in Kenwood, which a year previous to our subject's death was subdivided, and is now under the control of the Hart Land Company, composed of Mrs. Eleanor L. Hart and Oliver and Jacob A., the two sons of Casper J. Hart. In connection with his lumber business our subject was also interested in the coal business, and in that as in his other undertakings he was eminently successful, owing to his industrious habits and indomitable perseverance. His fellow citizens placed in him the utmost confidence as to his business ability and strict integrity, and he was often called upon to settle up estates and look after the property of other people. He was also a stockholder and director in the Ogden Plow Company and the woolen mills.

In politics Mr. Hart was first a Whig and later a Democrat, but was not strictly partisan and at local election voted for the men whom he believed best qualified for office regardless of party lines. For one term he was a prominent and influential member of the city council, and was a liberal supporter of all enterprises which he believed would benefit the city. During the days of the volunteer fire department he was an enthusiastic member of the Independent Hose Company, in fact, he was one of the originators of the company, and was a member of it until the fire department was merged into a paid system.

It was probably through his church relations that Mr. Hat's influence was most widely felt. Although his business was large and varied it was never permitted to come between him and his church. He was a man of great energy and strong determination in all things, as was shown by his religious work. It was through the influence of himself and estimable wife that the first English Lutheran church of Cedar Rapids was organized, and the first meeting was held in their house. He also paid for the first hall in which services were held, and the first minister of the denomination in the city was interested through his efforts. At length it was decided to build a church, and Mr. Hart was a member of the building committee. On Sunday the resolution was passed; the following day ground was leased on the corner of Third avenue and Third street; and on Tuesday the masons began to work on the foundation for the structure. Mr. Hart always took a just pride in his church, and always attended all of his meetings. He and his wife were among the charter members of the church, and he was always officially connected with the same, serving as treasurer and elder at the time of his death, while both took an active part in Sunday-school work. The beautiful organ which furnishes the First Lutheran church with sweet music witnesses his liberality. It was given in memory of his beloved daughters, who had passed on before. Mr. Hart was also a liberal supporter of all charitable enterprises; was an active worker in the Young Men's Christian Association; and a member of its board of managers. In all church work he was ably seconded by his wife, and it was through her influence, with few others, that the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society was organized at Cedar Rapids, it being the first enduring society of the kind in the United States synod of the English Lutheran church. At his death the following resolutions were passed:

Whereas, in the Providence of God our brother and fellow laborer in the councils of this church has been removed from the scenes of life on earth to those in glory, We, his co-laborers in the council of the First Lutheran church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will miss his wise and good counsel and intense interest in the welfare of the church.

We further desire to place on record our very high appreciation of his life in the Lord's house, and shall pledge ourselves anew to labor more faithfully for the Lord's cause because of the noble example our Brother J. A. Hart has left us; and while we humbly pass under the rod we pray for a new baptism of the Holy Spirit upon our every endeavor in His name. We desire also to express our hearty sympathy to his family in their sore personal bereavement and pray the blessing of Almighty God upon them all. In His name,
C. W. Maggart, Pastor and President.
H. J. Rap, Secretary.

By order of the council First Lutheran church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 6, 1900. Whereas, in the Providence of God, our school has been bereft of one of its charter members, Brother J. A. Hart, who has been faithful and true to the last, be it. Resolved, that we place on record our very high appreciation of his worth and helpfulness during all the years of the school's existence. We make and record this work of love and memory and bow humbly and submissively to the will of our Heavenly Father, knowing that while we sustain a great loss, our deceased brother has made a great gain. We desire also to express our sincerest sympathy to all his family in their sore personal grief. (Action in Sunday-school, June 3, 1900)

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 230-237.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


In November, 1870, this gentleman came to Linn county, and for about thirty years was one of its most thrifty and industrious agriculturists, owning and operating a valuable and well-improved farm of two hundred and seventy acres in Washington township, two miles from Center Point, but he is now living retired in that village. He was born on the 26th of April, 1835, in Preble county, Ohio, of which locality his ancestors were pioneers. His parents, Silas and Hannah S. (Slinger) Hart, were both natives of Ohio, and spent their entire lives as farming people in Preble county, where the father died in 1870.

On the old homestead farm Thomas J. Hart passed the days of his boyhood and youth, and was given good educational privileges. After arriving at man's estate he was married, in Preble county, November 14, 1860, to Miss Ellen Kenney, a native of Delaware county, Ohio, where her early life was spent. Her father, Albert J. Kenney, was born in Virginia, and was married in Maryland to Miss Susan Buzzard, a native of that state. They were among the first settlers of Delaware county, Ohio, where in the midst of the forest he cleared and improved a farm, making his home thereon throughout the remainder of his life. He died at the age of eighty-two years, his wife at the age of seventy-one. Mr. and Mrs. Hart have three children: Anna, wife of Isaac H. Kerr, a practicing attorney of Trenton, Missouri; J. P., who is married and engaged in the livery business in Winterset, Iowa; and Forest, a resident of Linn, Iowa.

After his marriage Mr. Hart was engaged in the manufacture of tile in Preble county, Ohio, for nine years, and built up a good business. In 1870 he came to Linn county, Iowa, and first located in Marion, where he handled washing machines and engaged in the patent right business for two years. He then purchased a farm in Otter Creek township, on which he made his home for five years, and then traded that property for his present farm in Washington township. In 1876 he bought property in Center Point, and though he made his home there he continued to operate his farm. The following year he returned to Delaware county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming on the Kenny homestead for two years, but at the end of that time he again came to Linn county, Iowa, and located on his farm in Washington township, to the further improvement and cultivation of which he devot3ed his time and energies for some years, making it one of the most desirable farms of its size in the locality. Renting his farm in 1897, he removed to Center Point, where he purchased a lot and built a residence that has since been his home.

Mr. and Mrs. Hart commenced life together in limited circumstances, but by their united efforts and untiring industry they have acquired a large and valuable farm and a good home in Center Point. Religiously they are active members of the Methodist Episcopal church, with which Mr. Hart is officially connected, and are people of prominence in their community. Politically he is a Jeffersonian Democrat, as was his father before him, and he cast his first presidential ballot for James Buchanan in 1856, but he has never cared for political honors, preferring to devote his undivided attention to his business interests.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 375-376.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Senator from the twenty-ninth district, composed of Linn county, was born June 5, 1857, in Bradford, Chickasaw county, Iowa. Some three weeks before the session of the forty-second general assembly closed he was taken ill of influenza but continued his duties until about a week before the session closed, when he became worse and was confined to his bed. He failed to rally and his death took place April 17, 1927, at Des Moines. Senator Haskell's education was secured in the grade schools of Cedar Falls, Charles City and Independence. As a young man he was employed as telegrapher, station agent and traveling freight and passenger agent.

In 1893 he entered the wholesale and retail coal business in which he was engaged at the time of his death. He was also interested in the manufacturing business and real estate business. Was a director of the Merchants national bank of Cedar Rapids for a number of years. Served as alderman of Vinton and of Cedar Rapids. Was chairman of the park commission of Cedar Rapids, member of the republican state central committee, president of the Cedar Rapids Commercial club and postmaster there from 1909 to 1913. Was married June 15, 1881, to Mae E. Williams and had four children, two boys and two girls. Was a member of the Masonic Knights of Pythias and B.P.O.E. lodges. Elected senator in 1916, 1920 and 1924.

Iowa Official Register 1927-1928 - Biographies of State Senators, pg. 231-232


This gentleman is one of Cedar Rapids' highly respected citizens, whose useful and well-spent life has not only gained for him the confidence of his fellow men, but has also secured for him a handsome competence which enables him to lay aside all business cares and spend his declining days in ease and retirement. he came to Linn county in the spring of 1856 and located near Palo, in Fayette township. He was actively identified with her agricultural and industrial interests until the fall of 1900, when he removed to Cedar Rapids and is now living a retired life.

Mr. Hays was born in Buffalo, New York, November 7, 1836, and is a son of William and Johanna (Kinney) Hayes, natives of Ireland, who came with their respective parents to this country during childhood. The father was reared and educated in New York, and made farming his life work. He removed to Wisconsin when our subject was nine years of age and purchased a tract of timber land near Sheboygan, which he improved and transformed into a good farm. Later he went to Texas, where he made his home until called from this life when about sixty-two years of age. His wife died in Wisconsin. Their children were James D., the subject of this sketch; Mary and Ellen, who both died in Wisconsin, unmarried; and William, who died in Texas. All were educated in the country schools near their home.

James D. Hayes remained at home until sixteen years of age, and then began life for himself as a farm hand. Later he learned the cabinetmaker's trade and afterward took up carpentering, which he has followed at intervals ever since. On first coming to Palo in the year 1856 he worked at his trade for several years, there being plenty of carpenter work to do at that time, as the county was then being settled up. For a time he was in the employ of the county, building bridges, and he did general contracting, both in Masonry and carpenter work. He purchased a farm on section 20, Fayette township, adjoining the village of Palo, and for several years gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. He still owns four hundred and fifty acres of fine farming land under a high state of cultivation and improved with good buildings erected by himself.

In 1859 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hayes and Miss Lovina McVey, who was born in Ohio in 1838, and to them were born six children, namely: (1) Hattie is the wife of Emery McArthur, who lives near the home farm in Fayette township, and they have four children, James, Carl, Minnie and William Lee. (2) Nettie is the wife of Stephen Mobry, also a farmer of Fayette township, and they have two children, Clifford and Della. (3) Anna is the wife of Lyman Carver, a farmer of the same township, and they have four children, Ervin, Alice, Leonard and Ruth. (4) Elizabeth is the wife of B. F. Childs, a laundryman of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and they have three children, Russell, Neta and Gordon. (5) James M., who lives on the old homestead in Fayette township, married Minnie Rehder, and they have four children, Burman, Mary, Fayette and Esther. (6) Sylvanus is at home with his parents. The children were all educated in the public schools of Palo, the village being laid out adjoining their father's farm.

For four years Mr. Hayes conducted a general store in Palo. On coming to Cedar Rapids he purchased property on F avenue, and erected thereon a nice home. He also built a business block, which is now rented to a druggist, and now has four dwelling houses and four store buildings in the city, all located on the west side. When he came to Linn county much of the country was unbroken prairie and swamp land, and Marion was its largest town. There being no bridges all streams had to be forded. Mr. Hayes has watched with interest the wonderful development of the county, and has ever borne his part in the work of upbuilding and advancement. He has always been among the first to assist any charitable enterprise, and has never withheld his support from any object which he believed would prove of public benefit. He was one of the most popular men of his township, and was called upon to fill a number of local offices, serving as township clerk several years and supervisor one term. His success in life is due entirely to his own well directed efforts, for without the aid of influence or wealth he started out to make his own way in the world, and to-day is one of the most substantial and prosperous men of his community, as well as one of its most highly esteemed citizens.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 42-43.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


This enterprising and progressive farmer and stock raiser, residing on section 23, Franklin township, was born in Pennsylvania on the 15th of June, 1853, a son of George and Mary (Metz) Heimer, also natives of that state. In 1865 the family removed to Stephenson county, Illinois, where the father engaged in farming for eleven years, and then sold out, moving to Cedar county, Iowa, where he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he lived for five years. On disposing of that place he came to Lisbon, Linn county, where he purchased a home and is now living retired, enjoying the fruits of former toil. For the past two years he has been a member of the city council, and he has ever taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs. Religiously both he and his wife are members of the Reformed church, and are people of the highest respectability. Unto them were born three children, of whom our subject is the oldest; Henry I. died at the age of three years; and Josephine is at home with her parents.

J. F. Heimer was a lad of fourteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Stephenson county, Illinois. He had previously attended the district schools of his native state, and completed his education in Illinois. Early in his life he became familiar with all the duties which fall to the lot of the agriculturist, and continued to assist his father in the cultivation of the home farm until his marriage in 1875. He then removed to Cedar county, Iowa, where he bought a farm and followed his chosen occupation there for seven years. Coming to Linn county, in 1883, he leased what was then known as the J. B. Sargent farm on section 23, Franklin township, and here he has made his home ever since. He has two hundred acres of well improved and valuable land, on which has been erected a good residence and barns. For the past twenty years he has given considerable attention to the breeding of short horn cattle, and is one of the best posted men on this grade of stock in Linn county. He also breeds Shropshire sheep and Poland China hogs and raises horses for market, feeding all of the grain raised upon his farm to his stock. He is a thoroughly up-to-date and progressive farmer and stock raiser in every respect.

Before leaving Stephenson county, Illinois, Mr. Heimer was married, August 29, 1875, to Miss Mary Miller, who was also born in Pennsylvania, November 7, 1854, and is a daughter of John and Sophia (Wertzy) Miller, natives of the Keystone state and farming people. It was in 1859 that the Miller family removed to Stephenson county, Illinois, and when the mother died in the spring of the following year the children became separated. They were six in number, namely: Abraham, who married Anna Potter and lives in Cherokee, Iowa; Franklin, who was born December 19, 1850, and is now deceased; Samuel, who married Sarah Leonard and resides in Minnesota; Mary, wife of our subject; Jacob, who died in Cherokee county, Iowa; and one who died in infancy.

Religiously Mr. Heimer is a member of the Evangelical church of Lisbon, and politically is identified with the Republican party, but he has never cared for office, preferring to devote his undivided attention to his extensive business interests. By his systematic methods of conducting his work, his strict attention to all the details of his business, and his thoroughly upright dealings, have made for him an honorable record in the business world, and he is highly respected and esteemed by all who know him.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 168-9.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


 ZACHARIAH  HEIN, now residing on section 28, is not only one of the pioneers of Monroe Township, but is the oldest settler, having come here in March, 1840.  He was born in Saxony, Oct. 1, 1837, and in 1839 came with his parents to America.  They stopped in St. Louis for awhile, and in the spring came to this township, and some years afterward his father entered forty-two acres.  The parents were Michael and Christina Hein, both born in Germany.  The former was born Jan. 12, 1798, and died April 19,1882; the mother died when our subject was but seven years of age.  There were nine children in the parental family, all of whom are dead but our subject.
March 18, 1883, Mr. Hein married Mrs. Melissa (Black) Tisher.  Her parents, John and Martha (Wilson) Black, natives of Ohio, live in this township, and are old settlers.  Two children have been born to the union of our subject and wife, namely: Franklin T., Feb. 4. 1884, and Jessie L., Jan. 15, 1886.  By her former marriage with Charles Tisher, Mrs. Hein had two children -- Charles F. and Jacob C.  Mr. Hein is the owner of eighty acres of fine land in this township, all of which is well improved, with good buildings.
 Mr. Hein was one of the defenders of our Government, being mustered into Co. A. 6th Iowa Vol. Inf., on the 17th of July, 1861, at Burlington, for a period of three years.  He participated in the first general engagement at Shiloh, took part in the sieges of Corinth and Vicksburg, fought at Jackson, Miss., and at Lookout Mountain, at Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, etc., and in fact was under Sherman through all his campaign.  At Kennesaw Mountain he was wounded in the right arm, just above the elbow.  This was his last battle, and he was honorably discharged, July 17, 1864, at Davenport.  For the last three years of his life he has been farming.
Mr. Hein is a man of sterling worth, an excellent financier, and stands high in the business community.  Though holding to a high moral standard, he does not belong to any church organization.  In politics he is a Democrat, but in local elections votes for the best man regardless of party.  He has had the pleasure of witnessing the transformation of this township from a raw. uncultivated prairie, to a blooming garden.  In the sunset of life, knowing that he has acted uprightly before God and man, he can look back upon his past with a consciousness that in all his dealings he has not knowingly done a wrong, or willingly caused pain to any one with whom he has come in contact.
The portraits of Mr. Hein and wife, which are shown in connection with this sketch, will be welcomed by a large number of friends.

Source: portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 277 - 278, portrait on page 276

Submitted by:  Eric & Marcia Driggs


Henry C. Henderson, who is busily engaged in the operation of his farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Jackson township, also devotes considerable attention to the raising of stock and in both branches of his business has met with, creditable success. His birth occurred on the old Henderson homestead in Jackson township on the 17th of February, 1874, his parents being Peter G. and Jane Arabelle (Mills) Henderson. A sketch of the father is given on another page of this volume.

Henry C. Henderson was reared under the parental roof and obtained his early education in the common schools, while subsequently he attended the Cedar Rapids Business College. He was married at the age of twenty-three years but remained with his parents for two years longer, assisting his father in the operation of the home farm. In 1899 he purchased and located upon eighty acres of his present place in Jackson township and later bought a tract of similar size adjoining, so that his farm now embraces one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land. He annually gathers large crops which bring a gratifying financial return and also derives a substantial income from his live stock interests, making a specialty of the breeding and raising of red polled cattle. He is likewise a stockholder in the Central City State Bank and well deserves classification with the substantial and representative citizens of his native county.

On the 3d of February, 1897, Mr. Henderson was united in marriage to Miss Pearl Ford, of Jackson township, her father being Edward Ford, now a resident of Forest City, Iowa. They have become the parents of four children, three of whom are yet living, namely: Mary M., Hiel H. and Donald E.

In politics Mr. Henderson has always been a stanch republican but has never sought nor desired the honors and emoluments of office. Fraternally he is identified with Wapsie Lodge, No. 235, I.0.0.F., and both he and his wife belong to the Rebekahs. They are likewise devoted and consistent members of the Congregational church, in the work of which they are deeply and helpfully interested. A man of high worth and sterling integrity, Mr. Henderson is widely respected and esteemed in the community where his entire life has been spent.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, page 340.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


William J. Henderson, well known as a successful agriculturist and stockman of Linn county, owns and operates a valuable farm of four hundred and forty acres in Jackson township. His birth occurred in that township on the 13th of February, 1868, his parents being Peter G. and Jane (Arabell) Henderson. A sketch of the father appears on another page of this work.

William J. Henderson attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and remained at home until he had attained the age of twenty-one years, when lie was married. During the ollowing ten years he resided on what is now known as the Charlie Carl farm and on the expiration of that period purchased two hundred and forty acres of his present place in Jackson township. He has made his home thereon continuously since and has extended the boundaries of the farm by additional purchase until it now comprises four hundred and forty acres. In connection with the tilling of the soil he makes a specialty of breeding and raising Englishshire horses and thoroughbred red polled cattle and this branch of his business has proved a gratifying source of remuneration to him. His live-stock interests have brought him an extensive acquaintance in Linn and adjoining counties and he is widely recognized as a prosperous, progressive and enterprising citizen. He is a stockholder in the State Bank of Central City.

On the 19th of March, 1889, Mr. Henderson was united in marriage to Miss Lottie Freeman, of this county, her father being Hull Freeman, now deceased. Unto them have been born eight children, seven of whom still survive, namely: Vera B., Louie A., Lawrence D., John C., Carl P., Ada L. and Floyd C., all at home.

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Henderson has supported the men and measures of the republican party, believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. That many of his staunchest friends are numbered among those who have known him from his boyhood to the present time is an indication that his has been an honorable, upright life and one worthy of the esteem in which he is uniformly held.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 7-8.

Contributed by: Terry Carlson


About a mile and a quarter south of us, in the edge of the timber, there lived another lone bachelor by the name of Caleb Hendricks. It was the same place, that, after passing through the hands of John Stambaugh and John G. Cole, finally came in to the possession of Mr. S. C. Bever. Mr. Hendricks was a tall, loose-jointed man, of rather dark complexion, and possessed of a countenance not remarkably attractive, but nevertheless giving you the impression that behind it there was a kind heart, honest and true.

Mr. Hendricks was here when we came, or he made his appearance shortly after, but at this late date I am unable to state where he came from with certainty, but my impression is that he was a native of Ohio. He was a frequent visitor at our house, and we were always glad to welcome him to our family board.

More than once we shared our plain provisions with him, for mother pitied him in his loneliness, and she often cooked up something for him to take home with him. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and was in every way a citizen of the most substantial character, and to whom any community might well extend a welcome hand. After selling his claim here, he located in the northern part of the county, where he died some years ago.

Source: Carroll, Rev. George R., Pioneer Life In and Around Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1839 to 1849, page 66, Times Printing and Binding House, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1895.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Dr. George W. Hogle is a successful physician of Mt. Vernon, who has much natural ability, but is withal a close student and believes thoroughly in the maxim "there is no excellence without labor." His devotion to the duties of his profession therefore, combined with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of the science of medicine, has made him a most successful and able practitioner, whose prominence is well deserved.

The Doctor was born in Scott county, Iowa, November 18, 1860, a son of Enoch and Isabella (Winey) Hogle, natives of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively. His parents came to this state when young, and met and were married at Allen's Grove, Scott county, in 1855. After residing in that county for a number of years, they removed to Clinton county, Iowa, in 1866, and the father purchased a tract of raw prairie land near Big Rock, to the improvement and cultivation of which he devoted his energies for ten years. He next resided near Vail, Crawford county, Iowa, until January, 1891, when he came to Mt. Vernon, and now makes his home near his son's sanitarium. He has retired from active labor and is enjoying a well-earned rest. Religiously he is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his family were nine children of whom two died in infancy. The others were as follows: Mary E. married W. H. Andre and died in Mt. Vernon in 1899. Jemima is the wife of Richard M. Botts, who lives near Neligh, Nebraska; George is next in order of birth; Anna is the wife of H. L. Streby, a farmer of Mt. Vernon; Isaac W. married Marian Dickson, of Cedar Falls, and resides near Bishop, California. He is a registered pharmacist; Herbert S. married Lizzie Whitcomb and lives in Mt. Vernon; Burton W. died at that place in 1897; and Stella May is the wife of Merton Kepler, a farmer living west of Mt. Vernon.

Dr. Hogle obtained his primary education in the district schools of Clinton and Crawford counties, and attended the public schools of Vail for a time. In the fall of 1882 he entered Cornell College, of Mt. Vernon, where he was a student for four years, and on leaving that institution received a diploma from the engineering department. He next entered the medical department of the Miami University of Ohio, where he was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1891, and immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Mt. Vernon, Iowa. In 1894 he went abroad to further perfect himself in his chosen profession, and while there renewed his acquaintance with Dr. Kate A. Mason [see bio below], whom he had formerly met at Mt. Vernon, and who had also gone to Europe to study medicine. They were married in London, England, October 13, 1894, and both took a course in the London Post Graduate School, returning to Mt. Vernon in December of that year. Since then they have been actively engaged in the practice of their profession here, and for a time also conducted a pharmacy in connection with his brother, I. W. Hogle, which partnership continued until 1898. In June, 1900, Dr. Hogle bought and rebuilt an elegant home at the corner of First and Fourth streets, and here conducts a private hospital and sanitarium, known as the Palatine Hospital and Sanitarium. It has been fitted up in the most approved manner, being supplied with all modern conveniences for the practice of medicine and surgery, is heated by steam and lighted by gas, there being a plant for this purpose in connection with the building. They have been most successful in the treatment of cases brought to them, and their sanitarium has already won a wide-spread and enviable reputation.

Dr. George W. Hogle makes a specialty of the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and holds a certificate from Kings College, London. He is a member of the Iowa State Medical Association and the Iowa Union Medical Association, and is now a member of the committee on necrology. Socially he is a member of the Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 112, F. & A. M., and religiously is a member of the Methodist church, of which he is now a trustee. He finds no time to devote to political affairs, but his sympathies are with the Prohibition party, and he always supports that ticket.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 268-269.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


In the last few years women have become very active in business affairs and many of them have become deservedly prominent in professional circles. Among these is Dr. Kate A Mason Hogle, of Mt. Vernon, who is a native of this county, her birth having occurred at Marion, August 9, 1859. Her father, Levi H. Mason, was born in New York, and when a young man came to Linn county, Iowa. He was twice married, his first wife being Miss Eunice Ann Smith, and by that union were the following named children: Emily A., wife of John W. Coombes, of Whitman, Nebraska; Laura M., who married William D. Brown and died at Rosehill, near Wichita, Kansas, in 1884; and Gertrude A., who married Cyrus H. Aiken, of Louisburg, Kansas, and died in 1880. Near Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1856, Mr. Mason was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ide, a native of Massachusetts, who was then teaching school in this county. They made their home at Marion until 1860, while Mr. Mason served as sheriff of the county, and then removed to Mt. Vernon. During the Civil war he enlisted as quartermaster in the Thirty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was taken ill during the siege of Vicksburg. He was brought home but died the night after his arrival. His wife still survives him and resides three-fourths of a mile south of Mt. Vernon. They were the parents of the following-named children: Carrie, wife of H. T. Moen, of Rosehill, Kansas; Kate A., of this sketch; Homer A., who died at the age of two years; and Levi H., who died at the age of three months. The Mason family was founded in America by John Mason, who lived in New York prior to 1800, having emigrated to this country from Ireland.

Dr. Kate A. Mason Hogle acquired her early education at her mother's knee. The latter had been a successful teacher, having been educated at the State Normal School in Westfield, Massachusetts. Later the Doctor attended Cornell College, where she was graduated in 1882, with the degree of A. B., and then entered the Woman's Medical College of Chicago, which is now a part of the Northwestern University, and from which she was graduated in 1885, with the degree of M. D. She received the appointment as house physician at the Hospital for Women and Children, as the result of a competitive examination, and remained there six months. She was next engaged in practice at Wellington, Kansas, for two years, and in 1889 opened an office in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where she has since engaged in practice with marked success. In 1891 she took a post-graduate course at the Polyclinic in New York city, and then returned to Mt. Vernon, but in 1894 went to Europe to continue her studies. She attended lectures at the University of Zurich, Switzerland; also took up clinical work at Berlin, Germany; and a post-graduate course in London, England. while at the last named place she gave her hand in marriage to Dr. George Hogle, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, as stated in the preceding sketch. Since their return to this country they have continued practice at Mt. Vernon. They have one son, Berton Mason, born May 6, 1899.

Dr. Kate A. Mason Hogle is a member of the State Medical Society and the District Medical Society, and is one of the ablest lady physicians engaged in practice in this state, having not only taken a thorough course of study in this country, but the year in Europe was well spent. She belongs to the Engleside Club and the Woman's Relief Corps of Mt. Vernon, and is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church and the Home and Foreign Missionary Societies connected with the same.

Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 269-270.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Mr. Joseph Hollan came to Iowa in 1843, locating first about a mile northwest of Marion. He was a native of Delaware, but for many years he had resided in McKean County, Pennsylvania, from which place he came direct to this state. In the spring of 1844 he rented and moved on to Judge Greene’s mound farm. Here he remained for three years and proved himself to be a good tenant and careful and thrifty farmer. While living on the mound farm, a Methodist class was formed at his house, of which he and his wife and my father and mother became members. He afterwards moved into town, purchased a lot on Fifth avenue near Second street and erected a comfortable house which he occupied till the close of his life.

Mr. Hollan was always considered a man of sterling qualities, industrious, frugal and conscientious in all his business transactions. He was always held in high esteem in the church of which he was a member, and for many years he held the offices of class leader and steward. By his faithful industry, the careful management of his business affairs and his simple habits of life, he secured for himself and family a comfortable home which he lived many years to enjoy. His death occurred September 24, 1886.

His wife who still survives has always been considered a woman of stainless Christian character. Retiring in disposition, kind of heart, and courteous in her manners, she has always been held in high esteem by those who have known her best. For some years past she has been in very feeble health, and for the past year her mind has been clouded and her eyesight has entirely failed. Of their four children, Samuel, Ellsworth, Joseph and Orril, only Samuel, the well known proprietor of one of our city transfers, remains, to be a comfort and support to his mother in her old age and sad condition. The patient, untiring vigilance with which he has watched by the maternal bedside during these trying years, is indeed commendable, and proves him to be a worthy son of a most worthy parentage.

Source: Carroll, Rev. George R., Pioneer Life In and Around Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1839 to 1849, pages 174-5, Times Printing and Binding House, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1895.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Martin Holub is one of the wealthy landowners of Linn county, owning altogether three hundred and ten acres in Boulder township. He is a native of that township, born in 1856, of the marriage of Wensel and Mary (Ceman) Holub, who were natives of Bohemia, Austria. Emigrating to America in 1852, the family located on forty acres of land in Linn county, which the father entered from the government. Their first home was a dugout but as soon as circumstances would permit Mr. Holub built a log house containing but one room, and in this crude structure the family lived for many years. As time passed and he prospered in his undertakings, he added to his holdings and erected buildings in keeping with the times, eventually accumulating two hundred acres.

In 1883 he abandoned agricultural pursuits and took up his abode in Prairieburg, where he lived retired until his death in 1889. The mother still survives, making her home in that village with her youngest daughter, She has reached the ripe old age of eighty-four years and has reared a family of fourteen children, of whom only seven are living. Martin Holub was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the public schools. At the age of twenty-two years his father started him in business by deeding him a farm of eighty acres, which constitutes a portion of his present holdings. He has purchased land from time to time as he prospered and is now the owner of three hundred and ten acres, all of which is under a high state of cultivation, while the improvements on the place are some of the finest to be found in his section of the county.

Method is apparent in the conduct of this farm, the land being platted and arranged so that the best results may be obtained from the labor expended. Closely adhering to a systematic rule of crop rotation, he has made a study of the adaptability of certain crop to certain soils, and each year he gathers golden harvests. On the 2nd of November, 1889, Mr. Holub was united in marriage to Miss Mary Holub, a daughter of Frank and Katrena (Malena) Holub, who were born in Bohemia, Austria, whence they emigrated to the new world in 1847. Locating in Iowa City, the father there followed carpentering for many years, eventually purchasing farm land and engaging in agricultural pursuits. He led a busy and active life until his death in 1899, having survived his wife only eight months.

They had a family of thirteen children, but only four of the number are now living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Holub have been born eighteen children, of whom two died in infancy, the living members being Joseph, Martin, Emma, Frank, John, Paul, Mary, Thomas, Anna, Victor, Sophia, Elizabeth, Raymond, Vencle, Henry and William. All have been educated in the common schools. Mr. Holub gives his political support to the republican party and for several terms served as township supervisor, while for several terms he was also on the school board, the cause of education ever receiving his hearty cooperation. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic church. He has made wise use of his talents and opportunities and has met with well merited success. He is public-spirited to a marked degree and has a host of friends, by whom he is highly esteemed.

Source: 1911 Linn Co., IA History Vol. II pgs. 455-456

Submitted by Becky Teubner

Anton Holubar

Many of Linn county’s most progressive and successful citizens have come from beyond the sea, and through their own well-directed efforts have become prosperous men. To this class belongs Anton Holubar, who was born in Austria October 10, 1845, and is a son of Joseph and Frances (Hyake) Holubar, natives of the same country. There he attended school for four years, the children of Austria only being required to attend school seven years, but he came to America before the expiration of that time. It was in 1855 that the family took passage at Hamburg on the Johanna, a sailing vessel, which dropped anchor in harbor of Quebec after a voyage of six weeks. By boat and train they at once proceeded to Rock Island, Illinois, then crossed the Mississippi to Muscatine, and from there went to Johnson county, Iowa, where the father purchased sixty-five acres of land, on which he resided until his death, which occurred November 21, 1896, his remains being interred in a Catholic cemetery near Solon on Thanksgiving day. His widow is still living and resides at Solon, Johnson county. Unto them were born five children, namely: Stephen married and went to California, where his death occurred; Joseph, who served for three years in Company K, Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war, wedded Mary Chudachick, now deceased, and resides in Iowa City; Anton, our subject is next in order of birth; Ferdinand married Frances Kotaze and lives in Oelwein, Iowa; and Anna died at the age of two years.

Anton Holubar remained at home until his marriage, which was celebrated in Iowa City February 12, 1869, Miss Anna Smith becoming his wife. She was also born in Austria, September 1, 1849, and came to the United States in 1855 with her parents, Jacob and Mary (Kuchara) Smith, whose whole life had been spent in Austria up to that time. On landing in this country they came direct to Iowa, and took up their residence in Johnson county, where the father purchased forty acres of timber land, which he at once commenced to clear and improve. He died suddenly while at work in the field in the fall of 1858, and the mother departed this life in 1886, both being laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery near Solon. They had four children: Mary, who first married Jacob Kuchara, who was killed in the Civil war while serving as a member of the Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and for her second husband she wedded George Schenischeck, of Johnson county; Barbara, deceased wife of John Elick, of the same county; Anna, wife of our subject; and one who died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Holubar have become the parents of five children, all born in Johnson county with the exception of the youngest, who was born in Linn county. In order of birth they are as follows: Ferdinand, born January 4, 1870, married Jennie Hildebrandt, by whom he has one child, Hilda, and they reside in Cedar Rapids. Anton, born November 12, 1872, married Anna Schenischeck, by whom he has two children, Roy and Maggie, and they reside in Johnson county. Frank, born August 23, 1880, assists his father in the operation of the home farm. Joseph, born March 23, 1883, died at the age of eighteen months. Annie, born January 23, 1887, is still attending the home school.

After his marriage Mr. Holubar bought a farm of ninety acres in Johnson county, where he made his home for fifteen years, and then purchased one hundred and fifty-six acres of land on sections 14, 15 and 22, Franklin township, Linn county, where he has since resided. He has extended its boundaries until they now contain two hundred and sixteen acres, upon which he has made many substantial improvements, which add greatly to the value and attractive appearance of the place. He has a good modern residence and a fine barn. He raises a high grade of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs for market, and is meeting with eminent success in his undertakings. He has served as school director in his district, and has always taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religious faith a Catholic.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 64-5.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


In the middle portion of the nineteenth century Joseph Hrbek figured prominently in industrial circles, being proprietor of one of the largest and most important blacksmith establishments in the city. As the name indicates, he was of Bohemian birth and was a splendid representative of that country which has furnished so many valuable citizens to Cedar Rapids. His birth occurred in 1837. His parents being Mathew and Katherine Hrbek, who were also natives of Bohemia. The father came to America at an early day, bringing his family and locating in Michigan, where both he and his wife died. In their family were nine children.

Joseph Hrbek was a young man when he left home and made his way to Milwaukee. He was married in that city to Miss Barbara Dolezal, who was born in Bohemia in 1842 and was a daughter of Thomas and Barbara Dolezal, also natives of that country, where they spent their entire lives. Mrs. Hrbek was one of a family of five children and crossed the Atlantic to the United States when a young maiden of about fourteen years. Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hrbek removed to Champaign, Illinois, where he worked as a blacksmith and wagon maker, having previously learned the trades. His life was always given to industrial interests of that character. In 1866 he removed to Cedar Rapids and turned his attention to business interests here, building a two-story brick shop, in which he carried on blacksmithing and wagon making until his death. He was an excellent workman, thorough and reliable in all that he did, and his capability and integrity won him a liberal patronage.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hrbek were bum nine children: Milvoj, Vlasta, Jacenka, Sarah, Jeffrey, and four who are now deceased. The daughter Sarah is adjunct professor of Bohemian at Lincoln, Nebraska. The death of Mr. Hrbek occurred in December, 1881. He had lived a busy and useful life and was a self made man his success being attributable entirely to his earnest and persistent labor. He had no influential friends to assist him in gaining a start nor did he depend upon fortunate circumstances but sought his advancement in the legitimate lines of trade, gaining a liberal patronage through merit. He had pleasing qualities that won him many friends and he was particularly widely and favorably known among the people of his own nationality. He rejoiced in his success because it enabled him to provide comforts for his family, and Mrs. Hrbek is still the owner of several valuable pieces of real estate in Cedar Rapids, from which she derives a gratifying annual income.

Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 720-1.

Contributed by: Terry Carlson


This old and honored resident of Washington township is now living a retired life on his farm on section 8, about a mile and a half from Center Point, where he has now made his home for forty years. He was born in the town of Mooers, Clinton county, New York, March 8, 1816, and in early life learned the trade of making broom iron, at which he worked in Schuyler's Falls and Saranac for about thirty years.

Mr. Hunter was married, in his native county, February 15, 1844, to Miss Sarah Ann Thomas, and continued his residence there until coming to Linn county, Iowa, in 1862. On his arrival here he purchased the farm which he now occupies, consisting of one hundred and fifty acres, but at that time only two acres had been cleared and the only improvement was a log cabin, into which he and his family moved. He has since erected good and substantial buildings upon place, has put up a wind pump, drawing water from a well which he had to drill one hundred and seventy feet through limestone rock. He has made many other valuable improvements until it is now a most desirable farm. For the past ten years his son Samuel has operated the farm, while he practically lives retired.

Mr. Hunter owns a good residence at Center Point, where he lived about a year, but after the death of his wife he returned to the farm. She passed away in August, 1894. They were the parents of nine children, of whom six are still living, namely: Henry is married and lives in Mt. Vernon; Permelia is the wife of James Morris, a farmer of Linn county; Joseph and Alexander are also married, and follow farming in this county; Samuel, who operates the old homestead, married Emma Dennison, a daughter of Jonathan Dennison, an old settler and substantial farmer of this county; and Julia is the wife of Thomas Chambers, of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Hunter also has eighteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Since attaining his majority Mr. Hunter has never failed to support the Democratic party at each presidential election, and is a believer in Jeffersonian principles. He merits and receives the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens, and wherever known he is held in high regard.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 389-390.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Charles D. Huston, who since 1887 has been a resident of Cedar Rapids, is now successfully engaged in the job printing business as a member of the firm of Newton & Huston, and is efficiently serving as alderman from the fourth ward. He was born in Carroll county, Ohio, December 18, 1861, a son of Daniel and Margaret (Herron) Huston. The father was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, December 23, 1825, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and when a small boy accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio, which was then practically a new country. He received only a common school education, and as a means of livelihood followed farming throughout his active business life. On leaving Ohio in 1863 he came to Iowa and purchased a farm near the town of Toledo. There he successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years, but is now living a retired life in Cedar Rapids. On starting out life for himself he was without capital, and the prosperity that has come to him is due entirely to his industry and good management. In religious belief he is a Presbyterian, and in politics a Democrat. The mother of our subject, who was born in Carroll county, Ohio, in 1830, of Scotch lineage, died in 1863, just after coming to Iowa. Her children were Mary L., who also died in 1863; Samuel J. and William H., who were drowned in 1873 while swimming; Charles D., the subject of this sketch; and Florence, wife of Daniel Hufford, of Toledo, Iowa. The father was again married, in 1870, his second union being with Mary I. Boggs, also a native of Carroll county, Ohio. She is still living.

After the death of his mother Charles D. Huston made his home with an uncle and attended the public schools of Ohio, and also of Washington, D.C., for one year. His uncle died in that city, and he was then thrown upon his own resources. At the age of thirteen years he commenced learning the printer’s trade, and has since devoted his time and attention principally to that occupation. In 1882 he formed a partnership with Hon. L. G. Kinne, now a member of the board of control of the state and ex-supreme judge, and continued the publication of the Tama County Democrat for five years. On selling the paper in 1887, Mr. Huston accepted a position as compositor with the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and was connected with that journal for seven years. In 1893 he became a member of the firm of Newton & Huston, which is to-day doing a fine business in the job printing line.

Mr. Huston was married, in 1885, to Miss Minnie M. McKinnon, who was born in College township, this county, in 1862, and they have become the parents of three children, namely: John, born in April, 1886; Paul H., born in May, 1888, and Marguerite Louise, born in November, 1890. All are now attending the public schools of Cedar Rapids. Mrs. Huston is a graduate of the high school of the city, and prior to her marriage successfully engaged in teaching school in College township for three years. Her father, John McKinnon, was born in Scotland in 1817, and on his emigration to the new world in 1852 located in College township, Linn county, Iowa, where he purchased a tract of government land. This place he has improved, and is now the owner of a good farm of one hundred and eighty acres two miles south of Cedar Rapids. He has four children: Minnie M., wife of our subject; John, a farmer; Gilbert, who operates the home farm; and Agnes, who is now court reporter for the seventeenth judicial district.

In his political affiliations Mr. Huston is a pronounced Democrat, and while a resident of Tama county, Iowa, served as chairman of the county central committee several terms. He has never been an office seeker, however, and those positions he has held have been offered him by the people. On coming to this county he at once became identified with the local Democratic organization here, and has ever taken an active part in politics, though he follows the principles of a conservative man. In 1898 he was elected alderman of the fourth ward, which is strongly Republican, and so acceptably did he fill the office that he was re-elected in 1900, and is now a member of the committees on public improvement, light and water. In 1899 he was the candidate for state senator on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated, being unable to overcome the large Republican majority, though he ran ahead of his ticket more than one thousand votes, being supported by his many friends throughout the county. Mr. Huston takes a great interest in labor organizations, and is a prominent member of the Typographical Union, No. 192. He put in the first union label in the city in 1893. The union men are now recognized and employed in all the printing offices. He is a member of the National Union, No. 163, and of Court Cedar, No. 3, Foresters of America. He is also an active worker and prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Mt. Hermon Lodge, No. 263, A. F. & A. M., of which he was worshipful master from 1897 to 1900; and also to Trowel Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M.; and Cedar Chapter, No. 184, O.E.S. Mr. Huston is also a leader in philanthropical work, and gives an earnest support to all public improvements and anything for the benefit of the institution to which he belongs. He was master of the Masonic lodge when their new temple was being built and dedicated. Socially he is a member of the Commercial club of Cedar Rapids. His wife holds membership in the United Presbyterian church.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 174-5.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion


 C. A. HUSTON, of Waubeek, Maine Township, is the son of James B. Huston, who was the son of Alexander Huston, the son of James, who, with two brothers, John and William Huston, emigrated from Wales to the American colonies in 1725.  James, the great-grandfather of our subject, settled in Delaware.  John went into Virginia, and William located in North Carolina.  James afterward moved to Pennsylvania, and, in 1793, went to Kentucky, where he died Sept. 8, 1808.  He was the father of fifteen children, six by his first wife, Jane Elliott, namely: John, William, James, Joseph, Nancy and Peggy.  By his second wife, Abigail Brown, he had nine children, as follows: Alexander, our subject's grandfather; Samuel, Robert, Benjamin, Jonathan and David, twins; Isabella, Patsey and Abigail.  All of the children of the first wife passed their lives in Kentucky, while all of the second wife, except Robert and David, who died in Kentucky, moved to Indiana in the early settlement of that State, and became well fixed in life.  Samuel was Judge of the Washington County Court for many years; Alexander was prominent, and held many offices, among which were those of Representative and Magistrate; John Milroy, who was married to Isabella, was Surveyor General for many years, and his brother.  Samuel, who married Patsey, was Receiver in the Land-Office for a time, and served as a member of Congress, and was the father of Gen. Milroy, a distinguished Federal officer in the late Civil War; John Huston, brother of Alexander, was a Magistrate in Nelson County, Ky., and represented his county in the Kentucky Legislature for many years; John B., a son of James and eldest brother of Alexander, was Speaker of the House of Representatives of Kentucky for several terms; Eli, son of Joseph, the fourth brother of Alexander, was Judge of the Court in Natchez, Miss., and Felix, another son, was at one time Commander-in-Chief of the Texan army, and after the admission of that Republic into the Union, he fought a duel with the afterward noted Confederate General, Albert Sidney Johnston, who was then a Federal officer, wounding him in the thigh; Mark Elliott, son of William, eldest brother of Alexander, served three years in the House of Representatives of Kentucky, and eight years in the Senate, and was a member of the convention that framed the Constitution of that State, and served for twenty consecutive years as County Attorney for Nelson County.
The ancestors of our subject as shown by the above record, were all highly respectable and prominent people, none of them or their descendants having ever been made amenable to the criminal or penal laws of the land.  James B., father of Charles A., was born in Nelson County, Ky., Sept. 18, 1799, moved with his parents, in his youth, to Washington County, Ind., and became the father of nine children; five by his first wife, Hannah Kennedy, named as follows: Marium, who afterward became Mrs. Parks; Mary Ann, William A., James M. and Theodore F.  By his second wife, Mary A. Townsend, four children were born -- Albert T., Charles A.. Margaret A. and Caleb B.  Of the first family only J. M. and Mary are yet living, both of whom are unmarried.  Marium became the mother of a large family, which still resides in Clark County, Ind.  Of the second family, Albert and Caleb died in their youth; Margaret married Fred McLeod, of Central City, Iowa, where she now resides, and the other member is C. A., our subject.
In 1853, Mr. Huston, our subject's father, with his family moved to Cedar County, Iowa, and the following year purchased and moved upon the homestead farm in Maine Township, where, Aug. 5, 1856, his wife, Mary A., nee Townsend, died.  She was a woman whose life had been spent in a frontier home in Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa, but notwithstanding the rude surroundings of her life, she is remembered as a woman of rare beauty, high moral and mental qualities, and possessed great force of character.  These made her, amid all the difficulties, dangers and privations that necessarily surround pioneer life, a veritable “sheet-anchor” to all her family and friends.  James B. died on the same farm, May 25, 1886, having reached the ripe old age of eighty-six years, eight months and seven days.  He was a man of strong convictions, yet so modest and unassuming, that only his steadfast adherence to right, as he saw the right, would mark him as a man tenacious of purpose.  Gentleness and kindness made up the web and woof of his life, which was marked by no brilliant exploits like the fitful flashes of electric storms, or like the beautiful colors of sunrise or sunset -- too bright to last, but was rather like the constant mellow light of a pleasant summer day.  Wherever known he will long be remembered by
           "That best portion of a good man's life
             His little, nameless, unrecorded acts
             Of kindness and of love."
Charles A. Huston, our subject, was born in Washington County, Ind., Feb. 3, 1845, and moved with his parents to Iowa in 1853; worked on a farm until 1861, and though only a lad of sixteen years, was among the first volunteer soldiers from Maine Township.  He enlisted in Co. A, 6th Iowa Vol. Inf., and with his command participated in all the hardships and privations which were encountered, facing as bravely as any the vicissitudes and privations; of war, as realized by the 15th Army Corps, under Sherman.  With his regiment he was engaged in the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, second battle of Jackson, Miss., and Missionary Ridge, where he was wounded in the right shoulder by a minie ball.  He was thus disabled until May 10, 1864, when he rejoined his comrades, and ten days later, at the battle of Resaca, Ga., he was again wounded, also with a minie ball, but in the left thigh.  This wound incapacitated him for further service, and he was mustered out, July 17. 1864, at Atlanta, after a military service of three years.
Mr. Huston at once returned to Linn County, and with the little money saved from his pay as a private soldier, and a small patrimony given him by his father, he entered Western College, and began a course of study which he diligently pursued for two years.  He then engaged to a Montana merchant, as train-master, to take a train of twelve wagons of merchandise from Boone, Iowa, the then terminus of the C. & N. W. R. R., to Montana, via the Yellowstone River.  At that time this route had never been traveled except by exploring expeditions.  Arriving at Sioux City, the merchant was not provided with the number of Government troops as an escort that he expected, and refused to risk his goods in the country of the hostile Sioux.  Mr. Huston then entered the employ of the U. P. R. R. Co., with which he remained until the close of active operations that season, but tiring of the nomadic life of the then Far West.  Mr. H. returned to Linn County and engaged in the mercantile business at Waubeek, with W. D. Litzenburg, under the firm name of Litzenburg & Huston.  This partnership continued for two years, when Mr. H. purchased the interest of his partner, and soon after associated himself with Joseph Smith, operating under the firm name of Smith & Huston for four years.  Mr. H. again purchased the interest of his second partner, and carried on the business alone for six years.  During this time he also engaged in the dairy business, and erected at Waubeek the first creamery in Linn County and the third in the State.  Disposing of his mercantile business, in 1831, he moved to Cedar Rapids, in which city he engaged in the creamery supply and general commission business.  He remained there for three years, when he sold to his partner and purchased 540 acres of land in Maine Township, near Waubeek, and is at the present engaged in farming.  He also has an interest in a mercantile establishment at Waubeek, and owns and operates the Waubeek system of creameries.
Charles A. Huston and Miss Abby Wiggin were united in marriage at Waubeek, Aug. 3, 1873.  Mrs. Huston is the daughter of George W. and Harriett (Giddings) Wiggin, and was born in Tamworth, N. H.  By this marriage there was only one child born, of whom they were bereft in infancy.
 Mr. H., socially, is a member of the Marvin Mills Post, G. A. R.  Politically he is a Republican, and is decided in his views as well as fearless in the expression of them, and upholds by every means in his power the principles which he believes to be for the best interest and general good of the county and community.  He has held numerous positions of trust, such as Postmaster of Waubeek, Assistant United States Marshal for the Northern District of Iowa, President of the Cedar Rapids Dairy Board of Trade, President of the Iowa Dairymen's Association, and is at present the President of the 6th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Association.  He has ever performed all the duties entrusted to him with credit and fidelity, and has in no way tarnished the splendid record of the Huston family.
 It is with pleasure that we present on an accompanying page the portraits of James B. and Charles A. Huston, father and son, who stand in the history of Linn County as excellent types of her best citizens; one a representative pioneer, the other a representive business man of today.

Source: Charles A. HUSTON’s portrait, father’s portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 739 - 741, portrait on page 738, father’s portrait on page 738

Contributed by: Eric & Marcia Driggs

If you would like to contribute contact the
Linn County Coordinator