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JOHN H. PALMER, manufacturer of Palmer's egg case, at Cedar Rapids, is a native of the Empire State, was born July 29, 1830, and is a son of Harvey and Phoebe (Manchester) Palmer.  Mr. Palmer resided with his parents until eighteen years of age, attending the common schools and working in a mill.  He next engaged in the grocery business at Oriskany Falls, Oneida Co., N. Y. and followed the business until 1861.
Daring the latter year Mr. Palmer disposed of his grocery business, and on the breaking out of the late Civil War raised Co. I, 26th N. Y. Vol. Inf.  He was their Captain and served three months in the first call for 75,000 men, and participated in the battle of Bull Run.  After returning home he came to Buchanan County, this State, where he embarked in the elevator and general merchandising business, buying grain, and was thus occupied until 1870.  Disposing of his business, we next hear of him in Hudson, Wis., in the milling business, manufacturing lumber, in which he continued for about three years.  His next remove was to Cedar Rapids, where he was engaged in the lumber trade for about three years, when he sold out and began the manufacture of egg cases.  He employs from twenty-five to thirty men, and is located at 17 South First street.
Mr. Palmer is a self-made man, and all that he has of this world's goods has been accumulated through his own persevering industry and good judgment.  While a resident of Buchanan County, Iowa, he built two elevators at Winthrop, the first one erected having been struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  Our subject was a prime mover in the building up of Winthrop, and to him its present prosperous condition is largely attributable.  He gave $1,000 to one church alone, and assisted in every other worthy enterprise calculated to advance the interests of the community.
The Palmer family is traced back to Northamptonshire, England, where a family of that name lived prior to 1700.  William Palmer lived on William street, London, and he or his son joined a party of eight others who came to New York early in the last century, and, going up the Hudson River, the nine partners purchased a large tract of land in Dutchess County, in about 1700.  As near we can learn John H. Palmer is a descendant of this family.  They were farmers, and belonged to the Quaker Church and afterward to the Presbyterian and Baptist denominations.
About 1790 the grandfather of our subject, John Palmer, moved to Chenango County, N. Y. and there engaged in farming.  His children were John, Samuel, Henry and Harvey.  Harvey was the father of our subject.  On attaining the age of manhood he embarked in the grocery business at Oriskany Falls, and later in life was engaged in the milling business in .Madison County, N. Y.  Coming to Cedar Rapids in 1881 he continued to reside with our subject until the winter of 1885, when he made a visit to his son.  H. E. Palmer, of Independence. Iowa, and died at his residence March 27, 1886.  His good wife had preceded him to the home beyond in 1863, her demise taking place in Madison County, N. Y.  Of their family of seven children only live are now living: John H., our subject; Henry G., an extensive farmer, residing near Warren, in Minnesota; Alanson L., residing at Independence. Iowa, and Cashier for twenty years of the Cayuga County (N. Y.) Bank; Harvey E., in the cold storage business at Independence; and James M., a graduate of Hamilton College, New York, now a farmer in the vicinity of Angus, Polk Co., Minn.
The mother's ancestry were Lincolns and Manchesters, of English nativity.  They settled in Rhode Island about 1700, where the family became extinct.  It was revived again in this country by the coming of Seth Lincoln to Madison County, N. Y., about 1800.  He engaged in farming, and died in Cayuga County, that State.
The subject of this history was married, June 18, 1864, to Miss Mary J. Walker.  He is a Republican in politics and casts his vote with his party whenever opportunity occurs.  Religiously lie is connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially belongs to the G. A. R.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 824 - 825
Contributed by: Eric & Marcia Driggs


ROBERT PALMER, manager of R. G. Dun & Co.'s mercantile agency, at Cedar Rapids, is a native of England.  In the year 1850, he was born at Marlboro, his parents being Samuel A. and Elizabeth (Edwards) Palmer, natives of the same country.  His father's life has been spent in the service of an old established house, engaged in the manufacture and jobbing of wines, spirits, etc.  He is now living a retired life.  To the parental household there was born a family of children, six of whom are living, namely: Annie, now Mrs. Carpenter, of Chippenham, England; William, a resident of Marlboro; Richard, living at Reading, England; Robert, our subject; John, of Market Drayton, England, and Sarah, living at Marlboro.  Samuel Palmer is an old and respected resident of a typical English community, and religiously he and his wife are connected with the Church of England.
Robert Palmer was a mere youth of fifteen when he left his old home.  He had received a practical education at the National Schools, and subsequently spent two years in a select School at Chippenham.  He then, at the age of seventeen, went into the office of the Great Western Railroad Company, at Chippenham, to learn the art of telegraphy, where he remained one year, and then in another office, was promoted ticket agent, etc., for the same company, where he remained until 1870.  He then came to America, landing at Quebec, Canada, and thence going immediately to Chicago.  Four months thereafter were passed on a farm a few miles from the city with a former acquaintance of his father's.  He then returned to the city and obtained a situation as book-keeper, etc., in a market, filling the position for sixteen months, when he engaged with the firm of Snoad & Kendall.  At the expiration of four months he accepted a position in the Chicago office of the R. G. Dun Mercantile Agency, and was a faithful and devoted employe there until 1881.  That Mr. Palmer, in this capacity, gave his superiors entire satisfaction, is evidenced by the fact that during this period, among 100 other employes he was promoted to the position of chief clerk, and was then sent to Cedar Rapids to establish and manage a branch office.  Here he has taken rank among the prominent men of the city, and become identified with the business interests of the place.  He is a stockholder and Director of the Cedar Rapids Saving Bank, and was one of the first projectors of the enterprise.  He is Treasurer of the Cedar Rapids Athletic Association, is a member of the Cedar Rapids Board of Trade, and takes an interest in city matters generally.
Mr. Palmer was united in marriage in 1872, with .Miss Elizabeth M. Fowler; a native of England, and daughter of James and Elizabeth (Bracher) Fowler, who came to America in 1880, where the father died three years later.  The mother is still living, residing with her daughter, Mrs. Hodges, of Chicago.  Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have a family of three children – Samuel R., William A. and Edith M., and they are members of the Episcopal Church.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, pages 822 - 823

Contributed by Eric & Marcia Driggs


Prominent among the energetic, far-seeing and successful business men of Cedar Rapids is numbered Robert Palmer, who in various commercial and financial connections has given proof of his capability in important business interests. He is now widely known in the city as manager of P. G. Dun Company and as the vice president of the Cedar Rapids Savings Bank. He is a native of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, and the same county was also the birth place of his parents, Samuel Austin and Elizabeth (Edwards) Palmer. Having acquired his education in the public schools, he was for three years in the railway service being employed in freight and passenger offices.

0n the twentieth anniversary of his birth Mr. Palmer left his native land for America, arriving at Quebec, whence he made his way to Chicago. He spent a number of years in that city in several positions, eventually entering the employ of R. G. Dun & Company. In 1822, when they established a branch in Cedar Rapids, he was given charge at this point. Here he has remained continuously since and has figured prominently in the business and civic interests of the city.

In fact he has become thoroughly identified with Cedar Rapids and his devotion to the city has led him to refuse advantageous offers elsewhere. He has figured prominently in financial circles since 1883, when he took active part in organizing the Cedar Rapids Savings Bank and was chosen a member of its board of directors. On the death of Lawson Daniels in 1906 he became vice president of the institution and has so continued to the present time. He is also treasurer of the Acme Insurance Company; vice president of the Cedar Rapids & Minnesota Land Company; and has other business interests in addition to his connection with the R. G. Dun Company. A man of resourceful business ability, he carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes and when one avenue for advancement seems closed seeks out other paths which will lead him to the desired goal.

Mr. Palmer was first married in Chicago to Miss Elizabeth Mary Fowler. who died in April, 1906. In the following year he wedded Kathryn C. Cowden, a daughter of James P. Cowden, a respected and representative citizen of Cedar Rapids. His family numbers two sons and two daughters, Samuel Robert, William Arthur, Edith Maud and Helen Louise, resulting from his first marriage; and a son, John Cowden Palmer, born in February, 1910. The elder daughter is now the wife of Victor L. Wright, of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mr. Palmer is active in church and mission work, holds membership and has been vestryman in Grace Episcopal church for some twenty years and is one of the earnest champions of Sunshine Mission, which has done so much for the city. His efforts are ever of a practical character, looking to the benefit and betterment of his fellowmen, and with him religion constitutes a motive force rather than a Sunday observance, although he seldom fails to attend the regular Sunday services of the church. He seeks advancement along all lines and is now president and treasurer of the library board. Travel has greatly broadened his knowledge and in addition to visiting many points of interest in this country, he has made many trips to England with his children. He is a member of the Commercial Club and in politics he is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party. From each experience he has learned the lessons of life and has come to regard as above all wealth, fame or position the building of an upright character, believing with Lincoln that “there is something better than making a living — making a life.”

Source: History of Linn County Iowa, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, p. 224-7.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson

Stillman C Palmer

STILLMAN C. PALMER, surgeon dentist at Marion, is a native of Onondaga, N. Y., and was born May 12, 1852.  The parents of our subject, Hezekiah G. and Cynthia W. (Capron) Palmer, were also natives of New York, the father of English and the mother of Welsh descent, and the families of both have been residents of America for several generations.  In 1854 the parental family of our subject came to Iowa and spent the winter of 1854-55 at Marion.   
The spring after Hezekiah G. Palmer and family arrived at Marion they removed to a farm six miles northwest of that city, and there followed agricultural pursuits until 1866.  They then removed to another farm about the same distance northeast of Marion, and continued in the vocation which they had previously followed.  Stillman C. was brought up on a farm, and received his education in the common schools.  Being of a studious turn of mind, he qualified himself for the vocation of a teacher, and taught nine terms of school, holding during that time four first-class certificates.   

Mr. Palmer began the study of dentistry in the winter of 1878-79, in the office and under the instruction of Dr. Booth, of Marion.  In 1882 he bought an interest in the business of his preceptor, anil during the same year bought out Dr. Booth's interest, and has since continued in the business alone and has met with far more than ordinary success.  Dr. Palmer was married, on the 4th of March, 1885, at Marion, to Miss Mattie Rood, daughter of Charles and Cynthia E. (Hinrnan) Rood.  Her parents were natives of Connecticut, the father of Milford, and the mother of Southbury.  Mrs. Palmer was born at Birmingham, Conn., and has borne our subject one child, a son, Buford, who was born at Marion, Nov. 29, 1885.  Dr. Palmer is a member of the order of Modern Woodmen of America, and in politics is a Republican.  He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.  The Doctor's parents are also living in Marion, and belong to the same church as he and his wife.  Benjamin Capron, the maternal grandfather of our subject, is a minister in the Baptist Church.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 291 - 292

Contributed by Eric & Marcia Driggs


Marion has no more wide-awake or enterprising business man than C. A. Patten, the well-known proprietor of the livery, feed and sale business at No. 845 Eleventh street. He is a native of Linn county, born in Brown township, December 4, 1869 and is a son of Richard and Lydia (Pierpont) Patten, who were born, reared and married in Barnesville, Belmont county, Ohio. In 1865 they came to Linn county, Ohio, and purchased a farm, which the father operated until 1866, when he lost his right arm in a sawmill, and for fourteen years engaged in selling patent medicine in Linn, Jones and Cedar counties. Since then he has again followed farming near Whittier’s Corners, where he and his wife now live. They are faithful and consistent members of the Society of Friends, and the mother was clerk of the church for several years. Both take an active interest in church work, and are among the most honored and highly esteemed citizens of their community.

Unto this worthy couple were born eight children as follows: William, who is engaged in farming near Whittier’s Corners, Iowa; Ella, wife of Jesse Morris, a stock buyer and shipper of that place; Jennie, who married William Test and died in 1892; John, an extensive stock dealer of Springville, Iowa; Isaac, a hardware merchant of Fullerton, Nebraska; C. A., our subject; Marion, a farmer of Marion township, this county; and Clarence, a teacher at Whittier.

C. A. Patten, together with the other children of the family, was educated in the common and Quaker schools of this county, and he started out in life for himself as a horse trainer and breeder. In partnership with John Willard he bought a horse named Onard Wilkes, for breeding business, and together they engaged in buying, selling and breaking horses for three years. In 1894 he and S. B. Scott embarked in the livery business on the corner of Eleventh street and Eighth avenue, where they carried on business until their stable was destroyed by fire in August, 1894. Mr. Patten then purchased his partner’s interest in the business and removed to his present location, taking possession of what was known as the old Markly feed stable. He now keeps fourteen head of fine horses and a good line of buggies and carriages to correspond, his property being valued at two thousand dollars. He has charge of the hearse work for both undertaking establishments in Marion.

He is a thorough horseman, who has always been an ardent admirer of the noble steed, and to-day owns a fine five-year-old mare, who made a record of 2:36 in August, 1900. He is also assistant foreman for the G. B. Owen Hose Company.

On the 12th of September, 1894, Mr. Patten married Miss Maude Gibson, of Marion township, Linn county, a daughter of Benjamin and Kate Gibson, prominent farming people of that township. To our subject and his wife has been born a son, Merle.

In his political affiliation Mr. Patten is a stanch Republican, but has never been an office seeker. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 8, of Marion, and the Methodist Episcopal church. He stands high in business circles and commands the respect and confidence of all who know him.

Mr. Patten is an extensive dealer in coach and driving horses, dealing mostly in home trade.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 196-7.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion, Iowa


Prominent among the citizens of Linn county who have witnessed the marvelous development of this section of the state in the past sixty years, and who have, by honest toil and industry, succeeded in acquiring a competence, and are now able to spend the sunset of life in quiet and retirement, is the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch. He is now living retired at his pleasant home on the corner of Eighth street and Sixth avenue, Marion.

Mr. Paul was born June 15, 1823, in Greene county, Pennsylvania, of which his parents, George and Sarah (Tipton) Paul, were also natives. The father taught school for a time, but was principally engaged in agricultural pursuits, and spent his entire life on one farm, dying there at the age of seventy-two years. He was a very worthy and active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which his wife also belonged. She departed life in 1852, at the age of sixty-three years. Her father was Jonathon Tipton and her step-father was Matthew Hannan, who served as a private in the Revolutionary war and died at the advanced age of ninety years. He was a most worthy Pennsylvania pioneer. Our subject’s paternal grandfather, William Paul, was a farmer of that state.

Alexander Paul is the fifth in order of birth in a family of nine children, the others being Mary, wife of Edmond Phillips; William S., who died young while on business in Ohio; Jonathan Tipton, deceased, was a resident of Linn county; Thomas, who died at the age of twenty-six unmarried; David H., the only member of the family now living in Pennsylvania; Enoch, who died in Iowa at the age of forty-five years; Nathaniel, a resident of Lisbon, Iowa; and Wesley S., who died at the age of twenty-seven years.

Mr. Paul, of this review, was reared on the home farm and educated in the subscription schools, there being no free schools in his locality at that time. On the 10th of November, 1844, he left home and came to Linn county, Iowa, locating in Linn township. At that time he could have purchased any amount of government land at one dollar and a quarter per acre, but he had not the money. He found work on a farm at eleven dollar per month, and was thus employed for about four years. Purchasing an interest in a team, he engaged in breaking prairie, and in threshing during the fall.

In 1855, Mr. Paul led to the marriage altar Miss Justin Taylor, who was born in North Carolina, and in 1836 came to Cedar county, Iowa, with her parents, Goodwin and Jane (Taylor) Paul, natives of Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. By this union were born eight children, namely: (1) Goodwin T., a furniture dealer of Dillon, Montana, wedded Mary Bureay, and they have three children, Hortense M., Lucile J. and Goodwin B. (2) William T., a real estate and stock dealer of Horton, Kansas, married Ruth Campbell, and they have two children, Blanche and Vernon. (3) I.N., a physician of Perry, Iowa, married Elva Freeman and they have one child, Ruth. (4) Jane is the wife of J. F. Jenal, of Nebraska. (5) Oscar K., who is connected with a store in Lima, Montana, wedded Mary Hammond and they have one child, Erwin. (6) Frank died in California at the age of twenty-three years. (7) Charles E., a fine pharmacist, is now studying medicine in St. Louis. (8) Bert H. conducts a store and hotel in Montana, and has entrance to Yellow Stone Park. The mother of these children, who was a life-long member of the Methodist church, died May 1, 1876, at the age of forty-three years.

Mr. Paul was again married, November 2, 1894, his second union being with Mrs. Mary C. (Vosburg) Burroughs, a native of Greene county, New York, who had four children by her first marriage, namely: (1) Eva is the wife of H.C. Preston, of Marion, Iowa, and they have four children, Mary, Clarence, Ella and Harry. (2) Belle married John C. Leonard and died leaving two children, Mary and Nathan. (3) Thomas Burroughs married Clara Deerdoff and lives in Denver, Colorado. They have one child, Anna Bell. (4) Catherine is a fine performer on both the piano and violin and is now engaged in teaching music.

In 1853 Mr. Paul purchased land in Marion township and developed a fine farm near Simpson Chapel church, devoting his energies to the improvement and cultivation of his land until 1890, when he removed to Marion and has since lived a retired life, enjoying the fruits of former toil. He sold his farm in 1898. He has traveled much since locating in Marion, taking great pleasure in that way. He has twice visited Yellowstone Park. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church; fraternally is connected with the Masonic Order; and politically is identified with the Democratic party. In early life he took quite an active interest in political affairs and has always given his support to those measures which he believed calculated to prove of public benefit.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 177-8.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion, Iowa

John Penly

John Penly        Mrs Penly

John PENLY, deceased, was a highly respected citizen of Maine Township, and established a comfortable home on section 19.  He was a native of the State of Maine, and was born Oct. 8, 1839.  He remained in his native State until 1854, and then, being greatly desirous of trying his fortunes in the new West, bade adieu to his old home associations, and started upon the long journey to the western bank of the Mississippi.  After crossing the borders of the Hawkeye State lie came into Linn County, first locating at Jordan's Grove, where he remained until 1864, thence he removed to the Bowdish farm, near Waubeek, on section 18 of Maine Township.  Here he erected a fine set of farm buildings, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred Dec. 17, 1885.
The parents of our subject were John and Mary D. (Jordan) Penly, also natives of Maine.  The former was born Oct. 12, 1811, and the latter Nov. 16, 1815.  They were the parents of two children, of whom our subject was the younger, the name of his brother being James.  Capt. John Penly, the grandfather, was born in Maine, May 11, 1782.  The great-grandfather of John Penly was a native of England, and came to America before the Revolutionary War.  Mrs. Mary D. Penly's grandmother's maiden name was Sally Dyer; she was born Dec. 16, 1791.
John Penly's marriage took place at the Bowdish farm, near Waubeek, in September, 1864, the lady of his choice being Miss Josephine A. Bowdish, daughter of John and Lovina (Sheldon) Bowdish, who were natives of Dutchess County, N. Y., and of whom a brief sketch is given in the biography of Bowdish Bros, in this volume.  The parents came to Linn County in 1862, settling in Maine Township, where they died, the father Sept. 17, 1873, and the mother Nov. 14, 1878.  They were the parents of six children – Mary A., Elizabeth W., Agrippa S., Mary A. (2d), Sarah J. and Josephine A.
Mrs. Josephine A. Penly was born in Dutchess County, N. Y., Nov. 30, 1841.  By her union with our subject she became the mother of five children, two of whom died in infancy.  The living are Edgar W., born July 19, 1869; Mary J., born Oct. 31, 1873; and John H., born Sept. 19, 1883.  Edgar is a student in the school at Anamosa, Iowa.
John Penly was an esteemed member of this community, and his death was deeply lamented.  His associations all through life had been of that character which tended to elevate his mind and improve his understanding.  He consequently became a man of decided views, and possessed the courage to uphold the right and protest against the wrong.  He was eminently a useful citizen, morally, socially and religiously.  With the excellent lady who is now bereaved of his counsel and companionship, he was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, which, at his death, fully realized that it had lost in him a strong friend and earnest supporter.
As being among the leading citizens and representatives of Linn County, the accompanying portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Penly will be viewed with a large degree of interest.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 437 - 438, John and Josephine A. (BOWDISH) PENLY’s portraits on page 436

Contributed by Eric & Marcia Driggs

Adam Perry
Adam Perry        Mrs Perry

HON. ADAM PERRY, residing at Cedar Rapids, was born in Greenbrier County, Va., April 24, 1804.  His grandfather, Swift Perry, was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and, emigrating to the United States prior to the Revolutionary War, settled in Virginia.  His maternal ancestor was a Swift and a distant relative of the celebrated Dean Swift.  The grandfather of our subject was married in Virginia, to Mrs. Morehead, and by her had two sons and two daughters, our subject's father, Swift Perry, being the elder.  He was born in 1775, in Virginia, and was reared to the occupation of a farmer, which he followed during life.  He married Miss Mary Brown and their union was blest by the birth of eight children: Joseph, Elizabeth, Adam, Lewis, Helena, John, Anderson D. and Mary.  Our subject emigrated from Virginia to Ohio, and from there to Stark County, Ill., in 1834, and was joined by his brother Lewis the same year and Joseph three years later.  The father with the remainder of the family joined them four years later, where he purchased a farm and where he lived, meeting with success in his vocation, until called to join the silent majority on the other shore.  His demise took place Sept. 7, 1856, aged eighty-one years, two months and thirteen days.  His good wife died Aug. 3, 1842, aged sixty-six years, seven months and twenty-two days.  Of their family of children only two survive: Adam, subject of this sketch, and Anderson D., a resident of Barton County, Mo., aged seventy years.
The subject of this brief biographical notice attended the common schools, and to the information gained therein added a practical education.  He worked on the farm until twenty years of age, when his health failed him, and for five years he was unable to do manual labor.  Remaining at home until thirty-two years old, a portion of the time being engaged in the duties of a pedagogue, he removed to Ohio, where he undertook clear up a wood farm.  The labor, however, proved too severe for his physical powers, and, in the winter of 1834. he again engaged in teaching.  The next winter he went to Stark County, Ill., where he purchased 440 acres of land, and where he lived until 1846.  He then disposed of his property by sale, and, coming to Van Buren County, this State, remained two years and then removed to Johnson County.  Living in the latter county one year, he then came to this county and settled at Ely Station, where he purchased a farm.  In that vicinity he was occupied in the cultivation of 440 acres of land and followed that vocation until 1852.  He then sold his property and purchased a large tract of land where now stands Western College, and lived on this latter purchase until 1881.  During this year he moved to Missouri, and lived in that State until 1885.  Returning from Missouri Mr. Perry settled at Cedar Rapids, where he erected a fine residence and where he is passing the sunset of life in the enjoyment of a well-earned competency.
Mr. Perry was united in marriage, Jan. 9, 1836, with Miss Kate A. Guthrie, a native of Highland County, Ohio, and born Feb. 25, 1819.  She is a daughter of William and Rachel (Jones) Guthrie, natives of Virginia.  Her parents moved to Ohio about the year 1815, where her father purchased a farm and erected a blacksmith shop and carried on blacksmithing and farming.  Her parents had seven children born to them, only three of whom are living at this writing: Jane, wife of H. Johnson, of Maquon, Ill.; Kate, wife of the subject of this notice, and John T., a resident of Missouri.
Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Perry of this notice, six children have been born, only two of whom are now living: Virginia, wife of A. D. Collier, a resident of Cedar Rapids, and who is the mother of three children -- Kate, Libbie and William S.; Sallie S., second child of our subject, wag married to Rev. Kephart, a Professor of Mathematics in Western College at Toledo, Iowa., and five children have been born to them – Stella K., Sarah B., Lucretia P., Adam P. and Mabel; William Swift, the eldest son, died Feb. 19, 1864, while serving his country in the late war.  Mr. and Mrs. Perry also adopted John L. Perry, an orphan, given to Mrs. Perry while his mother was on her deathbed, and they reared him to manhood as they did their own children.
Adam Perry was elected to the Twelfth General Assembly of Iowa, and represented his constituency in the session of 1868-69.  He was employed by the Government on the survey in Western Iowa, and has also held the position of County Surveyor and Supervisor, he was one of the prime movers in securing the location of Western College at Western, and gave forty acres of land for that purpose, the same being the land on which the college is standing at this time, and has at different times contributed to it over $3,000.  He is a stock-holder in the Farmers' Insurance Company of Iowa, which is located at Cedar Rapids, and at one time was Vice-President of the same.  He was also a stockholder in the Western Steam Flour-Mill until 1881.
Our subject is a stanch Republican, and has always taken an active part in political affairs.  He and his good wife arc members of the United Brethren Church.  He is one of those whole-souled, genial and kind-hearted gentlemen, who are an honor to the community in which they reside, and a financial benefit rather than a hindrance.  His influence, wherever he has lived, has had its moral and social effect, and the communities in which he has lived have always been benefited by his being a citizen thereof.
As a truly representative citizen of this county a portrait of Mr. Perry is given in this volume, and as a fitting companion picture to his we also present that of his estimable wife.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 477 - 478, Adam and Kate A. (GUTHRIE) PERRY’s portraits on page 476

Contributed by: Eric & Marcia Driggs


There is probably no one in Linn county who has a more varied or interesting career than Peter A. Peterson, of Cedar Rapids, who has been a resident of this city since 1884. He was born in Flensburg, the north of Germany, October 5, 1847, a son of Iver an Annie (Christisen) Peterson. His father, who was a seaman, was born September 4, 1800, and died at sea, September 30, 1858, by falling overboard and being drowned. The mother was born in 1806, and died in Germany, July 22, 1879. They were the parents of thirteen children, of whom five died in infancy. The others were Christian, who followed the sea for a number of years, but is now a custom house official in Germany, aged seventy-three years; Henry, who was killed by lightning on board a vessel, while making a voyage from Bohea to Gibralter; Jurgen, who is a pilot chief in Flensburg, Germany, and has been in the service twenty-two years; Martin, who was formerly a seafaring man but is not living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Annie, a resident of Hamburg, Germany; Pauline, deceased; and Peter A., the subject of this sketch.

During his boyhood Mr. Peterson of this review attended the public schools of Germany. At the age of fourteen he went to sea as a cabin boy on a vessel engaged in the German coasting trade. On the 23rd of August, 1863, he left home and shipped on board a vessel sailing for China, being a member of its crew for twenty-one months. Leaving that vessel at Hong Kong, he was next on a Portuguese boat plying between that city an Manilla and for three years was on the coast of China during which time he made a trip to Australia, three of his brothers being in the merchant service on the Chinese coast at that time. As a sailor he next went from Hong Kong to San Francisco on a Russian ship, and remained there in the employ of coasting vessels and on others plying between San Francisco and Honolulu until the fall of 1866, when he went to Liverpool, England, the voyage taking one hundred and fifty-two days. From there he came to New York, where he left the ocean service, going upon the Great Lakes in 1867. The following year he went to St. Louis to see the country, but soon resumed his career as a salt water seaman, making a trip around the Horn to Zanzabar and return.

In 1869 Mr. Peterson returned to the lakes, but the following year went to New Orleans, where he was a fireman on a sugar plantation until the spring of 1871, when he went back to the lakes. In September of that year he sailed from New York to Cape Town, Africa, where he arrived on the 1st of February, 1872. On the 10th of that month he in company with four others left the ship and made a trip on foot to the Kimberly diamond fields, which they reached on the 17th of March. He worked in the fields with varied success until 1874, and spent about a year in exploring into the interior. On his return to Port Elizabeth he shipped as second officer on the ship Eudora, of London for New York, where he left the vessel and came west. He was in the lake service until 1881, and spent the following three years in Chicago, a part of the time being employed on the night force of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Mr. Peterson was married in Chicago, in 1881, to Miss Antonie Vanis, who was born in Bohemia, May 11, 1858, and in 1884 they remove to Cedar Rapids, where he followed various occupations until he accepted his present position as janitor of the Jackson school building in 1888. In the summer of 1900 he and his wife went to Germany, where they visited his old friends and relatives, and also spent some time in Denmark and Bohemia, returning home in August of that year. Financially Mr. Peterson has met with success, and at times has purchased property and erected thereon houses, which he later disposed of. He is inclined to take the world as it comes and has always made the most of his opportunities. He can speak all of the Scandinavian languages, as well as Dutch, German and English; is a great reader, and keeps well posted on the questions and issues of the day. Politically he is a prominent Democrat, but has never been an office seeker, and fraternally is a member of the subordinate lodge, encampment, Canton and Rebekah branches of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and takes an active part in their meetings. He is also connected with the Independent Order of Foresters, an insurance society. He gives very liberally for charitable purposes, and is always willing to advance the interests of the people of Cedar Rapids.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa. Illustrated. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1901. pages 237-238.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


More than fifty-six years have elapsed since this gentleman first came to Linn county, and he has therefore witnessed almost its entire growth and development, and is to-day numbered among its honored pioneers as well as one of the representative citizens of Lisbon. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Lancaster county June 9, 1819, and is the only surviving member of a family of seven children. His parents, Samuel and Mary Magdalene (Swar) Pfautz, spent their entire lives in the Keystone state. The Pfautz family originated in Asia, but later lived in Italy and then France, from which country they were driven out by religious persecution, and then sought a home in England and afterward in America.

Mr. Pfautz is indebted to the district schools of his native state for his educational advantages, and on leaving school at the age of fifteen years he engaged in clerking for his father in Moravia, Pennsylvania. He afterward learned the cooper’s trade, at which he worked for a time, and later was employed in a mill. In 1845 he came to Iowa, which was then a territory, stopping first at Keokuk, from which place he walked to Iowa City and later to Cedar Rapids. He found the last place a mere village with only a few houses, a small woolen mill, a sawmill and gristmill. Nicholas Brown was then the “headman” of the town. After remaining here a short time Mr. Pfautz went to Dubuque, but not being able to find work at that place he proceeded to Galena, Illinois, and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where he worked in a lead furnace for one month. Lead was then hauled from that point to Galena and then shipped down the river by boat to St. Louis.

Mr. Pfautz spent the following summer in St. Louis, and then went to Germantown, Ohio, from which place he rode horseback to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1846. Near the latter city he was employed in caring for horses until 1848, when he returned to Iowa. He spent a short time in Muscatine, which was then called Bloomington, and then came to Lisbon, where he worked at making shingles. He next went to Jones county, where in 1849 he built a sawmill in connection with his brother. The following year he and two brothers, accompanied by two others, crossed the plains to the Pacific slope with two ox-teams. On reaching Oregon City he engaged in building ferry boats there until March, 1851, when they proceeded on their way to California, locating at Eureka, where they had just discovered gold. There the little company sold their provisions, receiving one dollar per pound for flour; one dollar and a half per pound for sugar, coffee and tea, and one dollar apiece for eggs. Mr. Pfautz engaged in mining at that place with fairly good success until the fall of 1852, when he started for his old home in Pennsylvania. He traveled by stage from Redding Springs to Sacramento, a distance of two hundred miles and from San Francisco returned to New York by the Nicaragua route, passing over the territory through which the Nicaragua canal is to be made. Missing the steamer at Nicaragua, he was obliged to remain there six weeks before he could get another. The steamer on which he sailed stopped at Kingston, Jamaica, for coal, and also at Havana, Cuba, so ha he had a chance to visit both places. They encountered some severe storms off the coast of North Carolina, and ten passengers died of yellow fever. Mr. Pfautz also had an attack of that dread disease. On reaching New York he took the train for his native town, remaining in Lancaster until the following spring.

In 1853 we again find Mr. Pfautz in Lisbon, Iowa, where for a year he was employed in a store, carried on in a brick building which then occupied the site of the present opera house. He then purchased eighty acres of raw prairie land in Linn township, for which he paid six hundred dollars, and to which afterward added one hundred acres that had previously been broken. All of this property he placed under a high state of cultivation and continued to successfully operate the same until the spring of 1883, when he removed to Van Horn, Benton county, Iowa. There he bought an improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he made his home for four years, and at the end of that time went to Fall River county, South Dakota, taking up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres near Hot Springs, where he lived for eight years. At the end of that period he returned to Lisbon, Iowa, to spend his remaining days in ease and quiet, free from the cares and responsibilities of business life. Politically he is a supporter of the Democracy, and fraternally was at one time a member of the Masonic order. He is widely and favorably known throughout Linn county, and has a host of friends in the various communities where he has resided.

On the 27th of February, 1855, in Marion, Iowa, Mr. Pfautz wedded Miss Mary McAllister, who was born in Kingston, Upper Canada, September 19, 1830, and is a daughter of Niece and Nancy (Craig) McAllister, both natives of county Antrim, Ireland. She is one of a family of twelve children, but has only two brothers and one sister now living, namely: Thomas, who married Elizabeth McClusky and resides near Mechanicsville, Cedar county; James who married Lettie White and lives in Louisville, Pottawatomie county, Kansas; and Catherine Cherry, widow of John Manning and a resident of Toledo, Ohio.

Mr. and Mrs. Pfautz had a family of seven children, namely: (1) Anna resides with her parents. (2) Maggie is the wife of Sherman Riddell, of Chariton, Iowa. (3) Louise is the wife of David West, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and they have three daughters, Grace, Gale and Vera. (4) Albert J. is mentioned below. (5) Samuel A. died in infancy. (6) Ella is the wife of J. W. Strouse, of Peck, Idaho, and they have two children, Vera and Byron. (7) Alice E. is the wife of Carey F. Harrington, of Rockford, Illinois, and they have one child, Fay.

Albert J. Pfautz, the only son of our subject, was born in Linn county, Iowa, October 6, 1862, and was educated in a district school two miles north of Lisbon. He was married, in Benton county, this state, March 10, 1886, to Miss Gertrude Catlin, who was born near Vinton, Iowa, June 14, 1867, a daughter of James E. and Eliza (Mills) Catlin, natives of Pennsylvania. Her father is a farmer by occupation. Albert J. Pfautz and wife have six children: Lola, Loren, Lois, Ina, Harold and Elizabeth. For a time the father of these children engaged in farming near Van Horn, Benton county, but in April, 1886, went to the Black Hills and as a squatter he located a claim in Fall River county, South Dakota, where he remained until the summer of 1889. He then went to the Wind River mountains in Wyoming, but returned home in the fall of that year, and removed to Hot Springs, South Dakota, where he engaged in the hotel business and also helped to build the Soldiers Home. About Christmas time he returned to his claim near Oelrich, South Dakota, but in the spring of 1890 we find him a resident of Hay Springs, Nebraska, near which place he took up a homestead claim. He remained there until the following March, living there during the Indian outbreak. He served as United States messenger for Captain Hanson of Company G, Nebraska National Guards. In the spring of 1891 he returned to Hot Springs, South Dakota, where he conducted a hotel and engaged in carpentering and contracting for two years. He was next engaged in farming on his place near Oelrich until September, 1895, when he and some companions took a trip in a covered wagon, crossing Iowa into Missouri and over into Nebraska by way of Omaha, thus traveling one thousand and fifty miles by team. Mr. Pfautz then spent one year in Paullina, Iowa, and then removed to Cherokee, this state. In the fall of 1897 he went to the grain belt of South Dakota, traveling through the country operating a threshing machine, and then returned to Pottawattamie county, Iowa, where he remained two months. He was next engaged in the grocery business at Vinton, Benton county, Iowa, for a year, and then followed farming for a time, but is now interested in the insurance business at Kenwood Park, Linn county. He is serving as deputy of the Ancient Order of the Red Cross, and is also a member of the Modern Brotherhood of America, while in religious belief he is a Baptist, and in politics is a Democrat.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 146-8.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion, Iowa


Among the honored and highly esteemed citizens of Lisbon who have retired from active labor is William Pieper, who was born in Hanover, Germany, January 15, 1817, a son of William and Philapena (Valbaum) Pieper, also natives of that country, where the mother died. The father afterward married again, his second wife being Hannah Pieper, and in 1843 he emigrated to America, locating on a farm in Wisconsin, where he died in 1852. His wife passed away in 1866. By his first marriage he had four children, namely: Caroline, now the widow of Henry Haulpniver and a resident of Columbia City, Indiana; William, our subject; Melzena, wife of Louis Pauk, of Los Angels, California; and Frederick, who married Catherine Echart and both died in Jones county, Iowa.

During his boyhood William Pieper attended the district schools of his native land until fourteen years of age, and then worked as a farm hand until coming to this country with the hope of benefiting his financial condition. In 1840 he took passage on a sailing vessel at Bremen, and after a stormy voyage of nine weeks landed in Baltimore, Maryland. He at once proceeded to Dayton, Ohio, and as he spent his last twenty-five cents on the day of his arrival there he was forced to seek employment at once. Going to Piermont, that state, he hired out to a stock farmer at six dollars per month, and remained there six months. He then returned to Dayton, where he worked four months at eight dollars per month, and later was employed by Joseph Snyder at eighty dollars per year.

In 1842 Mr. Pieper went to Columbia City, Whitley county, Indiana, and after working for others at that place for two years he purchased eighty acres of land at three dollars per acre. Later he sold that farm for one thousand dollars and bought one hundred and ninety-five from a Mr. Hamilton. This property he sold in 1854 for twenty-five hundred dollars, and then came to Iowa, locating in Pioneer township, Cedar county, where he purchased a farm of two hundred and ten acres. To the cultivation and improvement of that place he devoted his energies until 1887, when he removed to Lisbon and has since lived a retired life. He owns a good home at this place, where, surrounded by all the comforts of life, he is now enjoying a well-earned rest.

In Whitley county, Indiana, Mr. Pieper was married, in 1844, to Wilhelmina Reasey, who died in 1856. Of the three children born of that union two are still living, namely: Henry, who married Susan Cole and resides in Lisbon, Iowa; and Lazette, wife of William Robinson, who lives near Mechanicsville, Cedar county, Iowa.

In 1857 Mr. Pieper was again married, at Huntington, Indiana, his second union being with Hannah Foss, by whom he had five children: William, who married Minnie Davis and resides at Olin, Iowa; Louis, also a resident of that place; Minnie, who married Frank Jackson and died in 1897; August, who married Mollie Cameron and lives near Olin; Hannah, wife of Reuben Cole, of Clinton, Iowa. The mother of these children died in 1868.

Later in the same year Mr. Pieper was married in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, to Miss Augusta Schwalbe, who was born in Menkin, Province of Brandenburg, Germany, July 3, 1845. After their marriage they took a steamer, Sea Bird, to go to Chicago, but stopped at Milwaukee to visit her brother, and that night the Sea Bird was burned and sank with all on board. Mrs. Pieper’s parents were Michael and Fredericka (Dann) Schwalbe, also natives of Germany, who came to America in August, 1855, and settled on a farm in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, where they made their home until death, the father dying July 20, 1886, the mother October 1, 1895. They had eight children, but only four are now living, namely: Minnie, a resident of Plymouth, Wisconsin, and widow of Helmuth F. Kohson, who died in California December 27, 1884; Augusta, wife of our subject; Ernest, who married Barbara Kestner and lives in Plymouth, Wisconsin; and Anna, wife of Otto Eotling, whose home is near Howard’s Grove, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin. By his third marriage Mr. Pieper had three children: (1) Elvina, born May 5, 1869, is the wife of Albert M. Floyd, publisher of the Lisbon Sun at Lisbon, Iowa, and they have one child, Harriet H. (2) Anna died in infancy. (3) Augusta, born February 13, 1871, who first married David Fall, a traveling salesman of Mechanicsville, Iowa, and after his death wedded Rev. Lewis Krome, the present pastor of the German Reformed church at Lisbon, and they have one child, Harold William.

By his ballot Mr. Pieper supports the Democracy, and takes an active interest in public affairs. He is a member of the Lutheran church, while his estimable wife is a Christian Scientist in religious belief. He is a genial, pleasant gentleman, who makes many friends, and he and his family receive and merit the high regard of the entire community. His wife is particularly a well posted woman, and take a commendable interest in general affairs.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 194-5.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion, Iowa


One of the most popular business men of Cedar Rapids is this well-known druggist, who is now successfully engaged in business at No. 218 South First street. He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, May 7, 1863, his early education being obtained in the common schools of that state. When a lad of thirteen years he came to Cedar Rapids, and entered the employ of Wheeler & French, druggists of this city, as an apprentice. Later he was with N. P. Bailey, and subsequently was prescription clerk for J. D. Mateer and George C. Haman. For a year and a half he was on the road selling physicians' supplies for F. A. Woods & Company, of Cedar Rapids, and was then with C. E. Schomler until he embarked in the drug business for himself at his present location in 1896. On starting out in life for himself he was without capital, but soon made for himself an enviable reputation in business circles, and to-day enjoys an excellent trade which has been gained by fair and honorable dealing and courteous treatment of his customers.

In 1886 Mr. Pitkin married Miss Mabel Batchelder, who was born at Traer, Iowa, and whose father was formerly a business man of Cedar Rapids, where she was educated. They have two children, Edward F. and Edith M. In his political views Mr. Pitkin is a Republican, and in his social relations is a member of Mt. Herman Lodge, No. 263, F. & A. M., Trowel Chapter, No 49. R. A. M., and the Royal Arcanum. He is also a member of the State Pharmaceutical Association and the Commercial Club of Cedar Rapids; is a stockholder of the Auditorium and is a supporter of the base ball clubs of the city. He is public spirited and progressive, and takes an active interest in all enterprises which he believes will advance the welfare of the community or promote the general prosperity.

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

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


CProminent among the energetic and progressive farmers of Franklin township is this gentleman residing on section 19. His early home was on the other side of the Atlantic, for he was born in Austria, September 12, 1856, and attended school there until ten years of age. In 1866, in company with his parents, Albert and Barbara (Snepeberger) Pitlik, he took passage on a sailing vessel at Hamburg, and after a voyage of nine weeks and three days landed in Baltimore, Maryland. They proceede at once to Linn county, Iowa, and the father purchased a farm in Franklin township, where he is now living a retired life, enjoying the fruits of former toil. In the family were eleven children, of whom Albert J. is the oldest, the others being Joseph, who married Anna Prochaska and resides in Cedar Rapids; Maggie, wife of George Ulch, of Big Grove township, Johnson county, Iowa; Wesley, who married Josephine Novotney and lives in Cedar Rapids; Annie, wife of Paul Dolezal, of Johnson county; Barbara, who died at the age of nineteen years; Emma, who died at the age of four years and a half; Katie, who die at the age of twenty years; Frank, who wedded Mary Crofter and makes his home in Cedar township, Johnson county; Mary who died in infancy; and Lizzie, at home with her parents.

Albert J. Pitlik remained under the parental roof until twenty-four years of age, giving his father the benefit of his labors, and then rented a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Putnam township, Linn county, which he operated for three years. At the end of that time he removed to Cear Rapids, where he was in the employ of the Hooper Ice Company one year, and the Humber Ice Company the same length of time. He was next engaged in the vinegar business, and on his retirement from that he bought a farm of sixty-five acres on section 19, Franklin township. It was a tract of unbroken land full of stumps, but he has since transformed the same into one of the most highly cultivate and best improved farms of the locality. He has also tended its boundaries and now has one hundred acres.

At St. Peter's and St. Paul's church near Solon, Iowa, Mr. Pitlik was married February 21, 1881, to Miss Katie Reyhons, who was also born in Austria, October 30, 1860, and came to the new world in 1867, with her parents, John and Josephine (Rusheck) Reyhons. The family first located in Cedar Rapids, where they lived for three years, and the father then purchased a farm in Cedar township, Johnson county, Iowa, where his death occurred June 21, 1894. The mother now makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Vrba, in Putnam township, Linn county. The children of the family were Frank, who wedded Mary Doepar, and resides in Tama county, Iowa; Katie, wife of our subject; Mary, who died in infancy; Joseph, who married Andrew Bronlik and lives in Johnson county; Mary, wife of Joseph Vrba, of Putnam township, Linn county; and Josephine, who died at the age of four years and a half. Mr. and Mrs. Pitlik have four children: Joseph F., born February 5, 1882, is engaged in farming in this county; an Mary M., born March 18, 1884; Lizzie A., born November 10, 1891, and Eddie, born March 17, 1897, are all three at home with their parents. In political views Mr. Pitlik is a stanch Democrat and has creditably filled the office of school director in his district for two years. Religiously he is a member of St. Peter's and St. Paul's church near Solon, Iowa.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa Illustrated. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1901. p.238-239.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


M. B. Plummer, a highly esteemed citizen of Bertram and an honored veteran of the Civil war was born in Defiance county, Ohio, January 15, 1843, and is a son of John and Malinda (Perkins), both natives of Kentucky, the former born in January, 1796, the latter in May, 1810. After their marriage the parents removed to Ohio, and in 1856 came to Linn county, Iowa, locating upon a farm which the father purchased in Bertram township. In the spring of 1860 sold that place, and after living retired for a time he rented a farm, although he owned three hundred and twenty acres of land in Tama county, Iowa. Owing to ill health he and his wife went to California in 1870, and remained on the Pacific coast for two years, returning to this county May, 1872. He died in August of the same year, and was buried in Campbell cemetery near Bertram. Subsequently his wife returned to California. where her death occurred in May, 1897. They had a family of nine children, of whom three died in infancy. The others were as follows: Alfred, deceased, married Hulda Sterner and lived in Bryan, Williams county, Ohio; Elizabeth married Andrew Steinbaugh and removed from Ohio to Iowa, then to Kansas, and still later to Los Angeles, California; Elijah married a Miss Wilcoxian and also lives in Los Angeles; Susan is the widow of Arthur Mekeel and resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; M. B., our subject, is the next in order of birth; and J. Chester married Fannie Fox and makes his home in California.

M. B. Plummer came with his parents to this county, and assisted his father in the work of the farm until the Civil war broke out. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Twentieth Iowa volunteer Infantry, and after being mustered in at Clinton, Iowa, was sent with his command to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, where they remained a week. They next went by train to Rolla, Missouri, and the winter was spent in that state and Arkansas. In May, 1863, they marched to Cape Girardeau, and later went to Vicksburg by steamer, remaining there until its surrender, July 4. They next went up the Yazoo river on a scouting expedition, and then returned to Vicksburg. They subsequently spent one month at Port Hudson, and from there went to New Orleans, where they camped on the Champ de Mars, and there the Thirteenth Corps was reviewed by General Grant. On September 3 they marched to Morganzia Landing on a scouting expedition and then returned to New Orleans. Later they went to Point Isabel, Texas,—General Taylor's old battle ground during the Mexican war, —and from there they proceeded to Mustang Island, where they remained from November, 1863, to June, 1864, when they went to Brownsville, Texas, and later to New Orleans. They next went to Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas, and then back to New Orleans, from which city they were sent to Fort Morgan, assisting in the bombardment and capture of that stronghold. On their return to New Orleans they went by boat to Fort Barancas, Florida, and then to Fort Blakely, near Mobile, participating in the siege and capture of that place. This was the last engagement of the Civil war. Mr. Plummer remained in Mobile until mustered out of service, July 8, 1865, and on the 10th started for home, arriving in Clinton, Iowa, on the 23d of that month. There he was discharged three days later, and returned home the same night. The first battle that Mr. Plummer’s regiment was engaged in was fought on Sunday, and by a curious coincident the last battle of the Civil war also took place on Sunday.

For four years Mr. Plummer worked for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, but after his marriage he engaged in farming for three years and in teaming for two years. He then resumed agricultural pursuits, to which he devoted his energies until 1888, when he commenced drilling wells, and was thus employed until his retirement from active labor. The business is now carried on by his sons.

At Marion, Iowa. September 25, 1866, Mr. Plummer married Miss Charlotte Stoneking, who was born in Kentucky November 23, 1846. Her parents, Samuel and Jane (Chaplin) Stoneking, were born, reared and married in Pennsylvania, whence they removed to Virginia, and in 1859 they came to Iowa, locating on a farm in Bertram township, Linn county. In 1866 they went to Kansas, and two years later removed to Missouri where Mrs. Stoneking died in 1870. Her husband subsequently returned to this county with his family, and has made his home here ever since Mrs. Plummer is the oldest of his eight children, the others being Clark, who died in Missouri at the age of twenty-one years; Spencer, who died in Iowa at the same age; Mary Ann, wife of Edward Cress, a farmer of Bertram township; John, who married Ida Richardson, now deceased, and lives in Bertram; Mildred, wife of Stephen Woods, who lives on a farm in the southern part of Bertram township; and two who died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Plummer are the parents of twelve children: Lizzie M., born July 14, 1867, is the wife of W. A. Burgess, of Bertram; Sarah Ellen, born October 23, 1868, is the wife of Frank Marks, of the same place; Edward, born September 29, 1870, married Minnie Masingale; James H., born November 17, 1872, is at home; Celia B., born February 5, 1875, is the wife of Edmund Thompson, a farmer of Linn Grove; William F., born January 20, 1877, is at home; Fannie, born January 6, 1879, is the wife of Fred Lake, who lives near Springville, this county; and Hattie, born February 15, 1881, Alice, born June 6, 1883, Statie, born July 19, 1885, Myrtie, born February 19, 1887, and Laura, born February 22, 1890, are all at home.

Mr. Plummer gives his political support to the men and measures of the Republican party, and his fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, have called upon him to fill several local offices. He has served sixteen years as township assessor; justice of the peace twenty years, and secretary of the school board for the same length of time.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa. Illustrated. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1901. pages 239-41.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


It is said that biography yields to no other subject in point of interest and profit, and is especially interesting to note the progress that has been made along various lines of business by those of foreign birth who have sought homes in America - the readiness with which they adapt themselves to the different methods and customs of America, recognize the advantages offered and utilize the opportunities that the new world affords. Cedar Rapids has a number of prominent and successful business men whose early home was in Bohemia, and to this class belongs Joseph Pospishil, who after years of active labor is now living retired at No. 312 South first street west, where he has a most comfortable home.

Mr. Pospishil was born in the city of Policka, Bohemia, April 17, 1832, and was there reared and educated in his native tongue, his knowledge of the English language having all been acquired since coming to this country. It was in 1856 that he crossed the broad Atlantic on a sailing vessel from Hamburg, Germany, being six weeks and three days upon the water, during which time the vessel encountered some severe storms. He landed in New York in the fall of that year and came direct to Linn County, Iowa. He purchased a tract of wild land in Putnam township, consisting of eighty acres, and later added to it another tract of similar size, making a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he placed under excellent cultivation and improved with good buildings.

Renting his farm in 1871, Mr. Pospishil removed to Cedar Rapids, where he erected a business house and put in a stock of groceries, carrying on business here as a merchant until 1888, since which time he has practically lived a retired life. In the meantime he became interested in real estate, buying lots and building six residences, and in this way he has materially added to the growth and prosperity of the city. Besides his property he also owns five business houses, and is today numbered among the prosperous and substantial citizens of Cedar Rapids, though on coming to this county he had but little capital, his success being due to his untiring labor, perseverance and good management.

Mr. Pospishil was married, in Linn county, in February, 1862, to Miss Margaret Zeninshek, also a native of Bohemia, who was fifteen years of age when she came to America. They have become the parents of seven children, namely: Joseph L., a resident of Cedar Rapids, is married and has one daughter, Lenore. Anna is the wife of J. J. Fackler, of Cedar Rapids, and they have one son, Clarence. Benjamin R. is married and engaged in business in Chicago. Emma is the wife of M. W. Houser, of Cedar Rapids, and they have two children, Alma and Helen. Margaret is the wife of Charles Petrovilsky, of Cedar Rapids. Lillian is now assistant librarian in the public library of Cedar Rapids and resides at home; and Mamie is also at home.

Mr. Pospishil cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, but is now a supporter of the Democratic party. He and his family attend the Lutheran church. In 1890 Mr. and Mrs. Pospishil accompanied by their daughter, Mrs. Houser, went to Europe, where they visited their old friends in Bohemia. They also stopped at Paris, London, Berlin, Prague and other places of interest, spending three and a half months most delightfully in this way. At this time they were only about ten days in crossing the ocean.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa. Illustrated. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1901. pages 62-63.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


William G. Power, proprietor of the only exclusive book and stationary store of Mt. Vernon, and one of the leading business men of the place, is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Des Moines county September 15, 1844. His father, G. W. Power, was born in Indiana, and was married in Greencastle, that state, to Eliza A. Kynett, who was born at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the 29th of October, 1819. In 1840 they came west and located in Des Moines county, Iowa, where the father engaged in carpentering and contracting until his removal to Mt. Vernon in 1864. Here he carried on the same occupation. He was a member of the Thirty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, known as the Graybeard Regiment, in the war of the Rebellion. He died at Mackinaw, Illinois, in 1875, and his wife, who long survived him, passed away at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, May 12, 1895. In their family were eight children, namely: Margaret, who married John J. Prehm, of Montgomery county, Iowa, and died about 1882; Amanda, who died in Lisbon November 14, 1865; Isaac N., who was a member of Company G, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was killed in the battle of Allatoona, Georgia, October 5, 1864; William G., our subject; Mary Emma, wife of J. H. M. Edwards, of Logan, Iowa; Charles Wesley, who died August 22, 1880; Alpha J., who married E. Kate Fox and lives in Chicago; and Lewis F., who married Effie Harron and resides in Beatrice, Nebraska.

The early education of our subject was received in the public schools of Des Moines county, which he attended during the winter months for about five years, and then assisted his father on the farm and at the carpenter’s trade until he attained his seventeenth year. In 1862 he enlisted at Dodgeville in Company G, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was in camp at Davenport until December of that year, when the regiment went south to Cairo, Illinois, and from there to Columbus, Kentucky. Subsequently they took part in several skirmishes in western Tennessee, and then proceeded to Corinth, Mississippi, where they made their headquarters until the fall of 1863, when they crossed the Tennessee river to Pulaski and Columbia. In April, 1864, they joined General Sherman’s army at Chattanooga and were placed on the right of the advance guard. They participated in the engagements at Snake Creek Gap, Lay’s Ferry and Rome Cross Roads, and made their headquarters at Rome, Georgia, for a time. They pursued General Wheeler through Tennessee, passing Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and to Florence, Alabama, and returned to Rome, Georgia. On the 4th of October, 1864, they were among the troops sent by General Sherman to reinforce General Corse at Allatoona, after the former general had signalled from Kenesaw Mountain, from which message the song, “Hold the Fort, for I am Coming,” originated. In that engagement Mr. Power’s company of twenty-four men present lost fourteen men, killed, wounded and missing, including his brother, Isaac N., who was killed. Our subject was wounded in the left forearm by a minie ball, and after the battle was sent to Chattanooga, and later to Nashville. From the latter place he was taken by the hospital boat down the Cumberland and up the Ohio to New Albany, Indiana, and on the 5th of December, 1864, was transferred to Keokuk, Iowa. He was finally discharged July 28, 1865.

Mr. Power then came to Mt. Vernon and entered the employ of Charles Collins, a druggist and postmaster of this place, being given charge of the postal work and remaining with him two years. He next formed a partnership with E. D. Sargent in the book business, was for two years secretary of the Lisbon Manufacturing Company, and in 1879 purchased the drug store of Mr. James Carson, which he carried on for some years. He also served as postmaster under President Harrison. He was for two years associated with W. V. Chambers in the hardware trade. He is now successfully engaged in the book, stationery and insurance business, and is also commissioned as notary public.

On the 17th of December, 1867, Mr. Power married Miss Sarah A. Berryman, a native of Kentucky and a daughter of Enos J. and Deborah (Leaming) Berryman, who were born in Ohio, and removed to Clinton county, Iowa, in 1860. In 1869 they came to Mt. Vernon, where Mr. Berryman died December 26, 1878, and his wife passed away March 21, 1887. They were the parents of eight children. Mrs. Power died September 11, 1888, and the two children born of that union, Enos Clair and Harry E., are also deceased.

Mr. Power was again married at Mt. Vernon, November 27, 1889, his second union being with Miss Una E. Owen, who was born in Arlington, Illinois, December 7, 1864, a daughter of Henry W. and Rebecca B. (Davis) Owen. The father was born in New York February 22, 1836, the mother in Pennsylvania November 1, 1841, and in November, 1878, they became residents of Mt. Vernon, Iowa. They have a family of four children: Ella, born in 1862, is engaged in teaching school in Mt. Vernon; Mrs. Power is the next in order of birth; A. D., born November 22, 1867, was married in October, 1893, to Allie Thomas, and is now employed in a brass foundry at Kewanee, Illinois; and Charles W., born August 22, 1876, was married March 21, 1900 to Minnie Vaughn, and is now clerking in a grocery store in Mt. Vernon. Mr. and Mrs. Power have two children: Ruth L., born November 3, 1890; and Wilbur G., born June 18, 1896.

Besides serving as postmaster, Mr. Power has also filled the offices of city recorder and township clerk a number of terms, and is a very public-spirited and enterprising citizen. Socially he is connected with Washington Camp, No. 116, M. W. A.; Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 112, F. & A. M.; and W. C. Dimmitt Post, No. 400, G. A. R., while his wife belongs to the Women’s Relief Corps. Both are active and prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Mt. Vernon, and Mr. Power has served as its treasurer for about fifteen years. His public and private life are alike above reproach, and he has been found as true to his duties of citizenship in times of peace as when he followed the old flag to victory on southern battle-fields.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 157-9.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion, Iowa


One of the most distinguished members of the Linn County Bar, Col. I. M. Preston. Coming to Linn County, and locating in Marion in the fall of 1842, he spent most of his busy life in that place. In December, 1878, however, he came to Cedar Rapids, where he continued to reside up to the time of his death, which occurred March 6, 1880. He was one of the most widely known and successful lawyers that has ever lived within the limits of our country. His popularity is shown in the various offices of trust which he held at different periods of his life. He held the office, at one time, of Judge of Probate for this county; he was also appointed prosecuting attorney for the 18th Judicial district, comprising Linn, Benton and Tama counties; he was commissioned Colonel of the Third Regiment, Second Brigade, Second Division of the Militia of the Territory of Iowa, was appointed United States District Attorney by President Polk, and in 1848 was elected to the Iowa State Legislature, and in 1850 was elected to the State Senate.

His estimable wife is a resident of our city; her elegant home being situated on Second Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. The two sons, Judge Joseph H. and Edmund C. are also residents of this place, pursuing the same honorable profession as their father.

Source: Carroll, Rev. George R., Pioneer Life In and Around Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from 1839 to 1849, Times Printing and Binding House, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1895, page 161-2.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Honorable Isaac Mosher Preston, for the last thirty-three years a resident of Marion, Iowa, was born at Bennington, Vermont, April 25, 1813. His grandfather, Levi Preston, was born in England, September 6, 1736. Married Deliverance, daughter of Nicholas Mosher, who was born march 25, 1730. They emigrated to America soon after, and settled first in Massachusetts, thence removed to Bennington, Vermont. He served in the Revolutionary war. His family was as follows: John, born September 15, 1759; Phebe, born April 25, 1761; Mary, born September 29, 1762; Ephraim, born March 10, 1764; Elizabeth, born March 2, 1766; Levi, born April 13, 1769; Hannah, born July 22, 1771.

Ephraim, the father of the subject of the sketch, served a short time in the Revolutionary army; married Anna Hoag, by whom he had four daughters and one son, who, dying in 1803, he was married a second time to Sarah Maxwell, of Rhode Island, and by her had six children, four of whom are now living, colonel Preston being next to the youngest. In 1814 his parents moved to Onondaga County, New York, where his father died in 1849, aged 85, his mother having died November, 1832. Having been given his time at the age of sixteen, young Isaac learned the carpenter and joiner’s trade, and continued at that business till 1840, when he resolved to study law. In 1842 he moved to Iowa, and entered the office of Asa Calkin, of Iowa city, and was admitted to the bar October 26, 1842 in Marion, Linn County, where he has since continued to practice. December 19, 1845, he was appointed by Governor Clark District Attorney for the Eighteenth District of Iowa Territory, and discharged the duties of that office for two years. February 17, 1846, he was commissioned by Governor Clark colonel of the 3d Regiment, 2d Brigade, 2d Division of the Militia of Iowa, and assisted in organizing troops for the Mexican war, but was not called into active service. He was elected Probate Judge for Linn County in 1843, and re-elected in 1846, holding the office six years, and declined a third election. March 3, 1847, he was commissioned by President Polk, District Attorney for the State and District of Iowa, and continued in that position until the close of Polk’s administration. In 1848 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of Iowa, and two years later to the State Senate, where he served four years, participating in the memorable contest which resulted in the election of Honorable James Harlan to the United States Senate. His associates in both branches of the Legislature were among the most eminent men of the state, and the passage of the code of 1851, which superseded the common law forms of practice, and changed the entire judicial system of the state, was the result of their legislation. Colonel Preston took an active part in all public affairs, and although decidedly a party man, was not a blind advocate of every measure proposed by his party, but carefully consulted the public weal, and at all times pursued the path of duty, and by so doing secured the approval of his political friends and opponents. The grand aim of his life, however, was to excel in his profession. Deprived as he was of the advantages of early education, he resolved that labor, energy and will should surmount all difficulties, and with this determination entered upon his professional career, and is now recognized as one of the first lawyers of the state. As a criminal lawyer he justly occupies a leading place in his profession, and probably few men in the state have tried as many criminal cases and been so universally successful. Cast as he was, at the age of sixteen, upon his own resources, without education, without money and without assistance, he may be truly styled a self-made man.

Colonel Preston was married in Seneca county, New York, April 3, 1837, to Mary J., daughter of Charles Facer, and by her has two sons – Joseph H., born July 9, 1839 [see entry below], married Adaline L. Wood, formerly of Massachusetts, and is now a practicing lawyer at Waterloo, Iowa; and Edmund C., born June 5, 1841, who married Deborah E., daughter of A. J. Twogood, and is an able member of the Marion, Iowa, bar.

Source: A. T. Andreas' Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa. 1875. Chicago. p. 384-5.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


Joseph Hamilton Preston was born in Benton Center, Yates County, New York, July 9, 1838; he died at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 29, 1913. His parents removed with their family to Marion, Iowa, in 1842, and he attended the public schools of Marion and also Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He graduated from the Union Law School of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1860 with the degree of LL.B. and upon admission to the Iowa bar, engaged in practice with his father at Marion for eight years. In 1869 he removed to Waterloo and continued in practice there until 1881 when he removed to Cedar Rapids where he maintained his home until his death. He was elected district attorney for the Eighth Judicial District and later judge for the same district. In 1886 he was elected judge of the Eighteenth Judicial District and held the office until 1894 when he resigned from the bench to re-enter private practice. He was a prominent member of the Iowa bar for over fifty years.

Source: "Notable Deaths" Annals of Iowa. Vol. XI, No. 4. p. 239. Historical Society of Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa. January, 1914.

Submitted by: Sharon Becker

John Pugh  

JOHN PUGH is Superintendent and proprietor of the Eagle Hotel at Troy Mills, Linn County, and is one of the most popular landlords, in this part of the Hawkeye State.  He is a native of North Carolina, born March 12, 1824, and is the son of Jacob and Dorcas (Glascow) Pugh, also natives of North Carolina.  Jacob Pugh was born in 1770, and died in 1826, at the age of fifty-six years; his wife was ten years his junior, and survived him many years, dying in 1865.  The household circle included eleven children : Enoch, Nancy, Penina, Dorcas, Jacob, Thomas, Jessie (deceased), one died in infancy unnamed, Lydia, Mary and John.
The subject of our sketch was the youngest member of his father's family, and remained at home with his parents until he grew to manhood.  He was married to Mrs. Charlotte Thurston in 1854, by whom he had four children, named as follows: Charles, Edmund B., Harriet and Sarah Ellen. Charles and Sarah Ellen are deceased.  Mr. Pugh was again married, Feb. 24, 1867, to Miss Temperance Harvey.  She was a native of Illinois, born Nov. 17, 1841.  Her parents were Henry S. and Rachel (Ellis) Harvey, natives of the Prairie State.  They became the parents of four children.  The father departed this life in 1847, and his wife survived him twenty-nine years, dying in New Mexico in 1876.
Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. John Pugh four children have been horn, three of whom are living – Harley, Alice and May; the one deceased was named May.
Mr. Pugh came to Iowa while it was yet a Territory, and with his characteristic energy at once identified himself with the interests of his adopted home.  He is a man of great force of character, but temperate and gentlemanly in the expression of his views.  He is a strong Republican in politics, and a sincere believer in the principles enunciated by Robert Ingersoll.  He is honorable and upright in his dealings, and endeavors, to the best of his ability, to do unto others as he would that they should do unto him.
Besides the hotel building and the ground upon which it stands.  Mr. Pugh is the possessor of 250 acres of fine farming land.  He keeps a first-class public house, which is the resort of the best class of travelers in this section.
As one of the leading and most enterprising business men of the county, the publishers take pleasure in including in the galaxy of portraits of representative citizens given in this volume, that of Mr. Pugh.

Source of portrait and biographical sketch (verbatim transcription):  “Portrait and Biographical Album of Linn County, Iowa”, 1887, biographical sketch on pages 297 - 298, portrait on page 296

Contributed by Eric & Marcia Driggs

If you would like to contribute contact the
Linn County Coordinator