Mills County, Iowa
1881 Mills County History

Biographical Sketches
Abel, Charles
Farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Emerson; born May 16, 1842 in Hancock county, Illinois. He came to Iowa with his parents in 1845, and in 1847 located on the present Betts farm. In 1849 he moved to where he now resides, on section twenty-one. He was educated in the common school and matured on a farm. He was married October 9, 1878, to Miss L., daughter of A. L. Armstrong, one of the first settlers of the city of Emerson. She was born June 4, 1857 in Michigan. Mr. Abel is a man much endeared to the home circle, upright, honorable and influential. He is the father of three children, two living; Millie B. and Otto A. p. 707 Indian Creek Township

Abel, Mrs. Sarah
Farmer, section 21, P.O. Emerson; a daughter of William Ross, born February 3, 1809, in Glengari, Canada. In 1831 she moved to North Crosby, where she married Mr. H. Abel, May 12, 1831. Mr. Abel was born in Canada, July 12, 1805, and grew to manhood as a farmer, receiving in his youth a common school education. In 1838 they moved to the state of New York, and the following year, 1839, to Michigan. In 1842 Mr. Abel became a resident of Hancock county, Illinois. In 1845 he came to Iowa, and in 1847 located on Silver creek, on what is now known as the Betts farm. He moved to the farm now owned by Mrs. Abel in 1849, and brought two hundred acres of fine land to a high state of cultivation. He died November 1, 1876. Mrs. Abel was educated in the common school. She is a woman of rare social and neighborly qualities, loved and revered by all who know her. She is the mother of six children, five now living: William R., Thomas G., John L., Charles and Don Carlos. p. 707 Indian Creek Township

Aistrope, Thomas M.
Farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Malvern; born December 11, 1828, in Lincolnshire, England, where he remained until nineteen years of age, and then moved into Yorkshire and engaged in farming. He then commenced running a grist-mill, which he operated for more than three years. In 1855 he immigrated to America, landing at New York. From there he went to Chicago, where he remained one week, and then went to McHenry county, Illinois, and worked for one season on a farm. He then moved to Van Buren county, Iowa, locating near Plymouth, where he was engaged in coal mining, railroading and farming for about three years. He next located in Clark county, Missouri, rented land and farmed about four year. He then came to Mills county and lived in various parts of the county until the spring of 1863, when he settled on section 17, White Cloud township, where he now resides. Was married to Miss Jane Whatt, who was born in Yorkshire, England, December 3, 1830. They are the parents of eleven children: Mary J., Margaret, Elizabeth, Walter G., Sarah A., Thomas M. Jr., William W., Alice M., Nellie V., Anna E. and Henry P.V. Mr. Aistrope owns a fine farm of 1,046 acres, which has many substantial improvements. He came to this country without a dollar, and by his indomitable will and untiring energy has succeeded in amassing a competence. p. 647 White Cloud Township

Aistrope, Walter
Farmer and stock raiser, P.O. Malvern; born April 16, 1831 in Lincolnshire, England, where he grew to manhood. Immigrated to America in 1852, first locating in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in coal mining for two years. He then went to Chicago and was employed in the brewery of Lill & Co., in whose employ he remained for nearly three years. He then came to Van Buren county, Iowa and was there engaged in farming some two years. Leaving Van Buren county, he made a trip to California and worked in the mines three years. He returned to Iowa and located on section 19, in White Cloud Township, and now owns the entire section with the exception of eighty acres. His farm is beautifully situated and has many substantial improvements. Was married March 16, 1868, to Miss Eliza J. Kesterson, a native of Tennessee. They are the parents of three children: George B., Charles R. and Mary B. p. 646/647 White Cloud Township

Allis, Henry
Farmer and stock raiser, section 17, P.O. Council Bluffs; born March 2, 1839 in Nebraska. His youth was passed on the frontier among the Indians. He received his education in the mission schools, that were established in the Indian country. He served some time as an Indian interpreter for traders, and in the employ of the government, and was at one time clerk in a trading store on the Pawnee reservation. In 1862, he went to California, where he engaged in farming. He came to this county in 1868. He owns a well-improved farm of 200 acres. Mr. Allis is the oldest white person now living who was born in the state of Nebraska. p. 665/666 Oak Township

Allis, Otis E.
Farmer and stock raiser, section 8, P.O. Council Bluffs; born December 4, 1844, on Loup Fork, Western Nebraska. He shared the fortune of his father in that wild country until he arrived at manhood. When seven years of age he was shot in the eye by an Indian lad, from the effects of which he lost that member. He came to this county with little capital, but by industry and economy he was soon able to purchase one hundred and twenty acres of land, to which he has since added three hundred acres. His farm is well improved, an elegant dwelling house, nestling among a beautiful grove and ornamental trees, a good barn, and many other substantial improvements. The farm is well sheltered and watered, and otherwise well adapted to the raising of livestock. Mr. Allis was married My 21, 1871, to Miss Ellen, daughter of Hiram and Agnes Edward, of Lincoln, Illinois. They are the parents of four children: Elsadie A., Oliver E., William R. and Samuel. Mr. Allis has been closely identified with the interests of his county, having filled many important local offices with credit to himself and constituents. p. 665 Oak Township

Allis, Samuel
Was born in Conway, Franklin county, Massachusetts, September 28, 1805. He was reared under Christian influences, his parents being members of the Congregational church; his education was limited to the opportunities afforded him by the common schools of the day. At the age of seventeen he began to learn the saddlery and harness maker's trade, and followed this avocation at various localities until 1834. In that year he was appointed as assistant to the Rev. Mr. Dunbar, and by direction of the American Board of Foreign Mission, came to the west and locating at Belleview, Nebraska, established a mission supported by the Presbyterian and Congregational churches. He remained for many years in that state and section, engaged in instructing the Indians. In 1836 he went to Clay county, Missouri, and was there married to Miss Emaline Palmer, a native of Mansfield, Connecticut. He immediately returned to Nebraska with his wife, and renewed his duties as a missionary. They have four children now living: Henry, Martha, Otis and Harriet. In 1851 he came to St. Mary township, and three years afterward moved to the farm he now occupies, on section 12, and comprised of some one hundred and fifty acres. Owing to his knowledge of the Indian dialect, gained while missionary among the savages, he was appointed United States interpreter, and in that capacity once visited the city of Washington; this position was retained by him for some seven years. Since coming to this county Mr. Allis has been closely identified with its interests, and has filled various positions of importance and trust. He is the first white man to ever tread the soil of Mills, who is now living within its bounds. The years of the past have witnessed many changes, but to them Mr. Allis has contributed, and from them gained a competence and a home of comfort. p. 643 St. Mary Township

Allison, James R.
Farmer and stock dealer, section 13, P.O. Silver City; born December 28, 1841, in Pennsylvania. In 1851 he came with his parents, Henry and Nancy Allison, to this county, locating in Ingraham township, where James labored on the home farm, and attended the common schools. He was married March 9, 1865, to Miss Cynthia Moffatt, a native of North Carolina. They now have a family of six children: Elvira J., Nannie M., Mary A., Sadie, Clara and James Clyde. Mr. Allison possesses a beautiful farm of 450 acres, all under cultivation or in meadow. He is largely engaged in raising, feeding and shipping hogs and cattle, and is one of the most successful farmers in Mills county. Mr. Allison is a prominent member of the I.O.O.F., and of the M.E. church. He is always foremost in advocacy of all schemes tending to the advancement and improvement of his community and county. Mrs. Allison is a zealous worker for the cause of Christianity and is a member of the Baptist church. p. 691 Ingraham Township

Allison, J. D.
Farmer and stock trader; born March 22, 1846, in Gentry county, Missouri. When six years of age he moved with his parents to Mills county, Iowa, where he grew to manhood, and was educated in the common schools. Was married May 27, 1875, to Miss Maggie, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Kerlin, of Harrison county, Missouri. They are the parents of three children: Arthur L., Gracie E., and Walter C. His parents both died in this county; the mother in 1854, and the father in 1876. Mr. Allison made several trips across the plains. During the war he was engaged in freighting and fighting Indians. He made ten trips across the plains, and was in one battle with eight other men, opposed by twenty-nine Indians, but the whites were successful. At one time he was lost and was for six days without food, and endured other wonderful hardships, among them the feat of walking from Virginia City, Nevada, to this county, which he accomplished in fifty-six days. He was one of the first settlers of Mills county, but now lives in Whiting Station, Monona county, Iowa. p. 620 Lyons Township

Antrim, Elias
Farmer, P.O. Randolph; born October 17, 1853, in Wabash county, Indiana. When about seven years of age he came with his parents to Fremont county, Iowa, and there grew to manhood. He commenced life as a farmer, which has been his avocation until the present time. In 1878 he located on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 34, in this township, where he now resides. Was married March 20, 1878, to Miss Minnie A. Parks, who was born in Wisconsin, September 1, 1859, L. W. Archer performing the ceremony. They are the parents of two children: Howard F. (deceased) and John L. p. 647 White Cloud Township

Applegate, William E.
Grocer and post-master, P.O. Emerson; was born in Bloomsberry, New Jersey, May 14, 1842. When one year old his parents moved with him to Mechanicsville, Hunderton county, where he was raised and educated. His father was a blacksmith, and from him he learned that trade. In 1863 he went to Plano, Kendall county, Illinois, and followed his trade in that place four years. He then entered upon the grocer's business in which he remained two years, when he came to Ames, Iowa. In June 1870, he came to Mills county, and located on a farm near Emerson. In November of the same year he rented his farm and moved to Emerson, and opening a shop, followed his trade of blacksmith until 1875. He then began the grocery business and in August of the same year, received the appointment of post-master, which he has since retained. He was married August 15, 1865, to Miss Melissa Tomlin, by whom he had four children, two now living: Eva M. and Minnie. This wife died December 11, 1875. He married Miss Addie Parrish of St. Joe, Michigan, January 10, 1877. They have two children: Lena B. and James Vincent. Mr. A. is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and one of its officers, being the treasurer of the society. He has held several township offices and is now city treasurer of Emerson. He owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres. p. 706 Indian Creek Township

Archibald, O. W., M. D.
Superintendent Iowa asylum for feeble-minded children, was born in Stillwater, Nova Scotia, November 26, 1849. His early youth was passed in labor on a farm, and in attendance on the common school. When fifteen years of age he began to teach school, devoting his extra hours to study and self-improvement. At the age of nineteen he began the study of the science of medicine, with Dr. R. H. Mohr, of Fairfield, Iowa. In the fall of 1869 he entered the college of physicians and surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, remaining through the session. He then entered the Missouri medical college, of St. Louis; continued his studies there during the session of 1872-73, and graduated with honor at its close. After a practice of four months duration, he located at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and was soon appointed assistant surgeon to the insane asylum in that city. This position he retained for a year and a half, and then entered upon the practice of general medicine. He came to Glenwood in 1875, and in September of the following year was appointed to his present responsible position. Other facts of interest connected with Dr. Archibald, as a superintendent, may be gathered from the history of the asylum to be found on another page. He was married to Miss Adelphia Sliver, May 18, 1872. They are the parents of two children: Mark R., deceased, and Maude M. Dr. Archibald needs no other eulogy than the condition of the institution of which he has control. p. 671/672 Glenwood Township

Armstrong, J. T.
Physician and surgeon, is a native of Columbiana county, Ohio, where he was born December 28, 1856. During his childhood his parents moved to Jefferson county, Iowa, and here he attained his majority. His education, commenced in the common school and was completed at Parson's College, Fairfield, Iowa. In 1876 he began to read medicine with Dr. O. W. Archibald of Glenwood. He attended medical lectures at the Iowa State University from 1877 to 1879, and graduated, finally, from that institution. He came to Silver City, and locating began a practice which is daily increasing, and testifies to his skill as a physician. p. 691/692 Ingraham Township

Arrison, Edwin R.
Farmer, section 30, P.O. Pacific Junction; was born April 28, 1840, in Cassopolis, Cass county, Michigan. When eight years of age he removed with his parents to Appanoose county, Iowa where he received his education in the common school. In 1861 he enlisted in the Fifth Kansas volunteers, company A, and remained in the service until 1865. While in service he participated in the battles of Fort Scott, Morristown, and in numerous engagements in the guerilla warfare, first having been transferred to the Sixth Kansas regiment, company B; February 14, 1862, he re-enlisted as a veteran, and in July following was taken prisoner and kept in confinement about ten months at Camp Ford; while here his health was injured by exposure. After his discharge he came to Iowa where he remained a short time, when he went to Nebraska, remaining about three years, after which he returned to Iowa settling on the farm he now occupies. He was married May 14, 1871, to Mary Green, of Boone county, Illinois. They have four children: Willie L., Laura O., Stella and Eva M. His farm contains eighty acres. p. 657 Plattville Township

Ashton, Thomas W.
Farmer and stockman, P.O. Glenwood; is a native of Monmouth, New Jersey, where he was born in August, 1824. He resided in the place of his nativity until twenty-one years of age, receiving his education in the common school. In December of 1852, he went to California, and resided in that state some two years, when he returned to his native state. In March of 1867, he came to this county. In September of 1852, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Newton, of Middlesex county, New Jersey, born in November, 1832. They are the parents of eight children, seven now living: Isaac, Emma A., Annie S., Charles H., Ella G., Franklin B., and R. Lee. His farm contains 160 acres, all the result of patient labor and industry, gained since coming to this county. p. 594 Center Township

Ault, John E.
Carpenter and joiner, Pacific Junction; born August 19, 1839, Tioga county, Pennsylvania. His life was an uneventful one until the commencement of the civil war, when he enlisted in company C, Pennsylvania infantry, January 16, 1862. He was in the battles of Core Creek, Gum Swamp, Cole Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Harrison, and in all the other engagements participated in by his regiment. He entered as a private, and came out as a lieutenant. He came to Iowa October 9, 1880, and located at his present place of residence. In addition to his trade he conducts a restaurant and boarding house. He was married September 18, 1865, to Miss Ella A. Laphear, of Tioga county, Pennsylvania. They are the parents of four children. Minnie A., V. Kale, Willie C. and Frank A. p. 656/657 Plattville Township

Ayres, H. G.
Editor and publisher of the "Hastings Plaindealer" P.O. Hastings; born April 27, 1836, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was educated in the common schools and in the Turinburg Institute. When twenty-four years of age he began to read law with Wolcott Upson, of Akron, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar May 21, 1862. In June, 1862, he enlisted in company H, Eighty-fourth Ohio infantry, serving until October, 1862, when he was discharged for disability. At the organization of the company he was elected and commissioned a first lieutenant, but resigned. When his health permitted he again began the practice of law, at Akron, Ohio, where he continued until 1868. In that year he came to Iowa, and opened a law office at Osceola, in partnership with a Mr. McIntyre, which continued until 1875. In 1875 he established the "Osceola Beacon", which he published until 1879, when he came to Hastings and established the "Plaindealer". In 1872 he was elected county superintendent of schools in Clarke county. In the fall of 1880 he was the greenback candidate for congress in the eighth district. He was married December 27, 1864, to Miss Emma T. Fessenden, a naive of Ohio. They have three children: Thomas H., Fannie A. and Bessie E. The reader is referred to the history of the press of the county for further information. p. 706/707 Indian Creek Township.

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