Excerpts from An Illustrated History of Monroe County, Iowa - 1896
CHAPTER XXIV ~ THE 1896 CANVASS.
The political canvass for the election of county officers for the year 1896 brought into the field the following named gentlemen as party nominees on the Republican ticket: For Auditor, Josiah T. Young; Clerk of the District Court, J. W. H. Griffin; Recorder, Robt. O. Clapp; Member of the Board, J. K. Watson; County Attorney, Jerry Wright.
The Democrats and Populists united their forces and brought out: For Auditor, John Welsh; for Clerk of the District Geo. Stamm; Recorder, A. E. Dille; County Attorney, J. T. Clarkson; Member of the Board, John W. Shahan.
Any one of the above candidates would make a capable and efficient officer to discharge the duties of his office, but at the date of this writing it cannot be definitely prophesied who will be elected in the general election in November.
Hon. Josiah T[itus]. Young is a self-made man, and climbed up from obscurity and poverty. He was elected to the office of Secretary of State, and served two terms, during Governor Carpenter's incumbency as chief executive of the State. Later he was elected to the General Assembly, and has filled other offices of public trust in a satisfactory manner. He was a good soldier and a victim of a Southern rebel prison-pen.
NOTE: Josiah Titus Young was born in Johnson County, Indiana, on February 25, 1831, to John W. Young (1806-1891) and Rachel (Titus) Young (1808-1887). He was married first to Christina B. Potts (1831-1898), and second to Jennie Heppell (1849-1940). He enlisted at the age of 31 years on August 22, 1862, at Albia as a 3rd Sergeant and was mustered into Company K of the 36th Iowa Infantry on September 13, 1862; promoted to 2nd Sergeant on July 1, 1863. Sgt. Young was wounded slightly and captured on August 25, 1864 at Mark's Mills, Arkansas. He was held as a P.O.W. at Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas. Sgt. Young was in the prisoner exchange on February 25, 1865 [he was never held at Andersonville contrary to some legends that survive him], and mustered out of service at Devall's Bluff, Arkansas on August 24, 1865. He served as Secretary of the State of Iowa from 1873 to 1879; 3 terms [6 years] as the mayor of Albia, and was a member of the Iowa legislature. He died November 11, 1907 at Albia and was interred at Oak View Cemetery.
J. W. H. Griffin has discharged the duties of Clerk of the District Court for so many years that the Monroe County bar, irrespective of party lines, looks upon him as an indispensable fixture. He usually receives considerable support from the opposition and is universally popular.
Robt. O. Clapp is a candidate for re-election. He has made a good officer, and receives considerable support through sympathy, he being a cripple with but one leg.
Jerry Wright is a young attorney of Albia, just feathering out in the legal profession. He is full of enterprise, and will no doubt be competent to discharge the duties of his office, if elected.
J. K. Watson is one of Monroe County's most staunch farmers, and will make an excellent Member of the Board if elected.
James K. Watson was born September 30, 1846, and died July 17, 1926. He was interred at Service Chapel Cemetery, Bluff Creek, Monroe County, Iowa.
Mr. Welsh is a very popular farmer from the west side of the county. He formerly served as a member of the Board of Supervisors, and he just as capable and deserving of the office of Auditor as any man in his party.
George Stamm was a Union soldier, has always lived an honorable, upright life, and well deserves some official recognition at the hands of his party. He is a Populist at heart, but was formerly a Republican. Welsh is a Democrat.
George W. Stamm served as a 1st Lieutenant in Company K of the 3rd Iowa Calvary during the Civil War. A carpenter, he was married to Isabella Arnold.
E. A. Dille is a well-educated young married man, and is a good penman. He was formerly a Republican, but some years ago espoused the third party cause.
J. T. Clarkson is a rising young attorney with two or three years' experience at the bar. He is climbing up from humbler walks of life, and bids fair to reach an exalted rank in the profession. His first vocation was that of a coal-miner, but he has selected the law as his life-profession. He is a Populist or third party man, and a few years ago acquired some prominence through his connection with organized labor movements.
John T. Clarkson was born in 1861, and died in 1944. He and his wife, Anna (1865-1926) were interred at Oak View Cemetery, Albia.
Geo. W. Shahan is a well-to-do and practical farmer of Mantua Township. He well understands the needs of the county, and has its interests at heart, and would no doubt make a safe and efficient Member of the Board if elected.
Source: Hickenlooper, Frank. An Illustrated History of Monroe County, Iowa: A Complete Civil, Political, and Military History of the County, From Its Earliest Period of Organization Down to 1896. Chapt. 17. p. 355-56. Albia, Iowa. 1896.
Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2010