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Montgomery County, Iowa

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Walnut Township Biographical Sketches

T 72 N, R 39 W

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ATWOOD, CHARLES G., stock dealer, section 25, P. O. Red Oak; born in Hillsborough County, Massachusetts; when he was ten years old his parents emigrated to Livingston County, New York; here Charles attended the Nunda Academy, and received his start for an education; but his principal education was received in the printing office. He learned his trade in Amherst, New Hampshire, the home of Horace Greeley. While in Livingston County, New York, he was married to Miss Mercilla A. Bradley, December 28, 1852. Mr. Atwood became editor of the Nunda Telegraph, in 1852. He emigrated to Chicago, Illinois, in 1854; then to Ogle County, Illinois, where he remained for awhile; then moved to Galesburg, Illinois; was conductor on the C., B. & Q., and Wabash railroads for seven years. In the year 1869 he built the Quincy horse railroad, of which he was the principal owner. In the year 1870 returned to Galesburg, where he was located for two years, engaged in a wholesale and retail grocery store; this he disposed of and became superintendent of a coal mine in Henderson County, Illinois, and also one in Indiana, and during the time bought and sold horses all over the United States, except California. In the year 1874, he emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now lives. He owns 275 acres of land, with a splendid farm residence; farm well improved in every department. Have one child, Lida, born March 15, 1871. Mr. Atwood was editor of the Northwestern Republican, in Ogle County, Illinois, and the Free Democrat, of Galesburg; he also owned the Republican in the same town.

BREWER, CHARLES A., farmer, section 3, P. O. Red Oak; born in Madison County, New York, March 18, 1826, and a son of David and Lucretia Brewer, natives of New York. Charles lived with his parents until twenty-three years old; was married to Miss Hattie Hinman, Nov., 1849, by E. Gilbert, J. P., of Madison County, New York. Mrs. Brewer was born in the year 1832; a daughter of Harlow and Sophia Hinman, natives of New York. In the year 1865 emigrated to Henderson County, Illinois, where they lived for ten years, and in the year 1875 emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now lives. They have nine children: Jerome, Albert, Edwin, George, Frederick, Laura, Ella, Clara, and Dora.

BUFFINGTON, ABRAM C., farmer, section 24, P. O. Red Oak; born in Meigs County, Ohio, June 12, 1828. His parents were Phillip and Mary Buffington, natives of Virginia. Remained with his parents till twenty years old. In the year 1837 emigrated to Louisa County, Iowa, where he remained until 1854. Was married to Miss Hannah Layton, July 18, 1849, by the Rev. Joseph Pachal of the Methodist church, of Louisa County, Iowa. Mrs. Buffington was born in Butler County, Ohio, January 27, 1828; she was the daughter of Andrew and Martha Layton, natives of New Jersey. They moved to Lucas County, Iowa, where they resided for nine years. In the year 1863, moved to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located on his homestead, where he now resides. They have ten children: Samuel, Philip I., Joseph R., Abraham C., James A., John A., William W., Emily, Martha, and Isabella.

DILLON, CHARLES C., farmer, section 22, P. O., Hawthorn; born in New York City, April 1, 1851, and at the age of seven years his parents emigrated to Bureau County, Illinois. Here he was engaged upon the farm in summer, and in winter attended the common school, and at the age of nineteen years went out upon the world to do for himself. Was married to Miss Jennie Pratt, June 4, 1871, by the Rev. W. Bowlin, minister of the M. E. church of Bureau County, Illinois. Mrs. Dillon was born in Staffordshire, England, January 2, 1849. They have five children: Charles F., Hester S., Alice M., Dolly and Datty. Mr. Dillon has held many positions of trust given him by the people of the township. He is a genial gentleman and commands the respect of his neighbors and acquaintances.

EBERSOL, JOHN R., farmer, section 36, P. O. Red Oak; born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1826. There he grew to manhood and was employed upon the farm until 1856, when he emigrated to Carroll County, Illinois, where he resided until 1871. Was married to Miss Hannah J. Clark, November 5, 1863, by the Rev. Lynn, of the M. E. church. Mrs. Ebersol was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, March, 1832; was the daughter of James and Mary Clark. Her father died in 1852. Her mother, now living with her, was born in the spring of 1790. In the year 1871, Mr. Ebersol emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now resides. They have two children: Harry, born August 5, 1864, and Myrtle, born March 9, 1867.

FIGGINS, CHARLES F., farmer, section 19, P. O. Emerson, Mills, County; born July 31, 1857, in Perry County, Indiana, remaining there till the year 1864, when his parents came to Montgomery County, Iowa. In the year 1874 he went out into the world upon his own resources. Was married to Miss Lucretia McNeil, January 1, 1879, by the Rev. J. W. Beck, of the M. E. church, of Emerson, Mills County, Iowa. Mrs. Figgins was born March 13, 1857, in Lee County, Iowa. They have one child, Lula M., born October 20, 1879. Mr. Figgins now resides with his father-in-law, Mr. J. G. McNeil.

GOODWIN, ALFRED N., farmer, section 3, P. O. Red Oak; born in Henderson County, Illinois, June 2, 1854; his father died when he was quite small; in 1872 he and his mother emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa; his mother having married again, he has since lived with his stepfather. His mother was born in Henderson County, Illinois, March 19, 1834; she was married the first time to Mr. James G. Goodwin, in 1853; they had three children of whom Alfred is the eldest, Frank D. and Anna E., now the wife of S. B. Dillow, now residing in Clay County, Nebraska; she was married to John H. Baker, by whom she had six children: Henry, Charles, Emery, Lottie, Sherman, and William; in 1872, emigrated to Montgomery County, and located where they now reside. Mr. Goodwin owns 160 acres of land, specially adapted to stock-raising, having an abundance of living water.

HALL, EDWARD P., farmer, section 13, P. O. Red Oak; born in Albany County, New York, August 14, 1833; the son of William P. and Sarah Hall, natives of Massachusetts; at the age of four years Mr. Hall's mother died and he was sent to live with his aunt, who lived in Jefferson County, New York. His aunt died when he was ten years old; he then went to live with his sister, with whom he lived till twenty years old; his father was occupied in the government gun shops or arsenals, where he worked for twenty-five years; Edward worked upon the farm in summer and attended school in winter; in the year 1856 he emigrated to Clayton County, Iowa, and there was married to Miss Lucy A. Ballou, in October, 1859. Mrs. Hall was born in Essex, New York, October 19, 1841, and the daughter of Collin and Louisa S. Ballou, natives of Rhode Island and New York. Mr. Hall emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, in the year 1875, and located where he now resides. They have two children living: Edward C. and Elmer E.; one, Ernest C., deceased.

HECKERT, JONAS, farmer, section 10, P. O. Red Oak; he was born in Wayne County, Ohio, March 20, 1828; spent his early life on a farm; was educated in the common schools; when Jonas was sixteen years old his father died; then, he being the oldest, had charge of his father's family and was the main support of his mother and five children for seven years. He was married September 18, 1850, to Miss Catherine Stratton, of the same county. They are the parents of five children, four living: John D., Joseph H., F. G., Flora Alice and Alva; Eugene, deceased. In 1869 he came to Montgomery County in search of a location, and in May, 1871, located on the farm where he now lives; put up a shanty covered with boards and quilts, bought 160 acres of land on time; after buying teams and plows, his funds were entirely exhausted; he had no corn for the following winter, so he and his boys went into Mills County, and husked corn until they had earned $100, part of which was spent for corn. Mr. Heckert was four years township trustee, and in October, 1878, was elected member of the board of supervisors; is at present chairman of that board. He owns 500 acres of land; has a good house and barn and out-buildings, and a grove of 7,000 trees. He is a member of the M. E. church.

HICKS, GEORGE C., minister and farmer, P. O. Red Oak; born in Cornwall, England, November 12, 1832, and lived with his parents till twenty-one years old; attended school and taught school to pay his tuition. When he was two years old his parents emigrated to the United States and settled in Knox County, Ohio. He was married to Miss Celestia Runnels, August 16, 1857. Mrs. Hicks was born in Licking County, Ohio. She was a daughter of Edwin and Lydia Runnels, who were natives of New York. Mr. Hicks was connected with the Wesleyan Methodist church, as minister in charge. He moved to Oberlin and there entered the theological school in 1861, and graduated in 1864. He spent three years in the ministry of the Congregational church in Oho, and one year at Rome, Indiana. He emigrated to Iowa in 1868 and settled in Montgomery County; resided four years in the city of Red Oak, then moved to his present home n Walnut township, where he has a most beautiful farm. They have two children: Emma D., now the wife of T. M. Thorne, residents of the county - Mrs. Thorne was born May 7, 1858, in Morrow County, Ohio; and Mary W., born January 12, 1865, in Summit County, Ohio. Mr. Hicks is a very prominent man in the county, having been nominated for Congress by the Greenback party of this congressional district.

MAHAFFY, JAMES, farmer, section 3, P. O. Red Oak; born in the county, Monighan, Ireland, December 3, 1835; and at the age of twelve years he emigrated with his parents to Delaware County, New York, where they remained for three years, and then moved to Washington County, where they lived until 1862. He was married to Miss Sarah E. Shull, February 17, 1859; she was born in Henderson County, Illinois, April 6, 1840. In 1862 he enlisted in company C, Ninety-first regiment Illinois volunteer infantry, and was assigned to the army of the Mississippi, and participated in the battles of Mobile, Spanish Fort, Fort Blakely and many smaller skirmishes. Was discharged July 27, 1865. Returned from the army to Henderson County, Illinois. In 1872 he moved to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now resides. He owns 160 acres of land, all under fence. They have two children: Emma C., born January 9, 1860; Minnie, born January 24, 1862. Mr. Mahaffy is a man in good repute among his neighbors.

MCFARLAND, CHARLES, farmer, section 23, P. O. Red Oak; born in the state of New York, November 22, 1852; at the age of five years his parents emigrated to Knox County, Ohio, where they resided for nine years, when he emigrated to this county. He was married to Miss Anna P. Reynolds, November 29, 1871, by the Rev. West, M. E. minister of Licking County, Ohio. They have two children: Moses T. and Winona. Mr. McFarland owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land under thorough cultivation; he is a young man of good habits, and has held several important positions of trust where he has lived.

MCINTYRE, ISAAC, farmer, section 11, P. O. Red Oak; born in Logan County, Ohio, May 8, 1832, and lived there until he was six years old, then emigrated with his parents to Henry County, Iowa, and form the re moved to Jefferson County, Iowa, finally locating in Washington County, where they lived for twelve years. At the expiration of this time he left home and finally located in Texas; remained there one year, then went to Arkansas for a short time, and returned to Washington County, Iowa, where he was married to Mss Lucy Harvey, May 14, 1854, and by her had one child which has since died. Mrs. McIntyre died February 17, 1856. After two years he was again married to Miss Louisa A. Brown, January 31, 1858, by Mr. John Reeves, a justice of the peace, of Washington County. In 1869 he moved to Carroll County, Iowa, and there resided for four years, then to Republic County, Kansas, where he lived for one year; then returned to Carroll County, Iowa, where he remained until 1878, when he emigrated to Montgomery County, where he now lives. Mrs. McIntyre was born in 1840, April 24, in Columbiana County, Ohio. They have one child by adoption, a daughter of Alex McIntyre, Ida M.

MCMANIS, HIRAM, farmer, section 11, P. O. Red Oak, born in Brown County, Ohio, June 2, 1835, and resided in that county for nineteen years, then emigrated to Marshall County, Illinois, and during his residence there was married to Miss Rachel Owen, July 4, 1868, by the Rev. W. Houston, of the Christian church, of Marshall County, Illinois; and after residing in different parts of the state of Illinois, emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, in the year 1871, and located where he now resides. In the year 1861 he enlisted in company G, Seventeenth regiment Illinois volunteer infantry, and participated in the battles of Fredericktown, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, siege of Corinth, Champion Hills, and numerous skirmishes; was captured at one time but managed to escape in a short time, and was discharged June 25, 1864. They have three children: Jesse G., Harry A., Nellie; also have one child that is nine years old, which they have adopted, named Nellie.

MCNEIL, J. G., section 19; P. O. Emerson, Mills County, Iowa, was born November 14, 1811, in Vermont. His parents moved to Ohio when he was but tow years of age, located in Summit County, and there lived for twenty-six years; then moved to Hancock County, Illinois, where he resided for five years; took a contract for building a grist mill of stone, five stories high; on completion of which he moved to Fort Madison, Iowa, and engaged in various occupations until the year 1862; then moved to Monroe County, Iowa, where he remained until 1869, and form there moved back to Lee County for a short time, then returned to Montgomery County, and located on his present farm. He was married to Miss Margaret Snapp, September 12, 1852; she was born July 24, 1823; is a native of Tennessee. They are the parents of seven children, six living: Jacob L., Lucretia Artemitia, Louis S., Mary A., Amanda, Margaret E.; Cornelia, deceased.

MILLER, WM., farmer, section 8, P. O. Emerson, Mills County; he was born July 16, 1843, in Henderson County, Illinois; at the age of thirteen he went to live with his brother with whom he lived until he was twenty-three years of age, when he was married to Miss Nancy E. Archer, January 29, 1867, by the Rev. George Havermale, of the M. E. church, of La Harpe, Illinois, she was born November 22, 1845, in McDonough County, Illinois; the same year they were married they moved to Hancock County, Illinois, and there lived for three years, then returned to Henderson County, living there eight years; in the year 1877, they emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, arriving February 28, of the same year. They have three children: Mark A., Arthur H., and Juliet V. They are both members of the M. E. church and are active members of the church and Sunday school; Mr. Miller is a teacher of the Sunday school. Mrs. Miller was engaged in teaching school three years previous to her marriage.

NEWCOMB, JOSEPH C., farmer, section 26, P. O. Red Oak; born in Steuben County, New York, January 26, 1825; resided with his parents until he was twenty-five years of age. He was married to Miss Fannie Currie, September 8, 1850, (daughter of James B. Currie, county judge of Steuben County, New York), by whom he had one child: Cassius A. Mrs. Newcomb died December 24, 1855, in Livingston County. He was again married, to Miss Martha J. Bradley, April 14, 1857, daughter of Hugh M. and Eliza Bradley. In 1859 they moved to Galesburg, Illinois, where he was baggage-master on the C., B. & Q. R. R. for two years, then returned to his old home in New York, where he enlisted in company F, 141st regiment, New York volunteer infantry, and participated in the battles of Baltimore Cross-Roads, West Point, Suffolk, Fredricksburg and Gettysburg; they then joined the Eleventh army corps in July, 1863, and went to Warrenton Junction; then to Chattanooga, Bridgeport, Wahatchie, where they lay under fire twenty days; here Sherman changed the Fifteenth corps for the Eleventh; then went to Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Chickasaw, and then to Knoxville, Tennessee; while on the march back to Chattanooga, the roads being extremely muddy on account of heavy rains, Joe Newcomb gave out; but finding a very poor mule, he climbed upon its back and started for camp, but the mule gave out - nevertheless Joe came in with the mule; from Chattanooga to Shell Mound; then to Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, May 15, 1864; Pumpkin Vine, Peach Tree Creek, and then to Atlanta; from there with Sherman to the sea; then by the way of Savannah, Live Oak, where they lived on sweet potatoes and fresh pork; from there to Sister's Ferry; then to Bentonville where they "double quicked" for seven miles; then to Goldsboro, Fayetteville, Kemp Farms, Raleigh, Jones Cross Roads, and then to Richmond, and form Richmond to Washington to the grand review, and then to Palmyra, New York, where they were paid off and mustered out in 1865, and retuned to Genesee valley, his former home. There he remained until 1870, when he moved to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located upon his present farm. Mr. Newcomb was present at the organization of the township in which he lives; he also wrote the petition to secure the organization. He is now justice of the peace of that township. They have four children: Hoyt B., Charles A., Nathan B. and Cora E.

O'BRIEN, MICHAEL J., farmer, section 36, P. O. Red Oak; born in Limerick County, Ireland, in the year 1834; his father died when Michael was twelve years old; his mother when he was less than one year old. In the year 1847, Michael and his sister emigrated to the United States and located in Piqua, Ohio, where he resided for six years; then emigrated to Illinois, where he resided for 13 years. Was married to Miss Ellen Carroll, September 15, 1859, by the Rev. J. Cosgrove of Davenport, Iowa; then traveled for two years; then emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now resides. They have four children: William, Dennis, Mary C., and Ellen G.

ROBINSON, FRANK W., farmer, section 21, P. O., Hawthorn; born in Des Moines County, Iowa, November 1, 1852. His father died when he was about two years old, and his mother when he was eighteen years old. Up to this time he attended school, but after his mother's death he was employed on a farm and remained there until 1878, when he came to Montgomery County, Iowa, where he was married to Miss Flora J. Robinson, September 28, 1876, by Rev . H. E. Wing, of the M. E. church of Fairfield, Iowa. Mrs. Robinson was born in Henry County, Iowa, Dec. 17, 1855. They have one child, William W. Mr. Robinson is a man of rare intellectual attainments; received only a common school education; honored and respected by all who know him.

RUNNELS, BENJAMIN F., farmer, section 32, P. O. Hawthorn; born in Licking County, Ohio, April 6, 1823, and lived with his parents until he was twenty years of age. He then went to Marshall County, Kentucky, where he engaged in teaching school, during which time his father died and he was called home to settle up his father's estate. After this he and his brother Salis divided the patrimony, Benjamin taking his portion of the estate in lands near Ft. Wayne, Indiana, from whence he took a trip across the country on foot to New Orleans. He had been invited to visit Texas by R. T. Wheeler, supreme judge of the state, but after having gone as far as New Orleans, his money failed, and boats not being able to run on account of low water, he returned to O'Brien County, Tennessee, where he was engaged in teaching school for three years, and saved from his salary in that time the neat sum of $500. Among the scholars of his school were James and John Crockett, grandsons of the celebrated Davy Crockett. While living in the low lands of that country he became sick with ague, and returned to his home in Ohio. He then engaged in selling books, traveling through the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri; followed this business for seven years, clearing the neat sum of $10,000, and while traveling through Iowa took a fancy to the beautiful country in Montgomery and Page Counties, and invested his money in land in these two counties, and together with his brother, bought 3,000 acres. He has in the farm where he now resides 1,200 acres. He was married to Miss Lucy F. Wieth, January 23, 1852. Mrs. Runnels was born in Franklin County, Massachusetts, December 13, 1830; they have five children living: Irving, Walter, Fremont, Ryland, and Jannie.

RUNNELS, ORMOND, farmer, section 27, P. O. Hawthorn; born in Licking County, Ohio, February 5, 1842, and resided with his parents until twenty-three years old. When at the age of twenty-four years, was married to Miss Mary E. McFarland, June 1, 1864. Mrs. Runnels was born June 18, 1844, near Rochester, New York. They have nine children: Edwin M., John R., David S., Elmer C., Berget, Lorena J., Mary C., Lydia E., and one not named. In the year 1868 he emigrated to Montgomery County and located where he now resides. Mr. Runnels was among the first settlers in his neighborhood. He assisted in laying out the school districts in the township. Owns five hundred and thirty-three acres of land, all under cultivation, and one of the finest farms on Walnut Creek.

SMITH, HENRY C., farmer, section 19, P. O. Emerson, Mills County; was born August 9, 1828, in Blair County, Pennsylvania. Lived with his parents until 1849, when he was married to Miss Rachel Dopp, December 6, 1849; he remained there until the years 1869, when he emigrated to Scott County, Iowa, and remained there for nine years; at the expiration of that time he moved to Montgomery County, where he now resides. Mrs. Smith was born May 16, 1832, in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. They are the parents of fourteen children: Anna M., Jacob A., William A., Adam L., Elizabeth J., George W., Harmon A., Harry, Ida B., Sarah C., David R., Maggie M., Eldora and Julia, all living at home. Mr. Smith owns two hundred acres of land, and has held several important offices.

TAYLOR, JONATHAN M., farmer, section 25, P. O. Red Oak; born in Franklin County, Massachusetts, December 10, 1815, and remained with his parents till twenty-nine years old. Was married to Mary Clark September 5, 1844, by the Rev. H. Flagg of the Congregational Church of Franklin County, Massachusetts. Her parents were John L. and Myra S. Clark. Soon after marriage Mr. Taylor emigrated to Jackson County, Michigan, and there resided about three years; then returned to Worcester County, Massachusetts, where he resided for ten years, employed in carpentering and lumbering. In the year 1856 he emigrated to Galesburg, Illinois; there he engaged in a flouring mill and on a farm. In the spring of 1870 he emigrated to Montgomery County, Iowa, and located where he now resides. Has three children: Asa L., Myra C., now the wife of Edwin M. Murphy, and residing in Red Oak; Maggie W., now the wife of Dennis L. Brockway, residing in Griswold, Cass County, Iowa.

TRAVER, GEORGE, farmer, section 8, P. O. Red Oak; born May 3, 1837, in Jefferson County, New York. His parents died when he was but three years of age, when he went to live with his grandparents. About this time they emigrated to Calhoun County, Michigan. When eighteen years of age he went to California by the way of the Isthmus of Panama, in the steamer George Law. While in California he engaged principally in the dairy business until 1867, when he returned to Montgomery County, Iowa. May 9, 1867, he was married to Miss Margaret Louns by the Rev. W. F. Laidley of the M. E. Church of Red Oak. She was born March 3, 1841, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. They have had nine children: Lee A., Charles P., Joseph W., Edward and Elizabeth living, and four deceased.

WHITE, R. L., farmer, section 17, P. O. Hawthorn; born in Clark County, Ohio, where he lived with his parents until he was seventeen years old, when he enlisted in the Tenth Ohio independent battery, and served three years and seven months, and participated in the battles of Corinth, Iuka, Holly Springs, Vicksburg, Atlanta and Nashville; also in numerous skirmishes. He was discharged July 7, 1865, when he returned home and remained for two years. Then emigrated to Page County, where he lived for a short time and then moved to Montgomery County, where he has since lived. Was married to Miss Mary E. Stubbs, March 5, 1875, by the Rev. Mr. King of the Evangelical Church of Montgomery County. They have two children: Rosco A., and Pearl E.

 

~ source: History of Montgomery County, Iowa, Illustrated. Des Moines, Iowa Historical an Biographical Co., 1881, Page 716-725.


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