While unworthy men, at times, may force themselves into office, it cannot but be acknowledged that the great body of office-holders of the country are truly representatvie men-men of positive force and character. They are of the number that build up and strengthen a town a county, or a State. In this chapter, as far as posible, is given sketches of all who have served Tama county in the Nation, State or county. Some of the sketches are imperfect, but it is not the fault of the historian that they are not more complete. Some of the parties have passed away, leaving no record from which a sketch could be obtained, while others have left the county, and their present places of residence are unknown.


Tama county became a part of the Second Congressional District on its organization, and was represented in the 33d Congress from 1853 to 1855 by JOHN P. COOK, of Davenport. Mr. Cook was a native of the State of New York, and in 1836 came west to Davenport. He was elected a member of Congress as a Whig, and held the views of that party until its dissolution. On the breaking up of the Whig party he affiliated with the Democratic pary, the principles of which he labored earnestly to sustain and promulgate, even to the end of his days. His life has been one of great energy and industry. He was by natural instinct a true Western man - a wide awake, thoroughly active pioneer, who never saw the time when he could lay aside the business harness, and, to all appearances never wanted to.

As a lawyer he had few superiors; was always ready, fluent, and an able advocate, and with these qualities were combined energy, tact and industry; and for years past, and up to the day of his demise, no law firm in the northwest has stood in better repute than that broken by his death. Mr. Cook died at Davenport April 17, 1872.

JAMES THORINGTON, of Davenport, was the next Representative in Congress from the Second District. He was not a man of extraordinary ability, but was a good politician and wire-puller. He is now a consul in one of the South American States. He was a Republican.

TIMOTHY DAVIS, of Elkader, Clayton county, next served the District form 1857 to 1859, or in the 35th Congress.

WILLIAM VANDEVER, of Dubuque, was elected a member of the 36th Congress, and re-elected to the 37th. William Vandever is a native of Maryland. In 1839 he came west, locating in Rock Island, where he remained until 1821, when he moved to Dubuque. In 1855 he formed a partnership with Ben W. Samuels, of Dubuque, in the practice of law. In 1858 he was elected a member of the 36th Congress. He made a useful member of that body. While serving his second term, he abandoned his seat in Congress, returned home and raised the 9th Iowa infantry, of which he was made Colonel. In 1862 he was promoted a Brigadier-General. Since the close of the war he has had several important public positions. He still lives in Dubuque. By the census of 1862 Iowa was entitled to six Representatives in Congress, and on the State being re-districted Tama county became a part of the Fourth District. The first Representative of this district was Josiah B. Grinnell, who was elected in the fall of 1862, and served through the 38th Congress. In 1864 he was re-elected a member of the 39th Congress.

J. B. GRINNELL’S paternal ancestors were Huguenots, who, after the revocation of edict of Nantes, escaped from France to Wales, and thence emigrated to Rhode Island in 1710; his grandfather settling in the wilderness of Vermont. Josiah was born in New Haven, Vermont, in 1822, and was left an orphan at the age of ten years. Under the roof of his guardian he fitted himself to teach school at he age of sixteen, and then prepared for and entered the Oneida College, New York, from which he graduated, subsequently receiving at Middlebury College, Vermont, the honorary degree of A. M. He then graduated in theology at Auburn, N. Y., was ordained to the ministry in the Congregational Church, and commenced preaching at Union Village, N. Y., where he remained three years. He then filled the pulpit for four years in Washington and New York cities, and 1854 determined upon moving west and establishing a colony. In May, 1854, by appointment, he met a number who wished to join him in the enterprise at Iowa City, and site was selected, where the present city of Grinnell is located. Mr. Grinnell did much toward the building up of that place and it was named in honor of him; he gave a large amount toward the founding of the University, and in many other ways has been very public spirited. In Congress, Mr. Grinnell was an advocate of a protective tariff. He was a strong partisan, and upon one occasion, he had a bitter controversy upon the floor of the House with General Rousseau, of Kentucky, and was attacked by him with a cane in consequence; for which Rousseau was censured at the bar of the House, and before his death asked and received pardon of his injured colleague. Mr. Grinnell still makes his home in the town bearing his name.

WILLIAM LOUGHRIDGE, of Oskaloosa, was the next Representative in Congress from the 4th District. He was elected in the fall of 1866, as a member of the 40th Congress, was re-elected in 1868, and served through the 40th and 41st Congress. He still lives in Oskaloosa, and is a fine lawyer. He was from Ohio.

MADISON M. WALDON, of Centreville, succeeded Loughridge as Representative, having been elected in the fall of 1870, for the 42d Congress and served one term. It was during this term that the famous "salary grab," that has been used so much for political purposes, was made. Mr. Waldon received his "grab" from the Government, and divided it among the various counties in his district, by donating it to their school funds. Tama county received her share, and the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to the effect that "believing the partaker in unjust gains is as bad as the principal, we herewith instruct the Auditor to return said donation, amounting to $236.65, preferring to trust in Providence and our own efforts for the education of our children rather than to dishonest gains however obtained."

This is seems did not suit the public, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Iowa was appealed to, and from him it went to the Attorney General, whose interpretation of the law was as follows:

"It is immaterial weather the Board of Supervisors of your county are, or are not satisfied with the action of Mr. Waldon, in donating a portion of the "back-pay steal" to the Temporary School Fund. After the donation has been made, and the money donated has become a part and parcel of the common fund, there is no legal way of disposing of it, except to appropriate it to the purposes which the law directs. Any other disposition is illegal, no matter by whom made or directed, and renders the persons making such illegal disposition individually responsible for the money."

In 1870 it was found the population of the State had increased to a number entitling it to nine representatives in Congress, and in the re-districting, Tama county became a part of the Fifth District, which embraced the counties of Tama, Johnson, Iowa, Poweshiek, Marshall, Benton and Linn. In the fall of 1872, James Wilson of Tama county, was elected to first represent this district. Two years later he was re-elected and ably served through the 43rd and 44th Congress. He is generally known as "Tama Jim Wilson," to distinguish him from U. S. Senator Wilson.

RUSH CLARK, of Iowa City, was the successor of James Wilson, being elected in the fall of 1876. In 1878 he was re-elected, and served until he died, in Washington while on duty. Rush Clark was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1834. He was educated at Jefferson College, and graduated when eighteen years of age. In the spring of 1853 he removed to Iowa, and was admitted to the bar at Iowa City, where he lived until his death. He was at one time Speaker of the Lower House of the General Assembly of Iowa, and has several times represented his county in that body. He was a self made man in every respect. As a public speaker, he was eloquent, earnest and convincing; as an official, courteous, kind and obliging; he was known as a man of sterling integrity, decided character and untiring energy.

In the fall of 1879, WILLIAM G. THOMPSON, of Marion, Linn county, was elected to fill the vacancy, and in 1880 was reelected a member of the 47th Congress. He was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, January 17th, 1830, and is of Highland Scotch descent. In 1853, he was admitted to the bar, and in November, the month following his examination, he started for Iowa, and located in Marion, where he still lives. He opened an office without delay, and had a good practice almost from the start. In 1855, and 1856, he was in the State Senate, the youngest member ever in that body. He was for eight years prosecuting attorney of this district. He still lives in Marion, engaged in the practice of his profession, and is considered as being among the most able orators in Central Iowa.

In the fall of 1862, after a heated canvass, the Republican and Democratic candidates ran so nearly equal that it resulted in a contest between them for the seat, which, as yet, has not been settled. The candidates were James Wilson, of Tama county, on the Republican ticket, and Benjamin Frederick, of Marshalltown, on the Democratic.


JOSEPH DYSART, of Tama county, was elected Lieutenant-Governor of Iowa in the fall of 1873, on the same ticket with Gov. C. C. Carpenter. He performed the duties of the high office in a most efficient manner; as presiding officer of the Senate, he left a record of which he may well feel proud; his dignified and courteous bearing, his parliamentary knowledge and ability, and the thorough impartiality of his rulings, will long be remembered by those with whom he was associated. He has since been prominently urged by his host of friends as a candidate for Governor.

July 8th, 1820, was Joseph Dysart’s birthday. The greater part of the first twenty years of his life was passed on his father’s farm, situated on an elevated plateau, known as “Eden Hill,” north of Juniata river, in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. The uppermost of his boyhood aspirations, was to obtain a thorough education. To aid him to attain the coveted end, in the fall of 1831, his parents engaged a superannuated teacher, a graduate of Dublin University, in Ireland, named James Martin, to act as tutor to their family; with this learned gentleman, he studied Latin and the English branches required, as antecedent to a college course, ‘till the spring of 1834. The free-school system was inaugurated in the Keystone State that year. Its advantages were embraced for five years thereafter. Glowing descriptions of the fertility of the soil of the Territory of Iowa, and the salubriety of its climate, were found in the newspapers of that day.

The western fever took hold of him, as it did most of the young men of the east, who indulged visions of the bright future. Provided with means sufficient to purchase a section of government land, in October of 1839, he started for what was then styled the far west. The land sales opened on the 15th of November. Shortly after that date, he reached Burlington, where thousands of speculators and land-seekers for homes had congregated. The first settlers, denominated “squatters,” apprehensive their claims would be bought from under them by greedy land sharks, had petitioned President Van Buren to postpone the sales three years, to enable them to make money to pay for their selected homesteads. An order came agreeable to their wishes. Thus, he was disappointed in securing the desired basis for a large farm, near Mt. Pleasant, in Henry country. In company with a Mr. Thomas Isett, then a land agent, subsequently a wealthy banker, he went across the county to Muscatine. It was then an insignificant plain. The approach of winter warned him to enter upon his home-bound journey. Twelve miles above that embryo city, he passed the Mississippi in a skiff, slung his valise over his shoulders and set out to traverse the great states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, on foot. The day before Christmas, he reached his destination, having averaged nearly 40 miles per day. This long pedestrian trip, gave him an insight into the condition of the west, that could have been acquired in no other way. He saw it as it was, and not as silly tourists or interested land owners had represented it. The inconveniences and palpable hardships, the inhabitants then encountered, convinced him that years had to elapse before it could be the scene of many of the comforts of life. He therefore, concluded to strive to get the mental training, so ardently longed for, while growing up to manhood. Midway of the summer of 1840, he proposed to his father to take as his share of his estate, funds enough to bear his expenses through a course in Dickinson College, at Carlisle, in his native State. On the 15th of September, he entered the preparatory school, and graduated on the 10th of July 1845. On a merit roll, extending over the four years in the College proper, he was accorded the speaking of the valedictory of his class, numbering 43, when Freshmen, and 22, when they received their diplomas. He never missed a recitation or failed in any duty assigned. On the recommendation of the Faculty, he was chosen principal of the Hillsboro Male Academy, on the eastern shore of Maryland. Malarial fever, followed by the tertian ague, disgusted him with that otherwise delightful locality. At that era, in the Gulf States, high wages were paid to teachers competent enough to prepare the sons of the rich for the higher Institutions of learning. Attracted by such inducements and impelled by a desire to see that sunny region, in January 1847, he went to Mississippi. Through the influence of Bishop R. Payne of the M. E. South, to whom he had letters, he procured a situation to instruct the children of half a score of wealthy planters, in Monroe county, of that State, at a good salary. Nearly all these large slave-holders moved the next winter, to Aberdeen, the county seat. They persuaded the teacher that succeeded in pleasing, to go with them and establish an independent classical school in that city of over 5,000 inhabitants. In January, 1851, he was elected Principal of the Aberdeen Male Academy, which position he filled, to the satisfaction of the patrons and Trustees, until the middle of May, 1853, when he resigned to go with his family to Lee county, Illinois, where some years previous, he had purchased a half section of prairie. During the balance of that year, and the two succeeding, he devoted his energies exclusively to farming. The extension of the Chicago N. W. R. R. to the Father of Waters, made land in the Rock river valley quite valuable. With the intention of practicing law, which he had studied, while teaching, and had been admitted to the bar, in Mississippi, he sold his farm, and in April, 1856, moved to Vinton, Benton county, Iowa.

The slavery agitation then began to be intense. The Republican party the year before had gained control of this State under Gov. Grimes. The subject of this sketch had seen slavery in all its deformities, and so ingrained in his mind was the hatred of it, that he welcomed the opportunity to engage in the contest, which he felt would terminate only with its extinguishment. To help show up its enormities, he bought a half interest in the Vinton Eagle. During 1856, and part of 1857, he edited its political columns. At the Republican county convention, in August of that year, he was nominated unanimously for County Judge. His opponent, Hon. Samuel, was the incumbent. Despite of the patronage he wielded, and the fact that the usual Democratic majority exceeded 300, Douglas had barely fifty of a margin.

The present school law of this State was adopted in the winter of 1858. My. Dysart was chosen at the special election, in April, County Superintendent, without opposition. At the end of two years, he declined a reelection, as the duties were incompatible with his law business. Hon. Thomas Drummond, State Senator, from Benton and Tama counties, in March 1861, resigned to accept a Lieutenancy in the Regular army. A special election was ordered in April to fill his unexpired term.

The Republicans nominated Mr. Dysart for his successor. He was elected, and took his seat at the extra session of the Legislature in May, convened to arm the State. He was in Des Moines all the long session of 1862, and the extra one, called in September to accept the Agricultural College land grant, and appropriate money to equip ten more regiments of Iowa soldiers to help crush the rebellion. Litigation almost ceased during the war. Lawyers had to turn their attention to other matters.

A good portion of the summer of 1862, he spent working on his Tama county farm, which he commenced to improve in 1858, expecting some day to settle thereon, permanently. He and family concluded to move thither in June, 1863, and have resided there ever since.

That fall, his neighbors decided he must represent them on the Board of Supervisors. He served six years in succession on the Board of 21 members. In 1876, he was put on the Board of three members, and served four years more. He is now on another three years term. At the October election of 1869, he was chosen State Senator for Poweshiek and Tama counties for four years.

In 1873, on a ticket with Gov. Carpenter, he was elected Lieut-Governor of Iowa. He presided over the Senate of the 15th General Assembly in 1874, and in January 1876, returned to Des Moines to organize that of the 16, and pass the gavel to his successor, Lieut.- Gov. Newbold.

Gov. Dysart was married in Pickens county, Alabama, in October, 1849, to Miss Esther E. Wayne, born in Georgetown, South Carolina. They have four children alive--Wayne. J., Paul Ivan, Estella V. and May Alberta Dysart. The last named is the youngest and now in her fifteenth year.


ISAAC L. ALLEN, of Tama county, was elected to this office November 8, 1864. His term commenced January 2, 1865, and he resigned one year later. Prior to this he had been District Attorney for this district for a long time. He was a native of Vermont, locating in Toledo, Tama county, in an early day, and engaging in the practice of his profession. For a number of years he was in partnership with Hon. George R. Struble, the present Speaker of the House. Shortly after his resignation as Attorney-General he went to Marion, and finally, his mind having become affected, was placed in the insane asylum, where he died. He was a man of great ability, a sharp, shrewd lawyer, a powerful speaker and a true friend.


At the general election in the fall of 1882, Hon. E. C. Ebersole, of Toledo was elected Reporter of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Mr. Ebersole is a member of the law firm of Ebersole and Willett, Toledo and Tama City, and is among the leading attorneys of the county. (See bar chapter)


Col. JOHN CONNELL, who was Revenue Collector for the Fourth District for many years, is a resident of Toledo and is among the earliest settlers of Tama county.

John Connell is a native of Paisley Scotland, born on the 16th of March, 1823. His father was a manufacturer of shawls and like goods, and in 1831, the whole family moved to America, the father engaging in the manufacture of carpets in Norwich, Connecticut. A few years later Mr. Connell, Sr., commenced work for Gov. Buckingham, of Connecticut, and continued in his employ until 1852, when the family removed to Iowa and located in Tama county.

John located upon a quarter section of land in Buckingham twp. He was here a prominent factor in the organization of the county and was instrumental in having the township named Buckingham in honor of the Governor of that name, who came to Iowa to visit the family.

In 1854, John was elected to the Iowa legislature by the Whigs, but on reporting at Iowa City, found that party defunct, and from that day he has acted with the Republicans. He remained upon his farm in Buckingham township until he had spent what money he had, and then, in 1855, he removed to Toledo. Before leaving Wolf Creek, however, in company with Jonas P. Wood and William D. Hitchner, he erected one of the first saw mills in Tama county; but to him it did not prove a financial success.

Upon his arrival at Toledo, with John Zehrung, he followed mercantile pursuits for about one year; was interested in the erection of a grist mill, and finally, went into the real estate business, which he followed until the breaking out of the war, when he was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the 28th Infantry on September 16, 1862; and on the 14th of the following March was promoted to full Coloneley of his regiment, Colonel W. E. Miller having resigned before reaching the field. Col. Connell participated with his regiment in all their principal engagements, as will be seen by reading the history of it in the war chapter.

In the engagement at Sabine Cross Roads, Col. Connell was wounded, losing his left arm; while he was falling back with his regiment they came to a battery blocked up in the road, and stopping, they tried to extricate it, but the enemy pressed them so closely that nearly all the men retired, leaving the Colonel still at work. He did not observe his men when they left, but looking up an instant after, saw them retiring and prepared to follow. Before starting, he turned round, and stooping, looked through the brush to see how near the enemy had approached. That instant a shot struck him. As he stooped his left hand was resting on his hip, which threw his elbow up. The ball struck him above the elbow and passed down through the joint, fracturing it severely. He then tried to run, but became so faint he was obliged to rest, when the enemy coming up captured him. He was retained a prisoner until the following June, when he was paroled and sent within our lines.

He never went back to service with his regiment, but met them at Carrolton, Louisiana, and his reception is thus recorded: “The colonel stepped from the car with an armless sleeve hanging from his left shoulder, which but too plainly suggested the past. He was introduced to the regiment by Major Meyer, and was received by the regiment with an expression of that unmistakable affection and enthusiasm with which soldiers always regard a true man.”

After this unfortunate loss of an arm, Col. Connell went to Washington and was engaged on Court Martial duty from November, 1864, until March, 1865, when he resigned and returned to his family in Toledo. He declined a number of other government appointments offered him, and in November, 1865, accepted that of Assessor of Internal Revenue, which he held until May, 1873, when that office was abolished by law, and he was then retained as Collector of the Fourth Revenue District, which position he filled until May, 1883. The district embraced seventeen counties in the southern part of the State, and the headquarters of Collector were at Burlington.

Co. Connell was married in 1856 to Sarah C. Graham. In personal appearance, the Colonel is fine looking. He has large, good form, sandy hair and florid complexion. His countenance wears a frank, intelligent and unassuming expression, and his manners are gentlemanly and always courteous.


Hon. JAMES WILSON, of Tama county, held the position of Railroad Commissioner of Iowa for a number of years. He is a native of Scotland, but came to America when young, and at an early day settled in Tama county. He still lives upon a farm a short distance from Traer. He has served the Fifth Congressional District two terms as Representative in Congress, and was nominated for a third. He is a ready and fluent speaker, and a sound and honorable man of whom the county may well be proud.


T. J. STALEY who is mentioned frequently in this volume, was for a long time a clerk in the Treasury Department of Washington.


Tama county has furnished two Speakers of the Lower House of the General Assembly of Iowa. Hon. JAMES WILSON, of Traer, occupied the Speaker’s chair from 1871 to 1873. Hon. GEORGE R. STRUBLE, of Toledo, occupied the Speaker’s chair during the years 1882 and 1883.


The Fourth General Assembly convened at Iowa City, December 6, 1852, and adjourned January 24, 1853. At this time Tama county though unorganized, with Linn and Benton counties constituted one district and was represented in the Senate by Isaac M. Preston, and in the House by A. F. Stedman and John McArthur.

The Fifth General Assembly convened at Iowa City, on December 4, 1854, and adjourned January 26, 1855; also convened in extra session July 2, 1856, and adjourned July 16, 1856. Isaac M. Preston was still Senator. The Representative was Hon. John Connell, of Buckingham township, he being the first Assembly man that Tama county ever furnished. He still lives in the county and is noticed at length under the head of “Revenue Collector.” At this time the Senatorial District embraced the counties of Tama, Linn and Benton; and the Representative District the counties of Tama, Poweshiek, Jasper and Benton; the latter being numbered 23.

The Sixth General Assembly convened at Iowa City December 1, 1856 and adjourned January 29, 1857. At this time Tama county was in Senatorial District No. 26, comprised of the counties of Tama, Poweshiek, Jasper and Marshall, represented by Josiah B. Grinnell, of Poweshiek; a sketch of Mr. Grinnell appears in connection with the Congressional article. The Representative District comprised Tama, Benton and Marshall counties and was represented by Delos Arnold. Arnold still lives in Marshalltown, and was the State Senator from that district, in 1883.

The Seventh General Assembly convened at Des Moines January 11, 1858, and adjourned March 23, 1858. At this time Tama county, with Poweshiek, Jasper and Marshall was represented in the Senate by Josiah B. Grinnell. Tama and Marshall were together at the 18th Representative District, and were Represented by T. Walter Jackson, of Toledo. Mr. Jackson was a lawyer practicing in Tama county, and is noted in the Bar Chapter. He was recognized as the most able speaker in the House.

The Eighth General Assembly convened at Des Moines January 8, 1860, and adjourned April 3, 1860; also convened in extra session May 15, 1861, and adjourned May 29, 1861. Tama and Benton counties made up the 35th Senatorial District and were represented by Thomas Drummond, of Vinton, who had been elected in 1859 for the full term of four years. He was an editor and lawyer, and made a good representative. He resigned in March 1861, went to the war as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and was killed. In the Lower House, Tama county was well represented by Abram Tompkins, who is still a resident of Otter Creek township. A sketch of Mr. Tompkins is appended:

ABRAM TOMPKINS is a native of the state of New York, born on the 23rd day of September, 1811. His parents, Cornelius and Catharine (Brown) Tompkins, were also natives of the same State. Abram being the son of a poor man he received but a limited education. When only twelve years of age he left the parental roof and hired to some of the neighbors, and although he received but small wages, he supplied his necessary wants, and saved a portion of his earnings. In 1831, he went to Michigan and enlisted in the Black Hawk war as a private. After being discharged from service, on the 20th day of November, 1833, he was united in marriage with Mary A. Eaton. He continued to reside in Michigan until 1853, when considering the opportunities in the west, he concluded to take up his journey toward the setting sun. He therefore started out in search of a location, and in the month of August made selection where he now resides, and soon afterwards brought his family to the new home. Mr. Tompkins has always been considered one of the most prominent and influential men of his township, always taking an interest in any public enterprise. In politics he was first a Whig and since the organization of the Republican party he has been one of its number. He has often held local offices. Mr. Tompkins is a man who makes friends, always pleasant and agreeable in his intercourse with all, being a loving husband, a kind father, a faithful friend and a good neighbor, he has the respect of all who know him. He has brought up a family of ten children, nine of whom are not living, viz: C. M., B. F., Catharine J., now Mrs. Morris Hennessay; Sophronia M., now Mrs. Lathrop Meeker; Almira E., now Mrs. Samuel Meeker; N. Matilda, now Mrs. W. P. Soth; A. E., Sumner, and Zelpha Il, now Mrs. E. W. Richards.

The Ninth General Assembly convened at Des Moines January 13, 1862. It also convened in extra session September 3, 1862, and adjourned September 11, 1862. Tama was now in the 35th Senatorial District with Benton county, and was represented by Hon. Joseph Dysart of Tama county, who has since been Lieutenant Governor. Tama county constituted the 38th Representative District, and was represented by Hon. Leander Clark.

The Tenth General Assembly convened at Des Moines January 11, 1864. Tama and Benton counties were still together as a Senatorial District, and were represented by William B. King. Tama county at this time comprised the 39th Representative District and was represented in the House by Phineas Helm.

WILLIAM B. KING, who was State Senator at this time, still lives in Gladbrook. He is a native of Genesee county, New York, born May 12, 1812. His parents were Stephen and Hannah (Brown) King, the former being a weaver by trade, and son of David King, of Dutchess county, New York. William's parents moved to Cayuga county, in that State, where they engaged in farming, thence to Genesee county, and from there to Erie county, where the mother died. In 1855, W. B. and family, with his father, came to Tama county and settled in Spring Creek township. There were nine children in the family - Maria, wife of Briggs Alden; Harriet, wife of Joshua Mitchell; Salie, now Mrs. Helam Taber; Mary, second wife of E. Blakeley; Hannah, now Mrs. Gordon; Charlotte, deceased, first wife of E. Blakeley; Rosanna, Orpheus, William B. and Samuel T. The subject of this sketch received his education in the common schools of Orangeville, New York and was afterward principally engaged in tilling the soil in summer and lumbering in the winter. In 1855, Mr. King came to this county, as stated, locating on section 32, of Spring Creek township, where he has had 320 acres and now owns a fine farm. Mr. King was a member of the Board of Supervisors during the war, and in 1864 was elected State Senator from his district. He has always taken an active part in politics, casting his first vote for President for Andrew Jackson, and voting with the Democratic party untl the campaign of 1856, when he joined the Republican party, voting for John C. Fremont. He now affiliates with the National Greenback party. In 1839, Mr. King was married to Louisa Knapp a daughter of Daniel Knapp, of Genesee county, New York. They have had four children - Alanson T., Angeletta, wife of Frank Mechum; Sarah, now Mrs. James Robie; and John W. S.

The Eleventh General Assembly convened at Des Moines, January 8, 1866, and adjourned April 3, 1866. The 39th Senatorial District was then composed of Tama and Benton, and was still represented by William B. King, of Tama. Leander Clark represented the county in the Lower House.

The Twelfth General Assembly convened at Des Moines in January, 1868. James Wilson represented Tama county in the House.

The Thirteenth General Assembly convened at Des Moines in January, 1870. James Wilson still represented this county in the House. Joseph Dysart represented this and Poweshiek county in the Senate.

The Fourteenth General Assembly convened at Des Moines in January, 1872. James Wilson, who again represented this county, was elected Speaker of the House. Joseph Dysart was still Senator.

The Fifteenth General Assembly convened at Des Moines in January, 1874. At this time W. G. Malin was representing Tama county in the House, and Dr. Conaway of Poweshiek, int eh Senate.

WILLIAM G. MALIN is still a resident of Columbia township. He is a native of Belmont county, Ohio, where he was born March 7, 1833. His parents were Minshall and julia A. (Barton) Malin, both natives of Chester county, Pennsylvania. William's early life was spent on his father's farm, and his education was received in the district schools of that county. August 30, 1861, he enlisted in company E, 15th Ohio infantry, serving as a non-commissioned officer. He participated int eh battle of shiloh, siege of Corinth, and battle of Stone River; and during the latter engagement, was wounded so severely in the hip by a fragment of a shell, that he was compelled to remain in a hospital five months before being again fit for duty. Subsequently he participated in the battle of Liberty Gap; and September 20, 1863, the battle of Chickamauga, where he was wounded and taken prisoner. He spent five months in the prison at Richmond, seven months at Andersonville and a month each at Savannah and Miller. He was then paroled, afterwards exchanged and January 12, 1865, honorably discharged from service. In the fall of that year he came west to Tama county, Iowa, and for a number of years was engaged in teaching during the winter months and farming in Columbia township the balance of the year. During the term of 1874, he represented his district in the Legislature, having been elected on the Anti-monopoly ticket. He has held several of the local offices of trust. On the 30th day of January, 1868, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Anna E. Hutchison, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of William T. Hutchison, who was born in Jefferson county, Ohio. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Malin, three of whom are living: William H., George N. and Lizzie E. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

The Sixteenth General Assembly convened at DesMoines (sic) in January, 1876. Dr. Conaway, of Poweshiek, was Senator from Tama and Poweshiek counties. G. Jaqua, of Traer, represented Tama county in the House.

The Seventeenth general Assembly convened in January, 1878, at DesMoines (sic). Tama with Poweshiek was represented in the Senate by Robert M. Haines, a lawyer of Grinnell. G. Jaqua, of Traer, was again serving Tama in the House. He is noticed at length in the Press chapter.

The Eighteenth General Assembly convened at DesMoines (sic) in January, 1880. Robert M. Haines represented Tama and Poweshiek counties in the General Assembly, and George R. Struble served Tama county in the House.

The Nineteenth General Assembly convened at DesMoines (sic) on the second Monday in January, 1882. At this time Tama county was in the 45th Senatorial District, associated with Poweshiek, and was represented by Hon. A. N. POYNEER. Tama constituted the 45th Representative District and was represented by George R. Struble, who was elected Speaker of the House. He made one of the best presiding officers the General Assembly has ever had.

Hon. A. N. POYNEER, was elected Senator to represent Tama and Poweshiek counties in 1881. He is a native of Salisbury, Litchfield county, Connecticut, was born on the 29th day of July, 1831. His father, David R. Poyneer, was a native of Columbia county, New York, and served as a soldier in the war of 1812. He subsequently resided at Salisbury, Connecticut, until about 1860, and in 1862 he came to Iowa to spend his remaining days with his son, the subject of this sketch. His death occurred in January, 1881, he having reached the advanced age of ninety-two years. Polly (Moore) Poyneer, the mother of A. N. Poyneer, was a native of Salisbury, Connecticut, where she resided until 1860; then came west and after 1862 lived with her son. Her death took place in 1873. She reared three children, Edward M., Hannah S., now Mrs. Clinton Helm, of Rockford, Illinois; and Alfred N., who is the subject of this sketch. Alfred was reared on a farm, was given advantages so that he acquired a good common school education, then taught school for a few years, after which he acted as traveling salesman and collector for an eastern manufacturing house until 1861, when he came to Iowa, and at once settled on section 5 of Highland township, where he had previously purchased nearly 400 acres. He made this his home until the spring of 1877, since which time he has lived in the village of Montour. Mr. Poyneer now owns 800 acres of land and is extensively engaged in stock farming. In politics he was reared a Democrat and adhered to that faith until breaking out of the rebellion, since which time he has been an active worker in the Republican ranks. He has held various local offices and for many years was a member of the County Board of Supervisors. During this time he formed a large acquaintance and as he was an efficient officer he was held in the highest esteem throughout the county. He makes an active worker in the General Assembly and is making a record honorable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. Mr. Poyneer has been twice married. In August 1859, he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy J. Todd, daughter of Alfred and Mary A. Todd of St. Joseph county, Michigan. She died in February, 1878, leaving two daughters, Gertrude A. and Lucy May. In June, 1880 He married Lizzie Frantz, daughter of Joshua and Matilda Frantz, of Highland township, Tama county. Mr. Poyneer is a gentleman with unblemished character, who is courteous to all. He is a good financier and an excellent manager in public as well as private affairs. He takes a great interest in educational matters and in fact anything tending to better the welfare of man. His home, situated in the south part of the village of Montour, is surrounded with all conveniences.


This was the principal office of the county in early days. The Judge had charge of many matters which are now attended to by the Auditor, the Circuit Court, Clerk of Court and Board of Supervisors. At the time the county was temporarily organized, while preparing for permanent organization, an election was held and the first Judge of Tama county was elected in the person of DR. TALLMAN CHASE. This election was held in March, 1853. Tallman CHASE was a native of Ohio and came to Tama county in 1853, settling with his large family upon a farm in the northwestern part of Toledo township. He was a fairly educated man, and was by profession a physician, having practiced in his native StaTe, and commenced it soon after his arrival in Tama county. He was a follower of the teaching of the old Whig party, yet did not take much interest in political matters, and even after being elected to the office of County Judge did not qualify. He was quite an old man at the time and only remained in the county three or four years when he returned to Ohio, where he has since died.

In August, 1853, at the election which permanently organized the coutny, John C. Vermilya was elected County Judge and was the first to qualify and serve in that capacity. In 1855 he was re-elected and served until January, 1858. His house was used as a court house, until one was prepared, and travelers coming through would always stop there; but he never charged them anything. A personal sketch of him is appended:

JUDGE JOHN C. VERMILYA, is a native of the Empire State and was born in Delaware county on the 11th day of September, 1803. His parents were Edward and Johanna (Wright)Vermilya, natives of New York. Shortly after his birth the family removed to Duchess county, New York, and in 1818 to Washington, Indiana, settling at Salem, the county seat of that county. About six months after their settlement the father and mother died, leaving John C. to provide for himself. During the early part of his century the common schools did not afford the advantages for learning that they now possess, and as the subject of our sketch was unable to attend any other schools than those, his education was necessarily quite limited. At the age of sixteen he began learning the hatter's trade, which occupation he followed until 1834, when he turned his attention to agriculture. although his early life was spent in villages, he nevertheless had a short experience in farming. Upon one occasion while visiting his grandfather, John was induced to help the old gentleman hoe corn; while at work the dinner horn sounded and they started on a race for the house. Although the grandfather was eighty-six years of age, he put young Vermilya to the blush, by reaching the house first. In 1849, in company with Rezin A. Redman, Mr. Vermilya made a trip to Tama county, Iowa, and located land in Tama township. Shortly after, he returned to Indiana, where he remained until 1852, at which time he again came to this county, settled on his farm, and immediately began the erection of a log stable, which, when completed, his family lived in for a couple of months. During the first season here, he raised twenty-eight acres of sod corn and turnips. In politics Mr. Vermilya was originally a Whig and joined the Republican party upon its organization. Since 1858, although taking a deep interest in political affairs, he has cared to figure but slightly in politics himself. During his official career, he did much towards building up and organizing hte county, and for his time and labor received but small recompense. In 1878, the Judge built a fine residence east of Tama City, at a cost of $8,000, which is one of hte substantial farm residences of Tama county.

He is one of those men whom to know is to esteem; he has a large and admiring circle of friends in Tama county; and of his kindness and benevolence all speak in the highest terms of praise. Many of the early settlers will ever cherish in their hearts a warm place for him,, who go kindly aided them in their pioneer life. He has long been a member of hte Masonic fraternity. His first marriage was in 1823, with Miss Catharine Murphy of Jackson county, Indiana. She died and Mr. Vermilya subsequently married Miss Mary Ann Carter, who bore him four children, two of whom are living. One is the wife of J. G. Strong, of Britt, Iowa, and the other, the wife of A. L. Brooks, of Tama county. His second wife died in 1870. During 1871 he was joined in wedlock with his present wife, who was Miss Mary Ann Carpenter, a native of Devonshire, England.

At the August election, in 1857, LEANDER CLARK was elected County Judge, to succeed John C. Vermilya. After serving his term of two years, he was re-elected, and filled the office until he resigned, and was succeeded by John Allen in 1861. Judge Clark made an able, careful and efficient officer, and has been one of the most prominent factors in aiding the development and progress of Tama county. The following is a brief sketch of his life:

COLONEL LEANDER CLARK was born in Wakeman, Huron county, Ohio, on the 17th of July, 1823. His parents, Dr. Harmon M. Clark and Laura (Downs) Clark, emigrated to Wakeman in 1818, coming with teams from Connecticut. They were the fourth family who settled in Wakeman township, the whole country at that time being an unbroken wilderness. Dr. Clark practiced medicine in Huron county for over forty years, and while practicing his profession, owned a farm and here his family were reared, Leander being the second in a family of three boys and one girl.

Leander attended the common schools, doing what work he could on the farm until about twenty, and completed his education in the preparatory department of Oberlin College. He remained with his parents until twenty-three years of age, went to Port Washington, Wisconsin, in 1846, spending nearly three years there in surveying, and in a drug store owned by his elder brother, Dr. P. H. Clark, besides occupying the position of Deputy Sheriff for a time.

In 1849, he started across the plains with the great rush of gold seekers. His party started early in April with ox teams, and did not arrive in Sacramento City until late in November. They drove their oxen through as far as Salt Lake City, and there traded for horses, with which the journey was completed. The trip was very hard, and they were at times almost destitute, living much of the way on game, and when they could find no game, were compelled to fast. Indeed, so desperate had their condition become, that many a poor fellow would have been left in the mountains to perish, had it not been for the timely aid sent out by the government to assist them over the Sierras. While in California, Mr. Clark was engaged in mining, and packing and trading with varied success, his business being conducted in the vicinity of Shasta City and Yreka, and between those places.

In a few years he accumulated between three and four thousand dollars, and in July, 1852, returned to the States by way of Isthmus of Panama. He then traveled and prospected for sixteen or eighteen months, and in the spring of 1854, entered land in Geneseo and Buckingham townships, Tama county, Iowa, building a saw mill in the latter township, four miles from the village of Traer, although the greater portion of his land was in Geneseo. In 1855, Mr. Clark was elected Justice of the Peace of Buckingham township, and was re-elected in April, 1857. This same year he was elected County Judge of Tama county, and resigning his township office he removed to Toledo, the county seat, to enter upon the duties of the higher office. After holding the office of County Judge, by re-election, nearly four years, he resigned and returned to the farm.

In 1861, he was elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly, and served in the regular session in the early part of 1862. In the following August, he resigned, and enlisted as a private in the 24th Iowa Infantry, and was soon after elected Captain of company E, which rendezvoused at Muscatine. While the regiment was at that place, Mr. Clark attended the extra session of the Legislature, heartily endorsing and supporting every war measure of that body. In October, the regiment went into the field, and Capt. Clark accompanied it for nearly three years, participating in all its engagements but one or two.

In September, 1864, he was promoted, and, as Major, continued with his regiment until January, 1865, when he was made Lieutenant-Colonel. At the battle of Champion Hill, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, he was wounded in the face by a small ball, which has never been extracted. He was also slightly wounded at the battle of Winchester, Virginia; it proved nothing serious however. He was mustered out of service with his regiment in August, 1865, at the close of the war. persons who served under Col. Clark in the gallant 24th, give him credit for being a brave officer, never absent from duty, and never quailing in the thickest of the fight. Returning to Tama county in the Autumn of 1865, Mr. Clark was again elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly, serving one term. He was chairman of the committee on claims, and did important work on the other committees, faithfully performing all the duties laid upon him, and remembering always his duty to his constituents.

On the 1st of July 1866, he was appointed Indian Agent of the Sac and Fox Indians, serving in this capacity until relieved by Lieut. Frank D. Garrety, U. S. A., July 10, 1869. He was again appointed to this position, October 5, 1870, and held the same until September, 1872, when Rev. A. A. Howbert was appointed to take his place.

Mr. Clark is the President of the Toledo Savings Bank, having been re-elected to that position at every annual election since the organization of that institution. The Bank is organized under the State laws, and is becoming very popular. Aside from his interest in the bank, and other property in the city, he owns large tracts of land in Tama, Franklin, Buena Vista and O’Brien counties, owning a considerable part of the town plat of Sioux Rapids, in the third named county. He was also one of the original proprietors of the towns of Gladbrook and Garwin, of Tama county. Mr. Clark has been quite successful in his land and other operations, and is one of the largest landowners in the county. He has one of the finest residences in Toledo, centrally located on an acre and a quarter lot, which has an abundance of shade and fruit trees, and other arboreal adornments. in politics, Col. Clark was originally a Whig. but has been a Republican since the formation of that party. he is a member of the A. F. and A. M. Fraternity, of Toledo Blue Lodge. in religious sentiments he inclines towards Congregationalism. He is generous hearted, kind to the poor, obliging to all classes, cordial and gentlemanly, and a liberal entertainer. His wife was Miss Maria A. Baker, of Toledo, their union dating February 14, 1867. Colonel Clark has seen his share of pioneer life, has “roughed it” in Wisconsin and Iowa, at an early day; “roughed it” over the Bison’s home and in California; “roughed it” nearly three years in the “tented field” in the defense of his country; yet he has always taken good care of himself, and is to-day one of the best preserved men in Tama county.

As stated, JOHN ALLEN was appointed to fill the unexpired term, and was elected in the fall of 1861. Allen was a native of Vermont, and came west in 1855, settling near the Redman Four Corners with his family, and engaged at farming. About 1860, he removed to the county seat and followed merchandizing, and made his home there until he left the county in June, 1862. He was a man of very fair education; was naturally smart, quick witted and intelligent, and made a genial and popular officer. He came of a good family, and from 1864 to 1865 his brother, Isaac L. Allen, was Attorney-General of this State. John Allen is now living in Medina, N. Y., having left Tama county in June, 1862, before this term of office had expired.

In June, 1862, T. F. BRADFORD was appointed by the Board of Supervisors, to fill the vacancy, occasioned by the removal and resignation of Allen. He served until the ensuing general election. He was a lawyer by profession, and is noticed at length in the chapter upon the bar.

At the general election in October, 1862, T. A. GRAHAM was elected County Judge, and served for one year.

In October, 1863, T. F. Bradford was elected to the office of County Judge. He only served a few months, when he resigned, and went to Tennessee to enlist in the army.

T. A. GRAHAM was appointed the successor of Judge Bradford, in 1864, was elected to the office and served until January, 1868. The following short sketch of his life he wrote at the request of his wife:

“I was born in the town of Kortright, in the State of New York, on the 13th day of January, 1819, of Scotch parentage; raised on a farm. My father was a farmer of small means. In the spring of 1831, my parents moved to West Meredith, same county, and resided there three years, thence to the town of Erie, New York, where I followed the family in the fall of 1834. In the winter of 1834-35 I commenced teaching in the public school, and followed it for a livelihood in winter for six or seven winters. In 1840, I learned the carpenter trade, and followed carpentering almost exclusively in summer, until the fall of 1844, when I moved west, to Aurora, Ill. I stayed in or near Aurora about eight months, and then purchased a piece of government land about four miles from Plainfield, Ill. I lived on this farm three years, when I sold it, and bought a grocery in Plainfield, and was postmaster under General Taylor’s administration for a few months. The business not agreeing with my health, I sold out, and resumed the carpenter trade, until I moved to Iowa, in September, 1853. Soon after coming to Toledo I was much sought after as a carpenter. I assisted in building the first frame house in Tama county, and lived in it one winter. I built a log cabin on Salt Creek, about a mile north of Irving, which is still standing. In 1854, I built the court house in Toledo, which is still standing, and used as dwelling and a meat market. We then hauled all our finishing lumber and shingles a distance of 105 miles. At that time, our nearest express office was Muscatine, and our nearest postoffice (sic) at Marengo, thirty-five miles distant. At Toledo I opened a real estate agency in 1854, and continued in that business until 1867. I omitted to state in the proper place, that I was married in March, 1844, to Katherine D:Neish (sic), of Erie, N. Y., and lived with her until March 4, 1863, when she departed this life. On the 28th day of January, 1864, I was married to Ellen Farrar, who is still living. In May, 1861, I was appointed postmaster under Abraham Lincoln, and held the office about nine years, when I resigned. In 1864, I was appointed County Judge, by the Board of Supervisors, to fill a vacancy, and afterwards twice elected to the same office, having held the position about six years.

Judge Graham died at his residence in Toledo, December 13, 1882. The Toledo Chronicle thus speaks of him:

Some two years previous, and up to the time of his death, he was actively engaged in the Land Loan Agency. Having come to Toledo at an early day, he assisted greatly in laying the foundation of Tama county, in whose interests he labored untiringly. He was recognized throughout the county as one of its most prominent and useful citizens. Being a man of such large public spirit, universal esteem kept equal pace with notable popularity. His hospitality, his generosity, his kindness of heart, were characteristics which marked him as a man. His door was always open. His table always free to those especially who might have occasion to apply to him for assistance in any way--which kindness is best appreciated by strangers in a strange land; by those who battle with privation and hardship in the first settlement of a new country and incidental to frontier life. He was generous to the extreme. His hand was ever ready to assist in any worthy enterprise, and where money was often needed, while the poor have often been the benificiaries (sic) of his unlimited benevolence, in many cases ignorant of the giver, and left only to thank the Father of Love. The testimony of many is, “He has been kind to me.” He possessed the peculiar faculty for making a place in his heart for every one, and all could go to him and feel that in him they could find a friend. There was no want of sympathy for any who might be in trouble or bereaved. The little children in the community know well what it was to receive his notice and attention.

Another trait in his character, was his forgiving spirit. No matter how severe the injury directed to him, it was passed over or forgotten, and not one thought of malice remained, nor a cherished ill toward any body. He was a consistent christian, ever faithful in his religious duties; always at the prayer meetings, whenever health would permit. One significant fact in connection with his death is, that just as the church bells were to announce the hour for the usual weekly evening prayer-meeting, his spirit took its flight to the church on High, there to worship a visible Savior, and join in an everlasting song of praise around the throne.

In October, 1867, Maj. THOMAS S. FREE was elected County Judge, and served until the office was abolished by law in 1869.

At this time the office of COUNTY AUDITOR was created, and the County Judge was made ex-officio Auditor. Thus THOMAS S. FREE was the first Auditor of Tama county. In October, 1869, he was elected to the office, was re-elected in 1871, and served until January, 1874. Thomas S. Free was born in Ohio, where he resided with his parents until the spring of 1853, when his father and family came west and settled near Toledo, in Tama county. At this time Thomas was a lad of but thirteen summers, and coming to a new country where schools were few and far between, his opportunity for education was somewhat limited. By hard work, however, he managed to keep himself at school, and in 1860, entered Iowa State University. While attending school, the President issued his call for 100,000 men to go to the front. Mr. Free was among the first to respond to this call, and immediately left school, came home to Toledo, and in August, 1861, enlisted in Company C., 10th Iowa, as a private, and was immediately off for war. While in service, not many young men were promoted to positions of honor as was Free. He was first appointed Sergeant Major of the 10th Iowa, afterwards, on order, to First Lieutenant, Adjutant and Major of the 49th U. S. C. I., served on staff duty as Judge Advocate of the District of Mississippi, afterwards assigned to duty by order of the Secretary of War, as Assistant Inspector General of the State of Mississippi. Discharged March 22, 1866, after being in the service of the United States over five years, engaging in all the battle with the 10th Iowa, up to the battle of Champion Hills, beside numerous others. Then Mr. Free returned home, and as stated was elected to office. After the expiration of his term, he engaged in the practice of law, which he continued for some time. In 1881, he removed to Sioux Falls, D. T., where he still remains. The last few years of his residence in Tama county, he acted as U. S. Indian Agent for the Sac and Fox Indians.

In October, 1873, J. A. BOWDLE was elected to succeed Mr. Free. In 1875, he was elected, and served until January, 1878. Bowdle came here from Illinois about 1855, and settled upon a farm in Crystal township, where he engaged in farming. Upon being elected he moved into Toledo. He was a man of fair education and a good deal of integrity and ability. Socially he was rather peculiar, appearing gruff to those not acquainted, but after the acquaintance was formed he was very genial and pleasant. In appearance Bowdle was tall and slim, and while walking, bent his head to one side. He was a single man; some of his relatives still live in the county, he having removed to Nebraska.

In 1877, R. G. McINTIRE was elected County Auditor. In 1879, and 1881, he was re-elected. He is a thorough, careful and correct official, and is giving excellent satisfaction. By profession he is a lawyer, and is noted in the Bar chapter.


When Tama county was organized, these two offices were merged together, and the business of both was transacted by one official. According to the records there was no Treasurer and Recorder elected at the March election in 1853, for the temporary organization of the county. In July, 1853, David F. Bruner, was appointed by the county court, to fill the office until the ensuing election in August. He was therefore the first Treasurer and Recorder of Tama county.

D. F. BRUNER, one of the pioneers of Tama county, was born in Seneca county, Ohio, August 28, 1825. He is a son of Christian Bruner, who emigrated with his parents from Pennsylvania to Fairfield county, Ohio, when he was six years old. His mother was Rebecca Foust, a native of Ohio. Her parents settled in Fairfield county before the location of the State capital. Mr. and Mrs. C. Bruner were the parents of six children, four of whom lived to be adults—David F., Jacob, Mary A., Margaret, Samuel and Rebecca, now deceased. Mrs. Bruner died in December, 1832. Mr. Bruner was again married to Sophia Lance, widow of John Lance. They have had five children, four of whom are living—Sophia, Benjamin F., Adam and Solomon.

In the fall of 1851, Christian Bruner emigrated to Iowa, and spending his first winter in Johnson county, the following spring came to Tama county, locating on section 33, of Howard township, where he built the first saw mill in the county. Here he remained until his death, which occurred September 13, 1858.

D. F. BRUNER, the subject of this sketch, was married in Sandusky county, Ohio, February 3, 1850, to Miss Catherine Hill, a daughter of George Hill, of Maryland, and Margaret Youst, of New Jersey. Mr. Bruner came to this State and located in Tama county with his father. Mr. and Mrs. Bruner have been blessed with a family of seven children—Benjamin F., Anna E., teacher in the Toledo schools; Emily E., wife of A. M. Moore, attorney at law, Toledo; Laura J. Orpha K., Edgar D. and Harry L. M. In politics, Mr. Bruner is a Republican. He was appointed the first county Treasurer of Tama county previous to the organization of the same, and, as he says, carried the office in his hat. He also had the office of Assessor and had to travel over what is now embraced in nine townships. He was Justice of the Peace of Toledo township, and at different times has held all the other township offices. He is at present a trustee of the township. He has been engaged in the nursery business for twenty-one years, and has the largest orchard in the county.

In August, 1853, JOHN ROSS was elected and duly qualified. He was a native of Ohio, from which State he came in 1852, and with his family, settled in Toledo. He remained in the township until 1875, when he removed to Howard township, where he died. A number of his sons are still residents of Tama county. Mr. Ross was a genial and popular officer, and a man of unimpeachable integrity.

T. J. STALEY was the successor of John Ross. he was elected in August, 1855. Staley came to Tama county, from Ohio, with his parents, at an early day, and settled in Otter Creek township. About 1863, the family removed to Missouri, he remaining here for some years thereafter, until he received an appointment as clerk in one of the government departments at Washington.  Subsequently, he followed the family to Missouri.

ANDREW J. WHEATON was elected Treasurer and Recorder in the fall of 1857; reelected in 1859, 1861, and 1863, serving eight consecutive years. Andrew J. Wheaton came to Tama county in 1855, locating on section 2, township 83, range 15, now Toledo township, where he entered 281 acres of land. Mr. Wheaton was born in Fleming, Cayuga county, N. Y., September 9, 1829. His parents were Andrew and Content (Davis) Wheaton, the former a native of Connecticut; the latter of Massachusetts. His father was a farmer in Cayuga county, where the subject of this sketch was reared, receiving his early education in the district schools. The father died in 1836; the mother in February, 1839, and the family, consisting of three sons and one daughter, remained on the old homestead. Andrew J. lived there until eighteen years of age, then attended Auburn Academy at Auburn, N. Y., and Red Creek Academy in Wayne county. After he was twenty, he taught during the winter terms and attended school in the summer until he was twenty-two; then followed the profession of teaching in Cayuga county, until 1855, at which time he came to Tama county. In 1876, Mr. Wheaton sold a portion of his land to the Board of County Supervisors, to be used as a Poor Farm, and the balance to a brother and sister. He then purchased seventy-three acres of land on section 23, adjoining the town of Toledo, where he now lives. Aside from this, he owns eighty acres of timber land about one and a half miles west of Toledo. On the 18th of March, Mr. Wheaton was joined in marriage with Miss Rebecca P. Carpenter, daughter of Isaac and Ann (Parkin) Carpenter, both natives of England. Her father died in Missouri, in 1839; her mother at Auburn, N. Y., in the fall of 1856. Mrs. Wheaton was born January 1, 1836. They have had three children, one daughter of whom is living, Mary Gertrude, born February 2, 1860. Andrew Garrow, a twin to Mary G., was killed by the cars at Kellogg, on the 10th of January, 1880, while he and some fellow students were on their return to the college at Grinnell. Rebecca Grace, died November 26, 1876, lacking but seven days of being eleven years of age. In politics, Mr. Wheaton is a Republican; has held the office of township Assessor and Trustee, and for eight years and five months was Treasurer of Tama county as stated. He is a member of Toledo Lodge No. 118, A. F. & A. M., being the present Secretary of that Lodge. He was also Worshipful Master of the Lodge for a number of years. Mrs. Wheaton is a member of the Congregational Church of Toledo.

In the winter of 1863-4, an act was passed by the General Assembly, dividing the two offices, and providing for the election of an officer to attend to the duties of each separately.


In November, 1864, JACOB YEISER, Jr., was elected, and was the first Recorder of Tama county. In 1866, he was re-elected, and again in 1868, serving six years in all, and making a correct, reliable and satisfactory official. The following sketch of him was published in the papers at the time of his death:

“Jacob Yeiser, deceased, was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, November 23, 1841. He came to Toledo, Tama county, with his parents, in about 1861, which was his home, until his death, which occurred on the 14th day of December, 1877. When 10 years of age, he gave his heart to the Savior, at Pleasant Valley, Johnston county, this State, under the labors of Rev. Mr. Stryker, by whom he was received into the M. E. church, in which he remained a faithful, useful and honored member. On the 7th of September, 1864, he entered the volunteer service of the United States as a member of Company F., 10th Iowa Infantry. In the battle of Mission Ridge, he received the wound, which resulted in the loss of his limb, and in consequence of which he was discharged, November 23, 1864. Early in life, Mr. Yeiser gave evidence that he possessed in a great degree many of the finer and better traits of our human nature, and these excellences he retained in his maturer years, and they won for him the respect of all who knew him. He was a man of strong convictions, of strict business, social and Christian integrity; as a citizen he was always amongst the foremost in his efforts to do for the interests of our town and county. No worthy public enterprise failed for want of his help; he was always liberal, and generous to a fault. As a Christian, he was ever ready with his means, his influence, his counsels and his prayers to do all that lay in his power to help on every effort put forth in behalf of the church and for the glory of God. All through his long and protracted illness, at times painful, almost beyond endurance, he maintained his courage, his faith and his hope in God. He fought a good fight; he finished his course; he kept his faith, and God took him.”

JOHN R. McCLASKEY, of Toledo, succeeded Mr. Yeiser as Recorder. He was first elected in October, 1870, and being re-elected in 1872, served until January 1875. He is a native of Indiana, born near Darlington, Montgomery county, December 15, 1842. His parents, David and Mary (Neely) McClaskey, are now living on an improved farm in Cedar county, this State, to which they moved in the fall of 1851. In November, 1861, the subject of this sketch enlisted in Co. A, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. From Camp McClelland he went South, participating in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, where he had his collar bone broken by a piece of shell; seige of Corinth, Iuka, second battle of Corinth, and was with Sherman and Grant through the seige of Vicksburg. At this time the whole regiment veteranized, and went home on a furlough of thirty days; then returned to the seat of war, landing at Clifton, Tennessee; marched across the country and joined Sherman’s army at Big Shanty. Early in the morning of the 6th of July, 1864, while on the skirmish line crossing the bridge over Nickeryack Creek, near Sandtown Ferry, Mr. McClaskey was severely wounded in the left thigh by a minnie ball. He was at once taken to the field hospital, where his limb was amputated by Dr. Thomas, who had charge of the division hospital. From there he was taken to Rome, Georgia, where he lay suffering intensely until the latter part of October; thence he was removed to Chattanooga, Nashville, and finally to Evansville, Indiana. here he remained until in March, 1865, when his father came and took him to his home in Cedar county, Iowa. He remained at home about sixty days, then reported at the hospital at Camp McClellan and was discharged in November, 1865. In 1866, Mr. McClaskey came to Tama county, and has since made Toledo his home. He was married in March, 1866, at Marengo, Iowa county, this State, to Margaret M. McClelland, a daughter of Thomas and Ruth (Ball) McClelland, natives of Ohio. She was born March 18, 1847, in Linn county, in this State. They were blessed with five children, two of whom are living; John W. and Frankie; Harry, Willie and Jule are deceased. Mr. McClaskey was called to mourn the loss of his life partner on the 15th of November, 1880.

In politics Mr. McClaskey is a Republican. He is at present Justice of the Peace and is serving on his third term. In 1866, he engaged in the drug trade at Blairstown, Iowa, but sold out, after running the business about nine months. In 1875, Mr. McClaskey opened an abstract office in Toledo, and sold the same year to P. G. Wieting. Mr. McClaskey cast his first presidential vote in 1864, for Mr. Lincoln, at Chattanooga, while he was in the hospital, the ballot box being brought to his bedside. Mr. McClaskey is a man who has been tried by the people, and found worthy of their respect and confidence. He is well read, a man of fine appearance, sociable and kind-hearted, and in his business relations, has proven himself a man of strictest integrity.

In the fall of 1874, J. B. M. Bishop, of Crystal township, was elected Recorder, was re-elected in 1876 and 1878, serving until January, 1881.

JOHN B. M. BISHOP, son of Jonathan S. and Mary (McGahan) Bishop, was born in Logan county, Ohio, June 23, 1845, and was in his tenth year when his parents came to Iowa. He received the rudiments of his education at the district school, and subsequently attended the high school at Toledo. In March, 1864, he enlisted in Company F., 28th Iowa Volunteers, went South, and joined his regiment at Mansfield, Louisiana. He participated in several minor engagement during the Red River campaign, and September 19, 1864, was wounded at the battle of Winchester. he entered the hospital in that town, cut after some weeks was transferred to Baltimore, and thence to Turner’s Lane Hospital, of Philadelphia, from which he was discharged, in May, 1865. He then returned home, and in the fall of that year entered Iowa College, at Grinnell, where he graduated in June, 1871. He is at present a member of the Board of Trustees of Crystal township. He was married; in October, 1877, to Alice E., daughter of James Loughridge, of Huntsville, Arkansas. Three children have been born to them—George L., Edith and Agnes.

In the fall of 1880, T. E. WARREN was elected Recorder, and two years later, was re-elected. He is a native of Iowa, born in Mahaska county, March 27, 1851. He is a son of Elbert D., and Mary A. (West-lake) Warren. When T. E. was less than a year old, his father died, and a few years later, his mother followed, and he was brought up by his grandparents on his mother’s side who gave him good educational privileges. When eighteen years of age, he learned the drug business in Oskaloosa, and afterwards came to Tama City, where he was employed by H. Solomon, remaining with him some four years. In the fall of 1880, he was elected as County Recorder of Tama county, being re-elected to the same office in the fall of 1882. Mr. Warren s a good business man, a rapid penman and a complete master of the official business entrusted to him. He was married in April, 1872, to Miss Frances E. Goddard, a daughter of George S. and Mary Goddard, natives of New York State, born in 1850. Three children bless this union—Minnie E., Maud M., and Lillie E. Mr. Warren is a member of the Legion of Honor and Knights of Pythias, and in politics is a warm supporter of the Republican party.


After the separation of the offices of Treasurer and Recorder, A. J. WHEATON served for one year in the capacity of Treasurer.

In the fall of 1865, JAMES H. STRUBLE was elected Treasurer, and two years later was re-elected, serving until January, 1870. He came to Tama county, from Morrow county, Ohio, in 1861, and a few years later became deputy, under A. J. WHEATON, where he remained until elected. In 1867, he was married to Miss Annette Woodward. Shortly after the expiration of his term of office, he removed to Le Mars, Iowa. He made a careful, correct and industrious official.

In 1869, THEODORE SHAEFFER was elected County Treasurer, and two years later, he was re-elected, serving four years, to the satisfaction of all.

DANIEL TURNER succeeded Mr. Schaeffer, and served one term, from January, 1876. He was a farmer; a quiet, sociable and honest man. About 1879, he left the county. He was elected on the “Anti-Monopoly” ticket.

By the October election in 1875, L. B. BLINN became Treasurer; he was re-elected in 1877, and 1879, a testimonial of his efficiency in that capacity.

LYMAN CARY was elected County Treasurer in the fall of 1881, to succeed L. B Blinn, and made a most efficient officer.

He was born in Androscoggin county, Maine, on the 18th of July, 1847, being a son of Horace and Lurana (Bradford) Cary. His father was a carpenter and joiner by trade, but in connection with this business, he was engaged in farming. Lyman was reared on a farm, receiving an academic education at Auburn Academy Maine. On the 13th of April, 1868, he left his native State, and emigrated to Illinois, where he was employed on the construction corps of the Indiana, Bloomington & Western railroad. In 1869, he came to Tama county, purchased a farm in Columbia township, and turned his attention to farming. In 1870, he was married to Lavinia, daughter of Jackson Rines and Lavina Rines, of Morrow county, Ohio, born in 1846. Three children bless this union—Zoe, Jessie and Myrtle. Mr. Cary is a member of the Masonic Lodge of Tama City, and also of the Knights of Pythias of Toledo, Iowa. Mr. Cary is making an excellent Treasurer; he is courteous and gentlemanly to all careful and correct, and is always found attending to business.

CLERKS OF COURTS. The first Clerk of Court, of Tama county, was DAVID D. APPLEGATE He was first elected at the election temporarily organizing the county, in March 1853. He was re-elected in the years 1854, 1856, 1858, 1860, 1862, 1864 and 1866. This made a continuous term of from March 1853, until January 1869—nearly sixteen years in one capacity. This is much longer than any other man has ever served Tama county. Mr. Applegate made a faithful, honest and efficient officer. He still makes the county seat his home, where he practices law.

L. B. BLINN succeeded Mr. Appelgate as Clerk. He was first elected in the fall of 1868, was re-elected in 1870, and 1872, and served from January 1869, until January 1875. In the fall of the year last named, he was elected County Treasurer.

CHAUNCY J. STEVENS, of Montour, was elected Clerk of Courts, in the fall of 1874, re-elected in 1876, and 1878, and served unti8l January, 1881. Chauncy J. Stevens came to the county in June, 1855, and located at Indiantown. In the spring of 1856, he taught the first school in that place, after which, he again returned to the employ of Phineas Helf, whom he had served before teaching the school. In 1859, he was married to Miss Mary Dingee, daughter of Allen Dingee. Mr. Stevens then engaged in farming, and continued at this calling until 1864, when he located at Montour and established the first lumberyard at that place. From this time his business began to be complicated; he turned his attention to anything he thought he could make pay. He was station agent for several years, also served as Justice of the Peace, during which time he attended largely to collections. He also dealt in agricultural implements, and farm produce. In August, 1873, he purchased an interest in the Montour Exchange Bank, and in 1875, became sole proprietor. He continued to conduct this business until 1883, when he sold to Matthews & Young. At this time, he was largely interested in real estate, was Vice President of the Amazon Mining and Smelting Company, of Boulder, Montana, and largely interested in other branches of business. Mr. Stevens’ wife died in August, 1873, leaving two children, Ada and Ray. In September, 1875, he married Miss Mary Graham, daughter of Judge T. A. Graham, and this union has been blessed with one daughter, Lucy. Mr. Stevens is a Republican in politics, a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Congregational church. He is plain and unassuming in manners, courteous to all and is held in the highest esteem by all who know him.

S. C. LELAND succeeded C. J. STEVENS as Clerk of Courts. He was elected in the fall of 1880, and re-elected in the fall of 1882. He is a lawyer by pr4ofession, thoroughly educated, a gentleman in every sense of the word, and is discharging his duties in a most able and satisfactory manner.


NORMAN L. OSBORN was the first elected to the office, which took place at the March election, in 1853, although he never qualified. Not much is remembered of Osborn, except that he settled in the county in 1852, and took a place where Traer now is, in Perry township. He had a family and was an intelligent man. He left many years ago, going to Missouri.

In August, 1853, MIRON BLODGETT was elected Sheriff, and was the first to qualify and serve in that capacity. Blodgett came from Jackson county, Indiana, in 1851, and settled with his family, near Montour, where he engaged at farming.

Although a man of ordinary ability, he was a good hearted and square man; genial and social, he was well liked by the pioneers. Politically, he was a Whig, although political matters did not enter into the campaigns in early days, to any great extent. he remained in the county for about ten years, when he removed to Lucas county, and after a few years, went to Dakota.

In August 1855, WILLIAM GARNER was elected Sheriff of Tama county. Garner came to the county in 1854, and settled in Toledo, where he engaged in the grocery business; he was a tailor by trade, and also ran a farm in connection with his mercantile pursuits. He came here from Indiana, bringing his family with him. He was a Democrat, politically, and was the first of that creed elected to office in the county. in 1864, he removed to Louisa county this State. he was a genial, pleasant man, was honest and thought every one else was. his good heartedness was just what spoiled him as a business man. he ran a store directly where the Toledo Hotel now is. he would sometimes to see some one on the street, and tell Tom, Dick or Harry to run the shop till he came back, and be gone sometimes an hour. Any one wanting anything, he would say, “Help yourself and put the money in the drawer.” The belief that because he was honest everyone else was, did not prove substantial, or profitable, in his case. Early in 1857, he resigned the office to which he was elected.

H. C. FOSTER succeeded Garner as Sheriff; was elected, and served the balance of the term. he was a native of Kentucky, born in 1825. He was brought up on a farm, having limited educational advantages, and at an early age moved with his father to Montgomery county, Indiana. In 1840 he came west and settled in Linn county, Iowa, and engaged at carpenter work. In May, 1853, he came to Tama county, took land and returned to Linn county. In June, 1853, he came to Tama county to stay, and has made this his home ever since. In 1856 he was married to Mary J. Olney. Mr. Foster in 1883 was living in Toledo, and was janitor of the court house.

In August, 1857, THOMAS MURRAY was elected Sheriff; in 1859, was re-elected, and served until January, 1862, with honor to himself and satisfaction to all. He is a native of Jefferson county, New York, where he was born February 7, 1829. He is the youngest son of P. and Mary (Martin) Murray, who were natives of Ireland. Thomas’ father died when he was so young that he has no recollection of him. His life, until 14 years of age, was spent near his home with friends. His educational advantages were very limited, but by a never-tiring zeal, he has Stored his mind with a fair classical and a good business education at 20 years of age, he began learning the trade of harness making, in St. Lawrence county, New York, and after completing it, in 1852, he went to California for the purpose of seeking his fortune in the gold fields of that State. He remained there nearly three years, engaged in mining, and met with a fair degree of success. in the fall of 1854, he returned to his native State, and in the spring of the following year, removed to Tama county, Iowa, locating at Toledo, where he immediately opened a harness shop, which was the first one in the county. Mr. Murray then engaged in general merchandise at Toledo, remaining there until April of 1865, then removed to Tama City (then known as Iuka). He followed the same business here until 1882, with the exception of one year. In 1879, he was appointed Postmaster of the town, which office he continued to fill until 1882, with the exception of one year. In 1879, he was appointed Postmaster of the town, which office he continued to fill until April 1, 1883. He was the second Postmaster of Iuka also, and after holding it a year resigned the position. He was one of the founders of the Hydraulic Water Power Company, being Treasurer and Director during its building and completion, and held a Directorship for six years. he was elected one of the first officers of Tama City. He belonged to the Democratic party until the firing upon Fort Sumter, since which time he has been a staunch Republican. Mr. Murray is deeply endowed with the spirit of progress, and has always been among the foremost ranks, in the building up of Tama county. He is an upright, honest and genial gentleman, and generous almost to a fault; he wields a great influence in the county, both in business and political circles, and is one who is universally respected by all who know him. On the first day of January, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Charlotte Williams, a native of New York State. Four children bless this union—Arthur W., Walter C., Florence and May. It should have been mentioned that he was also the third Postmaster in Toledo, and held the office for about a year and a half, when resigned.

H. A. WILLIAMSON succeeded Mr. Murray as Sheriff, being elected in October, 1861, and re-elected in 1863. He served until 1864, when he died from injuries received from being thrown from a buggy. Mr. Williamson came to Tama county at an early day, from Ohio, with his family. He was a good officer, and a genial, pleasant and honest man. His widow, in 1883, was living in Toledo.

In November, 1864, KNIGHT DEXTER was elected Sheriff of Tama county. In 1865, 1867, 1869 and 1871, he was re-elected, and served until January, 1874, making a faithful and satisfactory official.

In 1873, R. E. AUSTIN was elected to succeed Mr. Dexter. He was twice reelected, and served until January, 1880.

J. C. FITZGERALD was elected Sheriff of Tama county in 1879, and re-elected in 1881, and makes a careful and thorough officer. he was born in Du Page county, Illinois, March 23, 1847. His parents, Peter H. and Mary (Barry) Fitzgerald, were natives of Ireland and emigrated to America when they were under age. Peter Fitzgerald located at Half Moon, Cattaraugus county, New York, where he remained engaged in farming until 1836. He then removed to Du Page county, Illinois, entered 160 acres of land, and engaged in farming, until 1853, then sold, and removed to Whiteside county, his present home. Mrs. Fitzgerald died on the 4th of March, 1857. There were eleven children in the family, seven boys, six of whom are living, and four girls—M. B., contractor and builder in Whiteside county, Illinois; W. H., now living in Kansas, engaged in farming; James M., a resident of Marshalltown; Thomas, a bridge contractor of Iowa; R. P. lately admitted to the bar of Tama county, Iowa; J. C., subject of this sketch; Julia A., wife of W. H. Harrison, of Whiteside county, Illinois; Ellen, wife of C. H. Galbreath, of Crawford county, Iowa; Mary, wife of David Bryson, of O’Brien county, Iowa; and Frances, wife of John D. Moore, of the same county. J. C. Fitzgerald was reared on a farm, receiving a liberal education. In his sixteenth year, he enlisted in the 140th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, his brothers, R. P., and J. M., being members of the same regiment. After leaving the service, Mr. Fitzgerald came to Tama county, locating in Carlton township, where he purchased 240 acres of land, and engaged in farming, until he was elected Sheriff of Tama county. This election occurred in the fall of 1879, and Mr. Fitzgerald has held the office since that time, being re-elected in 1881 by 1300 majority, this being about the largest majority cast for any office. In July, 1870, he was married to Miss Elva E. Burrows, a daughter of James Burrows, of Kendall county, Illinois. By this union there are three daughters—Leonora E., Mary M., and Bessie. In politics, Mr. Fitzgerald is a Republican, having cast his vote with that party since reaching his majority.


In early days this was the most lucrative of any of the county offices, and it was often difficult to find a man among pioneers who was thoroughly competent to discharge the duties devolving upon the office. Dr. Wesley A. Daniel was first to fill the office for Tama county. He was elected in March, 1853—the first election held in the county. In August following, he was re-elected for the regular term of two years, and was again re-elected in 1855, serving until January, 1858. He discharged the duties of the office most efficiently. In 1883 he was still a resident of Buckingham township.

In August, 1857, CHARLES W. IRISH was elected successor to Mr. Daniel. He came to Tama county from Iowa City, and settled upon a piece of timber land near Toledo, with his family, a short time prior to his election. He was a pleasant, gentlemanly fellow, and was well educated in his profession. He remained in the county until about 1870, when he returned to his old home in Iowa City.

HORACE JACOBS was the next Surveyor. He was elected in October, 1859, re-elected in 1861, 1863, and 1865, serving eight years in all. He remained in Toledo until a short time after the expiration of his term of office, when he removed to a farm in Otter Creek township. A few years ago his wife died, and he went to some point west of here. Jacobs was a slow and easy going individual, honest and frank, and a good surveyor.

In October, 1867, C. W. Hyatt was elected; he was re-elected in 1869.

W. H. HOLSTEAD was elected in 1873, was re-elected in 1875, 1877, 1879, and 1881. William H. Holstead was born in Oneida county, New York, on the 12th of August, 1840. His parents were John B. Holstead, a native of New York, and Emma Ann Bloss, of Connecticut. His father died in March, 1871; his mother is now living in Oneida county, N.Y. Mr. Holstead was reared in his native county, receiving his education in the common schools, then attended the Oneida Conference Seminary, and was for two years a student at Poughkeepsie Business College, April 19, 1861, he enlisted at Utica, in Company C., 26th, N.Y. Vol. Inf’ty, and joining the army of the Potomac, participated in the first and second battles of Bull Run, the battle of Chantilla, Rappahannock, South Mountain, and Fredericksburg, where he was wounded in the face by a rifle ball. He was discharged in May, 1863, and returned to his home in New York, attending the Seminary and Business College, as stated above. In 1865, he opened an insurance office, and general store eight miles from Jersey City; this, however, proved a failure, and in 1866, he came to Iowa, locating in Tama county, on section 11, of Spring Creek township. He remained at work on his farm until 1871, at which time he was elected County Surveyor, which office he has since held, being the present incumbent. In March, 1873, Mr. Holstead moved to Toledo, where he now resides. He was married, May 9, 1865, to Miss Carrie E. Horne, daughter of Lynch And Elmira (Mallery) Horne, both of whom now reside at Gladbrook, Iowa. Mr. And Mrs. Holstead have had four children born to them, three of whom are living. Gazelle, born April 29, 1866; Grace, born June 24, 1877; and John, born January 24, 1880. Howard, born October 29, 1871, died, February 27, 1876. Mr. And Mrs. Holstead are members of the Regular Baptist Church of Toledo. Mrs. Holstead was educated at Troy Conference Academy, Poultney, N.Y., and made special study of painting, becoming quite skilled in the use of the brush. Mr. Holstead, in politics, has always adhered to the Republican party.


FRANKLIN DAVIS was the First Coroner of Tama county. He was first elected in August, 1853, and re-elected two years later. He was born in Harrison county, West Virginia, May 2, 1817. He is a son of Phineas and Rheudaman (Randolph) Davis, who were natives of the same State and were both born in a block-house, which was built to serve as a refuge from the Indians. His parents had five sons and four daughters, all but two sons of whom are now living. His mother died and his father married Miss Eliza Maxon, by whom there were four children, all now living in Ohio. The subject of this sketch was the oldest son, and was reared on the farm, receiving but a limited education in a log school house. The first school he attended was in a log cabin, which could boast of no better floor than the solid earth. The seats were made of slabs, with holes bored in each end, and pins driven in for legs. He remembered well one mode of punishment – the victim was required to hang his coat on a stake, which was driven into the floor, and was then made to whip it until the teacher told him to cease. In the fall of 1831, Mr. Davis left Virginia and went with his parents to Champaign county, Ohio. He was married, Apr 6, 1837, to Miss Maranda Briton, a daughter of Nathan Britton, of Pennsylvania. By this union there were four children, two of whom are now living, Sarah J. and Charles B. In the fall of 1845, he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Linn county, where he purchased land and remained eight years. In May, 1853, he came to Tama county and located on the place where he now lives. Throughout his career, Mr. Davis has maintained a high character, and, wherever known, is honored and respected. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are member of the Regular Baptist church, of which they have been warm supporters for many years. In politics he is a Republican, having affiliated with that party since its organization.

CLINTON OLNEY succeeded Mr. Davis as Coroner, being elected in August, 18957, and serving two years. He was a native of New York State, born in July, 1805. He came to Tama county with his family from Michigan, in June, 1855, and located in Toledo, where he was engaged at teaming, filli9ng mail contracts and various occupations. He remained in Toledo until the time of his death, which occurred in April, 1880. He was quiet and rather retired in disposition, and was a man of strict integrity. His son is now Deputy Auditor.

In October, 1859, T. W. Jackson was selected Coroner. He was a lawyer, living at Toledo, and is noticed at length in the chapter upon the Bar of the county. It seems he did not qualify as Coroner.

I. J. WILKINS was elected to fill the vacancy, in November, 1860. Mr. Wilkins was a Free Will Baptist preacher, and a genial, talkative gentleman. He still resides in Toledo, well advanced in years.

G. W. COWLES was elected Coroner to succeed Mr. Wilkins, at the general election in 1861. He still lives in Tama City.

I. J. WILKINS was again elected in the fall of 1862.

FRANKLIN DAVIS, who is mentioned as being the first Coroner, was again elected in October, 1863, ten years after his first election to the office.

In October, 1865, NATHAN FISHER was elected Coroner, and being re-elected in 1867 and 1869, served for six years. Nathan Fisher is now Justice of the Peace, at Toledo. He was born in Clinton county, Ohio, September 4, 1815. His parents were James and Margaret (Hockett) Fisher, the former a native of Kent county, Delaware; the latter of Guilford County, North Carolina. The father died in 1873, the mother in 1877. There were four children in the family, two boys and two girls, three of whom are now living—Rebecca, Nathan and Daniel. Jane died in 1835. Nathan was reared in Ohio until he was twenty, then moved with his parents to Indiana, locating in Hamilton county, twenty miles north of Indianapolis. He was here engaged in farming for twenty years. July 30, 1835, Mr. Fisher was united in marriage with Miss Sarah G. Powell, daughter of Emery and Annie (Roton) Powell, natives of Delaware. In 1853, he moved to Tama county, locating in Carroll township, on section 28, where he entered 320 acres, and engaged in farming until 1858. That year he came to Toledo, where he has since lived. When he came to Toledo, he first engaged in the manufacture of brick. In 1862, he was elected Justice of the Peace of Toledo township, which office he ha held ever since, with the exception of one year. In 1857-58, he held the office of Drainage Commissioner, giving bonds to the amount of $10,000; but he states that, during the tow years, he did not do five cents’ worth of business. He has also been Township Trustee, and a member of the City of Council of Toledo. Mr. Fisher is a staunch Republican, and has been since the organization of that party. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have had a family of seven children—James E., now living in Kellogg, Jasper county, Iowa; Melissa J., wife of J. R. Haworth, of Iowa Falls; Martha A. , Harriet, died in 1842; Mary, wife of Andres Wise, died February 6, 1883, in North county, Kansas; Caroline M., wife of John K. Lux; and Margaret E., wife of C. S. Bailey, of Buffalo county, Nebraska.

M. A. NEWCOMB succeeded Fisher, by the election in 1871. In 1883, he was still a resident of Tama county, living in Tama township.

G. W. COWLES came next, but either did not qualify or resigned before the expiration of his term of office.

In the fall of 1874, E. M. Bielby was elected Coroner.

J. C. KENDRICK was elected in 1875; was re-elected in 1877 and 1879, and served for six years.

In 1881, Dr. H. C. MYERS was chosen to the office, but did not qualify.

At the general election, in the fall of 1882, J. C. KENDRICK was elected Coroner of the county. He was born in Columbia county, Ohio, August 22, 1833. His parents were David and Jane (Henderson) Kendrick. The former was a native of New Hampshire, and the latter of Ireland. When of sufficient years, J. C. learned the trade of a mason, which occupation he afterward followed the grater share of the time while in the State of Ohio. In April, 1865, he removed to Tama county, Iowa, locating on a farm two miles southeast of Toledo. Upon coming to this county, Mr. Kendrick brought with him, a thousand sheep, and for three years was engaged in sheep raising. At the end of that time, however, he found the business an unprofitable one, and therefore disposed of them. He has held the office of Constable six years, and is now serving his fourth term as Coroner of the county. In politics, he is a Republican. He was married, in August, 1858, choosing for a wife Miss Elizabeth Case, a native of Portage, Ohio. They have one child living—Owen B., born June 22, 1859. Mr. Kendrick is a member of Hiram of Tyre Lodge, A. F. & A. M. , of Tama city.


The first to fill this office was NOAH MYERS. The particulars regarding the various School Fund Commissioners, and also


Will be found in connection with the chapter upon educational matters.


Shortly after Tama county was organized, an act was passed by the General Assembly, abolishing the office of Township Assessor throughout the State, and creating the one above named. The object was to have one man assess the whole county. In April, 1857, J. P. WOOD was elected County Assessor, and was the first, last and only one elected, as the work was found to be too much for one man to attend to, and this office was abolished, and the work of assessing reverted to the old township system, which is still in force.


In early days, each county had what was termed a County Prosecuting Attorney, to prosecute State cases, before the courts sitting in the various counties. The first Prosecuting Attorney, of Tama county, was JOHN HOUSTON, who was elected in March 1853.

ALFORD PHILLIPS succeeded Huston, being elected in August, 1854. He is still a resident of the county seat, and is one of the wealthiest men in the county.

In August, 1856, NATHAN D. WIETING was elected Prosecuting Attorney, and served until the office was abolished by law, and that of District Attorney created in its stead. Sketchers of some of the gentlemen who have held this office will be found in connection with the Bar Chapter.


The first Drainage Commissioner, for Tama County, was ANTHONY WILKINSON, one of the very first settlers in the county. He was elected in April, 1854.

The next was NATHAN FISHER, who was elected in April, 1857. He has held various offices in the county, and is noticed elsewhere in this volume.

In 1859, Z. T. SHUGART was elected Drainage Commissioner, and was re-elected in 1861.

T. B. MARTIN succeeded Shugart, being elected in October, 1863.

W. S. TURBETT, who was elected in 1867, is the next Drainage Commissioner shown by the records to have been elected. He is one of the early settlers of the county,--was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1820. His parents ere Thomas and Nancy (Wallace) Turbett. The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools and in Dickerson College. When seventeen years of age he commenced teaching school and at nineteen he embarked in mercantile business. March 3, 19854, he married Sarah Nidigh, a daughter of Daniel Nidigh, of Perry county, Pennsylvania. Six children have been born to them: Henry C., Daniel W., Thomas J., William F., Ella and James. In 1853, Mr. Turbett went to Crawford county, Ohio, where he spent one year clerking in a store. In 1856, he removed to Davenport, Iowa, and in May, 1856, came to Toledo, where he engaged in the butcher business, being the first that Toledo can boast of. This business he followed for several years, when he opened a general store, in which he continued until 1876. Mr. Turbett has been identified with the county for many years, and has lived to see many changes take place in Toledo and vicinity. Mr. Turbett, in politics, is a staunch Democrat, having cast his vote with that party ever since he reached his majority.

In October, 1869, E. T. GALLION was the choice of the people for this office, and was the last person to fill it. The office has been abolished by law.

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