In this connection, are presented, histories of the most important organizations of Tama county. Where it was possible to obtain information, a synopsis of the object and mode of operation, of the several organizations, are given.


This society was organized by the pioneers of the county in 1872. The first meeting was held on the 17th day of October, at the court house, in Toledo. Rezin A. Redman was chosen Chairman, and Thomas A. Graham, Secretary. Speeches were made by many of the old settlers, advocating the organization upon a sound and permanent basis, as a means of keeping alive and further cementing old friendships, and renewing among the participants old ties and associations. Such business as presented itself was transacted, and the meeting adjourned to meet October 24. At this meeting the organization was made complete, constitution and by-laws adopted, and the time fixed for holding annual meetings upon the second Wednesday of October. The constitution provided that any person who had been in Tama county for fifteen years, could become a member of the society by signing a record kept for the purpose by the Secretary. The first officers were as follows: President, Anthony Wilkinson, Secretary, David D. Appelgate; Treasurer, Franklin DAVIS.

Thomas S. Free, D. F. Bruner, W. H. Stivers and John T. Ames were appointed a committee to compile a history of the early settlers of the county.

This organization continued in force for several years, when it was dropped.


In the spring of 1883 the society was re-organized. The following officers were elected:

President—John Ramsdell, of Tama City.
Vice-President—A. J. Wheaton, of Toledo.
Secretary—George L. Bailey, of Toledo.
Treasurer—Leander Clark, of Toledo.

At this meeting it was decided to have a grand re-union in the summer of 1883, to talk over old times, and to renew and strengthen the ties of friendship formed in days of pioneer life.

At this time the Union Publishing Company, of Springfield, Ill., were engaged in the preparation of the “History of Tama County,” and to ensure its correctness, committees were appointed to revise, correct and approve the different departments of the work. The following were the gentlemen appointed to examine the general history:

Hon. George R. Struble, of Toledo, Hon. Leander Clark, of Toledo; J. H. Hollen, of

Tama City; W. C. Salsbury, of Le Grand; J. C. Vermilya, of Tama City; D. F. Bruner, of Toledo; Daniel Conell, of Gladbrook.

To this list, were added as a reserve committee:
Ex-Gov. Joseph Dysart, of Dysart; James A. Willey, of Salt Creek; Samuel Giger, of Howard.

The following Vice-Presidents for the various townships were appointed:
Highland—J. B. Merritt.
Columbia—Leonard Stoddard.
Richland—James F. Cram.
Salt Creek—Anthony Wilkinson.
Indian Village—C. J. Stevens.
Tama—W. T. Hollen.
Toledo—Franklin Davis.
Otter Creek—Abram Tompkins.
York—Charles Mason.
Carlton—John Peterson.
Howard—D. K. Gallagher.
Carroll—George M. Fee.
Oneida—J. W. Barton.
Spring Creek—W. B. King.
Crystal—J. S. Townsend.
Clark—Joseph Dysart.
Lincoln—J. F. G. Cold.
Grant—Robert Whannell.
Buckingham—J. V. B. Green.
Genesco—T. R. McIlhinney.
Perry—T. F. Clark.

The certificates of the general committee, and of the committees appointed by the various Vice-Presidents, are given elsewhere in this volume.


During the winter of 1872-3, the project of organizing a Tama county insurance company was quite extensively discussed among the farmers of Tama county, and on the 11th of March, 1873, a meeting was held at the White Pigeon school house, in Carlton township, at which an organization was effected. The name adopted was the Farmer’s Mutual Aid Company. At this time, it embraced only the townships of Spring Creek, Crystal, Howard and Carlton, but later, this was extended so as to embrace the whole county. Risks were carried on all farm property, household furniture, stock, barns, grain and hay; but the towns and cities were not included. As the name implies, it was to be strictly for the benefit of farmers, as against fire and lightning.

At this meeting, L. F. Hammitt, was elected President; D. H. Patterson, Secretary; and Samuel Giger, Treasurer. At first the business of the company did not fully come up to the expectations of the founders; but it soon improved and was very successful. In December, 1878, the Company was carrying risks to the amount of $1,032,141; and during the year 1878, paid losses to the amount of $1,816.55, making total running expenses for the year $1,992.51.

The presiding officers have been L. F. Hammitt, Franklin Davis, Mr. Townsend, and John McClain. The present officers are as follows: President, John McClain; Secretary, David McCormick; Treasurer, J. Q. Clark, of Toledo. The company is now prospering finely, and the enterprise has, in every way, proved an entire success, the policies being held by farmers all over the county.

The company is at present, carrying risks to the amount of $649,800. The total losses paid since organization amount to about $14,264. The Association promises to become one of the substantial institutions of the county.


This is a Tama county enterprise, having been organized by some of the prominent citizens of Toledo, on the 8th day of April, 1882, with headquarters at Toledo. The first officers elected were: President, N. H. Wilder; First Vice-President, H. S. Thompson; Second Vice-President, W. H. Harrison; Treasurer, P. J. Wieting; Secretary, W. H. Harrison, Jr.; Counsellor, W. J. Ham; Actuary, N. C. Wieting; Medical Director, E. R. Smith, M. D. The enterprise met with marked favor and success, and within a year from its organization had nine hundred members. The mutual plan was adopted, making all equally interested, and giving the right to every certificate holder of casting as many votes at the annual elections as were expressed in his certificate. The association issues endowment certificates, which mature in from six to eighteen years, according to the age of the applicant at the time of issuance. Certificates are issued for one, two and three thousand dollars, not to exceed the latter. The rates of membership fee of Division A are $8 upon the first thousand, and $4 upon each additional thousand. The annual dues are $4 for the first, and $2 on each subsequent thousand. Assessments will not increase with the age of a member.

The funds to meet certificates matured by death, and those matured during life, after exhausting the reserved fund set apart for that year, are raised by assessment upon the members of each division.

The beneficiaries of those certificates which mature by death within five years of the date of the same will receive fifty per cent of the amount expressed therin; the net remainder being set apart in “The Reserve Benefit Fund,” which must be invested, according to the articles of incorporation, in United States bonds or bonds of the State of Iowa or other equally safe securities. This reserve will accumulate until 1892, when the association will begin to use the same to pay certificates matured during life. One-tenth of the same will be set apart at the beginning of each year for that purpose, and no assessment can be made until the amount set apart has been exhausted.

Those who die any time after the close of the fifth year will receive the full amount of their certificates. The net cash result of an assessment when this division has less than 1,200 members shall be a payment in full of a certificate that matures during that time, provided there shall not be paid more than the amount due at the time as named in the certificate.

Division B is entirely separate and independent of Division A, and members of this will not be assessed for claims in Division A. It offers to persons between sixty-five and seventy-five years of age, all the benefits of endowment insurance.

Those who die within three years from date of certificate will receive the amount of an assessment, not to exceed one-half the amount of their certificate. The remainder, not to exceed one-half the amount of certificate, goes into the reserve fund of this division, and the balance, if any, carried to the assessment fund.

Those who die after three years will receive the full amount of an assessment, not to exceed the amount of their certificate. The reserve benefit fund of this division will be invested in the same class of securities as the reserve fund in Division A, and be used exclusively in the payment of life-matured certificates in this division.

Under this plan the member remaining until his certificate matures is doubly assured of its payment, while the assessments are thus lessened, and the association is rendered perfectly sound, and the certificate holder safe.

The articles of incorporation provide that the reserves and accrued interest shall be used only to pay matured certificates. Hence they cannot be used for expenses, salaries, or any other purpose.

Life matured certificates will be paid within ninety days of proof of identity and surrender of certificate.

Those maturing by death will be paid within ninety days of satisfactory proof of death of member.

The present officers of the Iowa Mutual Benefit Association are as follows: N. H. Wilder, (President Toledo City Bank,) President: H. S. Thompson, (lumber merchant, ) Vice-President; P. G. Wieting, (Cashier Toledo City Bank,) Treasurer; W. H. Harrison, Jr., (wholesale bookseller,) Secretary; E. R. Smith, M. D., Medical Director.

General Agents: W. W. Lacey, E. Buck, W. W. Smith, James W. Ballard.


This association was incorporated by M. S. Drury, William H. Harrison, J. L. Drury, W. F. Johnston, and E. C. Ebersole, on April 20, 1883, at Toledo, under the code of 1873. The officers elected were: President, E. B. Ebersole; Treasurer, W. F. Johnston; Secretary, J. L. Drury; Actuary, W. H. Harrison; Vice President, M. S. Drury.

The articles of incorporation declared as follows: “The object of this association was to afford benefits to its members, or their beneficiaries, in such manner, and upon the terms and conditions specified.

The principal place of business shall be at Toledo, in Tama county, Iowa.

The private property of the officers, trustees, and members shall be exempt from the debts of the corporation.

The affairs of this association shall be managed by a board of five trustees, which shall consist of M. S. Drury, Wm. H. Harrison, Sr., J. L. Drury, W. F. Johnston, and E. C. Ebersole, and their successors, and in case of a vacancy occurring by the death, resignation, or refusal to act, or removal from office for any cause, of any of said trustees, those who remain shall fill such vacancy by appointment.

A majority of all the trustees shall constitute a quorum at any meeting/

The Board of Trustees shall have power to elect a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers and agents as they may deem necessary to carry on the business of the association, from their own number, or otherwise, and to fix their terms of office and compensation.

Any person between fifteen and sixty-five years of age may become a member upon the conditions herein named.

The Board of Trustees may enact such by-laws, not inconsistent with these articles, as they may deem expedient for the proper transaction of the business of the corporation.

Any person of proper age, may become a member by paying to the association a membership fee, as follows: On a certificate of $1000, six dollars; of $2000, eight dollars; of $3000, ten dollars; of $4000, twelve dollars; of $5000, fourteen dollars.

For the purpose of paying the running expenses of the association, each member, in addition to the membership fee, shall be required to pay at such time as the Board of Trustees shall fix, by by-law and annual due, as follows: On $1000, $2000,$3000, $4000 and $5000, not to exceed $5000 to any one member, by which the association shall agree to pay to the holder thereof, at the time stated in the certificates, the sums therein named.

If any member die before his certificate matures his beneficiary, or assignee, if any such appears on the books of association, and if not, his heirs shall be entitled to receive, and the association shall pay upon his certificate, the actual amount paid therein to the association, including membership fee, all assessments and annual dues, and the amount paid shall be in full satisfaction of said certificate, and all claims to be made upon the same against the association.

The money to pay the amounts due on certificates of deceased member, that is those dying before their certificates mature, shall be raised by assessment upon those remaining, the assessments to be graded according to the age of the member at the time of joining, on each one thousand dollars of benefit.

The assessments shall not increase with the age of members, but shall remain the same as at the time of joining.

The association shall keep a separate account with each of the following funds: 1. The Membership Fund; 2. The Expense Fund; 3. The Surplus Fund; 4. The Death Fund; 5. The Endowment Fund; 6. The Maturity Fund.

The Membership Fund shall consist of membership fees and shall be used to pay agents for securing members for the association.  The surplus, if any, may at the end of any fiscal year be carried to the Expense Fund, if the trustees shall deem it expedient.

The annual dues shall be charged to the Expense Fund.  This fund shall be used to defray the expenses incident to the management of the affairs of the association, including the reasonable salaries of its trustees, officers, and agents, except soliciting agents, who must be paid wholly out of the Membership Fund.  Any excess remaining of the Expense Fund, at the end of any fiscal year, may, at the discretion of the trustees, be carried to the Surplus Fund.

The Surplus Fund shall consist of such funds as may be transferred to it from the Expense Fund.  This fund or any portion of it may at the discretion of the trustees be transferred at the end of any fiscal year up to January 1, A. D. 1889, to the Endowment Fund, after that to the Maturity Fund.  But the trustees may, if they see proper, allow the Surplus Fund to accumulate, for the purpose of procuring a proper site and erecting suitable buildings for the use of the association.

The Death Fund shall consist of the proceeds of assessments made on the death of members, and shall be used first to pay the amount due upon the certificate of the member on account of whose death the assessment was made.  The surplus of each assessment shall be carried to the Endowment Fund up to January 1, A. D. 1889, after that to the Maturity Fund.

The Endowment Fund shall consist of such moneys as may be transferred to it from the Surplus and Death Funds and the interest accumulating thereon up to January 1, A. D. 1889.  This fund must always be kept invested in interest-bearing bonds of the United States, or the State of Iowa, or in first mortgages on real estate.  The interest arising from the Endowment Fund, after January 1, A. D. 1889, shall be carried to the Maturity Fund.

The Maturity Fund shall consist of interest on the Endowment Fund as provided in the last section, and of such moneys as may be transferred to it from the Surplus or Death Funds.  This fund shall be used to pay only matured certificates, and if at any time, there is not sufficient money in this fund to pay the certificates which have matured, the deficiency shall be met by an assessment of the members which shall be apportioned among the members in the same ratio as the assessments made upon the death of a member.

It shall be the duty of the trustees to keep all the funds of the association invested so far as practicable, either in interest bearing U. S. or Iowa bonds, or in first mortgages on real estate, and the books and records of the association shall always be open to the inspection of members.

In case of the death of any member, such proof must be presented within six months from the date of death, as the trustees shall fix in the by-laws.

Within thirty days after the proof of death of any member has been presented to the association, the Secretary shall notify all remaining members to forward within thirty days their pro rata assessments.  Should any member fail to forward his assessments by the time limited in such notice, he shall forfeit all his rights as a member, with all sums he has paid.  The placing in the postoffice at Toledo, Iowa, of a notice of any assessment properly stamped and directed tot he member, at his address, as it appears upon the books of the association, shall be deemed sufficient notice.

The same rule was to apply to a case of failure to pay dues, any person forfeiting his membership may be reinstated upon such terms as the board of trustees may fix.

The trustees may reduce, but not raise the death assessments or annual dues.

All matured certificates and amounts due on certificates of deceased members, shall be paid within ninety days after proof.

Certificates may be assigned with the consent of the association.

The indebtedness of the association shall not exceed $10,000, except on endowment certificates.

This association may be dissolved and its affairs wound up at any time when four-fifths of the trustees are of the opinion that it would be of advantage to the members, or upon the written petition of two-thirds of the members, and all the money and property belonging to the association, shall, after paying expenses, be distributed proportionately among the members in good standing.

It was also declared that the articles of incorporation could be amended by a three-fifths vote of all the trustees present at any regular meeting, provided the amended right would not impair the vested rights of any member of the association.

Tama Co. Home Page Table of Contents Biography List Portrait List Certificates Chapter XV