Taylor County, Iowa History 1881 by Lyman Evans
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: email@example.com)
In 1857 there were not to exceed three families in Marshall township. In 1855 people commenced flowing to Taylor county from the eastern part of the State and an impetus was given to business. About this time, or perhaps a little before it, W. H. Allison and J. Majors laid off some town lots in the southwest corner of Marshall township, and called them Lexington. For a time it presented strong opposition to Bedford, claiming that as it was the nearest the geographical center of the county, the seat of justice should be removed from Bedford to Lexington. Considerable business was done at Lexington for several years, but as the settlements were principally south, Lexington gradually died out and the erection of the court-house at Bedford in 1864, extinguished its last hope. It is now the property of Rev. O. B. Pershin, of Bedford. The county-poor house and farm are near it. It is not far from the home of John S. Boyd, who came to the township in 1851, and taught the first school within it.
The first Presbyterian Church in Taylor county was organized at Lexington, Clayton township, June 27, 1857, Rev. L. G. Bell, a missionary of the Board of Domestic Missions, being president. The society was placed under the care of the Council Bluffs Presbytery, and called the Hundred and Two River Church. This name was changed, or rather the society was merged in that of the Bedford Presbyterian Church, at a meeting of the Presbytery in Afton, Union county, in September, 1860. The original members of the church at Lexington, were James Mitchell, Mary J. Aiken, K. O. McCandless, Sinah McCandless, J. Gavin and Eliza Gavin. The Rev. Mr. Stryker was the first regular pastor.
Among other early settlers of Marshall township were P. H. Nelson, who came in 1858; Simeon Wright, in 1857; G. W. Wallace, in 1856; William Schwemley, 1856; N. P. Nelson, in 1858 and Josiah Litteer, in 1854. These gentlemen are now living, and all of them have succeeded in amassing considerable fortunes.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was built through the township in 1871. The Humeston & Shenandoah line is now being constructed (page 601) through the township, and crosses the C., B. & Q. about three and one half miles above Conway. It is not the intention of the Humeston company to locate a town in the township, but will be content with a "Y" at the crossing.
The soil of Marshall township is of a superior quality, and grows prolifically all kinds of grains and vegetables. An industry that would pay in this, and other townships, is fruit and vegetable canning. In other places in the State less favored as to physical advantages and opportunities for shipment, this business is being prosecuted to the financial advantage of all interested. The soil of this county is as good, if not better, for vegetables, while for fruit it is vastly superior, and the climate far more favorable than counties farther east and north. The railroad advantages are good to-day and will be really superior when the Humeston & Shenandoah shall have been completed to this county. Capitalists seeking an opening in this direction cannot find a county in Iowa that presents better advantages.
Flax is an important product of Marshall and other townships of Taylor county. It could be made more profitable to the producer if there were factories in the county, which there no doubt will be at a day not far distant. For the manufacturing of flax straw into tow, a factory with the capacity of one and one-half to two and one-half tons per day can be established for from eight to ten thousand dollars. The yield of straw will be from one and one-half to two and one-half tons per acre. Three and one-half to five tons of straw, according to quality, will make a ton of tow, which will be worth from $30 to $50. The farmers of this county would hail with delight the establishment of a tow factory, and would support it handsomely. The fact that the straw is a total loss deters the farmers generally from raising flax. When we remember that S. Louis is the best tow market in the world, Taylor county must be considered favorable located for the prosecution of this industry.
Marshall township has good schools; some of the best teachers in the county have been tutored in its rural districts. John S. Boyd, who taught the first school, is a man of fine attainments. N. P. Nelson, who quit the school-room for the business of banking, had few equals in the county as a teacher.
ALTER, ISAAC W., farmer and stock-raiser, section twenty-four, post-office Conway, was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1850, where he grew to manhood and was educated in the common schools and Mt. Pleasant Academy. He was married in January, 1873, to Miss Anna Yound, of Shelby county, Iowa. They have one child (adopted), Harry P. Mr. and Mrs. Altar are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, in which he holds the position of clerk. They own eighty acres of choice land which is in good cultivation, and from their residence have a splendid view of the surrounding country.
BOYD, JOHN S., farmer and stock-raiser, section thirty-two, post-office Conway, was born in Jefferson county, New York, June 14, 1835. When seven years old his parents, John and Eliza Boyd, moved to Ohio, and settled near Cleveland, where our subject was reared and educated. In 1857, owing to impaired health, he followed the injunction of Greeley, and came west, reaching this county July 30, of that year, after having walked from Mt. Pleasant, that being the terminus of the railroad at that time. He then engaged in teaching; organized and taught the first school in Marshall township, receiving eighteen dollars per month for his services. In the spring of 1857 he was chosen county superintendent, to serve the unexpired term of Josiah Litteer, and was elected to that position at the next general election; served two years, and was succeeded by Mr. Snow, who served one term, when our subject was again chosen to that office. He was married March 21, 1860, to Miss Surrelda E. Raynolds, of Ohio, born February 22, 1839. They are the parents of eight children; four are living: Annie B., Frank N., Jessie E. and Bruce B.; Alice C. died in 1863 and Eliza J., Geo M. and Martha B. in September, 1875, within twelve days of each other, and all died of diptheria. Mr. Boyd is the owner of 800 acres of land in a high state of cultivation; has a fine house and barn, large bearing orchard, etc. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd are members of the M. E. Church, and have always taken great interest in the moral and intellectual development of the country.
BREWER, J. M., farmer and stock-raiser, section one, post-office Lenox, was born in Massachusetts in 1848, and came to Illinois with his parents when three years of age, and there grew to manhood, receiving his education in the common schools. In 1871 he moved to Adams county, and two years later came to his present location. Was married in Illinois, June 1869, to Miss A. E. Besse. They are the parents of five children: (page 741) William N., Mabel and ___ living; Mary L. and Cora are deceased. Mr. Brewer possesses a farm of 120 acres, nearly all in cultivation; has a comfortable house, good barn, young orchard, etc. He commenced on the raw prairie, and has transformed the wild waste into a beautiful home.
DANIELS, J. P., dealer in general merchandise, Conway, a native of Oneida county, New York, was born November 14, 1833, in the city of Utica. His parents being poor he was placed in the cotton-mills to labor for one and a half dollars per week, but being naturally active and quick to learn, he soon became more proficient and commanded two and a half dollars per day at the time he retired from that occupation. He then engaged in boating on the canal lines, and followed that business two years after which he purchased a small tract of timber land in Madison county, New York, and made it into a farm. He subsequently sold his farm and moved to Henry county, Illinois, and engaged in farming for fourteen years. He came to Iowa in May, 1867, and located in this county, three and a half miles north of Conway. Since coming to this county he has improved several farms. Subject quit farming and came to Conway where he engaged in blacksmithing for several years; he then purchased a stock of groceries and has since been in that business. He was married in 1858 to Miss Sarah Stephens, of Knox county, Illinois. They are the parents of twelve children, four of whom are deceased. Mr. Daniels is a member of the Christian Church.
DANIELS, THOMAS W., dealer in furniture, Conway, was ushered into this life, in Oswego county, New York, September 12, 1841, and received his education in the Utica high school. When about fifteen years old he moved with his parents to Illinois, and settled in Henry county, engaging in farming for a time, then learned the carpenter trade, and followed that business until 1861. At the first call for troops he determined to lend his aid to the Union cause, and accordingly enlisted in company D, Twelfth Illinois infantry volunteers, and served three months, then reenlisted in the One Hundred and twentieth Indiana volunteers and served nearly three years. Took part in the battle of Jackson, Tennessee, also in the siege and capture of Vicksburg; engaged in scouting in Arkansas about two years and was mustered out at Pine Bluff, June 12, 1865. At the close of the war he returned to Springfield, Illinois, and engaged at his trade. In 1871 subject moved to Kansas and remained four years, then came to Taylor county and worked at carpentering. Visited California in 1878, and returned in the fall of that year, and in the following spring made a second trip to the gold fields. He again returned to Taylor county, and in the fall of 1880 engaged in the furniture business at Conway, He was (page 742) married in 1867 to Miss Sarah E. Griffith. They have five sons and one daughter. Mr. Daniels is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
DOCKSTADER, K., proprietor Conway Grain Elevator, is a native of the Empire State, born August 25, 1846. Three years thereafter his parents moved to Lee county, Illinois, where our subject grew to manhood and acquired a liberal education. In 1872 Mr. D. engaged in the grain trade at Paw Paw, Lee county, which business he has since made his chief study. Came to Taylor county in 1880, for the purpose of embarking in the grain trade, and selected Conway as his place for operations. In October of that year he began the erection of an elevator, which for convenience and capacity is not excelled in southwestern Iowa. Its storage capacity is upwards of 20,000 bushels. The facilities for handling grain are much greater than those of any other elevator in the county. Every improvement of importance is to be found; the wagon-dumper, an ingenious contrivance, enables the patrons of this market to unload with ease and dispatch. Subject is possessed of ample capital to do an unlimited independent business, thus assuring the highest market price for everything in his line. Was married October 26, 1869, to Miss Marietta Griffin, also a native of New York State. Mr. D. and lady are a very estimable couple, are popular in the community in which they live, and possess sufficient means to enjoy the comforts of life.
DUNN, D. M., proprietor Union House, Conway, is a native of the Empire State, born in Ontario county in 1827, where he was educated and grew to manhood. He is a son of the Hon. Hiram Dunn, of New York, who represented his district in Congress several terms. He was married when in his nineteenth year to Miss Eliza Walters, daughter of the celebrated Dr. Luman Walters, of New York. In 1849 subject moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he engaged in conducting a large, first-class hotel. He was also engaged in an extensive clothing business for several years previous to his coming to Taylor county. In the spring of 1878 he settled in Conway and engaged in the hotel and livery business. In January, 1881, he became proprietor of the Union House, which is one of the finest hotels in the county, being a large three-story frame with stone basement, containing thirty well-furnished sleeping rooms, besides parlors, office and billiard hall, and will compare favorably with any house in southwestern Iowa. Mr. D. is a man of active and energetic business disposition, and has done much to further the interests of Conway since locating there. In 1874 Mrs. Dunn was taken away, leaving one child, Cora, which he has given a liberal education, she being a graduate of Battle Creek high school, of Battle Creek, Michigan, and is now a teacher in that institution. Subject was again married (page 743) in 1874, to Mrs. Mary Tottle, a widow lady of Battle Creek, and a lady of excellent taste and refinement.
ELLIS, W. C., of Ellis Brothers, grain-dealers, Conway, is a native of Wisconsin, born May 6, 1845. His youth was spent on a farm and in attending the common schools. In 1864 he came to Iowa, locating in Polk county and engaged in farming in summer and teaching during the winter months. He moved to Taylor county in 1875, located on a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits until the spring of 1880, at which time he engaged in the grain business at Conway. On the first of January, 1881, he engaged in the sale of agricultural implements with his brother, T. G. Ellis. The firm is now doing a prosperous business. Subject was married in August, 1871, to Miss Emma Faucet, of Polk county, Iowa. They have three children, a son and two daughters. Mrs. Ellis is engaged in the millinery business on Main Street, where she carries a large stock of the best goods, and receives a liberal patronage.
GEARHART, J. H., blacksmith, Conway, a native of Orange county, Missouri, born November 12, 1845. He grew to manhood in his native county and was educated in the Jefferson City schools. His father being a blacksmith he was taken into the shop as a helper and there learned the trade. On March 6, 1862, he enlisted in the Sixth Missouri cavalry and served three years, participating in some of the hardest fought battles of the war; engaged at Champion's Hill, Vicksburg and Jacksonville, Mississippi; was with Banks in his unfortunate Red River expedition, also in the seven day fight on the retreat to Alexandria; returned to New Orleans and afterward took part in the operations against Mobile; was mustered out in February, 1865, and returned to Missouri, where he engaged at his trade for a time, then became irregular in business, visiting cities in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, finally settling in Conway in the spring of 1881. Was married in 1870, to Miss Sarah E. Vannice. They are the parents of six children: Addie, Asher, Cora, Hartford, Guy and Harry. Mr. Gearhart is a member of the A. F. & A. M.
GOODSILL, M. C., of Goodsill Brothers, merchants, Conway, is a native of McHenry county, Illinois, born May 17, 1851. His youth was spent on a farm and his education obtained in the public schools and in a commercial college which he attended after he had arrived at man's estate. Came to Conway in January, 1879, and has since made it his home. Subject is now managing the large mercantile business of Goodsill Brothers & Anderson, Conway. The firm occupies a handsome building and carries one of the largest stocks of general merchandise in the county. They are also members of the Conway Lumber Company and have an interest in the Conway (page 744) Mills. Mr. Goodsill is a man of extraordinary business capacity, is industrious, enterprising, and has done much for the upbuilding of the town. In 1877 he was married in Mills county, Iowa, to Miss Effie Lockwood, a lady of great culture and refinement. They are a very estimable couple, always ready to contribute to those in need, as well as to every worthy enterprise, and possess a pleasant home.
HARREL, J. M., farmer and fruit-grower, section 21, post-office Conway, born in Greene county, Indiana, December 4, 1840, was raised on a farm and received a common school education. At the breaking out of the war he enlisted in company D, Fourteenth Indiana infantry volunteers and served nineteen months and was discharged on account of gun-shot wound in left knee; was in the battles of Rich Mountain, Green Brier, Cheat Mountain, Winchester (below Richmond), Harrison's Landing, Second Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam. At the last named place he was wounded, also again at Fredericksburg; was honorably discharged and draws a pension of twelve dollars per month. Subject moved to Wappello county, Iowa, in 1869, remained there until the spring of 1875, when he came to this county. He was married in 1862, to Miss Elnora Neil, then living in Indiana, but a native of the Buckeye State. They have had eleven children: Abraham L., Clara A., Elmer N., Thaddeus V., Lovell L. and Ralston G., living; William M., Francis M., Sarah A., Emma M. and John R. deceased. Mr. Harrel owns a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres of splendid land and has a good home. He is a comitted member of the I.O.O.F. and also a member of the Christian Church.
HOWARD, H. M., blacksmith and wagon-maker, Conway, a native of the Empire State, born July 29, 1825. While an infant his parents moved to Ohio, and settled in Ashtabula county, where our subject was reared and educated. When about sixteen years of age he learned the blacksmith trade, after which he purchased a shop and engaged in business for himself. In 1861 he enlisted in company I, Twenty-second Ohio infantry volunteers, and served three years. He enlisted as a private but was promoted to the position of second lieutenant on account of meritorious service which he performed. Participated in battles of Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Mount Union, Gettysburg and many others equally important. Resigned his position in the early part of 1865, and returned to Morrow county, Ohio, where he worked at his trade two years; came to Taylor county in 1867, and has since made this his home. Mr. Howard owns a good farm in Washington township besides a fine residence and large shop in Conway, and is doing an extensive business in blacksmithing and wagon making. Was married in November, 1848, to Miss Olive Avery, a lady of intelligence (page 745) and taste. Of their children three are living and three are dead. Mr. and Mrs. Howard are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
JOLLEY, Col. J. H., attorney at law and real estate agent, post-office Conway, native of Brown county, Ohio, born November 6, 1836; was there reared to manhood and educated in the schools at Ripley; worked on a farm until seventeen years of age, then engaged in the milling business. At the breaking out of the war he enlisted in the State service and remained on the border until 1862, when he reenlisted in the Eight-ninth Ohio infantry volunteers; was elected captain and served in that capacity for some time. As senior captain he had command of his regiment for six months; was then promoted to position of major and served in that capacity until the close of the war, having command of his regiment most of the time. His title "Col." was a brevet title received during the war. As commander of his regiment he participated in many hard fought battles, always acquitting himself with distinction. When the war was over he returned to Ohio and engaged in farming for two years. Came to Taylor county in 1868, farmed for two seasons, then moved to Bedford and engaged as salesman for Richards & Thompson, in the mercantile business; served in that capacity for four years, then removed to Conway and embarked in the lumber trade two years, sold out and engaged in the real estate business with N. P. Nelson. He then took up the study of the law; was admitted to the bar in 1870, and has since dealt in "Legal Lore". Mr. Jolly was married in 1875 to Miss Mary E. Fulton, of this county; two children have blessed their union: Warde S. and Bessie B. He is connected with the Odd Fellow and Masonic orders.
LIGGETT, Dr. H. B., Conway, born in Summit county, Ohio, September 30, 1844. While quite young his parents became residents of Cardington, of that State. There our subject was reared, receiving a liberal education in the high school of that place. In 1862 he enlisted in company O, Eighty-fifth Ohio volunteer infantry; served four months and was discharged at Columbus, his time having expired. He then returned to Cardington and attended school until 1865 when he came to this county. Remained here one year then returned to Ohio and engaged in the study of medicine at Cardington with Dr. E. B. Mosher with whom he continued his studies two years. He then attended medical lectures at Cleveland, after which he located in Schuyler county, Illinois, and commenced the practice of his profession. Attended the School of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk during the winter of 1879-80 and graduated from that institution March 2, of the last named year. He then came to Conway and has since made that his (page 746) home. Was married in February, 1872, to Helen E. Shadrach. They have two sons and one daughter. The doctor has a wide and increasing practice and enjoys the full confidence of the public. He is connected with the Masonic fraternity.
LINDSEY, HUGH M., farmer and carpenter, section thirty-three, post-office Conway, born in Pennsylvania in 1820. Moved with his parents to Ohio when nine years of age and there remained until 1855. Was educated in the common schools. In the last named year he moved to Knox county, Illinois, thence to his present residence. Was married June 2, 1841, in Delaware county, Ohio, to Miss Margaret J. Graham, a native of Pennsylvania, by whom he had five children: Chas. M., Margaret E., Adaline C., and Anna A., John C. died n 1848. Mrs. L. died April 9th, 1854. He was again married November 15th, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Deal, also a native of Pennsylvania. From this union there are six children: Mary F., Samuel N. S., Dora B., Kitty May, Albert E. and Leonard L.; one, Wm. D. died April 6, 1859. Mr. L. enlisted in August, 1862, in the Eighty-third Illinois infantry; was discharged July 7, 1863, on account of physical disability. Has had the office of justice of the peace almost continuously since coming to this county. He owns a good farm of ninety-seven acres, sixty of which are in good cultivation and well improved.
LITTEER, JOSIAH, farmer, section thirty-four, post-office Conway….is a native of New Jersey; was born April 12th, 1822. At the age of eighteen he moved to Coshocton county, Ohio. Remained there seven years then came to Monroe county, Iowa, located, and engaged in farming. He came to this county in 1854 and settled on a part of his present farm. Was married in Richland county, Ohio, May 9th, 1848, to Miss Margaret Kepper, a native of that State. They have eight children: Clarissa, wife of Salem Robinson, Sylvina, wife of J. O. Duffield, Monroe C., Miles H., Cleveland, O., Henry K. and ____; lest (sp ?) one at the age of three. Mr. L. came to this county with very limited means and county being new, necessarily endured many hardships and privations. The first election in Marshall township was held at his house. There were thirteen votes polled. Mr. L. now has a farm of 320 acres, well improved with good orchard, buildings, etc., and has a pleasant home.
MATHEWS, I. H., grocer and restaurant keeper, Conway, born in Ohio, March 23, 1834. Was raised on a farm and received a liberal common school education. Came to Iowa when seventeen years of age and settled in Van Buren county where he engaged in farming one year. He then moved to Hancock county, Illinois; remained there two years, then went to (page 747) Livingston county, Missouri, and engaged in farming and teaching school for several years. He then returned to Illinois and remained there until the close of the war. Came to Iowa in 1865, located in Iowa county and tilled the soil for a decade, then came to Lenox, this county, and kept hotel and restaurant for a time but again returned to the farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits. Came to Conway in 1880 and engaged in his present business. Was married in 1858 to Miss Hannah Baxter. They have two children: Alice and Emeline, both married. Mr. M. carries a good stock of groceries and is doing an extensive restaurant business.
NATION, J. W., farmer, section four, post-office Conway, is a native of the Hoosier State, born in 1833; moved with his parents to Illinois when but a child. When six years of age his parents again started westward, and located in Linn county, Iowa, remaining in that county about four years. They returned to Illinois and settled near Peoria, where young Nation grew to maturity, receiving his education in the common schools and Lombard University, at Galesburg. In 1861 he enlisted in the Second Iowa cavalry for three years, and was discharged at the expiration of that time. Was wounded twice by gun-shots and draws a small pension. Moved to Guthrie county, Iowa, in 1864, and remained there until coming to this county, in 1879. Was married at Fontanelle, Adair county, in 1871, to Miss Sarah C. Barnes, a Hawkeye by birth. From this union there are four children: Cora A., Amanda J., Blanche E. and John. Mr. Nation has a nice farm, consisting of eighty acres, good improvements and one of the most beautiful maple groves in the county. He is connected with the A. F. & A. M. fraternity.
NELSON, N. P., banker, Conway, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, January 27, 1851. His parents (P. H. and Dorothea Nelson) are natives of Norway. They immigrated to America in 1850. When seven years of age our subject came with his parents to Taylor county, locating in Lexington, Clayton township. He there attended the common schools, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. While his father was in the army, our subject (though only eleven years old) farmed twenty acres, and managed affairs with the judgment of a veteran farmer. In 1870 he entered the State Agricultural College at Ames, attended three and a half yeas, and was obliged to leave school on account of failing health. After recuperating to some extent he entered the State University at Iowa City, and attended about five months. He had been elected county surveyor the fall previous, and after returning from college engaged in his official duties -- holding that position two years. Located in Conway in the winter of 1874-5 and engaged in the real estate business. In 1879 he also embarked in banking (page 748), and now does an immense business in each of these lines. Was married December 24, 1874, to Miss S. E., daughter of Nathan Hall, of this county. She was born October 17, 1854, in Wayne county, this State. They have two children: Pearl (born October 27, 1875), and Jessie (born January 1, 1877). Mr. N. is thoroughly a self-made man. He acquired his education by his own exertions. Taught school and secured means with which to school himself, and having earned the money used it to the best advantage. He is now doing an extensive banking and real estate business, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of all. He is also the owner of 480 acres of land, and has a pleasant home in Conway. Has held the office of justice of the peace six years. Is connected with the I. O. O. F. and Masonic fraternities.
NELSON, P. H., shoemaker and dealer in boots and shoes, Conway, is a native of Norway, born March 16, 1829. Was there reared and educated. At sixteen he completed the boot and shoemaker's trade, having served an apprenticeship of three years. Continued at his trade until twenty-one. Immigrated to America in 1850, and settled in Wisconsin. Worked at his trade six years, then engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1858. Came to Iowa in the last named year, and settled at Lexington, this county, where he engaged in farming. Enlisted August 9, 1862, in company F, Twenty-ninth Iowa infantry volunteers, and served three years. Participated in the battles of Helena, Vicksburg and Little Rock. >From the last named place he went to Camden, thence to the Sabine River, where he took part in a bloody engagement in which 2,200 Confederates fell. They were then ordered to Texas, proceeded as far as the Rio Grande, and then returned to Mobile, participating in the capture of that place. Was discharged, and at once returned to Taylor county, where he engaged in farming about nine years, then came to Conway, erected the shop which he now occupies, and started in the boot and shoe business. He now carries a fine stock and is doing a good business. Was married in Norway to Miss Dorothea P. Poulson. They have four children: N. P. (now the banker at Conway), Julia R. (wife of C. M. Hall), Martha J. and Mary A. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are members of the M. E. Church.
NYE, Rev. C. L., pastor M. E. Church, Conway, is a native of the Bay State, born May 14, 1854. Was educated at Nicholas Academy. Entered the ministry and in coming west received his first appointment in Pottswattamie county, Iowa. Remained there one year then moved to Greenfield, Adair county, where he labored one year. Was next sent to Fontanelle; preached in that place two years and in September, 1880, took charge of the work at Conway. Since coming to this charge he has labored (page 749) zealously for the upbuilding of the church and has been favored with great success. Was married May 5, 1876, to Miss Ada Cummins, a lady of culture and refinement, and also a native of Massachusetts. They are the parents of two children: Grace A. and Charlie C. Mr. Nye is thoroughly devoted to his ministerial duties and is worthy the respect and esteem of all for his indefatigable efforts in the cause of Christianity.
PITMAN, A., grocer, Conway. Born in Mercer county, Illinois, November 13, 1852. When eight years old his parents became residents of Knox county, same State; remained there about three years, then went to Henry county, where they resided until 1876. Subject was raised on a farm and received his education in the common schools. In the last named year he came to Conway and engaged n the livery business two years; then moved upon a farm and followed farming two years. He then returned to Conway and engaged in his present business. Was married in 1871 to Miss Sophia Cary, of Illinois. They have three children: Lillie M., William and Blanche. Mr. P. is an energetic, industrious man, and is doing a good business.
RITNER, J. B., farmer, section twenty-four, post-office Conway, is a native of the Keystone State, born in 1839. Came to Iowa in 1841, locating in Des Moines county, where he remained until 1844, then returned to Cumberland county, Pennsylvania; thence to Franklin county, and in 1858 to Washington county, where he remained, farming and teaching school until the spring of 1861. He then enlisted in the Twelfth Pennsylvania infantry for a three months' call, served four months and was discharged. Taught school the following fall and winter and in the spring of 1862 entered Lewisburg University, where he remained three years. He then reenlisted, in August, 1864, in the Two Hundred and Second infantry for one year. Was first sergeant at the time of his discharge, which was in August, 1865. In November, 1866, he returned to Lewisburg University, remained six months, then went into the employ of the Penn Railroad Company, serving in various capacities, for nearly seven years. Resigned his position as conductor on that road in 1873, moved to Ohio, and went into the employ of the P. C. & St. L. R. R., as conductor. Resigned that position and came to Des Moines county, Iowa, in 1875, where he engaged in farming and teaching. In 1876 he became a resident of Taylor county and has since taught school and farmed. He was married March 19, 1868, to Miss E. C. Alter, by whom he has had three children: H. A., E. C. and J. C., all living. Mr. R. and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, of which he is an ordained minister. He is a grandson of Ex-Gov. Joseph (page 750) Ritner, of Pennsylvania, and also a member of the Masonic lodge of Conway.
RUTLEDGE, WM., farmer, section ten, post-office Conway, was born in Perry county, Ohio, in 1853. His youth was spent on a farm and attending the common schools. Was married in 1857, to Miss Louisa Biggs, of Ohio. They are the parents of seven children: Mary F., wife of W. J. Smith; Kate, Alice, Abraham E., Thos. T. and Clara P., living, and Chas. S., deceased. During the war he enlisted in company H, One Hundred and Sixtieth regiment Ohio national guards, 100 day call, and at the expiration of his service was honorably discharged. Mr. R. owns 331 acres of good land, 250 of which are in good cultivation, with a new house and other buildings, large orchard, etc. He is now largely engaged in stock raising and is one of the leading men of Taylor county. He is a member of Right Angle Lodge No. 340, A. F. & A. M.; also of the I. O. O. F.
SCHWEMLEY, WILLIAM, farmer, section 27, post-office Conway, was born in Crawford county, Ohio, February 21, 1838. There he remained until 1856, when he came to this county, and has since made it his home. He has filled various township offices during his stay here, and always performed the devolved duties with the strictest integrity. Was married in this county, January 15, 1861, to Miss Lucinda Alison, a native of Kentucky. They are the parents of seven children: Mary A., George W., James W., Henry A., Franklin P., Lewis S., and Charles. One, Leopold S., deceased. Mr. S. came to this county with very limited means, but by industry and economy he has acquired a comfortable home. His farm consists of 205 acres of well improved land. He is of Lutheran faith.
SHOEMAKER, A. C., grain and coal dealer, Conway, was born in Perry county, Indiana, February 27, 1837. When about ten years of age his parents moved to Henderson county, Illinois, where our subject was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. He remained with his father until he became of age, then engaged in farming for himself. Continued in that business about nine years. He then embarked in the mercantile business at Briggsville, Illinois, in which he continued until 1872. Subject then came west and engaged in the grain business at Bedford. Came to Conway in 1877 and has since engaged extensively in the grain and coal business. Mr. S. was married December 29, 1859, to Miss Sophia Jamison, a native of Illinois. Mrs. Shoemaker died in 1866, leaving three children. Two years later our subject was married to Mrs. Drucella Boys, a lady of excellent qualities. They have three children. Subject is possessed of more than ordinary business qualifications and is a man of unquestioned integrity. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
STUMBAUGH, WILLIAM H., farmer, section thirty-two, post-office Conway, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1838. At the age of thirteen his parents moved to Clinton county, Iowa, where he remained until coming to this county, in the spring of 1871. He was married in Clinton county, August 28, 1864, to Miss S. E. Porter, a native of Pennsylvania. In June, 1881, Mrs. S. gave birth to twin babies, which only lived to see the light, and on the 15th of that month the mother departed this life and followed her little ones to that "Better land." May 22, 1878, his only daughter was burned to death by falling into a kettle of boiling soap, and now left with five children to care for to mourn a mother's loss, Mr. Stumbaugh is placed under trying circumstances. His children living are Edward W., John H., George W., Albert B. and Ralph B. He is the owner of 150 acres of excellent land, and is a model farmer.
SWAN, THOMAS D., blacksmith, Conway, was born in Shelby county, Kentucky. Moved with his parents when three years of age, to Jefferson county, Indiana, and a decade later, became a resident of Lawrence county, same State, where our subject learned the blacksmith trade and followed that business five years. He then moved to Stark county, Illinois, and continued at his trade until the breaking out of the war. Subject enlisted in company G, One Hundred and twelfth Illinois infantry volunteers. Took part in the engagements at Campell's Station, Knoxville, Dalton, Rocky Face, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Franklin, and Nashville, Tennessee. Joined Sherman at Raleigh, North Carolina, and remained with him until the surrender of Johnson. At the time of the surrender he was one of the fifteen that were detailed to take charge of the rebel arms. Was present at the grand review at Washington, and was discharged at Chicago, July 6, 1865. Returned to Galena, Illinois, and in the following year came to Afton, Union county, Iowa. Remained there three years then moved to Hopeville, Clarke county. He came to Conway in 1880, and has since made this his home. Was married in 1856, to Miss Mary J. Wilson, a very estimable lady, who died in 1877. Was married a second time, January 25, 1881, to Mrs. M. R. Smith, of Bedford, this county. He had three sons by his first wife.
THOMPSON, B. F., of Thompson, Church & Co., merchants, Conway, a native of Highland county, Ohio, was born December 18, 1843. His early youth was spent in school. When thirteen years of age his parents moved to Keosauqua, Iowa, where he engaged in farming until 1862. He then enlisted in company K, Second Illinois cavalry and did valuable service for three years. Was engaged at Bolivar, Tennessee, at Corinth, Mississippi, October 3d and 4th. Was in the expedition against Holly Springs and (page 752) engaged at Oxford. At the surrender of Holly Springs his regiment refused to surrender and cut their way out with a loss of seventy-nine men out of three-hundred and fifty. Subject was taken prisoner, and subsequently liberated by a saber charge by a company of his own regiment. He also took part in the Franklin expedition against Shreveport. They were engaged nearly every day for two months. Was mustered out May 24, 1865, at Mobile, Alabama. He then returned to the Hawkeye State and engaged in the grocery business, at New London, Henry county. Remained there three years, then came to Conway and engaged in the grocery and hardware business. The firm has since added a stock of dry goods, and are now doing an extensive business. Mr. T. was married May 21, 1868, to Miss Clara A. Church, a daughter of one of his partners.
TALCOTT, J. S., druggist, was born in the State of New York, November 13, 1848. His youth was spent in a drug store. At the age of twenty-four he commenced the study of medicine, and in 1875 entered the eclectic school of physicians and surgeons, of Cincinnati, graduating from that institution in 1878. During the time he was pursuing his medical studies he was engaged in the drug business at Elk Point, Dakota Territory. After graduating he came to Taylor county, and engaged in the drug business, at Conway, where he now resides. During the short time of his residence here, he has built up a large trade and now carries a large stock of the best goods to be found in the eastern markets. Was married in 1874, to Miss Josephine Calvin. From this union there is one child, now four years of age. In 1878 Mrs. T. died leaving her little boy in the hands of the bereaved father. Subject is a member of the Masonic order.
WALLACE, G. W., Conway, a native of Randolph county, Missouri, was born May 13, 1839. In 1844 his father died and five years thereafter our subject moved with his mother to Davis county, Iowa, where his days were spent in agricultural pursuits. In the winter of 1856 he came to Taylor county and settled near Conway on a farm which he conducted until the breaking out of the war. Being in sympathy with the Union cause he determined to help fight its battles, and enlisted in company F, Twenty-ninth Iowa, in the autumn of 1862. He was with his company until the close of the war participating in all its engagements…. Being mustered out with his company in September, 1865, he returned home and once more took up the peaceful pursuits of the farm. Mr. Wallace was married April 24, 1860, to Miss Elizabeth Beal, daughter of V. Beal, an old settler of this county. This union brought them eight children: five are now living. In 1881 Mr. W. (page 753) removed to Conway where he is now conducting a sample-room and is respected as a citizen and business man.
WEST, Dr. A. T., Conway, a native of the Hawkeye State, was born April 9, 1850. His parents were among the pioneers of central Iowa, locating in Marion county when there were but two or three buildings in Knoxville, the county seat. There our subject grew to manhood and received his education in the public schools. He commenced the study of medicine when eighteen years of age, with Dr. Duncan in the city of Chicago. The doctor being a professor in the Bennett Medical College, and lecturer on diseases of women and children, our subject had unusual advantages which he made good use of. Graduating from that institution May 20, 1871, he returned to Iowa and commenced the practice of his profession at Derby, Lucas county, and came to Conway in the fall of 1877. Since coming to this county the doctor has been very successful in his practice, and now keeps his own drugs and medicines. In October, 1874, he chose for his companion through life Miss Ochlemann. They have one child, Francis. The doctor is connected with the I. O. O. F. fraternity.
WOOLLEY, R. B., blacksmith, Conway, a native of Knox county, Illinois, was born October 29, 1843. Was raised on a farm and educated in the common schools. August 11, 1862, he enlisted in company B, One-hundred and Second Illinois infantry volunteers, and served through the entire war. Participated in battles of Dallas, New Hope Church, Kenesaw, Pine Mountain, Marietta, Atlanta, Jonesboro and others of importance. Was with Sherman on his march to the sea, was present at the capture of Savannah, also at the surrender of Johnson, and finally at the grand review at Washington. He returned to his home and engaged in farming two years, then came to Iowa, located at Mitchellville, Polk county, and in 1867 moved to Worth county, where he remained until 1874. He came to Conway, built his present shop and followed blacksmithing four years. Went to California in 1878, but returned the following year, and has since made this his home. He is now doing a good business, and has a pleasant home. He was married in 1857, to Miss Mary Faucett, of Polk county, Iowa. They have five children; four sons and one daughter.
WRIGHT, SIMON, retired farmer, post-office Conway, a native of Licking county, Ohio, was born in 1832. He was raised on a farm and obtained his education in the common schools, and Ohio Wesleyan University. In the fall of 1853 he removed to Knox county where he engaged in farming four years. Came to Taylor county in 1857, hence he is one of the pioneer settlers. At that time there were not over two hundred voters in the county. There were six townships in one election precinct, and fifteen (page 754) votes cast at the first election he attended. He located on sections one and two in what is now Clayton township, and improved a farm of 40 acres to which he added until his farm at one time contained 1,000 acres. He has since, having more land than he desired, disposed of several farms, portions of his large tract, and now has 480 acres which are admirably adapted for raising stock, and well improved. He has retired from the active duties of farm life and is at present residing in Conway, where he has a beautiful residence, well furnished and surrounded with shade and ornamental trees. He was married in October, 1853, to Miss Ellen Lindsay. They are the parents of ten children, four of whom are deceased. Mr. Wright is connected with the Masonic, Knight Templar and Odd Fellow orders.