History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: email@example.com)
REV. ISAAC E. WEBB
Rev. Isaac E. Webb, a resident farmer of Dallas township, his home being near New Market, is also well known as a minister of the church of the Brethren and one whose influence has been a potent factor for good in the moral as well as the material development of the community. His home farm comprises two hundred acres of land and in its development and improvement he displays good business ability and a spirit of undaunted enterprise. A native of Illinois, he was born November 19, 1840, and is a son of Robert H. and Elizabeth (Lollar) Webb. His paternal grandparents were William and Elizabeth Webb, natives of Tennessee and their family numbered the following children: Robert, William, John, Isaac, Ibby, Annie and Fannie. The maternal grandparents of Rev. Webb were Mr. and Mrs. D. Lollar, who had three children: Elizabeth, Elkanah and China.
Robert H. Webb was born in Tennessee, on the 4th of November, 1812, and having arrived at years of maturity wedded Elizabeth Lollar, whose birth occurred in the same state in 1815. After living for some time in Illinois, they removed to Iowa in October, 1842, taking up their abode in Keokuk county among its early pioneer residents. Their children were: Isaac E., William, James, John, Samuel Houston, Jacob, Jane, Susan and Fannie.
Isaac E. Webb was not quite two years of age at the time of the removal of the family from Illinois to Iowa, so that his boyhood and youth were passed in Keokuk county amid the wild scenes and environment of pioneer life. He has always been a farmer and for twenty years has been a resident of Taylor county, where his time and energies have been devoted to general agricultural pursuits. He has seen the land treble in value since he came to this county and the prices continually advancing. His own holdings comprise two hundred acres in Dallas township and the soil, which is naturally rich and fertile, responds readily to the care and labor which he bestows upon it so that he annually harvests good crops. In all of his business dealings he is thoroughly reliable and his success is well merited.
Rev. Webb is also widely known in connection with the church of the Brethren, in which he is a minister. For fourteen years he has been thus connected with the church as a minister of the second degree and has labored throughout the (page 278) district of Iowa. He was the first member of the denomination in Taylor county and was largely instrumental in organizing the church to which he belongs and which was formed in 1897. He held meetings in the schoolhouses for several years before a house of worship was bought. There are now about fifteen members constituting a progressive little flock whose influence is widely felt as a moral force in the community.
Mr. Webb was married in April, 1866, to Miss Hannah Wortman, who was born in Iowa in 1847, and is a daughter of George and Tina (Scott) Wortman and a granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Wortman. Her parents had four children: Harry H., James, William and Louisa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Webb have been born ten children: Louisa, Nora, Lora, Ida, Minnie, John, Elmer, George, Walter and Frank. The daughters are now all married.
Mr. Webb gives his political allegiance to the democracy while his business enterprise is devoted to farming but the motive power of his life is found in his belief in Christianity which is embraced in tangible measure in his efforts in behalf of the church. His work in this connection has been far-reaching and beneficial and moreover his life record proves that success and an honorable name may be won simultaneously.
SIDNEY P. WEBB
Sidney P. Webb, one of the prosperous merchants and public-spirited citizens of Bedford, was born near this city, February 3, 1878, and his entire life has been spent here. He is a son of Henry and Agnes (Smith) Webb, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. He acquired his education in the public schools of Bedford, passing through consecutive grades until he completed the high-school course. After leaving school he engaged in various occupations until (page 610) 1902, in which year, in partnership with George McGinnis, he bought out the grocery business of M. F. Fowler, and later he purchased his partner's interest, becoming sole proprietor of the store, which he conducted until February 1, 1909. Selling his grocery, he then purchased the Fair store of J. E. Moody and now handles all kinds of merchandise, carrying a large and complete stock.
Mr. Webb has also won prominence through his military career, having served in the Philippines as a member of Company I, Fifty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was ninety-five days on the transport Pennsylvania en route to the islands. Enlisting as a private, he was later promoted to corporal and after his return home was elected captain of the National Guards.
On the 25th of June, 1905, Mr. Webb was united in marriage to Miss Mary Bordner, a native of Taylor county and a daughter of Al and Harriet (Scribner) Bordner. They have one child, a daughter, Marjorie. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Webb belongs to Bedford Lodge, No. 101, K. P. He gives his political allegiance to the republican arty, and his fellow citizens, recognizing his sterling worth, have elected him to the position of city treasurer, the duties of which office he is performing efficiently and faithfully. Deeply interested in all that pertains to the welfare and prosperity of the city, Mr. Webb exerts his influence toward the furtherance of all measures that tend to promote the improvement, progress and upbuilding of the community. He holds an enviable place in the regard and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact.
Joel Weeks, who since 1892 has lived retired in Bedford, was in former years actively and successfully identified with the agricultural interests of Taylor county. His birth occurred in Adams county, Ohio, on the 8th of February, 1851, his parents being Ezekiel and Sarah (Coppel) Weeks, the former a native of Cape May, New Jersey, and the latter of Adams county, Ohio. The paternal grandfather, Vincent Weeks, likewise a native of New Jersey, was of English (page 478) and German descent. He followed general farming throughout his active business career and passed away in Adams county, Ohio, when about eighty years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Rebecca Risley, also attained a ripe old age. This worthy couple reared a family of seven sons, namely: Ezekiel, John, Risley, Joel, James, Richard and Job. Daniel Coppel, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania and came of German lineage. He did active duty as a soldier in the War of 1812 and was a farmer by occupation, meeting with a creditable measure of success in his undertakings. He became an early settler of Adams county, Ohio, and there continued to reside until he passed away at the age of eighty-four years, at Havana, Mason county, Illinois. His wife had also attained an advanced age at the time of her demise and they reared a family of eight children, three sons and five daughters, as follows: John; Henry; Fletcher; Sarah, who gave her hand in marriage to Ezekiel Weeks; Hannah, who became the wife of Frank Woods; Dorcas, the wife of William Robinson; Jane, who became the wife of Charles Rogers; and Nancy, the wife of William Naylor.
Ezekiel Weeks, the father of Joel Weeks, was a miller by trade and on leaving his native state took up his abode in Ohio, passing away on his farm near Bentonville, Adams county, that state, as the age of forty-one years. His wife, long surviving him, came to Taylor county, Iowa, in 1871, locating in Holt township, where she made her home until a short time prior to her death. Her demise occurred in Lenox on the 25th of December, 1905, and had she survived for but six days longer she would have lived to celebrate her ninety-third birthday. Like her husband, she was a devoted and faithful member of the Methodist church and was highly esteemed for her many good traits of heart and mind, winning the kindly regard and friendship of all with whom she came in contact. She was the mother of two children: Joel, of this review; and Henry, who died at the age of eleven years.
Joel Weeks spent the first seventeen years of his life in the state of his nativity, being reared on the home farm and obtaining his education in the district schools. Removing to Havana, Mason county, Illinois, he there continued to reside until 1871, when he came to Taylor county, Iowa, settling in Holt township, where he purchased a farm of eighty-six acres. To the cultivation and improvement of that property he devoted his time and energies until 1876, when he took up his abode on a farm of one hundred and ten acres in Marshal township. There he energetically and industriously carried on agricultural pursuits for a number of years, winning a gratifying and well-deserved measure of prosperity by reason of his untiring labor and capable management. In 1892, having accumulated a handsome competence, he put aside the active work of the fields and purchased a fine home in Bedford, where he has since lived retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. In addition to his farm of one hundred and ten acres in Marshall township he likewise owns a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Cheyenne county, Kansas, and is widely recognized as a most substantial, progressive and representative citizen of the community.
On the 16th of December, 1874, Mr. Weeks was united in marriage to Miss Almia Gordon, a daughter of Uriah and Leva Ann (Babbington) Gordon, who were natives of Pennsylvania but became early settlers of Mason county, Illinois (page 479). Uriah Gordon was called to his final rest in 1863, when he had attained the age of fifty-three years, while his wife, who long survived him, passed away in 1899 at the age of seventy-eight years. Their family numbered five children: George, a resident of Havana, Illinois; Albert, also living at that place; Mrs. Weeks; Charlotte, the deceased wife of Daniel McClung; and Ann Maria, who was seventeen years of age when called to the home beyond. Mrs. Weeks was born, reared and married on the same farm in Mason county, Illinois, and still owns an interest in the property. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Weeks were born two sons, George and Horace, whom they lost at the same time by drowning. Their sudden and tragic end came as a deep and almost irreparable blow to the parents.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Weeks has cast his ballot in support of the men and measures of the democracy. In religious faith he is a Methodist and both he and his wife are consistent members of the church of that denomination in Bedford. The period of their residence in this county covers more than a third of a century and they are widely and favorably known within its borders, the circle of their friends being almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintances.
S. J. WENTZEL
S. J. Wentzel, who for almost two decades has been a prominent and successful representative of agricultural interests in Taylor county, was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, on the 2d of November, 1843. He is a son of Daniel and Catharine (Campbell) Wentzel, natives of Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, where they were reared and married. His paternal great-grandfather fought for American independence during the Revolutionary war, while his grandfather, Daniel Wentzel, was a soldier of the war of 1812. His father, who was a stone-cutter by trade, followed that occupation in Pennsylvania for about thirty-six years and then settled upon a farm in Perry county, that state, where his remaining days were spent. His family consisted of five sons and seven daughters, all of whom reached mature years and reared families of their own, and were all church members. Of this number four sons and four daughters still survive.
In the common schools of the Keystone State S. J. Wentzel acquired his education and on his father's farm he was reared to manhood, assisting his father in the work of the fields until twenty years of age. Then imbued with a spirit (page 641) of patriotism, on the 2d of September, 1864, he enlisted for three years' service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company F, Two Hundred and Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The regiment joined the Army of the Potomac and his first duty was on the picket line. Later, however, he participated in many important engagements, including the battles of Appomattox, Peach Orchard, Bermuda Hundred, Fort Steadman, Petersburg, Five Forks or Hatchers Run. He was a member of a brigade detailed to tear up the railroads, during which time he took part in several skirmishes and was also one of twenty men detailed as a guard to escort General Fitzhugh Lee, with some twenty soldiers, to the Union lines. He later guarded twenty Confederate soldiers after Lee's surrender, keeping them in a building until morning, when they were released. He continued to serve with his regiment until the close of the war and was then mustered out at Alexandria. Later he marched to Washington, D. C., where he participated in the grand review, and was then honorably discharged at Harrisburg on the 17th of June, 1865. Throughout his entire service he lost no time through sickness or other causes, was always on duty and was loyal and brave in his defense of the old flag and the cause which it represented.
When the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Wentzel returned home, where he assisted in the work of the farm and remained until after the fall crops were harvested. He then went to the pineries, where he worked in the timber through the following winter, and when spring came he boarded a canalboat at Williamsport and went to Baltimore. He made four trips to Key West, two from Baltimore and two from Fortress Monroe. Upon his return to his native state, having located in the county in 1857. He was at that time a young man in 1870 that came west, locating in Knox County, Illinois, where he obtained employment on a farm, working by the month for over a year. In 1872 in that county, he was united in marriage to Miss Angeline Cline, a native of Pennsylvania, where she was reared and educated. They began their domestic life upon a rented farm which Mr. Wentzel continued to operate for several years. He then removed to Iowa and took up his abode upon a farm which he had previously purchased in Taylor county. This farm, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres on section 26, Grant township, was but partially improved when it came into his possession, but he immediately set about bringing his fields under a high state of cultivation. He erected a comfortable residence and a good, substantial barn, and has introduced upon the place various improvements which serve to make it one of the valuable and desirable properties of the township. He has made a close study of agriculture and is methodical, systematic and progressive, so that he is numbered among the substantial and successful farmers of his section of the county. In connection with his farming he engages in stock raising and this branch of his business is proving a very gratifying source of income.
As the years have come and gone the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wentzel has been blessed with six children, five of whom are now living, namely: Charles Ira, who follows the occupation of farming; David Leroy, who is married and operates a farm in Platte township, Taylor county; Laura May, the wife of F. L. Rood, of Clearfield, Iowa; Lydia Alice, who married Ed Grant of Northville, South Dakota; and Lucinda Adell, the wife of George Crane, of Ringgold county, Iowa. Mary F. passed away when three years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Wentzel are members of the United Presbyterian church of Clearfield and are people of the highest personal worth, occupying an enviable place in the social circles of the community in which they reside. Politically Mr. Wentzel is a democrat although he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 while serving in the army. He also supported James A. Garfield, and it is a coincidence that both candidates were elected on his birthday and both were assassinated. He served as township trustee three or four different terms and was sent as delegate to various county conventions. His friends, and they are many, know him to be a man of high principles and stalwart purposes, and throughout the community in which he resides he commands the respect and confidence of those with whom he has come in contact.
A. T. WEST, M. D.
Prominent among the medical practitioners of Iowa and Taylor county may be mentioned Dr. A. T. West, who has practiced his profession in Conway for the past thirty-two years, and he is therefore widely and favorable known in this section of the state. He is a native son of this state, his birth having occurred in Knoxville, on the 9th of April, 1854. He was reared in the place of his nativity and there acquired his literary education, completing his studies in Knoxville Academy when a youth of eighteen years. The medical profession appealing strongly to him, to that end he entered Bennett Eclectic Medical College at Chicago, being graduated from that institution in May, 1874. He then located for practice in Derby, Iowa, where he continued three years, but believing that Conway offered much better opportunities for his practice, he then removed to this place and has here continued to the present time, covering a period of about thirty-two years. At that time this place was a mere hamlet but in the years that have since come and gone it has grown to an enterprising and thriving little city and with the increase in population Dr. West's practice has likewise increased, so that he now has a very large and lucrative patronage. His services, however, are not only confined to this city but are in demand over a large area of country and he has come to be the loved family physician in numerous households in this section While the Doctor does a general practice, he makes a specialty of diseases of the lungs, throat and heart. He owns his own office, which is a neat structure of brick and also has erected a fine residence, his being one of the commodious and substantial homes of this city. In addition to his practice the Doctor is also interested in other industries, one of which is a livery business, which he has conducted with the assistance of others, for the past eighteen years and in this he has been very successful. He is also a stockholder and a director of the Conway Savings Bank and owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, a mile east of Conway, which brings him a good rental.
Dr. West was married in Derby, Iowa, October 17, 1876, the lady of his choice being Miss Emma Oehlman, who was born and reared there. Their marriage has been blessed with two daughters, but Frances died at the age of seventeen years. The surviving daughter is Anna, now the wife of Nolan Edwards, a resident of Macon, Missouri.
Politically a republican, the Doctor casts an independent ballot at local elections, while his fraternal relations are with the Odd Fellows. He first joined (page 522) the lodge at Derby, Iowa, but now holds membership in the lodge at Conway, in which he has served through all the chairs and is now past grand. He has committed to memory the entire ritual of this organization. Both he and his wife are members of the Rebekah lodge and in this he has also served through the chairs and is now past grand and also for several years served as district deputy. Mrs. West has been sent as a delegate to the grand assembly on several occasions. He is also equally prominent in the Modern Woodmen order, and the Brotherhood of American Yeoman, having served as correspondent in the latter for twelve years. Mrs. West is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Interested in all public movements and measures, Dr. West served as treasurer of the town board for six years, in which connection he rendered honest and efficient service. Dr. West, however, does not neglect his professional duties but keeps in close touch with the advancement that is being made in this direction through his membership in the Southwestern Iowa Medical Society and in the Taylor County Medical Society. He may well be termed a pioneer physician of Conway and during the thirty-two years in which he has practiced here he has adhered to a high standard of professional ethics, which has won him the unqualified regard of his fellow practitioners, while the skill and ability which he has displayed has gained him a liberal patronage from the general public. And not only has he held to high ideals in his profession but as well in citizenship and in social relations, thus commanding the warm esteem and genuine admiration of all with whom he comes in contact.