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: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 316
Robert W. Harvey, a retired farmer and stock-raiser, who in his seventy-ninth year, is now enjoying a well earned rest after many years of earnest and honorable labor, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Clermont county, May 31, 1830.  There on his father's farm he grew to manhood, in the meantime acquiring a good common-school education which fitted him for the practical and responsible duties of life.  He remained at home , assisting his father in the cultivation of his fields until the latter's death, after which he devoted himself to caring for his widowed mother.  In 1851, in Clermont county, he was married to Rhoda Cazel, who was also a native of Ohio.  After his marriage, Mr. Harvey engaged in farming on the old home place and was thus actively connected with agricultural pursuits until May, 1864, when, putting aside all business and personal considerations, he enlisted as a soldier in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company H, Fifty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He went south with this regiment and participated in a number of engagements, among the most important being that at Harpers Ferry.  He was in several skirmishes and did much picket duty.  He continued in active service until the close of the war, when he was mustered out at Camp Dennison and was honorably discharged at Columbus in September, 1865.
When his country no longer needed his services, Mr. Harvey returned home, and in the following year, 1866, he sold the old home farm and removed to Knox county, Illinois, where he purchased eighty acres of land.  He continued to operate this farm until 1869, when, selling that property, he came to Iowa and invested in three hundred and twenty acres in Gay township, Taylor county, upon which he located in the fall of 1870.  When the place came into his possession, it was all raw land, but with characteristic industry and perseverance he broke the sod, divided the land into fields of convenient size, planted the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, built a good barn and house and continued to cultivate and improve the place until it became a valuable and desirable farm.  He became a successful agriculturist and as he prospered he added to his realty possessions, later purchasing three hundred and twenty acres of raw land.  He set out a good grove and an orchard, which in time bore rich fruit, and also erected new farm buildings.  In addition to general farming, he engaged in the raising and feeding of stock, making a specialty of dealing in horses.  He also specialized along the line of Poland China hogs, being the first to introduce that variety into his section of the county, having purchased his stock during his residence in Illinois.  He resided upon his farm until the spring of 1888, when the high degree of prosperity to which he had attained made it possible for him to retire from active work.  He came to Blockton and erected a (page 321) fine residence for himself and family, also building several other houses, some which he later sold.  He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank and is now one of its stockholders. 
After his arrival in this city, in 1891, Mr. Harvey was called upon to mourn the death of his wife, her remains being interred in the Platteville cemetery.  The union of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey had been blessed with five sons and three daughters, namely: Joseph, a resident of Fort Morgan, Colorado; William, resident of Bedford; Milton, following agricultural pursuits in Gay township; Frank, operating the home farm; Mary E., the widow of C. C. Wolford, residing in Enid, Oklahoma; Clara, the wife of Orin Kivey of St. Joseph, Missouri; Mattie, who wedded Earl Gray, a farmer of Jefferson township; and George, a stock dealer and shipper, who grew to mature years, was married and has passed away in Kansas.  Unto each of his sons, Mr. Harvey gave eighty acres of farm land, while to each daughter at her marriage he gave five hundred dollars in money.  He still owns a farm of two hundred and forty acres.
On the 16th of May, 1895, Mr. Harvey was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Fanny Marie Howey, a native of Columbus, Ohio, where she was reared and educated.  She had previously wedded Samuel Howey and they made their home for some years in Columbus.  Mr. Howey was a school teacher and for several years was superintendent of the city schools.  By her first marriage, Mrs. Harvey became the mother of two sons and a daughter, namely: Montgomery, a resident of Chicago; William, living in Kansas; and Viola S., the wife of C. H. Sandusky, making her home in Columbus, Ohio
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey are both members of the Blockton Methodist Episcopal church, the former joining when but a lad of thirteen years, while the latter became a member of the Presbyterian denomination at the age of fourteen years.  Both are deeply and actively interested in the church and Sunday-school work and are people of great personal worth and of high standing in the community.  Mr. Harvey maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in Blockton Post, G. A. R.  In politics, he is a republican, casting his first ballot in 1856 for John C. Fremont, and has voted for each republican presidential nominee since that time.  He served as trustee of his township and for several years was a member of the school board, the cause of education finding in him a stalwart champion.  Public-spirited to an eminent degree, he is greatly interested in all matters and measures pertaining to the material, intellectual and moral upbuilding and development of the community and at all times remains as true and loyal to his country as when fighting on southern battlefields.