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)
JAMES W. WALKER
Farm work has always claimed and occupied the attention of James W. Walker, who, depending upon this occupation for his livelihood, has won his success by persistent, earnest and honorable effort. He lives on section 9, Jackson township, and is numbered among its public-spirited citizens as well as progressive farmers and stock-raisers. His holdings cover one hundred acres, constituting a neat and well improved farm, the thrifty appearance of the place being a visible evidence of the well directed activity of the owner.
Mr. Walker dates his residence in Iowa from 1901. He was born in Menard county, Illinois, July 15, 1862, and was there reared to manhood upon a farm, enjoying such educational advantages as were offered by the common schools. When not busy with his text-books he assisted in the work of the fields and remained with his father until after he had attained his majority. He received no financial assistance at the outset of his career, but placed his dependence upon industry perseverance and determination and for about ten years he was in the employ of others as a farm hand. On reaching his majority he returned home and farmed with his father, the partnership between them continuing for about five or six years.
On the 26th of March, 1890, Mr. Walker was united in marriage to Miss Abbie H. Hornback who was born and reared in Menard county, Illinois, and was a daughter of Captain Robert Hornback, an old soldier and one of the representative citizens of Illinois. Following his marriage Mr. Walker rented land and thus engaged in farming for a number of years. In 1900 he came to Iowa and with the capital which he had saved from his earnings he made investment in the farm on which he now resides, becoming the owner of two hundred and eighty acres. In the spring of 1901 he removed to this place and began its further cultivation and improvements. He has repaired and remodeled the house and the barn, has fenced the land and has secured the latest improved machinery to facilitate the work of the fields. He now has a well developed property and in connection with the raising of corn, wheat and other cereals he also raises and feeds stock, handling cattle, sheep and hogs. After a time he sold one hundred acres of his farm, which he had purchased originally in connection with his brother-in-law. After they had disposed of a portion of this (page 367) Mr. Walker purchased his brother-in-law's interest and is now sole proprietor. He formerly fattened about two carloads of cattle each year, but he is not carrying on his stock-raising interests quite so extensively at the present time. However, his business affairs are capably managed and have brought to him substantial and gratifying success.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker are the parents of three children: Roy, who is assisting his father in carrying on the home farm; and Catherine and Arthur, who are also under the parental roof. The parents are members of the Forest Grove Baptist church, are active workers in its behalf and both are teachers in the Sunday school. Their lives are upright and honorable in every relation, meriting the confidence and good will which is so freely extended them.
Politically Mr. Walker has been a republican since age conferred upon him the right of franchise, always voting for the candidates of the party when national issues are involved but at local elections, however, he frequently casts an independent ballot. He has been elected and served as assessor of his township, although he was first appointed to fill a vacancy while he later was called to the office by popular suffrage. He has also been reelected and has now filled the position for five years. He has also been school director for a number of years and is now secretary of the board. Always interested and active in support of his party he has been a delegate to its county conventions and has done not a little in locally shaping its policy. Mr. Walker is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with which he has been identified for a quarter of a century, having joined the organization in Illinois. He was initiated on attaining his majority and while living in Menard county he filled all of the chairs in the local lodge. He is also connected with the Modern Woodmen camp. A successful business man, well known as a farmer and stock-raiser, his strict integrity and worth have given him firm hold on the regard of his fellow townsmen.
J. F. WALKUP
J. F. Walkup is numbered among the large landowners and substantial citizens of Taylor county, dating his residence here from 1870. He was born in Greenbrier county, West Virginia, May 9, 1852, and was there reared to the age of seventeen years, having been trained to the duties of farm life. In 1870, being then a youth of eighteen, he came to Taylor county, Iowa, where for six years during the summer months he was employed at farm labor. For four years during the winter months he continued his studies in the schools of this county, his earlier education having been acquired in the schools of his native county. After completing his education he was engaged for two years during the winter season as a teacher but he continued to carry on farm work during the summer months.
It was in 1880 that Mr. Walkup established a home of his own by his marriage in Clayton township, this county, to Miss Mary Mehan, their wedding ceremony being performed on the 9th of March of that year. Mrs. Walkup was born and reared in this county. Following their marriage they located on a farm of eighty acres in Clayton township, which Mr. Walkup had previously bought. After about four years, however, he disposed of that land and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of his present home place in Gay township. This tract was but partly cleared but in due time Mr. Walkup had the entire place under cultivation. He further improved the farm by the erection of a house and outbuildings, set out an orchard, built fences and made it a valuable property. As time passed and the sale of his crops brought him good financial returns, he invested his money in more land from time to time until the home place now comprises two hundred and forty acres. In 1908 he erected a modern and substantial farm residence and added more outbuildings and his place today is one of the best in his section of the county. In addition to carrying on general farming he also gives attention to raising and feeding stock, annually raising a carload of hogs. Mr. Walkup also owns another farm of eighty acres, which he rents. It will thus be seen that he made no mistake in locating in Taylor county during (page 590) its pioneer period, for through his labors and his wise judgment he has accumulated a good property.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Walkup has been blessed with three sons and two daughters, namely: Blanche, the wife of Lon Keith, a resident of Canada; Maude, the wife of Earl Gordon, a resident farmer of Clayton township; Roy C., who is on a ranch in New Mexico; and Glen and Frank, who are still at home.
Politically Mr. Walkup is a democrat. For a number of years he has served as township trustee, while he has also filled the office of road supervisor and has been identified with the school board as a director. Popular and public spirited, he has been chosen by his party as a delegate to county conventions. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church. Since coming to the county almost four decades ago he has seen many changes as the railroads have been built through this section, the telephone and telegraph lines introduced and many other modern and needed improvements made. He has been a leader in much of the work that has been accomplished and takes a just pride in seeing Taylor county rank with the best sections of the state of Iowa.
The general farming and stock-raising interests of Taylor county find a worthy and well-known representative in Henri Walter, who for more than four decades has lived in this part of the state. For a long period he was closely connected with the agricultural life and still maintains a deep interest therein, although since 1902 he has lived retired in Lenox, the success which he achieved (page 315) in former years being sufficient to permit him now to rest from further labor in the fields. His history, too, is an example of what can be accomplished in this free land of ours, where labor is unhampered by caste or class. He was born in Switzerland, October 14, 1844, and was brought to the new world by his parents in 1853, the family home being established in Monroe county, Ohio, where his father died, the mother surviving him for some time.
Henri Walter was the youngest of a family of six sons and five daughters and after coming to the United States remained on the farm with his mother until he had attained his majority. He was married in Ohio, in 1867, to Miss Louisa Schafroth, a native of Switzerland who came to the United States in her early girlhood days. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Monroe county, Ohio, where they lived for a year and then came to Adams county, Iowa, after which Mr. Walter rented land and thus carried on farming for several years. During that period he carefully saved his earnings and purchased forty acres of raw land, where he soon had the breaking plow at work. He thus opened up a farm four miles southeast of Corning and later bought more land. He then sold the forty-acre tract and invested in one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie. This he converted into productive fields and still owns the property, which is a valuable farm southeast of Corning. As time passed and his financial resources increased he added to his landed possessions from time to time and is now the owner of four hundred acres in one farm in Adams county and another farm of five hundred and sixty acres, both being well-improved and valuable properties. His possessions are the visible evidence of his life of well-directed energy and thrift. Year after year he carefully tilled the soil and gathered rich crops as a reward for the labor he bestowed upon his fields. In his pastures were found good grades of stock which he raised and fed, selling at a good price on the market. In 1902 he bought the farm whereon he now resides adjoining the corporation limits of Lenox. This is a well-improved and valuable property. He has built to and remodeled the house, has built a barn, and altogether has made this an attractive place. He has likewise invested in another farm of four hundred and eighty acres three miles east of Lenox and he owns another tract of one hundred and sixty acres west of Lenox and a quarter section in Adams county, in addition to the property previously described. All of his land is well improved and he is today one of the most prosperous farmers of this part of the state.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Walter have been born eleven children, of whom six sons and three daughters are yet living. Their first born, Edmund, reached mature years and died about 1900. J. J. is a prominent farmer and stock feeder of Lenox, mentioned elsewhere in this volume. John is a resident farmer of Grove township. Henry A. follows farming in Adams county. Andrew and Louis are also resident farmers of Adams county. Ben assists in the operation of the home farm. Ella is the wife of Simon Hufnagle, a farmer of Platt township. Maleta is the wife of James Ely, who follows farming in Platt township; and Delia is at home. They lost a daughter, Ida, at the age of two years.
Mr. Walter votes with the republican ticket, but has never sought nor desired office. His life has been an active and strenuous one in which has been few leisure hours. As the years have gone by, however, he has prospered in his undertakings and his success is the direct result of his perseverance, diligence and careful investment. His life record should serve to encourage and inspire others, showing what may be accomplished if one has the will to persevere in a chosen field of labor.
JACOB J. WALTER
Success, whether it is won in professional lines or through commercial, industrial, or agricultural activities, always results from the same causes. It is the legitimate outcome of close application and intelligently directed energy. In this manner Jacob J. Walter has won his prosperity, becoming known as a leading farmer and stock feeder of Taylor county, where he owns and cultivates three hundred and sixty acres of rich an arable land. His place, which adjoins the corporation limits of Lenox, is a well improved and valuable farm, giving evidence in its attractive appearance of the careful supervision of the owner.
Mr. Walter is a native son of Iowa and was born in Adams county, November 11, 1870. His father is Henri Walter, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this work.
Jacob J. Walter was reared to manhood in Adams county, spending his youth on the home farm and in the common schools he mastered the elementary branches of learning, but he is largely a self-educated man. He remained with his father until his marriage, which important event in his life was celebrated in Adams county on the 4th of March, 1904, the lady of his choice being Miss Minnie Forence Brokaw, who was born in Monroe county, Ohio, a daughter of James S. Brokaw, now of North Dakota. After their marriage the young couple located on a farm two miles west of Lenox and there carried on general agricultural pursuits for eight years. They then removed to his father's place east of Lenox and resided there until 1907, when Mr. Walter purchased their present home. He has made many notable changes in the appearance of the place since that time, has repaired the buildings, fenced the fields and tilled the land, and in connection with general farming has successfully engaged in raising, feeding and shipping stock. He fattens about twenty carloads of cattle and hogs for the market each year, and in the year 1909 has sold over twenty carloads of his own fattening. He also buys and ships some stock and is one of the foremost dealers in live stock in this part of the county. He not only cultivates his own place, (page 406) which comprises three hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land, but also farms his father's place of four hundred acres. He is a stockholder and director in the Citizens Bank of Lenox and is a business man of keen discernment and unfaltering enterprise which has wrought his success along well defined lines of labor.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Walter have been born two sons and two daughters, Marie, Roland, Harry and Dorothy. The family are well known in Lenox and this part of the county where they have a large circle of warm friends. Mr. Walter has spent his entire life in Adams and Taylor counties and has been closely associated with their growth and development. He is now numbered among the most prosperous farmers of the latter county and is known and esteemed for the success he has achieved and for the honorable, straightforward business methods he has ever followed in the conduct of his agricultural interests.
FIELDING B. WEBB
Fielding B. Webb, mastering the lessons of life day by day until his post-graduate work in the school of experience has placed him with the enterprising and successful business men of Bedford, is now engaged in dealing in grain and coal. His trade, already large, is constantly increasing, for his business methods are such as commend him to a liberal and continued patronage. A native of Knox county, Illinois, he was borne near Maquon, April 30, 1851, and is a representative in the paternal line of an old southern family. His grandfather was Valentine Webb, who removed from Virginia to Ohio and died in Franklin county in the latter state when in middle life. He married a Miss Weeks, who died when comparatively young. Their son, Luke Webb, father of F. B. Webb, was born in Ohio and became a practicing dentist. He married Melvina Allen, also a native of Ohio and a daughter of John B. and Belinda (Bull) Allen, natives of Ohio and Maryland respectively. The former was a cousin of Colonel Ethan Allen, who won undying fame in command of the Green Mountain boys at the battle of Ticonderoga in the Revolutionary war. John B. Allen was a farmer by occupation and lived to be nearly eighty years of age. His wife died just a few years before, when about seventy years of age. His last days were spent in Knox county, Illinois, upon land which he had entered from the government during pioneer times. In their family were six sons and three daughters; Dixon; Melvin V., a practicing physician of Chicago; Henry C.; Elias V.; Marion; Ethan; Melvina; Zemira; and Elizabeth.
Of this number Melvina Allen became the wife of Luke Webb, who about 1848 removed westward to Illinois and for some years engaged in the practice of dentistry in that state. In 1875, he arrived in Iowa and his last days were spent in Bedford, where his death occurred in 1900, when he had reached the age of sixty-seven. He was a devoted member of the Methodist church, to which his widow also belongs. She still survives him and now lives with her daughter Belle at Pleasanton, Kansas. In the family of this worthy couple were eight children, four sons and four daughters: Henry C., a resident of Bedford; Fielding B., of this review; John V. and William E., who likewise make their home in Bedford; Martha, the wife of Horace Smith, of Dillon, Colorado; Luella, the wife of Edwin Bundy, of Denver, Colorado; Belle C., the wife of J. W. Langdon, of Pleasanton, Kansas; and Lizzie, the wife of George W. Palmer, of Denver, Colorado.
Fielding B. Webb was reared in Knox county, Illinois, upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He attended the district schools and lived at home until he had attained his majority. He then began farming on his own account and remained a resident of Illinois until 1875, when he came to Bedford. Here he learned the milling business but in 1879 embarked in the grain and coal trade, in which he has since continued, being one of the oldest merchants in this line in southwestern Iowa. His reliable business methods, his promptness in executing orders and his close conformity to a high standard of commercial ethics have brought to him a constantly growing patronage, making him one of the prosperous citizens of the community.
On the 28th of November, 1877, Mr. Webb was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Child, a native of New York, as were her parents, Erastus and Rachel (Foster) Child. They removed to Illinois in 1855, settling in Knox county, and there their two children reached adult age. The younger daughter is Mrs. Julia Torrence, the wife of Thomas Torrence of Monmouth, Illinois. The father is living in Bedford at the very venerable age of ninety-two years, while the mother passed away September 6, 1906, when about eighty-seven years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Webb have become the parents of one child, Grace I., who is still under the parental roof. They hold membership in the Methodist church, in which Mr. Webb is a trustee. He is numbered among the exemplary members of Taylor Lodge, No. 156, A. F. & A. M., Triangle Chapter, No. 68, R. A. M., Creston Commandery, No. 29, K. T., and Moila Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of St. Joseph, Missouri. His political support is given to the republican party, for he deems its principles most conducive to good government. He does not seek nor desire office as the reward for party fealty, preferring to concentrate his energies upon business affairs rather than to fill political positions. His life has been in a way quietly passed but the record is one which may well be followed by those who seek advancement in accordance with a high standard of business ethics, as his record proves that success and an honored name may be won simultaneously.