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 378




George Dugan, a resident of Taylor county since 1882, is now living in Bedford.  He is, however, closely associated with agricultural interests being numbered among the prominent farmers and stock raisers of this part of the state.  He owns and cultivates one hundred and seventy-five acres of land in Washington and Benton townships, a well improved, modern and valuable farm which he personally conducted for twenty years.  A native of Illinois, he was born November 27, 1843, in McDonough county, but was reared in Stark county. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of life for him in his boyhood and youth.  He acquired his early education in the public schools and afterward attended Toulon Seminary, but when eighteen years of age put aside his text-books and all other considerations that he might respond to the country's call for troops, enlisting on the 12th of June, 1861, as a member of Company B, Nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, this company being comprised mostly of Stark county men.  The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee in Cumberland, and the first battle in which he participated was that at Stone River, where he was wounded, his right hand being pierced by a bullet from an enemy's rifle.  He was later discharged on account of this (page 379) injury at Louisville, Kentucky, and returned home but as soon as he had sufficiently recovered he again offered his services, reenlisting in 1863, at which time he was assigned to duty with the boys in blue of Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry.  We went south to Cairo, doing guard duty and scouting.  He returned home to be mustered out, but decided to remain in the service and was sent to Missouri to do guard duty.  Subsequently he was mustered out at Peoria, Illinois, and returned to his home in 1865.  Once more he enlisted during the closing year of he war, joining the One Hundred and Fifty-first Illinois Infantry.  He went as far as Dalton, Georgia, but became ill and was unfitted for duty.  He marched, however, from Nashville to Murphreesboro, but the exposure and hardship which he suffered made him ill.  Later he was sent south to Dalton, but was not fit for duty any of the time and was mustered out and honorably discharged at Camp Butler.  He then returned home and spent a year or so in recuperating, for his health had become greatly impaired through the exposure and hardships which he had suffered at the front.


After he had recovered his health Mr. Dugan was married in Stark county, Illinois, on the 20th of October, 1868, to Miss Appalona Parish, who was there born and reared.  They located on a farm south of Toulon, and there Mr. Dugan carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1882.  He owned a tract of land there of two hundred acres and carefully cultivated his fields year by year until he finally sold out and came to Iowa, making investment in two hundred and ten acres of land in Washington and Benton townships of Taylor county.  In the spring of that year he removed his family to his new home and at once began to farm and further improve the property, continuing to successfully cultivate his fields there until 1901.  He brought from Illinois some pure bred shorthorn cattle and for several years made a business of breeding and selling shorthorn cattle.  He also engaged in breeding and dealing in Poland China hogs for several years.  In 1901, content with what he had acquired, recognizing that his means were sufficient to supply him with all of the necessities and comforts of life he removed to Bedford and purchased a good residence together with a six-acre tract of land.  Here he is now living practically retired, giving his supervision to his invested interests.  He owns a sixty-acre farm in Benton township, also eighty acres in Gay township.  Since starting out on his own account he has been a successful farmer, trader and business man and his efforts, directed by sound and intelligent judgment, have brought him the gratifying measure of prosperity which he now enjoys.


Mr. and Mrs. Dugan have a family of five children.  Their only son, Thomas, is married and follows farming on the home place.  The daughters are: Cynthia, the wife of Harry Timberlake, a resident farmer of Mason township; Alice, the deceased wife of M. M. O'Dell, of New Market, Iowa; Mary, the wife of Ed. Holmes, now of Canada; Grace, the wife of P. C. Miller of Conway, Iowa; and Theo Bell, the wife of George E. Masters of Polk township.  They also lost a son, Archie, who died at the age of five years, and three children who died in infancy.


Mr. and Mrs. Dugan are consistent and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Bedford, and Mr. Dugan also belongs to the Masonic lodge, while he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star.  Mr. Dugan likewise (page 380) belongs to the Grand Army Post at Bedford.  He is one of the most prosperous and well known business men of Taylor county and has the confidence and esteem of all who know him,  His political allegiance is given to the republican party, which he supported first in 1868, when he probably cast his ballot for General Grant.  He has been officially identified with the schools and has served as road supervisor for several years.  His record has at all times been commendable and his labors have brought him gratifying and well merited reward.


Hon William Cobb


Hon William Cobb

The life work of William Cobb has been far-reaching and beneficial in its effects. He has been closely associated with the material, political and moral progress of the community and is equally well known as a prominent business man and farmer, as a legislator and as one who has devoted much of his time to the work of the ministry. The forces of his life are thus nicely balanced, making his a well rounded character, while his life work has been one of general usefulness. He is numbered among the old settlers of Iowa, dating his residence in the state from 1845, when he made his way to Keokuk. Later he went to Delaware county in 1854 and in the year 1855 arrived in Taylor county. The history of this part of the state is therefore largely familiar to him and he has been no unimportant factor in molding its policy and shaping its destiny.

Mr Cobb is a native of Indiana, his birth having occurred in Park county November 17, 1839. He is a son of Thomas Cobb, who was born in Owen county, Kentucky, but went to Indiana when a lad of about eight years. He was there married in Park county and turned his attention to farming, which he followed in that locality for several years, during which time two of his sons and four of his daughters were born. Removing from Delaware county to Taylor county he here opened up a farm with the help of his sons and spent his last years in this locality, the evening of his days being passed in the home of his son, William Cobb. He was one of the respected and honored pioneer residents of this part of the state and is yet remembered by many of the early settlers.

William Cobb arrived here when a youth of about sixteen years. He had to some extent attended the common schools but is largely a self-educated man, gaining practical and valuable knowledge by reading, investigation and through experience. He assisted in opening up his father's farm and remained there until his marriage. He was a young man of twenty years, when on the 5th of November, 1859, he wedded Miss Malinda Agler, who was born in Carroll county, Indiana, and was a daughter of Daniel Agler. Mrs Cobb arrived in Taylor county when a maiden of fourteen summers and was here reared.

After their marriage Mr and Mrs Cobb located on the place where he now resides. He commenced with a tract of land of eighty acres and continued its cultivation and improvement until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when, feeling that his first duty was to his country he offered his services to the [page 383] government, enlisting on the 9th of August, 1862, as a member of Company F, Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi department and Mr Cobb with his command participated in the battle of Helena, Arkansas, later in the engagement at Memphis Ferry and subsequently in the siege of Mobile, Alabama. He was afterward in various running fights and continued in active service until after the close of the war, being mustered out at New Orleans, Louisiana, August 10, 1865. He was then honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, and reached home on the 1st of September. Immediately he resumed farming and was closely identified with general agricultural pursuits until 1891. He bought more land from time to time and also bought and sold land both in Kansas and Missouri. In 1866, he removed to Lawrence county, Missouri--the Ozark mountain country--where he improved a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, continuing its cultivation for two years, after which he sold that property and returned to Taylor county.

Mr Cobb put aside his agricultural interests when in 1891, he was elected county treasurer of Taylor county, taking charge of the office in January, 1892. He served as treasurer for four years, being reelected on the expiration of his first term of two years. The public found him a faithful custodian of the funds and he retired from office as he had entered it--with the confidence and good will of all concerned. He then returned to the farm and resumed the active work of the fields. He has, however, served in other local positions, acting as assessor, trustee and in other offices of trust. In 1903, he was elected to represent his district in the state legislature and proved an able working member of that body, connected with much important constructive legislation. While a member of the house, he did duty on committees of ways and means, roads and highways, military, suppression of intemperance, the agricultural and industrial schools, the orphans home and the soldiers home committee. After his duties at the state capital were ended he returned to the farm and in connection with the raising of grains he is engaged in raising stock. He now owns two hundred acres of land, including one hundred and twenty acres in the home place, which he has cleared and developed, making it a valuable property. He now makes his home in town, however, where he has erected a comfortable residence.

Unto Mr and Mrs Cobb have been born four sons: Charles S., who is married and follows farming in Ringgold county, Iowa; Thomas E., who is married and carries on general farming in Ross township; Floyd M., who is married and is a farmer of Ross township; and Leslie R., who is married and also carries on general agricultural pursuits in the same township. Mr and Mrs Cobb also lost two children: Margaret S., who died at the age of five years; and Harvey B., who died in his second year. Mr Cobb belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all of the chairs of the local lodge. He is a past grand and both he and his wife are connected with the Rebekah degree. That he is prominent and popular among his brethren of the fraternity is indicated by the fact that they have six times sent him as representative to the grand lodge. Both he and his wife are members of the Church of Christ and Mr Cobb is one of the official board of the church and an active worker in the Sunday-school. In fact he is untiring in his efforts to promote the church work and for years has been connected with the ministry, preaching and holding services through-[page 384] out Taylor county, Iowa, and in Nodaway county, Missouri. He has been tireless in his efforts to extend the influence of the gospel through the teachings of his church and all of his labors have been without remuneration.