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)
HENRY K. RUSSELL
Henry K. Russell lives upon a farm on section 22, Jackson township. He carries on farming on an extensive scale, owning five hundred and twenty acres in the home place, which in its neat and thrifty appearance is indicative of the careful supervision of Mr. Russell, whose labors and ideas are at once practical and progressive. It was upon the farm where he now makes his home that the birth of Mr. Russell occurred, his natal day being January 20, 1878. His father, William H. Russell, was a native of Ireland, born in the northern part of the Emerald Isle. There he continued until he reached the age of fifteen years, when the opportunities of the new world attracted him and he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, spending several years in New York city. Subsequently he went to Wisconsin, where he secured employment as a farm hand and later he came to Taylor county, Iowa. Here he again worked at farm labor until his earnings were sufficient to enable him to purchase one hundred and twenty acres, which he secured before his marriage. He completed his arrangements for having a home of his own by wooing and winning Miss Elizabeth Kemery, a native of Lee county, Iowa. The young couple took up their domestic life upon the farm which he had previously purchased and which he had occupied alone up to the time of his marriage. With characteristic energy he began developing the place, transforming the wild prairie into rich fields. Year by year he planted his seed and in course of time harvested his crops and his labors constituted a forceful element in the general development of this part of the county. As he prospered in his undertakings he bought more land from time to time until he owned five hundred and sixty acres. He built good buildings upon his place that ample shelter might be afforded for grain and stock. He put altogether five sets of farm buildings on his land and always kept these in a state of good (page 426) repair. He used the latest improved farm machinery to facilitate the work of the fields and everything about the farm indicated the supervision of an owner whose progressive spirit placed him in the foremost ranks among the representatives of agricultural life in this part of the county. Upon his farm Mr. Russell spent his last years, passing away in 1904. His widow still survives him. There were four children in the family, the daughters, Anna, Iowa and Bertha, all remaining at home with their mother.
Henry K. Russell, whose name introduces this record, was reared on the old homestead farm and pursued his education in the district schools. Being an only son, he assisted his father more and more largely in the work of the fields and for some time prior to his father's death took charge of the home farm and carried it on. He has now rented much of the land but still cultivates a portion of it and he also raises and feeds stock. His business affairs are capably managed and intelligently directed and he is regarded as one of the enterprising business men in the community, who readily masters and intricate problems which continually arise in connection with the control and improvement of important farming interests.
In his political views Mr. Russell is a republican, well informed on the questions and issues of the day but without desire for office. He has been a member of the school board and school treasurer but otherwise has never consented to serve in positions of public trust. His father was also school treasurer for several years and was a delegate to several county conventions. Mr. Russell is a member of Sheridan Lodge, I. O. O. F. and in his life is loyal to the teachings of the order. A young man of good business ability and of strict integrity and worth, he has been a resident of the county throughout his entire life and is well known in Bedford and this section of the state.
The agricultural interests of Taylor county find a worthy representative in William Rutledge, who, although he has already passed the Psalmist's allotted span of three score years and ten, is still an active factor in the world's work. A son of Jacob and Frances Rutledge, he was born in Perry county, Ohio, on the 9th of November, 1835, and on his father's farm was reared to manhood. During the period of his boyhood and youth he attended the common schools and although he acquired a fair knowledge therein of the fundamental branches of English learning, he is nevertheless largely self-educated, having supplemented his early training by extensive reading and observation, and he has learned valuable lessons in the broader school of experience. He remained upon the home farm, assisting in the cultivation of the fields, until 1864, when, on the 2d of May he enlisted for one hundred days' service as a soldier in Company H, One Hundred and Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He participated in a number of skirmishes in which his regiment was engaged and after faithfully and bravely serving his term of enlistment was mustered out and honorably discharged on the 8th of September, 1864.
(Page 371) When the country was no longer in need of his services Mr. Rutledge returned home and in the same year, accompanied by his father and the other members of the household, he started for Taylor county, Iowa, with a team and prairie schooner, arriving at their destination on the 18th of November, 1864, having been forty days and forty nights on the journey. The father located in Marshall township, where he opened up a farm and spent the remainder of his life, passing away on the 6th of May, 1872, when sixty-eight years of age. His wife survived until the 1st of August, 1891, lacking but twenty days of being ninety-five years of age at the time of her demise.
On his arrival in this county William Rutledge located upon a farm of eighty acres which he had purchased before coming to Iowa and which now comprises a part of his present property. When it came into his possession it was still in an undeveloped condition but he immediately set about breaking the sod and converting the land into productive fields. The soil was naturally rich and fertile and responded readily to the care and labor bestowed upon it, and so in the course of years he placed the land under a high state of cultivation. As he prospered he was able to add to his original purchase until at one time he was the owner of six hundred acres of fine farming land, constituting him one of the extensive landowners of the locality. He has since given portions of this property to his children and his home farm now consists of two hundred and forty acres located on sections 10 and 11, Marshall township. It is one of the well improved and valuable properties of the township and in its midst stands an attractive and modern residence, while in the rear he has erected two large barns and substantial outbuildings. He has set out a good orchard and grove and the place is adorned with some large and beautiful trees of his own planting. He devotes his time and attention to the tilling of the soil, is progressive in his methods and has conducted his interests along strictly up-to-date and modern lines, so that his industry, energy and perseverance are now finding ample reward in the gratifying degree of prosperity which is today his.
On the 31st of December, 1857, in Perry county, Ohio, Mr. Rutledge was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Biggs, a native of that county, and unto them have been born seven children, one son, Charles S., having passed away in infancy. The others are: Mary F., the wife of N. J. Smith, of Trenton, Nebraska; Ella Kate, who married C. S. Jones, a farmer of Marshall township; Alice, who is still under the parental roof; Abraham E., engaged in agricultural pursuits in Marshall township; T. T., who is married and now resides in Idaho; and J. E., a resident farmer of Marshal township.
The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Sharpsburg and occupy a high place in social circles of the community. Fraternally Mr. Rutledge is a Master Mason, holding membership in Conway blue lodge, while he maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in Conway Post, G. A. R. A stalwart republican in politics, he cast his first ballot in 1856 for John C. Fremont, and since that time has voted for every presidential candidate on that ticket. He has been called to office, having served for several years as township clerk, township trustee and also justice of the peace, while he has been sent by his party as a delegate to various county conventions. Preeminently public-spirited in his citizenship, during the forty-five (page 372) years of his residence in Taylor county and he has been thoroughly identified with its growth and development. At the time of his arrival the county seat was a little village of about three hundred inhabitants and the railroads had not yet been laid. During the intervening years he has seen many changes along lines of general advancement and has at all times taken an active and helpful part in the work of improvement and development. Throughout his entire career he has been actuated by high ideals and manly principles and in his life record there has not been a single esoteric phase. A man of strict integrity and honesty of purpose, he has gained the esteem, confidence and good will of his fellowmen and the consensus of public opinion accords him a foremost place among the valued and respected citizens of Taylor county.
C. W. SAGE
C. W. Sage, to whom is due the credit of having improved two highly cultivated farms, is one of the most industrious and progressive agriculturists of Taylor county. He was born in Mercer county, Illinois, on the 9th of June, 1853, and is a son of Charles E. and Keziah M. (Norris) Sage. The father was a native of Saratoga, New York, where he was reared and married. He engaged in farming in Saratoga county, that state, for some time, and then removed to Michigan, where he resided for two years. Continuing his westward journey he next located in Illinois, where he cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Mercer county and opened up two farms, in the operation of which he continued for some time. Subsequently he removed to Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois, and from there to Van Buren county, Iowa, finally locating in Knoxville, where his death occurred in 1871. In his family were two sons and five daughters, of which number C. W. Sage, of this review, and three sisters still survive.
C. W. Sage was a little lad of four years when he accompanied his parents to Galesburg, and there he was reared to manhood. He acquired a good education in the common schools of that city and remained under the parental roof until he attained years of maturity. He then learned the baker's trade and was engaged in that line of activity for three years, when, thinking to find agricultural pursuits more congenial and profitable, he withdrew from that business and began working by the month on a farm in Knox county, Illinois, His time was thus employed from 1878 until 1881, at the end of which period he came to Iowa and purchased land in Marshall township, Taylor county. He resided thereon but one year, however, and then sold the property and invested in one hundred and sixty acres in Grant township, that farm forming the nucleus of his present possessions. When he purchased it, the land was only partially improved and he at once directed his entire energies to its further cultivation. As time passed by he prospered in his enterprise and was able to add from time to time to his original purchase until his home farm now consists of two hundred and forty-eight acres, all under a high state of cultivation. The excellent condition of his farm is due to his intense energy and industry. Upon the home place he has erected a neat and attractive residence, has built a substantial barn and good outbuildings, and has enclosed his fields with well-kept fences, while he has also set out a large orchard and a beautiful grove of evergreen, arbor vitae and white pine. He combines general farming with stock-raising interests, making a specialty of fattening hogs, while he also raises high-grade horses, being the owner of several fine animals and having in his possession one especially fine team which has been awarded premiums at various fairs. In the conduct of his various business interests he has been extremely active and industrious, in fact carrying on the work of two men, and these qualities have been the salient characteristics of the very gratifying success which is today his.
On the 29th of March, 1885, Mr. Sage was united in marriage to Miss Ida Shawler, who was born in Warren county, Illinois, but reared to maturity in Ringgold county, Iowa. Her father, Richard Shawler, was a farmer by occupation and was numbered among the early pioneer settlers of that county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sage have been born four children, as follows: Frank, assisting his father on the home farm; Lila, the wife of Frank House, a farmer of Grant township; Marie and Mildred, still under the parental roof; and Lena, who passed away at the age of thirteen months.
Mrs. Sage and the two eldest children are members of the Christian church of Clearfield, in the work of which they are deeply interested and the teachings of which form the guiding influences of their lives. Politically Mr. Sage gives stalwart allegiance to the republican party and has served as road supervisor. (page 282) He was one of the promoters of the first telephone company of the county, the line extending from Maloy to Clearfield, and has been identified with various other improvements instituted throughout the county. Public-spirited in an eminent degree, he does all in his power to further those measures and matters which have for their object the substantial upbuilding and growth of the community, and the consensus of public opinion accords him a high place in the ranks of Grant township's representative citizens.
Alonzo Sanford is numbered among those residents of Lenox whose labor in previous years now makes it possible for them to live retired from the active duties of business life and enjoy in well earned rest the fruits of their former toil. He is a native of New York state, his birth occurring in Herkimer county on the 3d of September, 1844, his parents being Silas and Eunice (Flansberry) Sanford, the former born in Connecticut and the latter in New York. The father went to the Empire state in early manhood and was there married. He purchased a farm there and continued in its operation until 1852, when he came west and located in McDonough county, Illinois, where he opened up a new farm and cast in his lot with the early pioneer settlers. He made his home within the borders of that county until the time of his death, which occurred about 1869, his wife surviving until 1899. In their family were four sons and five daughters, all of whom were born in New York and reared in Illinois. Three sons and a daughter still survive.
Amid the scenes and environments of pioneer life Alonzo Sanford spent the years of his boyhood and youth, and with the other members of the family assisted in opening up new land and cultivating and improving the home farm. He remained under the parental roof until nineteen years of age, and then, desiring to assist his country in her hour of need, he left home and became a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in February, 1863, as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for a term of one year. He went south to Tennessee and Mississippi and saw much active service with his regiment, and during this time took part in the battle of Memphis. He was honorably discharged at the close of his term of enlistment, but later he reenlisted in February, 1864, joining Company A, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. He again went south to Tennessee and Mississippi and participated in numerous skirmishes and small fights. He was detailed to serve as General A. J. Smith's bodyguard for a time, and then returned to company duty, continuing in active service until the close of the war. He was honorably discharged at Springfield in November, 1865, and with a most creditable military record returned home, where he remained on the farm for some time.
Mr. Sanford was united in marriage in McDonough county, September 30, 1869, to Miss Lydia Crandle, a native of Ohio where she was reared. They began their domestic life upon a farm in that county, which Mr. Sanford continued to operate in the capacity of renter until 1870. In that year he came to (page 375) Taylor county, Iowa, and rented a farm for two or three years, and then located in Platte township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. The farm was but partially developed when it came into his possession, but with characteristic energy he directed his efforts toward its further improvement and with the passing of the years brought his fields under a high state of cultivation. He erected a comfortable and attractive residence, substantial barns and outbuildings, set out a good grove and orchard and enclosed the entire place with well kept fences. Under his careful and wise management the place became one of the valuable and desirable farming properties of the township, in its neat and well improved appearance indicating the industry and thrift of its owner. Possessing good business ability, systematic, methodical and progressive in his methods, as the years passed he was able to attain a most substantial and gratifying success which placed him above the necessity for further labor and made it possible for him to withdraw from the active duties of business life. Consequently in 1880 he sold his homestead and removed to Lenox, where he has since continued to make his home. He built the beautiful dwelling which is now occupied by himself and wife, and also owns three other residences which he erected and which are returning to him a substantial annual rental.
Mr. and Mrs. Sanford are both prominent and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Lenox, in which he has been a class leader for years and has also been actively and helpfully interested in Sunday-school work. He is republican in politics and since age conferred upon him the right of franchise has given stalwart support to the party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war. He holds pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in the Grand Army Post of Lenox, and in all matters of citizenship is as loyal to the old flag as when he carried it upon southern battlefields. A gentleman of strict integrity and true personal worth, he has gained the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen and the consensus of public opinion accords him a high place among the representative and valued residents of Taylor county, within whose borders he has resided for nearly forty years. He has passed the sixty-fifth milestone on life's journey, and now in the evening of life can look back upon the past without regret and forward to the future without fear.
NELSON CORNELIUS SCOTT
Nelson Cornelius Scott, one of the successful farmers of Holt township, was born on the farm on which he now lives, April 2, 1856. His father, Cornelius Nelson Scott, was born in Ohio but reared in Indiana, and in 1852, came to Taylor county, Iowa, where he entered forty acres of government land. On this he commenced farming and improved the place and as the years brought rich returns for his toils he added to it until he owned two hundred acres at the time of his death. He was one of the first settlers of the county and struggled through many hardships which might have been discouraging to others. He was a republican in his political views and played an important part in the councils of his party and in the public life of his community. When he died in 1891, in his sixty-ninth year, the conditions he had known when he came to this locality had entirely passed away, and he had the satisfaction of feeling that the progress was in no small measure due to his efforts. His wife who had been Miss Elizabeth Dunkin in her maidenhood, was born in Indiana, where they were married, and she died in 1881 at the age of fifty-two. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was the mother of nine children, only three of whom are now living; Nelson Cornelius, of this sketch; Mrs. Hodge, of Holt township; and Mrs. Morrison, of Washington township.
Nelson Cornelius Scott was reared on his present farm, which has always been his home and under the guidance of his parents received those invaluable lessons for life which amply supplemented the instruction he obtained in the little district school. Reared to the pursuits of an agriculturist, he chose that vocation for his own when the time came that he should assume the responsibilities of his own life. He has seen his industrious toil rewarded richly and to the two hundred acres which he inherited from his father has been able to add eighty more, so that his is a tract of good size and high value. On it he pursues a general line of agriculture, employing up-to-date methods in his work and sparing (page 516) no effort to attain to the success which he believes to be his birthright and indeed that of everyone who is willing to work for it.
On the 25th of March, 1878, Mr. Scott was united in marriage with Miss Laura Combs, a native of Mound City, Missouri, and a daughter of John and Sarah Combs, both deceased. Mrs. Scott died March 9, 1909, and is survived by six of her seven children. They are: Dora, deceased, who was the wife of Frank Chapell; Myrtie, the wife of Jule Demangue, a farmer of Nebraska; Theresa, who is the widow of Oliver Landers, and makes her home with her father; Esther, who is the wife of Arthur Welch and they also live with Mr. Scott; William, who married Miss Rose Still and lives on his father's farm; Walter, who wedded Miss Vina Nott and is an agriculturist of Holt township; and Fannie, who is at home.
The family are members of the Christian church, with which Mr. Scott is officially connected. He is a stanch supporter of the republican party and has not been inconspicuous in local affairs, for he is serving his second term as township trustee and for nine years has been one of the school directors. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Modern Woodmen and attends the meetings of these lodges in Gravity. Successful in his own private affairs and careful in the execution of the duties placed upon him by his fellow citizens, he is a man of whom account must be taken in appraising the power of the farming community of Holt township.