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)
Asa Terrill, a well known business man of Blockton who has also been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Taylor county for a number of years, is one of Iowa's native sons, his birth having occurred in Shelby county, August 18, 1855. He is a son of Dwight and Catherine (Bowman) Terrill, natives of Lorain county, Ohio, and Indiana, respectively. The father accompanied his parents to Iowa when a young man and located at Blakesburg. He was married (page 490) in Shelby county and later removed to Nebraska. While residing in that state he enlisted as a soldier in the Civil war, participating in the Indian skirmishes on the western plains. Subsequently he removed to Worth county, Missouri and later came to Taylor county, Iowa, locating in Jefferson township. From there he removed to Shelby county, Iowa, where his last days were spent, his death occurring there about 1890. His wife died October 31, 1901.
Reared amid the scenes and environment of rural life, Asa Terrill passed the days of his boyhood and early youth in his native county upon his father's farm and acquired his early education in the district schools, while the periods of vacation were devoted to assisting his father in the work of the fields. He remained under the parental roof until seventeen years of age, when he entered business life as a clerk in Platteville, where he received good practical training and remained until 1877.
On the 25th of August of that year, in Platteville, Mr. Terrill was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Standley, a daughter of Dr. Standley, a pioneer physician and business man of Taylor county. She is also a sister of Dr. Joseph P. Standley, of Bedford, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, and was born and reared in Taylor county. After his marriage Mr. Terrill removed to a farm, which he operated for one year, and then went to Bedford, where he conducted the Pacific Hotel for several years. He subsequently sold out and for about a year was identified with mercantile interests at Mankato, Kansas, but in the following March he again sold out and went upon the road as a traveling man. He was thus engaged for about four years and during this period he had removed his family to Platteville, where they resided while he was upon the road. Later he withdrew from commercial lines and purchased a farm near that city, to which he removed and upon which he resided until 1902, actively and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. In that year he came to Blockton and engaged in the hardware and implement business for four years, but since 1906 he has lived retired. During his connection with agricultural pursuits he followed general farming and was an extensive breeder and dealer in live stock, making a specialty of shorthorn cattle, and he held many large and profitable sales. He is still interested in stock raising along the line of his specialty and also owns two valuable and well improved farms, which are proving a source of a very gratifying income to him. As the years have come and gone he has prospered in his various enterprises and has invested in property from time to time until he is now the owner of about eleven hundred acres of fine farm land, constituting him one of the extensive landowners of this section of the county.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Terrill has been blessed with two children. The eldest, Maud Amma, is now the wife of Christian Mosier, a partner of this father-in-law in his farming and stock-raising interests, making a specialty of shorthorn cattle, and by her marriage she has become the mother of one child, Trula Anida. The son, Jay S. Terrill, is a physician and is actively engaged in the practice of his profession in Blockton.
Mrs. Terrill is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and her life has at all times been in harmony with her professions. The family residence in Blockton is owned by Mr. Terrill and is one of the fine, up-to-date homes of the city. He and his wife are well known in the social circles and fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to the blue lodge, the Bedford Chapter and Leon Commandery, while he also holds membership in the Mystic Shrine at Davenport. Politically Mr. Terrill is a progressive republican, doing all in his power to further the interests of that party in his community. He has served for a number of years as trustee and has also been sent as a delegate to various state and county conventions. Starting out at an early age without capital, he has worked his way steadily upward, improving every opportunity and utilizing every chance that has led to successful advancement. By perseverance, determination and honorable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which barred his path to prosperity and he stands today among the progressive and representative citizens of Taylor county.
JAY S. TERRILL
Among the younger members of the medical fraternity who are now engaged in the active practice of their profession in Blockton, is numbered Dr. Jay S. Terrill, who, although he has been a resident of this city only since 1905, has in the meantime been accorded a very satisfactory patronage, which is constantly growing as his ability and worth become more widely recognized. One of Iowa's native sons, his entire life has been passed in Taylor county. His birth occurred in Bedford in the old Pacific Hotel, March 5, 1882, and he is a son of Asa and Ida M. (Standley) Terrill, mention of whom is made on another page of this volume.
Reared in Taylor county, Dr. Jay S. Terrill acquired his early education in the schools of Blockton and Platteville, while later he attended Simpson College. Deciding upon the profession of medicine as a congenial and profitable life work, he pursued a course of lectures at Ensworth Central College, graduating from that institution with the class of 1906. He then located for practice at Shannon City, and continued in that place for one year, at the end of which time he came to Blockton and has continued to make this his home, here engaging in general practice. He has good offices, thoroughly equipped with all the accessories (page 546) necessary for the practice of his profession while he is the owner of one of the few X-Ray machines to be found in this vicinity. He has already built up a good practice, which is constantly expanding. He has continued a student of the science of medicine, seeking by study and research to broaden his knowledge, while at all times he keeps abreast of the progress and improvement being carried on in the medical world through his membership in the National, State and County Medical Associations. In former years Dr. Terrill was his father's partner in the hardware and implement business and is well known not only in this city but also in Bedford and throughout Taylor county.
On the 6th of September, `1905, Dr. Terrill was united in marriage in this county to Miss Ruby Ewart, who was born and reared in Taylor county and is a daughter of William Ewart, one of the old settlers of Gay township, this county. They now have a little daughter, Maxine, born August 21, 1909.
In his fraternal relations Dr. Terrill holds membership in the Knights of Pythias lodge and is serving as one of its officials. In politics he is a republican, but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him, his time and energies being entirely occupied with the duties of his chosen calling, which he discharges with a sense of conscientious obligation and with a thorough understanding of the responsibility that devolves upon him. He is, however, serving as city and township physician and is an honored member of the Taylor County Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He is a student of the signs of the times, keeping in touch with the trend of modern thought concerning matters of general interest as well as of professional advancement. He is making a creditable record as a member of the medical fraternity and is meeting with gratifying success in his practice.
W. J. W. TOWNSEND
Unceasing activity and strong purpose have been the salient feature in the business life of W. J. W. Townsend, of Blockton. He has lived in Iowa since 1853 and in Taylor county since 1874 and thus has been a witness of much of the growth and development of this portion of the state. He has also cooperated in the work of general progress and improvement and his business interests have been of a character that have contributed to general progress as well as to individual success.
A native of Virginia, Mr. Townsend was born in Highland county on the 20th of March, 1852. His father, Stuart Townsend, was likewise a native of the Old Dominion, where he was reared and married. On leaving the south, in 1853, he brought his family to Iowa, settling first in Monroe county and afterward in Appanoose county, whence, in 1873, he removed to Taylor county, (page 680) casting in his lot among the pioneer residents of this part of the state. He lived first in Gay township and subsequently in Jefferson township and with undaunted spirit endured the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life in his effort to establish a home upon the frontier.
W. J. W. Townsend was but one year old at the time of the removal of the family to this state. He was reared to manhood in Monroe and Appanoose counties and later engaged in clerking in Blockton and also in Platteville. In 1885 he opened a general store in Platteville and subsequently at Athelstan. After conducting both for a time he sold out at Platteville and continued in business at Athelstan until September 15, 1909, when he sold out. He has recently established a general store in Blockton where he is now carrying on business. He also owns two farms in Jefferson township and derives therefrom a substantial rental to supplement the income which he secures from his mercantile interests.
Mr. Townsend was married in Gay township, this county, in 1874 to Miss Rosettie E. Brott, who was born and reared in Monroe county, Iowa. There are five children of this marriage. The eldest is Dr. Owen S. Townsend who for a number of years has engaged in the practice of medicine in Nebraska. He was graduated from Rush Medical College when twenty-one years of age and afterward spent one year in travel abroad, sailing from San Francisco and passing through many countries, after which he landed at New York. Amy N., at home, was engaged in teaching four years in the public schools, the last two years being spent in the graded schools of Blockton. Guy W., who has attained considerable notoriety as a catcher in the league ball teams, will graduate from the Creighton Medical College, at Omaha, Nebraska, in May, 1910, at which time he will have completed a four years' course and won his M.D. degree. Ivan R. and Florence M. are attending school in Blockton. Mrs. Townsend is an active and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally, Mr. Townsend is connected with the Athelstan Lodge, I. O. O. F. In politics he has been a lifelong republican, voting over thirty times in Jefferson township, never failing to be present at every election. He served as postmaster at Platteville for eleven years and has been notary public for twenty-two years. In the duties of citizenship he is never remiss but seeks advancement along lines of general improvement, and as the years go by he does his full share for the upbuilding of his community. He is well known in Bedford, Blockton and the eastern part of the county and has a circle of friends almost coextensive with the the circle of his acquaintance.
Kendrick Utter, an enterprising and substantial agriculturist and stock raiser of Grant township, is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of rich and arable land, eighty acres of which constitute his home place on section 14. He is likewise numbered among the early settlers of Taylor county, having taken up his abode within its borders in 1875. His birth occurred in Madison county, New York, on the 17th of December, 1852, his father being Palmer Utter, who was likewise born and reared in the Empire State. His mother bore the maiden name of Julia Mann. Palmer Utter was actively identified with general agricultural pursuits in New York and in that state all of his children were born. In 1855 he removed westward to Iowa, settling in Louisa county, where he opened up and developed a farm, to the cultivation and improvement of which he gave his attention throughout the remainder of his life. Subsequent to the death of his first wife he was again married, his second union being with Caroline Thorpe.
Kendrick Utter, who was but three years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this state, remained on his father's farm in Louisa county until he was married at the age of twenty-two years. In 1875 he came to Taylor county, taking up his abode on the farm where he now resides on section 14, Grant township. He first purchased and broke a tract of forty acres of raw land and erected thereon a small house, in which he made his home for several years. Subsequently he bought another forty-acre tract adjoining and later added (page 525) to his landed holdings by purchasing forty acres in another section. He also owns a half section of land in Canada. On his home farm he has erected a commodious and substantial residence and a large barn and also planted a grove and orchard, setting out peach and apple trees. The attractiveness of the place is greatly enhanced by evergreen and ornamental trees. Mr. Utter has a wind-pump on each of his farms and his neat and well improved property is the visible evidence of his life of well-directed industry and perseverance. In addition to cultivating the various cereals best adapted to soil and climate he also devotes some attention to the raising and feeding of hogs and likewise conducts a dairy business. As the years have gone by his capable management and energy have brought to him well-earned and justly merited success and he is now widely recognized as a prosperous and representative citizen of the community.
On the 10th of March, 1875, in Louisa county, Iowa, Mr. Utter was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. Sutherland, who was born, reared and educated in Canada. Prior to her marriage she successfully followed the profession of teaching in that country and also in Louisa county, this state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Utter was born one child, a son, who died in infancy.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Utter has supported the men and measures of the republican party but has never sought nor desired office as a reward for his fealty, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business affairs. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church, while his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church at Clearfield. He has now made his home in this county for more than a third of a century and has lived to see a remarkable transformation as pioneer customs have been replaced by the evidences of a progressive and advanced civilization. Little pioneer homes have been replaced by the commodious and substantial residences built in modern styles of architecture, trees have been planted and the native prairie grasses have been replaced by all the cereals that are cultivated by the farmer today. In all the work of general improvement Mr. Utter has borne his part and well deserves mention in this history.
S. E. WAINWRIGHT
The enterprising town of Lenox finds a well-known representative of its business interests in S. E. Wainwright, who for eight years has been connected with the lumber trade at this place. He has made his home in Iowa since 1869 and has lived within the borders of Taylor county since 1893. He is numbered among the native sons of Illinois, his birth having occurred near Rockford, in Winebago county, on the 9th of May, 1867. He was therefore only two years old when his parents crossed the Mississippi into this state, taking up their abode upon a farm near Keokuk, where the subject of this review was reared. He was trained to habits of industry, economy and integrity, and his intellectual discipline was received in the schools of Malvern, Iowa, and in the Gem City Business College of Quincy, Illinois, where he completed a course and was graduated. Being thus well qualified for the onerous and responsible duties of a business career he started out in life for himself at Sharpsburg, where for six years he was actively associated with the lumber and grain trade, and also conducted a banking business. He afterward disposed of his interests there and removed to Lenox, where he bought out a lumber business and later a grain business. His operations in this line are scarcely equaled and hardly surpassed by any dealer in the county, the extent of his purchases and sales making him one of the foremost representatives of this line of trade in Taylor county. A man of resourceful business ability, he has also extended his labors into other fields and is now conducting a profitable enterprise in the manufacture of cement blocks. In the fall of 1908, he built a garage and put in a stock of automobiles, carrying some of the best-known makes of motor cars. He is a stockholder in the State Savings Bank and his father is a stockholder in the first National Bank at Lenox. Mr. Wainwright is justly accounted one of the most active and prosperous business men of this part of the state, and his enterprise is of direct value to the community because of the amount of money which is thereby kept in circulation and the fact that he gives employment to from six to eight men throughout the year.
In 1890, Mr. Wainwright was united in marriage to Miss Anna Wolf, who is a native of Kansas but was reared in Iowa. She enjoyed liberal educational privileges and for some years successfully engaged in teaching, after which she became assistant cashier in the Sharpsburg Bank. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wainwright are members of the Lenox Presbyterian church and fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows, and also the Knights of Pythias lodge at Lenox. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and for three years he served as a member of the city council, exerting his official prerogatives in support of many measures for the public good. He has erected an attractive and modern residence in Lenox which is the abode of warm-hearted hospitality and the center of a cultured social circle. He also materially aided in advancing the interests of the town and the surrounding country, possessing the spirit of determination which enables him to accomplish whatever he undertakes, while his success at all times has been won by methods which neither seek nor require disguise.