History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: email@example.com)
[page 633] H.L. CARR - H.L. Carr, who is now serving his first term as mayor of Blockton, is showing himself well qualified to fill the position to the satisfaction of the public and with credit to himself. Spending his life here from his childhood days, he is well known to the people of this section, who have chosen him for the responsible position which he is now filling. Born in Worth county, Missouri, March 9, 1862, he was but an infant when brought to Taylor county by his parents, Thomas and Mary (Williams) Carr, the former a native of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where he was reared. He came as a young man to Taylor county, Iowa, and it was here that his marriage to Miss Williams was consummated. Following his marriage Mr Carr removed to Worth county, Missouri, where he remained for a time but eventually returned to Taylor county, where he enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of the Ninth Iowa Cavalry under Captain Flick. Going south with his company he was there taken sick and died in a hospital at Benton Barracks about 1864. His widow still survives and now makes her home in Redding, Ringgold county, Iowa.
H.L. Carr of this review was but a child when he was taken to Clinton county, this state, and was there reared on a farm, while his education was acquired in the common schools. He was a young man of twenty years, when, in 1882, he returned to Taylor county and sought employment at farm labor. He [page 634] was married in October of the following year, 1883, to Miss Sarah Allen, who was born in Ohio but they were married in Buchanan county, Iowa.
Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon a farm situated near Blockton and Mr Carr gave his attention to general farming for about four years, when, believing that other pursuits would prove more congenial, as well as profitable to him, he removed to Blockton and for several years was engaged in various lines of business. Always of a public-spirited nature, he has many times served in local official positions and on the republican ticket was elected mayor of Blockton, now serving his first term in that responsible position. Although he has served but a short time he has already demonstrated that he is the right man in the right place for he at once undertook the work of having the streets cleaned, walks laid and in other ways has made needed improvements which have added not only to the comfort and convenience of Blockton's residents but to the attractive appearance of the city as well. On all public questions where the best interests of the community are involved he is ever to be found on the right side and stands firm in support of his honest convictions.
Prominent in fraternal circles, Mr Carr is a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge, in which he has served through all the chairs and is now a past chancellor. He has also served as a delegate ot the grand lodge seven years and has been instrumental in framing the by-laws with the pythian committee. The marriage of Mr and Mrs Carr has been blessed with three children but their first-born, Vanna V., died when three years of age, the surviving members being Cullen B. and Beulah May. The family are prominent in social circles in Blockton and as an official Mr Carr stands high in the community, having the confidence and esteem of all with whom he is brought in contact, while as charter members of the Christian church both Mr and Mrs Carr take an active part in the various organizations of that denomination.
Earnest, persistent and intelligently directed labor constitutes the basis of all legitimate and honorable success. More than a century ago Thomas Jefferson said: "The hope of the nation lies in the tillers of the soil," while George Washington said: "Agriculture is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man." To that work Howard Hensley devoted his energies until he had acquired capital sufficient to enable him to put aside further cares and spend his remaining days in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He is, therefore, now living retired in Bedford but for many years was a leading representative of the farming interests of Taylor county.
Mr. Hensley was born in Bloomington, Indiana, May 9, 1844, and is a son of Nathan and Mary (Moshur) Hensley, the former of Kentucky and the latter of Tennessee. He became one of the early settlers of Kentucky, afterward removing to Bloomington, Indiana, and for many years followed farming, spending his last days in Monroe county, Indiana. The maternal grandfather of (page 635) Howard Hensley removed from Tennessee to Indiana at an early period in the development of the latter state and he, too, made farming his life work. He was of German lineage and both he and his wife died when well advanced in years, after rearing a large family. The children of Samuel and Jane Hensley were twelve in umber: James, Sally, Richard, Joseph, Martha, Mary, Jane, Nancy, Rachel, Nathan, John and Catharine.
Of this family Nathan Hensley was reared to farm life and always carried on general agricultural pursuits. He removed from Kentucky to Indiana, later to Illinois and eventually to Washington territory, but in the fall of 1874 returned to the Mississippi Valley and settled in Iowa. He lived in Bedford until 1879 when he took up his abode in Hopkins, Missouri, his death there occurring in 1880 when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife survived him until 1900 and was eighty-five years of age at the time of her demise. Both were members of the Baptist church and their many good qualities made them people of the highest respectability. Their family numbered four sons and seven daughters: Byers, Henry and Mrs. Elizabeth Ferris, all now deceased; Eliza, the deceased wife of David Alexander; Martha, the wife of Uriah Mullikin, of Franklin, Indiana; Howard; Mary, the widow of Theodore Risser, of Maryville, Missouri; Celia, the wife of Isaac Helton, of Chicago; Richard, who died when four years of age; Mrs. Winnie Mustine, deceased; and Sarah, who became the wife of Charles Bagby and after his death married Charles Ramsay, now deceased. She now resides in Clarinda, Iowa.
In taking up the personal history of Howard Hensley we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorable known in Bedford and Taylor county. His youthful days were spent in the usual manner of farm lads, for he was upon his father's farm near Bloomington, Indiana, and attended the district schools there. At the age of seventeen years he enlisted in response to the country's call for aid to crush out the rebellion in the south, becoming a member of Company F, Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He joined the army on the 5th of March, 1862, and was mustered out on the 5th of March, 1865. At the battle of Antietam on the 17th of September, 1862, he was wounded and lay for three days and nights on the battlefield. So many were the wounded in that engagement that the army surgeons and their assistants could not attend to him before that time. He was then taken from the battlefield to the hospital at Germantown, Philadelphia. He had participated in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam and a number of small engagements in Virginia and in the vicinity of Washington. There were eighty men in his company whose height ranged from six to seven feet, Captain David Van Buskirk being seven feet tall. Captain Copp who was killed at Antietam, was the first commander of Company F, while General Mansfield commanded the corps and was also killed there.
Mr. Hensley never faltered in the performance of any military duty whether it called him to the thickest of the fight or stationed him on the lonely picket line. When the country no longer needed his aid he returned to his home in Indiana and soon afterward removed to McDonough county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming until 1868. He then went to Iroquois county, Illinois, where he resided until 1873 and in that year arrived in Taylor county, Iowa, settling in Ross (page 636) township. At one time he was the owner of an extensive and valuable farm of five hundred and twenty-five acres and he still has two hundred and ten acres of rich and productive land. He improved his property according to modern methods, continued the cultivation of his fields for thirty years and reared his family upon his farm. He then removed to Bedford, where he purchased a beautiful home that he now occupies and amid pleasant surroundings he is enjoying the comforts and some of the luxuries that go to make life worth living. In addition to the tilling of the soil he was formerly engaged extensively in the raising of stock, making a specialty of horses.
On the 27th of December, 1868, Mr. Hensley was married to Miss Susanna Wingard, a daughter of Jacob and Susanna (Zook) Wingard. She was born at Camden, Carroll county, Indiana, July 26, 1846, while her parents were natives of Pennsylvania. They became early settlers of Indiana, however, and there they reared their family of seventeen children, of whom ten are now living: Abraham; Catherine, the wife of Morgan A. Dewey; Susanna, the wife of Howard Hensley; Jacob Z.; Alexander; James; Elizabeth, the wife of Felda Runk; Rosanna, the wife of Samuel Van Horn; Mellie, the wife of Christ Van Nett; and Emily, the wife of William Yager. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Hensley were John and Catherine Wingard. The former was a native of Pennsylvania and of German lineage. He died at an old age, while his wife passed away when well advanced in years. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Hensley was a native of Pennsylvania and a farmer by occupation.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Hensley was blessed with twelve children. Susanna L., the eldest, is the wife of J. F. Miller, of Los Angeles, California, and they have two children, Galon R. and Flossie. Tilman H., a farmer of Taylor county, married Ella E. Spencer and they have seven children: Hazel I., Burrell H., Lela R., Ora R., Wayne, Ralph and Opal. Leah R. is the wife of T. F. Allen, of Ross township and has two children, Cecil E. and Russell. Jacob N., a farmer living three miles southeast of Bedford, married Miss Bertha J. Jones and they have four children, Ethel, Dewey, Clay and Nell. Mary C. is the wife of Lewis McClernon, of Page county, Iowa, and they have three children:, Howard, and Gale and an infant. Phebe E. is the wife of C. A. Ferrell, of Missoula, Montana. Blanche E. is the wife of A. E. Beauchamp, of Butte, Montana, and they have one child, Eula. Winnie M. is the wife of E. E. Tondo, residing near Bedford, and they have one son, Kenneth H. James A., who married Chloe Griffith, resides on the home farm. Lillian F. is the wife of H. A. Stephens, living at Missoula, Montana. Ruth T. and Ruby C. were twins and are deceased.
In 1909 Mr. and Mrs. Hensley spent two months in the west, visiting Montana, Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Denver. They are members of the Christian church and are people of the highest respectability, enjoying the confidence, good will and esteem of all who know them. Mr. Hensley belongs to Sedgewick Post, No. 10, G. A. R., and at the polls gives earnest endorsement to the republican party and its principles. He has served as school director and for a number of years was township trustee. The duties of these positions he discharged with promptness and fidelity and at all times has been an advocate of public progress and improvement, being as loyal to his country in days of peace as when he followed the old flag upon the battlefields of the south. His business record, too, is equally commendable, his success being honorably won in legitimate fields of labor.