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)
FRANK N. LEWIS
No compendium such as this work defined in its essential limitations would be considered complete were there failure to make prominent reference to Frank N. Lewis, who is now serving as mayor of the city, his administration being characterized by needed reforms, improvement and progress. Moreover he figures prominently in various business lines, especially in financial circles as the president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Bedford. He was born in Berlin, Wisconsin, February 17, 1854. His parents were Levi N. and Harley Ann (Resseguie) Lewis, who were natives of Pennsylvania. The family was an old one in that state, the grandfather's birth having there occurred. He was well known because of his political activity and enjoyed much more than a local reputation as a competent speaker. Unto him and his wife were born four children: Levi N.; Charles, now deceased; Ezra; and Orvis. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Lewis Resseguie, a native of Pennsylvania, but of French descent. He was a farmer by occupation and died in Wisconsin at an advanced age while his wife passed away in middle life. Their three children were: Alden, Ambrose and Harley Ann.
(Page 667) Levi N. Lewis studied law in early life and on leaving the east removed to Berlin, Wisconsin, becoming one of the first settlers of that locality. About 1859 he arrived in Taylor county, Iowa, and opened a law office in Bedford where for many years he engaged in active practice. His ability at the bar was pronounced, bring him a liberal clientage and in other ways he proved himself a valuable citizen of the community. He platted considerable Bedford land which he made out in town lots, owning fifty acres of what is known as the Lewis addition, now constituting the finest residential district of the city. He was at one time mayor of Bedford and his allegiance to the public good was always pronounced, being manifest in many tangible ways. He died here at the age of sixty-three years while his wife passed away July 3, 1907, at the age of seventy-five. Both were members of the Presbyterian church and their many good qualities won for them the confidence and high regard of all with whom they were associated. Their family numbered five children, Frank N. being the only son and second in order of birth. The daughters are: Ella, the wife of William Faith of Bedford; Annie, the wife of Frank Igou of Kansas City, Missouri; Hattie, the deceased wife of A. B. Keplinger of Blockton, Iowa; and Una of Bedford.
Frank N. Lewis was only five years of age when his parents removed to Bedford so that almost his entire life has been passed in this city. His history is a familiar one to his fellow-townsmen who recognize in him one who has always been loyal to the best interests of the community. He acquired his education in the public schools, afterward learned the carpenter's trade and subsequently followed contracting and building for a number of years. On withdrawing from that field of labor he engaged in the retail lumber business for several years and subsequently took up the real-estate business. In all of these departments of labor he won substantial success and he still owns several brick business houses in Bedford, while both he and his wife are large land owners in Pottawatomie county, Kansas. On the 1st of May, 1908, Mr. Lewis organized the farmers & Merchants Bank in connection with George W. Hartley, who became cashier and Lloyd N. Lewis who became assistant cashier. From the beginning Mr. Lewis has been president and his individual responsibilities amount to seventy-five thousand dollars. He has learned the lessons which each experience of life has brought and is very apt in understanding conditions and possibilities. His intelligent appreciation of opportunity has been one of the strong points in his career, winning him success which is most enviable.
On the 23d of December, 1879, Mr. Lewis wedded Miss Cora P. Hall, a native of Dubuque county, Iowa, and a daughter of Thomas D. and Experience Hall. They became the parents of seven children: Leavitt; Elvira, the wife of George Shriber of Arlington, Iowa; Helen M., the wife of O. W Ormsby; Abbie, the wife of William Phillips, of Arlington; Cora, now Mrs. Lewis; Hattie M. the widow of Jesse Edwards, of Saratoga, Wyoming; and Minnie, the wife of Claud Garvey, of Kansas City, Kansas. The father of this family passed away August 17, 1908, at he remarkable old age of ninety years.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis has been blessed with four children: Adda May, Lloyd N., Mahlon D. and Gale M. Lewis, all at home. The parents and family are of the Presbyterian faith and are interested in the work of the church to which they belong. Mr. Lewis is also a member of Taylor Lodge, (page 668) No. 156, A. F. & A. M. He is recognized as one of the leaders of the republican party in this county, served as a member of the city council for five years and in 1908 was elected to the office of mayor. He is still the chief executive of the city and ably handles the reins of government. His administration is businesslike and his official service has been characterized by needed reforms and improvements. He has ever discharged his duties with marked ability for he is a most loyal public-spirited citizen. As a business man he has been conspicuous among his associates not only for his success but for his probity, fairness and honorable methods. In everything he has been eminently practical and this has been manifest not only in his business undertakings but also in social and private life.
ANDREW J. LITTEER
From pioneer times Andrew J. Litteer has made his home in Taylor county and has not only been an interested witness of its growth and development but has taken an active and helpful part in promoting the progress and upbuilding of this section of the state. He was closely associated with the farming interests of Taylor county for a long period. He arrived in 1855 when this section of Iowa was largely an unimproved wilderness, much of the land being still in possession of the government, while only here and there had a settlement been made to show that the seeds of civilization had been planted on the western frontier. He has (page 467) lived to a ripe old age and is now one of the most honored and respected as well as one of the most venerable citizens of the county. He has passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey, having been born in Sussex county, New Jersey, November 7, 1828. There he was reared to manhood and is almost wholly a self-educated man, having had few opportunities in his youth for the acquirement of those advantages which are sought in the schools and in books. He was reared on a farm but on attaining his majority went to New York city and engaged in driving a hack for three years on Broadway and Eighth avenue. He then determined to seek a home in the west and made his way to Iowa, arriving in Bedford in 1855. He went to work, like Abraham Lincoln, at splitting rails and in fact accepted any employment that he could obtain for he had only fifty cents on his arrival in Bedford and necessity made it imperative that he secure immediate employment. He also worked as a farm hand for three years but was desirous of engaging in business on his own account and carefully saved his earnings with that end in view.
On the 23d of September, 1858, Mr. Litteer was married in this county to Miss Mary L. Lewis, who was born in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, and was a daughter of Enos and Elizabeth Lewis. Her father died on his farm near Philadelphia during the early womanhood of his daughter Mary and the mother then reared her family. Miss Lewis was educated in Philadelphia and later was connected with business interests there for ten years. She came west to Iowa with a lady friend in 1856 and this friend established a millinery business in Dubuque, Miss Lewis entering her employ. In that way she spent one year but the following year, 1858, gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Litteer. On the 23d of September, 1908, they were surprised by their friends and neighbors who, knowing the fact that they had traveled life's journey together as man and wife for a half century, gathered at their home in celebration of their golden wedding They left many substantial evidences of their regard and esteem for this worthy couple and the occasion was a most enjoyable one.
Before his marriage Mr. Litteer had purchased a tract of railroad land of one hundred and twenty acres in Marshall township. He at once set to work to break the sod and till the prairie and in course of time had transformed the wild land into productive fields, from which he annually gathered rich harvests. His first home was a little log cabin in which they lived for six years, after which he erected a large two-story frame residence, the family being then comfortably ensconced within. He also built a good barn and outbuildings and had a grove of forty acres of native timberland. He bought more land from time to time as his financial resources increased until he owns four hundred and sixty acres in the old home place and another farm of two hundred and forty acres in Ross township. For several years he continued to engage in general farming but in 1865 removed to Bedford and built on the lot where he now resides. His original home in the city, however, has been replaced by a large commodious residence in which he is now spending the evening of his days. After coming to Bedford he engaged in the jewelry business for eighteen years and at the same time he managed his farming and stock-raising interests. He also conducted a dairy business here in Bedford for six years. His interests have been diversified but always (page 468) carefully controlled, and his wise judgment and enterprise have brought to him substantial success.
Mr. and Mrs. Litteer have no children of their own but have reared and educated seven children and thus have done a splendid work in the world. One of these was Ernest Litteer, a nephew of Mrs. Litteer, who for several years engaged in teaching but is now living on the old home farm. He is married and is numbered among the prosperous agriculturists of the community.
In his political views Mr. Litteer was a democrat in early life but in 1856 supported John C. Fremont for the presidency and has never missed an election since that time, supporting every presidential nominee of the republican party. He has served as road supervisor, as township trustee for a number of years and for a few years was also school director. He also served on the town council of Bedford for several years and in every political position has proven himself worthy of the trust reposed in him. He has been a delegate to the state and county conventions of his party and has always been greatly interested in its success because of his faith in its principles. Mr. Litteer is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having taken the degrees of the lodge, chapter and council, and in the lodge he filled various offices and is now a past master. He and his wife were formerly identified with the Eastern Star and Mrs. Litteer filled all of the chairs in that organization, becoming a worthy matron. Mr. Litteer has been a resident of the county for fifty-three years and of Bedford for forty-three years and is one of the oldest living among the first settlers. His work has been of far-reaching importance, for while promoting his individual interests he has also contributed to the substantial growth and improvement of he county. He is a man of tried integrity and worth, and he and his wife have the love and esteem of the entire community.
For many years Richard Livingston was actively identified with farming interests in Gay township, where he still owns a valuable farming property but since 1905, he has lived retired in a nice home in Blockton. He dates his residence in Iowa from 1859, coming west as a young man from New York, his birth having occurred in Tioga county, that state, on the 27th of October, 1837. His parents, William and Elizabeth (Young) Richards, were likewise natives of the Empire state, where they were reared and married. They eventually came to the west, settling in Indiana in 1849.
Richard Livingston was a young man of twenty-two years, when, believing that the opportunities in the west would more quickly enhance his financial condition, he came to Iowa in 1859 and engaged in farming in Muscatine county. It was while a resident of that section that he enlisted for service in the Civil war, offering his aid in September, 1861, and becoming a member of Company A, Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Going south with his company he took part in the battle of Shiloh, where he received a gunshot would in the left wrist, which disabled him for further active duty and he was honorably discharged.
Returning to his home in Iowa, Mr. Livingston was soon afterward married on February 20, 1863, the lady of his choice being Miss Minerva A. Stretch, who was born and reared in Muscatine county, a daughter of Andrew Stretch, who on coming from Ohio to Iowa, became one of the first settlers in Muscatine county.
Following his marriage Mr. and Mrs. Livingston began their domestic life upon a farm of eighty acres, which he had purchased in Muscatine county. He improved and developed his place and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1883, when he removed to Taylor county and purchased a farm in Gay township. This he also improved, erecting a nice country residence, good barn and other outbuildings and he also set out an orchard and a grove, so that his place is one of the valuable properties of Gay township. He added to his holdings from time to time until at one time he owned three hundred and twenty acres, but he has since sold to his son eighty acres of this and now retains possession of two hundred and forty acres. Throughout a long period Mr. Livingston was actively engaged in farming on this tract and his efforts were rewarded with success. He eventually left the farm and he and his wife removed to Bedford, where the latter could care for a brother, who was an invalid and who served in the Civil war. In 1905, however, they took up their abode in Blockton, where Mr. Livingston purchased a comfortable home and he and his wife are now living a contented and happy life, enjoying in well earned ease the fruits of their former toil.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Livingston has been blessed with four sons, namely: Marion A., who is a traveling salesman and makes his headquarters in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Charles M., a business man of Des Moines; A. L., who follows farming in Gay township; and William A., who operates the old home place.
Mr. Livingston is a republican in politics. He has been called by his fellow townsmen to serve in some public offices, filling the positions of township trustee and assessor. He has also been a delegate to county conventions and for many years served as school director, at one time being president of the board. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Livingston holds membership in the G. A. R. Post at Blockton. To those whose good fortune it is to know him intimately, his companionship, friendship and counsel are appreciated and helpful. With him there is no turning aside from right and duty but his every day life reflects his true Christian character. Both he and his companion are people of genuine worth and they have many friends both in Blockton and in the surrounding districts.
J. A. LOMAX
J. A. Lomax is known as a citizen whose cooperation can always be counted upon, where public interests are involved. His influence is always on the side of progress and advancement and he has thus become recognized as one of the valuable representatives of the community in which he lives. His home is on section 7, Jefferson township, and his business activity is directed in the line of general farming and stock-raising. He was born in Knox county, Illinois, December 18, 1858, and was reared to manhood upon a farm near Abingdon, in the same county. His educational privileges were those offered by the public-school system and he was early trained to the work of the fields, rendering to his father efficient aid in the tasks of plowing, planting and harvesting. When he had reached man's estate he was married in that locality on the 4th of July, 1881, to Miss Rilla Hawkins, also a native of Illinois.
Following his marriage Mr. Lomax engaged in farming in Knox county, Illinois, for about four years and during that period two children were added to the family. He then made his way west of the Mississippi, thinking to find in the less thickly settled country better advantages for the rapid attainment of success. Accordingly, in 1886, he made his way to Kansas and locating in Thomas county, which was then largely unimproved, he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he at once began to cultivate and develop. The breaking plow and the harrow were soon at work and in due course of time the fields were made productive and brought forth good crops but the location was not all that he desired and after nine years spent in Kansas he journeyed eastward in 1895 to Worth county, Missouri, settling near Sheridan. There he cultivated a rented farm until 1901, when he came across the border into Iowa and purchased (page 353) and located upon the farm upon which he now resides. It comprises one hundred and thirty acres of well improved and valuable land on section 7, Jefferson township, and when he took possession thereof he at once began its further development. He has since remodeled the dwelling and the barn and has fenced the place, putting in seven hundred posts the first year. He has also set out a young orchard and now has a fine variety of apples, peaches, cherries and plums. He likewise raises considerable small fruit and has displayed much ability along horticultural lines. The fields annually produce rich harvests and he likewise raises, feeds and ships stock, having upon his place a high grade of shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs. He keeps a pure-blooded Poland China male for breeding purposes and also a full-blooded shorthorn bull. His stock-raising interests have brought him desirable success and he has upon his place some very fine specimens of both cattle and hogs.
Mr. and Mrs. Lomax have become parents of five children: Earl; Lloyd; Ada, the wife of Hiram Pope, a farmer of Gay township, Taylor county; Lula, the wife of John Fluke, of Van Wert, Decatur county, Iowa; and Edith, at home. They also lost an infant daughter Gertie, who was the second born.
Mr. Lomax is well known in fraternal circles. He joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Sheridan, Missouri, served through the chairs at that place and is a past grand. His membership is now in Blockton lodge. He also became a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity while in Kansas but is not affiliated with the organization at the present time. His political views are in accordance with the principles of democracy, where state and national questions are involved, but locally he casts an independent ballot. He has been identified with educational interests in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, served as school treasurer in the first named state and is now president of the school board. He believes in the employment of competent teachers that the interests of the young people may be furthered along educational lines, realizing how valuable is mental discipline as a preparation for life's responsible duties. Mrs. Lomax belongs to the Christian church and both are people of genuine personal worth widely and favorably known in this part of the state.
H. M. LONG
H. M. Long is one of the best known citizens of Bedford and Taylor county, not only from the fact that he has been active in business circles and also as a farmer and stock raiser but also because of his close connection with affairs relative to the public good. For four years he filled the office of country sheriff and was deputy for twenty years, and in all relations of life his forceful personality and earnest purpose have been felt as factors in the growth and progress of the community. He is a native son of Iowa, having been born in Chariton, Lucas county, December 12, 1854. His father, W. M. P. Long, was a native of Virginia, and was there reared. He afterward went to Ohio, where he married Hannah Pope, a native of that state. Soon afterward they removed to Greencastle, Indiana, where W. M. P. Long engaged in merchandising for several years. In 1854 he arrived in Iowa, settling first in Lucas county, where he turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, opening up a new farm. He owned some land there and carried on general farming for a few years but in 1857 removed to Taylor county, becoming one of its first settlers. It was still a frontier district, for much of the land was still unclaimed and uncultivated and the work of progress and improvement in other lines seemed scarcely begun. In the new county he established a store and carried on general merchandising for a number of years. He was a stonemason by trade and after he disposed of the store he built the old courthouse and also the schoolhouse and was known as one of the leading contractors and builders of Taylor county. At length he put aside his work in that connection and took up his abode upon a farm near town, cultivating his fields until he retired from active business life and removed to Bedford, where his remaining days were passed. His wife died in February, 1872.
H. M. Long was only about three years of age when brought by the family to Taylor county and here he was reared amid the wild scenes and environments of frontier life, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. He can remember the time when most of the homes were small and when it was a severe struggle for existence on the part of many of the settlers but he has lived to see the county converted into a rich and prosperous agricultural district, which is the home of a contented class of people. In his youthful days H. M. Long devoted most of his time to the acquirement of an education and on arriving at mature years he engaged in farming, which he followed until 1882. He then removed to Bedford and filled the office of town marshal for three years, after which he served as deputy sheriff and filled the position for four years, while at length he was appointed to the position of deputy and continued to act in that capacity until January, 1909. He served as a member of the council for four years, during which time he exercised his official prerogatives to uphold and advance many (page 489) substantial measures for the city's good. He has served as a delegate to the state and county conventions of the republic party, of which he has been a life-long and earnest supporter.
Mr. Long's interests, however, have not been concentrated entirely upon political interests or activity. In fact he is well known as a leading and representative business man of the county. He owns a farm in Clayton township about three miles from Bedford which has been his property for several years. Here he has been engaged in breeding standard bred horses and he is now breeding Percherons. In all of his business affairs he displays keen judgment and whatever he undertakes carries forward to successful completion. He built and owns the cement block factory in Bedford, has erected three or four residences, two livery barns and in other ways has been connected with the substantial improvement of the city in which he makes his home.
On the 15th of October, 1879, Mr. Long was united in marriage to Miss Mary Mattice, who was born in Adrian, Michigan, but was reared in Page county, Iowa, and is a daughter of William Mattice. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Long have been born three children: Forest P., who is married and follows farming at Rollo, Illinois; Cecile, a well-educated young lady, who is now Latin teacher in the high school at Bedford; and B. E., who is married and follows farming on his father's place.
Mr. and Mrs. Long are consistent and worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church, active in its work and generous in its support. Their daughter and one of their sons are teachers in the Sunday-school and Mrs. Long is also a very active church worker. Mr. Long is an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the blue lodge and chapter at Bedford, while he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. He also is a member of the Knight Templar commandery at Creston, Iowa and of the Ancient and Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at St. Joseph, Missouri. He likewise holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Nights of Pythias lodge and in some has filled all of the chairs. Spending almost his entire life in Taylor county, Mr. Long has become widely and favorably known in this part of the state. In all of his business relations he has been found reliable as well as enterprising and progressive and his genuine worth has gained for him the unqualified respect and trust of his fellowmen. His official service, two, has been most commendable and in many regards his is an exemplary life, well worthy of emulation.
HENRY P. LONG
Henry P. Long, cashier of the Citizens Bank of Bedford, has been identified with financial interests both in an official and private capacity in Taylor county for a long period and his record throughout the entire time has been such as commands admiration and awakens respect. It is the records of such men that stand as contradictory evidence of the statement, too often heard, that America is given over to the spirit of commercialism; that business and naught else claims the attention and efforts of our leading men. Bedford knows Henry P. Long as a financier of ability, but knows him, moreover, as a public-spirited citizen. The great interests of the country at large -- politics, the church and the charities -- have made claims upon his attention, claims that he has fully met, and while the business activity and prosperity of the city have been greatly augmented through his labors, her public welfare has profited by his efforts and his history is one which reflects credit and honor upon Taylor county.
(Page 435) He was born in Greencastle, Indiana, February 22, 1852, a son of W. M. P. and Hannah (Pope) Long, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively. The father was a mason and contractor who came to Iowa about 1855 and for two years lived at Chariton. He then removed to Bedford, where he carried on general merchandising and also operated a brick kiln and stone quarry. In the latter part of his life he removed to a farm in Benton township, where he owned one hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land. There he lived for a few years, after which he returned to Bedford and spent his last days in honorable retirement, enjoying the fruits of his former toil. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Johnston, about two miles north of Bedford, when eighty-nine years of age. He had for some time survived his wife, who passed away in 1870 when sixty years of age. They were both members of the Methodist church. Mr. Long was sheriff of the county at an early day and also one of the first mayors of Bedford. His devotion to the public good was unquestioned and even those who differed from him in matters of policy or of politics always acknowledged the honesty of his purposes and his loyalty to a course which he believes to be right. Unto him and his wife were born four sons and four daughters: Eliza J., the wife of J. M. Houck, of Bedford; Angeline, the wife of J. T. Johnston, of Bedford; Marcus D. L., who is a resident of Lawton, Oklahoma; Mary C., the deceased wife of James S. Hall; Sarah B., the wife of M. V. King, of Geneva, Nebraska; William G., living in Chadron, Nebraska; Henry P., of this review; and Hiram M., who makes his home in Bedford.
Henry P. Long was reared in Bedford from the age of five years and its history is therefore largely familiar to him. He has, in fact, left the impress of his individuality upon the records of the city, as he has been more or less closely associated with public affairs. He attended the public schools here and afterward engaged in clerking for his father in a hardware store for a short time. When twenty years of age he became deputy county treasurer and filled the position for five years. He afterward spent one year in California and upon his return to Bedford he secured a clerkship in the clothing store of John Graff, with whom he remained for a year. He next became assistant in the post office under his brother-in-law, M. V. King, after which he returned to the county treasurer's office as deputy. There he remained until 1880, when he was elected county auditor, serving for six years. His reelection was proof of the confidence reposed in him and the expression of approval of his course during his first term. Before leaving the office he formed a partnership with L. J. Jones in the real-estate business and on the 10th of August, 1887, he became cashier of the Citizens Bank, which position he is now filling. His business discernment is keen and his judgment sound, so that his opinions on vital questions of banking are of value to the institution. Moreover he is popular with the patrons of the bank, for he is always courteous and obliging.
Mr. Long was married on the 15th of October, 1878, to Miss Carrie F. Parks, a daughter of William H. and Mary C. (Bostwick) Parks. Mrs. Long is a native of Farmington, Michigan, and her father was a native of Canada, while her mother was born in New York. She was their only child and by her marriage has become the mother of four children. Harry B. is married and is now (page 436) in the employ of the Schwarzschild & Sulzberger Packing Company at Kansas City, Kansas; Walter F. is with the Swift Packing Company in Kansas City, Missouri; Ralph E. is employed as butter maker and assistant manager of a creamery at Conneaut, Ohio; and Mary is at home.
The parents are members of the Methodist church and occupy an enviable position in the social circles of the city. Mr. Long holds membership in Taylor Lodge, No. 156, A. F. & A. M., Triangle Chapter, No. 68, R. A. M., the Knights of Pythias lodge and the Modern Woodmen camp. He is a supporter of the republican party and in an early day was township clerk. He has served as secretary and treasurer of the Taylor County Fair Association and is interested in all the movements which are calculated to promote the general welfare. In 1887 he was elected secretary of the independent school district of Bedford for one year and then became a director for two years. For one term he was not connected with the board, but in 1893 was again chosen a director and from 1894 until March, 1908, was president of the board. The cause of education has ever found in him a stalwart champion, whose efforts in its behalf have been far-reaching and beneficial.