IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Hon. David Hammer
Mendon Twp.

Hon. David Hammer, of McGregor, was born in Knox County, Ky., March 1, 1815; his parents were John and Hannah (Deweese) Hammer; he was a native of Baltimore, Md., and she of Tennessee; they were members of the Baptist church, and had a family of five sons and three daughters. David, the subject of this sketch, was the eldest; he left home before twenty-one years of age and went to Chicago, Ill., in 1835; he entered a claim in the Western part of Cook County before the land was surveyed. In 1836 he built a store in Dundee, Kane County, Ill., which he opened and ran some six years. He was married, in 1838, to Miss Adeline Ames. She was born in Vermont, and was a daughter of William and Polly (Brownell) Ames. In 1842 he removed to Marengo, Ill., where he kept a hotel and general store until 1858. In this year he removed to McGregor. He took an active part for three years in the organization and construction of the McGregor Western Railroad, now owned by the C., M. & St. P. R. Ry. Co. Mr. and Mrs. Hammer have four children. Their two sons, F. M. and A. A. Hammer, are merchants in Mitchell, Dak. Marie A. married Augustus French and they reside in Chicago. Miss Alice A. Hammer resides with her parents in McGregor. Mr. Hammer is a man of great ability, and besides holding numerous offices has been concerned in many important business enterprises. When a young man he was appointed, by the Supreme Court of Illinois, one of the Commissioners to assess the damages occasioned by the right of way granted the Illinois and Michigan Canal. He was Postmaster ten years at Marengo, Ill, and during Buchanan's adminstration he was for two years mail agent. Mr. Hammer was an ardent supporter of Stephen A. Douglas, and along with his other political friend his resignation was promptly accepted when the schism occurred between Douglas and Buchanan. In 1859 Mr. Hammer was elected to the State Senate of Iowa, and served four years. He is a good speaker and an able debater. In 1867 Mr. Hammer was elected Mayor of the city of McGregor, and in 1869 was the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State and ran ahead of his ticket. In 1878 he was elected, by the Iowa Legislature, Trustee for the Insane Hospital at Independence, Ia. In politics Mr. Hammer is a conservative Democrat; he is one of the leading politicians of Northeastern Iowa.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, p.985-986
transcribed by Sally Scarff and Marlene Chaney


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