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Butler County >> 1883 Index

History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa
Springfield: Union Publishing Company, 1883.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Austin S. Lawrence, who ranks among the old settlers of Bremer county, is a native of Onondago county, New York, born March 16, 1814. He is a son of John and Lydia (Sweet) Lawrence, the former being of English descent, and the latter, a native of New York. Austin S. was the fourth child of a family of eleven children. His early life was passed on a farm, and his education was obtained in the public schools. When eighteen years of age, he learned the tailors' trade and continued to follow that occupation until his health failed to such an extent that he was obliged to abandon it for some branch of trade less confining. In January, of 1836, his marriage with Miss Betsy Hamilton occurred. She was born June 22, 1812. Five children were given them, three of whom are now living. In 1842 the family emigrated to Boone county, Illinois, and there remained until 1856. During the spring of that year, they removed to Waverly, Bremer county, Iowa, which still continues to be their home. Mr. Lawrence brought with him a sack of goods, which he placed in a store-room, and began selling. In the spring of 1856, he, in company with Giles Mabie, purchased a stock of goods of Harmon & Hamilton; continuing business under the firm name of Lawrence & Mabie, until the following winter. The subject of this sketch has been a member of the Baptist Church since 1831, nearly fifty-two years. Their youngest son, John H., was killed in Texas, in 1876, by a band of desperadoes, because of his northern birth and politics.

D. R. Littell 

Meat-market. - The first meat-market in the town was started by D. R. Littell in 1875, and continued until 1880, when he sold to Fred Frank, who continues in the business, and has a well appointed market, for a town of this size.

D. R. Littell, son of David and Almira Littell, was born in New Jersey, October 30, 1843. In 1850 his parents moved to Illinois, making the trip by water, in the steamer "Belle of the West." They met with a severe loss in the burning of the steamer, losing all of their goods, and $2,000 in money. There were fifty-three lives lost, Mr. Littell and his parents barely escaping the tragic death of burning or drowning.  After reaching Illinois they remained there only nine months, and then went to Fairchild county, Wisconsin, where they engaged in farming for four years, when they moved to Monroe county, where Mr. Littell lived until 1869, when he came to Bremer county, Iowa, settled in Sumner township, and engaged in farming for two years. In 1875 he started the first meat-market in the town, which he kept for five years. He was in the harness business one year, and then went into general mercantile business with the Cass Brothers, under the firm name of Cass Brothers & Littell. He continued in this until August, 1882, when he retired from business. He has been justice of the peace fro six years. He was made a Mason in 1881, and was elected Junior Warden at the lost election. He is, also, a member of the A. O. U. W., of which he is a charter member.  He was Recorder of the lodge for three years. Mr. Littell's father is still living with him, and is seventy-seven years old. His mother died in Wisconsin in 1868. He was married, in 1867, to Miss Laura C. Davis.  They have three children - William O., Franklin D., and Ezra B. 

Henry Lytle was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, July 29, 1839, the son of Samuel Lytle, a native of Massachusetts, and Harriett Ross, a native of Canada. When four years old, he removed with his parents to Wisconsin, settling in Walworth county, where he grew to manhood on the home farm. His father died there a year after his arrival. In 1862 Mr. Lytle enlisted in Company C, Twenty-second Wisconsin, and served with it in the army of the Cumberland, under General Rosecrans. He took part in the defense of Fort Donelson and in the fight at Thompson's station, where he was taken prisoner and sent to Libby Prison. After ninety days he was sent to parole camp at Annapolis, Maryland, and was regularly exchanged in July, 1863. He was discharged from service in December of the same year for disability, consequent upon diseases contracted at Libby Prison, and thereupon returned home. He was married, September 28, 1865, to Miss Julia Potter, born March 4, 1841, daughter of Richard and Lucinda (Shaw) Potter. They have had had three children - Louise, born June 18, 1868, Georgie, born December 12, 1870; and Mary Grace, born February 19, 1873. He removed to his present home in April, 1874, where he owns and farms eighty acres of land. He has ten acres of timber. He has been road supervisor and school secretary of the central district of the township. On national questions he votes the greenback ticket. Is a member of Lodge No. 77, A. F. and A.M., at Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Mrs. Lytle is a member of the Baptist Church.