History of Cerro Gordo County,
Biographies submitted by Kay Ehlers.
William McAdam, an ambitious and successful farmer of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, owns eighty acres of fertile land on section 27, Falls township, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He has always been engaged in farming since he left school and carries on his work in an able manner, being guided by scientific principles and modern methods. He grew up on the farm where he now lives and purchased it from his father, who bought it when it was wild land and lived on it until his death, developing and improving it.
Mr. McAdam was born in Ogle county, Illinois, a son of James and Maria (Fox) McAdam, the father born in Delaware county, New York, October 18, 1831, and the mother born at Beaverkill, Sullivan county, New York. They were the parents of six children, of whom those living are : Elizabeth, William and George. James McAdam was a carpenter by trade, at which he began working at the age of fourteen years with his father. He became a master builder and millwright. He was married in 1853 and the following year moved to Polo, Illinois, where he followed his trade until 1867, when he located in Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, and purchased land.
William McAdam is a representative and useful citizen, actively interested in the public welfare, and in politics is independent. He supports every cause he deems worthy of his attention and is honest and upright in his dealing with his fellows. Mr. McAdam is unmarried and his sister Elizabeth lives with him and keeps house for him. His brother lives at Nora Springs. The family as a whole stands high in the estimation of the community, where they have established a reputation for high character and integrity.
H. McConlogue, an enterprising and prominent attorney who has practiced his
profession at Mason City, Iowa, for over a quarter of a century, is a self-made
man, having acquired his legal education by his own efforts and after long
struggle. He has achieved professional and financial success and is recognized
as one of the leading members of the bar in the county. Mr. McConlogue was born
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1856, son of Charles and Ann (Harrity)
McConlogue, both natives of Ireland, who emigrated to the United States as
children. They were married at Philadelphia and in 1859 the family moved to
Beloit, Wisconsin, thence in a few years to Illinois, and a few years later to
Cerro Gordo county, Iowa. On this last trip James walked most of the way and
drove the cattle. They settled on a farm, where the mother died three months
later, and the father lived there until his decease, in 1882.
boyhood of James H. McConlogue was spent on his father's farm and he attended
district school winters, helping with the farm work during the summer months. As
soon as he was old enough he began working for neighboring farmers, and after
leaving home he became employed as a section hand for a railroad company,
walking over the track nights and attending school days for two winters. He was
at that time very desirous of acquiring a good education and managed to save
enough to take a course at Notre Dame University. He taught school and engaged
in various other work, reading law during his spare time, and when he had saved
enough entered the Iowa State University, from which he graduated with the law
class of 1882. He taught school the following winter. He began the practice of
his profession at Mason City in the fall of 1883, and soon had established
himself in the confidence and esteem of the community. After practicing on his
own account for a time he entered into partnership with R. J. Miller, under the
firm name of McConlogue & Miller, which lasted two years, and in 1890 he
entered into partnership with John D. Glass, under the firm name of Glass &
McConlogue, which in 1898 became Glass, McConlogue & Witwer. Mr. Witwer
retired from the fir and Remley J. Glass, son of the senior member of the firm,
was taken in, the name becoming Glass, McConlogue & Glass.
McConlogue is recognized as one of the leading members of his profession in his
part of the state and has been called upon at times to assist in the trial of
cases in other states. One of the most noteworthy cases in which has appeared as
counsel is that of the state of Iowa vs. Lottie Hughes, in which was secured the
acquittal of the wife, who had been charged with murder. This trial lasted for a
period of seven weeks. Mr. McConlogue is a member of the American National Bar
Association, of which he is a member. Although a stanch Democrat he did not
support his ticket with regard to the presidential nominee in 1896. He served
several times as chairman of the Democratic Central Committee.
married, in 1885, at Rockwell, Iowa, Miss Mary C. Barrahy, who died
in September, 1896. Of five children born to them, two sons and two
daughters are still living, namely : Mrs. Anna Mae Gram, M. Irene, Raymond
B. and James H. McConlogue Jr. In religious belief Mr. McConlogue is
a most devout Catholic and has always taken great interest in the history
of the church. He has also taken a most active part in supporting its
good work. He is a man of broad opinions, having many warm personal
friends among all denominations, and is able to attract and hold the
affection of those who become acquainted with his high character and
kindly spirit. He has the highest esteem of all who have had dealings
with him and is identified with many good causes and movements in the
A man of acknowledged professional skill and ability, James E. McDonald, M.D. of Mason City, has here gained a large lucrative practice, his natural talents and industry classing him among the most successful physicians and surgeons of this part of Cerro Gordo county. A son of the late William McDonald, he was born, September 10, 1868 in Buchanan county, Iowa, of thrifty Scotch ancestry.
Born in 1826 in Scotland, William McDonald worked at the carpenter’s trade as a boy, and in 1840, at the age of fourteen years, came to the United States, the land of golden opportunities. Locating in Albany, New York, he was soon employed in building the canal boats and locks along the Erie Canal, working his away across the state of Buffalo. Going from there to Chicago, he entered the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and built all the railroad bridges between Dubuque, Iowa and Dyersville, Iowa. He was forced to take eighty acres of land in Buchanan county, Iowa, as part payment for his services, and assuming possession of his land he erected a small house, hauling the lumber from which it was made a distance of sixty miles. Improving a good farm, he lived on it until 1900, when he removed to Independence, Iowa, where his death occurred a few months later, in 1900. He married Ann McGary, who was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1836, and died in Iowa in 1904.
The oldest of a family of ten children, James E. McDonald was brought up on the parental farm in common with his brothers and sisters acquiring his rudimentary education in the district schools. In June, 1888, he was graduated from Tilford Academy at Vinton, Iowa, and three years later, in 1891, he was graduated from the Chicago School of Pharmacy. The following two years Mr. McDonald was engaged in the drug business at Independence, Iowa, during which time he began the study of medicine, making such progress that on March 7, 1893, he was graduated from the Keokuk Medial School with the degree of M.D. Immediately locating in Rowley, Buchanan county, Iowa, Dr. McDonald conducted a successful business as a druggist and built up a large practice as a physician in that place, continuing there six years. Selling out in 1899, the Doctor came direct to Mason City, where he has devoted his entire time and attention to the practice of medicine and surgery, being now one of the leading physicians and surgeons of the city. He is a close student, keeping abreast of the times in regard to all new discoveries and improvements used in his profession, and in 1898 he took a post graduate course at the Chicago West Side Clinical School
Dr. McDonald married, September 10, 1902, Millie Hamlin [corrected Nellie Hanlon], who was born in Lyle, Minnesota, December 16, 1874, and they have once child, Jeanne C.
The Doctor is connected with various professional organizations, belonging to the Cerro Gordo County Medical Association; to the Iowa State Medial School; and the the American Medical Association. He is active and prominent in fraternal orders, being a member of Mason City Lodge, No. 375, B.P.O.E.; of Mason City Council, No. 1006, K. of C.; Mason City Aerie, No. 1655 F. O. of E.; of Saint Joseph’s Court, No. 1051, Catholic Order of Foresters; of Wilcox Camp, No. 709, M. W. A.; of Midland Lodge, No. 226, M.B.A.; and both Dr. and Mrs. McDonald are members of Tirzah Court, No. 3, Tribe of Ben Hur. Religiously the doctor and his wife belong to the Holy Family Catholic church. In his political affiliations the Doctor is a sound Republican.
The present efficient and popular city clerk of Mason City is a member of one of the well known and highly honored pioneer families of Iowa, which has represented his home from his infancy to the present time, and he is not only one the valued executive officers of the municipal government of Mason City but is also known as an essentially loyal and progressive citizen and as a man well worthy of the unqualified esteem in which he is held in the community.
Mr. McEwen was born in Ulster county, New York, on the 6th of October, 1855, and is a son of William L. and Harriet (Rhinehart) McEwen, both of whom were likewise natives of the old Empire state of the Union, where the respective families were early founded. In 1856 William L. McEwen came with his family to Iowa and cast in his lot with the pioneers of Floyd county, where he purchased a tract of government land and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He was a man of excellent educational attainments and during the winter months he found appreciative requisition for his services as a teacher in the pioneer schools. About 1885 he sold his farm and removed to Rockwell, Cerro Gordo county, where he purchased the plant and business of the Rockwell Phonograph, a weekly paper that had been founded several years previously. He made this one of the best country papers in this section of the state and continued as its editor and publisher until his death, in 1904, at the venerable age of seventy-four years. He was a staunch Republican in his political adherency and he made his newspaper an effective exponent of the part cause in Cerro Gordo county. While a resident of Floyd county Mr. McEwen served as a member of the county board of supervisors and also held other township offices. He was a man of ability and sterling character, and his personal popularity was determined by the effective metewand of public respect and approbation. His cherished and devoted wife was summoned to the life eternal in November, 1909, at the age of seventy-six years, and both were zealous members of the Congregational church. Of the children the subject of this review is the elders; Charles E. is identified with the United States mail service in Mason City; Mary Ida died in infancy; Elmer E. continues to be associated with the publication of the Rockwell Phonograph; and Florence became the wife of William A. Grummon, of Rockwell, Iowa, and her death occurred in October, 1903.
As already intimated, John H. McEwen was an infant at the time of the family removal to Iowa, in the year succeeding that of his birth, and his earliest recollections touch the conditions and influences of the home farm in Floyd county, where he gained his rudimentary education in the district schools. His business career was initiated by his assumption of a clerical position in a general store in his home village, and later he was engaged in the hotel business at Rockwell for several years. More than a score of years ago, in 1889, Mr. McEwen took up his abode in Mason City, where he was associated with William E. Ensign in the clothing business for the ensuing six years, at the expiration of which he was elected to the office of county recorder, of which he continued incumbent for three terms of two years each, have first been elected in 1895 and having retired from the position in 1901. His administration was careful and effective and gained unqualified public approval. After his retirement he was employed in the clothing establishment of Mr. Ensign for about one year, at the expiration of which, in April, 1902, he was elected city clerk, of which responsible office he has since remained in tenure by successive re-elections.
Mr. McEwen has never lacked in civic loyalty or in fealty to the cause of the Republican party, in whose local ranks he has been an active worker. He is affiliated with the Mason City organizations of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Brotherhood of America and the Knights of the Maccabees, and both he and his wife are members of the Congregational church in their home city.
Mr. McEwen has been twice married. On the 24th of February, 1878, he wedded Miss Mary E. Rugg, who was born in Winnebago County, Illinois, whence her parents removed to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, when she was a child. She died on the 22d of November, 1898, and is survived by one son - William R., who is now an employe of the H. G Cherry Company, engaged in the creamery supply business in the city of Cedar Rapids, this state, and who had previously been employed for two years in the sales department of the National Creamery Supply Company of Chicago. On the 18th of June, 1902, Mr. McEwen married Miss Ida M. Hartwell, of Mason City, who was born at Ingham, Franklin county, Iowa, and who is a daughter of William Hartwell, and honored citizen and business man of Mason City. No children have been born of the second union.
CHARLES H. McNIDER, president of the First National Bank at Mason City , Iowa , serves as an example of what can be accomplished by a poor boy. It would be interesting to note in detail the various steps in the career of Mr. McNider as he has climbed to his present position, but in this work limited space renders possible the presentation of only a brief resume.
Charles H. McNider was born in Dubuque , Iowa , in 1860, son of Thomas B. and Anna (Kane) McNider, both now deceased. His father was a railroad contractor and at one time carried on an extensive business, but in later years suffered severe financial reverses. He and his wife spent the closing years of their lives in Mason City , to which place they moved in 1871, when Charles H. was a small boy. Here the lad attended school until February, 1875, when it became necessary for him to leave the school room and enter a business life, and then it was that he began what has proved a successful career. In April, 1875, he entered the employ of the Cerro Gordo County Bank, as office boy, at a salary of one hundred dollars a year. When this bank was reorganized and became First National Bank young McNider remained with it, and so well had he ingratiated himself that in 1881 he was made assistant cashier. In 1887 it was his good fortune to step into the office of cashier, and in 1895 he was honored by being elected president of the bank, the position he now fills. In the meantime he became identified with various other enterprises. At this writing he is president of the Mason City Loan & Trust Company, the First National Bank of Dougherty, the Citizens' Savings Bank of Hanlontown, the Farmers' State Bank of Joice, Iowa, and the Carpenter Savings Bank of Carpenter, Iowa; vice president and treasurer of the Mason City & Clear Lake Railroad Company, and treasurer of the Portland Cement Company, besides being a stockholder in various other business organizations.
In municipal affairs Mr. McNider has always taken an enthusiastic interest. He was a member of the school board, of which he served as president for ten or twelve years, and for seventeen years he was treasurer of Mason City. Politically he has always affiliated with the Republican party. In 1896 he was a presidential elector and had the honor to assist in the election of President McKinley. His interest in educational matters has extended beyond the confines of his home town school board. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa State Teachers' College .
In fraternal circles he has long been prominent and active. He has membership in the M. B. A., I. O. O. F., M. W. A., B. P. O. E., K. of P. and F. & A. M. He was the first Exalted Ruler in the Elks' lodge at Mason City, is a charter member of the Uniformed Rank, K. of P., and in Masonry he has reached the top round. For fourteen years he served as eminent commander of Commandery No. 43, Mason City , and to him belongs the distinction of being the only thirty-third degree Mason here.Mr. McNider's wife, May H., is a daughter of Frederick Hanford and a native of Tompkins county, New York . They have one son, Hanford McNider, attending Harvard University.
WILLIAM A. MEIER, a retired farmer of section 22, Falls township, Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, was born in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, August 21, 1854. He is a son of John C. and Louis (Happel) Meier, the former born in Germany, near the Rhine, and the latter also born in Germany, December 7, 1828. The father died at Nora Springs, Iowa, in 1900, and his wife died June 12, 1910 in Nora Springs. They were parents of eight children, of whom all are living, namely : Elizabeth, wife of George Schmidt, of Nora Springs, Iowa ; William A. ; John C., of Nora Springs ; Louisa, wife of Fred Helmer, of Plymouth, Iowa ; Mary, unmarried, living at Nora Springs ; Annie, wife of Peter Eby, of Mason City ; Matilda, wife of Arthur Crall, of Kansas ; and Fred, of Minnesota.
John C. Meier and his wife were married in Germany and came to the United States in 1850, spending seven weeks on the ocean voyage. They landed at New York , spent one year near Erie , Pennsylvania , then moved to Jo Daviess county, Illinois . Mr. Meier had been a school teacher in his native country and had [to] give up his profession. The family drove from Illinois to Lancaster , Wisconsin , where they bought a small farm and operated it nineteen years. In 1874 the family came to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa , and purchased a farm of three hundred and twenty-seven acres in Portland township, where they lived until 1893, then retired to Nora Springs .
The boyhood of William A. Meier was spent on a farm and he received a good common school education. After his marriage he remained three years on the home farm, then moved to Aurora county, South Dakota , where he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres of raw land near White Lake , which he improved and worked eight years, then sold out and returned to Cerro Gordo county. Upon his return he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Falls township, erected modern buildings, made numerous other improvements, and lived there until 1908, when he purchased his present place of nineteen acres, where he has put up a comfortable residence and is preparing to give up active work. He has always been actively interested in public affairs and current issues and in politics has been a life long Republican. He served four years as school director and six years as justice of the peace. He is a member of the M. W. A. of Rock Falls and he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church at that place.
Mr. Meier was married, July 10, 1879 , to Annie D. Wolff, born in Freeport , Illinois , April 15, 1861 , daughter of Charles and Sophia (Schroeder) Wolff. Mr. Wolff was born in Prysen , Prussia , February 14, 1822 , and died at Rockford , Iowa , at the age of seventy-four years. His wife died in 1864, at Freeport , Illinois , at the age of thirty-five years. They were parents of four children. Mr. Wolff and his wife emigrated to the United States and passed through Chicago when it was only a village, locating in Freeport , Illinois , where he followed his trade of wagon maker. In 1869 he removed to Charles City, Iowa, and later located in Rockford , Iowa , where his death occurred. Mr. Wolff married for his second wife Annie Vogle, a native of Germany , who died at Charles City , in 1903, aged seventy-two years. By his second marriage Mr. Wolff had three children, of whom but one survives. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Meier, namely : Mary E., wife of William Oleson, of Rock Falls , Iowa ; Laura M., at home, and Ester L., who died at fifteen years of age.
citizen of Mason City, where he is now living virtually retired, has been a
resident of Cerro Gordo county for a period of forty years, within which it was
given him to gain success and independence through well directed endeavors, and
he is a member of one of the honored pioneer families of Iowa, with whose annals
the name has been identified for more than half a century. He was in his
twenty-first year at the time of the family emigration to the Hawkeye state, and
here he has found ample scope and opportunity for productive effort along normal
lines of industrial and business enterprise, the while he has so ordered his
course as to merit and receive the high regard of his fellow men.
Mr. Miller reverts
to the old Keystone state of the Union as they place of his nativity, as he was
born on a farm in Venango township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th
of August, 1836. He is a son of Abraham and Nancy (Ross) Miller, both of whom
were likewise natives of Pennsylvania-the former of German lineage and the
latter of Scotch-Irish extraction, she having been a lineal descendant of the
great navigator, Sir John Ross. Both families were founded in Pennsylvania prior
to the war of the Revolution.
Abraham Miller was
identified with agricultural pursuits in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, until
1847, when he moved with his family to Monongalia county, West Virginia, which
state that time was an integral portion of the historic old commonwealth of
Virginia. There he continued to be engaged in farming until 1856, when he came
to Iowa and cast in his lot with the pioneers of Allamakee county, where he
purchased a tract of land and developed a valuable and productive farm. On this
old homestead he continued to reside until his death, in 1883, at the venerable
age of seventy-five years. His loved and devoted wife was summoned to eternal
rest in 1876, when about sixty-eight years of age, and both were zealous and
consistent members of the Baptist church, exemplifying their faith in the worthy
lives and kindly deeds. They became the parents of three sons and two daughters
who attained to years of maturity , and of the number the subject of this
review, the eldest of the three now living, was the fourth in order of birth.
Dr. Edson C. Miller is a representative physician and surgeon at Brookings,
South Dakota ; Rachel is the wife of Thomas B. Wiley, of Waukon, Allamakee
county, Iowa ; Captain George R. Miller, well remembered in Cerro Gordo county,
where he died in 1885, at the age of fifty-four years, was captain of Company I,
Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in the Civil war ; and Sarah, who became
the wife of Joseph Curtis, died in Hancock county, this state in 1883.
Adoniram J. Miller,
the immediate subject of this sketch, gained his rudimentary education in the
common schools of his native county, and was about eleven years of age at the
time the family removal to Monongalia county, West Virginia, where he was reared
to maturity and where he made good use of the educational advantages afforded
him. When seventeen years of age he proved himself eligible for pedagogic
service, and he began teaching in the schools of West Virginia. Later he taught
in the district schools of Allamakee county, Iowa, whither he accompanied his
parents when he was in his twenty-first year, and he continued to teach at
intervals until he had attained to the age of thirty-five years. He thus proved
a valued factor in educational work during a period of about seventeen years,
and through self-discipline and association with men and affairs he became a man
of broad intellectual ken and of mature judgment. In 1870, Mr. Miller came to
Mason City and engaged in the grocery business, in which he continued for a
decade, within which he built up a prosperous enterprise and gained a secure
place in the confidence and esteem of the community. In 1880 he disposed of his
grocery business and purchased a farm in Lime Creek township. He made excellent
improvements on this property and developed on of the valuable farms of the
county. He continued to give his personal supervision to the homestead farm
until 1895, when he removed to Mason City, where he has since lived practically
retired and where he is the owner of an attractive home. He still owns his farm,
which comprises one hundred and sixty acres, and through his own efforts he has
gained vantage-ground as one of the well-to-do citizens of Cerro Gordo county,
where he has ever stood exemplar of progressiveness and loyal civic loyalty,
giving his support to all measures tending to enhance the general welfare. In
politics he is aligned as a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic
party and he keeps well informed in connection with matters of public polity and
interest. He was a member of the school board of Mason City in 1872 and in this
connection he was one of the strong advocates of the erection of the old stone
school house, which long provided ample facilities. He has continued to take a
deep interest in educational matters and has urged a progressive policy in the
work of the public schools of his home city and county. He was a member of the
city council for a period of four years and also served as deputy sheriff for
one term, under the regime of Sheriff Rosencrantz. Mr. Miller has never
identified himself with any fraternal organization. His wife was a devoted
member of the Baptist church and Mr. Miller contributes to the support of all
the churches in Mason City.
In Allamakee county, Iowa, on the 18th of March 1862, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Miller to Miss Margaret Sencebaugh, who was born in the state of Virginia, whence she came with her parents to Iowa in 1850. The great loss and bereavement in the life of Mr. Miller was that which came when his cherished and devoted wife and helpmeet was summoned to eternal rest, on the 1st of September, 1907, at the age of sixty-seven years. She is survived by two children : Frank A., who is engaged in the grocery business in Mason City, and Fannie, who is the wife of A. H. Dunn, of Plankinton, South Dakota.
Occupying one of the most attractive homesteads of Portland township, William H. Moore has here been profitably engaged in general agriculture for many years, his farm of four hundred acres being advantageously located on sections 23 and 24. A son of James K. Moore, he was born, in 1858, in Dodge county, Wisconsin , where the first few years of life were spent.
Born in Oswego , New York , June 7, 1822 , James K. Moore was taken by his parents in 1823 to Lysander, Onondaga county, New York , and was there reared and educated. After attaining his majority he spent two years in Wisconsin , but did not at that time settle there. Going back to Lysander, he staid [sic] there until 1849, when he returned to Wisconsin , locating in Dodge county, where he redeemed a farm from the wilderness and continued his residence for upwards of a score of years. Coming to Iowa in 1873, he resided in Floyd county, at Marble Rock, until 1879. Locating in that year in Cerro Gordo county, he bought the land now owned and operated by his son, William H., and was here prosperously engaged in general farming until December, 1892. Removing to California at that time, he located at Summerland, Santa Barbara county, where he lived in retirement until his death, May 14, 1906 . He was a man of much culture, a Spiritualist in religion, and very active in psychological research. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, taking much interest in the affairs of the order. He married in Wisconsin , Jane Vokes, who was born in England and came to the United States when a child. She died in Wisconsin many years ago, leaving two children, namely : Leonora, who married Joseph Woloth, and died in Iowa about twenty-five years ago; and William H., the subject of this sketch.
Receiving his early education in the public schools of Wisconsin , William H. Moore came with his father to Iowa in 1873, and subsequently assisted him in clearing and improving the farm which he now owns and occupies in Portland township, Cerro Gordo county. Familiar with every branch of agriculture from his youth up, Mr. Moore has met with uniform success as a general farmer and in addition to cultivating the soil with profitable results he has for many years carried on an extensive and lucrative business at Nora Springs, buying, selling, feeding and shipping cattle. His home farm is one of the best in its appointments and improvements of any in this part of the state, giving ample evidence to the passer-by of his skill as a practical farmer and rural housebuilder.Mr. Moore married Julia Carll, who was born in Ireland and came to Mason City with her parents when a child. Here he father died, but her mother, brothers and sisters still resides in Mason City . Mr. and Mrs. Moore have two children, James E.., aged twenty-seven years, and William W., two years younger. Both live on the home farm. James E. married Lucinda Gaus, and they have one daughter, Winnifred B. Moore. In his political views Mr. Moore is independent. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Modern Woodmen of America.
One of the most extensive farmers of Falls township, Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, is T. B. Morse, who has conducted a farm on his own account since he was twenty years old. He was born in the farm in section 21 which he now owns, June 8, 1868, son of George O. and Eliza A. (Williams) Morse. The father was born in Pittstown, Rensselaer county, New York, November 24, 1826, and died May 17, 1904, and the mother, who was born in Saratoga county, New York, died October 10, 1906, at the age of seventy-four years. They were parents of five children, of whom three are living, namely : Fred, of St. Paul ; Theodore B., ; and Oscar, of Rock Falls, Iowa.
George O Morse was reared on a farm, being a farmer's son, and a received a fair education. He began to earn his own way in the world at the age of sixteen years and began working on a farm for five dollars and fifty cents a month. In 1855, he emigrated to the west, with a view to establishing himself for life. He entered land in sections 26 and 27, Falls township, Cerro Gordo county, remained one night with Elijah Wiltfong, the first settler at Rock falls, and, after securing the entry of his land, went to Illinois and rented land. He purchased a large flock of sheep and carried on farming there until 1860, when he returned to Iowa and settled on his land. He erected a log house and occupied it the first two years, then bought a farm from Elijah Wiltfong on section 21 of the same township, to which he transferred his residence. He erected a second log house on the place in 1865 and lived in it until 1871, then built a comfortable farm house. He became on of the largest land holders in the township, having at one time eight hundred acres.
In 1858, George O. Morse was married and he and his wife spent their life farming until 1885, when they retired form the farm to live in Rock Falls. They came back to the farm in 1891, but a few years later returned to Rock Falls, where Mr. Morse died. He was active in public affairs and held various township offices. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years.
The boyhood of Theodore B. Morse was passed where he now lives. He attended the public school and spent a short time at school in Osage, Iowa. He early began to farm on his own account and has shown ability of a high order in carrying on his farm. He now owns three hundred and eighty-five acres and has his land well improved. For a number of years he has been extensively engaged in raising horses and keeps from forty to fifty Percheron and Norman horses on his farm all the time, being a firm believer in the policy of keeping high grade stock. In politics he is a Prohibitionist. He and his wife a members of the Methodist church and are interested in every good cause. Mr. Morse represents the best interests of his community and is regarded with esteem by all.
On March 16, 1905,
Mr. Morse married Elizabeth L. Hill, who was born in Rensselaer county,
New York, September 7, 1870. They have one daughter, Elizabeth M., and
had one son who is deceased.