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Davis County >> 1882 Index

History of Davis County, Iowa
Des Moines: Iowa Historical Company, 1882


Unless noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Saunders, C. D., farmer, stock and horse dealer; postoffice Bloomfield; was born April 25, 1846, in this township, and here he has grown to manhood, receiving a limited education, his youth being spent assisting his father on the farm. He located on his present farm in 1865; he has a fine farm of 560 acres, all in a high state of cultivation, with three good houses, two barns, three bearing orchards, three miles of Osage hedge, and his fields are divided into eighty acre lots. He feeds on an average about 100 head of stock. He served in the Border Brigade, during the war, and is now a half owner with Dr. J. W. Young in the Forest home Mineral Spring, and 70 acres of land. He was married February 9, 1855, to Miss Rachel E. Young, and after living happily together for ten years, she died March 7, 1865, regretted by all her friends and acquaintances, at the age of twenty-seven; she was a daughter of Ephriam Young, of Bloomfield. Mr. Saunders married again November 18, 1879, to Miss Belle Brown, his present wife.

Saunders, Stephen L., farmer and stock-raiser, section 12, postoffice Pulaski. A pioneer of Bloomfield township; was born February 14, 1813, in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and became a wanderer from home at the age of nine, since which time he has traveled extensively. He made his first stop at Columbus, Ohio, where he remained twelve years, there being but one house there when he arrived. He then went to Michigan, and two years later to Indiana, where he was married in 1836, to Miss Sophia Lattimer, who died thirteen months after, leaving one child, Matilda. In 1837 he came west, and after crossing the Mississippi, a "York sixpence" was the extent of his wealth. He stopped in Van Buren county one year, then with party of seven, including Father Clifford, a Christian preacher, went to Council Bluffs, and worked for the government, in building and running a mill for the use of the Indians; then returned to Van Buren county, where his parents had located; sold out their claim, and came with them to Davis county, and staked out his claim, where he now lines, in the fall of 1840. He surveyed it by pacing off a square mile, and only missed his present lines a few rods. the same year he engaged in making rails on other claims, which he had staked out for friends in Ohio, and was arrested by the United States marshal for trespassing on Indian lands, and fined $500, and ordered under guard till the fine was paid. He describes his confinement as being rather pleasant, the United States officers being genial hearty fellows, and were talented drinkers. They offered to let him go for his rifle, but he refused that, and many opportunities to escape till they finally ran away from him, and he returned to his cabin. In 1844 he married Miss Emily Waterman, daughter of William Waterman, now of Washington territory. They have eight children, Columbus D., William M., Lyman S., Millard F., Cleveland E., Laura E., Flora B., and Lincoln. Mr. Saunders has amassed quite a fortune, the home farm consisting of 430 acres, well improved, with good buildings and orchard; and other lands, making in all about 1,200 acres.

Saunders, Wm. M., livery and transfer, Bloomfield; was born January 4, 1848, near Pulaski, Davis county, Iowa, and here he grew to manhood. After he grew up he farmed and clerked in a store; then became a partner in the drug business with his brother, and at the same time was dealing and trading in stock. In 1877, he opened out a new livery stable in Bloomfield, and has continued in the business ever since. He also runs transfer, doing most of the freight and dray business of the city. He is a man of great perseverance and untiring energy, and by close attention to business has acquired a good deal of property. He was married January 17, 1867, to Miss Julia Hill, a native of this county, and they have three children: Olive, William and Eddie.

SHERMAN, H., farmer and stock-raiser, postoffice Belknap; was born May 26, 1819, in Jefferson county Ind.; he was reared a farmer, and here grew to manhood. In the fall of 1856, he came to this county, where he purchased his present farm and has since resided. It contains 100 acres, now under a high state of cultivation, and he has just completed the best farm house in that part of the county, and also has a large barn, and good orchard. He was married September 4, 1845, to Miss Elizabeth A. Munn, a native of Switzerland county, Ind. They have had eight children: James A., Admana N., David N., John M. Rossanna, Arribell, Thomas, and Orange D. Mr. and Mrs. S. are members of the P. M. Church.

Shields, Wm. submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Shields, Wm., Came to this county in 1842. He is one of the oldest settlers of this county, coming here while the Indians were camped all around him.

SHREVE, B. F., M. D. submitted by Deborah Barker

SHREVE, B. F., M. D.; Physician and Surgeon, Troy; was born in Perry County, Ohio, February 20, 1841, and there grew to manhood, receiving a common school education. In 1860 he moved to Douglas County, Illinois, and taught school, and when the war broke out enlisted in August 1862, in Company B., 79th Illinois Infantry. Was taken prisoner at Stone River and sent to Castle Thunder, Richmond for thirty-one days, then paroled; and then in March 1863, was sent to Benton barracks, exchanged, and transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corpse, appointed surgeon, and was stationed at Indianapolis till mustered out in July 1865. He then returned to Illinois and a year later went to Jasper county, Iowa, and became a resident of this county Oct 3, 1873, and engaged in the practice of medicine at Troy; he had studied medicine with DR A T Marshall of Douglass county, Illinois, before going into the army, and after coming to Troy, he attended the lectures of the Keokuk Medical College, and received his diploma December 16, 1875. He was married in Jasper county, in February 1866, to Miss Addie L Moore, a native of Ohio. They have 4 children, Jessie E., George F., Willard B., and Lulu Inez. The doctor has an extensive practice. He is a self made man, never having received any assistance from any source, but has attained his present reputation and standing, by his own energy and merit.

SPENCER, Capt. H. A., Bloomfield; was born in New Hampshire, in May, 1813, where he lived sixteen years. At an early age he commenced to learn blacksmithing with his father, Benjamin, near where the city of Manchester now stands. He then worked in the shop of Dan. Moak for two and a half years, then moved to Springfield, Erie county, Pennsylvania, and in the fall of 1838, to Pittsfield, Illinois, and three years later to Mt. Sterling. In 1849, he came to Bloomfield, and built two blacksmith shops, and the first frame building east of the square, and engaged in making plows. He enlisted August 17, 1861, in Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, went out as second lieutenant. Was at Tupelo, Mississippi, and Little Rock; was taken prisoner at White Water river in Missouri, held a month, then paroled; returned to Benton Barracks, was taken with inflammatory rheumatism, and came home on a furlough. Was promoted first lieutenant, April 3d, 1862, and captain, September 5. Resigned August 31, 1864, and returned home on account of disability. As soon as he could, he took charge of the shop, and carried on an extensive business till 1880, when he retired from active business. He was married in Springfield, Pennsylvania, to Miss Eveline Rudd, of that place, and they have had eight children; O. B., born in Pennsylvania; Theresa, born in Illinois; Louis, born in Illinois; Emma; Clarence A.; Ella, and two diseased, Mary and Estevilla. Mr. Spencer has been a Mason since 1838, and has been master in the lodge. He is a member of the Christian Church, and is an active worker in the greenback party; being one of three who organized the first Greenback club in the county, organized in captain Spencer's shop in the summer of 1876. He comes of good stock, his great grandfather being Brigadier General Spencer, in the revolution, and his grandfather being an aide on his staff. Two of his uncles were killed in the war of 1812; his son O. B., was one of the 100 day men in the late war.

Siddons, John, farmer and stock-raiser, sections 34 and 27, postoffice Troy; was born in Ontario, Canada, February 24, 1825. He there grew to manhood, and was educated in the schools of the Dominion. He came to this country and located where he now lives in 1869. He has a fine farm of 50 acres, 400 well improved, with good buildings and orchard, and 100 acres of good blue grass woodland pasture. He has a family of six children, Nelson E., Francis E., Martin, Mary, George H., and Oscar, to whom he has given a good education. Owing to a nervous complaint, he intends to seek a colder climate, and thinks of locating in Manitoba, which he recently visited, and with which he was very much pleased. Davis county, by this, will lose one of her best citizens. Mr. Siddons is an Odd Fellow. He was married in March 1847, to Miss Joanna S. Clubine, also a native of Canada.

ST. CLAIR, WM. A., farmer and stock-raiser, section 3, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, October 30, 1830. There he grew to manhood, and was educated in the common schools. At the age of 21, he anticipated Horace Greely's advice, and came to Linn county, Iowa, and remained there till the spring of 1853, when he went to California and mined two years; then worked two years for a flume and mining company; then returned to Linn county, Iowa. In 1857, he bought a farm, and has since followed farming. In 1879, he became a resident of this county, and owns a nice farm of 80 acres. He was married in March 1859, to Miss Celestia Dille, a native of Indiana; she lived but one year. He married again in January, 1863, Miss Mary Bassett, a native of Indiana. They have three children, Fannie M., wife of C. S. Painter; Jesse E. and Mary. Mr. St. Clair and family are members of the Baptist Church, and he has been superintendent of the Sabbath school for fifteen years, and takes great interest in educational matters.

Stark, Greenup submitted by Lois G. Cossel McMillin

Stark, Greenup, farmer and stockraiser, postoffice Belknap; deceased children before 1882; Lucinda, Josiah, John and James. 9 Children total.

Stark, Josiah submitted by Darrell Manrique

STARK, JOSIAH, retired farmer, Bloomfield; was born January 28, 1819, in Henry county, Ky. When eight years old he moved with his parents to Decatur county, Indiana, where his father died. He obtained a little education in the subscription schools, and in the fall of 1843 he came to Lick Creek township, Davis county, Iowa, and bought the claim of Daniel Woodin, in section 20, of 160 acres. Lived on it seven years, and then moved down Chequest creek, on the ne qr of section 29, where he farmed and ran a carding machine for six years, using a small steam engine, which was the wonder of the whole country. He then moved over into Perry township, in January, 1853, and bought the sw qr of section 2, from Benjamin Brooks, where he lived until August, 1881, when he came to Bloomfield, and bought
a nice residence and a fine, large lot, where he intend to spend the remainder of his days. Mr. S. has been afarmer and stock raiser all his life, coming to this county when "Injuns" and deer and wolves were plenty. He has a tame red fox, which is quite a curiosity. Mr. S. passed through all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, and knows how to appreciate the comforts and pleasures he is now enjoying. He was married August 17, 1840, to Miss Charlotte D. Rose, of Henry county, Ky.,born June 17, 1817, and they have had two children, daughters, one the wife of J. N. Rector, of Perry township, and the other the wife of T. B. Turpin, of Bloomfield township.

Stark, W. B. submitted by Jerry Nelson

Stark, W. B., farmer and stock-raiser, postoffice Floris; was born June 6, 1833, in Decatur county, Ind. At the age of ten his father died, and he remained there, living with his mother till 1847, when they came to this county. He was reared a farmer and was educated in the subscription schools. On reaching this county he worked for seven dollars a month, driving six yoke of oxen for four months. He soon after entered a farm of 160 acres, where by hard work he has made one of the best farms in the county. He served during the war in company D, Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry. He was married in December 1852, to Miss M. McCormick, a native of Indiana; they have been blessed with five children, P. A., Jas. S., Henry L., Ruby E., and Mary deceased. Mr. S. has won the respect and confidence of all who know him. He and his wife have been members of the Baptist church for twenty-three years and he is an Odd Fellow.

Steel, Samuel submitted by Darrell Manrique

Steel, Samuel, Sen., retired merchant, Bloomfield, was born in Greene county, Indiana, January 1, 1814; at the age of seven, his parents, Samuel and Sarah Steel, moved to Park county, Indiana, where he was raised as a farmer and miller, receiving a common school education. His mother died there, and he with his father moved to Warren county, Illinois, in 1835 or 1836. From there to Van Buren county, Iowa, settling in Keosauqua, in mercantile business with his father. In June 1845, they came to this county where he has lived ever since. About fourteen years of that time he was engaged in mercantile trade, the balance of time farming. He was married in Illinois in 1840, to Miss Stratton, and they had six children, one living, William, of Bloomfield. His wife died in 1876, and he married again Oct. 12, 1877, to Isabella Brewster, whose maiden name was Frame; a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, born in 1831; she had
six children by her first husband; Ellen, wife of Wm. Rhinebarger; Amanda, wife of Thos. Robb; Alice, wife of Oscar McCrary; Julia, wife of Jesse Patterson; Jennie June; and Lena Ada. Mr. and Mrs. Steel are members of the Congregational church.

Steele, John A., farmer and stock raiser; section 18, postoffice Bloomfield. Came to Iowa in 1851, owns a fine farm of 180 acres, well improved. Mr S has held the office of twp trustee, and is a member of the Grange.

STEWART, A. W., blacksmith, Drakeville; was born in Brown county, Ohio, May 7, 1828. At an early age his parents moved to Clermont county where he lived until he was eighteen, going to school until he was fifteen, then went to learn blacksmithing with his brother James, where he worked three years as apprentice and two years as journeyman; then went to Hamilton county, and one year later to Indianapolis, Ind., where he worked in a machine shop six years; then came to Ottumwa, Iowa, in June, 1855, and two years later came to Drakeville, and one year later went to Blakesburg for two years; then returning to Drakeville, where he has since lived. He was married March 26, 1853, to Miss D. Hopkins, a native of Belmont county, Ohio; they have had three children, John M. and two deceased, Mary E. and Jas. W. Mr. and Mrs. S. are members of the M. E. Church. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and Masons.

Stober, Jacob, farmer, section 30, postoffice Moulton; was born November 20, 1823, in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. Here he lived till he was fourteen, when his parents moved to Richland county, Ohio, being among the earliest settlers in that county; in 1849 he moved to Hardin county, Ohio, and five years later, October 25, 1854, he arrived in this county, first settling within a mile of where he now resides. In the spring of 1863, he bought the farm he now owns, consisting of 473 acres; on this farm is the "Stober Spring," the best spring in the county, throwing a constant stream of water. He is engaged in stock-raising and has some fine short-horn stock. His sales of cattle, hogs and farm produce in the last year amounted to $2,800. He was married May 18, 1847, to Miss Sarah Grimes, of Wayne county, and they have been blessed with ten children, Philip, Jacob, Markard, May E., Sarah A., George, W. T., Adeline, Margaret, and Minerva. In politics Mr. Stober is a greenbacker, and is a wholesouled gentleman.

Stokes, Samuel, deceased, was born in Cumberland county, Penn., December 2, 1821, where he resided till 1849, when he moved to Marion county, Ohio. In 1865, he came to this county and settled in West Grove. He learned the cooper trade and followed it a number of years, then engaged in farming. He was married in April, 1847, to Miss Cathie Eckard, of Pennsylvania. They had five children: John, deceased, S. G. W., Maryetta, Emma, and Maria L., deceased. Mr. Stokes died June 13, 1877. S. G. W. Stokes, second son of the above, was born in Marion county, Ohio, January 11, 1853, and came to this county in 1865. His early youth was spent in assisting on the farm, and getting an education. Mr. S. is located on a fine farm of 585 acres, most of it under cultivation, and has one of the best residences in the township. He was married December 25, 1877, to Miss Kenella Goddard, f this county. They have one daughter, Mamie Lenore. Mr. S. is a member of Odd Fellows lodge No. 239, and in politics is a greenbacker.

Stutzman, J. J., owns 160 acres of fine farming land, and 23 acres of timber, in this township, and is one of the best fine stock men in the county. He brought here the thoroughbred "Searcher," by dam Clay Trustee; fine blooded hogs, Devon and Jersey cattle, and the first Cotswold, Southdown, Liecester and Oxford Down sheep. He was born in Junietta county, Pa., January 14, 1824, and when eleven years old, his father moved to Fairfield county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and received his education. He taught seventeen terms of school, in Ohio, and four in Iowa. He bought the old homestead in Ohio, in 1858, and in 1862 came to Iowa and settled on his present farm. He was married March 3, 1859, to Miss M. S. Swartzendruver, a native of Maryland. They have two children, Mary A., and Laura O. Mr. and Mrs. S. are members of the Mennonite Church. His postoffice is Pulaski. Mr. S. is the owner of the celebrated stallion, Grey Eagle, Jr., twenty-four years old; he was owned by Col. Boggs, the last two years of the rebellion. Even now, the old veteran seems as supple as a colt.

Swaim, John submitted by Sue Simpson

Swaim, John, farmer, section 20, postoffice Floris; was born May 31, 1821, in Jefferson County, Ohio; when quite young his parents, Elias and Rachel, removed to Belmont, then to Monroe, where he lived till eighteen years old, when he learned the carpenter's trade in Harrison county, and served as apprentice with Thomas Bradley for four year; then came to Iowa, and settled in this county, in 1845.  He now owns a good farm of 200 acres, well improved; everything about the place showing the thrift and industry of its owner.  He was married in August 1843, to Miss D. Hale, and they have four children:  George M., John H., Rachel, and Florence. In politics Mr. S. is an independent democrat, and is one of the most substantial and intelligent farmers in the township.

Swartzendruver, C. B., one of the leading farmers of Grove township; owns a fine farm of 640 acres of land, with a good house, a large barn, and raises blooded stock; he has some thorough-bred short horns, and a good many full bloods, besides some fine Norman mares. He was born in Wayne county, Ohio, April 9, 1841, and grew up there, receiving a good education, and at seventeen began to teach school, and taught four years. He came to Iowa in 1862, and was married October 4, 1864, to Miss Anna Augspurger, an estimable lady, a native of Butler county, Ohio. They have two children, Melinda and John. Mr. an Mrs. S. are members of the Mennonite Church.  

Swartzendruver, D. B., one of the self-made men of this county, was born October 20, 1835, in Alleghany county, Maryland, and lived on the farm until he was nineteen, when he learned the carpenter trade, and worked at it eight years. In 1859, he came to this county, and now owns a fine farm of 115 acres, in section 36, and devotes himself to raising and breeding fine cattle and Berkshire hogs. He was married December 23, 1858, to Miss Eliza Spitler, a native of Fairfield county, Ohio. They have two children, Lewis W. and Mary M. Mr. and Mrs. S. are members of the Reformed Mennonite Church, and, if any one wishes to enjoy hospitality in its truest form, call on them.

Swinney, D. submitted by Jerry Nelson

Swinney, D., farmer and stock-raiser; postoffice, Floris; was born October 9, 1820, in Monroe county, West Virginia. When he was eight years old his parents moved to Decatur county, Indiana, where he grew to manhood, on a farm and was educated in the subscription school and at an early age commenced teaching. He was married April 27, 1843, to Miss Lavina Stark, a native of Henry county, Kentucky, they have had six children: William G., Irvin, James A., Boon, Josiah, and Harvey. In the fall of 1843, he came to this county, settling in Lick Creek township, where he lived 21 years, then sold out and moved to Illinois, for three years, then returning purchase his present home containing 160 acres. He has held many offices of trust, being elected in 1844, a justice of the peace for four townships. In 1846, was appointed postmaster of the first postoffice in Lick Creek township, and held the office most of the time till 1865. Was again elected justice in 1878, which office he now holds. In 1881, he was elected county supervisor on the greenback ticket. His son, William G., served in the army when only sixteen years old. Mr. and Mrs. Swinney are members of the Baptist Church, of which he had been deacon for many years.

Swinney, H. submitted by Jerry Nelson

Swinney, H., farmer and stock-raiser, postoffice Belknap; was born in November, 1842, in Decatur county, Indiana. He was reared a farmer and educated in the common schools, emigrated to this county with his mother in 1848, and settled on a farm previously entered by his father. In July 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry; was in the battles of Chickasaw, Arkansas Post, Raymond, Jackson, Champion’s Hill, Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, and most all the battles with Sherman’s command. He was discharged at Washington, in June 1865. He was wounded November 25, 1863, at Mission Ridge, in the leg, which laid him in hospital over a year. He was married in June, 1866, to Miss Mary Eckard, a native of Virginia; they have four children: Orvilla T., Francis M., Emma and Roy. Mr. Swinney owns a fine farm of 140 acres.

Swinney, I. submitted by Jerry Nelson

Swinney, Isaac, farmer and stock-dealer, section 28, postoffice Floris; was born May 21, 1824, in Summers county, West Virginia. When he was five years old, his parents moved to Decatur county, Indiana, and in the spring of 1844, he came to Davis county, Iowa. He was raised a farmer, and received a common school education. In the fall of 1844 he returned to Indiana, and in 1845 he came back and staid awhile, and again returned to Indiana, and May 27, 1847, was married to Miss Oleva Johnson, of Decatur county, Indiana, and soon after brought his wife to this county, to share the hardships and joys of pioneer life. With strong arms but limited means, he went to work to improve his claim, and was very successful, for seven or eight years, then commenced shipping stock, which he has been engaged in since, in connection with his farm. Mr. S. is the oldest stock shipper in the county, being a careful buyer, and doing a safe business. He has a fine farm of 400 acres, 300 in cultivation, the balance in woodland pasture. There is a living spring on the farm, which has supplied his stock with water for over thirty years. He has just completed a new house, large and commodius, which adds greatly to the beauty of his farm. Mr. and Mrs. S. have had three children, Mary E., wife of O. F. Briggs, of Chicago; James R. and one deceased. James R. is a partner with his father in the stock business, and was married September 20, 1881, to Miss Mattie La Ford, a native of this county. The subject of this sketch and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, and are highly esteemed by everyone. Mr. S. is a republican in politics.

Swinney, James, postoffice Belknap. In July 1862, he enlisted in Co B, 13th Ia Inf, was in the battles of Chickasaw, Arkansas, and most all battles with Sherman's command. He was discharged at Washington in June 1865. He was wounded Nov 25, 1863, at Mission Ridge, in the leg, which laid him in a hospital over a year.