Decatur County >> 1915 Index

History of Decatur County, Iowa
J. M. Howell and H. C. Smith, supervising eds. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.

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Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Aaron A. Cozad

Although he has retired from the work of the farm Aaron A. Cozad, of Pleasanton, is still actively engaged in business, taking contracts for cement work. He is also one of the owners of the Pleasanton Telephone Company. His birth occurred on the 16th of February, 1845, in Indiana, and he is a son of Alice and Emeline (Swank) Cozad, natives respectively of Virginia and Ohio. The father removed to Indiana in an early day and there engaged in farming until November, 1854, when he emigrated to Decatur county, Iowa, with his family, entering eighty acres of land in Morgan township. He began improving his farm and devoted his time and energies to its operation until his demise, which occurred in 1868. His widow survived for many years, dying in 1901.

Aaron A. Cozad was a child of nine years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this county and he acquired the greater part of his education in the local district schools. He remained at home with his mother and gave his time to the operation of the home farm until he was twenty-five years of age. He then rented land, which he cultivated until 1877, when he purchased eighty acres on section 24, Hamilton township. As soon as possible he cleared his place and made improvements thereon and as his resources increased he purchased additional land, becoming the owner of two hundred acres, which he operated until 1895. He then rented his farm and removed to Pleasanton, where he purchased a good residence. However, he was unable to live in idleness and turned his attention to the cement business, specializing in the building of sidewalks. He is still so engaged and has done much work of that character in Pleasanton. He and John Painter are the sole owners of the local telephone company, known as the Pleasanton Telephone Company, and this concern is in a very prosperous condition.

In April, 1871, occurred the marriage of Mr. Cozad and Miss Elizabeth Gammill, a daughter of James and Ann (Clark) Gammill, who were born respectively in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They settled in Decatur county in 1852 and the father farmed here until his demise in 1885. The mother died in 1892. To Mr. and Mrs. Cozad was born a daughter, Hattie, who is now a stenographer in the Methodist Hospital at Des Moines, Iowa. In January, 1903, Mr. Cozad married Mrs. Hattie Hutchison, a daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (Dreese) Walker, natives of Indiana and pioneers of Mercer county, Missouri, where they arrived in 1852. The father followed farming during the remainder of his life, passing away in October, 1914. The mother survived until March, 1915. By her previous marriage Mrs. Cozad has three children: Francis, a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Elsie, the wife of Sherman Kindred, who is living in Colorado; and Otto, a farmer of this county.

Mr. Cozad is a republican and throughout his life has manifested much genuine concern for the public welfare. During the Civil war he gave indisputable proof of his patriotism by serving in the Union army, being a member of Company K, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted from Leon when seventeen years of age and served for three years. He was taken prisoner at Allatoona, Georgia, and was held for three months. He keeps in touch with his comrades of former days through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order. His religious faith is that of the Christian Union church. Energy and sound judgment have always characterized Mr. Cozad and in his life he has achieved much, not only gaining financial independence, but also aiding in the development of his county along both material and moral lines.

J. C. Cozad is a young man of sound judgment and executive ability and has successfully filled the office of cashier of the Decatur Savings Bank since the organization of the institution. A native son of the county, he was born in Morgan township in 1883, of the marriage of Jacob A. and Sarah J. (Hubbard) Cozad. The father was born in Indiana but in 1856, when about twelve years old came to Decatur county, Iowa, with his parents, Alice and Emeline (Swank) Cozad, likewise natives of the Hoosier state. They settled in Morgan township, entering land from the government. They continued to reside until called by death. Jacob A. Cozad was reared upon the home farm and knew by experience the hardships of pioneer life. In his young manhood he enlisted in the Union army, as did three of his brothers, John S., Aaron A. and James. They were all living in Decatur county at the time but enlisted in Missouri regiments. Although they participated in many hard-fought engagements all lived to return from the war. Jacob A. Cozad passed away when fifty-eight years of age and his wife died in July, 1913, upon the homestead, which comprises two hundred and eighty acres of excellent land. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and did all that they could to further its work.

J. C. Cozad, who is one of a family of six children, spent his boyhood days upon his father's farm and received that excellent home training which develops the virtues of industry, perseverance and integrity. He was given good educational opportunities, attending the public schools, the Leon high school and Highland Park College at Des Moines. For seven years he engaged in teaching school and during the greater part of that time was an instructor in high schools. In May, 1908, he decided to turn his attention to other lines of endeavor and assisted in organizing the Decatur Savings Bank of Decatur City, which was capitalized for ten thousand dollars. The first president of the institution was J. H. Hill and the first cashier our subject, who still holds that position. The bank has enjoyed a steady growth and in 1912 its capitalization was increased to twenty-five thousand dollars. The institution transacts a general banking business and has gained the full confidence of the public as its methods are above question and are calculated to safeguard the interests of depositors and at the same time promote the development of the bank.

Mr. Cozad married Miss Vanetta Wasson, who was born in this county and is a daughter of H. F. and Hattie (Mullinix) Wasson, residents of Lineville, Iowa. To this union has been born one child, La Verne. Mr. Cozad is a democrat but has never sought to figure prominently in public affairs. He has concentrated his energies upon his business and much of the credit for the success of the Decatur Savings Bank is due to him as he has in large measure determined its policy since its organization.

James H. Cozad, who passed away in 1901, was for many years a farmer of this county and held a high place in the estimation of those who knew him. He was born in Indiana, March 25, 1846, a son of Alice and Emeline (Swank) Cozad, more detailed mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject was reared and educated in Morgan township, this county, and remained with his parents upon the homestead until he reached the age of twenty-three years. He then operated a rented farm for one year, after which he purchased an eighty acre tract on section 34, Eden township. He at once began operating and improving his farm and made it in time one of the best developed properties of his locality. He followed general agricultural pursuits and his industry and the care with which he managed his affairs enabled him to gain a competence.

On the 19th of January, 1869, Mr. Cozad married Miss Rebecca E. Still, a daughter of Merideth and Elizabeth (Sanders) Still, natives of Montgomery county, Missouri. Mrs. Cozad was born in that state August 17, 1846, but in the same year was brought by her parents to Decatur county, Iowa. Her father entered land west of Leon, which he later sold. He then removed to Eden township and purchased land adjoining our subject's farm. Mr. Still passed away in 1863 at the age of sixty-eight years and was survived until 1869 by his widow. Mr. and Mrs. Cozad became the parents of three children: Meredith S., deceased; Cora A., now Mrs. George Moore and a resident of South Dakota; and Millie V., the wife of John Barrett, a farmer of this county.

Mr. Cozad was loyal in his support of the principles and measures of the democratic party and served efficiently as trustee of his township. His religious faith was that of the Methodist church and the teachings of that organization guided him in his relations with his fellows. He was a man of unquestioned integrity and his many admirable traits of character gained him the warm regard of many. His demise, which occurred on the 10th of June, 1901, was sincerely mourned and his memory is still cherished by his friends.

William C. Cozad, who served acceptably as county treasurer, on the expiration of his term in December, 1914, returned to his farm in Morgan township, Decatur county, and is now engaged in agricultural pursuits. His birth occurred in Warren county, Indiana, on the 19th of December, 1849, and his parents were A. and Emeline (Swank) Cozad. For several years the father farmed in the Hoosier state but in 1854 he removed to Decatur county, Iowa, where he homesteaded land, to the cultivation of which he devoted his remaining years. He held several township offices and supported the democratic party. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and were highly esteemed in their locality. He passed away in 1868 but she survived until 1902. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Jacob A.; John S.; Aaron A.; James H.; William C.; Rosa A., who married William Woods; Lucinda I., who died in 1888; Mary E., who is the wife of R. F. Dunham; Josie E.; and Joseph, who died in infancy.

William C. Cozad attended the country schools during the winters, when his assistance was not needed upon the farm, and remained with his parents until he reached mature years. Upon starting out for himself he continued to farm, although he taught school for a few years through the winter months. From the beginning he was successful in his chosen occupation, as he had received thorough training in agricultural work as a youth. He has held every elective office in his township and in 1910 was elected county treasurer on the democratic ticket and in 1912 was reelected to that office. He was not only scrupulous in the discharge of his duties, safeguarding at every turn the funds of the county, but he was also systematic and efficient and proved an excellent treasurer. Following the expiration of his second term he returned to his farm in Morgan township, the operation of which he supervised during his tenure of office, and he is now giving his time and attention to farming and stock-raising.

In 1873 Mr. Cozad married Miss Nancy J. Bright, a daughter of Jacob Bright, of Decatur county. Mr. and Mrs. Cozad have four children: Herbert E., who married Miss Anna Cartwright and has three children, David W., Edith and Winston C.; Lottie M.; Floyd H., who married Lois Stewart; and Angie H. Mr. Cozad stands well in his community and well merits the confidence placed in him, for in all the relations of life he has conformed his conduct to high moral standards. As an agriculturist he is progressive and energetic and he finds farming not only highly profitable but also congenial.

BERT L. AND EDITH (HENDRICKSON) EIKER

Bert L. and Edith (Hendrickson) Eiker, both natives of Iowa and residents of Leon, were married August 28, 1907, and have one daughter, Edith. Mrs. Eiker is a registered graduate nurse, having received her training in the Nurses' Training School of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the Post Graduate Training School for Nurses of Chicago, Illinois, graduating from the latter institution in 1905. Dr. Eiker is a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago, and has been engaged in general practice in Decatur county, Iowa, since his graduation in 1896.