Des Moines County >> 1879 Index

History of Des Moines County, Iowa
Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1879.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

BLAKE, WILLIAM EDGAR born in Morning Sun, Preble Co., Ohio, June 27, 1844; came to Louisa Co., Iowa, in 1845; graduated at Monmouth College, Illinois, in 1867, then studied law in the law department of the Iowa state University, Iowa City, Iowa, where he graduated in 1869; he came to Burlington, in august of the same year, and has since been engaged in the practice of law; the firm was styled Newman & Blake until September, 1874, when it was changed to Blake & Hammack, Jan. 1, 1879; Mr. Blake again associated himself with Judge Newman.  He was married July 4, 1867, to Miss Sarah Lucretia Hurd, of Morning Sun, Iowa.

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[Members of the Des Moines County Bar]

W. E. Blake.  Mr. Blake was raised on a farm in Louisa County.  Graduated at Monmouth College, and from the law school of the State University of Iowa, came to Burlington and entered into a partnership with Hon. T. W. Newman for the practice of law.  His perceptive faculties are keen, and he can quickly see the point or points on which the decision of the court hangs.  Besides, in a trial, it is hard to "put him in a hole," as the saying is, and if once placed there, the chances are he will wriggle out before the case is closed.  In a trial, one can't tell when and where Blake is going to strike.  Master of the law, applicable to the facts as he views them, and having the faculty of hiding a trap under the meal, makes him one of the hardest lawyers with which to contend in a trial.  However, he plays the game according to the rules, is always courteous to opposing counsel and the court.  Has the highest regard for professional ethics, and fair in his dealings with his fellow men.

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For forty-five years William Edgar Blake has been an active practitioner at the bar of Burlington. He is today one of its oldest representatives in years of continuous connection therewith and throughout the entire period he has occupied a creditable position as an able lawyer, one who is forceful as an advocate, wise as a counselor and who at all times holds strictly to the ethics of his calling.  He was born in Morning Sun, Preble county, Ohio, June 27, 1844, a son of Henry Clay and Mary Ann (Wilson) Blake, who on the 10th of October, 1845, arrived in Iowa with their family, settling first in Louisa county.  The father was a carpenter and builder by trade and was thus identified with industrial pursuits for a considerable period. He also carried on farming and in his later life devoted his attention to merchandising. At the time of the Civil war, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted for active service, becoming a ember of Company C, First Iowa cavalry, with which he was connected for three years, participating in many a hotly contested battle.  Both he and his wife are now deceased.  They had a family of five children, of whom two are yet living:  W. W., who makes his home in the city of Mexico;  and William Edgar.  One son, Melville E., who died in 1901, practiced in connection with his brother William for twenty-five years.

Throughout practically his entire life William Edgar Blake has made his home in Iowa, but went to Illinois for the completion of his more specifically literary education, being graduated from Monmouth College with the class of 1867. He qualified for his profession in the law department of the state University of Iowa City and was graduated with  the class of 1869.  He then came to Burlington, opened an office and has since practiced in this city, being actively connected with a profession which has important bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of any section or community and one which has long been considered as conserving the public welfare by furthering the ends of justice and maintaining individual rights.  He is a strong advocate with the jury. an concise in his appeals before the court. He has always continued in the general practice of law and throughout the period of his residence in Burlington has maintained membership relations in the Burlington, Des Moines County and Iowa State Bar Associations.

On the 4th of July, 1867, Mr. Blake was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Lucretia Hurd, who died in September, 1902.  In November, 1903, he wedded S. E. Jagger, of Burlington.  He has two daughters:  Mrs. W. B. Swan, now living in Memphis, Tennessee; and Mrs. Lucretia B. Wilson, whose home is in this city.

Mr. Blake has been identified with the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and although he has been interested in the science of government and in the questions relating to municipal welfare, he has preferred to concentrate his efforts upon his professional duties rather than seek or fill office.  His life has ever been actuated by high and honorable principles of the Presbyterian church and of the Young Men's Christian Association.

BLAKE, WILSON WILBERFORCE, editor-in-chief of the Burlington Gazette; was born in a farm house near Morning sun, Louisa Co., Iowa, Oct. 26, 1850, his parents having removed from Ohio to this State four years previously; he led the life of a farmer's boy until the age of 16, when he entered Monmouth College; being obliged to suspend his studies for a time, he edited a country newspaper (the Morning Sun Free Press); taught school and farmed during the interval of sixteen months, while yet a minor, and finally graduated with honor from the institution, June 20, 1872.  He married Aug. 31, 1871, Miss Maria S. Acheson, of Monmouth, Ill.; three children - girls, are the fruit of this union.  He removed from Morning Sun to Burlington, in the fall of 1872, to accept a position on the City Department of the Daily Hawk-Eye; he was soon promoted to be City and News Editor of that paper, which position he retained until the 1st of August, 1874; failing health caused by the exacting duties of morning newspaper work led to his resignation; the proprietor of the Hawk-Eye, on his retirement, presented him with an elegant silver-headed cane as an expression of esteem; he sought the much needed rest of a few weeks in the country, but soon returned to the ranks of journalism; and, Sept. 24, 1874, he in conjunction with Messrs. W. R. Finch and Charles H. Playter, bought the Evening Gazette, and organized a stock company; Mr. Blake was at first city editor of the paper and afterwards business manager; in the month of December, 1876,he became the editor-in-chief, and has reigned supreme in the sanctum ever since that time.

CULLATON, J., of the firm of Acres, Blackmar & Co.; was born near Watertown , N. Y., June 23, 1835 ; while he was yet an infant his father removed with his family to Canada , and lived there until he was 16 years of age, then went to Cleveland , Ohio , where he learned the printer's trade. July 27, 1861, he enlisted in the United States navy; in June, 1862, he was promoted from sailor to master's mate; promoted to ensign in March, 1863; previous to entering the navy, he was for three years on board a whale-ship in the Pacific Ocean; in May, 1865, Mr. C. resigned his position in the navy and went to La Porte, Ind., where he published for two years the La Porte Union, being associated with a brother in the ownership and control of the paper; he then came to Burlington, and for eleven years has been a member of the firm of Acres, Blackmar & Co.

ELDER, M. C. , farmer, Sec. 20; P. O. Latty; was born in Armstrong Co., Penn. , in 1837; came to Des Moines Co. in 1837. Married Eliza J. Walker in 1871; she was born in Des Moines Co. in 1844; they have three children - Maretta, Frank and Ida M. Mr. Elder owns eighty acres of land, valued at $45 per acre. Has held office of Road Supervisor two years. Democrat.

Houseworth, Wm. McD., carpenter and builder; shop on West Jefferson st. [Burlington city]; he was born in Ross Co., Ohio, July 11, 1832; moved to Burlington in September, 1845; learned his trade with Richard Howard. Has served as Township Trustee; held office as Member of the Board of Education for the last ten years. Married March 19, 1853, Mary a. Beck; she was born in Vermont; they have five children - George F., Walter S., Minnie S., William J. and Marion J.

JONES, J. W. C., attorney at law; was born in Miami Co., Ohio, Oct. 11, 1844, and removed, with his father, in 1847, to Newberry, S. C.; he was educated at Columbia College, South Carolina, and graduated from that institution in 1861; he came to Burlington in the fall of1865; in 1866, he organized and taught for two years a High School at Pleasant Grove, this county; in September, 1868, he went to Danville and conducted an Academy until the fall of 1870; in 1871, was chiefly engaged in writing for educational periodicals and preparing for normal work; from 1872 to 1876, he was Principal of the Burlington city schools, and a Conductor of Normal Institutes; in 1875 and 1876, he instituted a system of graded schools in Grafton, Ill., and at the same time organized a Normal Institute at Jerseyville; in January, 1877, he was admitted to the bar. In 1865, he married Miss Hattie E. Tolman, who was born in Medina Co., O.; they have five sons -Lambert B., Benson E., Lewis T., Robert Lee and John Tracy. Mr. Jones has been prominently identified with the political interests of Iowa and Illinois, in various ways, and has been active in campaign speaking in the interests of the Democratic party.

KINNEAR, W, W., Capt., agent for the Keokuk & Northern Line Packet Co.; he was born July 2, 1836, in Franklin, Venango Co., Penn.; moved to Dubuque, Iowa, 1845, with his parents, and, in 1862, commenced steam-boating as carpenter on a steamer, and, in 1864, was promoted and placed in command of a steamer; in 1865, was promoted again as Assistant Superintendent of the La Crosse, Minnesota & St. Paul Packet Co., and remained there for six years; in the winter of 1872, was elected Superintendent of the People's Towboat Line, running from St. Louis to Dubuque; held that position till the consolidation of the Towboat and Northwestern Union Packet Company with the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northern Packet Line Co., and made what is now called the Keokuk & Northern Packet Line Co.; and Capt. Kinnear was placed in command of one of the company's boats, and afterward was Assistant Superintendent till the spring of 1878, when he was appointed agent for the company at Burlington, which position he still holds. He married July 5, 1858 , Sarah A. McLaury, of McGregor , Iowa ; they have one child - Mary A.

LAGOMARCINO, A., & Co., No. 113 S. Main st., wholesale and retail dealers in foreign and domestic fruits; also agents for D. D. Mallory's oysters; A. Lagomarcino was born in Italy . Married Maria Tassing in 1873; she was born in Italy ; they have two children - Paul and Lizzie. Mr. L. is a Democrat.

LAMME, WILLIAM, Danville; born in Greene Co., Ohio, Feb. 14, 1814; came to Sangamon Co., Ill., in 1818; went to Hancock Co. and lived three years; came to Des Moines Co. in 1835. Married Miss Hester Elliott Aug. 27, 1838; she was born in Morgan Co., Ind., March 19, 1818; have three children - Mary J. Seamons, William H. and Claire Blakeway, and one dead - David P. Mrs. L. is a member of the M. E. Church. Mr. L. was elected to the Legislature in 1874, and was among the first settlers of Union Tp., where he entered 320 acres of land three years before it came into market; improved it, put it under good cultivation and sold; came to Danville, where he now lives retired. Always a Republican.

NAU, HENRY , farmer, Sec. 2; P. O. Middletown; born in Germany April 26, 1815; came to America in 1838, and located in Indianapolis, Ind.; moved to Butler Co., Ohio, and lived there five years; came to Henry Co., Iowa, in 1843; moved to Des Moines Co. in 1853. In 1878,he returned to his native land, and attended the Exposition at Paris. Married Miss Elizabeth Wager May 30, 1841; she was born in Bavaria April 18, 1823; have seven children - John, Mary, Katie C., Samuel, George W., Rebecca B. and Maggie E. Are members of the Lutheran Church. He owns 427 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; made all the improvements. Democrat.

NEALEY, M. W. , far., S. 12; P. O. Danville; born in New York April 6, 1814; is a millwright by trade; came to Des Moines Co. in 1835; helped to build the Star flouring-mill; it was one of the first mills built in Des Moines Co.; also helped to build a mill on Sugar Creek, in Wapello Co., the first mill built in that county, and helped build the old Western Hotel at Burlington. There were only eight or ten buildings in Burlington when Mr. N. came to Des Moines Co. Married Miss Harriet Wolverton in 1842; she was born in Hamilton Co., Ohio, in 1825; have eleven children - Mary E., Lou., Alonzo, Frank, Kate, Cora A., Charley, Harvey, Ellie, Birdie, Grace B., and two dead; Durand died in infancy; owns 264 acres, valued at $50 per acre. Republican. Mr. N. made the first coffin ever made for the Indians for Keokuk's son; it was made from slabs split out of a tree.

OPPICE, S., born in Italy in 1841. Married Louisa Aralda in 1866; she was born in New York City ; they have four children - Frank, Joseph, Louisa and Mary. Members of St. Paul 's Church; Republican.

Portlock, D. L. submitted by Julie Dresser

Portlock, D. L., far., Sec. 11; P. O. Pleasant Grove; born in Rush Co., Ind., Jan 4, 1825; came o Burlington in the fall of 1836; engaged at the carpenter trade; removed to Pleasant Grove tp., in April 1842.  Married Miss Elizabeth J. Fleenor in 1850; born Rush Co., Ind., in 1827; have five children-Verdon, Lydia, Clarissa, Sarah E. and Elzorah, and had two died in infancy.  Mr. P. has held the office of Justice of the Peace for ten years; has been on the Board of Supervisors and Deputy Provost Marshal during the war.  Owns 200 acres of land.  Members of the Christian Church; Democrat.

RICE, J., farmer, Sec. 12; P. O. Kingston; was born in Germany in 1832; came to Des Moines Co. in 1849. Married Harriet Murtz in 1865; she was born in Pennsylvania in 1839; they have four children - Isabel, Kate, John and Charles. Mr. R. owns 232 acres, valued at $20 per acre. Democrat.

Sanders, J. A., Danville; born in Washington Co., Penn., Aug. 17, 1801; came to Des Moines Co., Nov. 15, 1850; bought 120 acres of land, at $6 per acre, improved and sold for $50 per acre; moved to Danville in 1877, where he lives retired.  Married Miss De Berry April 1, 1827; she was born in West Virginia Oct. 25, 1806, died May 21, 1875; married again, Mrs. Lydia Lewis Sept. 19, 1877; she was born in Cambria Co., Penn., Jan. 1, 1814; Mr. S. has six children by former wife - Andrew J., Elizabeth, Phebe, James, Sarah J. and William;  lost three - Emeline, Newton and John; Mrs. S. has by former husband eleven children - Ephraim, Kate, Melinda, Edward, Alfred, Emma, Ellen Mattie, Jennie, Justus and Charles, and lost three - Levi, Enoch and Augusta.  Mr. S. owns eighty acres of land, valued at $50 per acre.  Mr. S. member of the Congregational Church; Mrs. S. member of the Baptist Church.  Mr. S. is a Republican.

SCHMITTEL, JOHN born in Burlington in 1852. Married Annie Weggemyost in 1875; she was born in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1856; they have one child - Charles J. Mr. S. is a member of the Germania Benevolent Society, with family members of St. John's Catholic Church; Democrat.

Schroeder, J. H., dealer in merchandise, cor. of Agency and Osborn streets [Burlington city]; he was born June 14, 1846, in Des Moines Co., Iowa. Married May 19, 1870, Anna M. Schroeder; they have three children - Edward L., Clara J., Louisa L. Members of the M. E. Church; Republican.

Waters, O. P., Secretary of the Centennial Mutual Life Association; born in Delaware Co., N. Y., March 23, 1830; came to Iowa in September, 1848; located at Bloomington (now Muscatine); that was his home until January, 1874; he then removed to Mt. Pleasant, where he remained until his removal to Burlington; while at Muscatine he was engaged in mercantile business most of the time; he carried on the flouring-mill business there for two years, and part of three years he he devoted to soliciting life insurance; was in woolen-mills at Mt. Pleasant.