and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa
M. Garman, residing
on section 1, Union Township, is among the prominent citizens and representative
farmers of Des Moines County, Iowa. He was born in Lebanon County, Pa., Aug. 21,
1831, and is a son of Henry and Catherine (Killinger) Garman, natives of
Pennsylvania, of German ancestry, and the parents of ten children, four of whom
are deceased: John, who died in 1852; Matilda died in Des Moines County,
in January, 1888; Henry, Jr., who went South about the year 1849, and is
supposed to be dead, as he has not since been heard of; Cyrus died in infancy.
The children living are: Frances, widow of Joseph Bowman, who resides in Lebanon
County, Pa.; William, a farmer yet upon part of the old homestead, in Union
Township; D. K., of Burlington, whose sketch appears on another page of this
book; Catherine is the widow of David Earnest, who was a member of the 25th Iowa
Infantry, and now sleeps in one of the unknown graves in the Sunny South, having
died on a hospital boat near Memphis; Luca, wife of Rev. Morgan Edwards, a
Baptist minister residing in Burlington, and our subject. In 1846 Henry
Garman emigrated from Lebanon County, Pa., to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he
purchased 110 acres of land on section 1, Union Township. He lived but a
short time after coming to this county; overtaxing his strength one day in the
harvest field, he was taken sick and died shortly afterward. The mother departed
this life in 1856. Both were members of the Lutheran Church for many
years, though the mother, prior to her death, joined the Baptist Society. They were both highly respected and honored citizens in this and in their native
When fifteen years of age
our subject came to Des Moines County, which since his boyhood has been his
home. He was reared upon a farm, and his whole life has been spent as a
tiller of the soil. In 1855 he began life for himself, renting 153 acres
of land, upon which he began a stock farm. He purchased a number of calves, and
from that time on he has engaged in stock dealing, some years selling stock to
the amount of $50,000. This business proved very successful, and Mr.
Garman was soon able to purchase land, becoming the owner of eighty acres of
tillable and thirty of timber land, for which he gave $100 per acre.
Besides his cattle he also handles a fine line of Hambletonian horses, he being
the first to introduce that stock into the county. He now has twenty head
of that breed, and is one of the most successful stock dealers and breeders in
the community. Though giving much of his attention to his stock, he yet
has time for the cultivation of his farm, which is one of the best in this
Mr. Garman was united in
marriage with Mary J. David, who was born in Burlington, Jan. 9, 1842, and is a
daughter of Barton T. and Mary A. F. (Rosser) David, natives of Maysville, Ky.,
who came to Des Moines County in 1835, in its pioneer days. The father is
yet living, being a resident of Burlington, but the mother, who was a member of
the Baptist Church, departed this life in 1855, at the age of thirty-six. Mr. and Mrs. Garman are the parents of one child, Katie, who was born Sept. 4,
1876, and they are both members of the First Baptist Church, of Burlington.
Among the honored citizens
and early pioneers of Des Moines County, who have aided largely in its progress
and advancement, we are pleased to mention the name of Charles M. Garman.
It is the early pioneers who have given the county the foremost place it
occupies in the State, and much credit is due to these noble men. In
politics he is a Republican, and is the only Republican Supervisor who was ever
elected from Jackson Township. By his election it gave a majority of that party
on the board, which served during the dark days of the Rebellion, and Mr. Garman
held his position for six years, from 1860 to 1866, during which time he was
nominated for Representative. Positively declining to accept the
nomination, S. A. Flanders was nominated and elected. Mr. Garman has
always taken an active interest in all public matters, and for several years was
Secretary of the Agricultural Society, and has been one of the Directors.
Besides that society, he is Secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company,
of Des Moines County, having held the position since 1875, when the company was
organized, and is also General Agent. Mr. Garman has ever been a prominent
man in this county, as his family was in Pennsylvania. They were there
representative citizens, and one of his uncles, John Killinger, and also his
son, John W., represented their Congressional districts for many years in the
State Assembly, and John W. was also a Member of Congress.
Dr. Daniel K. Garman, a pioneer dentist and practitioner of special surgery, who located in Burlington, Iowa, in 1846, was born in Lebanon County, Pa., Aug. 18, 1822, and is a son of Henry and Catherine (Killinger) Garman, who were natives of Pennsylvania, of German descent, but of native American parentage. Daniel K. Garman was educated at Palmyra Academy, Carlisle, Pa., and in 1844 entered upon the study of dental surgery with Dr. Stout, of Philadelphia, including in his course the study of special surgery of the eye, ear and mouth. Two years later he traveled in Ohio, and in 1846 came to Burlington, Iowa, where he entered upon the practice of his profession, continuing it until May, 1854. Removing to Hannibal, Mo., there, in connection with his practice, he engaged in merchandising, but after remaining there for a time went to St. Louis. In 1874 he returned to Burlington, and has made this city his home continuously since. On his return to Burlington, Dr. Garman purchased some thoroughbred Kentucky horses, since which time he has continued to import from that State and deal in fine blooded horses, making a specialty of saddle horses and roadsters. He has a small farm within the city limits, where he keeps a portion of his stock.
The marriage of Dr. Garman with Miss Sarah H. Armstrong occurred at Burlington, Iowa, May 1, 1849. Mrs. Garman is a native of Wheeling, W. Va., of which city her father, John H. Armstrong, one of the pioneer settlers of Des Moines County, was formally a prominent resident. Dr. and Mrs. Garman have had six children, of whom four are living: Laura L. resides with her parents; Mary Alice is the wife of George O. Ray, of Burlington; John H. A. is an electrician by occupation and engaged in business in Kansas; he was educated at Faribault, Minn., and has devoted his time exclusively to the study of electricity, its application in telegraphy and telephoning, and its use as an illuminator, and is acknowledged as an expert in his business. Grace H., the youngest child, resides at home. All were born in Burlington. Dr. Garman and family are members of Christ Church (Episcopal) of this city, and the Doctor and his son are Republicans in politics, but have never been aspirants for the honors or emoluments of public office. Having retired from the practice of his profession, the Doctor takes great pleasure in raising and handling fine blooded horses, of which he has some of the finest specimens to be found in the State.
Henry C. Garrett, Cashier of the Merchants' National Bank of Burlington, Iowa, is a native of that city, born Jan. 16, 1851. His parents, William and Martha (Rorer) Garrett, were among the early pioneers of Des Moines County, settling here in 1836. (See sketch of William Garrett elsewhere in this work.) Henry C. Garrett was educated at the public schools, and was a member of the second graduating class at the Burlington High School, completing the course in 1869. He was employed as clerk in the offices of the Clerk of the Court and Sheriff of Des Moines County four of five years, and a portion of the time served as Deputy Sheriff. In 1871 he entered the Merchants' National Bank as book-keeper, and in 1877 was elected Assistant Cashier, the following year being promoted to Cashier, which position he has held continously since.
Mr. Garrett was united in marriage, at Burlington, May 25, 1875, to Miss Ellen Tracy, daughter of the late Judge Joshua Tracy, of Burlington. Mrs. Garrett is a native of Washington, Iowa. Four children were born to their union, three of whom are living, one dying in infancy. Those living are: William, born Nov. 26, 1877; Joshua Tracy, born March 18, 1881; and Eleanor, born Nov. 8, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett are members of Christ Church (Episcopal), of Burlington. Mr. Garrett is a Republican in politics, but has never desired or sought public office. He is a Knight Templar, a member of Malta Lodge, No. 318, A. F. & A. M.; of Iowa Chapter No. 1, R. A. M.; and of St. Omer Commandery No. 15, K. T., and is Treasurer of all three bodies.
William Garrett, cashier of the Iowa State Savings Bank, was born in Lexington, Ky., on the 18th day of June, 1823. His father, William Garrett, Sr., was born in Essex County, Va., in 1795, and when a young man went to Kentucky, settling in Lexington, where he became acquainted with and married Miss Ann McConathy, who was born in Lexington, in May, 1804. She was a daughter of Jacob McConathy, who built the first steam-mill in Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett were the parents of four children, three of whom are living, viz: William, the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, who married James Wright, died in 1858; Mary, the wife of S. E. Taylor, of Beatrice, Neb.; and James H., of Leon, Decater Co., Iowa. The father died in 1830, in Louisville, Ky., to which place he had removed in 1829. Mrs. Garrett, after the death of her husband, removed to Hunter's Bottom, Gallatin Co., Ky., and in 1836 to Flint Hills (now Burlington), landing there on the 11th day of April of that year. The subject of our sketch was at this time about thirteen years of age, and had received the rudiments of an English education in the common schools. His mother had been again united in marriage, in Kentucky, in 1834, her second husband being John Bridges, and when they came to Burlington Mr. Bridges erected the first steam-mill built in the county or State. It was built in 1836, and stood three miles below the town on the river bank. Mr. and Mrs. Bridges had one son, C. Martin, now a resident of Seattle, W. T. The mother died in 1878, after a long and well-spent life. She was a sincere Christian, and a member of the Christian Church for many years.
In 1837 William Garrett, our subject, commenced clerking in the store of Webber & Remey, and remained with them until 1840, making his home first with one partner and then with the other. In 1841-42 he clerked for Leffler & Co., and the following year for Postlewait & Cregan. In March, 1844, he commenced business for himself, and continued in the same trade until 1853. In August of that year he was elected Sheriff of the county, and was re-elected in 1855, holding the office for four years. In 1857 he was the Republican candidate for County Judge, but was defeated by Judge O. C. Wightman, now deceased, the Democrats carrying the county that year. In 1857-58 he was in the employ of W. H. Postlewait, the same man he had clerked for in 1843. In 1859 he formed a partnership with Mr. Postlewait and John W. Rhodes, under the firm name of Garrett, Rhodes & Co., and continued in business until 1862, when the firm was dissolved. Mr. Garrett then acted as Deputy Treasurer until Jan. 1, 1863, for Maj. Remey, then County Treasurer. In the fall of 1862 he was elected Clerk of the District Court, and was re-elected to that office five times, making in all twelve years' service as Clerk. For about forty-four years Mr. Garrett has been connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in 1852 was elected Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, which position he held for thirty-five years, and is now Senior Grand Secretary of the order, having been installed for the thirty-seventy time. In 1855 he was elected Grand Scribe of the Grand Encampment of Iowa, and has been re-eclected each year since. He was for seven years a representative from the Grand Encampment of Iowa to the Grand Lodge of the United States. Mr. Garrett has always taken an active interest in city affairs, and has represented his ward as Alderman. In 1867 he was elected Secretary of the Aspen Grove Cemetery Association, and is still serving in that capacity. In 1858 he was chosen Secretary of the Hawkeye Pioneer Association. He has also served several years as clerk of the Vestry of Christ Church (Episcopal), in this city, and for the past six years as Senior Warden, and is, and has been for several years, Treasurer of the Diocese of Iowa.
On the 9th of May, 1848, Mr. Garrett was married, in Burlington, to Miss Martha Rorer, a daughter of Judge David Rorer, now deceased. His wife, who was born at Little Rock, Ark., June 4, 1830, on coming here with her parents, arrived in Burlington fifteen days before Mr. Garrett, being among the earliest settlers of Des Moines County. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett are the parents of seven living children, viz: Henry C., cashier of the Merchants' National Bank, married Miss Nellie Tracy, a daughter of Judge Tracy; T. Mauro, real-estate dealer, of the firm of Sayyer & Garrett, of Chicago, married Miss Ada Sawyer, a daughter of Dr. Sidney Sawyer, of Chicago; Rev. David Claiborne, rector of Trinity and Christ Church, of Davenport, Iowa, married Miss Lillie Selmes, of Boston, Mass.; Mary Helen, at home; Jessie L., wife of Edward S. Phelps, a son of Judge Phelps, of this city; Grace D. and Jackson K. are at home.
Mr. Garrett is a man of more than ordinary ability, and in his business relations stands high in the community. He is genial, possesses a kindly disposition, and makes friends wherever he goes. In all the numerous official and responsible positions he has held, he has ever proved himself capable, upright, and in every way trustworthy, and in Burlington no man stands higher in public esteem than does William Garrett. In connection with this sketch is presented a fine portrait of Mr. Garrett, which will be appreciated by every citizen of Des Moines County.
William Geldard, of the firm of Hutchcroft & Geldard, proprietors of the mill at Kossuth, Iowa, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1824, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Baxter) Geldard, whose birthplace was also Yorkshire. During his early life William remained upon his father's farm, and then for some years worked as a farm laborer in England. Resolving to make America his future home, in 1864 he crossed the Atlantic, and came directly to Kossuth, Iowa, where he was employed upon the farm of Mr. Hutchcroft, remaining with him until he purchased a quarter interest in the mill, which he yet owns.
In September, 1880, Mr. Geldard was united in marriage with Rhodie Gilbert, a native of Ohio. For twenty-five years he has been a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; his wife belongs to the Presbyterian Church. Besides the mill property, Mr. Geldard is the owner of other real estate at Kossuth, and throughout the community he is known as one of the most energetic business men. For many years he held the position of Secretary of the Sabbath-school of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Kossuth.
Superintendent and General Freight and Passenger Agent of the Burlington &
Northwestern and the Burlington & Western Railroad Companies, was born at
Hillsboro, N. H., Oct. 23, 1843, and is a son of John and Lucy Ann (Sturtevant)
Gerry. His father was a native of the same town, born Oct. 2, 1808, and
was descended from an old New England family of Puritan origin and English
descent, while his mother, who was born in Connecticut, was of Scotch ancestry.
Our subject was educated at the Chandler Scientific School of Dartmouth College,
graduating in the class of 1865, and after completing the course, was employed
by the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, in the Land Engineering
Department, for about two years, with headquarters at Burlington, Iowa.
From June, 1867, until October, 1868, Mr. Gerry was employed as Locating and
Division Engineer of the Cedar Rapids & Burlington Railroad; from the latter
date until June, 1870, was a Resident Engineer in charge of construction for the
Burlington & Southwestern Company, making his home at Rulo, Neb.; was
employed on the Oregon & California Railroad as principal draughtsman and
principal office assistant at Portland, Ore., from July, 1870, to October, 1872;
was engaged from May, 1876, to November, 1883, with the Burlington &
Northwestern Company, the last four years acting as Chief Engineer and
Superintendent; then was employed as Superintendent of the Texas & St. Louis
Railroad, in Texas, until May, 1884; had charge of the construction of a line
from Oregon, Ill., to Savanna that State, continuing from August, 1885, to
February, 1887, since which time he has held his present position.
On the 21st day of March,
1867, Mr. Gerry was united in marriage with Miss Alma E. Colby, daughter of
Benjamin Colby of Hillsboro, N. H. Their only child, Julia L., is now the
wife of Joseph Lichtenberger, a resident of Savanna, Ill., and was born at
Burlington, Iowa, Dec. 15, 1868. Mr. Gerry has made his home at Burlington
most of the time since 1865.
proprietor of the Union Hotel of Burlington, Iowa, situated opposite the Union
Depot, corner of Main and Elm streets. He is a native of Germany and was
born at Wunsiedel, Bavaria, on Nov. 6, 1835. His parents were John George
and Katrina (Rasp) Geyer. He was graduated from the High School of his
native city and apprenticed to the confectioner's and baker's trade when
seventeen years of age. He emigrated to America, going direct to
Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was employed in a hotel as pastry cook for two years.
In 1854 he went to Chicago, remaining there a year, and then came to Burlington
in 1856. He secured employment at the Barrett House as pastry cook,
remaining until 1861. In the fall of that year he was recruiting officer
for the 1st United States Lancers, in which he continued for about six months,
and then entered the United States Marine Hospital, at Burlington, as Steward,
and remained in that service until the spring of 1865, after which he leased the
Union Hotel of Gov. Grimes. Under his management, this hotel became one of
the most popular public houses in the city, and Mr. Geyer has continued the
business successfully to this day, covering a period of twenty-two years.
In 1884 he purchased the property which he has since improved. The Union
Hotel has 120 feet of frontage on Main street and 117 on Elm street. It is
three stories high and is a solid brick structure, the sleeping rooms number
eighty, many of which are large double-bedded rooms. There are two
dining-rooms, one has a seating capacity for eighty and the other for sixty
guests. The house is heated by steam and lighted throughout by
incandescent electric lights. Many of the best rooms are supplied with hot
and cold water, electric bells and all modern conveniences. The house is
most complete in its appointments and can accommodate from 125 to 150 guests at
S. Gibson, M. D., of
Danville, Iowa, was born in Mercer County, Pa., May 5, 1859, and is a son of
Essington and Julia E. (Lynn) Gibson, both natives of Crawford County, Pa.,
where they were married. They removed to Mercer County, Pa., and in 1868
to Burlington, where Mr. Gibson worked for a year at his trade, that of a
carpenter, though later he became a miller. In 1869 he purchased a farm in
Lee County, Iowa, near Denmark, and later became the owner of a water-mill on
Skunk River, known in early days as Wilson's, but then as the Bridgeport Mills.
This he operated for a number of years, his son James now managing the same.
Four children are living who were born in Pennsylvania: Albert, husband of
Florence Williams, resides in Ottumwa, Iowa, and is foreman of the iron works of
Williams, Fair & Co.; nest W. S.; James, the Bridgeport miller; and Thomas,
a machinist of Ottumwa. Charles, the first child born in Iowa, is a
farmer; Jennie and Frank complete the family, the three latter residing with
their parents on the old homestead. Three children born in Pennsylvania died in
that State prior to the removal of the Gibson family to Iowa. Both parents
are past middle age and live a retired life in Lee County; their children who
have begun business for themselves are also doing nicely.
Our subject received his
education at Denmark Academy, this being followed by a year's course of teaching
in Lee County, prior to the beginning of the study of medicine. His
preceptor was Dr. W. C. E. Martin, of Greenville, Pa., with whom he read
medicine during the summer, attending medical college for three consecutive
winters, and attending the Eclectic Medical Institute, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and
graduating from that noted college in February, 1882. Dr. Gibson then
returned to Denmark, Iowa, temporarily locating there, remaining until 1886.
During his stay in Denmark
the marriage of Dr. Gibson and Miss Cora Joy was celebrated, the ceremony
occurring May 22, 1884. She is the daughter of R. N. and Rhodelia (Epps)
Joy, who were natives of Ohio. They were married in New York State, and
removed from La Fargeville, N. Y., to Iowa in 1866. Mr. Joy was a teacher
both in New York and Iowa, though by trade a carpenter. Mr. and Mrs. Joy were
the parents of three children: Herbert H., who wedded Miss Sadie Gates, of
New York, resides in Grinnell, Iowa, a professor and teacher of vocal music;
Cora, wife of our subject; and Clyde, book-keeper for F. S. Baker & Son, of
Keokuk, Iowa. The parents of Mrs. Gibson are both living, and are
residents of Denmark.
In March, 1887, Dr. Gibson
located permanently in the village of Danville, and has already secured a nice
and rapidly growing practice. He is justly popular, and we are pleased to
give him representation in the history of the town which has been chosen for a
home. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and a charter member of Camp
Physician, Order of Modern Woodmen, of Denmark, Iowa.
Washington D. Gilbert, an early settler of Burlington, Iowa, and a member of the well-known lumber firm of Gilbert, Hedge & Co., was born in Cassville, Crawford Co., Wis., Feb. 6, 1829. His father, Samuel Gilbert, was born at Booneville, Ky., and removed to Wisconsin Territory in 1828, and settled at Cassville, and two years later removed to Prairie du Chien, and then worked at his trade (blacksmith) until 1822, when he engaged in the lumber business. In 1846 he moved up into the pinery and located on the Menominee River, and bought the Middle Mills, where he continued the manufacture of lumber until 1850, when he moved to Albany, Ill., and after a residence of twelve years at that place, he came to Burlington, Iowa, and lived with his son, J. W. Gilbert, until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1871. His wife survived him many years, dying in 1885. Our subject began his business career as a clerk with the firm of Nelson, Gilbert & Co., at Wilson's Landing, Wis., remaining with them for three years. At the age of nineteen he engaged in the lumber business with his brother Samuel, they purchasing the lower Eau Claire Mill in 1848, on the present site of the city of Eau Claire. In 1851 he came to Burlington, Iowa, and formed a partnership with his brother, John W., in the lumber business at that place. They began business in a small way, having less than $2,000 capital between them, but from that small beginning has grown the extensive and prosperous business of Gilbert, Hedge & Co., of to-day. The history of he firm appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. Gilbert has dealt extensively in pine lands, and has been largely interested in the manufacture of lumber in Wisconsin. At this writing he is the proprietor of a large sawmill at Glenmont on the St. Croix River, and is also largely interested in pine lands in that region.
Samuel L. Glascow, a prominent member of the bar of Burlington, Iowa, and a
resident of the State since 1856, is a native of Ohio, and was born near
Winchester, Adams County, Sept. 17, 1838. He received an academic
education, and came to Iowa in 1856, spent two years at Oskaloosa, and then
removed to Corydon, Wayne County, where he was admitted to the bar in 1860. On
the breaking out of the late war, he enlisted, in July, 1861, as a private of
Company I, 4th Iowa Infantry, and soon afterward was elected First Lieutenant of
his company, which position he held one year, when he resigned, and, returning
to Wayne County, organized Company D, 23d Iowa Infantry, of which he was chosen
Captain. Before the regiment had left the State he was appointed Major,
and soon afterward promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel, and was breveted
Brigadier General, to date from December, 1863. He continued in active
service until the close of the war, and was mustered out in September, 1865. On his return from the war Gen. Glasgow resumed the practice of law, at Corydon,
He is a Republican in
politics, and has been prominently identified with that party since its
organization. In the Presidential campaign of 1868 he was Elector-at-Large
for Grant, and the following April was appointed Consul at Havre, France.
He was transferred from there to Glasgow, Scotland, in January, 1874, and served
until the spring of 1877, when he returned to Iowa, and located at Burlington,
where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession.
He was chosen to represent Des Moines County in the Iowa Assembly, in 1879, and
served two years. Since his residence in Burlington Gen. Glasgow has
attained high rank at the bar, and acquired the confidence of its citizens, who
respect him for his upright and straightforward character.
formerly a dealer in cigars and tobacco, though now living a retired life, was
born in Bavaria on the Rhine, May 28, 1814. His parents, Nicholas and
Barbara Gnahn, had two sons and two daughters, our subject now being the only
survivor of the family, and also the only one that ever came to America.
He was educated in his native land, and in that country followed farming until
1839. His parents had both died in September of the previous fall, and so,
bidding good-bye to his only brother and sister, he set sail for America,
landing in New Orleans in December of that year. After remaining in that city
for a short time, in March, 1840, he went to Cincinnati, where he established a
cigar and tobacco store. While a resident of that city Mr. Gnahn was
united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Fear, who was also a native of Germany. In 1844, after closing out his business in that city, the young couple removed
to Iowa, and after due consideration, believing that the then small village of
Burlington would be a good business locality, Mr. Gnahn located there and at
once opened a cigar and tobacco factory, and has always been accounted one of
the most successful business men of the city.
In 1845 the young
wife was called from her happy home to the unknown world, and Oct. 10, 1849, Mr.
Gnahn was again married, Miss Mary Bronk, a native of Germany, becoming his
wife. She is a daughter of Peter and Madeline Bronk, both of whom died in
the old country. By this union four children were born: John, a
resident of Denver, Colo.; Edward, a dealer in books and stationary, on
Jefferson street, Burlington, Iowa; Tillie, wife of Lewis Kreachbaum, a hardware
merchant of Burlington; Mary, wife of James Cooking, of St. Paul, Minn. By
the industry and economy practiced during the earlier years of their lives, Mr.
and Mrs. Gnahn have now a comfortable competence, the husband living a retired
life. When we think of how he came to this country with nothing but a firm
determination to make his way in the world, his success is indeed wonderful, and
the respect which is his just due is cheerfully tendered by all. Mr. Gnahn
bears among his fellow-citizens the reputation of an honest and trustworthy man.
Warren P. Goldthwaite, passenger conductor on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, was born in Augusta, Me., March 25, 1850, and is a son of Edward and P. B. (Ware) Goldthwaite, his mother being a relative of Senator Ware, of Kansas. His parents were of English and French ancestry, though born in Maine. Warren came to Burlington in 1867, attended school for a year, and in the spring of 1868 engaged with the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, composing one of the surveying party to lay out that line. After its construction he began train service as passenger brakeman until the winter of 1872, when he was promoted to conductor, and in 1877 began running extra passenger trains. In May, 1878, he took charge of the pay car, and continued in this capacity for five years, not a single accident happening during that time. He afterward ran many regular passenger trains, and is now conductor on the "Flyer," Nos. 1 and 2, running between Burlington and Pacific Junction, which position he has held since the train was put on the road.
At Burlington, Iowa, May 10, 1875, Mr. Goldthwaite was united in marriage with Miss Clara Freeman, a native of Rahway, N. J., and a daughter of Alfred Freeman, agent of the Star Union Line, of Burlington. They are the parents of three children, one son and two daughters--Theo, Leslie and Walter, all born at Burlington. Mrs. Goldthwaite is a member of Christ Church. In his political views Mr. Goldthwaite is liberal. He has gained an important position on the road, and has the entire confidence of his employers.
Graham, a farmer and stockraiser of Des Moines County,
Iowa, residing on section 27, Flint River Township, is a native of Washington
County, Tenn., born Sept. 13, 1834, and a son of James and Catherine (Stormer)
Graham; Tennessee was the birthplace of both the parents. Our subject was
one of a family of ten children: Mary J., wife of Alfred B. Chandler, a
farmer of New London, Henry Co., Iowa; our subject; James A., a farmer and
carpenter of Flint River Township, Des Moines County; Samuel M., who died at the
age of seventeen years; Catherine died in infancy; Sarah and Wesley also died in
infancy; Madison J. resides in Missouri; Lee E.; Leetha C., wife of George
Becker, a farmer of Sarpy County, Neb. The father of these children came
to Des Moines County in 1837, and located in Flint River Township, on the farm
now owned by Robert Lynn. He purchased a claim, then entered, and
afterward sold the land in 1848, buying another farm on section 28, residing
there until his death, which occurred about the year 1879, at the age of
seventy-two years. The death of his wife occurred in February, 1855, and
both now rest side by side in Greenwood Cemetery. They were members of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Graham's early life was spent as a
blacksmith. He was a man noted for his many good traits of character, and
was highly esteemed throughout the community.
With the exception of about ten years, John Graham's entire
life has been spent in Des Moines County. Here he was educated, reared,
and on the 16th of March, 1859, was united in marriage with Miss E. J. Burk,
daughter of Lemmon and Rachel (Green) Burk, whose sketch appears elsewhere in
this volume. Immediately after his marriage Mr. Graham began farming,
which occupation he has followed throughout his life. The young couple
resided on section 28, Flint River Township, until 1866, when a farm of 105
acres was purchased in Henry County, and there they resided until 1877, when the
land was sold and they returned to Des Moines County. Mr. Graham's land is
now 130 acres in extent, seventy of which formerly belonged to the old
homestead. Everything about the place denotes thrift and industry, showing
that he clearly understands his business. Mr. Graham is an ardent
supporter of the Republican party, has held the office of County Clerk, and is
an earnest advocate of the temperance movement.
Eight children have graced the union of Mr. and Mrs.
Graham--Frank A., born in 1861; Birdie, James L. B., Alexis G., John, Samuel M.,
Grace G. and Rachel.
Green, a farmer
residing on section 3, Washington Township, came to Des Moines County, Iowa, in
March, 1863, locatiing upon the farm where he yet resides. His first
purchase of land consisted of eighty acres, which he bought of Nathan Brown, who
secured it by a land warrant received for his services in the War of 1812.
This land was all in a raw, uncultivated state, but by his energy and
perseverance Mr. Green has transformed it into a fine farm, and has subsequently
added to it another eighty-acre tract. He was born in Muskingum County,
Ohio, Jan. 27, 1825, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Marsh) Green, the former
a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of the Empire State. The paternal
grandfather of our subject was born near Dublin, Ireland, and on his emigration
to America located in Pennsylvania, but subsequently removed to Ohio, where his
death occurred. Thomas Green spent his whole life upon a farm in Muskingum
County, Ohio. Twelve children comprised the family, eight of whom are yet
living. One son died at the age of ten years, two of the daughters died
after they were married, and William, who served four years in the late war died
in the spring of 1888. The father served in the War of 1812, and was present
when Hull surrendered Detroit, to which movement he was greatly opposed.
subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ann Fickle, of Perry County, Ohio,
and unto them were born five children: Lucretia, who married J. R. Jarvis;
George W., who married Emma Brockway; John C., who married Mary Bashford;
Millard and Benjamin F., who died in infancy. On the 4th of March, 1861,
the mother was called to her final home, and Mr. Green was united in marriage
the following year with Mary J. Tatman, of Fairfield County, Ohio. To them
were born two children, Mary and Martha, twins, who died in infancy. The
mother departed this life in 1862, and May 16, 1863, Mr. Green wedded Mrs.
Arminda Brown, widow of David J. Brown, and daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Thorp) Latta, who were residents of Perry County, Ohio. By her first
marriage, Mrs. Green had two children, Pearl B. and Mary E. The children
born of this last union were: James L., who married Rosa Stoner, of
Prairie City, Iowa; Nellie, May A., Edgar Grant, Daisy, Blanche and Jessie P.;
two children, Hosie K. and Freddie, died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Green
are both members of the Presbyterian Church, in which he has held the office of
Trustee. In his political views he is a Republican, has served as
Supervisor of the township for fifteen years, and has held the office of School
Director for twenty years, being Secretary of the Board for twelve years.
He has done as much for the district schools as any man in the county, and has
given all his children liberal educations. His daughter, Miss Nellie, is a
teacher of recognized ability in the schools of the county. Mr. Green is
one of the active workers in the Republican party, is a man well informed on
both State and National questions of the day, and is highly respected by the
citizens of Des Moines County, and by all who know him.
view of Mr. Green's place will be found on another page.
Green, a farmer residing on section 26, Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines Co.,
Iowa, was born near Vincennes, Ind., in 1834, and is a son of Henry and Margaret
Green, both natives of Carroll County, Ky., and early settlers of Indiana.
By the death of the mother, which occurred when our subject was a small child,
the home was broken up, and at the age of twelve Oliver went to Illinois, where
he worked on a farm in Jersey County for three years, and then went to Bates
County, Mo., where he rented land and raised a crop, after which he continued
his travels to Hopkins County, Texas, where he engaged in building log houses
for the settlers. Returning, he stopped for a few months in Cedar County,
Mo., and then went to Jersey County, Ill., where he remained until 1861, and in
the early spring of that year, entered the State service on the call of the
Governor and continued in it until May 25, 1861, at which time he became a
member of the United States Volunteer army, on the first call for three-years
men, enlisting in Company F, 14th Illinois Infantry, for three years, but in
October of that year was discharged on account of disability. Going to
Indiana, Mr. Green there remained until the fall of 1863, when he emigrated to
Appanoose County, Iowa, where he spent the winter, and in the spring of 1864
again enlisted in the 6th Iowa Infantry, Company D. He served until the
close of the war, participating in the battles of Buzzard's Roost, Ga., Dalton,
Dallas, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peach Tree Creek, was in the
siege of Atlanta, was under fire at Lovejoy Station and Grizzleville, was with
Sherman on the famous March to the Sea, engaged in the battle of Savannah, in
the Carolina campaign, and the battles of Columbia, Cheraw, Fayetteville and
Bentonville. At Kenesaw Mountain Mr. Green was wounded, a musket ball
passing through his left hand and one entering his breast. On the 25th of
July, 1865, he was mustered out of service.
Returning to Iowa,
Mr. Green took up his residence in Des Moines County, where he engaged at the
carpenter's trade for a short time, but was forced to abandon it on account of
his health, not having fully recovered from the effects of his wounds. In
the spring of 1866 he rented a farm in Louisa County, but after remaining there
for a year returned to Des Moines and took up his residence on a farm of 40
acres on section 26, Yellow Spring Township, where he has since continued to
reside. Mr. Green, in connection with N. R. Newton, established the
Mediapolis Enterprise, being the first paper published in that town, which he
continued for nine months and then sold it to Mr. Merrill, the present editor of
the New Era.
In 1851 Mr. Green
was united in marriage with Melissa McCann, a native of Jersey County, Ill., and
one child was born of this union--Marion, now a resident of Mediapolis.
Mrs. Green, who was a member of the Baptist Church, departed this life in 1855,
at the age of twenty-eight years. The husband was again married, August
23, 1865, Talitha Lee, daughter of R. W. Lee, becoming his wife. Mr. and
Mrs. Green are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church; and he belongs to
Sheppard Post, No. 157, G. A. R., and, politically, he is a Republican.
Gregg is a
retired farmer of Danville Township. Among the men who came at an early
date to Des Moines County, and who have aided largely in the development of the
county, the Greggs occupy a prominent position. There were several bearing the
name, and of each a personal sketch will be given, but for the early history of
the family we depend mainly upon statements made by our subject, the oldest
living representative of the family. The first authentic history begins
with Aaron Gregg, a native of Wales, who married Mrs. Herrington in that
country, and came to America as early as 1764 or 1765, their oldest son,
William, being born Feb. 3, 1766, in America, and the family had resided some
time in New Jersey prior to that date. The grandfather of our subject
later removed to Wilmington, Del., and probably died there. Of his family
we mention William, father of our subject, who went to Greene County, Pa., and
there wedded Sarah Smith, a native of Brunswick, N. J. Two children were
born in that State, John who died in infancy, and William, who first wedded Mrs.
Peggy Eckels and then Mrs. Bourne. After the birth of these children,
William Gregg, Sr., removed to Ohio County, (now) W. Va., locating near
Wheeling. Other children were born in Virginia: Mary wedded Benjamin
Shepherd of that county, a man of considerable note, being in the mercantile
business for many years and owner of an extensive farm and vineyard; Benjamin
S., to whom we refer in another chapter in the sketch of William Gregg, Jr., his
son; Morgan H. married Priscilla Eckels; Azariah, our subject, was born Feb. 2,
1810; Melissa became the wife of Benjamin Allison, and in 1838 they removed from
Virginia to Iowa, settling in Henry County, near Lowell, where Mr. Allison
operated the first mill, and both died in that village after a long residence in
that county; John M. married Emily Boner and resides in Burlington, his sketch
being found elsewhere; James married Elizabeth Bloss and resides near Nebraska
City, Otoe Co., Neb., and is one of the best known men in the State.
mother of our subject had five uncles, all of whom were sea captains. Her father
was Ichabod Smith, who married Mrs. Hadley. In August, 1828, the death of
William Gregg, Sr., occurred, he having reached the age of sixty-two. His
widow survived him till Aug. 5, 1859, dying at the age of eighty-four at the
residence of her son John M. in Danville Township. Our subject came a single man
to the Territory of Iowa, settling on part of the Black Hawk purchase Nov. 17,
1834, and is to-day supposed to be the fourth oldest settler of what is now Des
Moines County. He had formerly been engaged in teaching in Virginia, but
after coming to Iowa took a claim, purchased others, and for several years was
engaged in improving the same. His comrade, William Sawtelle, who came with him
from Virginia, was the first Assessor of Des Moines County, when it was under
the jurisdiction of Michigan, comprising also Dubuque County. Azariah
Gregg was at the same time elected Township Clerk, the first in the new
Territory. His first claim was purchased of Noble Ousley, one of the first
settlers on the prairie. On it stood a log cabin just inside the northern
boundary line of Augusta Township, and here Messrs. Sawtelle and Gregg kept
bachelor's hall until the marriage of the former in 1835. In this log
cabin, in October, 1834, the first Baptist Society in the western part of the
county was organized by Rev. John Logan--Noble Ousley, Enoch Cyrus, John Harris,
Elihu Chandler and a few others forming the same.
Reading, with his family, became a resident of Augusta Township in 1834, coming
from Illinois, and previously from Missouri, where he was married to Nancy
Reading, whose maternal grandsire lived to the extreme age of one hundred and
ten. Settling near the claim of our subject, the Readings were warmly
welcomed, and in 1836 the daughter Melinda became the wife of Azariah Gregg,
Rev. J. B. Teas, a Methodist Episcopal minister, performing the ceremony.
Indians were plentiful in Southeast Iowa at that date, and on their hunting
excursions came through this part of the country. At one time Mr. Gregg was
wounded with a knife by a drunken Indian, narrowly escaping with his life. The chief, Keokuk, had charge of the Sacs and Fox Indians after the arrest of
Black Hawk, and with both chiefs Mr. Gregg has held conversation, being one of
the very few men in the State who can say the same.
young wife of our subject was duly installed mistress of the log cabin near the
woods, where for more than a half-century its walls have stood, and the ruins
yet remain. In that cabin were born Sarah, Now wife of John W. Moore;
Nancy C., now Mrs. Alex Lockhart; and Virgil A., who wedded Adelia Mills.
The first crop was planted in the spring of 1835 and in the autumn was
harvested, it being the first crop in that part of the county. Mr. Gregg
also planted the first orchard in the township, in connection with his brother
John, who brought the trees from Ohio, planting them in 1837. Mr. Gregg
entered 160 acres and added by purchase 460 acres more, all in one body.
Later purchases were made, making the sum total about 940 acres, which he bought
at the first land sale held in Burlington. The first quarter-section was
the first improved, but the old farm has been disposed of, as well as most of
the other lands in this county that were owned and improved by our subject, who
has made large investments in real estate in the West.
the old homestead the wife and mother died in 1848. She had other children
besides those mentioned who died in infancy. After her death Mr. Gregg married
Mrs. Mary F. (Bowman) Allison, who had one daughter by her former union--Elmira,
now the wife of Harvey D. Wilcox. By the second union three children were
born: Charles, now completing a collegiate education; Eva and Samuel B.
The daughter Eva completed her education at the Wesleyan University in Mt.
Pleasant, and Samuel B. is yet attending the Danville schools. Vigil was a
soldier in the late war, a member of the 25th Iowa Infantry, and had partially
completed a collegiate course before enlisting. Being wounded he was discharged
and returned to Mt. Pleasant, again entered college, began the study of law, and
completed his collegiate education at Ann Arbor, Mich.
1868 Mr. Gregg disposed of his farm, purchased a residence in the village of
Danville Center, and since 1871 has been one of her honored residents. He
has filled every position of trust in Augusta Township, and for three years was
School Inspector. In company with L. G. Bell he opened up and constructed
the first Territorial road from Burlington to Keosauqua. In 1836 Mr. Gregg was a
candidate of the Whig party of this county for representative, and this too
without his knowledge until within a few days of the election. Although
his opponent, Maj. Teas, had made a strong canvass he came off with only a very
narrow majority, leaving this a real victory, taking into consideration the fact
of Mr. Gregg having expressed no desire to become a candidate. With his
years Mr. Gregg has grown quite wealthy, largely since coming to this county,
since which time he has been a very successful man, and although liberal in
purse his bank account exceeds that of any resident of Danville Township.
With seventy-eight years' experience, fifty-four of which have been passed in
Iowa, we welcome the pioneer to a place among those of his acquaintance and
kindred. Mr. and Mrs. Gregg are both prominent and consistent members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church.
portrait of this gentleman accompanies this brief sketch of his life.
M. Gregg, of
Burlington, is one of the pioneer settlers of Des Moines County, and was born in
Ohio County, Va., now a part of West Virginia, on March 10, 1817. The
ancestors of this family in this country were Aaron Gregg and his wife, who was
prior to her marriage to him a Mrs. Herrington, to whom she was married in
Wales. They came to this country prior to 1766, as their eldest son,
William, grandfather of our subject, was born February 3 of that year in this
country, the parents living for some time previously in New Jersey.
William removed to Wilmington, Del., where he is supposed to have died. He
had two sons, William and John, the former being the father of John M. He
was born in Delaware, in 1768, and there grew to manhood, receiving such
education as the country at that time afforded. When a young man he
removed to Greene County, Pa., where he married Sarah Smith, a native of New
Brunswick, N. J., in 1797. In 1807 he went to Ohio County, Va., now West
Virginia, near Wheeling, where he followed his trade of blacksmith, at which he
was a practical workman. Mr. and Mrs. Gregg were the parents of eight
children, all of whom grew to man and womanhood, though only three are now
living: Azariah, now a resident of Danville Township, Des Moines County,
being among the earliest living settlers of that township; James, a resident of
Otoe County, Neb.; and John M., the subject of this sketch.
William Gregg was a man of
excellent habits, highly respected and unusually well informed. He died at
the age of fifty-eight, in 1826. After the death of her husband, Mrs.
Gregg remained in Virginia until 1838, and then spent her remaining years with
her sons, dying at the home of John M. in Danville Township, Des Moines Co.,
Iowa, in August, 1863, aged eighty-four. At the age of sixteen, she was
converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and thenceforward was a
true Christian woman, and aided largely in all church work.
John M. Gregg, the subject
of this sketch, received his education in the log school-house, with puncheon
floor, slab seats, greased paper windows and an old-fashioned fireplace.
Receiving an education in this manner was not the only disadvantage of
those pioneer days. The means of travel were not much better. Mr.
Gregg can remember having to ride on horseback behind his mother to hear Lorenzo
Dow preach. At the age of nine years Mr. Gregg was left fatherless.
He remained at home with his mother in Virginia until nineteen years of age,
when, in 1836, he left the scenes of his early boyhood and started for the then
wild West. Arriving in Iowa April 1, 1836, he selected Des Moines County
as his future home, purchasing a piece of land which is now within the city
limits of Burlington, of a certain Mr. Leffler, who also had a claim in Danville
Township, which he afterward exchanged for that tract. When Mr. Gregg came
to the county the settlements were few and far between. The edge of the
timber was selected as their home, the prairies being left unimproved until a
later day. At that time the town of Augusta carried on as much business as
Burlington. To-day, as we look back, what a change has come over the
scene; much of the timber has been cut away, and the prairies are transformed
into finely cultivated farms, and dotted here and there with churches, schools
and elegant residences. Mr. Gregg's parents being in limited circumstances
our subject was early compelled to begin the battle of life for himself, and a
very few dollars in money, composed his stock in hand. For the first two
years success smiled upon his efforts, but through adverse circumstances he lost
his hard earnings. His property gone, his health impaired, a stranger in a
new country, it is a wonder that his courage did not forsake him. But with
a tenacity of purpose which but few possess, Mr. Gregg bore up bravely, began
his financial life again, and to-day has ample reward for his labor.
On the 12th of May, 1839,
the marriage of John Gregg and Emily Bonar was celebrated. Mrs. Gregg was
born in Marshall County, Va., Feb. 20, 1817. Her father, James Bonar, was one of
the early settlers of Des Moines County. This union has been blessed with eleven
children: Alfred C., a prominent farmer of Des Moines County; Hanson, a
grain-dealer of Omaha, Neb.; Martha, wife of Dr. J. W. Holiday, a prominent
physician of Burlington; Justus C., a grain and cattle dealer of St. Joseph,
Mo.; Melinda died in August, 1871, at the age of twenty-two; Mason, of Lincoln,
Neb., also engaged in the stock and grain business; Sarah, living at home; John,
a stock and grain-dealer of St. Joseph, Mo.; Frank, an attorney-at-law, is at
present engaged in grain and real estate at Lincoln, Neb.; Edson, also a stock
and grain dealer of St. Joseph, Mo.; Bertie, wife of Philip Repert, of
In 1840 Mr. Gregg became a
co-worker with his wife in the cause of Christianity, by uniting with the
Methodist Church, she having joined in 1834. In politics he has always
been a stanch supporter of Democratic principles, casting his first Presidential
vote for Martin Van Buren. Although he has never been an aspirant for public
office, yet he has manifested that zeal as a worker which has caused him to be
put in nomination for the Legislature. As long as the party nominates men
in whom he can repose his trust, Mr. Gregg is a strong party man, but when they
bring forward for office those whom he knows to be unfit for the position to
which they aspire, then he throws off party allegiance and acts independently,
voting for the best man. Mr. Gregg is acknowledged to be one of the most
practical farmers of the county, and his principal occupations through life have
been farming, dealing in real estate, stock-raising and trading. Shrewd in
his dealings, he has ever been upright in everything in which he has been
engaged. As a proof of his integrity and justice toward his fellowmen, he
never had trouble enough in his transactions to cause a single lawsuit during
all the time that he has been dealing in land, buying and selling thousands of
acres that he never saw. Mr. Gregg has always been a friend to education,
giving his children the best advantages, having sent several of them to college.
Since removing to Burlington in 1881, when he gave up his farm, Mr. Gregg has
spent over $100,000 for property, and has aided largely in building up the city.
In his financial dealings he has been successful, and is among the leading
men of the county as to wealth and business capacity. He is a man of
strong social nature, friendly and genial in his intercourse, and highly
esteemed for his integrity and moral worth. As a man and a citizen he is justly
held in high esteem.
The pioneers of Des Moines County, of whom this volume is very largely a record, will be well pleased to see the face of Mr. Gregg, shown in this connection. None more worthy will be found in this volume.
retired farmer. Only a few of the pioneers are left in Danville Township
who have been residents of the county for thirty years, but among the rare
instances we present the sketch of William Gregg, who has grown to manhood, and
has from boyhood been identified with all the business, the growth, the
prosperity and social world around him. In speaking of the family we
mention the fact that the grandfather, William Gregg, Sr., was of Welsh
ancestry, but possibly was born in America. In the sketch of Azariah Gregg
we give a more complete history of that personage. William Gregg, Sr., married
Sarah Smith, probably of Greene County, Pa., as their first child, William, was
born there. By trade William Gregg, Sr., was a blacksmith, and for years
operated a smithy in Greene County. His two eldest sons also learned the
trade, the one mentioned and Benjamin S. Eight children were reared:
William married Margaret Eckles, and after her death Mrs. Sarah Bourne; Benjamin
S., father of our subject, wedded Melissa Boner, Dec. 27, 1832; Mary became the
wife of Benjamin Shepherd; Azariah, a prominent gentleman of whom we write
elsewhere, married for his first wife Frances Redding, and Mrs. Marietta
(Bowman) Allison became his second wife; Morgan wedded Priscilla Eckles; Melissa
became the wife of Benjamin Allison; John M. wedded Emily Boner; and James
became the husband of Lizzie Bloss. All, with the exception of Morgan, have made
homes in this county and are well know to most of the early settlers. The
grandfather of our subject died in Pennsylvania, and his widow removed to this
county, where for several years prior to her death she made her home with her
youngest son. Benjamin S. Gregg was born June 13, 1805, in Carmichael, Greene
Co., Pa. He was married in Virginia, Dec. 27, 1832, to Melissa Boner, a daughter
of James and Sarah (Reeves) Boner, the former of Irish parentage. The
maiden name of Sarah Reeves' mother was Lydia Manning, whose mother was Amelia
Coleman, daughter of Mary Coleman. We find it impossible to give the names
of the husbands, all trace of their genealogy being lost. Three children
were born to Benjamin and Melissa Gregg in Virginia--Sarah J., who married
William W. Delashmutt, the second husband being Joseph H. Evans; Mary E., who
died in childhood, and our subject. The family came to Des Moines County
in the spring of 1838, locating three miles west of Burlington, where a claim
was purchased and afterward entered. A small log house had been erected
near the center of the tract of seventy acres, now the property of our subject,
the title having never been vested in any other name. After living in the
cabin for some time, a more commodious house was built, and is yet standing, the
property of Mrs. Sarah Evans. This was one of the first brick residences
in the county outside Burlington, and the bricks were made by Mr. Gregg upon his
own land. He purchased other lands, and at one time owned 500 acres in
Gregg was one of the first to organize a Methodist Episcopal Church in the
county, and both himself and wife were active members. During his
residence here he was continuously a Steward and for many years was Class-Leader
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The death of Mrs. Gregg occurred May
31, 1886, aged seventy-three, and his remains were interred by her side on Oct.
16 of the same year, having reached his eighty-second year. He was as noted for
his hospitality as for benevolence; was liberal in the support of the ministry
and contributed freely to all worthy institutions. The stranger found beneath
his roof a hospitable welcome. He was fond of entertaining his friends,
and especially was his house the home of the itinerate minister. A friend
to education, Mr. Gregg gave liberally to colleges and made strenuous efforts
and great sacrifices to give his children substantial educations.
Faithful, just and true, he loved his friends, his country and the old flag.
His sons, Boner and our subject, were both soldiers, the first in Company K, 4th
Iowa Cavalry, and William in Company F, 45th Iowa Infantry. When they
returned from the war the stars and stripes still waved proudly over the home of
their boyhood. Mr. Gregg was a Whig before the war, and was one of he
first to aid in the organization of the Republican party in this county, and
never voted any other ticket. He died as he had lived, beloved and
respected by all, and we thus aid in the perpetuation of his memory.
worthy couple lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, and on Dec.
27, 1882, the old mansion was the scene of a family re-union, where parents,
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren sat down to a feast in
commemoration of the wedding celebrated fifty years before. The maternal
grandmother of Benjamin S. Gregg, Lydia (Manning) Reeves, was married at the age
of thirteen and lived to be one-hundred and three years old. The children of Mr.
and Mrs. Benjamin Gregg, born in this county, were James B., who married
Josephine Mills; Margaret V. became the wife of Charles Hall; Almira A., wife of
Henry Gearhart; Ruth E. wedded T. J. R. Perry; Mary. deceased; John W. died
unmarried; Benjamin F. became the husband of Alferetta Lamond, and, after her
death, of Mrs. Emma J. Henderson; and Melissa C., who died unmarried.
subject was born April 14, 1837, and from the age of one year has resided in Des
Moines County. Here he grew to manhood, and after returning from the army
took a trip West, driving a team of oxen across the plains, reaching Austin,
Nev., in December, 1865. Continuing his journey westward, and after a
short stay at San Francisco he embarked on a steamer and came home via the
Isthmus of Panama, landing at New York, and from thence by rail to his Iowa
home, which was reached in 1866.
Gregg was married, Feb. 9, 1869, to Miss Kate Gorrell, of West Virginia, a
daughter of George and Margaret (Galaway) Gorrell, both natives of West
Virginia. The Galaways were of English and the Gorrells of German
ancestry. Miss Gorrell was visiting relatives in this county when the
acquaintance was formed with Mr. Gregg, who so eagerly pressed his suit that the
wedding was celebrated before she returned home, the wedding trip being to the
home of her parents, both of whom were at that time living. The father
died in his sixty-fifth year, the mother in her seventy-first. They were
the parents of ten children, eight of whom are living and all are married but
one, the eldest, Joshua. His birth was succeeded by that of Miss Kate
Gregg; then Tabitha, wife of David Boner; Maria, wife of Seldon Craig; Margaret,
wife of Philip Sill; William A., who married Margaret Burkhamer, in Virginia;
Jacob, husband of Adelaide Flesher; and Rachel, who wedded Porter Maxwell.
Gregg and his young wife began their domestic wife on a farm in Pleasant Grove
Township, and later made their home with his father. In 1875 they removed
to the town of Danville, having purchased a small farm adjoining the village.
Upon this a handsome residence was erected in 1886, the best in Danville
Township. In this pleasant home the wayfarer is entertained by a cheerful
host and kind hostess. Their children, both daughters, Ruth and Fannie,
were born, reared and educated in Des Moines County, and in one of the cosiest
of homes, where books, music, and everything which makes home the most desirable
place on earth, their happiness is made complete. Charles F. Gregg, son of
B. F. Gregg, of Burlington, also finds here the love and care parents bestow
upon their own children. Two nieces, the Misses Birdenia and Luella
Gearhart, also find a home at this hospital mansion, where everything prevails
that is pleasant, social and moral.
Gregg is the owner of much valuable real estate, the homestead near Burlington
being worth $100 per acre. Two hundred and two broad acres pay tribute to
his management, and to the efforts of such men Des Moines County owes her
present prosperous condition.
residing on section 6, Flint River Township, is a pioneer settler of 1842 and
one of the honored citizens of the county. He was born in Washington
County, Pa., June 11, 1819, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Lead) Grimes,
both of whom were also born in that county. They were the parents of eight
children; of that number five are living: Jane, wife of Thomas Patterson,
a farmer of Ohio, who resides just across the river from Wheeling, W. Va.; Sarah
is yet a resident of her native county; Robert; William, a minister of the
United Presbyterian Church, resides in Belmont County, Ohio; Edward died in
Washington County, Pa.; Samuel died at the home of our subject, and was buried
in Carter Cemetery; John, Jr., resides upon the old homestead in Washington
County, Pa.; Thomas is also engaged in farming in that county. John
Grimes, the father, lived and died upon the farm that had been taken up about
the year 1780, it being among the first entered in that county, where for over a
hundred years the name of Grimes was known and honored. Mr. Grimes was one
of the prominent and leading men of his day, and died in 1883, aged eighty-seven
years, the year of his birth being 1794. His wife was born in 1786 and
died in 1871 at the ripe old age of eighty-five, and the paternal grandmother
reached the age of ninety-one. All were life-long members of the United
Presbyterian Church, and were respected alike by all.
Grimes, the subject of this sketch, was reared upon a farm in his native county,
where he attended the common-schools, though most of his education had been
acquired by close application and observation, by which he gained practical
ideas not to be found in text-books. Mr. Grimes remained at home until
1842 and then left the parental roof to seek his fortune in the West. He
came directly to Des Moines County, Iowa, his only possessions being the horse
upon which he made his journey, and $125 in money. With this small capital
he started in life, and has made all he now possesses by his own energy and
industry. In 1843 the first purchase of land was made, consisting of
eighty acres of timber on Flint Creek in Pleasant Grove Township; and in 1844
forty of this tract was sold and eighty acres in the same township were
purchased. By care and cultivation Mr. Grimes made a fine farm, upon which
he resided until 1856, when he sold that farm and bought 200 acres on section 6,
Flint River Township, where he has since made his home and now owns one of the
best improved farms in that section.
Grimes has always been a great admirer of fine horses, and upon his farm may be
found some of the best in the county. In his stables are three horses
which have no superiors in Des Moines County--Honor Bright, Andy and Tom Sayers.
The first named is a bright bay, with two white feet, was fouled in 1876, and
was imported from Scotland in April, 1883, by John C. Huston, of McDonough
County, Ill. Andy was foaled in April, 1884, and imported from Scotland by
Mr. Huston in September, 1885. He is a fine representative of the
Clydesdales, the best of draft breeds. Tom Sayers is an English draft
horse, known as the Grimes horse.
the 21st of April, 1847, Mr. Grimes was united in marriage with Miss Rhoda
Husted, a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Willis)
Husted, both of whom were also natives of that State. In 1841 they
emigrated to Des Moines County, where they were among the pioneer settlers, and
both are now deceased, the father having departed this life in Kansas, and the
mother was killed by a runaway team. Both Mr. and Mrs. Husted were members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
children graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Grimes: The first child died in
infancy; Elizabeth became the wife of George Smith, a farmer of Saline County,
Kansas; and J. D. is still residing with his parents. Mr. Grimes has
always taken an active interest in everything that pertains to the advancement
of the county. He has watched and aided in its development from a
primitive state to one of the highest cultivation, and has ever been one of its
honored and respected citizens. He has served as a member of the Board of
County Supervisors, and has held minor township offices.
he affiliates with the Democratic party. A self-made man, his example of
energy, industry and unceasing labor may well be followed by future generations.
Paul Guelich, one of the prominent citizens of Burlington, and County Auditor
of Des Moines County, was born in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa, Jan, 10, 1859, and
is a son of Theodore Guelich, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. He
came to Burlington in 1860 with his parents, and here grew to manhood, receiving
his education in the High Schools of the city, subsequently taking a course in
the Law Department of the State University at Iowa City. He was admitted to the
bar in the year 1877, and is at present Auditor of the County, serving his third
term. He was a candidate for State Auditor, receiving the nomination in 1886,
but was defeated, as the State is so strongly Republican. Paul Guelich is a
young man of more than ordinary ability, and has secured a prominence in the
county attained by few men of his age. In the discharge of his official duties,
he is pleasant and courteous to all, and therefore has made many friends, who,
without respect to party, honor him for his true worth.
Theodore Guelich, attorney at law and
notary public, connected with Guelich & Blanke, Insurance Agents, 422 North
Main street, Burlington, Iowa, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Jan. 29,
1829, and is the son of G. T. J. and Julia Guelich. His primary education was
received in the public schools of his native country, and he then went to sea
for a couple of years, after which he entered the Polytechnic Institute at
Carlsruhe, Baden, as a student. His course in that institution was interrupted
by the breaking out of the Revolution of 1848. Imbued with the spirit of
liberty, and by nature impulsive and energetic, he at once cast his lot with the
Revolutionists, and from March, 1848, until March, 1851, did active service in
the cause of freedom. He participated in numerous hard-fought battles, and was
several times severely wounded. At the close of the war Mr. Guelich, like many
others of his party, found the German climate uncomfortably warm, and in the
summer of 1851, emigrated to America. He arrived at New York on the 4th of July,
amidst the excitement and brilliant display of an old-fashioned celebration of
the "glorious Fourth." He came at once to Iowa, locating at Davenport,
where he established a German paper, called Der Demokrat, which he edited and
published until 1856. The paper is still published, and is the oldest German
paper in the State. Mr. Guelich was an earnest advocate of human liberty, and
during his editorial career did good service in the anti-slavery cause. While
engaged in the newspaper business, he became a law student under he tutorship of
his partner, J. W. Stewart, and was admitted to practice in the Iowa courts in
the fall of 1856. The Guelichs seem to have taken naturally to that profession,
Mr. Guelich's father and grandfather having been eminent members of the bar in
Our subject pursued the practice of his profession at
Davenport until 1861, when the breaking out of our Civil War aroused his martial
spirit, and once more he took up arms in the cause of freedom. Neither did it
take long to rouse him, as we find his enlistment in Company G, 1st Iowa
Infantry, dates April 15, 1861, the day on which President Lincoln issued his
call for the first levy of troops (three-months' service). Mr. Guelich was
promoted to Quartermaster of the regiment, and was mustered out at St. Louis,
Mo., on August 16 of that year. He participated in the hard-fought battle of
Wilson's Creek. He removed to Burlington that fall, starting the Iowa Tribune, a
German paper, with which he maintained connection until 1881, when he sold it,
and retired from journalism. The paper was continued under other management
until the spring of 1888, when the "Iowa Tribune Publishing Company" was formed, and Mr. Guelich again became connected with the paper, being now
President of the Company, and its Managing Director. The paper is one of the
leading German journals of the State. During the time Mr. Guelich was employed
in journalism, he was also engaged in the practice of his profession. In the
summer of 1864 he was commissioned Lieutenant of Company D, 48th Iowa Infantry,
in the one-hundred days service, and was mustered out in the following October.
On his return to Burlington he resumed the practice of law, and engaged in the
insurance business, which he has carried on continuously since. He also acts as
European passage agent, makes collections, and buys and sells exchange.
Mr. Guelich was united in marriage, at Davenport, July 2,
1855, to Miss Dora Koch, daughter of J. P. Koch, of that city. Mrs. Guelich was,
like her husband, born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and emigrated to America
with her parents in 1852. Five children were born of this marriage, two sons and
three daughters: Ernest, born April 4, 1856, died aged fourteen months; Anna,
born Oct. 14, 1857, is the wife of Julius Clements, of New York City; Paul, born
Jan. 9, 1859, is Auditor of Des Moines County; Agnes, born May 15, 1861, died
Dec. 28, 1880; the youngest child, a daughter, was born Aug. 23, 1864, and died
when a few months old. Mr. Guelich was married to his present wife Dec. 12,
1883, in the city of Burlington. She was formerly Mrs. Minnie Weber, widow of
John Weber, and daughter of Mr. Genzsch. She was born at St. Goar on the Rhine,
Germany, and emigrated to America with her parents in the year 1853. Her people
were among the early settlers of Des Moines County. She had two children by her
former marriage, a son and a daughter--Ernest, born Feb. 6, 1867, and Ida, born
Mr. Guelich has always taken a warm interest in educational
matters, and for nine years has been a member of the School Board of Burlington.
He was also a member of the School Board and Common Council of Davenport, while
residing there. For many years he has been a member of the Turners' Society of
Burlington. Politically, he is Independent--principle first, party after. He
voted first for President for John C. Fremont, and subsequently for each
successive Republican candidate for that office until 1884, when, believing the
prohibitory principles of the party inconsistent with American liberty, he voted
for Grover Cleveland. Mr. Guelich is actively associated with various local
business enterprises. He is President of the Burlington Steam Supply Company, of
which he is one of the incorporators, and is also President of the Iowa Rolling
Mill Company. He is a man of indefatigable energy and force of character, and
whatever he applies himself to is pushed with a will. Upright and just in his
relations with his fellow-men, he is deservedly held in high esteem by a wide
circle of acquaintances.
James A. Guest is a wholesale dealer in pianos and organs, the house being one
of the oldest in the State, having been established for thirty-two years in
Burlington, Iowa. Mr. Guest is a northwestern representative of Chickering
& Sons, Ernst Gabler & Bro., Kranich, Bach, Hallett & Cumston and J.
M. Starr & Co. pianos, and Packard organs. This extensive
establishment is situated at No. 106 North Main street and occupies the three
stories and basement of the brick structure. The width of the building is
thirty and the depth 120 feet, giving an area of 14,400 square feet of sales and
storage room. Its wholesale trade extends over Iowa and portions of
Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota, and is the most extensive in
this line of any west of the Mississippi River. In addition to his
wholesale business, Maj. Guest is somewhat extensively engaged in real-estate
transactions, at this and other places.
James A. Guest was born at Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., May 4, 1845, and received an
academic education in his native town, taking a preparatory course for Hobart
College, but was deferred from entering by his enlistment in the late war.
On the 29th of August, 1862, he became a member of Company C, 160th New York
Infantry, and served until November, 1865. He was in the 19th Army Corps,
and took part in the capture of Fort Bisland, La., battle of Sabine Cross Roads
and other battles and skirmishes in Gen. Banks' Red River campaign. He
participated in the siege of Port Hudson, was with Grant at the siege of
Richmond and fought in the battle of Winchester, where he was wounded Sept. 8,
1864, by a glancing grape shot striking him in the shoulder. His wound
confined him to the hospital for two months. He was commissioned Second
Lieutenant of his company by Gov. Fenton in June, 1865, and was mustered out the
receiving his discharge, Lieut. Guest at once returned to New York and took a
regular course at Ames Commercial College, Syracuse, from which he graduated in
1866. He then engaged as cashier and book-keeper in a wholesale house at
Lyons, N. Y., and in the autumn of 1856 came to Iowa, being employed in the same
capacity for two years at Belle Plaine, after which he engaged in business for
himself, dealing in pianos, organs and sewing-machines. He also carried on
the insurance business and served as agent for the American Express Company at
that city. In 1874 he left Belle Plaine, came to Burlington, and succeeded
to the old established business of Lange & Van Meter, dealers in musical
instruments, music, etc. He has since materially increased and extended
the business until he now has the most important house in this line in the
Northwest. While a resident of Belle Plaine he was officially identified
with that city, first as Recorder and later as Acting Mayor.
September, 1884, Mr. Guest organized the "Burlington Rifles," which
became Company H, 2d Regiment, Iowa National Guards, of which he was the first
Captain. (See sketch of company elsewhere.) In January, 1887, he was
commissioned Major of the regiment. He takes a very active interest in the
organization. The Major is prominently identified with the Masonic order,
having been made a member of that order at Belle Plaine in 1868, and is now a
member of Malta Lodge, No. 318, A. F. & A. M., of Iowa Chapter, No. 1, R. A.
M., and of St. Omer Commandery, K. T. He is the present Eminent Commander
of the latter and is now serving his sixth year in that capacity. He was also
the first President of the Masonic Building Association, and still occupies that
Guest was married at Burlington, June 6, 1876, to Miss Louise M. David, daughter
of Col. John S. David, an early settler of Iowa. They have one child, a
son, Lyman J., born at Burlington in April, 1877. Major and Mrs. Guest are
members of Christ Episcopal Church of Burlington. In politics he is a
ancestry of Maj. Guest can be traced back over 200 years. Henry Guest, the
first of the name to come to America, came is the ship "Delaware," in
1686, and first made a settlement with the Penn Colony, that he might affiliate
with his co-religionists. The first house erected in Philadelphia was
built by the Guest family. It was called the "Blue Anchor." (See Proud's History of Philadelphia.)
Joseph E. Gurney, proprietor of the Bonanza
Department Store, Nos. 421 Jefferson and 214 North Fifth streets, Burlington,
Iowa, was born in Herefordshire, England, April 12, 1854, and is the son of
Edward ad Fannie (Williams) Gurney. The death of his father occurred when
he was yet a child, and with his mother and stepfather, Mr. Arrowsmith, he came
to America soon afterward. The family located at Burlington, Iowa, where
our subject, who had completed his education in his native country, was
apprenticed to the carpenter's trade. He pursued that vocation for eleven
years, when, having accumulated a few hundred dollars, he purchased a team and
notion wagon, and began business on the road as a peddler, starting in the fall
of 1876 in the retail line. Mr. Gurney was so successful that in 1878 he
was able to sell by wholesale, and two years later, in 1880, he opened the now
popular Bonanza Department Store on Jefferson and Fifth streets, a description
of which business occurs in another part of this work. Mr. Gurney seems
peculiarly fitted for this line of business, and while a boy in his native land
had some experience in mercantile life. Energetic, enterprising and methodical,
he has prospered in his undertakings, has built up an extensive trade, and
probably has the largest business of any local house in the line of holiday
goods, and his annual income exceeds $20,000.
In February, 1881, in Burlington, Iowa, the marriage of Mr. Gurney and Miss Sarah A. Nichols was celebrated. Mrs. Gurney was born in Upper Canada, and is a daughter of W. I. Nichols. One child was born of their union, a son, Edward Joseph, born in Burlington. Socially, Mr. Gurney is a member of Burlington Council No. 531, of the Order of the Royal Arcanum.
Joseph E. Gurney, proprietor of the Bonanza Department Store, wholesale and retail, cash bargain house, No. 421 Jefferson and 214 North Fifth streets. The popular establishment conducted by Mr. Gurney might properly be termed a curiosity shop, containing as it does such a variety of goods. A prominent feature of the Bonanza Store, is the holiday department, embracing everything in the way of toys and articles suitable for holiday gifts. We have only space to enumerate a few of the articles that strike the eye of the customer: Fancy wooden ware, smokers' articles, leather goods, satchels, brass articles, rubber goods, valises, traveling bags, pocket-books, Japenese goods, brushes, albums, fancy tinware, china and glass ware, bric-a-brac, lamps, gloves, mittens, wire goods, musical instruments, silver-plated ware, baskets, cutlery, jewelry, underwear, willow ware, and a thousand other things, all so temptingly displayed, that it is impossible to gaze without seeing something to covet. This business was established by the present proprietor in 1880, after having spent several years on the road with a notion wagon. He employs ordinarily a force of five clerks, which during the holiday season is increased from fifteen to twenty. He makes a specialty of holiday goods, and his annual business averages about $20,000.