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Des Moines County >> 1888 Index

Portrait and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa
Chicago: Acme Publishing, 1888.


George Ibbotson an old settler and leading farmer, residing on section 30, Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines County, Iowa, is a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1806, and a son of John and Martha (Lofthouse) Ibbotson, who were also natives of Yorkshire.  Throughout his life, John Ibbotson was engaged in farming, and he and his wife both died in their native land.  They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Our subject was reared on a farm until 1838, when, bidding good-bye to his home and friends, he sailed for America, locating first in Wayne County, Ind., where he engaged as a farm hand, and later rented a farm there for three years.  At the expiration of that time Mr. Ibbotson emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, settling in Franklin Township in the fall of 1841, where he rented a farm for one year, and then purchased eighty acres of land on section 30 of Yellow Spring Township. The farm then purchased still  continues to be his home, though other lands were added, until he has now 400 broad acres in Yellow Spring Township under cultivation.  In Washington Township he is also the owner of eighty acres, and all his land is improved.

In 1844 the marriage of Mr. Ibbotson and Martha Ann Riggs, a native of Kentucky, was celebrated.  Eight children were born to them, namely: Martha, residing with her parents; John, who is engaged in farming in Yellow Spring Township; Stephen, residing in Los Angeles County, Cal.; George who makes his home in Louisa County, Iowa; Elizabeth, still living at home; Robert, a farmer of Washington Township, Des Moines County; and Isaac and A. Lincoln, both of whom died in childhood. Mr. Ibbotson and wife are both members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  In politics he is a stanch Republican, one who does not believe that the party has outlived its usefulness, and in his township he has held various offices.  Financially a self-made man, his success in life is due to his own labor, energy and business ability, which have enabled him to secure an ample competency for old age.  Mr. and Mrs. Ibbotson have reared a family of respected men and women, who do honor to their name, and to assist their sons they gave them each 100 acres of land. In their declining years this worthy couple can look back over a well-spent life, forty-four years of which have been passed together, and the respect which is their due, both as pioneers and honored citizens, is cheerfully given by all who know them.

William Ihrer, a grocer, of Burlington, in business at the corner of Jefferson and Sixth streets, was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, Jan. 1, 1846, and is a son of Jonathan and Dorothea (Rempis) Ihrer.  The death of the father occured while our subject was but an infant.  William was educated in his native land, served his time as an apprentice to the painter's trade, and then, thinking that the New World would be a better field for his labors, emigrated to America in 1863, and located at Syracuse, N. Y., where he worked at his trade.  The following spring he went to Chicago, and in 1865 came to Burlington, Iowa, soon after forming a partnership with Mr. Heinz in the painting business, under the firm name of Ihrer & Heinz, carrying on that business until 1873, when, on account of failing health, he was obliged to abandon it.  He then opened his present grocery house.  Mr. Ihrer is one of the leading retail grocers in the city, and has a neat and well-stocked store, carrying a general assortment of staple and fancy groceries, canned goods, provisions, fruits and vegetables.  His trade has grown to very satisfactory proportions, and he now does an annual business to the amount of $35,000.

The marriage of Mr. Ihrer to Miss Rosina Warth was celebrated Oct. 14, 1869.  She was born in Germany, and emigrated to America when four years of age, and was residing in Union Township, Des Moines County, at the time of her marriage.  Seven children were born of their union, four sons and three daughters--William, Fred C., Henry G., Charles, Elizabeth, Rosina and Lydia.  Mr. Ihrer and his wife are members of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church.  In politics, he is a Democrat; socially, a member of the I. O. O. F., Harmonia Lodge No. 209, and of Wellington Council No. 530, of the Royal Arcanum.  Mr. Ihrer is one of the progressive and enterprising business men of Burlington, having won his success by steady application to business, and an upright, honorable course of life.

Henry Iles, deceased.  To preserve the memory of the dead is as fitting as to record the lives of the living.  Those who have lived were in many instances the equal of those who take their places in the world of action, and how many who peruse these pages will read historic accounts of pioneers in fact, who for almost half a century delved and toiled that those of their kindred should have homes in this beautiful country.  Is it not due then that mention be made of such men, who braved all the vicissitudes of early days in the new Northwest.  Our subject, while not one of the first-comers to Des Moines County, was a man worthy and well known during his lifetime, and for a number of years his residence was upon a farm in Danville Township.  He was born in Hocking County, Ohio, Dec. 13, 1826, and was a son of parents born in Pennsylvania, of German ancestry, who came to Ohio at an early day, and settled in the wild woods of that country.  Several children were born before our subject, and the following are those living:  Jacob, who wedded Minerva McBroom, resides in Vermilion COunty, Ill.; Maria, wife of Joseph McBroom, a farmer of Hocking County, Ohio; then our subject; Jeremiah, a minister of the United Brethern Church, and the husband of an Eastern lady, resides in Logan, Hocking County; and William, also a resident of that county, is the husband of Mary Deer.

Henry Iles was married, in Ohio, to Maria Abbott, and two children were born of this union, though the mother and children are both now deceased.  James, the son, married Jane Plunk in Ohio, and they were residents of Taylor County, Iowa, at the time of his death.  Deciding to come West, Mr. Iles came to Iowa in 1856, locating upon the farm where his widow and daughters yet reside.  The death of his first wife occurred in 1865, and three years later he made an overland trip to the gold fields of California, where he remained three years, accumulating quite a considerable sum of money, but his leniency to creditors and his well-known liberality melted away his savings, until he had but little to show for his California venture.  After his return Mr. Iles was married to Miss Carrie Alspach, the ceremony being performed July 6, 1869.  An extensive history of her family will be found in the sketch of William H. Alspach, of Danville.  Until his last illness Mr. Iles was an indefatigable worker upon his farm.  Two children came to bless his home, Bertha and Martha, both of whom are with their mother.  No son can transmit the name of a worthy sire to future generations, but a record of uprightness is vouchsafed by the historian for a family equal to any.

As a citizen, Henry Iles was one of the best.  Honorable in all business details, upright in morals, and a Christian in thought and deed, quiet and unobtusive in disposition, his life was spent in peace, and amid the plenteousness which surrounds those of careful and energetic habits.  Mr. Iles left his wife and children comfortably off upon the homestead, near the village of Danville.  Both himself and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of that village, and in his death a faithful adherent to the faith and a liberal member of the society was lost.  His early toil and the hardships of the mining country perhaps had something to do with shortening his days, for he died when manhood should be in its prime, in the forty-ninth year. There are many who while reading this sketch will call to remembrance his genial smile and cheery word.  A score of years pased in this township endeared Mr. Iles to the community in a high degree, and to make this record becomes a pleasure to the historian.

A. M. Ingersoll, harbor master, of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, July 21, 1833, and his parents were James and Delilah (Jones) Ingersoll.  In 1849 James Ingersoll and family came to Burlington, but the country being new and not very well improved, they were dissatisfied, and returned to Hamilton County in 1850, but five years later they again came to Iowa and took up their residence on a farm near Augusta, where a nice home was made.  Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll were the parents of seven children, six of whom are living:  Daniel, of Oregon; A. M., our subject; Arthur B., residing in Burlington; Mary, wife of William Webster, of Sioux City, Iowa; Thesa, wife of David D. Jacoby, of Burlington; Susan, wife of Samuel Hodge, also of Burlington. Politically, Mr. Ingersoll was a Jackson Democrat, a man well posted on his country's affairs, and highly respected in the community where he resided.  He departed this life in 1880, but his wife still survives him.

A. M. Ingersoll, our subject, was reared upon a farm, receiving but few educational advantages.  In those days, as soon as the boys were old enough to handle a plow, they were obliged to work upon the farm in summer, and so were only able to attend school in winter, and the school-house was three miles away from Mr. Ingersoll's home.  After returning to Ohio from their journey west, Mr. Ingersoll wedded Miss Mary Hutchens.  They have two children living--William F. and Daniel F. In early life our subject was apprenticed to learn the trade of cooper, and after coming to Burlington in 1856, he continued to make that his occupation for several years.  In 1865 he enlisted in the 45th Iowa Infantry in the 100-days service, remaining in the army until the close of the war.  Mr. Ingersoll has been a member of the fire department for twenty-eight years, being the oldest fireman in the city, and he has served upon the police force for two years.  He is a second cousin of Robert G. Ingersoll, but on religious subjects they differ greatly.  Mr. Ingersoll was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife in 1866.  He was again married in 1867, to Mrs. Rose Gormley, widow of Henry Gormley; she had one child by her first marriage, Catherine, wife of William G. Hoerr.  Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll are both members of the Catholic Church.