and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa
of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern machine-shops, of Burlington,
Iowa, was born in Elfson, Scotland, March 4, 1826. His parents,
Thomas and Henrietta Waddel (Fenwick) Safley, emigrated to America in
1836, locating in Waterford, N. Y., where Thomas worked at his trade,
that of a blacksmith. Of their children five are yet living: Robert,
of our sketch; Henrietta, wife of S. L. Dowes, of Cedar Rapids; Maj.
John J., who was one of the gallant soldiers of the late war, is a resident
of Indiana, and proprietor of the Lodi Mineral Springs; Lieut. Alexander,
a resident of Boulder, Colo., enlisted in the 2d Colorado regiment,
serving three years, in politics is a Republican, and was commissioned
under President Arthur; Susan, wife of F. P. Jagger, a prominent business
man of Burlington; Andrew was one of the brave soldiers who laid down
his life in defense of his flag at the second battle of Bull Run. Mrs. Safley died in Waterford, N. Y., in 1851, and in 1853 the family
removed to Linn County, Iowa; where Thomas Safley died in 1883.
Robert Safley, the
subject of this sketch, received an academic education in Waterford,
and spent three years in the study of law under Judge Porter but not
liking the profession abandoned it, turning his attention to mechanical
work, which he had previously commenced, and became proficient in the
trade. After leaving the office of Judge Porter he entered into
partnership with Henry D. Fuller, and established the Cohoes foundry
and machine shops, prosecuting that business up to 1872, and accumulating
a comfortable fortune, which he sunk into a knitting-mill at Waterford.
In 1876 Mr. Safley went to Cedar Rapids, removing his family the following
year, since which time he has been employed by the Burlington, Cedar
Rapids & Northern Railroad, and in 1880 he was assigned as foreman
at Burlington. Mr. Safley, in 1854, wedded Miss Mary Holroyd, who was
born in Manchester, England, in 1834. By this union there are
two children --Robert and Ella B.
William Salter, D. D., is an eminent divine, who for forty-two years
has served as Pastor of the Congregational Church of Burlington, discharging
the duties of his holy office with ability and fidelity, and whose energy
and enterprise have been instrumental in promoting the prosperity and
growth of his congregation, and the erection of the elegant, commodious
and costly house of worship of his people. He is a native of Brooklyn,
N. Y., born Nov. 17, 1821, and his father, William Frost Salter, was
born at Portsmouth, N. H., and was descended from John Salter, a mariner
who came from Devonshire, England, in the latter part of the seventeenth
century, and settled at Portsmouth. His mother, whose maiden name was
Mary Ewen, was a daughter of Alexander Ewen, who emigrated from Scotland
to America prior to the Revolutionary War.
The early life of our subject was spent in his native place and in
the city of New York, where he received his education, graduating from
the University of the City of New York in 1840. He then spent
two years in the Union Theological Institution, at Andover, Mass.
After teaching school awhile in South Norwalk, Conn., he came West,
landing in Burlington, in October, 1843. For the next two years he was
employed as a missionary in Maquoketa, and in Jackson County generally,
and on the 15th of March, 1846, was invited to become Pastor of the
Congregational Church in Burlington. He has remained here ever
since, a continuous pastorate of over forty-two years. On coming
to this city Mr. Salter found the Church in a weak condition numerically,
its first house of worship not being completed until the December following
his settlement. He at once entered zealously upon his work, and
with love for his Master has toiled on, until to-day the Congregational
Church of Burlington is one of the strongest in the State, with a fine
house of worship, the whole Church working together in harmony, its
membership composed of the most influential and cultivated people of
the city. Possessed of more than ordinary pulpit talent, and with special
gifts as a pastor, he has brought to his work rare earnestness and Christian
In addition to his regular ministerial duties, Mr. Salter has devoted
a portion of his time to literature. In 1863 he published "Letters
of Ada R. Parker," a volume of about three hundred pages, a work
which is a rare treasure to the friends of the gifted lady, whose beautiful
Christian character is well illustrated in this correspondence.
During the late war he prepared a work entitled "The Great Rebellion
in the Light of Christianity,: in which he spoke of the War for the
Union as a necessity for the life of the Nation, such as Christ spoke
of when he said "These things must needs be." Mr. Salter
also published a "Church Hymn Book,: a very excellent collection
of hymns and tunes, and from time to time sermons and lectures on various
subjects of public interest, all of which exhibit those sober and solid
qualities which have made Mr. Salter one of the best wearing ministers
of Iowa. On the occasion of the fifth annual meeting of the State
Historical Society, he delivered an address full of historical research,
commemorative of the two-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Iowa
by Marquette and Joliet, June 17, 1673, which was said by a writer in
the "Annals of Iowa" to have been delivered in a faultless
style of oratory, in strict harmony with its scholastic composition.
More recently Mr. Salter prepared and published the "Life of J.
W. Grimes," who was Governor of Iowa from 1854 to 1858, and United
States Senator from 1859 to 1869. The work was published by D.
Appleton & Co., of New York, in 1876, and is a very valuable and
interesting volume. He has also published the "Life of Gen.
A. C. Dodge," and also the "Life of Gov. James Clark,"
the first Territorial Governor of Iowa. A sermon, on the "Relation
of Labor to Capital," by Mr. Salter, attracted much attention and
was largely circulated in pamphlet form.
The cause of education has found in him a warm supporter. He
helped to establish the Iowa College at Davenport, in 1851, and served
as a member of the Board of Trustees, from its organization to 1863
inclusive. The college was about that time removed to Grinnell,
Iowa. In 1867 he was appointed a member of the Board of Visitors
to the Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Md. On the 25th day of August, 1846,
he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ann, daughter of Deacon E.
P. and Mary (Tufts) Mackintire, of Charlestown, Mass. Five children
were born of their union, of whom three are living: Mary died at the
age of sixteen years; William M., who graduated from Knox College, Galesburg,
Ill., in 1871, wedded Miss Mary Gibbens, and resides in Chicago, where
he is the lecturer of the Ethical Society; Sumner, a graduate of Amherst
College, married Miss Mary Turner, and resides at Atlanta, Ga., where
he is a teacher of music and voice culture, and organist of the First
Methodist Episcopal Church South; Frederick died in early childhood;
the youngest, George B., a twin brother of Frederick, is a commercial
traveler. Having won his way to prominence, both in the pulpit and in
the fields of literature, Mr. Salter was honored, in 1864, by having
the degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred upon him by the University
of Iowa. In his religious views Dr. Salter is liberal and catholic,
believing that among all denominations where exists much of truth, and
that the various creeds and rituals are but means to an end. From
his earliest recollection he was an anti-slavery man and for many years
bore the reproach of being called an "Abolitionist."
Both in his Church and out of it he has shown himself a friend of humanity,
deeply interested in the welfare of all, and full of sympathy and kindly
help for all in need of his services. He has thus endeared himself
to many friends, and has won the esteem and confidence of all without
respect to their differences of opinion.
The many friends of this eminent divine will be pleased to see this
record of his life and character preserved in the annals of the better
people of Des Moines County, among whom he has so long lived and successfully
labored in the cause of that Master whom he has so faithfully served.
See portrait on another page.
Martin Schaefer, one of the pioneers of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 4, 1810, and there was united in marriage with Miss Mary Funck, Feb. 8, 1837. She was also a native of Hesse, born in the year 1816. Soon after their marriage, the young couple emigrated to America, and in October, 1837, took up their residence on section 3, Flint River Township, where Mr. Schaefer purchased land, transforming the virgin soil into a finely cultivated farm, and there undergoing all the hardships incident to a pioneer life. At that time Indians were frequently seen on their way to Burlington for their annuities, and the deer, which then roamed over the prairies, were so tame that they would often come close to the cabin. In 1870 Mr. Schaefer sold his farm and removed to the city of Burlington, where he has since lived a retired life.
Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer are the parents of seven children, four of whom are living: Frederick, a carpenter and joiner; Charles, who is a cooper by trade; Philip, of the firm of White & Co., dry-goods merchants; and Lizzie, wife of Mr. Rinke. Politically, Mr. Schaefer is a stanch Democrat, and strongly supports the present Administration. Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer are active workers in the Lutheran (Zion) Church, of which they have been life-long members. For over a half-century they have been residents of Des Moines County, have seen the vast wilderness transformed into beautiful and highly-cultivated farms, while handsome mansions took the place of the rude log cabins. In 1850 Mr. Schaefer crossed the plains to California, thinking that he might benefit his fortunes in the mines, but failing in this, he returned the same year, by way of South America and the Mississippi River, to Burlington.
pharmacist, deutscher apotheker, is located at the corner of Fifth and
Jefferson streets, where he is in the enjoyment of a thriving trade.
His early home was in Louisville, Ky., where his birth took place Feb.
22, 1856, and he is the son of George and Henrietta (Plate) Schenk.
When four years of age our subject accompanied his parents to Germany,
they returning to their old home at Marburg. Young Schenk there
received his education and served a regular apprenticeship in pharmacy
in the city of Bremen, being graduated after a term of three and one-half
In 1874 Mr. Schenk
returned to the United States, spent a few months at his old home in
Louisville, Ky., and thence going to Richmond, Va., was regularly employed
as a pharmacist. Finally, starting out with a desire to see something
more of the country, we find him next at Matamoras, Tex., and Monterey,
Mex. After a brief sojourn at Galveston of six months, he turned
his steps eastward to Philadelphia, Pa., and from there to Columbus,
Ohio. In the latter city he was placed in charge of the Lyon drug-store,
of which he had the oversight one year, and then accepted a similar
position with Mrs. Mary Weis, at Lyons, Iowa.
In this latter place
Mr. Schenk remained until 1881, when he came to Burlington and entered
upon the business which he has since carried on so successfully.
His marriage took place at Lyons, Iowa, May 15, 1882, his bride being
Miss Delia, daughter of Leopold and Anna Mauz, and a native of that
place. Of this union there have been born two children, both sons:
Albert William, now (1888) aged five years, and Ernst Alvin, aged three
years. Mr. Schenk was formerly a Republican, politically, but
is now independent. Socially, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen
and the German Turn Verein. His drug-store is centrally located,
well stocked and tastefully arranged. Mr. Schenk is considered
an expert pharmacist, reliable, prompt and safe in the discharge of
John Schlampp, one of the early settlers of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Alsace, Bavaria, Germany, Sept. 16, 1822, and there he received his education in the common schools. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to learn the trade of cabinet-maker, serving a term of two and one-half years, and in 1845 he emigrated to America, landing in New York City, where he secured employment in a piano manufactory for nine years. On the 19th of April, 1855, he was united in marriage with Barbara Bossuer, who was born in Germany in 1831, and on the 1st day of May, 1855, the young couple reached Burlington, where Mr. Schlampp first engaged in the carpenter's trade, later securing employment in a cabinet-shop.
This worthy couple are the parents of six living children: John; Annie, wife of Seigel Cartwright; Matilda, wife of Charles Messmer; Charles and Oscar, twins; and Frank, all of whom are residents of Burlington. Mr. Schlampp and his wife have a fine home on Madison street, where they are comfortably situated, and he was the first to establish a family by that name in the county, and perhaps in the State. After coming to this country, Mr. Schlampp, as did many of his people, cast his ballot with the Republicans, but on account of the position the party has taken in this State on the prohibition question, he does no longer affiliate with it, but votes the Democratic ticket.
August L. Schlapp, a member of the wholesale grocery house of Biklen, Winzer & Co., was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 27, 1837, and is a son of H. L. Schlapp, also a native of that country. He was educated in the gymnasium of his native city, taking a classical course, and then was employed in an antiquarian book-store for a time as a salesman, but subsequently emigrated to America, coming direct to Burlington, Iowa, which he reached in July 1857. At this time he was but twenty years of age. He engaged as a farm-hand in Des Moines County, also doing some work of he same character in Henry County until the war broke out, when he enlisted in the Fremont Hussars, an independent cavalry regiment, but was subsequently transferred with his company to the 5th Iowa Cavalry, was captured near Mayfield, Ky., in 1862, held a prisoner for two weeks and discharged on parole. The parole was not respected by his superior officers, and, with others of his comrades, he was forced to return to active duty. His promotion to the rank of Second Lieutenant occurred Oct. 20, 1864. Until 1863 Mr. Schlapp's services were employed in hunting guerrillas, but at that time his regiment joined the main army, the Army of the Cumberland, before Murfreesboro, and participated in the battles of Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Chattanooga, capture of Atlanta, battle of Jonesboro, Franklin, Nashville, Decatur, the raid through middle Tennessee, Wilson's Raid, the capture of Selma, Ala., and of Columbus, Ga. He was mustered out at the close of the war, Aug. 20, 1865.
On his return from the war, Mr. Schlapp located in Burlington, Iowa, and engaged with Starker & Hagemann, wholesale grocers, as shipping clerk, and one year later left them to engage in the retail grocery business at Ft. Madison. He carried on that business successfully until 1875, when he sold out, returned to Burlington, and with Biklen and Winzer succeeded the wholesale grocery house of Starker, Hagemann & Co. Mr. Schlapp has been an active member of the firm of Biklen, Winzer & Co., the most extensive house in this line in the city since its incorporation.
On the 13th of October, 1866, in Burlington, Iowa, Mr. Schlapp led to the marriage alter Miss Lina Krust, a native of St. Louis, Mo. Three living children grace their union, two sons and a daughter--Carl H. L., Ernest Otto and Anna.
Mr. Schlapp was a Republican for many years, but is now known as a member of that class called Mugwumps, and, having never been an aspirant for the honors of public office, has devoted his attention strictly to business pursuits. He is a member of the Turners' Society, the Crystal Lake Shooting Club, the Burlington Commercial Club, and Burlington Schuetzen Verein, and has always taken an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare and development of the city, being recognized as one of the representative business men.
Peter Schmitt, a retired farmer and stock-raiser, residing at 610 South Twelfth street, Burlington, Iowa, was born in the kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, Feb. 2, 1809, and is a son of John and Barbara (Betnah) Schmitt. The father was a farmer by occupation and lived and died in his native land. Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt were the parents of seven children: John, deceased; Stephen, who was one of the brave soldiers in the war between France and Russia, died in his native land; Mary, wife of a Mr. Hartman, died in Germany, and he with the children came to America, and while on route to Burlington, the steamer on which he had passage was blown up and he was killed in the explosion; Eva, became the wife of Henry Stichewa, and they both died in their native land, leaving two children; Martha, deceased; Mary A., wife of Benedict Emery, was the only one of the family, besides our subject, who came to America, she locating in Jackson County, Ind., and there died.
The early life of Peter Schmitt was spent in his native land. According to their laws, which require that each child shall begin school at the age of seven and pay two cents for every day absent, he commenced his education at that age, continuing his school life for seven years, when he began working up on his father's farm. After the death of his mother occurred, the father divided the property among the children, but Peter rented his share to his brother-in-law, he hiring out for $40 per year. He engaged with one man for two years and with another for one year, and then returned home, remaining until 1832, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Staubb, a daughter of John and Margaret Staubb. After his marriage, he engaged in farming and grain-dealing until 1836, when he bade good-by to his old home, and with his young wife and two children set sail for America. His sister Mary, having come to this country in 1834, sent back glowing descriptions of the New World, and hence his desire to try his fortune in our free country. While crossing the ocean one of the little ones died and was burind in the Atlantic, and while upon that voyage their son Benjamin was born in October, 1836. He is now a farmer of Des Moines County, Iowa, and the daughter, Mary, is now the wife of Henry Scuddy, a well-to-do farmer of Henry County. The voyage ended, Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt landed in Baltimore, and from there proceeded to Fredericktown, Pa., went by team across the Alleghany Mountains to Wheeling, Va., and there took boat for Cincinnati, Ohio, where his sister was residing. While making the trip, the boat was frozen up for eight or ten days, but at length they reached their destination. On the next day Mr. Schmitt began working in a packing-house at $1.50 per day, though most of the employees received but $1.25. He was engaged in that business until the spring of 1837, when he rented a farm near Cincinnati, and engaged in tilling the soil for two and a half years or until the winter of 1839, when he sold out and came by team to Iowa. He crossed the river to Burlington and from there went to New London. With much difficulty a house was secured as a shelter during the night, and the next morning Mr. Schmitt started out for the purpose of purchasing clapboards to floor an old cabin, in which the family passed the winter. The following spring a farm was purchased of a Mr. Pearson and was cultivated for one year, though the following year he began working by the month for $14. In 1842, a farm of 100 acres was purchased in Union Township, for $600, upon which the family resided for one year, it then being sold for $1,250.
Deciding to return to Ohio, but not finding matters as satisfactory as he had anticipated, Mr. Schmitt once more came to Des Moines County, and again purchased land, 110 acres in Union Township, residing upon this land for two years. Wishing to engage in mercantile pursuits, he went to Keosauqua and opened a general merchandise store, but after operating it for eighteen months, sold out and once more resumed his occupation of farming. He purchased 160 acres of land, upon which he resided until 1850, when he made a trip to California, taking with him his eldest son, and while there he kept a provision store and followed freighting for about eighteen months, and in 1852 was again in Burlington. Starting for San Francisco, seventy-five days were consumed in making the trip, the vessel not being able to navigate on account of a calm. Not anticipating such a long trip, provisions gave out and starvation threatened. They were in a fog for sixteen days, but at length reached Panama, and crossing the Isthmus, landed in New Orleans, where he exchanged his gold dust for money. After arriving in Des Moines County, he purchased 320 acres of land, making that his home for twelve years, when he made a trip to Montana, where he bought and sold cattle, making quite a sum of money out of his investment. In 1865 Mr. Schmitt returned and weht to Lewis County, Mo., where he purchased 860 acres of land for his two sons, Peter, Jr., having 400 acres and Stephen owning 560, all of which are under cultivation, and these farms are among the finest of the county. Benedict, his eldest son, and Andrew, the youngest son, are both successful farmers in Union Township, Des Moines County, two miles from Burlington.
After the children were all married and this worthy couple were once more alone, they decided to make Burlington their home, and in 1867 Mr. Schmitt retired from active life and has since lived in the city. His wife was called to her final rest in August, 1876. She was a member of the Catholic Church. In December, 1878, Mr. Schmitt was again married, Mrs. Jane Winfield, widow of Samuel Winfield, becoming his wife. She is a native of Mercer County, Ky., and a daughter of Josiah Wilson. He is a member of the Catholic Church, his wife a Presbyterian. Mr. Schmitt, politically, is a liberal Democrat, believing in casting his ballot for the best man for office. As a pioneer and a worthy citizen, he receives the respect and admiration due him from all.
Rev. Jacob Schmeiser, residing on section 26, Benton Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, was born March 6, 1827, and is a son of Henry Jacob and Blondine (Fieg) Schmeiser, who were natives of Germany, where the father was owner of a vineyard and farmer. They were both members of the Lutheran Church, and reared a family of eight children, of which our subject is the fifth in order of birth. Two of this number are deceased, three are yet residents of Germany, and two are living in this country, viz: Our subject; and Margaret, wife of Herman Langewort, of Burlington, Iowa.
Our subject was educated at the Missionary Institute of Basel, Switzerland, from which he graduated in 1853, and was then ordained as a minister of the Lutheran Church. He was then sent to St. Louis, where he spent three months as Pastor of the Fifteenth Street Church. In September of the same year he went to Burlington, where he preached for a few weeks. He was first assigned to the church at Franklin Mills, and during the time he was Pastor there, he also preached at Pleasant Grove and Latty. His next charge was Latty, exclusively, where he remained for eight years, after which he was at Mendota, Ill., for six months. Returning to Iowa, he was employed at Danville until 1882, when he removed to his present home on section 26, Benton Township, where he bought 224 acres of land, and since the time of his location in that township he has preached at the St. Paul Church, which is situated on section 22, also conducting a Sunday-school of twenty-five members, the membership of the church being about twenty families. In connection with his church duties, Mr. Schmeiser manages his own farm, having all the best improvements and most modern conveniences.
In May, 1856, Rev. Mr. Schneiser and Miss Magdalene Ries, a native of St. Clair County, Ill., born in 1837, were united in marriage, and ten children have graced their union: Henry Jacob, born April 18, 1857, is a mechanic, residing at Burlington; Charles Frederick, born Nov. 18, 1858, is engaged in farming near Franklin Mills, Des Moines County; Lydia, born Aug. 22, 1860; Theophilus, Sept. 23, 1862; Thobitha, Sept. 14, 1864 (last three are still inmates of the paternal home); Emma, born Oct. 30, 1866, is the wife of Adam Miller, of Benton Township; Talitha, born Nov. 6, 1870; Emanuel, Sept. 16, 1872; Joseph, Feb. 10, 1876; and Benjamin, April 19, 1868, are still residing at home.
In politics Mr. Schmeiser is a Democrat. He is a man that stands well in the community where he resides, and enjoys the love and respect of all. A fine view of his home is given in connection with this brief biography.
George W. Scholes, Treasurer of West Burlington, and gang foremen of the machine department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy shops, was born Oct. 17, 1848, in Liverpool, England, and is a son of George C. and Elizabeth (Handler) Scholes, both of whom were natives of England. The father was Chief Engineer in the English Navy for thirty years, but for the past five years has been placed on the retired list of pensioned Engineers.
The subject of this sketch received his education in London, and at the age of fourteen went to Leeds, England, where he began learning the trade of a machinist, and after remaining there for six years once more went to London. He made that his home for but six months, and then, in 1868, left his native land and sailed for America. After landing in New York, he came directly to Burlington, where he was employed with a Mr. Andrews for three months, and then secured work in the railroad shops of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy as a journeyman. Mr. Scholes continued in that employ for seven years, but in 1875 made a visit to his old home. He remained in his native land for seven and a half years, during which time he worked for the English government in the Portsmouth stock yards, and returned to America in 1882. He again secured employment with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.
On the 6th of February, 1871, he wedded Miss Annie Butler, who was born in Burlington in 1856, and is a daughter of James and Catherine (O'Brien) Butler, the father a native of Ireland, the mother of London, England, though of Irish ancestry. They came to America in 1848, locating first in Chicago, and in 1853 removed to Galesburg, Ill., and later to Burlington. Mr. Butler was killed by the cars, near West Burlington, about the year 1868; his wife is still living and is a resident of this city. Three children grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. Scholes: George C., Flora and William H. Mrs. Scholes is a member of the Congregational Church of West Burlington and also of the I. O. G. T. Politically, Mr. Scholes is a Republican; and socially, he is a member of the A. O. U. W. In the spring of 1888, he was elected on the People's ticket as City Treasurer.
Thomas C. Scholes, general foreman of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy shops at West Burlington, was born in the borough of Leeds,
Yorkshire, England, July 15, 1827, and is a son of George and Mary (Coggin)
Scholes, who were natives of Lincolnshire. The subject of this sketch
was reared and educated in his native county, and, at the age of fourteen,
he was apprenticed to the machinist's trade, and became a thorough mechanic.
On the 4th of July, 1849, Mr. Scholes landed in New York City, and for
a short time was engaged in the construction of the Erie Railroad. Later
he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1850 he came to Burlington, his
first employment being in the Hendrie Machine Shops. In 1858 securing
work with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, he
has since continued in their service, and for the past eleven years
has been general foreman. In 1862, receiving an appointment from Gideon
Welles, Secretary of the Navy, as engineer, and being ordered to Cincinnati,
Mr. Scholes shipped on the "Indianola," and was on board when
the vessel passed Vicksburg, and when she was sunk. He was taken prisoner,
and, with others of his comrades, was taken to Port Hudson, and later
to Richmond, where he was confined in the Libby Prison from the 24th
of February until the 25th of May, when they were sent to City Point
and exchanged. After a leave of absence of thirty days, he was sent
to Skepworth Landing, forty miles above Vicksburg, and in the following
December, he resigned, arriving home some time in January, 1864. In
early life, Mr. Scholes was an abolitionist, was one of the conductors
of the Underground Railroad, and assisted many poor negroes to gain
their freedom. In the history of West Burlington no man has been more
prominent. He was one of the Commissioners to incorporate the town,
and was elected the first Mayor. Politically, he is a stanch Republican.
Socially, he belongs to Mathes Post G. A. R., of Burlington, and is
also a member of the oldest Masonic lodge in the State, of which he
is now Past Master and has been its representative in the Grand Lodge.
In February, 1851, in Burlington, Iowa, Thomas C. Scholes
was united in marriage with Miss Harriet C. Happing, the ceremony being
performed by the Rev. Dr. Salter. Mrs. Scholes was born on Long Island,
N. Y., in 1831, and by this union there were nine children, eight of
whom are living--George C., a machinist of Los Angeles, Cal.; Thomas
J., an engineer of Topeka, Kan.; Charles F., residing in Burlington;
Hattie, deceased; William H., of West Burlington; Henry G., also a resident
of Burlington; Mary, wife of Fred Kann, of Mendon, Ill.; Flora E., residing
at home; and Edward H., of West Burlington. On the 29th December, 1855,
the death of Mrs. Scholes occurred. She was a sincere Christian lady,
a member of the Congregational Church, and was active in all work of
the same. She helped organize the first Church in West Burlington, its
first Sunday-School was held and organized in her own home, and her
death was deeply mourned by a large number of friends. Her funeral was
attended by a large concourse of people, and a special train was tendered
by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy for the occasion. Mr. Scholes
was again married to Mrs. R. E. Twentyman, widow of Henry Twentyman,
becoming his wife. Mr. Scholes is a self-made man, and is well posted
on all the affairs of the county.
Upon another page is a well-executed portrait of this
gentleman, which will be appreciated by the large number of his friends
who are patrons of this work.
L. Scholl, President
of the Burlington Saddlery Company, was born in Southern Prussia, March
5, 1844, and is a son of Peter and Mary (Gemmer) Scholl. He received
a liberal education, served a regular apprenticeship to the harness
and saddlery trade in his native Province, and emigrated to America
in 1865. He came directly to Iowa, making his home at Des Moines
for a short time, but settled in Burlington the same year of his arrival
in the State.
Like many of his countrymen
who have attained a good position, socially and financially, upon American
soil, Mr. Scholl came to this country poor in purse, and at first employed
himself at whatever he could find to do to make an honest living.
He soon secured a job as a journeyman harness-maker, and was thus occupied
until 1873, when he opened up a shop for himself. This he carried
on successfully for a period of ten years, and was instrumental in incorporating
the Burlington Saddlery Company, and is now Superintendent of the wholesale
department, in addition to his office as President. A history
of this company, which maintains an important position among the industries
of Burlington, will be found elsewhere in this work.
The subject of this
sketch was married in Burlington, Sept. 29, 1869, to Miss Johanna Helena,
daughter of Frederick Lindstadt, of this city. Mrs. Scholl was
born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, and emigrated to America in 1864. The
seven children of this union, one son and six daughters, are named as
follows: Augusta, Frederick, Dorothea, Anna, Laura, Amelia and
Helena, all born in Burlington. Mr. Scholl and his family are
connected with the German Lutheran (Zion) Church. In politics
Mr. S. is independent. When a member of the family who has lived
for many generations in a foreign country breaks away from the ties
of kindred and old associations to emigrate to the New World, and found
a family, it is an event in its history worthy of being made a matter
of record. Mr. Scholl stands in that relation to his kindred,
and years hence his descendants, after many generations shall have passed
away, will point to this record as the true history of the founding
of their family in the New World.
Mr. Scholl is a thorough
master of his business, and has by industry, frugality, and patient
application to duty, won success. He stands at the head of one
of the most important industries of the city, the outgrowth of the modest
business he started in 1873.
Philip Schroder, deceased, was born in Hiddenhouse,
Germany, Jan. 23, 1825. In accordance with the law he was placed in
school at the age of seven years, remaining there until he was fourteen
years of age, when he entered the German army, serving seven years and
participating in the War of 1848. His parents were Hermann and Margaret
Schroder, who were also natives of Hiddenhouse. The former lived
all of his lifetime in the house in which he was born, and in which
he died in 1857, leaving a widow and several children. The widowed
mother lived in her German home for eleven years after her husband's
death, but in 1868 she emigrated to America, following her son Philip,
and accompanied by her son Bernhard. She and her son came direct
to Iowa, settling on a farm in Franklin Township, Des Moines County,
where she died in 1870.
Prior to the War of 1848 Philip Schroder was united
in marriage with Miss Mary Kuhlmann, who was born in Hiddenhouse, Germany,
April 28, 1823. Mrs. Schroder is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth
(Ravenek) Kuhlmann, who were also natives of the same place, who lived
there all their lives, and died there, the mother in 1857 and the father
a few years later.
Before leaving their native country in 1852, one child
was born to Philip and Mary Schroder--Annie M., now the wife of Henry
Schroder, a merchant and miller at Hopper's Mills, Henderson Co., Ill.
Our subject with his wife and child crossed the Atlantic in the year
named, settling near Buffalo, Erie Co., N. Y., and there remained for
about twelve years. In that county four other children were born
to them: Eliza, who is now an invalid, living with her mother;
Mary, who died in infancy; Louisa, who became the wife of Henry Fullmer,
a farmer of Benton Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa; Amelia and Ella.
The youngest child was born after the family became residents of Des
Moines County. In 1864 Mr. Schroder removed from New York State
to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he purchased thirty-two acres of farm
land in Franklin Township, where he made his home until 1875.
At that time he sold his land, purchasing eighty acres of tillable land
and twenty acres of timber land in Yellow Spring Township. This
land was in a wild, uncultivated state, but the work of improvement
was immediately begun, each member of the family assisting until the
farm became one of the best in the township. A two-story farm
residence was erected, but just before its completion the death angel
visited the family circle, and the loving husband and tender father
was taken to his long rest Aug. 23, 1885. He was active in all
educational and church work, and was a member of the German Methodist
Episcopal Church, as were also the other members of the family.
In his political views he advocated the principles of the Republican
party. In his death the family lost a wise counselor, his neighbors
a kind friend, and the county one of her best citizens.
George R. Scott, deceased, was one of Burlington's honored citizens, who was born in Newton Falls, Trumbull Co., Ohio, Aug. 10, 1831, and was a son of Andrew and Adeline (Taylor) Scott, the father a native of Delaware and the mother of Ohio. When nineteen years of age, Andrew Scott made a trip across the Alleghany Mountains to Ohio, settling near Cleveland at an early day. At the time of his location, he could have traded his horse and saddle for a large part of that now populous city. He was a pioneer member of the Christian Church. His death occurred in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1875, his wife having preceded him to her final home, her death occurring in 1870.
Our subject was the only child of this worthy couple. His education was received in his native county, where he was one of the first students of what is now Hiram College, in Portage County, Ohio. At the time of his attendance, President Garfield was also one of the pupils. Leaving school about the year 1853, Mr. Scott entered a dry goods house in Newton Falls, Ohio, as a salesman, and was there employed until the 24th of March, 1855, when he came to Burlington, Iowa, and engaged with Shepley & Ware, traveling with a Yankee-notion wagon through Eastern Iowa, and making the trip with a four-horse team. After four years in this line of business, he, in 1859, secured employment with the wholesale grocery house of Hayden & Ruby until December, 1860, when he started out on the road, being the first commercial salesman from Burlington. In this line of work, which he followed for six years, he was very successful, but at the end of that time, in company with F. A. Smith, he established the Smith, Scott & Co. Mississippi Tobacco Works at Burlington, and traveled in the interest of the company till 1870, when he quit the road and followed the business in the city until 1873. In 1869, Mr. Scott met with a railroad accident, in which his right arm was so mangled that he had to have it amputated. In 1873, he sold out his business in Burlington and retired from active life.
On the 30th of January, 1859, Mr. Scott was united in marriage with Emeline M. Filley, who was born in Windham, Portage Co., Ohio, and is a daughter of Harlow and Jane L. (King) Filley. Her father, who was a native of Connecticut, died in October, 1839. The mother is yet living in Newton Falls at the advanced age of seventy-eight. She united with the Christian Church in 1827, and for sixty-one years has been one of its active members.
To Mr. and Mrs. Scott were born two children: Harry A., born March 24, 1860, is in the employ of the agricultural house off G. M. Moore & Co., of Peoria, Ill.; Walter H., born March 9, 1866, is a compositor, and at present engaged on the staff of the Journal, in Lincoln, Neb. The subject of this sketch was called from this busy life to his final home April 14, 1883. He was liberal, generous and upright, one of Nature's noblemen, and a highly respected citizen of Des Moines County. He was a sincere and consistent member of the Christian Church, to which organization his wife also belongs, and in which she is an active worker.
Seamans, deceased, was born in Virginia, October, 1799, and moved to
Muskingum County, Ohio, when he was but a child. In that county
he became acquainted with and married Miss Jane Crawford, a daughter
of William and Nancy (Crow) Crawford. By this union nine children
were born, the three eldest in Muskingum County, namely: William,
who was thrown from a horse and killed, and Gilbert, who died in childhood;
and Henry C., who took part in the Kansas troubles with Jim Lane and
John Brown. He was one of the number who undertook to release
John Brown while he was a prisoner at Harper's Ferry. He afterward
enlisted in the 3d Kansas Cavalry, being Captain of one of its companies,
and served in that capacity until 1862, when he was sent back to organize
a colored regiment, but as the war was about over it was never mustered
into service. After his return from the field of battle, he served
as Mayor of Baxter Springs, Kan., and while making an arrest was shot
and instantly killed. This was on the 7th of November, 1870. His family are yet residents of that city.
B. Seamans with his family removed to Burlington, Iowa, in 1834. At
that time the now populous city was but a village containing but twelve
log cabins. After their removal to it, six other children were
born to Mr. and Mrs. Seamans: Benjamin B., born July 12, 1835,
supposed to be the oldest white person living born in Iowa, was also
engaged in the Kansas troubles, and is now a resident of Mount Pleasant,
Iowa; Robert M., born Sept. 13, 1837, served as First Lieutenant of
Company D, 25th Iowa Infantry, was taken sick with measles, and died
at his home Feb. 4, 1863; Serena, born Feb. 8, 1841, and now Mrs. M.
B. Calkins, of Flint River Township; Orange S., born Nov. 21, 1843,
was also a member of Company D, 25th Iowa Infantry, and died Jan. 26,
1863; James W., born Aug. 4, 1846, was a member of Company G, 45th Iowa
Infantry and is now a resident of Kansas City; Nancy Louisa, widow of
John Walker, is residing in Kansas.
to failing health Mr. Seamans made a trip to California in 1850 with
the hope of regaining his usual strength, but he was taken sick and
died Aug. 30, 1850, fifteen days after his arrival in the Dry Creek
mining district. A public-spirited man, one who always took a
front rank in every enterprise for the good of the community, highly
respected by his friends and acquaintances for his many noble qualities
and greatly respected as a citizen, his death was a great loss to the
county. He and his wife were both members of the Wesleyan Methodist
Church. Mrs. Seamans still resides with her children in Kansas,
having reached the age of eighty-two, and is a well preserved and most
estimable lady. In his early life he was a strong anti-slavery
man and a supporter of the Whig party. He filled various public
offices and faithfully discharged his duties.
Harvey Seeds, Esq., a resident of Mediapolis, Iowa, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Mercer County, Oct. 14, 1814. He is a son of William and Martha (Seeds) Seeds, the father being a native of Ireland, County Down, parish of St. Field, and the mother a native of Pennsylvania. William Seeds received a liberal education before he left Ireland. In 1794 he sailed for America, in company with other members of the family. After reaching America he engaged as a traveling salesman for a few years, his route being through Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 1796 he was united in marriage with Martha Seeds, a distant relative of his, and then took up his residence in Mercer County, Pa., where, in partnership with his brother John, a farm was purchased, consisting of 400 acres of raw land. Here they resided until 1819, when Mr. Seeds, with his family, removed to Pickaway County, Ohio, his brother John having died in Pennsylvania the year previous. In that county Mr. Seeds purchased 150 acres of unimproved woodland, which he proceeded to clear and cultivate, and there spent the remainder of his days, engaged in farming, his death occuring in 1842, at the age of seventy-six. His wife survived him several years, dying in September, 1848. They were both members of the Christian Church, and Mr. Seeds was a man of good business ability. When he came to this country he was without money, but by industry and economy he accumulated considerable property, owning 600 acres of land at the time of his death. Harvey Seeds, our subject, spent his early life upon a farm. He received but little educational advantages, being compelled to work upon the farm most of the time, only being allowed to attend the subscription schools for a short time during the winter. He lived with his parents until the 3d of September, 1837, when he was married to Miss Mary Ann Hatten, who was born April 12, 1820, in Madison County, Ohio, and is a daughter of Edward Hatten, a native of Pennsylvania. The young couple began their domestic life on a piece of woodland comprising seventy-six acres, which Mr. Seeds had purchased. The trees were cut down and cleared away and in the forest was developed a fine farm, upon which they resided until 1854, when they emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, settling in Yellow Spring Township, on section 19. A partially improved farm of 200 acres, formerly belonging to Dr. Fullenwider, was purchased, and here the family resided until November, 1886, when, renting the land, they took up residence in Mediapolis.
Mr. and Mrs. Seeds have been the parents of eleven children: Milton J., a farmer and breeder of fine stock, of Yellow Spring Township; Melinda, wife of E. Bidwell, who is proprietor of a hotel in What Cheer, Iowa; Martha, wife of F. Wycoff, of Adams County, Iowa; Lewis B., a farmer of Yellow Spring Township; William E., a farmer of Washington Township; Jennie, wife of J. B. Stein, a farmer of Adams County, Iowa; Franklin S., who is engaged in teaching in Lane County, Kan.; Alice, wife of C. B. Pilling, a miller of Kossuth, Iowa; Cyrus died at the age of seventeen years; George and Mary Ellen both died in infancy. For over thirty years Mr. and Mrs. Seeds have been devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Seeds has held the office of Steward and President of the Board of Trustees for many years, and all of their children are members of this Church. For eight years, Mr. Seeds held the office of Justice of the Peace, and also served as Township Trustee two terms. He took an active part in Sunday-school work in younger years, and although yet feeling a great interest in the work is unable to perform the part he once did. Now living a retired life in Mediapolis, Mr. Seeds can look back upon a well-spent life and may well be proud of the family of Christian men and women who do honor to his name. On the 3d of September, 1887, a half-century of wedded happiness was completed and their golden wedding was celebrated, at which all their children were present, together with twelve grand-children and one great-grandchild.
Lewis B. Seeds, residing on section 31, Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, Sept. 7, 1848, and is a son of Harvey and Mary Ann (Hatten) Seeds, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject came to this country in 1852 with his parents, who settled on a farm near Kossuth, where he was reared, receiving his early education at the district schools, later pursuant a course in the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant. On the 4th of May, 1871, the marriage of L. B. Seeds and Mary J. Frame was celebrated. She is a native of this county, and a daughter of W. J. Frame. Shortly after their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon a farm, consisting of eighty acres of section 32 of Yellow Spring Township, which Mr. Seeds had purchased, and there they resided for ten years, and then removed to section 31, where they still live. The farm, consisting of 235 acres, is one of the most finely cultivated in the township.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Seeds: George Franklin, born Feb. 22, 1872; Cora M.; Stella, who died at the age of one year; and Harvey Milton. Mr. Seeds commenced the breeding of Jersey cattle in 1886, and now has six head of registered stock, together with fine-grade horses. He is an energetic farmer, and one of the highly-respected citizens of the county. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
E. G. Segner, of the firm of Brooks, Smith & Taylor, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, Oct. 28, 1840, and is a son of Benjamin and Rebecca (Houts) Segner. The family are of German origin, and can trace their ancestry back to the Colonial times of this country. Our subject was reared upon his father's farm, and at the age of twenty-two went to Illinois, there engaging as a farm hand for two years, when he was employed in a publishing house, of which his brother, Isaac F., was one of the partners. He traveled for that house for five years, having his headquarters at Columbus, Ohio, after which he engaged in the insurance business for a period of two years, but subsequently turned his attention to the grocery business, acting as a salesman for Barden, Segner & Co. two years, and then was employed as traveling salesman for the firm of Biklen, Winzer & Co. for the succeeding five years. On the 1st of March, 1880, he helped to organize the firm of Bell, Tollertore & Co., of which he was a member, and he maintained his relations to this house until March 1, 1883, when Mr. Tollertore retired from the firm, and it was re-organized, under the firm name of Bell, Smith & Segner, which firm continued until March 1, 1886, when it was incorporated as the Bell, Smith Grocery Company. Upon the death of Mr. Bell, in August, 1887, the firm name was changed to the Brooks, Smith & Taylor Company. On the 19th of February, 1869, our subject and Miss C. Eva Allen were married, the ceremony being performed in Morris County, N. J. She was born in Sussex County, N. J., and is a daughter of William and Mary Allen. Three children have been born of this union: Willie Frank, born Dec. 19, 1870, at Marshalltown, Iowa, is a bright scholar, having graduated from the Burlington High School when sixteen years of age, taking the three-years course in two years, and is now a student of Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa; Freddie, born Jan. 5, 1872, died June 11, 1873; and Robert Wallace, who was born at Burlington, Jan. 10, 1875. Mr. Segner and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, of which he is an Elder. In politics he was originally a Democrat, but in 1882 voted for prohibition in Iowa, then stood aloof until 1884, when he again voted with the Democratic party, though without changing his views in regard to prohibition. He expects to do the same in 1888.
Henry C. Seymour, a farmer residing on section 28, Danville Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, is the eldest son of Wolcott and Amelia (Harkins) Seymour, who were among the early settlers of this part of the county, and whose biography appears at length in another part of this work. H. C. was born in Danville, April 8, 1844, the year Henry Clay ran for President, he being named for him. Our subject was reared on his father's farm and received his education in the district common schools. On the 25th of August, 1862, he enlisted in the 15th Iowa Infantry, Company E., and served until the close of the war, participating in all the engagements in which his regiment took part. He was mustered out of the service at the close of the war, and returned to Danville, where he has since engaged in farming. On the 21st of November, 1871, Mr. Seymour was united in marriage with Miss Isabella Clingman, daughter of Cyrus Clingman, of Danville Township, being one of its early settlers. He was born in 1800, and is still hale and hearty, at the age of eighty-eight. One child was born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Seymour--Guy, who was born Sept. 13, 1872. In politics Mr. Seymour is a supporter of the Republican party, though he has never sought public distinction by aspiring to office of any kind, preferring to devote his entire energies to the cultivation of his farm, which is finely improved and well supplied with large and commodious buildings. He is an enterprising and successful agriculturist, is genial and cordial in disposition, upright in his dealings, and enjoys the confidence and respect of the community generally.
Hon. Wolcott Seymour, deceased, the first son of Jeremiah Seymour and Emily
Demming, his wife, was born Aug. 17, 1813, in Hartford County, Conn.
His ancestors were from England, being among the first settlers in Connecticut.
About 1675 three brothers came to this country, and from these all the
Seymours have descended, among whom we may mention the Hon. Horatio
Seymour, at one time Governor of New York, and Hon. Thomas H. Seymour;
the latter was educated at West Point, held the office of Colonel in
the Mexican War, was elected Governor of Connecticut, also Congressman
from the Hartford District, and was appointed Minister to Russia.
In 1838 Mr. Seymour left the scenes of his youth, gave up the comforts
of a pleasant home, and migrated to Iowa, landing in Burlington July
5, the day after it became a Territory. After exploring six months
he concluded to make Danville his future home. Beginning life
in moderate circumstances, Mr. Seymour entered 320 acres of wild land,
which he immediately began improving, but when the land came into market
in 1839, it could hardly be called a home. In the course of time,
it, with many other farms, became an oasis in the wilderness, and at
the present writing is a fine farm with improvements second to none
in the country. Mr. Seymour held the office of Justice of the
Peace for twenty-nine years, and for eight years the office of Secretary
of the School Board. Originally a Whig, he afterward joined the
ranks of the Republican party, and was a supporter of he principles
and doctrines which the party recognized in their platform. In
1852 Mr. Seymour was elected to the Legislature as a Representative
from Des Moines County; being elected by the Whigs, he was a member
of a small minority, the Democracy holding the balance of power. In 1877 our subject was chosen to represent the Republican party as
her choice, and Hon. Wolcott Seymour became, for the second time, a
member of the House of Representatives, and his former experience, added
to his well-known decision, made him a valued member of the Seventeenth
General Assembly of the State.
was united in marriage, Feb. 3, 1842, with Miss Amelia Harkins, of Wheeling,
W. Va., that being her native State. Two sons graced the union:
Henry C., husband of Isabella Clingman, who is a resident of Danville
Township, and John H., who resides upon and is part owner of the old
homestead. The death of Mrs. Amelia Seymour occurred in 1865,
and the second marriage of Wolcott Seymour was celebrated Jan. 2, 1873,
Mrs. Mary (Hull) Robinson becoming his wife. She was born in England,
and in Burlington wedded her first husband, Henry Robinson, who was
a soldier in the late war, and died from disease contracted while in
the service. One daughter completed their family, Flora S., now
the wife of Charles Messenger, train dispatcher for the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy Railroad, of Burlington.
was elected President of the Burlington Insurance Company, and served
seventeen years, or until his death, Oct. 19, 1884. With other
large business interests at hand, aside from the duties pertaining to
that office, he found time to attend to all in the most satisfactory
manner, and under his direction the Burlington Insurance Company grew
and prospered until it stands second today to none in the State of Iowa.
As a citizen, Mr. Seymour was one of the most enterprising; as a man
of business, one of the most sagacious; as a father, none was kinder,
and he was a husband of whom any woman might feel proud. The various
public trusts held by him betoken his honesty of character, and when
the death of Wolcott Seymour was announced, a deep sorrow came upon
the community in which he resided. We desire to do justice to
the memory of this gentleman, who was twice elected to the General Assembly
of Iowa, and to so many positions of trust in his township and county.
His death occurred upon the Seymour homestead at Danville Center in
his seventy-first year. He was the first Clerk of Danville Township,
and from his first to his last official act, integrity and honesty of
purpose were manifest.
John Sharp, deceased. The pleasant memories which cluster around the names of those who during their lifetimes were accorded a proud place among men, are to be perpetuated only in history. To preserve the identity of the gentleman above named, and to give him and his family a place in the history of the country in which they have lived long and worthily, is both the duty and pleasure of the historian. Our subject was born in Washington County, Pa., and was a son of John and Jane (McCarroll) Sharp. John Sharp, Sr., was a native of Scotland, and emigrated to America, settling in Washington County, Pa. His marriage to Jane McCarroll, a lady born in Ireland, was celebrated in Pennsylvania, and there, in 1812, John, Jr., their eldest son, was born. After him came William, now a resident of Jasper County, Iowa, who wedded Elizabeth Garrett; Joseph, deceased, wedded Mary J. Martin; Officer wedded Sarah A. Long, and resides in Grant County, Ore.; Alex H. wedded Elizabeth Hemphill, a sister of Mrs. Sharp; Mary became the wife of William Martin; and Samuel died unmarried.
John Sharp, Jr., was united in marriage in Pennsylvania, in 1837, with Miss Sarah Hemphill, now his widow, and for several years after their marriage they remained on a farm in that State. Mrs. Sharp is a daughter of Thomas and Delilah (Tarney) Hemphill. Thomas Hemphill was born in 1772, in County Armagh, Ireland, prior to the removal of his parents to America, and his wife, a native of Monongahela City, Pa., was born in 1781, thus being one of the early births in the history of that State. The marriage of that couple was celebrated in the city of her birth, and both died in the State of Pennsylvania. They were parents of eight children, of whom the following survive: Nancy married Robert C. Stewart, of Butler County, Ohio; Elizabeth, wife of William Martin, of Warren County, Iowa; James T. wedded Saria Murdock, a resident of Washington County, Pa., of which he is Sheriff. Mrs. Sharp is the eldest of these children and was born in 1811.
The Sharp family moved to Brown County, Ill., in 1844, and after two years' residence near Mt. Sterling, pushed farther west, and a location was made upon the land, now a beautiful farm, in Danville Township, purchased of H. A. Ritner, a pioneer, in the springtime of 1846. William Sharp, with his family, had preceded his brother John, and had erected a small house upon an adjoining tract, in which both families lived until the latter erected a house, the same in which his widow now resides, though it has been entirely remodeled, but the same frame and foundation remain. The giant elm tree that rears its branches so proudly above their chamber window was planted by Mr. Sharp the same spring they came, and is truly a monument to his memory. Beneath its spreading branches and its grateful shade their children have played, have grown to be men and women, and yet the old tree remains as a guardian angel to remind them of him who, in the early days of Des Moines County, began the work of developing for them a home in the new Northwest. Their two eldest children, James O. and Carrie N., the latter the wife of George Hill, a photographer of Burlington, were born in Pennsylvania; Margaret J., wife of George Smith, of Decater County, Iowa, was born in Illinois; Sarah M., Mary A. and John P. were born in Iowa upon the old homestead. The son, John P., is the husband of Alice Hemmings, whose father, John Hemmings, was one of the most worthy farmers of Danville Township, and of him a biography appears elsewhere in this volume.
John Sharp was a prosperous farmer and his children were carefully educated, his eldest daughter, prior to her marriage, having taught school in this county for a number of terms. As the years flew by Mr. Sharp and his good wife saw their possessions increased, and their toil was rendered lighter by the joys of a happy wedded life. Both were members of the United Presbyterian Church, and their children were reared in that faith. The death of that honored gentleman occurred Jan. 7, 1882, and his remains were interred in the Linns Point Cemetery, near Middletown. We are pleased to give this biography of the family who have been so favorably known for many years in the county, and it is highly gratifying to note that his widow, now in her seventy-fifth year, is in good health and easy circumstances. Her daughters, Sarah and Mary, and the eldest son, James, constitute the family, and the good mother still presides as hostess of a hospitable mansion. A portrait of this honored pioneer is herewith presented to the readers of this ALBUM.
William H. H. Shelby, deceased, was born at Charlestown, Ind., Feb. 22, 1818, where his early life was spent. In later years, he removed to Boonville, same State, where he was engaged in writing and doing office work, was elected Recorder for Warrick County for one term, and wrote in the county offices for many years. He also clerked for his brother-in-law in Booneville, Ind. On the 4th of March, 1840, the marriage of Mr. Shelby and Miss Mabel Spelman, daughter of Ohel Spelman, occurred. By this union seven children were born--Isaac O., Irene M., Henry G., Cora O., and three who died in infancy. Isaac remained in Indiana until fifteen years of age, then removed with his parents to Sterling, Ill., and subsequently, in 1862, went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, soon after enlisting in the 25th Iowa Infantry, in Capt. Smith's Company, serving until the close of the war. He then received a Government clerkship, remaining in Washington, D. C., for two years, joined the Regular Army in 1868 as Second Lieutenant of Company G, 34th United States Infantry, was afterward transferred to the 16th United States Infantry, and later promoted to the position of First Lieutenant. At one time he had charge of six National Cemeteries, being Superintendent and Paymaster. He was stationed at various places, among which were Fort Riley and Fort Wallace, Kansas, and also at Fort Concho, Texas, where his death occurred, in Aug. 9, 1883. At Vicksburg, Miss., April 7, 1874, he was united in marriage with Mary L. Brown, and by this union two children were born--Frank and Harry. The second living child of Mr. Shelby is Irene M., the wife of A. E. Millspaugh, whose sketch appears in this work. Henry G., the third child, came to Burlington, in 1871, when about sixteen years of age, having previously lived in Sterling, Ill., and Eddyville, Iowa, and is at present engaged as head clerk with P. M. Crapo.
Benjamin W. Shepherd, dealer in stock. One of the best known men in the western part of Des Moines County is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He has been in active business for many years, and since the building of the C. B. & Q R. R., has shipped at least four-fifths of the stock loaded at Danville. Mr. Shepherd is a native of Brooke County, Va. (now in West Virginia), born Feb. 28, 1823, and is a son of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Lewis) Shepherd, both of whom died in Virginia. They were parents of nine children, all of whom reached a majority and were married. John became the husband of Amanda Sockman, and is a farmer of Johnson County, Mo.; Charles wedded Martha Gorby, and resides in Clark County, Mo.; Kanacka wedded Henry Sockman, a butcher at Clarksburg, W. Va.; Bazaleel became a local Methodist Episcopal minister, married Henrietta Sockman, and for many years was a farmer in Cass County, Iowa; Benjamin W.; Hannah, widow of Jesse Roberts, resides at Moundsville, Va.; Mary, wife of Reason Yeater, a farmer of Marshall County, W. Va.; Nathan, residing in West Virginia, married Rebecca Richmand; Keziah, widow of Jacob Mason, resides in Marshall County, W. Va.
Our subject was married to Miss Sophia Roberts near Moundsville, Marshall Co., W. Va., March 24, 1854. Her father, John Roberts, was born in Maryland went to Virginia, and there married Eunice Garlow. Both remained in that State during the rest of their lives. Of their ten children, five are living--Josephus, husband of Adaline Baker, is a farmer of Union County, Iowa; John, a farmer of Beaver County, Pa., wedded Mary Pella; Albert, a resident of Moundsville, W. Va., is the husband of Lavina Dietz; Fletcher, a retired merchant of Moundsville, married Henrietta Swan; and Jacob of Newark, Ohio, married Sarah Strawn. Resuming now the personal sketch of our subject, we find he and his wife en route to Iowa three weeks after their marriage. Their honeymoon was partly passed in the trip from Moundsville, W. Va., they coming via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, landing at Burlington, in April, 1854. Mr. Shepherd purchased ninety acres of the southwest quarter of section 23, Danville Township, in 1856, but had already spent two seasons in farming Iowa soil. Upon this tract he erected a house, and eighteen months later purchased twenty acres adjoining the village of Danville, to which he added 137 acres, and another eighty afterward. The eighty acres adjoining the original town plat was next secured, and upon this his son-in-law, Mr. John E. Simmons, lives.
Five children were born to Mr. Shepherd and his wife in this county, four of whom are living--William L., of Nebraska; John, a partner with his father in the stock business; Haward H., a liveryman and dealer in coal and grain at Raton, N. M.; and Clara B., the eldest daughter, wife of John Simmons.
In 1859, Mr. Shepherd put in the first pair of stock scales at Danville. From 1862 to 1880 the money disbursed by him in this neighborhood for stock shipped, ran up to an output of $100,000 a year. During the war, it was not an uncommon occurrence for him to pay, in a single day, to farmers in this neighborhood, $15,000, the shipments frequently reaching 500 head per day. Such men as he gave an impetus to trade that made itself felt in Danville Township, and, from its first settlement, a prosperous and intelligent class of men located, and to-day she stands second to none it the county, in an agricultural, social, moral or financial sense. Churches and schools were build, societies organized, and to these Mr. Shepherd allied himself in an early day. He is almost a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee. He is also a member of Danville Lodge, No. 48, A. F. & A. M.
John M. Sherfey, President of the Rand Lumber Company, and a pioneer of Burlington of 1837, was born near Boonsboro, Frederick Co., Md., Dec. 2, 1831, and is a son of Solomon and Catherine (McNeil) Sherfey. He came to Burlington, Iowa, with his parents in 1837, but the family soon removed to a farm on Flint Creek, where the father had a sawmill, which was situated about three miles north of the city of Burlington. Mr. Sherfey was reared on a farm, working in the mill as his services were required. When twenty-one years of age he engaged with E. D. Rand, as salesman in the lumber business, and was subsequently admitted to partnership in the firm of E. D. Rand & Co., and in 1879 helped to organize the Rand Lumber Company, which was an outgrowth of the former business. This is an incorporated company, having branch yards at Bedford, Villisca, Corning, Afton and Mediapolis, Iowa, and handling about 15,000,000 feet of lumber annually, besides large quantities of shingles, lath, etc. Mr. Sherfey has been connected with this business continuously since 1852, and has risen from the position of an humble employe to that of President of the company. He has been connected with the lumber business since he was large enough to handle a board in his father's mill to the present time, covering a period of upward of forty-five years. By close application to business and unswerving integrity, he has won a foremost place among the leading business men of Burlington. He is a member of the Burlington Bridge Company, the Commercial Club, the Crystal Lake Club, and other organizations for the business and social advancement of the city. He has always taken a warm interest in educational matters and has served as a member of the School Board for nine years. In politics he is a Republican but has never been an active partisan.
Mr. Sherfey was united in marriage, Oct. 31, 1858, with Miss Mary A. Rand, eldest daughter of Hon. E. D. Rand. Mrs. Sherfey was born at Burlington, Sept. 23, 1840. Seven children were born of their union, five of whom are living: Sarah M., wife of Thomas Wilkinson, of Burlington; Mary L., wife of John H. Kendall, of Watertown, Mass.; Catherine M., wife of Henry W. Chittenden, of Burlington, Iowa; Eva died in infancy; Herbert R., a bright, intelligent young man of eighteen years, was drowned in Spirit Lake, Aug. 30, 1886, while rescuing a child from the same fate. He succeeded in saving the child's life, but lost his own. The younger children are Raymond M. and Ruth C.
A representative of the mercantile interests of Burlington, as well as an honored pioneer, he has labored long and faithfully to advance the interests of his adopted city and county. It is therefore with pleasure that his portrait, on page 556, is presented to the readers of the ALBUM.
Solomon Sherfey, deceased, a highly respected pioneer of Burlington, of 1837, was born near Gettysburg, Pa., Jan. 26, 1799, on the famous battle-field, where his father owned a large farm, a part of which has been the property of the family for four generations. His parents were Jacob and Catherine (Bossermann) Sherfey. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, born March 4, 1769. He was of German descent, his family having originally emigrated from Saxony. The first of the family to settle in America was Kasper Sherfey, who came with the original band of Dunkards who were driven from Saxony to Holland by religious persecution, and who emigrated thence to Pennsylvania about 1740. The mother of our subject was born in Pennsylvania in 1773. Her ancestors were of German origin and date their settlement in America back to 1740.
Solomon Sherfey was reared on a farm and educated at Gettysburg. Arriving at man's estate he was married, Feb. 6, 1827, at Frederick, Md., to Miss Catherine McNeil, daughter of John and Hannah (Mahn) McNeil. Mrs. Sherfey was born at Leesburg, Va., Oct. 26, 1806. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sherfey removed to Washington County, Md., where he engaged in merchandising, and there the children were born, four in number, three sons and one daughter: Caroline A. first married J. W. Roberts, who died April 19, 1851, and her second husband was the late Hon. E. D. Rand, of Burlington, Iowa, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Charles married Miss Irene Spurlock, and resides at Nebraska City, where he is engaged in horticulture; John M. married Mary A. Rand, eldest daughter of the late E. D. Rand; John M. is a prominent business man of Burlington and is now President of the Rand Lumber Company; William E. married Miss Josephine C. Woods, and resides at Council Grove, Kan., where he is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business.
In 1834 Mr. Sherfey migrated with his family to Lafayette, Ind., where he spent three years engaged in merchandising and milling. He then came to Iowa in the autumn of 1837, locating at Burlington, where he soon became engaged as a merchant, but shortly after began farming and manufacturing lumber. The farm was situated about three miles north of the city, and his sawmill was in the same locality, on what is known as Flint Creek. Mr. Sherfey improved the farm and made lumber, finding a ready market for the latter in Burlington and the surrounding country, which was then just being settled. After a few years the timber available for the use of his mill became exhausted and he discontinued the business, removing to a larger farm a few miles further distant from the city, carrying on the business of farming and stock-raising quite extensively until a short time prior to his death, when he removed to the city of Burlington. His death occurred May 6, 1876, in his seventy-eighth year. His wife, an estimable lady, survived him several years. Her death occurred Aug. 6, 1887. Mr. Sherfey adapted himself readily to the ways of a new country and was of great service to his neighbors and new-comers in helping them select land, finding Government corners and making surveys for them.
Mr. Sherfey was active in the cause of education, encouraging the establishment of schools and contributing largely to their maintenance. At his old home in the East he had received his early education, and his religious training within the Dunkard Society. On coming to Burlington he associated himself with the Methodists, and aided in building the "Old Zion" Church in 1838, the first Protestant Church edifice erected in Iowa, now historic. The building was once used as a State House by the early Territorial Government. Mr. Sherfey was a practical, consistent Christian, constant in his attention to all matters of duty, and when physically able was never absent from religious service. Toward the close of his life his d ignified figure and snow-white hair were as familiar objects to the congregation as the minister in the pulpit. In his manner he was always gentle, courteous and kind; a typical Christian, modest, unassuming and forgiving, his amiability and sweetness of disposition are characteristics well remembered by his numerous friends. Benevolent in a marked degree, the sick, needy or distressed were always sure of his sympathy and liberal aid. Upright in all the affairs of life, Mr. Sherfey commanded universal respect, and taught the Christian lessons of his Master more by example than by precept.
A portrait of Mr. Sherfey is presented in this connection, and forms a fitting accompaniment to this brief sketch.
Marcus Simpson, Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager of the Linseed Oil Company (see sketch of business under business heading), was born in the North of Ireland, Jan. 1, 1840, emigrated to America in 1857, made his home in Chicago, where he was engaged in the paint business until 1875, when he came to Burlington, Iowa. He pursued the same line of business in this city until 1880, when he formed a partnership with F. B. Jaggar in the linseed oil business. On the incorporation of the Burlington Linseed Oil Company, of which he was one of the incorporators and proprietors, and was chosen to the position he now holds as given above. Mr. Simpson is a thorough business man of progressive ideas and untiring energy. He is bound to develop the linseed oil industry in this section beyond anything yet accomplished. To that end he is endeavering to encourage the growing of flax and the use of oil cake as stock food among farmers.
Mr. Simpson is a Republican in politics of pronounced protection ideas, and while in no sense an aspirant for public office, he takes an active interest in political matters. On the 12th of October, 1864, he was married at Trout River, N. Y., to Miss Sarah J. Holbrook, a native of Franklin County, N. Y., and a daughter of Joseph and Fannie (Walker) Holbrook, who were both natives of the Green Mountain State, and were descendants of families that emigrated to that State in the seventeenth century.
Richard Stephen Skinner, one of the oldest and most trustworthy employees of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, in Iowa, and the efficient Station Agent at Burlington since 1860, was born in Westminster, London, England, on the 17th of March, 1825. His parents, Richard and Elizabeth (Nunn) Skinner, were also natives of England, the father having been born in Ashford, County Kent, and the mother in Dartmouth of Devonshire. Our subject attended school in his native city in childhood, but having lost his father in his seventh year and his mother when he was eleven, he was thrown upon his own resources at a tender age, and, when twelve years old, shipped as a cabin boy on a ship owned by Baron Rothschild, which was employed in the South of Spain in the quicksilver trade. Mr. Skinner continued to follow the sea until his twenty-first year, sailing in vessels engaged in trading in the East Indies, on the Spanish coast and in the West Indies. Four years of that time he was in the employ of Richard Green, the well-known ship owner of Blackwell.
In 1846 Mr. Skinner was married and retired from a sea-faring life, engaging as ticket collector for he London & Southeastern Railroad Company, running between London and Dover. His marriage was celebrated at Brenchley, Kent, June 1, 1846, Miss Margaret Seeley, daughter of William and Mary (Ashby) Seeley, of Kent, becoming his wife. Two children were born to them in England--Richard William, born at Brenchley, Kent, Feb. 29, 1848, married Miss Lizzie Hauer, and is now foreman of the local freight department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Burlington; and Charles George, born at Erith, Kent, England, in 1850, wedded Miss Fannie Robinson, and is a clerk in the office of J. M. Corse & Co., commission merchants of Burlington.
Mr. Skinner emigrated to America in August, 1852, and was employed for one year in the county clerk's office of Chautauqua County, N. Y., from there went to Canada, engaging as check clerk at the suspension bridge for the Great Western Railroad, now the Grand Trunk, and was subsequently stationed at Hamilton and Windsor, later being employed at Detroit with the Milwaukee, Grand Haven & Detroit Railroad, an English corporation. In 1860, Mr. Skinner engaged with the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, its line extending only form Burlington to Ottumwa, a distance of seventy-five miles. He began as check clerk, but shortly afterward took the Burlington station under contract, and at first did all the clerical work alone. One switchman and three trunk men constituted the depot and yard force, and one freight and one passenger train a day each way did all the traffic. The contrast of the business of the road at that time and at the present is worth mentioning, for now seventy men are employed about the warehouse and office, while an average of forty freight trains and seventeen passenger trains pass each way daily, besides those on the B., C. R. & N., and T., P. & W. Mr. Skinner had charge of the station under contract until 1865, when he engaged in the same capacity on salary under C. E. Perkins, and has continued with the company and its successor, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, to this date, covering a period of nearly twenty-nine years. At present he is at the head of the local freight department, a most important and responsible position.
In addition to their two sons born in the old world, Mr. and Mrs. Skinner have seven other children living, who were born in America, four sons and three daughters--Stephen, born at Mayville, Chautauqua County, N. Y., is unmarried and resides in Chaffee County, Colo., where he is engaged in mining; Elizabeth, a native of Windsor, Ont., is the wife of Calvin Himes, of Hartfield, Chautauqua Co.,, N. Y.; Walter S., born in Detroit, Mich., married Miss Viola Rogers, and is in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Minnie S., Margaret, George and William are all residing with their parents at Burlington, where they were born. The family are Episcopalians in their religious faith, and Mr. Skinner is a Republican in politics.
Among the many tried and trusted employees of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, no one, perhaps, is deserving of more favorable mention than Richard S. Skinner. Beginning as he did with the original company in its infancy and continuing with it through its growth and development, and its consolidation with one of the most important railway corporations of the United States, he has always proved true to every trust reposed in him, and competent and faithful in the discharge of every duty. Methodically exact and prompt by habit, he enforces the strictest observance of rules by his subordinates, a custom made necessary by the magnitude of the business in his care, until the local freight department at Burlington has won a reputation as one of the best managed institutions of the company.
Christian J. Slingluff, one of the pioneer settlers of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Montgomery County, Pa., Oct. 14, 1814, and is a son of John and Catherine (Loeser) Slingluff, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the father of Scotch and the mother of Welch descent. Their union was celebrated in Montgomery County, where two children were born--Christian J. and William; the latter died at the age of nine years. The mother departed this life in 1842, the father dying in 1833. He was an old-line Whig and a great admirer of Henry Clay. The subject of our sketch grew to manhood in his native county, at the age of seventeen was apprenticed to the trade of bricklayer, and, in 1837, left Pennsylvania, and going to Columbus, Ohio, there spent one year. He next took up his residence in Wheeling, W. Va., where he wedded Miss Eliza Ann Hamilton, July 12, 1840, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio, July 14, 1819. Eight children were born to them, four of whom are living: John, enlisted in the 11th United States Infantry, and served through the war; James H., Julius F. and Charles T. are all residents of Burlington. In 1855 Mr. Slingluff took up his residence in this city, and for several years was engaged in contracting and building. For the past eight years he has been superintending the brick work for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, on their Iowa Division. In early life a Whig, Mr. Slingluff, at the organization of the Republican party, joined its ranks, and has since cast his ballot with that body. He is a man of more than ordinary ability, and is well informed on all the affairs of the country. Mr. and Mrs. Slingluff have many warm friends in Burlington, and are highly respected for their many good qualities. The lady is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of this city.
John W. Slingluff, night clerk in the yard office of the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., at Burlington, Iowa, was born in Wheeling, W. Va., May 12, 1841, and is a son of Christian and Eliza Ann (Hamilton) Slingluff. He attended the public schools until eighteen years of age, thus receiving a good common-school education. In April, 1855, he emigrated to Danville, Iowa, with his parents, and there remained for three years, at the expiration of which time he removed to Burlington and learned the painter's trade with his uncle, T. C. Hamilton.
When the late war broke out Mr. Slingluff, with others of the 11th United States Infantry, marched to the front. He enlisted on the 4th of February, 1862, in Company F, and served three years in the Army of the Potomac. He participated in many of the important battles of the war, among which were the second battle of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, seven-days battle of the Wilderness, Gettysburg and Culpeper Court House. At Mine Run, he was wounded so seriously as to be unfit for active service, so was placed on detached service, being detailed in the recruiting service, stationed at Wilkes Barre, Pa. On the 5th of February, 1865, after gallantly defending his country for three years, he received his discharge.
Returning to Burlington, Mr. Slingluff obtained employment at his trade with the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., and has worked for them continuously since in several different capacities, being employed at the present time as night clerk in the yard office. The fact that he had been in the employ of the same company for twenty-three years is a sufficient guaranty of his faithfullness and skill. In his political views, he is a Democrat.
On the 15th of August, 1868, at Burlington, Iowa, Mr. Slingluff was united in marriage with Mary F. Bugle, a daughter of Patrick Bugle. Five children grace this union--Edwin, born Sept. 26, 1869; Clara J., born Aug. 18, 1871 Hattie, born Aug. 24, 1873; Lillie and John.
Julius F. Slingluff, who is among the oldest conductors on the Iowa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railraod, was born in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, Feb. 14, 1849, and is a son of C. J. and Eliza A. (Hamilton) Slingluff. He came to Des Moines County, Iowa, in 1859, with his parents, who settled in Danville. There he grew to manhood, receiving his primary education in the schools of Des Moines County, and later took a course at Bryant & Stratton's Business College, of Burlington, where he graduated in 1861. After completing his education, Mr. Slingluff began learning the painter's trade, but, finding this distasteful, went to work at railroading, as brakesman on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, working his way up to the position of freight conductor, and later becoming passenger conductor, and is now running between Burlington and Creston.
In Burlington, Iowa, Sept. 10, 1879, the marriage of Julius Slingluff and Miss Clara Hilleary was celebrated. She was born in Des Moines County, July 9, 1851, and is the youngest daughter of Alexander and Sarah (Morgan) Hilleary, her mother being the first lady to cross the Mississippi River at Burlington. By this union there are three children--Harry, Francis and Edna. Mr. Slingluff is a member of Washington Lodge, No. 1, I. O. O. F., also a member of the Order of Railway Conductors, and in politics affiliates with the Republican party.
A. J. Smith, a leading farmer residing on section 5, Pleasant Grove Township, and a pioneer of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Washington County, Va., in 1817. He is a son of Daniel and Isabel (Gilson) Smith, the father a Virginian, and the mother a native of North Carolina. The paternal grandfather, Robert Smith, who was a farmer in Virginia, his native State, served in the War of the Revolution. The maternal grandfather, William Gilson, was also a farmer by occupation, and was of Irish descent. Daniel Smith was reared upon a farm in his native State, and there was united in marriage with Isabel Gilson. In the spring of 1818, they emigrated to Washington County, Ind., where Mr. Smith rented a farm until 1823, at which time they removed to Rush County, the husband there entering eighty acres of raw timber land among the settlements of the Indians. He erected a cabin, and immediately began the improvement of the tract, grubbing up the trees, and developing a farm upon which he lived for twelve years, during which time, by his thrift and enterprise, he was enabled to double his land, both in quantity and quality. Selling out, he next made his home in Hancock County, Ind., where he purchased a partially improved farm of 160 acres, and there resided until his death, which occurred Dec. 29, 1848, at the age of sixty-five years, ten months, and twelve days. Mrs. Smith survived her husband until Aug. 15, 1864, having reached her ripe old age of eighty-one years and twenty-three days at the time of her death. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Smith was a public-spirited man, taking an active interest in all enterprises for the good of the community. He served as Probate Judge in Rush County, Ind., for a number of years, and held the same office in Hancock County. In his political views, he was a supporter of the Whig party. Noted for his honesty and integrity, he was ever a leading man in the community where he resided, and was highly esteemed by all.
To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born sixteen children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, except one, and eleven are still living: Hiram, born Jan. 28, 1805, a retired farmer of Keokuk County, Iowa; William G., born Feb. 9, 1806, died in Indiana, Feb. 16, 1868; Robert and Jane (twins), born July 26, 1808, are both deceased; Samuel, born Nov. 26, 1809, departed this life in Rush County, Ind., Aug. 13, 1835; Mary, born Sept. 1, 1810, married Thompson Fleenor, and died in 1842; Louisa, widow of Benjamin Fry, of Hancock County, Ind.; her twin-sister Lavenia, died at birth; Elizabeth, born April 15, 1814, wedded Thomas McKinnon, of Henry County, Iowa; our subject is next in order of birth; Nancy Ellen, born Sept. 24, 1819, became the wife of Solomon Tiner, of Missouri; Sarah Ann, born July 27, 1821, widow of A. J. Porter, of Dallas, Tex.; Diroxia L., born Dec. 5, 1826, married Samuel Tibbits, a resident farmer of Pleasant Grove Township, died Feb. 22, 1888; Lillas, born Dec. 24, 1828, wife of David Davis, of Keokuk County, Iowa; Jeroial D., born Jan. 14, 1829, now residing in Texas; John H., born July 16, 1832, whose home is in Keokuk County, Iowa.
At the age of twenty-five years, our subject left the parental roof and emigrated to Iowa, settling in Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines County. In the spring of 1843, he purchased 120 acres of partially improved land on section 10, immediately began the work of development, and upon that farm twelve years were passed. Then purchasing a farm on section 11 of the same township, he made it his home for the succeeding ten years, when he removed to Washington Township. After residing upon the last-purchased farm for three years, he again removed to Pleasant Grove Township, residing for twenty years on section 15, and then moved to section 5, which still continues to be his home. After having given his children farms, Mr. Smith is yet the owner of 1,518 acres of land, all of which were gained through his own efforts. His father being a poor man, he received no financial aid, but began his financial career by working for twenty-five cents a day. At the time of his emigration to Iowa, he had but $64 in money, and two ox teams, with which he commenced breaking prairie. The perseverance and energy which have made his life a success, may well serve as an example to future generations.
On the 18th of April, 1847, the marriage of Mr. Smith and Jane Westfall, a native of New York, born June 20, 1829, was celebrated. This worthy couple are the parents of twelve children, all of whom are living: Francis M., born March 20, 1848, a resident of Pleasant Grove Township; Frederick N., born Aug. 28, 1850, whose hone is in Washington Township; Isabella, born Aug. 30, 1852, is the wife of David L. Davis, of Keokuk County, Iowa; Asbury D., born May 17, 1854, is engaged in farming in Ness County, Kan.; A. J., born June 1, 1856; Mary J., born March 26, 1858, is the wife of Ira Reedfern, a farmer of Pleasant Grove Township; R. A., born April 8, 1860, whose home is in Wapello County, Iowa.; A. E., born Feb. 18, 1862, of Pleasant Grove Township; John H., born Oct. 30, 1864, residing in Jefferson County, Iowa; Minnie, born Nov. 12, 1865, wedded George Overman, of Des Moines County; Squire, born Nov. 18, 1867, now of Pleasant Grove Township; Ira, born Feb. 23, 1870, is still at home.
Mr. Smith has held various township offices, was Trustee for several terms, and County Supervisor for one term. His occupation has always been that of a farmer, though he also engages in raising and shipping stock. In the support of charitable, educational and religious institutions, he is very liberal, and in him the temperance cause finds an earnest advocate. To such men as Mr. Smith, Des Moines County owes her present prosperous condition, and as a pioneer, citizen and friend he receives the highest respect and esteem from all with whom he comes in contact. He can now look back over a well-spent life, and also takes pleasure in his children, who are honorable men and women in their several communities. The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Smith appear upon the preceding page.
C. Whit Smith, of the Brooks, Smith & Taylor Company, wholesale grocers of Burlington, Iowa, has been a resident of this State since 1856, and was born in Jefferson, Greene Co., Pa., May 20, 1833. His parents were Col. John and Ruth (Whitlatch) Smith, both of whom were of English descent, though the father was born in New Jersey, and the mother in Jefferson, Greene Co., Pa. Our subject received an academic education, and served a regular apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. He came to Burlington, Iowa, in 1856, and shortly afterward went to New London, where he was employed as merchant's clerk for Dr. W. C. Hobbs. A year and a half later, he engaged with Josiah Roberts, dealer in general merchandise and wholesale dry-goods, continuing with him about a year, and then engaged in the furniture business in New London. This he carried on until 1861, and then closed out with the intention of entering the army. He raised a company, and was commissioned First Lieutenant, but unfortunately was taken sick before beginning active duty, and was incapacitated for service in the field. He resigned his commission, but did not resume business again until 1864, when he engaged in general merchandising at New London in partnership with A. Chandler. That connection continued until 1868, when Mr. Smith withdrew from local trade and engaged as traveling salesman for E. Chamberlain & Co., wholesale grocers of Burlington, Iowa, with whom he continued until the burning of their establishment in 1877, when he entered the service of the firm of W. T. Allen & Co., wholesale grocers of Chicago, as traveling salesman. A year later he changed to the house of Collier, Robertson & Hambleton, wholesale grocers, and was employed in the same capacity by them until 1880, when he formed a partnership with Bell, Tollerton & Co., of Burlington, Iowa, in the same business. In 1883 the firm was changed to Bell, Smith & Signer, and Sept. 8, 1887, the present company was incorporated under the name of Brooks, Smith & Taylor Company. (See sketch of business under commercial heading in this work.)
On the 7th of May, 1857, at New London, Iowa, the union of Mr. Smith and Miss Isabella V. Chandler was celebrated. She is a daughter of Addison and M. E. Chandler, early settlers of New London, Iowa. One child graces this union, a son, George Otho Whit, born at New London, June 20, 1859, now cashier for Brooks, Smith & Taylor Company. Mr. Smith is a straight Republican in politics, but has never been an office-seeker. The extent of his experience in office-holding was several years service as Clerk of the School Board of New London, and also as Clerk of the same in New London Township. Socially, he is a member of Charity Lodge, No. 56, I. O. O. F. In connection with his other duties, Mr. Smith superintends the buying of the extensive stock handled by his firm. His long experience in the wholesale grocery trade has eminently fitted him for that important branch of the business.
Charles W. Smith, one of the prominent and well-to-do farmers of Des Moines County, Iowa, residing on section 21, Union Township, was born Dec. 15, 1820, in Ross County, Ohio, though he was reared in Fayette County. He is a son of William and Mary (Walker) Smith, the former a native of Pennsylvania, the latter of Virginia. After the death of her husband, which occurred in 1826, Mrs. Smith removed with her family to Fayette County, but later made her home with our subject in Des Moines County, where her death occurred in 1860. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of five children--John W., who was a soldier of the Mexican War, went to Puget Sound, in Washington Territory, many years ago; one daughter, the widow of Harvey Schags, who resides in Union Township; and our subject.
Charles W. Smith is truly one of the self-made men of Des Moines County. His father dying when he was but six years of age, he was thus early thrown upon his own resources. Remaining in Fayette County until September, 1837, he went to Vigo County, Ind., where he made his home until Nov. 1, 1841. Thinking that the West would furnish a better field for his labors, he started for Des Moines County, Iowa, and on reaching his destination immediately began working by the day. In 1842, Mr. Smith rented a farm in Union Township, upon which he remained for two years. In 1843, he began running a threshing-machine, and two years later, going to Alton, Ill., he there purchased a separator and threshing-machine. This machine, which was painted a bright blue color, was the first one of the kind that had been shipped into or used in Des Moines County, and great was the excitement it created. In the fall of 1847, he sold his machine, and in company with J. G. Ewing opened a little store in Dodgeville. Later Mr. Smith sold out his stock to Jesse Wassom, and made his first purchase of land, consisting of a small farm southwest of Burlington. In 1854, he sold this tract and purchased 260 acres on sections 21 and 22, Union Township, where he has made his home continuously since.
In October, 1840, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Elliott, a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, and by this union four children were born--Mary A., deceased, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of the leading workers, both in church and Sunday-school, where her loss was severely felt; Henry C. wedded Miss Ellen Saltzman, a native of Ringgold County, Iowa, where he is now engaged in farming; John W. wedded Miss Amanda Newburg, a native of Des Moines County, Iowa, and he is also a resident farmer of Ringgold County; Charles Frank wedded Miss Josephine Elliott, a daughter of Rev. A. C. Elliott, but in December, 1885, his death occurred. They had one child, a daughter, Frank. Mrs. Smith, the mother of these children, was called to her last rest, Nov. 26, 1873, after an illness of four years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Smith's home farm in Union Township, consisting of 320 acres, is one of the most highly cultivated in Des Moines County, and all the improvements are the work of his own hands. His success in life has all been due to his own efforts. Starting as he did in this county as a day laborer, by his energy, ability and good management he has gained a comfortable competence and is now the owner of 1040 acres of land, 320 in this county and 720 in Ringgold County, Iowa. In connection with his farming, he has been extensively engaged in raising and shipping stock, in which he was quite successful, and upon this farm may be found a fine grade of cattle, horses and hogs. In his political views, Mr. Smith is a Democrat, though very liberal. As a citizen, he is honest and upright, and receives the highest respect of all.
Frederick A. Smith, President of the Burlington Vinegar and Pickle Works, was born in Berkshire County, Mass., Dec. 31, 1829., and is a son of Enos and Nellie M. (Shaw) Smith. His parents were New England people, the father being a native of Connecticut and the mother of Massachusetts. Frederick was educated in the East, receiving an academic education, and in 1852 went to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he spent three years, coming to Burlington in 1855. The same year he engaged as traveling salesman for Samuel Robinson, wholesale dealer in cigars and tobacco. In 1860 he began business for himself in the same line at Burlington, and in 1861 began the manufacture of cigars. From 1865 until 1879 Mr. Smith was engaged in the manufacture of tobacco as a member of the firm of Smith, Cook & Co., and in 1881 joined H. Weinrich in the incorporation of the Burlington Vinegar and Pickle Works. He was chosen president of the company, and has held the position for the past seven years. The sketch of their business appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Smith was united in marriage in Lee County, Iowa, June 23, 1867, with Miss Lucy A. Parker, a native of Trumbull County, Ohio, and a daughter of Benjamin Parker, Esq. One child, a daughter, Millie P., was born of their union. Mr. and Mrs. Smith attend the First Presbyterian Church. In politics, Mr. Smith is a Republican, though not an active partisan, his experience in official affairs being limited to one term in the City Council. He is an energetic, practical business man, of broad views and ripe experience. The rapid growth of the business of his house, and the establishment of important branch houses in other cities, has been materially advanced by Mr. Smith's enterprise and push.
Frederick N. Smith, a farmer residing on sectin 28, Washington Township, was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, Aug. 28, 1850, and is the second son of A. J. and Jane (Westfall) Smith. The father was born in Virginia, and his parents were early settlers of Hancock County, Ind. When he was a young man he became a resident of Des Moines County, Iowa, when it was yet a Territory. He made the journey from Indiana to this county with an ox-team, and had only $65 in money, with which he purchased fifty acres of land. He added to this until he owned 2,000 acres of fine land, which he divided, giving each of his children a farm. Mr. Smith was a member of the Board of County Commissioners, and he and his wife are still residing in Pleasant Grove Township, where they are highly esteemed as citizens.
On the 24th of December, 1874, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Beck, of Pleasant Grove Township, who is a daughter of Conrad Beck, a large farm owner. Three children have been born of their union, two of whom are living--William G. and Justice C. Webster died at the age of two and one-half years. The first land which Mr. Smith purchased consisted of an eighty-acre tract on section 28, in Washington Township, which comprises part of his present farm, although he has added to it until he now has 400 acres in Washington Township, and about 100 acres in Pleasant Grove Township. His home is one of the most pleasantly situated in the county, and everything upon his land shows him to be a thrifty, systematic and energetic farmer. He has recently had a new barn erected at a cost of $2,000, and his cattle and horses are all thoroughbred and high grade. Since he was fifteen years old Mr. Smith has bought and shipped stock, in which he has been quite successful, and now makes a specialty of the Polled Angus cattle. He is a member of the Township Board, having held that office for five years, and is active in making out the township and county tickets. Politically, he is a supporter of the Democratic party, and has been a Mason since his twenty-first year. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Iowa J. Smith, of Burlington, Iowa, was born Jan. 1, 1838, and is the oldest male citizen born in Des Moines County. Here he grew to manhood, receiving such education as the schools of those days afforded, and as soon as he was old enough to handle a plow, he began working on the farm. In 1866 Mr. Smith built the livery stable on the corner of Third and Valley streets, engaging in that business for seven years. In 1862 he went to Idaho, and there engaged in mining, accumulating considerable wealth, and after his returned he engaged in the raising and training of fast stock, in which business he still continues. He is a thorough horseman.
Capt. J. Allison Smith, for ten years Principal of the High School, of Burlington, Iowa, was born near Wheeling, Ohio Co., W. Va., Sept. 5, 1815, and is a son of William C. Smith, who was also a native of West Virginia, born in 1797. John Allison Smith, the paternal grandfather, emigrated to the West from New England prior to the War of 1812, and in that war served under Gen. Jackson, of whom he was afterward a great admirer. William Smith also served in the whisky war of Pittsburgh, Pa. He wedded Miss Mary Neely, who was a native of Ireland, and came with her parents to America in childhood. Five children were born to this worthy couple: J. Allison, the subject of this sketch; Dorcas, wife of John Hosick; Elizabeth, wife of George Wright; Susan, wife of Thomas Todd; and William T., unmarried; the last four are residents of Leavenworth, Kan. They were all reared in the Presbyterian faith and are members of that church. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are now deceased, the former departed this life in 1843, the latter in 1851. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, his primary education being received in the West Alexandria Academy, supplemented by a course in the Washington College in Washington County, Pa., where he was graduated in 1840. He cast his first presidential vote in 1840, taking an active interest in that campaign, and in the same year he went to Mahoning County, Ohio, where he was in charge of the Canfield Academy. In 1843 he went to Wheeling, W. Va., there also having charge of the Wheeling Academy for four years, and later became Principal of the Florence (Pa.) Academy. While in the latter place he obtained a position as a teacher in a private family at Milliken's Bend, La., at a salary of $2,000 per year, but through the perseverance and influence of his advisor, the Rev. W. D. Smith, who was strongly anti-slavery in his views, and did not want him to go into a slave State, he abandoned the offer and was elected Principal of the Lebanon Academy, at Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio. After continuing in that position for four years, he went to Springfield, Ohio, where he was instrumental in building the Springfield Female Seminary at a cost of $40,000, and was the largest stockholder, having charge of the school for nearly four years, when, in 1857, he went to Edgar County, Ill., where he was Principal of the Edgar County Academy for five years. He then removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he was employed as Principal of the High School until the breaking out of the Rebellion. Having many friends in the South, it was thought by some people of Mt. Pleasant that his sympathies might be with the people of that section. He was therefore called upon by some Republicans to ascertain his views in regard to the impending struggle. Feeling somewhat injured by the way he was approached, Mr. Smith mounted a stand, and in a speech made to a large crowd, which soon gathered round, he gave them to understand that his sympathies were wholly with the Union. It was now vacation time and he made a trip to the East. On his return to Mt. Pleasant he was greatly surprised to find a company which had been enlisted gathered at the depot to meet him, with a band of music. His astonishment was even greater on being informed that he had been elected Captain. Placed in a position from which he hardly knew how to extricate himself, and having a family depending upon him for support, Mr. Smith asked the boys for a couple of days in which to consider their proposal, and, if he decided to go, to make arrangements for his family. Some of the prominent men of the city came forward and assured him that his wife and children should not want, and so he accepted the command, becoming Captain of Company B, 25th Iowa Infantry, and was mustered in at Mt. Pleasant. After remaining in camp at that city for a short time, the regiment was then ordered to St. Louis, expecting to remain in camp for at least two months. The company had been well drilled at Mt. Pleasant by Col. Stone and Lieut. Brydolph, and on their arrival at St. Louis were anxious to make a display of their military proficiency, so calling on Gen. Curtis they performed a number of their best evolutions before him at his headquarters. To repay their efforts the General at once gave orders for them to report to Gen. Gorman at Helena, so they had no camp life at St. Louis. Six companies left by boat for Helena that same day, and the other four were to follow on the morrow. Below Island No. 10 the boat ran aground (it being thought that is was done intentionally by the officers of the boat, who were evidently in sympathy with the Confederates), and all efforts of the boat's crew to get it off were ineffectual. It seemed as if they were destined to stay there indefinitely. On the third day after their detention a small boat was seen coming down the river, upon which Capt. Smith took passage for Memphis for the purpose of securing relief. He arrived in that city about 10 o'clock at night, and there met an unexpected difficulty. The city was then under military law, of which fact the Captain was unaware, and when he had proceeded up the street for a short distance, he was met by a policeman who ordered him to stop, and on manifesting an unwillingness to do so, he was placed under arrest. Just at that moment an officer was passing with a relief corps to change the guard. Feeling that he belonged to the great army of the West and that he owed obedience to that power in preference to civil authority, Capt. Smith at once requested the officer to take him to Gen. Sherman, with whom he had important business, never once stopping to reflect whether he had the right to do so nor did he know. All he wished was to see the General, and it proved very beneficial to him. Arriving at Sherman's headquarters at 12 o'clock at night, they found him busy with his subordinates. In a few moments, being at liberty, the General pleasantly asked Capt. Smith his business, and, on receiving a brief reply, gave him an order for the steamboat "Queen of the West," and also for ample supplies. Then, turning his piercing eyes on him, he smilingly said, with a look which Mr. Smith will never forget, "Captain, I would like to know what you did before you came into the army." Mr. Smith replied that he taught school. "I thought so," said the General. "No other man would have been of foolish so to run the risk you did to get here." Capt. Smith soon returned and released the boys from their perilous situation.
While stationed at Young's Point, near Vicksburg, together with about 300 or 400 sick soldiers, June 7, 1863, an alarm was given that the rebels were coming. There were few available men, and probably not fifty guns capable of execution. Death or capture seemed inevitable. There were some long ditches dug for the purpose of draining the land. Into one of these the men dropped for the purpose of using it as a rifle pit. The rebels seeing them, changed their course, when the other pit was appropriated, but was occupied but a few moments when the men were ordered to fall behind the levee. There was a narrow strip with two deep sloughs, one on either side, which led to the levee, and not more than fifty men could cross it abreast. At this point, behind the bank of the levee, which was about ten feet high, the Union troops took position, hoping to kill a number of rebels before they should all be killed. Capt. Smith took his position on top of the levee, but behind a tree, not being extremely anxious to be a mark for a enemy bullet. While there he saw the enemy halt, and the officers collect in front, evidently for consultation. After a moment's pause the enemy turned and marched away, greatly to the relief of the little band of sick soldiers. The Captain took an active part in the campaign in and around Vicksburg, but not being accustomed to roughing it, his health failed him and he was obliged to resign his commission.
In 1865 Mr. Smith came to Burlington, where he was Principal of the High School for ten years. The marriage of Capt. Smith and Miss Mary Bunce, who was born in Oneida County, N. Y., in 1817, was celebrated in Washington, Washington Co., Pa., in 1842. By this union there are six children, three sons and three daughters: Frank W., a jeweler of Creston, Iowa; Lillie, a graduate of the Springfield Seminary of Springfield, Ohio; Clara, a graduate of the High School at Burlington; Ella, wife of J. W. Patterson; William C., a resident of Ft. Madison; and Albert A., local editor of the Burlington Gazette. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Presbyterian Church.
James H. Smith is a retired farmer residing on section 26, Danville Township, Des Moines County, Iowa. In presenting the sketch of James Harvey Smith, the historian feels that justice is hardly done, inasmuch as the subject feels averse to even appearing in a biography, yet as his has been a life well-spent in this county, the history of the township of Danville could scarcely be considered complete with this brief mention. He was born in Susquehanna County, Pa., Aug. 23, 1825, and is the son of Benjamin and Calista (Terrill) Smith, natives of New Milford, Conn., where they were reared, educated and married. He came from English ancestry, the first of whom, John Smith, came from England about 1668, locating in New Milford. Five generations were born in that village, and the first-born sons for three generations were called Ebenezer in honor of their ancestors. Ebenezer Smith, the last of the generations named, was a grandsire of our subject, and was a soldier during the Revolutionary War. The Smith family were ardent patriots, and espoused the cause of independence in the fullness of their might. After the close of that war the grandfather studied medicine, and during his lifetime was a prominent physician in New Milford. His wife was Elizabeth Bostwick, a native of England, whose parents became residents of America before the Revolution. They were people of wealth, and during the progress of the war, Miss Bostwick, to preserve a costly silk dress, had a servant bury it in a casket, allowing it to remain until peace was declared. A piece of that brocaded silk was sent the wife of our subject by her aunt only a few years ago, as a souvenir of the Revolution and a keepsake coming from her grandmother. Of their children, Benjamin B. was the eldest, and the father of our subject. They removed to a small town in Susquehanna County, Pa., about 1820. Benjamin B. Smith was a student of medicine under his father, and practiced for a year or more, then took a theological course and after graduating began ministerial work, continuing this during the remainder of his active life. We are pleased to state that Dr. Lyman Beecher and Dr. Tyler, both well known divines, were members of the examining board which gave Rev. B. B. Smith his certificate. After remaining a few years in Pennsylvania, Rev. B. B. Smith removed to Seneca County, N. Y., and later to Ontario County, in both of which he was engaged in home missionary work, organizing churches and acting as pastor. The death of that divine occurred in North Bristol, Ontario County, N. Y., in 1860, having reached his sixty-eighth year. His wife's death was thirty years previous, occurring in South Bristol, of the same county. They were the parents of C. B. M., who was a prominent attorney of Pittsburg, Pa., now deceased; Lucretia C., wife of J. W. Vincent, of North Bristol; Joseph E., now deceased, was for several years a book-binder of Rochester, N. Y.; Elizabeth K., wife of Isaac Jones, a prominent manufacturer of steel, at Pittsburg, Pa.; the birth of our subject, the youngest son of that couple, followed. He was a lad almost five years of age when the death of his mother occurred, and he was cared for by a stepmother, Martha B. Babbitt, who became the second wife of Rev. B. B. Smith, and the mother of one son by that union--John Calvin. After her death Mr. Smith married Maria Vincent,a daughter of Dr. Vincent, of North Bristol, N. Y. Her children were as follows: Maria, William Young and Quincy A. All these reside in North Bristol, and William owns the Dr. Vincent homestead. Both brothers are agriculturalists, and deal largely in fruits. Maria became the wife of Chauncey Taylor, a farmer of the same place; William wedded Elmira Lee, and Quincy is also married.
J. H. Smith, our subject, was educated in New York, and from his eighteenth year resided with an uncle in Lodi, N. Y., and in his nineteenth year began teaching district school, "boarding 'round" with the parents of his scholars. Working on a farm in summer and teaching during the winter was his occupation till his twenty-first year, when he came to this State, in 1846. We mention the trip of the young man as being a most romantic one, also his first from home. Taking a steamer on Seneca Lake, from Lodi to Geneva, cars from thence to Rochester, then a flying trip on a Erie Canal packet to Buffalo, a berth on a steamer was secured across that State to Pittsburg, there taking a fortnight's vacation, and making his brother and sister a visit; then securing passage on a steamer, he sailed down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to St. Louis, changing steamers and arriving at Keokuk, Nov. 3, 1846. The next morning he mounted the stage running between Keokuk and Burlington, and the next day walked to the house of Samuel B. Jagger, in Danville Township, and to this date has made it his home. Within a fortnight he was engaged as teacher at the "Hanna" district, and a four-months term was taught. He was then possessor of $35 cash. In 1847 Mr. Smith began farming on his uncle Jagger's farm, in Danville Township, and to this day he has the greatest love for agriculture.
Meeting with success in his business, Mr. Smith decided to have a home of his own, and Miss Susan R. Sater became his wife Oct. 24, 1849. Their domestic life was begun upon a rented farm, now owned by J. N. McGohan, remaining until the purchase of the lands upon which they now reside. This was a fertile tract of prairie land, though unimproved, and every tree and building upon it stands as a monument to his industry and thrift. Here all their children, except the eldest, were born: Irwin J., husband of Lottie Tiedeman, of Pleasant Grove, is a resident of Chicago; Harriet M., wife of Rev. Dr. M. Busby, of Brooklyn, Iowa; Lagrande S., husband of Miss Julia Glens, is a resident of Fresno, Cal., a teacher, and also owner of a ranch in that county; Arthur J. B., a commercial traveler, resides in Chicago; Harvey S., husband of Mary Dowelbower, also resides in Chicago, a commercial salesman; Lizzie R., wife of John Jagger, of Las Animas County, Colo.; Frank R. is in the employ of the Kilmer Manufacturing Company, of Chicago; Charles A., husband of Frances M. Stoner, takes charge of the home farm; and Edwin D. died at the age of ten months.
The life of J. H. Smith in this county is such as makes it desirable to record. His wife, one of the most earnest Christian women in the land, was a loving mother and an exemplary wife. She was a member, first of the United Brethren Church, and after coming to Iowa, both herself and husband united with the Congregational Church. Her death occurred in Sacramento, Cal., Nov. 18, 1886. Her devoted husband feels most heavily her loss, and her kindness of heart and Christian virtues endeared her to all with whom she was acquainted. Her brothers, Thomas J. and Samuel P. Sater, are both well known citizens of this county.
Mr. Smith was reared one of the most ardent of Whigs. He has always taken a deep interest in the politics of both his county and State, bur with the exception of acting as Township Clerk, in early years, has taken no active part in local politics. He was an anti-slavery Whig, cast his first vote for Gen. Taylor, and Fremont later, and on the formation of the Republican party, was one of the first to espouse its principles and promulgate its doctrines, and has voted for every Presidential candidate of that party up to date, with the exception of 1872, when his vote was cast for Horace Greeley.
Maj. Jerry Smith, Jr., was one of the earliest settlers of Des Moines County. His father died when he was a small lad, and he then went with his mother to Greene County, Ill. At the breaking out of the Black Hawk War, he offered his services, and was commissioned Major. Before entering the service, he studied civil engineering, following the same for several years, and after his service in the war, he came to Flint Hills, now Burlington, Iowa, where he was engaged in trading with the Indians and the few settlers who afterward came to the county. Purchasing a farm on what is now West avenue of Burlington, Maj. Smith there erected a house, a portion of which yet stands. He was one of the first grand jurors of the county, and the builder of the first State House of Iowa, to which something of a history attaches, although the existence of the structure was brief and brilliant. When the Legislature voted to come to Burlington in 1837, there was no suitable place in which the noble body could meet, consequently it became necessary to erect a building. Now, it chanced that in those early days there were two men of the same name located at Burlington, both known as "Jeremiah Smith," and between whom a cousinship existed. To distinguish one from the other, it became customary to speak of the younger as Jeremiah Smith, Jr., while the elder accepted the less respectful title of "Old Jerry." Jeremiah, Jr., sought after, and obtained, the job of building the State House, and, during the summer of 1837, carried out his agreement. When the Legislature assembled, the two Houses convened in a two-story frame building, which did credit alike to the city of Burlington and the contractor. The house was heated by a large fireplace, and in December the heating apparatus proved too much for the general building, and after the Legislature had adjourned for the night, the boasted State House disappeared in smoke. The building was located on Main street, between Court and Columbia. Maj. Smith made application to Congress for relief, and his claim, which exceeded the $4,000, was allowed, but a fatality seemed to follow his work, for, soon after the allowance of his claim, "Old Jerry" visited the capital, and there met Delegate Jones, who, through mistaken identity, told him that his request had been granted, and that he could get the money by making the necessary application and giving a receipt for same. "Old Jerry" was quick to see the possibility of making his trip to Washington a profitable one, and hastened to draw the funds, receipting for them in the name of "Jeremiah Smith," which he could legally do. It speedily became known that "Old Jerry" had secured the money, but all efforts on the part of Mr. Smith to make him return the same were of no avail, and he never obtained a dollar of the allowance.
Maj. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Potts, and eight children were born of their union: William H.; George F.; Etna, the wife of W. W. Mash, deceased, resides in Burlington; Samuel, of this county; Amelia, who was born in Des Moines County, became the wife of A. T. Hay, of Joliet, Ill.; Iowa J., of Burlington; Jerry L., also of this city; and Adna, of Joliet, Ill.
Maj. Smith died in 1852, and his wife in 1885. She was a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Peter Smith was born at "The Lion," Eastburn, Yorkshire, England, May 13, 1795, and when fourteen years old was placed in a counting-house, where he remained five years, and then returned to his father's farm, residing there until he was married, on the 26th of January, 1819. His wife was Miss Martha Ellison, of Sutton, in the same county, the day of her birth being Jan. 2, 1800. Her father was a miller of Barnoldswick, and she was the eldest of five children. For about two years after their marriage, Mr. Smith carried on farming at Farn Hill, and then he went into milling and merchandizing at Sutton. Going to Cleckheaton, in Yorkshire, in 1826, he again engaged in milling, continuing there until 1835. His large family, and the declining prospects of business, induced him to consider the subject of emigration, and reluctantly they left their native land and comfortable home to secure for their children, eight in number, a better chance to start in life. In April, 1835, they left Liverpool, and in due time reached New York, thence, by lake and river, to Beardstown, Ill. Mr. Smith intended to locate in Sangamon or Morgan Counties, in that State, but, hearing of the Black Hawk purchase, turned his attention to Iowa. On their way, by teams across the country, they lost their youngest child, Albert, aged eight months, near Rushville, and his remains were brought on and buried at their new home. On the 15th of August, 1835, the family crossed the Mississippi River, and from thenceforth were identified with the young and growing community of Burlington. Mr. Smith bought from a Mr. Bullard a claim supposed to be about 320 acres, but afterward found by survey to exceed 370. Upon it there was a cabin, and ten acres were cleared. He was molested somewhat by squatters, who tried to jump his claim, and on one occasion the settlers, to the number of 200 of more, came to his assistance, and peaceably removed from his land a man whom he had warned off, and burned his cabin. In about four years the land came into market, and Mr. Smith procured the title from the Government. This tract of land, which was the northwest portion of section 19 and a part of section 18, about three miles southwest of Burlington, became, and remains, the homestead of the family, in connection with some additions made since. The family were comfortably guarded against the weather, but they were often without necessary food during the first year, and Mrs. Smith relates how once her husband went to get flour at Burlington to quiet the children, who were crying for bread, and returned empty-handed; at another time, when the wife was sick in bed, the promise of a potato by a kind neighbor seemed to her like a special blessing. For four years they had not a table in their cabin, and for some time bedsteads were an unknown convenience. During these early pioneer days the Sac and Fox Indians were numerous and frequent visitors, but troubled them for naught except food, fresh beef being their preference, and the children learned much of the Indian dialect, which is an evidence of the familiar and friendly relations then existing with the aborigines. As early as 1841, Mr. Smith began lime burning, being one of the first and largest dealers in this article; but he kept on with the improvements of his farm, and after a while engaged in the stock feeding business. He raised wheat for sale, but all other produce he endeavored to have consumed on the farm.
The prosperity that follows methodical business habits and energy of purpose attended Mr. Smith and his family without interruption after the first privations of frontier life had been overcome, and we pass down to the year 1869 to notice an event that is allotted by Providence to a very few. On the 21st of January, 1869, fifty years from the day the youthful couple stood up in the quiet English church and joined their hands and hearts for life, they again stood up before their children and children's children, to celebrate their golden wedding. In rehearsing the joys and sorrows of the past, their tedious struggles up, and peaceful passage down, the hill of life, and in thanks, congratulations and good cheer the day was passed. Before night closed the scene, the fervent words of that grand old hymn (Mr. Smith's favorite), "Before Jehovah's awful throne," united all hearts and voices in praise to the Almighty, and thus this anniversary was ended. There were present upon this occasion all but one of their ten children, and nearly all of their twenty-two grand-children, with many old and valued friends.
But little over a year from this glad occasion, on the 25th of January, 1870, a sorrowful group gathered under the same roof, for the loving husband and kind father was upon his bed of death. In the seventy-fifth year of his age, after a brief illness from congestion of the lungs, Mr. Smith departed this life, and in the cemetery at Burlington the marble column indicated the resting-place of of one of the pioneers of Des Moines County--one of her distinguished characters--"an honest man, the noblest work of God."
By virtue of a strong mind and thorough early training, Mr. Smith became, and was early recognized as an accurate business man, and in complicated matters his advice was often sought. His books and papers, carefully kept until the last month of his life, show a clear head and a steady hand such as is hardly ever seen in men who have passed their three-score years and ten. In politics he was a Whig until the dissolution of that party, and afterward generally acted with the Democratic party. He steadily refused all offers of political promotion, and was prouder to be a citizen of the Republic than an officer of any degree. He was possessed of strong moral sentiments, and lived and acted upon the principles of conscience with regard to sectarian views, though in religious opinion he was inclined toward the Congregational Church. In person he was of commanding carriage and pleasant address: of social and friendly disposition; enjoyed vigorous health; maintained active habits, and came to the city almost daily until five days before his death. The children living are: Ann, wife of W. C. Hunt; John, Ellison, Samuel, William, Edward, James; Jane, wife of W. J. Finch; George and Sarah; besides these, five died in infancy. All of the above are residing in Iowa, except Mrs. Finch, of Macoupin County, Ill.
Samuel Smith, general farmer and stockraiser, residing on section 19, Burlington Township, Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, England, Oct. 26, 1826. At the age of four he began attending school in his native country, continuing his studies until the age of nine, when the family emigrated to America. He resided upon his father's farm until 1850, when, deciding to go West, he started with an ox-team over the plains, the journey consuming three months and twenty days, and at the end of that time arrived at Ringgold, Cal. Near that town he began digging gold, being quite successful, and by economical living was able to lay up some money. Leaving California in the summer of 1851, Mr. Smith made a visit to his old home, remaining there until the following spring, when, accompanied by his brother William, he once more made the trip to California, again crossing the plains with a team, and remained there until 1861, engaged in mining and tending water works. On the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Smith gave proof of his patriotism by enlisting at the President's first call for troops. Becoming a member of the 4th California Infantry, he served three years, having charge of a scouting party for about half of the time, the regiment doing duty in Arizona, New Mexico and Washington Territory. He was discharged from the service at the close of the war at Fort Juma, Cal. He was a brave and gallant soldier, always ready for the performance of any duty.
After being discharged Mr. Smith went up into the mountains for a month or so for the purpose of recruiting his health. Then proceeding to Santa Cruz County he remained there until October, 1865. Returning home at that time he took charge of the home farm, which occupation he has still continued and 250 broad acres pay tribute to his labors. This farm, known as Rockwood Grange, is one of the best cultivated in Burlington Township. Mr. Smith has long been identified with the leading business interests of the county, and in connection with his farm is associated in the Island Mills, together with other minor interests. For some time he has been in failing health, probably on account of disease contracted in the army. He is a member of Des Moines Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., Iowa Chapter, No. 1, R. A. M., St. Omar Commandery, No. 15, K. T. He also belongs to the Matthisa Post, No. 5, G. A. R., and Washington Lodge, No. 1, I. O. O. F., all of Burlington. Politically, he is a Democrat, and in every relation of life sustains the reputation of an upright man and good citizen.
Among the many energetic and successful business men of Burlington, Iowa, no one, perhaps, is deserving of more complimentary mention than the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. Every new industry that gives employment to numerous hands and brings money to circulate in all classes of trade is a substantial acquisition to the resources of a community, and the candy and cracker factory of Mr. Smither is such a one. He bought out a small cracker factory in 1882, increased its capacity and added the manufacture of candy on a large scale. His business now gives employment to from sixty-five to seventy-five hands, and annually amounts to $165,000. (See notice of this house in the list of business establishments, elsewhere in this work.)
James W. Smither was born near Indianapolis, Ind., May 2, 1837, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (O'Neil) Smither. His parents were natives of Kentucky; the father was born near Lexington and the mother in Owen County. James W. was educated in the common schools and Franklin College. His early life was passed on a farm, and when old enough to engage in business he secured a place in the United States mail service under President Lincoln's first administration. In 1864 he engaged in the grocery business in Indianapolis and carried it on for three years; he then spent one year in the furniture business, and not being satisfied in that line became a member of the firm of Parrott & Co., in the cracker business; after spending a year with that firm, he sold out and formed a partnership under the firm name of Daggett & Co., and engaged in the manufacture of candies. This latter business being more to his taste, he engaged in it in Indianapolis until 1882, when he sold out and came to Burlington, where he purchased the small cracker factory, increased the business, added the manufacture of candy and the wholesaling of foreign fruits and nuts, and now has one of the largest establishments in this line in the State.
Mr. Smither was married at Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 5, 1864, to Miss Imogene Webster, who died in October, 1879, leaving a child living, a daughter, Stella M.; a son, Harvey, died aged four years. Mr. Smither was married to his present wife Oct. 23, 1881. She was Mrs. Amanda Copeland, a daughter of Dr. J. T. Boyd, and was born in Ohio. She had three children by her former marriage--Carrie V., William B. and Bert Copeland. Mr. Smither is a Republican in politics, but has never been an aspirant for public office. Both he and his wife are members of the First Baptist Church of Burlington.
Mr. Smither has ever been ready to encourage any enterprise for the common good of the community, and has contributed substantial aid to many public enterprises. He gave personal subscription to the B., C. R. & N. R. R., also the T., P. & W. and B. & N. W., and has assisted largely, buy voluntary subscription, in paving and otherwise improving the streets, and establishing the South Hill street railroad.
property, and platted the latter under the title of Sweny's Addition to Burlington and the Highland Addition to the same. This property lies on the Mississippi, in the southern part of the city, is now highly improved, and embraces some to the most elegant private residences in Burlington. Mr. Sweny has done much for the improvement of city. He has labored long and earnestly to secure the opening and improvement of South Main street to the present city limits, and for fifteen years he agitated the subject, and, finally, on the City Council's proposition to open the street, providing half the estimated expense of doing so would be borne by those directly interested, Mr. Sweny took the matter in hand and by diligent and unremitting effort raised a subscription of the required amount, $4,500. His was also instrumental in securing the building of the street-car line into that section of the town. He built some fifteen or twenty private residences, and especially did much to encourage the improvement and development of the southern portion of Burlington.
Shortly after coming to Burlington, Mr. Sweny formed a partnership with Mr. Price in the drug business, but that connection continued only two or three years, when he sold out and engaged in the insurance business, which he carried on for a long time in connection with the real-estate and loan business. He also served as assignee several times, and settled up various bankrupt concerns.
Mr. Sweny was united in marriage at Burlington, Iowa, Feb. 11, 1868, with Miss Mary H. Pyne, daughter of Ebenezer Pyne. Mrs. Sweny, who was born in Philadelphia, was reared in the Quaker faith, but in 1868 joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she has been a consistent member. Mr. Sweny united with that church in Greene County, Ohio, when sixteen years of age, and has maintained his connection with the society continuously since. He is now a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Burlington, of which he has been an official for twenty years, and has been in active care of the church property. From the day he first made a public confession of his faith in his Savior to the present time, he has been earnest worker in the church with which he has been so long connected. While at Xenia, Ohio, he held a number of official positions in the church, and during his residence at Kenton, Hardin Co., Ohio, he likewise was officially engaged, holding the position of Class-Leader, Steward and Trustee, and much of the time Superintendent of the Sabbath-school. In fact he has held official positions in the church for nearly half a century, and still feels the same, or an increasing interest, in the work, having never grown weary in well-doing. He is one of the most liberal supporters of the church. In the organization of the Sunday-school Assembly and Camp-meeting at Park Bluff, he took an active part, and to him is largely due the fine artesian well on the grounds, as he was most persistent in advocacy of the project, and the subsequent boring of the well. As one of the Board of Trustees, and a member of various committees of the Association he has given much time and money to advance its interests. He is at the present writing, Vice President of the Association, a member of the Board of Trustees, and serving upon eight committees--on grounds, executive, finance, transportation, sale of lots, artesian well, sanitarium and old institute property. His interest in Sunday-school work at Burlington has been manifested by zealous efforts in its behalf, and he has served several years as Superintendent.
Mr. Sweny is largely interested in the real estate in Burlington, is proprietor of the Sweny Addition and owns a few acres in Highland Addition, where he has an elegant residence, handsomely furnished, and where, together with his amiable wife, he keeps "open house," and friends always find welcome. An active, public-spirited citizen, he is highly respected for his many excellent qualities and sterling integrity.
Hon. P. Henry Smyth, an eminent lawyer and early settler of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Washington County, Va., March 10, 1829, and is the son of James Crawford and Ann Ryburn (Orr) Smyth. The family was founded in Virginia during the Revolutionary War by Robert Allan Smyth, who was Secretary to Lord Cornwallis and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. On the mother's side the Orrs and Robinsons are well-known old Virginia families.
When eighteen years of age, Mr. Smyth removed to Henry County, Tenn., where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. The following year he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and engaged in the practice of his profession in that city. He was married in Cleveland, in 1851, to Miss Mary A. Crocker, daughter of J. Davis and Deborah (Doane) Crocker. Mrs. Smyth was born at Cleveland, of which place her ancestors were the earliest pioneers. The Doanes settled at what is now Cleveland in 1801, then there were but two houses on its present site. The family have since expanded in numbers and connection until the Doanes and their relatives are numerous and liberally represented among the wealthy and influential citizens of Cleveland.
In 1857 Mr. Smyth removed to Burlington, Iowa, where he soon succeeded in establishing a large and lucrative practice. His superior legal attainments and prompt attention to the business of his clients won him prominence at the bar, and it is no flattery to say of him that he has long stood at the head of his profession in Des Moines County, and is recognized as one of the foremost lawyers of the State. While a consistent Democrat in his political opinions, he is not strongly partisan. He was appointed District Judge of the First Judicial District of Iowa in April, 1874, by the Republican Governor, C. C. Carpenter, to fill a vacancy, but resigned the position in September of the same year.
Judge Smyth has only two children living, a son and daughter. The son, James D., is a graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., of the class of '74. Immediately after his graduation he returned to Burlington, and entered upon the study of law with his father. Two years later he was admitted to the bar, and returned to Trinity College as Tutor of Greek; after serving two years in that capacity, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Greek, which position he filled with ability and fidelity for two years. Returning to Burlington, he formed the existing law partnership with his father in 1880, since which time he has devoted his attention to the practice of his profession. The only surviving daughter, Dora A., is the wife of Charles L. Dyer, of Crookston, Minn. Judge Smyth and family are members of the Episcopal Church, of Burlington.
Andrew Snyder, deceased, an honored pioneer of Des Moines County, Iowa, of April, 1844, was born near Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio, Nov. 3, 1802, and was the son of George and Rachel (Taff) Snyder. His father was a saddler by trade, and was born in Pennsylvania of German parentage, moved to Ohio, and there carried on his business till old age. Mr. Snyder was reared to agricultural pursuits, and was married Jan. 31, 1828, to Miss Sarah Baker, daughter of George and Sarah (Bane) Baker, residing near Woodland, Va. (now West Virginia). After their marriage Mr. Snyder engaged in farming in Marshall County, Va., until the spring of 1844, when he emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, settling in Pleasant Grove Township. There he had a farm of 200 acres, which he and his sons improved and placed in a high state of cultivation. He also owned an eighty acre tract in Henry County. Mr. Snyder made a business of farming and stock-growing up to the time of his death, which occurred Aug. 3, 1885. His wife, an estimable Christian lady, a kind, loving wife and mother, had been taken nearly three years previous, her death having occurred Dec. 24, 1882. Both were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Snyder were blessed with a family of four sons and six daughters: Rachel, the eldest, born Jan. 16, 1829, married Oliver Little July 12, 1849, and died Oct. 26, 1859, leaving five children, four sons and one daughter; James, born April 21, 1830, was married Nov. 27, 1859, to Mahala Doty, and resides in Henry County, Iowa; Elizabeth, born Jan. 26, 1832, is single and resides with her brother James; Mary A., born Oct. 26, 1833, died Dec. 21, 1882; Caroline, born Feb. 20, 1836, married James Grogan Feb. 20, 1861, and resides in Decatur County, Kan.; Sarah E., born Jan. 29, 1838, resides in Washington Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, and is the wife of Charles Carter, whom she married Dec. 16, 1866; William W., born May 24, 1840, died Jan. 26, 1848; Louisa J., born April 9, 1843, became the wife of E. A. Miller, Dec. 20, 1865, and resides in Washington Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa; Theodore B., born Aug. 22, 1845, wedded Mary L. Dorgan Feb. 25, 1880, and is a practicing attorney of Burlington, Iowa; Wilbur, born Feb. 15, 1850, married Nellie Burns, Aug. 31, 1876, and lives on the old homestead in Pleasant Grove Township. All the children except the two youngest were born on the farm in Pleasant Grove Township.
Mr. Snyder was a man of marked individuality, conservative, economical and prudent in matters of business, but always strictly just and fair and not illiberal. Careful in forming conclusions, he was very determined when he had once decided a point in his mind, and possessed indomitable energy and courage. He was an ultra Republican in politics, and earnest in his patriotic support of the Government during the late Civil War. As a citizen he was highly respected, and held in warm regard as a neighbor, husband and father.
William M. Sommerville, a farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 22, Franklin Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, was born May 29, 1804, at Greencastle, Pa., afterward called Gettysburg, the site of that famous battle. His parents were Alexander L. and Gracie (Miller) Sommerville. The father emigrated from Ireland to America at the age of eighteen, embarking as a vendor of Irish linen; the mother's ancestors, who belonged to the Society of Friends, came to this country with William Penn. Mr. and Mrs. Sommerville were the parents of sixteen children, fourteen sons and two daughters, and eleven of that number grew to be men and women, though only three are yet living: George A., a resident of Kansas; Alexander, who resides near New Orleans; and our subject. The father of these children died about the year 1833, the mother about the year 1857, and both were members of the New Light Church. About the year 1805 the family removed to Clarksburg, Va., where William M. was educated. His father was one of the finely-educated men of that community, was a true Christian gentleman, honest, upright and beloved by all, and in that county served as Sheriff for eighteen years. He was instrumental in the organization of the first bank at Marietta, Ohio, and was selected by its Board of Directors to carry $150,000 in gold and silver from Winchester, Va., to Marietta, and taking his trusty horse, he made the trip on horseback in safety.
Until twenty-two years of age William M. Sommerville remained in Clarksburg, where he engaged in buying stock, and became one of the prominent men of the county. On the 4th of January, 1831, he was united in marriage with Miss Temperance M. Bond, a Christian woman of rare graces. The young couple began their domestic life in Harrison County, W. Va.; and in that county Mr. Sommerville helped to build three court-houses. He remained in that State until 1846, and then removed to Iowa, purchasing 126 acres of land on section 22, Franklin Township, Des Moines County, where he has ever since made his home. Besides his farm land Mr. Sommerville is the owner of twenty-three town lots in Dodgeville, besides other valuable property, and his is one of the most desirable farms in Franklin Township. All he owns is the result of his own exertions, and through his energy and economy he has gained a comfortable competence, a most beautiful home, and is surrounded by all the comforts of life.
Six children were born to this worthy couple: Palermo, deceased; Helen, widow of Henry Churchman; Sophrona, Almerine; Ada, wife of James Elting, of Mediapolis; and Catherine, who died young. For half a century Mr. and Mrs. Sommerville shared life's joys and sorrows together, but on the 17th of March, 1881, the mother was called to her final home, and by her death the family lost a kind and indulgent wife and mother, and her neighbors a sympathizing friend. Many things about the home constantly bring her to mind, and the flowers, which she always loved to care for, are thus made especially dear. Mr. Sommerville has held various township offices, and for many years served as Justice of the Peace. He cast his first Presidential ballot for Andrew Jackson, and has voted with the Democratic party continuously since. As a citizen he is honorable and upright, and for many years has been a member of Christ's Church, and a consistent Christian, living up to his professions.
Charles Sowden, one of the early settlers of Burlington, was born in Leeds, England, Jan. 4, 1818, and is a son of Jeremiah and Jane Sowden, who were the parents of six children, all of whom have passed away. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native country, received a common-school education, and was apprenticed to the machinist's trade, serving a term of seven years, during which time he became a thorough workman. Mr. Sowden was united in marriage, at Mortram, England, Jan. 7, 1845--Miss Phoebe Parkin, a daughter of John and Sarah (Dawson) Parkin, becoming his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Parkin were the parents of twelve children, five of whom are yet living: Phoebe, wife of our subject; Martha, widow of Alexander Howard; Fannie, wife of Thomas Howard; Shepherd and Benjamin. Mr. and Mrs. Parkin were members of the Church of England.
In 1849, Mr. Sowden and his young wife emigrated to Burlington, where he first found employment with Hendrie & Foote, in their machine shop. He soon accumulated enough to establish himself in business, which he did at 222 South Main street, where he made the first engine that was built in Burlington. Mr. Sowden was a man of unimpeachable reputation and integrity, and in commercial circles his word was as good as his bond. In his business he ran no risks, believing it better to make money slowly, always counted the cost before taking contracts for any work, and by this careful manner became possessed of some property and considerable money. His death occurred on the 18th of February, 1875.
Mr. and Mrs. Snowden (sic.) were the parents of fourteen children, and five of the sons learned their father's trade. James, is now a resident of Kansas City; Thomas, resides in Burlington; Charles, in Monroe, Neb.; Mark, in Albuquerque, N. M.; Frank, Robert and Sarah J., are residents of Burlington; Harry, of Dubuque, Iowa; and William and John, also residents of Burlington, and is highly esteemed by her many friends.
James J. Spatch, Superintendent of the Steam Supply Company, was born in Essex County, Vt., April 23, 1835, and is a son of Joseph and Emeline (Phillips) Spatch. His father was born in Leeds, England, and came to America as a cabin-boy when thirteen years of age. He continued to follow the sea for many years, and was promoted to master of a vessel. His marriage with Miss Phillips occurred in Vermont, her native State, and after many years he retired from the sea and settled in New England.
James J. Spatch, our subject, began the battle of life when nine years of age by working in a shipyard in New Bedford, Mass. He served a regular apprenticeship in the ship-carpenter's trade, spent three years at sea and received a certificate as a first-class engineer and ship-carpenter. Coming West in 1866, Mr. Spatch located at Galesburg, Ill., there entering the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company as engineer, also serving as Roadmaster, and later was appointed Assistant Superintendent on the Peoria Division. He continued in the employ of that company until 1880, when he came to Burlington, and engaged with the Burlington Supply Company, and in August, 1883, was promoted to Superintendent of the works, which position he has held continuously since, performing the duties of his office with zeal and ability, and great satisfaction to the company and the patrons of the works in his charge.
The marriage of Mr. Spatch and Miss Minerva Holcomb was celebrated in Musgrove, Knox Co., Ill., Dec. 31, 1860. She was born at Gallipolis, Gallia Co., Ohio, and is a daughter of Joel B. Holcomb, of that city. Mrs. Spatch is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Spatch is a veteran of the late Civil War, having enlisted in October, 1861, as a member of Company C, 11th Illinois Cavalry, was regularly promoted from the ranks to Captain, and served under Grant at the seige of Ft. Donelson, Ft. Henry, battle of Shiloh, seige of Vicksburg and Island No. 10, and was with Sherman in the historic March to the Sea. He had three ribs shot out of his left side at Shiloh, and had a leg twice broken by a shell at the battle of Pea Ridge. After being wounded and left on the field of battle, he crawled into the woods, cut two crutches, and with their help made is way a distance of three miles to a place of refuge. He was mustered out July 31, 1865, after the close of the war. He did noble service for his country and was always found at his post of duty. Mr. Spatch is a member of the Christian Church; socially, is a Master Mason, a member of the Claypole Lodge, No. 13, Ft. Madison, Iowa; is an Odd Fellow, a member of Yates City Lodge No. 370, Yates City, Ill.; and is a Republican in politics.
John M. Sperry, of Sperry Station, Des Moines County, Iowa. We take pleasure in recording this sketch of this prominent and highly respected citizen, who is a merchant and also Postmaster of Sperry Station, which village he founded. It is located in the central part of the northwest quarter of section 13, Franklin Township, and contains two general merchandise stores; two churches, Baptist and Methodist, both in a flourishing condition; has one practicing physician, and sixty-three inhabitants.
The subject of this sketch was born March 3, 1821, in Knox County, Ohio, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (Wilson) Sperry, both of whom were natives of Virginia, the father of German ancestry and the mother of Irish descent. Jacob Sperry was one of the prominent men of his day, and was a member of the Baptist Church. Seven children were born of his union with Mary Wilson, as follows: Maria, deceased wife of Daniel Ferry, who is a resident of Licking County, Ohio; Albert, a farmer of Knox County, Ohio; Peter W., a banker of Utica, Ohio; Isaac, a wealthy farmer residing near Mount Union, in that State; John M.; Eliza, wife of James Campbell, also a wealthy farmer residing in Knox County; and Angeline, deceased wife of Theophilus Reece, a farmer of Licking County.
The father of this family removed to Knox County, Ohio, about the year 1808, there purchasing a tract of wild land, 160 acres in extent, which he immediately began to cultivate, and soon developed into a fine farm. He became one of the extensive land owners of that county, and being a lenient and charitable man, on selling a farm he would give the purchaser his own time in which to pay. Not only did Mr. Sperry aid in the improvement of the land, but he supported liberally all public enterprises of the county. Social, educational and religious interests found in him a friend, and in the church especially he was an active worker. Almost his entire life he was a member of the Baptist Church, and for many years was one of its Deacons. He and his wife met a most untimely death. While returning from a visit to Mount Vernon, Ohio, a collision occurred on the Baltimore & Ohio road, in which Mrs. Sperry was instantly killed, the husband being taken to his son Peter's house in Utica, where he died four weeks later. The sudden deaths of this worthy couple excited much sympathy, and was sincerely mourned by a host of friends, to whom their many excellent qualities had greatly endeared them.
John M. Sperry received his education in an old log school-house, which was located on a bluff of the Licking Creek in Knox County, Ohio. The educational advantages of those early days were limited, and Mr. Sperry could only attend school during the winter, being obliged to work upon the farm through the summer months. On the day on which he attained his majority his father began paying him wages for his labor, and he remained at home for two years after that time. He then began farming for himself, but disposing of his interests in that county in 1851, he wended his way to Illinois, and from thence proceeded to St. Louis, crossing the river at Nauvoo, Ill. He traveled through Iowa, and reaching Des Moines County, with its beautiful prairies, streams and forests, he decided to make this his home, purchasing 140 acres of land on section 10, Franklin Township, upon which was but a one-room frame house. While on his travels through Southern Illinois, Mr. Sperry had formed the acquaintance of Miss Julia Penn, of St. Clair County. Returning again to that county, their marriage was there celebrated, and they at once began their domestic life upon the new farm in Des Moines County. After a short married life of about a year, the death of the young wife occurred in 1853, and in 1855 Mr. Sperry was again married, Miss Martha Gelett, a native of this county, becoming his wife. Once more Mr. Sperry was left alone, his wife being called to her final home in 1857. A third time he was united in marriage, this union being with Emma N. Cousins, a native of Crawford County, Ill., and daughter of Edward and Adeline (Fitch) Cousins, both now deceased. By this union nine children have been born: Minnie, a noble young lady died at the age of eighteen; Jacob E., who married Mrs. Mattie Williams, of Osceola, Iowa, is a locomotive engineer, and one of the most trusted men in the employ of he B., C. R. & N. road; Rose, wife of William McCullough, now in the Government employ; Kate and Bertie P., at home; John, a promising young man, died at the age of eighteen; Bazaine, Maud and Peter still reside with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Sperry have taken great pains in educating their children, who do honor to their name. A man of superior business ability and of excellent judgment and foresight, Mr. Sperry has accumulated a comfortable property. By good management he has added to his first purchase of 140 acres until he is now the owner of 934 broad acres, 759 of which are situated in this county, and 175 near Des Moines City. Besides his farm, Mr. Sperry has been closely identified with other important interests of the county. He was the founder and was selected president of the Burlington Insurance Company in its infancy, and under his management the company became very prosperous. In 1869 he staked out Sperry Station, and in 1874 set out a park of four acres at his own expense, now containing 656 fine maple trees, and around which is a circular drive sixty feet wide, making a most attractive feature of the village. Mr. Sperry created the office at Sperry, was the first and only Postmaster, with the exception of about four years, having held or controlled the office for seventeen years. He is engaged in the mercantile business, and by fair and upright dealing has gained the confidence of his patrons and friends. With the tile factory, which manufactures as good a quality of that article as can be found in this part of the State, he is also connected. He has held various township offices of trust, has been Justice of the Peace for most of the time for twenty-five years, Notary Public for the past fifteen years, and, politically, is a stanch Republican, having affiliated with that party since 1860. He has been a member of the I. O. O. F. for twenty years, and he and his family are members of the Baptist Church. In all public enterprises Mr. Sperry is an active, energetic worker, and no one stands higher in the respect and confidence of the people of this community than does he.
Charles Sponholtz, general insurance and real estate agent of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Sept. 6, 1836, and is the son of William H. Sponholtz. He received a common-school education in his native country, which included a study of the English and French languages. He engaged in the mercantile business in his native country, continuing in the same until 1860, when he emigrated to America. Arriving in New York, Mr. Sponholtz proceeded directly to Pittsburgh, Pa., at which place he was engaged in the dry-goods business until the spring of 1861, when, on the breaking out of the late Civil War, he enlisted, on the first call for troops, as a member of Company K, 10th Pennsylvania Three Months' Infantry. He was promoted to Sergeant, served the term of his enlistment, and was discharged in July, 1861. He then went into the oil regions, where he was engaged in the oil business until the winter of 1867. Removing to Rock Island, he made that his home until the following spring, when he went to St. Louis, and in 1869 came to Burlington, Iowa.
On arriving in this city Mr. Sponholtz engaged as insurance solicitor with Mr. J. J. Heiter, and later he was with Mr. Runge in the confectionery business for two years. He was engaged in the grocery business with the firm of A. V. Dodge, and subsequently was employed as a book-keeper by Philip Hoerr, cracker manufacturer. In 1875 he embarked in the grocery business for himself, but sold out in the summer of 1876, when he was elected Market-Master by the City Council. He held that position under different administrations for six years, and then engaged in the above mentioned business, in connection with which he is a notary public and foreign steamship passage agent.
Mr. Sponholtz is a member of C. L. Matthes Post, No. 5, G. A. R., of which he is Adjutant. He is also a member of Burlington Lodge, No. 20, A. F. & A. M.; likewise holds membership in Orchard Lodge, No. 27, A. O. U. W., of which he is the present Recorder.
On the 22d of October, 1868, at Keithsburg, Ill., Mr. Sponholtz was united in marriage with Miss Rose Wolfe, daughter of Joseph Wolfe, of Cannonsburg, Pa. They have four children living, two sons and two daughters: Loring, the eldest, is a watch-maker by trade; William H., the second son, is a printer; the daughters, Ida May and Helen D., are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Sponholtz are members of the Congregational Church. He is the only representative of his family in America. He is a Republican in politics, and is a respected and esteemed citizen.
B. F. Stahl, Esq., of Mediapolis, Iowa, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, May 1, 1812, and is a son of Alexander and Magdalena (Young) Stahl, the father, a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of Virginia. Among the early settlers of Fairfield County was Alexander Stahl, who took up his residence there when a boy, became a distiller, and resided there until his death, which occurred in 1847. The mother died July 10, 1841, in Ross County, Ohio, and they were both members of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of seven children: B. F., our subject; G. W., a cooper, living at Larue, Ohio; Andrew J., now residing in Clarke County, Iowa, is also a cooper; John is a farmer of Niantic, Ill.; Minerva, deceased wife of Michael Friend, also a resident of Illinois; and Alexander and Miranda, both also deceased.
The maternal grandfather, Christopher Young, served his country faithfully in the War for Independence. He was a native of Rockingham County, Va., a shoemaker by trade, and was a zealous Baptist. His death occurred July 12, 1843, at the advanced age of ninety-six years six months and eleven days. Leaving home at the early age of fourteen years, B. F. Stahl learned the cooper's trade, and was united in marriage Aug. 11, 1833, with Clarissa Todd, daughter of Jonah Todd, one of the pioneer settlers of Des Moines County, Iowa. Their marriage was celebrated in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1842, and then Mr. Stahl came to Des Moines County, working at his trade near Dodgeville during the winter, returning to Ohio the following spring and remaining two years in his native State, working at his trade. He then, with his family, returned to Des Moines County in order to secure employment. The lack of work in Ohio was occasioned by the employers hiring the penitentiary men, being able to secure their services at reduced rates. He located two miles east of Dodgeville, and worked at his trade for two years, when he went to Burlington, where he was employed as foreman of William Walker's cooper shop, and being a first-class workman, thoroughly understanding his business, remained in that capacity for three years. He purchased forty acres of land in Flint River Township, and made that his home for two years, when he returned to Burlington and engaged in keeping a toll-gate on the plank road, in which two more years passed by. The two succeeding years he was engaged as foreman of the flour barrel factory of Cock & Heisey, when, again deciding to go upon a farm, he, in 1851, purchased land near Dodgeville, where he carried on the occupations of farming and working at the cooper's trade for eleven years. His next removal was to the village of Dodgeville, where he became proprietor of a hotel; but the same year was appointed Postmaster, receiving his commission from Abraham Lincoln and continuing in that position for three years. Mr. Stahl was elected Justice of the Peace in 1863, and two years later removed to Kossuth, where he was again engaged in the hotel business. In connection with that he kept the stage office; later was again appointed Postmaster, which position he held for seven years, and was also Justice of the Peace for two years. Going to Burlington, he became clerk of the Scott House in 1872, and then settled permanently at Mediapolis in 1875. In that year Mr. Stahl was elected Justice of the Peace, serving continuously ever since. He was also honored with the office of Mayor for six years, serving with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He has tried many cases from Burlington and served about 200 warrants.
Mr. and Mrs. Stahl reared a family of eight children: William H. H., now in Phillipsburg, Mont., is a miner and a cooper; B. E. is a resident of Moray, Idaho; Sarah, wife of H. C. Harper, a resident of Mediapolis, Iowa; James H., whose home is in Diamond City, Mont.; Amanda C., widow of R. A. Taylor, resides in Burlington; Mary E., wife of J. E. Ware of Mediapolis; George J., a carriage-trimmer of Atchison, Kan.; and Z. T., residing in Bozeman, Mont., is a saddler by trade.
Religiously, both Mr. Stahl and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, while socially, he is a member of Des Moines Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M., of Burlington; also was a member of Washington Lodge, but is now a member of Garner Lodge, No. 379, I. O. O. F. In early life a Whig, on the organization of the Republican party he joined their ranks and has since affiliated with the same. By industry, economy and good management, Mr. Stahl has gained a comfortable competence and has reared a family which does honor to his name. He is well known and universally respected throughout the community in which he lives.
Charles Starker, President of the Iowa State Savings Bank of Burlington. Among the solid business men of this county, no one deserves notice in this work more than the subject of this sketch, who is numbered among the early settlers of 1850, and who has not only witnessed the remarkable growth of the town and city, but has contributed to its development as much as any other man within its borders. Charles Starker was born in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, on the 11th day of March,1826. There he grew to manhood, receiving a liberal education. He made a study of architecture, in which he became proficient, and, after coming to Burlington, he drafted many of the beautiful buildings in that city.
In 1848 Mr. Starker left his native country and came to America, locating for a short time at Buffalo, N. Y. Thence he went to Chicago, where he embarked in the mercantile business; but subsequently, in 1850, he settled permanently in Burlington, engaging in the retail and wholesale grocery business, which he continued twenty-five years with success, accumulating a large property.
On the 10th day of February, 1852, Mr. Starker was united in marriage with Miss Mary Runge, who was born near St. Charles, Mo., Feb. 1, 1836. Two living children bless this union: Arthur, a prominent grain dealer; and Clara, wife of Carl Leopold, a furniture manufacturer of Burlington.
No man has more closely connected with the business interests of the city than Mr. Starker, as the following will show. Since 1860 he has been identified with its banking interests, and has also held many prominent places in city affairs. He is President of the Iowa Savings Bank; Director of the National State Bank, with which he has been connected since its organization; President of the Aspen Grove Cemetery, and has been one of its Directors for twenty-five years; Treasurer and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Opera House, and to him is due credit for so elegant a structure; Treasurer of the I. O. O. F. Building; Treasurer of the Independent School District, and Director of the Agricultural Society. He laid off the public square, and also planned and laid off the beautiful cemetery of Aspen Grove. As remarked in the beginning of this sketch, no man in Des Moines County is more worthy of record in this volume than Charles Starker. He is a man of superior judgment, a close observer, and a gentleman in every respect. In the building up of city and county he has contributed liberally of his means, and deserves that which he has--the good opinion and respect of every citizen of the county who knows him.
Mr. Starker has a beautiful residence on Prospect Hill, from where he has a view of the "Father of the Waters" for nearly fifty miles. His extensive grounds are laid off artistically with fountains, hothouse, and everything that ensures comfort; and surrounded with all that makes life enjoyable, he is reaping the legitimate fruits of a life of industry, enterprise and integrity.
Hon. Henry W. Starr, who for many years was a leading member of the Iowa bar, was born at Middlebury, Vt., July 26, 1815. His father, the Hon. Peter Starr, was a prominent and influential citizen of that State, and the mother of our subject was, before her marriage, Miss Eunice Sergeant. Henry W. graduated from Middlebury College in he class of "34, and he at once entered upon the study of law at Cincinnati, Ohio, with his uncle Henry Starr, then a prominent member of the Cincinnati bar, as preceptor. After a three-years course of study, he passed a satisfactory examination before Judge Salmon P. Chase, late Chief-Justice of the United States, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1837. The following June, Mr. Starr started for the West in search of a favorable location for the practice of his profession, and after visiting many of the promising points, where ambitious pioneers had built great business centers on paper, he selected Burlington (then the capitol of Wisconsin Territory) for the scene of future operations. Gen. Henry Dodge was then Territorial Governor, and the little hamlet on the west bank of the Mississippi has since verified the correctness of the judgment of the young lawyer, by becoming one of the leading cities of Iowa. After a brief visit to his old home in the East, Mr. Starr made a permanent location at Burlington in November, 1837, and soon after coming to that place he formed a partnership with the late Judge Rhorer, which connection continued only about a year. At the end of that time, Mr. Starr became associated with the late Senator Grimes in a law practice, under the firm name of Grimes & Starr, and they rapidly built up an extensive and lucrative business. In the early settlement of the country, collections, loans and real estate constituted an important part of a responsible lawyer's business, and the firm of Grimes & Starr, having established a reputation for promptness, ability and integrity, secured a line of business equal to at least three of the leading firms of Iowa. At their annual settlement, during the year they were engaged in the celebrated Half-breed Trast Suit, their business netted them $60,000. Both were remarkably able and talented gentlemen, and soon won prominence and celebrity, the firm being acknowledged the leading one in Iowa. Mr. Grimes entered political life, serving as Governor of Iowa and also as United States Senator. Mr. Starr preferred to seek distinction in the practice of his profession, for which he was eminently fitted by natural ability, taste and culture. From early boyhood, he was distinguished for clear and active intellect, quick conception, ready analysis and correct logical deduction. He was studious by habit, and having had the benefit of superior culture, both in his literary and law studies, he rose to eminence until he was recognized as the peer of the highest in the profession in the State. While not gifted with flowery eloquence he was distinguished for clear and simple reasoning, sound argument and unerring accuracy in his conclusions on points of law. In writing the history of the early bar of Iowa, the impartial historian will place the record of Henry W. Starr in the place of honor among the foremost and most distinguished of the profession of his day. He was never ambitious of political honor, and with the exception of serving two terms as Mayor of Burlington, was never actively identified with politics.
Mr. Starr was married twice. His first wife was Miss Marian S. Peasley, to whom he was married Sept. 28, 1843, and who died April 23, 1854, leaving two sons. Charles E., born at Burlington, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1845, while fitting for college in 1862, was appointed to the United States Naval Academy, where he remained until he was ordered into active service as a midshipman in 1866. After one year of active duty in that capacity, he resigned and engaged in the study of law, graduating from the Law Department of the Washington University at St. Louis, in the class of '73, since which time he has practiced his profession in his native city. Peter J., born Feb. 15, 1851, and who graduated from the Michigan University Law School in the class of '73, died at Burlington, Iowa, Aug. 23, of the same year. Henry Starr was again married April 9, 1857, to Miss Eliza A. Merrill, daughter of Thomas A. Merrill, and a native of Middlebury, Vt., an estimable lady, who survives her husband, and is still a resident of Burlington. By this marriage he had two daughters, Marian E. and Carrie A.; the latter is now married to H. C. Hadley, a rising lawyer of Burlington.
Mr. Starr continued in active practice until, on account of failing health, he retired from business and spent the remainder of his days in honorable ease, enjoying the ample fortune which was the result of many years of close application to the arduous duties of a successful lawyer. His death occurred from apoplexy Oct. 30, 1881, closing an active, useful and honorable career, in which he won distinction as an eminent jurist and the esteem and respect of a wide circle of friends.
William C. Steinmetz is a book-keeper for the Burlington Lumber Company, having occupied that position since April, 1884. He was born in Philadelphia on the 29th of September, 1830, and was reared and educated in his native city. In 1849 he went to St. Louis, making that his home until 1855. He was married in Philadelphia, on June 21, 1853, to Miss P. C. Woolverton, daughter of John Woolverton, lately a resident of Burlington. In the spring of 1855 Mr. Steinmetz removed to Galena, Ill., making that his home for two years, and then removing to Macomb, Ill., he entered the military service in the late war as a private, May 4, 1861, and was mustered into the United States service as a member of Company A, 14th Illinois Infantry. He was detached at Canton, Mo., as hospital steward for the General Hospital at Tipton, Mo., and was on duty at that point until immediately before the battle of Belmont, when he was ordered back to his regiment by Gen. John Pope. He was again detached at Cairo, in the same Department, as hospital steward in the field. At the battle of Shiloh he was assigned to the charge of the hospital of the 7th Iowa Infantry, and later to the military hospital of the steamboat "Louisiana." After making two trips on the "Louisiana" he was ordered to report as division hospital steward of the 6th Division, 17th Army Corps, and served in that capacity until July 3, 1863, when he was ordered by Gen. U. S. Grant to report as steward-in-chief of Officers' Hospital at Memphis. During his service he participated in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Farmington, Corinth, Iuka, siege of Corinth, and numerous minor engagements and skirmishes. He was wounded at the battle of Iuka by a sword-thrust through the hand, and lost his hearing at the Camp Hospital of the 7th Iowa Infantry at Shiloh during that action, by the planting of siege guns within sixty rods of the hospital tent. He was mustered out at Jacksonville, Ill., June 24, 1865, and was brevetted Regimental Surgeon at the same time. Returning to Macomb, Ill., after the close of the war, he continued to make that his place of residence till 1871, as Teller in T. M. Jordan's bank, when he removed to Beardstown, Ill., to accept the position as store-keeper with the Rockford & Rock Island Railroad Company, and remained in that position until November, 1880, when he came to Burlington and accepted the same position with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, continuing with it until April, 1884, at which time he accepted the position he now holds with the Burlington Lumber Company.
Mr. Steinmetz has been an earnest and consistent worker in various secret organizations, and has been called to fill almost every office, from minor ones in the subordinate to the principal offices of the grand bodies. He was initiated into Odd Fellowship in Adelphi Lodge, No. 22, of Philadelphia, in 1852, and is now a member of Military Tract Lodge, No. 145, of Macomb, Ill., also belonging to the Grand Lodge of the I. O. O. F., of Illinois. He took the first degree in Masonry in 1861, in Cass Lodge, 'No. 23, of Beardstown, Ill., the second in Memphis, in 1862, and the third on the tented field during the war. He is a charter member of Protection Lodge, No. 22, A. O. U. W., of Beardstown, Ill., joining in 1871 as the first master workman, since which time he has filled nearly every position except that of G. M. W. He joined the G. A. R. at Springfield, Ill., in 1869, as a member of Abe Lincoln Post, No. 5, and remained with that post until he thought that politics became too prominent a question, and so withdrew. In 1881 he joined Matthias Post, No. 5, of Burlington, and has supported it through sunshine and storm. He was one of the very few who attended meetings regularly when the interest in the order was so dormant that a corporal's guard could not be mustered on the nights of meeting, but he has the happiness now to see a goodly attendance almost every session. He is also a member of the Grand Encampment of Iowa, and is Aide-de-Camp to E. A. Consigney, Department Commander and Inspector for the First Congressional District. He is also Post Commander of the Select Knights, A. O. U. W., and P. C. G. of St. Omar Commandery, Knights Templar, of Burlington.
Oscar E. Stewart, Superintendent of the East Iowa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad since April, 1883, and an employe of that corporation since 1868, is a native of Henry County, Iowa, born near Lowell, Oct. 11, 1844, and his parents, James A. and Lucinda (Cowles) Stewart, were pioneers of that county of 1840. His father was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, and was of Scotch descent. The paternal grandparents of our subject were formerly from Pennsylvania, and his mother, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio, was of an old New York family. Mr. Stewart, Sr., emigrated to Iowa in 1840, settling near the village of Lowell, Henry County, where he was engaged in farming for many years, and both he and his estimable wife are still living, and residents of Minden, Kearney Co., Neb.
Our subject was reared on a farm until sixteen, and when seventeen enlisted in the late war, Nov. 26, 1861, as a private of Company E, 15th Iowa Infantry. He spent the winter of 1861-62 at Keokuk, but left there in March, and in April was stationed a few days at Benton Barracks, Mo., and then proceeded to the front in time to take part in the battle of Shiloh, seige of Corinth, battles of Corinth, Oct. 4 and 5, 1862, the Vicksburg campaign, the Atlanta campaign, and received a gunshot wound in the left hand, while in action before the latter city, July 21, 1864. Having served the term of his enlistment, he re-enlisted as a veteran at Vicksburg, Miss., Jan. 1, 1864, and continued in the service until the close of the war, the date of his discharge being Aug. 26, 1865.
On his return from the war, Mr. Stewart spent two years at home, and in 1867 learned telegraphy, after which he entered the service of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company. In the year 1868 he was appointed station agent at Batavia, Iowa, was subsequently, at various times, made ticket agent at Ottumwa, Council Bluffs and Nebraska City, was train dispatcher at Red Oak, Chariton and Ottumwa, and was chief operator at other points. In 1873 Mr. Stewart left the road and went to California, where he was in the employ of the Central Pacific Railroad for about one year. He then returned to the Burlington & Missouri River in Nebraska, and was appointed ticket agent at Lincoln, Neb.; later he returned to the old line and was stationed at Creston, Iowa, as operator; from there he came to Burlington as train dispatcher; subsequently was employed as chief train dispatcher at Ottumwa, and was made trainmaster of the Middle Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. His next move was to Chicago, where he served as superintendent of telegraphy over the whole line, and in April, 1883, he returned to Burlington to accept his present position, which he has held continuously since.
On the 26th of October, 1875, Mr. Stewart was married, at Ottumwa, Iowa, to Miss Annie Ogden, who was born near Eddyville, Wapello Co., Iowa. Two children grace their union: Ruth, now aged eleven, and Edith, aged six. Mr. Stewart is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the G. A. R., C. L. Matthes Post No. 5, of Burlington. As his record shows, he has been actively employed in railroad work for twenty years, and with the exception of about two years, has been with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company, or with the original companies since incorporated into that great system. His experience has been varied, and he has served in many different capacities. That the duties devolving upon him have been discharged with ability and fidelity is well attested by his long continuance in the service of a company whose policy has always been to retain faithful and competent men in their employ as long as possible.
Robert Stewart, deceased, one of the pioneers of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Hamilton County, Pa., Nov. 5, 1814, and in his native State he resided until eighteen years of age, when he removed to Columbus, Ohio, there engaging in the grocery business. While in that city, in 1838, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Celinda Esterday, who was a native of Franklin County, Ohio, born of the 28th of September, 1815. Two years later he removed with his family to Iowa, locating in Burlington, and shortly after his arrival in that city entered into a partnership with Frink & Walker in the staging business, in which pursuit he was engaged several years, when he sold out his interest, and established a livery stable, continuing in that business until 1866, at the same time running the stage line from Ft. Madison to Clifton, Iowa. In 1866 he sold out his livery business and retired from active life. Seven children graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, three of whom are yet living--Mrs. Mary J. Fear, Mrs. A. J. Chamberlain and Mrs. O. A. Wyman. Those deceased are Josephine V., John R., Robert A. and hHrry G. Mr. Stewart was one the first residents of Des Moines County, Iowa. At the time Mr. Stewart became one of its citizens, the now prosperous city of Burlington was but a village, the prairies were wild and uncultivated, the red man might often be seen and all kinds of wild game abounded. Being of an energetic nature, he was always in the front rank of all public enterprises and aided largely in the development and the cultivation of the county.
W. H. Stewart, Justice and Notary Public, of Danville, Iowa. Few men are living in Des Moines County who were residents in 1840, and we present with pleasure the sketches of those pioneers who from the early days in Iowa have conducted the business and built up a county second to none in the State. In Hamilton County, Ohio, our subject was born Dec. 3, 1833, and is a son of James A. and Eliza (Bradley) Stewart. The paternal ancestry were of Scotch origin, but James was born in Hamilton County, Ohio. His wife was a native of Delaware. In 1840, the family removed to Lowell, Henry Co., Iowa, and ten years later made a permanent location at Danville, Des Moines County. Previous to this the death of Mrs. James Stewart occurred, on the 1st of January, 1842. Mr. Stewart later married Lucinda Coles, and in 1886 they removed to Minden, Neb. He is now in his seventy-seventh year, and one of the best known men in this neighborhood. Our subject is the only child living whose birth graced the first union. A sister, Eliza, born in Ohio, came with the family, but died in childhood. Ten children were born after the second marriage, and all being well known we speak individually of each. Oscar E., who married Anna Ogden, of Ottumwa, is Division Superintendent of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and resides in Burlington; Mary wedded A. White, of Axtell, Neb.; Harvey, a volunteer in Company D, 1st Iowa, died in the service; Solomon, a banker of Axtell, Neb., was twice married, his first wife being Mary Goldsmith, the second, Dora Carpenter; John M., of Lincoln, Neb., who wedded Alice Warner, of Libertyville, was formerly a banker of both Axtell and Minden, but is now Assistant Attorney General; Rebecca is the wife of Joseph Gilman, a capitalist and real-estate dealer of Minden, Neb.; Laura is the wife of Mr. Cheney, of California, who was formerly employed in the United States Mint, at Carson City; Nellie is the wife of Jesse Bird, a miller of Minden; Sybil wedded Milton Wickersham, a tinner, residing at Cheyenne Wells, Col.; and Emma, who completed her education at Fairfield, has been engaged in teaching several years at Minden.
W. H. Stewart, our subject, was married, Oct. 16, 1869, to Miss Sybil Higley, who was born in Portage County, Ohio, a daughter of E. C. and Anna (Messenger) Higley, who were among the first settlers of the county, locating here in 1839. Mr. Higley is still living in this township, and has reached the ripe age of seventy-seven years. Two children came with the parents to Iowa in 1839, one the wife of our subject, the other, Harriet, who became the wife of Judson Scoville, a resident farmer of Lucas County, Iowa. Mr. Higley and his brother-in-law both purchased large tracts of land at an early date, the former still residing upon the same, and the latter we speak of elsewhere.
We now mention the children of the Higley family as completing still further the sketch of our subject. Henry wedded Mary Minson, and resides upon a farm adjoining his father's homestead; Emily is her father's housekeeper; Mary died at the age of fourteen. The death of Mrs. Higley occurred March 14, 1886. She lacked only three days of attaining her seventy-fifth birthday, and had lived to see this country transformed into a miniature paradise. The Higley cabin was among the first built on this great prairie, and both Mrs. Higley and her mother were among the first members of the Congregational Church in this township, of which the only surviving member is Mrs. Seymour, of New London.
W. H. Stewart enlisted in Company D, 1st Iowa Cavalry, in 1863, and served three years in the Western army. After his return he established a nursery, the first in Danville Township, which he conducted for sixteen years. After this business was relinquished Mr. Stewart was placed in charge of the "Material Department of the Santa Fe Railroad," as one of the foremen, and his attention to details has brought him into favor with other lines of railroad, one of which large corporations has offered him a similar position, which he will probably accept. Mr. Stewart has been elected Justice of the Peace for five consecutive terms, and was appointed Notary Public in 1876.
The three children of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were all born in Danville Township; Edward is a dealer in hardware and real estate in Oberlin, Kan.; his wife was Miss Blanch Rodehaver. Alice N. is the wife of William B. Hunt, a son of one of the earliest settlers, and resides upon the Wesley Hunt homestead; Clara B. is the only one at home.
For several years Mr. Stewart served as Township Clerk, and has been one of the energetic and highly useful citizens of this county from his early manhood. He is a local politician of note, and has for years been a member of the County Republican Central Committee. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has a membership in Danville Lodge No. 48, of which he is Secretary. Mr. Stewart is also a member of Burlington Chapter No. 1, R. A. M.
William Steyh, City Engineer of Burlington, Iowa, was born in a small village near Frankfort on the Main, Sept. 17, 1845, and his early life was spent upon a farm. When fifteen years of age he engaged with an engineering corps, and, being a close observer, he made rapid progress in the profession of civil engineering. In 1867 he came to America, going to Wheeling, W. Va., where he had friends living, but not finding any employment, was advised to go West, so after about three months' stay in that city, he came to Burlington. The following spring he obtained employment on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad with a party of surveyors, remaining with them until 1870, and then was employed for a short time on the Burlington & Northwestern Railroad. During the year 1871 and a portion of 1872, Mr. Steyh was in the employ of the State at the Iowa Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant, being engaged in surveying and laying off the grounds. The following recommendation will show in what appreciation his labors were held.
"To whom it may concern: Mr. William Steyh, C. E., has had charge of the extensive hydraulic works for supplying this institution with water, consisting of the construction of a heavy stone masonry dam, settling pond, filter and reservoir with connecting pipes, and has shown himself a most competent engineer. Under his guidance the work has progressed in a very satisfactory manner. He has shown good judgment in planning work for the large force of laborers, stone-cutters and masons under him, for the economical prosecution of the work. He has also done topographical surveying for laying out the hospital grounds for ornamental planting and lawns, and I fell that I can confidentially recommend him to any one needing the service of a skillful city engineer. -- Mark Ramsey, Supt." In 1872 Mr. Steyh returned to Burlington, and the next year had charge of the construction of the street car lines of the city. In 1878 he was in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, constructing the double track, and in 1879 assisted in the construction of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, between Plattsmouth and Red Cloud. He was the assistant in laying off the great Chicago, Burlington & Quincy shops at West Burlington, and in the latter part of 1881 he was engaged in constructing the Burlington & Northwestern between Winfield and Brighton. Since 1882 he has occupied his present position as City Engineer, with the exception of one year, 1884.
Mr. Steyh was united in marriage in Burlington, in 1873, with Miss Christina Pleiff, a native of Des Moines County. By this union there are four children--Lizzie, Tillie, Willie and Maggie. In politics Mr. Steyh is independent.
We take pleasure in presenting the name of Mr. Storer, a prominent and representative farmer residing on section 32, Flint River Township, who was born Jan. 27, 1828, in Allegheny, Pa. His parents, Richard and Mary A. (Snyder) Storer, were both natives of Pennsylvania, the father descended from the Scotch, and the mother of German origin, and to them were born nine children, of whom eight are yet living: Hannah E., wife of Wilson Wall, they being residents of Allegheny County, Pa., living but a mile from the old home; Charlotte A., wife of George Snyder, a resident of New London, Henry Co., Iowa; Martha J., widow of Jacob Snyder, resides in Keosauqua, Iowa; our subject is fourth in order of birth; William, who served three years in a Pennsylvania regiment, lives in Elizabethtown, Pa.; Margaret L. married Samuel McKibben, and they reside in Muscatine, Iowa; Nicholas, a mechanic, is Superintendent in the Buffington Wheel Company, of Burlington, Iowa, and served three years in the 1st Iowa Cavalry; Mary C., widow of F. F. Perry, is living in Keosauqua, Iowa; Richard, the eighth child, was a member of the 25th Iowa Infantry, and died from exposure while in the service during the late war. The mother of these children died in 1841, at the age of thirty-six, in Allegheny County, Pa. She was a kind and indulgent wife and mother, and a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Storer after the death of his first wife was again married, to Mrs. Elizabeth Wheatly, and by this union two children were born: Nancy and Frazer, the latter, like many others, giving his life on the alter of his country, being a member of the 25th Iowa Infantry. Mrs. Elizabeth Storer died in 1849, and Miss Mary Gardiner, a native of Pennsylvania, became his third wife. Eight children graced this last union: Oliver, Milton, James; Emma, wife of Thomas Lamme, a resident of Winfield, Iowa; Frank, who was killed by a horse; and three children who died in infancy. Richard Storer, Sr., came with his family to Iowa in 1851, purchasing a farm in Flint River Township, Des Moines County, making that his home until 1863. He then sold that land, purchasing in Union Township, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1883, at the age of eighty-two years. Previous to his coming to Iowa, he served as a Deacon of the Baptist Church in his native State, and after coming to this county, performed the same office in the First Baptist Church, at Burlington, until his death. The church lost one of its most active workers in his death, he being very liberal in its support. His third wife died about the year 1881, and she too was a member of that church.
Remaining at home until the age of seventeen, John Storer then began the battle of life for himself, and wishing to learn the carpenter's trade, he served an apprenticeship for four years, receiving for each of the first two years $35, and $40 for the succeeding two years. During that time he became a master workman, and receiving a recommendation, started out as a journeyman, working in Pennsylvania, where he received about $2 per day. Thinking that the new West would prove a better field for his labor, in 1851 he located in Burlington, and many of the beautiful residences stand as testimonials of his skill and ability. In 1852 sixty acres of his present farm were purchased in partnership with his brother-in-law, it then being wild and uncultivated land. John Storer settled on his farm in 1854, in the meantime continuing working at his trade until 1862, when he became a farmer, having previously rented the land upon which he resided until that time. At the expiration of that time he purchased his brother's stock and implements, and the care and cultivation bestowed it have produced one of the most beautiful farms in Flint River Township. All buildings necessary for a well-regulated farm have been erected, and now 100 broad acres pay tribute to his care and cultivation. Mr. Storer was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth C. Delashmutt, who was born in Tyler County, Va., Feb. 18, 1834, and is a daughter of Elias N. and Susanna (Gorrell) Delashmutt, who were natives of Virginia, the father being of French, and the mother of German descent. They were the parents of nine children. Mrs. Storer came with her parents to Burlington, Feb. 18, 1835. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Storer has been blessed with two children: Clara J., born Dec. 22, 1854, became the wife of Charles Walker, one of Des Moines County's sons, and to them was born one child, James O., born in July, 1874; Mr. Walker's occupation is that of a farmer. Amelia, born Sept. 15, 1856, wedded John Barnes, a native of Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of two children: Clarence, born in 1881, and Chester, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes are residents of Montgomery, Iowa.
For over a quarter-century Mr. and Mrs. Storer have been members of the Baptist Church, in which they are active workers, and their daughters too have followed the teachings of their parents, and united with that body. Mr. Storer is a Republican in politics, though liberal in his views, and among the names of Des Moines County's respected citizens, those of Mr. and Mrs. Storer deserve an honored place.
John W. Storks, one of the prominent citizens of Des Moines County, Iowa, and proprietor of the Commercial House, at Mediapolis, Yellow Spring Township, is a native of Ross County, Ohio, born at Clarksburg, and is a son of David and Margaret (Keys) Storks. The former was a native of Maryland, born July 19, 1801, and was a son of Philip and Susan (Wolcot) Storks. David was when quite young apprenticed to the trade of carriage-making, and followed that occupation the greater part of his life. He was twice married, his first wife being Eliza Davis, who was born Oct. 18, 1804. Their union took place July 3, 1824, and the following three children were born to them, namely: Hester, born Nov. 20, 1826, who became the wife of Isaac Brown, of Pickaway County, Ohio, and died Feb. 19, 1888, when sixty-two years of age; Susan, born Dec. 19, 1830, is the wife of Abraham Brown, and lives in Louisa County; William D., born Aug. 30, 1835, who is also a resident of Louisa County. Eliza Storks died May 12, 1836, and on Sept. 24, 1837, Mr. Storks was again married, his second wife being Mrs. Margaret W. Long, widow of Hampton Long, whose maiden name had been Keys, and who was born in Ross County, Ohio, Oct. 23, 1817. By her first marriage she had one child, Elizabeth, who is the wife of Nelson Baker, and resides in London, Ohio. David and Margaret W. Storks were the parents of seven children, of whom our subject, John W., is the eldest living, born July 20, 1840; Elmira, born July 16, 1838, died at the age of thirteen months; Mary A., born June 29, 1843, died when five years old; Levi, born March 27, 1846, is a farmer in Yellow Spring Township, this county; Samuel K., born Feb. 24, 1849, is a farmer in Louisa County, Iowa; James P., born Jan. 21, 1854, lives at Great Bend, Kan.; and Alice, born Sept. 5, 1858, is the wife of James Bailey, of Mediapolis, Iowa.
David Storks was among the early settlers of Ross County, Ohio, removing there from Maryland in 1832, bringing with him his wife Eliza and two daughters. Their son William was born in Ross County. He remained in that county eleven years, working at his trade. It was there his first wife died and there he was married the second time, and there the three eldest children by his second marriage were born. In 1845 he returned to his old home at Salisbury, Somerset Co., Md., where for four years he and his brother-in-law, Isaac Nichols, carried on a carriage manufactory, he acting as salesman. In 1849 he returned to Ohio, locating at Circleville, in Pickaway County, where he carried on the carriage business for a short time. His next removal was to Mt. Sterling, Madison CO., Ohio, where he carried on a carriage and wagon making shop from 1850 to 1856, removing in the latter year to Burlington, Iowa. In that city he worked as a journeyman for two years, his family living on a rented farm in Benton Township, seven miles from Burlington, which he left to the care of his boys. Giving up his trade at the end of two years he removed to Louisa County, Iowa, renting a farm there until 1866, in which year he bought a farm of 300 acres, on which he lived until his death, Dec. 13, 1871. Mr. Storks was a sincere and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which he joined when a young man, and in which for many years he was a Class-Leader. He was always a lover of liberty, and was an original Abolitionist, and in political belief a member of the Whig party, and took much interest in public affairs, although he never sought office. He was an extensive reader, a friend and advocate of education, a respected citizen and a good business man, whose position in life was gained by his own efforts, he being at one time the owner of a large property. His children have followed in his footsteps, and do honor to himself and his wife, who survives him and makes her home with her daughter Alice and her husband, James Bailey, on a farm adjoining Mediapolis.
The early life of John W. Storks was mainly passed upon the farm, his education being received in the common schools of Maryland, Ohio and Iowa. He was five years old when his father returned to Maryland, and nine when the family came back to Ohio. He was sixteen years of age when the removal to Iowa took place, and during the two years the family lived in Benton Township he worked on the farm in the summer months, and attended school in the winter. After the removal to Louisa County he continued to work on the farm until Aug. 9, 1862, when he responded to the call for more volunteers to put down the great Rebellion, and enlisted in Company C, 30th Iowa Infantry. He served with the regiment a period of ten months, during which time he participated in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, but was discharged in June, 1863, by reason of physical disability. Returning home he staid until May, 1864, when, his health being partially restored, he enlisted in the 45th Iowa Infantry, remaining with the regiment until October of that year, when they were discharged by reason of the expiration of their term of enlistment.
On his final return from the war, Mr. Storks resided on his share of his father's farm until the spring of 1876, when he bought 200 acres in Yellow Spring Township, on which he made his home for ten years, and by good management and careful cultivation made it one of the best in the township. During most of the time he was on this farm he was also engaged considerably in the buying and shipping of stock. Selling his farm in the spring of 1886, he purchased the hotel property in Mediapolis, where he enjoys a good trade, his house being well kept and deservedly popular with the traveling public. In connection with his hotel he keeps a livery and feed stable for the accommodation of his patrons, a branch of the business for which his experience as a dealer in stock peculiarly fits him.
On Dec. 27, 1866, Mr. Storks was united in marriage with Miss Jane Swank, daughter of William and Christiana (Edelman) Swank, who was born in Harrison County, Ind., Dec. 9, 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Storks have one child, a daughter, E. Ella, born on the home farm in Louisa County, Feb. 11, 1869, a young lady of decided musical talent.
Mrs. Storks and her daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Storks is a member of Garner Lodge No. 379, I. O. O. F., and of Sheppard Post No. 157, G. A. R., both of Mediapolis. A Republican in politics, Mr. Storks was honored by the citizens of the township in which he lived by being elected to the offices of Justice of the Peace, Township Clerk and Trustee. As a friend, a genial host, and a good citizen, the kindly proprietor of the Commercial House is deservedly popular in the community, and we are pleased to give this sketch of him and his family a place in the biographical annals of the best citizen of Des Moines County.
Alanson R. Strickland, the oldest passenger conductor in years of service on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, was born in Franklin County, Mass., March 1, 1833, and is a son of Russell and Margaret (Newell) Strickland, both of whom were also natives of Massachusetts, and descended from old New England families. Our subject was reared on a farm till twenty years of age, when he engaged in railroad work. On the 16th of March, 1855, in his native State, he wedded Miss Abbie F. Shattuck, who was born at Bernardstown, Mass., and is a daughter of Abel Shattuck. Four children were born unto them, three sons and one daughter; two of the sons are deceased. Those living are Parke E., who married Miss Percis Coad, and resides at Burlington; Daisy, who is the wife of Murray A. McArthur, now partner of Mr. Strickland in the livery business at Burlington. Mr. Strickland removed from Massachusetts to Mendota, Ill., in 1856, and entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company as cashier in the freight office at that place, and remained there about two years, and then came to Burlington, Iowa, where he was for some time freight agent on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. In 1861 he resigned his position and went back East to recuperate his failing health. After a year's rest he took a situation as conductor on the Wabash Railroad, with headquarters at Ft. Wayne, Ind. He remained in the employ of that company about two years and a half and then resigned and engaged in the hotel business at Ft. Wayne, and after a couple of years residence there he sold out and returned to Burlington and again was engaged with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy as conductor of a passenger train running between Burlington and Chariton. In 1868, he engaged with the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern as passenger conductor, and, with the exception of two years spent as Superintendent of Construction on the Burlington & Southwestern Railroad, he has been in that company's service continuously since. For upward of thirty years Mr. Strickland has been a resident of Burlington, Iowa. In June, 1887, in company with his son-in-law, Mr. McArthur, he purchased the livery business at the corner of South Third and Valley streets, where they have a large and well-stocked establishment, keeping a fine assortment of carriages and an excellent lot of horses. The business is under the care and management of the proprietors, Messrs. Strickland & McArthur. For the past twenty years, Mr. Strickland has been conductor of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, having held that position longer than any other man in the company's service. That he is deservedly popular with the traveling public and the company's managers is best shown by the long term of years that he has been employed in his present capacity and the many warm friends he has made.
John Sunderland, deceased, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 17, 1800, and was a son of John and Sarah (Van Nice) Sunderland, both of whom were from New Jersey. Mr. Sunderland was born when Cincinnati was but a small village, and he distinctly remembers when the first brick house was built in the city. When but a small child our subject removed with his parents to Butler County, near Hamilton, Ohio, when that now beautiful city was but a small village. His boyhood days were spent in attending the common schools and helping his father on the farm, which was situated a few miles out of the city limits. In 1819 he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Page, and the following year the young couple removed to Parke County, Ind., where Mr. Sunderland established a general merchandising store at Rockville, the county seat of that county. In connection with his mercantile business he carried on pork packing, shipping his pork and produce on a flatboat down the river to New Orleans. He continued in this business until 1845. Previous to this, in 1843, Mrs. Sunderland was called to her final home. She was a devoted wife and a loving mother, and a member of the Baptist Church.
Ten children were born of their union, all of whom grew to man and womanhood, and of that number five are yet living: W. P., who was a physician, died in New Orleans; Eliza A., born April 4, 1822, became the wife of Judge Maxwell, and yet resides in Rockville, Ind.; Sarah, born Jan. 22, 1824, wedded Rev. John Tansey, and is a resident of Los Angeles, Cal.; Rebecca, born May 29, 1826, is the wife of Robert Q. Roach, a banker of California, Mo.; Mary, deceased wife of Dr. William Reeder, was born July 4, 1828; John C., born Jan. 21, 1831, is now deceased; Susan, born April 3, 1833, is the deceased wife of L. A. Foote, a resident of Crawfordsville, Ind.; Harriet, now Mrs. David Ashpaugh, of Oregon, was born April 26, 1836; Ellen P., born Oct. 24, 1834, is the wife of Edward Howe, a teacher in the schools of Sacramento, Cal.; Margaret E. died of yellow fever in the year 1853, in the city of New Orleans. After the death of his first wife Mr. Sunderland was again married, April 14, 1845, to Mrs. Nancy Andrews, a daughter of Robert and Mary (Wallace) Sigerson, the father a native of Pennsylvania, the mother of Kentucky. By this second union several children have been born: Emma L., born April 12, 1848, is the wife of Henry D. Cameron, a farmer of Union Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa; Philomela, born April 25, 1851, is the widow of Dr. Thomas B. Downes, and resides in Wichita, Kan.; Clara N., born May 28, 1853, resides at Burlington, and is the widow of Oscar Rhea, who was formerly a druggist of that place; James C., born at Rockville, Ind., Oct. 14, 1859, is an architect of Kansas City, Mo.
In 1853 Mr. Sunderland, with his family, made an overland trip from Rockville, Ind., to the Willamette Valley, Ore., and after remaining in the valley for about ten months, returned to his former home, making the trip by water. In 1858 the family made a trip to Austin, Tex., returning the following year, and, in 1860 they removed to Burlington, Iowa, where Mr. Sunderland resided until his death, which occurred July 25, 1879. He was a prominent and highly respected citizen of Burlington, and his death caused a great loss to the community. He was a careful and conservative man in all his business dealings, was charitable and kind to his fellow creatures, was ready to aid in all educational and church work, and was an attendant of the Presbyterian Church. Throughout his life he was a Democrat, and cast his first vote for Gen. Jackson. Mrs. Sunderland is also a member of the Presbyterian Church, and of the W. C. T. U., of Burlington.
Charles H. Sutphen, retired, P. O. Joliet, Ill., was born in Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., N. Y., Feb. 15, 1806. His father, Gilbert Sutphen, was a native of New Jersey, of Dutch and Irish descent, the grandfather, John Sutphen, having come from Holland some time before the Revolutionary War. John Sutphen's wife was descended from one of the first families of Dublin, and came with her parents to America, settling about the same time. Shortly after the Revolutionary War the family moved to Cherry Valley, N. Y., residing on a farm four miles south of the village. On this farm Gilbert Sutphen grew to manhood, and wedded Mary Higinbothan in Worchester, Otsego County. She was born in Rhode Island, of English descent and removed to Worchester, N. Y., with her parents, when quite young. After their marriage, the young couple continued to reside in Cherry Valley until the breaking out of the War of 1812, when the husband was called upon to help defend his country, and joining the army, fell at the battle of Lundy's Lane. His family consisted of five children--Julia Ann, Mary Ann, Charles H., Sarah and Jane, of whom the subject of this sketch is the only one now living.
After his father's death, Charles H. Sutphen, then eight years of age, and sent to live with his grandmother Higinbothan, in Cazenovia, Madison County, N. Y., and remained two years, attending school a portion of the time; he afterward lived three years with James Cagwin of the same county. His mother then married Thomas Southworth, of Sherburne, Chenango Co., N. Y., and by this union she had two daughters, Harriet and Caroline, both now deceased. Charles then resided on the farm with his mother until the age twenty-one, with the exception of one year which he spent in attending an academy, but his health being impaired, he, on the advice of a physician, went to Boston and took a voyage on a cod fishing vessel up the straits, returning with his health somewhat improved. He then shipped as captain's clerk with Capt. Law, on board the ship "Concordia" in the merchant's service, making one voyage. On his return to Boston, Capt. Law obtained a situation for Mr. Sutphen in the custom house, as messenger to the Surveyor of Customs, Elbridge Gerry, son of Elbridge Gerry, one of the Governors of Massachusetts and fifth Vice President of the United States. In this office he remained two years, spending his evenings in the acquisition of useful knowledge. Mr. Gerry then secured him a situation in the Pay Department of the United States Army, where he remained eight years, or until Sept. 1, 1834.
Mr. Sutphen was married in 1831, to Elizabeth H. Dow, of Boston, and in April, 1834, came to Illinois and selected a timber claim at the head of Indian Creek, in La Salle County, on a portion of which now stands the village of Earlville. He returned for his family in May, left the army office Sept. 1, and started for Illinois, where they arrived safely at their new home in October, 1834. A double log house was erected on the site of the present village of Earlville, and there Mr. Sutphen began farming. In 1835, the land came into the market, and in 1837, he purchased 1,000 acres, occupying it as a stock farm for over twenty years. A large brick house took the place of the little log cabin, it being erected in 1853. Mr. Sutphen was one of the first Justices of the Peace in Indiana precinct, Earl Township, and held the office continuously for fifteen years, and then resigned. He was Postmaster of Earlville for seven years, and held many other prominent offices, including that of Supervisor from that town. Mr. Sutphen had a family of six sons and three daughters--Charles T was the first white male child born in the township, and he and Albert are now in California; George is in Aurora, Ill.; Frederick in Missouri; Gilbert in Iowa; and William in Nebraska. Sarah married S. Cook, now deceased; Carrie T., the first white female child born in the township, is the wife of W. H. Graham, of St. Louis; Mary wedded O. C. Gray, of Ottawa, and they are both now deceased. Mr. Sutphen's wife died April 6, 1870, and in 1871 he removed to Joliet, where he still resides, and there married the widow of the late H. D. Higinbothan.
Wesley Swank, deceased, was a native of Indiana, born in 1812, and was a son of John and Nancy (Harrison) Swank, the father of German descent and the mother of English ancestry. When a young man, our subject emigrated to Pekin, Ill., where he remained for a short time, engaging in the hotel business, but later, in 1835, took up his residence in Des Moines County, stopping first at Burlington, where he engaged as a farm hand for Alexander Hilleary, and while there was united in marriage with Henrietta Hilleary. She was born in Virginia, May 26, 1818, and is a daughter of Francis and Charlotta (Arnold) Hilleary, who were also natives of Virginia, and emigrated to Harrison County, Ky., in 1819, residing there until 1832, when they removed to Adams County, Ill. After making that their home for two years, they came to Des Moines County, which was then an almost unbroken wilderness and formed a part of the Territory of Michigan. Securing a claim, they lived there the remainder of their lives.
Mr. Swank and his wife lived on a farm in Huron Township, which he had entered, consisting of 160 acres of land on sections 11, 12, 13 and 14. Improvements were at once begun, and the land was soon under a high state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Swank were the parents of eight children: America, who died in childhood; Jacob H., died at the age of eight years; Orval, who enlisted in the 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, died while in the service; William Franklin, died in Jefferson City, Mo., while a member of Company I, 6th Iowa Infantry; Jennie S. is the wife of Arthur Rice, a resident of Austin, Ill.; Wesley T. makes his home near Melville, Dak.; J. Lewis has charge of the home farm; and Henry H., whose home is in San Antonia, Tex.
Mr. Swank was a member of the Universalist Church, and his wife belonged to that denomination. He cast his vote with the Republican party, and was an active politician in his day. This couple were true pioneers of Iowa. Very few were the settlements in 1835, when they became residents of Des Moines County. The prairies were covered with wild grass, the timber was uncut, wild game and deer were very numerous, wolves were often heard howling at night, and bands of Indians were frequently seen. At the time of their settlement there was no law in the Territory, but soon the work of civilization and progress was begun, schools and churches were built, railroads and other improvements made, until Des Moines County now stands among the first in the great State of Iowa.
J. Lewis Swank was born on the farm where he yet resides, in Huron Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, in September, 1848. His education was received at the district schools and at the Denmark Academy in Lee County, followed by a year's instruction in the State University. After completing his education Mr. Swank engaged in teaching school for six terms. In August, 1884, his marriage with Miss Minnie Mills, a native of Huron Township, and a daughter of Thomas J. B. Mills, was celebrated. One child has been born to them, Orval Mills. Mr. Swank is a practical farmer and stock-raiser, keeping on his farm about 100 head of cattle, and annually selling about 140 head of hogs. He is one of the leading farmers of the township, and has 490 acres of land under his control. In politics Mr. Swank is a Republican, and takes great interest in local elections. He has held the offices of Township Clerk and Trustee for several terms each, and believes in the strict enforcement of the prohibitory law. Socially, he is a member of Progress Lodge, No. 226, A. F. & A. M.
George Sweny, a prominent citizen and early settler of Burlington, was born near Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio, Oct. 28, 1820, and is the son of Robert and Mary (King) Sweny, the former a native of Pennsylvania, of Scotch descent, the latter born in Ohio, of German and English parentage. Our subject was reared on his father's farm in Ohio, educated in the common schools of his native State, and learned the cabinetmaker's trade, at which he worked four or five years. In the spring of 1845 he wedded Miss Margery J. Scarff, by whom he had one child, a daughter, who died at Burlington at the age of five years. In 1845 Mr. Sweny engaged in the drug business at Xenia, Ohio, remaining there until 1849, and then removed to Kenton, where he continued to reside until 1853, when he removed to Burlington, Iowa. Previous to coming to this city, Mr. Sweny lost his wife, who died at Kenton, Ohio. On arriving at the city which is now his home, he invested largely in real estate and loans, purchased farm and suburban city