and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa
Wachsmuth, a distinguished palaeontologist of Burlington, Iowa, was born in
Hanover, Germany, Sept. 13, 1829, and is a son of Christian Wachsmuth, an
eminent lawyer of that country. He was educated in his native country, crossing
the ocean, in 1852, in the interest of German emigration. Remaining two years in
New York City in discharge of the duties of his mission, he then went to
Burlington, Iowa, establishing his residence in that city. On the 3d of June,
1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Bernadina Lorenz, also a native of
Wachsmuth began his scientific researches in 1857 at Burlington, finding that
locality peculiarly rich in fossils, especially crinoids, but realizing that
life was too short, and the field of geology and palaeontology too vast for one
to get more than a superficial knowledge in the general way, he decided to make
a specialty of the study of crinoids and with that end in view, he pursued his
researches in that direction. In less than three years he had secured the
largest and most complete collection known in the world, for which he received
the munificent sum of $6,000 from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, at
Cambridge, Mass., and which he placed on exhibition in the Museum himself,
enjoying during that time the hospitality of Prof. L. Agassiz. In 1874, in
company with his wife, the Professor made a tour of Europe, Asia and Africa,
with a view of familiarizing himself by personal observations, with the fields
of historic and classical literature. Their travels, in Italy, Greece, Turkey,
Arabia and Africa, proved of special interest, and they returned in 1879, after
an absence of five years spent in delightful travel and sojourneyings. Prof.
Wachsmuth wrote his first article of crinoids in 1877, and subsequently several
others together with Mr. Frank Springer. In 1879, the first part of the revision
of Palaeo-crinoidea was published, the second part in 1881, and the third and
last part in 1886. The revision contained a re-description of all crinoid genera
known to the present time, and brought order out of chaos. Their classification
has since been accepted by the scientific world, and they are now preparing a
monograph on the Palaeocrinoidea of America, with illustration of all known
species, the drawings of twenty four plates being already completed. The
revision and most of the papers were published under the title "Wachsmuth
and Springer." Prof. Wachsmuth's co-laborer, Frank Springer, of Las Vegas,
New Mexico, is a son of Judge Francis Springer, late of Louisa County, Iowa. He
understands the crinoids thoroughly. He has long been a student of Palaeontology,
and possesses great natural ability for scientific researches.
and Mrs. Wachsmuth spend the early spring months of every year in the mountains
of Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, in search of fossils and in recruiting their
health. The Professor is always accompanied by his devoted and accomplished
wife, who is as warm an enthusiast as he is himself; more than that, she has
been his co-laborer and fellow-student in the field of his studies and
researches, and is highly educated in palaeontology.
present collection of Prof. Wachsmuth is exclusively crinoidal; it is probably
the largest and most valuable in the world, larger than the one sold to
Cambridge. He has an extensive European correspondence, has been made a member
of the Moscow Scientific Society, and his publications have made his name
familiar among scientific men. He recently erected a fire-proof structure near
his residence, where his valuable library and specimens are secure. Besides
Prof. Wachsmuth, there are other Burlington men who have gained a high
reputation in the scientific world. Among them are Dr. Charles A. White, now
director of the invertebrate collection in the Smithsonian Institute, and
favorably known for many valuable works on invertebrate fossils; also Dr.
William H. Barris, formerly rector of the Episcopal Church of Burlington, now
professor in the Davenport University; Mr. Frank Springer, before mentioned; Mr.
James Love of Burlington, who has a fine collection of crinoids; the late Dr.
Otto Thieme, a German physician, entomologist and geologist, who made large
collections; Mr. John Giles was an excellent collector, a printer who met his
death in a quarry in 1879, by the caving in of some rocks while in search of
specimens beneath them. Burlington and its vicinity is peculiarly rich in rare
and curious fossils, and Prof. Wachsmuth has found it a very fruitful and
interesting field of operations. The citizens of Burlington have reason to be
proud of their fellow-townsman, who has done so much to bring the locality into
prominence in the scientific world, and who has made so brilliant a record for
Samuel Wadleigh, a coal merchant of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Hatley, Province of Quebec, Canada, June 8, 1833, and is a son of Luke and Phoebe (Rowell) Wadleigh. His father was born at Hatley, Canada, of New England parentage in August, 1810. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Ephraim Wadleigh, was a native of Sutton, Hillsboro County, N. H., of Scotch descent. His ancestors first settled in New Hampshire in 1650 and were Scotch emigrants. Ephraim emigrated from New Hampshire with his family to Hatley, Canada, in 1798, where he engaged in farming, and resided there during the remainder of his life. His son, Luke, the father of our subject, was also a farmer, and lived in Hatley until 1856, and moved from there to Oquawka, Ill., in 1856, where he died in November, 1887. On the mother's side Smauel Wadleigh is descended from English ancestors of remote origin. Thomas Rowell, the maternal grandfather, was born in Fishersfield, N. H., and removed with his family to Hatley, Canada, about 1798.
Samuel Wadleigh spent his childhood and youth upon his father's farm, and when seventeen years of age began an apprenticeship in the civil engineer corps of the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad Company. After four years spent in that service, he came to the United States in 1855, locating at Oquawka, Ill., where he engaged in the lumber business, and continued in that occupation and the fuel trade until 1878, a period of twenty-three years. At the expiration of that time, Mr. Wadleigh removed to Burlington, Iowa, and engaged in the coal and wood business, which he has carried on continuously since. At first, he was associated with Col. William G. Cummings, under the firm name of Cummings & Wadleigh; later, they took in E. E. Pinney as a partner and the firm became Cummings, Wadleigh & Co. A branch office was opened at Cedar Rapids in 1883, and four years later the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Wadleigh becoming sole proprietor of the main house at Burlington. In October, 1857, Samuel Wadleigh wedded Miss Mary A. Phelps, daughter of Alexis Phelps. Two children were born to them, but both died in infancy. Mrs. Wadleigh died in March, 1860, and the husband was again married in April, 1862, in Henderson County, Miss Ella F. Bradbury becoming his wife. She was a native of Bangor, Maine, and a daughter of William Bradbury. Two children, daughters, graced this latter union--Mary A. and Mabel. Mr. Wadleigh is a Democrat in politics. He has taken a warm interest in educational matters, has served three years as a member of the School Board, and has just been elected to the same position, that of director, without opposition.
Nicholas Wagner, one of the early settlers and prominent citizens of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1825. He received a liberal education in his native country and there grew to manhood. Believing that the New World would furnish a better field for his labors, in 1845 he crossed the Atlantic, landing in New Orleans, proceeded up the Mississippi River to Cairo and from thence, by the Ohio, to Madison, Ind., where he followed the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he had learned in his native land. In 1850 his marriage with Miss Mary Yeager, also a native of Prussia, was celebrated. Two years later the young couple came to Burlington, where Mr. Wagner was employed in erecting many of the substantial business blocks of the city.
They have become the parents of three children, two sons and a daughter: Jacob, a resident of Burlington, is a tinner by trade; John is engaged in the manufacture of cigars at Cincinnati, Ohio; and Clara is the wife of Amiel Floring. Mrs. Wagner was called to her final home Jan. 15, 1888. A kind wife and an affectionate mother, she was highly respected by all, and no one could say aught against her. She was a devoted member of the Catholic Church. Mr. Wagner commenced the battle of life without pecuniary aid, but by his economy and untiring labor he is to-day in comfortable circumstances. In 1878 the family removed to their beautiful residence on Sunnyside avenue.
John Waite, a farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 14, Flint River Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa, was born in Ontario County, N. Y., May 24, 1810, and is a son of John and Abigail (Cranston) Waite, also natives of that State. Seven children were born to them, but only three are now living: Our subject, Samuel, and Mary, widow of Thorne Smith, and now a resident of Portland, Mich. The father of these children died at the home of our subject, in Portage County, Ohio.
John Waite received his education in his native county, and there followed various occupations until eighteen years of age, when he learned the cooper's trade, which vocation he followed for about thirty years. About the year 1830 he removed to Ravenna, Portage Co., Ohio, there carrying on the cooper's business, and remaining until 1867. In the meantime, in that city, he was united in marriage with Miss Martha A. Clark, who was born in Tallmadge, Portage County, Feb. 1, 1819, and is a daughter of Ephraim and Alia Amelia (Sperry) Clark, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of Connecticut. Her parents emigrated to Ohio about the year 1796, at a time when the State was very thinly settled, following a trail which was marked by the blazing of trees.
Mr. and Mrs. Waite have been the parents of three children, born in Portage County, Ohio: Amelia, who died when three years old; John L., now manager and chief editor of the Burlington Hawkeye; Mary Ella became the wife of John M. Eads, and after his death wedded Randall M. Hartzell, a farmer of Chautauqua County, Kan. On their arrival in Des Moines County, Mr. and Mrs. Waite took up their residence in Burlington, where he embarked in the grocery business, which he carried on for a year, then formed a partnership with John P. Leebrick, and later, in connection with a Mr. Lockwood, engaged as a commission merchant. In 1870 he removed to the farm on section 14, Flint River Township, consisting of eighty acres of fine land, with many good improvements, and here he has since made his home. Mr. and Mrs. Waite have, for almost a half-century, been active and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Waite has held various minor offices of his township, in which he is one of the leading citizens. He takes his stand strongly in favor of the temperance movement, and the enforcement of prohibition laws, and is an ardent Republican in politics.
a prominent and well-to-do farmer of Des Moines County, residing on section 2,
Flint River Township, was born in Cheshire, England, on the 15th of December,
1833, and is a son of James and Mary (Miller) Walker, both of whom were natives
of that country. Charles was one of a family of six children, of whom he
is the youngest. The others are Mary, widow of William Arrowsmith, who
makes her home with our subject; George A., deceased; James A., a farmer of Cass
County, Iowa; and Elisha, who died in 1866. The father of these children,
who was one of the wealthy farmers of his native county, died in England in
1843. The mother's death occurred in Des Moines County, this State, in
1854. The early education of our subject was received in his native land.
In 1845 he, with his brothers, George and James, and two sisters, emigrated to
America, and in the fall of the same year his mother and brother, Elisha, came,
coming directly to Burlington, where the brothers purchased a farm of 320 acres
of Jeremiah Lampson, who many years since left this county and went to Oregon.
At that time the land was in a wild, uncultivated state, but probably among the
best in Flint River Township, and there they made a home in the country which
was henceforth to be theirs. The four brothers continued to make this farm
their home until 1858, when James was married and took up his residence on the
land then known as the "Pierce Farm." Seven years later, in
1865, George was also married, and that spring their crippled brother, Elisha,
was called to his final home. The property was then divided, Charles
retaining, as his share, 240 acres of the old homestead, which, under his
management, has become one of the finest improved farms in Flint River Township.
On the 18th of April, 1867, Mr. Walker was united in marriage with Miss Sarah E.
Steel, a native of Dubois County, Ind., born Sept. 17, 1845, and a daughter of
Jackson and Martha (Richey) Steel, also natives of that State. Five children
have graced their union--Effie M., Edwin, Eugene, Milford and Alma. Mr.
and Mrs. Walker have taken great pleasure in educating their children, and in
their home music, books, and all that makes life enjoyable may be found.
Their farm is one of the most highly cultivated in Flint River Township.
Their house is a handsome two-story brick residence, and their barns and
out-buildings are models of convenience. The beautiful shade-trees that
now spread their foliage over the once wild and uncultivated land were planted
by Mr. Walker, and all the improvements on the land were made through his
efforts. Mr. Walker is a member of the New Jerusalem Church, and Mrs.
Walker and daughters are Methodists, and are among the highly respected citizens
of the township. Mr. Walker has held various township offices, filling the
positions with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.
He cast his first vote for Fremont, and upon the organization of the Republican
party joined its ranks, and has since continued to fight under its banner.
Mr. Walker has the confidence and esteem of all, and is ever ready, with both
time and money, to aid in the advancement of all public of social, religious or
educational interests. We are pleased to give a portrait of this gentleman
on a preceding page.
S. Walker, one of the
pioneers of Benton Township residing on section 15, came to Des Moines County
with his parents, Nov. 14, 1839. His father, John Walker, was born in West
Virginia, in November, 1802, and was a son of Joseph and Barbara (Flater)
Walker, also natives of Virginia, the father of English parentage, and the
mother of German descent. Joseph Walker was a soldier in the War of 1812.
His death occurred in 1850, aged seventy-five years, and his wife also died in
the same year. John Walker, the father of our subject, was reared upon a
farm and followed that occupation through life. His early education was
received at the subscription schools in Virginia, though he continued a student
all his life, and when a young man taught school in order to educate his
brothers and sisters. When twenty-two years of age he was united in
marriage with Elizabeth Dean, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of Daniel
Dean. Mr. Walker owned a small farm in Virginia, which continued to be the
home of the young couple until their emigration to Iowa, in 1839, when they
settled on section 22, Benton Township, where the husband entered 120 acres of
land. This farm he greatly improved, making it his home until his death,
which occurred in February, 1865, at the age of sixty-two years. His wife
died in Kansas in the fall of 1885. They were the parents of ten children,
all of whom reached maturity: Rebecca, widow of Luke Hughes, of Burlington,
Iowa; Solomon, a leading farmer, residing near McComb, McDonough Co., Ill.; our
subject; Mary Ann, wife of Isaac Salladay, of Henry County, Iowa; Jane, wife of
J. W. Garrison, a resident of Labette County, Kan.; Jesse and George (twins),
are residents of Henry County, Iowa; Margaret wedded A. M. Mitchell, of Steele
County, Minn.; Elijah, whose home is in Henry County, Iowa; Theresa, deceased
wife of Peter Reepe, of Labette County, Kan. The parents of these children
were devoted members of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Walker was also a
leading man, taking an active part in public affairs. In his political
views he was a Democrat, and from time to time held nearly all the township
offices, being for many years prior to his death Justice of the Peace. As
a business man he was a success. His natural ability, combined with energy
and good management, gained for him a comfortable competence, he, having aided
his boys, yet had 180 acres of fine land at his death. He was a liberal
parent, and all his large family became Christian men and women, who do honor to
E. S. Walker, our subject,
was born in February, 1829, and resided with his parents until he gained his
majority. During that spring, March 25, 1850, he left his home, and, with
a company of five others, equipped with two wagons and twelve horses, started on
an overland journey to California, arriving at their destination Aug. 19, after
a trip of nearly five months. He remained in California for one year engaging in
mining in which he was reasonably successful, and then returned home by way of
Panama and New York City. After his return he remained with his parents
for about two years, when, on the 17th of February, 1853, his marriage with
Matilda Courts was celebrated. She was a native of Germany, and a daughter
of Francis A. Courts. The following fall the young couple removed to the
farm yet owned by Mr. Walker, then consisting of 180 acres of unimproved land.
By this union five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Walker: Harvey,
Herman and John F. are all resident farmers of Benton Township; Mary R., wife of
James Scott, who is also engaged in farming in Benton Township; Minnie died at
the age of nine years. On the 8th of June, 1869, when thirty-five years of
age, Mrs. Walker departed this life. She was a member of the United
Brethren Church. Mr. Walker was again married, May 17, 1871--Margaret,
daughter of Richard Tee, a native of Pennsylvania, becoming his wife. Two
children were born to them--William R. and Etta.
Mr. Walker has one of the
best improved farms of Benton Township, he having added to his original purchase
until 320 broad acres pay golden tribute to his labor. In his political
views he is a Democrat, and has held various township offices. As a
representative farmer, we are pleased to present his sketch to the people of Des
Francis A. Walker, one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of Des Moines County, Iowa, residing on section 3, Huron Township, is a native of Hillsborough, N. H., born Feb 1, 1831. He is a son of Alden and Susan (Grimes) Walker, the father a native of Vermont, and the mother of New Hampshire. In his earlier years Alden Walker was a machinist, but later in life engaged in farming, which occupation he continued until his death, which occured in Grafton, Vt., Feb. 8, 1858, when he was sixty-four years of age. In his political views he was a Whig until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks and became one of its strongest supporters. He was an earnest advocate of the abolition principles, and served as Sheriff for some years in Hillsborough County. Mrs. Walker departed this life Oct. 31, 1843, aged forty-three years. They were both members of the Congregational Church, and were the parents of three children: Francis A., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest; John G., now residing in Washington, D. C., is Chief of the Bureau of Navigation in the United States Navy, having held that position for the past six years. He has been in the United States Navy since the fall of 1850, and now holds the rank of Commodore. He is married and has five children living. Betsy Ann, the only daughter, died, unmarried, in 1860, at the age of twenty years.
Francis A. Walker was reared upon a farm in his native county, and, like thousands of others at that time, received but limited educational advantages. In 1852, on attaining his majority, he emigrated to Iowa and rented the farm on which he now lives of Gov. Grimes, who was his uncle. For fifteen years he continued to rent this land and then purchased 600 acres, to which he has added by subsequent purchase until he is now the owner of 720 acres of fine land. All improvements necessary to a well-regulated farm have been made, and buildings to the cost of $5,000 have been erected. Mr. Walker has also largely engaged in stock-raising, shipping annually from one to two car loads of cattle, and keeping constantly about 100 head upon his farm. In 1858 Mr. Walker was united in marriage with Miss Martha Blake, a native of Vermont and a daughter of Charles Blake, also a native of that State. Mr. and Mrs. Blake came from Vermont to Iowa in 1849, settling on a farm in Huron Township, east of Northfield, in Des Moines County. There they lived the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1872 and the mother the following year. They had but two children, Mrs. Walker and a son, Washington S., who makes his home with his sister. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Walker: Oscar H., a resident farmer of Perry County, Ark.; John G., who is engaged in farming in Huron Township, Des Moines Co., Iowa; and Charles R., who is still residing with his parents. Mrs. Walker is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In his political views Mr. Walker is a Republican. He is one of the most successful farmers and largest land owners of Des Moines County, Iowa, and as a citizen is highly respected by all.
E. Ware, of the firm
of J. P. & J. E. Ware, hardware dealers of Mediapolis, Iowa, is a native of
Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines County, Iowa, born Aug. 16, 1848, and is a
son of William and Sarah K. (Parrett) Ware, both parents being natives of Ross
County, Ohio. They came to Des Moines County in its pioneer days, when the
land was still in its native state, and the now populous city of Burlington
contained but few inhabitants, and settled in Yellow Spring Township in 1843.
(See sketch of William Ware on another page.) There our subject was born,
and there his boyhood days were passed, his education being received at the
district schools and supplemented by a course in the Yellow Spring Academy. On
the 28th of December, 1872, the marriage of J. E. Ware and Miss Mary E. Stahl
was celebrated. She is a daughter of B. F. and Clarissa (Todd) Stahl, both
of whom were natives of the Buckeye State, and of whom a sketch is given
elsewhere. By this union two children were born, a son and a
daughter--Charlie R. and Ethel A.
Mr. Ware first embarked in
the hardware business in the spring of 1876, forming a partnership with C. H.
Parrett, this establishment being the first of its kind in the place, and
continuing the same until August, 1876. Purchasing Mr. Parrett's interest in
November, 1880, he conducted the business alone for two years, at the end of
which time his elder brother, Joseph P., became a partner. Their present
store building on Main street was erected in 1882, and there may be found a
complete stock of general hardware and farming implements, they making a
specialty of reapers, movers and twine binders, and, as it well deserves, the
firm enjoys a good trade. Politically, Mr. Ware is a stanch Republican, and
being a prohibitionist from principle believes in the strict enforcement of the
temperance laws. His first presidential vote was cast for Gen. Grant.
Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F., is P. G. and is Treasurer of Garner
Lodge, No. 379. He was elected in 1888 to represent the District in the
Grand Lodge of the State of Iowa, held at Sioux City of that year. Mr.
Ware has been a member for three years of the Town Council of Mediapolis.
Mr. and Mrs. Ware are both
members of the Presbyterian Church. He is Secretary of the Sunday-school, and
takes a lively interest in all work pertaining to that body, and is favorably
known as an upright business man and good citizen.
P. Ware, of
Mediapolis, Iowa, was born in what is now Yellow Spring Township, Des Moines
County, May 30, 1844, and is a son of William and Sarah (Parrett) Ware, of whom
a sketch appears elsewhere. He was the eldest of his father's family, and
the care of the farm devolved largely upon him, he helping to transform the raw
land into a finely cultivated farm. It was in the log school-house of the
new county the education of our subject was received. At the age of nineteen
years, in May, 1864, he responded to his country's call to put down the
Rebellion, enlisting in Company G, 45th Iowa Infantry, and was in active service
for four months. Previous to this he had made three attempts to enlist,
but on account of a full quota his services were not accepted.
Returning from the war Mr.
Ware went to South Salem, Ohio, where he attended the Academy for one term, and
also attended the Kossuth Academy. During the following summer he worked upon
the farm, and in the winter of 1866-67 was engaged as a teacher in the township.
Again, the next summer he worked upon the farm, followed by a winter's term of
teaching. One more summer of farm work, and then, Feb. 1, 1869, he went to
Madison County, Iowa, in a wagon, there renting land, upon which he resided one
season, returning to Des Moines County the fall of the same year. A part
of his fathers' farm was next rented, he residing upon it until the following
winter, when he was united in marriage with Anna M. Black, daughter of Henry and
Sarah (McCullough) Black, all natives of Pennsylvania. Their union was
celebrated Dec. 28, 1871. Shortly after his marriage Mr. Ware purchased a
farm in Yellow Spring Township, consisting of eighty acres, and there lived for
three years, when his health failed. Renting his farm for a year he
engaged as a salesman for a publishing house, during which time he sold his
land, and Feb. 15, 1875, purchased the Mediapolis Hotel. It was enlarged
to its present size under his management, and for seven years he was proprietor
of the same, having in connection a feed and livery stable. Besides this
he had the mail contract to and from Kingston, Kossuth and Northfield. On the
20th of December, 1882, Mr. Ware sold his hotel, and entered into partnership
with his brother in the hardware business, though previous to this he was
associated in the wholesale flour and feed business as jobber, in connection
with J. E. Ware and C. H. Parrett. Mr. Ware was City Clerk for two years.
Mr. and Mrs. Ware have two
children: Cora E. and Hattie May. The parents are members of the
Presbyterian Church, he having been a Trustee since its organization, and was
one of the building committee. He takes an active interest in all Church
work, and is Superintendent of the Sunday-school. Socially, he is a member of
the G. A. R., and was sent as a delegate to the State encampment at Sioux City,
in 1886. He is a Republican in politics.
Ware, one of the
pioneers of Des Moines County, Iowa, residing on section 35, Yellow Spring
Township, was born on the 30th of July, 1819, in Ross County, Ohio, and is a son
of Mathias and Jane (James) Ware, both of whom were natives of Virginia, the
father of German descent and the mother of Welch ancestry. They were
married in their native State and shortly after emigrated to Ross County, Ohio,
where they were among the pioneer settlers, improving a farm in the wilderness,
which continued to be the home of the family until 1843. In October of
that year they emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, settling on section 35 of
Yellow Spring Township, where the father purchased a claim of eighty acres of
unimproved land, which he at once began to cultivate, and made this his home
until his death, which occurred Aug. 11, 1874, at the ripe age of seventy-seven
years seven months and six days. He had been twice married, his first
wife, whose maiden name was Jane James, dying in Ohio at the age of thirty-five.
They had four children: Mildred, widow of William McAdam, now resides in
Ross County, Ohio; our subject is second in order of birth; James D., a resident
farmer near Wellington, Kan.; and Mary Jane, wife of Riley Cartwright, of Miami
County, Kan. After the death of his first wife Mr. Ware wedded Jane Brown,
a native of Pennsylvania, and they have three children: Margaret, residing
in Henderson County, Ill., is the widow of Ewing Thompson; Elizabeth became the
wife of Thomas Bandy, of Dakota; and Martha, wife of James Lukens, who lives
near Garnet, Kan. Mathias Ware was a devoted member of the Presbyterian
Church, as were both of his wives.
Our subject, William Ware,
was reared on a farm in Ross County, Ohio, and on the 8th of March, 1843, wedded
Sarah K. Parrett, who was a native of that county. That autumn the young
couple emigrated to Des Moines County, Iowa, settling near Northfield, in Yellow
Spring Township, where he rented land for about six years. Then,
purchasing eighty acres of land on section 35, he has made that his home
continuously since, having added to his possessions till he now has 180 acres,
all under cultivation.
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ware: J. P. and J. E. are both merchants of Mediapolis; and Joanna resides with her father. On the 1st of April, 1885, Mrs. Ware, who was born Sept. 10, 1818, was called to her final home. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church, as is also our subject. A Republican in politics, Mr. Ware is also strongly in favor of the enforcement of the prohibition laws. In early life he had but little chance to attend school, but, by observation, he has gained a good practical education, and his success in life is due alone to his own energy, economy and habits of industry.
William O. Ware, deceased, was born in Calais, Vt., Jan. 1, 1818, and was the son of John and Eunice (Bancroft) Ware, who were of supposed English origin, and his mother was a relative of the great historian, George Bancroft. Our subject was reared on his father's farm, there residing until his marriage with Miss Elvira Sheplee in 1840, whose death occurred in the year of 1858. After their marriage, Mr. Ware removed to a farm near the old homestead, and engaged in farming several years, when, thinking to better his condition, he traveled through Massachusetts, but not being satisfied with that country, came to Burlington in February, 1852. He engaged in business for a couple of years with O. C. Sheplee with a merchant's supply wagon, after which the partnership was dissolved. He was familiarly known throughout Iowa as "Yankee Ware." In 1866 and 1867, Mr. Ware traveled as a salesman for Mr. Kaiser, and in 1869 was employed in the same capacity by Kellogg & Co., of Chicago, with whom he remained for several years and then retired from active business.
After the death of his first wife, Mr. Ware was again united in marriage with Miss L. L. Bosworth, daughter of George and Lucinda Bosworth, of Petersham, Mass. The family were of English ancestry, and were among the first settlers of Bristol County, Mass. Mrs. Ware's girlhood was spent in Petersham, her birthplace, where she received her education and was married Aug. 28, 1862. Mr. Ware bought the home known as the Hendrie home, No. 412 South Main street, and lived there for twenty-seven years until he erected the residence No. 915 North Third street, where his remaining days were spent.
The life of Mr. Ware was one of activity. He was a man of good business and executive ability. A man of domestic habits, he was very much attached to his home, and took great interest in the erection of his elegant and commodious mansion on Third street, which is to-day one of the best built residences in the city of Burlington.
P. Washburn, conductor
on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, was born in Muscatine,
Iowa, and is a son of Judge Arthur and Eliza (Halsted) Washburn. Eliza
Halsted was born in Otsego County, N. Y., June 1, 1821, came to Iowa in 1843,
and on the 23d of July, 1844, became the wife of Judge Washburn, the first
County Judge of Muscatine County and also the first Postmaster of the city of
Muscatine. Mrs. Washburn was a consistent member of the Baptist Church.
Six children graced their union, four of whom are living--Scott A., Fred. P.,
Belle and Frank. Those deceased are--Albert, died in 1862; Sarah Jane in
1864. Judge Washburn was a man of more than ordinary ability, and,
politically, was an old-line Whig, a great admirer of Henry Clay. His
death occurred in Muscatine Feb. 1, 1858, and his wife departed this life in
The subject of this sketch was reared in Muscatine, Iowa, there receiving a liberal education, and when fourteen years of age, began life as a salesman, following that occupation until the age of twenty, with the exception of the time he was in school. Commencing his railroad life on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific road, Mr. Washburn remained with them for only a year, and then secured employment as brakesman on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern; later was promoted to the position of freight conductor, and in 1881, became conductor on a passenger train. On the 29th of July, 1884, he married Miss Emma L. Beall, a daughter of A. M. and Amanda (Mansfield) Beall. By this union two children have been born, one of whom is living--Fred Philor; Herbert Clyde is deceased. Mr. Washburn is a member of Hawkeye Lodge, No. 30, A. F. & A. M., of Muscatine; Washington Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M.; De Molay Commandery, No. 1, K. T.; and is also a member of Wyoming Lodge, No. 76, K. of P., of Muscatine.
Alexander Watson, a pioneer of Des Moines County, residing on section 2, Yellow Spring Township, is a native of Ross County, Ohio, born Jan. 14, 1822, and is a son of Alexander and Jane (Karr) Watson, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The father's occupation was that of a farmer, and his death occurred in Ross County, Ohio, when our subject was but a small child. The mother, with the aid of her children, then operated that farm until 1834, when she emigrated to Morgan County, Ill. In that county they rented farms for three years, and then removed to Pike County, Ill., where eighty acres of land were purchased, and there Mrs. Watson lived several years, when she removed to Montgomery County, Ill., where she died. She reared a family of five children: Catherine became the wife of Jesse Taylor, of Morgan County, both of whom are now deceased; David K., now a retired farmer of Brown County, Ill.; James C., died in Labette County, Kan., in 1876; Alexander, our subject; and Milton L., residing with the latter.
Alexander Watson was reared upon a farm, receiving such education as could be obtained at the subscription schools of that early day. At the age of seventeen years he left home, going to Winchester, Ill., where he served a two-years apprenticeship at the harness-maker's trade, and at the expiration of that time returned home, remaining for about a year. Deciding to go West he emigrated to Iowa, settling in Louisa County, where, in 1843, he purchased a farm, making that his home until 1851, when he came to Des Moines County, settling in Yellow Spring Township. Purchasing eighty-five acres of raw land on section 2, he immediately began its improvement, and now has a fine farm of 142 acres, with a comfortable country residence and other good improvements. Politically, Mr. Watson is a Republican, and an ardent supporter of the principles of his party.
In 1845 the marriage of Mr. Watson with Miss Lavina Ann Lee was celebrated. Mrs. Watson is a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Robert W. Lee. This couple have been the parents of eight children: David W., now a resident of Sheridan, Iowa; William H., whose home is in Cass County, Iowa; Armilda, wife of Harvey Stewart, of Morning Sun, this State; John M., of Marion County, Iowa; J. J. and Clara reside at home. Two are deceased: Martha Jane, who was the eldest of the family, died at the age of six months, and Stephen A. when about a year old.
farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 12, Yellow Spring Township, Des
Moines County, Iowa, was born in Yorkshire, England, Sept. 18, 1835, and is a
son of Peter and Mary (Smith) Watson, both of whom were also natives of
Yorkshire. The father was extensively engaged in farming in his native
county until his death, which occurred Jan. 7, 1874, at the age of sixty-nine
years. His wife survived him for some time, she being called to her final
home May 19, 1885, aged seventy-four years. They were members of the
Church of England for forty years, and Mr. Watson was churchwarden of his native
parish. They reared a family of eight children as follows: William,
who died at the age of twenty-three years; James, the subject of this sketch;
Edmund, who died at the age of thirteen years; Alfred, who is engaged in farming
on the old homestead in England; Frederick, who emigrated to Australia, and died
in that country at the age of thirty-one; Louisa, who became the wife of Newton
Thomas, departed this life at the age of thirty-five, leaving four children;
Dennis Peter, who is engaged in farming in England; and Edwin, now of Nebraska.
twenty years of age James Watson was united in marriage with Miss Emma Stocks, a
native of Yorkshire, and a daughter of Richard and Ann (White) Stocks, the
ceremony being performed on March 24, 1856. Mr. Watson spent six years in
the army of his country, entering the service at the age of seventeen. In
March, 1868, he crossed the Atlantic to America, taking up his residence in
Kossuth, Iowa. After remaining there for about seven months he rented a
farm for nine years, at the expiration of which time he purchased 136 acres of
land on section 1, Yellow Spring Township, though his home now is on section 12. He owns 263 acres of land and rents 220, all of which is finely cultivated.
Mr. and Mrs. Watson have been born the following named children: Mary
Louise, wife of Stephen Riggs Ibbitson, a resident of Los Angeles County, Cal.;
Sarah Eliza, wife of George Washington Cox, of Yellow Spring Township; John
William Edmund, a farmer of Yellow Spring Township; Peter, who is engaged in
farming in Jasper County, Neb.; James Richard and Anne Lenora, who live with
their parents. Mr. Watson and his wife are both members of the Northfield
Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was a Trustee for several years and
Steward for eight years. His son, John W. E., is now Trustee of that
church. In politics Mr. Watson is a Republican, and he has held the office
of Township Supervisor for three years. The entire family are numbered
among the most respected citizens of Yellow Spring Township.
Milo B. Webster for twenty-two years has been foreman of the planing-mill department of
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad shops, which are now located at
West Burlington. By his efficient labor and steady habits he has won the
utmost confidence and respect of his employers, whose interests he is ever ready
to advance. He was born in Hartford, Conn., May 14, 1842, and is a son of
Dwight and Eunice (Woodruff) Webster. There were but two children in the
family, and his brother George died in infancy. When only four years of
age, Milo came to Burlington with his parents, where his father worked at the
carpenter's trade until his death, which occurred in this city in 1867, the
mother having preceded him to her last rest, her death occurring about the year
1852. In the city of Burlington our subject was reared and educated, and
at the age of eighteen began learning the carpenter's trade with his father, but
when the news flashed across the country that Ft. Sumter had been fired upon, he
left his bench to enlist in the Engineers' Regiment of the West. During
his service, which lasted three years and three months, he was engaged in
building breastworks at Corinth, Vicksburg, and other places.
After his term of service had expired, Mr. Webster returned to Burlington and resumed his trade, which he followed until 1865, when he secured employment with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. After eight months he was placed in charge of the planing-mill department, which position he has held for twenty-two years. On the 25th of December, 1865, he was united in marriage with Emily L. Bartruff, who was born in this city in 1845, her parents yet being residents of it. Two children have been born of this union--Ella L. and Stella L. Mr. Webster is a member of the A. O. U. W., and politically, is an ardent supporter of the Republican party. For forty-two years he has been a resident of Burlington, and his upright and industrious life has won him the respect of its citizens.
secretary and manager of the Burlington Pickle Works, was born in Prussia,
Germany, June 12, 1845, was educated in his native country, and emigrated to
America in 1865, locating at Burlington, where he engaged in general
merchandising. He carried on that business for four years, when he sold
out and traveled for the Hawkeye Woolen Mill, and was subsequently engaged in
various other undertakings until 1876, when he engaged in the manufacture of
pickles, being the first to undertake that business in a commercial way. Until 1880 Mr. Weinrich conducted the business alone, when he formed a
partnership with F. A. Smith, and the following year was instrumental in
incorporating the Burlington Pickle Works, of which he is secretary and manager.
The marriage of Mr. Weinrich
and Miss Emma Oberman was celebrated March 22, 1871. She was born in
Muscatine, Iowa, of which city her father, Rev. K. F. Oberman, is the German
Lutheran minister. Four sons and two daughters were born of their
union--Carl R., Herman P., Oscar L., Hattie M., August and Irma. Mr.
Weinrich is a member of the Turner Society. He was a Republican in
politics until of late years, when he joined the large number of his countrymen
who are opposed to the system of sumptuary laws instituted by the Republican
majority in Iowa. He is now styled, by his old party companions, a mugwump,
and is disposed to glory in the name.
Weis, a resident of
Burlington, Iowa, is a native of Germany, born March 20, 1849. He attended
school until fifteen years of age, in Germany, and then learned the butcher's
trade with his father, in Stuttgart, his native city. He remained with his
father until 1868, when, having decided to come to America, he crossed the
Atlantic, and after reaching this country began working at his trade in Newark,
N. J., in the employ of Mr. Spueghold. After remaining with him for about seven
years Mr. Weis came to Burlington, Iowa, in 1876, working for Mr. Muzenmeyer
until 1886, when he began business for himself, and has since been very
successful. He is one of the enterprising business men of Burlington, is
honest and fair in all his business dealings, thereby winning the confidence of
all, and for the short time which he has resided in the city has made many warm
friends. The marriage of Mr. Weis and Miss Rose Welsh was celebrated in this
city. The lady is a native of Burlington, Iowa, and they have a family of three
children: Charles, born Jan. 21, 1878; Annie, July 6, 1881; and Florence,
Oct. 15, 1883.
mechanic of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad over the following
described lines: from Burlington to Quincy, Burlington to Carthage,
Burlington to Keokuk, Burlington to Chariton, Albia to Des Moines, Chariton to
Des Moines, and from Chariton to St. Joseph, Mo., making in all 522 miles of
road. The great shops at West Burlington of the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy Railroad are within Mr. West's jurisdiction, and are his headquarters.
These shops furnish employment to about 800 men, and are the most complete in
their appointments of any in the country. Engines, cars and coaches are made and
repaired here, not only for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy line, but for
those of several other companies. (See history of shops elsewhere in this work.)
West was born at Wilbraham, Mass., Nov. 13, 1833, and is a son of Stephen S. and
Lucinda (Humeston) West. His father, who was born and reared at Wilbraham,
was a tanner and currier by trade, and followed that business for many years.
His mother was born at Danbury, Conn., and was of an old New England family.
Mr. West learned his trade at the American Machine Works, at Springfield, Mass.,
beginning in the spring of 1852, and serving a regular apprenticeship. In
1856 he engaged with the New York Central Railroad, continuing with that company
until 1857, when he came West and engaged as journeyman in the machineshops of
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, at Quincy. Six months later
he was made foreman of the shops, and was promoted to master mechanic in 1863.
After the consolidation of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy with the
Burlington & Missouri in Iowa, which occurred in January, 1873, Mr. West was
assigned to Creston, Iowa, and in 1876 to Burlington, where he was given charge
of all the lines in this State. He assisted in planning and constructing
the shops at West Burlington, and has had general supervision of them since. Previous to 1873 he had charge of certain lines in Illinois in the capacity of
August, 1860, at Quincy, Ill., Mr. West was united in marriage with Miss Eliza
C. Bartlett, daughter of S. M. and Rosalind (Robinson) Bartlett, early settlers
of Illinois. Mrs. West's father was in the regular army of the United
States, served under Gen. Harney, of the frontier, and took part in driving the
Mormons out of Nauvoo, Ill. He had a varied and eventful life, and was
widely known and highly respected among the early pioneers of Illinois.
West was a Republican in political sentiment, but is now independent. He is an
expert in the mechanical department of railroading, and has had an experience of
thirty-six years in that class of work. The important duties of his
position, which have been discharged with ability and fidelity, and to the
satisfaction of the management of the road for so many years, testify to his
worth in no doubtful manner. During the strike in the spring of 1888 of
the locomotive engineers, Mr. West showed his ability in many ways. For
some months he scarcely took time for needful rest, but labored night and day,
passing repeatedly over the various divisions, carefully garding (sic) the
company's interests and exerting an influence for good among the men. No man in
its employ has the confidence of the great Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
Railroad Company in a greater degree.
George Whipple, one of the oldest hardware merchants of Burlington, and a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 28, 1827, and is a son of Samuel D. and Elizabeth (Conklin) Whipple, the former a native of Massachusetts, born at Worcester, in 1787. The family was of English origin, and was founded in America in Colonial days. William Whipple, an illustrious ancestor of our subject, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Samuel D. Whipple moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1812, and was a blacksmith by trade, being a natural mechanic, and also an expert machinist. George inherited his father's genius for mechanism, and having access to his tools, developed his taste for making and operating machinery. When seventeen years of age he began serving his time as a steamboat engineer, subsequently following that occupation for eighteen years, and began running on the Ohio River, later being employed on the Mississippi. His work was mostly as steamboat engineer on a first-class packet line between Vicksburg and New Orleans.
Coming to Burlington, Iowa, in 1853, Mr. Whipple engaged in the hardware business with a Mr. Ross, under the firm name of Ross & Whipple, and built up a good trade, but a destructive fire caused him to lose all he had, Feb. 1, 1860. He then accepted a position as steamboat engineer with his old employers, and at the breaking out of the late war had charge of a steamboat on the Red River. In 1861 he was offered a commission by the Government to serve as engineer of the revenue cutter "Michigan," which he declined, and in 1862 he was commissioned by Secretary Wells, of the Navy, and ordered to report to New Albany, to superintend the putting in of the machinery of the United States gunboat "Tuscumbia," the largest in the service, and after his task was performed and the vessel was accepted, Mr. Whipple was detached to superintend a similar piece of work for a large gunboat at St. Louis, which he did successfully. In fact, the perfect manner in which the duty was performed in the case of the "Tuscumbia," led to his being sent to St. Louis, in violation of an understanding which he had with the officer in charge, that he should run the engines of the "Tuscumbia" when in service. Feeling that he had not been treated fairly in the matter, Mr. Whipple resigned, returning to Burlington in 1863, and at once resuming business in company with Robert Allen, who had formerly been his clerk, the firm being Allen & Whipple, dealers in shelf hardware. He subsequently returned to his first love, the steamboat, at the earnest solicitation of his former employers, leaving the hardware business to the care of his partner, but in 1866 he quit the river for good. Continuing his connection with Mr. Allen until 1879, he has since conducted the business alone, having a well-stocked store at No. 319 Jefferson street, and is assisted in the business by his son Walter.
On the 4th of August, 1856, Mr. Whipple was married, at Cincinnati, to Miss Belle Drew, daughter of David Drew, of that city. Mrs. Whipple is a native of Covington, Ky., and became the mother of six children, only two of whom are now living, a son and a daughter: Walter wedded Miss Mary Hare, and is engaged in the hardware business; the daughter, Anna M., is the wife of Judge Orlando Powers, of Salt Lake City, a late Associate Justice of Utah.
Mr. Whipple is Past Grand Master of the I. O. O. F., and is the present Representative to the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States. He was initiated into the order July 4, 1849, as a member of Vesper Lodge No. 131, at Neville, Ohio. An active working member, he has filled every official position, from the lowest in the subordinate to the highest in the Encampment and Grand Lodge. Having a retentive memory and a natural love for the work, Mr. Whipple has made a most efficient officer wherever he has served, and it would be difficult to find within the jurisdiction of the Sovereign Grand Lodge a brother more proficient in the unwritten work of the order, or more expert in conducting its routine work. He served as Grand Master of the order in Iowa from October, 1881, to October, 1882, was chosen Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment, and is now serving his third term as Grand Representative to the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States. Mr. Whipple is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, and was a charter member of Flint Hills Lodge No. 39, of Burlington, and has filled all the prominent offices in the subordinate, and has served as Representative to the Grand Lodge; he has been a Trustee of Flint Hills Lodge since its organization. He is also a Trustee of Washington Lodge No. 1, I. O. O. F., and one of its best working members.
Mr. Whipple has now been a resident of Burlington for thirty-five years, where, by an upright, honorable course in all relations of life, he has won a good name and made many warm friends. Genial, benevolent and warm-hearted, he naturally developed a warm interest in societies based on fraternity and brotherly love, and by the prominence he has attained in that direction has extended his acquaintance and fraternal relations throughout the State and Nation. In politics, Mr. Whipple is a Democrat, but offices never had any charm for him, and with the exception of one term as Alderman, he has never been burdened with public cares.
James Whitaker, of Burlington, Iowa, is a native of the Parish of Leeds, England, born Oct. 13, 1829, and is a son of George and Jane (Wood) Whitaker, both of whom were also natives of England. The ancestry can be traced back to James Whitaker, the great-grandfather of our subject, who was a commissioned officer in the British service for many years, afterward becoming a cloth manufacturer, and a well-to-do merchant. William Whitaker, the grandfather, learned that trade with his father, following that occupation through life. His death occurred April 18, 1818, at the age of fifty-two. His wife, who was formerly Mary Alderson, died March 14, 1830. They reared quite a large family, namely: Joseph, who was a soldier in the British service, died in India; James, a cloth manufacturer, died in Leeds, April 1, 1849, at the age of sixty-three; John was a cloth manufacturer also, and died Dec. 16, 1834, at the age of forty-three; William, a man of wealth, was British Consul at Santos, Brazil, S. A., and died Sept. 22, 1856, leaving a large family; Hannah, wife of James Settle, died March 27, 1880, at the age of seventy-five; Lucy, who died about 1850 at a ripe old age, in Morley, near Leeds, was the wife of John Hinchcliffe; Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Lupton, died Oct. 5, 1885, aged eighty-five years; George, father of our subject, was the youngest in the family. The parents of these children were both members of the Episcopal Church.
George Whitaker received but a limited education in his youth, and while yet a boy learned the trade of machine blacksmith. When eighteen years of age he was united in marriage with Jane Wood, and in Leeds he followed his trade until 1849, when the family emigrated to America, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio. After remaining in that city a short time they came to Burlington, where Mr. Whitaker followed his trade for a number of years and then purchased a farm in Henry County, residing upon that land until 1857. Making a visit to his native land, he remained there nearly a year and a half, when he again returned to Burlington, purchasing a farm in Franklin Township, Des Moines County, upon which he resided until the spring of 1867. Selling the farm, he removed to the city of Burlington, living a retired life until his death, which occurred March 26, 1887, at the age of seventy-nine years. The date of his birth was Nov. 21, 1809. The wife who had been the sharer of his joys and sorrows for over sixty years, was separated from him but four weeks when she, too, passed away. She was a Wesleyan Methodist. Mr. Whitaker was a man of great physical endurance, of strong will, and a friend to any enterprise for the advancement of the people. He was an extensive reader, a great thinker, and could express himself fluently and well. They were the parents of seven children: Our subject; Elizabeth, wife of Simeon Russell, of Burlington, whose sketch may be found on another page of this volume; Joseph, a machinist, is a resident of Arkansas; Mary J. died while a young lady; William, a machinist by trade, is a resident farmer of Jefferson County, Iowa; Sarah, born in the summer of 1844, is the wife of A. W. Laughlin, a farmer of Jefferson County; George F., born in August, 1848, is a railroad conductor, with headquarters at Lafayette, Ind.
At the early age of eight years James Whitaker, our subject, began life's battles for himself. Perseverance is the key which unlocks the fortress of success, and by the study of his life we see that victory has crowned Mr. Whitaker's efforts; the portals now stand open and the battle has been won. Beginning the struggle in a flax spinning factory, twelve hours of the day were spent in labor, ten in the factory and two at school. At the age of fifteen he began learning the machinist trade, serving one term of apprenticeship for over four years. After laboring hard all day his evenings were spent in the study of arithmetic and mechanics. Believing that the New World would offer a better field of labor, he decided to go to America, and at the age of nineteen, after a long and tedious journey from May 8 until June 14, he reached America, settling eventually in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849. After working on a farm for about a year he came to Burlington, Iowa, in 1850, here working at his trade until 1851, then going to St. Louis he was employed at journeyman work in a machine-shop for a year. On being offered a position by Renz & Bradly, Mr. Whitaker returned to Burlington, taking charge of the shops and remained in that position until 1857, when he became foreman of a shop in Camden, Ark., making that his home until 1863. Being compelled to come North on account of the war, and again taking up his residence in Burlington, he was employed in the Burlington & Missouri Railroad shops for some time, and then for a little while followed his trade in Burlington. Going to St. Louis in the month of February, 1864, Mr. Whitaker accepted the position as machinist of the post at Memphis, Tenn., for the Government, superintending the machinery at the north end of the navy yard in that city. Being an enlisted soldier, in May, 1864, he was transferred to Little Rock, Ark., there working in the Government Military Railroad shops. During this time his family still remained in Camden, Ark.; securing a permit to visit them, he made the journey of 120 miles on horseback through the rebel country.
After the lose of the war, in March, 1866, Mr. Whitaker removed his family to Burlington, and that city has been their home ever since. His marriage was celebrated Feb. 7, 1856, Miss Susan Kline becoming his wife. She was a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jacob and Mary Kline, also natives of the same State. Five children graced this union: M. J., wife of E. S. Edgar, a railroad employe residing at Burlington; William H., residing at Albert Lee, is the foreman of the roundhouse at that place; Lizzie H., born in 1861, died in infancy; James and Oliver K. both died in infancy. Politically, Mr. Whitaker is a member of the Republican party, and served on the City Council one term; socially, he is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Having passed many years of toil and trials, and having secured a competency for old age, Mr. Whitaker retired from business life in 1881. In 1882 he took a trip to the Old World, spending a year in Europe, and again in 1884 he visited his native land.
Maj. Wallace White, of Burlington , Iowa , was born at Putney, Windham Co., Vt. , Aug. 31, 1816 . His father, Judge Phineas White, was born in South Hadley , Vt. , Oct. 30, 1770 , was descended from Elder John White, of a Puritan family, graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of '97, began the practice of law at Putney three years later, and was elected to Congress in 1820 by the Whig party. He served as Judge of the County Court, was President of the Vermont Bible Society, and also of the Vermont Colonization Society. A prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, he was chosen Grand Master for the State of Vermont , and was otherwise honored. As his record shows, Judge White was a prominent and influential citizen of Vermont , and his death occurred July 6, 1847 , aged seventy-six years. Mrs. White, the mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Esther Stevens, was born at Plainfield, Conn., in January 1777, and was of English descent. Her death occurred at Putney, Sept. 25, 1858 , in her eighty-first year. Judge White made his home at Putney during his life, and the old homestead is still in possession of his descendants.
Our subject pursued a scientific course of study at the University of Vermont , and at Union College , studied law at New Haven , Conn. , and engaged in the practice of his profession in New York City , and later at St. Louis . In 1849 Mr. White came to Burlington , Iowa , here forming a partnership with E. W. Clark Bros. & Co., of Philadelphia , bankers, that connection continuing until 1854, when he became associated with Lyman Cook, now President of the First National Bank, of Burlington , in the banking business, under the name of White, Cook & Co., that firm continuing until about 1859. Mr. White was next associated with the Des Moines Savings Bank, of which he was President, and in November, 1862, entered the military service as Paymaster, with the rank of Major, serving until the close of the war, and returning to his home with broken health, his death occurring May 4, 1870.
Mr. White was united in marriage with Miss Frances A. Atherton, who was born at Philadelphia , Ohio , Aug. 9, 1822 , and is a daughter of George F. and Ruth ( Bartlett ) Atherton. Her father, who was born in Chesterfield , N. H., Jan. 31, 1790 , of English descent, was a merchant, and moved to Ohio in 1820, subsequently taking up his residence in Mississippi , later in Wisconsin , and in 1849 came to Burlington . Mr. Atherton's ancestors were among the patriots of Colonial times, and participated in the war of the Revolution, and his father was an eminent physician. Mrs. White's mother was born in New Hampshire , and died when her daughter was six years of age. She was descended from the McClintocks, an old Scotch family who were engaged in the American Merchant Marine, and who sustained heavy losses by the capture of their ships by the English in the war of the Revolution. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. White, four sons and four daughters: Helen and Julia, now living; and Fannie and Gertrude G., who died in infancy; William Atherton is an employe of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, and resides at Brookfield, Mo.; Arthur Edward is a resident of Cherokee County, Iowa, and is in the employ of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company; Wallace McClintock is in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, at Keokuk, Iowa, and Luther Clark is also engaged with that company at the general office at Burlington. Mrs. White is a member of the Unitarian Church , and has made her home at Burlington since 1849. Mr. White was an ardent Douglas Democrat in his political sentiments prior to the war, but later he voted with and supported the Republican party. He was a fluent and eloquent speaker, doing good service for his party in several campaigns, and was elected Mayor of Burlington in 1858. A man of splendid business ability, he helped to build up and was connected with several of the most important business institutions of the city. He always felt a lively interest in any enterprise for the good of the community, was a genial, kindly gentleman, and as a pioneer and citizen had the respect of all.
William M. Whitford, manager of the Western Agency for the well-known coffee and spice manufacturer, C. E. Andrews, of Milwaukee, Wis., and having his headquarters at Burlington, was born in New York City, July 14, 1850. His father, W. W. H. Whitford, was a native of Westchester County, that State, and was descended from New England ancestry. His mother, whose maiden name was Julia Palmer, was born in Fairfield County, Conn. Both parents trace their ancestry back to the Pilgrim Fathers. Our subject received an academic education in his native city and was trained to commercial pursuits. At the commencement of his business career he engaged in the hat and cap business there for a short time, but upon coming to Iowa, in 1866, was employed as traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery house in Burlington. Upon withdrawing from this he engaged with C. E. Andrews & Co., of Milwaukee, wholesale dealers in coffee, spices, etc., and in July, 1886, was appointed manager of their agency at Burlington, since which time he has had sole charge of the business at this point.
Mr. Whitford was married at Burlington, Dec. 25, 1873, to Miss Leila, daughter of Nicholas P. Grupe. Mrs. Whitford was born in Burlington, in the vicinity of which her parents had settled in the early days. Of this union there are three children, two sons and a daughter: Nellie was born Nov. 4, 1874; Horace, March 9, 1877, and William M., Feb. 23, 1885. Mr. Whitford is a Republican in politics, but not an active partisan. He has been engaged in commercial pursuits all his life, is methodical, prompt and energetic, and enjoys the fullest confidence and respect of those with whom he has had business or social relations.
Wilbourne, one of the
early settlers of Des Moines County, Iowa, was born in Lincolnshire, England,
where he grew to manhood, and there was united in marriage with Miss Hannah
Bottrill, who is a native of the same county. The young couple soon
emigrated to the United States, first taking up their residence at Baltimore,
Md., and in 1855 came to Des Moines County. Joseph and Hannah Wilbourne were the
parents of twelve children, three of whom are living: William, a resident
of Hollister, Cal.; Carrie, wife of Henry Harkleroude, now deceased, resides in
Hollister, Cal.; and Mrs. A. B. Collins, of Burlington. In 1874 Mr.
Wilbourne went to California, where his death occurred in 1882. Both he and his
wife were members of the Church of England, and were highly respected people.
Hon. Franklin Wilcox, now living a retired life in Burlington, Iowa, was born in Addison County, Vt., June 24, 1810, and is a son of Pliny and Mary (Remele) Wilcox. Pliny Wilcox was a native of Litchfield, Conn., of Welsh descent, though the family resided in this country during the Colonial days. His wife was a native of Rhode Island, of Holland descent. The subject of this sketch was taken to Portage County, Ohio, in early childhood by his parents, later removing to Medina County, and from there to Iowa in 1836, locating in what was known as the Half-Breed Tract, in Lee County, where he purchased about 2,000 acres of land. During the winter of 1838 he sold his land and went to Illinois, locating at Commerce, afterward called Nauvoo. He returned to Lee County, Iowa, about the year 1841, and in 1845 located in Union Township, Des Moines County, engaging in farming until 1863, when he took up his residence in Burlington, since making this city his home. In 1861 Mr. Wilcox had the honor of being elected to the State Legislature, and three years afterward was elected Justice of the Peace, serving in that capacity for fifteen years. He was one of the first members of the Board of County Supervisors, acting as Chairman, and also served as Sheriff of Des Moines County. In earlier life a Whig, at the organization of the Republican party he joined that body.
On the 18th of April, 1832, Mr. Wilcox was united in marriage with Miss Maria Johnson, daughter of Samuel Johnson. She was a native of Addison County, Vt., and to them were born two sons, Henry F., the elder, married Miss Harriet Hedges, and now resides on a farm near Gladstone, Ill. His wife died in 1879, leaving a family of three children, two sons and a daughter. When the Rebellion broke out in 1861, he was one of the first to offer his services in defense of the Union, enlisting in May, 1861, in Company K, 33d Illinois Infantry. After serving three years, the Rebellion still not ended, he again enlisted, and served until the close of the war, participating in all the engagements in which his regiment took part, fortunately escaping without injury. Pliny, the second son, gave his life to his country. In October, 1862, he enlisted in the 1st Iowa Cavalry, Company C, went with his regiment to the front, and died at Bloomfield, Mo., July 19, 1863, from disease contracted while in the service.
Mrs. Wilcox died in 1844, and in 1845 Mr. Wilcox married Miss Harriett Eliza Weeks, a daughter of John M. Weeks, of Salisbury, Vt., who was a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, who came to America in the "Mayflower," in 1620. By the second marriage he has three daughters: Maria, now the widow of Hiram Parker, lives in California; Mary E., at home; and Harriet L., now the wife of Dr. Samuel E. Nixon, of Burlington.
With the exception of the time spent at Nauvoo, Mr. Wilcox has been a resident of Iowa for more than a half-century, forty-seven years of which time he has been a citizen of Des Moines County. At one time, and while a resident of that county, he was personally acquainted with every man in Lee County. The changes that he has lived to witness are wonderful indeed. When he first settled in Iowa there were in all the Territory but 10,000 inhabitants, to-day there are upward of 2,000,000. Railroads were then unknown, to-day every county seat of the ninety and nine has its railroad. Burlington was then a straggling village, now it is the metropolis of Eastern Iowa. Improvements are upon every hand, the waste places have been made smooth, and the whole land has "been made to blossom as the rose." In all the stirring events that have transpired in the fifty-two years, Mr. Wilcox has not been an idle observer, but an active participant.
In his religious views, Mr. Wilcox is liberal, not being identified with any church, though he was reared under the religious instruction of the Congregational Church, of which body his daughters are members, his wife being a member of the Episcopal Church. As a pioneer, as a citizen, one who loves his country and his fellowmen, Mr. Wilcox enjoys the confidence and respect of all who know him.
Charles Willner, attorney at law, office southwest corner of
Washington and Third streets, Burlington, Iowa, was born in Milwaukee, Wis.,
Sept. 3, 1860, of German parentage. His parents, Barnhardt and Pauline (Blahd)
Willner, emigrated from Germany to America in early life. His father was
born at Schweising, in 1823, came to America in 1842, was married in this
country, and settled in Milwaukee, Wis., after spending one year at Cleveland,
Ohio. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Milwaukee until 1861, when he
sold out and removed to Burlington, Iowa, where he pursued the same business.
His death occurred in this city, in June, 1880. His wife survives him and
is still a resident of Burlington.
Charles Willner was educated in the Burlington city schools,
passing through various grades, and closing with the High School course.
He then entered the State University, with the intention of taking an academic
and law course, but his means being limited, and his training in the High School
having been pretty thorough, he was advised by the Faculty to dispense with the
academic course and devote himself exclusively to the law, which he did, and
having passed a very creditable examination, was granted a diploma at the early
age of seventeen years, in 1877. Mr. Willner at once entered a law office
in Burlington, where he pursued his studies and began to practice. A few
months later he formed a law partnership with Mr. W. Pilling, under the firm
name of Pilling & Willner, and was regularly launched on the practice of his
profession while in his eighteenth year--being the youngest man in the
profession in the State. Of course he labored under great difficulties on
account of his youthfulness and inexperience, but through the kindness of
friends, who trusted him with their business and thus tested his ability, he
soon made headway and secured a fair share of the local practice. His
connection with Mr. Pilling continued but two years, since which time he has
been alone. Mr. Willner has now been in constant practice for ten years,
has built up a fine business and no longer has reason to dread the world's
prejudice against youth and inexperience. He looks back with amusement to
the days of his precocious youth, when he was known as the youngest lawyer in
chief clerk of the local freight department of the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy Railroad, at Burlington, since 1882, was born in the town of Elgin,
Northern Scotland, Nov. 10, 1847, and is a son of James and Jessie (Stuart)
Wilson. His education was obtained in the schools of his native town, and
his first employment was as a merchant's clerk at Glasgow. In 1872 Mr. Wilson
emigrated to America, making his home in Burlington, Iowa, and in March, 1873,
entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, as
porter at the storeroom. One year later he was given a place as clerk in
the freight office, and in 1882 was promoted to chief clerk, a position he has
continued to hold until this date.
In Burlington, Iowa,
Nov. 1, 1872, Mr. Wilson was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Douglas,
daughter of William and Mary (Rankin) Douglas. Mrs. Wilson and her parents
are natives of Scotland, and emigrated to the United States in 1872. Four
children were born to this union, one son and three daughters--Mary Rankin,
Jeanie, William Douglas and Ethel Swan, all born at Burlington, Iowa. In
their religious views Mr. Wilson and his wife are United Presbyterians, while
politically, he is a Democrat. The saying that corporations have no souls
may be true, but no one questions their sagacity in selecting the right sort of
men for positions to be filled. Mr. Wilson's promotion from the humble
position of porter to that of chief clerk of a department of so much importance
as that of the local freight department of Burlington, is a compliment to his
ability, and an evidence that he has proved faithful and competent in discharge
of duty assigned him.
one of the prominent business men of Burlington, Iowa, was born near Zanesville,
Ohio, Sept. 6, 1826, and is a son of Robert Winter, who was born at Faston,
England, Jan. 22, 1781, and there grew to manhood, receiving a liberal
education. In 1802 his father emigrated to America, and settled at
Philadelphia, Pa., where he embarked in the mercantile business. Deciding to go
further West he settled at St. Clairsville, Belmont Co., Ohio, when that county
was yet in its pioneer days, and there engaged in the mercantile business, and
while there he became acquainted with and married Miss Margaret Maricle, who was
born in Virginia, Nov. 27, 1783, but was of German ancestry, the ceremony being
performed March 5, 1805. He was engaged in the mercantile business at St.
Clairsville for several years, when, in 1822, selling out, he purchased a farm
near Zanesville. Nine children graced the union of this worthy
couple: Margaret, born Dec. 26, 1805, died Jan. 5, 1806; Sarah A., born
Nov. 17, 1808, is now the widow of Joseph Norris, and resides in Oskaloosa,
Iowa; Robert, born March 31, 1810, is a resident of East Virginia; Ozias, born
Feb. 25, 1812, now deceased; Jesse, born Feb. 10, 1814, now deceased; William
W., born Dec. 26, 1816, is a resident of Olathe, Kan.; Susan, born July 3, 1819,
died Sept. 7, 1820; John, born May 15, 1822, is living in Zanesville, Ohio; and
Daniel, of this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Winter were members of the
Presbyterian Church, and were highly esteemed in the community where they
resided. During his early life he followed the teachings of Henry Clay,
supporting the Whig party until the organization of the Republican, when his
earnest support was given to that body until his death. He died Oct. 28,
1865, aged eighty-four years, six months and nine days. His wife survived
him until Nov. 15, 1873. Daniel Winter, the subject of our sketch, was reared
upon a farm until fourteen years of age, receiving but a limited
education. He was then apprenticed to learn the trade of carpenter and
joiner, and after serving a term of apprenticeship of four years, he went to
Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was employed as a journeyman. Mingling more
among other people, Mr. Winter found that in educational matters he was sadly
deficient, and so in the fall he returned home for the purpose of attending
school. Continuing firm in this resolve, he commenced the study upon which
he had determined, but becoming disgusted with the management of the school,
concluded to continue his studies at home. The following spring he
returned to Cincinnati, and in the fall of 1847 formed a matrimonial alliance
with Miss Maria E. Remme, a native of Amsterdam, Holland, born Aug. 4,
1825. Turning his face toward the setting sun, in 1851 Mr. Winter started
for Burlington, Iowa, making the trip by water, and reaching his destination
April 21 of that year. He followed his trade in that city for some time,
and erected many of its leading buildings. In the year 1853 he established
his present business, the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds, in a small way,
but this has since grown to be one of the prominent business interests of the
Five living children
grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. Winter: Benjamin H., born Feb. 20, 1850,
is book-keeper in his father's factory; Mary, born Sept. 26, 1851, is the wife
of George F. Eggleston, of Burlington; Alice, born Sept. 8, 1853; Cora, Oct. 26,
1859; Elbridge, Oct. 29, 1864. The three latter are still at home.
Politically, Mr. Winter is a Republican, and though to what would be called a
politician, has held several local offices of trust, having been Alderman of his
ward several terms. Mr. Winter and his family have long been members of
the First-Day Advent Christian Church, and he is a devoted Christian man whose
daily walk is characterized by honesty, uprightness, and a strict morality.
Charles Winzer, of the wholesale grocery house of Beklin, Winzer & Co., of Burlington, Iowa, was born in Westphalia, a Province of Prussia, Germany, on the 15th of June, 1845, and is a son of Julius and Paulina (Cordemann) Winzer. He was educated at Rheda, Germany, and trained to mercantile pursuits, spending some time in Belgium in the grocery trade. He came from there to the United States, locating at Burlington, Iowa, in the fall of 1865, where he at once engaged in the grocery trade, which he continued until 1870, at that time joining Henry Weis in the general commission business. The latter connection continued until 1873, when Mr. Winzer became a partner in the wholesale grocery business as a member of the firm of Starker, Hagemann & Co., and two years later, in February, 1875, he aided in the organization of the firm of Biklen, Winzer & Co., who are successors to the former firm. This is now one of the leading wholesale grocery houses in the State.
The marriage of Mr. Winzer and Miss Augusta Knust was celebrated in Burlington, Iowa, April 13, 1869. She was born in St. Charles, Mo., and is a daughter of Carl Knust, Esq. Five children were born to them: Pauline, Emma, Ella, Alma and Elsie, all born at Burlington. Mr. Winzer is a Democrat in politics, but not an active partisan. He was the first of his family to emigrate from the old country to America, and is thus entitled to the credit of being the founder of a family in the New World. An active, enterprising business man, he is liberal in his views on matters of public policy, prompt and reliable in the fulfillment of all his promises, and has won a foremost place in the business circles of the city, wherein he has made his home for nearly quarter of a century.
Wolfe, a native of Des Moines County, Iowa, now residing on section 35, Yellow
Spring Township, was born in Franklin Township, Aug. 9, 1852, and is a son of
John Wolfe, who was one of the early settlers of this county, having become a
resident in 1846, and who was a native of Germany, born near Frankfort in 1812,
and a son of Christian and Elizabeth (Schwartz) Wolfe. In his native
country he engaged in farming until 1846, when he emigrated to America.
Coming to Iowa the same year, he made his first location in Franklin Township,
Des Moines County, where he purchased forty acres of timber and some prairie
land, on which he made his home for three years, when he sold his prairie land
and bought the farm in Yellow Spring Township where his son Charles C. now
lives, and there he resided until his death, which occurred Nov. 18, 1865.
To this place he had added by subsequent purchase, owning at the time of his
death a fine farm of 215 acres. His widow still lives with her son, the
subject of this sketch. Mr. Wolfe was a member of the Lutheran Church, and
for many years before his death had been an invalid. In 1838, in his
native place, John Wolfe was united in marriage with Mary Kenner, and five
children were born of their union: Elizabeth, wife of Peter Schwartz, a
stonemason of Burlington, Iowa; Catherine, wife of John Bossmayer, a retired
tailor, of Burlington; Philip, also a resident of that city; Charles C., our
subject; and John, residing near Yarmouth, Iowa.
The boyhood days of our subject were spent
upon the farm, and his early education, which was received at the district
school, was supplemented by a course at Bryant & Stratton's Commercial
College, at Burlington. In 1872 Mr. Wolfe was united in marriage with
Matilda Funk, a native of this county, and a daughter of George Funk, who was
born in Germany. By this marriage there are six children--Maria, George,
Frank W., Ida P., Arthur Charles and an infant. For ten years Mr. Wolfe
has been a School Trustee, and in politics is a Republican. He is the
owner of 160 acres of farm and fifteen acres of timber land, and makes a
specialty of raising Short-horn cattle and draft horses. He is one of the
leading farmers of Yellow Spring Township, everything about his home denotes
thrift and industry, and he is recognized by his fellow-citizens as a
progressive and rising young man.
deceased, one of the prominent and highly respected citizens of Burlington, was
born July 8, 1822, in Hampshire County, W. Va., and is the son of Charles and
Mary (Thomas) Worthington, and their only child. When Joseph was but a
small child his parents removed to Maryland, and in 1831 took up their residence
in Fairfield County, Ohio, where, in 1848, the death of the father occurred, his
wife surviving him until 1863. They were both members of the Episcopal Church.
Throughout his life Charles Worthington was a farmer, and thus in early life our
subject began the occupation of farming under the guidance of his father.
He grew to manhood in Fairfield County, there receiving his education, and in
that county became acquainted with and married Miss Susan E. Crook, a native of
that county, and a daughter of John and Hannah (Kagy) Crook, both of whom were
born in Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Crook were the parents of nine children:
Mrs. Worthington; Catherine, wife of H. Bumgardner, a resident of Fairfield
County, Ohio; William, who died in infancy; Hannah died at the age of
twenty-two; Mary, now Mrs. Benjamin, a resident of Excelsior, Minn.; Rebecca,
wife of J. W. Miller, a farmer of Henry County, Iowa; Amelia wedded John Dennis,
a farmer of Fairfield County, Ohio; Clara died in infancy; John, also a farmer
of Fairfield County. The mother of these children died Aug. 4, 1843, and
the father is yet living in Fairfield County, at the age of eighty-six.
Mrs. Crook was a devoted member of the Baptist Church. In December, 1851, Mr.
and Mrs. Worthington came to Des Moines County, where 100 acres of land were
purchased in Union Township, the sod was broken, and in the then far West a fine
farm was developed and a happy home was made. Enterprising, economical and
industrious, Mr. Worthington's efforts could not but be successful, and from
time to time he purchased more land, until at one time he owned about 700 acres
in a body. After a long life of toil he decided to retire from active
life, and in May, 1881, removed to Burlington, where he spent his remaining
years. He traveled quite extensively through his own country, north,
south, east and west, but in all his travels Iowa was his favorite State.
He was one of her trusted-citizens, and several times he was called upon to fill
various offices of trust in his county, which he did honorably and well.
In early life Mr. Worthington was a Whig, and was always greatly opposed to
slavery. On the organization of the Republican party he became one of its ardent
supporters, always casting his ballot for it until his death. He was a
strictly temperate man, having never used tobacco, wine or spirituous liquors in
any form, and in all social, religious and educational enterprises his influence
and aid were freely extended. Benevolent, charitable and kind, he was one
of Nature's noblemen. On the 12th of February, 1886, he was called to his
The happy union of Mr. and
Mrs. Worthington was blessed with four children: Joseph H., born in Fairfield
County, Ohio, Jan. 23, 1849, died April 27, 1871; Mary A., born in Fairfield
County, Ohio, Jan. 31, 1851, is the wife of George Hilleary, a farmer in Union
Township, Des Moines County; Amelia V., born in Des Moines County, Oct. 22,
1853, is the wife of Charles D. Hall, a resident of Burlington; Clara J., born
in this county, April 27, 1856, died Sept. 26, 1862. Mrs. Worthington has
been a member of the United Brethren Church since early childhood, and has the
love and respect of all who know her.
a pioneer of Des Moines County, Iowa, and a resident of Burlington, was born in
Pennsylvania, Sept. 6, 1811, and at an early age went with his parents, John and
Charlotte Wright, to Cattaraugus County, N. Y. His father was born in 1762
and his mother in 1767. Our subject grew to manhood in Cattaraugus County,
their receiving a liberal education, and in 1836 he made a trip to Des Moines
County, then a part of the Territory of Michigan, and purchased a claim of 320
acres, situated two miles west of Dodgeville, which he developed into a fine
On the 20th of June, 1839, he formed a matrimonial alliance
with Miss Mary Jane Bridges, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Green) Bridges,
the former a native of New Jersey, and the latter of Kentucky. Mr. Bridges
was married in Dearborn County, Ind.; they were the parents of ten children,
five sons and five daughters--Solomon, Julia, Elizabeth, Napoleon, Mary Jane,
Lawson, Nancy, Norval, Louisa and Columbus. Lawson, Norval and Mary Jane
are living. In 1834 Mr. Bridges moved from Dearborn County, Ind., to
Indianapolis, where he remained five years, then to Coles County, Ill., making
that his home for one year, next locating in Des Moines County, settling upon a
farm in Washington Township. The death of Mrs. Bridges occurred in 1863,
Mr. Bridges departed this life in 1882, at the advanced age of ninety-six years
and six months. Religiously, they were members of the Christian Church,
and were highly respected for their honesty and integrity.
The following children graced the union of John Wright and
Jane Bridges: Eli G., an attorney-at-law at Sioux Falls; Sarah E., deceased;
Milton, a farmer at Sioux Falls; Jeanette, wife of David Mingus, of Saratoga,
Cal.; Cassandria, wife of Edward Burr, of Sioux Falls; John, a farmer of Des
Moines County; Harriet T., wife of Edward Curry, of Chicago; Ida, matron of the
Deaf and Dumb Institution at Sioux Falls; Laura, wife of James Simpson,
Principal of the Deaf and Dumb Institute, of Sioux Falls. Mr. Wright was engaged
in farming in Des Moines County until 1870, when he came to Burlington, residing
in this city until his death, which occurred June 13, 1876.
Politically, he was an old Jackson Democrat, but though he
would not accept any office, always was well informed on public affairs.
He was a member of the Christian Church, and took great interest in all its
work. Upright and honest in all his dealings, his word was as good as his
bond, and as a citizen and a pioneer who aided largely in the development of one
of the first counties in the State, we welcome this worthy gentleman to a
foremost place in this volume. Mrs. Wright, who is still a resident of
Burlington, is a fine Christian lady, and has many warm friends who appreciate
her noble character.
Theodore Wykert, of Burlington Township, occupies a good farm on section 18, and besides general agriculture makes a specialty of stock-raising. A native of West Virginia, he was born in Marshall County, Nov. 27, 1822, and is the son of Francis and Nancy (Yoho) Wykert, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Virginia. The paternal grandfather emigrated from Germany about 1761, settling in Pennsylvania, where he was married and reared a family of nine children, all of whom grew to mature years. They also married, and with one exception all died in West Virginia, this one being Nicholas, who removed to Kansas and died there some years ago.
The record of the children above mentioned is as follows: Francis, deceased, married a Miss Church of this county, and they became parents of two children--John and Ellen; his second wife was Eliza Bidwell, and to them were born five children--Nancy, Ada, Florence, Frank and Alaska. Henry J. wedded Julia E. Biddle, and they had six children--Elizabeth, Nancy, Benton, Frank, Rachel and Emma; he is farming in Louisa County, Iowa. Lydia, the widow of Jesse Parson, reared quite a family, and is now residing in Marshall County, W. Va.; Elizabeth is the wife of William Tradu, a farmer of Louisa County, Iowa, and the mother of six children--Francis (deceased), Jane, Lydia, Alberta, Henry and Isabelle; Nicholas married Miss Caroline Pendegraph, and to them were born three children--Benton, Caroline and Mary J.; they live on a farm in Burlington Township, this county. Catherine is the wife of Darance Benedict, a farmer of Burlington Township, and their family comprises James, Mary, Laura, Rosetta, Lilly, Ethie and Lottie; Nancy by her first marriage had two children, John and Frank, and the same by the second, a Mr. Baker, Benjamin and James; both she and Mr. B. are deceased. Mary J. became the wife of Harris Belknap, and the mother of two children--Philander and Mary J.; she is now deceased. A sketch of Thomas appears elsewhere in this volume.
Francis Wykert, Jr., a brother of our subject, came to this country in 1837, and went to work by the month in the Flint River sawmill, where he staid until fall. He then returned to the Old Dominion where he spent the following winter, and in the spring of 1838 all the family started for the West, making their way by boat to Cincinnati and St. Louis, and from there to Burlington, Iowa. A son, Henry, had preceded them to this region in 1837, making the trip overland, and while passing through Indiana such was the state of the roads his wagon was stuck in the mud so that he was obliged to leave it there and proceed the balance of the journey on horseback.
After Francis Wykert had landed safely in this county with his family he secured eighty acres of land from the Government, upon which he put up a log cabin, 18x20 feet, and then commenced the improvement of his property. His thrift and industry bore their legitimate fruits, and two years later he was enabled to add to his real estate. This he finally sold at a good profit. He then purchased 200 acres in Louisa County, from which he constructed one of the best farms in that section.
Upon first coming to Iowa the Wykert family settled in the wilderness where the howl of the wolf and the whoop of the Indian often saluted their ears. Wild game of all kinds was plentiful, deer often passing close by their cabin door. They met their first great affliction in 1841, when the affectionate wife and mother was removed by death. The father only survived his partner about four years, his death occurring in 1845. He was a good man in the broadest sense of the term, one who was always willing to assist his neighbors, and warmly interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of the people around him.
The subject of this sketch first attended the schools of his native county in Virginia, and after coming to the Hawkeye State assisted his parents in building up the new homestead, remaining with them until twenty-two years old. He then hired out for the consideration of $8 per month, and continued to work for this sum a period of three years. He was married, in 1846, to Miss Mary J. Steenrod, who was also a native of Virginia, and the daughter of Ephraim Steenrod. This marriage resulted in the birth of five children: Harriet became the wife of Arthur Ingram, and the mother of five children; she is now deceased. Rebecca, Mrs. William Lavery, is the wife of a well-to-do farmer of Louisa County, and the mother of two children; Thomas died in infancy, also Chester L.; Nancy is the wife of Alonzo Wagner, a farmer of Louisa County, and the mother of one child, a daughter Jennie.
Mrs. Mary Wykert departed this life in 1858. She was a lady possessing all the womanly virtues, a devoted wife and mother, and was greatly mourned by her family and a large circle of friends. Our subject was subsequently married to Miss Elizabeth Sterling, who was born in Shelby County, Ind., April 30, 1836, and is the daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Cross) Sterling, who were natives of Pennsylvania. About 1850 Mr. Wykert established himself on a farm on section 19 in Burlington Township, where he began stock-raising and met with success. He made his first purchase of land about 1854, paying $100 for ten acres, which are now included in his present homestead. To this he added gradually, and when it was learned that he is now the owner of 300 broad acres, some idea of his thrift and industry may be obtained. In 1887 he put up an elegant two-story residence. In 1886 he met with loss in the burning of his barn with six head of horses and a fine cow, together with all the other contents of the building. He soon rebuilt, however, and has now as handsome a set of farm buildings as is to be found in the county. He is ranked among its representative men, and politically, votes the straight Democratic ticket.
Wykert, residing on section 20, Burlington Township,
Des Moines Co., Iowa, was born Nov. 6, 1829, in Marshall County, W. Va., and is
a son of Francis and Nancy (Yoho) Wykert, the former of Pennsylvania, and the
latter of Virginia. He came with his parents to Des Moines County in 1838,
taking a boat at Wells Landing, going down the river to St. Louis, and then up
to Burlington. Francis Wykert purchased eighty acres of land on the
southeast quarter of section 20, Burlington Township, and resided there for two
years. Selling the farm, the family removed to Louisa County, where Mr.
Wykert remained until his death, Dec. 9, 1845.
The early life of our subject was spent upon the farm, he
receiving his education in the subscription schools of Ohio and Iowa.
After the death of his father, when sixteen years of age, he made his home with
his brother Henry, yet a resident of Louisa County, remaining there until
twenty-seven years of age. He made a trip to Kansas, where he broke
prairie land for one summer. Returning to Des Moines County in the fall of
1857, he worked at such jobs as he could find. On the 29th of March, 1859,
he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Foster, who was born in Lawrence
County, Ohio, June 29, 1840, and is a daughter of James and Sarah (Elkins)
Foster, natives of Ohio, though of Scotch descent. Four children have
graced their union--the first child died in infancy; Virginia, born in Des
Moines County, July 26, 1862, became the wife of George G. Young, of Burlington,
and to them were born two children, Jesse L. and Thomas G.; John, born March 4,
1872, died Nov. 3, 1880; Grace, born Oct. 13, 1874.
In 1866 Mr. Wykert purchased twenty-seven acres of land, and still resides upon that farm, having added to it until he now has eighty-six and a half acres within half a mile of the city limits of Burlington. Whatever of worldly possessions he has gained has been due to his own efforts and the assistance of his estimable wife. In the energy and enterprise that carries forth good works he is not behind his fellow-men. Upright and honest in all his dealings, he has the respect of all. He was reared under the religious training of the Christian Church, and is a Democrat in politics. Although never seeking public office, he has filled several minor ones in the township.