Floyd County, Iowa
Was born Aug. 14, 1795, at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Mass. In 1801 the family moved to Delaware Co., Ohio, where Abner, at the age of eighteen, enlisted in the cavalry regiment and served throughout the war of 1812. Soon after that war he settled in Sandusky, Ohio, where he was for many years cashier of the “Bank of Sandusky.” For ten years he was general agent and superintendent of a stage line from Lake Erie to Cincinnati. In 1841 he was appointed, by President Harrison, Register of the Land Office at Upper Sandusky, Ohio; was removed by President Polk in 1849; re-appointed by President Taylor, and held the office until the Democratic party came into power, in 1853. In 1857 he emigrated to this county, where from January 1859, to January 1863, he was County Clerk, and was afterward elected County Judge. For about fifty years he was a zealous and respected member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and for sixty-five years an honored member of the Masonic order. He died in Charles City, Jun 27, 1881, aged eighty-five years, ten months and thirteen days, after about a year’s illness, and was buried in the Charles City cemetery under the impressive ceremonies of the Masonic order. Col. Root was a man of standing in his community, of great vitality and endurance, and a man who wielded a wide influence.
Deputy County Surveyor of Floyd County, was born in Alford, Alleghany Co., N. Y., March 9, 1826, a son of Arnold and Tracy M. Collins, nee White, the former a native of New York, the latter of Rhode Island. They were members of the Seventh Day Baptist church. Judge Collins was the eldest son of a family of five children born to that union, and was reared on his father’s farm in his State. When he was eighteen years old his parents removed to Rock Co., Wis., settling upon a farm near Fulton. He soon after obtained a situation as clerk in a mercantile store at Fulton, which he retained until 1848, then learned the carpenter and millwright’s trade, following it until 1851. He then traveled for Cole & Williams one year, and in 1852 went with a party of engineers to survey the Southern Wisconsin Railroad, coming to Floyd Co., Iowa, in December 1853, for the purpose of building a saw mill at Charles City. He intended staying only sixty days in this vicinity, but being pleased with the locality resolved to make this his home. The mill was finished and ready for operation in April 1854, it being the first saw mill in Charles City, and stood where the new flour mill now stands. In company with John Blunt and Seth Richardson, he established the first store on the north side of Cedar River, which they operated one year under the firm name of John Blunt & Co. Mr. Blunt then purchased his partners’ interests, and Judge Collins established a land office, which he conducted until 1860, and since then has been County Surveyor, and has also engaged in contracting and building. He was elected Prosecuting Attorney in 1854, and County Judge in 1855, holding the latter position two and a half years, and during that time he contracted for and superintended the erection of the old courthouse. He also designed and built the present courthouse in 1881. He has also held other township offices of trust. He was married Sept. 15, 1855, to Emma A. Brackett, of Orleans Co., Vt. Six children have been born unto them – Urena T., A. L., Jr., a millwright of Maysville, D. T., George E., surveyor and builder with his father, at Charles City; Charles, carpenter at Maysville, D. T., Gertrude and Dick. Judge Collins is a Mason, and a member of St. Charles Lodge A. F. & A. M., No. 141. He is the oldest settler now living in Charles City, and is one of the fathers of the town, having always been foremost in any project that promised progression to his adopted home. In politics he was at one time a Whig, and upon the organization of the Republican party became one of its supporters. He voted for Greeley for President, and since then has been a strong advocate of the Greenback system. He voted against prohibition in 1882.
Auditor of Floyd County, is a native of Vermont, born in Franklin, Franklin County, June 10, 1836. His parents, Jesse and Martha Pomeroy, nee Manley, were likewise natives of the Green Mountain State, and the parents of seven children, of whom Oakley was the eldest son. He was the recipient of a practical business education in his native town, and when eighteen, he went to Fairfield, Vt., where he accepted a situation as clerk and remained four years, thence to Pepin, Wis. He clerked in a mercantile store at that place until the fall of 1859, and on Nov. 18 of that year he married Clara Gurley, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, and a daughter of James and Elizabeth Gurley. After his marriage, Mr. Pomeroy returned to his native State with his wife and located at St. Albans, where he was employed in the machine shops of the Central Vermont Railway until 1864, when he engaged in farming in Franklin Co., Vt., returning to the machine shops of St. Albans in 1865. In May 1867, he came West, settling in Waverly, Ia., where he clerked until April 13, 1868, when he came to Charles City and embarked in the grocery and crockery business. In 1872, he went to Chicago and prosecuted the same business there two years, thence to Whitesboro, N. Y., where he worked in the machine shops of B. R. Babbet & Co., two years, and in 1876 returned to Charles City. He embarked in the grocery and crockery business, which he continued until April 1881, when he disposed of his stock to G. W. Crane, clerked for him three months, and in October 1881, was elected to his present office as Auditor of the county, and fills the position with credit to himself and the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy have one child, a son, Henry O., born Nov. 28, 1876. They are members of the Baptist church,. Mr. Pomeroy is a member of St. Charles Lodge, No. 141, A. F. & A. M. and the Iowa L. of H. He has always taken an active interest in politics and has been elected by the Republican party to various city and township offices. He is classed with the prominent and representative citizens of Charles City.
Clerk of Floyd County, was born in Cavetown, Washington Co., Md., Sept. 23, 1842. His father, Richard Kennedy, was a native of Pennsylvania and by trade a stone and brick mason. He married Catherine Hose, of Maryland, and to them were born two sons – N. H., a farmer and insurance agent at Rudd, Floyd County, and James F. The family moved to Ohio in 1849, and in May 1850, to Ogle Co., Ill. James F. attended school there and worked on the farm until 1856, when they removed to Freeport, Ill. He continued his studies at the high school of that place and when seventeen was employed as clerk in a store. On Sept. 7, 1861, he enlisted in Company H., Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry Volunteers and served until October 1863, when he was honorably discharged on account of physical disability. He participated in many battles, among them those of Shiloh, where he received a slight wound, Corinth, Stone River, Pittsburg Landing and Champion Hills. He returned to his home in Freeport, and on Jan. 28, 1864, was married to Mary Alward, a native of Canada and a daughter of John Alward, of New York. In March 1864, Mr. Kennedy was appointed Sutler in the Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, and acted in that capacity until November 1864, when he returned to Freeport. He engaged in various pursuits there until July 1866, and was then appointed clerk in the pension and bounty office of C. C. Schiller. Six months later he engaged as clerk in an insurance office where he remained until 1870, then settled on a farm in Rudd Township, Floyd County. He held the office of Assessor seven years, Secretary of the School Board seven years, and was also Township Trustee and School Director. In the fall of 1881, he was elected to his present office. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have four children – Francis E., born Aug. 13, 1865; Daisy A., June 26, 1869; Walter R., June 2, 1872, and David E., Nov. 24, 1874. Mr. Kennedy is one of the representative citizens of Floyd County, where he has been identified since 1870. In politics he has always been a pronounced Republican.
County Recorder of Floyd County, Iowa, was born at Hudson, St. Joseph Co., Ind., April 20, 1852. His parents are D. M. Ferguson, ex-Sheriff of Floyd County, and proprietor of Wilson’s Hotel, Charles City, and Malinda (France) Ferguson, who had a family of two sons and two daughters; C. M. was the eldest and he was two years of age when he removed with his parents to Monona, Clayton Co., Iowa, and thence to Fort Atkinson, and in the fall of 1857 came to Charles City, then called St. Charles, where he has since resided. He attended the schools of Charles City until eighteen, when he graduated and was then employed as a surveyor on the C. M. & St. Paul Railway Engineer Corps two years, and on the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railway until October 1871, when he was taken sick and was compelled to return home. In the spring of 1872, he engaged as civil engineer on the Iowa Eastern Railway, where he remained until June, when he took charge of the leveling and surveying for the Pacific Division of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway, and also had charge of a division on construction of that branch, with headquarters at Traer, Iowa. During the winter of 1872 – ‘3, he was freight receiving clerk at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in July 1873, finished this road as far as Traer. He was then clerk and ticket agent at Columbus Junction until March 1874, then returned to Charles City and was appointed Deputy Sheriff under his father. In October 1874, he was appointed Deputy Recorder, and in the fall of 1878 was elected to his present office as County Recorder. In May 1881, he left his office in charge of his deputy, W. W. Dennis, and took charge of the surveys of the proposed Minnesota, Iowa and Southwestern Railway, from the Northern Iowa State line through Charles City to Ames, Story County, Iowa, and completed an estimate for grading and bridging tract ready for rolling stock. Mr. Ferguson married Isabella Stuart at Traer, Iowa, May 14, 1874. She was from Edinburgh, Scotland, visiting her sister in Tama Co., Iowa, where Mr. Ferguson met her while surveying the road. She was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, and was a daughter of John and Ellen Stuart. Mrs. Ferguson is a member of the Congregational church of Charles City, and she and husband have had two children, viz.: Zoe, born July 1, 1875, and David Stuart, born May 16, 1878. Mr. Ferguson is a member of Iowa Legion of Honor, Hope Lodge No. 76, and Charles City Lodge No. 158. He is one of the pioneer children of Floyd Co., Iowa, where he has been identified since 1857. In politics, a Republican. He is aide-de-camp with rank as Lieut. -Colonel on Gov. Sherman’s staff, Iowa National Guards. He was Quartermaster of the Sixth Regiment Iowa National Guards one year.
Ex-Sheriff and proprietor of the Lewis House, Charles City, was born in Huron County, O., March 31, 1828. His parents, George and Abigail Ferguson nee Harrington, were natives of the Empire State and members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They had a family of eleven children, D. M. being the youngest. When he was five years old his parents moved to St. Joseph County, Ind., settling upon a farm. He attended school until fifteen, then served a three years’ apprenticeship to the boot and shoe trade. At the expiration of his term of service he opened a shop of his own at Hudson, Ind., which he conducted until the spring of 1854, when he removed to Monona, Clayton County, Ia. In the meantime, on June 7, 1852, he was united in marriage with Malinda, daughter of Christian and Elizabeth France. Four children have been born unto them, viz.: Charles, who is County Recorder, Jennie, wife of H. C. White, a proprietor in the White, Trigg & Co. creamery of Charles City; Elbert C., passenger conductor on the C. & N. W. R. R., and Maude. In September 1855, Mr. Ferguson became a resident of Charles City, Ia., and opened the first shoe shop in the city. He carried on that business until the fall of 1864, when he was elected Sheriff of Floyd County, and held the office by subsequent election twelve years; during that time engaged in the livery business two years. From 1876 to 1881 he followed farming and in the latter year rented his farm, and opened the hotel, of which he is still proprietor. By his genial and cordial manner, and strict attention to the comfort of his guests Mr. Ferguson has become a very popular landlord. He has served the people in many local offices, and is at present Alderman of the Fourth Ward. In politics he is a strong supporter of the Republican party, and voted for the amendment in 1882.
Deputy County Clerk of Floyd County, Ia., is a native of Vermont; was born at Westford, May 26, 1839. His parents were S. G. Merriam, a merchant, and Harriet O. (Morton). They were natives of Vermont, and members of the Congregational church, and had a family of three children, viz.: C. D., subject of this sketch; Edwin R., farmer in St. Charles Township; Harriet, wife of M. J. Todd, jeweler of Charles City. Mr. C. D. Merriam attended school in Vermont until seventeen, when he clerked in his father’s store until the out breaking of the late Rebellion, when he enlisted, May 1861, in Co. G., Second Vermont Infantry Volunteers; remained in the service until the close of the war; was appointed Corporal Sergeant and First Sergeant of the regiment until 1863, when he was appointed Hospital Steward of the regiment, and held that position until the close of the war. He was in twenty-eight battles, and wounded in the right shoulder with a pistol-ball, which disabled his shoulder, from which he still suffers. He was knocked down in the bayonet charge, and received other injuries. At the close of the war he came to Fayette, Ia., and taught school near West Union, one term; then taught in Bremer Co., a number of terms; then in 1870 went to Vermont, and was Government Inspector at the custom-house at Burlington until 1871, when he came to Charles City, Ia., and clerked in Miles and Bros. drug store some eighteen months; then was agent for American Express Company eighteen months then engaged in the insurance business eight months, when he was appointed Deputy County Clerk of Floyd County. He married Miss Elizabeth Vickery, July 5, 1873. She was born in Burlington, Vt., and was a daughter of Herman Vickery. Mr. and Mrs. Merriam are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and have two daughters, viz.: Miss Bessie A., born April 28, 1874, and Miss H. Faith, born Nov. 18, 1875. Mr. Merriam is a demitted member of Phoenix Lodge # 28, A. F. & A. M., of West Randolph, Vt. In politics he is a Republican. He is one of the representative men of Charles City, where he has been identified since 1871.