Past and Present of Guthrie County, Iowa
Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907.
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
Among the men of foreign birth who have come to the new world to enjoy its better business opportunities and advancement more quickly secured is numbered Aaron Marchant, who was formerly engaged in general agricultural pursuits, but is now living retired at Yale. He is, moreover, recognized as a prominent and influential citizen, who since 1898 has served on the board of supervisors and is now honored with the chairmanship.
His birth occurred in Somersetshire, England, November 4, 1844, his parents being James and Mercy (Cox) Marchant, who were also natives of Somersetshire, born in 1816 and 1817 respectively. The father devoted his life to farm work and as the years passed by his financial resources were increased, owing to his business ability and enterprise. He died in England in 1901, having for ten years survived his wife, who passed away in 1891. Both were members of the Church of England and lived lives of uprightness and honor. Of their family of twelve children eleven reached years of maturity, while five came to the United States, namely: Eliza, the wife of William Jeffers, a miner of Pennsylvania; Aaron; John, who is superintendent of a coal mine at Wyoming, Iowa; James, who is engaged in mining coal at Des Moines; and Eli, who is a farmer of Nebraska.
In his boyhood days Aaron Marchant was pupil in the schools of England and in 1869, when a young man of twenty-five, he came to the United States, hoping that he would have better business opportunities in a country where higher wages are paid and there individual merit is quickly recognized. He first located in Pennsylvania and on coming to Iowa took up his abode in bone county, whence he removed to Guthrie county. Here he located in Victory township and for twelve years operated a coal mine, after which he took up his abode upon a farm in the same township, where he made his home for nine years. The lessons of industry and perseverance which he learned in his early life bore fruit during all these years, for he worked diligently and persistently to acquire success, and at length was enabled to put aside business cares, having a comfortable competency to provide him with the necessities and some of the luxuries of life. He is now living in well earned ease in Yale, where he owns a good residence, and he also has one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land in Victory township.
In 1865 Mr. Marchant was married to Miss Mary Ann Ridgely, who was born in Shropshire, England, march 10, 1845. They were married in their native country and nine children have come to bless their home: William, a resident farmer of Dodge township; Fred, who follows farming in Victory township; John, a coal operator at Panora; Tom, a farmer of Jackson township; James and Joe, who are living in Victory township; Elizabeth, the wife of Dayton Long, a coal miner of the same township; Clara, the wife of Charles Carson, a farmer of Victory township; and Blanche, the wife of Edward Price, a merchant at Yale.
In his life Mr. Marchant exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the Masonic fraternity and is equally loyal to the teachings of the I. O. O. F. He is a republican and has held a number of local offices, while at the present time he is the chairman of the board of supervisors, on which he has served since 1898. In office he has proven himself a public-spirited citizen, devoted to the general good, and he is thoroughly interested in whatever tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of Guthrie county. He is a man of broad capabilities and of wide outlook, whose genuine personal worth is uniformly recognized by those who know him.
ARTHEMAS McCLARAN, well known in Guthrie county, has done much to advance the county's interests along those lines which promote good citizenship and secure general development and progress. He was born in Holmes county, Ohio, September 25, 1832, and is a representative of one of the old families of that county, his father having there been born on the 17th of December, 1805. He followed farming as a life work and in 1845 removed from Ohio to Owen county, Indiana, where he lived until 1853. In the latter year he came to Iowa, settling in Dodge township, Guthrie county, where he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of government land, on which was a little cabin, while a few acres had been broken. There he continued to live until his life's labors were ended in death on the 18th of August, 1857. He had driven across the country from Indiana with oxen and two wagons, crossing the river at Des Moines, when that town was about the size of Panora. During his first year's residence in Iowa he had to go to Burlington and Council Bluffs for groceries, as there was no market nearer than the river. His political views were in accord with the principles of the whig party. He was a man of good judgment and his salient characteristics were such as commended him to the confidence and regard of his fellowmen. His entire life was in harmony with his principles as a member of the Christian church, to which his wife also belonged. She bore the maiden name of Mary Cline, and was born in New Jersey, February 11, 1812. Their marriage was celebrated in Holmes county, Ohio, October 6, 1831, and Mrs. McClaran died on the old homestead in Dodge township on the 16th of January, 1880.
They had eleven children who came to Iowa, while two died in infancy, one in Indiana and one in Ohio. The others are as follows: Arthemas, of this review; Nancy Jane, who was born February 9, 1834, became the wife of Samuel Anderson and lived in lower California, but both are now deceased; James B., who was born October 31, 1835, wedded Matilda Reynolds and follows farming about forty miles southwest of Portland, Oregon; Hiram, who was born August 7, 1837, wedded Sally Smith and makes his home at Hornick, Woodbury county, Iowa; John, who was born December 12, 1838, and died in Ohio, May 14, 1839; Richard, who was born August 12, 1840, is married and lives at North Yakima, Washington; Eliza, who was born July 25, 1843, and the widow of John Sperry, now making her home in Portland, Oregon; Darius, who was born March 21, 1844, is married and resides at Brownsville, Oregon; Peter, who was born May 7, 1846, and wedded Sarah Truax, but who is now deceased, his death having occurred in Emmet county, Iowa, August 14, 1895; Harriet, who was born march 19, 1848, and married George Jarnigan, their home being in Ilo, Idaho; Mary E., who was born December 30, 1850, and is the deceased wife of S. G. Lee, her death having occurred December 30, 1869; Margaret E., who was born October 6, 1852, and married John Jarnagan, a resident of Woodbury county, Iowa; and Samuel, who was born January 6, 1850 and died in Indiana, March 19, 1850.
In his boyhood days Arthemas McClaran was a student in the public schools of Ohio and Indiana, and he also attended the first school in Panora for forty-seven days. The teacher was one Sloane, and during that time he received more benefit than he had in all his previous experience in school. Reading, observation and experience also greatly broadened his knowledge, and he taught his first term of school in Dodge township. Later he made an unsuccessful attempt to operate a mill in Bone county, but in this venture he and his partner, Samuel Anderson, lost all they had. Later Mr. McClaran rented a mill in Panora, which he conducted for a year and thus gained a start. With the capital he had acquired he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of raw prairie land, upon which he made his home for forty-three years, taking up his abode there in 1859. As time passed he further cultivated and developed the property until he transformed it into a very valuable farm, equipped with modern improvements and supplied with all of the evidences of progressive agriculture. In 1902 he sold the farm and removed to Panora, purchasing his present residence in the village.
On the 4th of June, 1854, Mr. McClaran was married to Miss Wealthy E. Reynolds, who was born in Owen county, Indiana, October 14, 1835, and is a sister of E. J. Reynolds, mentioned elsewhere in this work. The Reynolds family is most prominent in this part of the state, and sons of E. J. Reynolds have attained national prominence as bankers. Unto Mr. and Mrs. McClaran have been born fifteen children, of whom thirteen are now living: Sylvester, who was born September 19, 1855, wedded Laura Caultrider, and is a retired farmer, living at Des Moines, Iowa. Melissa, who was born January 17, 1857, died January 10, 1858. Alice S., who was born September 25, 1858, is the widow of A. J. Kerr and resides in Panora. America I., who was born January 31, 1860, became the wife of Ed Burse and now makes her home in Chicago. Josephine, who was born August 12, 1861, is now the wife of David McKeene and lives in Portland, Oregon. Armadilla S., who was born February 12, 1863, is the wife of John H. Morris, a resident of Panora. Laura Bell, who was born February 12, 1867, died March 9, 1867. Effie E., who was born May 5, 1868, is the wife of J. F. Schreves. She is acting as deputy recorder of Guthrie county, having served in that position for the past three years. Charles O., who was born September 22, 1870, wedded Bertha McFarlane and lives in Portland, Oregon. Elmer E., who was born February 2, 1872, wedded Mabel Swain and also resides in Portland. Eva May, who was born January 20, 1874, is a milliner of Des Moines, Iowa. Jessie G., who was born October 22, 1875, is now the wife of W. L. Hummer, a practicing physician of Greenfield, Iowa. Leo B., who was born March 26, 1879, wedded Ethel De Brara, and lives in North Bend, Nebraska. Eldiva, who was born January 27, 1881, is the wife of Henry Chandler, of Des Moines. Bernetta C., who was born August 8, 1877, is the wife of Cloy Eaton and resides in Portland, Oregon. There are also twenty-two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Mrs. McClaran, the mother, is a member of the United Brethren church. Mr. McClaran cast his first presidential vote for Fremont and has since been an advocate of the republican party, never failing to uphold its presidential candidates at the polls. He has served as township assessor for two terms, was justice of the peace for several years, was county surveyor for nine or ten years, county auditor for five years and is again justice of the peace. Over the record of his official career there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil, and no higher proof of his fidelity and capability could be given than the fact that he has so many times been chosen to positions of political preferment. At the time of the Civil war he also gave practical demonstration of his loyalty to the country by enlisting as a member of Company I, Twenty- ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, on the 13th of August, 1862. The regiment rendezvoused at Council Bluffs and was sent to Arkansas, being on duty at Jenkin's Ferry, Camden, Helena and Little Rock. They also went on the Mobile expedition, and Mr. McClaran thus participated in a number of important engagements. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to orderly sergeant February 8, 1863. In February, 1865, he was commissioned first lieutenant and was mustered out with that rank at New Orleans on the 10th of August, 1865. He now maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades as a member of Charles Baker post, No. 37, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he has served as commander. He has been a member of Panora lodge of Odd Fellows since 1867, and in all his life has been true to the teachings of the order, which recognizes the brotherhood of mankind. He is most highly esteemed by many friends, and that he has the endorsement of the public in a large degree is indicated by the many times that he has been elected to public office.
As one of the pioneer settlers he has done much to advance the best interests of the community along all lines of public progress and improvement, and thus perhaps no citizen of Guthrie county is better informed concerning its early history. He has kept many records of events of pioneer days and recently prepared a series of articles for the Panora Vedette, concerning early settlers, which were of much interest to the readers of the paper. Deprived in youth of advantages - educational and otherwise - which many boys enjoy, he has nevertheless so improved his opportunities that he has become a well informed man and a force in his community in public life.
PETER H. McCLARAN was born in May, 1846, in Owen county, Indiana, his parents being Samuel and Mary (Cline) McClaran. His parents moved to Panora in June, 1853, where they remained until August of the same year, when they moved to Victory township, settling on section 10. In 1870, Peter was married to Miss Sarah M. Truax, a daughter of James and Jane ( Carson ) Truax. They have had three children, Laura May, born in August, 1873, died in June, 1875; Daisy and Clarence.
SAMUEL McCLARAN was the next pioneer in this township, settling in October, 1853. He was a native of Ohio, where he was born in 1805. After his marriage to Miss Mary Cline he remained in Holmes county, in his native state until he removed to Owen county, Indiana, where he engaged in farming. He came to this county in June, 1853, stopping for a short time in Panora, when he came here, locating on section 10. On the 18th of August, 1858, he died, and on the 16th of January, 1880, his widow followed him.
JOHN W. McCOOL, a farmer residing on section 34, Highland township, is the owner of an excellent property which in its neat and thrifty appearance indicates his careful supervision and progressive methods. Born in Parke county, Indiana, on the 29th of August, 1842, he is a son of Lewis McCool, whose birth occurred in Miami county, Ohio, but who at an early day removed to Indiana and later to Illinois. He died in Guthrie county, Iowa, in 1890, while his wife, who bore the maiden name of Ellen Hollingsworth and who was born in North Carolina, died in Vermilion county, Indiana. She was of Quaker birth and was much esteemed by many friends. In their family were two daughters and four sons, all of whom have passed away except John W. and his brother, Wells C. McCool, who is a dealer in hardware and implements at Salem, Nebraska.
John W. McCool acquired a common-school education, spending the first fourteen years of his life in the state of his nativity, and going to Illinois in 1856. He there began learning the blacksmith's trade with his brother, Wells C., and a year later he came to West Milton, Penn township, Guthrie county, where he followed blacksmithing until 1861. In that year, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of Company C, Fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served for four years and took an active part in the battle of Pea Ridge, the siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Jackson, Mississippi, and Kenesaw Mountain. He participated in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign, including the siege of Atlanta, and afterward went with Sherman on the march to the sea. He was on detached service at the beginning of the march to the sea as a blacksmith and on special detail with General Howard. Although frequently on the firing line, he never faltered in defense of the old flag or the cause it represented, but proved himself a brave and courageous soldier. He was mustered out July 24, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky.
When the war was over and the country no longer needed his aid Mr. McCool returned to Guthrie county and conducted a blacksmith shop at Dale City for three years. He afterward took up farming in Jackson township, where he remained for two years, subsequently making his way to Penn township, while in 1875, he removed to Beaver township and in 1881 came to his present location on section 34, Highland township. Here he owns two hundred and forty acres of land lying in Highland and Seely townships, all tillable and well improved. Everything about his farm is in an excellent state of cultivation or of repair, and the equipments there are modern, while the latest improved machinery is used to facilitate the work of the fields.
On the 30th of September, 1865, Mr. McCool was married to Miss Lottie Williams of this county. She was a daughter of John and Harriet (Chilcote) Williams, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively. They came to Guthrie county in the early '50s, settling in Jackson township, and resided in the county until their deaths. Unto Mr. and Mrs. McCool were born thirteen children: Logan, a resident farmer of Baker township; Alice, of Highland township; Eva, the wife of Dr. H. E. Lovejoy, of Rippey, Iowa; Wells, a farmer of Highland township; Louis, a twin sister of Wells and the wife of Jerry Murphy, a resident farmer of Seely township; Hattie, the wife of Rufus Bryan, who follows farming in Union township; Jennie, the wife of E. A. Whitten, also a farmer of Union township; Cora, the wife of John Packumn, who is cultivating a tract of land in the same township; Maud, the wife of Earl Barrett, a farmer of Rock Bluffs; Mary, the wife of Clark Hutchinson, also a farmer of Union township; William, at home; Mabel, who is in Colorado; and Gladys, at home.
In his political views Mr. McCool is a stalwart republican and has served as trustee and school director. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, being a member of Robert Henderson post, of which he has been commander. He made an excellent record as a soldier at the front, and in days of peace he has been equally loyal in citizenship, withholding his support from no measure or movement that he believes will benefit the community, while in his business affairs he has ever been honorable and straightforward.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN GUTHRIE COUNTY.
(By WELLS C. McCOOL.)
I see in the Guthrian of July 22, 1886, your "Random Chapters in the History of Guthrie County." Yes, I started a blacksmith shop at West Milton in the spring of 1857. Uncle Johnny Pearson was then in primal manhood and owned the mill and was one of the directors and served also as station agent on a new branch of the underground railroad, they then ran through Guthrie county. We accommodated a good many travelers, who were all "gentlemen of color," traveling toward Canada. The climate and soil of Missouri and the peculiar notions of the inhabitants of Missouri and Arkansas respecting the rights of men whose skins had a little deeper color than pure white not suiting this particular class of travelers, who could all sing as truly as ever any Methodist preacher chanted the rhyme:
"No foot of land do I possess,
No cottage in this wilderness,
A poor, wavering man."
After opening business in the then hopeful town of West Milton I soon was given a position on that railroad as brakeman, and giving close attention to business, I was shortly promoted to the position of special detective on the Guthrie county division. The mill was a good part of a mile from the dam, and Uncle Johnny, with his industrious and prudent habit, always put the colored boys to work as hired men up at the dam while they were resting for a day or two on their long trip, or until I could learn whether the big democrats of Jackson and Penn had caught the smell of a nigger, on which in those days all democrats were ready to file their affidavit, in fact, they then said that "niggers stunk." If women and children were on the train and the track was reasonably clear and the moon was not too bright, promptly at high twelve they were safely stowed in the big Quaker carriage and started for the next station, which was on Bear creek, in Dallas county. Reaching this in good time, we immediately started the carriage back on the return trip.
In case men were wanting passage and they were not crippled or diseased, they were furnished full rations of bread and meat and what money we could spare and orally instructed regarding the route and told to take their chances. They invariably "got there, Eli."
Those were days in which revolvers and shotguns were not numerous or cheap and so for the protection of the train on the route to Bear creek we gave the colored column a good supply of rocks of handy size and we also stored the magazine in the carriage with as near "forty rounds" as it would carry. I don't believe Uncle Johnny was a man of war, but if he had been pressed by a Missouri or Arkansas bloodhound he perhaps would have been so afraid of rabies in the two-legged dog that he would have done straight, solid work, putting rocks where they would have done the most good to scare the "critturs" off.
I moved my shop to Morrisburgh in the spring of 1859, as that place was then directly on the overland route that led to the land of "golden riches." There I had plenty of work in the traveling season. At Morrisburgh I was given charge of a station on the underground branch. This was a sot of switch line, but many passengers went over it from the stations kept by Coppoc, William Stanfield, Uncle Joseph Betts and others on Middle river. The darky travelers always had a good understanding of the route and the necessary train signals. Many times colored passengers entered my shop at Morrisburgh when it was full of men and would open the conversation with the familiar salutation, "How are you, Mr. McCool, I have not seen you since you left Illinois." If any were present who did not have on the "wedding garment" I inquired of him all about the "folks in Illinois."
N. W. Babcock and A. W. Leach then lived in Morrisburgh and, like myself, were respected by all devout democrats about that burgh as d--d black abolitionists, and were frequently addressed as such. I remember in the fall of 1850, when the news cam of John Brown's strike at Slavery, there was quite a crown at the Morrisburgh postoffice, which was then kept by Mr. Babcock. Jackson democrats all seemed to think about that time that they owned lots of "niggers" and made it hot for what few republicans of us then lived in Morrisburgh. Robert Davidson, who then lived near the town, remarked that "Brown's act would some day shine out brighter than any star in the heavens." Had you been there just then, Mr. Editor, you would have thought an earthquake had broken loose. The attending democrats ripped, tore, swore, whirled about, stamped, took in more tobacco, swore louder, then swore again and then kept on swearing that "old Brown ought to be in H--l, and all abolitionists ought to be hung for making such remarks." But Davidson told it just about as it has turned out, and thanks be to God, I have lived to see the day when the colored brother has been released from bondage, given his liberty and protected therein by the law - at least in Iowa.
While I was in the employ of the railroad for the benefit of the colored brother the road was run as an opposition line to southern ideas and you know that particular idea, slavery, received a dreadful smashing, and that road has not been needed since April, 1863. While I was in the work I was furnished a pamphlet showing all the stops on our branch, named of men to be relied upon, etc. Our line run from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, to Iowa City. As a rule it was not safe for the slaves to come through southern Iowa. There were too many democrats to the hill down there in those times for the seeker after liberty, so they crossed at or near Atchinson into Kansas and traveled up the west side of the Missouri river until they reached a safe place, and as soon as a convenient place was reached crossed into Iowa and came on through Mills, Pottawattamie and Cass counties. The darkies, of course, in those days had to depend on their memory, but they knew just who and what to inquire for at all points on the route. On more than one night I have held the lantern for a poor, tired traveling slave, urging his way to freedom, to enjoy the light while eating a late supper at or near the old Pearson mill dam, and have seen his flowing tears as he told how he had kissed his wife and little ones in slavery, cursed Missouri and turned his face toward Canada and freedom.
R. McGREW, M. D. submitted
In a profession where advancement depends entirely upon
individual merit, Dr. William Raymond McGrew has gained a most enviable
reputation and gratifying success. He is now well known as an able physician
and surgeon of Stuart and although a young man, his reputation is such
as many older representatives of the medical fraternity might well envy.
His birth occurred in Van Buren county, Iowa, on the 6th of February,
1875, his parents being Finley L. and Sarah (Brewer) McGrew. The father
was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 1840 and when eight
years of age came with his parents to Iowa, the family home being established
in Wapello county, where he was reared. He completed his education in
the old Oskaloosa College and then located upon a farm in Van Buren
county, where he resided until within four years of his death. He then
retired to private life and removed to the city of Fairfield, Iowa,
where he died in 1896. He always voted with the republican party and
took an active interest in local politics, capably filling all of the
offices in his township, to which he was called by the vote of his fellow
citizens, who recognized his worth and ability. He was regarded as a
man of influence in the community and was a successful agriculturist
and also a breeder of thoroughbred Spanish Merino sheep. His opinions
were received as authority upon the subject of breeding and raising
sheep and in this connection he did much for the community by advancing
the standard raised and thus promoting prices. His life was in consistent
harmony with his profession as a member of the Methodist church and
he took a most active, earnest and helpful part in church and charitable
work. Immediately after his graduation he entered the Methodist ministry
and was given a charge at Albia, Iowa, where he remained for two years,
when his health failed and he was forced to retire from active ministerial
work. His interest in the church, however, never abated and throughout
his entire life he did everything in his power to promote the cause
of Christianity and aid in uplifting his fellowmen.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. McGrew were born seven children, all of whom are yet
living; Harry L., of Keosauqua, Iowa, who has recently retired from
the position of county treasurer of Van Buren county; George E. and
James W., who are resident farmers of that county; William R., of this
review; Helen M., Nellie M. and Bertha M., all of whom are at home with
Dr. McGrew was reared on the old homestead farm and acquired his preliminary
education in the public schools and in the high school at Fairfield,
being graduated from that institution in the class of 1897. After the
outbreak of the Spanish-American war he offered his services to the
government, enlisting as a member of Company M, Fiftieth Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, on the 26th of April, 1898. The call was made on the national
guard to fill up Iowa’s quota and for one month following the
regiment was mobilized in Des Moines as national guards. On the 24th
of May they were mustered into the United States service as the Iowa
Volunteer Infantry. Dr. McGrew was mustered in as a non-commissioned
officer, serving as a corporal of his company, and while at the front
was with General Fitzhugh Lee’s Seventh Army Corps. He was mustered
out of the service December 18, 1898. He served in the national guard
for two years and was a member of Company M of the Second Iowa Regiment.
In the autumn following his military experience Dr. McGrew matriculated
in the Keokuk Medical College at Keokuk, Iowa, where he spent four years
as a student, and during his vacations he continued his reading under
Dr. J. Fred Clark, of Fairfield, who is now a member of the state legislature,
and is recognized as one of the foremost surgeons of southeast Iowa.
Dr. McGrew was graduated with the class of 1903 and located for practice
in Stuart on the 22nd of June of that year. Here in the intervening
years he has built up an extensive business, practicing along modern,
scientific lines and demonstrating his ability to handle successfully
the intricate problems which continually confront the physician in his
efforts to check the ravages of disease and restore health. He has kept
fully abreast with the progress of the times and is a member of the
Dallas-Guthrie Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the
American Medical Association.
On the 22nd of August, 1906, Dr. McGrew was married to Mrs. Sadie E.
Lawbaugh, of Stuart, a daughter of Thomas Holmes, of this village. Dr.
McGrew’s fraternal relations are with Stuart lodge, No. 214, I.
O. O. F., and with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a young man
of strong mentality and laudable ambition, who is making continual advancement
in his profession and has already gained a reputation which many an
older practitioner might well envy.
Eli Messinger, a retired farmer residing in Menlo, is one of the native sons
of Indiana, his birth having occurred in the hoosier state, July 26, 1841. His
parents were Michael and Susan (Meliza) Messinger, who were both natives of
Pennsylvania. the father died when his son was but seventeen years of age, and
Eli Messinger, who had acquired his education in the schools of Indiana,
continued a resident of that state until 1871, when he crossed the Mississippi
into Iowa, settling in Polk county, where he began farming. There he lived for
ten years and in 1881 he came to Guthrie county, establishing his home in Beaver
township. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he broke
and improved, bringing the fields under a high state of cultivation and adding
many evidences of modern and model farming. Upon that place he lived for
twenty-two years, carrying on the work of tilling the soil and raising stock.
Four years ago he sold the property to Alec Wilkins and removed to a farm west
of Menlo, where he lived for a time. a year ago he purchased a home in Menlo and
took up his abode in the village, where he now resides. He still owns forty
acres in Beaver township and derives a good income from this property.
Mr. Messinger was married in Indiana in 1860 to Miss Martha Barrett, who died
in 1906. They were the parents of fourteen children, of whom one died in
infancy. The thirteen are: Susie, Philip, William, George, Cora, Sally, Princie,
Ada, Michael, Mattie, Charles, Blanche and Grover. Susie, who married J. M.
Tendroy, died January 25, 1907, leaving her husband and four children. Mr.
Messinger was married in September, 1906, to Mrs. Jane McLaughlin.
Mr. Messinger has served as road supervisor, but has never been very active
in seeking office. He votes with the democracy and is a believer in its
principles as most conducive to good government. He formerly held membership in
the Church of God, but in later years has joined the United Brethren church.
Andrew J. Murphy, a retired farmer now living in Herndon, was born in
Tippecanoe county, Indiana, on the 14th of February, 1834, and is a son of
Andrew and Sarah (Avis) Murphy, both of whom were natives of Ohio, whence they
removed to Indiana at an early day. The father died in 1840 and the mother in
1855. Our subject was educated in the public schools, and during his boyhood and
youth received practical training at farm work that has been invaluable to him
in his later life. Since 1871 he has been a resident of Guthrie county, Iowa,
first locating in Cass township, where he purchased forty acres of land. He made
his home there until 1893, when he removed to Richland township and operated a
rented farm of one hundred and sixty acres until ill health compelled his
retirement. He then located in Herndon, where he purchased residence property,
and here he expects to spend his remaining days.
Mr. Murphy was married in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1856, to Miss Mary J. Colson, a
native of Indiana and a daughter of James and Eliza (De long) Colson. Of the ten
children born of this union, six are now living: Eli Edgar, of Yale, Iowa; Mrs.
Ida May Hulbert; Henry Shelton, of Richland township, this county; Charles
Edgar, of Panora; Mrs. Minnie Matilda Honshelt; and Lewis V., of Omaha,
True to the interests of his country, when the Civil war broke out, Mr.
Murphy enlisted in Company I, Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, with which he served
for three years, taking part in all of the important engagements in which his
regiment participated until wounded at Henderson hill in 1865, when he was
forced to remain in the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, for six months. At the
close of the war he was mustered out and returned to Muscatine county, Iowa,
where he engaged in farming for two years. He then removed to Marengo, where he
conducted a grocery store for a time, and in 1871 came to Guthrie county, as
previously stated. The success which he has attained has been due entirely to
his own efforts, his strong character and individuality. His unselfishness in
political affairs is well known by his devoted service to the republican party.
Many times has he helped to elect his candidate to office against heavy odds.
Although he has never aspired to office himself, he has not only had them
offered to him, but almost forced upon him.
Henry Murphy is a self-made man in the truest sense of that term. He was born
in Cass township in 1872, and is a son of A. J. Murphy, whose biography appears
on another page of this work. Up to the age of twenty-one Mr. Murphy not only
attended school, but learned all the details of the farm while assisting his
father, and so laid the foundation of his own successful work as an
agriculturist and stock- raiser. For six years he rented a farm and then bought
his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on section 13, Richland
township, from Steve Young in 1900. It was here that he reaped the benefit of
his agricultural training. To those who are not familiar with the unimproved
condition of this land when it came into Mr. Murphy's possession it would be a
surprise to realize how much he has done to put it in its present high state of
development. The house was completely rebuilt, and a spacious barn, thirty-six
by forty feet, with all the modern appliances, has been erected. A well has been
sunk, and everything about the place testifies to the progressive spirit of the
owner. Not only is his farm in this excellent condition, but his hogs and stock
find a ready market because of their superior quality.
In 1895 Mr. Murphy was united in marriage to Effie Lisle, who was born in
Ohio. This worthy couple are devoted members of the United Brethren church. Mr.
Murphy has spent his entire life in this county and has therefore seen much of
its growth and development through the period of more than a third of a century.
He has co-operated in public affairs to the benefit of the community, while at
the same time his attention has been chiefly given to his farm work, the
evidence of which is seen in the excellent appearance of his place. In politics
Mr. Murphy is a republican, stalwart in support of the principles of the party.