and Present of Hardin County, Iowa
[Biography not yet online]
Caleb Campbell, pp. 844-845
The lamented subject of this biographical memoir, now deceased, was in life one of the highly esteemed citizens of Iowa Falls and one of the pioneers of the state of Iowa, and was also one of the brave boys in blue who volunteered to preserve the honor of his country's flag and to save the Union from disintegration through the nefarious acts of the hot-headed politicians of the South who urged secession upon the credulous people of that section and brought on the internecine rebellion which resulted so disastrously to themselves and an enormous cost in lives and treasure to the invulnerable and unconquerable North. Thus for many reasons it is eminently fitting that his name be perpetuated on the pages of his country's history.
Caleb Campbell was born in the state of New York, probably Genesee county, on December 28, 1837, and he is the son of Abner and Polly (Eymer) Campbell. WHen he was between eight and ten years old the family came to Jo Daviess county, Illinois, where he grew to manhood, and while living in that state he enlisted, in September, 1861, at Warren, Illinois, in the Union army, the troop to which he was sent into Missouri becoming Company C. Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. In November following his enlistment he was attacked by the measles, and, having taken a severe cold before recovering, nearly succumbed, and he was discharged for physical disability. He again joined the army in October, 1864, and remained a faithful soldier until the close of the war, after which he returned to Jo Daviess county, Illinois, and resumed farming and stock raising and soon had a good start.
On May 12, 1867, Mr. Campbell was united in marriage with Isora E. Bruce, in Lafayette county, Wisconsin. She was born at Dixon, Lee county, Illinois, but she was reared in Jo Daviess county. She is the daughter of Edward L. and Delilah (Fitzsimmons) Bruce. Her parents came from Genesee county, New York. In March, 1878, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell came to Wright county, Iowa, and the following year moved on to Hardin county and located in Buckeye township. There he bought a farm and four or five years later added an additional eighty acres, making two hundred and forty acres in all. This he brought up to a high state of improvement and cultivation and became one of the most successful and progressive general agriculturists in his locality. The county was fairly well settled up by that time, but farms were new and not well improved and but little fencing was to be seen. He continued farming until the spring of 1897, when he retired from active life and moved to a pleasant home in Iowa Falls, where he lived until his death, on May 29, 1906. His widow survives. Her mother's parents were John and Susan (Lazenbee) Fitzsimmons. The father of John Fitzsimmons was born in Ireland and his mother in Germany. Susan Lazenbee was born in New York state.
To Mr. and Mrs. Campbell the following children were born: French B., who lives at Williams, Iowa, married Effie Ranger, and they have five children; John F., who lives at Stanhope, Iowa, is a minister in the Methodist church, and he married Mary Belle Bogie, who has borne him three children; Isora E., who married J. L. Bushman, lives at Woden, Iowa, and has four daughters; Delilah, who married Charles E. Hubbell, lives on a farm in Wright county, near Downs, and has three children; Edward A., who lives on a farm in Franklin county, married Ivy M. Porter, and they have two children; Franklin L. lives in Iowa Falls with his mother.
Politically, Mr. Campbell was a Republican and always took a due interest in public affairs. He was a member of the Methodist church, to which Mrs. Campbell also belongs. He did not profess Christianity until he was forty-five years old, but after that he was a most earnest and zealous churchman. He was a man fond of home and family, a determined character, generous, frank, courageous and kind-hearted, so that all who knew him admired and respected him.
Robert Campbell, pp. 836-838
There are but few of the original pioneers of Hardin county now living. The late Robert Campell was one of those few who came to this county when it was wild and settlers were few. He settled on a prairie farm and slowly improved it and added to his holdings until he became a large land owner and prosperous, while the country, which was wild prairie when he came to it, is now one of the most productive farming regions of the United States, the home of many happy and contented people.
Robert Campbell was born on October 9, 1827, in Perry county, Pennsylvania, the son of James and Rebecca (Gordon) Campbell. His parents were natives of the same county, who grew up, married and lived there until 1832. James Campbell was the son of James, who came from Scotland at the age of seventeen was an early settler in Perry county, Pennsylvania, and married Miss Kiser, of German descent, whose parents were among the first settlers of Crawford county, Ohio. Their children were John, James (the father of Robert), William, Betsy and Sarah. James Campbell went to Crawford county, Ohio, in 1832, took up new land, cleared it and built up a good farm, on which he died. In politics he was a Democrat. Rebecca Gordon, his wife, was the daughter of William and ---------- (Kitch) Gordon, her mother being of German descent. Her brothers and sisters were Elizabeth, Catherine, Julia, Rachel, Leah and John.
Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell, Jr., were the parents of the following children: William K., who died in Putnam county, Ohio; James, deceased, a farmer in Crawford county, Ohio; Robert; John, who died at the age of four; Leach, deceased, who married first William Leopold, and after his death Jacob Cline; Josiah, a retired farmer of Toledo, Ohio; Elizabeth, deceased, the wife of George Cline, deceased; Sarah Ann, deceased, the wife of Eli Heckard; and Benjamin F., for the past forty years an engineer on the Pennsylvania railroad, living at Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Robert Campbell received his education in the common schools of Ohio, and after his marriage came, in the fall of 1855, to Cedar county, Iowa, the following spring to Hardin county, first locating on forty acres in section 17, Union township. On this he put a log cabin, and while erecting this lived in a rail pen for six weeks. He broke and improved this farm, and continued to add to it during his years of active life, becoming very prosperous. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of no church; his wife was a Free Will Baptist. His death occurred on April 18, 1911.
In 1850 Robert Campbell married Mary A. David, the daughter of Isaac and Jane (Ried) David, of Clinton county, after which his wife came to Cedar and later to Hardin county, Iowa, where she died. Mrs. Mary A. Campbell died on December 22, 1904, after many years of contented wedded life. She was the mother of the following children: Albion I.; Samantha Jane, of Custer, Washington; Rebecca E., of Jamestown, North Dakota; James R., deceased; William A., on the old home place; Sarah D., of Custer, Washington; Andrew C., of Gifford, Iowa; Sidney, deceased.
William A. Campbell was born August 4, 1861, and was educated in the home schools, and has always lived on the home farm with his father. On September 4, 1897, he was married to Mrs. Henry Radtke, who was born in 1867, the daughter of William Klahn, of Germany. Her father and her husband both died in Germany, and in 1887 she came to America. Two daughters, Gratha I. and Alma A., were born of her first marriage.
Robert Campbell and his son William gave much attention to stock raising and bred Poland China hogs, short-horn cattle and kept Norman horses. The stock is of a high grade of excellence. Robert Campbell was honored and respected by all who knew him. The life of himself and of the Campbell family there is abundant proof of the vigor and hardiness of the old Scotch stock, than which no other race has given better citizens to America.
John H. Carleton, pp. 977-981
Enjoying marked prestige for many decades among the business men of the section of Iowa of which this history treats, John H. Carleton, of Iowa Falls, Hardin county, stands out a clear and distinct figure among the useful and public-spirited citizens of his day and generation, having labored from his youth toward the material, civic and moral upbuilding of the locality honored by his residence, seeming to delight chiefly in ameliorating the condition of the general public in whatever way possible. Characterized by breadth of wisdom and strong individuality, his achievements but represent the utilization of innate talent, in directing efforts along lines in which mature judgment, rare discrimination and resourcefulness that hesitates at no opposition, has caused him to succeed in life's battles. Conservative and unassuming by nature, he has ever sought from lofty motives to do his duty as he saw it and has therefore richly earned the universal esteem of all with whom he has come into contact.
Mr. Carleton was born in Cumberland, Maryland, August 4, 1832, the son of John M. and Eliza M. (Magill) Carleton, both born in that city, the father in 1800 and the mother in 1803.
Mr. Carleton spent his early life in his native town of Cumberland. Of his mother's influence in those days he wrote on his seventy-sixth birthday the following: "The teachings and example of a devoted mother I consider the most powerful factor, and indeed greater than all others, in giving tone and direction to my life, up to the period of her death, when I was nineteen years old." In 1850, when eighteen years of age, he came with his grandfathers and others across the Allegheny mountains and on to Iowa, he being the driver and manager of the outfit. His reminiscences of this overland trip of sixty-one years ago are indeed interesting. He returned East by the same route in 1851, one of the wet years of history, when no crops were produced in Iowa. Coming back to this state in 1852, Mr. Carleton worked in the office of the secretary of state, George W. McCleary, being his deputy for some time. In March, 1852, while serving in this capacity, occurred the event which he believes to have been of the greatest moment of anything that ever happened to him, his decision to accept Christ and his teachings for himself. That this was ho half-hearted decision is shown by his subsequent life. After leaving his position of deputy, he attended Asbury University (now DePauw), at Greencastle, Indiana, leaving that institution in 1854. He recalls with pleasure that he earned his won way through college. After returning from college he was assistant clerk and reader in the house at the session of the Legislature in 1854. Coming to Iowa in the pioneer days, he engaged, with others, in the mercantile business at Iowa City. Locating at Legrand, Marshall county, in 1855, in the same business, he built up a good trade there. The panic of 1857 affected every interest and sent into bankruptcy thousands who were doing well; for several years these business men who had formerly been prosperous did anything they could get to do to make an honest living.
Mr. Carleton first came to Iowa Falls in October, 1857, whither he brought a load of apple trees. The place was then a small village, but it has been interesting and impressive to him from that day to this, having found here kind and genial people, and he has been content to live in this beautiful vicinity, so favored by the Creator. Turning his attention to the ministry in early life, he came to Iowa Falls in 1862 as pastor of the Methodist church, which charge he held until 1865, greatly strengthening the congregation and, in fact, performing a grand work among the people he elected to serve, burying the friends who passed over the mystic river, marrying the young beginning life's more serious walks, laboring for the upbuilding of the church in a general way. Having led among his people a life of unselfishness, integrity and kindness, he became one of the most influential men in this section of the state whose interests he has ever had at heart and sought to promulgate. A deep student of the Bible, he proved himself to be an earnest and able exponent of the Gospel; but his failing health rendered it necessary for him to abandon the ministry, and in 1866 he again turned his attention to business, buying a local lumber yard, this business being transferred in 1880 to R. A. and J. P. Carleton. The latter preferred another field and went to Belmond, and the business here was sold to the Standard Lumber Company of Dubuque, R. S. Carleton being manager. J. H. Carleton entered the banking business. While in the lumber business he had been associated with George H. Wilson, a non-resident, for whom he loaned large sums of money on Iowa farms, laying the foundation for the loan business which he subsequently built up, and which he still continues and which has grown to large proportions under his able and judicious management. In 1881 he became president of the Bank of Iowa Falls, and in 1882 he was instrumental in organizing the Commercial Bank of Iowa Falls; this was soon made a national bank under the name of the First National Bank in 1884. From its beginning as the Commercial Bank he was its president, and he continued at the head of the institution after it was made a national bank until 1896, at which time he resigned as president, since which time he has devoted his attention to real estate and insurance and allied lines of endeavor and attending to his own personal property. He has also been president of the State Bank at Dows for the past fifteen years and still retains that office. He is a man of rare business acumen, keen discrimination and discernment, forms his plans quickly and successfully carries them out. A man of conservative ideas and unusual foresight, he has managed the above named financial institutions in a manner that has stamped him as one of Hardin county's able financiers, all these banks, under his management and those associated with him, having gained a prestige second to none in this section of the state, solid and safe and have exerted a potent influence on the affairs of the community. With duties that would crush the ordinary man, he has always had his labors so systematized that he has experienced little or no inconvenience in doing them. Although busily engaged in business affairs, Mr. Carleton has also taken a deep interest in all industries and enterprises for the good of the community at large, having ever been loyal to the principles of the Republican party. He has been active in promoting educational interests, was a member of the local school board from 1867 to 1879, and was president of the board for many years. He has been one of the big donors to Cornell College at Mt. Vernon and also a liberal friend to Ellsworth College, of which he is now an honorary trustee. He has also contributed generously to Ellsworth College and the hospital at Iowa Falls, and thus many needed improvements were made in the college.
A life-long member of the Methodist church, he shows his faith by his works, and here, as in other lines for the betterment of man, his purse is as open as his heart. He is a man of excellent self-control, and by honorable, unquestioned methods he has become financial well-to-do, one of the substantial men of Hardin county, and he is widely spoken of as one of the strong, representative men of the state. Something of his fine inner attributes is shown by the following extract, part of a solemn statement to his heirs: "I have always regarded life a precious heritage, a gift to be so used as to make it a blessing. How far I have succeeded in that respect is not for me to say. That has been my aim and purpose. I early in life settled on thing which was vital to me, the question of my relation to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. * * * Do not think that any one can be more conscious of mistakes or of human infirmity and shortcomings than am I. * * * It is comforting to know that human judgment is not to settle the final award."
The domestic life of Mr. Carleton began on January 24, 1856, when he was united in marriage with a lady of Christian culture and refinement, known in her maidenhood as Sarah A. Stoddard, of Tama county, Iowa, daughter of William and Betsy (Henderson) Stoddard, an excellent old family of Litchfield, Connecticut. This union has been blessed by the birth of five children, namely: James P., born April 3, 1857; William H., born March 11, 1861; George S., born February 13, 1864; Elvira E., born September 1, 1865; and John J., born June 4, 1870. The second and third child in the order given both died in infancy.
Personally, Mr. Carleton is a gentleman of unblemished reputation, as already intimated, and the strictest integrity, and his private character and important trusts have always been above reproach. He is a vigorous as well as independent thinker, a wide reader, and he has the courage of his convictions upon all subjects which he investigates. He is also strikingly original and fearless, caring little for conventionalism or for the sanctity attaching to person or place by reason of artificial distinction, tradition or the accident of birth. He is essentially cosmopolitan in his ideas, a man of the people and a fine type of the strong American manhood which commands the respect of all classes by reason of genuine worth. Thus he has so impressed his individuality upon the community as to win the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens and become influential in leasing them to higher things.
The history of a county or state, as well as that of a nation, is chiefly a chronicle of the lives and deeds of those who have conferred honor and dignity upon society. The world judges the character of a community by those of its representative citizens and yields its tribute of admiration and respect to those whose works and actions constitute the records of a state's prosperity and pride. Among the well known citizens of Hardin county is the Carleton family, a worthy member of the which is John J. Carleton, real estate dealer of Iowa Falls, his success in private affairs and his interest in public life having ever been commendable.
Mr. Carleton was born at Iowa Falls, Iowa, on June 4, 1870. He is the son of John H. Carleton and wife, a complete sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. The subject grew up at Iowa Falls and here attended the public schools and the high school, later Ellsworth College, receiving an excellent education. After leaving college he was assistant postmaster at Iowa Falls for two and one-half years, under his brother, James P., who was postmaster. He also had charge of the business here of the United States Express Company for his brother for some time. About 1889 he entered the First National Bank as bookkeeper, remaining in this institution for about eleven years, rendering high grade and eminently satisfactory service. From there he entered the real estate and farm loan business with his father, whom he has assisted ever since, but he also engages in this line of business for himself, having built up an extensive and ever-growing patronage and becoming widely known to the business world. He is a director in the First national Bank and also of the Security Savings Bank. He has been very successful in a financial way.
Fraternally, Mr. Carleton is a member of the Modern Woodmen and the Knights of Pythias, having been keeper of records in the latter for the past five years.
On May 23, 1894, Mr. Carleton was united in marriage with Lillian M. Stewart, daughter of Robert and Rhoda (Orr) Stewart. She was born at North Branch and came to Hardin county, Iowa, with her parents when she was a little child. Mrs. Carleton's parents still live in Iowa Falls, both highly respected citizens. Their family consisted of five children. Mr. Stewart is an active Mason, a Knight Templar and a member of the Mystic Shrine. He and his wife belong to the Methodist church.
To Mr. and Mrs. Carleton two sons have been born, Wendell S., born June 19, 1896, and John Robert, born October 17, 1898.
Mr. Carleton is a member of the Methodist church. He has the reputation of being a man of exemplary character, advocating wholesome living in private and public life, and he has the confidence and esteem of all who know him.
A leading citizen and business man of Iowa Falls, Hardin county, of a past generation was Richard A. Carleton, a man well remembered throughout this locality for his many engaging personal traits, a man who believed that, while advancing his won interests, it was his duty to be kind and considerate toward his neighbors and associates and also to further any laudable undertaking for the public welfare, therefore he enjoyed the good will and esteem of all classes.
Mr. Carleton was born in Cumberland, Maryland, April 17, 1842, and his death occurred at Iowa Falls, Iowa, march 13, 1908. He was the son of John M. and Eliza M. (Magill) Carleton, the father born in 1800 and the mother in 1803, both in Cumberland, Maryland. He was left an orphan, by the death of his mother, when nine years of age and he early learned the lessons of self-dependence and fortitude which have been of great advantage to him in later years. When he was eleven years old he came to Iowa City with his father and lived several years, then moved to Legrand, Marshall county, Iowa, where he joined his older brother, John H. Carleton. In the spring of 1861, when nineteen years of age, he proved his patriotism by enlisting in the Second Iowa Volunteer Cavalry under Col. Peters Hepburn, of Marshalltown, and he continued with this regiment until the close of the war, rendering very faithful and gallant service. Because of special aptitude for the work, he was detailed to hospital duties during a great part of his service. He looked forward to pharmacy as his chosen work and spent some time in the chemical department of the State University in preparation therefor [sic]; but after some acquaintance with the lumber business he came to Iowa Falls about 1870 and joined his brother, J. H. Carleton, with whom he remained for a number of years, assisting in building up an excellent business, for he knew well how to devise and use means and agencies to widen and develop the trade. later on he became identified with other industries, the stone quarries and building enterprises, always ready for work whenever it offered.
Mr. Carleton was married near Iowa City to Ellen M. Moreland, the representative of an excellent old family and a lady of many estimable traits, who survives him and who still occupies the home in which he spent the last years of his life. Five children were born of their marriage, three of whom died in infancy. Those living are, Mrs. Edith Burlingame, wife of Clarence H. Burlingame, of Iowa Falls, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work, and Mrs. Caroline Van Meter, of Des Moines.
In the early nineties Mr. Carleton was postmaster of Iowa Falls, making one of the best the city has ever had, according to a consensus of opinion. In 1894 he went to Illinois and engaged in the lumber business for a time, but later returned to Iowa Falls. The break in his health that portended the end did not disturb his equilibrium, for he endeavored at all times to lead a true life and bring no stain upon the honored family name. He was devoted to his wife and family and fully appreciated the effective and faithful service shown to him.
[Biography not yet online]
J. H. Carter, pp. 662-663
It is both pleasant and profitable to study the life record of such a worthy gentleman as he whose name forms the caption of this review, for in it we find evidence of traits of character that cannot help making for success in the life of one who directs his efforts, as Mr. Carter has done, along proper paths with persistency and untiring zeal, toward worthy ends. Having had as his close companion through life, upright principles, these worthy traits of character have resulted, as we shall see, in blessing to himself, his family and those with whom he has come into contact.
J. H. Carter, one of the well known and substantial residents of Union, Hardin county, was born of an estimable old Southern family, his birth occurring in Yadkin county, North Carolina, in 1849. He is the son of Joseph W. and Abigail (Reynolds) Carter, who spent their lives on a farm in North Carolina and are buried at Boonville, that state, the father's death having occurred in 1909, at the advanced age of eighty-five years, the mother having passed away in 1901, at the age of seventy-six years. They were the parents of the following children: Mary married Isaac Caudal and they are living in Boonville, North Carolina; Nathan is deceased; J. H., of this review; Permelia, who married Nathan Adams and she died at the age of forty-two; Martha, Caroline and an infant unnamed, all died young diphtheria; W. A. is living in Union township, Hardin county, Iowa; Olive married Frank Worden and they live in Yadkinville, North Carolina.
The paternal grandparents of the subject, Josiah and Elizabeth (Henshaw) Carter, were natives of North Carolina and spent their lives there.
J. H. Carter received his early education in the public schools of his native state, and when nineteen years of age he started in life for himself. He came to Hardin county, Iowa, in 1869, locating at the town of New Providence, where he found employment in a steam mill, later worked on a farm. In 1872 he married Nancy Johnson, daughter of James and Jemima (Reece) Johnson. She was born in North Carolina, and in 1868 she came with her parents to Providence township, Hardin county, Iowa, and here met Mr. Carter and they were subsequently married.
Mr. Carter has devoted the major part of his life to farming. He settled in section 13, Providence township, where he improved a fine farm and met with pronounced success as a general farmer and extensive breeder of live stock, and by hard work and close attention to his affairs he laid by a competency for his declining years, and in 1909 he retired from active work and moved to one of the finest and most desirable residences in the town of Union, where he now lives in comfort and quiet.
Politically, Mr. Carter is a Republican, and he has been more or less active and influential in public affairs, and he held the office of township trustee for some time. He and his family are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church and liberal supporters of the same.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Carter: Lavada married William Williams, and they are living at Chester, Iowa; Mollie married David Norman and she is now deceased; Maggie married Bowen Demitt, son of A. S. Demitt, mentioned elsewhere in this work, and she is now deceased; Roy married Pearl Rowan, daughter of A. L. Rowan, of Union township; Edna married Charles Norman and they live in Bangor, Iowa; Pearl is living at home.
Among the citizens of Union township, Hardin county, who have built up a comfortable home and surrounded themselves with valuable landed and personal property, L. M. Carter is deserving of special mention here. With few opportunities except what his own efforts were capable of mastering and with many discouragements to overcome, he has made a success in life, and in his old age has the gratification of knowing that the community in which he has resided has been benefited by his presence and his counsel.
L. M. Carter comes to us from the old Hoosier state, having been born in Hendricks county, June 12, 1842. He is the son of William and Mary (Hodson) Carter, natives of North Carolina, from which state they emigrated to Indiana in an early day and there remained until their death, the father dying in 1864 and the mother in 1910. They were fine types of the pioneer element, courageous, patient and hard-working. They were the parents of the following children: Jabez, Lindley M., Phoebe, Jessie, John, William, Daniel, Martha and Joel.
L. M. Carter, of this review, was twenty-eight years of age when he came to Iowa. He took up residence in Providence township, Hardin county, in 1870, and two years later located in Union township. In 1870 he married Charity M. Hadley, of Providence township, the daughter of Jeremiah and Anna Maria (Mills) Hadley. The Mills family came to Indiana from Tennessee. Mr. Carter's wife died when thirty-three years of age and is buried in Chester cemetery. There were two children of this union, Vesta C., who married A. H. Cundiff, of Union township, and Clare, the eldest, who is living at home.
L. M. Carter received a good education and prepared himself for a teacher, which profession he followed many years with pronounced success in Hardin county, giving eminent satisfaction to both patron and pupil and his services were eagerly sought. Finally tiring of the school room, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, in which he has been very successful. When he came into possession of the farm on which he now lives it was practically unimproved, there being a log hut and about forty rods of "shanghi" rail fence, but he went to work with a will and soon had a fine farm, well improved and well cultivated, and a substantial set of buildings, including a very pleasant home, having accomplished what he set out to do single handed.
Mr. Carter is now
living retired from active work. Politically, he is a Republican and
has always been interested in local affairs and has held many offices,
always with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned
and he has been actively interested in educational movements. He is
a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Union, Iowa. He
has kept well informed on the current topics of the world and is a broad-minded,
genteel, highly respected gentleman who has ever stood high in his community.
Erastus M. Case, pp. 672-673
Of the many new Englanders who have cast their lot in Hardin county, Iowa, and have thereby not only benefited themselves but the general public as well, Erastus M. Case, a venerable citizen of Buckeye township, is worthy of special mention, for he has always been an honorable, upright man, industrious, temperate, economical and in every way exemplary in his daily life and conduct. He has performed well his part as a factor in the body politic and no one questions his standing as one of the leading farmers and worthy citizens of the township in which he lives.
Mr. Case is a native of the old Nutmeg state, his birth having occurred at Hartford, Connecticut, on September 25, 1832, the son of Stephen and Delia (Brewster) Case, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of Vermont. The father, whose death occurred in 1842, was a house joiner by trade. In 1857 his widow married a Mr. Seymour, of Kendall county, Illinois, and her death occurred near Bloomington, that state, in 1876. George Case, grandfather of the subject, who lived in Connecticut, was in the Revolutionary war. The Cases have been well known in certain sections of Connecticut for many generations, from the colonial days to the present. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Case, all of whom are deceased but Erastus M., of this review; they were, Emily, Julia, Erastus M., Mary, Helen, Walter, Martha and Watson P.
Mr. Case had little chance to attend school, but he has educated himself by promiscuous and extensive home reading. When twelve years of age he went to Kendall county, Illinois, with an uncle, Albert Brewster, who was then a single man, and they remained together eight years, engaged in farming, Mr. Case breaking the virgin prairie sod, working thus until he was twenty-seven years of age, then started in life for himself by taking up farming in LaSalle county, Illinois. On January 7, 1856, Mr. Case was married to Adeline Gillham, of Madison county, Illinois, daughter of Frank and Ellen (Atchison) Gillham, the mother a native of Tennessee and the father of Illinois. He was a farmer and blacksmith. He and his wife lived in LaSalle county, Illinois, until their deaths; they were the parents of the following children: Lucy, who lives in Colorado; Adeline, wife of Mr. Case; C. B., of Madison county, Illinois; John lives at Radcliffe, Iowa; George lives in Madison county, Illinois.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Case: Mary, who married Benjamin Baker, lives as Bloomfield, Nebraska; Julia married Freemont Sharp and they live at Marshalltown, Iowa; Frank is deceased; Delia married Frank Sharp, and they live in Franklin county, Iowa; Frederick married Edith Evans, and he is farming with his father in Buckeye township; George, who is a carpenter by trade, is living at Kalispell, Montana; Martha, Arthur and Maggie are all deceased; the last named married John Hun.
After 1856 Mr. Case moved to Henry, Marshall county, Illinois, and was there four or five years, then moved to Macon county, that state, where he lived until 1877. He also lived in Decatur City one year, then moved to Pleasant township, Hardin county, Iowa, where he lived four years, then moved to Tipton township. In 1893 he bought his present farm in Buckeye township, then consisting of one hundred and sixty acres. Later he gave the right of way and sold the village of Buckeye town site of thirty acres more, and he now owns one hundred and twenty acres of valuable and well improved land. He has always been a farmer and has been successful, starting in life empty handed and pursuing his course without aid from any one. Politically, he is a Democrat, but has never aspired to official positions. His wife is a member of the Methodist Protestant church.
But recently there was removed from the village of Union by death a man whom all acclaimed as its leading citizen, a man of strong character, whose life meant much to the neighborhood, in which so many of its activities had been spent in the betterment of conditions. A pioneer of the county, he started at the bottom of the ladder and steadily climbed until he by his own efforts and those of his helpmate reached the pinnacle of success. His race was a clean one and he was aided by no corrupt means or underhanded methods.
Oliver B. Chapin was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, on November 23, 1830, the son of Paul and Beulah Chapin. In 1856 he came with his parents to Marshall county, Iowa, and settled on a homestead there. In 1858 he was married to Ellen Hudson and the young couple moved to Union township, Hardin county, the next year, where Mr. Chapin built a log cabin on the land he secured, in which his two children, Henry C. and Jennie A., were born. He had very little of this world's goods and he and his wife suffered the privations and made the sacrifices usual to pioneer life. Until the fall of 1876 they lived on this homestead, then moved to the farm just west of Union on which the family lived for more than thirty years, until, in 1904, they moved into their present residence in Union. By judicious management Mr. Chapin accumulated a fortune and rose gradually and surely until at his death he owned sixteen hundred acres of land in Marshall and Hardin counties. While careful in business matters, he was liberal to those less fortunate to such an extent that he became widely popular because of his many liberal and kindly actions. He was connected with every movement for the betterment of the town of Union and the surrounding country. His activities were not confined alone to farming, but in 1883 he, with others, organized the Citizens Bank, and he became its president, which position he held until 1909, when he was succeeded by his son, Henry C. Chapin, and it was mainly his efforts which placed this bank high on the list of sound financial institutions of Hardin county. In politics Mr. Chapin was a Republican. In 1874 he was elected to the state Legislature from this district. For six years he served as a member of the board of supervisors of Hardin county. He was a charter member of Industry Lodge No. 225, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Jennie A. Chapin, the daughter of Mr. Chapin, died in November, 1886, and in April, 1910, Mr. and Mrs. Chapin gave to the high school of Union five thousand dollars as a memorial to their daughter, four thousand dollars to be used for a building, and one thousand dollars for a library. Mr. and Mrs. Chapin have always taken a deep interest in education, and for many years have given to each graduate from the local high school a five dollar gold piece as a nucleus to start a private library. In 1908 they donated one thousand dollars to the endowment fund of Grinnell College.
Mr. Chapin died on September 10, 1910, leaving as the surviving members of his family, his wife, one son, Henry C., and wife; two grandchildren, Jennie L. and Earl C. Chapin; two nephews and one niece. His funeral was very largely attended, and the funeral procession of a mile in length was led by the eighty pupils of the local high school, carrying flowers which were strewn along the course from the cemetery entrance toward the grave, a fitting rite in honor of their departed friend. The floral offerings were the most beautiful which could be obtained from hothouses and gardens, including loving tributes from the old O. B. Chapin hose team, the churches, the clubs, the lodges, and relatives and friends.
Mr. Chapin was a man of happy personality, which fact alone won him many friends, for no one could remain in his presence long and escape the infection of his good humor. The confidence of the people of Union in Mr. Chapin was absolute, and he was among the foremost in every undertaking for the public good. Such a life as his carries with it its own reward in contentment, and in establishing in the hearts of friends the memory of virtues and of deeds well done, which is a monument more satisfactory than any marble. For while the village of Union exists, the name of this worthy man will be pointed to as that of one of the greatest benefactors of the community and its inhabitants.
William Chassell, pp. 411-412
On the 4th of July, 1867, William Chassell stuck a cane into the ground on a knoll on the northwest quarter of section 15, Ellis township, and said to George B. McMillan, who was with him: "I will buy this quarter section and here I will build my home." The cane was a branch of a cottonwood and it grew until it became a large shade tree. The house was built near that spot. Mr. Chassell, after leaving his home in Holland Patent, Oneida county, New York, had been looking for a location in several states, and a few days before had visited an old boyhood friend at Des Moines, Iowa, Hon. D. Franklin Wells, then the Iowa state superintendent of public instruction. Mr. Wells suggested to him that he go to Hardin county and look at this land, which he owned and desired to sell. Mr. Chassell went to Iowa Falls and then out to Ellis township, where he attended a Fourth of July picnic. There he met Mr. McMillan and Walter Carpenter and others who had come from New York and other Eastern states. He was so well pleased with the people that he decided to locate in the community, which became his permanent home. The house was built that summer and some breaking was done, and in the fall he brought the family from their Eastern home. It was over a mile to the nearest house on the west, and in other directions much farther. Toward Iowa Falls, a trail across the fenceless prairie was followed for three miles to the first house and across the treeless billows of trackless grass to the east it was four or five miles to the first settler's cabin, which was the location where the town of Owasa has since been built.
Seed wheat was two dollars per bushel in the spring of 1868, but the price went down to seventy-five cents before the crop was sold the next fall. War prices for wheat and flour were never restored and wheat raising did not turn out to be profitable. Mr. Chassell was soon engaged in the stock and dairy business, which he followed during his years of active life. After selling milk for a few years to the cheese factory at Iowa Falls, he became one of the organizers of a company which built a factory and made cheese in Ellis township. During all the years of pioneer life, he was always active and interested in the establishment of schools and in the development of of the new country.
William Chassell was born March 4, 1829, in Fairfield, Herkimer county, New York, the son of Rev. David Chassell, D. D., and his wife, Anstiss Olin Chassell, whom he had married in southern Vermont. His education was received in the public schools and in Fairfield Seminary, of which is father was for many years the president. When a young man he went to New York city to engage in business with his brother, but his health would not permit of close confinement. He subsequently went to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was engaged in the mercantile business and in teaching. Later he returned to Holland Patent, Oneida county, New York, where he engaged in farming and other enterprises. Shortly before locating in Iowa he visited a brother for several weeks at Houghton, Michigan, but decided that Iowa was preferable for a man interested in farming for a profit.
He was married June 4, 1857, in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, to Frances A. Jones, daughter of Edward Wadsworth Jones. To them six children were born, all of whom are now living: Edward D. Chassell, of Lemars, was for many years editor of the LeMars Sentinel, but is now temporarily in Des Moines, being state binder; Norval W. Chassell, of Gillette, Wyoming, is extensively engaged in the sheep business; Rev. Olin B. Chassell, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church; Henry J. Chassell, of Gillete, Wyoming, is engaged in the stock and real estate business and during the last two sessions has been a member of the Wyoming Legislature; J. L. Chassell, M. D., is a successful practicing physician of Belle Fourche, South Dakota; Anstiss A. Chassell resides with her mother in Des Moines.
After over thirty years of patient industry, developing the prairie farm and in educating his children, Mr. Chassell retired in 1899 to Iowa Falls, where his last years were passed in the enjoyment of of the pleasures and comforts of life among old friends. His life closed on the 18th of March, 1910, in the eighty-second year of his age, his death being the first break in the family circle after nearly fifty-three years of wedded life. He was a man of strong convictions and high ideals, always meriting the respect and consideration of his acquaintances.
Thaddeus M. Clampett, pp. 624-626
He to whom this sketch is dedicated is one of the honored and successful pioneer citizens of Hardin county, and he has personally lived up to the full tension of the primitive days when here was initiated the march of civilization, so that there is particular interest attached to his career, for his life has been one of close and persistent application which has resulted in the acquisition of a competency and now that the twilight of his years has come he is very comfortably fixed and he can look back over a career well spent and which has resulted in harm to no one, and he can look forward with no fear.
Thaddeus M. Clampett, one of the leading farmers of Providence township, was born in Monroe county, Indiana, February 19, 1835, and he is the son of William and Delilah (Moffett) Clampett. They spent the first part of their lives in Indiana and in 1844 came to Iowa, locating in Keokuk county, moving to Hardin county in 1855, locating in Providence township, where they established a good home and became well known and influential in the new country. They had but one child, Thaddeus, of this review. After the death of the father, Mrs. William Clampett married Allen Hayworth and ten children were born to this union.
The subject deserves a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished, having had to start life for himself when he was but fourteen years of age, when he returned to Illinois and in the summer of 1853 came to Des Moines, Iowa, where he worked for a time. In 1858 he came to Hardin county. In 1859 he married Martha Kersey, daughter of Asher and Edith (Schooley) Kersey, a fine old pioneer family. Mr. Clampett served in Company G, Forty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
After his marriage Mr. Clampett began farming three and one-half miles south of the village of New Providence, starting with forty acres in section 28, on which was a small cabin. But he was a man of courage and a hard worker and in due course of time he succeeded in developing a good farm and establishing a comfortable home, and for a period of thirty-nine years he continued farming there, adding to his holdings from time to time until now he is in possession of valuable interests and a comfortable competence. Five years ago he gave up active farming and retired to his modern and pleasant home in New Providence.
Politically, Mr. Clampett is a Republican, but he has never an aspirant for public office, though he has been a member of the local school board. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he is a member of the Friends church.
Asher Kersey, father of Mrs. Clampett, was born in North Carolina. He came to Indiana when a young man and there married Edith Schooley, a native of Ohio. They came to Hardin county, Iowa, in 1856, and he lived on a farm in Providence township until he retired to the village of New Providence fourteen years before his death, which occurred in 1901 at the advanced age of ninety-five years, having survived his wife forty-three years, her death occurring in 1858, when she was forty years of age. They were the parents of these children: Clark, Albert, Jane, Martha Elizabeth (wife of Mr. Clampett), and Adeline. Mr. Kersey married a second time, his last wife being Susan Tulbert, daughter of William Tulbert. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clampett, namely: Frank, born in 1860, married Eva Mulford, of Providence township; Effie, born in 1866, married J. L. Reece; Arthur, born in 1870, died in 1879; Ralph, born in 1880, married Lela Norman and lives on the home farm. These children were reared in the Friends church and they have not departed from their raising.
Ralph R. Clampitt, pp. 668-669
Farming, an occupation formerly held undesirable, is at last coming into its own again, and the young men of the present day are turning eagerly to the farm as a means of livelihood. For with modern methods of culture and modern conveniences, farm life has lost most of its drudgery and its terrors, and opens to the average man a life of profitable enterprise, while to the young man who, like Ralph R. Clampitt, has prepared himself for his occupation by a course in an agricultural college, farming opens unlimited possibilities. It has been demonstrated many and many a time that the application of scientific principles to farming pays, and pays well, and Mr. Clampitt is at present making that demonstration on his old home farm in section 28, of Providence township, Hardin county, Iowa.
Ralph R. Clampitt was born on July 8, 1880, on the old Clampitt homestead where he now lives in Providence township, Hardin county, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thad Clampitt, an account of whose lives is given elsewhere in this work. He grew up in the ordinary pursuits of a farm boy, attending the district schools in winter, and took a course at Ames Agricultural College, at Ames, Iowa. After his marriage he located on his home farm and carried on general farming and stock raising very profitably.
In 1905 Mr. Clampitt was married to Lela Norman, the daughter of Ellis and Susan (Poindexter) Norman. Her parents now live in East Bend, North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Norman are the parents of the following children: David, of Bangor, Iowa; Lela, the wife of Mr. Clampitt; Charles, of Bangor, Iowa; Leecy, Wickliffe, Bessie, Hovey, Hobart, Maud, McKenzie and an infant deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Clampitt has been born one child, Bruce, on August 31, 1910, a bright and interesting infant.
Ralph R. Clampitt is a man well liked in his community and has many friends, while he and his wife take full part in the social activities of the neighborhood.
[Biography not yet online]
The gentleman of whom the biographer now writes is widely known as one of the honored pioneers of Hardin county and for over a half century he has been a valued factor in the development of the same, prominently identified with the varied interests of his community. His well directed energies in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his own business interests and his sound judgment have demonstrated what may be accomplished by the man of energy and ambition, who, persevering often in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, proves that he is the possessor of those innate qualities that never fail to bring success if properly directed, as they have evidently been done in the case of Mr. Clover.
William Francis Clover was born about nine miles west of Columbus, in Franklin county, Ohio, at Alton Station, September 4, 1848. He was the son of Solomon and Jane (Widner) Clover, the former the son of a Pennsylvania German and was born in Franklin county, Ohio, on September 25, 1816, being the eldest of a family of eight children born to Joshua and Rachael Clover. On June 8, 1837, Solomon Clover married Jane Widner, a native of Virginia. They moved to Henderson county, Illinois, when their son, William F., of this review, was four years old, and after living there about four years, moved to Hardin county, Iowa, in June, 1855, and settled in Etna township near where the village of Abbott now stands. The country was wild and sparsely settled and traversed by no railroads. The family started in as typical pioneers, the father obtaining two hundred and forty acres of his land from the government and he purchased one hundred and sixty acres from a Mr. Maxwell. He sold part of the government land and gave part to his children. The Maxwell place, which adjoins the town of Abbott, he improved and made his home, becoming well established and living there the rest of his life, dying on June 15, 1899, having been preceded to the grave by his wife on March 8, 1894. They were both advanced in years, the father having been born on September 25, 1816, and the mother on January 2, 1812, thus each passing their eighty-second milestone. Solomon Clover was an influential man in pioneer days here, taking his part in the affairs of the community, serving as school director, etc. Their family consisted of nine children, two of whom died in infancy; the others are: Artemisia married Lonsdale Scott and she died in Hampton, Iowa; Alice married Robert Wilkinson, who died, and she then married August Hommon; her death occurred at Abbott, this county; Mary Jane married Thomas Richardson and lives in Clay county, Iowa, near Peterson; George W., who was a member of the Third Iowa Battery during the Civil war, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, during the service; William Francis, of this review, was next in order of birth; Solomon M., Jr., lives in Angus, Cook county, Minnesota; Charles Lafayette died on the old home place at Abbott.
William F. Clover, of this review, is the only member of the family now living in Hardin county. He grew up on the home farm, worked hard in developing the same and was married there in 1868 to Caroline Richardson, daughter of Daniel and Christena (Ault) Richardson. Her father was from Maryland and her mother from Ohio. Mrs. Clover was born March 16, 1848, in Delaware county, Indiana. In July, 1853, her people came to Etna township, Hardin county, locating where Abbott now stands, being among the early settlers in Etna township and were prominent pioneers there.
After his marriage Mr. Clover continued to live on the home place until 1869, in the fall of which year he moved to Cherokee county, this state, where he entered a homestead, on which he remained until 1889, then moved back to the home place. His brother Lafayette had died in 1888 and the subject moved back to take charge of the homestead, on which he remained until 1900, then moved to Abbott, where he began dealing extensively in live stock, which he followed about a year. He then launched out in the general merchandise business as one of three partners, taking an active part in the work of the store himself, and remained there about a year and a half, becoming postmaster of Abbott about the same time. He sold out, his health failing him, and went West, traveling from place to place in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and California for a year and a half. Then returning to Hardin county, he purchased a commodious and handsome home at No. 1115 Stevens street, Iowa Falls, where he now resides, being retired from active life, passing his declining years in quiet and content in his well-appointed home.
Politically, Mr. Clover is a Republican and has been more or less active in civic affairs for many years. He has been trustee and school director of his township. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen. He has long been a member and an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal church. He was class leader and Sunday school superintendent nearly all his mature life until he came to Iowa Falls. He has no children, but he and his wife reared two of his cousin's children, William and Adenia Anderson, caring for them as if they had been their own until the children had grown to maturity and married and now they have good homes of their own, William living at Marathon, Iowa, and Adenia, who married Harry Lusbey, lives at Windom, Minnesota.
Mrs. Clover was one of nine children in the Richardson family who grew to maturity, three others dying in infancy. They are: William lives at Dunkirk, Indiana; David lives at Blakesburg, Iowa; A. C. died at Dell Rapids, South Dakota; Thomas, who married Mr. Clover's sister, died in Clay county; Caroline, wife of Mr. Clover; Martha married W. F. Bedford, and lives in Iowa Falls.
The parents of the above named children moved to Cherokee county, Iowa, in the fall of 1869, where they homesteaded a valuable tract and also bought land, and there, after undergoing the usual hardships incident to life in a new country, they became very well established. They were sixty miles from a railroad, and they were compelled to do their trading at Fort Dodge and Sioux City. The country was undeveloped and sparsely settled and elk, deer and other wild game were abundant there. From Cherokee county, the Richardson family moved, about four years later, to Dakota and lived there until 1882 and there the death of the father occurred, after which the mother came back to Cherokee, Iowa, and made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Clover until her death. At one time the subject and wife had with them her mother and his parents, and they spent twenty-seven years in all in taking care of the old folks, but they were glad of the opportunity and ministered right gladly to their every want. Mrs. Richardson's grandmother, Elizabeth Weaver, also lived with Mr. and Mrs. Clover until her death at the advanced age of ninety years.
It is interesting
to hear Mr. Clover relate incidents of the early days in this section
of Iowa, compare conditions of over a half century ago with those of
the present, for he has been an interested spectator to the advancement
of the most wonderful epoch of the world's history, and has kept well
abreast of the times by wide reading and contact with the world in general.
The present sketch is concerned with the life and deeds of one who has been a resident of Hardin county since its early settlement. Brought to the county when a young boy by his father, who was one of the pioneers of this region, Mr. Cobb has witnessed the development of the locality from wild prairie to the present highly improved farming community, and has borne his full share in the betterment of the community, while by his labor and industry he has become one of the prosperous farmers of the county.
Don Alonzo Cobb, the father of George H. Cobb, was born probably in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1811. He practiced medicine until his health failed, and then followed the carpenters' trade. He was first married in Van Buren county, Michigan, on October 22, 1837, to Mary Newcomb, who was born on January 25, 1817. To this marriage were born three children, Revelle DeLa Cobb, who lives in Missouri; George H. Cobb, and Flora Cobb, who died in 1862. Mrs. Mary Cobb died in 1848 in Chicago. Later Don A. Cobb married Mary J. (Bailey) Drain, a widow, by whom he had three children to reach maturity: Herbert L., of Coldwater, Michigan; Ida F., who died in Hardin county in 1879, and Charley, who died in Hardin county in 1881. In 1854 Don A. Cobb and his wife and family came to Hardin county. He bought forty acres of land near Eldora and lived in Eldora, where he continued to work as a carpenter. In politics, Mr. Cobb was a stanch Republican. He was in religious faith a Methodist, his father having been a Methodist circuit rider, noted for his piety, and his first wife was a member of the same church, while his second wife was a member of the Disciples church. Mr. Cobb's second wife died during the war in Kansas. Mr. Cobb died on July 16, 1867, at Secor, Iowa, having spent a useful and respected life.
George H. Cobb was born on February 25, 1843, near the town of Paw Paw, Van Buren county, Michigan. When he was very young the family moved to Chicago, and in 1854 moved to Hardin county, Iowa. On September 16, 1861, George H. Cobb enlisted in Company A, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge in January, 1866. He saw much hard service and was taken prisoner by the Confederates at the battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, in which engagement he was also wounded.
On April 9, 1867, Mr. Cobb was married to Elizabeth S. Walker, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born on May 27, 1848, the daughter of William and Sarah J. (Blackwood) Walker, and came to Hardin county with her parents in 1856. After marriage Mr. Cobb bought a tract of eighty acres near Secor, now owned by the Megan family. He then bought a tract in O'Brien county, and remained there for a couple of years. Then in 1873 he bought one hundred and twenty acres in Union township, Hardin county, Iowa, and lived on this farm until 1901, when he moved to Eldora. In 1891 he bought one hundred acres in Eldora township. Mr. Cobb has followed general farming and has been successful in this, having obtained from his operations a competence. In politics, he is a stanch Republican, and for a number of years was postmaster at Eldora Junction. He is a man well known in his community and one who has by his strong qualities of character won the esteem of those who know him.
Mr. and Mrs. Cobb are the parents of the following children: William Alonzo, who was born on April 6, 1868, now farming in Clay county, Iowa; Thomas K., born on July 3, 1869, of O'Brien county; George F., born on October 15, 1870, now living on the old homestead in Union township; Amos B., born on October 25, 1872, in the hardware business in Ocheyedan, Osceola county, Iowa; Amie Azetta, born July 19, 1876, died march 12, 1879; Sarah J., born on June 17, 1880, died on April 9, 1908, was the wife of Guy C. Follett, of Eldora; Bessie A., born on September 7, 1883, married H. L. Moore, of Eldora; Josephine, born on May 4, 1885, married Charles P. Doud, on Eldora; Nellie H., born on September 28, 1886, died on August 11, 1910, in Eldora.
Among the well known and representative farmers of Hardin county, where he spent twenty-five years of active life in honest and honorable toil, is Robert Coffee. By diligence in his occupation he gained a competency and is now living in honorable retirement, spending his later years in the society of his friends. In all the situations in which has has been placed, whether as a soldier on the field of battle or a farmer performing some seeming hunble task, he as done his duty.
Robert Coffee was born on February 5, 1838, in Logan county, Ohio, the son of Abraham and Hannah (Dunn) Coffee. His sisters and brothers were Mary, Sarah, William, Isaiah, Hannah and Charles, the latter of whom has lived in Hardin county for about eight years. Robert received his education in the common schools in Ohio, and worked on the farm until he was twenty-one, when he moved to Illinois. On February 2, 1869, he was married to Hannah M. Cheney, of Rock Island county, Illinois. Her father was William C. Cheney, who was born in Champaign county, Ohio, on September 30, 1819. Her mother was Emily (Sayre) Cheney, also a native of Ohio. In 1842 they came from Ohio to Rock Island county, Illinois, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The brothers and sisters of Hannah Cheney were Mary Ellen, Alanson and Alma Jane.
Robert Coffee enlisted in Company A, Ninety-third Illinois Infantry, in 1862, and served during the whole war, with the rank of corporal. During a great portion of his term of service he was in the convalescent camp sick, but was never in the hospital, and though he was sick most of the time, he kept on duty all the time. Mr. Coffee lost his health in the army. He was a loyal soldier throughout the entire war and did his duty at all times. Though not as physically able as some of his comrades, he kept at his post all the time, refusing to go to the hospital, preferring to sacrifice everything to bear his part of the heavy burden of war. He is deserving of special praise for the patriotic manner in which he met his duty. He was mustered out June 2, 1865, at Washington, D. C., having marched three hundred and eighty-eight miles to get there to participate in the grand review of troops.
After his marriage he remained in Illinois until 1872, when he came to Grundy county, Iowa, and bought eighty acres of land. In 1875 he sold that farm and bought one hundred and sixty acres in the eastern part of Hardin county, in a most fertile region. For this land he paid twenty dollars per acre, and it is now worth one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. Here Mr. Coffee spent twenty-five years in general farming, and during that time improved his farm greatly and made a comfortable living. In 1900 he and his wife came to Eldora to live, where they have a convenient and pleasant home.
Mr. Coffee has always been considered as one of the solid and substantial men of this neighborhood, a citizen of sterling worth. He is in politics a Republican. He and his wife have long been members of the Christian church and both exemplify true Christian character.
James M. Cooper, pp. 597-599
A man who boldly faces the responsibilities of life and by determined and untiring energy carves out for himself an honorable success exerts a powerful influence upon the lives of those who follow him. To them life is so real that they find no time to plot either mischief or vice. Their lives are bound up in their duties, they feel the weight of their citizenship and take pleasure in sowing the seeds that will spring up a golden harvest. Such men constitute the foundation of our republican institutions and are the pride of our civilization. Such has been the career of the subject of this brief notice.
James M. Cooper, better known as Madison Cooper, was born in Ellis township, Hardin county, Iowa, October 23, 1859, and he has continued to make this favored section of the great Hawkeye state his place of abode. He is the son of Henry Cooper, who was born near Terre Haute, Indiana, he being of Scotch descent. He married Jane Rockwell, also born near Terre Haute, Indiana. He grew to manhood in that vicinity and received a limited education in the common schools. His parents died when he was a child and he was early thrown upon his own resources. He made the long overland trip to California in 1851 and was gone two years. He returned to Indiana and later settled in Illinois. About 1854 or 1855 he came to Hardin county, Iowa, and settled in Ellis township, where he got forty acres of land, most all timbered. He added to this until he owned an excellent farm of two hundred and twenty-three acres, which he cleared and improved and became one of the leading farmers of the early days in this township. He was an independent voter and held many offices of his township. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His death occurred on May 4, 1909, his wife having preceded him to the grave on February 24, 1904. They were the parents of eleven children, namely: Lemuel is a lumber dealer of Alden, Iowa; the second son died in infancy; Sylvester died in Kansas; May married James Beem and lives at Ledyard, Iowa; James M., of this review; the next child died in infancy; Eva married Christ Kinney and they live at Buckeye, Iowa, where Wilder R. also lives; Ed. is farming in Missouri; Mertie married L. T. Briggs and they live at Linton, North Dakota; Jennie, who remained single, is deceased.
James M. Cooper was educated in the common schools of Ellis township and he lived at home, assisting with the general work around the place, until he was twenty-four years of age. He went to Daws county, Nebraska, where he remained six years, having taken a claim there. He then returned to Ellis township, this county, and has since resided here. On August 28, 1905, he married Mrs. Sarah Alice Mitterer Collins, widow of E. J. Collins, a native of the state of New York, whose death occurred in 1896. Mrs. Cooper is the daughter of Augustus Mitterer, and he was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, on August 16, 1823, the son of Peter and Hannah (Ripman) Mitterer, both natives of Germany, where they spent their lives. Augustus Mitterer came to America in 1846, landing in New York; he settled in Virginia and was there until May, 1855, when he came to Hardin county, Iowa, and settled at Point Pleasant, there being but one house there when they arrived. During the four months following he built four houses, which he sold to settlers as they came in. He took an active part in building the Presbyterian church there, of which he laid the foundation and drove the last nail. On September 2, 1849, he married Ann Z. Shipman, and this union resulted in the birth of nine children, namely: Clara A., Sarah A., Augustus W., Martha J., Joseph S., Ernest F., John L. Two died in infancy.
Mr. Mitterer learned the trade of tanner in Virginia and he worked at it in Point Pleasant. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee. He was seized with illness at Brownsville, Arkansas, in August 1863, and in October of that year he was sent to the hospital at Little Rock, where he remained six months and was discharged from the service on February 14, 1864, for disability. He was always a Republican and active in party affairs, and also took a great deal of interest in educational matters. He was a member of the Presbyterian church. After the war he devoted himself to farming until his death. Mrs. Cooper had five children by her first marriage, namely: Louisa Ellen married Robert C. Racine, of Buckeye township, and they have three children, Gladys, Arlouene and Blanche; Aggie M. married Fred Palo, of Hubbard, Iowa, and they have two children, Alice and Herbert; J. Roy, who married Emma King, is farming in Ellis township, this county; Nellie Ann, who married John Lage, lives at Hubbard, Iowa; Frederick L. is single and living at home.
Mr. Cooper has lived on his present farm in Ellis township since 1905. He has made all the improvements on the place and he carried on a general farming business, having devoted his life to this line of endeavor. In connection with farming, he raises an excellent grade of Norman horses and Duroc-Jersey Red hogs. He has a well improved and well kept farm and a good home. He votes independently and has never aspired to political office.
William H. Corfe, pp. 708-709
Whether the elements of success in life are innate attributes of the individual or whether they are quickened by a process of circumstantial development, it is impossible to clearly determine. Yet the study of a successful life, whatever the field of endeavor, is none the less interesting and profitable by reason of existence of this same uncertainty. So much in excess of these of successes are the records of failures or semi-failures, that one is constrained to attempt an analysis in either case and to determine the measure of causation in an approximate way. Among the residents of Hardin county who have forged to the front through their own efforts, and while advancing their own interests have not neglected the larger duties of citizenship, is William H. Corfe, the well known and popular druggist at the village of Union.
Mr. Corfe was born January 25, 1867, at Mt. Sterling, Wisconsin. He is the son of Dr. Frederick and Eliza (Tisdale) Corfe, the father a native of England and the mother of Wisconsin. Doctor Corfe grew to maturity and was educated in England, emigrating to the United States when twenty-one years of age. He became prominent as a physician and surgeon and during the war between the states he served the Union cause three years in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He came to Union, Iowa, in the spring of 1880 and soon became one of the leading physicians of Hardin county, and he remained here until his death, in 1994, at the age of sixty-nine years. He is buried in Union cemetery. His wife preceded him to the grave in 1900, sying at the age of fifty-two years.
Doctor Corfe was a member of the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, both of Union, and he was a member of the Congregational church. He was a man of strong characteristics, honest and genial. His family consisted of the following children: Hattie, deceased; two children died in infancy; William H., of this review; Edward A. lives at Union.
The early education of William H. Corfe was obtained in the schools of Wisconsin and Iowa. Early in life he determined upon a career as druggist and in order to prepare himself entered a school of pharmacy, from which he was graduated on March 6, 1903, and soon afterward he started in the drug business at Union, Hardin county, where he has maintained a well patronized, attractive and carefully stocked store to the present time, enjoying an extensive and liberal trade with the surrounding community, his ever increasing customers comng from remote sections of the county, for here they know they will find courteous and honest treatment.
Mr. Corfe was married on November 11, 1897, to Hester A. Holmes, daughter of Joseph Holmes, a native of England and the mother of the state of New York, the latter's family name being Dean. Mr. Holmes is deceased: his widow is living in Marshalltown, Iowa. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Corfe, Marion Louisa.
John M. Cox, pp. 706-708
The present sketch deals with the life of a late resident of Union township, who left to his children no better heritage than the memory of his life of usefulness and service, and whose memory is in no other way so well perpetuated as by the lives of activity and strength in their various occupations which his children are living.
John M. Cox was born on May 2, 1837, in Virginia, the son of Enoch and Sallie Cox, of Virginia, who spent their lives in that state. John M. attended the home schools, and in 1857, at the age of twenty, started with Sam Burcham and his wife to Henry county, Iowa, where he lived for one year, then moved to Marshall county. In the spring of 1861 he came to Union township, Hardin county, and in August, 1861, enlisted in Company F, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, at Eldora. His regiment was with the Sixteenth Army Corps, under Col. A. J. Smith, and for one year were known as Smith's Guerrillas. For three years, lacking one month, Mr. Cox served as a private, and after being discharged at Dubuque returned to Hardin county. For one year during his term of service he was in the hospital at Memphis, Tennessee, with ague, and from the effects of strong medicine administered to him there was blind for three years after the war. On April 10, 1870, he married Sarah E. Leach, who was born in Hart county, Kentucky, on January 28, 1846, the daughter of Nathan and Judy (Martin) Leach. Mr. Leach was a farmer near Louisville, Kentucky, and he and three other families came with ox teams to Union township, Hardin county, Iowa. He settled in section 20, then known as Pritchard's Grove, and got wild land and cleared it, making a home where he lived until his death, which occurred in 1908. He was a man of limited education, but attained a position of some influence in his community. His wife died in 1895. Nathan Leach was the son of Joseph and Celia (Turpin) Leach, of Kentucky, whose children were Nathan, James, Polly, John, Joseph and Simeon. Nathan and Judy Leach were the parents of the following children: Sarah E., Mrs. Cox, the oldest; John, a farmer of Macy, Iowa; Mary, married Oliver Jones, of Oklahoma; Martha, who married Frank Azmum, of Britt, Iowa; Mack, deceased; Kate, who married William Howe, of Union, Iowa; Alice, who married Alaska Wing, of Flasher, North Dakota.
To Mr. and Mrs. Cox eight children were born, three of whom, Mary L., John F. and Corinda C., are deceased. The living are the following: James P. was born on February 10, 1874, educated in the home schools, and has always lived at home. He is one of the leading farmers in Union township, and has prospered in his efforts. George A. was born on November 8, 1878, and is a mail carrier in Havana, North Dakota. He married Minnie McNall, who has borne to him six children, Roy, John, Agnes, Mabel, William and George. Stella E. was born on May 11, 1881, married H. B. McNall, of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and is the mother of six children, Samuel, Elsie, Emma, Helen, Bertha and Alice. William O. was born on June 18, 1885, is a farmer at Hubbard, Iowa, and married Bessie Moore, who has borne him two children, Juanita and leroff. Enoch N. was born on June 6, 1888, was married December 21, 1910, to Dora E. Hardy, of Hubbard, Iowa, and lives at home.
After his marriage Mr. Cox located in different places in Union township, and in 1888 came to section 9 and bought the farm where his son and widow now live. He made many improvements on the farm and carried on general farming profitably. He, as well as his sons, was a strong adherent to the principles of the Democratic party. He took an active part in the Grand Army post at Union. John M. Cox was a member of the Quaker church, while his son, James P., is a Baptist. James P. Cox is a member of the Modern Woodmen at Union.
John M. Cox was a plain man of sterling character, upright and honest, who was much esteemed in his neighborhood, and will be remembered as a true friend to those whom he called by that name and as a neighbor accommodating in the highest sense of neighborliness. The example of his life has been the most powerful influence in the lives of his sons and daughters.
A man whose life history is both interesting and instructive was Alexander Crossan, lately prominent in Hardin county, who was born at Gray Abbey, county Downs, Ireland, on February 10, 1807, and died on March 10, 1899. His parents were Scotch and old-school Presbyterians and he was baptized according to that church's usage. Early he went to Sunday school and memorized the catechism and proof texts.
At the age of eight Alexander Crossan was thrown upon his own resources and worked for four years for board alone. At twelve he worked at tending looms in a factory six months for five dollars. The next six months he worked on a farm for thirty shillings, and received forty shillings for the next half year. He then bound himself out for three years to a silk and linen weaver and became an expert weaver. In his early manhood he went to Scotland and attended classmeetings at the Wesleyan chapel, where he met the Long family, the most pious people he had ever known, and on June 15, 1836, the youngest and only surviving member of the family, Fanny, became his wife. Seven children were born to them in Scotland, two of whom died in early childhood.
About 1848 Mr. Crossan came to the United States, and rented a farm in Crawford county, Ohio, where he resided until 1865. During the Civil war his three eldest sons all lost their lives in the service of their adopted country, and he himself, though upwards of fifty-five years old, volunteered and was accepted, serving six months, then being discharged on accounty of disability. In the spring of 1865 he came to Hardin county, buying the old farm where his son Charles Wesley now lives and where the remainder of his life was spent.
On February 14, 1892, Mr. Crossan's companion for fifty-seven years passed to her reward. She was born near Kibby, Gardiner county, Donegal, Ireland, on April 11, 1812, but was reared mainly in Ayrshire, Scotland. Her life was devoted to her family and to the cause of her Master, she having that simple and abiding faith which sustains the Christian spirit in every trial of life, and enabled her as the dawn of immortality began to clear to exclaim, "I will soon sweetly rest with Jesus: I will soon be home; He is my only hope." The last hours of this sainted woman were a revelation to the younger friends of the meaning of a lifelong trust in Christ, and a proof that death has no terrors for the true Christian, whose lamp had been ever burning and who was ready to respond to the Bridegroom's voice.
In 1894 Mr. Crossan revisited Ireland and Scotland, the scenes of his youth, and, though in his eighty-seventh year, made most of the journey through the old countries on foot. Besides renewing acquaintances of early life, he made a careful study of social and labor conditions and wrote several interesting and instructive articles for the Register of Des Moines, whose old editor, Foster Clark, was for many years a warm and close friend of Mr. Crossan. He pictured the conditions of the laboring man in Scotland and showed how our protective tariff redounded to the great advantage of the American laborer over those of Great Britain. He returned more than ever in love with America and its institutions, and was more than ever established in the faith of a republican government.
Imbibing from his native Scotia a love of freedom, his residence in America led him to espouse the Abolition cause, and not only did he serve his country in arms himself though long past he age limit, but he sent his three sons, William, Alexander and David, to serve for the cause of freedom and to become a sacrifice upon the altar of human liberty. All three lost their lives, two on the bloody field of Winchester, Virginia, on the 20th and 21st of July, 1864. They were members of the Thirty-fourth Ohio Infantry, under Colonel Shaw, who was killed in the same battle and who was captain of the company at the time of enlistment. The third son, David, was killed at Resaca, Georgia, but five weeks previously to these. So that the fond parents made the greatest sacrifice possible that bondmen might be free and that the sons and daughters of others might enjoy freedom's blessings to a greater degree. And, in the words of Lincoln, addressed to that Mrs. Bixby of Boston whose five sons were killed: "I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours in having laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."
The other members of the Crossan family are Jane, the widow of Merritt Watson, of Eldora; Thomas, of Eldora; Anna, the wife of James H. Vigars, and Charles W., on the old homestead.
Alexander Crossan was grounded in a living trust in the Saviour of mankind, and from early years became a worker in His cause. Being keenly intelligent, with strong Scotch characteristics, he was well and widely read and had a faculty of language and expression of ideas that enabled him to entertain an audience either composed of neighbors and friends or a larger one willing to hear sound doctrine ably expounded. Often urged to accept ordination, he contented himself with the humble share of a lay member of his church until his hair had well turned gray, but finally yielded to the persuasion of friends and to his own sense of responsibility and entered upon the greater service demanded of those ordained. However, he refused the accept regular pastoral work, but was constantly found laboring in the vineyard, conducting revival services or serving as a local preacher. A clear thinker, a ready, forceful speaker, carrying conviction to the doubting hearer, he was specially strong in making those appeals that moved people. He was particularly sought in the conferences to arouse enthusiasm of the lukewarm, and cause a renewal of that steadfast confidence and unfaltering trust that every true Christian must have. His knowledge of the Scripture was remarkable, and his ready wit, cutting satire and keen repartee made him an adversary in debate that many of those who had once met him cared not to repeat the experience. His death took from the community an admirable citizen and a pure Christian and genuine gentleman.
Charles Wesley Crossan, the youngest son of Alexander and Fanny, was born on February 7, 1856, in Crawford county, Ohio. He has lived on his present farm since he was nine years old and has bought the old homestead entirely. He follows general farming, in which he has been successful.
On December 25, 1880, Mr. Crossan was married to Eliza Vigars, the daughter of Joseph Vigars, who was born at Dubuque, Iowa, and came to Hardin county when she was eight years old. To this marriage were born four sons and one daughter. Albert William was the assistant cashier in the First National Bank of Eldora, receiving the position after eight years as clerk, and is now cashier and manager of a bank at Spirit Lake, Iowa. John Wesley is a medical student in St. Louis University, graduating in the class of 1911. Earl is at home operating the farm. Fern has begun high school, and Harold, the youngest, is now twelve. All are young people of much promise.
In politics Charles W. Crossan is a Republican, but has never sought or held office. A member of the East Side Methodist church, he has been for thirty years class leader, and is an active Sunday school worker and former superintendent. He is a man of good judgment and strong character, a skillful and successful farmer, and follows in daily life the precepts of the religion which he professes.
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