Review of Henry County, Iowa
Biographies submitted by Polly Eckles.
THOMAS V. PACKER, deceased, became a resident of Henry county in 1851 and since that time the family has figured prominently in this part of the state, Mr. Packer having been an honored and respected resident here up to the time of his demise. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1814, and was a son of Aaron and Rebecca (Dewees) Packer, both of whom were born in or near Philadelphia. The family was established in eastern Pennsylvania at an early period in the settlement of the colony and among its representatives have been many who have attained prominence in various walks of life. John and Samuel Packer have been members of congress from Pennsylvania, and a cousin, William F. Packer, was governor of that state. Asa Packer, of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, was a judge and at one time owned extensive coal mines in Pennsylvania. He was one of the promoters of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876 and at its close found that he was heavily in debt. However, he secured a franchise to operate the railroad from his coal mines to Lake Ontario, and through this means he regained his fortune and was able to leave a handsome competence to his family. He was entirely a self-made man, being in youth employed on the canal, but he judiciously invested his money in land, which proved to be underlaid with rich coal and marble deposits. With all his splendid success he was a man of kind heart and generous disposition, his employees ever finding him not only just but generous, and his wife possessed equally commendable traits of character.
Aaron Packer, father of our subject, was in early life a potter, and afterward conducted an extensive mercantile establishment in Pennsylvania. Later he settled in Jefferson county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and the last years of his life were passed in Clark county, Ohio, near South Charleston. He was always an earnest republican, unfaltering in his advocacy of the principles of the party, and he, and his wife were members of the Friends' church. He died in 1877, when more than ninety years of age, having for some time survived his wife, who passed away in 1851, at the age of sixty years. Their remains were interred in Ohio, the former near South Charleston and the latter near Mount Pleasant, Ohio. In their family were seven children but all have passed away, namely: Isaac, Thomas, Elizabeth, Hannah, Elisha, Sarah, and Benjamin.
Thomas V. Packer acquired his early education in the district schools of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He learned the cooper's trade in the latter state and followed it until 1851, when he came to Iowa. He was an excellent workman in the line of his chosen occupation. After taking up his abode in this state, however, he settled upon a partially improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres on Skunk river near Oakland, Henry county, and turned his attention to the improvement of that farm, which he had purchased, and which he continued to cultivate until 1862, when he removed to a farm in Lee county, near Salem. His last years were spent in retirement in Salem. In 1844 Mr. Packer was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Linton. The original ancestor of the Linton family came to America with the William Penn colony and preached the first Quaker sermon in Philadelphia. Her parents were Mahlon and Ann (Hilles) Linton, in whose family were seven children who grew to maturity: Sarah, William, Samuel Linton, Mary Linton, Joseph Linton, Isaiah, and Margaret, who became Mrs. Packer, was the youngest of the family. All the sons of the Linton family were employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early days of its construction as civil engineers.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Packer was celebrated in Washington county, Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, on the 17 th of April, 1844. Mrs. Packer was educated in Washington county, attending the public schools and the girls' boarding school. Her parents died when she was young. She afterward made her home with her brothers and sisters until she was married, at which time Mr. and Mrs. Packer removed to Ohio, where they continued to reside until 1851, when they came to Henry county, residing in this part of the state until called to their final rest, the remains of both being interred in the cemetery at Salem. Mrs. Packer was a successful teacher in Pennsylvania near Brownsville prior to her marriage, and her children and grandchildren seem to have inherited her capability in this direction.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Packer were born nine children, of whom seven are living. Annie E., who began teaching in a country school and has since been identified with school work. She was for seven years principal of the high school at Bonaparte, Iowa, and for more than ten years was assistant principal at Whittier College at Salem, Iowa. She has also been an instructor in teachers' institutes during the summer months, sometimes conducting four during a single season. She was county superintendent of Henry county before entering Whittier College to assist as principal, was also county superintendent of Van Buren county, and in 1899 she was elected county superintendent of the schools of Henry county, entering upon the duties of the office in January, 1900, and has since filled this position in a most creditable and acceptable manner. She is well qualified for the office and under her guidance the schools have made splendid advancement, as she has ever held high the standard of public education. She is a devoted member of the Congregational church and also belongs to the P.E.O. Society and to the Eastern Star. Rebecca, the second member of the Packer family, was a successful teacher in Iowa and Nebraska, and after teaching for eight years near Lincoln, Nebraska, died in that city in 1891. Ada Packer became the wife of Thomas H. McConnaughey, who died in July, 1903. She became a teacher before her marriage and is now teaching in the Central school at Mount Pleasant. Mr. McConnaughey was a sergeant in Company M of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry in the Civil war and served throughout the period of hostilities. He was wounded at Vicksburg, which occasioned a slight lameness throughout his entire life. Mahlon L. Packer, residing in Salem, Iowa, married Sarah Jacobs, a niece of William Jacobs, who was one of the compilers of the Lippincott Encyclopedia. They have four children: Joseph L., Harold, Paul, and Leah. William Albert Packer resides at Bonaparte, Iowa. A. H. Packer, who is principal of the Lincoln school in Fort Madison. I. L. Packer resides in Salem. Emma married J. H. Jacobs and died in Kansas in 1895. Nellie married J. H. Collatt, of Salem.
In his political affiliation Mr. Packer of this review was an earnest democrat and served as township trustee and in other local offices. He was greatly interested in the cause of public education, served as a member of the school board, always declaring that “his school tax was the best tax which he paid.” He, and his wife were members of the Friends' church and honorable principles and upright conduct characterized their entire lives. Mr. Packer passed away in February, 1898, at the age of eighty-four years, while his wife died February 15, 1897. No more worthy or respected people were numbered among Iowa 's citizens. They were kindly in spirit, generous in disposition, loyal to justice, truth, and right and they stood as champions of every interest for the public welfare and at the same time reared a family who are indeed a credit to their name.
HON. JOHN WEST PALM, who served as postmaster at Mount Pleasant a number of years, was born in Southington, Trumbull county, Ohio, October 23, 1850, his parents being Adam and Jane (West) Palm. The father was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, March 26, 1816, and was of German extraction. His death occurred in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, October 11, 1889, when he was seventy-three years of age. He was a farmer and brick mason, and in 1856 came to Iowa, settling in Marion township, Henry county, where he followed farming, devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits for many years. He afterward removed to Mount Pleasant, where he lived retired up to the time of his death. His wife was of Scotch and English parentage, and became a resident of Ohio in early girlhood. Her death occurred in this county in 1857, and, like her husband, she was laid to rest in the Ebenezer cemetery in Marion township. In their family were seven children: Mary, the wife of Hon. J. W. Vernon, of Memphis, Tennessee; Martha, who became the wife of Col. R. K. Miller, of East Des Moines, but both are now deceased; Julia, who became the wife of Colonel Miller after the death of her sister, and is now living in Des Moines; Permelia, who is the widow of William Faulkner, and resides in Lincoln, Nebraska; William, who died in infancy; John W., of this review; and Alice, the deceased wife of Wilbur Davis. In his political views, the father was a republican. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Methodist church, and he died as he lived, with unfaltering faith and trust in the Christian religion. He ever followed the best impulses of his nature, and his life conformed to a high standard of morality. He faithfully met every obligation that devolved upon him in his relations to his family, his friends and his community, and his life of rectitude and honor constitutes an example well worthy of emulation. His neighbors, friends and all who knew him will long remember his sturdy integrity and his uplifting influence, his generous spirit and his many benevolent and kindly acts. He spent his last days in the home of his son, John West Palm, and was a resident of Mount Pleasant from 1869 to the time of his death. Following the demise of his first wife, he remained unmarried for twenty-two years, and then wedded Mrs. Emma Gregg, by whom he had one son, George, who is now living in Kila, Montana.
John West Palm pursued his education in the schools of Mount Pleasant, and was graduated from the high school in the class of 1869. He also spent two years as a student in Howe's Academy, where he prepared for teaching, and entered upon the work of the classical course in the Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, graduating in 1876. In 1877 he was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Professor S. L. Howe, who was the superintendent of county schools, and the following year was elected to the office, but resigned ere the expiration of one year and purchased the Journal, a newspaper published in Mount Pleasant. He became part owner in 1878, and continued as editor and joint proprietor for nine years, on the expiration of which period he was elected county treasurer. His wife continued the publication of the paper as local editor for four years, and thus Mr. Palm remained owner of the Journal for thirteen years. In 1887 he was elected county treasurer and filled the office two terms, and afterward served for one year as deputy county treasurer, during which year he was nominated and elected to the office of country auditor, in which he was also continued for two terms by re-election. Following his retirement from that position, he was appointed postmaster of Mount Pleasant, in 1897, and held that position until 1906, giving a public-spirited and progressive administration, which has won him high encomiums from the general public. His entire official service has been characterized by an unfaltering fidelity to duty, and during twenty consecutive years spent in office he has ever won the respect and trust of his fellow townsmen, who have conferred upon him these official honors.
On the 19 th of February, 1879, Mr. Palm was married to Miss Florence E. Andrews, who was born in Mills county, Iowa, February 11, 1859, a daughter of Judge M. L. and Maria (Deming) Andrews, both of whom were natives of Trumbull county, Ohio, who are mentioned on another page of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Palm have reared three children, and have also reared Mr. Palm's half-brother, George H. Palm. The eldest, Edward, is now a resident of Kalispell, Montana. Mary, a graduate of the high school, is at home. Margaret is attending school. Mrs. Palm is a lady of superior intellectual and literary culture, and is the author of various writings that have won her prominence in local literary circles. From her pen has come the Web-Weavers. She has a fine descriptive faculty, in which there is also a vein of humor. She writes with great facility, and is master of the art of description. She also wrote the Minor Note, A Gray Day, A Mount Pleasant Procession, and other sketches which indicate an appreciation for truth, beauty and humor in life. She has always been a great reader and is familiar with the best authors of ancient and modern times. She is a charming hostess and her home is the center of a cultured society circle. She gives generously of her best for the delight of her guests. Mr. Palm has long been associated with the interests of the community, and his efforts for public progress have been far-reaching and effective. He was for years at the head of the county fair association, but at length had to give up that work because of the great strain of his personal and public duties. Mr. Palm, possessing a retentive memory, has long been regarded in Henry county as an authority on historical events. He, too, is a strong and forceful writer, and he is especially well known in connection with his commemorative writings.
One of his more recent public utterances was given in the event of a memorial address delivered at Pleasant Hill chapel in Henry county on the 30 th of May, 1904. Perhaps no better idea of his understanding of the great events of history at the time of the Civil war his patriotic spirit can be given than by quoting from that address. “I am sure you veterans—and it is you I am to chiefly address my remarks today—I am sure you would rather listen to one of your own comrades in arms than to the voice of a ‘layman' upon those themes appropriate to consider, and proper, in some measure, to review upon this melancholy, yet inspiring, memorial occasion. Yet the army of the noncombatants were not all so from choice. Many are they who bitterly deplored the cruel partiality of the government census, which classed them with “women and children,” unfit for duty on the firing line. In my youthful enthusiasm I did get to be marksman, or small flag bearer to the home guards. A neighbor boy and I were chosen to carry small flags, and in the evolutions of the rude militia on the prairies of Marion township we were called upon to take our place on either side of the ensign and hold ourselves in readiness to run upon command as fast as our legs would carry us forward to the head of the column, and there stand to enable it to make a square turn to the right or left. No doubt this is quite as far as a ten-year-old boy could be expected to advance in military science or experience; but the disappointment was hard to endure, for to be a real soldier, with knapsack and gun, was the fond hope of my waking and the fitful dream of my sleeping hours. I had a uniform of gray, with a yellow stripe running down the leg of my pants. I think we were called the ‘Ebenezer Grays,' and when under drill we stretched our boys' legs far out to keep in step with the men, and to our bedazzled youthful imagination there was no palliation or excuse for being born in the ‘50s and still less for barring young gentlemen of ten summers from enlistment in the army.
“I hesitate to address you men of the ‘60s I feel a special disqualification the fatal disqualification of not being one of you. For to no one are the scenes and circumstances of war so real, so tangible, as to those who themselves witnessed them, and by none can they be so well and so truthfully portrayed as by the men who themselves felt the shock of battle, and themselves, each for himself, saw the lean and hungry demon of war staring him fair in the face. There is indeed comradeship, deep, abiding comradeship, between you boys of the ‘60s. A comradeship which we ‘laymen' admit our inability fully to enter into and adequately to portray. Yours is a comradeship born of a common danger and a common duty; a common obligation of patriotism and a common love of the flag. There remains to you, the mere remnant now of the grand army of Grant and Sherman, there remains to you a comradeship born of the heat of battle and cemented by the grim certainty that of some would be demanded the forfeit of their lives to save their country. Yours is a comradeship born in an heroic hour; born when there were called into play every resource of manhood, every obligation of honor; every sense of patriotism, every prompting of duty; every sentiment which the love of home and country contribute to manly courage and prompt to noble sacrifice.”
Then follows a review of the important events which led up to the opening of the war. “Men will fight, but civilized man fights only to escape conditions worse than war, and to secure that good which only the god of battles can give. I want here publicly to thank you boys in blue, you gentleman of the ‘60s, for doing my fighting for me. In the name of my generation, on behalf of the millions of men of today who in 1860 were boys not tall enough by a hands' breadth to get behind a gun and go forth to battle, in the name of the women and children and the great army of helpless noncombatants for whom you fought, for the love of whom you gave the last supreme test and measure of devotion—in their name and in the name of the common rights and just destines of men “Of whom were the great armies of and nations, I want to thank you old soldiers for your sacrifice and your service.
Grant and Sherman composed? From whence did the boys in blue come? The men who fought at Shiloh and at the Wilderness were not veterans. They did not come out of the standing army. They were not making war a profession. Before Lincoln 's first call and the fall of Sumpter they had scarcely dreamed of war's alarm. The great armies that put down the rebellion and saved the nation were drawn from the whole body of the people. The college professor, the men of the learned professions, the scholars and thinkers did not put down the rebellion, but they contributed a great and valuable service to that end. The farm boys from the prairies and the mechanics and day laborers of the great cities did not put down the rebellion and save the nation, but they, too, contributed their full share to that end. The grand army of Grant and Sherman was drawn from every walk of life. There you would see the pale-faced college student, the sons of wealth and station, the boys brought up in luxury and ease, marching side by side with the sunburned plowboy of the prairies and the smoke-begrimed factory men of the cities. There you found the hollow-eyed professor, fresh from the intricacies of Calculus and the mysteries of metaphysics, plodding along side by side with the boys recruited from the slums and alleys of our great cities. No one class held a patent on patriotism in that great and bloody drama. Thank God, patriotism is not a thing of station, of wealth, of opportunity, or education, but is the rich heritage as well of the poor, of the unfortunate, and even of the wicked and degenerate. Boys of small promise, even those of wild and reckless life and habits at home, often made the most sturdy, heroic and fearless soldiers at the front.
“I cannot let pass this memorial to our heroic dead without directing your attention for a brief moment to the chief figure in this melancholy yet glorious drama—the tall, gaunt, manly figure with deep, sad eyes and melancholy face, who occupied the chair of state at the white house and who at length gave to freedom its crowning sacrifice, the sacrifice of his great heart and life—Abraham Lincoln. What a rare product of the mighty forces of those troublous times was he. What a sane and understandable quantity, what an approachable and kindly man he was; what a sympathetic and tender heart he had, and with it all what a deep and intuitive understanding of the forces in that mighty play. How patient, how forbearing, how forgiving he was to our erring brethren of the south, and how pathetically, how earnestly he appealed to them as friends, as brothers, as countrymen, and how sorrowfully at last he invoked the cruel arbitrament of the god of battles to save the nation and sustain the flag.”
EDWARD LIVINGSTON PENN, who was the first exclusive dry goods merchant of Mount Pleasant and for many years figured prominently in business circles as a representative of commercial and banking interests here, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 14 th of August, 1814, a son of Abraham and Elizabeth ( Livingston ) Penn. The father was descended from Admiral Penn, who was also the father of William Penn, but Edward Livingston Penn traced his line of descent from Richard Penn, a brother of the founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.
The father of Abraham Penn was a master builder of the king's dock yards at Chatham, England, and his history is remembered to this day in that locality. He was born in England, and when about eighteen or nineteen years of age he went to sea to learn navigation. He won promotion as a seaman until he became first mate of a vessel which was afterward wrecked. Being picked up by an American sailing vessel he was brought to Philadelphia, where he remained for some time and then returned to England. Having received a cordial welcome and being greatly pleased with the new world he returned to Philadelphia and for some time he continued to follow the sea. He was captain of a merchantman for many years.
While making his home at Philadelphia, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Livingston, a daughter of Captain James Livingston, who won distinction as a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and gave his life upon the altar of liberty at the battle of Brandywine. Her mother was Ann Butler, a direct descendant of Pierce Butler, duke of Ormond, who was the first governor of Ireland, and for whom Dublin Castle was built. The family history can be traced back for about one thousand years.
With his father Captain Abraham Penn removed to Ohio, and turned his attention to farming in the vicinity of Circleville. It was the desire of his wife to get her sons away from the sea which caused the removal to that inland vicinity. There Captain Penn spent his remaining days, his death occurring when he had reached the age of eighty-four years. He was a Friend, or Quaker, in religious faith but his wife was a member of the Episcopal church.
Edward Livingston Penn spent his early youth in his native city, but when about twelve years of age went with his parents to Ohio, and when a youth of fourteen, desiring to enter business life, his father took him to the town of Circleville, Ohio, giving him a new suit of clothes and fifty cents in money. He also secured for him a position in the store of a Mr. Will, and from that time on Edward Livingston Penn provided for his own support. He was taken into the home of the merchant who employed him, but in six months he was offered better wages than his first employer could offer and accepted the new position. There he remained for some time, after which he went to Chillicothe, Ohio, but soon left that place for Lafayette, Indiana, and before a year had passed in his new position he was made managing partner of the business.
He seemed to possess natural aptitude for merchandising, and became a partner in the firm of Fowler & Penn, conducting the store at Lafayette, and also a second mercantile establishment at Rensselaer, Indiana. Mr. Penn was thus identified with commercial interests in the Hoosier state until 1856, when he disposed of his store there and came to Mount Pleasant. Here he opened the first exclusive dry goods establishment of the city, it being also the first store to conduct a business upon the cash system. He not only sold but also bought for cash and succeeded in the new enterprise from the beginning. Later he added to his dry goods store a boot and shoe department, which was opened in 1867. In 1860 he had erected a store building, now known as the Union block and there he conducted an extensive and growing business for many years, but for two decades prior to his death he was not active in the management of commercial interests.
A gentleman of resourceful business ability, he extended his efforts to other fields of labor and became one of the organizers of the First National Bank and later one of its incorporators. He was chosen a member of its first directory and afterward was elected president, which position he held to the time of his death. He lived to see that institution become one of the solid financial concerns of the county, conducting a business of considerable extent. Mr. Penn was also the promoter of a bank at Winfield in connection with his brother-in-law, Mr. Clark. He possessed keen discernment and every step in his career was carefully and thoughtfully made. He therefore advanced steadily toward the objective point and for many years was classed with the most prosperous as well as most enterprising citizen of Mount Pleasant.
In August, 1851, Mr. Penn was married to Miss Amelia Weaver, a daughter of Dr. Jacob and Catherine ( Close ) Weaver. They had three daughters: Ella Amelia; Lula Bertha, the wife of Frank W. Ingersoll, of Chicago; and Kate Alma, now the wife of A.H. Cole, of the Cole Brothers Manufacturing Company, of Chicago. Mr. Penn built a beautiful home at No. 408 North Jefferson street in 1856, and it is still one of the fine residences of the city. At that time it occupied a whole square and was unequaled by any building in Mount Pleasant.
Politically a republican, Mr. Penn might have attained to high official honors had he so desired but he cared not for office as a reward for party fealty. In matters of citizenship, however, he was never remiss and his labors proved a tangible factor in many movements for general improvement and progress. For a long period he was one of the most faithful workers of the Iowa Wesleyan University and for about forty years was president of its executive board. He also gave liberally to the support of the college and the cause of public education found in him a warm friend. Active and earnest in church work he identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal denomination. Liberal in many ways, he had no prejudice against a thing because it was new and was not slow in giving general support to plans and projects for the upbuilding of public interests. His charities were many but to most people they were unknown for in his life he exemplified the precept not to let the left hand know what the right hand was doing.
He died May 1, 1901, mourned by all, having for forty-five years been a resident of Mount Pleasant. His successful business career excited the admiration of his contemporaries, his honorable methods won their respect, and his charitable spirit, his kindly disposition, and the helping hand which he was continuously extending won him the love and deep regard of his fellow men.
WILLIAM LOVETTE POWELL, who is engaged in the real-estate business in Mount Pleasant and is thoroughly conversant with realty values in this city and section of the state, was born near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, January 14, 1851, a son of George W. and Nancy (McCracken) Powell. The father was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and when a young man went to Ohio, where he engaged in farming until 1864. In that year he arrived in Lee county, Iowa, settling on a farm in the northwestern part of the county in Marion township. His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, and he died May, 1883. He was a liberal democrat and held various township offices in Lee county. A lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he took an active and helpful part in its work and filled all of the local offices of the church save that of preacher. His wife was born and reared in Ohio and by their marriage they became the parents of eleven children, of whom ten are living.
Clarissa A., the eldest, married W. A. Geese and they reside in Mount Hamill, Iowa. They have five children: Otis Taft, civil engineer in Arkansas; Emma, who married Elijah Tyner, who resides upon a farm near Salem, Iowa, and by whom she has six children; Effie, the wife of Frank Worthington, paymaster in the Western Wheel Scraper Works, at Aurora, Illinois; Frank, who resides upon a farm near Mount Hamill, and married Letitia Brown; and Nannie, who married Joseph Reid, a real-estate dealer in Aurora, Illinois.
Syrena Powell, the second child of George W. Powell, married Oliver Hempy, by whom she had three children. Ella married William King, near Parsons, Kansas. They have ten living children, Ida, now the wife of E. Hough, a merchant of Mount Hamill. They have one son. Olive, who married Rev. J. L. Dimmitt, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, of Sturgis, South Dakota. They have three children. Her second husband was Mathew Newby. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Newby are: Mary, the wife of Sherman Taylor, a farmer of Cedar township, Lee county, Iowa; Alta, a missionary of the Methodist church, in Nanchang, China; Anna, the wife of Clyde Bell, a farmer living near Mount Hamill; Ada and Edward, twins, at home; and Joseph, who married Anna Bell, a sister of Clyde Bell, also near Mount Hamill, Iowa.
J. T. Powell, the third member of the family of George W. Powell, resides near LaCrew, Iowa. He married Miss Clara Miller, of Columbus, Ohio, and they have five children: Elmer, a farmer of Davis county, Iowa, who married Ollie Caldwell; Nannie, the wife of Commodore Dawson, a farmer near LaCrew; Aldia, who married Berry Paschal, and has one child, their home also being on a farm near LaCrew; Emma, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Ottumwa, Iowa; and Lulu, the wife of William Young, a farmer, near Ottumwa, Iowa.
David M. Powell, the fourth member of the family, married Miss Arey Overton, and resides in Cedar township, Lee county. They had three children: George, of Lee county, who married Luella Ransom; Dr. Charles Powell, near Marshalltown, Iowa, who married Nellie Buechler, and has one child; and Allie, who is living in Mount Hamill, Iowa, and who married Dr. Wright, of Farmington, Iowa, where he died, leaving three children. The wife of David Powell died in April, 1905.
Aurilla J. Powell, the fifth member of the family, is the wife of P. M. Mathews, of Warren, Iowa, and they have five living children and four who are deceased: Jesse, who is married and has three children, lives in Clark county, Missouri; Floyd, proprietor of a general store in Stockport, Iowa, who married Miss Russell, of Warren, Iowa, and has one child; Nannie, the wife of James McGeehan, who is living on a farm near Primrose, Iowa; George, who married Miss Murray and resides on a farm near Warren, Iowa; and Stella, who is at home.
John, the sixth of the family, married Sarah Overton, by whom he has two children and is living retired in Pineville, Missouri. Of his children, Frank married Lulla Cruickshank, by whom he has three children. They reside in Arkansas, although their postoffice is Caverna, Missouri; Charles is married and lives on a farm in Arkansas, and has two children.
William L. Powell, whose name introduces this review, is the seventh in his father's family. George Theodore, the next younger, married Cora Mathews and is a stock dealer living at Mount Hamill. Oliver L., now of Donnelson, Iowa, married Hattie Bealer, who died in 1903. Laura, the tenth member of the family, is the wife of Dr. R. H. Todd, of New Sharon, Iowa, and they have two sons, Fred and Ray. Olive Powell died in infancy, while Mrs. Nancy Powell, the mother, passed away in 1897. The parents were buried in Clay Grove cemetery, in Lee county.
William L. Powell was educated in the district schools of Iowa, and after attaining his majority pursued a commercial course in Keokuk, being graduated at the Bayles Commercial College, in that city. He then returned to his father's farm, which was his home until the time of his marriage, after which he owned a farm in Cedar township, where he established his first home. He bought, sold and resided on different farms in Lee county, having usually a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres. During that time he carried on general farming and stock-raising. In 1896 he left the farm and located in Mount Pleasant and has here made his home. Always having been interested in the real-estate business, he was in Mount Pleasant variously engaged, until 1901, when, with his family, he went to the different parts of the Pacific coast, after his children had finished their school education, spending the season there. After their return to Mount Pleasant Mr. Powell became more actively engaged in the real-estate business, with office over the State National Bank, doing business under the name of Stewart & Powell, handling both city and farm lands to a large extent, and also has become largely interested in the emigration business to Texas and other parts. He still retains his Lee county homestead and other valuable property.
Mr. Powell was married April 19, 1887, to Miss Julia Courtright, of Lee county, a daughter of Hiram and Eliza ( Taylor ) Courtright and a native of Washington, Illinois, born in September, 1853. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and died in the year 1883, while his wife passed away in 1891. He was twice married, and by the first union had two children, one of whom is now living—John Courtright, who married Nancy Mallett, and resides at Rockville, Missouri. Mary Courtright, the eldest child of the second marriage, became the wife of W. S. Smith, by whom she has two children, and their home is in Portland, Oregon. Edward, living near Edmonton, Canada, married Emma Barnes, and has four children living. Julia is now Mrs. Powell. Mrs. Eliza Courtright was also married twice, her first husband being Joseph Fashner, by whom she had one child, Cyrena, the wife of Isaac Bell, who resides near Big Mound, Iowa, and by whom she has three children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Powell have been born two children, Ada and Pearl, both at home. The former is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music of Mount Pleasant, and Pearl is a graduate of Howe's academy, later attended the State Normal School at Cedar Falls, and is now a teacher in the Henry county schools.
Mr. Powell was made a Mason at West Point over thirty years ago, and on coming to Mount Pleasant demitted to Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Powell and daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he was a democrat until 1893, since which time he has been a republican. He never aspired to office, however, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business interests. In 1896 he came to Mount Pleasant, and has built a fine modern home on Broadway, where he now resides. In his business life he has been prosperous, and is a pleasant and affable man, who has broad and liberal views, the result of extensive travel and observation.
JOHN HAYWOOD RANDOLPH , whose life exemplified all the traits of the good and therefore truly great citizen and whose activity in business and public affairs made him one of the representative and honored men of his day in Mount Pleasant, was a native of Richmond, Virginia, and belonged to one of the oldest and most distinguished families of the Old Dominion, being a descendant of Peyton Randolph.
His natal day was November 13, 1804. His parents were also natives of Richmond, Virginia, but in boyhood he was left an orphan. He attended school to some extent in the state of his nativity and afterward greatly broadened his knowledge through travel and experience in business life. The opportunities and possibilities of the great and growing west seemed to invite him and in 1836 he became one of the firm of Chase Kimball & Company, which continued in the dry goods trade in Burlington for a number of years.
Later Mr. Randolph came to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and established the second store in Henry county, his predecessor in the field of commercial pursuits here being a Mr. Presley Saunders. For some time Mr. Randolph carried on his store, meeting with merited success in his undertakings and after disposing of his mercantile enterprise he turned his face toward the setting sun. At the time of the discovery of gold in California he was attracted to the west by the hope of rapidly realizing a fortune on the Pacific coast, and in 1849 made his way to the golden state, where he remained for a year, interested in mining. He took with him seven men, paying their transportation, that he might have the benefit of their assistance, and while in the mines he was in charge of twenty men.
Following his return from California, Mr. Randolph became an active factor in the upbuilding and improvement of Mount Pleasant and Henry county. He hauled the lumber from Burlington with which to build his residence on East Washington street. It required almost a year to complete his home, for he gave to it his personal supervision in his leisure hours. When the task was accomplished he embarked in the hardware business, which he conducted successfully for a number of years, or until selling out to Mr. Hawley.
He then retired permanently from business life, thus crowning years of intense and well directed activity by a period of ease. He was known everywhere as the soul of honor whether in business relations, in public life or in social circles. He was called by the complimentary title of Colonel Randolph and he enjoyed to the full extent the good will and respect of all with whom he was associated, while those who came within the closer circle of his friends entertained for him a deep affection. In the midst of an active business career he found hunting a great source of pleasure and recreation, being a lover of the chase from his boyhood days and always keeping a pack of hunting, and bird dogs.
On the 1 st of December, 1837, was celebrated the marriage of John Heywood [sic] Randolph and Miss Lucinda Caulk, a daughter of Robert and Jane (Hemphill) Caulk and a native of Guilford county, North Carolina, born on the 10 th of May, 1818. Her maternal grandparents were of Scotch-Irish lineage. In 1833 her father, who was a farmer of North Carolina, removed westward to Georgetown, Illinois, where he remained two and one-half years, when in 1836 he came to Henry county, Iowa. He bought a large tract of land adjoining Mount Pleasant, which he improved by both bringing the land under cultivation, and with a good residence and other farm buildings. This place also had one of the best springs hereabouts, and on account of the abundant supply of fine water one or two troops of cavalry were encamped there during organization preparatory to going to the front during the Civil war. The farm is now owned in part by G. B. Seeley and he uses it for fine stock. He remained one of the worthy and respected residents of this part of the state until his death, which occurred about 1855. His wife also passed away in Henry county. They were the parents of seven children, but only two are now living, the sister of Mrs. Randolph being Mrs. Evelyn Allen, the widow of Reuben Allen, who died recently in Des Moines, where Mrs. Allen still makes her home.
Mr. and Mrs. Randolph became the parents of five children: Amanda Melvina and William Henry, both of whom died in infancy; Emily; John Milton; and Charles, who died when about twenty-one years of age.
Emily Randolph, born in Mount Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa, in 1844, is the wife of Joshua W. Satterthwait, a native of Ohio, and they have become the parents of four children: Mira, born January 21, 1865, who married William Benedict, of Pasadena, California, and died in 1890; Lulu, born April 23, 1867, the wife of Hiram Sherman Nettleton, of Seattle, Washington, who is engaged in the furniture business and by whom she has two children, Emily and Alice; Stella, born October 10, 1869, was educated in the high school and is also a graduate of the Columbia School of Oratory, of Chicago, and was a teacher of the State Normal School nearly six years, is the wife of Harry Smith, of Chicago; and Gladys, born July 10, 1885, a graduate of the Mount Pleasant high school and also a graduate of the State Normal School, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mrs. Satterthwait is a very intelligent lady of natural culture and refinement and is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. She is now living in Mount Pleasant in order to care for her widowed mother, Mr. Randolph having died June 11, 1873. They still live on the old homestead on East Washington street.
John Milton Randolph, the only son, was born in Mount Pleasant in 1845, and has always been employed as a lumber salesman. He passed his boyhood youth and early manhood until twenty-five years of age in Mount Pleasant and he has lived at different times in Nebraska, Texas, and Dakota, where he has been nected [sic] with the lumber trade and at the present writing he is a resident of Des Moines. He married Miss Emma Cady, of Dakota, and they have three sons and one daughter: Paul, Charles, Peyton and Ruth.
At the time of the Civil war John M. Randolph served as a soldier of the Union army for three months.
Mrs. Randolph's people have long been connected with the Episcopalian church and Mr. Randolph's preference was for that denomination. He gave the lot upon which the Episcopal church is built in Mount Pleasant and he was a generous contributor to church and charitable enterprises and to movements for the public good. He was a most honorable and upright man, and his word was as good as any bond ever solemnized by signature or seal. For five or six years prior to his demise he was in poor health but he maintained his interest in public affairs to the last. He had prospered in his former years of activity and had learned that success is ambition's answer. He was thus enabled to leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances but more than that he was able to leave to them an untarnished name.
He is now numbered among the honored dead of Henry county; but he left behind a memory which will be cherished as long as any who knew him are still upon this earth, for he endeared himself closely to those with whom he was associated and won their warmest regard and friendship by reason of a kindly spirit, genial disposition, unfailing courtesy and deference for the opinions of others.