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Henry County >> 1888 Index

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa 
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.


Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Pat Ryan White.


BENJAMIN F. FENTON, a farmer residing on section 13, Wayne township, is one of the prominent farmers of Henry county. He was born in Frederick County, Va., in 1830, and is a son of John and Mary M. (Steer) Fenton. Both parents were natives of Virginia, the father of Frederick County, and the mother of Loudoun County. Both the Fenton and Steer families of that generation were members of the Society of Friends, but the original Fenton family were owners of slaves, and conducted large farms in Virginia. John and Mary Fenton were the parents of four sons and a daughter: Josiah wedded Mary Lovett; John, father of our subject, became the husband of Mary M. Steer; Benjamin died unmarried; Persilla wedded William Tate; and Enoch married Ester Nichols. The latter is the only one living and is yet a resident of Virginia.

John Fenton was married in Loudoun County, and soon after purchased a farm upon which a mill was located. This he operated in connection with the farm until the removal of the family to Iowa in 1856. A location was made by the Fentons on section 13, Wayne township, John purchasing a quarter section, sixty acres of which our subject yet owns. A frame house was erected the same year about a quarter of a mile west of the residence of B.F. Fenton, and this house is still standing, a relic of pioneer days, and a monument to the memory of a man who was one of the best known citizens. John Fenton lived to see the war ended and the principles for which he was an ardent advocate fully vindicated. He reached the ripe age of seventy, and his wife, who survived him several years, was nearly eighty-four. These good people were among those who organized the Friends' Church in this township, John Fenton being one of the first Elders, and continuing in that position during the remainder of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Fenton were the parents of Joseph, who died in childhood; our subject; Samuel, deceased, who became the husband of Catherine Murphy; Sarah A., deceased wife of Joseph Robinson; Mary P., who wedded Clarkson Philips; Phoebe E., wife of Caleb Russell, whose sketch appears elsewhere; and John W., a merchant of Kirwin, Kan.

Our subject preceded his father's family to Iowa, coming in the fall of 1855. He formed the acquaintance of Miss Sarah E. Bower during the winter, becoming an inmate of her father's family. The marriage was not celebrated, however, until Nov. 19, 1863, Rev. George B. Jocelyn, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, performing the ceremony. The next year, the young couple removed upon the farm upon which for twenty-five years they have lived so happily, and all their children, except the first one, were born under the hallowed roof which still shelters them.

Mrs. Fenton is the youngest of a family of eight children, her parents being natives of Pennsylvania, from which State they removed, first to Holmes County, Ohio, in 1846, and then became citizens of Iowa in 1850. Joel Bower was married to Sarah Lobaugh, in Adams county, Pa., of which place both were natives. Their children were all born in that county, prior to their removal West, the family consisting of Hiram L., who married Susanna Group; Catherine, the wife of Jacob Lishy; Martha J., who wedded James Kirkpatric; Rebecca, wife of Calvin Carey; Mary A., wife of Cornelius Morford; Benjamin F., who married Ruth Cline; Thaddeus S., husband of Lucy bower; and Sarah E., wife of Benjamin F. Fenton. the Bower family settled on a farm now owned by Charles Fox, where the parents both lived and died. All the children have left the county except Mrs. Fenton and her widowed sister, Catherine, who finds with the Fentons a comfortable home.

Seven children have graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Fenton: Phineas S., a teacher of this county; Laura B. has a teacher's certificate in Henry County; Howard; Sarah G. is deceased, Mary C., Bertha M. and Eli Preston. All the children are yet with their parents, and for many years this family has been regarded as one of the most prominent in Wayne Township. Benjamin Fenton has been connected with the School Board of Wayne Township, and for several years has been Elder in the Friends' Church.

The maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Fenton was Ephraim Schultz. His daughter, Catherine, married Abraham Lobaugh, who was a prominent teacher for many years in Cumberland County, Pa. He was accidentally killed, and his widow remained in that county the remainder of her life.


JOHN B. FLAMM, a farmer and stock-raiser of Henry County, Iowa, residing on section 27, Center Township, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, Feb. 23, 1836. He was the son of George and Louisa (Reich) Flamm. The subject of this sketch received a liberal education in his native country. After coming to America he for three years worked in Monroe County, N.Y., and in 1857 came to Henry County, Iowa. In August, 1862, Mr. Flamm enlisted in the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, being a member of Company H, and was mustered into service at Camp Harlan, remaining in Camp for two months, then proceeding to St. Louis, then to Helena, Ark., then to Chickasaw Bayou, where they were first under fire. At Arkansas Post they had a sharp fight, and at Young's Point went into winter quarters. In the spring they proceeded down the river, and participated in the siege and capture of Vicksburg, being under fire for forty-seven days. The army went first to Jackson, and had a fight, then to Vicksburg, then back to Jackson, and had another fight, then to Canton, Miss., where they engaged in battle, afterward going to Camp Sherman on Black River. Proceeding up the river to Memphis the army went first to Lookout Mountain, from there to Missionary Ridge, participating in those battles, then to Ringgold, and subsequently to Woodville, Ala., at which place the army went into winter quarters. Mr. Flamm was in all the engagements before Atlanta, and was with Sherman on the memorable march to the sea. He was also engaged in the battle at Bentonville, N.C., and from there marched to Washington, where he was mustered out, and from thence to Davenport, where he was discharged. During all the long days of service Mr. Flamm never received a wound, was always at his post, and was never known to shirk his duty.

On the 9th day of September, 1866, Mr. Flamm was united in marriage with Miss Fredricka Rauscher, who was born in Baden, Germany, March 16, 1841, and in 1854 came with her parents to America. Mr. and Mrs. Flamm are devoted members of the Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Democrat, and is the owner of 124 acres of land, situated three and a half miles southeast of Mt. Pleasant; this is one of the best cultivated farms in the county.