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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.

Elias Brown Ogg (King of Bashan), a pioneer of Iowa in 1839 and formerly a prominent business man of Mt. Pleasant, is now a resident of Marion Township, Henry County. Mr. Ogg is a farmer, and proprietor and manufacturer of Ogg's Hawkeye Liniment, a well-known and popular remedy for many of the ills flesh is heir to. He was born in Baltimore County, Md., May 6, 1814, and is the son of William H. and Catherine (Logsdon) Ogg. The first fifteen years of his life were spent in his native county, and in 1829 he went with his parents to what is now West Virginia; a year and a half later he returned to his old home, and in 1831 went to Knox County, Ohio, where he began at the age of seventeen years to make his own way in the world. He was employed at driving a team and doing farm work at $9 a month, for which liberal compensation he was required to render service eighteen hours daily. He returned to Maryland in February, 1832, and the month of October (1833) in his twentieth year, he was married to Miss Catherine Brothers. Mrs. Ogg was born in Baltimore County, Md., and was a schoolmate of her husband. In 1836 Mr. Ogg removed to Knox County, Ohio, and in the spring of 1839 came to Iowa. He located in Des Moines County, eleven miles west of Burlington, where he bought land and made a farm. In 1850 Mr. Ogg came to Mt. Pleasant, where he engaged in mercantile business. He built the first three-story brick building in the city, in which he opened a general store. After five years spent in this line, he sold his stock to Waters & Eastman and his building to William White. He then engaged extensively in the land agency business, and was also a Justice of the Peace. He continued in that business two years, during which time he located more land warrants than any other man in this section of the country, and did a large and profitable business, by which he accumulated a large amount of money. He then engaged in the banking business, in company with Henry Barclay and Henry Swan, under the firm name of Barclay, Ogg & Swan. They began business in an unfortunate time, the opening of 1857, the year of the great financial crash. Mr. Ogg had the misfortune to nearly lose his eyesight by inflammation, and for a long time was incapacitated from attending to business. The banking business seems to have been badly managed, and in a few years Mr. Ogg found himself financially ruined. He retired to a small farm in Marion Township, where he now resides, and for several years has devoted his attention largely to the manufacture and sale of his proprietary medicines. Mr. and Mrs. Ogg were the parents of twelve children: Joshua J., now residing in Florida; William H. died at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, leaving a widow and two children; Ann is the wife of C.T. Stevenson, and lives in Marion Township; Martha E. is the wife of William H. Cox, and resides in Ottumwa, Iowa; Elizabeth is the wife of Oscar Mitts, and resides in Marion Township; Charles B. married Mary Ferguson, and lives on the old homestead in Marion Township; Malachi married Mary Lamborn, and lives in Marion Township; Catherine, deceased; Alfred F., deceased; Elias B., deceased, was married to Mary Ann Anderson; Lydia, deceased, was married to George Mitts; Tom, deceased, married to Sarah Ann Farmer; he left a wife and three children.

Mr. Ogg has attained considerable prominence as an interesting writer of local chronicles, under the nom de plume of the "King of Bashan".

George Olinger submitted by Dick Barton

George Olinger, Jr., is a farmer residing on section 31, Wayne Township, Henry Co., Iowa. One of the best known families of this county was that of George Olinger, Sr., who was a native of Tennessee. His father, Jacob Olinger, was a native of Pennsylvania, was married in that State, and removed to Sullivan County, Tenn. In that State the death of these grandparents probably occurred. George Olinger, Sr., went to Hamilton County, Ill., a single man, but was married to Martha Taylor, in White County, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Weaver) Taylor. The death of Sarah Taylor, mother of Mrs. Martha Olinger, occurred in Illinois, and her husband married for his second wife Miss Frankie Gohlson, and in 1842 they came to this county, and yet reside in Trenton Township. Samuel Taylor is in his eighty-fourth year. After Mr. Olinger was married, he engaged in farming for some time in Hamilton County, Ill., and there the two eldest children were born: Henry, who wedded Elizabeth Lozier, and John, the husband of Helen Miller. In 1841, with his family, Mr. Olinger came overland to this county and purchased the claim upon which our subject now lives, and here, for many years, he and his wife resided, growing wealthy and honored as time passed. The first house was built of logs, and occupied the site of the present farm residence. In an early day the clapboard roof and puncheon floor were common and even a dirt floor was not uncommon. In the first cabin were born: Samuel, now deceased; our subject; Phoebe, wife of Milton Connor; Lincoln and Lee, twins. Mary, Ellen and Amanda were also born in Iowa, but in the city of Davenport, the family having resided there for a few years prior to their removal to this county. All of these children grew to maturity in this county, and all except Lincoln and Ellen were here married to well-known citizens. Lincoln married Mabel Whitman, and resides near Hastings, Neb.; Sarah wedded William Palmer; Mary became the wife of James Richardson; Ellen died unmarried, and Amanda wedded Simon Lozier.

Our subject is in charge of the original homestead. The father died Jan. 14, 1884, near Hastings, Neb. The mother makes her home with her children, who are all owners of good farms. the wedding of George Olinger, Jr., was celebrated March 22, 1877, Miss Belle Marshall becoming his wife. Esquire McClure, the oldest Justice of the Peace of Henry County, performed the ceremony. The parents of Mrs. Olinger, George and Sarah (Eveland) Marshall, are yet living; the father is in his seventy-sixth year, and the mother in her fifty-seventh. To them were born eleven children: John married Amanda Meeker; Mary is the wife of Hiram Crow; Jane, now deceased, was the wife of Spencer Cox; Martha wedded William Taylor; Belle is the wife of our subject; Elizabeth is the wife of William Jones; the others are Griffith D., Hattie L. and Ellsworth, all unmarried. The deceased are Maggie H. and James E.

Since their marriage, Mr. Olinger and his wife have resided in both Kansas and Nebraska. They have had four children, but one has been taken to that better land above: James W.; Fred E., deceased; Don L., and Otis D., who was born upon the grandfather's home in Wayne Township. The family is a representative one of Wayne Township, and a deserved place is given them in this Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County.

Thomas H. Olinger submitted by Dick Barton

A prominent citizen of this county, residing upon section 21, Marion Township, will be found the subject of this sketch. He was born May 15, 1843, in Sullivan County, Tenn. His parents, John H. and Nancy (Cox) Olinger, were natives of Pennsylvania, but his father was of German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Olinger had eleven children: George died in 1863, in Sullivan County, Tenn., and was buried in that county; Mary, widow of W. L. Maury, is now in Kansas; they had one child, Fannie. Our subject was third in order of birth; Sanford, deceased; Sarah, deceased wife of William Walters, a painter by trade, who now resides in Omaha, Neb.; Joan, wife of Aaron Bright; James, a resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Amanda, wife of Lebbius Bright, of Shenandoah, Iowa; John, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Caledonia, wife of James Anderson, of Buffalo County, Kan.; Charles, of Ford, Mo. The mother of this family died July 2, 1878. She was a faithful and useful member of the Protestant Methodist Church, whose example has been followed by her family, all of whom, except three, being professed Christians. The father was also a devoted and pious man, and gave liberally of his time and money to all good works. He died Feb. 26, 1884, and was buried in the cemetery at Shenandoah, Iowa. His death was caused by a cancer that had existed for nine years, the last two years of which he experienced intense pain, but he bore his long suffering without a word of complaint. His last words were that he "hoped his children would all meet him in the better world."

Our subject remained at the home of his father until the age of twenty- six, and received his education in the common schools of Sullivan County, Tenn. At the age of fifteen he entered his father's wagon-shop, where he remained until Oct. 16, 1862, when he entered the army, enlisting in the 45th Kentucky Mounted Infantry of United States troops. He took part in the capture of King's Salt Works, and with the boys drove the rebel General, John Morgan, out of Lexington and kept him out. At Cynthiana they had another hard-fought battle with Morgan, and ran him out of Kentucky, keeping his forces from attacking Cincinnati. During the year 1864, Company B, of which Mr. Olinger was a member, acted as escort and guard to Gen. Schofield from Lexington, Ky., to Cumberland Gap, Tenn. The last payment made to the troops was made in the Gap. The company then returned to Lexington, and from there proceeded to Louisville, Ky., where the regiment was discharged.

After returning home, Mr. Olinger began clerking in the dry-goods store of M. Cramer, remaining there three months. He then went back to the old home, remaining there a year. The family then removed to Iowa, settling on section 20, Marion Township, Henry County, where he bought seven acres of land and built a shop, house and barn. Here he has since made his home and followed blacksmithing and wagon-making, in addition to which, as the opportunity was afforded him, he has preached the Gospel, being in 1882 licensed to preach for the Protestant Methodist Church. He was united in marriage with Miss Emeline A. Miller. She was born Jan. 24, 1855. Her parents were James and Caroline (Jelett) Miller, both natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Olinger are the parents of six children: Hugh W.; Fannie, in Van Buren County, Iowa; Roy L., Carrie M., Nellie, James and Lulu.

Mr. Olinger takes great interest in all public affairs, and devotes much of his time to church work. His wife is also a member of the Protestant Methodist Church. They are both highly respected in the community where they live.