Henry County >> 1888 Index

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

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Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Pat Ryan White.

HON. LEROY GRIFFIN PALMER, a prominent attorney of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Christian County, Ky., Nov. 3, 1821. His parents were Lewis G. and Ann H. (Tutt) Palmer. His father was born in Spottsylvania County, Va., in June, 1781, and was the son of Isaac Palmer, who was a prominent Federalist and a soldier of the Revolution. Judge Palmer's mother was born in Culpeper, Va., and emigrated to Kentucky with her father in 1805, or about the same time that the Palmers settled in that State.

Our subject accompanied his father to Madison County, Ill., in the spring of 1831. He received a common-school education, and not having collegiate advantages he entered upon a course of self-instruction and qualified himself for the vocation of a teacher and taught several terms of school. While thus employed at Carlinville, Ill., he engaged in the study of law, under the direction of his brother, John M., then an eminent attorney of Macoupin County, and since Governor of Illinois. He was admitted to the bar at Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill., in 1846, and formed a law partnership with his brother, John M., under the firm name of J.M. & L.G. Palmer. That connection continued but a short time, on account of our subject's enlistment in the volunteer service for the Mexican War, which occurred May 26, 1846, at Springfield, Ill., where he became a member of Company B, 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was assigned to the Quartermaster's department, and served in Mexico until April 27, 1847, when he was discharged at Ft. Polk, Point Isabel, for physical disability. His condition was such at the time of his removal from the fort to the transport that he was not conscious of being carried on ship-board. He returned to Illinois in May following, where he recruited his health, and in November, 1847, came to Iowa and opened a law office at Mt. Pleasant. He has pursued the practice of his profession at that place continuously since, and has been called to fill various public positions of honor and trust. He has served two terms in the City Council of Mt. Pleasant, and was a member of the State Senate from 1861 to 1864, and served one term, from 1862 to 1864, as County Judge of Henry County.

Judge Palmer was married at Mt. Pleasant, Aug. 7, 1850, to Miss Orphia Bowen, a daughter to Isaac Bowen, a worthy pioneer of Henry County. Mrs. Palmer was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, and came to Henry County, Iowa, with her parents in childhood. five children were born of their union, four sons and a daughter: Leroy A. was born at Mt. Pleasant in August, 1857, and was educated in the common schools of the city and at Howe's Academy in same city, under the care of its founder, the late Samuel Howe, and studied law with his father, and in an office at Keokuk, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar at Mt. Pleasant in 1878. He married Miss Lucy McCarty, and is now in Government employ in the Patent Office at Washinton, D.C. Charles F. was born at Mt. Pleasant in June, 1853, and is now engaged in mining with his uncle, Senator Bowen, at Summitville, Col.; Horace LaMont was born at Mt. Pleasant in April, 1857, and is a musician of marked talent and superior culture; Jessie L. was born at Mt. Pleasant in May, 1864, and is the wife of Dr. D.D. Robinson, a druggist of Burlington, Iowa; George L. is employed in the United States Mail Service, with head-quarters at Burlington.

Judge Palmer is a Democrat, but opposed his party and voted for Abraham Lincoln both in 1860 and 1864. As a Democrat, he is earnest and pronounced in his views, especially in his hostility to the States meddling with the rights of the individual citizen, and has borne a more or less prominent part in political affairs. The Democracy always in the minority in both county and State, his personal popularity has induced his party to place him in nomination for various offices a greater number of times than almost any other man in the State. At every election in which he was a candidate he succeeded in polling a vote many times over his party strength. In 1874 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Hon. George W. McCray, and succeeded in cutting the Republican majority down from about 5,000 to 1,500. He has been the most determined and persistent opposer of the building of railroads by means of a public tax, and of every scheme of the Government engaging in business in any way.

Judge Palmer has always been of studious habits, and is well versed in his profession, as well as in history and general practical information. He is gifted as a conversationalist, and is a companionable man, whose superior attainments command respect and esteem.

JOSEPH T. PATCH, attorney-at-law, has been a resident of Mt. Pleasant since December, 1869, and has been engaged in practice since February, 1876. He was born in Rutland County, Vt., Sept. 25, 1838, and is a son of Abram and Lydia (Tucker) Patch. His father was born in Groton, now a suburb of Boston, Mass. His mother was a native of Rutland County, Vt. On the paternal side, the famly had been residents of New England since the advent of the "Mayflower", on which historic vessel the first Patch came to the New World. His mother was also a descendant of one of the old Colonial families of Massachusetts. In his father's family there were two sons and three daughters. His brother is Joel V.D. Patch, a portrait painter living at Monroe, Iowa; the oldest sister was Lydia J., who died at the age of seventeen; Arethusia is the wife of Hon. E.C. Calkins, a prominent attorney of Kearney, Neb.; the youngest, Orvilla, died aged sixteen; the subject of this sketch was the eldest of the family. When he was seven years of age his parents removed to Erie County, N.Y. He attended the Ellington Academy, in Chautauqua County, N.Y., for two years when he entered Union College at Schenectady, N.Y., then under the presidency of the celebrated Dr. Nott. After completing his junior year he left college and engaged in teaching school, following the profession for several years in the States of New York and Ohio. In 1863 Mr. Patch entered the law department of Michigan University at Ann Arbor, and graduated thence in 1865. That summer he went to Polk County, Mo., and was for one year Principal of the academy at Bolivar, in that county. The following year he practiced law in Hickory County, Mo., and in 1867 took a trip which led to his settling in Mt. Pleasant. In 1869 Mr. Patch began working at carpentering, at which he continued until 1876, when he resumed the practice of his profession in Mt. Pleasant, following it to the present time and also making a specialty of Government claims, at which he has been very successful.

September 28, 1869, Mr. Patch was married at Mt. Pleasant to Miss Mary E. Vernon, only daughter of Rev. J.B. Vernon, a pioneer of Henry County. She was born in Montgomery County, Ind. They have three children living, one boy and two girls, and have lost a daughter, Olivia M., who died at the age of seven years. The other children are: Mary Edna, aged thirteen; Leroy Vernon, twelve; and Alline L., four. Mr. and Mrs. Patch are members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Mt. Pleasant. In politics he is a Republican, and socially is a worthy and estimable gentleman.

JAMES H. PATTERSON, son of Ledgerwood and Drusilla Patterson, is one of the prominent farmers and pioneer settlers of Scott Township, Henry Co., Iowa, and was born in Augusta County, Va., Oct. 21, 1834. He came with his parents to this county in 1842, when but a lad of eight years. His first education was received in the common schools, and afterward he attended Howe's Academy in Mt. Pleasant. In September, 1861, he responded to the President's call for troops, and enlisted in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, Company C. He was mustered into service at Camp Harlan, and the following spring went to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, from there to Raleigh, and subsequently to Springfield, Mo. He enlisted as a private, but at the organization of the company was elected Second Lieutenant, and was later appointed Quartermaster. An order was issued by the War Department in Washington, relieving all supernumerary officers, and he was one of those coming under that designation. Not wishing to go back into the ranks as a private, he resigned, after serving about fifteen months. After his return home he lay sick at Mt. Pleasant for some time.

On the 8th of October, 1863, James H. Patterson led to the marriage altar Miss Fannie Wallace, and the ceremony was perfomed which made them man and wife. She was a daughter of Benjamin and Mary Wallace. Her parents died with that dread disease, cholera, in 1855, leaving Fannie an orphan at the age of twelve. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, and both were buried at Flemingsburg, Ky.

In 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Patterson removed to Winfield, locating upon a farm adjoining the town. To them have been born six children: Anna, now attending college at Oskaloosa, Iowa; William W., at home; Eva, now attending college at Mt. Pleasant; Essie, John H. and James M.C., also at home. In politics Mr. Patterson is one of the stanch Republicans of Henry County, and an active worker for his party, although not aspiring to office. He is also a great friend to education. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson have a fine farm of 400 acres, all of which have been developed since moving upon the land, with the exception of eighty acres, which had been partially broken. A nice home has been erected, which is presided over by a most genial host and amiable hostess. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson stand high in the community where they reside, and have the respect of all who know them. He is active in the advancement of any enterprise which is for the good of the township or county. He is a member of the Mort Hobart Post No. 280, G.A.R., and he is also a member of Winfield Lodge No. 154, I.O.O.F., of Winfield.

LEDGERWOOD PATTERSON, deceased, was one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa. He was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1801, and there grew to manhood, receiving his education in the schools of his native county. About the year 1828 Mr. Patterson was united in marriage with Drusilla T. Henry, of the same county. She was a native of that county, born in 1809. In 1835 Mr. Patterson and his young bride removed to Henry County, Ind., remaining there for seven years, and in 1842 came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which was then but a small village. Soon after their arrival the husbnd was taken sick, never recovering from his illness, and dying in November of the same year. Politically Mr. Patterson affiliated with the Whig party. To him and his wife six children were born, four of whom are living: Mary M., wife of James Craig, of Cameron, Mo.; William W., of San Jose, Cal.; James H., and Elvira, also at Cameron, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson were among the founders of the Presbyterian Church of this county, in fact the society was organized in their home. Mrs. Patterson died in 1871, in Kansas City, at the age of sixty-two, and she and her husband were buried in the cemetery of Mt. Pleasant. None stood higher in the community than did Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, and their deaths were sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Corridon Peck

He was born Oct. 23, 1840 in Belmont County, Ohio, the son of David and Elinor (Stockey) Peck. They had 9 chldren, eight still living: Susan, married John W. Willis of Louisa County; Jennie married Moses Hutchinson of Belmont County, OH; Mary A. is a widow of John Cameron, a soldier in the late war. He was taken prisoner and confined at Libby Prison, and died soon after being sent home; Elinor married Mr. Berry of Belmont Co., Ohio; Angeline is still single; George W. of Henry Co.; William C. is a school teacher; and Corridon, our subject.

Corridon is a stock dealer of Scott Township. He first entered Iowa on Feb. 8, 1866 by crossing  the river at Burlington. He had planned to go to California but on the way, in Omaha, he got a position as clerk at Herndon House at $50 dollars per month. He left after awhile because of an out- break of smallpox. He went next to Louisa County, where a brother was living. He became a teacher in Washington School for 8 years during the winter, and farmed in the summer.

He received his education at Duff's Academy in  Pittsburg. On Aug. 28, he enlisted in the 98th Ohio  Vol. Inf., and mustered in at Steubenville, OH. He was sent to Richmond, KY to reinforce Nelson. On the road to Louisville, he was fired upon at Cyn- thiana, KY. He was in the battle of Perryville against General Bragg. He was detained there in the hospital, and was mustered out on account of disabilities.

Dr. Frank P. Peck

He was born on Oct 10, 1858 in Will County,  Illinois, near Joliet, the son of Armenius D. and Hanna H. (Hopping) Peck.  Armenius Peck was a  farmer, and was born Jefferson County, NY, Oct. 20, 1820. Hanna was born Nov. 28, 1821, and died Oct. 23, 1879.

Frank P. is an assistant physician and pathologist at the Iowa State Hospital since Apr. 1, 1883. He attended Lockport, Illinois High School, and taught five years. He entered Chicago Medical  School in 1879 and was in the graduating class of 1883. He spent 18 months of that time in Cook County Hospital. He attends the Baptist Church, and is a Republican. He is a Master Mason of Mt. Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, A.F. & A.M.

Moses Pero is a farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 12, Jackson Township.  Although of French descent he was born in Vermont in 1825, and is a son of Francis and Louisa (D'Uno) Pero, who emigrated to Massachusetts, and engaged in farming and other pursuits until their removal to Center Square, New York State.  There the father died in his one hundred and fifth year.  His widow yet resides there, and is now past ninety years of age.  She is the mother of nine children:  Francis, Gilbert, Jerry, Eliza and Clara, deceased; and Oliver, Moses, James and Matilda, living.  All except Matilda and Jerry were married.  Moses and Oliver were both married in New York State, and came together to Iowa, in 1868, settling in Henry County.  Oliver wedded Julia Hope, who bore children, and after her death he was married in this county to Mrs. Mahala Kicheon, who has borne no heirs to the last husband.  They reside on the Lowell road, in Baltimore Township.  Our subject wedded Miss Eunice Menard, born in Canada, a daughter of Francis and Florence (Miller) Menard.  The grandparents of Mrs. Pero were both born in the old country, he in Germany, and she in France.  Francis and Florence Menard were the parents of five children, all of whom were born in Canada, viz: Sophia, Eunice, Elizabeth, Aurelia, Philomena and Francis.  The two latter died in infancy, and the father when Mrs. Pero was but five years of age.  The mother remained during her lifetime in Canada.  The four eldest daughters are all living and married.  Aurelia is a resident of West Virginia, and wife of Horatio Peabody.  When Eunice Menard was seventeen years of age she made a visit to New York State, and while there met Mr. Pero, with whom the acquaintance was formed which culminated in marriage, Aug. 5, 1853, J.W. Byrn, J.P., officiating.  The young couple began their married life with bright prospects, in the city of Troy, N.Y.  Mr. Pero purchased a sawmill soon afterward in Constantia, Oswego County, to which place they removed, and this he operated for several years.  Children came to grace their home, five stalwart sons and two daughters, all born in New York State, except the youngest daughter.  They are named Oliver, Moses, George, Horatio, Nelson, Emma and Louisa.

The family removed from Oswego County, N.Y., to Henry County, Iowa, in 1868, and from that date they have been regarded as among the best families of the township in which they reside.  Mr. Pero purchased his farm in 1870, and is comfortably situated.  The eldest daughter, Emma, has taken a classical course at Howe's Academy, in Mt. Pleasant, and intends taking up teaching as a profession.  The sons have been educated in the public schools, and the historian has met no family in which the evidences of birth and breeding are more marked than in the Pero family.  The family circle is unbroken either by death or marriage, and in one of the cosiest little homes the greatest unity prevails.  Music, literature and good taste make their home a miniature paradise, and as a family who have prestige in their neighborhood we welcome them to a place among their neighbors and friends.

JONATHAN PHELPS, farmer in Jackson Township , section 36, was born in Randolph County , N.C. , July 5, 1823 , and is the son of Samuel and Sarah (Newby) Phelps, who owned a plantation in that State, but never owned a slave. They emigrated to Henry County, Ind., in 1842 and purchased a farm, where both died. Their children were all born in North Carolina except Mary, Joseph and Jabez, whose births took place in Indiana . Jane was the wife of Joseph Small, a farmer of Hendricks, Ind., and both she and her husband are deceased; Elias, who is married to Anna Hill, and is a resident farmer of Henry County, Ind.; Eleanor, deceased, who became first the wife of John Hodson, and after his death married William Stanley; Frederick, who wedded Dorcas Boone and both died, he in Indiana and she in Poweshiek County, Iowa; prior to his death he was married to Sarah Newby. Bethany married Robert Cross, and formerly resided in Boone County, this State, but both are deceased; Mary, also deceased, was wedded to Abner Ratliffe, who is again married, and resides in Henry County, Ind.; Ezekiel married Sarah Hoover, and also resides in Henry County, Ind.; Joseph died unmarried while a young man; Jabez married Miss Hodson, after whose death he married again; Jonathan, the subject of this sketch, is the second son, and was married in Henry County, Ind., to Asenath Jay, April 13, 1848. She was born in Randolph County , Ind. , Feb. 1, 1825 , her parents being Joseph and Edith (Mills) Jay, who were Friends. They were among the first settlers of that county, and came from Belmont County , Ohio . The death of Mr. Jay occurred in Randolph County., Ind. , his widow afterward marrying Thomas Kirk, and both dying in Henry County, Ind. Three children were born to the first marriage: Ruth A., deceased, who wedded Davis Grey; Hugh, who became the husband of Mary J. Martin, both deceased, and the wife of our subject, Asenath.


After his marriage, Jonathan Phelps farmed in Indiana for five years, and in 1853 the young couple came to Lee County, Iowa, and purchased the farm now owned by Henry Minke, which they disposed of in 1865, and became residents of Henry County . When the war broke out he was full of patriotism, and was one of the first to volunteer in the 100-days service. After his term was served he returned home, was drafted, and this time sent a substitute. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps have two children, both born in Indiana - Seth and Joseph J. The first was educated at Burlington , and married Rose Miller; Joseph J. became the husband of Addie Lessinger, whose father has always been a prominent man in this county, and is now manager of the Henry County Infirmary. Joseph was a teacher in this county for several years, but resides upon the home farm, and is one of the enterprising young men of Jackson Township . He is the father of four children: Rudolph, deceased; Fred, Carl and Maud. He is a prominent local politician, and as held many offices within the gift of the people of his township, having been Assessor, Township Clerk, Trustee and Justice of the Peace, and for years has been connected with the School Board. He was educated in the public schools and is fitted to fill any position of trust. Of the Phelps family we are pleased to make mention, for they honor the community in which they live. The father is comfortably situated, and the sons possess his characteristics.

For thirty-two years Mr. Phelps has been engaged in the sheep business, in which he has made a fortune, and no man in the county or State is more widely known in business circles. He and his good wife have no need for further labor, and their home is always bright, but years of labor have so imbued them with the spirit of enterprise that it is impossible to refrain from work. We find Mr. Phelps holding the plow while this sketch is written, and he is yet hale and hearty and as jovial as in his boyhood days. In private and public life he bears the repute of a man of uprightness and integrity.

Daniel Price

He was born in Wales in March 1804, the son of Joh and Mary (Jones) Price who were also natives of Wales and were large landowners.  

Daniel worked as a foreman on a railroad and in the mines for twenty years before emigrating to America in 1851, going first to Philadelphia, PA, and then to New Jersey. He chopped wood for one winter and then removed to Franklin County, IN. He next went to Trenton,Henry County and remained there one winter and on April 1, 1856 he moved to Section 22 Trenton Twp, where he purchased 10 acres of timber land. He lived here until his death on Oct. 19, 1887, and by then he had 120 acres.  

His wife still survives him, and is 64 years of age and resides on the home farm. They were of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Price was a Democrat.  

They had four children: William Penn is a farmer who resides in Mills County, Iowa; Margaret Jane married George Dics of Brighton, Iowa; John M.  has charge of the home farm, and married Dec. 21 1887 to Miss Sally Wood, the daughter of Clark and Catherine Wood. 

(there is no mention of the fourth child) Joan 

Thomas J. Price

Of the firm of Price and Son, general hardware, stoves and tinware, and also of the firm of Price and Keiser, dealers in farm implements, New London, Iowa.    

He was born near West Point, Lee County, Iowa on January 1, 1844, the son of Calvin J. and Frances A. (Langford) Price, who were early settlers of  Lee County and came there in 1835.  

The father was born near Rolla, North Carolina in January of 1801, and went to southern Illinois when it was still a territory. He married there and remained there until 1835. He was a member of the Iowa State Legislature, and was elected three more times. He died April 10, 1860. His wife survives him and resides at Lowell, Iowa.  

Thomas J. Price entered Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant. He married Oct. 21 1863 to Miss Josephine McFarland, who was the daughter of R. G. McFarland of Lowell. She was born near LeHarpe, Illinois.  They had one child, Frank who was  born on the farm near New London on April 19,1865.  

Thomas engaged in farming for two years in New London Twp, from 1865 to 1867, then went to Lowell. He had a general store for ten years, and next engaged in milling for seven years. He then returned to Lee County and spent one year on the home farm, returning to New London and engaging in his present business in November 1885.  

Thomas J. Price and Son carry $2500 in the hard- ware line and $20,000 in the farm implement line.  

He and his son are Democrats.