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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.


REV. JOSEPH BOWERS VERNON, deceased, was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, Jan.1, 1812, and was a son of John and Elizabeth Vernon. His parents were natives of Bucks County, Pa. Joseph B. was reared on a farm, and followed that occupation in the East until the fall of 1851, when he came to Mt. Pleasant, and in the following spring removed to a farm four miles northeast of the city, on which he lived until 1863, when he sold his farm and removed to the city. Always industrious and careful, he was a successful farmer. After his removal to Mt. Pleasant he was twice elected to the office of Justice of the Peace. Mr. Vernon early in youth turned his thoughts to religious matters, and at the age of thirteen united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was until his death a pious and consistent member, and in which he became a local preacher, and did much good through his ministrations. He died June 16, 1882, in Mt. Pleasant, leaving a widow and children to mourn the loss of an affectionate husband and faithful parent.

Mr. Vernon was married March 22, 1837, while living in Ohio, to Miss Maria Monroe, the daughter of Daniel and Mary Monroe. Mrs. Vernon was born in Muskingum County, Ohio; her father in Virginia, and her mother in Erie County, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Vernon's union was blessed by seven children, of whom five are now living. The eldest son, Leroy M. Vernon, D.D., is a distinguished minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who has for seventeen years past been in charge of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Rome, Italy, where he is now living. Under his superintendence the first American Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the Eternal City, in the face of much opposition. He has been twice married, first to Miss Fannie Elliott, daughter of Rev. Charles Elliott, D.D., LL.D., who was President of Iowa Wesleyan University in 1857-61, and in 1864-66, and also filled several of the chairs in that institute. After her death Mr. Vernon was united in marriage with Emily Barker, of New York City. The next of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon's family is John Wesley, who is married to Mary Palm, of this county, and is a practicing attorney in Memphis, Tenn., and has been a member of the Tennessee Legislature, and served throughout the Civil War, in Company K, 4th Iowa Cavalry, in which he was Sergeant under Capt. James T. Drummond. The next of the famly was Samuel M. Vernon, D.D., who was married to Hattie Kelley in Muskingum County, Ohio, and is now a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pa.; the daughter is Mary Elizabeth, who is the wife of Joseph T. Patch, Esq., of Mt. Pleasant (see sketch); William Spry, the youngest son, is married to Sarah M. Hatch, of Mt. Pleasant, and is a merchant of Des Moines, Iowa. The deceased are: Harriet Lucinda, who died at the age of fourteen months, and Joseph Albert, who died in infancy. Mrs. Vernon, like her husband, is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which she united on Christmas Day, 1828, and is a lady respected and esteemed by all who know her. She is now calmly awaiting the summons which will reunite her to the husband with whom she lived in faithful companionship for so many years. Three of her uncles, whose names were Monroe, were prominent in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church.