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Annals of Iowa
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
CHARLES E. GARST was born in Dayton , Ohio , August 21, 1853 ; he died in Tokio , Japan , December 28, 1898 . His family came to Iowa and settled in Boone during his boyhood. He grew up on his father's farm adjoining that city, receiving his education in the public schools and the Iowa Agricultural College . He was appointed a cadet at West Point Military Academy in 1872, graduating in 1876. He was promoted to a second lieutenancy in the 15th U. S. Infantry the day after his graduation. His service in the army was wholly on the western frontier and continued until January 10, 1884 , when he resigned and became a missionary of the Christian church in Japan , whither he went at once. He returned to Iowa in 1891, where he was detained two years on account of the illness of his eldest son. Resuming his missionary labors in 1893 he remained in Japan until his lamented death. He was a man of large ability and the most thorough culture, devoted and enthusiastic in his missionary work in which he bade fair to become distinguished. He was a brother of Hon. Warren Garst, at present State Senator from the Carroll District. The japan Evangelist for February, 1899, presents his portrait and devotes a dozen pages to tributes to his memory.
Iowa at West Point and Annapolis
The Military Academy
Garst, Charles E. (No. 2631), was appointed from Boone, and graduated June 14, 1876 , No. 39 in his class of 48. He served on frontier duty at several stations, resigning January 10, 1884 , to become a missionary to Japan , where he died December 25, 1898 .
Dr. MICHAEL GARST was born in Botetourt county, Virginia, June 17, 1815 ; he died at Coon Rapids , Iowa , October 5, 1891 . In 1833 he removed to Dayton , Ohio , where he studied medicine with his brother, Dr. Silas Garst. He finished his medical studies at Jefferson Medical College , Philadelphia , where he graduated in 1837. He returned to Dayton , where he practiced his profession for some years, and where he engaged also in the real estate business. He served as surgeon of the 71st Illinois Infantry. After his return from the war he migrated to Iowa and settled on a farm, which is now within the corporate limits of the city of Boone . The Coon Rapids Enterprise says of Dr. Garst: "He was a rugged character, of ideal habits and had no patience with shams. His correct idea of life - of how one should live, was carried scrupulously even into dress, his apparel always being faultless, and instead of permitting himself to become bent with age he carried himself erect, being as straight as an arrow. His life is a splendid example to young men, in fact, to all men. It teaches that one should retain an intense interest in life to the last, keep informed, keep one's life clean, be ambitious and exact in all things, even to little things. With his other virtues he was always cheerful, sociable and entertaining."
In the notice of the death of Dr. Michael Garst in The annals for January, 1902, second line from the top of page 318, for "1891," read 1901.
WARREN GARST was born at Dayton , Ohio , December 4, 1850 . He removed to Illinois with his parents in 1858, and in 1859 he established himself in business at Boone , Iowa , later going to Coon Rapids , Carroll county, where he and his brother opened a general merchandise store. To this business Mr. Garst has devoted himself for years. In addition to this he has been interested in farming and banking. He served during the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-sixth Extra, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Twenty- ninth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first General Assemblies. He assumed the office of Lieutenant governor on January 17, 1907 , and became Governor on November 25, 1908 , on the election of Governor Cummins to the United States Senate.
THEODORE F. GATCHEL was born in Chester , Pa. , April 16, 1845 ; he died in Des Moines , Nov. 7, 1901 . Mr. Gatchel's early life was spent in Maryland and Washington , D. C. He enlisted at the age of 14, in a Maryland regiment, and served throughout the war. He was a personal friend of Gen. Grant, and during his administration was president of the police board in Washington . Since 1879 Mr. Gatchel has resided in Des Moines , and has been engaged in the insurance business. He was a prominent member of the Methodist church and active in its benevolent work. From the start he was identified with the building of the Iowa Methodist Hospital , and officially connected with its management. His sudden death occurred at one of the business meetings of the board of directors.
JAMES D. GIFFEN was born in Northumberland county, Pa. , Oct. 2, 1839 ; he died in Marion , Iowa , Dec. 22, 1902 . In 1856 he came west with his parents who settled on a farm in Linn county, Iowa . He graduated from Cornell College , Mt. Vernon , and afterwards taught school in Tipton and Marion. He was admitted to the bar and began the practice of the law in the latter place. He served as mayor and held other offices in the town and county. In 1882 he was elected district judge and served on the bench until 1895. On retiring from the judgeship he practiced law for about a year in Chicago , but then returned to Marion . He was one of the oldest and ablest members of the Linn county bar.
JOHN D. GLASS was born in Monroe County, Ohio, November 3, 1844, and died at Mason City, Iowa, June 11, 1918. When about ten years old he accompanied his parents in their removal to a farm near Postville, Clayton County, Iowa. He attended common school in Clayton County. In 1865 ne entered the Academic Department of the State University of Iowa and, in 1869, the Law Department, and was graduated therefrom in 1870. Soon thereafter he began the practice of law with Hon. William E. Fuller at West Union, but in October, 1871, removed to Mason City, and entered the practice there, continuing until September, 1916. At various times during this period of forty-five years he headed firms in association with Charles H. Hughes, James H. McConlogue, Robert M. Witwer, and his son, Remley J. Glass. He was an active member of the Baptist church, and was superintendent of the Sunday School for twenty years. He was mayor of Mason City from 1877 to 1879, was elected state senator in 1883, serving in the Twentieth and Twenty-first general assemblies, and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1888. He was active in politics in city, county, and state. He was organizer of the Mason City Building & Loan Association and its president many years.
ALONZO GRAY (No. 3213), was appointed [to The Military Academy at West Point ] from Waucoma, Fayette county, and graduated June 12, 1887 , No. 40 in his class of 64. He served as various military posts in the United States and in Puerto Rico , and is at present Captain, 14th Cavalry, on duty at Manila , Philippine Islands.
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James W. Grimes was born in Deering, New Hampshire, October 20, 1816. He died at Burlington, Iowa, February 7, 1872. He was educated in the district school, attended Hampton Academy, spent three years at Dartmouth College, read law in Petersborough, New Hampshire, and removed to Burlington, Iowa, in 1836. He was city solicitor, justice of the peace, representative from Des Moines county to the first and sixth legislative assemblies and the fourth general assembly, Governor of Iowa 1855-1856, and United States senator from 1859 to 1869.
BENJAMIN F. GUE was born on a farm near Coxsackie, Green Co., New York, on the 25th of December, 1828. His parents, John and Catherine Gurney Gue were Quakers in religion and in politics were abolitionists. Their home was known as a station of the underground railroad and the boy's sympathies were early enlisted for the slave. His first protest was against the wrong of slavery. The oldest of six children, the burdens of life came upon him at the early age of ten, when his father died, leaving his mother to provide for and educate the family. The boys, under the leadership of the elder brother, managed the farm successfully. In the spring of 1852, at the age of 24, Benjamin with his younger brother came to Iowa and took a claim on Rock Creek, in Scott county, where for a year and a half the brothers lived alone in a log cabin, clearing the farm and preparing a home for their widowed mother and the younger children. The early sympathies of the boy for the slave led the man to take an active interest in the Free Soil movement, and in February, 1856, he was a delegate to the State Convention at Iowa City which formally organized the Republican party in Iowa. In the following year he was elected representative from Scott county to the Seventh General Assembly. He was one of the authors of a bill to found a state agricultural college, and in the House led the movement for its passage which was successful despite an adverse report from the committee on Ways and Means. In 1859 he was re-elected to the House and in 1861 was elected Senator. In the Senate as in the House, he was a recognized leader. Among the measures introduced by him and carried to a successful conclusion were: An act prohibiting the circulation of foreign bank bills in Iowa, which was a measure of protection against 'wild-cat' currency; an act requiring jury fees to be taxed with costs in suits in the District Court, which resulted in saving to the State more than one hundred thousand dollars annually. But the law to which this pioneer legislator was wont to refer with most satisfaction was that advocated by him in conjunction with Senator C. F. Clarkson and Samuel J. Kirkwood; a law by which the Agricultural College land grant of 240,000 acres was reserved from sale at the low prices then prevailing and instead was leased for a long term of years at a rental sufficient of itself to maintain the College. By this act the lands were held until good prices were obtained and thus our State College secured an endowment fund far larger than that received by any other similar institution. His journalistic career began at Fort Dodge, in 1864, when Mr. Gue became editor and publisher of the Iowa North West, one of the first republican newspapers in that part of the State. When nominated for Lieutenant Governor in 1865 his competitors were General James B. Weaver and Hon. George W. McCrary. In 1886 he was elected President of the Board of Trustees of the State Agricultural College, which he had done so much to place upon a permanent basis. In the face of strong opposition he advocated and secured the admission of girls as students of that institution, and the success of what was then a new departure is evidence of his far-sighted vision. It was on his recommendation that the progressive educator, A. S. Welch, then United States Senator for Florida, was selected as the first President of the State College. In 1872 Governor Gue removed from Fort Dodge to Des Moines and took editorial charge of The Iowa Homestead. Under his editorship The Homestead gained a wide reputation as a leader of practical thought on public questions. In December of that year General Grant appointed him Pension Agent for Iowa and Nebraska, and in that capacity he served eight years. In 1880 he and his son purchased The Homestead, and for years afterward his editorial page was a powerful factor in the discussion of social, educational and economic questions. Mr. Gue's pioneer work includes an active part in the founding of the Pioneer Law-Makers Association of Iowa, among the members of which no one was held in higher esteem. In religion he was a Unitarian, at a time when to be a Unitarian was to be almost alone in Iowa. He was one of the founders of the First Unitarian Churches of Des Moines and of the Iowa Unitarian Association. The crowning work of Mr. Gue's life is the four-volume History of Iowa on which he labored, at first intermittently and afterward daily, for more than seventeen years. The gathering and preparing of the material for this history was a work calling for rare patience, industry and good judgment and a personal knowledge of the subject such as few have. It is not too much to say, borrowing the thought from Virgil, that he himself was part of the history of Iowa and had himself witnessed nearly all the public events which make up that history. Mr. Gue was very close to Governor Kirkwood during the War period and the John Brown epoch immediately preceding, and his personal participation in the history of the war and the many incidents and events leading to the war, constitute of themselves a most valuable contribution to Iowa history. His story of the part which he and his brother, David J. Gue, took in warning the Secretary of War of the John Brown raid on Harpers' Ferry, forms a most interesting chapter in the history of that episode and a remarkable indication of the trend of his Quaker education. As Charles Aldrich well said, in the Register and Leader on the morning following the death of his friend: "Governor Gue stood for what he thought was right. This characteristic, this principle is the thing that distinguished him above all things. His influence was always on the side of right, in politics, in business, in morals, in society." On the 12th of November, 1855, Benjamin F. Gue was united in marriage with Elizabeth Parker, and on the 3rd of July, 1888, occurred the death of Mrs. Gue, leaving four children all of whom survive, namely: Horace g., Alice, Gurney C., and Katherine, the last named is the wife of Dr. A. G. Leonard, State Geologist of North Dakota. The death of Benjamin F. Gue occurred on Wednesday, June 1, 1904. Death came to him without premonition. The funeral took place at his residence, 1522 West Ninth street, on Saturday, the 4th inst. Funeral services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. Mary A. Safford and his friend Judge Gifford S. Robinson.