History of Jefferson County, Iowa
Unless otherwise specified, all biographies have been submitted by Debbie Nash.
DR. C. W. BAILEY, has practiced medicine at Pleasant Plain continuously since September, 1899, and is now enjoying an extensive and lucrative patronage as the only physician of the town. His birth occurred in Cedar township, Jefferson county, Iowa, on the 22d of November, 1871, his parents being Cyrus D. and Iowa (Conley) Bailey, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Lee county, Iowa. Cyrus D. Bailey came to this county in 1864, purchased, cleared and improved a farm in Cedar township and operated the same until 1897. In that year he disposed of the property and purchased a farm in Van Buren county, to the further cultivation and improvement of which he has devoted his attention to the present time.
C. W. Bailey obtained his early education in the district schools of this county and later entered Birmingham Academy. Having determined upon the practice of medicine as a life work, he read under the direction of Norris Brothers, of Birmingham, Iowa, for eighteen months and then entered the Keokuk Medical College, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1897. During the Spanish-American war he served as first assistant surgeon to Dr. Roberts, who was the regimental surgeon. He was mustered out, on the 8th of July, 1899, and in September following came to Pleasant Plain for the practice of his profession. There were five physicians in the town at that time, but Dr. Bailey is now the only representative of the fraternity here-a fact which speaks most eloquently for itself. An extensive practice has been accorded him in recognition of his skill and ability in the line of his chosen profession, with the advancement of which he keeps in close touch through his membership in the Jefferson County Medical Society and the Southeastern Medical Society. He acts as health officer of the board of health of Walnut township, Penn township and the town of Pleasant Plain. In addition to his office building he owns four residence properties, a store building and the livery stable property in the new town of East Pleasant Plain.
On the 18th of May, 1900, Dr. Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Hosette, a daughter of Francis Xavier and Mary Elizabeth (Hisel) Hosette, who were natives of France and Belgium, respectively. The father, who came to Jefferson county, Iowa, in an early day, purchased and improved a farm in Cedar township. Subsequently he became a dealer in horses, going to France to make his purchases in person. He died at sea, in 1895, while on his way home on one of these trips. His wife was called to her final rest on August 8, 1910. Unto Dr. and Mrs. Bailey has been born a son, Earl E., whose natal day was February 22, 1906.
Dr. Bailey gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has served as republican central committeeman from Penn township for three terms or six years. He has long served as a councilman and has also been mayor of the town of Pleasant Plain, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many progressive measures. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Workmen of America, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Fairfield and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Glasgow, Iowa. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, while his wife is a communicant of the Catholic church. Of a sociable nature, he has found life enjoyable in the acquirement of a circle of friends that grows as grows the scope of his acquaintance, while his advancement in his profession has been equally agreeable.
One of the highly esteemed
pioneer residents of Batavia was the late Dr. Milton D. Baldridge, who
for fifty years was identified with the medical fraternity of Jefferson
county. He was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, on July 11, 1826, being
a son of Dr. John Baldridge.
Dr. Baldridge was twice married, his first union having been with Miss Isabella A. Alexander in 1851. Mrs. Baldridge was born in Lebanon, Ohio, in 1826, and died in Jefferson county, Iowa. On the 22d of September, 1877, Dr. Baldridge was again married to Miss Nancy Hite, a native of this county, her birth having occurred in the vicinity of Brookville in 1847. Mrs. Baldridge is a daughter of Henry and Mary (Mobley) Hite, the father a native of Richmond and the mother of Washington county, Virginia. They came to Iowa in 1845, locating on a farm near Brookville, where the mother passed away in 1902, the father, however, survived until 1905. Dr. Baldridge and his second wife were the parents of two sons, John Henry, who is the elder, is a well known physician and surgeon of Batavia. He obtained his preliminary education in the common and high schools of Batavia, after which he took a ocmmercial course in the Business College at Quincy, Illinois. His professional studies were pursued in the Medical College at Keokuk, this state, where he was awarded the degree of M. D. with the class of 1906. Returning home he entered in practice with his father with whom he continued to be identified until the latter's death. He has been very successful, being well adapted to the profession he is following, and has a most lucrative practice. He married Miss May Reno, a daughter of Willis and Mary Reno, also residents of Batavia, the father being a well known retired farmer of Wapello county, who recently located here. Two children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Baldridge, Helen and Willis. Milton Baldridge, who was named for his father, is living on the old family homestead with his mother. He acquired his education in the school for the deaf, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, of which he is a graduate. His energies have always been devoted to agricultural pursuits and he is now operating his mother's farm of forty acres, located near the village of Batavia. He married Miss Emma Dorn, of Waterloo, Iowa, and they have one child, Waldo.
The late Dr. Baldridge was an earnest member of the Masonic fraternity, in which organization he had attained high rank. He was a member of Batavia Lodge, No. 198, A. F. & A. M., and he was also a Knight Templar, being identified with an Ottumwa lodge, and belonged to the Shrine of Davenport. His political support he gave to the republican party and always took an active interest in the workings of the party. He was highly esteemed in Batavia professionally and privately, having, during the half century of his residence here, demonstrated his high principles and worth in all of his relations of life. [Photo available - Contact the Jefferson County Genealogical Society]
Iowa offers excellent opportunities to the agriculturist and the man who owns a tract of Jefferson county's rich land has an excellent opportunity to win success if he will but closely apply himself to the task of cultivating the fields and caring for the harvests. This William C. Ball has done and now is living retired in Fairfield, in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former labor, his rest being well earned and well merited. He was born in Brooke county, Virginia, his natal day being March 27, 1846. His parents were Joseph and Margaret (Lengfitt) Ball, who were married in the Old Dominion, which was the native state of the father, whose birth occurred in Loudoun county, in 1803. His wife was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1808, and in March, 1854, they came to Iowa, making their way direct to Jefferson county, where they continued their residence until their death, both passing away in 1875. In his younger days Joseph Ball followed carpentering and afterward engaged in trading on the river, shipping products from Virginia to New Orleans. Subsequently he was identified with farming, which claimed his attention during the period of his residence in Jefferson county. He owned four hundred acres of land five miles west of Fairfield and the care and labor bestowed upon his fields made this a valuable property. Opposed to the system of slavery, he became a stanch abolitionist and when the republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of the slave system into the north, he joined its ranks. His fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth as a citizen, elected him their representative to the state legislature for one term. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Christian church and he also belonged to the Masonic fraternity. Their family numbered nine children. Sarah became the wife of J. B. Freeman but both are now deceased. Martha is the widow of A. D. Burns and resides in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Hannah is the deceased wife of Solomon F. Stever. Cynthia is the wife of A. R. Burns, a resident of Wapello county. Anna H., who married Dr. C. D. Lewis, of Ottumwa, has passed away. John F., who joined Company D of the Nineteenth Iowa Infantry during the Civil war, was killed in the battle of Prairie Grove. William C. is the seventh of the family. Hon. George W. Ball is a resident of Fairfield, and Mary, the youngest of the family, became the wife of Dr. G. A. Spielman, of Ottumwa, but is now deceased.
William C. Ball spent the first eight years of his life in the state of his nativity and then came with his parents to Jefferon county, residing upon the old home farm until 1864, when, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted for active service in Company I, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served for one hundred days, or until the close of the war and gave ample proof in his service of his valor and loyalty. He afterward attended the law school of the Iowa State University, from which he was graduated in 1869, and the same year was admitted to the bar. He then practiced his profession for two years in Des Moines, but on the expiration of that period returned to the home farm and in addition to the cultivation of the crops best adapted to the soil and climate, he engaged in dealing in live stock, both branches of his business proving profitable. He closely studied the best methods of tilling his fields and kept on hand good grades of horses, cattle and hogs. That his methods were at once practical and progressive is indicated in the excellent results which followed his work. At length he regarded his capital as sufficient to enable him to put aside further business cares and leave the farm, when he took up his abode in Fairfield.
Mr. Ball was married in 1872 to Miss Mary C. Campbell, who was born in Highland county, Ohio, July 10, 1850, but has been a resident of this county since 1856, in which year her parents, John J. and Elizabeth (Templeton) Campbell, brought their family to Iowa. The father, who was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, died in this county in 1870, at the age of fifty-six years. The mother, a native of Highland county, Ohio, who is now living in California, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, retains all her faculties unimpaired. Mr. and Mrs. Ball became the parents of two children but the son, who was the younger and to whom they gave the name of Frank, died in 1889, at the age of twelve years. The daughter, Cora A., is a vocal teacher, now connected with the public schools of Fairfield. Mr. Ball votes with the republican party, his study of the questions and issues of the day leading him to the belief that its purposes are best calculated to promote good government. He holds membership with the Christian church and his wife is a member of the Presbyterian church. They have a circle of friends in Jefferson county almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance. They have both spent the greater part of their lives here and Mr. Ball has been a witness of almost the entire growth and development of the county, having seen its wild prairie lands converted into good farms, its primitive dwellings replaced by substantial modern residences and its primitive business interests supplanted by large and important commercial and industrial enterprises. He relates many interesting incidents of the early days and is authority upon many points of the history of Jefferson county.
WILLIAM L. BANKHEAD, who for the past three years has capably discharged the duties devolving upon him in the capacity of postmaster at Lockridge, has long devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits and still resides on his farm near Coal Port. His birth occurred in Pennsylvania on the 27th of September, 1852, his parents being James and Mary (Dalton) Bankhead, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of the Keystone state. Emigrating to America, James Bankhead first located in British Columbia and subsequently removed to Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in coal mining. In 1853 he came to Jefferson county, Iowa, locating near Fairfield. He opened the first coal mine in this county in association with John Heron, with whom he remained in partnership about four years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Lockridge township and opened a mine at what is now called Coal Port, continuing its operation until about sixty years of age. The remainder of his life was spent in honorable retirement in the home of our subject, his demise occurring on the 4th of May, 1898. He had been a resident of this county forty-five years and had won many warm friends within its borders. His wife was called to her final rest on the 16th of June, 1896.
William L. Bankhead was reared to manhood in Jefferson county and largely acquired his education in the district schools of Lockridge township. After putting aside his text-books he remained on the home farm and assisted in its operation until thirty years of age, when he purchased the tract of land in Lockridge township which has remained in his possession continuously since and in the cultivation and improvement of which he has been busily engaged. In 1908 he was appointed postmaster at Lockridge and has since filled the office in a most satisfactory and commendable manner. In the conduct of his agricultural interests he has also met with success and is widely recognized as one of the substantial and representative citizens of the community.
In September, 1882, Mr. Bankhead was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Graber, a daughter of Christian and Fanny (Weise) Graber, both of whom were natives of France. The father, who became one of the earliest settlers of Jefferson county, Iowa, purchased land from the government and began its improvement. To the cultivation of that property he devoted his time and energies throughout the remainder of his life, passing away in 1887. The demise of his wife occurred in 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead have two children, namely: Bertha M., the wife of Lewis Boos, a merchant of Lockridge, Iowa; and Gladys F., editor of the Lockridge Herald.
Mr. Bankhead is a stanch republican in politics and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to several positions of public trust. He has served as trustee of Lockridge township for eight years, has acted as constable for a similar period and for a number of years served as school director. He is a stockholder in the Fairfield Chautauqua Association and is a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity. In religious faith he is a Baptist. Brought to this county by his parents when but a year old, he has since remained within its borders. In all the relations of life he has been true to high and honorable principles and has never faltered in a choice between right and wrong but has always endeavored to follow a course that his judgment and his conscience have sanctioned.
BENJAMIN BARNES is now living retired in Fairfield, a life of well directed activity in following the plasterer's trade having brought him the comfortable competence that now enables him to spend the evening of his days in rest from further labor. Moreover, he deserves mention in this volume from the fact that for more than a half century he has lived in Fairfield, having come to this city in 1855. Its history is well known to him, for he has witnessed its growth and development through many decades. His birth occurred in Richland county, Ohio, about four and a half miles east of Mansfield, on the 12th of March, 1834, his parents being Thomas and Sarah J. (Case) Barnes, natives of Maryland and New Jersey, respectively. They were married, however, in Ohio, and in 1855 came with their son Benjamin to Fairfield, where they afterward resided. The father, who followed farming throughout his entire life, died in 1884 at the venerable age of eighty-six years, while his wife passed away when fifty-four years of age. In their family were seven children: Elizabeth and Samuel, both of whom are deceased; Benjamin; Julia and Susan, who died in this county; Sadie, the widow of Guy Beatty, of Fairfield, and one who died in infancy.
Benjamin Barnes was twenty-one years of age when he came to Iowa. His youth had been passed on his father's farm in Ohio, and his educational opportunities were those afforded by the public schools. He early learned the plasterer's trade and has made it his life work, continuously following that business until the last three years, during which time he has lived retired. He thoroughly mastered the trade in early manhood and because of the excellence of his labor and his reliable business methods, he was accorded a liberal patronage.
In 1859 Mr. Barnes was married in Fairfield to Miss Mary E. Wilson, who was born in Covington, Indiana, April 22, 1835, and came to Iowa with her parents in 1837. She is a daughter of Grinder and Eleanor B. (Walker) Wilson, the father born in North Carolina and the mother in Kentucky. They were farming people and spent their last days in Fairfield but on coming to Iowa, took up their abode near Mount Pleasant. Their family numbered four sons and four daughters, who lived to mature years, while one child died in infancy, these being: John Milton, Catherine, Isaac, James, Joshua, Prudence and Ellen, all now deceased; Mary, who is the only one now living; and Francis, who died in infancy. Mrs. Barnes is today the oldest resident of Jefferson county in years of connection with this part of the state, for there is no one living here that came prior to 1837. This was two years before the county was organized by the territorial legislature and she remembers well when the state was admitted to the Union. She relates many interesting incidents of the early days when the broad prairies were covered with their native grasses, when the timber was uncut and when deer and other wild game were to be had in abundance. Indians, too, were more numerous than the white settlers in this part of the state and the work of improvement and progress had scarcely been begun. Mr. Barnes, too, is one of the oldest settlers here, having for fifty-six years lived in Fairfield. In politics he is a republican, supporting the party since its organization, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has always lived up to his profession and his life has been an honorable, upright one.
Through the improvement of opportunities which Iowa offers in agricultural lines, Louis Barrow has made substantial progress in the business world, being the owner of a well improved farm from which he derives a good annual profit. He was born in Maidstone, Kent county, England, January 27, 1863; a son of Horace and Ellen (Holland) Barrow, also natives of that country. The parents continue to make their home upon the place where the birth of their son occurred, and there the father engages in general agricultural pursuits. Of their family of nine children, three sons and four daughters are yet living, a son and daughter having passed away. A brother of our subject, Bert Barrow, is now residing in Fairfield, having come to this country about twelve years ago.
Louis Barrow, the eldest child in his father's family, spent the period of his boyhood and youth in the land of his nativity. Upon the old homestead there, he early became acquainted with the best methods of tilling the soil and carrying on the work of the fields. He remained at home until about twenty-three years of age, when, in 1885, he crossed the Atlantic in order to join his father's brother, Henry Barrow, a resident of Fairfield, Iowa. He remained with his uncle for one year, after which he began working at the county poor farm, where he was employed for five years. At the expiration of that period, he was married and began farming on his own account, renting his present place in Center township, but this did not satisfy his ambition to become independent, so he applied himself diligently and persistently to the cultivation of the place with the view of one day owning a farm. Working early and late in the fields and giving close attention to all of the tasks necessary in the development of a farm, he at length accomplished his purpose and by purchase became the owner of the tract which for nine years he had operated in the capacity of a renter. The place consists of one hundred and sixty acres, located on section 15, and has been brought under a high state of cultivation, most of the improvements found thereon having been instituted by Mr. Barrow. He carries on general agricultural pursuits, cultivating the crops best adapted to soil and climate; and each year his labors find their just reward, in gratifying results which are constantly advancing him toward the goal of prosperity.
In the year 1891, Mr. Barrow was united in marriage to Miss Laura Booth, who was born in Illinois in October, 1863. As a little maiden of two summers, she came to Iowa with her parents, Isaac and Susannah (Booth) Booth, who were both natives of Ohio. The father has now passed away, and the mother makes her home in Fairfield. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Barrow there were three children, but only one, Charles H., is now living. John Henry passed away in early childhood, and a twin sister of Charles died in infancy. Mr. Barrow gives his political support to the republican party but has never been active in the public life of the community, preferring rather to concentrate his undivided attention upon his business interests. He has made good use of his opportunities, and, as the years have gone by, has prospered in his undertaking as the result of his unfaltering industry and so he has never found occasion to regret that he left his native home to seek his fortune in this country, where opportunity is always open to ambition and enterprise.
No history of Fairfield and Jefferson county would be complete without reference to John Bartholomew who is today one of the oldest of the native sons residing within the county’s borders. This was largely a wild and undeveloped region when, on Christmas Day, 1842, his birth occurred in Fairfield. In the intervening period covering sixty-nine years he has witness notable changes, for the wild prairie land has been claimed and cultivated and the few pioneer homes have been supplanted by large and attractive modern residences that indicate the success and prosperity of the farming community. The villages, too, have extended into flourishing towns and cities and the work of progress has been carried steadily forward through the unfaltering efforts of progressive citizens. As the years have passed by John Bartholomew has prospered in his undertakings and his attention is now given to the supervision of his property interests which include some valuable real estate in Fairfield.
Mr. Bartholomew is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Speer)Bartholomew, both of whom were natives of County Antrim, Ireland, born near Belfast. The father’s birth occurred July 10, 1811, and the mother was born in 1813. They were reared and married there and after crossing the broad Atlantic in one of the old-time sailing vessels they settled in Cassville, Pennsylvania, where they resided for two years. In 1840 they arrived in Fairfield and during their remaining days lived in Jefferson county. The father was a carpenter and cabinet maker by trade and in connection with the manufacture of furniture here he also did considerable building. As he prospered in his undertakings he made judicious investments in land, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres adjoining the city on the southwest, his sons operating this farm after he retired to private life. He died January 3, 1892,having for more than ten years survived his wife, who passed away December 24,1881, when in her sixty-eighth year. Their eldest son, Robert, was born in Ireland and their eldest daughter, Agnes, in Pennsylvania. The former is now deceased and the latter is the widow of William A. Barton, a resident of Colorado. Five children came into the family after the arrival in this state, namely: John; Thomas A., deceased; Catherine, who is the widow of Charles Goddard and resides in Leadville, Colorado; and James and Mary, both of whom are now deceased.
John Bartholomew spent his boyhood and youth in Fairfield and attended the public schools, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the tasks assigned to him by parental authority. On attaining his majority he went to Colorado where he resided for a quarter of a century. In connection with his brother Robert he took up timber claims in that state, furnishing timber for the mines and also drove ox teams in the transportation business. As the years passed he prospered for he was diligent, determined and persevering, and the result of his labors is manifest in the fact that following his return to Fairfield in 1889 he made investment in property here. At that time he took up his abode at his present place of residence, having a five-acre tract adjoining the old home. He owns altogether twelve dwellings in this city that he rents and his time is largely spent in looking after his property and other investments. In addition to his real estate he holds considerable stock in banks and factories of Fairfield and is now numbered among the most substantial residents of this city.
On the 13th of October, 1892, Mr. Bartholomew was married to Miss Louisa Thoma, a native of Atchison, Kansas, and a daughter of David and Theresa Thoma, who are mentioned in connection with the sketch of her two brothers, under the name of Thoma & Thoma, elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Bartholomew and his wife have many warm friends in this district where they have so long resided. Both are faithful attendants of the First Presbyterian church, in which he is an elder. He is prominent among the business men and is widely recognized as a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment. Moreover he is public-spirited and has been a potent factor in many movements which tend to promote the material, intellectual and moral growth of the community.
Agricultural pursuits have characterized the efforts of William H. Bates throughout his entire business career, and that his labors have been effective forces in the attainment of prosperity is indicated by the neat and well improved condition of his farming property. He is one of Jefferson county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Cedar township on the 11th of April, 1851. His parents were Ephraim and Mary Ann (George) Bates; the former born in Oxford, Ohio, and the latter on the state line near Union, Indiana. They were married in Indiana, and, in 1846, came to Jefferson county, Iowa, locating on a farm in Cedar township upon which their remaining days were spent. The father carried on general farming, to which occupation his entire life had been devoted. The subject of this review was second in order of birth in a family of eight children, the others being as follows: Jerry, deceased; Eliza A., the wife of J. J. Hutchinson, of Center township; Perry O., a resident of Buchanan township; James K., residing at Tekamah, Nebraska; Emma, who married C. J. Sperry, of Brown county, South Dakota; Ollie, who passed away at the age of fourteen years; and Ed, of Buchanan township.
No event of special importance came to vary the routine of life for William H. Bates during the period of his boyhood and youth, which was passed amid the scenes and environment of rural life. Through the assistance he rendered his father in the work of the home farm, he gained valuable experience concerning the various branches of agriculture, and he continued to make his home with his parents until the time of his marriage, when about twenty-seven years of age. For about six years previous to that event, however, he had been employed by others in the locality of his home, working out by the month, and then he began farming on his own account, taking up his abode upon his present place. His first purchase consisted of sixty acres of raw prairie land, to the improvement of which he at once gave his undivided attention. After breaking the sod, he converted the tract into cultivable, planted the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, and, from early spring until late fall, labored unceasingly in the further development of his property, which, under his careful management, was soon brought under a good state of cultivation. As a direct result of unfaltering industry and unfailing perseverance, prosperity came to him in his undertaking, and, as success attended his efforts, he added to his original purchase, until today his farm consists of one hundred and ninety acres of land, located on sections 12 and 13, Center township, comprising one of the well improved properties of the locality.
Mr. Bates has been married twice. In 1878, he wedded Miss Eva Carter, a native of Illinois, who passed away in 1884, leaving one son, Ernest, now engaged in farming in Buchanan township. For his second wife he chose Miss Ella Davis, a native of Pennsylvania, whom he married in 1887, and unto this union have been born four children, namely: Jesse, who passed away at the age of three years; Ralph and Leslie, both at home; and Willard, whose death also occurred when he was three years of age. The religious belief of Mr. Bates is indicated by his membership in the Christian church at Fairfield; in politics, he supports the principles of the democratic party. He is now serving as township trustee. He has held various road and school offices, and in all of his public work has proven himself a champion material, intellectual and moral progress, recognizing that each has its place in the scheme of the world. His labors, therefore, have served as an element of growth along all those lines, so that, today, he is regarded as one of Jefferson county's valued and representative citizens.
CHARLES W. BENN, one of the best known horsemen of Jefferson county, is the owner of some excellent horses of more than national fame. A native of Polk township, he was born September 7, 1866, a son of Alexander P. and Phoebe (Cowger) Benn, the former being a native of Virginia of Irish descent, and the latter of Indiana, of German descent. Alexander P. Benn came to Iowa before the Civil war, at which time he was only seventeen years of age, and located in Jefferson county. He worked out by the month for a while but after his marriage he bought a fine farm in Polk township, where he lived during the remainder of his life, dying in 1891, while his wife passed away in 1888. Mr. Benn was one of the pioneer threshers of Iowa, owning and operating a threshing machine all his life and even at the time of his death, when he was no longer able to oversee the running of the machine, he still owned one. His first thresher was an old style chaff piler. He became a very noted stockman and wealthy farmer in Iowa and was highly honored throughout the county whose early growth and development he had witnessed.
Charles W. Benn attended the district schools in Polk township and then helped his father on the farm and at threshing until he was twenty-four years of age when, on August 26, 1891, he married Miss Minnie Swain, of Fairfield, Iowa, a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Stewart) Swain. The father was born in Virginia and died there when Mrs. Benn was a small child. The mother came to Iowa over thirty years ago and settled in Fairfield, where she now lives. At the time of his marriage Mr. Benn moved to one of his father's farms, which he purchased shortly afterwards. Selling this tract of land, he afterwards bought and sold a number of farms, and on December 16, 1904, having disposed of his farm property, he went to Packwood, where he now resides. Since his boyhood days Mr. Benn has been engaged in the threshing business and for over thirty years has owned and operated a machine. Today he owns and operates one of the largest and best steam outfits in this part of the country. During this time he has purchased five new steam-power machines which he bought from Russell & Company, of Massillon, Ohio. He, however, began this work with an Altman & Taylor horse-power machine. To Mr. and Mrs. Benn has been born one child, Robert K., aged nineteen, who is a graduate of the Packwood high school in the class of 1911 and is now a student in the Kansas City Veterinary College.
Mr. Benn has always been a lover of good horses and was not twenty years of age when he bought his first stallion. There have been very few years since that he has not owned from one to half a dozen blooded stallions or at least has had an interest in some. In 1908 Mr. Benn took his son Robert into partnership, under the firm name of C. W. Benn & Son. Today they have in their stables seven finely bred animals, namely: Paul - his foreign registered number being 45371, his home number 40400 - Percheron Norman, was imported from France in 1903, at the age of two years. This animal is well known in the horse world, having won repeatedly from all competitors in show rings in France and America. Ben Hur - No. 49550 - Percheron Norman, is American born, was foaled in 1907 and is recorded by the Percheron Society of America. Gredin - No. 64447 - was imported from France in 1909 and is five years old. Sheffield - No. 42440 - Percheron Norman, is American born, was foaled in 1904 and is recorded by the American Percheron Horse Breeders and Importers' Association. Romulus - No. 22674 - imported Percheron, was bred by the famous Coco and Brilliant families and imported from France in 1899. Packwood Boy - known as Billy - is a standard bred and registered in Rule I of the American Trotting Registry Association. He is five years old. A stud colt two years old is unnamed and unregistered and is sired by Paul.
Mr. Benn gives his support to the democratic party and is very active in local politics, having served one term as mayor of Packwood and three terms as a member of the city council. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic Lodge of Abingdon, Iowa; with the commandery and Royal Arch chapter of Fairfield; with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Abingdon; with the Modern Woodmen of America at Packwood; and with the Knights of Pythias of Packwood, having been a member of the latter organization throughout the entire period of its existence. As a lifelong resident of Jefferson county, connected with many fraternal organizations and so well known in the business world, Mr. Benn's record is that of an eminently successful and prominent citizen.
Industry and thrift, combined with good judgment and the faculty of sacrificing immediate enjoyment for future returns, are the qualities which insure success. One who exemplifies this maxim is James P. Bennett, who was for many years successfully engaged in the pursuit of agricultural interests and now lives retired on his farm in Cedar township. Since becoming a resident of Jefferson county, in 1874, he has been intimately connected with the growth and development of this section of the country, being a man whose personality has always carried much weight in his community. He was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, in 1829, being a son of Anthony and Nancy (Espy) Bennett. The father was born in Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna river, in 1777. Of Scotch-Irish parentage, he inherited the sterling qualities of his ancestors and in the pursuit of his calling, which combined farming, carpentering and plow making, he met with most substantial returns. The mother was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and came from an old Colonial family. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Bennett resided in the Keystone state until their death.
Reared with care under the parental roof, James P. Bennett obtained his education in the schools of his native locality and was early trained in the arts of husbandry, remaining with his parents until he became of age. He then engaged in farming on his own account but soon returned to the home place which he operated until 1874. In this year he removed with his family to Iowa, choosing as a suitable location for a home the farm on which he now lives, on sections 29 and 30 of Cedar township, trading his farm in Pennsylvania for this land. In addition he bought eighty acres, making a total of two hundred and forty acres in all. Ten years ago Mr. Bennett withdrew from active work in connection with the management of his place which has since that time been conducted by his son Almer, who continues his father’s practical methods and wise administration, being successful in the various departments of general farming and also in stock-raising.
The marriage of Mr. Bennett and Miss Lucinda Cordelia White was solemnized on the 1st of January, 1857, in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Bennett was born November 17, 1833, in Pennsylvania, and resided near Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, until her marriage. After a long and useful life devoted to the service of her family and friends she passed away on October 19, 1909, at the age of seventy-six years. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were: Fred, who died when a small boy; Alta, the wife of Marion Crum, of Daunt, California, who departed this life January 17, 1896, on a farm near Fairfield, Iowa, leaving two children, Pearland Ray; Almer, who lives on his father’s farm; Manson, who died October 5,1895 and was married to Miss Fannie Shaw, who now resides in Hartsville, Missouri, with her son Ralph, her daughter Ellen being deceased; and Otto, who is a fruit dealer in Clatskanie, Oregon, and who married Minnie Waldo, by whom he has two children, La Rue and Harvey. Almer, the eldest boy now living, operates the home farm, having relieved his father of this responsibility ever since the latter’s retirement ten years ago. He was united in marriage to Ella Hecht, a daughter of John and Mary Hecht, residents of Ida county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Almer Bennett are the parents of five children, namely: Meta at home; Hazel, the wife of Lawrence L. Droz, a farmer of Cedar township; and Willian Serle and J., who are living at home.
Mr. Bennett and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church of Birmingham. In his political views he is a loyal supporter of republican policies and has been called to office on several occasions, having served as supervisor of roads in Cedar township and as school director in his home district. He has never shirked the duties of citizenship no matter how largely his own interests have claimed his attention. During the Civil war he served as enlisting and recruiting officer for the United States army. He is a man of force of character and attractive personality, a favorite among those who have known him for many years.
With the passing of James J. Birt from the scene of earthly activity the community in which he resided lost one of its most honored and valued citizens, for in him were manifest those qualities which ever win respect and confidence. He was yet in his prime when called to his final rest, his birth having occurred on the 24thof December, 1854, in Pennsylvania. His parents, John J. and Jemimah (Mansfield) Birt, were both natives of England, where they were reared and married, and where the father learned and followed the brick mason’s trade. Later he took up agricultural pursuits and after coming to America in 1850, located in Pennsylvania where he followed that occupation until about 1856. From there he came to Iowa and took up his abode on a farm just west of Fairfield in Jefferson county, upon which a son now resides. Throughout the rest of his days this place remained his home, and here he passed away in 1875. His wife also spent her last days on that farm, her death occurring when she was eighty-three years of age. In their family were four children of whom only two are now living: Lincoln, a farmer of Smithfield, Nebraska; and Frank, operating the old homestead.
James J. Birt was a little lad of two years when brought to Iowa, and almost his entire life was passed within the boundaries of Jefferson county. His boyhood and youth were spent n the routine of farm work and after the death of his father he continued to give his mother the benefit of his assistance about the home place until he was thirty-six years of age, when he was married and at once took up farming independently on a tract of land which he purchased five miles northwest of Fairfield near Brookville, and there he resided for one year. At the end of that period he removed to the forty-acre tract situated just outside of the city limits of Fairfield, upon which his family still reside. This land is located on section 26, near the fairgrounds and to its further development he at once directed his energies. Year after year he plowed and planted and carried on the work of the farm, remaining there until his life’s labors were ended in death, when he leftto his family a well improved and desirable property.
It was on the 2d of September, 1891, that Mr. Birt was united in marriage to Miss Sarah C. Du Bois, a daughter of John W. and Elizabeth (Dill) Du Bois, the former born in New York city of French parentage and the latter born in Nashville, Tennessee, of American progeny. They were married in Illinois and in the spring of 1842 came to Jefferson county, Iowa, locating about two miles west of Fairfield on a farm. There the father carried on general farming and stock-raising until about three years prior to his death, when he retired from business life. He passed away in 1888, having survived his wife for seven years, her death occurring in 1881 on the farm where her daughter now resides and upon which she has spent her entire life. In the Du Bois family were nine children, five of whom are now living, namely: Reuben, of Fairfield, a retired farmer; Theodore Polk, engaging in farming in Center township, Jefferson county; John, a farmer of South Dakota; Mrs. Asa D. Roberts, of Fairfield, and Mrs. Birt. To Mr. and Mrs. Birt were born two children, Nathaniel S. and Ona Mary, both students of the Fairfield high school. Since the death of the father the son has taken charge of the home farm under the direction of his mother, the work of which he carries on during the vacation periods and when not engaged with his text-books. Mr. Birt was a faithful member of the Christian church of Fairfield, to which his wife and children also belong, and in the faith of that denomination he passed away on the 4th of May, 1910. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and for many years he filled political offices of various kinds. He acted as road supervisor for several terms in districts No. 1 and 8,and as school director in district No. 8 for a long period, and no project which had for its object material, intellectual or moral development sought his aid in vain. He was a man of fine personal character, well known and highly respected throughout this section of the county, and when he passed from this life, the community lost one of its most valued and honored citizens. His demise came as a great blow to his family, by whom he was cherished as a devoted husband and kind, loving father. With him his home was his first and his last consideration and no sacrifice was too great for him that would further the pleasure and comfort of his loved ones. To his family he left not only a comfortable competence but also the priceless heritage of an untarnished name and a record that is well worthy of emulation.
DR. CARL S. BISHOP, who for more than seventeen years has been successfully engaged in the practice of medicine in Glasgow, was born in Van Buren county, this state, on October, 21, 1864, a son of John and Mary (Huffman) Bishop. His father was a native of Virginia, his birth occurring there in 1826, while the mother, whose natal day was in 1835,was the first white child born in Van Buren county. In 1850, when he was twenty-four years of age, John Bishop removed from Ohio to Iowa, locating in Van Buren county, where he followed the carpenter’s trade and also engaged in farming. He subsequently acquired the title to two hundred acres of unimproved and uncultivated land in Jefferson county, that he energetically applied himself to clearing and operating. His efforts met with such lucrative returns that he was later able to extend the boundaries of his farm by the addition of another quarter section, thus making the aggregate of his holdings three hundred and sixty acres. Being both enterprising and diligent Mr. Bishop so intelligently applied his energies that he brought his land under a high state of cultivation, making it one of the attractive and valuable farms of the county. Here he spent the remainder of his life, his demise occurring in October, 1904, at the age of seventy-eight years. The mother survived until January 12, 1910, and was seventy-five years of age when she passed away. They were both most estimable people and were highly regarded in the community where they had resided for many years and had always exercised a goodly influence.
Reared on his father’s farm, the boyhood and youth of Dr. Bishop were not particularly unlike those of the average farmer lad of that period. In the acquirement of his early education he attended the district schools in the vicinity of his neighborhood until qualified to enter Parsons College. He became a student of that institution in 1883, and in 1888, at the expiration of a five-years period of study, was graduated. The succeeding three years he devoted to teaching, being principal of the school at Abbington for a year and that of Libertyville for two years. As he had previously decided to adopt the medical profession for his life vocation, in the autumn of 1891 he entered the Keokuk Medical College, being awarded the degree of M. D. three years later. He first located in Fairfield, where he maintained an office until June 5, 1894,then came to Glasgow, where he has ever since resided. Dr. Bishop is well qualified for the profession he is following both because of his natural aptitude and by reason of his constant study and thorough preparation. He is most conscientious in his devotion to his patients, thorough in his diagnosis and tireless in his administrations in the effort to mitigate their suffering. He is the only physician in the town and in Round Prairie township so naturally inconsideration of his excellent qualifications has succeeded in building up avery large practice.
On the 14th of April, 1897, Dr. Bishop was united in marriage to Miss Prudence K. Gregg, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Billings) Gregg, the father a native of Indiana and the mother of Ohio. James Gregg came to Iowa with his parents, who located in Jefferson county during the pioneer days. Having attained man’s estate he bought some land that he cleared and operated until 1899, when he withdrew from the active work of the fields and retired to Fairfield, where he now resides, and where his wife passed away in April, 1910. To Dr. and Mrs. Bishop five children were born, as follows: J. Paul, Mildred Elizabeth, Carl Gregg, Robert Huffman, who are respectively thirteen, eleven, seven and three years of age, and James Frederick, who has passed the first anniversary of his birth. The wife and mother after an illness covering one week, passed away with pneumonia, her death occurring on the 30th of March, 1911.
Dr. Bishop and his family affiliate with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which the mother was also a member, and fraternally he is a Modern Woodman of America, belonging to the Fairfield Camp. His political support Dr. Bishop accords to the republican party whose policy receives his unqualified indorsement, although he does not actively participate in township governmental affairs, preferring to give his undivided attention to his profession. His connection with his fellow practitioner she maintains through the medium of his membership in the Jefferson County Medical Society and the Iowa State and American Medical Associations. Good financial success has attended his efforts professionally and he is the owner of a finely improved farm of one hundred and thirty acres in Round Prairie township, in addition to which heal so has an interest in the old family homestead. He has a very attractive residence and four lots in Glasgow and he also owns his office building. Charitable in his judgments, just in his criticisms and helpful in his attitude toward all, Dr. Bishop has won and retained the friendship of many since locating here by reason of these substantial qualities.
SYLVESTER BURK BISHOP, a resident of Liberty township, is the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and twenty acres on sections 22 and 23. It was in this township that he was born on the 8th of April, 1847, his parents being John and Mary E. (Huffman) Bishop, who were pioneer residents of this section of Iowa and witnesses of almost the entire growth and development of the state. The father was a native of Virginia, coming here at a very early age and spending the remained of his life in this locality. His wife was the first white child born in Van Buren county. In their family were seven children: Talbott, of Libertyville; Sylvester B.; Ann, the wife of Samuel Berry, of Culbertson, Montana; Robert, who died at the age of forty-seven years, leaving a widow and four daughters; Dr. Carl Bishop, apracticing physician of Glasgow, Iowa; Mary, the wife of Harl Hubledal, of Rock Island, Illinois; and Emma, who was the twin sister of Mary and died in infancy.
Sylvester B. Bishop was reared upon the old home farm, acquiring his education in the common schools and aiding in the work of the fields through the summer months and after his school days were over. He continued with his father until twenty-four years of age and then went to Custer county, Idaho, where he spent four years, being employed as an amalgamator in the Custer Mills. On the expiration of that period he returned to Iowa and three years later, on the 10th of March, 1888, was united in marriage to Miss Emma Healde, a native of Liberty township, and a daughter of John and Malinda (Grammer) Healde, both of whom are now deceased. The young couple began their domestic life upon a rented farm in Liberty township and for six years Mr. Bishop continued to cultivate land that he leased. He then purchased his present property comprising two hundred acres, constituting a valuable tract on sections 22 and 23. He and his brother, Dr. Carl Bishop, are administrators for their father’s estate of three hundred and twenty-six acres and they have sold forty acres which was formerly a part of the father’s property. Mr. Bishop is a progressive agriculturist and the farm which he owns has been well improved by him. He has added all the equipments and accessories of a model property of the twentieth century, utilizing the latest improved machinery to facilitate the work of the fields, while large barns and outbuildings furnish ample shelter for men and stock. The fact that his place is known as the Long View Stock Farm indicates that stock-raising is the principal feature of the farm. He has extensively engaged in feeding both cattle and hogs and also breeds horses, having two stallions, both a draft and roadster. Upon his place at present he has thirty-two head of high grade horses. The water supply of the place is furnished by two fine springs which are seemingly inexhaustible. Mr. Bishop also has a silo thirty-two feet high and eighteen feet in diameter. Everything about his place indicates his progressive spirit. He fed last year three carloads of cattle and one of hogs and his annual sales of stock bring him a good return. He is interested in the Farmers’ Elevator Company at Libertyville and also in the Eldon Fair, together with the fairgrounds at Fairfield. He is regarded as a progressive business man, unfaltering in the accomplishment of what he undertakes, and thoroughly reliable in all trade transactions.
As the years have passed seven children have been added to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, Healde Judson, Mabel Cleo, Florence, Sherman, Clarence, Charles and Margaret. The daughter Mabel has for the past seven years been successfully engaged in teaching school. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Libertyville and Mr. Bishop is a republican in his political views but has never sought or desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs which, carefully conducted, have brought him substantial and well merited success.
WILLIAM E. BLACK, who has been a lifelong resident of Jefferson county, is a descendant of one of its pioneer families, whose members have aided materially in developing the agricultural resources of the county and have also been intimately associated with the wars which have been important in the national history of the United States, his grandfather, Samuel Black, having been a soldier in the Revolutionary war and his uncle William Black having served in the Mexican war.
William E. Black’s birth occurred on the 17th of May, 1856, in Polk township, upon the farm which is his present home, his parents being Jacob H. and Sally (McReynolds) Black, the former of Dutch and the latter of Dutch and Yankee descent. The father, who was a native of Ohio, went to Indiana with his parents when only twelve years of age and in 1849 came to Polk township, Jefferson county, and located upon the two-hundred-acre farm which his father had entered from the government. This farm was Jacob Black’s home until his death on the 28th of August, 1911. He gave up active farming in 1901, turning his farm of two hundred and seventy-six acres over to his son William E. Black and his son-in-law Levi A. Harrison. Throughout his career he was closely connected with the social life and development of his community and took an active part in the capture and execution of Keppart, the infamous murderer who was hanged in the presence of five hundred witnesses many years ago, after he had murdered a woman and two children in Wapello county. The murderer had brought the bodies of his victims in a covered wagon and thrown them in Cedar creek, an act which so outraged the community that a posse of farmers from Polk and Des Moines townships set out in pursuit and after having captured him near Birmingham, placed him in jail at Fairfield, but public opinion was so strong against him that he was taken from the jail forcibly and brought to the spot where he had disposed of his victims and there paid the penalty for his crime.
William E. Black has spent his entire life in Polk township, first attending school in district No. 2 and then assisting his father in the cultivation of his farm until 1879, when he removed to a home of his own, which is on his father’s farm. Throughout his active career William E. Black has devoted his time and energies to the cultivation of the home place, a task which he has accomplished with a good measure of success because of his labor, well planned methods and good judgment.
On December 5, 1878, Mr. Black was married to Miss Rachel A. Sutton, who is a daughter of Amariah and Narissa (McCreery) Sutton, both of whom were of Dutch and Yankee descent. Their eldest son, James A. Sutton, served in the Civil war. The father was a native of Ohio and came west in the early ‘50’s,locating on a farm one mile north of Martinsburg, Keokuk county, Iowa. About 1874 he came to Jefferson county and settled on a farm in Polk township, where the family resided until the death of the father and mother, in 1903 and 1885 respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Black one child has been born, Bessie, who is the wife of Aurel Spry, a farmer of Keokuk county, and they have been the parents of two children: Grace, aged three years; and Merle, who died at the age of ten months.
Mr. Black gives his political support to the democratic party and has served as a director of the schools of his district for nine years. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Pekin, Iowa. As a citizen Mr. Black is active in promoting any measures which pertain to the educational and social development of his community and because of his consistent stand for the right has won the respect and regard due to a man whose life has been devoted to the best interests of his fellowmen.
JOHN H. BOOS, one of the worthy native sons of Jefferson county, is actively and successfully identified with its business interests. He conducts a mercantile establishment at Lockridge, in partnership with his brother. His birth occurred in Lockridge township, in September, 1867, his parents being John and Louisa (Shuppy) Boos; the former a native of France, and the latter of Pennsylvania. John Boos crossed the Atlantic to the United States, and, in 1855, located in Jefferson county, Iowa, purchasing a farm in Lockridge township, which he cleared and improved. The further development and cultivation of that property claimed his attention until 1897, when he sold the place and bought a small farm near Fairfield, operating the same until called to his final rest on the 22d of March, 1905. His demise was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for he had gained an extensive circle of friends during the half century of his residence in this county. His widow has attained the age of seventy-one years, and still resides on the old home place, near Fairfield. John H. Boos was reared and educated in his native township, pursuing his studies in the district schools. He remained on the home farm until thirty-two years of age; he then devoted his attention to the cultivation of rented land for two years. On the expiration of that period, he purchased a tract of one hundred and forty acres in Round Prairie township, being engaged in its operation for two years, after which he rented the place and worked as a farm hand for five years. At the end of that time, Mr. Boos came to Lockridge and embarked in mercantile business in association with his brother. Ever since, he has conducted an establishment of this character with gratifying success. The brothers carry a large and well selected line of goods at reasonable prices. Always aiming to please their patrons, their trade has steadily grown. In November, 1900, Mr. Boos was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Graf, a daughter of John and Louisa (Snyder) Graf, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father emigrated to America at an early day and took up his abode in Jefferson county, Iowa, here following general agricultural pursuits throughout the remainder of his life. He passed away in May, 1911, but is still survived by his widow, who still resides on the old home place. In 1901, our subject was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, whose demise occurred in October of that year. Mr. Boos gives his political allegiance to the republican party, and has served as assessor of Lockridge township. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the German Lutheran church. He has remained a resident of Jefferson county from his birth to the present time; and enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance within its borders. [Photo available – contact the Jefferson County Genealogical Society]
WILLIAM BOOS is one of the estimable citizens and highly successful agriculturists of Jefferson county, where he has spent his entire life. He was born in Lockridge township, in October, 1869, and is a son of John and Louise (Shuppy) Boos, the father a native of France and the mother of Pennsylvania. In his early manhood John Boos left his native land, crossing the Atlantic to become a citizen of the United States. He located in Jefferson county in 1855, and soon thereafter acquired a tract of government land in Lockridge township. This he cleared and developed, devoting his attention to its cultivation until 1897, when he sold it and bought a smaller place adjacent to Fairfield. Although his circumstances would easily have permitted him to live retired, he had led too active a life to be happy in idleness, so continued to operate his farm until his demise on the 22d of March, 1905. He had been an energetic and industrious man, whose high principles and upright conduct won him the esteem of all with whom he came in contact. William Boos remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, obtaining his education in the district schools. The value of thrift and industry and a full appreciation of these virtues in the acquirement of success was early instilled in his youthful mind, and when little more than a boy he was entrusted with many of the heavier duties about the farm. In 1890 he started out for himself and for six years thereafter worked out by the month. At the end of that time he had acquired enough money to being farming for himself as a renter, so he leased land that he operated for twelve years. During that period he met with justifiable success, acquiring sufficient capital to buy one hundred and twenty acres. The further development of his property has ever since engaged the attention of Mr. Boos, who during the succeeding years has extended the boundaries of his farm by the addition of another eighty acres. Here he engages in diversified farming, in connection with which he makes a specialty of stock-raising, and annually prepares for the market about seventy-five hogs, while he keeps thirty head of cattle and ten horses. His farm presents a most attractive appearance, the buildings are in good repair, while the grounds and fences bespeak careful attention, everything about the place suggesting capable supervision and competent management. Vigilant and alert Mr. Boos gives his sole consideration to his fields and his crops, and the high grade of his stock is evidence of unremitting care and incessant labor. To his personal direction no less than the prudent conduct of his affairs must be attributed much of his success. On the 18th of December, 1895, Mr. Boos was united in marriage to Miss Ida T. Crile, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Fichner) Crile, the father a native of Ohio and the mother of Jefferson county. Mr. Crile came to this county during the pioneer days, and when old enough to make his own way in the world bought and improved a farm in Walnut township. There the mother passed away in 1884, but he is still living on his homestead, the cultivation of which claims his entire attention. Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Boos there have been born three children: Clarence William, who is fifteen years of age; Harry Andrew, who is nine; and Mabel T., who passed away in February, 1902. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boos affiliate with the Lutheran church, and in politics he is a republican, and has served as school director. He is widely known in the community where he resides, as practically his entire life has been spent in the immediate neighborhood, where he has a large circle of friends whose esteem he has won and retained by reason of his valuable traits of character.
J. E. BOWERMASTER, whose record in public office as in private life has at all times been progressive and commendable, is now conducting a substantial business as a contractor and builder of Fairfield. He was born in Clinton county, Ohio, February 21, 1854, a son of Frederick A. and Amanda (Pyle) Bowermaster, both of whom were natives of Clinton county, Ohio. The mother died when the subject of this review was but three years old. The father, who was born February 15, 1825, came to Iowa in 1858, living in Henry county until 1867, when he removed to Jefferson county where his death occurred June 6, 1909. He had followed blacksmithing in Ohio and engaged in merchandising in Henry county and devoted his life to farming in Jefferson county. By his first marriage he had two children: Mary E., who in 1874 became the wife of J. C. Gow and is now deceased; and J. E., of this review. Having lost his first wife, Frederick Bowermaster was married to Miss Mary C. Roberts and they became the parents of four sons and three daughters: O. R., a resident of Wyoming; J. W., living in Fairfield; Henry L., who also makes his home in Wyoming; Homer L., of Fairfield; Dora, the wife of F. S. Cooper, of Fairfield; Annie, who became the wife of James Allum, but both died in Jasper county; and Nellie, the wife of Milton Douglas, a farmer of Jefferson county.
J. E. Bowermaster was a youth of thirteen years when he came with his father to this county within the borders of which he has since made his home. He was reared to farm life and followed that occupation until thirty years ago, when he turned his attention to the carpenter’s trade and has since been engaged in carpentering and contracting in Fairfield. Because of his thorough workmanship and reliable business methods he has been accorded an extensive patronage and now has his two sons, James H. and Peter E., associated with him in a partnership under the firm name of J. E. Bowermaster & Sons, this business relation having been maintained five or six years. They have erected a number of the best buildings of Fairfield and the surrounding district, representing modern styles of architecture, and their work has at all times been satisfactory.
Mr. Bowermaster has been married twice. On the 3d of February, 1876, he wedded Maggie Gow, who was born in this county May 18, 1854, and is a daughter of Peter and Jeanette Gow, who were born, reared and married in Scotland. Their last days, however, were spent in Fairfield. Unto J. E. and Maggie Bowermaster there were born six children: James H., who is now in partnership with his father; Harvey C., a barber of Fairfield; Annie M., who was a twin sister of Harvey and is now the deceased wife of William Schlief; Peter E., who is in partnership with his father; John F., a clerk in the Fairfield post office; and Charles F., at home. Following the loss of his first wife Mr. Bowermaster was married on the 13th of October, 1892, to Mrs. Mary(Hiatt) Jones, who was born in this county March 30, 1855, and is a daughter of Enoch and Edith (Cox) Hiatt. By her first marriage with Andrew Jones she had one child, Bessie May, now the wife of T. R. Stewart, of Fairfield. Mr. and Mrs. Bowermaster now have an adopted daughter, Pauline. In this city where they have long resided their circle of friends is extensive and the hospitality of the best homes is freely accorded them. They hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Bowermaster also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His political allegiance has been given to the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and he has been called to several offices, serving as assessor of Center township, while for two terms he was county recorder, filling the position from the 1st of January, 1907,until the 1st of January, 1911. Over his official record there falls no shadow of wrong nor suspicion of evil, and he has made an equally creditable name in business circles by his fidelity to duty and his reliability. Having thoroughly mastered the trade he is able to direct the labors of those in his employ and his work has not only been satisfactory to his patrons but is also a source of improvement in the town and county.
GEORGE BRADFIELD , who for the past seven years has lived retired in Brookville, was numbered among the substantial and representative agriculturists of Jefferson county during his early manhood; later, he engaged in business as a huckster and painter of Fairfield. His birth occurred in Monroe county, Ohio, on the 16th of January, 1837, his parents being Stephen and Nancy (Bradfield) Bradfield, both of whom were natives of Prince William county, Virginia, in which state their marriage was celebrated. The father came of English descent; the mother was of Scotch lineage. In 1831, they removed to Ohio, locating in Monroe county, where they continued to reside until 1849, which year witnessed their arrival in Jefferson county, Iowa. Stephen Bradfield operated a rented farm in Fairfield township for several years. Subsequently he purchased a tract land north of Abingdon, in Polk township, residing thereon throughout the remainder of his life. His wife survived him for seven years.
George Bradfield obtained his education in the district schools. After he had attained his majority, he worked on shares with his father, residing under the parental roof until thirty years of age, when he was married and established a home of his own. In 1863, he enlisted for service in the Union army as a member of Company F, Third Iowa Cavalry. He participated in the battle of Little Rock, Arkansas, and was then assigned to the Eastern department, taking part in the engagements at Oxford and Guntown, Mississippi. He was also in a number of skirmishes incident to Price's raid through Arkansas and Missouri, and on the Blue river. On one occasion, his horse was killed and fell upon him dislocating one of his ankles and shoulders. After spending four months in the hospital at Jefferson City, Missouri, Mr. Bradfield returned to his company at Louisville, Kentucky, and did active duty as a soldier until the cessation of hostilities, when he was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa. Returning home with a creditable military record, Mr. Bradfield resumed farming. in association with his father. Following his marriage, he took up his abode on a farm in Wapello county, where he remained for one year; subsequently, he spent four years on the old Gow place in Fairfield township, Jefferson county. Removing to Kansas, he there remained for four years, on the expiration of which period he was obliged to leave the Sunflower state because of the ravages of the grasshoppers. In 1874, he returned to this county, locating in Brookville, where he made his home for twenty years. He next removed to Fairfield, where he resided for two years; he then spent four years in Brookville, and afterward again lived in Fairfield for five years. While a resident of Fairfield, he was successfully engaged in business as a huckster and painter, but, during the past seven years, has lived in honorable retirement at Brookville, owning an attractive residence and thirteen acres of land in section 11, Locust Grove township.
On the 19th of February, 1867, at the home of the bride's parents in Fairfield township, Mr. Bradfield was united in marriage to Miss Christina C. Gow, a native of Ohio and a daughter of Peter and Jeanette (Parker) Gow, both of whom were born in Glasgow, Scotland. Emigrating to America, her parents first located in Ohio; later, about 1848, they took up their abode on a farm in Fairfield township, Jefferson county, Iowa. The last years of their lives, however, were spent in retirement at Fairfield.
The record of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Bradfield is given below. Cora Eva gave her hand in marriage to Benson Ashmead, an agriculturist residing east of Bloomfield, by whom she has five children : Ethel, Edgar, Clifford, Fred and Carl. Harry E. operates a farm of one hundred and twenty-eight acres, just south of Brookville, in association with his son Bruce. In early manhood, he wedded Miss Nora Hoffman, daughter of Esham Hoffman, a well known farmer of Locust Grove township. Unto them were born four children, two of whom survive; Bruce and Bernice. Both Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Bradfield are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Brookville. The former served as assessor of Locust Grove township for one term. Frank Bradfield, who farms a tract of land northeast of Brookville, married Lilly Ireland, of Locust Grove township, by whom he has two children, Hilda and Charles. The mother was twice married, her first husband being Nelson Goodman, by whom she one child: Marjory May Goodman.
In politics, Mr. Bradfield is a stanch republican, loyally supporting the party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war. For four years, he held the office of postmaster at Brookville, under President Benjamin Harrison. Both he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church of Brookville, taking a helpful part in its work. Mr. Bradfield was a member of Abingdon post of the Grand Army of the Republic, until it was disbanded. Now, in the evening of life, he is living retired, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in well earned ease.
FRED C. BRADSHAW devotes his time and energies to the operation of an excellent farm of eighty-five acres, on section 4, Locust Grove township. His birth occurred in Wapello county, Iowa, on the 28th of January, 1870, his parents being William and Sarah Ann (Wright) Bradshaw, both of whom came of German ancestry. The father, a native of Tennessee, was a farmer by occupation and became one of the pioneer settlers of Jefferson county, Iowa. He assisted in hauling from Burlington the brick that was used in the construction of the first stores in Fairfield and also brought from Burlington, by wagon, the goods that went into these stores. His demise occurred on the 25th of July, 1892, on a farm a mile and a half west of Batavia. His wife had preceded him to the home beyond by several years. The record of their children is as follows: Sarah, who is deceased; Sylvester, who has also passed away; Wesley, who wedded Miss Jane Inman of Wapello county, Iowa, and is a gardener and mail transfer man of Athens, this state; Ona, who gave her hand in marriage to Joseph Ornduff, an agriculturist of Locust Grove township; Eugene, who married Miss Alice Craig of Wapello county, Iowa, and is a packing house employe (sic) of Des Moines; Ferdinand, a liveryman of Batavia, who wedded Miss Rachel Brooks; Laura, the wife of John Perry, the proprietor of a restaurant at St. Joseph, Missouri; and Fred C., of this review. The last named attended school at Batavia and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority. He assisted in the operation of the old homestead and during his last year at home worked on shares with his father. In 1891 he was married and during the following two years rented land from the administrator of his father’s estate. Subsequently he purchased a farm in Wapello county, continuing to reside thereon for six years. On the expiration of that period he disposed of the property and bought a farm two miles southeast of Batavia, in Locust Grove township, whereon he also made his home for six years. In the spring of 1905 he purchased and took up his abode on a tract of eighty-five acres on section 4, Locust Grove township, where he has remained continuously since. He carries on general farming and also raises, buys and feeds cattle, which he ships to Chicago. In the conduct of his agricultural interests he has won a measure of prosperity that entitles him to representation among the substantial and enterprising citizens of the community. On the 2d of September, 1891, Mr. Bradshaw was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Copple, a daughter of William M. and Evohlena (Marlowe) Copple, who were born in Illinois and Tennessee respectively. The father, who comes from German ancestry, is a blacksmith by trade. He removed to Kansas from Illinois and was married in the Sunflower state. Coming to Iowa, he located in Mahaska county and there opened a blacksmith shop. Subsequently he spent nine years in Ottumwa, Wapello county, and in 1889 came to Batavia, where he worked at his trade until seven years ago. Since the demise of his wife, which occurred in Batavia on the 27th of December, 1903, he has resided in the home of our subject. Mrs. Copple had been married twice, his first husband being Selvenes Harrington, by whom she had five children. Amanda, the only surviving child of this family, is the wife of J. M. Broherd, the foreman of a brick and tile company at Oskaloosa. At the time of the Civil war William M. Copple joined the cavalry at Eddyville, Iowa, and did guard duty there. Unto him and his wife were born five children, namely: Emma, the wife of John Kennedy of Mahaska county, who follows farming near Eddyville; Grant, who married Miss Clara Weider of Ottumwa and is a blacksmith of that city, having learned the trade under the direction of his father; Viola, the wife of Ralph Gott, who is a coal miner of Centerville, Iowa; William, a blacksmith and plumber of Ottumwa, who wedded Miss Nora Pancoast, of Batavia; and Mrs. Bradshaw. The last named became the mother of six children, as follows: Evohlena, the wife of John McDowell, a farmer of Locust Grove township, by whom she has two children, Edna Grace and James Frederick; Clara, who is the wife of Lee Odum, of Abingdon, and the mother of one child, Leo Monroe; William Carl, who attends school at Abingdon, Iowa; a daughter who died in infancy; and Joseph Monroe and Ralph Linton, both in school at Abingdon. Mr. Bradshaw is a democrat in politics but not bitterly partisan, considering the capability of a candidate rather than his party affiliation. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to the lodge at Abingdon. His wife is a devoted and consistent member of the Christian church at that place. They are widely and favorably known as people of genuine personal worth and many sterling traits of character and have gained an extensive circle of warm friends throughout the community.
One of the well conducted mercantile enterprises of Fairfield is the furniture and undertaking business owned by John Carl Bradshaw. He has applied himself closely to the management of his business and carrying a well selected stock, has gained a liberal and merited patronage. Moreover, Jefferson county numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Salina, June 27, 1874. His parents were Dr. A. C. D. and Mary A. (McCulley) Bradshaw, and the family is one of the oldest of the county, his grandparents, John Carroll and Anna (Whitney) Bradshaw, having settled here in early pioneer times. They removed from Kentucky to Iowa in 1839, long before the admission of the state into the Union and entered land from the government, four and a half miles southeast of Fairfield. John C. Bradshaw afterward transformed his tract of wild prairie land into richly cultivated fields and continued to engage in farming until his life’s labors were ended in death. Both he and his wife spent their last days in this county and in their passing Fairfield lost two of its most honored, worthy and respected pioneer citizens. Their family numbered three sons and a daughter. Dr. Bradshaw was born in this county in 1848 and spent his youthful days upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Determining to engage in the practice of medicine he entered Rush Medical College, from which in due time he was graduated. He then practiced in Salina until 1876, when he came to Fairfield and opened an office, continuing in practice here until he sustained injuries which made it impossible for him any longer to take the rides necessary for visiting his patients. He then turned his attention to the drug business, becoming a member of the firm of Huford & Bradshaw, and following the withdrawal of the senior partner he was joined by Louis Thoma under the firm name of Bradshaw & Thoma. Together they built the Bradshaw & Thoma block, one of the attractive modern structures of the city and for a number of years successfully conducted a drug store. At the same time Dr. Bradshaw extended the scope of his labors to include furniture manufacture, becoming manager of the Fairfield Furniture Factory. Indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature and his energy and perseverance enabled him to surmount all difficulties and carry his different projects forward to successful completion. In early manhood he married Mary A. McCulley, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1847, and came to Jefferson county with her brother Robert. Six children blessed the marriage of Dr. and Mrs. Bradshaw: Claudius, who died in 1896, at the age of twenty-one years; Miss A. R. Bradshaw, who is living with her mother; L. S., a druggist of Fairfield; John Carl, of this review; Una, the wife of Dr. Tullman, of Fairfield; and Ethel, the wife of Ernest Jericho, of Moline, Illinois. John C. Bradshaw, whose name introduces this record, has spent his entire life in Jefferson county and has lived in Fairfield from the age of two years. When a lad of six summers he entered the public schools and after mastering the branches of learning therein taught, continued his education in Parsons College. For five or six years he was engaged in the grocery business and then turned his attention to furniture and undertaking, conducting throughout the intervening years one of the well appointed mercantile establishments of the city. In June, 1899, he entered into partnership with F. D. Kerrick, under the firm style of F. D. Kerrick & Company. They carry an attractive line of goods so as to meet the varied tastes of all classes and their straightforward dealing and reasonable prices have constituted the strongest elements in their growing success. On the 14th of June, 1899, Mr. Bradshaw was married to Miss Grace Wilson, who was born in Fairfield and is a daughter of J. E. Wilson of this city. They now have two interesting children, Carl Wilson and Ruth. Mr. Bradshaw belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is loyal to the teachings of these organizations. He is also an interested member of the Commercial Club and is in entire sympathy with its purposes, promoting the business development of the city. In a new environment and under different conditions he has carried forward the work that was instituted by his grandfather and continued by his father for the upbuilding and development of Jefferson county, so that the name of Bradshaw has been inseparably associated with its history for seventy-two years.
SANFORD BRAY is one of the representative citizens of Black Hawk township, where he owns and successfully operates a farm of eighty acres, located on section 12. He was born on the township line between Penn and Black Hawk townships, one mile south of, where Keokuk, Washington and Jefferson counties join, on the 24th of January, 1851. His parents were Jerry and Emma (Hadley) Bray, the former a native of North Carolina and of Scotch-Irish extraction. The first eleven years of his life Jerry Bray spent in his native state, going from there to Indiana, where he lived until 1848, when with his wife and family he removed to Iowa. Upon his arrival in Jefferson county he bought a farm in Black Hawk township, living in Penn township until he could obtain possession of his homestead. There he lived for forty-six years, passing away on the 24th of January, 1894, the forty-third anniversary of the birth of his son Sanford. The mother died during the infancy of our subject, and the father later remarried Miss Tempy Greeson, a daughter of George Greeson, a pioneer farmer of Keokuk county. Mr. Bray was called upon to mourn the loss of his second wife in 1891, her death occurring on their homestead. Black Hawk township has always been the home of Sanford Bray, who began his education in the district schools of Penn township, which he attended until the first district school in Black Hawk township was completed. He later supplemented the course received there by four terms of study in Central College at Wapello, in which institution he taught between terms. Returning home at the end of that period he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, remaining on the farm with his father until his marriage. Subsequent to this event he located on a farm in Penn township that he operated as a renter for five years. This proved to be a very profitable undertaking and in 1881 he bought the place where he now lives, but did not remove there until February, 1882. Here he has ever since resided, and during the twenty-nine years of his occupancy has wrought many changes in the property. He is a capable agriculturist and gives the closest supervision to everything about his place, the general appearance of which is highly suggestive of thrift and prosperity. Good barns and outbuilding, a comfortable residence, well graded stock and fertile fields, that annually yield abundant harvests, are all to be found here, bespeaking capable management and intelligently directed effort. Mr. Bray is most enterprising and his farm is operated in accordance with modern agricultural methods and is yielding good returns. On the 25th of March, 1875, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Bray and Miss Ruth Pickard of Pleasant Plains and a daughter of William and Mary (Bell) Pickard. The father was one of the successful farmers of Penn township, where he passed away more than twenty years ago. His death was the result of injuries sustained when he was thrown from a horse a few months previously. He fell on his head and spine and broke one leg, and although he suffered intensely he lingered for a hundred days before death relieve him of his pain. The mother survived him and during the last five years of her life she made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Bray. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Bray numbered five children: Elbert, who for twelve years was employed in the Woolson store, but is now located at Boulder, Colorado, married Eva Morgan of Black Hawk township and they have one daughter, Freda. Nellie, who is the second in order of birth, died when she was twelve years of age. Hattie married T. L. Stewart, a farmer of Keokuk county. William Ralph, who is engaged in farming in this township, married Hattie Orr. Mary Ethel is a sophomore at Central College, Wapello. She graduated from the district school at the age of thirteen years, then entered the academy at Pleasant Plain and for six years after her graduation from this institution engaged in teaching. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bray are members of the Baptist church of Penn township, and fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, having belonged to the Richland camp since its organization, eighteen years ago. In politics Mr. Bray is a republican, but he is bitterly opposed to the liquor traffic, so does not indorse this party’s attitude on that question. He has several times been called to public office, having served for a year as trustee, two as assessor and three as clerk. For fourteen years he was secretary of the township school board, and was a member of the local board of school directors for several terms and president for one year. Mr. Bray is widely and favorably known in Jefferson county, where he has met with a fair degree of prosperity and has a large circle of friends, who appreciate his many substantial qualities and high principles.
GUSTAF A. BRIGHT, a native of Sweden, is one of the enterprising and successful agriculturists of Lockridge township, Jefferson county, Iowa. Born February 16, 1844, he was the son of Peter and Anna (Anderson) Bright, both natives of Sweden. His father was a carpenter by trade and remained in his own country all his life. He died in 1879. His mother died December 20, 1901, having attained the remarkable age of ninety-nine years. Gustaf A. Bright enjoyed the advantages of the education afforded by the common schools of his native locality in Sweden. On finishing he did not follow his father’s occupation but entered service as hired farm help and during the last three years of his residence in Sweden he farmed for himself. In 1876 he bade farewell to his parents and kin, departing with stout heart for fields of new endeavor in America. His destination was Jefferson county, Iowa, where he worked as a farm hand for two years. He then rented a farm and operated this for a period of twelve years. In 1890 he bought a tract of sixty-three and a half acres in Lockridge township, which he set about improving, and this he has operated with excellent results continuously since that time. In 1872, while still a hired man in Sweden, Mr. Bright was united in marriage to Miss Charlotta Johnson, a daughter of John and Eliza Johnson of Sweden. Her father was a farmer and farmed for himself until his death in 1857. Her mother died in 1874. Mrs. Bright’s life came to a sudden close April 18, 1899. She was the mother of six children, namely: Anna C., the wife of John Samuelson, a farmer in Wisconsin; Hulda C., living at home; Emma E., the wife of A. G. Edmund, a farmer in Wisconsin; Amanda, the wife of Edward Linderson, a banker in Barnesville, Minnesota; Carl A., who died May 1, 1899; and Esther, who died in December, 1880. Politically Mr. Bright votes with the republican party and gives his active support to every movement of progress and reform. He worships in the Lutheran church accompanied by his daughter Hulda who is devoted to her father and whose kind ministrations help to soften for him the edge of the loneliness that comes with waning years.
It has often been said that death is no respecter of persons, but when the aged are called, although regret is often felt at their passing, it yet seems to be in the course of nature. When the young are called, however, no such feeling palliates the deep grief that comes to those who are left behind and there must ever remain a feeling of sorrow that a career is thus cut short. Many of the older citizens of Jefferson county remember with pleasure their acquaintance with David L. Brown, who was identified with the coal mining interests of Coalport before the Civil war and again from the time he returned, a wounded soldier, until death claimed him in 1869.He was born in Clinton, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1840, his parents being John B. and Jane (Dalton) Brown, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of the Keystone state. On coming to the new world John B. Brown settled in Pennsylvania, where he resided until 1849, when, attracted by the discovery of gold in California and the opportunities there offered, in a business way, he went to the Pacific coast, where he remained until 1859. In that year he retraced his steps as far as Jefferson county, Iowa, where he took up his abode, turning his attention to the coal mining business at Coalport. He was thus engaged throughout the remainder of his life and both he and his wife passed away in this county.David L. Brown was a little lad of eight years when the long journey was made to California, and was a youth of nineteen when the family came to Jefferson county. His education, which was begun in the schools of the Golden state, was continued after he reached Iowa and his home training stimulated in him habits of industry and resolute purpose. On August 9, 1862, he enlisted for service as a member of Company G, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, and served until the charge on Vicksburg, when he was seriously wounded and because of his condition was forced to return home. For a year thereafter he was obliged to go about on crutches. On again coming to Jefferson county he reentered the coal business, in which he had previously engaged, and on the death of his father in 1865 took charge of his coal interests at Coalport. He found, however, that the heavy work was more than he could stand and the drain upon his strength and vitality was such that his health became undermined and he passed away on the 29th of April, 1869.Mr. Brown left a young widow, having been married on the 10th of December, 1867, to Miss Mary U. Hopkirk, whose parents were William and Jane (Redpath) Hopkirk, natives of Scotland. About 1834 they left the land of hills and heather and came to the United States, settling first in New York, where the father followed the trade of dyeing for several years, having previously acquainted himself with the business when in Scotland. He afterward went to Ohio but a few years later came t Jefferson county, settling here in 1842. That the district was still sparsely settled is indicated by the fact that there was land yet unclaimed and he entered a tract from the government. The state, too, had not been admitted into the Union and there were many evidences of frontier life on all sides. Mr. Hopkirk took up the arduous task of developing a new farm and built thereon a log house and barn and year by year continued the cultivation of his pace until it became one of the well improved farms of Lockridge township. His labors enhanced its productiveness and therefore its value and the excellent work which he did in the cultivation of the fields furnished an object lesson that others might well follow. Moreover, he became to a considerable extent a director of public opinion and during his residence on the farm he was called to represent his district in the fifteenth general assembly, where he made such a creditable record that he received public indorsement in a reelection to the sixteenth assembly. He gae careful consideration to each question which came up for settlement and he at all times enjoyed the confidence and respect of his colleagues in the assembly. He likewise filled various local offices in the township and county and acted as justice of the peace, holding court in his own home. His official service was ever characterized by a loyal devotion to duty that none questioned. Born in 1811, he was eighty-one years of age, when, in 1892, he was called to his final rest, and his wife, who was born in 1813, reached the age of fifty-six years, her death occurring in 1869. In their family were eleven children, six of whom are deceased. Of the others, two are residing in Fairfield, one in Lockridge township, one in California, and another in the state of Washington.
Of this family Mrs. Brown was born in West Virginia, on the 25th of February, 1842, and was brought to Iowa by her parents when three months old. Her girlhood days were spent under the parental roof and she was carefully trained in the work of the household, so that she was well qualified to take care of a home of her own at the time of her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown was born one child, mary J., born November 21, 1868; she graduated from the Fairfield high school in 1888 and has taught school for twenty years; she is now a teacher in the Logan school at Fairfield. Mr. Brown and his wife attended the Methodist church, but Mrs. Brown later on joined the Baptist denomination in Lockridge and about 1887 she and her daughter became members of the Methodist church here. His political belief Mr. Brown accorded the republican party. His was regarded as a most untimely death, for he had not yet passed the twenty-eighth milestone on life's journey. He was laid to rest with full military honors and is yet remembered by many of the older settlers as a young man of good business ability, whose sterling qualities were such as to gain for him the admiration and the friendship of many. His associates and friends all mourned his death but the loss came with greatest force to his little family and though more than forty years have come and gone since he was laid to rest, his widow yet remains true to his memory.
JAMES W. BROWN, a man of remarkable single mindedness in his unceasing devotion to the unremitting toil which falls to the lot of every farmer, owns and operates his old home farm which he has never left from the time of his birth, March 15, 1870, until the present. The farm is situated in Lockridge township, Jefferson county, Iowa, to which place his father came, on leaving Scotland, drawn thither by the coal fields of this region. His father, Mathew Brown, was a miner by occupation and settled at Coalport in Lockridge township, where, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. Bankhead, he engaged in the business of coal mining. He followed this pursuit for thirty-five years, during which time he purchased, in company with his brother, four hundred and five acres of land, which he farmed in addition to taking care of his mining interests. After a long period, however, he discontinued mining and devoted himself wholly to farming. His death occurred in December, 1905, while his widow, now seventy-seven years of age, is still in good health despite her advanced years. James W. Brown was reared at home and educated in the district schools. When a boy he made himself useful in many ways about the farm and later shared with his father the heavy responsibilities of cultivating so large a tract of land. After his father’s death he bought out the other heirs who had inherited shares in the farm and now operates this land, of which ninety acres of rich soil is under cultivation, yielding abundant harvests. On May 24, 1893, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Carrie Rizor. She was a daughter of Eli and Frances (Hickenbottom) Rizor, the former of whom was a native of Ohio, while the mother was born in Jefferson county, Iowa. Her father came to Jefferson county with his parents in the early days when Iowa was being rapidly populated by a steady flow of emigrants pouring in from states farther east. When he was old enough he engaged in farming for himself and operated his original land holdings until his death in 1888. His widow who still survives him lives at Fairfield, Iowa, and is fifty-four years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are the parents of four children: Marion B., seventeen years old; Sybil F., fifteen years old; Lazell M., eleven years of age; and Blanche A., aged eight. Mr. Brown is a member of the Baptists church in which he is an interested worker. In his politic sentiments he has usually given his support to the republicans. Although never eager to hold office he was elected to one term as a director of the local school district and he has also served as constable. As a man of earnest purposes and high moral ideals Mr. Brown has won the respect of all who know him.
FRANK E. BRUEY, one of the popular young farmers and stock-raisers of Cedar township, was born on the place where he now resides, on section 27, his natal day being August 21, 1885. His parents are Richard and Mary Catharine (Oriez) Bruey. The father, whose birth occurred in Belfort, France, on the 13th of March, 1843, devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career. In 1856 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, coming direct to Jefferson county, Iowa, and locating on section 27, Cedar township. It was at Fairfield, Iowa, that he wedded Miss Mary C. Oriez, a lady of French descent, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 13th of September, 1853, and was a daughter of Francis Oriez, whose widow now resides in Washington, Iowa. Following his marriage Richard Bruey purchased the farm on which our subject now makes his home, continuing its operation until the 1st of October, 1906, when he put aside the active work of the fields and took up his abode on South Third street in Fairfield, where he has since lived. The period of his residence in Jefferson county now covers fifty-five years and he enjoys an extensive and favorable acquaintance within its borders. Frank E. Bruey has one sister, Annie M., who has charge of the cloak department in a large store at Des Moines. Frank E. Bruey attended school in district No. 3, Center township, and remained under the parental roof until the time of his marriage. At the time of his father’s retirement he assumed charge of the home farm of one hundred and twenty acres and has since been actively engaged in its operation. He feeds all his grain to stock, of which he raises a good grade. On the 19th of December, 1906, Mr. Bruey was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Irene Crowner, who was born on a farm north of Fairfield and began her education in a district school there and also attended school at Birmingham, Iowa, and near Stockport. Her parents, William and Cora (McMullen) Crowner, are both of Irish descent. The father is a native of Jefferson county, Iowa, while the mother’s birth occurred in Pennsylvania. At the present time they are residing on a farm of eighty acres in section 17, Cedar township. Their children are five in number, as follows: Olive, the wife of Fred L. Keller, a farm of Cedar township; Mrs. Bruey; May, the wife of G. H. Atherton, a business man of Fairfield; John, an agriculturist of Cedar township; and June, who resides with her parents. Mr. Bruey is a republican in politics and is now serving his second term as township assessor in a township which is strongly democratic – a fact indicative of his popularity and the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. He is the first republican assessor ever chosen in Cedar township and was elected by a flattering majority. His aid and cooperation can be counted upon to further every movement calculated to benefit the community and he and his estimable wife are held in high regard by their many friends.
LOUIE BRUEY, who engages in general farming and stock-raising in Cedar township, was born in Boise City, Idaho, on the 22d of January, 1876, and is a son of Peter and Philomene (Maries) Bruey. The father was born in Belfort, France, on the 27th of March, 1835, and there he spent the first twenty-three years of his life. In 1858 he emigrated to the United States locating in Jefferson county on the farm where our subject is now living. He subsequently purchased eighty acres from his father, Pacific Bruey, who in turn bought it from Christopher Graber. Meeting with success in his agricultural pursuits, Peter Bruey was able to extend his holdings by the addition of another eighty acres, some of which he later sold, owning at the time of his death one hundred and forty acres of land. This land now belongs to his estate from whom it is rented by his son Louie. In the early ‘60s, Peter Bruey and his wife went west, locating in Utah, where he engaged in prospecting and gold mining until 1878, when he returned to his farm in this county, continuing to reside thereon until his death on October 5, 1905. The mother was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 28th of September, 1848, and passed away on their farm in Cedar township on the 21st of September, 1906. To Mr. and Mrs. Bruey were born five children: Anna, the widow of George E. Droz, of Fairfield, by whom she had three children: Ethel, Victor and Glen; Sylvia, the wife of Fred Raible, a cigar manufacturer of Fairfield; Louie, our subject; Peter, who is living with his sister in Fairfield; and Maggie, the wife of John Crawford, Jr., a farmer of Cedar township and the mother of one child, Lola Carmen.
As he was an only child of eighteen months when his parents brought him to Fairfield, Louie Bruey has spent practically his entire life in Jefferson county. His education was obtained in the school of district No. 3, Cedar township, which he attended until he had mastered the common branches. While pursuing his studies he was qualifying himself for an agricultural career under the supervision of his father, whom he assisted with the operation of the farm. When he attained the age of twenty years, his father retired from the active work of the fields and the cultivation of the home place thereafter devolved upon the son. He has always been an industrious and enterprising man, who has applied himself intelligently to anything he undertook. In connection with the tilling of his fields he raises and feeds stock for the market, which he disposes of at a considerable profit. The farm is well kept up, the buildings being thoroughly repaired and the fields in a high state of cultivation, everything about the place suggesting the thrift and capable management that accompanies prosperity.
On the 17th of April, 1907, Mr. Bruey established a home for himself by his marriage to Miss Marie Walmer, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Pattison) Walmer. The father, who was of Pennsylvania – Dutch extraction, was born in Wayne county, Ohio, whence he removed in 1848 to Jefferson county, Iowa. Here he was married in 1869 to Miss Elizabeth Pattison, who was born and reared in Cedar township, where her father, who was a native of Ireland, engaged in farming for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Walmer began their domestic life on a farm he had subsequently acquired two and a half miles south of Fairfield, and there she passed away during the childhood of Mrs. Marie (Pattison) Bruey. Farming always engaged the attention of the father, who at the time of his death owned one hundred and eighty-five acres of well improved land in Cedar township. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in Fairfield in 1863 in Company I, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry and gone to the front, where he remained for three months. Upon receiving his discharge he returned to his farm and there he passed away on the 15th of May, 1911. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Walmer numbered five, as follows: Etta, the wife of Joseph Farrell, a clerk in a department store in Birmingham, by whom she has had two children, Paul Dennis and Robert; Kate, who married David Collais, a farmer of Van Buren county by whom she has had one child, Mildred Louise; Mrs. Bruey; Anna, the wife of Clarence McElwain a ranchman of Montana, and the mother of two children, Alice Louise and Harry; and Lee, who is living on the old homestead near Fairfield. To Mr. and Mrs. Bruey there have been born two daughters: Beulah Bernice, who was born on the 25th of May, 1908; and Edna Marie, whose birth occurred on the 6th of August, 1911.
The political views
of Mr. Bruey accord with the principles of the democratic party, but
he does not conspicuously participate in governmental matters. He concentrates
his entire attention upon the development of his personal interests
in which he is meeting with a goodly measure of success, being known
as one of the capable and prosperous citizens of Cedar township.