More Carroll County
These biographies are from an
The efforts of the transcriber and generosity of
the submitted are greatly appreciated!
Herman Grau J. A. Lewis William Metzger
Lewis & Grau
Among the most popular and enterprising business men of
Manning is the firm of Lewis & Grau dealers in drugs, jewelry, wall paper
and paint. Their establishment is not only a credit to Manning but it can
truthfully be said that there is not within a radius of one hundred miles a
more complete store. The people of this trade territory have ever found Lewis & Grau ready to do business on purely business principals no sensational or
catchpenny dodges having ever been resorted to to obtain patronage. Both
members of the firm are young in years and their career as business men and
citizens has surrounded them by a host of friends and acquaintances.
J. A. Lewis the senior member of the firm was born at Waukesha, Wis., in 1867.
In 1889, in company with P. B. Stouffer by whom he had been employed for three
years previous he engaged in the drug business at Manning.
He is president of the State Bank of Manning,
and is a member of
the Masonic order No 450 AF & Am.
In 1892 Mr. Stauffer sold his interest in the store to Herman
Grau who since then has done his share in making the firm's business a success.
He was born in Clinton county, this state, twenty-four years ago. At the age of
two years his parents came to Carroll county where the family has ever since
lived. This firm also owns a drug and jewelry store at Templeton,
Iowa, that is a prosperous business enterprise.
Mr. William Metzger who is half owner of the
jewelry stock of
Lewis & Grau and takes care of this part of the business is a native of Austria.
He was bon in 1865 and came to America in 1882. He spent the first ten
years of his life in this country at Omaha, NE, and in 1892 removed to Manning.
After working at his trade for three years he went into business with Louis & Grau.
A business enterprise of Carroll of which every citizen is
proud and which is indeed a credit to the city is the Letts-Fletcher Co.
wholesale grocery house. The main house of this company is at
Marshalltown. In 1882 the firm of Lacey, Letts & Gray established a small
wholesale establishment in Marshalltown, Iowa. The house continued to
grow and prosper and in 1886 the prospects for future success were so much
better that more capital was added by the organization of a company.
The name of the institution was changed to the Letts-Fletcher Co., with F. C.
Letts as president. H. G. Spencer vice-president and A. P. Spencer ,
secretary. Fortune smiled upon the new enterprise and by two years from
the time of forming the company, it was found necessary to add more room to take
care of their trade and a large four-story building with basement was erected.
At this time the management conceived the plan of establishing branch houses at
some of the points through the western part of the state. Carroll was
chosen. When first established it was expected that this would be merely a
distributing point, but it soon developed that this was destined to be a very
important part of their business and the first year the business was more than
doubled that expected by the management. Since then its sales have
continued to grow.
The present Manager is Mr. J. C. Letts, a brother of the
president of the company. Under his management the house has rapidly
gained in business and favor. Its trade is rapidly growing and becoming
extended over wider territory.
Mr. J. C. Letts Never allows an opportunity to skip wherein
the house can gain a business advantage. He is careful, and methodical and the present prosperous condition of the business is greatly due to his
In 1895 another branch house was established at Mason City
which is proving to be a very well paying enterprise.
J. P. LAUGHLIN
Mr. J. P. Laughlin the present Auditor of Carroll County, is
probably one of youngest county officials in the state. He was born in Lee
County, Illinois in 1870. In 1876 his parents moved to Carroll county and it has
been our subjects home since that time. He received a good public school
education and early showed that he possessed qualities that would make him
capable of filling almost any position requiring orderly methods and trust. He
served as Deputy Auditor during 1893-94 under W. P. Hombach and gave splendid
satisfaction. In 1896 he received the nomination for county auditor on the
democratic ticket and defeated his opponent in a good sound majority. Since
taking charge of the office he has given universal satisfaction and even his
opponents politically, say he is making one of the best auditors the county ever
had. Mr. Laughlin was married April 26th to Miss Katie Holland and is now a
widower, his wife having died.
This sketch transcribed by: Sandra Carter IAGENWEB volunteer
W. R. Lee
Mr. W. R. Lee who holds the position of one of the most
successful young attorneys of Carroll county was born in Dallas county, Iowa Nov
11, 1860. His father's name was R. M. Lee and his mother's maiden name
Juliona Powell. Both were natives of Indiana but came to Iowa in an early
day. Mr. W. R. Lee was reared on a farm in Dallas county and after getting
the education possible in a country school he attended Cornell College at Mr.
Vernon and graduated there with the class of '83. He then entered the law
office of Judge Howett of Clinton, Iowa and studied law and was admitted to the
bar in 1884. He remained with him until 1888 and then went to Sioux City
where he remained a year and then returned to DeWitt. In 1891 he came to
Carroll and opened an office and has rapidly acquired a large practice and wide
reputation in his profession. In 1894 he formed a partnership with Mr. F.
A. Robb of whom we publish a sketch on this page and opened an office at Manning
We are pleased to publish herewith a portrait of one of the most
highly esteemed residents of Carroll. He came here in 1869 first embarking
in the drug business for ten consecutive years. Upon retiring in 1885 he
engaged in the Abstract Business of which he made a success. He served as
a private in the late war.
He is now serving as Justice of the Peace which office he has
filled for a number of years.
In affairs of public importance he takes an active interest and
is considered one of the most progressing and enterprising citizens of Carroll.
As a public office he always did his duty and was a very popular
officer. His strict attention in the wants of the public and through
knowledge of the duties of the office made many warm friends. As a justice
he has won the distinction of being just and well versed in the law.
Mrs. H. T. Drake Mrs. O. M. Moore
Mrs. W. R. Lee Mrs. W. A. McLagan
Ladies Musical Club
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