IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1889 Bios Index




JOHN A. NASH, of the law firm of Nash, Phelps & Green, Audubon, Iowa, was born in Polk County, Iowa, in the city of Des Moines, May 9, 1854. He is the only son of a family of four children of Dr. J. A. and Mary (Hepburn) Nash. The boy hood of John A. Nash was spent in Des Moines, where he attended the public schools, after which he entered the University at Des Moines, from which he was graduated in 1870. Immediately after his graduation he entered the law office of Brown & Dudley, prominent attorneys of Des Moines, with whom he read law for two years; he then entered the law school of Simpson Centenary College, and afterward was examined and admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Iowa in 1870. He then went to Stuart, Iowa, where he was employed in the private office of C. S. Fogg for one year. In June, 1878, Mr. Nash came to Exira, at which place he built up a good law business; here he was employed by the Rock Island & Pa cific Railroad Company as their attorney to quiet the titles of lands then owned by the company in Shelby, Crawford and Audubon counties.Mr. Nash had formed a partner ship with Byron S. Phelps, which continued until 1882, when Mr. O. K. Holmes was taken into the firm, this partnership continuing for two years. In 1886 Mr. Green was taken into the firm. The business is conducted in the following way:Mr. Phelps makes all loans, Mr. Nash attends to the collections, realestate and insurance, and Mr. Green manages the law business of the firm. Mr. Nash was united in marriage with Miss Ger trude Russell, September 1, 1881; she is a daughter of George S. Russell, a prominent merchant of Audubon, and a native of Stoughton, Wisconsin.Mr. and Mrs. Nash are the parents of two daughters Beatrice and Gretchen. Mr. Nash is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Godfrey Commandery, No. 44; Audubon Lodge, No. 163, K. of P., and of the I. O. R. M. He is also a member of the school board.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pg. 792.

JOHN NASH, D. D., President of the University of Des Moines, an educator of much experience and wide reputation, is a native of Sherburne, Chenango County, New York. He was born July 11, 1816. When he was five years old his father died, and he was brought up by an aunt on a farm in Otsego County. At the age of twenty he entered the preparatory department of Madi son University, and graduated from that in stitution in 1842, and from the theological seminary atthe same place, in 1844. His first pastorate was at Watertown, New York, where he spent six years. January 3, 1851, he came to Des Moines, Iowa, where he has sincemade his home. Heimmediately gathered the Baptists together, organized a church, and was its pastor for eighteen years; he also taught a large portion of this time. About the year 1835 he started a select school, which grew into what was long known as the Forest Home Seminary. Des Moines being centrally located in the State, and some inducements being held out to the Baptists, it was resolved to establish an institution there for the higher order of education, and the University of Des Moines is the result of that movement; it was organized in April, 1865. Dr. Nash became its financial agent, and labored in this capacity, with some inter ruption, for four years, when his health broke down. This was not, however, until some time after the brick building on the hill in Des Moines had been completed, and the in stitution was in operation.During the periodthat Dr. Nash was regaining his health he was superintendent of the schools of Polk County, his term expiring January 1, 1874.Prior to this date, in the autumn of 1872, he became acting president of the University, and had been at its head three years, when Hon. Frederick Mott became president. After filling the position a little over a year he resigned, and Dr. Nash was again placed in the presidential chair in May, 1877.Since his residence in Des Moines Dr. Nash has accomplished a great religious work, having organized two Baptist churches on theeast side of the river, and being largely instrumental in the formation of nearly thirty other churches in central Iowa. Every good cause receives his hearty and powerful support. Dr. Nash has been twice married first in July, 1846, to Miss Jennie C. Calhoun, of Wellsford, Monroe County, New York; she died February 3, 1851, with out children. His second, marriage was March 15, 1853, to Miss Mary E. Hepburn, a native of New York, residing at the time of marriage at Augusta, Lee County, Iowa. They have four children -- John A., Jennie C., Nettie and Mattie.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pg. 790.

JOSEPH NEWELL, deceased, was a man whom Lincoln Township could not well afford to lose.He was a native of the Emerald Isle, born near the city of Belfast, in 1836. When a mere lad his parents, Will iam and Agnes Newell, emigrated from Ire land to America, settling in Canada, near Hamilton.There lie grew to manhood, re ceiving his education in the common schools, and being trained to the duties of a farmer. In 1872 he was married to Miss Isabella E. Tansley, a resident of his neighborhood. Soon after this union they removed to the United States and settled on a farm in Ben ton County, nearBlairstown, Iowa.Mr. Newell opened up a tract of 160 acres of wild land,erected necessary buildings, planted a grove, and put the farm in good shape. He made this his home until 1881, when he re moved to Audubon County, having sold out his possessions in Benton County.His first purchase in Audubon County was 320 acres, and later he bought 120 acres, which he afterward sold.It was new land, without improvements, but at the time of Mr. Newell's death, which occurred October 12, 1887, the farmhad been developed into one of the most desirable in the community. He was a good judge of livestock, and took an active interest in the improvement of the breeds. Mr. Newell left a wife and five children to mourn his death. The children are Samuel J., Josephine, Charles S., Thomas and Henry. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Newell has superintended the farm, and has been very successful in her management of the estate. Mrs. Newell was born in Canada, and is the oldest daughter of Samuel and Annie (Bousfield) Tansley, natives of Eng land. She was educated in her native country, and is a most thoroughgoing woman. For many years she has been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pg. 782.

WILLIAM J. NEWELL, an active and successful farmer of Lincoln Township, was born in Canada, near the city of Hamilton, May 13, 1863.He is the oldest son of six children of William P. and Sophia (Davidson) Newell. The father was born in Ireland in 1831, and the mother is a native of Canada, in which country she lived at the time of her marriage. They con tinued to reside in that country, William P. carrying on the shoemaker's trade for many years; he afterward engaged in farming, and in 1881 the family removed to the United States, and settled in Audubon County, Iowa, on a farm of 120 acres. William P. Newell was an enterprising and prosperous farmer up to the time of his death, which occurred February 12, 1889. His wife died April 23, 1889.They were the parents of nine chil dren, six of whomare living Louisa J., wife of John Shinners; Carrie A.. wife of L. M. Estes; William J., Edward S., Alice M. and Charles H. George, May, and one child unnamed died in infancy. William J. New ell, the subject of this notice, passed his youth in the country of his birth, where he received his education in the common schools. He removed with his parents to Iowa, and remained under the parental roof until he was twentytwo years old, when he began farming and stockraising on his own account. He was married in 1885 to Miss Jessie E. Somers, the third daughter of William L. and Isabelle Somers, of Vermont. One child, a son, has been born of this marriage; his name is George.Mr. Newell moved to his present farm in 1885; it contains eighty acres of good land, which has been placed under cultivation and improved by Mr. New ell. He has been very successful in raising and feeding stock, for the past three years shipping one carload of cattle annually be sides raising a large number of hogs. In polities he affiliates with the Republican party.<
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pg. 812.

Contributed by Marthann Kohl-Fuhs, April, 2005.

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