1889 Bios Index
1889 BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF
AUGUST OELKE, an intelligent; and modest farmer of Hamlin Township,
has been identified with the interests of Audubon County since 1886.
He was born in Clayton County, Iowa, and is the youngest son of William
and Elizabeth Oelke. The parents were born in Germany, and emigrated
to the United States in 1851, landing at the city of New Orleans.They
proceeded immediately to Clayton County, Iowa, and settled on a farm,
where the father lived until death, which occurred in August, 1888.His
wife, who survives him, makes her home among her children; she has
three sons and one daughter William H., Henry, Bertha, wife of Fred
Splies, and August, the subject of this biographical sketch. He ob
tained his education in the common schools of Clayton County and became
well ac quainted with the details and management of a farm, he spent
his leisure time in reading profitable books, and so acquired a fund
of useful knowledge.He remainedat home until he attained his majority,
when he took charge of his father's farm. In1881 he bought the place
of his father, and worked it very successfully until 1886, when he
sold it and came to Audubon County. He then bought 320 acres in Hamlin
Township, one and a half miles northwest of Exira. For many years
this farm was owned by Mr. Davis, and is one of the best farms in
the southern part of the county. It has a sub stantial residence,
an excellent barn, and many valuable improvements.North of the barn
is a beautiful native grove of timber, whichis not only valuable for
wood, but forms a fine windbreak during the cold winters so common
in this part of the State. No farm is better adapted by nature to
stock raising than Mr. Oelke's. He is an exten sive feeder, using
all the grain produced on his own farm, and buying thousands of bush
els of his neighbors.In 1874 Mr. Oelke was married to Emilie Kregel,
of Clayton County, Iowa, a daughter of William Kregel. Five children
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Oelke Bodo, Nora, Alma, George and
Clara. Mr. Oelke is an enterprising and public spirited citizen. Politically
he is a strong Democrat.
HON. JACOB A. OVERHOLTZER. Among the farmers of Viola Township who
have contributed to its wealth and influence, we mention Jacob A.
Overholtzer. He is the fifth child of Jacob and Catherine (Anglemire)
Overholtzer, and was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near
Lan caster City, February 13, 1841. Jacob Over holtzer, the father
of our subject, was a Penn sylvania farmer of prominence, and his
father JacobOverholtzer, was from Germany. Jacob Overholtzer, the
father of Jacob A., removed with his family from Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, to Ogle County, Illi nois, in which place he made his
home until his death, which occurred in 1866; his wife died March
20, 1875. Jacob A. received a good commonschool education. He re mained
with his parents until his twentieth year, when there was a call for
men to defend the flag of this nation.He enlisted in the Seventh Illinois
Cavalry, Company B, and was assigned to the western army, serving
three years and four months.He took part in the following skirmishes
and engagements: Second battle of Corinth, siege of Corinth, battle
of Inka, Island No. 10, Fort Macleid, Coffeeville, battle of WestPoint,
Missis sippi, Colliersville and Bolliver, and took part in the Greason
raid, which started from La Grange, Tennessee, andended at Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, known as the first raid of thewesternarmy. In the last
he was wounded in the foot and disabled for three months. He was sent
to Memphis, Ten nessee, spending six months there, and was mustered
out of the service at Springfield, Illinois, in November, 1864. He
then re turned to Ogle County, Illinois, and engaged in the more peaceful
pursuit of farming. In June,1879, Mr.Overholtzer removed his family
to Audubon County, Iowa, locating upon his present farm in Viola Township.
He first purchased 160 acres, on which he built a comfortable residence
and other neces sary buildings.He has added to the farm at different
times until his estate covers 680 acres. The home farmis watered by
the Nishnabotna River, and all the land is in a high state of cultivation.Mr.
Overholtzer devotes special attention to the raising and feeding of
livestock, shipping from one to five carloads annually. September
6, 1868, he was married to Clarissa F. Ferrin, of Car roll County,
Illinois, the third daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Pieston) Ferrin.
Six children have been born to Mr. andMrs. Overholtzer Alice L., formerly
a student at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, now a teacher in
Stuart schools; Oscar L., a student at Drake University, Des Moines;
Katie M., Merritt P., Ralph F. and Lavisa. In 1883 Mr. Overholtzer
was elected a member of the General Assembly of the State of Iowa,
and in 1885 he was reelected, both times on the Republicanticket.
He acquitted himself with credit, taking an active part in advocat
ing and passing some important bills, among which was the bill appropriating
money and locating the Soldiers' Home at Marshalltown, Iowa.In the
last session he assisted in the introduction and passage of bills
providing for the election of the railroad commission ers by the people,
and the public distribution of schoolbooks in the several counties.
Mr. Overholtzer is anactive member of the Methodist Episcopal church,
and is a mem ber of Allison Post, No. 34, G. A. R. In the fall of
1888 he was elected president of the Audubon County Agricultural Society.
He is a publicspirited man, ready and will ing to assist in any enterprise
that will be of advantage to the community.
BYRON S. PHELPS, of the firm of Nash, Phelps & Green, attorneys
at law, Au dubon, Iowa, is a native of the State of Vermont. He was
born in Milton, Chitten den County, in November, 1854, and is the
ninth of eleven children, eight of whom survive. William E. Phelps,
the father of Byron S. Phelps, is a native of Vermont, and was a farmer
by occupation; he is now retired, living in Milton, in his eightyfourth
year; the mother, Ursula Phelps, is also still living. Byron S. Phelps
passed his early boyhood in Milton where he received his first lessons
in the common schools;he then entered the Underhill Academy, and afterward
went to Plattsburg, New York, at which place he spent one year in
school.In 1873 he came to Atlantic, Iowa, and entered the law office
of his brother, with whomhe read law for three years. He was admitted
to the bar of the circuit court, Judge Stockton presiding. in 1877
he removed to Stuart, Iowa, and started what was called the Stuart
Bank in company with E. 0. Chapman; he continued the banking business
until the fall of 1878, when he sold his interest in the bank. In
June, 1878, he wentto Exira, and on the starting of the town of Audubon
came to that place; having formed a partnership at Exira with John
A. Nash, both gentlemen removed to Audubon, where they have done a
large and prosperous business in law, real estate, loans and insurance.In
1886 Mr. Green was taken into the firm, thus making up the firm of
Nash, Phelps & Green.Mr. Phelps was married June 9, 1886, to Miss
Sallie Forbes, a daughter of James Forbes, a promi nent merchant of
Audubon. Mrs. Phelps was born in North Carolina, and was brought to
her western home when a little girl. They have one child -- Lucia, born
February 22, 1889. Mr. Phelps ownstwo good farms, which he rents.
He started out for himself with limited means, but by industry and
hard work he has accumulated a considerable property.He owns a business
house, and his residence, which stands upon a high spot commanding
a fine view of the town.
WILLIAM M. POULSON, farmer and dealer in farming implements, is the
present proprietor of the Grant House, Audubon, Iowa. He is a native
of the State of Iowa, born in Jasper County, near the noted springs
of Colfax, April 13, 1852. His parents are J. C. and Mahala (Spray)
Poul son, natives of Maryland and Ohio respect ively. The father was
born July 20, 1820, and is of German ancestry. He is a farmer by occupation,
and now resides on the farm on which he settled in Jasper County in
1851. The mother died April 5, 1886.William M. Poulson was reared
to the life of a farmer, and received his education in the common
schools. He remained with his parents until his majority, when he
was married to Maggie McCuen, of Jasper County, Iowa, a daugh ter
of George A. McCuen.She was born in Ohio, and came to Iowa with her
parents when a little girl. After his marriage Mr. Poulson settled
in Jasper County, and fol lowed farming until the spring of 1878,
when he removed to Audubon County, settling on a farm in Lincoln Township.There
were 160 acres, not a furrow of which bad been turned at that time.
He built a house and broke out the farm which is now under good cultivation,
he continued to farmuntil 1887, when he rented the place and removed
to the town of Audubon, and rented the Grant House, which he is still
managing. It is a good $1 per day house, with comfortable sleeping-rooms,
and a homelike air in all departments. In the spring of 1889 Mr. Poulson
opened a stock of agricultural imple ments and buggies in Audubon.
He carries the celebrated Champion mower and binder, one of the best
in the market. Mr. and Mrs. Poulson are the parents of two children -- Charles J. and India B. Mr. Poulson is a staunch Republican. He has
represented his township as trustee.He began his career as a farmer
on his own account, and at the bot tom of the ladder. He has met with
success in all his efforts, and by industry and energy has acquired
a good property.
DARIUS W. POWERS was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in the city of
Cincinnati, September 23, 1847.He is the son of Cyrus and Mary H.
(Wallace) Powers, natives of the State of Vermont. Cyrus Powers emigrated
to the State of Ohio at an early day, and was a contractor in Cin
cinnati for many years, building a number of the finer old residences.
In1856 he re moved to La Salle County, Illinois, and set tled on a
farm, spending the remainder of his days there. He died in October,
1871. His wife survived him until 1884.Darius W., the subject of this
biography, passed his boy hood on a farm in La Salle County, Illinois,
and attended the district school. At the age of twentyone years he
began teaching school, and continued this occupation three years.
In 1874 he came to Oakfield, and in the fol lowing spring he embarked
in the mercantile business, being associated with Isaac P. Hal lock
and I. H. Jenkins, under the firm name of Hallock, Jenkins & Powers.At
the ex piration of three years Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Powers sold their
interest to Mr. Hallock. Mr. Powers then engaged in the grain, lum
ber and coal business, selling the grain interest in 1885, and disposing
of the coal and lumber business in 1888, to the Green Bay Lumber Company.
In the fall of 1888 he again be gan handling grain. Mr. Powers was
married in October, 1869, to Miss Eliza M., daughter of Thomas and
Mary E. (Hallock) Dissmore, of La Salle County, Illinois. They are
the parents of four children Maie, George D., Marie and Richard W.
Mr. Powers has held the office of justice of the peace for three terms,
notary public for thirteen years, a member of the school board, and
treasurer of the township.He is a staunch supporter of the Republican
party.Mr. Powers owns a farm of 400 acres, which is well stocked,
especially with cattle and horses.
Contributed by Marthann Kohl-Fuhs, April, 2005.
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