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Posted By: Greta Thompson (email)
Date: 11/9/2008 at 00:44:17

DRING D. NEEDHAM is a native son of Iowa, graduated from law college just in time to join the First Officers Training School when American entered the World war, and since the close of the war has been steadily building up a reputation and a successful practice at Des Moines.

Mr. Needham was born on a farm in Butler County, Iowa, August 4, 1890, son of W. E. and Nancy (Graham) Needham. His father a native of Ontario, Canada, and his mother of Iowa. She is still living, a resident of Bristow, Butler County. W. E. Needham spent all his life as a farmer. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Christian Church, while his wife is a Methodist. They had a family of six children, and the three now living besides the Des Moines attorney are: Joseph E., a farmer at Bristow; Mabel M., wife of A. N. Morford, a farmer at Bristow; and Eunice I., wife of C. H. Bunker, a traveling salesman, with home at Waterloo, Iowa.

Dring D. Needham grew up on a farm, and took the A.B. degree from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, in 1914. This was followed by his law course at Harvard University and he graduated from there with a LL.B. degree in 1917.

He entered the First Officers Training School at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and subsequently attended the second camp and was commissioned a first lieutenant. He was in service under General Wood at Camp Funston, Kansas, until June 1, 1918, and was then assigned to the School of Fire at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, becoming an instructor and promoted to the rank of captain.

Captain Needham received his honorable discharge in December, 1918, and in June, 1919, was admitted to the Iowa bar and began practice at Des Moines. He is a member of the firm Brown, James & Needham, with offices in the Equitable Building. They handle a general law practice at Des Moines, with offices at Des Moines, Colfax and Stuart. Mr. Needham in 1927 was appointed assistant counsel for the Chicago Joint Stock Land Bank, and in 1928, general counsel for the Iowa Farm Credit Corporation.

He married, in 1920, Miss Ruth Cline, who was born in Greene County, Iowa, and was educated at Des Moines, attending Drake University. Her father, F. M. Cline, is a painting contractor at Des Moines. Mr. and Mrs.Needham have two children: Sarah Jane, born in 1922, and Ruth Mary, born in 1926. Mr. Needham and family are members of the Plymouth Congregational Church, and he is a deacon, and was formerly secretary of the Board of Trustees. He is a York Rite Mason, member of the Acacia College fraternity and a Republican in politics.

--Transcribed by Debbie Gerischer from
A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC. by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL.B., A.M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa. Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc., Chicago and New York 1931.


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