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Schooley, William H.


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 6/13/2021 at 17:38:16

born Dec 18, 1840, Ohio

History of Warren County, Iowa; Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns & Etc., by Union Historical Company, 1879, p.604
SCHOOLEY, WILLIAM H., Indianola, attorney; was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1840; was raised in Salem, Ohio, and was engaged more or less in teaching until twenty-four years of age; he came to this county in 1864; he chose the law as a profession, and was admitted to the bar before Judge Maxwell, in 1869, and has practiced his profession successfully since that time, excepting two years as a journalist; he married Miss Lydia Gochnaur, in 1861; she was born in Columbiana county, Ohio; their family consists of five children: Lillie, Minnie, Frank, Maggie and Emma; Mrs. Schooley has a photograph gallery, and her skill as an artist cannot fail in being as satisfactory to herself as it is creditable to the city.

William H. Schooley, editor and proprietor of the Advocate Tribune, at Indianola, was born near Salem Columbiana county, Ohio, December 18, 1840. Mr. Schooley’s first American ancestors came from Scotland early in the seventeenth century, settling at a place ever since known as Schooley mountain, in New Jersey, whence later some of the family moved into Virginia. About the middle the last century John Schooley and his wife, Mary, residents of Virginia, were the parents of Elisha, Reuben, William, and Sarah. The first mentioned of these was born April 23, 1756, married Rachel Holmes, who was born April 17, 1759, the daughter of William and Mary Holmes, and had the following children: John, born October 10, 1780; Mary, April 5, 1782; Sarah, October 8, 1784; Deborah, August 29, 1787; Israel, January 16, 1790; William, September 5, 1792; Rachel, July 7, 1794; and Elizabeth, September 7, 1796. Reuben Schooley lived, married, and died in Virginia. His children were Henry, Richard, and James. Richard’s children were William, Amos, Ann; and James’ children were Clinton, Rachel, and Hannah. John Schooley, mentioned above as having been born October 10, 1780, married Phoabe Beeson, lived at Salem, Ohio, and their children were Anna, Reuben, Henry, and Elisha. Of these, Reuben, who was born in 1807, married Hannah McClun, daughter of Nathan and Martha McClun, and born April 9, 1815, and had the following children: Ellen, born June 2, 1837, and died February 11, 1857; Rache,l born April 26, 1839; William H., (our subject), December 8, 1840; Frank, October 22, 1854, died August 17, 1855; and Laura A., born October 23, 1856. Mr Reuben Schooley was a physician, and the son (our subject), was his constant assistant when not at school. The ancestors in the paternal line were Quakers. A grandfather was at one time a peace commissioner to the Indians. The grandparents on the mother's side were Irish.
Mr. Schooley, whose name introduces this sketch, married Lydia A. Gochnaur, December 18, 1861. She was born October 5, 1839, at Columbiana, Ohio, a daughter of Elkanah and Elizabeth Gochnaur, both of whom were of German parents. Mr. Schooley's children are: Leila May, born June 16, 1863; Mignionette, August 21, 1864; Frank H., January 20, 1866; Magnolia, November 28, 1867; Charles M., May 27, 1869 and died August 25, 1879; and Emma V., born September 8, 1886. Rachel, sister of our subject, married R. P. Harris in February, 1866. Their children are: Mary Edna, born November 25, 1866, and Albertus, born February 11, 1868, and died November 23, 1868. Laura A., his only other living sister, married Will Ranger, December 25, 1884, and their children: Edith, was born August 15, 1886; and Edwin, born January 16, 1890. Leila May, daughter of Mr. Schooley, on September 28, 1882, was married to John T. McNaught, and their children are: Walter, born August 28, 1883; Bernice, February 22, 1885; Evangeline, June 18, 1887, and died March 23, 1895; and Minnie, born April 5 1891. His son, Frank H., on January 16, 1890, married Clara Brewster. Their children are: Charles H., born October 23, 1890; Lillian Bell, August 10, 1892; and Mildred May, April 30, 1894. His daughter, Magnolia, on December 24, 1891, was married to Ora S. Hodge. Mrs. Hodge inherits her father's love of travel and has had some unusual experience. She accompanied Lieutenant Peary on his recent Arctic expedition, penetrating the frozen zone farther than was ever done any other white woman excepting Mrs. Peary and the cook, who were with this expedition. The subject of this sketch received all his education at the public schools of Salem, Ohio, his native town, missing but one term after was four years old until he was nineteen; and during the last seven or eight years of this time these schools were giving a very full and thorough course of higher education under such instructors as Mr. Holbrook (later head of State Normal School), T. E. Suliot, Reuben McMillan, etc. Mr. Schooley's studies embraced, besides the common branches, higher mathematics, chemistry, philosophy, physiology, ancient history, Latin, German, French, etc. For the last three years he at the head of the school in scholarship. Just before he was nineteen years of age his father died and many urged our subject to take up his father's profession, but, although he was considerably well versed in it, the practice of medicine seemed distasteful to him; and, as his mother had been reared upon farm and had always entertained a desire return to farm life, he willingly yielded to her wishes and moved with her to a small which she had purchased near Salem, in spring of 1860 where they lived till the of 1864, when they moved to Belmont township, in Warren county, Iowa, locating upon quarter section of land for which he had exchanged other property some time previously. This wild land he proceeded to improve. Farm life, however, did not fill the highest ambitions of Mr. Schooley, and he began studying law. In the fall of 1869 he moved to Indianola, and was this same fall admitted to the bar, at Des Moines District Court. In starting out in the practice of his profession he had a fair degree of success in securing clients and in practicing law. But in 1871 he became involved in a “red hot” political fight within the Republican party, alleging that the county treasurer was a heavy defaulter, and by a fortuitous course of incidents he was driven into journalism. Accordingly, late in 1871, he purchased an interest in the Indianola Journal (now Herald), in partnership with Parson Brady. Soon the latter retired and later Rev. A. J. Graham became a joint owner with him. The fight within the party, meanwhile, continued and grew more bitter. The Journal declared in 1873 it would not support the “ring” candidates if they were nominated. They were nominated, and Mr. Schooley proposed to bolt, but Mr. Graham refused; and this resulted in Mr. Schooley's withdrawal from the paper. He canvassed the county for some weeks prior to the election, and, whereas the county had ever been before overwhelmingly Republican, the ticket at this election, was defeated by majorities ranging from about fifty to about nine hundred. Mr. Schooley was evidently the leader in this reform.
He gradually drifted into the Democratic party as the Republican party gradually drifted from the tariff principles of Garfield, Allison, etc., as proclaimed by them prior to 1872. Through his efforts an examination of the treasurer's books was forced, and he indeed was proved a defaulter to the extent of over $34,000. The fight growing out of the attack upon the office extended through county politics for years afterward. When he retired from the Journal Mr. Schooley resumed the practice of law, but continued a frequent contributor to the press. Not long after this, at the close of a hotly contested suit, he had a fistic encounter with one who for many years the bully of the Warren county bar; and the result was quite disastrous to the “bully,” and gave Mr. Schooley some reputation as a fighter, - a reputation that has been kept “green” by a few subsequent bouts till it has become fixed. In 1883 Mr. Schooley purchased a half interest, with Frank Taylor, in the Advocate-Tribune (Democratic), of Indianola, and immediately assumed editorial control. Two years later his son, Frank, took Mr. Taylor's place as the partner, and this is the present status. Mr. Schooley is a fearless writer, witty, thorough and versatile. He can write either in classical style or in the patois of his and other localities with equal facility, and seems to be just the man for the place he occupied, as his influence doubtless holds many easy-going and reckless persons to the path rectitude. In journalism he has always been rather a “free-lance,” as we might say he also been in politics and religion; that is, he is an independent thinker and fearless in the exposure of iniquity. At the beginning of the last war he volunteered his services for the Union, but he rejected on account of a crippled knee; he served, however, with the “Squirrel Hunters” in the Morgan raid through Ohio, and was the cavalry under General Shackelford at capture of Morgan. In the early ‘80s [1880s],he served two terms as Mayor of Indianola, his second election being almost unanimous. His executive ability, bravery, etc., as already illustrated in this sketch, were just the elements required in a good mayor, and he acquitted himself extraordinarily well in the performance of the duties of that office. He has traveled extensively throughout the West and South, whence his editorial correspondence was spicy and instructive. Although brought up under Quaker influence he connected himself with the United Presbyterian Church in 1868, since which time he has continued a member. He first suggested and became the principal promoter of the splendid United Presbyterian church edifice in Indianola, was the committee (of one) on the plans at the start and furnished the present plan, in the rough, for the architects and the seating was the result of his determined efforts. He also did the first work toward starting the Indianola public library, solicited subscriptions for the first $100 to purchase the first lot of books, furnished the library a room free of charge and took care of it free for a few years - until it was placed on a more independent footing. He is now chairman of the board of trustees of this library, and has had that position ever since the first organization under the present law. He is an admirer of good horses, and usually has some good steppers. Sometimes he has driven his own horse in races at county fairs. He takes much pleasure in driving on the road mornings and evenings, on which trips his wife usually accompanies him. In her girlhood she was an expert rider. In horseback riding Mr. Schooley is also an expert, and it is a pretty bad horse that he can t mount with a single spring from the level ground and ride securely. He is a man of average height and weight, and is “withy: in his constitution, physically as well as mentally. He used to run foot-races, box a little, and was an all-round athlete. Socially he is an excellent companion and a good story teller. He has been a life-long abstainer from all kinds of intoxicants and tobacco, and seldom drinks either tea or coffee. Source: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1896, vol.1, p.1085

History of Warren County, Iowa from Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, by Rev. W. C. Martin, Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1908, p.772
William H. Schooley figured for many years as one of the prominent and influential residents of Indianola and Warren County. In his attitude every­where was manifested the true spirit of altruism; and although aggressive in every sense of the word, he always avoided even the semblance of that popular tendency so detrimental to the common welfare of humanity, namely, the sacrifice of friendship or principle for the promulgation of selfish interests. He was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1840, a son of Reuben and Hannah (McClum) Schooley, both of whom were natives of the same county and belonged to old families of the Society of Friends, the father being of Scotch and German descent, while the mother was of Irish extraction. Reuben Schooley was an old-line Whig until the dissolution of the party, when he joined the ranks of the recently organized Republican Party.
His son, William H. Schooley, was the third in order of birth in a family of five children. In his boyhood he attended public and private schools and in early manhood successfully engaged in teaching but regarded this merely as an initial step to other professional labor. It was his desire to become a mem­ber of the bar and to this end he took up the study of law and in due course of time was admitted to the bar. He then located for practice in Indianola and won recognition as an able lawyer. He came to Iowa in 1864, at which time he took up his abode on a farm in Belmont Township, there living for three years. On the expiration of that period he became a resident of the county seat and pursued his law reading under the direction of Harry McNeil. After successfully passing the required examinations that made him a member of the Iowa bar he continued in active practice for twenty years, on the expira­tion of which period he turned his attention to newspaper publication as editor of the Journal, a Republican paper, with which he was connected for five years. On the expiration of that period he resumed the practice of law but in 1882 again entered the journalistic field as editor of the Advocate Tribune and so continued until 1902, or for a period of twenty years. He then sold out to the present editor, Clint L. Price, and retired to private life, enjoy­ing throughout his remaining days a well earned ease.
He was a successful man in his undertakings and was a gentleman of broad scholarly attainments and general information. While in newspaper work he kept in touch with all topics of general interest and was abreast with the best thinking men of the age in his research and investigations. In the practice of law he displayed an analytical mind and keen discernment that enabled him to readily under­stand the salient features of a case and to prepare for the defense as well as for the attack. At one time. he was the owner of a piece of lumber land in Otter Township, which is now known as Schooley's Park.
In 1861 Mr. Schooley was married to Miss Lydia A. Gochnaur, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1839, and was a daughter of Elkeny and Elizabeth (Crumbacker) Gochnaur, the former of German descent and the latter of English and German ancestry. Her father was an architect and died in Ohio, after which his widow came to Iowa in 1867 and passed away in Winterset. They had two children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schooley were born six children: Leila May, the wife of John T. McNaught, a blacksmith of Indianola; Mignonette, who became the wife of Charles N. Hurd, a mechanical engineer of California; Frank H., who is editor of a newspaper in Canada; Magnolia, the wife of Edward McCleary, a mechanical engineer and electrician of California; Charles M., deceased; and Emma V., a trained nurse residing at home.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Schooley were members of the United Presbyterian Church, were interested in its development and in all that pertained to the moral progress of the community. In politics Mr. Schooley took an active interest and was originally a stalwart Republican but afterward became a Democrat and an enthusiastic supporter of William Jennings Bryan. He was an orator of considerable ability, who was frequently called upon to address the public on political and other questions and he was also a fluent, forceful writer. Both as aprivate citizen and through the columns of his paper he was closely associated with the upbuilding and progress of Indianola in many ways. He served as mayor of the city for three terms, being first chosen to office in 1881, and then after a lapse of years was again elected in 1901. His administration was characterized by a businesslike dispatch in the duties of the office, by a thorough understanding of the needs of the city and by practical efforts to secure those interests and measures which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. During his first administration the fire department was organized and he became one of its charter members, continuing his connection therewith throughout the remainder of his life. The department specially decorated his grave. He was one of the chief promoters of the city library and was chairman of the board of control. He was a man of action rather than theory and while others planned he performed. He was never hasty in his judgments but his well defined plans were carried forward with determination to a successful issue. His life was one of continuous activity, of unmistakable honor and of stalwart purpose, and when, in 1906, he passed away the news of his death brought a feeling of the deepest regret and sincere sorrow to those who knew him.


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