Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 201-03.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  Herbert C. Gordon

Herbert C. Gordon, who since 1893 has been editor and proprietor of the Newell Mirror of Newell, Iowa, was born in Gilboa, Schoharie county, New York, July 26, 1858, and is a son of Seth Edward and Anna 9Freese) Gordon, who were likewise natives of New York. The former was a son of Elias Gordon, who was also born in the Empire state and was a farmer by occupation. He wedded Mary Jane Goodman, and they became the parents of twelve children. S. E. Gordon and wife died in Sac county at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather of Herbert C. Gordon was John Freese, a native of New York, who also made farming his life occupation, and died when well advanced in years. His wife bore the maiden name of Rhoda Rose and had also reached old age when she was called to her final rest. They too had a large family.

Seth E. Gordon engaged in tilling the soil in Schoharie county, New York, but at the outbreak of the Civil war he put aside all business and personal considerations and offered his services to the government. He was assigned to duty with the Seventy-seventy New York Heavy Artillery, and served for three years, being a non-commissioned officer. When the war was over he removed to Iowa, settling in Sac county in March, 1866. There he engaged in farming, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which he afterward added another quarter section. His home was about seven miles from Sac City, in Douglas township, and he continued to engage actively in farming until his life’s labors were ended in death in 1889, when he was fifty-five years of age. His wife died in 1901 at the age of sixty-six years. Both were members of the First Day Adventist church. Mr. Gordon held the office of supervisor in Sac county for many years and was an influential citizen of his community. Their family numbered three sons and two daughters: Francis Eugene, now living in Sac City; Herbert C.; Marion L., whose home is in Auburn, Illinois; Nellie J., the wife of Charles B. Hazard, of Marathon, Iowa; and Mary A., the deceased wife of George Gordon.

Herbert C. Gordon was a lad of eight years when he came to Iowa with his parents. He was reared upon the home farm in Sac county, and attended the district schools until the age of seventeen years, when he began teaching. He followed that profession until twenty-one years of age, when he began learning the printer’s trade in Sac City, and in 1889 came to Newell, where he entered the employ of J. C. Blair of the Newell Mirror, and also acted as assistant postmaster for four years, having charge of both the post office and the paper in the absence of Mr. Blair. After four years connection with the Mirror he purchased the plant in September, 1893, in partnership with J. P. Lawton, and they continued together for nine years, when in 1902 Mr. Gordon purchased his partner’s interest and has since been sole proprietor. The paper is republican in politics and the plant is an exceptionally good one for a town of this size, the office being equipped with power presses run by a gasoline engine. The Mirror is a bright, well edited paper, fair in its discussion of public questions and its growing circulation makes it an excellent advertising medium.

On the 29th of September, 1881, Mr. Gordon was married to Miss Eleanor L. Pierce, a daughter of Howard a. and Maudane L. (Knight) Pierce. Mrs. Gordon was born in Butte county, California. Her father was a native of Maine and lives at Bayou Lacomb, Louisiana, but his wife died a number of years ago. Their children were Thomas S., Edward D., Eleanor L., Marian N. Daisy and Bertha M.

Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have become the parents of four children: Grace M., Daisy A., Neva H., who are living; and one son who died in infancy. The eldest daughter is the wife of Earl C. King, of Newell; and Daisy a. married Clarence L. Barnard, of this city, by whom she has one son, Sumner Gordon Barnard. Mrs. Eleanor Gordon died in 1900 at the age of thirty-nine years. She was a member of the First Day Adventists church and was a most estimable lady, whose death was deeply regretted by many friends. On the 23d of September, 1901, Mr. Gordon was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Anna Cox, the wife of Percy P. Cox, and the daughter of Rosalba Thompson.

Mr. and Mrs. Gordon are members of the First Congregational church, and he is a valued representative of several fraternal organizations. He belongs to Royal Lodge, No. 428, F. & A. M., of which he is senior warden. He also belongs to Rex Lodge, No. 242, K. P., and Kismet Camp, No. 447, M. W. A., of which he has been consul for a number of years; and to Manila District of the Court of Honor, in which he is recorder.

His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party and he is now serving as township clerk. He has been chairman of the county central committee and is an active and earnest worker in behalf of party principles. His position on a matter of vital importance is never an equivocal one, and it is well known that his influence is always given on the side of progress, reform, development and municipal advancement.