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. 245-46.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Guy E. Mack

It is a well known fact that the attorney has been a more prominent figure in political and public circles than any other man. The reason for this is not hard to find, for the habit of thorough examination into every question in order to get to the root of the matter qualifies him for the discharge of onerous public duties as well as the clear presentation of a case before the courts.  This power of analysis in public life assists him in understanding every situation and solving every problem that is presented to him in his official capacity.  Mr. Mack, therefore, is proving a capable officer as mayor of Newell, and at the same time is conducting a large business in the practice of law, his ability bringing to him an extensive clientage.


A native of Storm Lake, he was born February 28, 1880, and is therefore yet one of its young men. His parents were Edgar E. and Ellen B. (Ayres) Mack, natives of the state of Vermont.  The paternal grandfather, James M. Mack, was also born in the Green Mountain state and was of Scotch-Irish descent.  He followed the occupation of farming and about 1868 removed westward to Iowa, settling in Newell township, where he homesteaded a claim of one hundred and sixty acres.  It was entirely destitute of improvements when it came into his possession, but with characteristic energy he began its development and converted it into a good property.  His wife died at the age of sixty, while he survived to the advanced age of eighty-seven years.  Their family numbered six children: Frank P., Edgar E., Fred W., Julian, Wilmer and Elmore.


Of this family, Edgar E. Mack was reared to the occupation of farming and at an early period in the settlement of Iowa became a resident of Alden.  He afterward removed to Buena Vista county with his father during the latter '60s, and took up his abode in Newell, where he acted as a clerk in the store until 1874.  In that year he went to Sioux Rapids to resume the duties of clerk of the district court, and served for fourteen years in that capacity, his long incumbency in the office standing as an incontrovertible proof of his ability and fidelity.  About 1877 the courthouse at Sioux Rapids was destroyed by fire, and the county seat was removed to Storm Lake.  At that time Edgar E. Mack became a resident of that city, where he has since made his home and is now numbered among the prominent business men there.  He is engaged in the practice of law, in the land business, and is proprietor of the electric light plant at that place.  His enterprise and activity constitute him an important factor in the business development of the community.  He has also been one of its political leaders, having been elected to the state senate and by reelection was continued in that office for two terms, during which time he was connected with much constructive legislation and with important work done in the committee rooms.  He was also chairman of the republican state central committee in 1893, and has been one of the influential workers in party ranks. In 1906 lie was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 6th of February of that year, at the age of fifty-seven.  She was a member of the Congregational church, to which Mr. Mack also belongs.  Their family numbered three sons and three daughters:  Nellie E., the wife of J. H. Van Wagener, of Pierce, Nebraska; Grace E., of Storm Lake ; Guy E., of Newell, Iowa; Frank W., of Storm Lake; Burt M. and Beatrice J., also of Storm Lake.


In taking up the personal history of Guy E. Mack we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in this county.  He was reared in Storm Lake and attended its public schools until he was graduated from the high school with the class of 1898.  He afterward spent one year as a student in the Buena Vista College, at Storm Lake, and for two years was in the law, abstract and loan office of his father and James De Land, devoting his time to the mastery of the principles of jurisprudence.  He then became a law student in the Iowa State University, where he was graduated in 1903 and, following his admission to the bar in the same year, he located for practice in Newell in 1904.  Here he has continued to the present time and has secured a good clientage that has connected him with much important litigation tried in the courts of the district.  He is also his father's partner in the law practice in Storm Lake.


Reared in the faith of the republican party his maturer [sic] judgment sanctioned its principles and its policies, and since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Mack has voted for its candidates.  For four years he filled the office of town clerk ere his election to the position of mayor of Newell in the spring of 1908. He belongs to the Congregational church and is identified with several fraternal orders, including the Masonic lodge of Newell, Newell Lodge, No. 132, I. 0. 0. F., and the Modern Woodmen of America.  He is a progressive, public-spirited citizen and an able lawyer, who is making steady progress in his chosen profession, while the worth of' his public service is widely acknowledged.