Buena Vista County, IA
IAGenWeb 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. 444-49.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Issi Otto Pond, M. D.

Dr. Issi Otto Pond, successfully engaged in the practice of medicine at Sioux Rapids with a large and constantly increasing patronage, is numbered among the native sons of Iowa and is imbued with the spirit of enterprise and progress which has been the dominant feature in the rapid upbuilding of the middle west.  He was born in Gladbrook, Iowa, July 25, 1873, and is the son of W. O. and Florence (Deffer) Pond.  The old family homestead is still standing just a few miles from Cleveland, Ohio.  The paternal grandfather, David Pond, was a native of Syracuse, New York.  He married Isabelle Norton, a daughter of Samuel Norton, a representative of one of the old colonial families of America.  The Nortons are of Welsh descent, tracing their ancestry back to three brothers who sailed from Wales to the new world and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 21, 1620.  The name of the oldest brother was Samuel, but the names of the other two are unknown.  Mrs. Issi Norton Pond was descended from this Samuel Norton who named his oldest son Samuel, and the name was thus continued down through different generations.  Her grandfather was a captain of the Revolutionary war and lost his life at the time of the capture of Burgoyne at Saratoga Springs.  In Connecticut he married Patience Griswold and afterward removed to Saratoga Springs, New York, where, with the help of his son, Samuel Norton, he built the first house at that place.  He had but the one son although there were six daughters in the family.  After the outbreak of the war for independence he joined the army; and laid down his life on the altar of liberty when about fifty years of age.  One of his daughters, Chloe, became the wife of a Mr. Butler, and lived at Cherry Valley, New York.  She was the mother of General Benjamin F. Butler, a distinguished soldier and statesman.  Charles Butler, another son, had three children who were killed by Indians while at the home of a neighbor, Mrs. Snow, who was ill in bed.  Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Patterson were with her and had their small children with them.  Mr. Snow, his two daughters, Laura and Electa, Mr. Butler and Mr. Patterson were working in the cornfield.  The girls were sent to the house for water and when returning to the field were captured by some Indians.  Mrs. Snow was dragged out of bed into the yard and murdered and this .so frightened Mrs. Butler that she became crazed and did not secrete her children so that the Indians took three of them and dashed their brains out against a tree.  The two captive girls were taken to Malden but were afterward redeemed.  Mrs. Patterson with her two children and Mrs. Butler were also taken prisoners but soon they were redeemed.  Two of the Indians together with an Indian boy afterward killed a white boy about fourteen years of age who had been trapping for furs. The Indians were then arrested and the two red men were hung.  The Indian boy turned state's evidence and was cleared because of the fact that he had been forced to take part in the sanguinary deed.  When the two men were to be hung they were asked if they had anything to say. One remained sullen but the other said "yes," called for Alanson Snow to whom he said "I helped murder your mother, now I must die." Will you forgive me?" But Snow replied, "I will never forgive an Indian."


The father of Jonathan Norton was married to Mary Dean and they had one child.  He was a resident of Saratoga Springs, New York, at the time of the Revolutionary war when Burgoyne's army was encamped within eight miles of that place and they could hear the cannon and smaller arms in the battle.  Mr. Norton then took his mother, his wife and child, his cattle and the goods he could haul, and started for Connecticut, a distance of one hundred miles, expecting to meet Hessians or Indians at any moment.  He traveled under some difficulty but at length managed to reach a party also en route for Connecticut.  He remained in that state until the British army evacuated the country, when he returned to Saratoga Springs.


Samuel Norton, son of Samuel Norton, Sr., was born in 1725 and married Patience Griswold.  His death occurred at Saratoga, New York, in 1777.  His son Samuel, born October 15, 1748, wedded Mary Dean and died February 30 [sic], 1822.  Jonathan Norton was the father of Mrs. Pond and great-grandfather of Dr. Pond.


W. O. Pond, father of Dr. Pond, was born in Ohio July 23, 1841, and in 1869 became a resident of Tama county, Iowa.  He was a graduate of Lincoln University and after completing his studies went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was employed for some time as a bookkeeper, but becoming dissatisfied with that position and looking for something better he started on foot for St. Louis, walking the entire distance and selling articles of clothing en route in order to pay his expenses.  He did not find it easy to secure employment in that city but after some time entered the services of a shipbuilder with whom he remained for three years.  During that time he saved his earnings and to invest his capital came to Tama county and bought land, turning his attention to farming.  After following that occupation for a few years he took up contract work and was very successful, his prosperity enabling him to accumulate much property.  He is now living in a beautiful residence on the old homestead, the house being surrounded by a well kept lawn, adorned with fine trees, shrubs and flowers.  Very substantial buildings also add to the convenience and attractive appearance of the place.  For nearly two decades Mr. Pond has been retired, enjoying well earned rest.  He is deeply interested in matters of general moment and is a cooperant [sic] in many projects for the public good.  Also interested in education he has given his children good opportunities in that direction and has thus assisted them in qualifying for the responsible duties of life.


Mr. Pond was married June 23, 1872, to Miss Florence E. Deffer, who was born at Harper's Ferry, Maryland, November 11, 1852, and died at their home in Gladbrook, Iowa, September 14. 1908.  Her childhood days were spent amid the stirring scenes of the war of the Rebellion, her home being situated between the camps of the armies of the north and south.  At the battle of Antietam it was used as a mutual hospital.  She witnessed the exciting events of John Brown's raid, his capture and execution at Harper's Ferry, which did so much to precipitate the war, and she often described these various scenes to her children.  Her parents lived in Virginia during the war until the way was opened for them to go to Ohio, where they lived a short time, and then emigrated to Iowa.  Mrs. Pond's married life was spent in loving sacrifice to her children and in doing good to others.  Even during her last illness, which covered a period of a year, she did not think of her own suffering, but constantly of the care entailed upon those about her.


Dr. Pond is the eldest of three children.  His brother, Aubrey Burdette, resides at Gladbrook, while the sister, Olive, is the wife of William E. Silver, of Gladbrook, and the mother of two children, Ruth and Grant Mason Silver.


In taking up the personal history of Dr. Pond we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in this part of Iowa.  When sixteen years of age he left school ten weeks before his class was graduated from the high school of Gladbrook and later gave his attention to the work of the farm for a time, but afterward attended the Western College at Toledo, Iowa, spending his freshman year there.  The following year he became a student in the State Normal at Cedar Falls, and completing that course he taught school for about two years, after which he took up the study of medicine in 1897.  The succeeding four years were devoted to preparation for the practice of medicine and surgery in the State University and during the last year of his college days he was appointed and served as house surgeon.  Immediately following his graduation in 1901 he came to Sioux Rapids, where he has since been actively and successfully engaged in practice.  When he decided to become a member of the medical fraternity it was his intention to follow the regular school but about that time he was a witness of a remarkable cure accomplished by homeopathic treatment after allopathic physicians had given up the case.  This caused him to investigate the merits of the two schools with the result that he determined to follow homeopathic principles.  He has built up a good business and has been very successful in his professional labor.


On the 4th of September, 1902, Dr. Pond was married to Miss Delia Hall, of Sioux Rapids, a daughter of H. H. and Almeda (Follette) Hall, both of whom were natives of Wisconsin.  Her father was born in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, July 15, 1854, and was the son of Otis and Sarah (Sykes) Hall, who were natives of Vermont, where they were married, removing thence to Wisconsin at an early day.  In 1868 they became residents of Hardin county, Iowa, and in the meantime Mr. Hall served as a soldier in the Civil war.  He died in 1897 at the age of sixty years, while his wife passed away in 1871 at the age of forty years.


Henry H. Hall was the fourth in order of birth in a family of eight children, namely:  Otis Sykes; Julia, who died in girlhood; John A., residing in Eldora; Henry H.; Lois A., living in Steamboat Rock, Iowa; Martha, who died in childhood; Asa, who died in boyhood; and Mabel, living in California.  In 1878 Henry H. Hall married Almeda Follette and they had two children, Mrs. Pond and Alma, who died in childhood.  Dr. and Mrs. Pond are well known in Sioux Rapids and this part of the county and their sterling worth justly entitles them to the respect which is uniformly accorded them.  They have two children:  Almeda Florence and Waldo Otto, to whom they are much devoted.