Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project
History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
J.H. Wheeler. Lewis Pub. Co. Pp. 401-05. Chicago. 1910.
Numbered among those who have lent dignity and honor to the medical profession in the state of Iowa, where he initiated his humane endeavors in the pioneer days, was Dr. William C. Stanbery, who was long numbered among the representative physicians and surgeons, as well as the active and influential citizens of Cerro Gordo county, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred at Mason City on the 21st of April, 1874. His memory is revered by all those who came within the sphere of his kindly influence and it is most consonant that in this publication be incorporated at least a brief tribute to his memory.
Dr. Stanbery was born at Waynesburg, Green county, June 29, 1824 , where he was reared to manhood and where his early educational advantages were those afforded in the common schools of the period. In preparation for the work of his chosen profession, he finally entered the Cincinnati Medical College in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1842 and from which he received his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. For several years thereafter he was engaged in the practice of his profession in Mercer county, Ohio, and in January, 1846, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Stettler, of St. Marys, Ohio . Soon afterward the moved to La Porte, Indiana, where he continued in the work of his profession until 1851, when he removed to Vinton, Benton county, Iowa, where he established himself in practice. To fortify himself more fully for his chosen vocation, he completed an effective post-graduate course in the Keokuk Medical College, from which he received the supplemental degree of Doctor of Medicine in the autumn of 1857. In May, 1858, he located at Clear Lake , Cerro Gordo county, which represented his place of residence and professional headquarters until 1860. In the meanwhile, Dr. Stanbery had taken up the study of law and commenced to practice, having been admitted to the bar in 1859, by Judge Samuel Murdock, who was then presiding on the bench of the circuit court for Cerro Gordo county. In 1860, Dr. Stanbery formed a law partnership with Irving W. Card, who later became postmaster of Mason City. Here they were associated in practice until 1861, when shortly after the outbreak of the Civil war, Dr. Stanbery gave distinctive evidence of his intrinsic loyalty and patriotism by tendering his services in defense of the Union. He enlisted in Company B., Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which he was commissioned first lieutenant. After his arrival with his command in Tennessee he was appointed to the office of provost marshal. In this capacity he afterward did service at New Madrid, Missouri, and there he received his honorable discharge in 1863, on account of physical disability. After his return to Iowa he resumed the practice of law in Mason City, where he continued to reside until his death.
In politics Dr. Stanbery gave staunch allegiance to the Democratic party, of whose principles and policies he was an effective advocate. He was a delegate to the national convention in the city of Baltimore that nominated Stephen A. Douglas as the Democratic candidate for the presidency. Shortly before his death he was the candidate of his party for the office of judge of the circuit court of the twelfth judicial district and he had the distinction of serving as the first mayor of Mason City. Under the administration of President Andrew Johnson he was appointed collector of internal revenues for the district that at that time comprised about half of the state of Iowa. In 1860 he was a candidate for the lower house of the Iowa legislature as representative of the district now comprised in the Tenth congressional district.
[During the Civil War, he served as a Lieutenant and Provost Marshal with the 32nd Volunteer Iowa Infantry.]
He was a man of fine intellectual attainments and great practical ability and he wielded potent influence in connection with civic, professional and public affairs in the early days of the history of Iowa, upon the roster of whose honored pioneers his name merits an enduring place. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his devoted wife was likewise a member. The death of the latter occurred at her home in Mason City on the 7th of March, 1910. She was one of the most venerable pioneer women of Cerro Gordo county at the time of her demise and was held in affectionate regard by all who had come within the sphere of her gentle influence. Dr. Stanbery was especially appreciated and valued in the Masonic fraternity in Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. He was the founder of Benevolence Lodge, No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons of Mason City and was its first master. He also organized Forest City and Belmond Lodges and was similarly identified with several other Masonic lodges in this section of the state.
In conclusion of this brief memoir is entered the following record concerning the children of Dr. and Mrs. Stanbery: John S., who is individually mentioned on other pages of this work; Sarah J., who became the wife of James Elder of Mason City, and died in 1903; Margaret is the wife of Horton E. Francisco of Mason City; Thomas P., is engaged in the coal business in this city; Recompense is one of the prominent and influential citizens of Mason City, where he founded both of the principal early newspapers and where he is owner of a large amount of valuable realty; William C. D. A., is a prominent merchant of Clarion, this state; Harry E., is identified with the newspaper business in Mason City and has attained prominence as an author and correspondent; May is the wife of William E. Farman of Monrovia, California; Eliza Belle is the wife of Frank A. Van Vleck of Minot, North Dakota; Henry S., is engaged in the printing business in Mason City; Francis L., died at Clear Lake, Iowa, in 1859.
NOTE: Elizabeth J. "Eliza" (Stettler) Stanbery was born March 29, 1829, and died
March 7, 1910. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City.
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2014
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2014
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