IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Hiram C. Bishop

Hiram C. Bishop has wielded large influence in the forming and directing of popular sentiment and action in Clayton county, both through his services in public office and through his editorial utterances as in the columns of the Clayton County Democrat, of which representative paper of northeastern Iowa he was the founder and of which he is still editor and publisher. He served with marked efficiency and progressiveness as superintendent of schools of Clayton county for six years and later represented his district in the Iowa State Senate for two successive sessions. He gained definite prestige in the pedagogic profession, of which he continued as a representative for a long period and as an exponent of which he first came to Clayton county.

The former Senator is a native of northeastern Iowa and stands definitely exemplar of the fine element of citizenship that has made this one of the most advanced and opulent portions of the Hawkeye commonwealth. He is a scion of an honored pioneer family of Iowa and this fact emphasizes the consistency of according to him a special tribute in this publication, for it has been his to lend much of distinction to a name that has been signally prominent in this part of Iowa since the time when this portion of our great national domain was virtually on the very frontier.

Hiram Crusan Bishop was born on a farm near West Union, the judicial center of Fayette county, Iowa, on the 10th of March, 1852, and is a son of Franklin Park Bishop and Cynthia Ann (Commack) Bishop, the former of whom was born in Kentucky, on the 31st of March, 1818, and the latter of whom was born in Virginia, on the 18th of June, 1819, she having been a child at the time of her parents' removal to Kentucky, where she was reared and educated and where her marriage to Mr. Bishop was solemnized.

In the year 1839 Franklin P. Bishop came with his family from the old Bluegrass State to Iowa and became one of the early pioneers of Fayette county, where he obtained a tract of government land, near West Union, and where he eventually reclaimed one of the valuable farms of the county. As a man of sterling character and strong mentality, he was an influential figure in connection with the social and material development and upbuilding of Fayette county, and both he and his wife were venerable and revered pioneer citizens of that county at the time of their death, he having passed away in 1902 and she in 1909. Both were zealous members of the Baptist church and in politics he was first a Whig and later a Democrat. Their marriage was solemnized in the year 1839 and they became the parents of twelve children, whose names are here recorded in the respective order of birth: Susan Mary, James Thomas, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth Matilda, William Hamilton, Hiram Crusan, Solomon Wayne, Sabitha Jane, Martha Catherine, Eliza Adelaide, Harry Wilson, and Franklin. Of the children six sons and three daughters are now living.

The vigilant and resourceful pioneers of Iowa early made the best possible provisions for the education of their children, and it is matter of record that there have been few states in the Union that have continuously maintained so Iow a percentage of illiteracy. Thus it was the privilege of Hon. Hiram C. Bishop, the immediate subject of this review, to receive in his youth the best of scholastic advantages. He was reared under the invigorating influences of the home farm and while contributing his quota to its work he applied himself diligently to his studies in the district school near his home until he was eligible for the initiating of higher academic study. At West Union he attended Ainsworth Academy, and after leaving this institution he prosecuted his studies in Upper Iowa University, at Fayette. He put his scholastic attainments to effective test and utilization by entering the pedagogic profession, in which he gained unequivocal success and popularity. He taught seven terms in the rural or district schools and thirty-one terms in town public schools, in which connection his services finally became enlisted in Clayton county. That he made his benignant influence felt in connection with educational affairs in this county needs no further voucher than the statement that he served from January 1, 1888, to January 1, 1894, as county superintendent of schools, his administration having been diligent in advancing the general standard of the work of the schools and by progressive policies that did much to conserve this end.

Mr. Bishop has always been a stalwart advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stand sponsor, and he has given yeoman service in furtherance of its cause in northeastern Iowa. He served as a member of the State senate from 1900 to 1905, and was recognized as one of the dominating figures in the deliberations on the floor of the upper house and in the councils of the various committees to which he was assigned.

On the 4th of July, 1893, he founded the Clayton County Democrat, at Elkader, the judicial center of the county, and during the intervening period of nearly a quarter of a century he has maintained for his representative paper a high standard as an exponent of local interests and a director of popular sentiment. He and his wife are members of the Universalist church of Elkader, and he is affiliated with the local organizations of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America.

June 14, 1882, recorded the marriage of Mr. Bishop to Miss Emma Kern, who was born at Elgin, Fayette county, this state, on the 13th of March, 1864, and the four children of this union re: Arthur C., Max B., Clint G., and Ruth. All of the children were graduated in the Elkader high school, in which the only daughter was a member of the class of 1916, besides being also a graduate of St. Joseph's Musical School at Elkader. All of the sons maintain editorial association with newspaper publishing, and Max and Clint are graduates of the law department of Drake University, in the city of Des Moines.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 48-50
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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