Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Harry Herbert Sturges

Harry Herbert Sturges, a well known and prominent citizen of Charter Oak, Iowa, and publisher and proprietor of the Charter Oak Times, was born in a log cabin near La Valle, Sauk county, Wisconsin, February 8, 1863, his parents being Horatio A. and Catherine (Williams) Sturges.

The former's birth occurred March 27, 1827, near Dunkirk, New York, and that of the mother October 13, 1831, near Ashtabula, Ohio. The grandfather in 1837 removed from New York to Ashtabula county, Ohio, and although receiving only a common school education, he studied law during his leisure moments, being finally admitted to the bar.

His son, Horatio A., was also a self-educated man and was admitted to the bar after a course of home study. In 1845 the latter moved to Wisconsin, remaining there three years and then returning to Ohio to be married. Two years later he went to Darlington, Wisconsin, and there as a frontiersman broke the wild land for the purpose of farming, in which he engaged for some time. He then removed to Michigan, but only remained there one year and again returned to Wisconsin, this time settling near Boscobel and later in Sauk county, where he practiced law until 1863, when he offered his services in the defense of the union.

He enlisted in the Ninth Wisconsin Battery of Light Artillery and served until the close of the war, being stationed in Missouri and Kansas. After being mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, he once more returned to Wisconsin and resided there until 1880, then removed to Gary in the northeastern part of South Dakota, where he practiced law and conducted a real-estate business until his death in 1895. His wife only survived him one year, dying in 1896. She was a member of the Methodist church and later in life he joined her in that faith.

Harry H. Sturges attended the district school until seventeen years old, when he began driving a stage in South Dakota, where later he taught school for three years and read law in the office of his father for the same length of time. He then embarked in the printing business, and in June, 1901, came to Charter Oak, Iowa, where he bought the Charter Oak Times, a weekly newspaper, from F. L. Hills. Since becoming owner of the Times, Mr. Sturges has infused a new spirit of progress in its business, has more than doubled the circulation, while the advertising matter has been increased to three times its former quantity. Besides his newspaper, Mr. Sturges conducts a job printing office, it being the only one in the town or in the vicinity.

On June 26, 1889, Mr. Sturges was married to Miss Etta L. Christy, of Vermilion, South Dakota, a daughter of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Dunton) Christy. Her mother, who was born in northern New York state, was left an orphan when fourteen years old, was married, became a mother and widow, and was remarried before she was twenty-one years old. The father, who was born in Ohio, is a carpenter and contractor by trade and for years has resided at the famous Hot Springs, South Dakota. He is now, at the age of seventy-two years, a carpenter in the government sanitarium there. He is a veteran of the Civil war. Both parents of Mrs. Sturges are still living.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Sturges are three in number, as follows: Ethel C, a high-school student of the graduating class of 1911; Carl C, who was born February 13, 1892, and is also of the class of 1911; Halbert M., born in October, 1893.

Politically Mr. Sturges has always voted the republican ticket but has never sought nor desired public office, being content to give his support to the party in other ways. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Independent Orner of Odd Fellows, in which society his father was at one time the second oldest member in Wisconsin. In religion he holds to the faith of the Methodist church. He is one of the substantial citizens of Charter Oak and uses the influence of his paper to support and advance any project of a public nature that would tend to elevate and improve the condition of his home town.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.