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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 781~


William Vale Malven


"The subject of this sketch, a retired farmer living in the town of Maynard, is a native of Orange county, New York, born at Port Jervis on the 20th day of October, 1845. On the paternal side of his family is Scotch, his father, Charles Malven, having been born in the historic old city of Edinburgh. When fourteen years of age, Charles Malven came to America with his parents, who settled at Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, but subsequently removed to Orange county, New York, where they lived the remainder of their days. They had a family of five children, of whom Charles was the youngest, the names of the others being Grace, John, David, and Samuel. Ann Michaels, wife of Charles Malven and mother of the subject, was born in Pennsylvania and came of sterling German stock, her ancestors having been among the early settlers and substantial people of Monroe county, that state. In 1850 Charles Malven moved his family to Delaware county, Iowa, being four weeks en route and settling about two miles from Colesburg, Delaware county, where he secured a tract of timbered land, which in due time he cleared and reduced to cultivation. Later, in 1858, he purchased a prairie farm about two and a fourth miles south of Colesburg, where he lived until 1864, when he disposed of his holdings near that town and moved to Greeley, in the same county. Purchasing a small farm south of the latter place, he retired to the same and there spent the remainder of his life, dying in the month of July, 1881, his wife in the year 1895. Mr. Malven was a self-made, self-taught man and stood high in the esteem of the people among whom he lived. His integrity was always above reproach and against his character no breath of suspicion was ever uttered. He was one of the early temperance advocates of Iowa, used his influence upon all occasions for the good of his fellow men and his name is cherished as a grateful legacy not only by his family and descendants, but by the community in which his later years were spent.


Nine children were born to Charles and Ann Malven, namely: John, merchant and auctioneer, died in 1908; Nicholas, a merchant for a number of years at Medford, Minnesota, died in June, 1900; Capt. Daniel E., for twenty years a traveling salesman for the Olds, Milburn and Chatauguna wagon companies, and long a resident of Texas, died some years ago in Jackson, Mississippi; Mary, wife of James Potts, of Charles City, Iowa, both deceased; William, the subject of this sketch; Frank H., of Greeley; Emma, who married Frank Burbridge, of Oneida, Iowa; Alice, wife of G. W. Drybread, a merchant of Emmettsburg, this state, and Lincoln, who lives at Temple, Oklahoma. Patriotism and love of country appear to be inherent in the Malven family, four of the above brothers having served in the late Civil war and achieved honorable reputations as soldiers. John enlisted in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry at the beginning of the Rebellion and served three years, during which time he took part in a number of campaigns and battles and made a record of which any soldier might well feel proud. Nicholas served one year in the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and Daniel, who joined the Fifth Regiment, became captain of Company K, and was three years at the front, during some of the most trying experiences of the war. Returning home some time before the expiration of his period of service, he was instrumental in recruiting three companies of the Seventh Cavalry, in one of which his brother Nicholas enlisted. The subject of this review also experienced his baptism of fire, a reference to which will be found in another paragraph.


William V. Malven was reared to farm labor and enjoyed but limited educational advantages during his childhood and youth. He grew up on the home farm a strong, well developed young man and assisted his parents until February, 1864, when he enlisted in Company E, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, with which he served until August of the following year. He shared with his comrades the fortunes and vicissitudes of war, in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, participating in a number of battles and skirmishes, among the former being the bloody engagements at Nashville and Franklin, to say nothing of his many long, tiresome marches and other duties which test a soldier’s experience and prove his worth. Returning home at the expiration of his term of enlistment, he resumed the peaceful pursuit of agriculture and four years later, on the 10th of June, 1869, was happily married to Hattie A. Talcott, of Delaware county, Iowa, daughter of Silas and Jane (Hammond) Talcott, natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania.


In 1875 Mr. Malven came to Fayette county, Iowa, and located two and a half miles southwest of Maynard, where he lived for six years, at the end of which time he bought a farm two miles east of that town and still later invested in land a short distance to the north. He now owns two hundred acres of fine land, all well improved and in a high state of cultivation. On this land he lived and prospered until the year 1906, when, finding himself the possessor of a handsome competency, sufficient indeed to make him independent, he turned his farm over to other hands and moved to Maynard, where he is now living a life of quiet and honorable retirement. Mr. Malven is an intelligent, enterprising citizen, deeply interested in the material advancement of the community and the general welfare of his fellow men, and enjoys to a marked degree the respect and confidence of all who know him. His life has been somewhat strenuous and singularly successful and his career may be studied with profit by the young man at the parting of the way, whose record is still a matter of the future. Fraternally, he holds membership with Sunnyside Lodge No. 510, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and with Eastern Star Chapter No. 103 and Reynolds Post No. 47, Grand Army of the Republic, his wife being an active worker in the Woman’s Relief Corps and the Eastern Star.


For over thirty years Mr. Malven has been a widely known and remarkably successful auctioneer, in which capacity he has come in contact with all classes and conditions of men in his own and other counties, making many warm friends and adding continuously to his popularity as a man and a citizen. He keeps abreast of the times on all matters of public interest, votes the Democratic ticket and is well informed on all issues of the day. All who know him speak in high terms of his many excellent qualities and his popularity is limited only by the range of his acquaintance.


Mr. And Mrs. Malven are the parents of six children, viz: Daniel S., who died at the age of twenty-one years; Charles C., a rural mail carrier, married Caroline Jacobson and is the father of four children, Madge B., Edith L., Alice I. And William J. B.; Harvey James, the third in order of birth, a farmer of Harlan township, married Tillie Struthoff, who has borne him two offspring, Herbert W. and George M. by name; Georgie, the next in session, is the wife of Harry Hanes and the mother of three children, Charles M., Beulah and Doris; Carl V., the fifth of the family, is at home, and the third died when five years of age.


Mrs. Malven’s maternal grandparents were David and Deborah (Jones) Hammond, both of Erie county, Pennsylvania, and of English lineage. They had five children, two of whom survive, Mrs. Jane Talcott and Mrs. Sarah Hitchcock, the latter of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, Silas Talcott, father of Mr. Malven, was a son of Joseph and Rebecca Talcott, of Lake county, Ohio. By occupation Silas was a carpenter and builder. He went to Greeley, Iowa, in 1852 and started a store which he ran for several years with gratifying success, later turning his attention to agricultural pursuits. He spent the latter part of his life with Mr. Malven, dying in 1888, since which time his widow has made her home with the subject.


Mr. And Mrs. Talcott had four children, Linden C., of Delphis, Kansas, who served three years in the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, and is a carpenter by trade; Lemual D., of Maynard, whose sketch appears elsewhere in these pages; Mrs. Malven, and Henry, a special detective for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, who was killed in 1891 while in the discharge of his duty."


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