CAPTAIN MACONAH LEMON. Among the soldier population of Iowa none is more worthy of representation in a work of this character than Captain Lemon. He enlisted as a musician, September 23, 1861, becoming a member of Company F, Eleventh Iowa Infantry. Every soldier knows that the opportunities for promotion among musicians are very meager, though our subject received recognition of his musical talents and qualifications as a commander in his promotion to the leadership of the regimental band. But he was not by nature adapted to the position of a noncombatant and preferred to share the dangers of the battlefields along with his comrades. In recognition of his warlike spirit and special qualifications for the position, he was made Orderly Sergeant of his company in February, 1863. This position is a very arduous one, requiring all the elements of a company commander for the incumbent often has full charge of the company. But this is not all: the. Orderly Sergeant keeps the company's books, makes out the pay rolls and muster rolls, sees that all details for guard, picket and police duties are furnished, and calls the company roll and reports absentees and infringements upon military discipline. In fact he is the executive officer of the company. So well did our subject discharge the duties of this important office that he was promoted to the Captaincy January 1, 1864, and came home the highest officer in the company, though he entered the service, in the estimation of his comrades, if not in actual rank, at least a step below that of private.
Captain Lemon's was a very active military life. During his term of nearly four years of service, he was absent but one week, and had his place and share in all the honors of the Eleventh Iowa Infantry as a part of Crocker's Iowa Brigade. The regiment was assigned to duty in the western army, and maintained the dignity and honor of the Hawkeye State on many a bloody battlefield. Their first baptism of fire was at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. Following this came the siege of Corinth and in the autumn of 1862 the regiment suffered severely at the battle of Corinth. About this time General Grant's forces were closing in around Vicksburg, and the Eleventh Iowa was sent with others by way of Holly Springs to intercept the enemy before he reached the stronghold behind the fortifications at Vicksburg. But this enterprise proved ineffectual and the regiment returned to Memphis. Going down the river by steamer it joined in the siege which culminated in the capture of the" Key of the Southern Confederacy" at the same hour that the rebel hordes were defeated at the great battle of Gettysburg by the eastern army. During the siege of Vicksburg occurred the hotly contested engagements at Champion Hills and Black River Bridge, in which Captain Lemon participated. He was also indentified with the final assault on Vicksburg, and after its fall accompanied the regiment on a raid to Meridian, Mississippi, the purpose of which has never been fully explained. This raid comprised forced marches into the enemy's country to a distance of about 150 miles, though it brought forth no general engagements or tangible results. Returning to Vicksburg, the regiment re-enlisted with the hope that three years more of service might restore peace and happiness to the survivors. Such heroism as was exhibited by the prompt and voluntary re-enlistment of the three-years men, of whom no further duty could be required until the resources of the country were exhausted, has never been equaled in the volunteer soldiery. With the allurements of home and the peaceful pursuits of life in their very grasp, after three years of constant struggle and hardships, they promptly allied themselves with the forces still in the field, resolved that ,'the Union must and shall be preserved." Now, after the lapse of over thirty years since the close of the Civil war, we still find in the places of honor and responsibility men who are prone to depreciate or disparage the achievements of the men who saved the nation. To the end that their endeavors may not prove fruitless, let every ex-soldier leave a truthful record of his soldier life for the perusal of his children and their children on down the ages to come. Let the minister and the teacher, the great educators of the world, teach patriotism and love of country to all who will hear.
At the expiration of their thirty-days furlough; the Eleventh Iowa Infantry, recruited and newly equipped, joined the army at Big Shanty and soon were engaged in the battle of Kenesaw mountain. Next followed the campaign against Atlanta under General Sherman. The siege of this stronghold culminated in the memorable battle on the 22d of July, 1864. Here the Eleventh Iowa did valiant service, holding their position against superior numbers, and, though they were driven from their earthworks seven times during the day, they recaptured and held them. Half of the regiment was killed or disabled, it probably being the most disastrous battle of the war, as far as regimental casualties were concerned. After the fall of Atlanta they accompanied General Sherman on his famous march to the sea and were in the siege and capture of Savannah. From this point they embarked on transports and landed at Beaufort, South Carolina, thence proceeded by forced marches to Columbia and finally reached Goldsboro, North Carolina, in time to take part in the last great battle of the war. They followed the retreating Johnston until he surrendered, and then marched to Richmond and Washington, taking part in the grand review of the victorious armies there assembled. From Washington the regiment was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, and there its men were mustered out of service, receiving their final discharges at Davenport, Iowa, July 15, 1865. Captain Lemon was wounded at Kenesaw mountain, July 4, 1864, the scar from which is a constant reminder that his face was always toward the foe. A minie ball struck his left cheek, cutting a deep, though not dangerous wound, which relieved him of active duty for a few days, though he never left the front.
Returning to his parental home in Washington county, Iowa, the Captain resumed the peaceful vocation of a farmer. In 1869 he removed to Guthrie county, locating on a farm in Bear Grove township, where he remained until called to fill the honorable position in which he is now serving. In the general election in 1892 he was elected to the office of County Auditor, and immediately moved his family to Guthrie Center, taking charge of the office in January, 1893. In November, 1894, he was re-elected and is now serving his third year. Though not in any sense an office-seeker, he was urged by his friends to accept this nomination, that they might show their appreciation of his valuable service and fitness for the position, while his triumphal re-election attests the degree of satisfaction with which his official services were received.
Captain Lemon was born in Westnloreland county, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1841, of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His parents, Robert and Hester (Tarr) Lemon, were both natives of Westmoreland county, the former born in 1812, and the latter in 1822, and in that county were married. The year 1851 found them residents of Iowa, where they still reside. Their family consisted of twelve children, only four of whom are now living, our subject being the eldest. David M., a carpenter by trade, is a resident of Washington, Iowa. William lives with his parents and operates the home farm. Frank is married and lives in Wyman, Iowa. Three brothers-Walker, John and Bascomb -all died in 1852; Sarah Ann, who was the wife of Frank Mathews, died in 1883. Elizabeth, the wife of John L. Riley, of Crawfordsville, Iowa, was drowned in 1892, while attempting to cross a swollen stream. Samuel, a young man still in his teens, died in 188o; and two children died in infancy.
The education of the Captain was obtained wholly in the pioneer schools of Iowa and under rather unfavorable circumstances. As he was the eldest son much reliance was placed upon his ability to aid in the opening up of the new farm, and he usually had to go two or three miles to school, while he was only able to attend at such times as· he could best be spared from the farm. In this way he acquired a fair common-school education, to which he has added a good stock of general information by careful reading and systematic study.
In Washington county, Iowa, on the 22d of February, 1866, was celebrated the marriage of Captain Lemon and Miss Jennie McCutcheon, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John and Eliza Ann McCutcheon, who were the parents of seven children, all of whom are still living: William, a cabinet-maker of Washington Iowa; James, a carpenter and contractor of the same place; Arthur, who resides on the old homestead in Pennsylvania; Thomas, who makes his home in California; Jennie, the honored wife of our subject; John, a resident of Colorado; and Maggie, who lives in Indiana. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died while quite young, and in 1857 Mrs. Lemon accompanied her widowed mother to Iowa, where the latter died in 1866. Five children grace the union of our subject and his wife: Etna, an efficient teacher in the public schools of Guthrie Center; Anna, who is the wife of B. F. McLuen, a farmer of Guthrie county; Clyde, who is Deputy County Auditor, and a young man of excellent business qualifications and an able assistant to his father in the discharge of his official duties; and Maude and Frank, who are still at home and are attending school. The children have had excellent educational advantages, well fitting them for any positions in life.
The Captain is a very prominent member in the Masonic fraternity as well as the Grand Army of the Republic, while Mrs. Lemon is a diligent worker in the Woman's Relief Corps, and a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have the regard and esteem of all who know them and have won hosts of friends in Guthrie county. He is president of his regimental association of survivors, and as historian of his regiment is engaged in compiling a history of their achievements.
COLONEL PRESTON L. SEVER, a prominent attorney of Stuart, Iowa, who has won distinction at the bar by a skill and ability that has made him a place in the front rank of the legal profession, claims Iowa as the State of his nativity. He was born in Warren county, in the town of New Virginia, March 18, 1861, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Clinton) Sever. His father was a contractor and builder in early life and through industry and enterprise won a considerable capital, which he invested in land. He then retired from work at his trade and gave his attention to the superintendence of his extensive landed interests. He was born in Warren county, Ohio, 1823, and his wife was born in the same county in 1826. They were married in their native State and in 1849 emigrated to Warren county, Iowa, where they lived for four years. In·1863 they went to Illinois, becoming residents of Cambridge, Henry county, which was their place of abode until 1885, when they came to Stuart, Iowa. Here the father died January 30, 1894, while the mother lives in the family of our subject. In connection with him she owns about one thousand acres of valuable farming land in the vicinity of Stuart.
Colonel Preston L. was their only child. He was educated in the city schools of Cambridge, Illinois, and was graduated at the high school at that place with the class of 1879. The same fall he entered the collegiate department of the Iowa State University, completing the classical course in 1883. Following his graduation he entered a law office in Cambridge, pursuing his studies there until admitted to practice in the district court of Scott county, Iowa, May 27, 1884. On the 7th of October following he was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the State, and as a mark of special distinction Colonel Sever also holds a certificate of qualification as a practicing attorney in the supreme court of the United States of America. This was granted on the 22d of April, 1892. Mr. Sever received another mark of distinction in 1886 in the granting, by the Iowa State University, of a diploma with the degree of Master of Arts, his former degree having been Bachelor of Science. He is a man of marked ability as an attorney and orator, a clear, concise and forcible speaker, logical reasoner and an earnest advocate. He came to Stuart in 1885, and at once 'ft. began practice which he continued alone until 1890, when he formed a partnership with C. W. Neal, Esq., which continued until December, 1894. It was then dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. Neal forming a partnership with his son, while Colonel Sever again opened an office of his own. He ·has an elegant suite of rooms, supplied with a very fine law library, and is enjoying an extensive and constantly increasing practice.
Colonel Sever also demonstrated a marked military character, in that he was the prizewinner of the State of Iowa on competitive drill. He takes quite an active part in· political affairs and has three times served as a member of the State executive committee of three who managed the Republican campaign. His oratorical ability makes his services in demand as a political speaker and he is a valued worker in his party. He was for four years a member of Governor Larrabee's staff, holding the rank of Colonel, and has been prominently identified with every movement calculated to enhance the interest of his county or State.
The lady who now bears the name of Mrs. Sever was in her maidenhood Miss Fanny Mann, a native of Guthrie county, Iowa. She was educated in the Lake Forest University, of Chicago, and their marriage was celebrated in Ontario, California, in 1889. The Colonel is very prominent in social circles and is one of the leading members of the Masonic fraternity in the State. He is a member of Token Lodge, No. 304, A. F. & A. M.; Damascus Chapter, No. 97, R. A. M.; Alhambra Commandery, No. 58, K. T.; Des Moines Consistory, NO.3; and has attained to the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He was president of the Board of Directors at the time of the construction of the Masonic Temple of Stuart, the magnificent structure which was erected at a cost of more than $23,000. Colonel Sever is a practical man of affairs. In addition to his other business interests, he is a director of the First National Bank of Stuart, and his capable management and executive ability have won him prosperity.
JOHN CARY HEADLEE, Guthrie Center, Iowa, is one of the well-known citizens of this (Guthrie) county, having been here since 1856.
Mr. Headlee was born in Noble county, Ohio, February 28, 1835. His father, Francis Headlee, was a Virginian by birth and a son of John Headlee. The Headlees are of French origin and were for many years prominent citizens of the Old Dominion. Francis Headlee married Miss Mary Cree, who was of Irish descent. They came west to Guthrie county, Iowa, in 1866, and here passed the closing years of their lives, his death occurring at the age of seventy-six years, and hers at eighty-two. They were the parents of eleven children, as follows: Penelope, Luther, Sarah, George, John C., Esther, Francis, Mary, Daniel, Dwight, and one that died in infancy. The father was a farmer during his active life. In politics he was a Democrat and in his religious belief he was broad and liberal. His son Francis was a soldier in .the late war, serving through that struggle as a member of an Ohio regiment.
On his father's farm in Noble county, Ohio, the subject of our sketch spent his boyhood days. While his educational advantages were limited, he was early taught the important lessons of honesty and industry. Much of his time was spent in chopping and grubbing in the clearing, and in tilling the soil. During the winter months he attended school in a log school-house, and the education he received there was extended by home reading and study and by actual business. On attaining his majority he came to Iowa, the journey hither being made by boat to Marietta, Ohio, and on down the river to Cairo, Illinois, and thence up to Keokuk. From Keokuk he drove through to Guthrie county. Arrived here, he purchased 160 acres of land where he now resides, on section 9 of Baker township, and he also bought eighty acres in Bear Grove township. Here he first put up a rude shanty and subsequently erected his modern residence, which is 28 x 30 feet, with an L I4 x l8 feet. Near the house is a fine orchard of two acres. To his original purchase he has from time to time added other lands until now his farm contains 400 acres, mostly rich land along Seeley creek, and all well improved. His barn is 36x60 feet with I6-foot posts, and a rock basement. The hay barn, which is 24x72 feet, has a capacity of eighty tons. Besides his home farm Mr. Headlee owns 500 acres elsewhere, all of which is devoted to general farming and stock-raising.
Mr. Headlee was married April 24, 1869, to Miss Mary D. Herron, daughter of William and Rachel Herron. She was born and reared in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Headlee are the parents of six children, viz: Theresa, wife of Daniel Lobdel, of Baker township, this county; Hallie, wife of Logan Rice, also of this township; John C. Jr.; Abbie; Lettie, Thurman; and Willard, deceased.
In politics Mr. Headlee is a Democrat; but has never aspired to office as his extensive farming operations have kept him sufficiently occupied. He is a member of the Masonic order, Orange Lodge, No. 123. Mr. Headlee is a self-made man. His strong physique, clear intellect and earnest ambition have combined to make him a useful and successful citizen.
JOHN GRIFFITH THOMAS, Seeley township, Guthrie county, Iowa, figures as one of the prominent representative citizens of his county. He came here March 31, 1881 and since that time has been an important factor in advancing its interests.
Mr. Thomas was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, October 29, 1849. His father, Enoch J. Thomas, a native of that same county, was born October 22, 1822, a son of Enoch Thomas, Sr., who was of Pennsylvania· birth. The Thomas family are of Welsh descent and are distantly related to the well-known General Thomas. Enoch Thomas, Sr., married Miss Anna Dilley, a native of New Jersey, and they both died in Ohio, he at the age of seventy-two years and she at ninety-four. Their children were William, James, Enoch, Ayers, Edward, Harriet, Mary, Martha, and Hannah. Enoch Thomas, Jr., passed his boyhood on a farm in Guernsey county, Ohio. At the age of twenty-two he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Griffith, who was born in Noble county, Ohio, daughter of A. B. Griffith, a native of Pennsylvania. The children of this union were four in number and .were as follows: Evard Young, a resident of Guthrie county, Iowa; John G., whose name introduces this sketch; Emma, wife of John W. Hutchinson, a resident of Guernsey county, Ohio; and Samuel L., who died at the age of three years. The parents are still living and maintain their residence on the old homestead in Ohio, where the father has for many years successfully carried on agricultural pursuits. They· are members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. During the days of the Abolition movement he was an ardent supporter of that party; later he allied himself with the Republicans, and of recent years he has given his support to the Prohibition party.
John G. Thomas, the immediate subject of this review, passed his boyhood on a farm, helping with the work and attending the district school. His education was further extended by his practical business experience and home reading and study, and in this way he acquired sufficient knowledge to enable him to teach school, in which occupation he was engaged for about six years. Subsequently he for a time occupied a position as station agent for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and for two years was engaged in the drug business. All this time he was in Ohio. In the spring of 1881 he left his native State and came to Iowa and settled on his present farm. This farm comprises 480 acres of choice land, is well fenced and divided into fields, and is supplied with barns, sheds, stock yards and a good wind-mill. His residence is a modern one and is furnished and kept up in a manner that shows the refined tastes of the family.
Mr. Thomas was married December 4. 1873, to Miss Margaret Angeline Finley, a cultured and refined lady who was born in Guernsey county, Ohio. She is the daughter of Ebenezer and Elizabeth·(Lyons) Finley; the former born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, July 31, 1813, died December 4, 1890; the .latter born December 20, 1818, died May 27, 1892. Both were zealous members of the Presbyterian Church and his political views were those of the Republican party. He was a son of James Finley, a native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of Scotch-Irish ancestors. The family of Ebenezer Finley was composed of six children, namely: John R., Levi L., Mary E., Margaret A., Thomas, and a son that died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have four children -- Horace Dwight, Carl Waldo, Ray Finley, and Cora Ethel..
In the politics of the day Mr. Thomas has always taken a lively and commendable interest, affiliating with the Republicans and being one of the "wheel-horses" of the party in his county. He has served as a delegate to both county and State conventions. Religiously, he is following 'in the footsteps of his honored parents and is one of the leading members of the Presbyterian Church. A man of clear, bright intellect, excellent conversational powers and attractive personality, Mr. Thomas is popular with his large circle of friends. He is considered one of the first citizens of the county, socially, politically and financially.
WILLIAM SHEEDER.-In the subject of this sketch is found one of the largest land-holders and wealthiest men of Guthrie county, Iowa, his residence being on section 5, of Baker township. For over forty years Mr. Sheeder has made his home in this county and is, perhaps, as well known as any man within its limits. The date of his arrival here was in May, 1855. A sketch of his life is interesting in this connection and is as follows:
William Sheeder was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1825. Frederick Sheeder, Jr., his father, was born in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1799, son of Frederick Sheeder, Sr., a native of Prussia. The elder Mr. Sheeder emigrated to this country with his parents when he was seventeen years old. He served as a soldier during the war of 1812, or through a part of that struggle. Returning home on a furlough, he remained, and his son, Frederick, Jr., took his place and carried a musket, although at that time only fifteen years of age. The father was a tailor by trade, late in life settled on a farm and was engaged in agricultural pursuits the rest of his days. His wife, nee Anna Holtman, was a native of Pennsylvania, and they were the parents of ten children, six sons and four daughters, named as follows: Frederick, Jr., Henry, Mary, Samuel, Phillip, Caroline, Catherine, Sarah, Joseph and Benjamin. The mother died in 1863. The father at the time of his death was over eighty-seven years of age-87 years, 7 months and 14 days. He was a man of strong individuality and made a success of whatever he undertook. He began life when a young man without any capital whatever, by his own honest and earnest efforts amassed a fortune of $40,000, and his whole life was such as to gain for him the confidence and good will of all who knew him. His religious creed was that of the Lutheran Church.
Frederick Sheeder, Jr., the father of our subject, was reared on a Pennsylvania farm and educated in the Chester county schools. He married Miss Elizabeth Shuler, a native of Chester county, born March 2, 1797, daughter of William and Sarah Shuler. Mr. and Mrs. Sheeder were the parents of two children,-Sarah Anna, who died at the age of twenty months, and' William. The mother died April 14, 1830, at the age of thirty-three years. The father also died in the prime of life, his death occurring at 1:30 P. M.. December 30, 1834, at the age of thirty-five years.
After the death of his parents William Sheeder made his home with his grandfather for four years and a half. Until he was thirteen he attended the district school, and at that early age went to work as a teamster and made a full hand, driving a six-horse team and hauling stone to the limestone kiln, and each winter he hauled forty cords of wood. Between his sixteenth and his seventeenth years he began work at the blacksmith's trade, entering upon his apprenticeship March 31, 1842, under Jesse Orr, of Chester county. For four years he remained with this man, working three years and a half for his board and clothing and the last six months receiving wages. After this he opened a shop of his own which he ran for a year. March 23, 1848, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Keeley, who was born August 28, 1830, daughter of Henry and Mary (Miller) Keeley, natives of Chester county, Pennsylvania. In their family were nine children, namely: Elizabeth, John, Samuel, Henry, George, Mary, Robert, Lewis and Hannah. Her father died in Pennsylvania and after his death her mother came West to Iroquois county, Illinois, where she died at the age of eighty years.
April 17, 1855, Mr. Sheeder and his wife and four children started for Iowa. They traveled on the Pennsylvania Central R. R. to Rock Island, Illinois, thence by steamboat to Muscatine, Iowa, and from Muscatine Mr. Sheeder came by team to Guthrie county, landing here about the first of May. Here he entered 400 acres of Government land, 320 acres on section 5, of Baker township, and 40 acres elsewhere, and by the 17th of June his wife and family arrived. They lived in a tent for about three months, sleeping on the ground, until he built a log cabin, 12 x 16 feet, which had a clapboard roof. Afterward he built an addition to it of equal dimensions, this part being covered with lap shingles. In this log house six of their children were born. Years passed by and prosperity attended his labors on the frontier, and in 1869 he built his present home, a modern residence, 24 x 36 feet, two stories, with attic, kitchen, basement and cellar, all of brick. It occupies a pleasant site and is one of the attractive rural homes of this vicinity. His barn is 30 x 70 feet and has a rock basement. From time to time Mr. Sheeder has continued to make additional land purchases until now he is regarded as the wealthiest farmer in the county and one of the most wealthy in the State. He owns 2,201 acres of land in Baker township, 1,240 acres in Seeley township, 850 acres in Bear Grove township, and 281 acres in Union township, making a total of 4,572 acres in Guthrie county. Each year he pays over $1,000 for taxes. Both general farming and stock-raising claim his attention and he takes especial pride in keeping a high grade of stock, horses, cattle and hogs.
Mr. and Mrs. Sheeder are the parents of ten children, nine of whom are living on their own land or their father's. Their names are: Silas, John, Eli, James, George, Anna, DomicilIa, Willis, who died in childhood, Joseph and Wilmer. With the exception of two all are married. Domicilla is the wife of Samuel Chalphant, of Seeley township, this county.
Politically, Mr. Sheeder is a Democrat and takes a commendable interest in public affairs, but has never sought or held office, his extensive farming operations and personal affairs occupying the whole of his time. He was reared a Lutheran, but is not identified with any Church. Mrs. Sheeder was reared in the faith of the German Reformed Church. Although he has reached his three-score years and ten, time has dealt gently with him and ·he is yet well preserved, both physically and mentally. Few men of Guthrie county have achieved as great success in a financial way as has William Sheeder.
JOSEPH WILLIAM BLACKMAN is one of the most prosperous citizens of De Sota, and has been connected with almost all the leading enterprises that have promoted the material welfare of this place, while to the advancement of educational, moral or social interest he has given his hearty co-operation.
Our subject is descended from one of the early families of New England. His father, Edward Prindell Blackman, was born and reared in Vermont, and when a young man left his native State, emigrating Westward. Locating in Miami county, Indiana, he there engaged in the mercantile business and also carried on a hotel for four years. He was married while there to Miss Eliza Ann Williams, a native of Ohio, and they became parents of a son and daughter while living in the Hoosier State. In the year 1854 Mr. Blackman disposed of his business interests in Indiana and came with his family to Iowa, locating on a farm in Boone township, Dallas county, which he transformed from a raw tract into rich and fertile fields, and continued its cultivation until his death, which occurred in 1861.
The gentleman whose name introduces this sketch was born in Indiana, on the 11th of May, 1848, and was the eldest of the family of four children. ·His father died when he was thirteen years of age, and he remained at home, carrying on the farm for his mother until her death, in 1875. He then went to Waukee, Iowa, with his younger brother, whom he intended to place in school there, while he should devote his energies to mercantile pursuits. For four weeks he continued in that place. but found no favorable opening for business, and in consequence came to De Soto. He traded a farm which he owned, in .Adel township, for a stock of goods, opened a store in this place, put his brother in school, and then devoted his energies untiringly to his business pursuits. In connection with his store he carried on a hotel and livery stable for a number of years. During the years 1887, 1888 and 1889 he owned a half interest in the large tile and brick factory of this place, and then sold out to his brother. In August, 1895, he also sold his extensive general mercantile establishment, and is now devoting his entire time to his cold-storage and butchering business. He runs a slaughterhouse in connection with his butcher shop. His cold-storage building has· a capacity of over 2,000 cases of eggs, and his business place altogether covers an area of twenty-five acres. He has been very prosperous in his undertakings, and in addition to his other property he owns 200 acres of land in Boone township, Dallas county; and 162 acres in Guthrie county, Iowa,-all rented and under a high state of cultivation.
On the 11th of September, 1876, Mr. Blackman was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Smith, who was born in Ohio and reared in Illinois. Their wedding was celebrated in De Soto; and their union has been blessed with two children: Mabel, born October 15, 1879; and Dora Bere, born September 16, 1884. They also lost one daughter, Letha May, born in October, 1877. She lived only one month. The home of the family is one of the finest residences in De Soto and is tastefully and beautifully furnished, while its hospitable doors are ever open for the reception of their many friends.
Mr. Blackman is a .stalwart Republican in politics and has held the offices of School Director and Town Councilman at different times, but seeks no political honors. He is a .member of De Soto Lodge, No. 400, I. O. O. F., and both he and his wife hold membership with the Christian Church, and take an active part in its work and upbuilding. His reputation as a straightforward, honorable business man is .one that might well be envied. ·.He has ever .pursued .a business policy that commends him to the confidence and regard of all, while his capable management, energy and perseverance have brought to him a well deserved competence.
MARK THOMAS, a representative farmer of Madison township, Madison county, Iowa, was born in Wayne county, Indiana, December 22, 1841. Charles Thomas, his father, was a native of North Carolina, and when four years of age was taken by his parents to Wayne county, Indiana, where he was reared. Grandfather Stephen Thomas, it is supposed, was born in one of the Carolinas. The mother of our subject was by maiden name Nancy Moorman. She, too, was a native of Carolina, as was also her father, Tarlton Moorman, and they removed to Indiana when she was a little girl and settled in Randolph county. She was reared by her grandmother Moorman. Both the Thomas and Moorman families were prominent members of the Society of Friends. It was in Randolph county, Indiana, that Charles and Nancy Thomas were married, and shortly afterward they located in Wayne county, that State, where she died. After her death he came to Iowa, where he married again. Later he returned to Indiana and spent six years there, then coming back to this State and settling in Dallas county on a farm. Here he passed the residue of his life and died, at the time of his death being seventy-six years of age. By his last wife he had no children. The children of his first wife numbered thirteen, Mark being the seventh born and one of the ten that reached adult age; eight are now living.
The subject of our sketch was reared in Wayne county, Indiana, receiving his education in the district schools and in a graded school of .what was then Newport, now Fountain City, Indiana. In 1869 he left home and came out to Iowa, locating in Guthrie county, where he· was engaged in farming from that time until 1875. In 1875 he came to his present location in Madison county, where he has ever since resided. He still, however, owns his Guthrie county farm, 160 acres. At his home place in Madison township, on section 4, he has 175 acres. This place was but little improved at the time of his location here; today it is ranked with the first-class farms of the county. Among its improvements is a modern and commodious ten-room residence, erected in 1893, good barns, fences, etc., and everything kept in the best of order. Mr. Thomas carries on diversified farming and gives considerable attention to stock-raising, much of his stock being thoroughbred.
He was married in 1872 to Miss Mary Tomkins, who died in less than a year from the time of her marriage. In 1875 he wedded Miss Almeda Barnett, a native of Marion county, Indiana, and they have two children, a son and a daughter, Ernest and Myrtle.
Mr. Thomas is a Republican in his political views, and has served his district as School Director. As above stated, his parents were prominent members of the Friends' Church, and in this faith he was reared. He, however, is not a member of the church now.
JAMES HENRY ROGERS, a leading banker of Guthrie Center, Iowa, is a native of Essex county, New York, born on the 22d of February, 1844. His parents, Lorenzo N. and Sarah E. (Newton) Rogers, are of English descent, and were born in Vermont. By their marriage, which was celebrated in the Green Mountain State, they became the parents of four children, but only one son and a daughter reached maturity. The latter, Hester A., is now the wife of J. F. McLuen, a resident of Des Moines, and a minister of the Baptist Church. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the war of 1812 and served in the defense of Plattsburg, New York, while the maternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, aiding the Colonies in their struggle for independence.
When about six years of age James H. Rogers removed with his parents to St. Lawrence county, New York, where he grew to manhood, receiving his education in the St. Lawrence Academy. After his graduation he began life on his own account as a teacher, which position he followed for some ten years. For three years he pursued the study of law at Potsdam, New York, but never entered upon its practice. In 1870 he arrived in Guthrie county, Iowa, locating at Guthrie Center, where he has since made his home.
For four years Mr. Rogers served as County Recorder, holding that office from 1874 until January, 1879, and was also Deputy County Auditor for two years. On leaving the office of Recorder, he bought his present interest in the Center Bank, a private banking institution of Guthrie Center, and in the administration of the monetary affairs of the institution is associated with H. K. Dewey. This is the oldest bank in Guthrie county, having been established in 1872, and is also one of its most solid financial concerns. It transacts a general banking business, receiving deposits, loaning money, making collections, etc. Mr. Rogers gives his attention largely to the abstract and real-estate business, owning a complete set of abstract books of all lands and town lots in Guthrie county, arid these being corrected monthly.
On the 10th of January, 1875, was celebrated 'the marriage of Mr. Rogers and Miss Laura C. Taylor, a native of Hancock county, Illinois, where she resided until about the age of fourteen years, when she accompanied her sister, Mrs. J. A. Lyons, to Guthrie county. Three children have came to bless this union of our subject and his wife, namely: Edward William and Edith Hester, twins, and Irene Taylor, -all still under the parental roof. The two elder are now students at Grinnell, Iowa.
Politically Mr. Rogers is a stanch Republican; and a recognized leader in the councils of his party. He attends the Presbyterian Church, of which his two elder children are members, and for ten years has been a Trustee of the church, giving liberally of his means toward the support of the gospel. He is prominently identified with every interest for the welfare or upbuilding of the community, and by all who know him is held in the highest confidence and esteem.
WILLIAM GUTHRIE,-biographer is here permitted to touch upon the life history of one of the pioneers of Iowa, a man who has a varied experience and who is now engaged in a general-merchandise business in Guthrie Center.
Mr. Guthrie was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, April 4, 1830, son of William and Mary Guthrie. He is the youngest of their family of nine children and is the only representative of the family now living. His mother was left a widow a short time before the birth of our subject and as she had but limited means and a large family, homes were found for her children in other families. When only .eighteen months old William was taken by strangers, and has never known much of his family history. He remained with his foster parents in Tuscarawas county until he was sixteen years old. Then he went to Indiana and launched out in life on his own responsibility. For two years he worked at whatever he could get to do, after which he decided to learn the trade of blacksmith and served an apprenticeship at this trade. In 1850, at the age of twenty, he was a victim of the California gold fever and went overland to the Pacific coast. His experience on this trip was thrilling in the extreme. For twenty-two days he was without a mouthful of bread. The company with which he traveled numbered forty when they started out, and twelve of the party died on the trip; four were drowned at .one time and the other eight died from diarrhea and exposure due, in part at least, to short rations. Arrived in California Mr. Guthrie engaged in mining at Placerville, with the miner's usual luck, and after four years spent in the Golden State he returned to Indiana, the return trip being made by water and in twenty-two days. His journey across the plains covered a period of five months. Mr. Guthrie has many interesting reminiscences connected with that memorable trip across the plains, then called in our school geographies the Great American Desert. Little did he think then that the Great American Desert would within his life-time blossom out into fertile farms and be dotted over with happy homes; yet such is the case. Had it not been, however, for the aggressive spirit of the brave and hardy young men of '49, and the years immediately following, the great wealth of the West must have laid dormant.
On his return to Indiana, after his experience in California, Mr. Guthrie married Miss Catherine Williams, who has since been his companion and helpmeet. In 1855 he brought his wife to Jasper county, Iowa, and located on a farm, but after a short experience in farming there he moved into the town of Clyde, opened a blacksmith shop, and until 1880 was engaged in work at his trade at that place. In 1880 he came to Guthrie county. He bought a farm in Victory township, this county, on which he made his home for seven years, and at the end of that time sold out, moved to Guthrie Center arid invested in his present business, and here he has resided ever since. He handles a full line of general merchandise, including dry goods, groceries and provisions, flour and feed, hardware, etc., and occupies three store rooms, owning the buildings in which his business is located.
Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie have had nine children, four of whom died in early childhood. . Those living are as follows: Eugene Fremont, who is ably assisting his father in the business above referred to; Mary Ann, now Mrs. Bates, is a resident of California; Sadie, now Mrs. Stowell, is a resident of Des Moines, Iowa, her husband being City Clerk of Des Moines; Alvina, at home; and Minnie, wife of W. F. Salmon, resides at Newton, Jasper county, Iowa.
In his political views Mr. Guthrie is independent, and he is·not connected with any church organization. He has had a broad and practical. experience with men and affairs, knows how to attend strictly to his own business and allow others the same privilege, and is free from what may by some be termed the hampering·influence of politics and religion. Genial and whole-souled, he makes friends with all with whom he has any dealings whatever.
JOHN EMANUEL MOTZ is one of the honored pioneers of Guthrie county, arriving in 1860, at which time there were but two or three log cabins on the present town site of Guthrie Center, and only one house on the road between that place and Panora, a distance of eight miles. He has thus witnessed almost the entire development of the county, in which he has aided very materially.
Mr. Motz was born in Woodward, Haynes township, Center county, Pennsylvania, on the 13th of October, 1822, a son of James and Rebecca (Mark) Motz, also natives of the Keystone State, born in the same township where our subject's birth occurred. After the father's death, at the age of forty-four years, the mother remarried, and passed away in Guthrie Center, well advanced in years. John E. was one of a family of seven children and under the parental roof remained until reaching man's estate. He had but limited educational advantages, pursuing his studies in the subscription schools, and learned the tailor's trade with his father, which occupation he followed for some years. Later he opened a restaurant, and finally engaged in general merchandising, beginning business with a capital of $300 and good credit, but owing to the mismanagement of his partner the venture proved a failure, though Mr. Motz paid off every dollar of the indebtedness. He was also Postmaster of Woodward for seven years.
In 1859 Mr. Motz went to Ohio to visit an aunt who had promised him assistance in starting again, but seeing the country, he decided it was too old and would require too much capital to put in a salable stock, and so he determined to come to Iowa. At four o'clock on the 24th of April, 1860, he arrived in Guthrie Center, very much discouraged at the prospects, the country being mostly virgin prairie. He had lost $2,600 on his Eastern property and on reaching this place had only $250. The family moved into a little cabin with one window of two panes of glass and a leaky roof. He began work at his trade, but soon went to Des Moines and invested his money in a stock of goods. His brother, Daniel L., who had accompanied him, possessed $100. which capital they invested in a brick building, 22 x 36 feet, and two stories in height, being the first brick business building in Guthrie county. This they filled with general merchandise, and thus our subject obtained a start in this locality. He purchased his brother's interest soon after the latter entered the army, in 1861, and from that time Mr. Motz has steadily prospered, being to-day the heaviest tax-payer in Guthrie Center, where he at one time owned thirteen buildings, and at the present time still has nine. In 1881, at a cost of $20,000, he erected the Opera Block, which required 428,000 bricks.
During the war there was a local fight on the location of the county-seat of Guthrie county, which was then Guthrie Center; but as the western portion of the county had sent the first company of one hundred men-mostly voters-to the war, this weakened the vote to the extent that the eastern portion, representing the relocation at Panora, had the balance of power and consequently the county-seat was moved there. Mr. Motz, being public-spirited, at once pledged a suitable building for the county offices if the seat of government should be returned to Guthrie Center. This cost him $I,200, ,but secured its return. While the offices were located in his building the new court-house, just about completed, was destroyed by fire, believed to have been the work of incendiaries. Mr. Motz then took a contract to build another one, agreeing to receive such means as the commissioners could furnish and carry the balance until the county could pay it. In this enterprise he lost $2,600 besides his own and his brother's labor during the entire time the building was in progress. He was also injured while at work on the county house, from which he has never recovered, though he has spent a great deal of money in treatment.
Mr. Motz was truly loyal to his Government during the Civil war, purchasing at one time two hundred stand of muskets to arm a couple of companies of militia to suppress local disturbances. At that time he was Postmaster of Guthrie Center, but on the election of President Johnson he resigned. Since 1860 he has been constantly engaged in mercantile pursuits, being now associated with two brothers-in-law .named Stover. Besides carrying on general merchandising they are also extensively interested in farming, having some 600 acres of fine land, half of which adjoins the town site. Mr. Motz also has land in his own name aside from his company interests. This firm operates two stores in Guthrie Center and one at Wichita, the latter being a general stock of dry goods, groceries, hardware, queensware and everything needed to supply the wants of farmer customers.
In Center county, Pennsylvania, in 1846, Mir. Motz was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Stover, who was born in Haynes township, that county, and is four years her husband's junior. Six children were born to them, but only three are now living: Montgomery, at home; Grant, who is employed by his father; and Juniata, also at home. Alice died at the age of eighteen years, and two died in childhood.
Mr. Motz has always been influential in the business and political affairs of the community, and was a zealous worker for the railroad, which was constructed largely by private contributions and public taxation. He subscribed $900 besides paying his share of the firm's taxes, which amounted to $2,600. Politically he and his sons are Republican, while religiously himself, wife and son, Grant, hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The family is both widely and favorably known in the county and is held in the highest regard. Mr. Motz has traveled quite extensively over his native land, visiting the East and also the Pacific coast. The journey to the latter, being a pleasure trip, in 1885, is now recalled as one of the bright spots in his memory. He was accompanied by some neighboring friends, and in the entire excursion traveled over 6,500 miles, visiting all of the important points of interest. He has done much towards advancing the best interests of Guthrie Center as well as the entire county, aiding in every worthy enterprise, and deserves to be ranked among her popular and representative citizens.
REV. JAMES FOLEY, pastor of. St. Patrick's Church, Roman Catholic, Stuart, Iowa, is a native of county Carlow, Ireland, born in the town of Tullow:, on the 15th day of August, 1852. His childhood and early mature years were spent in his native town. .When a child he entered St. Patrick's monastery in Tullow, pursuing his studies there until he had completed the full classical course, when he- entered Carlow College at eighteen years of age. His studies there were directed along the lines of moral and natural philosophy, theology and the sacred Scriptures. Six years were spent in this-one of the oldest institutions of learning in Ireland. Carlow College was established in 1783, for the purpose of educating young men for the priesthood of home and foreign missions, many of whom have found a useful sphere of labor in America. During the last years of Father Foley's collegiate course, he filled the honorable position of Senior Prefect in Carlow Lay College.
At the completion of his course there he was ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Dubuque, on the 10th of June. 1876. Though deeply imbued with the love of his native land, he bade farewell to .friends and home and sailed for America September 15, 1876. He was appointed by Bishop Hennessy as assistant pastor in Des Moines, where he remained until his promotion as pastor of Stuart, on August 25, 1877. As the pioneer pastor he came here in the days of his youth to a new and undeveloped location, to build it up and "to grow up with the country." There are few priests in the State who have grown up to so high a measure of esteem and reverence as Father Foley has attained amongst all classes in his mission; and whilst the land has rapidly progressed from wild prairie to highly cultivated fields, dotted everywhere with happy homes and prosperous hamlets and vilIages, Father Foley has also been assiduous in instructing and visiting his people, and largely instrumental in inducing many good Catholic families to build their homes in this favored spot.
At his arrival here in 1877 the mission comprised nearly all the counties of Guthrie and Adair. Mass was occasionally celebrated at different points, but the principal stations at which congregations were organized were: Stuart, Guthrie Center, Adair, Bridgewater and Bayard; and the number of Catholic families found here at that time comprised twenty-four at Stuart, sixteen at Adair, fifteen at Guthrie Center, twelve at Bridgewater, and eight at Bayard. In ministering to the spiritual wants of these people so widely separated the reader can readily imagine the amount of labor and exposure endured, and the extent of spiritual zeal which would prompt such an undertaking. The roads at this time in this new country were not permanently established, and in winter time were often obscure; yet the rigors of the wintry blast were not tempered, even to, one on a mission of humanity.
In 1877 Stuart had only a very small church, incumbered with some indebtedness. Renting a cottage for temporary residence, Father Foley began his pastoral duties amid many discouragements, yet in a short time the church was relieved from debt. The next step was the building of a parochial residence, which was admirably planned, and of such appropriate design that it is an honor to the parish and to the diocese. Year by year the efforts to embellish and improve were renewed; the church was twice handsomely enlarged and now measures 32X90 feet, with an additional large extension, having sacristy and gallery, the whole being neatly finished and artistically decorated. The altars, vestments and ornaments have been lavishly provided; there is seating capacity for the entire congregation; and a sweet-toned bell of 2,000 pounds daily reminds the parishioners of their spiritual necessities even though they may be engaged in a struggle to provide for their temporal wants. Ample and well selected grounds have been provided and tastefully improved with trees and verdure. A half square has been secured to provide for a Sisters' school site, when a school becomes feasible, and all this has been accomplished with the greatest harmony and good will, and with strictest attendance to instruction, prayer and all the most edifying spiritual ministrations of his holy vocation. Guthrie Center has always enjoyed the full measure of Father Foley's careful attendance. It is the county seat, a beautiful little city; they have a neat, well-kept church, and have their priest with them at regular intervals on Sundays and on many other occasions of extra feast days; but the congregation does not grow as rapidly as others, because the tendency of Catholic families in a new country is to choose their homes where the priest resides.
Adair, .in Adair county, twenty miles west .of Stuart, claims Father Foley as the first priest who came and said mass amongst them. The country is very rolling and looks almost mountainous as the eye sweeps from ridge to ridge in every direction, with an unobstructed view of five miles and more. Here Father Foley gathered his little flock in vacant rooms or residences, then took the public-school room, which on Sunday he divided with the Methodist congregation, the one celebrating the divine mysteries "up stairs," while the other conducted their meeting at the same time "down stairs, "-all in brotherly harmony. But in 1882, under the direction of Father Foley, the Catholics built their own church, at a cost of about $3,000.
This parish is the place where Father Foley can speak of sick calls. It is the congregation of magnificent distances, and his graphic description of a sick call 'mid blizzard or cyclone will equal the most thrilling incidents in the lives of the missionaries of fifty years ago. On July 4, 1893, Right Reverend Bishop Cosgrove kindly remembered the people of Adair and sent them Rev. John F. Kempker, as resident pastor, who is still with them, an able teacher and contributor to the literature of the church.
Bridgewater, under the direction of Father Foley, included all the southern half of Adair county and part of Cass county. Some forty families were scattered here and there over this vast field, the three principal points for celebrating mass being the German colony four miles north of the town of Bridgewater, Fontanelle and Greenfield; but within the last few years this field was detached and placed under charge of the Benedictine Fathers’ of Creston. Bayard congregation was relinquished in 1882 into the charge of the pastor of Perry.
All of these several fields of labor were attended faithfully by Father Foley until the extension of railroads or the building of new ones rendered it possible for others to reach the fields conveniently, and hence Father Foley is justly remembered by those people as the one who ministered to them in their dire necessities, and his name will ever be revered by them.
He has been a member of the Bishop's Council for six years, and is prominently connected with the Irish National League of Iowa. For the last ten years he has been treasurer of this .organization, and thousands of dollars have been faithfully transmitted by him to the parent society across the sea.
The wonderful growth and prosperity of the Stuart mission is therefore due to the indefatigable labors of Father Foley, whom the people of every nationality and every creed: recognize as a gentleman of boundless usefulness and purity of life. He is not only useful as a wise and trusted pastor, but in the ordinary affairs of life he always finds time for a friendly greeting and a helping hand. The influence of such a life spent in a community is of incalculable value to the rising generation, whatever their religious training may be.
CHARLES WESLEY HILL, County Attorney of Guthrie county, Iowa, was born in Bartholomew county, Indiana, July 4, 1843, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Hough) Hill, the former of English and the latter of German ancestry. The father's birth occurred in Bourbon county, Kentucky, in 1801, and he died in Bartholomew county, Indiana, in 1850. The mother, who was a native of North Carolina, removed to Indiana, where she married Mr. Hill, and she passed away when our subject was still an infant.
Being early left an orphan Charles W. Hill lived among strangers, and was bound out until twenty-one, but ran away from his guardian after serving six years. Since then he has been wholly dependent upon his own resources. In the fall of 1856 he came to Iowa, and for one year remained in Mahaska county, but on the expiration of that time removed to Panora, Guthrie county, walking from Oskaloosa to that place, carrying his worldly possessions. There he remained until the breaking out of the Rebellion. For a short time he attended the Iowa Wesleyan University, after which he engaged in teaching, being thus employed, and with a term half finished, when he enlisted, becoming a member of Company C, Fourth Iowa Infantry. On the 5th of July, 1861, they left Guthrie county, being among the first three-year men in the field.
During the first years of the war the company was under the command of General Curtis in Arkansas and Missouri, their first battle being at Pea Ridge in March, 1862. They afterward joined the Fifteenth Army Corps, with which they went to Vicksburg, the next battle being Chickasaw Bayou. The company then participated in the battle of Arkansas Post under General McClernand, he having temporarily relieved General Sherman, who commanded at the last engagement. The Fifteenth Corps was afterward under General John A. Logan, and in that department Mr. Hill remained until the close of the war. He passed through the various grades of official positions in his company, being Corporal, then Sergeant, and being made Second Lieutenant in 1863 and promoted to First Lieutenant in 1864. During the last five months he served as regimental Quartermaster, being detailed to that position while at Savannah, Georgia. He was with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea, and participated in the engagements at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge under General Hooker, being temporarily detached from Sherman's army for that purpose. The First Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps was the only part so detached. Mr. Hill was in the battle of Jackson, the siege of Vicksburg and the final assault on that stronghold,- in fact was in two assaults on Vicksburg. After its surrender the second battle at Jackson took place, it having been recaptured by the enemy. After the fall of Vicksburg, the Fifteenth went on transports to Memphis and then marched to Chattanooga, Tennessee, being in several battles and skirmishes en route, among which was the battle of Cherokee Station. Next followed the engagements at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, as previously noted. The student of history still remembers the peculiar combination of affairs leading up to these engagements. The campaign of 1863 was ended with the battle of Buzzards' Roost or Ringgold. They then returned to Woodville, Alabama, where the regiment re-enlisted.
At Ringgold, Mr. Hill was wounded but was able to join the boys on their veteran furlough, though not fully recovered, coming home in March, 1864, and after thirty days returned in time to start on the Atlanta campaign. He was in the battles at Resaca, Dallas, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta and Jonesboro. On the day General McPherson was killed, our subject received his second wound, being struck directly over the heart. A peculiar feature of this wound was the fact that his life was saved by the ball striking a book carried in his blouse pocket, thus retarding its force and preventing its entering his body. Though unconscious for hours and carried off the field for dead, he recovered and in a few days rejoined his command, but was never again able to carry a knapsack. Mr. Hill witnessed the signaling between Generals Corse and Sherman, the former at Kenesaw mountain, and the latter at Altoona. This was the· foundation plank of the famous song "Hold the Fort." General Corse being closely pressed, Sherman signaled him to "Hold the fort, for I am coming." General Corse's reply, however, does not appear in the song but was characteristic of the man and the situation, it being, "I am minus one ear and a cheek bone; but I can whip hell out of them yet.” The regiment was engaged in skirmishing all the way to the sea when Savannah was the objective point, reaching there December 16, 1864, and General Sherman presented Savannah, with the trophies of war, to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift. After the fall of that city the troops went on transports to Beaufort, South Carolina, whence they marched against Columbia, taking that place, and at Cheraw, North Carolina, captured valuable stores. From there they proceeded to Bentonville, where the last battle was fought in that department. They then went on to Raleigh, where the army lay at the time of Lee's and Johnston's surrenders and the assassination of President Lincoln. They then marched on to Richmond, Petersburg and Washington, participating in the grand review of the victorious armies. The regiment of which our subject was a member then proceeded to Louisville, Kentucky, and at Davenport, Iowa, was mustered out and discharged, August 8, 1865.
Mr. Hill returned to Panora after an absence of over four years, during which time the most stirring events in his life experience occurred. In the fall of 1865 he entered the Iowa Wesleyan University to complete the course so summarily closed at· the breaking out of the war. He was elected Clerk of the District Court of Guthrie county for the term beginning January I, 1869, and was re-elected five successive terms, closing his connection with that office on the 1st of January, 1879. He then retired to his farm for two years, at the end of which time he entered the law department of the University of Michigan, where he was graduated in March, 1883, and immediately entered upon practice at Panora. He there remained until the spring of 1889, when he went to Tacoma, Washington, but at the end of two years returned to Iowa, locating at Guthrie Center, in October, 1891, and began the prosecution of his profession. In November, 1894, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Guthrie county, in which position he is now capably serving.
On the 4th of November, 1869, Mr. Hill wedded Miss Mary J. Farnsworth, a native of Indiana, coming to Guthrie county with her parents when a child. Two daughters were born of this union: Lavina, who is a student in the senior year in the Iowa College, at Grinnell; and Alberta, who was born in March, 1873, and died at Tacoma, Washington, in September, 1890.
The family to which our subject belongs has been well represented in the wars of this country, the paternal grandfather having served in the war of 1812, while five brothers of Mr. Hill aided in the preservation of the Union during the Civil war, all in different regiments. Justus E., who was a member of the First Colorado Cavalry, is now a resident of Sioux City, Iowa, and is in the employ of the railroad. James L. was a member of the Sixty-seventh Indiana Infantry, was taken prisoner in 1863, and probably died in Tyler, Texas, .having never since been heard of. Thomas J., a member of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, died at Newtonia, Missouri, in 1863. Aaron M., now a farmer residing near Eddyville, Iowa, was a member of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry. A step-brother, W. H. Spurgin, was also in the First Iowa Cavalry, and is now a fanner living near Panora.
Mr. Hill holds membership with Charley Baker Post, No. 23, G. A. R., at Panora; also Panora Lodge, No. 121, A. F. & A. M.; and Milton Chapter, No. 98, R. A. M., of Guthrie Center, of which he is Secretary. His church relations are with the Presbyterians, and in the work of that denomination he takes an active part. He has hosts of friends in Guthrie county, where he has so long resided, and has the confidence and esteem of all with whom he comes in contact. As a lawyer he stands high among his professional brethren, and has won an enviable reputation, while as an official he gives unqualified satisfaction.
WILLIAM HOLSMAN, who for nearly forty years figured prominently as one of the leading and influential agriculturists of Guthrie county, Iowa, passed away on the. 25th of July, 1895, and his death proved a loss to the entire community. He was ever a valued citizen, placing the advancement of the general welfare above party preference. In business life his integrity was above question and his private career was undimmed by the shadow of wrong. True and honorable in all things, the world is better for his having lived, and the history of his adopted county would be incomplete without the record of his life.
Mr. Holsman was a native of the Keystone State, born in Union county, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1814.. His parents, George and Hannah (Lenhart) Holsman, were also natives of that State, and the former, born near Philadelphia, was of German lineage. About 1816 they removed to Perry county, Pennsylvania, locating on the banks of the Susquehanna river, twenty-seven miles from Harrisburg. They became the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters, namely: Mary Ann, George, William, James, Peter, Susan, Margaret, Henry and John. The last named is the only one now living, his home being in Sedalia, Missouri. The father died in Liverpool, Perry county, Pennsylvania, at the age of forty-five years, and his wife, who long survived him, passed away at the home of her son William in Guthrie county, Iowa, at the advanced age of eighty-three. The father was a shoemaker by trade. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran Church, and his wife, for more than half a century, was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Holsman of this review was reared in Perry county, Pennsylvania, acquired his education in the district schools, and learned the trade which his father followed, becoming an expert workman. When he had thoroughly mastered the business, he traveled through Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and at various points in those States was employed as a journeyman shoemaker. He worked in several of the larger cities, including Chicago, Pittsburg and St. Louis, and his ability along this line made it an easy task for him to secure a situation. In 1839 he visited Chicago when the now magnificent city-the metropolis of the West-was hardly more than a village, and gave little promise of its future phenomenal development. He also visited Galena, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.
During this time Mr. Holsman had always considered Pennsylvania his home, but in 1840 he bade adieu to the State of his nativity and took up his residence in Senecaville, Guernsey county, Ohio, where the following year occurred one of the most important events in his life-his marriage with Miss Lucy Dilley, who was born and reared in that county. Her parents, Robert and Hannah (McDonald) Dilley, were both natives of New Jersey, the former of English and the latter of Scotch decent. As the years passed by sons and daughters; to the number of nine, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Holsman. In order of birth they were as follows: George, who was born in 1843, was a veteran of the late war, serving three years as a member of the Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. He died in 1892, leaving a widow and eight children. Hannah is the wife of G. W. Reed, a farmer and stock-raiser of Baker township, Guthrie county. Julia is the wife of W. C. McCool, an implement dealer of Salem, Nebraska. Susan married Judge J. B. Carpenter, an attorney of Oklahoma. John is living on the home farm. Lucy M. is the wife of Frank M. Hopkins, a banker of Guthrie Center, Iowa. Harry B. is a prominent attorney of Omaha, Nebraska. Two children died in infancy.
During his residence in Ohio, Mr. Holsman followed shoemaking, and also engaged in the raising of horses and cattle. In 1856, however, he disposed of his interests there and came to Iowa, making the journey by rail as far as St. Louis, thence up the river to Keokuk, and on by the rougher method of travel by team. At length he arrived in Orange township, Guthrie county, where he had purchased 280 acres of land. He remained on the farm for two years, but farm products at that time brought low prices, corn being only ten cents a bushel, and he believed he could make more by following his trade. In consequence he removed to Panora, .where by his untiring labors he made from $12 to $15 a week. Subsequently he traded his land for the old homestead on Bear creek, then comprising 160 acres, on section 26, Baker township. This land had been claimed in 1853 by Joseph Fleek, one of the early pioneers of the State, and was partly improved at the time it passed into the possession of Mr. Holsman. With characteristic energy he began its development and as his financial resources increased he extended the boundaries of his farm from time to time until it comprised 500 acres, a large portion of it being rich bottom soil along Bear creek. The place was well tilled and the waving fields of grain indicated the care and supervision of the owner. He was also largely interested in stock-raising, keeping on hand between one and two hundred head of cattle. He has also purchased land in other localities until at the time of his death his possessions aggregated more than 900 acres. His name was synonymous with honorable dealing. His success came to him as the result of earnest effort, steady application and good management and was certainly well deserved. From humble surroundings he arose to a position of wealth and affluence, and as he mounted higher step by step he commanded still more the admiration and confidence of the community.
Previous to 1860 Mr. Holsman was identified with the Democratic party, but in that year supported Abraham Lincoln for the presidency, and was ever afterward a stalwart advocate of Republican principles, taking a deep .interest in political affairs, and supporting all the candidates of his party. He attended every State convention with two exceptions from 1860 until called to his final rest, and was frequently honored with positions of public trust, wherein he discharged his duties with a promptness and fidelity that won him high regard. Shortly after his removal to Panora, he was appointed Sheriff of Guthrie county to fill an unexpired term, at the end of which he was elected for a two-years term. After an interval of two years he was once more elected, in 1863, and served until 1865. In March, 1879, he was appointed Postmaster of Guthrie Center, holding that position for nearly eight years, or until August 30, 1886. In 1889 he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, and in the autumn of the same year he was elected for a full term. The confidence reposed in him was never misplaced. He discharged his duties to the best of his ability and that ability was of a high order. He was a recognized leader for his superior intelligence, excellent executive ability and unsullied character well fitted him for leadership.
Mr. Holsman was long identified with the Masonic fraternity. He became a charter member of Orange Lodge, No. 123, F. &A. M., which was named in honor of his old home in Orange township. He served as Tyler of this lodge on its organization and was afterward its Treasurer for a number of years.
In 1874 Mr. Holsman was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in November, at the age of fifty-six years. She was a devoted wife and loving mother, and had the warm regard of a large circle of friends. Some years after her demise Mr. Holsman paid a high tribute to her memory in the following words: “She was one of the best women that ever lived, and I miss her all the time." He was called to his final rest July 25, 1895, in the eighty-first year of his age. His life was indeed a successful one. He was numbered among those pioneers of the county who had watched its growth from an early day, and he had ever borne his part in the work of progress and improvement. He possessed a positive character, being intense in his likes and dislikes and no element of hypocrisy found a place in his nature. Among all the citizens of Guthrie county none had a warmer place in the hearts of the people, and on the announcement of the death of Mr. Holsman a feeling of sadness pervaded the whole community. He was laid to rest with Masonic honors, and his funeral was one of the largest ever held in the county, friends assembling from far and near to pay their last tribute of respect to one whom they had long known and honored.
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