Home Page

Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Forty Five

Overton | Pett | Plath | Porter | Prather | Pugh | Reed |

OVERTON - Harmon D. OVERTON, of Missouri Valley, first came to Harrison County, in 1864, locating in Cincinnati Township, where he ran a saw mill for two years. In 1866, he returned to Omaha, lived two years, and then came back to Missouri Valley.

Our subject was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., in the town of Loraine, March 25, 1831. He is the son of James D. and Betsy (ALLEN) OVERTON. The father was a native of the Empire State, as was also his mother. The history of the OVERTON family shows, that in the seventeenth century, three brothers came to America from England. One settled in the North and the other two in the South. The North branch of the family is the branch from which our subject descended. The grandfather, Joseph B. OVERTON, was in the War of 1812. The father of our subject was a shoe-maker and tanner, and had a family of seven children, our subject being the oldest. The father died in October, 1814, and the mother at Omaha, in 1867. Of the seven children, five are living. A brother died on Island No. 10, on the Mississippi River, in 1855, of yellow fever, and a sister died in New York. One brother is a minister in Council Bluffs, and one lives in Pennsylvania. One sister lives in Hancock County, Ill., and the other lives in southern Missouri. The family came to Illinois when our subject was but nine years of age, and located on Spring Creek, Hancock County, near Macomb. The father was a farmer in that section. Here our subject received his education, and remained with his mother, assisting in the support of the family, until 1852, when he went to St. Louis and engaged in steam-boating. He served as an engineer on the river until 1857, running on the steam-boat "Omaha." He made Sioux City his terminal point north. He made his first trip in 1856, and was serving as an assistant engineer at that time. He operated the Omaha and Council Bluffs ferry-boat for about five years. Since coming to Missouri Valley, he has made that place his home but has been away much of the time himself, and has followed steam-boating much of the time, and also run a blacksmith shop in Missouri Valley. In April, 1891, he took charge of the water-works plant at Missouri Valley, where he still remains.

He was united in marriage December 15, 1855, at St. Louis, Mo., to Rebecca COOLEY, a native of Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. OVERTON are the parents of four children, three of whom are deceased. Delia HARDMAN, their youngest child, is at home with them.

In politics, Mr. OVERTON supports the principles of the Republican party.

During four years prior to his engaging in the water works at Missouri Valley, he was employed at bridge work at Rulo, Neb., Nebraska City and Memphis, Tenn.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 710, 713
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

PETT - William PETT, a farmer living on section 11 of LaGrange Township, came to Harrison County in May, 1867, and moved into a small house which stood upon his present farm. He followed the brick masons' trade, and lived on this place for two years, and then bought forty acres of land where he now lives, still continuing to live in the shanty he had provided until he could build, which was three years later, when he built a frame house 1x18 feet, one story and half high, with a kitchen 9x14 feet, and in 1885, made an addition fourteen feet square. About 1881 he build a frame barn 23x26 feet, and has added to his farm until it now contains one hundred and twenty acres. Our subject was born in Warwickshire, England, October 15, 1820, and remained at home with his parents until he was eighteen years of age, and then commenced to learn the mason's trade. His father died, and from the time he was fourteen to eighteen years of age he had to work out, and only received about $25.00 per year; but after learning his trade he got better wages. In the autumn of 1866, he bid farewell to England, and the scenes of his childhood, and sailed for America, coming direct to St. Louis, where he worked at his trade until 1867, and then came to Harrison County.

He was united in marriage in England, August, 1846 to Miss Hannah BENNETT, and they are the parents of ten children, Jane, Emma, Anna, Walter, Ellen, Moses, and Eliza (twins, Robert, William, Florence, Emma, and Jane.

Mrs. Hannah (BENNETT) PETT was born in England, February 22, 1822, and she remained with her parents until the date of her marriage. His father was a gardener by trade, and followed that for a livelihood until his death, which occurred in 1834. His mother, Hannah (GASKINS) PETT, was born in England, and remained there until her death, in 1881.

William PETT and wife were the parents of five children, our subject being the oldest. They were members of the Protestant church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 692, 693
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

PLATH - Charles F. PLATH, a farmer, living on section 5, Magnolia Township, was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, October 19, 1856, and in the autumn of 1857 his parents came to America, and remained in the city of Cleveland until November, 1879, when our subject came to Harrison County, working by the month for one year, and then bought one hundred and twenty acres of partly improved land. He went to work on this land and improved it and in 1886 built a house 16x26 feet, one story and a half high, and a little later on built a barn, sheds and other outbuildings, and now has a finely improved farm, with sixty-nine acres under the plow, while the balance is in meadow and pasture land, and all the property that he possesses he has made by his own exertion.

He was married April 3, 1883, in Magnolia Township, to Miss Dora VOHS, and they are the parents of five children--Julia W., Lena H., Emma A., Dora W., and Mattie L.

Mrs. PLATH was born in Hanover, Germany, January 1, 1864, and when a small girl her parents removed to America, remained one year in Jackson County, Iowa, and then came to Harrison County, settling in Calhoun Township.

Mr. and Mrs. PLATH are members of the German Lutheran Church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 676
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

PORTER - F. J. PORTER, one of the pioneers of 1855, settled at Jeddo in Jefferson Township, where he remained until 1858. The village at that time consisted of George THORPE's general store, Charles BAKER's blacksmith shop, the post office kept by Owen THORPE, four frame houses and one school house. During this sojourn in Jeddo Mr. PORTER operated Owen THORPE's sawmill. In 1858 he purchased a farm in section 3, in Jefferson Township. This property was scantily improved, having but a small dwelling and thirty acres breaking done. Here he remained until 1869, during which time he made extensive improvements and finally sold for $56.25 an acre--which was a very neat price at that time. He immediately bought other property, but soon sold at an advance. He finally decided to settle on a hundred-acre tract in section 19. Boyer Township, as its location gave him school facilities as well as timber and wild pasture, which at that time was thought would never be fenced. Here he enjoyed free range for several years, but at this writing there is scarcely an open acre for miles around. The extensive commons of 1869, on which the herdman's cattle grazed, have yielded to the power of the plow, and waving fields of grain have come instead. With this hundred acres as a nucleus, he lived, labored, and accumulated lands and worldly wealth until the year 1891, when he purchased a residence in Woodbine and has temporarily moved there, for the purpose of giving his younger children the advantages of the justly celebrated normal School; leaving his farm to be carried on under the supervision of his son. His farm now consisting of eight hundred and eighty acres, all in one body, is one of the finest in the county.

Here are two hundred and sixty acres of clover and timothy, two hundred and fifty natural pasture, one hundred and twenty acres timber pasturage, and two hundred and fifty acres plow land--a farm excellently well apportioned for stock raising. Nestling under the protection of the timber is an orchard of four hundred bearing apple trees, besides cherry and plum trees and quantities of small fruit, shrubbery and plants. Forty of the one hundred twenty acres of timber is devoted to yards and hog pasture, which, owing to its natural advantages and artificial improvements, cannot be surpassed in the State.

Great care has been exercised in the location and construction of improvements--barns, sheds, cribs, etc., are substantially built and carefully painted.

The system of water supply in the yards, the wind mills and wells located at different parts of the farm, add much to the value and convenience of the place. Each eighty acres of this farm has either a good well, walled with brick or stone, or a stream of running water.

Care has always been exercised in the proper rotation of crops, and the refuse of the yards has been systematically spread over the poorest points.

To acquaint our readers with the parentage and early life of our subject, it should be stated that he was born March 22, 1838, in Canada, of Scotch and Irish parents. Here he lied until 1845, when he with his parents removed to New York City. After an eventful five years in the great metropolis, this youth enlisted in the regular army, as a fifer, and was assigned to a company bound for the frontier. While in the western country the company to which he belonged was in a brigade commanded by Gen. HARNEY, and they were stationed in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and at one time in Old Mexico. The company to which Mr. PORTER was an attache engaged in several battles and skirmishes with the Brule Indians, and in several actions were led by that famous scout, Kit CARSON.

On his return to civil like, in 1855, Mr. PORTER was induced to stop in Harrison County, where he has since made his home, being absent only while serving a three years' volunteer period in the Civil War.

Mr. PORTER was a member of Company E, of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and during his enlistment served in several important capacities. The brigade to which the Sixth Iowa belonged was under command of Gen. SULLY, and served in the Missouri and Yellowstone River regions.

On the 6th of February, 1850, Mr. PORTER was married to Lucy FRANCES, who was born in Athens County, Ohio, February 9, 1840, and came with her parents to Harrison County in 1856. Of this union eleven children were born, nine of whom are living. Those who have attained their majority have all received college educations and are now successfully engaged in business or household duties.

Politically, Mr. PORTER affiliates with the Republican party. He belongs to the Masonic and Odd Fellow's fraternities and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Considering the age of the man of whom this sketch is written, his has been a life of interesting evens; entering the regular army when a boy of but twelve summers, as a musician, and accompanying United States Army Regulars into the wildest portions of the West, encountering warlike tribes of Indians; visiting a score or more localities which since have reared large cities, both in the South, West and Northwest; plying the waters of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers a decade or more before Yankton was platted, or Omaha and Sioux City were known to the world, he has gained much knowledge of the western frontier.

Unlike most of the youth who serve in the regular army, he has had a successful business career, and now, when he is less than sixty years of age we find him in the enjoyment of a handsome property, all accumulated by his own tact and energy.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 719, 720
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

PRATHER - Jonathan Clark PRATHER, an enterprising groceryman at Missouri Valley, has been a resident of the place since October 1, 1870. He was born in March 27, 1853, in Lucas County, Iowa, near LaGrange, and is the son of J. C. and Elizabeth (ROLAND) PRATHER. The father died in October, 1852, a few months before the birth of our subject, and hence he knows but little concerning his father's ancestors. Of the ROLAND family it may be said that they date far back in the State of Kentucky, but members of the family moved to Indiana at an early day, and later came to Iowa. There were two children in the family, our subject and a sister, the wife of Sylvester SHORE, a resident of Missouri Valley. Our subject's early education was received in Lucas County, and, later on, at Missouri Valley. After leaving the High School at the last-named place he followed teaching in Harrison County for four years, and conducted a farm in St. John's Township for seven years. In the spring of 1884 moved to Missouri Valley and formed a partnership with S. H. MORGAN, under the firm name of MORGAN & PRATHER, which existed until 1886, and in the autumn of that year Mr. PRATHER purchased his partner's interest, and has since conducted it alone. Mr. PRATHER's mother married for her second husband Joseph CHAMBERS, who was a soldier in the Civil War, and there contracted disease by exposure in prison, from which he eventually died. She is now residing in LaGrange Township.

Politically, our subject was a democrat originally, but now votes the Independent ticket. The next year after he came to Missouri Valley he was elected one of the councilmen from the first ward, and has served for five year, still holding such position.

He was united in marriage November 23, 1876, to Miss Catherine DOUGHERTY, who is a native of Pennsylvania, but when a mere child accompanied her parents to the West. They are now living in St. John's Township, this county. The father is James, and the mother Mary (SNYDER) DOUGHERTY, and by this union Mr. and Mrs. PRATHER have become the parents of four children--Mary, born July 7, 1879; Edward, June 19, 1883; Catherine, June 25, 1886, and Rosa, born October 1, 1889.

Mr. PRATHER belongs to the Modern Woodmen of American, and his wife is a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

Our subject has been quite successful since he embarked in trade, and is a highly respected citizen of Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 723, 724
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

PUGH - Alfred B. PUGH, one of the successful farmers of Union Township, residing on section 6, has been a resident of Harrison County for a third of a century. He first settled on the John ROGERS place, LaGrange Township, where he leased land for one season, and then purchased fifty acres, comprising a part of his present farm. At that time, he was living with his parents; his father purchased near by, and the land is a part of his present farm. Our subject remained with his father until he had reached the years of his majority. He built a log cabin upon his land, and kept bachelor's hall there for one year, and in 1862, added one hundred acres to this farm. He broke and grubbed until he has eighty-five acres of that land under cultivation. His log cabin was torn away, and he erected a house, 16x24 feet, with a wing, 14x16 feet on the site of his old cabin home, which was burned in February, 1872. Since then he has added to his house, and built a barn, 30x40 feet, with a granary, 16x18 feet; a carriage house, 20x24 feet; put in a pair of scales; dug three wells; erected a wind-mill and made numerous other improvements. His present farm comprises two hundred and eighteen acres, ninety-seven of which are under cultivation. The place has an orchard of six hundred bearing trees, which are a source of annual revenue to our subject.

Mr. PUGH was born in Campbell County, Va., March 27, 1840, the son of David and Eliza (HUTCHINSON) PUGH, who were the parents of 10 children--Reis G., deceased; Mary J., deceased; Martha A., deceased; George, deceased; Charles, deceased; John T., deceased; Esther, Alfred B., Jonathan G. and Harriet, deceased.

Our subject with his parents moved to Greenbrier County, the old Dominion State, where he remained until they came to Harrison County.

Our subject was united in marriage November 8, 1863, to Nancy L. KNIGHT, daughter of Houston and Elizabeth KNIGHT, natives of Indiana, who reared a family of eleven children, our subject's wife being the seventh. Mr. and Mrs. PUGH are the parents of the following children--Charles D., Mary J., Martha A., William G., deceased; Andrew C., deceased; Aubrie B., John W., deceased; Jessie H., Bessie H., deceased and Frank, deceased. Four of these children are living in Iowa and one in California.

Our subject has passed through four grasshopper seasons, two of which were destructive; also had his crops injured by hail storms.

He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, Logan Lodge, No. 355 and both he and his good wife are acceptable members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Harris Grove, and are active members of the same.

Mr. PUGH has possessed a much greater tract of land since his residence in the county, which has been distributed among his children as follows: each of his daughters he has given seventy acres and sold to his son-in-law seventy acres.

He has had many reverses in the way of sickness, which has cost him many hundreds of dollars.

Politically, he is a Democrat, and is now on his fourth term as Justice of the Peace. He is a Notary Public; has been Treasurer of the School Board and held other offices of minor import.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 706, 707
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

REED - Prof. Marcellus A. REED, now connected with the Woodbine Normal School has been a resident of Harrison County since 1886, and was identified with the public schools of Dunlap until 1891, when he came to Woodbine.

Mr. REED was born in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, June 20, 1857, and is the son of Thomas and Caroline (PIERCE) REED, being the oldest of a family of three children--two sons and one daughter. His father spent his life as a farmer and stock-raiser. Our subject first attended the district schools in Trumbull County, to which location his father move when Marcellus was three years old. He remained in the schools there until fourteen years of age. Three years later his parents removed to Garretsville, Portage County. He attended school at the Western Reserve Seminary at West Farmington, and also at Scio College, in Harrison County, attending three years at the last-named place, graduating June 25, 1874, after which he was assistant Principal in the Garretsville High School for five years. He then attended Allegheny College one year, when he was made Principal of the Chardon High School, which position he held for three years and was Superintendent of the Girard Public Schools three years. He then came to Harrison County, Iowa, having been engaged as Superintendent of the Dunlap public schools.

Our subject was untied in marriage November 27, 1885, to Olive M. HARROFF, a native of Canfield, Ohio, born June 18, 1861. Mrs. REED is the daughter of Andrew and Orphy (FLICK) HARROFF. Her father has followed carpentering, building and milling most of his life. Both he and his wife are residents of Canfield, Ohio.

Returning to our subject's father it may said he was born in the county of Donegal, Ireland, in 1823, and sailed for America when a young man. He was the youngest of the family and the first to emigrate to the New World. He was soon followed by two brothers, two sisters, and the mother; the father having died when he was a mere lad. Thomas REED, father of our subject, died at Garretsville, Ohio, in July, 1889.

Our subject and his wife are the parents of two children--Della D., born January 11, 1887, and Harold L., June 29, 1888.

Politically Mr. REED believes in the general principles of the Republican party, and is a stanch supporter of the same.

He is an honorable member of the Hospitable Lodge, No. 243, A. F. & A. M., and Ark Chapter, No. 89, at Dunlap. Both he and his wife are acceptable members of the Congregational Church, of which he has been a member ten years. Mrs. REED was formerly connected with the Christion Church, but upon coming to Harrison County united with the Congregational Church.

As an educator according to the modern methods, there are few superiors to the man of whom we write this sketch, and though yet a young man, he has been eminent in the line of his chosen profession, as the various institutions of learning, in his native State as well as in this county attest. His early life and ambition seemed wrapped up in gaining knowledge and in studying the best methods of imparting the same to others, who shall go out into the busy world as sound thinkers and practical business men and women. It may be said in this connection that he is truly in his proper sphere, as one of the principals of the Woodbine Normal, which is now looked upon as among the best training schools of Western Iowa. He was awarded a life diploma by the Iowa State Board of examiners, in December, 1890, as well as the degree of M. s., by Scio College.

Mrs. REED was educated at the Canfield high School and the Northwestern Ohio Normal School and is a graduate of the first named institution.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 695, 696
Family Researcher: NA
To Page Index--- To Bio Index

Return to Harrison County Home Page