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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Fifty Two

Graybill | Ennis | Caley | Chapman | Bechtel | Davis | Ervin

GRAYBILL - Andrew J. GRAYBILL, a farmer and stockraiser, on section 32 of Washington Township, came to Harrison County in the spring of 1865, and lived with his brother, William A. GRAYBILL, until April, 1878, when he built on the place he now occupies; this structure was a frame house 14x18 feet in which he lived until 1884, and then built an addition 12x14 feet. His barn is 32x36 feet, with twenty-foot posts, and was erected about 1885. He was one of the joint owners of the half section of land purchased by his brother, William A., William SPEARS and O. H. STOKER, and in the division our subject got seventy-five acres, to which he has added from time to time, until he now has three hundred and five acres, all of which is well improved, and adapted to stock raising, and upon which he usually keeps seventy-five head of cattle.

Our subject was born in Adams County, Ill., December 29, 1842, and in 1848 his parents removed to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where he remained until the autumn of 1864, at which time he drove an ox-team, across the plains, to Denver, Col.; and in the spring of 1866, located in Harrison County, as above related having farmed a year previous in Pottawattamie County.

Another important event in the life of Mr. GRAYBILL occurred April 1, 1878, upon which day he was united in marriage to Miss Mary L. MILLER, the daughter of Abram and Sophronia A. MILLER. She was born at Decatur, Iowa, in 1856.

Mr. and Mrs. GRAYBILL are the parents of five children--Elmer A., deceased, Lucella B., Zenos H., Alva, and Mary M.

Politically, our subject is identified with the Democratic party, and in religious matters is a believer in the Latter Day Saints� faith.

During his quarter of a century�s residence in this county, Mr. GRAYBILL has been an untiring worker, honest and upright in all his dealings, and stands today among the representative men of his portion of the county, and is in the possession of an excellent farm home.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 669
Family Researcher: NA
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ENNIS - Hiram B. ENNIS ranks among the early pioneers of Harrison County, arriving as he did June 10, 1856. His father was a gunsmith, and ran a gun-store at old Calhoun, and remained there until 1877. The mother died at Little Sioux, in 1874, but the father lived until 1879, and they were both buried in Little Sioux cemetery. Their family consisted of seven sons and three daughters. Of this number our subject was the ninth child, only two of whom are living, our subject and a sister, the wife of Walter RICHARDSON, living near Mondamin.

Our subject was born October 5, 1844, near Dixon, Lee County, Ill., and at the age of nine years came to Harrison County, with his parents; so his education was received in both Illinois and Iowa. After he was grown to manhood he engaged in farming in Calhoun and St. John's Townships. In 1876 he gave up farm-life and removed to Missouri Valley, where he has since resided. He ran a corn-shller for about three years, and was elected Constable, which office he has held continuously for twelve years. He is now the owner of eight handsome dwelling houses, which he rents. In political maaters, Mr. ENNIS belongs to the Democratic party. He is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 170, and has been a member of the Missouri Valley fire department for fifteen years. He was married October 8, 1863, in Calhoun Township, to Nancy EARNEST, the daughter of B. EARNEST, a farmer living three miles north of Calhoun. Mrs. ENNIS was born in Pottawattamie County. The family came from Kentucky at a very early day. Her parents are both dead. She has three brothers and two sisters living in this county, and one sister residing at Council Bluffs. Mr. and Mrs. ENNIS are the parents of three children -- Albert, born March 13, 1867, living at home, and is a railroad man in the employ of the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad; Harry, born February 22, 1879, living at home; Lewis, born in December, 1883.

Our subject is active in all tha goes toward the advancement of Iowa in general, of Harrion County in particular, but more particularly is he interested in Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 429 and 431
Family Researcher: NA
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CALEY - John C. CALEY, dealer in boots and shoes at Missouri Valley, came to this county in 1866, and established a shoe shop at old St. Johns, but in December of the same year he moved to Missouri Valley and established the first restaurant in the place, in partnership with John HENRY, in which business he continued for two months, when he sold out and opened a harness shop, with John CASEY, the same being the shop of the kind in the place. This was early in 1867, and their place of business was where SKELTON'S blacksmith shop now stands. Our subject bought his partner out in 1878, and has continued in the shoe business ever since. In 1875, he removed to his present location on Erie Street, and now conducts a general boot and shoe business on quite an extensive scale.

Mr. CALEY was born in Rochester, N. Y., November 25, 1843. The family originated on the Isle of Man, near England, where the parents were born and united in marriage. They came to the United States in 1838. Our subject's parents were John and Esther (CHRISTIAN) CALEY. The father was a merchant. They had three children, our subject being the only one that grew to maturity. When he was quite small, his parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio. The father is still engaged in the mercantile business in that place, and is now seventy-six years of age. The mother passed from the scenes of this life several years ago. Our subject attended the schools of Cleveland, and worked in the store with his father. October 1, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. He participated in the battles of Winchester, Port Republic, Cedar Mountain, second Bull Run; and was taken sick and discharged on account of disability, returning home in 1863. He went to Montana to regain his health, and was absent about two years, when he went home on a visit, and in 1866 embarked in business in old St. Johns.

Politically, he is identified with the Republican party, believing it best serves the interests of the American people. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' order, belonging to Lodge No. 170, at Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.433
Family Researcher: NA
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CHAPMAN - Heber William CHAPMAN, a dry goods merchant and a popular citizen of the Village of Persia. Harrison County, Iowa, will form the subject of this sketch. He was born in Wiltshire, England, July 7, 1854, and in the spring of 1861, his parents came to the United States and from the coast came direct to Florence, Neb., near Omaha, and from there went overland by team to Salt Lake City, Utah, and returned to Florence, Neb., in 1864, and in the spring of 1865 came to Harrison County and settled on the Pigeon, in Cass Township, where they rented a farm for two years and then bought forty acres of land in Jefferson Township, near REEDER'S Mills. The place was improved at the time they purchased it and they held it until 1870, when they sold and moved to Valley View in Union Township, where they bought a piece of wild land comprising two hundred acres, which they improved. The Village of Persia was just started at this time (1882) and our subject started in the general merchandising business at that point, his being the first dry-goods store of the place. He is still carrying on an extensive business.

He was married to Miss Frances M. LEGAN, of Vinton, Benton County, Iowa, November 14,1875, and they are the parents of eight children�Maria, Robert, Elsie, Mabel, Emily, Edna, Willie and Elvin. Emily is deceased.

Mrs. CHAPMAN was born in Franklin, Johnson County, Ind., and she and her husband, together with their two oldest children, are acceptable members of the latter Day Saints Church. Mr. CHAPMAN is a member of the Masonic order, Lodge No. 490, at Persia. Politically, Mr. CHAPMAN votes with the Democratic party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.435-436
Family Researcher: NA
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BECHTEL - Henry A. BECHTEL, a lumber dealer of the village of Persia, is made the subject of the following biographical notice. He is a native of the "Hawkeye State," having been born June 18, 1855, in Dubuque, and when fourteen years of age commenced clerking for OSBORNE & RICHMOND, dealers in hats, caps and millinery goods in Dubuque, and remained with them for four years, and then went to Chickasaw County, and clerked in a general store in the town of LAWLER, remaining there until the summer of 1877, when he went to California. He remained in and about Los Angeles and San Diego, until some time during 1878, when he enlisted in the regular army, Company K, Sixth United States Cavalry, and was stationed in Arizona Territory. The date of his enlistment was January 7, 1878, and he was discharged January 6, 1883, at Ft. Lowell, Ariz., when he returned to Chickasaw County, Iowa, engaging in general merchandising with his father, A. BECHTEL. He remained there until the spring of 1887 and then went to Gowrie, Webster County, Iowa, where he was engaged in the lumber business until the spring of 1890, and then came to Persia.

Mr. BECHTEL was married at the Village of Lawler, July 19, 1884, to Belle ANDERSON, and they are the parents of two children�Raymond E. and Donald G.

Mrs. BECHTEL was born in Norway, and when a small child emigrated to Fayette County, Iowa, with her parents.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.438-441
Family Researcher: NA
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DAVIS - Francis L. DAVIS, loan and insurance agent at Missouri Valley, came to the place in 1872, having been a resident of Harrison County two years prior to that, living at River Sioux, were he was engaged in the stock business

Mr. DAVIS was born June 21, 1841, in Millport, N. Y. His parents were Elisha J. and Fannie (SHANNON) DAVIS. The DAVIS family were from New Jersey, and were of old Puritanic stock. The SHANNON family were early settlers near Seneca Lake, N. Y. The father followed harness-making and lumbering, and the family moved to Harrison County, in 1869, settling at River Sioux. In 1870, our subject came and entered into partnership with his father in the stock business, and continued until 1872. The father died in 1876, and was buried in Rose Hill cemetery, at Missouri Valley. His widow makes her home at River Sioux, and at Onawa, Iowa.

Our subject's early education was received at Wellsville, N. Y., at Alfred Academy. In August, 1861, Mr. DAVIS enlisted in Company E, Fifth New York Cavalry, and went to Staten Island, from there to Baltimore and thence to Annapolis, where he was ruptured and consequently returned home. While he enlisted for "three years or during the war" he was not engaged in any struggles of that great conflict on account of the accident above referred to. At Little Valley, N. Y., he served as Deputy Sheriff and Constable until he moved to Harrison County, and soon after coming here was appointed Deputy Sheriff under J. J. PECK. He was appointed Constable at Missouri Valley, and subsequently filled that office by election. He also served as Marshal at Missouri Valley. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In political matters he has always been an ardent Republican.

Christine L. AMES, a native of Little Valley, N. Y. became his wife in 1868.

October 30, 1878, he married Mrs. Clara A. PIKE, by whom one child was born, the same dying when seven months of age, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, at Missouri Valley. Mrs. DAVIS came from Springfield, Mass., and is President of the Woman's Relief Corps at Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.446-447
Family Researcher: NA
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ERVIN - James ERVIN, first settled in LaGrange Township in June, 1857, where he rented two years and in the spring of 1859, went to REEDER'S Mills, farmed one year then returned to LaGrange Township, remained one year, removed to his present place in Jefferson Township, where he opened up a new farm. He built a log cabin sixteen feet square, which was provided with a cottonwood floor. He now has a fine farm house which was erected in 1879. Upon coming to the county he had $100 and a span of horses.

Our subject was born in Monroe County, W. Va., in March, 1831, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (MOORHEAD) ERVIN, who came to Harrison County in the fall of 1856, and lived with his children until his death in 1862. The mother died in June, 1868. Our subject remained at home until he was nineteen years of age and then learned the cabinetmaker's trade at Rocky Point, W. Va. He followed the cabinet business five years prior to his coming to Harrison County, on his own account.

In December, 1852, he married Sarah HIGGINBOTHAM, who is the third child of a family of five children. Mr. and Mrs. ERVIN are the parents of a family of seven children�Eliza J., Annis, Alcesta, Etta, James, Verna and John.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.447
Family Researcher: NA
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