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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Fifty Eight

Massie | Cromie | Brandriff | Calender | Byers | Thompson |

MASSIE - Louis E. MASSIE, present Treasurer of Harrison County, has been a resident of this locality since 1868. He came from Virginia to Iowa, locating in Missouri Valley that year. He was born in Virginia in 1849. His father was a farmer and our subject's early life was spent in assisting his father and attending the common schools of the Old Dominion State, remaining at home until he was nineteen years of age. His parents were T. B. and Margaret MASSIE, natives of Virginia and of Irish ancestry. They reared a family of ten children of whom Louis was the oldest.

After coming to Harrison County our subject engaged in merchandising, and was elected to the office of County Treasurer in 1887 by a majority of three on the Democratic ticket. In the fall of 1889 was re-elected by a majority of nine hundred and ninety-nine, and again in 1891, by a majority of seven hundred and eight, which shows conclusively the popularity of the man and the ability he exhibited in the performance of his official duties. No Treasurer in Harrison County has filled this position with more credit to himself and with greater satisfaction to the taxpayers than has our subject, he having always been obliging both in and out of office.

Politically, Mr. MASSIE believes in the principles of the Democratic Party, casting his first vote for President, for Samuel J. TILDEN. He was united in marriage in 1879 to Miss L. E, SNOWDEN, the daughter of John and Susan SNOWDEN, who were natives of Illinois; her early life was spent in Boonville, Mo., where she attained her education. By this marriage three children were born�L. B., C. B. and F. B.

Our subject was bereaved by the loss of his wife in 1883. She died while yet in the prime of her womanhood.

Mr. MASSIE is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belongs to Valley Lodge No. 232. A. F. & A. M.; Tribune Chapter, at Missouri Valley and also to Ivanhoe Commandery of Knight Templars, at Council Bluffs.

His business interest in Harrison County consists of a stock of merchandise at Missouri Valley.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.479-480
Family Researcher: NA
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CROMIE - W. D. CROMIE, who will form the subject of this notice, has been a resident of Harrison County since April 1, 1867, when he with his father settled on a farm three miles north of Woodbine, and there remained until 1875, and was then appointed Postmaster at that place, which office he held for eight years. He also engaged in the grocery business, continuing until the spring of 1878, when he put in a general stock. While in the grocery business, he occupied the building now used by Mr. CANFIELD, north of Mr. KIBLER'S block. But when he put in his general stock, he moved into a building now occupied by Mr. PICAKARD'S restaurant, as he required more room. He remained in that building until 1880, during which year, he bought a storeroom of J. A. ROHNER, which he occupied until 1884, and then went out of business. In the spring of 1887, he again resumed general merchandising in which he is still engaged and also owns a half interest in a store at Moorhead, Iowa. His store building at Woodbine is 28x100 feet and is owned by Stephen KING.

Our subject was born in Cecil County, Md., June 29, 1851, and he remained there until he came to Harrison County. His father was James CROMIE, a son of the Emerald Isle, born in Ireland, in 1819. The mother was Frances (MALOY) CROMIE, born in Ireland, in 1825.

Mr. CROMIE was married October 25, 1877, to Miss Florence DALLY, by whom four children were born � Fred F., April 21, 1880; Frank, July 2, 1882; Lee, August 22, 1885 and Bernard, July 31, 1887. In our subject's father's family, of which he is one of seven children, there were four sisters and three brothers. His brother, John, was his partner in trade from March, 1888 until August, 1889. H. M. GILCHRIST from August 1888 until March, 1889. Mr. CROMIE carries a stock of goods, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.

His has been a life of activity as well as business success. He now enjoys the good will and patronage of a large class of people living within the radius of Woodbine.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.481
Family Researcher: NA
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BRANDRIFF - Ephraim BRANDRIFF, (deceased) located in Taylor Township in 1864 and remained there on a farm three years. November 25, 1866, Mrs. Hattie E. LONG became his wife, by whom five children were born, three of whom are living. They lost two little boys. The other children are � Mary M. wife of Thomas L. RILEY, a travelling salesman; Louis, fifteen years of age, and Jessie, thirteen years of age. The family lived in Cincinnati Township until March, 1889, when they moved into town. The deceased owned five hundred and sixty acres of land, and lived on the farm twenty-two years. Mr. BRANDRIFF belonged o the Methodist Episcopal Church, while his wife is a Congregationalist. In his political views he was a Republican, and was a strong temperance advocate. He was made a member of the Odd Fellows order in New Jersey. In his home he seemed at his best, was kind and affectionate to all, and in consequence had many friends.

Our subject was born in Millville, N. J., October 13, 1821, and died July 14, 1889, at the age of sixty-nine years, and was buried in the Calhoun Cemetery.

Mrs. BRANDRIFF'S maiden name was MAYNARD, and she was a native of Mt. Clemens, Mich. She came to Council Bluff in 1854.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.483
Family Researcher: NA
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CALENDER - William J. CALENDER, a resident of Woodbine, Iowa, was born in Racine County, Wis., April 8, 1857, and came with his parents to Harrison County, settling at Woodbine in 1868. His parents were Thomas and Jane CALENDER, natives of Ireland.

Our subject's early youth was spent, as was that of most of the Badger State boys, working and attending the district school. In the autumn of 1876, he entered BAILEY'S Business College at Keokuk, Iowa, where he remained six months, and came back to Woodbine, where he spent six months in the railroad office, learning telegraphy, after which he engaged as a clerk for C. D. STEVENS, with whom he remained in the capacity of salesman for three years. We next find him employed as a salesman for KIBLER Bros., with whom he was associated for nearly eight years, when he erected a business house and engaged in the grocery business, and February 16, 1891, took W. D. HAYWORTH as a partner.

Our subject was married to Miss Alice M. SISSON, in Woodbine, April 14, 1881 and they are the parents of three children � Harry C., born July 31, 1882; Camilla M., December 8, 1885; Ivyl C., April 28, 1887; Camilla M. died May 1, 1886. Our subject's wife was born in New York State, April 2, 1863, and remained with her parents until the date of her marriage.

Politically, our subject is identified with the Republican Party, and in religious matters, he is a Presbyterian.

He is a charter member of Lodge, No. 405, I. O. O. F. of Woodbine.

Thus far in life, Mr. CALENDER has made a good record, possessing the characteristics of a good businessman, and forming a wide acquaintance in and about Woodbine, where he has established himself in a lucrative retail grocery trade.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.481-482
Family Researcher: NA
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BYERS - Jacob BYERS, a mechanic in the employ of the railroad repair shops, at Missouri Valley, will form the subject of this notice.

He was born in Wayne County, Ohio, February 1, 1835, and is the son of Andrew and Saphronia (SPIDLE) BYERS, the former a descendant of German stock, and the latter of German-English origin. They had a family of nine children, our subject being the fifth child of the family. One brother, Thomas BYERS, is a farmer of Neosho County, Kan. Of his sister, he knows nothing definitely, but supposes that four of them are living in Indiana. The father followed farming and cabinetmaking. Both parents are dead. The father died in Ohio, and the mother in Indiana.

Our subject learned the carriage blacksmithing trade, in Hartford, Knox County, Ohio, but had only just completed the same when the Civil War broke out and threatened to dissolve the union of States. In the autumn of 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Sixty-fifth Regiment Ohio Infantry, and for three years carried a musket, and was in all the battles and marches which his Company took part in. He was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and was with Gen. William T. SHERMAN on his famous "March to the Sea." At the expiration of three years our subject re-enlisted, becoming a member of the Veteran Corps, and continued to wear the Loyal Blue until the close of the conflict. Thirty days' leave of absence was granted him in which to visit his old home, and at the expiration of this time he joined his comrades, and was at once made Bugler in his own regiment- the Sixty-fifth Ohio. The only wound he received was a slight one in the side, which, however, did not prove permanent.

At the close of the war Mr. BYERS returned to the Buckeye State, and soon joined his family at Magnolia, Iowa, to which point they had removed two years previous. Here our subject remained four years, following blacksmithing. He next located at Missouri Valley, where he has remained ever since, with the exception of four years near Creighton, Neb., where he farmed. He has been in the employ of the North-Western Railroad Company for seventeen years, working in the capacity of a blacksmith in the repair shops.

He was united in marriage October 18, 1857, in Knox County, Ohio, to Miss Matilda GOODRICH, by which marriage union three children were born- Josephine, wife of Henry RAINBOW, of Missouri Valley; Annie, deceased in infancy; and Charley W., who married Ella BUTLER, a native of Carson, Iowa. He is engaged at railroading. Henry RAINBOY and wife are the parents of one son.

Mrs. BYERS is a sister of L. M. GOODRICH of Missouri Valley, and for the family history we refer the reader to Mr. GOODRICH'S sketch. Both our subject and his wife are members of the Christian Church, and politically, he has always been a Republican. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic at Missouri Valley, and takes much interest in the Post. It will be remembered that he saw his share of hard-fought battlefields during the days of the Rebellion, including Stone River, Chickamauga, Corinth, Winchester, Pea Ridge, and Lookout Mountain, being in nineteen engagements in all.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp.482-483
Family Researcher: NA
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THOMPSON - Thomas THOMPSON, a pioneer of the pioneers, who has been a resident of Harrison County since the autumn of 1852, will form the subject of this biographical notice. But few of the early band of pioneers yet remain within the county to give the historian detailed facts concerning the early settlement. Before reviewing this gentleman's history as connected with Harrison County, we will speak of his earlier years. He was born in Berkshire, Scotland, June 7, 1824. His early years were spent with the enjoyment that only comes to boyhood and at the age of thirteen years he left home and worked upon a farm until May 26, 1850, when he married Miss Agnes SHARP, and at once emigrated to America, landing at New York harbor. They at once came to La Porte, Ind. Their voyage on the ocean occupied five weeks, and then they were tossed to and fro two weeks longer on the Erie Canal and Great Lakes. They made their home at La Porte until 1852, when they came to this county.

Of Mrs. THOMPSON let it be said that she was born in Berkshire, Scotland, August 5, 1829, and remained there until married. Our subject and his wife are the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters�Robert, born October 29, 1851, and died January 10, 1852; Isabel, born April 13, 1853; Agnes, March 16, 1855; Nettie, September 2, 1856; Wallace, September 29, 1858, and died December 16, 1858; Thomas, born December 16, 1859; William, November 3, 1861, died September 19, 1878; Jane, born January 6, 1863; George, December 29, 1865, and died April 15, 1868; Anna born April 1, 1867; James, September28, 1872.

Upon coming to Harrison County Mr. THOMPSON settled on the banks of the creek now bearing his name, at the north side of BIGLER'S Grove, and on section 18, where he now lives, the same being in Boyer Township.

He entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, erected a log cabin in 14x18 feet, in which he lived until 1856, and then built the house in which he now lives which is a frame structure 14x24 feet, and in 1876, he made an addition of twelve feet to this building, making his present residence 24x26 feet, and one and one-half stories high. During 1881 he erected a barn 14x30 feet, with twelve-foot posts. His present farm comprises three hundred acres of choice, well-improved land in Boyer Township. When our subject came to the county his nearest post-office was Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, and to that point he had to go for whatever article he wished to purchase, and the journey required two days' time. Land was not in the market at that time, so he pre-empted his place and held on until it was for sale at Government price.

The way of the pioneer was hard, and Mr. THOMPSON relates how, that during the winter of 1856-57 (one never to be forgotten by those who lived within the Hawkeye State at that time), he went to the neighbor's a mile distant, the entire day being consumed in going and coming, so drifted was the snow. Again, that he, in company with a neighbor, started to mill with one sack of corn, and an ox-team. They had to go five miles, which journey took them two days. Their bread stuff at that date consisted of corn and buckwheat. The mill referred to was L. D. BUTLER'S, on the present site of the Woodbine Mills, and what little machinery there was derived its motion from the waters of the Boyer, but, alas! The mill building was not there. The burrs stood out in the open air, and they ground their corn, and Mr. BUTLER, proprietor of "The Mill," bolted the coarsely ground meal by means of a hand bolt, which was within a rude shanty, and was turned like a grind-stone.

The first winter our subject lived in the county they had to go to Crescent City to mill, which is in Pottawattamie County, and bought feed for his horses, nine miles east of Council Bluffs, and two years after his arrival, Magnolia was started, where they could procure some of the necessaries of life, providing they had the money.

In the autumn of 1855, the Indians came here to hunt deer. They came from near where Omaha now stands, and the people thought they would run them out. So the settlers living at Magnolia, headed by the Sheriff of the county, gave them chase. They were on the Willow, in Lincoln Township, and numbered about sixty, and they turned upon the whites whereupon the brave settlers ran with all possible speed, a more complete account of which will be found elsewhere in this work.

Sufficed it to say that pioneering in Western Iowa before the Civil War was not fraught with a vast amount of ease and pleasure.

Of Mr. THOMPSON'S political views it may be said he has affiliated with the Republican Party ever since its organization.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 484 -.487
Family Researcher: NA
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