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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Sixty One

Snyder | Brainard | Evans | Cody | Wilson | Albertus | Aiston


SNYDER - Adam C. SNYDER, County Surveyor of Harrison County, and a resident of the village of Persia, came to the county, in the spring of 1880, and settled on a farm, on section 3, of Washington Township, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land upon which a small amount of breaking had been done, and a small unfinished frame house erected.

This land (to which he added another eighty acres, adjoining) he improved, built a frame house, 16x26 feet, one story and a half high. He remained on this farm until the spring of 1889, when he rented his place, and moved into Persia, and in 1884, was appointed as County Surveyor, to fill the unexpired term of R. BALLARD, who resigned after holding the office about six months. After serving out his appointed time, Mr. SNYDER was elected for two years, after which J. C. MCCABE held the office two years when our subject was re-elected and has held the office ever since.

The man of whom we write is an honored son of the old "Keystone State," born in Franklin County, August 8, 1831, and remained with his parents until he was nineteen years of age, when he went to Fayetteville of the same county, to learn the tanner's trade. He remained there two years and then moved to Strausburg, Franklin County, where he worked at his trade one year, and then moved back to Fayetteville, where he was engaged by his old employer, for whom he worked for two years, and after a year of farm labor for his brother, and in the spring of 1857, he came to John County, Iowa, locating two miles northwest of Iowa City, now called Coralville, where he was in the employment of ex-Gov. KIRKWOOD, who was then Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1859, he moved to a point five miles north of Iowa City, and rented a farm, farming and teaching winters, (teaching surveying in connection with other branches). We next find him near the village of North Liberty, where he rented a farm and lived until 1866.

This farm belonged to his mother, and during the year 1866, she sold the land, and our subject removed to a farm adjoining, farmed one year, and then through the advice of E. CLARK, of Iowa City, he bought a farm of eighty acres of improved land, near the village of North Liberty, upon which he lived from 1868 to 1874, and then sold and moved to Shelby County, Iowa, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land a mile and a half northeast from Shelby, where he remained until 1879, and then purchased a farm in Washington Township, Harrison County.

Concerning his education, it should be said that Mr. SNYDER attended the Acadamy at Chambersburg, Penn. one year, where he studied civil engineering, which profession he followed in Johnson County, Iowa, under the act of 1864, providing for the re-survey of all fractional pieces of land along the Iowa River, containing less than forty acres. Upon coming to Shelby County, he was appointed land agent for the Rock Island Railroad Company, under John L. DREW, of Davenport, Iowa, and was a law partner of George GETTY in Shelby for two years in the practice of law, also acted as Deputy Surveyor, of Shelby County, in 1876, until he moved into Harrison County and was appointed to the same position in Harrison County, under Logan CRAWFORD, of St. John's Township.

He was united in marriage August 31, 1851 to Arabella L. BEASORE, of Franklin County, Penn.

They are the parents of ten children�Alfreta C., Martha E., George L., Arabella, Luther M., Harvey A., Amanda M., Hannah E., Hattie B., and Adam Arthur.

Arabella died, November 27, 1861; Austin H., October 26, 1880; Luther M., March 1886; George L., December 1886 and Adam Arthur, May 6, 1888.

Politically, our subject is a supporter of the Democratic party. He belongs to the Masonic order, joining in Johnson County, in 1865, being a member of White Marble Lodge, No. 271, and was a charter member of Selentia Lodge, No. 371, of Shelby, Iowa, and also a charter member of Craftsman Lodge, No. 490, of Persia, Iowa.

In their religion, Mr. and Mrs. SNYDER belonged to the Lutheran Church until they moved to Shelby and there united with the Presbyterian Church.

Since 1882, Mr. SNYDER has acted agent for the Chicago & Milwaukee Land Company, and wrote their contracts and specifications for their own lots, which he is handling. He was the first land agent in Persia, at the time the town was started.

Arabella (BEASORE) SNYDER, the wife of our subject, was born near Rocky Springs, Franklin County, Penn., March 16, 1829 and remained in that county, until the date of her marriage.

It only needs to be added, that our subject is a man of correct business principles, has always stood high in the various communities, in which he has lived, and is today an honored citizen of Harrison County, and is surrounded with a family and home worthy of the kind father and faithful husband that he is.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 301-302
Family Researcher: NA
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BRAINARD - George R. BRAINARD, present Postmaster at Magnolia, is a name so familiar that it hardly needs an introduction in this connection. He came to the county in May, 1855, and has been associated with the county Government, with the newspaper business, and in many other ways by reason of which he has been an important factor in Harrison County for over a third of a century.

He came to the county with his parents, D. E. and Elizabeth BRAINARD, and their three children. The family are of English descent. Upon their arrival in this county the father engaged in merchandising at Magnolia, renting a building which had been erected by James BATES and which he occupied until the autumn of 1857, and then removed to a new building he had erected himself and which was afterward moved away and is now used as a dwelling on John DONNERS' farm. In this building he remained several years and then sold his building and lot to Dr. CLARK.

D. E. BRAINARD was elected as County Judge in 1857, and served until 1861; was a member of the State Board of Education for several years, held the office of Treasurer and Recorder from 1856 to 1858, and was special agent for the Postoffice Department looking after delinquencies. He held this position four years, during which time he resided in Iowa City, but was away from home most of the time.

After leaving this office he returned to Magnolia and remained until the fall of 1890 when he went to Chadron, Neb., to live with his daughter, Mrs. Fannie O'LINN.

"Judge" BRAINARD, as he is familiarly called, was born at Rome, N. Y., February 16, 1808, and was the son of Daniel BRAINARD, and spent his early life in the Empire State. But upon reaching man's estate he entered the mercantile business in Illinois; he also ran a line of stages from Springfield, Ill., to St. Louis, before the days of railroads. He was married when twenty-four years of age to Elizabeth Ann PICKETT, in Illinois, by whom he reared a family of four children�Orville V., George R., Egbert, who died in infancy, and Fannie M.

George R., the subject of this sketch, was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, February 25, 1840, his father having settled there as early as 1837, when Iowa was yet included in Wisconsin territory, and hence was among the first children born in the State. His boyhood was spent in assisting his father on his farm and attending the schools, which, at that day, were a marked contrast to those of the present time. At the age of fourteen he commenced serving an apprenticeship as a printer at Keokuk, Iowa, where he remained until his parents removed to Harrison County.

His father fitted out two covered wagons in the spring of 1855, one drawn by a span of horses and the other a yoke of oxen. All being ready they started, as they supposed for California, but upon arriving at Council Bluffs they stopped to wait for a larger growth of prairie grass for their teams to subsist upon. Mr. BRAINARD chanced to meet an old acquaintance, Elder Moses F. SHINN, who persuaded him to look up a location in Harrison County.

When George R. was nineteen years of age he in company with his brother Orville, purchased the newspaper which had been running at Preparation, Iowa, or rather traded for the same, giving in exchange a small stock of goods, a team of horses and a few notes on parties living in Monona County and then established what was then known as the Magnolia Republican, which was the first Republican paper ever published in this part of Iowa. George R. bought his brother's interest and later sold the plant, which, however, came back on his hands, and he finally sold it to P. C. TRUMAN. After retiring from the paper in which there was no great amount of pecuniary profit, Mr. BRAINARD carried the mail between Magnolia and Logan for several years. But yet having a hankering for the art preservative he established the Dunlap Reporter in the spring of 1871, conducted it one year and sold it to AINSWORTH & THOMPSON, and then returned to Magnolia where he engaged in farming, and holding various township offices; also has been Postmaster different times and is the present incumbent, taking the office under Harrison's administration in the month of July, 1890.

He was married at Council Bluffs, November 19, 1859, to Joanna B. WIGGINS, a native of New York, born August 31, 1837, by whom seven children have been born, six of whom still survive, and four of whom live in Harrison County. Their children are as follows: Mabel B., Dora, Ethel, Clara, died at the age of two and one-half years, Fred W., Dean E., and Fannie M.

Politically our subject is a stanch supporter of the Republican party.

Both he and his wife are acceptable members of the Methodist Church and he is a member of Magnolia Lodge No. 177, of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Magnolia Lodge No. 126, A. F. & A. M., in which order he has filled every important office.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 299-300
Family Researcher: NA
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EVANS - William EVANS, of section 18, of Douglas township, by reason of having settled in Harrison county, during the month of July, 1855, may justly be called an early settler. He located in Twelve-Mile Grove, Boyer Township, where he entered one hundred and twenty-four acres of land. They lived there until about 1864, when they rented a farm which he tilled until 1865. During the year 1862, the war-cloud of the great Civil War appeared in all its blackness, and the threats of secession aroused the patriotism of every loyal man. Volunteers were called for and one of the number was our subject, who became a member of Company H. of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. He enlisted in February, 1862, and was discharged in March, 1863, on account of disability. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Iuka, Miss. Corinth, Miss., at which place he met with a narrow escape, a rebel bullet grazing his chin enough to start the blood. He came home and found his wife fast fading away with that dreaded disease, consumption, of which she died the following autumn. For two years after the death of his wife he rented land, doing his own housekeeping for himself and four children, after which he went to Bedford County, Pa., remained one year, and then retraced his steps to Harrison County and bought the farm he now lives upon.

Mr. Evans was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., February 7, 1826, where he lived until the fall of 1846, and then went to Michigan, staying near Detroit, Kalamazoo, and other points until 1855, which was the date of his coming to Harrison County.

He was married to Mrs. Nancy PHILLIPS, whose maiden name was FARNSWORTH. This marriage occurred in Harrison County, Iowa, in July, 1856. Three children were born by this union � James H., born June 1, 1857; John W., May 28, 1859; and Hulda A., September 15, 1862.

He married his second wife, Miss Hester BECKLEY, in Bedford County, Pa. February 15, 1872.

Politically, our subject is a member of the Republican party, and in his religious convictions is a Methodist.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 319-320
Family Researcher: NA
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CODY - Thomas CODY, a representative farmer and highly respected citizen of section 34, of Calhoun Township, came to Harrison County, in the spring of 1869, locating at Missouri Valley. He was in the employ of the Northwestern Railroad Company, building water-tanks, which work he continued to do for twenty years. He resided at Missouri Valley for about ten years, and then bought his present place, which consisted of ninety-two acres of partly improved land. He set out an orchard of one hundred and twenty-five trees, kept the place in good repair, and kept adding to the same, until he now has two hundred and sixty acres; ninety being under the plow, while the balance is in meadow, timber and pasture land.

Our subject is the son of the Emerald Isle, born in Ireland, August, 1834. He is a son of John and Mary CODY, of Ireland, who had seven children, our subject being the youngest. The children were named, Michael, Edward, (deceased); Ann, Catharine, (deceased); Mary, John and Thomas.

Our subject lived in Ireland, until about twenty-seven years of age, remaining at home until he had reached his majority, when he was apprenticed to learn the carpenter's trade. After serving four years, he worked at his trade one year and then sailed for America. He worked in New York a few months, and then went to Salamanca, N. Y., where he engaged in coopering, constructing oil barrels, which occupied his time for two years. We next find him in Warren, Penn., working at the same business one winter, and followed the same at Plummersville for a short time. He then went back to work at the carpenter's trade, which he followed until coming to Harrison County. He lived in the Keystone State, during the great oil excitement.

An important event in this man's life was his marriage April 21, 1867, to Catherine WARD, daughter of Timothy and Mary WARD, natives of Ireland, who had six children � Catharine, Maria, (deceased); Thomas, John, (deceased); Nellie and Frank. Our subject and his wife are the parents of ten children � Mary, Ann Ellen, (deceased); John, Ellen, Lizzie, (deceased); Jennie, Maggie, Thomas and William.

Our subject and his wife are both members of the Roman Catholic Church, and politically, he affiliates with the Republican party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 313-314
Family Researcher: NA
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WILSON - Albert WILSON, a farmer of section 19, of Washington Township, came to Harrison County in December, 1882, and rented a farm on section 8, of Washington Township, having bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which was then wild land. He commenced to improve it in the spring of 1883, and moved to the same in the fall of 1884. His present farm is well improved; has one hundred and fifty-five acres of plow land, while everything about the premises gives evidence of intelligent workmanship.

Mr. WILSON was born in Harrison County, Ohio, May 7, 1840 and in the spring of 1845 his parents removed to Noble County, that State, where he remained until the autumn of 1863, when he moved on a farm on his own account, continuing there until the spring of 1865. Then he sold out and came to Iowa County, Iowa, where he bought an improved farm, which he operated until February, 1869, and then traded that farm for another in the same county. Here he farmed until 1882, at which time he sold and came to Harrison County.

He was united in marriage, in Noble County, Ohio, October 1, 1863, to Miss Rachel STEEN, a native of Noble County, Ohio, born February 8, 1840.

Mr. and Mrs. WILSON have been blessed by the following children, eleven in number: Mary V., Joseph E., John S., Ida E., deceased, Frank N., Clara J., William C., Florence, deceased, Rauleigh R., Elmer O., and a child who died in infancy.

Politically, our subject is identified with the Democratic Party.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 310-311
Family Researcher: NA
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ALBERTUS - Gustavus A. ALBERTUS, now a resident of Persia, came to Harrison County in the autumn of 1882 and engaged in the lumber, coal and grain business. In 1886 he sold his lumber and coal trade, but still handles grain and loans money. When he came to Persia there was only three business houses, and as he is now a representative man of the place, the following biographical notice of him will be inserted in this connection:

Mr. ALBERTUS was born December 29, 1850, at Sauk City, Sauk County, Wis., and when twenty-one years of age went to the Black Hills, remaining in that wild region two years, and then came to Shelby County, Iowa, where he clerked in a store three years, and then went into the lumber and grain business, and remained in that until 1882, when he sold and came to Persia.

He was married December 31, 1878, to Miss R. W. WALDER, of Madison, Wis. She was born in Switzerland, and when a small child her parents emigrated to Wisconsin.

Politically, Mr. ALBERTUS is identified with the Democratic party, and in his religious belief favors a liberal religion.

At the time he was a resident of Shelby he was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 360.

Beginning without means, this man has gradually accumulated means, until he is now in possession of a handsome property.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 310
Family Researcher: NA
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AISTON - William AISTON has been a resident of Harrison County since the spring of 1877, having purchased his farm the fall before. He is now a resident, of section 18, Jefferson Township.

Our subject was born in Dublin, Ireland, April 8, 1825. His parents were Thomas and Mary (MEDCALF) AISTON, natives of Kent, England, both of whom came to Massachusetts in about 1849, our subject, having arrived in this country two years previous. His parents died in the old "Bay State"�the father aged fifty-seven years.

Mr. AISTON, of whom we write, learned the trade of a paper maker in Dublin, Ireland, his father having charge of a paper mill in that city.

After serving seven years as an apprentice, he came to America and worked for a paper company, this giving him his financial start in life.

Mr. AISTON came to his county from Berkshire County, Mass., moving on a one hundred and twenty-acre tract, provided with a very small house and without fencing. The first season, he broke forty acres and in the spring, purchased eighty acres more and kept adding until he now possesses two hundred and sixteen acres of well-improved land. He erected a farmhouse in 1879, the dimensions are 22x28 , with a wing 16x24 feet.

About sixty acres of his farm is under plow, while the balance is meadow and pasture land. He usually keeps about seventy head of cattle, handling graded Shorthorns and Herefords. Upon coming to the county, he was no doubt inexperienced but soon learned the customs of others and has successfully followed his calling. The best years of his live, however, have been spent in the paper business�forty years in all has he worked at that trade and three gold medals were awarded to him at the Centennial Exposition in 1876.

Mr. AISTON was married in Massachusetts, when thirty-five years of age, to Sophronia WILSON, of that State, who died in July, 1889. He was again married, November 12, 1890, to Elizabeth MILLIMAN, a native of England, who was born, March 20, 1824. She was the daughter of Capt. Leonard and Elizabeth (NICHOLS) PROCTOR.

Mrs. AISTON came to America in 1851, landing at New York, May 2. She was married in England, July 28, 1849, to James WHYBROW, and with him came to this country; he died in Ohio in 1852, of cholera, and she was again married December 25, 1854 to Francis MILLIMAN. He died in Logan May 10, 1873.

Mr. AISTON has been a very successful farmer since coming to Harrison County, and his beautiful farm known as "Lake View Stock Farm," owing to several small lakes upon the tract from which it derives its name, is one of great attractions. Everything our subject possesses has been made by the royal route of hard, honest labor, as he had but $5 upon arriving in New York. With capital with which to start in life the road to success is necessarily strewn with more flowers then is that traversed by one having no means, save that of his two arms and determination to win.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 309-310
Family Researcher: NA
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