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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Biographies - 1891 History of Harrison County Iowa

Page Ninety Seven

Mendenhall | Keith | Donner | Case | Callender | Buxton | Hall | Walker

MENDENHALL - Charles W. MENDENHALL, of Boyer Township, came to Harrison County, May 30, 1865, and settled on a farm with his father, on section 22, Boyer Township, where he remained until he was twenty-four years of age. About the time Woodbine started, our subject's father left the farm and purchased the hotel at that place, but after eighteen months returned to the farm. Our subject remained at home until September 29, 1873, when he was united in marriage to Miss Cora A. EDGERTON, at Woodbine. By this union three children were born � E. Clay, born August 11, 1875; Hattie E., March 23, 1881; Howard C., May 18, 1888.

To return to the personal sketch of our subject, it may be said that he was born in Miami County, Ind., October 7, 1849 at the village of Peru. His grandfather, Charles Rector, was a Revolutionary soldier. Charles W. remained in that county with his parents until they came to Iowa. They were five weeks en-route, and upon their arrival found but few settlers in the county. Their nearest market was Council Bluffs. Mr. MENDENHALL purchased the place he now lives upon, in February, 1875. It consisted of eighty acres, partly improved. To this place he has added until he now has three hundred and forty acres. He is an extensive farmer and keeps fine horses and thoroughbred cattle, including the Hambletonian and Short-horn breeds. When ten years of age he raised potatoes with which he bought a calf, and kept that with its increase, until the time he was of age, when he had about $1,000 worth of stock. He moved from his farm to Woodbine in the spring of 1883, and was engaged in the real-estate business until 1885, having his father for a partner.

Mrs. MENDENHALL was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., February 18, 1857, came to Harrison County, September 7, 1870, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James EDGERTON.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 959
Family Researcher: NA
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KEITH - Willis B. KEITH, one of the representative farmers of Clay Township, residing on section 9, came to Harrison County in the spring of 1866, and purchased a sawmill in Clay Township, which he operated for about three years, and then bought a partly improved farm on sections 16 and 21, which he cultivated for one year, and then exchanged his place for four hundred and forty acres of land near Mondamin, in which his brother, Henry N., owned a half interest. This was an unimproved tract, which they at once commenced to improve, but were thwarted in their plans by the great floods of the Missouri River, which destroyed much of their property. In the spring of 1871, our subject rented a farm in Morgan Township, and in the spring of 1872, he built the first livery and feed stable at Mondamin, operating the same for three years, at the end of which time he sold out and followed other business in the place for two years, and then moved to River Sioux and engaged in the grocery business, being the first to engaged in business at that point. After one year he sold his business and took a trip to Colorado with a view of locating, but after looking at the Western world for four months, he returned to Harrison County and purchased one hundred and twenty acres, where he now lives on section 9. There was a small house upon the place with a few acres of breaking, but from year to year he has made substantial improvements, and has just completed a tasty farm house. One hundred acres of his place are under the plow, while the balance is in pasture land.

Mr. KEITH was born in Quincy, Ill., December 30, 1845. The year following his father died, and in 1858 he was bereft of his mother. After his father's death the mother and our subject, who was but an infant, visited New York where they remained for two years, and then returned to Illinois. After the death of his mother in 1858, our subject lived with an uncle in New York State for a year, and in the autumn of 1859, he went to live with another uncle in Terre Haute, Ind., where he lived until May, 1861, and then went into camp with the Thirty-first Indiana Regiment, and remained there two weeks, but was too young to be mustered into service, being a little past fourteen years of age. Being defeated in his plans of becoming a soldier, he engaged in a woolen mill, where he remained until October of that year, when he succeeded in enlisting in Company B, thirty-fifth Indiana Infantry, at Indianapolis and went South. He saw the following service: was at Gallatin, Tenn., and was under Buel after Gen. Bragg through Kentucky. Our subject was taken prisoner at Bardstown, Ky., and was paroled there and sent to Indianapolis, where he remained eight months and was then exchanged. He then joined his regiment at McMinnville, Tenn., and was at the battle of Chichamauga, which took place Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, 1863. During those two eventful days his company lost twenty-eight men. From there his command went to Chattanooga, where they were surrounded by Bragg's army, and nearly starved to death, for the period of forty days. He also participated in the battle of Lookout Mountains, November 24, 1863, and took part in the struggle at Mission Ridge, and then followed Bragg to Ringgold, Ga., where they had an engagement with him, and fell back to Shell Mound, Tenn., where on the 16th of December, 1863, our subject re-enlisted "for three years or during the war." He took a thirty days' furlough in Indiana, after which he returned to Cleveland, Tenn., where he remained in camp until May 1, 1864, and then started on the Atlanta campaign with Gen. William T. Sherman, and was one who participated in the following engagements: Resaca, Ga., Dalton, Kingston, Marietta, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station. From the last named place they went back to Atlanta and started after Hood, on his raid North. They overtook him at Columbia, Tenn., had a hard fight, was also at Franklin, Tenn., and at the battle of Nashville, December 12 and 13, 1864. They then followed Hood to Huntsville, Ala., and from that point they went to Knoxville, Tenn., and from there to Bulls' Gap, N.C. We next find them at Nashville, Tenn., and then via. New Orleans crossed the Gulf of Mexico, to Indianola, Tex., from which point they marched fifty miles to Victoria, at which point they were mustered out September 25, 1865. Our subject received his final discharge at Indianapolis, Ind., October 23, 1865. He then returned to his uncles' at Terre Haute, remained until December of that year, and then came to Mills County, Iowa, coming the following spring to Harrison County. Our subject has an army record with but few parallels. being in the service as he was, four years and eight days, every day of which he was with his regiment, except the eight months that he was a paroled prisoner.

He was united in marriage in Harrison County, Iowa, January 8, 1867, to Miss Sarah E. YOAKUM, the daughter of Moab and Druzilla (MORGAN) YOAKUM. By this marriage union the following eight children were born: George, Mary, John W., Fannie, Anna and Edward (twins), Alice, Irvy. George, Anna and Edward are deceased.

Sarah E. (YOAKUM) KEITH, was born in Ohio, October 21, 1846, and came with her parents to Harrison County, in 1864. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Our subject's father, Madison KEITH, was a native of New York, as was also his wife, Mary (PECK) KEITH. They both died in Illinois.

Willis B., of whom we write this sketch, in his political belief is a stanch Republican. He has held numerous local offices, including that of Justice of the Peace and Constable. He also took the census of his township in 1890. He is Post Commander of Barnes Post, Grand Army of the Republic, No. 103, at Mondamin, and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being an honored member of Lodge No. 392, at Mondamin.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 959-961
Family Researcher: NA
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DONNER - John DONNER, a farmer of section 33, township 80, range 43, of Magnolia, Civil Township, came to Harrison County in the month of May, 1871, and purchased eighty-five acres of improved land in St. John's Township, and lived there eight years, then sold and bought a farm of two hundred and fifty acres in Jackson township, which was partly improved. He lived there two years sold out and moved to Magnolia Township, purchasing the farm upon which he now lives, the same being a two-hundred acre improved tract.

Mr. DONNER was born in Germany, September 6, 1836 and remained in his native land until 1862, when with his parents he came to America, stopping in New York State seven years, and in 1869 moved to Webster County, Iowa, leaving his folks in New York. While in Webster County he worked at Ft. Dodge, then a small place. After one year in that place he came to Harrison County, retaining a piece of land he had in Humboldt County, Iowa, which he sold some years later.

He married in Chautauqua County, N.Y., in 1862, Miss Recak KATA, by whom one child was born � Minnie. His wife died in Ft. Dodge in 1867, she only living one week after arriving in Iowa. After this sad affliction our subject returned to New York State and remained three years. He was again married in May, 1871, to Miss Ida MOW, by whom four children were born � Ida, John, Hattie and Effie. The mother of these children died in December, 1889, and our subject was married in January, 1891, to Mrs. Augusta WOLLETT.

Our subject has seen his share of afflictions that come to this life, but has borne up under all with a Christian fortitude and tried to make the most of every event of life. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 961-962
Family Researcher: NA
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CASE - James R. CASE, of Cass Township, has been a resident of the county since October, 1865. He first rented land of Luke Jefferson, in Boyer Township, remained there two years and then went to Jeddo, where he worked the land and ran a shingle machine, and finally bought an interest in a sawmill, but after two or three years he moved from Jeddo, and in 1870, bought forty acres of land, which had an old house upon it, and about ten acres of breaking. He paid $400 for this land, having to run in debt for a portion of it. He remained here until 1878, then sold and moved to Cass Township where he now lives.

Mr. CASE was born in Ontario County, N.Y., in April, 1823. He is a son of Abner and Olive (ROLLAND) CASE, who had a family as follows: George, Hiram, Lewis, Thaddeus, Betsy, Sarah, John, James R., Ruth Ann.

Our subject, when he was twenty-five years of age, was married to Alice HURN, who was born May 13, 1834, in the County of Cork, Ireland, landing in New York City, in 1847. Mr. and Mrs. CASE are the parents of seven children � Frances Ann, James M., George A., Thaddeus A., Orin L., Effie and Cora M.

Our subject's father was a native of Connecticut, and served under Gen. Scott in the War of 1812, and died in Wisconsin, in 1854, his wife being buried in the same grave. Our subject's grandfather, CASE, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 962
Family Researcher: NA
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CALLENDER - Thomas CALLENDER came to Woodbine in the spring of 1867, and in 1868 commenced to work on the railroad, as a track hand and followed the same for fourteen years. He purchased forty acres of land in Boyer Township, which he improved and lived upon for ten years, when he sold and bought a residence in Woodbine, where he is now living a retired life. He is a native of Ireland, and remained there until he was about thirty years old, when he came to America, making a stop in New York but shortly came to Racine, Wis., where he remained until the time of his coming to Harrison County.

Mr. CALLENDER married Miss Jane LONGMOORE, in Ireland, and they are the parents of eight children: Jane, William J., baby died in infancy: Samuel, Anna, twins died in infancy; and Lucinda.

When our subject came to this county there were but a few houses in Woodbine, and on account of sickness in his family and large doctor bills, he was unable to make much progress.

Mr. and Mrs. CALLENDER are consistent members of the Presbyterian Church, and are highly respected people in the community in which they live.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 963-964
Family Researcher: NA
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BUXTON - L. Haynes BUXTON, M.D., a practicing physician at Woodbine, is a native of Londonderry, Vt., born July 15, 1859, the son of Stephen A., and Laura S. (HAYNES) BUXTON, both natives of Vermont, but of English extraction. The parents are both living, aged sixty-five years. The father has been an extensive farmer in his native State, and in 1888 came to Woodbine, Iowa, where he is now leading a retired life. Both he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. The family are among the early settlers in the Green Mountain State and date back in this country for six generations. James BUXTON, came to America about 1700 and from him descended Jonathan, Nathan and Stephen. The father of our subject had three brothers in the Civil War, showing the patriotism of the family. They were Charles, who was killed at Winchester, after serving his country for three years, and holding the rank of Major; Albert, who was Captain of a company of United States Sharp-shooters and was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness. Horace was a Corporal, and died in the hospital at Washington, which left the father of our subject the only male survivor of the family.

The father of our subject's mother was a physician at Plattsburg, N.Y. He was a strong abolitionist, and an active member of the "Underground Railroad" (a system by which slaves were secreted and helped from the Slave States, over into Canada.) The parents of our subject had three children: L. Haynes, William Albert, of Harvard, and Charles S. deceased. Our subject's early life was devoted to attending and teaching school. At the age of twenty, he commenced the study of medicine, and attended medical school at the University of the city of New York, graduating June 19, 1884, from the medical department of the University of Vermont, after which he practiced one year in Plymouth, Vt., and in 1885 came to Iowa, and began his practice at Woodbine in 1888. He is a member of the drug firm of S.L. Berkley & Co. He is a member of the State Medical Society and became a registered pharmacist in 1888. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Charter Oak Lodge, of A.F. & A.M., and also to Lodge No. 405, I.O.O.F.

He was united in marriage December 25, 1883, to Ella G. HOEY, at Plattsburg, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. BUXTON have a family of four children: Clarence C., Grant, Gertrude, and an infant daughter.

Politically, the Doctor is a Republican, and was elected as Superintendent of Public Schools at Plymouth, Vt.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 964
Family Researcher: NA
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HALL-Matthew HALL (Portrait), one among the earliest pioneers of Harrison County, and now a resident of Woodbine, settles on section 30, of what is now Douglas Township, and in Twelve-Mile Grove, during the month of April, 1853, where he bought a claim of one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which was a rude log cabin. On the 24th of April he commenced to clear off some timber, and succeeded in clearing four acres, which he farmed that year, and upon what he raised from this he subsisted the following winter. After two years he built a hewed log house 18x20 feet, in which the family lived for two years, then added a frame kitchen 10x20 feet, in which they lived until 1872, when he built a 16x20 frame upright, one and a half stories high. Our subject's farm now consists of two hundred acres. When he came to the country land was not yet in the market, but he "squatted" on land which in the spring of 1855 he entered, and lived upon the same until the spring of 1881, and then moved to Woodbine, where he purchased a residence, now one of the most desirable places in the town. Having spent many years at hard labor, and the health of his wife not being good, he very wisely removed to town, to take life easier. He now has three farms, all rented to good tenants. Mr. HALL has loaned some money since about 1859, for which he has never asked but ten per cent., which in these days of Shylocks and "money changers, " who have exacted thirty, forty, and even fifty per cent. for the use of their money, speaks very much to the honor and character of our subject.

During the hard winter of 1856-7 there ere hundreds of deer in and about Twelve-Mile Grove, and it was no trouble for an ordinary dog to run them down and capture them, as these nimble-footed, small-limbed creatures in their flight, would almost invariably break through the sharp crust of the deep snows.

In the autumn of 1855, a party of six men, with a team, were driving hogs to Council Bluffs, and they came to Mr. HALL's in the evening for the purpose of remaining over night. At this time Mr. HALL was living in the cabin, which was 14x16 feet in dimensions, and the family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. HALL, their daughter, and a brother-in-law and sister of Mrs. HALL's Joseph and Catherine HARRY, and yet they found room to store away these six men, who slept in one bed on the floor. The cabin was provided with a fireplace, built of logs and lined inside with sod, and they put a large "back-log" on before going to bed, and one of the jambs caught fire, but as one of the men had his feet close to the fire it woke him up, thus preventing what might have been a disastrous occurrence.

Mr. HALL early in life made it a rule never to go in debt; when he did not have the money the family practiced self-denial; many times Mr. HALL has gathered red-root leaves, which they used as a substitute for tea, and they have browned wheat and dried carrots for coffee.

In the fall of 1857 there was a buffalo came from the south to our subject's place and broke down a gate and commenced feeding at a stack of oats, where-upon Mr. HALL got his rifle, and being only fifty or sixty yards from him, could have killed the animal, but his good wife begged him not to shoot, as she was afraid he would do no more than cripple the and enrage the buffalo, which would then make a fight, and Mr. HALL, half believing it might be a tame buffalo belonging to some one in the vicinity, did not shoot; however, it was killed about two miles east of there by George Mefferd, who was with a party of men who gave it chase. This was the only buffalo ever seen by white men in Harrison County.

To return to the earlier years of our subject, it should be stated that he was born in Northumberland County, England, and at the town of Hexham, on the Tyne, May 1, 1819. His parents were poor people, who made their living by hard work, and our subject remained with them until about twelve years of age, when he went to live with an uncle in Weardale, West Gate, in the county of Durham, England, at whose place he remained four years, on a farm. He then returned to Northumberland County and lived with a family two years, spent six months at his uncle's and then went to Lead Mill and hauled lead ore from Silver Tongue mine to Healyfield smelt mills. He next went to East Gate, in the county of Durham, and worked a farm labor a year, and the following season worked at Walishwalls for a year, and then went to a place called Riding Barns, where he worked on a farm for three years. The following year he worked at Shotly Bridge, after which he engaged to work in the Consett Iron Works, remaining three years. Here he was horse-keeper and onsetter in a coal mine. His work was performed eighty fathoms under ground. His next work was firing a stationary engine at a blast furnace at these mines, remaining one year, then fired a locomotive on the Stockton and Darlington railroad one year, after which he went to firing on the Great Western Railroad, at the town of Swindon. This road was a seven-foot gauge, and by faithfully performing his work he was promoted to be engineer, and remained with the company until January 23, 1851, when he sailed for America on the vessel "George W. Burns," and was ten weeks making the voyage to New Orleans, landing in that city March 10. After remaining there a few days he took a steamboat for Council Bluffs (at that time known as Kanesville). Soon after his arrival he bought a claim near Cresent City, on the Little Pigeon. On this claim stood a log cabin, and there had been some breaking done. He bought two yoke of steers and two cows, and paid $110 for the claim of eight acres. After purchasing this claim and stock his money was exhausted, and the first dollar he received in this country was for a book he sold. He had no wagon, but bought a sled for twenty-five cents, and loaned it to a neighbor to go to mill with, and he broke one of the runners, when our subject was without a vehicle. So he and his neighbor, Robert KIRKWOOD, a Scotchman, who was without a wagon, took a crosscut saw and sawed eight wheels from off a walnut tree, then made a pair of trucks for each of the, and by attaching the two "fearfully and wonderfully made" parts, two wagons were completed, one of which was the first wagon Mr. HALL ever owned, and was perhaps as strong, as well as odd looking, as anything of the kind ever used in the land of Egypt. But he thought himself rich in having such a conveyance.

The oxen Mr. HALL owned were not broken in a first-class manner, and when he went to plow one would lie down, which required an application of the ironwood whip in order to facilitate the agricultural pursuits. Mr. HALL remained on this claim from May, 1851, until 1853, when he sold his claim for $80, and then came to Harrison County.

Mr. HALL was united in marriage March 25, 1847 at New Castle, Northumberland County, Englad, to Miss Jane BELL, by whom one child Mary J., was born March 3, 1848.

Mrs. HALL died in England July 27, 1849 and December 29, 1850 our subject was married to Elizabeth a BOUSTEAD, who died February 12, 1883.

Mr. HALL was married to his present wife, Ellen WHITE, April 26, 1883. She was born in Houghton, Hampshire, England, March 13, 1837. She spent most of her life in Italy, France, Germany and London, coming to this country in 1872, and residing in Council Bluffs until the date of her marriage to Mr. HALL.

In his religious belief our subject is in full sympathy with the Latter Day Saints Church, uniting with the same in England in 1847, but has never believed in polygamy as practied by the Utah Mormons.

Mrs. HALL united with this church November 26, 1887. Her father, Richard WHITE, was born in England, and died at Newberry, Berkshire County, December 17, 1871, at the advanced age of eighty-two years. Her mother, Elizabeth (BEVIS) WHITE, died in England March 11, 1867, at the age of sixty-three years.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 327-329
Family Researcher: NA
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WALKER-Andrew D. WALKER, a farmer of section 3, Washington Township, came to Harrison County, in February, 1880, and settled on his present farm, which he had bought three months prior to his moving here. It was all wild land, and the first year he broke thirty-five acres, built a house 10x34 feet one and a half stories high, which forms a part of his present house. His present farm consists of one hundred and sixty-nine acres, in Harrison County, and eighty acres in Shelby County. One hundred and thirty acres are under the plow, forty acres in tame grass, and the balance in meadow and pasture land. The entire place, shows the hand of good husbandry, and the annual harvest from this rich soil, is fast making our worthy subject an independent man.

Mr. WALKER was born in Blair County, Pa., May 15, 1838. He is the son of James and Ann (CHERRY) WALKER, and he is the fourth child of a family of thirteen children, four of whom still survive. The father was a farmer, and our subject remained at home as a young tiller of the soil, and attending the district school until he was sixteen years of age, and then set out to learn the cooper's trade, in Ashland Pa. He served three years as an apprentice, after which he worked at general labor, until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he enlisted as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, and was Corporal, serving nearly three years, during that terrible conflict, the like of which has never been recorded on the pages of history; he received an honorable discharge near Washington, D.C., July 14, 1865, after having participated in the battles of Petersburgh, Cold Harbor, Hatchie's Run, Bull Run, Deep Bottom and Gettysburg, Weldon Railroad. Notwithstanding the hotly contested fields upon which he fought, he was never wounded, but had many narrow escapes. At the battle of Cold Harbor, he had a bullet put through his hat, and his gun shot from his hands. After coming out of the service he had about $1000, and came to Iowa City, Iowa, in company with his parents. In a short time they removed to Iowa County, where the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land and there our subject remained until he came to Harrison County.

Mr. WALKER was married November 29, 1866, to Mary Agnes MILLER, a native of Pennsylvania, born May 16, 1850, and is the daughter of Nicholas and Susan (RINSEL) MILLER, and is the eldest child of a family of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. WALKER are the parents of seven children: Charlie N., born August 26, 1867; Clara J., December 13, 1868; George A., February 5, 1870; Albert C., November 22, 1872; Francis A., April 16, 1878; Susan A, January 2, 1883; Alice C. January 16, 1887. Clara married Francis ELDER, October 2, 1888, and now lives at Pierson, Woodbury County, Iowa.

Our subject has always been a hardworking man, and is now reaping the reward of his labors in the possession of a comfortable and pleasant home. He votes with the Republican party, and belongs to Grand Army Post No. 353 at Persia.

Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 526, 527
Family Researcher: NA
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