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1915 Harrison County Iowa Biographies
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Spooner | Adams | Atherton | Barkoff | Bays | Bolter | Bradley

Alphonso SPOONER - For more than 45 years, Alphonso SPOONER has been a resident of Harrison County, Iowa, where he stands high in the respect and esteem of the people of this community where he has made his home for so many years. For the first few years, after he came to the county, he operated a farm after which he purchased a hardware store in Mondamin, and has been connected with the mercantile interests of that thriving little city ever since. In the meantime, he has retained his interests in farming and stock raising, making a specialty of breeding Hereford cattle, and is known as one of the most extensive breeders of those thoroughbred animals in the state.

Alphonso SPOONER, son of Pomeroy C. and Amelia C. (OGDEN) SPOONER, was born January 2, 1843, in Glens Falls, New York. His father was a native of Vermont, and his mother of New York state.

Pomeroy C. SPOONER was a millwright and carpenter by trade and in 1866 came to Omaha to work for the Union Pacific Railway Company, which company was then constructing their lines across the continent. In the course of his work, he came to Harrison county, Iowa, to look after the cutting and sawing of timber for use in the railroad construction work, and while in that county, purchased land in Morgan township. He worked for the railroad company in this county until 1868 in which year he went to Laramie City, Wyoming, where with a company of Pawnee Indian scouts, and with a troop of U.S. cavalry, he went up into the mountains to look for railroad timber. He continued in Wyoming until 1870 and during the five years he was in the west, his family remained in the eaThey came to Iowa and located at Mondamin, Harrison County, in 1870, where Pomeroy C. SPOONER and his wife lived the remainder of their lives. Pomeroy C. SPOONER died in 1896; his wife died in 1890.

At the same time his father came west, Alphonso SPOONER left New York, coming to Omaha, where he operated a saw-mill, sawing lumber which had been floated down the Missouri River to that place. Thus both father and son had a part in the construction of the first railroad across the great western plains. Mr. SPOONER was the owner and manager of the Pioneer Hotel in Laramie City, Wyoming, during 1869 and 1870, which was the pioneer hostelry in that city.

He located in Harrison County, Iowa, in 1870 on a farm near Mondamin, where he remained until about 1875, when he moved into the town. During the years in which he was engaged in farming near Mondamin, he gradually added to his land holdings until he was the owner of 760 acres of splendid farming land. Mr. SPOONER engaged in the breeding and raising of full-blooded thoroughbred Hereford cattle in 1896, and now has 300 head of registered cattle on his farm, owning some of the finest animals in the state. He has never made a practice of exhibiting his cattle at county and state fairs, as have many other stock raisers, but has a growing trade with the herdsmen of the great west.

Alphonso SPOONER was married on February 9, 1870 at Laramie City Wyoming to Lizzie HEALEY, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and to this union four children were born, Irving E., Sumner A., Grace M. and Carrie A. Irving E. married Ida RUFFCORN, daughter of Clark RUFFCORN, a pioneer of Harrison county. Irving SPOONER and wife are the parents of five children, Cecile, Burle, Opal, Dwight and Lois. Irving is the manager of a lumber and coal yard in Mondamin and also owns two farms in the county stocked with Hereford cattle. Sumner A. SPOONER is manager of the Mondamin branch of the Inter-State Telephone Company, and also has general charge of his father's stock farm. Grace M. is the wife of F.W. LEWIS, of Omaha, where her husband is assistant manager of the International Harvester Company's office at Omaha. Carrie A. is the wife of G.W. BUCK and lives in Oregon where her husband has bought a farm four miles south of Oregon City. The mother of these children died in 1895, and in 1897 Mr. SPOONER married Olive A. BRYANT, who was a native of Ohio.

Alphonso SPOONER and wife are earnest and loyal members of the Congregational Church, in whose welfare they are deeply interested, and to the support of which they are liberal contributors. He has always been identified with the Republican party, but has never taken any active part in political affairs, his business and agricultural interests demanding his entire time and attention. He was appointed to serve on the county board of supervisors, upon the death of Thomas MORROW, serving only for the unexpired term. Mr. Spooner is one of the pioneers of Harrison County, has been an active participant in its growth and prosperity, and because of his long residence here and the respect and esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens, he is eminently entitled to representation in the annals of his county.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, page 957-59.
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J. E. ADAMS & Reuben ADAMS - Perseverance and sterling worth are almost sure to win recognition in any locality. J. E. ADAMS, who today is recognized as an authority on farm-land values in Harrison county, and who has a well-established real estate business, is one of the worthy men of this section who began life on the lower rungs of the ladder of success, and who, by close attention to business and faithful discharge of the duty which lay nearest at hand, has won for himself an enviable reputation among the citizens of this county.

J. E. ADAMS is a native of this county, having been born in Magnolia township on July 30, 1869, a son of Reuben and Adaline (PURCELL) ADAMS, the former a native of the state of Wisconsin, who was brought to this state and county by his parents in 1852, when not much more than an infant. The family settled in Magnolia township, near Bigler's Grove, where the father secured a tract of land well covered with timber, and proceeded to put the land in a good state of cultivation. The trip from Wisconsin was made in a heavy wagon drawn by oxen, many Indians being encountered on the way, and at night, when the camp fire was burning, in the darkness could be heard the howling of the prairie wolves. Reuben ADAMS was reared on the farm and continued in this vocation until a few years ago, when he retired from active duties and settled at Moorhead, Monona county, there to pass his declining years in quiet enjoyment.

To Reuben and Adaline (PURCELL) ADAMS were born three children, J. E. being the eldest. The latter has a brother, Fred, who resides at Rigby, Idaho, and a sister who is the wife of William SMITH, of Chicago, Illinois. When a boy, J. E. ADAMS received such education as the somewhat limited schooling facilities of that time afforded and when not much more than a youth began life on his own account by working out among the neighboring farmers by the month. This he continued for about two years, at the end of which time he came to Woodbine, this county, and operated a dray, remaining in that town for practically one year. The next three years saw him engaged in farming on land which he had rented for that purpose and where he won an encouraging degree of success, but deciding the life of an agriculturist was not to be his life's work, he returned to Woodbine and engaged in the buying and selling of live stock. He was highly successful in this undertaking, but gradually drifted into the real estate business, the buying and selling of farm properties and kindred interests, which has since claimed his attention.

Mr. ADAMS was married on May 29, 1892, to Elizabeth May GLOVER, daughter of William and Nancy (HOYT) GLOVER, and a native of this county. Their union has been blessed by the birth of four children, Grace, the eldest of the family, being the wife of Lewis HUNT and the mother of one son, Harold Clement. The others of the family, Arlo Wight, Ruth Elvera and Carl William, still remain under the parental roof.

While not a member of any religious society, Mr. ADAMS is an attendant upon the services of the Presbyterian church and evinces a commendable interest in its welfare. His fraternal affiliation is held with the Knights of Pythias and also the Modern Woodmen of America through the local lodges at Woodbine. In politics he is a Republican, although never having aspired to public office. Mr. ADAMS is a thorough-going man of affairs, giving close attention to his business, and a man of pronounced domestic tastes. He is a pleasant man to meet and has won a good standing among the representative citizens of this section. He is well liked and trusted by a large circle of friends, and it is fitting that specific mention should be made of him in a volume of the character of the one in hand.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 611, 612.
Family Researcher: NA
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Watson C. ATWELL - One of the most substantial and progressive farmers of Little Sioux township, Harrison county, Iowa, is Watson C. ATWELL, who has been a resident of this county since 1877. He started in with a small tract of ten acres in Little Sioux township and now owns more than five hundred acres, which is sufficient evidence that he has prospered in his chosen vocation. He has now retired from active farm life and rents most of his land to responsible tenants.

Watson C. ATWELL was born November 19, 1842, in Grafton county New Hampshire, a son of Horace and Alice (LUND) ATWELL. His parents were natives of New Hampshire, of English descent. His father was a son of James ATWELL, a soldier in the War of 1812.

Watson C. ATWELL was one of five children born to his parents and lived at home until he was married. He received a good education in his New Hampshire home and worked on his father's farm during his boyhood days. In 1877, four years after his marriage, he came to Harrison county, and bought ten acres of land just north of River Sioux, and in this neighborhood he has since been living. He now has five hundred acres, although he has owned much more than this at various times in the past. The farm is well improved and he has always been one of the first farmers of his neighborhood to use the latest improved machinery on his farm. He believes in progressive methods of agriculture and this accounts in no small part for the success which has attended his career.

Mr. ATWELL was married May 20, 1873, to Nellie L. WILMOT, who was born in Orange county, Vermont, October 12, 1850. Her home was on the Connecticut river, just across the line from New Hampshire.

Mr. and Mrs. ATWELL are the parents of one son, Valedo C., who was born March 13, 1874. He married Allie E. WILSON, a daughter of Calvin and Alice (LE GROW) WILSON. Valedo ATWELL lives in Fall River county, South Dakota, near Hot Springs. He has one son, Jesse F., who was born April 5, 1896. Jesse is now living with his grandparents, after having been graduated from the high school at Little Sioux.

Mr. ATWELL is a Republican and has been a prominent factor in local politics in his party for many years. He has served as trustee of Little Sioux township for several years and has given eminent satisfaction in the administration of the duties connected with this office. Mr. ATWELL is one of the older farmers of the township, and by a clean and wholesome life has endeared himself to a large circle of friends throughout this section of the county.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 616, 617.
Family Researcher: NA
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Edward A. ATHERTON - A citizen of Harrison county, who made an indelible impression on the hearts of all those who knew him was Edward A. ATHERTON. He was a man of sterling character, of estimable qualities and at all times a gentle man. With the aid of his devoted and faithful wife, he lived in such a way that his life is worthy of study and emulation.

Edward A. ATHERTON, the son of James and Elizabeth (JONES) ATHERTON, who were natives of England, and had moved to Wales, was born September 15, 1841, in Llannssa, near Holywell, North Wales, and died at his home in Lincoln township, Harrison county, Iowa, October 18, 1910. He was one of nine children born to his parents, six of whom were boys and three girls, he being the eldest of the family.

Receiving a good education and surrounded by the atmosphere of a country home, it followed naturally that Mr. ATHERTON should be inclined toward an agricultural life. In Wales he took a great many prizes on his farm work and produce, and as plowing is there regarded as a trade in itself, he took a number of first prizes in that work.

In 1869 Mr. ATHERTON came to the United States, beginning his journey in April, and arriving in New York on the tenth of May. He went directly to Lacrosse county, Wisconsin; where his brother, Charles, who had preceded him to America, was already living. Mr. ATHERTON was accompanied by his brother, James, and his sister, Elizabeth, the latter coming for the purpose of keeping house for her brothers. They lived in Wisconsin until 1870, in which year Mr. ATHERTON removed to Dow City, Iowa, where he farmed, both renting and working by the month for four years, and renting six years, during which time he worked four years for Judge DOW, for whom Dow City is named. In 1880 Mr. ATHERTON again moved, this time to Monona county, Iowa, where he bought one hundred and twenty acres of virgin soil. During his stay on this farm the original one hundred and twenty acres was increased to four hundred and eighty acres. In February, 1896, the family moved to Harrison county, where they bought one hundred and twenty acres of land in Lincoln township, and here Mr. ATHERTON made his home until his death.

Success or failure in life depends to a large extent upon the helpmate chosen, and Mr. ATHERTON was very fortunate in his choice, as he was married May 2, 1880, in Dunlap, Harrison county, Iowa, to Louisa M. GROUT. She deserves full credit for her share of the progress Mr. ATHERTON made. Louisa GROUT was born September 28, 1853, in Charlton, Worcester county, Massachusetts, the daughter of Otis and Louisa (LEE) GROUT, both of whom were natives of Worcester county, Massachusetts. The GROUTs are of German descent, and the LEEs of English descent, both families being long-time residents of Massachusetts.

The GROUT family came west in 1864, locating in Clinton county, Iowa, later removing to Crawford county, this state, in 1871, where they lived until the father's death. The mother later came to Harrison county, and made her home with a daughter, Mrs. D. A. MIERS, until her death, which occurred three years after her arrival.

To Edward A. and Louisa M. (GROUT) ATHERTON was born one child, Edward Arthur, Jr., who was born February 10, 1883. He has always lived at home, taking charge of the farm after his father's death. He attended the Woodbine Normal School after completing his elementary education in the common schools and is thus well equipped for life's work. Edward Arthur, Jr., has bought forty acres of land on the west of his father's farm, his father having sold forty acres of his farm before his death, and thus he has a farm equal in extent to the original home farm.

Mr. ATHERTON was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in his religious connections he was a member of the Episcopal church. Politically, he declared allegiance to no particular party, preferring at all times to vote for the man whom he thought best fitted for the office. He took an active interest in politics and was township assessor in Monona county for many years. He also was prominent in school work, and at one time was overseer of three school districts in Willow township. This was before the township was divided into sub-districts. Mr. ATHERTON was a fancier of good live stock, and made a specialty of Aberdeen-Angus cattle, importing some fine animals. Mr. ATHERTON, was progressive in every way. He was strictly honorable, respected by every one, and his death left a vacancy impossible to fill. He is not forgotten, and his name and deeds will live for the betterment of future generations.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 582, 583, 584
Family Researcher: NA
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Fred BARKOFF & Henry BARKOFF - The twentieth century farmer knows little of the disadvantages which surrounded the pioneer farmer of this state. No longer is the farmer compelled to arise early in the morning and continue his labors far into the evening. The farmer of today can do as much work in a half day as his father fifty years ago could do in a whole day. The free mail delivery leaves the daily paper on his doorstep each morning; his telephone puts him in communication with his neighbors, while the interurban cars and automobile enable him to participate in all the features of city life. The present generation of farmers have no forests to clear and few swamps to drain, while hundreds of inventions have been designed to lighten the labors of the farmer and minimize the toil. The flail of our fathers has given way to the threshing machine, and even the old-fashioned corn cutter is laid on the shelf, as corn is now cut by machinery. The old-fashioned husking peg has given way to the modern corn shredder, and surrounded by such conditions the farmer of today can have all the advantages of the citizens of the city with few of his disadvantages. The pioneer farmers are fast passing away, and within the next few years they will be gone. Fred BARKOFF, one of the enterprising farmers of Jefferson township, Harrison county, Iowa, belongs to the present generation, and not only is a progressive farmer, but is a highly-respected citizen in the community where he lives.

Fred BARKOFF was born March 4, 1875, in Jefferson township, Harrison county, Iowa, a son of Henry and Christina BARKOFF, the former of whom was born about 1849 in Germany. He left there when about twenty-two years of age, coming to the United States, settling in Harrison county, Iowa, where he bought forty acres of land. He farmed several years in Jefferson township, and died in Logan, Iowa, in 1908. His wife was born in 1854 in Germany. They were the parents of eight children, all of whom are living.

Fred BARKOFF was reared on his father's farm, and attended the district schools of Jefferson township. He worked as a farm hand for his father and for others until 1902, when he purchased sixty acres of land, to which he has since added forty acres. Mr. BARKOFF has made splendid improvements upon this farm, built a new house and barn, a complete water system, and has also planted a thriving grove of trees. He is a breeder of good live stock, specializing in Duroc-Jersey hogs, and raises only thoroughbreds. He also keeps a high grade of Shorthorn cattle, and has made exhibits of cereals, especially oats, at the Logan short course, on which he won second prize.

In 1902 Mr. BARKOFF was married to Maggie ARMSTRONG, who was born in 1878 in Jefferson township, Harrison county, Iowa, a daughter of John and Sedelia (WILLIAMS) ARMSTRONG, natives of Illinois, and early settlers in Harrison county.

To Fred and Maggie (ARMSTRONG) BARKOFF five children have been born, Irene, Syrie, Harold, Vera and Russell, all of whom are living at home with their parents.

Mr. BARKOFF is identified with the Prohibition party, and throughout his career has been active in the councils of that party. He and his family are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. BARKOFF has been honored by the citizens of his community with the office of secretary of the school board, which position he is now filling with credit to himself and of the community where he resides.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa,pp. 591, 592
Family Researcher: NA
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Charles W. BAYS - It is a well-recognized fact that the most powerful influence in shaping and controlling public life is the press. It reaches a greater number of people than any other agency and thus has always been and always will be a most important factor in moulding public opinion, and, in a definite sense, shaping the destiny of the nation. The gentleman, to a brief review of whose life the following lines are devoted, is prominently connected with the journalism of western Iowa, being owner and editor of the Woodbine Twiner, one of the most popular papers of this section. The county recognizes in Mr. BAYS not only a keen newspaper man, but also a representative citizen, whose interest in all that affects the general welfare has been of such a character as to win for him a high place in the confidence and esteem of the people.

Charles W. BAYS was born in White Cloud, Kansas, on March 21, 1870, the son of Davis H. and Elizabeth J. (MCGAHAN) BAYS, the former of whom was a native of the state of Texas, born near Corpus Christi, where he remained until he was sixteen or eighteen years of age. He then went to Beaver Island, Michigan, where he remained for a few years and then came to this state and located in the then small village known as Kanesville, but which is now the thriving city of Council Bluffs. There he was married and for a time lived in Missouri and Kansas, in the latter of which states the immediate subject of this sketch was born. Davis H. BAYS then came back to this state, locating at Little Sioux, in this county, where he remained for a few years. He then moved to Galland's Grove in Shelby county, where he purchased land and farmed for six, or eight years. He had become interested some time previous in the teachings of the church of the Latter Day Saints and was by them sent as a missionary to Texas, near his boyhood home. He remained there for two years and then returned to his farm home in Shelby county, this state. In 1880 he sold that farm and moved to Persia, Harrison county, where he remained until 1885, in which year his wife, the mother of Charles W., died. Shortly after the death of Mrs. BAYS, Mr. BAYS and family started on the overland journey to the west central portion of Kansas, where Mr. BAYS bought a quarter section of land and remained for four years. He was there married a second time and remained in that locality until the death of his second wife, when he returned to Harrison county, and here passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring at Persia, Iowa. He was a photographer and did considerable work in that line in addition to his services as a minister of his chosen church. He was the father of nine children: Ella M., Flora E., George W., Charles W., Henry W. (deceased), Clara E., Myrtle E., Jessie E. (deceased) and Maud E.

Charles W. BAYS received his elementary education in the common schools of Persia, Iowa, later attending Highland Park College for two years, preparing himself for the vocation of teaching. He was an instructor in various high schools for twelve years, principal for two years at Panama, in Shelby county, principal at Smithland for five years and then principal at Mondamin for one year. He then entered newspaper work at Woodbine, which has been the scene of his labors since that time. He first took up newspaper work in 1898 at Persia, but continued his duties as a teacher for another ten years and it was not until 1908 that he assumed the ownership and active management of the paper which now claims his best efforts and which is justly popular throughout that section of the state which it so ably represents.

Charles W. BAYS was married on March 21, 1891, to Estella THOMPSON, known locally by the name of Estella TUPPER, inasmuch as she was reared by the TUPPER family, one of the oldest and most highly respected families of this county, and to this union have been born four children, Effie L., Leona H., Ethel B. and Zelma M.

Mr. BAYS is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and he is a member of the Christian church, in the progress of which organization he is sincerely interested, and to which he contributes of his time and means. Mr. BAYS is a Republican and that is the policy of the paper which he owns, the editorial columns of which are conducted in harmony with his political views. Believing that the fundamental mission of a newspaper is to give the news of the day to its readers, he has, to the best of his ability, striven to meet that idea and to keep the people of his section rightly informed on current events. Mr. BAYS is one of the representative citizens of Woodbine, the family being held in high regard by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 606, 607, 608
Family Researcher: NA
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Hon. L. R. BOLTER - This gentleman distinguished himself for being one of the ablest lawyers and statesmen of his part of the state. He was the leader in Democratic politics and a man of much native, as well as acquired ability. He was purely an American and was born in Richland county, Ohio, in 1834 and died at his home in Logan, Iowa, April 29, 1901. L. R. BOLTER had taught school in young manhood and also had kept books for the Wells Fargo Express Company in the Rocky Mountain district long before the building of railroads west of the Missouri. He earned sufficient money in the west at clerking and mining to come to Harrison county, Iowa, and purchase a good tract of land which he steadily added to, as the years rolled by, so that when he died he was accounted a wealthy man. His extensive legal practice, however, made him independent of the world's needs without the large returns from his broad acres.

Mr. BOLTER was more times state senator than any other man in Iowa. He also enjoyed the peculiar distinction of having delivered more than twenty-five consecutive Fourth of July orations within the borders of Iowa. He was admitted to the bar before Hon. Isaac PENDLETON, an early Sioux City judge, in 1865. In 1876 he was candidate for Congress on the Democratic ticket. He was defeated by Col. W. F. SAPP, but Mr. BOLTER said in his campaign of thirteen long weeks: "If defeated, a sufficient solace shall be found in the consciousness that I neither sold my friends nor corruptly purchased my enemies to gratify my own ambition, or secure success in a just cause."

Mr. BOLTER's intellectual possession, coupled with his happy manner of speech and general mode of address, made him a popular factor in the great busy world around him. Not only during the regular hours through the day, but for many years he spent the midhours of the night at his desk with his books. His was a well-rounded life, full of good thoughts and good deeds. His family consisted of wife and three children, Charles R., deceased; Carroll A., now of Logan, Iowa, a capitalist and attorney, and Florence M., the wife of Dr. I. C. WOOD.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 652, 653
Family Researcher: NA
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Ed D. BRADLEY - A substantial business man of Missouri Valley, Iowa, who has made his home in that city since 1879, is Ed. D. BRADLEY, of the clothing firm of Ed. D. BRADLEY & Co. He came to this county when he was sixteen years of age and has been engaged in the mercantile business in Missouri Valley since that time, with the exception of a few years when he was in business in Omaha. His present business was established in 1902 and has prospered from the beginning and he now has his full share of the patronage of Missouri Valley and vicinity. Mr. BRADLEY has been prominent in the civic, educational and religious life of his city and is a man whose integrity has never been questioned.

Ed. D. BRADLEY, the son of James and Mary Jane (FLYNN) BRADLEY, was born in London, Ontario, Canada, May 10, 1863. His parents were both natives of Ireland, and his father, who was a cooper by trade, came to Canada when a young man and lived in that country most of his life. He died in Chicago in 1888, and his wife died in 1873. Ten children were born to James BRADLEY and wife, seven of whom are living, Joseph, of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Mary and Emma, Chicago, Illinois; John, South Omaha, Nebraska; William, Carrie and Ed. D., of Missouri Valley.

Ed. D. BRADLEY was educated in the schools of London, Ontario, Canada, and when he was sixteen years of age he came to Missouri Valley and worked for the firm of BUTLER & BRADLEY, the last named member of the firm being his brother. With the exception of a few years when he was in the mercantile business in Omaha, he has spent the remainder of his life in Missouri Valley. He organized the present firm in March, 1903, to deal in clothing and men's furnishing goods, and his store has the best stock of its kind in Harrison county.

Mr. BRADLEY was married in 1880 to Nellie MCDERMOTT, of Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. BRADLEY and his wife have no children of their own, but have an adopted son, Elmer, who is now thirteen years of age.

Mr. BRADLEY is a thirty-second-degree Mason, belonging to the consistory at Des Moines, and the Shrine at Omaha. He holds membership in the chapter, council and commandery at Council Bluffs. He also is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Missouri Valley. He has taken an active part in Democratic politics and takes an intelligent interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his party. He has been a member of the Missouri Valley school board and for a few years had charge of the fire department of the city. He owns a section of land in southern Alberta, Canada, and is a stockholder in the Ice and Cold Storage Company, of Missouri Valley. He and his family are stanch members of the Presbyterian church, and he is one of the deacons of the local congregation. Mr. BRADLEY is a wide-awake and public-spirited citizen and one of the representative men of his city and county.

Source: 1915 History of Harrison County Iowa, pp. 597, 598
Family Researcher: NA
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