1915 Harrison County Iowa Biographies Page Sixteen
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John L. SKELTON -
A native of Indiana, John L. Skelton has been a resident of Iowa for more than 60 years, and of Missouri Valley for more than a quarter of a century. He followed the blacksmith trade for more than 30 years, but since 1912 has been serving as Justice of the Peace in Missouri Valley and in connection with this does a general real estate, insurance and loan business. He is a man who is well known throughout the county, as is shown by the remarkable vote which he has polled making the races for various county offices.
John L. Skelton, son of Josiah and America (JONES) SKELTON, was born near Reelsville, Putnam County, Indiana, April 19, 1854. His father was born in Virginia and his mother in Indiana, in which latter state his father located when a young man. After Josiah Skelton was married, he located in Putnam County, Indiana, and in 1854 decided to go west and enter government land in Iowa. He finally settled in Pottawattamie County on a farm, where he lived until his death in 1886. His widow is still living in Missouri Valley, where she makes her home with her daughter. Josiah Skelton was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, as is his wife. Eight children were born to Josiah Skelton and wife, and seven of them are still living: John L., Lewis F., Mrs. Jane MACE, Mrs. Alice REEL, Josiah J., Albert D., Mrs. Margaret WILLIAMS and W.A. Mrs. WILLIAMS is deceased and all the other children are living in Iowa, with the exception of Josiah J. of Walla Walla, Washington, and Albert D. of Oklahoma.
Josiah Skelton had been previously married. He was first married to a Miss JONES and to this union five children were born. His second wife also had been previously married to a Mr. ALDRIDGE and she had two children by her first marriage, Mrs. Mary E. FRAZIER of Missouri Valley, and Hardin L. ALDRIDGE.
John L. Skelton was less than one year old when his parents moved from Indiana to Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He was reared on the farm and was educated in the common schools of Pottawattamie county. He attended the Honey Creek school and had to walk two and one half miles in order to reach the school house. Before reaching his majority, he started to learn the blacksmith trade, and for 30 years was engated in this occupation. He worked at Loveland, Pottawattamie County, until 1879. He bought a farm in Pottawattamie County and carried on farming in connection with his blacksmithing. After moving to Missouri Valley he continued to follow his trade until 1897, when he was nominated by the Democrats and elected Sheriff of Harrison County, a county which was normally Republican by at least 700 majority. He is one of the three Democratic sheriffs who have held that office in this county. He gave his fellow citizens satisfactory service during his first term and was re-elected in 1899. In 1901 he was elected a third time by a majority of five votes, but his election was contested and he was compelled to leave the office after serving one year on his third term, leaving office December 8, 1902.
Upon retiring from the Sheriff's office, Mr. Skelton returned to Missouri Valley and again engaged in the blacksmithing business, which occupation he followed for five or six years. He was then again nominated for the office of Sheriff, but was defeated by 74 votes, although the county was Republican at that time by nearly one thousand. In 1910 he was forced to take the Democratic nomination for county treasurer, but on account of the overwhelming Republican majority, went down to defeat. In 1912 he was appointed Justice of the Peace in Missouri Valley and retired from the blacksmithing trade, and has since been doing real estate, loan, and insurance business in connection with his duties as a justice of the peace.
Mr. Skelton has been twice married. He was first married in 1873 to Clara J. HATCHER, a native of Indiana, and to this union four children were born: Mrs. Cora C. BALL of Missouri Valley; Arthur J., a lumber merchant in Alta, Iowa; Clara C., who was the wife of Charles FAITH, and died in 1906; and Floyd L., who is now 16 years of age. The mother of these four children died July 7, 1899, and on August 20, 1900, Mr. Skelton married Lora FARLOW of Logan, Iowa.
Mr. Skelton has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for many years. He also holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of America. He has taken an active interest in the Christian Church and is now one of the deacons and a member of the board of trustees of the congregation to which he is attached. Mr. Skelton is a man of unusual energy and is one of the most popular men in the county. He is genial and unassuming in his manner and kindly disposed toward those less fortunate than himself, a man of many excellent qualities of head and heart. (end)
Note to researchers: A number of the members of the Skelton family are buried at the Branson Cemetery, just south of Missouri Valley across the county line into Pottawattamie County, east of highway 30A about � mile, north of Honey Creek, Iowa.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 761-63 Family Researcher: NA
E. L. HARPER -
Coming to this county as a boy with his parents E.L. Harper has spent
all of the years of his active life in general farming and stock raising
in Allen township. He started in as a renter, but by good management
and ceaseless industry he has accumulated a well-improved farm on which
he is now living. He has been active in the civic life of his community
and has held various offices to the entire satisfaction to all
E.L. Harper, the son of John and Eliza (HUNT) HARPER, was born on
February 19, 1867, in Pottawattamie county, Iowa. His parents were both
natives of Kentucky and came to Harrison county in the seventies. They
are still living in the county and are now both past eighty-two years of
E. L. Harper is one of fourteen children born to his parents and the
fourth in order of birth. He received his education in the schools of
Allen township and lived at home and helped his father with the work on
the farm, until he was twenty years of age. He then rented a farm for
one year, after which he bought forty acres of land. Until he
permanently located on his present farm he bought and sold several
farms in the county. He now owns eighty acres of land in Allen township
in section 17. He has placed many improvements upon this farm and now
has one of the best improved farms in the township. He has been
particularly interested in the raising of hogs and cattle, and feeds, on
an average, one hundred and twenty-five head of hog for the market
annually. He has been unusually successful with his live stock, due to
the scientific way in which he handles them. He has large and
commodious barns and outbuildings and ranks high among the progressive
farmers of the township which included many of the best farmers of the
E. L. Harper was married on March 6, 1889, to Lucy ISOM. She was born
in Fremont county, Iowa, a daughter of Doss ISOM and wife. Her parents
were natives of Missouri and came to Monona county, Iowa, from Fremont
E. L. and Lucy (ISOM) HARPER have seven children, Bertha, Alta, Albert,
Floyd, John, Bernard, and Howard. All except the two eldest still live
at home. Bertha married William Gaterost, and has two children, Viola
and Grace, and live in Underwood, Iowa; Alta, the other daughter who is
married, is the wife of Harrison Coyle, and lives in Lincoln township in
E. L. Harper and family are all loyal members of the Latter-Day Saints
church, and are generous contributors to its support. Mr. Harper is a
member of the Woodmen of the World, and gives his support to the
Democratic party, and has served as school director of his township for
many years, during which time he rendered his fellow citizens faithful
and efficient service. Mr. Harper stands high in the estimation of
those who know him by reason of his wholesome life and the interest he
takes in the advancement of the general welfare of his community.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 761-63 Family Researcher: NA
Louis K. WATTERS -
A substantial citizen of Missouri Valley, Iowa, who has
made his home here since 1887 is Louis K. Watters, foreman of the Chicago &
Northwestern tin shops in this city. He is a man who has made his way in
life since a mere youth. As a matter of fact, when he was only eight years
of age, he was working in a woolen factory in Fulton, New York, making
clothes for the soldiers in the Civil War. When sixteen years of age, he
began to learn the tinner's trade and has made this his chosen life work.
His ability along this line was such that when he was twenty-one yars of age,
he received an appointment from a railroad company in Michigan and worked
with them until he came to Iowa. Here his work was soon recognized, and he
was made foreman of the shops, a position which he has held for many years.
Louis K. WATTERS, the son of James and Maria (CONVERSE) WATTERS, was born in
Fulton, Oswego county, NY, January 31, 1854. His father was born at
Brooklyn, New York, and his mother in Albany, of the same state. His father
was a shoemaker and also operated a store. In 1866 the family moved to
Flint, Michigan, where James Watters lived until his death a few years ago.
His wife died there about 28 years ago. Ten children were born to James
Watters and wife, seven of whom are living.
Louis K. Watters was 12 years of age when his parents removed to Flint,
Michigan, and he had little opportunity for schooling, and as has been
stated, began to work when he was only eight years of age. After removing to
Flint with his parents, he went to work in a lath mill, and on December 5,
1870, began to learn the tinner's trade. He worked at Flint, Michigan,
learning the trade until 1875. In that year, he began to work at Muskegon,
Michigan, for the Chicago & West Michigan Railroad, remaining with that
company until January 31, 1887. He then moved to Missouri Valley, Iowa, and
began to work in the Chicago & Northwestern shops. Soon after locating here,
he was made foreman of the tin shops, and he has retained this position ever
Mr. Watters was married on September 5, 1874, to Eliza BURGESS, who was born
in Bennington, Michigan. The two children born to this union are both
deceased, Harriett and William.
Mr. Watters is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the
Tribe of Ben-Hur. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal
church. He has always given his hearty support to the Republican party, but
has never taken an active part in political matters. Mr. and Mrs. Watters
have a handsome home in the city, and they are highly esteemed by everyone
with whom they are acquainted.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. ? Family Researcher: NA
Almond C. BUFFUM -
It is probable that there is not a man in Harrison County, Iowa, who has traveled over the United States more extensively than Almond C. Buffum. He located in Harrison Co. in 1893. He has worked in at least a dozen states of the Union and has traveled all the way from coast to coast more than once. Born and reared in the state of New York, when he was 16 years of age, he went to Michigan where he worked for a while, later going to the state of Washington where he worked for a time. He worked in various other states in the west before he finally came to harrison County to make his permanent home. Since coming to this county he has engaged in general farming and stock raising and nw owns a well-improved farm of 100 acres in Taylor Township.
Almond C. Buffum, son of Daniel T. and Maria (MITCHELL) BUFFUM, was born March 31, 1850, in Erie Co., New York. His parents were both natives of the same state, his father being a son of Wheeler Buffum, a native of Rhode Island. The Buffums are one of the Colonial families of the eastern states and were prominent in the early history of the United States. The town of Colton, New York, was formerly known as Buffumtown, having been named after one of the members of the family who located there when the town was started. Daniel T. Buffum was twice married and had two sons by his first wife, and seven sons and three daughters by his second marriage.
Almond C. Buffum is the eldest of ten children born to his father's second marriage. He received a good common school education in the schools of hs native states, and when 16 years of age began to work out by the month for his uncle, Joseph Buffum. A short time afterward, he went to Michigan to live with his brother, Joseph, and remained with him three years. He then in 1882, in company with his half-brother, Charles, went to the state of Washington, on the Pacific coast. There he worked in the pine forests and also in the saw mills and coal mines in that state. He remained three years on the Pacific coast and then went to Echo Canyon, Utah, where he worked in the Union Pacific Railway Company's coal mine for a few months. The company gave him a pass and he went to Chicago, and thence to his old home in New York. A few months later, the wanderlust again seized him and he started west and did not stop until he reached California. He worked there a short time, but became dissatisfied and returned east, stopping off at Council Bluffs, Iowa. A short time afterward, he came to Harrison County, Iowa, locating at Little Sioux where he lived for four years. Again becoming dissatisfied, he went to Salt Lake City, Utah, and worked there a short time and then went to Denver, Colorado, where he worked for three years.
In 1893 Mr. Buffum returned to Harrison County a second time, and has since made this county his home. He worked in the Missouri Valley shops for one year, after which he bought 80 acres of land in section 1 of Taylor township, where he is now living. He has since added 20 acres and now has a 100 acre farm which is known throughout this section of the county as Sunnyside Farm. He engages in general farming and stock raising and handles only the best quality of livestock.
Mr. Buffum was married on February 20, 1894, to Lillian BROWN, who was born in September 1874 in Muscotah, Kansas, daughter of Luther D. and Emma (PETT) BROWN. Her father was born in Vermont and her mother in England, coming to the United States when she was 18 years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Buffum are the parents of four children: Almond D., E. Maud, Marie, and Charles W., all four still living with their parents.
Mr. Buffum is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Magnolia, and Red Cloud Encampment at Missouri Valley. he and his wife are both members of the Daughters of Rebekah and Mrs. Buffum is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps. Mr. Buffum gives his hearty support to the Republican party, but has never had any desire to be a candidate for public office. Few men in the county have wider experience or passed through more trying times than has Mr. Buffum. He is genial in nature and whole-souled in his manner and highly regarded in the community where he has made his home for more than 20 years.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 795 Family Researcher: NA
John H. T. ADIX -
There are many excellent farmers in Magnolia township, Harrison county, Iowa,
and among that number may be mentioned John H. T. Adix, who has been living
here since 1899. His parents were both born in Germany, and the thrift which
characterizes the sturdy people of that country, has been inherited by their
sons. Starting in as a renter, Mr. Adix was eventually able to buy land of
his own and now has an excellent little farm where he is making a comfortable
living for himself and family. He is a quiet, unassuming man, kindly
disposed toward the faults of others and always ready and willing to do his
share toward making the community in which he lives a better place in which
John H. T. Adix, the son of John and Henrietta (GOETSCH) ADIX,, was born on
August 28, 1873 in Boone county, Iowa. His parents reared a family of five
children, all of whom are living, Charles, a farmer of Boone county; William
of Boone county; John H. T. of Harrison county; Mrs. Catherine Murken of
Boone county; and Mrs. Ida Good of Boone county. John Adix Sr. was born in
Germany and left his native land when a young man and came to America. He
located in Wisconsin and was living in that state when the Civil War broke
out. He enlisted in a Wisconsin regiment and served with distinction until
the close of the war. After returning from the war, Mr. Adix located in
Boone county, Iowa, where he farmed until his death, July 7, 1878. Some time
after his death, his widow, who was born in Germany in 1838, was married to
William Doerder, also born in Germany in 1848. Mr. Doerder is a retired
farmer and now makes his home at Boone, Iowa. To the second marriage of Mrs.
Doerder were born two children: Mrs. Pauline Koppenhaver of Boone, Iowa, and
Albert Doerder, who is farming the old home place in Boone county. The
mother of John H. T. Adix died on April 6, 1914.
Mr. Adix was only four years of age when his father died. He was reared on
his stepfather's farm and attended the public and German parochial schools of
his home neighborhood. He remained at home until he was 23 years of age and
then began working on farms in his county. He came to Harrison county in
1900 and rented a farm in Magnolia township where he continued renting until
1909, at which time he bought his present farm of 100 acres, 6 of which are
in natural timber. He has a comfortable home in a picturesque spot in the
valley, about one-fourth farm and raises as much stock as he can feed from
John Jochan Fernand Adix, Sr. was born August 24, 1831, in Meclenburg
Schwerine, Germany, came to America May 9, 1853, landed in Madison,
Wisconsin, enlisted in the War in Company D, 29th Infantry and served four
years. He married Henrietta GOETSCH, April 18, 1869, who came to America in
1865. She was born in Province Pommern,, Germany, April 10, 1838. Her
father and mother lived together for more than nine years when the father
died July 7, 1878. Five children blessed this union. Her mother was married
again May 26, 1878, to William DOERDER, who came to America in May 21, 1876.
To this union two children were born. Mrs. Doerder died April 6, 1914.
Mr. Adix was married in 1900 to Lizzie MENSCHING, who was born in Magnolia
township on October 4, 1881, and is a daughter of Henry and Julia (WENDROFF)
MENSCHING, early settlers of Harrison county. Her parents are still living
at Magnolia township. Mr. And Mrs. Adix have one daughter, Erma, who was
born in 1904.
Mr. Adix and his wife are loyal members of the German Lutheran church and are
interested in its welfare. He gives the Republican party his hearty support,
but has never cared to take an active part in political life.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 938-940 Family Researcher: NA
Daniel J. ADLUM -
Born and reared in Pennsylvania, Daniel J. Adlum went to Missouri Valley,
Iowa, when he was 20 years of age and has since made that city his home. He
was in the employ of the railroad company in this city for the first few
years and then engaged in mercantile business, which he continued until he
was appointed postmaster in the spring of 1898. He has held this position
continuously since his first appointment, a fact which speaks well for the
efficient administration which he has given the patrons of the office.
Daniel J. Adlum, the son of Joseph G. and Evaline (IRWIN) ADLUM, was born at
Altoona, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1860. His parents were both natives of
the same state and his father was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature
from 1861 to 1865. Joseph G. Adlum was also the first Justice of the Peace
at Altoona, and a prominent man in the business life of that city, where he
was engaged in the mercantile business all his life. The mother of Daniel J.
Adlum died in 1911. His parents reared a family of eight children, six of
whom are living.
Mr. Adlum received all of his education in the schools of Altoona, and when
still a lad began to clerk in his father's store, there gaining his first
knowledge of the mercantile business. In 1880, he arrived in Missouri
Valley, Iowa, as a timekeeper for the Missouri Valley and Northwestern
Railway Company, and remained with that company until 1887. He then engaged
in mercantile pursuits in Missouri Valley and built up a lucrative business,
which he disposed of when he was appointed postmaster in the spring of 1898,
which office he has held for four terms and one half, a continuous period of
Mr. Adlum was married in 1884 to Carrie MacKain of Missouri Valley, and to
this union two sons have been born: Bruce of Portland, Oregon, and Downs,
who is now residing in Seattle Washington. Mr. Adlum has always been active
in Republican circles and for many years has been considered one of the
leaders of his party in this section. His fraternal connections are with the
Knights of Pythias, of which lodge he has been a member for many years.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 759 Family Researcher: NA
Charles ANTHONY -
Taylor township, Harrison County, Iowa, has many excellent farms and
enterprising farmers, and among the latter Charles Anthony occupies a
prominent place. Since the spring of 1908, he has been farming on his own
farm in Taylor township and has been unusually successful, considering the
short time which he has been located on his farm. As a stock raiser, he
ranks high among the stockmen of the county, and has some of the best stock
to be found in this section of the state.
Charles Anthony, the son of Jerry and Amanda (RATH) ANTHONY, was born on
December 7, 1873, in Dana, LaSalle county, Illinois. His parents were
natives of the same state, of German descent. When Charles was quite young,
his parents moved to Taylor County, Iowa, where they lived for 13 years, at
the end of which time they moved to Keith County, Nebraska. They lived in
that state for 9 years and then moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they
stayed about 9 months. The family then located on a farm near that city.
About a year later, Jerry Anthony came to Harrison county and rented the old
Sharpnack farm west of Modale, his sons continuing on the farm near Council
Bluffs for two years more, after which they also came to Harrison county.
Charles Anthony is one of 12 children born to his parents.
Soon after locating in Nebraska with his parents, Charles Anthony commenced
working on the Union Pacific railroad and worked for the company for five
years, during which time he only lost one day's time. After coming to
Harrison county, he lived for a time in Clay township where his father and
the sons bought 160 acres of land. After his marriage in the spring of 1908,
he bought 84 acres in section 30 of Taylor township on which he has since
been living. He does general farming and also engages in stock raising,
making a specialty of full-blooded Poland China hogs and Red Polled cattle.
He has one of the largest milch cows in Harrison county, the animal weighing
Charles Anthony was married on February 25, 1908, to Sarah SPRACKLIN, who was
born June 8, 1863, in Iowa City, Iowa, a daughter of Solomon G. and Louisa
(ABBETT) SPRACKLIN, natives of Knox county, Ohio, and Tennessee
respectively. Her father was of English descent and her mother of Irish
ancestry. The Spracklin family came to Harrison county in May 1866. Mr.
Spracklin died in 1909, and his widow is still living in this county. They
lived on one farm continuously from 1866 to 1912.
Mr. Anthony is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, while he and his
wife are both loyal members of the Christian church. The Democratic party
receives his stanch support, but he has never been active in political
affairs. Mr. Anthony is popular in the community, and his genial smile and
kindly disposition win friends wherever he goes.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 788-789 Family Researcher: NA
George ARMSTRONG -
The men who are born in the country cannot help but know the best methods of
farming, and the love for rural life is unconsciously developed, so that no
matter what occupation is followed in later life, the love of the soil
remains. And it is a fortunate circumstance that rural life has become so
attractive that the boys are not only staying on the land, but the nervous,
hurried people of the cities are thankfully turning "back to the soil."
A farm boy who realized the opportunities which awaited him in the occupation
he knew best was George Armstrong, who was born on March 14, 1867, in
Magnolia township, Harrison County. He was the son of Fletcher and Tena
(SUTTON) ARMSTRONG, who were the parents of fourteen children, three of whom
Born in 1842, Fletcher Armstrong was native to Indiana, and though he lived
in Ohio for some time, the greater part of his life was spent in Iowa where
he came when the state was still thinly settled. Fletcher Armstrong bought
land in Magnolia township, although he farmed in two other counties, Cass and
Jefferson. He served through the Civil War as a Union soldier, with great
credit to himself, after which he farmed until his death. Fletcher Armstrong
died in Jefferson county in 1896, his wife, who was born in Pennsylvania in
1846, lives in Logan.
As we have stated, Mr. Armstrong was reared on the farm, and he attended the
district school near his home. At the age of 21, he began farming on a
rented place in Cass township, Harrison county, and met with good success, as
he bought 120 acres in Cass township four years after he began to rent. The
new place was improved by the erection of a fine house and barn, and by the
installation of a water system. Selling out in 1905, Mr. Armstrong purchased
a tract of 160 acres on which he now lives, and with his usual industry, he
has erected two excellent barns. He is one of Iowa's famous corn growers.
Mr. Armstrong was married to Biola GREEN on November 7, 1892, who was born in
1866. To this union were born six children, five of whom are still living.
The names of the six in order of birth follow: Benjamin; Russie, deceased;
George; Harvey; Ruby; and Kenneth, the five living at home. Mrs. Armstrong's
parents, Hazel and Jane (DUNGAN) GREEN, were among the earliest settlers of
Harrison county, both of whom are now dead.
Although Mr. Armstrong has had no desire to hold office, he is an active
member of the Republican party. He is a devout member of the Christian
church, and heartily supports the efforts of his own church, as well as those
of any church which promises to uplift his fellow men. He is a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Armstrong's actions, at all times,
bear the stamp of absolute honesty, and he is accorded the respect of
everyone who has come into his life.
Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 909-910 Family Researcher: NA