ORRIN E. ABORN
Orrin E. Aborn has been a resident of Cedar Rapids for over twenty years, and is to-day one of its most highly esteemed citizens. He is a native of the Prairie state, his birth occurring in Sycamore, Illinois, November 7, 1855. His parents, Calvin and Eliza (Atkins) Aborn, were born, reared and married in Vermont and removed to Illinois about 1850. The father was engaged in the patent right business and patented the first seed sower ever made. He removed to Independence, Iowa, in 1859, forming a partnership known as Aborn & Ingals. They made and sold the seeder extensively through the west, having at one time forty teams on the road and doing a successful business. He is now deceased, but the mother is still living and makes her home in Independence, Iowa.
The subject of this sketch is the sixth in order of birth in a family of nine children, and was only four years of age when the family removed to independence, Iowa, where the days of his boyhood and youth were passed. To the public schools of that city he is indebted for his educational privileges. On leaving the school room at the age of seventeen he commenced clerking in a dry goods store in Independence, and was thus employed until after the removal of his employers to Cedar Rapids in 1878, remaining with them at this place for one year. He then went to Kansas and engaged in farming with his brother for one year.
In the meantime Mr. Aborn was married at Red Cloud, Nebraska, in 1879, to Miss Amanda Rudolph, a daughter of Samuel and Della Rudolph, of Cedar Rapids, both of whom are now deceased. The father was one of the first hotel keepers of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Aborn have two children: Libby D., now cashier and bookkeeper for S. L. Rudolph; and Claude E., who is attending the high school of Cedar Rapids.
After his return to Cedar Rapids Mr. Aborn worked in the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad shops for seven years, and then entered the employ of S. L. Rudolph, a wholesale and retail grocer of this city, as manager during the absence of the proprietor. He is a charter member of the camp of Modern Woodmen of America at Cedar Rapids, and also belongs to Cedar Rapids Lodge, No. 141, I.O.O.F.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 701-2.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
The business ability of Harry Abrams is indicated in his widely extended trade connections. Not. only is he operating, as one of the leading merchants of Cedar Rapids but is also a factor in commercial activity elsewhere, and the extent and importance of his interests are proof of his splendid ability and enterprise. He was born in Carlyle, Illinois, September 5, 1879. His father, Bernard Abrams, a native of German, emigrated to the United States in 1860 and settled first in St. Louis, Missouri, where for five years he was known as a prominent retail merchant. In 1865 he removed to Carlyle, Illinois, and became one of the leading merchants in that place, there continuing business until 1884, when he removed to Chicago and began the manufacture of dry-goods specialties. He also owned a large retail store at the same time, conducting both lines of business with good success until his death, which occurred in Chicago in 1907. In early manhood he had wedded Miss Alvina Lewkowwish, a native of Berlin, Germany, and they became the parents of five children: Isaac, Leo, Monto and Rosa, who are living in Chicago; and Harry, of this review. The daughter is now the wife of H. Weller.
Spending his youthful days in his father's home, Harry Abrams pursued his education in the public schools and after putting aside his text-books applied himself closely to mercantile pursuits. He was connected with the wholesale hardware trade in Chicago for three years and then extended his efforts to include both the wholesale and retail business, being thus engaged until 1908, when he removed to Cedar Rapids and established the well known and popular clothing and general dry-goods and department stores known as the Boston stores. In January, 1910, he also opened similar stores at Clinton, Iowa, and a little later opened a store at 103-109 Third avenue West, which is the largest department store on the west side of Cedar Rapids. He is likewise extensively interested in the wholesale dry-goods firm of A. Weil & Company of Chicago. From that point he secures the best and latest which the market affords for his retail establishments. He carries large and well selected lines of goods and he possesses in large measure that commercial sense which enables the individual to conduct growing and profitable enterprises. His stores are attractive and tasteful in arrangement and reasonable prices and courteous treatment, which is demanded on the part of all employees, secure for the house a constantly growing patronage.
In 1903 Mr. Abrams was united in marriage to Miss Selma Petker, of Toronto, Canada, a daughter of Phillip and Rose Petker, now living retired at Los Angeles, California. Mr. and Mrs. Abrams have become parents of two children, Bernice and Sylvia, aged respectively five and three years.©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Mr. Abrams is a prominent Mason, holding membership in Mount Hermon Lodge, F & A. M.; and in Iowa Consistory, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He is also a member of the Commercial Club. Throughout his life he has been connected with mercantile interests and is today recognized as the head of some of the most important business establishments of Iowa. A man of keen discrimination and sound judgment, his executive ability and excellent management have brought to the concerns with which he is connected a large degree of success. The safe conservative policy which he inaugurated commends itself to the judgment of all and has secured to the company a patronage which makes the volume of trade transacted over its counters of great importance and magnitude. The prosperity of the house is largely due to its president and manager - the gentleman whose name initiates this review.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 527-8.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
HENRY J. ACHTER
Henry J. Achter, the present efficient city auditor of Cedar Rapids, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on the 20th of May, 1869, but was only four years old when brought to Cedar Rapids by his parents, William F. and Anna E. Schuberth Achter, both natives of Germany. The father was born in Prussia, November 6, 1843, and was quite young when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to America, but the mother was a young lady when she crossed the Atlantic from her old home in Bavaria. They were married in Chicago. On first coming to Cedar Rapids William F. Achter followed the machinist’s trade, but for the past fourteen years has conducted a grocery store at the corner of Fifteenth avenue and Sixth street west. In political matters he is independent. He has two children, Emma, at home; and Henry J.
Our subject acquired his education in the public schools of Cedar Rapids, and still lives at home, with his parents. For about eight years he was employed as bookkeeper by the American Cereal Company, and when they removed their office to Chicago in 1895 he went with them, remaining in their employ only two months, however. He was next bookkeeper for the Iowa Wind Mill & Pump Company for a year, and was then variously employed. In June, 1899, he was appointed by the mayor as city auditor of Cedar rApids, and having an excellent knowledge of bookkeeping he has filled that office most creditably ever since.
In political sentiment Mr. Achter is a Democrat, and he takes quite an active interest in national campaign work, but at local elections is not bound by party ties. Fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 98, and the auxiliary D.O.K.K. He is a deacon for the English Lutheran church, of Cedar Rapids, and an active worker in both church and Sunday school as well as the Young Men’s Christian Association, being director and treasurer of the latter.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 430.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
Through the years of his manhood John Adams devoted his time and labors to general agricultural pursuits and made an excellent record as an enterprising and reliable business man, so that his memory is honored as one who well deserved to be classed with the representative citizens of Linn county. A native of Scotland, he was born June 26, 1836, a son of James and Ann (Miller) Adams, who were also natives of Scotland, the father having been born in 1812 and the mother in 1807. They crossed the Atlantic to America in 1854 and settled at St. Charles, Illinois, while subsequently they removed to Linn county, where both passed away.
John Adams remained a resident of the land of hills and heather until he had reached the age of seventeen years, when he heard and heeded the call of the western world, attracted by the broader opportunities that were to be obtained on this side of the Atlantic. He landed on the eastern coast and at once made his way into the interior of the country, settling in Kane county, Illinois, where he resided for twelve years. On the 28th of November, 1864, he arrived in Linn county, Iowa, and with the proceeds of his earnings he purchased eighty aces of land and thus became identified with the agricultural interests of this section of the state. He made further arrangements or having a home of his won by his marriage on the 28th of November, 1865, to Miss Myra J. Gray, who was born in Marion township, this county, December 30, 1848. Her parents, O. N. and Rosanna (Pratt) Gray, were both natives of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and were among the early settlers of Linn county, arriving in 1843, which was several years before Cedar Rapids was founded. All this section of the state was practically wild and uncultivated and from the government he entered a tract of wild land, placing the first improvement thereon – a log cabin. He then resolutely took up the task of breaking the sod and tilling the fields and year after year he continued the cultivation of the farm until three decades had elapsed. In 1873 he removed to Kansas, where he again secured a claim, there carrying on general agricultural pursuits until advanced age caused him to retire from business lie. He died in December, 1909, at the age of ninety years and is still survived by his widow, who is enjoying good health at the age o eighty-six years. Their family numbered six children, of whom four are still living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Adams have been born five children: Anna, the wife of Charles B. Webb, of Marion township; O. N., also residing in this township; L. C., operating the home farm; Mable E., who passed away in 1890 at the age of fourteen years; and Delsina, still at home.
After his marriage Mr. Adams located on his eighty-acre farm in Marion township which he occupied and improved for thirteen years, when he sold that property and invested in one hundred and sixty acres in the same township, upon which his widow now resides. He resolutely set to work to further improve his property and the results of his efforts were soon seen in the highly cultivated fields from which he annually gathered large crops. He was diligent and determined in business and his energy enabled him to overcome all the difficulties and obstacles in his path. Year after year he toiled on, anxious to provide a good living for his family, to whom he left a comfortable competence when in June, 1894, he was called to his final rest, his remains being interred in Oak Shade cemetery.
Mr. Adams was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, his life being in harmony with hits teachings. His wife also belongs to that church and is a lady of many estimable qualities which have won for her the high esteem of all with whom she has been brought in contact. The son, L. C. Adams, now operates the old home farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres and makes a specialty of raising and feeding stock. He acquired a common school education and was carefully trained in the best methods of tilling the soil by assisting his father in the work of the fields. In August, he married Miss Eva M. Emmons who was born in Linn county, April 22, 1875, and is a daughter of John and Alice (Hill) Emmons, who were natives of this county and are now residents of Marion. Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Adams became parents of two children but the first died in infancy. The living son, Howard E., was born December 17, 1904. The parents are consistent and faithful members of the Presbyterian church and their well spent lives have won for them classification with the representative and honored citizens of this community. Mr. Adams gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has never sought nor desired office. He is serving, however, as a school director and the cause of education finds in him a warm and stalwart friend. In fact he stands for progress in all those lines which touch the general interests of society. The Adams family has long been known in Linn county and throughout all the years its members have been found on the side of right, justice and truth, of advancement and improvement.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. p. 241-242
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
JOHN ADAMS, JR.
John Adams, Jr., who for a long period was a resident of Cedar Rapids, was born in England, on February 7, 1851, a son of John and Jenepher Adams, both of whom were natives of England. In the year 1854 they started for America with their family and first settled in Illinois, while later they removed to Cedar Rapids where their remaining days were spent.
John Adams, Jr., was only three years of age when his parents sought a home in the new world and remained with them through the period of his boyhood and youth and acquired his education in the public schools. After arriving at years of maturity he was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Williams, who was born in Johnson county, Iowa, on the 29th of September 1869. She is a daughter of John and Susan (Dutton) Williams, both of whom were natives of Indiana. Her mother died in February, 1909, but the father is still living and now makes his home in Cedar Rapids. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Adams were born six children: Pansy, Jenepher, Esther and Roland, all of whom are at home with their mother; and two children who died in infancy. Following his marriage Mr. Adams was employed as a brassmolder at the Rock Island car shops until his death.’
It was on the 23d of November, 1909, that Mr. Adams passed away leaving a widow and four children to mourn his loss. He was devoted to the welfare of his family and was a kind and loving husband and father. He gave his political support to the republican party and was always interested in everything pertaining to the welfare and progress of the community in which he made his home. Since her husband’s death Mrs. Adams has conducted a bakery and milk depot at No. 915 South Third street and is a lady of good business ability and energy, carefully and successfully controlling her interests in this connection.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. P. 576-7.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
ORLANDO N. ADAMS
A notable fact in the history of Linn county is found in that a large majority of her native-born sons have remained residents here, which shows the county to be rich in its possibilities and resources, offering excellent opportunities to those who make their homes within its borders. A representative of this class is Orlando N. Adams, who now owns and operates one hundred and ten acres of land on section 15, Marion township, and who was born in that township on the 29th of October, 1871. His father, John Adams, who was a native of Scotland, was brought to this country by his parents when still but a boy. Throughout his active business career he was successfully identified with agricultural interests in Linn county and his demise here occurred in 1893. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Myra J. Gray, has remained a resident of Marion township, this county, from her birth to the present time and is well known and highly esteemed throughout the community. She reared a family of five children, four of whom still survive.
Orlando N. Adams, who supplemented his preliminary education by a course of study in a business college, remained under the parental roof until he had attained the age of twenty years. He then started out as an agriculturist on his own account, renting a tract of land for several years. In 1902 he came into possession of a farm of his own, purchasing one hundred and ten acres of land on section 15, Marion township, to the further cultivation and improvement of which he has since devoted his time and energies. In addition to the cultivation of cereals he also gives considerable attention to the raising and feeding of stock and both branches of his business return to him a gratifying annual income.
In 1896 Mr. Adams was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. Gillmore, a native of Marion township, this county, and a daughter of Jackson and Carrie Gillmore, who are mentioned on another page of this work. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Adams have been born four children, namely: Caroline, who died four days after her birth, which occurred on the 19th of January, 1897; John C., whose natal day was August 15, 1898; Eleanor J., who first opened her eyes to the light of day on the 29th of June, 1903; and Charles 0., who was born May 2, 1906.
Mr. Adams exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his attention upon his business affairs. Both he and his wife are consistent and devoted members of the Presbyterian church, exemplifying its teachings in their daily lives. They enjoy an extensive acquaintance throughout the community in which they have always resided and well merit the regard and esteem which is uniformly accorded them.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 34-5.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson
This well-known resident of Cedar Rapids, who is now serving as deputy sheriff of Linn county, Iowa, was born in Rockland county, New York, July 30, 1851, and is a son of W. J. and Eliza Akers. The father was born in the same county in 1822, and at an early age learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed until his death. In 1876 he removed with his family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he died in 1882, and his wife departed this life in 1899. Their family consisted of six children, namely Julia, wife of W. W. McDonald, of Cedar Rapids; Emma, wife of Horace Gates of the same place; Isabella, of Cedar Rapids; Charles W., also a resident of Cedar Rapids; Lysander, of New Mexico; and Jonathan, of this review.
(This paragraph is jumbled and meaning not clear) Our subject was reared in the county of schools. When his school days were over his nativity and educated in its public he entered upon the duties of a clerk with the firm of Cooper & Hewitt, proprietors of the iron works at Hewitt, New Jersey, (Mr. Hewitt was the former Mayor of New York) and in 1873 entered the service of the National Bank Note Company, in the Cooper Institute Building, New York city. In 1876 he came to Cedar Rapids, where he has been variously employed. For a time he held a position in the paint department with the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, and later served as constable. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
In 1900 he was appointed by Sheriff Morton Evans as deputy for a term of two years, and is now capably and satisfactorily filling that office. Mr. Akers was married in 1877 to Miss Carrie D. Justice, a daughter of Martin R. and Lou Justice, of Cedar Rapids. Her father is a cooper by trade and is still a resident of Cedar Rapids. Our subject and his wife have three children: Charles A., Gladys May and Hazel Ruth. They both hold membership in the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church of Cedar Rapids, and Mr. Aker is also connected with the Knights of the Maccabees, having served as keeper of finance for his tent. By his ballot he supports the men and measures of the Republican party and he takes an active and commendable interest in public affairs.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 841
E. B. ALDERMAN
ALDERMAN, E. B., dealer in farm machinery and seeds, Marion; born in West Springfield, Mass., April 3, 1826; removed to Chenango, Broome Co., N. Y., with his parents, in 1828; in 1843, went to Suffield, Hartford Co., Conn.; lived there until 1850, when he came to Brown Twp., Linn Co., Iowa, and located land in that township; lived in Anamosa until the Spring of 1851, when he went on his farm in Brown Twp., and resided there until February, 1856; then went East and spent a few months and returned to Iowa and located near Anamosa, in Jones Co.; engaged in farming there until the Spring of 1860, when he commenced mercantile business at Anamosa. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Co. E, 31st I. V. I [Iowa Volunteer Infantry]; he raised that company of 106 men in three days, and was commissioned Captain of the company when it was first organized; on account of ill health, he resigned Feb. 13, 1863. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Returned to Anamosa, where his partner had continued their mercantile business during his absence; although broken down in health for several years, he continued his business, and in 1869 he engaged in farm machinery trade exclusively; carried on that business at Anamosa until 1875; was engaged in the lumber business in 1876; Jan. 1, 1877, he engaged in his present business at Marion. Married Lydia A. OSBORN in January, 1848; she was born in Westfield, Mass., April 25, 1826; they have had eight children--Louis E., died aged 2 years 4 months and 8 days; Amaret L., died aged 19 years; the living are Mary Imogene, Fannie E., Ada M., Edwin G., Ettie and Jennie V. Mr. and Mrs. ALDERMAN and their four oldest children are members of the Baptist Church.
Source: The History of Linn County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Linn County, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c. ; illustrated. Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878, 821 pgs. Page 613.
Posted By: Sandy
Date: 1/20/2004 at 17:55:03
J. S. ALEXANDER
ALEXANDER, J. S., dealer in lumber, sash, doors, blinds, etc., Marion; born in Franklin Tp., Linn Co., Iowa, May 21, 1842; engaged in farming until Aug. 16, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Co. A, 31st I. V. I. [Iowa Voluntary Infantry]; promoted to Second Lieutenant March 19, 1863; promoted to Captaincy of the same company July 29, 1864; he was in all the engagements the regiment participated in, and was mustered out June 27, 1865. Came to Marion, Iowa, and engaged in the lumber business Aug. 23, 1866. He was City Councilman in 1876 and 1877. Married Anna C. GIFFEN in January, 1875; she was born in Northumberland Co., Penn., in June, 1852; they have two children--Jay Giffen, born Nov. 1, 1875, and Jeremiah S., born March 28, 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander are members of the Presbyterian Church. ©2005 Transcribed for t
Source: The History of Linn County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Linn County, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c. ; illustrated. Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878, 821 pgs. Page 613.
Posted By: Sandy
Date: 1/20/2004 at 18:03:09
G. W. ALLEN
Outside of Cedar Rapids there are many progressive and energetic business men in Linn County who have met with excellent success in their undertakings, and are now quite wealthy. Among these is numbered G. W. Allen, a well-known merchant of Bertram. He was born in Adams county, Illinois, September 25, 1843, and is a son of Franklin and Rebecca (Myers) Allen. His father was born in Dresden, New York, April 15, 1818, and came west during the 30's. He assisted in building Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was engaged in rafting down the Missouri river for a time in connection with a brother who was drowned while following that pursuit. Franklin Allen then went to Illinois, where he engaged in milling, and in that state he was married October 10, 1842, to Rebecca Myers, who was born in Richland county, Ohio, July 25, 1825. ©2005 Transcribed for the Project.
Subsequently they removed to Missouri, where he also followed milling until the Mexican war broke out. In 1846 he enlisted with five hundred others, and was in the service for sixteen months. He then returned to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he had left his family, and followed his chosen occupation there until the spring of 1852. Being a Mormon at that time, he, with a colony and train of forty wagons, went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he made his home until 1857, when he returned to Iowa and settled in Cedar county. He operated a mill in that place for two years, and then came to Linn county, where he followed the same occupation near Bertram until 1862.
During that year he again entered the service of his country enlisting in Company A, Twentieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but was discharged fifteen months later on account of disability and returned to his home in this county. He subsequently had the misfortune to lose an arm in the machinery of Scott's mill, near Bertram, and then removed to Bertram and embarked in mercantile business. He remained a resident of that place until his death, which occured December 16, 1890, and he was laid to rest in Campbell's cemetery. During the latter part of his life he was a member of the Freewill Baptist Church, and was always a supporter of the men and measures of the Democratic party. His patriotism and loyalty were manifested by his service in two wars, and he was ever recognized as a valued citizen of his community. His estimable wife died February 16. 1885.
Unto them were born fourteen children, of whom G. W., our subject, is the oldest; Samuel, the next in order of birth, died in infancy; Matilda is the wife of Thompson Kountz, of Bertram township, this county; Franklin married Nancy Bickford and lives in Maquoketa, Iowa; Vina, deceased, was the wife of Peter Flanagan, of Oxford, Iowa; Rebecca is the wife of James Moore, of Clinton; Jacob died April 23, 1895; Amanda is the widow of Alexander Blair and a resident of Rock Island, Illinois; Daniel died in infancy; Sarah died in childhood; Henry married and resides in Davenport; Wesley married Jessie Murphy, and is also a resident of Davenport; Edith is the wife of O. J. Knapp, of Marion; and another child died in infancy.
G. W. Allen accompanied his parents on their various removals during his boyhood, and was principally educated in the subscription schools of Salt Lake City and the district schools of Cedar and Linn counties, Iowa, but his opportunities along that line were rather limited. At the age of seventeen he commenced assisting his father in the mill, and he also engaged in the timber and tie business, and followed that until the breaking out of the war.
Mr. Allen remained at home until he joined the boys in blue during the war of the rebellion, enlisting at Cedar Rapids, August 11, 1862, in Company A, Twentieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. After being mustered in at Clinton he went with his command to Davenport and later to St. Louis and Rolla, Missouri, where they drew accoutrements. For some time they were engaged in skirmishing between Springfield, that state, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and took part in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, December 7, 1862.
Later they were in a number of skirmishes in that state and Missouri until June, 1863, when they returned to St. Louis, where Mr. Allen was taken sick from exposure and was sent to the hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri. Subsequently he was granted a thirty-day furlough, which he spent at home, and on the expiration of that time rejoined his regiment at Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, where they remained six months. They next went to Brownsville, opposite Matamoras, Mexico, and from there to St. Mary's Light House, where they boarded a vessel, which carried them to New Orleans. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
They marched up White river and were engaged in scouting around Duvall's Bluff for a time, and then returned to New Orleans, from which place they were ordered to Fort Morgan, and assisted in the capture of that stronghold. After this engagement they returned to New Orleans and later took a steamer to Pensacola, Florida, and from there went to Fort Barancas, Florida, and then to Fort Blakely, near Mobile, arriving in time to take an active part in the siege and capture of the fort. This practically closed the war, and they were mustered out at Mobile in April, 1865. By steamer they went to St. Louis, and from there returned to Clinton, Iowa, where they were discharged on the 27th of July.
Returning to his home in Bertram, Allen assisted his father in business until March, 1866, when he went to a point on the Missouri river near Omaha and engaged in rafting and flat boating on the river for some years. In 1879 we again find him in Linn county, and he devoted his time to railroad construction work until July 3, 1883, when he opened a general store in Bertrand and has since successfully engaged in business at that place, having the largest store of the kind in this section of the county.
He is a most progressive and up-to-date business man, and has been remarkably successful in his financial ventures. Besides his business property he owns town lots in Bertram, one lot in Marion, four and a half lots in Cedar Rapids, two hundred and sixty acres of land in this county, three hundred and twenty acres in South Dakota, five hundred and twenty acres in Missouri, eighty acres in Kansas, and eighty acres in Nebraska.
Near Tipton, Cedar county, Iowa, Mr. Allen was married, February 16, 1881, to Miss Ida Wirick, who was born December 26, 1854, in Richland county, Ohio, of which her parents, Joseph and Sarah (Myers) Wirick, were also natives. Mr. and Mrs. Wirick were married in Cedar county, this state, April 1, 1852, and then returned to Ohio to visit his parents, remaining there three years, during which time two children were born to them. In the fall of 1849 they returned to Cedar county, where Mr. Wirick engaged in farming until his death, which occurred November 7, 1891.
In 1896 his wife came to Linn county, and now makes her home with her children. Unto them were born fifteen children, namely Thomas married Ella Fulwider and lives in Boulder, Colorado; Mrs. Allen is next in order of birth; Loduska is engaged in missionary work at Tokyo, Japan; Cassius M. who is professor of chemistry in the Boys' Manual Training School of Chicago, married Fannie Pearce and second Cora Rhinerson; Plimpton is an expert machinist, living in Greensboro, North Carolina; Orange married Addie Foster, and is engaged in mining in Salina, Colorado; Asher married Catherine Thompson, and is a blacksmith in Cedar Bluffs, Iowa; Viola married John D. Werling, and died in Carbondale, Colorado, May 14, 1889; Minnie is the widow of John Howard, and resident of Clarence, Iowa; Myrta is the wife of William Werling, a farmer, of Cedar county; Lulu is a tailoress of Salina, Colorado; Helen married Isaac Collar, and died in Cedar county, Iowa, in November, 1896; Frank is a farmer living near Tipton, Iowa; Beatrice is the wife of Frank Hunter, of Bertram; and Lucian, twin brother of Beatrice, died at the age of eleven months. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have two daughters: Cora R., born June 1884; and Oma, born December 14, 1885, on the anniversary of George Washington's death. Both will graduate from the Bertram schools in 1901. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Socially Mr. Allen affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and T. Z. Cook Post, No. 235, G. A. R., of Cedar Rapids, and politically he is identified with the Democracy. Public spirited and enterprising he takes a very active interest in public affairs, and has acceptably filled a number of local offices, serving many years as a member of the school board and also as township clerk and treasurer for a number of years, as well as postmaster of Bertram. He is one of the most popular and influential citizens of his community.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. Pages 644-9.
Cedar Rapids has many successful business men who started out in life for themselves empty-handed and by their own well-directed and energetic efforts have prospered and are now recognized leaders in the business world. To this class belongs John Anderson, who is at the head of the City Stone & Sidewalk Company.
He was born in Sweden in 1857, a son of Magnus Anderson and Anna (Nelson) Anderson, also natives of that country, where the father is still living, but the mother is now deceased. By occupation the father is a farmer. Our subject grew to manhood in the land of his birth, and was there married in October, 1879, to Miss Lotta Johnson, also a native of Sweden. Ten children blessed this union, namely: Ida, Emma, Jennie, Oscar, Edwin, Walter, Otto, Lena and Isaac, all of whom are still living, and John, who died in infancy.
On the 27th of May 1881, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson sailed from Guttenburg to Hull, England, and from Liverpool came to New York. On landing in this country they proceeded at once to Chicago, and from that city came to Cedar Rapids. For a time Mr. Anderson worked on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, then being built between Clair and Emmetsburg, and later went to Illinois, where he found employment in a stone quarry across the river from Burlington. While working there he broke his leg, and then returned to Cedar Rapids and turned his attention to shoemaking, having learned that trade in his native land.
To that occupation he devoted his energies for ten years, and then embarked in his present business, founding the company with which he is still connected. He is the leader of that line of business in Cedar Rapids, having put down more miles of sidewalk than any other firm in the city, and has also done considerable work in contracting and laying sewers, not only here but elsewhere. He has met with well-deserved success in his labors, and now owns real estate in the city. He is a Master Mason and a stockholder in the Masonic Temple and Auditorium, and also belongs to the Knights and Ladies of Honor, a social and mutual insurance order. As a self-made man he deserves great credit for the success that he has achieved in life, and justly merits the high regard in which he is uniformly held by his fellow citizens.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 862-863.
LEW WALLACE ANDERSON
The business activity of Cedar Rapids finds a prominent representative in Lew Wallace Anderson, whose connections are varied and important, his efforts proving an element in promoting general progress and prosperity as well as individual success, and an initiative spirit and unfaltering energy in the execution of well defined plans are salient elements in his success. He was born in Kingston, now West Cedar Rapids, June 6, 1867, a son of J. S. and Jennie Anderson, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume, he pursued his education in the public schools to his graduation from the high school with the class of 1884, and entered business life in connection with the Republican Printing Company. After a year spent in that office he joined his father, one of the leading insurance men of Cedar Rapids, and on the 1st of January, 1886, became a member of the firm of J. S. Anderson & Son. This relation was maintained until the father‘s death, since which time he has conducted the business alone. His is one of the most important insurance agencies of Iowa. He became local agent in 1885 and from 1887 until about 1900 was special agent for the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Massachusetts. Local matters have since required all of his attention. He represents a number of the most substantial and prominent insurance companies of the country and is also general agent for Iowa of several large eastern casualty insurance companies. Moreover, he is interested in a number of Cedar Rapids’ most important enterprises, being a director of the American Trust & Savings Bank, treasurer and general manager of the Linwood Cemetery Company, president of the Anderson Land Company, owners of "Vernon Heights,” the first high-class residential addition to Cedar Rapids. He is likewise the president of the Mound Farm Real Estate Company, owners of two hundred and ninety-five acres that for many years constituted what is known as the Mound farm. This will eventually be platted and will he converted into one of the fine districts of Cedar Rapids. Mr. Anderson’s operations in the field of real estate are of a most extensive and important character. Working along the lines of modern city development, he is not only meeting with gratifying success in his undertakings but is proving an important factor in the development and progress of the city. He is also secretary of the Cedar Rapids Hotel Company, owners of the Montrose.
Mr. Anderson resides at Vernon Heights, his home, Greycourt, being one of the most beautiful and attractive homes of that suburb. In December, 1895. he married Minna Kadgihn, of Bloomington, Illinois. A daughter, Mary Eloise, was born in 1897, and twin sons, Paul and Donald, in 1899.
Mr. Anderson is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, being a past commander of Apollo Commandery, No. 26, K. T. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias and is a past exalted ruler of Cedar Rapids Lodge, No. 251, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, has also served on several grand lodge committees and as district deputy for the northern district of Iowa in the Elks organization. Aside from the fact that his efforts in business lines are of material benefit to Cedar Rapids, he has cooperated in many improvements of far-reaching and practical value to the city, withholding his support from no project which he believes will enhance its interests. In 1906 he was elected alderman at large, but resigned after a few months' service. He was appointed by Governor Cummins a member of the River Front Improvement Commission on its organization and is its present chairman. Governor Carroll appointed him a member of the Iowa State Water Ways and Conservation Commission. He was one of the original members of the Free Public Library Board of Cedar Rapids, is treasurer of the Commercial Club and has been treasurer of the Historical Society of Linn County since its organization. He hopes to live to see Cedar Rapids with a population of one hundred thousand and the Cedar river's possibilities as to power and navigation fully developed. He is a typical American citizen, alert, enterprising and determined, keeping in close touch with the onward march of progress and looking beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities of the future. While he holds to high ideals, his methods are practical and his labors are so directed as to prove resultant factors
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, pages 48-9.
Submitted by: Terry Carlson
Thomas Andre, who after the labors of a long and busy life is spending his later years in ease and retirement at his pleasant home on East Main street, Lisbon, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1817, and is a son of Nicholas and Catherine (Sobers) Andre, both natives of Northampton county, that state. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died when our subject was about sixteen years of age, and later the mother passed away at her home in Pennsylvania. The paternal grandfather came to this country from Germany.
Our subject is the youngest in a family of nine children and the only one now living. The others were as follows: (1) John, born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, served as a private in the war of 1812, and died in 1848 in Pioneer township, Cedar county, Iowa, where he had lived for five years. His wife is now deceased, but his children still reside in that county. (2): Joseph, who was connected with salt works, died in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, at the age of sixty-two years. (3) Michael, also a salt manufacturer, died in Susquehanna county, that state. (4) Jacob, born in 1800, was a weaver by trade. He resided first in Westmoreland county, and later in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, where he died at the age of fifty years. (5) Peter spent most of his life as a farmer in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, but later removed to Ohio, where he died at the age of sixty-three years. (6) Lydia was the wife of Henry Klin, a farmer in Mahoning county, Ohio, where both died. (7) Elizabeth was the wife of John Lauffer, a farmer of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and both are now deceased. (8) Mary was the wife of William Ringer, a farmer of Stark county, Ohio, where their deaths occurred.
Mr. Andre of this review remained at the place of his birth until twenty-six years of age, and is indebted to the district schools of Westmoreland county for his educational advantages. In early life he learned the mason’s trade, and also worked in the coal mines for some time. On coming west in 1844 he settled in Pioneer township, Cedar county, Iowa, where he purchased land and successfully engaged in farming until 1892, when he laid aside active business and has since lived retired in Lisbon, enjoying the fruits of his former toil.
At Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Mr. Andre was married, in 1841, to Miss Mary Owens, who died on the old homestead in Pioneer township, Cedar county, Iowa, in 1891. Of the six children born of that union three are still living, namely: (1) Hugh, a capitalist of Lisbon, married Elizabeth Owens, of Pioneer township, Cedar county, and they have one child, John. (2) Lazarus, a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Pioneer township, Cedar county, married Wildy Wilson, and they have three children, Clara, Charles and Lee. (3) William is successfully engaged in farming on the old homestead of over three hundred acres, and is also extensively engaged in stock raising. He married Sarah Morton, and they have six children, Samuel, Cora, Alice, Minnie, Lula and an infant.
Mr. Andre was again married, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, November 14, 1893, his second union being with Mrs. Sebyla Kunkle, widow of John Kunkle and a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Berlin) Gressman, both of whom died in Pennsylvania. By occupation the father was a farmer. By her former marriage Mrs. Andre has three children, two of whom are still living: Mary, wife of William Kline, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; and Sarah, widow of William Remally, and also a resident of Greensburg.
When Mr. Andre first came to Iowa he found this region near all wild, unbroken prairie land, and has witnessed almost its entire development and upbuilding. At that time there were only one or two houses in Lisbon and but one in Mt. Vernon. In 1850 he went to California, where he was engaged in mining for some time. He left Council Bluffs on May 13 and reached Placerville on August 10. The trip was made in covered wagons. Returning he took a sailing vessel at San Francisco and after a seventy-two-day voyage reached Panama, and from there, after walking across the isthmus, took a steamer at Aspinwall to New Orleans, and then up the Mississippi river to Muscatine. He has traveled quite extensively, having visited twenty-seven states of the Union. When the country became involved in civil war he enlisted, in 1852, at Mechanicsville, Cedar county, in Company H, Thirty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was in the service twenty-seven months, taking part in a number of important battles, the sieges of Vicksburg and Jacksonville, and the Red river expedition. He received an honorable discharge at Memphis, Tennessee, in November, 1864, and returned to the more quiet pursuits of farm life. For a number of years he served as assessor of Pioneer township, Cedar county. In business affairs he has prospered, and he belongs to that class known as self-made men, his success in life being due entirely to his own untiring industry, indomitable perseverance and confidence of all who know him and well deserves their high regard. In politics Mr. Andre has always supported the principles of the Democratic party.
Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 140-143.
Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion
Joseph Arduser, who has lived retired at Coggon for the past five years, was actively and successfully identified with general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire business career and is still the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of valuable land in Jackson township. His birth occurred in Switzerland on the 25th of March, 1839, his parents being Christian and Cecelia (Claus) Arduser, who spent their entire lives in that country. He was reared at home and attended the common schools in pursuit of an education but his opportunities in that direction were quite limited. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Christian Arduser, the father of our subject, was a farmer and butcher by occupation and Joseph learned the butcher's trade in early life but never worked at it. On reaching man's estate he took up general agricultural pursuits and the work of the fields claimed his attention throughout his active business career. In 1866, while still a resident of his native land, he was united in marriage to Miss Christina Janett. In June, 1868, Mr. Arduser emigrated to the United States with his wife and child, first taking up his abode at Monticello, Jones county, Iowa. For about a year or more he worked out by the month and then purchased forty acres of wild land three miles east of Monticello, paying two hundred dollars for the tract.
After residing thereon for four years he disposed of the property and during the following three years was employed by a produce dealer of Monticello. In the meantime he had acquired a home in Monticello and on leaving that town he traded the place for an
eighty-acre farm in Jones county near the Delaware county line, on which he continued to reside for eight years. On the expiration of that period he sold the property and rented a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on Bowen's Prairie, operating the farm two years. He then rented a farm of two hundred and thirty acres two miles north of Monticello and there carried on his agricultural interests during the next five years.
Subsequently he took up his abode on a farm of four hundred and thirty acres on Bowen's Prairie, paying fourteen hundred dollars cash as rent and agreeing to operate the place for five years. It required hard work and careful management to make this a profitable venture and after four years had passed he purchased and located upon his present farm of two hundred and eighty acres in Jackson township, Linn county, having secured an acceptable renter to take his place on the rented property and thus being released from his contract. The year 1895 witnessed his arrival in Linn county and he was busily engaged in the further cultivation and improvement of his Jackson township farm until the fall of 1905, when be put aside the active work of the fields and removed to Coggon, where he has since lived in honorable retirement.
The prosperity which he now enjoys is directly attributable to his own industry and energy, for he came to this country with a cash capital of only fifty dollars and expended that in the purchase of a cow and some second hand furniture. As the years have passed by he has worked his way steadily upward and is now accounted one of the substantial and respected citizens of his community.©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Arduser were born eleven children, eight of whom still survive, as follows: Christian, who is a resident of Boulder township, Linn county; Otillia, the wife of Christian Boren, of Independence, Iowa; John Peter, at home; Ambrose, a butcher of Knox, North Dakota; Cecelia, likewise at home; John, living in Manchester, Iowa; Joseph, who follows farming in Delaware county; and Anna, the wife of Mack Fowler, of Boulder township, Linn county.
At the polls Mr. Arduser casts an independent ballot and though an active worker in the interests of clean politics, has never sought nor desired office for himself. Both he and his wife belong to the German Reformed church and its teachings constitute the guiding influence in their lives. Mr. Arduser has now passed the seventy-first milestone on life's
journey and can look back over the past without regret and forward to the future without fear. He is numbered among those who left their native land to identify themselves with American life and institutions, who have pushed their way to the front and who are a credit alike to the land of their birth and that of their adoption.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa, from its earliest settlement to the present time by Luther A Brewer and Barthinius L Wick. Chicago: The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1911. vol. II pg. 267
SAMUEL G. ARMSTRONG
The subject of this review, who is the senior member of the firm of Armstrong & McClenahan, has through his own exertions attained an honorable position and marked prestige among the representative business men of Cedar
Rapids, and with signal consistency it may be said that he is the architect of his own fortunes and one whose success amply justifies the application of the somewhat hackneyed but most expressive title, "a self-made man."
Mr. Armstrong was born near the present village of Clarence, Cedar county, Iowa, August 24, 1858, and is one of a family of seven children, all living at the present writing in 1901. His father, Charles Cornelius Armstrong, was born in Connecticut, and when young went to Ohio, where he married Miss Lucy Dawson, a native of Virginia. About 1845 they came to Iowa and were among the early settlers of Cedar county. The father first located on a farm near what is now Clarence in Cedar county, where he lived till 1866, when he moved to Mt. Vernon, where he lived one year, and then to a farm near Marion, afterward living at Marion and Mr. Vernon again. The father died in 1885, and the mother passed away in 1893.
The primary education of our subject was received in the public schools of Marion, and later he attended Cornell College at Mt. Vernon for a few terms. At the age of seventeen he commenced teaching school and followed that profession quite successfully from 1876 to 1879, attending school in the meantime. He began his mercantile career as a clerk in a country store at Bertram, Iowa, where he was employed for one year, and in the fall of 1880 came to Cedar Rapids, and commenced work for the dry goods firm of Foote & Whitney, remaining with them about two months, but not liking the business, he entered the employ of I. N. Isham, a pioneer merchant of Cedar Rapids, then conducting a clothing business, being with him and his successors until the fall of 1890.©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
On the 3rd of September, that year, Mr. Armstrong embarked in business for himself as a member of the firm of Armstrong, Fletcher & Company, opening a clothing store in a room 40 x 70 feet, the site being a part of their present location. Two years later the firm was changed to Armstrong, McClenahan & Company, the company being H. W. Fagley, of St. Paul, Minnesota, whose interest Mr. Armstrong purchased in 1897, when the firm name was changed to Armstrong & McClenahan, as it now stands.
They carry a fine line of clothing and gents' furnishing goods and have met with remarkable success from the start. Their rapidly increasing trade has compelled them to enlarge their stock from time to time, and to make many improvements in their store. At first they occupied only one floor, but now use all of the three stories with a basement at numbers 120-122-124 South Second street, having sixteen thousand square feet of floor space. They have on an average of fifteen in their employ, and their extensive trade is not only in the city and county, but extends throughout this section of the state. The following is an extract from the Evening Gazette:
"Largest in Iowa - Armstrong & McClenahan's Remodeled Clothing Store - Now equipped with an electric passenger elevator and every modern convenience - Children's Department on Second Floor. The people of Cedar Rapids ought to take civic pride in the remodeled clothing store of Messrs. Armstrong & McClenahan, for that popular institution is now the very largest of its kind in the entire state of Iowa. The immense stock covers four floors including the basement, with sixteen thousand eight hundred square feet of floor space, giving the store front rank among all the great mercantile establishment of Iowa."
Mr. Armstrong was in his teens when his mother was left a widow and he was called upon to contribute to the support of the family. For nine years he was employed as a clerk, during which time, by economy and judicious investments, he managed to save a nucleus, with which to embark in business for himself. A man of good business ability, sound judgment and keen discrimination, he has met with well deserved success in his undertakings, and is now interested in a number of different enterprises. He is connected with the store of the Armstrong Clothing Company at Lincoln, Nebraska; is a stockholder in the Clark McDaniel's Company, manufacturers of overalls and shirts, and the Cedar Rapids National Bank; and a stockholder and director of the Cedar Rapids Loan & Trust Company, the latter of which he helped to organize.
On the 5th of September 1896, Mr. Armstrong married Miss Anna Cooper, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Cooper, old residents of Cedar Rapids, who were born in Ireland and are now well advanced in life. Our subject and his wife have one child, Robert Cooper, born July 4, 1897. They have a pleasant home at 1015 Fourth avenue, and are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his political affiliations Mr. Armstrong is a Republican, and he is deeply interested in public affairs and the good of the community in which he lives. He is genial, courteous, enterprising and progressive, of commendable public-spirit and the highest integrity, and well deserves the success that has come to him.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 872-873.
THOMAS G. ARMSTRONG
Thomas G. Armstrong, deceased, was for many years prominently connected with the agricultural interests of this section of the state, and did much towards transforming its wild land into well-cultivated and highly improved farms. In his farming operations he steadily prospered and became an extensive land owner - one whose success was due entirely to his own well-directed efforts.
Mr. Armstrong was born in Ireland, March 19, 1829, and there passed the days of his boyhood and youth. In 1850 he emigrated to America and first located in Harrison county, Ohio. Later he spent a short time in Muskingum county, that state, and lived for a year and a half in Coshocton county, Ohio. Prior to 1860 he removed in Poweshiek county, Iowa, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of government land, which he placed under a high cultivation, making his home there for four years. The following two years were spent in Linn county, and subsequently he was engaged in farming in Benton county, Iowa, for a number of years.
He was one of the most extensive farmers in Benton county. His first purchase there was of one hundred and sixty acres in Fremont township, which he improved and to which he added from time to time until he was the owner of two thousand and seven hundred acres, all in that township, and all of which was under cultivation. He was among the first to introduce imported cattle, and whatever he did, on the farm or in business circles, showed the master mind. He was one of the founders of the bank at Atkins, Benton county, and served as its president until his death. He was also active in farming until called to his rest.
On the 4th of July 1861, Mr. Armstrong was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Fawcett, a daughter of George and Mary Ann (Haines) Fawcett, natives of Ohio and New Jersey respectively. In 1855 her father came to Cedar Rapids, and after spending a short time in Linn county, located near Shellsburg, Benton county. At that time there were but three families living in his township, and he assisted in its organization, being the one to propose its name. At the first election held there only six or seven votes were polled. Being one of the leading men of his community Mr. Fawcett was called upon to fill nearly all of the township offices, and was a prominent and influential member of the Presbyterian church. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
During his residence in this state he met with excellent success and became the owner of seven hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. Both he and his wife are now deceased. In their family were eleven children, seven of whom are still living. Two sons, William H. and John Albert, were in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion. The former participated in the battles of Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, the siege of Corinth and Vicksburg, the battles of Iuka and Jackson, and the Atlanta campaign. On the 22nd of July, 1864, he was taken prisoner and sent to Andersonville prison, where he was held for four months, and then taken to Florence, South Carolina, suffering all of the privations of southern prison life. John A. was in the one-hundred-day service and died about the time of expiration of his term of service.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were John C., an extensive farmer of Benton county; George, deceased; William J., also a farmer of Benton county; Hettie May, wife of Albert Slotterbeck, of the same county; Newton A., a farmer of Benton county; Horace T., deceased; Mary J., wife of Alfonso Ramelsburg, of Benton county; Louis N., a resident of Texas; Minnie, wife of C. W. Meek, attorney of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Fred and Chester A., who are attending college in Cedar Rapids; and one who died in infancy.
Mr. Armstrong continued to actively engage in farming until his death, which occurred on the 12th of July, 1895. By his ballot he always supported the men and measures of the Democracy, and took an active interest in the welfare of his county and state. He was widely and favorably known, and no man in his community was held in higher regard or had more warm friends than Thomas G. Armstrong. His estimable wife still survives him and is also highly respected and esteemed. She continued to reside on the home farm until 1896, when she removed to Cedar Rapids and purchased her present handsome residence at No. 603 Third avenue west, which is supplied with every modern convenience and is a most attractive home. While in Benton county she was a member of the Presbyterian church, of which her husband was a liberal supporter. Since coming to Cedar Rapids she has been a member of the Christian church, the church of her choice, but which was not convenient for her to attend in Benton county.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 252-257.
Among the representative citizens and honored pioneers of this county the subject of this sketch is deserving of prominent mention. He was born near Louisville, Kentucky, on the 26th of January, 1812, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Swaring) Ash, and received a very limited education in his early boyhood days. At the age of fourteen years he accompanied his parents on their removal to Putnam county, Illinois, where he attended the public schools for a short time, but most of his time was devoted to assisting his father in the labors of the farm. During the Black Hawk war he was in the employ of the United States government.
He remained with his parents until 1839, when he came to Iowa with his brother, Alfred, driving across the country in a prairie schooner. On their arrival in Mt. Vernon they found that their combined capital was only fifty cents. This city at that time contained only one log house and a blacksmith shop, and the surrounding country was all wild and unimproved, giving little promise of its present thriving condition. Reuben Ash entered a tract of government land, and also purchased a claim of a Mr. Roland, making a farm of two hundred and forty acres. He immediately turned his attention to transforming the unbroken prairie land unto a highly cultivated and well improved farm, and to its operation he devoted his time and energies for many years. He broke his land with oxen hitched to a primitive plow, made by nailing a piece of iron on a log of wood.©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
On the 4th of January, 1844, Mr. Ash was married in Mt. Vernon, to Miss Hannah Day, who was born in Ohio, January 16, 1828, and came to this county in 1840. They became the parents of nine children, namely: Harriet, born November 11, 1845, married Homer S. Bradshaw, an attorney of Ida Grove, Iowa, and died in Chicago, on Decoration Day, 1896; Jane, born February 17, 1848, is the wife of Rev. A. K. Baird, of Mt. Vernon, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; L. Homer, born January 10, 1850, was married in March, 1898, to Mamie Maguer, of Chicago, and is a commission merchant on the board of trade in that city; Augustus, born April 18, 1852, was married in Marion, Iowa, October 14, 1874, to Fannie Hughes, and died in Hastings, Nebraska, February 25, 1881, leaving a widow and one daughter, Amy; Isaac, born August 1, 1857, is associated with his brother, L. Homer, on the Board of Trade in Chicago; Mary May, born May 1, 1860, died March 30, 1872; Olive H., born December 19, 1862, was married October 14, 1890, to Dr. Thomas, Baird, a son of Rev. A. K. Baird, and died July 30, 1891. Alfred and Dora both died in infancy.
Mr. Ash died on the 24th of February, 1891, at Mt. Vernon, in the house now occupied by his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Baird. He was one of the oldest Masons in the state. In his business dealings he was ever prompt, reliable and entirely trustworthy, and although he gained a greater degree of success than came to many of his fellow businessmen, it was because he was very energetic, persevering and capable in managing his affairs. In his death the community lost one of its best citizens, his neighbors a faithful friend and his family a considerate husband and father. He was pre-eminently public spirited and gave to Cornell College the land on which Bowman Hall and campus now stands, it being a part of the old homestead farm.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 582-585.
JOHN H. ASHBY
One of the most extensive and prominent farmers of Jackson township is the subject of this review, who owns and operates a fine farm on section 3, conveniently located near the village of Coggon. He dates his residence in this county from 1871, and has since been an important factor in promoting her prosperity. He is a native of the Prairie state, born in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, January 16, 1853, and is a son of Joseph Ashby. The father was also born in Illinois, and at an early day removed to Grant county, Wisconsin, where he was engaged in farming for several years. The closing years of his life, however, were spent in Dubuque, Iowa, where he lived retired until his death in 1887. There were only two children in this family, the older being Mary M., now the widow of Andrew J. Bruce and a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In early life John H. Ashby received only a common school education, which has been greatly supplemented by reading and observation in later years. After the removal of the family to Grant county, Wisconsin, he commenced earning his own livelihood by working as a farm hand, and was thus employed until coming to Linn county, Iowa, in 1871. By hard work, strict attention to his duties and close economy, he met with success and was able to save enough to purchase a part of his present farm on section 3, Jackson township. Since then he has steadily prospered, and is today the owner of two hundred and eighty-seven acres of valuable land in the northern part of the township bordering on Delaware county and near Coggon. He is engaged in general farming, but devotes his attention principally to the feeding of stock, and is known as one of the leading stock feeders in his part of the county. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
On the 2nd of February, 1880, Mr. Ashby was united in marriage with Miss Cyrena Garrison, of Jones county, Iowa, who was born October 13, 1843, a daughter of Solomon and Harriet (Simpson) Garrison, both now deceased. Her father, who was a farmer by occupation, lived for a time in Jones county, this state, and also in Nebraska. Our subject and his wife have one child. Henry E., who was born December 22, 1880, and is still at home. Religiously they are members of the Presbyterian church of Coggon, and politically Mr. Ashby has always been identified with the Republican party since attaining his majority. In all business transactions he has been found thoroughly reliable and trustworthy, and his career has ever been such as to command the respect and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 838-839.
JOHN E. ATWOOD
Through a long and busy career as a farmer and blacksmith John E. Atwood steadily prospered, and now in his declining years is able to lay aside all business cares and enjoy the comfortable competence which he has secured. He has a pleasant home in Spring Grove township, near the village of Troy Mills, where he is surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
Mr. Atwood was born October 20, 1829 in England, of which country his parents, Elmer and Mary (Whittam) Atwood were also natives. In 1844 the family crossed the ocean and took up their residence in New York state, where the father worked at his trade as a blacksmith until 1857, when he came to Linn county, Iowa, and purchased forty acres of unbroken land in Spring Grove township, which he placed under cultivation and improved with good buildings. He made his home thereon until his death, which occurred in 1878, when he was seventy-eight years of age. His wife died in 1875 at the age of eighty-eight years, and the remains of both were interred in the Troy Mills cemetery. They were the parents of five children, but our subject is the only one now living. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
John E. Atwood came to the new world with his parents, and in 1857 accompanied them on their removal to this county. Locating in Spring Grove township he erected one of the first blacksmith shops in this section of the county and successfully carried on the same for a quarter of a century. He was a thorough and skilled workman, and few could excel him. His first purchase of land consisted of a wild tract of forty acres, to which he added as his financial resources permitted until he now owns three hundred and sixty acres of very productive and well improved land, which was put under cultivation by his own hard labor. In 1878 he started the first creamery in his locality, but after conducting it for one year he sold out. For the past twelve years he has practically lived retired from active labor, and is enjoying a well-earned rest.
On the 8th of April, 1860, Mr. Atwood married Miss Harriet A. Buckingham, a native of Illinois, by whom he had five children, George E., Maria Jane, Mary Ann, John E. and Charles Henry. The wife and mother died in 1873, and was laid to rest in the Troy Grove cemetery. Mr. Atwood was again married October 22, 1876, his second union being with Miss Jane Fitts, who was born in New York, her parents being Isaac and Sophia (Spencer) Fitts, natives of Massachusetts and New York, respectively. She was the second in order of birth in their family of eight children, four of whom are still living. By trade her father was a brick mason.
In politics Mr. Atwood is independent, preferring not to be bound by party ties, but voting for the men best qualified for office. He has served his fellow citizens as road supervisor and school director in a most capable manner, and has always taken an active interest in public affairs. In his social relations he is a member of the Masonic Lodge at Walker, and the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Rebekah branch of that order at Troy Mills. He and his wife also belong to the Old Settlers Society of Iowa and are people of the highest respectability. In business affairs Mr. Atwood has always been straightforward and reliable, and is justly deserving the prosperity that has come to him as it is due entirely to his own well-directed and energetic efforts.
Source: Biographical Record of Linn County, Iowa. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901. p. 414-417.
Osker Aurner was a Civil War veteran who married Jane Robinson Sherman, the widow of his friend Levi Sherman. Before their son Oscar was born,
Osker drowned in Mud Creek near Vinton while seining for fish with three other people. Oscar Levi Aurner married Ione Wilson. Her parents, Enoch Wilson & Elizabeth Lapp Casner were consideredUrbana pioneers, having traveled there by train and horse and wagon from Pennsylvania.
The couple had seven children; Fred was the youngest, born on March 6, 1910 in Urbana IA. His parents disagreed over his middle name. Oscar
wanted him to be named "Levi" since that was his middle. Ione wanted to name him "Lafayette" after her brother who died at a young age. They
compromised and his middle "name" was the letter L with no period as it was not an initial! The dark-haired, blue eyed boy grew up in the country between Urbana and Shellsburg. He attended Lower Stone School. He later tried a bit of
boxing and played some "town team" baseball.
Fred married Millie dodge on February 2, 1935 in Burlington, IA. They were married in a joint ceremony along with friends Walter Seltrecht and
Anna Vaupel. The couples remained close friends the rest of their lives. Fred and Walt were well known in the area for coon hunting and
fishing. they lived a half-mile apart west of center Point on Ridge Road for many years. Fred and Millie began their married life south of Urbana, but moved to center Point by 1941. They farmed a 160-acre farm using a Farmall F12
and horses. Later Fred purchased a new Farmall C. The farm included livestock and a large garden. Millie had chickens including a brown leghorn hen that would "sing" to her. Coonhounds, cats, hogs, and even a goat lived there. Horses were used for farming as well as recreation. Millie's father, Elmer dodge, always preferred the horses to tractors.
Three daughters were born while Fred and Millie lived on the farm: Joyce Carroll, Freda Ione, and Beth Ellen. Fred's health began to slip and
the family moved up the hill to a smaller farm. A fourth daughter died from complications at birth.
Millie was well known in center Point. If you ever ate a piece of pie at the 150 Gulf Stop, there's a good chance that she baked it. She did
wallpapering, cleaned Eldon Dennison's insurance office and cleaned People's Bank. She helped care for Inez Wormer, and old friend of her
parents, and an active member of the Cedar Ridge Free Methodist Church.
Fred passed away on October 25, 1964, of multiple health problems. Millie went suddenly and peacefully on September 7, 1999. They are buried
together with their infant daughter in Urbana.
Beth Ellen and her husband, Dave Seltrect, still alive in center Point on Cedar Ridge Road. --Joyce Aurner Schultz
-- Source: The center Point Community Historical Society's Book "Celebrating 150 years center Point, Iowa 1854 - 2004"
ARTHUR TAPPAN AVERILL
In the passing of Arthur Tappan Averill, Cedar Rapids suffered the loss of one of its most prominent and representative citizens — a man whose work was of vital significance in the commercial and financial history of the city. While his business enterprise carried him into other fields beyond the boundaries of the state, his interest always centered in this city and Cedar Rapids ever benefited by the prosperity which lie attained elsewhere.
He was horn at Highgate Springs, Franklin county, Vermont, September 14, 1843, and possessed many of the sterling characteristics attributed to the New England people. He traced his ancestry back to Captain John Averill who was commissioned under the crown of Great Britain and settled first in Northfield, Massachusetts, but in 1752 removed to township number 1, Vermont. The next in descent was John Averill, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, whose son, John Averill, was born in Westminster, Vermont. in 1777, and removed to Highgate Springs, that state, in 1812. He was a member of the Society of Friends and took a very active and prominent part in public affairs, being elected three times to the state legislature. The latter’s son, Mark R. Averill, was the father of our subject. He was born in Highgate Springs, Vermont, in 1811. ©2005 Transcribed for the IAGenWeb Project.
Theodore Roosevelt has said: ‘‘A man of eastern birth, reared and trained in western environment becomes the strongest factor in American citizenship.’’ Such was the record of Arthur Tappan Averill, who when a youth of nine years. accompanied his parents as they left their New England home and journeyed westward to become residents of Lee county, Illinois. In 1854 they removed to Whiteside county of the same state and there Arthur T. Averill was reared to manhood, attending school at Geneseo with John T. Hamilton, with whom lie after-\ward engaged in business. He arrived in Cedar Rapids in March, 1865,— a young man of twenty-one years — and here became assistant to the local agent of C. H. & L. J. McCormick. Later he became agent for the McCormick interests at this point and further promotion brought him to the position of superintendent of agents for the firm in 1869, iii which connection he had entire supervision of the Iowa business. While thus engaged lie induced his former schoolmate, John T. Hamilton, to come to Cedar Rapids as his associate in business and in 1869 time firm of Averill & Hamilton was organized for the purpose of dealing in agricultural implements, seeds, coal and kindred lines. The new enterprise prospered from the beginning and the partnership was profitably maintained for five years. The firm then became Averill & Amidon and so continued for two years. when Mr. Amidon disposed of his interests, Mr. Averill remaining as sole proprietor through the succeeding two years.
Energetic and enterprising, he extended his efforts into other fields, purchasing a controlling interest in the Cedar Rapids Gas Light Company in 1875, in which year he was chosen president and so continued to the time of his demise. Mr. Averill took a personal pride and interest in the gas plant and though he had many opportunities to dispose of it. refused all offers. Moreover, he figured prominently in financial circles, serving for twenty years as the president of the Cedar Rapids National Bank. in which connection he instituted a progressive system that was, however, tempered by a safe conservatism, making the bank one of the strongest financial concerns of the state. The years brought him wealth and the extension of his activities Into other fields made him well known as an investor in business and real-estate interests of Cedar Rapids and also as an investor in business projects in Mississippi, Louisiana. Florida and Kentucky. He was likewise the proprietor of the Vincennes hotel, one of the leading family hotels of Chicago, financed the building of the Montrose hotel of Cedar Rapids and also the Welch-Cook building. it was a notable instance of his public spirit that his prosperity gained elsewhere was largely used for the benefit of his home town.
On the 22d of October, 1867, Mr. Averill was united in marriage to Miss Allie R. Doolittle, of this city, and unto them were born three children, Glenn M., Jessie and Arthur, but the last named died in infancy. The death of Mr. Averill occurred February 14, 1910. and, while he was a prominent figure in business circles and in public affairs, his loss was nowhere more keenly and poignantly felt than at his own fireside, for he was a devoted husband and father whose first consideration was ever his family. His activity in business circles was ever of the utmost benefit to Cedar Rapids and no man took a keener interest in such projects as were a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. He never sought public office but wielded an influence that was all the more potent from the fact that it was moral rather than political. His opinions came to be recognized as so sound and his views so correct as to make his support of any measure an influencing factor that drew to it the further support of his fellow townsmen. Throughout the long period of his residence in Cedar Rapids he enjoyed in the fullest measure the confidence and high regard of his colleagues and contemporaries.
Source: History of Linn County Iowa From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, 1911. Pages 8-11.
Contributed by: Terry Carlson