"D" Biographies

Clinton E. Davison, the present editor of the Little Rock Free Lance, was born January 18, 1864, in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared on a farm and given a common school education. In 1882 he came to Lyon county, and has here made his home to the present time, with the exception of a year spent at Pipestone, Minnesota, and four years at Hull, Iowa, and Hudson, South Dakota, where he was engaged in newspaper work. He bought the Free Lance, and located in Little Rock, in the spring of 1902. In the following December he received the position of postmaster. Mr. Davison was married in 1892 to Miss Flora B. Okey, at Hull, Iowa, and they are the parents of four children

Mr. Dell is a member of a family well and favorably known in Lyon County, and with his brothers well and worthily sustains a reputation for the Dells inferior to no people in the county, and far above the usual standing.

Eddy E. Dell was born on a farm in Jackson County, Iowa in 1860, son of John Dell, also a farmer, and descended from a mingled Scotch and Dutch ancestry. His mother belonged to an old New England family, and some of her people came across in the Mayflower at the settlement of the Pilgrims.

Mr. Dell was the sixth child in a family consisting of eight children, and he was reared on the farm in Clinton County to which his parents removed soon after his birth. There he was reared to farm work, and given such schooling as the country schools of the time afforded. In the fall of 1881 he left home, and coming west secured an engagement as a foreman in the construction of the Des Moines and Northwestern Railroad. The year following he had charge of a ditching outfit in Audubon County, being at that time in the employ of the Red Line Ditching Company. For ten years he worked for that corporation, and not a little of his work was done in those years in Minnesota as well as in Iowa. In 1887 he made his first purchase of land in Lyon County, and since that time has devoted himself to his farm, which he has constantly improved.

Mr. Dell was married in July 1894 to Christine Montgomery, a native of Prince Edwards Island, Canada, where her father, William C. Montgomery had long combined the two occupations of bridge building and farming. The Montgomery family came of what is known as a Scotch-Irish ancestry. To this union were born: Helmer J., Burl, Walter, Mildred and George,--all being born on the Logan Township farm.

The Dell farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres. It is under thorough cultivation, and is up to every requirement of modern agriculture. It has a commodious and roomy house, large barn and granary, with corncribs, and a well of fine and never-failing water. From a tank that holds a thousand barrels it is piped all over the yards to be used wherever needed.

Mr. Dell has held local offices from time to time, and commands the esteem and respect of his community. He has taken a useful part in the early organization and the development of the county, and is known as a public spirited and upright citizen of the utmost integrity and character.


Frank U. Dell is another member of the Dell family, so well and favorably represented in Logan township. He is also a farmer, and has been a resident of Lyon county since the spring

Residence of Frank U. Dell

of 1888. In that time he has proved himself honest, unswervingly industrious, a most careful and accurate business man, and an enlightened and progressive citizen. Success has attended his efforts to a high degree, and his place as a solid and substantial citizen is unquestioned.

Mr. Dell was born in Clinton county, Iowa, in 1864, and was the youngest child born to his parents. his early life was spent on the farm, and he was thoroughly trained to hard work. He remained on the family homestead until the spring of 1888, when he decided to strike out into the wide world for himself and see what measure of good fortune he could wrest from it for himself. In the spring of the year following he bought the southwest quarter of section 24, Logan township, not far from locations already effected in Lyon county by his brothers George and Eddy. With a third brother, John, he formed a partnership, and the two worked together for years.

Frank U. Dell was married in the spring of 1891 to Miss Freda Wilka, a native of Clayton county, Iowa, and a daughter of John Wilka, a successful farmer of that county. The Wilka family comes of German descent. To this marriage have come three children: Pearl, Hazel and Frank. Mr. Dell removed his young and growing family in the spring of 1904 to a home on his farm, where he had already built a house 26 by 28 feet and a barn 48 by 60 feet. The construction of other buildings would rapidly follow, and it was not expected that the year would end without the equipment of the farm with a complete outfit of modern and up-to-date farm buildings. A picture of the residence appears on another page. This farm comprises a quarter section of fine soil rich and fruitful, and which has already taken on the appearance of a model Iowa farm. He did his first breaking with oxen, and with the same outfit did contract work until he had turned under the sod of a full half section of prairie land.

Mr. Dell is very favorably regarded by his friends and neighbors and his election as township assessor shows the good repute in which he lives among those who know him best.

George M. Dell would rightfully appear in any list of the honorable and successful farmers and upright citizens of Lyon County. A position he would hold not by favor, or by inheritance, but by virtue of hard work, a wise economy and a noble ambition to do whatever came to his hands in the best possible way. He has learned the lesson that in coming close to the soil and in contact with nature may be found the best life it is possible for men to live, and is a true and typical agriculturist.

Mr. Dell was born in Buffalo New York in 1854, coming of Old American stock, and bearing in his veins good colonial blood. In 1855 his parents removed to Jackson County, Iowa and there they made a farm home on which the family lived until young George was some sixteen or seventeen years, when they crossed the line and settled in Clinton County. He remained at home until 1887. It was in Clinton County that he was married to Susan Fields, a native of this state, and reared on a farm. For a time the young husband was employed as a farm laborer and later for a time managed his father's estate. In 1887 he came into Lyon County, where he bought a farm in Logan Township, being the southwest quarter of section 25, on which he settled the following spring. And he at once engaged in the work of extensive improvement which the wild prairie land demanded before it could be transformed into a productive and desirable farm. He built a house 16 by 24 feet, and at first did his work with oxen. Prosperity attended him, though he experienced the troubles and disasters of frontier life. About 1900 he lost his corncribs, cow sheds, and windmills by a severe windstorm. Today he owns a half section of land, all under cultivation, and beautified by a fine grove, which he early planted, and which gives promise of rapid growth. He has a handsome farmhouse, one of the largest in the town, and which is widely known as the center of a genial and gracious hospitality, and the center of a wide circle of friends. The farm property is thoroughly modern and up-to-date, and the barns, corncribs and other buildings are all equal to the demands of a productive and highly cultivated place.

Mr. Dell has done his work well, and while he is a thorough farmer and much devoted to home and family, has also from his first coming into the township taken a keen and vivid interest in everything that relates to local matters and public improvement. He has been township clerk, and is recognized as one of the leading settlers of the county.

Mr. Dell, who is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of Lyon County, and whose pleasant and attractive home is in the Township of Logan, is a native of Ontario, Canada, where he was born on a farm across the river from Buffalo, New York, in 1848. His father, John Dell, was a farmer, and came of a mixed German and Scotch ancestry, whose beginnings in this country may be traced back to the old colonial days in Rhode Island. Mr. Dell was the second member of a family of eight children, and when he was about a year old his parents removed to Buffalo, and from that time onward made their home on American soil. In 1854 they removed to Iowa, and were among the very early pioneers of Jackson County, but very soon changing their home to Clinton County, where young Dell was reared to a farm life that abounded in hard work, with the peculiar privileges that belonged to the farm boys of that day on what was almost a frontier line, and where all kinds of wild game was still plentiful. The Indians had removed to the far west, but wild deer still roamed the forest, wild geese and duck were to be seen on every pond, of which in these days of undrained swamps there were many, and prairie fowl might be had simply for the killing. Those were great days for the boys, and without doubt Mr. Dell had his full share of such rare sport. He remained at home until he was about twenty-two years old, and then spent some time in traveling through various parts of the state, being in Woodbury, Montgomery and Sac Counties, and other parts of the west, as well as in Minnesota and Missouri. In 1887 he came to Lyon County, where he bought his present farm, the west half of section 25, Logan Township, at that time all wild prairie land without a sign of improvement. His first improvement was the erection of a rough and ready residence, in which to make his home, a house, 16 by 24 feet, and from this his improvements grew as time and means permitted, until at the present time he owns one of the handsome and well appointed farms of the county. It comprises four hundred acres of land, with a residence 16 by 16 feet, 14 by 14 feet, and 16 by 24 feet, a barn 54 by 60, a granary, hog house, and a system of water supply that covers the premises. There is also a grove, which he started almost immediately with his coming on the place, as well as a small orchard, which has promise of greater things.

Mr. Dell as a settler and a citizen has done his full share in building up the country, and has proved himself an active and enterprising citizen. In political matters he has discharged his full duty, and has served his community well as county supervisor, taking always an active and intelligent part in local affairs.


John P. DeNeui is the cashier of the George Savings Bank, and is a recognized authority on financial matters in this part of Lyon county. The bank is a solid institution, and was started in 1892, with such men as C. T. Tupper, cashier, B. L. Richards, president, and H. W. Reints, vice president. In 1896 it was reorganized with Charles Shade, president, C. J. Locker, vice president, and John P. DeNeui, cashier, H. D. Aykens as assistant cashier, L. Bodum as bookkeeper, and B. L. Richards, Charles Shade, H.U. Kruse, C.J. Locker, H. D. Aykens, William H. Bradley, and John P. DeNeui as directors.

Mr. John P. DeNeui was put in charge of the operation of the bank, and his management has been very successful. It is now one of the strongest deposit banks in the state. Its demand deposits amount to $39,000, and there are $38,000 cash on hand to meet these obligations. It has in its vaults time deposits of $113,000, with $138,000 assets to meet them on demand. Under the short administration of Mr. DeNeui, the resources of the bank have been more than doubled.

John P. DeNeui was born in Germany, and when he was seven years old was brought to this country, and reared on a farm. When he was about nineteen years of age he came to Grundy county, Iowa, but very shortly was found in Freeport, Illinois, where he was employed as a clerk in a store devoted to general merchandise. This position he held for three years, and then returned to Grundy county, where he continued in the same line. There he took up the study of medicine, and with the noble ambition of a better education long consumed the midnight oil. In 1888 he was twenty-four years old, and that year he started a drug store in George, which was then but a little better than a hamlet. The firm was known as DeNeui & Kooles. In a short time he bought out his partner, and almost as soon sold the store to Horsman Brothers. Mr. DeNeui then went on a prolonged western tour, visiting the principal places of interest in Oregon, Colorado, and California, requiring three months for the trip. After his return he graduated in pharmacy at the school in Des Moines, receiving his degree in April, 1891, after successfully passing the state board, and becoming a member of the state pharmaceutical association. Returning to George he bought his old store, and carried it on with much credit until he sold it to R.O. Gray, to study law under J.M. Parsons of Rock Rapids. In the fall of 1900 he took a course in Highland Park College, and that year passed his examination before the supreme court of the state with honor. He was then admitted to the bar, and given license to practice law. Coming back to George, he became cashier and director of the bank, and his law office at the bank.

Mr. DeNeui was married in 1888 to Miss Trena Wolf, by whom he has had one daughter, Grace, who is now at home. The subject of this sketch is a Republican and has been mayor of the city and a member of the city council. For Fifteen years he has been a notary public.

Rev. P.J. DeNeui, the father of John P., was born in Germany, where he was educated for the ministry, and as a young man became the pastor of a Baptist church. The doctrine of this church was new to the people, and as they were narrow-minded and intolerant, they sorely persecuted its advocates. To escape such bigotry the young minister escaped to Holland, and from there came to Ogle county, Illinois. There he had charge of a Baptist congregation for five years. In Grundy county, Iowa, he held a pulpit for fifteen years, and finished his honorable and useful pastoral work at Parkersburg, Iowa, where he preached until old age compelled him to retire. He and his beloved wife are both over seventy-five years of age, and are now spending their last years with their son in George. Their golden wedding was in 1904.

C.N. Dent, a prominent and representative citizen of the township of Garfield, Lyon County, where he has won high standing as a progressive and public spirited member of the agricultural profession, may be justly written up as a thoroughly self-made man in the best sense of the word. At the tender age of thirteen years he took upon himself the burden of his own support, and has since made his way in the world with much success. He has met with reverses and overcome obstacles of no slight character, but holding steadily on his way has attained not only financial independence, but has won the respect and confidence of his neighbors.

Mr. Dent was born in Belmont county, Ohio, in 1854, where his father who was of Welsh descent was established as a farmer. He was the oldest in the family, and in 1863, where the husband and father, together with three younger children had died, his mother brought him into Lucas county, Iowa, where she made her home the remainder of her life. The subject of this writing began working out as a farm hand when he was about thirteen years old, and followed that avocation in Lucas county, where he remained until he reached his majority. In 1876 he went to Illinois where he spent some four years. After that he put in a year in Lucas county, and the fall of 1881 in Osceola county. He was among the very early settlers in this part of the state. Rock Rapids was then a small town, and Doon consisted of a hotel, a store and the depot. Here Mr. Dent was mainly engaged in farm work though ready and willing to do anything that came to his hand.

Mr. Dent entered the employ of H. G. McMullen, of Cedar Rapids, as a farm hand about 1884, and was set to work on his farm north of Rock Rapids. Later he came to the present McMullen ranch, which he has opened up and brought into cultivation himself. At that time it was wild prairie, and now comprises 1,120 acres, with the finest of farm buildings and everything strictly modern and according to the most advanced ideas of progressive farming. IT is a magnificent estate and its entire development has been accomplished under the personal care and supervision of Mr. Dent who is still in active charge. The principal feature of his management is stock raising though much grain is produced every year. The show of blooded stock, horses, cattle and hogs, is peculiarly fine, including desirable strains of the Percheron horse, Short-horn and Jersey cattle, and Poland-China hogs. Mr. Dent has raised and sold many thorough-bred stallions and bulls.

Mr. Dent was married in 1887 to Miss Elizabeth Dunlap, a native of Washington county, Iowa, and of Irish blood. Her parents were farming people in Washington County. To this union have come three children; Ethel, Homer, and Frank. Mrs. Dent was called to the better land in the spring of 1900.

Mr. Dent has been in the employ of Mr. Mc Mullen for some twenty years, being in charge of his lands in Lyon county, and during all this time perfect harmony has existed between the two.
*Notes from Frank Myers

Cassius Marcellus Clay Dent
- Born: 04-Dec-1856
- Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio
- Father: George Asa Dent
- Died: 16-Aug-1860
- Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio

- Mother: Eliza Jane (Brown) Dent
- Died: 01-Feb-1900
- Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa
- Marriage 1: Susan Elizabeth "Lizzie" Dunlap on 30-Dec-1885; d. 12-Feb-1901 Garfield Township, Lyon County, Iowa
- Daughter: Ethel (Dent) Myers
- Son 1: Homer Dent
- Son 2: Frank Dent

Father Desmond, the venerated and devoted priest in charge of the Catholic church at Alvord, Lyon county, and also at Doon, is widely liked for his learning, pastoral faithfulness, and general pulpit ability. He is a devoted workman of the cross, and every movement to which he touches his hand in prospered.

Father Desmond was born in Ireland in 1864, on a farm, and attained early manhood in his native land. When seventeen years of age he began his preparatory studies for the priesthood, to which he was ordained in 1892. The following year he came to America, and was stationed in Dubuque for about a year, when he was given a pastorate at Bryant, Clinton county, where for five years he ministered to his people with simplicity and power. In October, 1898, he was called to Alvord, where he has since labored, devoting his attention also to the movement at Doon.

The Sacred Heart church, at Alvord, was established in 1891 by Father Dullard, who came from Rock Rapids to direct its development. The church edifice was constructed the same year. Its first resident pastor was Father James McCormac, and it was under his administration that the parsonage was purchased. The church property consists of a square block of ground, and it is considered the finest church property in the Sioux City Diocese. The new parsonage, which was erected in 1902, presents the following dimensions: 30 by 16, 16 by 24, 12 by 14, with two stories and an attic. It has all the modern conveniences, water, gas, and other home improvements. Since 1898 Father Desmond has made additions and improvements in church property to the amount of more than $7,000. In the meantime the congregation has steadily increased.

George F. Dietrich, the present popular and efficient auditor of Lyon County, was born in Franklin Grove, Lee county, Illinois, June 28, 1862. He remained at home and attended the local schools, early setting himself to the mastering of the blacksmith trade. For a time he worked as an apprentice, and in 1884 started a shop for himself being at that time only twenty-two years of age. This he sold the following year and moved to Sibley, Iowa, where he formed a partnership with William Riddlebarger, and continued in the same business for a year. At the end of this time he bought out Mr. Riddlebarger, and continued the shop for some five years, meeting with very fair success, when the failure of his health compelled him to retire. He removed to Lee county, Illinois, where for one year he was engaged in a mercantile establishment. There his health gradually improved, and he came back to Lyon County, opening a blacksmith shop at Little Rock. In this enterprise he was meeting with much success when in 1898, at the call of his friends in the Republican party, he became a candidate for the office of auditor of Lyon county. In the election that followed he was successful, receiving a majority of two hundred and nine votes over his competitor. In 1900 he was again elected, this time having a majority of four hundred and thirty-three votes; in 1902 he was a third time elected to the same position, this time his majority being two hundred and seventy-five votes. The county was organized in 1871 and he is the tenth man elected to this position. He was the first man in Lyon County to hold the office of auditor three terms since the organization of the county.

Mr. Dietrich is associated with the People's church with which he has been connected since 1892, and with his good wife has worked hard to build it up until it has become one of the leading religious organizations of the city.

Mr. Dietrich was married December 22, 1887, to Miss Magdeline M., a daughter of Henry and Jane (Waldron) Shaw. Her father was a successful farmer, and was killed by an accident at the age of fifty-six years. He came of Holland ancestry, while his wife traced back her origin to an old English family. Her family wore a coat of arms which still remains. To this marriage have come six children: Earnest Oscar; Ada Grace; Blanche Magdalene; Chandon; Helen Jane; and George Earl.

C.E. Dietrich, the father of George F., was a man of note in his day, - although a tailor by trade. He was a close student of the questions of the day; and to crown his declining years wrote a book on the "Solution of the Social Problem." This was published after his death, as it was coming out from the press of the Schultz Publishing Company as he was passing away, at the age of seventy-seven years. This was received marked approbation from those competent to measure its value. He was born in Germany, and came to this country when about twenty-one years of age, locating in Baltimore, where he was married to Margaret Feldkirchner, also a native of Germany. From her Bavarian home she came with her brother while still a young girl to this country, and here she found her husband.

Thomas Dorn, an enterprising and pushing young farmer of the town of Liberal, Lyon County, comes of a family of German extraction and shows in his career many of the best traits of the race and blood. He is industrious and economical, and well knows that the only safe road to financial independence is the path so thoroughly pressed by his people, the way of hard work and patient accumulation of well handled savings.

Mr. Dorn was born at Freeport, Illinois in 1871, where his father, Jacob Dorn, was engaged in farming. The elder Dorn was born in Germany, where he served in the German army, and where he was married. He had a family of nine children, Christ, Susy, Utie, Henry, Jacob, Tom, Edward, Percy and Rose. The family came to this country and located in Illinois. In 1887 they removed to Lyon County, being among the very early settlers of Liberal Township, where they bought the southeast quarter of section 31. It was partly improved, but with the help of his stout and sturdy lads the senior Dorn soon brought it into a high pitch of cultivation with fine buildings, and a quickly growing grove. He died in December 1903 leaving behind lasting memories of a good husband and father and an upright citizen. The farm was left to his widow, and here she and her children abide.

The management of the family estate has been left in the hands of Tom Dorn, and he has well justified the trust imposed in him for the past two years. He was known far and wide as a most trusty and reliable young man. His father served as superintendent of highways, and the son has won the confidence of his own community to a high degree. It is a good name he has inherited, and bears it well.


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