"H" Biographies

Tobias Haaland is a young and prosperous farmer of Centennial township, Lyon county, who was born in Norway, August 29, 1874, and is a son of Simon Haaland, a Norwegian-born and bred farmer, who spent his entire life in his native land where he died in 1877.

Tobias Haaland grew up in his native land, and obtained his education in the schools of his childhoods home, which are much better perhaps than the reader imagines. When he was ten years of age he took the burden of self support on his own shoulders, and plunted out into the wide world to make his way. In 1884 he came to America, landing at New York, and coming to Iowa. Here he was employed as a farm hand until 1899, when he entered Lyon county, where he bought a farm. His mother had accompanied him from Norway, and is now keeping house for him. She has two other sons in Lyon county, both of whom are prominent and respected citizens.

Tobias Haaland now owns a good farm of eighty acres, which he has closely cultivated and brought into a high state of fertility. The farm buildings are good, and the appearance of the place very attractive. Mr. Haaland is a Republican, and is recognized as one of the bright and progressive young farmers of the day.

John Haan, whose home and farm are in Riverside Township, Lyon County, is still in his early manhood, and his industry, economical habits and upright life, are a credit to his race and blood. He was born January 16, 1870, in Javerland, Germany, and the first five years of his life were spent in his native land, when his parents removed to this country, making indeed a vast change in the lives of their posterity, as well as greatly modifying their own condition. Germany is a land of liberty and education and law, but it has no such opportunity for ambitious manhood as Lyon County has presented in the closing years of the century.

The Haans crossed the ocean in a British liner, and effected a location in Grundy County, Iowa, where young John received considerable schooling in the neighboring district school. After completing his education he went to work on his father's farm, and for two years was employed as a farm laborer. In 1891 he became engaged in farming for himself in Pleasant Valley Township, Grundy County, and was married February 24, 1892, to Miss Bessie, daughter of Hie and Engel Rieman. He spent 1894 and 1895 farming in Butler County, and in December, 1894, bought a tract of land in Lyon County, described as follows: the north half of the northeast quarter of section 21, and also the north half of the northeast quarter of section 22, range 45, township 100. In January, 1896, he came to Lyon and settled on this land, and in August, 1898, bought more land, as follows: the south half of the northeast quarter of section 21, and the south half of the northwest quarter of section 22, of the same range and township. He is also the proprietor of a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Noble County, Minnesota, owning in all an amount of land that would have made him an aristocrat in the old country, but which here simply lifts him out of poverty, and gives him an enduring competency.

To Mr. and Mrs. John Haan have come the following children: Alfred, born January 13, 1893; John, September 5, 1894; Henry, February; 20, 1896; Ella, March 8, 1898; William McKinley, November 25, 1899; Bertha, December 5, 1901; and an infant, born August 13, 1904. The father of John Haan was born October 12, 1825, in East Friesland, where he was reared to farm life, and where he married Miss Ella Buus in 1858. They had children as follows: Anna, who died when twenty-six years old; Henrietta, who lived to be nineteen years old; Lena; Hannah; Delia; John; Henry, who died in 1875, while still an infant. The grandfather of John Haan was born in Germany, and served in the French Wars. He died in 1835. The grandmother of John Haan died in 1875. She was born in East Friesland, and her father also in East Friesland. He was a farmer and coming to the United States in 1866, located in Illinois, later making a home in Grundy County, Iowa.

Ella Buus, the mother of John Haan, was born in East Friesland December 7, 1835, and died February 25, 1880.

Hie Rieman was always a farmer, born in East Friesland, Germany, and came to the United states in 1868, and located in Illinois and married there; went from there to Grundy County, stayed there ten years, and then moved to Butler County, where he still lives in his sixty-seventh year. His wife died June 30, 1904.

Mr. Haegele is a notable representative of the German-American element of northwestern Iowa, and his commendable career in this country shows its wealth of opportunity to brawn and brain from older lands as well the rich success that still attends honest enterprise and laudable ambition.

Mr. Haegele was born in the southern part of Germany in the former kingdom of Wurtemberg, in 1867, where his father, also of German birth, lived and died an industrious and respected farmer. He had a family of fifteen children, of which the son whose name appears above is next to the youngest. This son came to the United States when he was fifteen years old, and landing at New York, made his way to Sioux county, Iowa, where he found a home with a married sister until he reached his majority. His parents had died when he was between seven and eight years of age, and from that time he made his own way in the world. In Sioux county as well as in Lyon he was employed as a farm hand until 1888. In the spring of 1889 he bought a farm for himself in Sioux county, which he cultivated until 1891, in the meantime renting additional land, and proving himself industrious to the last degree. In that year he disposed of this property at a good profit, and bought him a quarter section of land, the southeast quarter of section 10, Logan township. This was all wild prairie, and called for improvements from the very beginning. He was married to Miss Annie Wiese in the spring of 1892. She was born in Germany and removed to this country in 1889. They have a family of five children: Mary, Emma, Freddie, Willie and Otto.

Mr. Haegele has erected a house for his young and growing family 20 by 28, 14 feet high, to which he has since made an addition 16 by 22, with 8-foot posts. His barn is a structure 48 feet square. This was built in 1898; and the log house, constructed the previous year, was 24 by 48 feet. The granary, built in 1899, is 30 by 32 feet. There is also a chicken house, and sheds for all purposes. The farm now comprises a half section of land, and is under thorough cultivation. It is well fenced and is known as one of the model farms of Logan township. The grove is especially thrifty. One acre is devoted to orchard purposes. Here are found apple, cherry and plum trees, as well as other fruit found suitable to the climate.

Mr. Haegele is a man of domestic habits, and devotes his time very closely to his farm work. Others can do what they please, but if one would thrive, he must attend to things himself. He is however a man of public spirit, and is willing to take his share of responsibility for the public administration. For six years he has served as township trustee, and has been road supervisor for the last three years. He has filled various school offices from time to time, and generally has given close attention to local affairs.

C.A.. Hagan was for a number of years prominent in business circles in Lyon county. He was a native of Christiana, Norway, born February 26, 1871. Early in life he settled in South Dakota, for some time being a resident of Canton and also Parker, South Dakota, also at Avoca. In 1893 he came to Inwood and for a number of years acted as clerk in mercantile establishments after which he engaged in business in his own account. Part of this time he was engaged in the harness trade. He has recently sold out and removed to Hawarden.

Mr. Hagan was married in 1894 to Lennie Sather. Two children blessed this union.

Mr. Hagan is a Republican in political faith and while in Lyon county took a commendable interest in public affairs, serving as a member of the council, etc. He is a member of the Lutheran church.

This is a name very familiar to those acquainted with the leading agriculturists of Lyon township, Lyon county, as that of a man who has acquired more than a local reputation for his industrious habits and high personal character. He is the owner and operator of a half section of land, in section 25, Lyon township, and by his good management and unremitting labor has made it one of the most productive farms of this part of the county.

Mr. Hamann was born in Holstein, Germany, March 1, 1852, a son of Claus and Anna Hamann. The father was always a laboring man, and died in his native land at the advanced age of seventy-six years in 1884. His widow entered into rest in 1888 when seventy years. They always lived in Holstein, where they became the parents of a family of thirteen children, four of whom are now living; Anna Maria, who has her home in Missouri; Sophia is married, and lives in Hamburg, Germany; Margaret married Claus Titterman, and still resides in her native land; John J., whose name appears above.

John J. Hamann attended the schools of his native land until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he crossed the ocean, and located in Scott county, Iowa, where he found employment as a laborer for the ensuing eight years. For twelve years he was engaged in farming, after which he came to his present location, where he now owns three hundred and twenty acres, which under his careful management have become very productive. He operates one hundred and sixty acres of rental land in addition. At the present time he is working largely towards stock farming, and owns one hundred and thirty head of cattle, one hundred and fifty hogs and seventeen horses.

Mr. Hamann was united in marriage in 1879 to Miss Anna C. Shaffer, of Scott county, a daughter of Ludwig and Louisa (Schaeffer) Shaffer, both of whom were natives of Germany. Her father was always a farmer, and died in his sixty-eighth year; her mother being at the time of her death one year younger. They were the parents of fourteen children, six of whom are now living, Mrs. Hamann being the oldest.

Mr. and Mrs. Hamann have had the following family: Herman L., a successful farmer in Richland township, Lyon county; Henry C., at home; Gustave W., who helps Herman on the farm; Alvina; Celia, at home.

Mr. Hamann is associated with various important interests, and is a man of standing in the community, where he is so well known. He is a director in the Fair Association of Sioux county, and vice president of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Rock Valley. He was also a trustee of the Mutual Fire Association of Sioux and Lyon counties, and at different periods has served as road superintendent. His grasp of affairs is strong, and he has conducted himself with credit wherever placed. For seven years he has served as judge of elections, and is associated in religious matters with the Lutheran church.

Our subject was a member of Inwood Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has gone through all the chairs at Alvord, Iowa, which lodge he joined later.

Martin Hanson was one of the earliest settlers of Lyon county, Iowa, and effected a homestead entry in Centennial township long before its organization or the day of railroads in the northwest. He was born in Norway, September 19, 1837, and there he attended the local schools and was reared to manhood. In 1859 he came to the United States by way ofthe Quebec route, locating in Allamakee county, Iowa, where he spent eight years as a farm hand and a day laborer. With the money he saved he made a homestead settlement in Lyon county in 1869, and put up a claim shanty 14 by 16 feet in dimensions, and a log barn. His first farming operations were accomplished with the aid of oxen, but he soon became forehanded enough to secure horses, and his progress in financial comfort and ease was rapid.

Mr. Hanson was married September 22, 1866, to Miss Julia Ruth, who was born in Norway, October 17, 1849, and their union was blessed by the coming of a family of six children: Hans, Carl, Mary, Albert, Lauriena, and Henry.

Mr. Hanson in his life time affiliated with the Republican party, and when he died May 11, 1886, left a handsome estate of two hundred acres, with commodious and well appointed buildings, ample machinery and a grove which Mr. Hanson planted himself. It is still the family home, and here Mrs. Hanson lives with her children about her, respected and
beloved by all who know her.

Mr. Hanson, a prominent farmer and a much respected citizen of Logan township, Lyon county, has wisely chosen a vocation that beyond all others embodies a useful career and gives a dignified independence; and the painstaking care with which he maintains his broad acres in the highest culture shows both the skilled agriculturist as well as the successful businessman. Skillful management and unwearied industry are sure of the best results, and these he is richly realizing.

Mr. Hanson was born on a farm in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, in 1862, whither his father, John Hanson, came from his native land, Norway, a single man, and settled in 1850. Here he married and reared a family which he removed to Iowa in 1876, where he bought land in Lyon township, being among the very earliest settles of Lyon county. For the first two years after his location he had to contend with returning plagues of grasshoppers, and small crops were the order. He withstood the hard times, and survived until January 13, 1903, when he passed away at the old home full of years and honor. For a time the family lived in a shanty, with a sodded exterior, and did their marketing at LeMars and Sheldon. Other towns, however, sprang up, the railroad came closer, and the southwest part of Lyon county has of late years been much better provided with transportation and trading facilities.

Oliver J. Hanson remained at home with his parents until he was twenty-six years old, and did his full share in the development of the paternal homestead. In 1888 he located where he has since made his present home. At that time it was wild prairie land, with but fifteen acres broken, and no buildings of any kind. Presently he put up his first building, a stable 16 by 24, and then built a house of the same dimensions. Twice he has been hailed out, in 1895 and again in 1900, and on each occasion suffered quite serious loss.

In 1897 occurred the wedding of Mr. Hanson and Miss Minnie Jacobson. She was born in Norway, where her father, Owen Sund, was a farmer and fisherman. He brought his family to this country in 1881, settling in Illinois, but since 1897 has made his home in Norway. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson went on an extended bridal trip visiting Washington, Portland, and other places on their way. They have a family of five children: Astor Emil, Raymond Leonard, Fern Edyth, Effie Ruth, and Jay Wilmer, all of whom were born on the Hanson farm.

At the present time Mr. Hanson owns a fine and well appointed place of two hundred and forty acres which lies in two tracts, the larger piece containing one hundred and sixty acres. He also owns a quarter section in Emmons county, North Dakota. Upon his home place, he has a residence whose dimensions are 16 by 24 feet, 16 by 28, 12 by 12 and 10 by 12. Other farm buildings are a granary 18 by 56; a machine shed, 14 by 42; a corn crib, 34 by 34; and a hog house, 20 by 32 feet. Ten acres are devoted to growing forest trees. He has numerous apple trees and other fruit trees now greenly growing, and several tall and stately pines give interest to the landscape.

In the community Mr. Hanson stands well, and is now filling the office of town trustee. He is known among the old settlers, and is esteemed alike for his integrity, manly character and business ability.

Edward W. Harming, who works with his brains as well as his hands, and is not afraid of hard work under any circumstances, has achieved a commendable standing among the younger element of the farming community of Garfield Township, Lyon County, where he is making his way by thrift and energy to a very large measure of success in a not distant future.

Mr. Harming was born in Illinois in 1872, and is a son of George O. Harming, who was born in Germany, and was among the pioneers in Illinois and Kansas. Edward W. was the oldest of a family of two children only, and was reared to manhood on his father's farm in southeastern Kansas. When he reached the age of twenty-one years he left home to shift for himself. For seven years was employed by an uncle, who lived in Illinois, as a farm helper. Saving his money, and having already married he came to Lyon County in 1900, where he has since made his home. His marriage to Miss Verna Love occurred February 14, 1900. She was born in Illinois, and is a daughter of James H. Love, who came of German descent, and has been all his life a farmer. For three years before her marriage she was a schoolteacher in Illinois, and during that time had only one district. Mr. and Mrs. Harming have one child, Helen, a bright and charming little girl who was born in Lyon County.

Mr. Harming settled on the south half of section 8, Garfield Township, and here he has developed a magnificent rural estate of three hundred and twenty acres, all well improved and in a good state of cultivation. At the present time he is largely engaged in grain farming, but is gradually working into stock raising, to which he hopes soon to give the most of his attention.

While Mr. Harming devotes himself very closely to his farm, and lets nothing come between him and that great interest, he holds a considerable block of stock in the Farmers' Mutual Telephone Company, in which he has been active since its organization. His business sense is considered good, and he is rapidly becoming one of the leading spirits of the community.

T.F. Hart purchased the leading livery business of Larchwood on January 1, 1903, a business previously in the hands of A.C. Barnes, and conducted an extensive establishment, making many friends by his genial spirit and close attention to all the details of his business. In 1904 Mr. Harty sold out the livery business and rented two hundred and sixty-four acres of land on section 14, Sioux township, where he now lives.

Mr. Harty was born on a farm in Illinois, in 1869, and was reared to manhood under the parental roof tree. When he became of age he had already accumulated enough to begin for himself as a farmer. He bought and sold land with marked profits until he came to Larchwood.

The wife of the subject of this narration, Mrs. T.F. Harty, was born Amanda Wohlers. She is the mother of two children: Emmett and Hilda, Mr. Harty and his family are connected with the Catholic church, and he is an active member of the Modern Woodmen of America.

Mr. Harty is the son of Timothy Harty, a native of Ireland, and for long years a steady workman at railroading and farming. He had reached the advanced age of eighty-five when he died in Mrach, 1903. Bridget Harty, his widow, and the mother of T.F., still survives at the age of seventy-three. She was the mother of twelve children, of whom only the following survive: Philip V., a farmer; Mike S., a blacksmith; Maggie (Mrs. Shannon); Kate (Mrs. Miller; Mary Ann (Mrs. Dick Burk); Bridget (Mrs. J. Donahue). Mr. Harty is a Democrat, and is highly esteemed by all who know him.

Lewis N. Harwood antedates as a pioneer any of the present residents of Dale Township by many years, and he is the only man now there who farmed throughout the grasshopper years. He has watched the growth of that portion of Lyon County from a wild prairie to a closely settled and highly improved part of the county. An old New Yorker, with a good old Saxon name, and a genealogy covering many generations of New England history, Mr. Harwood finds himself a foreigner in his own country, for in a community of Germans he is the only man of English descent.

Mr. Harwood was born in Franklin County, New York, August 7, 1852, a son of Riley and Orilla (Stowell) Harwood, he attained his majority among his native hills. A brother-in-law, William Shipman, was a pioneer of Lyon County, and Mr. Harwood came to this county through his influence the latter part of February, 1873. A sister was teaching school at that time, in this county, and brother and sister joined in homesteading the southeast quarter of section 4, in what is now Dale Township, each of them filing on an eighty, and living together. A few years later Mr. Harwood traded his land for the farm he owns in section 8, Dale Township. The county at this time was quite well settled, mostly with Americans, who left many years ago, and the most of them have passed away. Among some of those mentioned, as neighbors in those early days, may be recalled: the Thompson brothers, Peter and Charles Fulmer, Joseph Roth and Joseph Fuhr. All were young men and in the prime of life, and they freely spent their best energy on the newly opened farms, and of them all, Mr. Harwood alone remains to connect that not remote past with the greatly changed present. His introduction to the country was not as flattering as was that of the later comers, who have received as a welcome fifteen successful harvests. For three years his crops were total failures, and for three years following but little better, though he indeed was able to make a living. Year after year his hopes were raised by the bounteous opening of the spring, only to be dashed to pieces by the harvest. It was not a time for fortune building, but a time to keep alive-leaving heavy imprints on the strongest men and shortening the lives of devoted wives and mothers.

In the later '70s fortune smiled, but the winter of 1880-1881 will long be remembered. Ushered in by an October blizzard, the corn was left standing in the fields, and was later buried completely under deep snow. That winter Mr. Harwood dug down through the snow to get food for his cattle, and was thankful to get straw to burn. Cobs were a luxury as a fuel that few could boast.

Mr. Harwood has lived in his old place, and has profited by the good crops of later years. His confidence in Lyon county land has never wavered, and today we find him cheerfully industrious and patiently hopeful-a pioneer as true and rugged, as openhearted and generous as though civilization had not in the least changed the heart to heart society of years agone. He is a Republican, and has the unbounded respect and confidence of the community in which his peaceful and useful life is passing.

Mr. Harwood was married in 1884 to Miss Addie Smith, and the fruits of this union are three children: Minnie, now a public school teacher; Arthur; and Delbert.


H. P. Helgersen, who has for several years been numbered among the wealthier farmers and land owners of Lyon county, and who has an exceedingly attractive home within the territorial limits of the city of Inwood, was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, in 1849, where he was reared on the farm and educated in the public school. After the fashion of the times, as he became older he attended school only during the winter sessions, and did farm work in its season. As a young man he learned the tailor trade, and worked at it for six years, after which he became a stone mason, and carpenter, a trade he has followed more or less all his life. His father owned a farm of sixty acres in Rock county, and on this Wisconsin farm the young man lived and labored until his father''s death, when he sold out and came to the west, with the desire of securing more land for his growing family.

Mr. Helgersen made his first appearance in Lyon county in 1897, and purchased a quarter section of land within a half mile of Inwood, and a little later bought an additional eighty acres, so that now he owns two hundred and forty acres lying within the present city limits of Inwood. Here he built a fine farm house, 54 by 68 feet, a story and a half high, a barn 44 by 66 feet, a granary 24 by 32 feet, two tool houses, one 10 by 32 feet, and the other 14 by 32, a chicken house and a hog house, a blacksmith and a carpenter shop——putting altogether about $5,000 into permanent improvements for this very desirable farm. In doing this he has only been returning to the farm what it had already given him, as he has made it all out of the place.

Mr. Helgersen was married in 1880, and by this union has become the father of four children: Peter, August L., Hannah L., and Morgan——all of whom are at home and give promise of honorable and useful lives hereafter. In religion he affiliates with the Lutheran church, and in politics is a Republican. For two terms he served as justice of the peace, three terms as school director, two terms as clerk, and has been road supervisor for ten years in Rock county. He was also constable for a term.

Peter Helgersen, father of H. P., was born in Norway, but removed in 1842, from his native land to the United States, settling in Wisconsin. While in his native land he had served an apprenticeship at the cabinet making trade, including all that a carpenter had to learn in his practical work and study, so that when he arrived in Rock county he was the first carpenter in that section of Wisconsin, and did not a little of the building of that early day. He worked as a carpenter the most of his life, and when he died in 1896 he had reached the age of eighty-three. His wife passed away the previous year at the age of eighty-two. He built the first Norwegian church in Muskingo, Illinois, and was an old pioneer in Wisconsin.

Tolle Helgerson effected a location on section 35, Lyon township, in 1875, at a time when he had Samuel Groth and Margarette Ahens, a widow, for his nearest neighbors. He was born in Clayton county, Iowa, June 5, 1856, a son of Tollef and Margaret (Nelson) Helgerson, both of whom were born and bred in Norway. The father was a life-long farmer, and came to Rock county, Wisconsin, as early as 1839, where he maintained his home for twelve years, then removing to Clayton county, Iowa. There he lived until 1875, when he settled in Lyon county, where he died same year, at the age of sixty-five. His widow lived to be seventy-one, and entered into rest in 1891. They were the parents of a family of eight children: Helge and Segre are dead; Nels is a farmer in Clayton county; Ole is a salesman at Canton, South Dakota; Tolle; Hogan and Amsden are dead; Halver is a farmer on section 25, Lyon township.

Tolle Helgerson received his education mainly in the common schools of Clayton county, Iowa, and devoted his earlier manhood to the assistance of his father, remaining at home until the death of the father set him at liberty to work for himself. In 1902 he rented his farm, and is now living with his brother Halver, who has had the misfortune to lose an arm.

Mr. Helgerson was married February 14, 1878, to Miss Gunel Gullick. To this union have come the following children: Amsden, who is now a clerk in the Farmers' Bank of Inwood; Ole M.; Maggie, deceased; Henry; Abner; Fred and one who died in infancy. Mr. Helgerson has been road superintendent for a year, and has manifested a wide-awake and public spirit


John Hendrickson came to Inwood, Lyon county, in 1889, and purchased a blacksmith and wagon shop, and began a business which under the spur of his fine workmanship and close attention has assumed large proportions. At the present time he is carrying about $5,000 in stock and in the outfit. His shop is regarded as one of the most complete in Lyon county, and his home which he also owns is a fine and commodious dwelling house of nine rooms, only about a block from the shop.

Mr. Hendrickson was born in Norway in 1863, where he served an apprenticeship of three years at this trade, and where he was afterward employed as a journeyman until his coming to this country in 1885. He arrived in New York in the spring of that year, and there found such employment as he could until his coming to Inwood. Here he had but eighteen dollars with which to begin a career that has proved remarkably successful. His confidence in his own ability to command success was strong, and he ran heavily into debt at the outset, but his course was justified by the outcome, and it was not long before he had paid back all he owed, and was free from debt.

Mr. Hendrickson was married in 1889 to Miss Augusta, daughter of Hans J. Hanson who died in Inwood after reaching the age of sixty years. Mr. and Mrs. have had three children born to them: Helma, Henry and Clara. In politics he is a Republican, but at present does not take a very active interest in party matters. In religion he is an interested and active member of the Lutheran Church. The organization with which he is associated is now engaged in enlarging and improving its home of worship, and he is an enthusiastic worker in this enterprise. His father, Henry N., lived and died in Norway, passing away at the age of eighty-six. His mother is still living at eighty-seven.

Claus Herder, whose pleasant and commodious farm home in section 9, Garfield Township, Lyon County, attests not only his industrious habits, but his business capacity as well, was born in North Schleswig, Germany, in 1849, where his father, Claus, sustained a numerous family upon his earnings as a day laborer. Young Claus was a member of a family of ten children born to his parents, and early struck out in life for himself with no other capital than his own strong right arm, and no friends to aid him except his own good character and honest heart. Coming early to this country, he was married February 18, 1886, in Iowa, to Mrs. Minnie F. Hass. She was then a widow, and lived in Scott County, where she was born, and whither her father, D.F. Hass, had come from Germany in 1839. To this marriage were born the following family, with their ages given in 1904: Annie, who is seventeen years old; Katie, sixteen; Mattie, thirteen; Claus, ten; Henry, eight; Lizzie, five; and Maggie, four.

Mr. Herder came to the United States in 1867, and for about thirty-three years worked on farms near Davenport, Iowa, renting several places and gradually becoming quite prosperous and well-to-do. In 1901 he came to Lyon County, where he bought a farm in section 9, Garfield Township, on which he has since made his home, and where he has met with much success. Although he had secured an improved farm, he has greatly added to its value since his coming, by the building of a house, 14 by 20 and 14 by 16, as well as a good barn and granary. Here there is a fine grove of trees and many apple trees as well. The fruit is such as experience has demonstrated withstands a hard winter. Mr. Herder is much devoted to his home, and devotes his entire time to his work as a farmer. He is widely known and respected.

George Hitchings was born at Calais, Maine, May 24, 1848 and came of an English and Scotch ancestry running back through the families of Livingstone, Bond and Elliott. His parents were born in New Brunswick and moved to Maine. Jonas Bond, his grandfather, was a veteran of the Revolution and served with Washington at Valley Forge.

George Hitchings removed to Wisconsin when he was seven years old. At the outbreak of the Civil war he hastened to answer the call of his imperiled country, enlisting December 1863 in the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He served continuously in this unit until he was mustered out at Demopolis, Alabama, September 16, 1865. He was among the first settlers of Lyon County, coming to Larchwood in 1877.

He was educated under peculiar and at the same time uncommon circumstances. He was graduated several times, the first being from a pine board shack on the prairie where the grass and the squirrels came up through the floor, (to say nothing of the rattlesnakes.) He again graduated from Albion College in Michigan. He hauled freight to the forts in the Far West; was stranded on an island in Mobile Bay; helped build Duluth; assisted in the construction of the high trestle bridges on the Northern Pacific.

Mr. Hitchings graduated again. He went to lumbering, and passed his "great heroic days" with the great common-sense people-"lumber jacks"-who did so much in war times to unite conflicting parties and sectional interests.

Mr. Hitchings graduated again. He worked in and among a crew of unwashed Swedes on the railroads running west from St. Paul-hauled freight from the terminus of the railroad, Benson, Minnesota, to the Red River, where "Jim" Hill, the railroad magnate, had a small steamboat, which he had hauled across the country and put together for the trade of the Hudson Bay Company at Fargo where the grade stakes were driven. There were no other signs of progression that at that time.

Again he graduated, and left the Republican Party. That party had gone into camp, and its days were passed in banqueting and its nights were given over to feasting and debauchery. Its leaders glorified each other, and brazen adventuresses in petticoats made love to the army officers elected to Congress. Its platform builders and tariff adjusters were distributors of spoil, and its machine managers were gift bearers. In exchange for certain legislation at opportune time great donations were made, pine land grants and concessions and appropriations for building dams on upper rivers-and what they did in the days of their power and wealth gave a start to that great nursery of native-born millionaires who now oppress the people. So he left the party that prayed to God each morning for wisdom, and prayed each night for forgiveness of sins which had been done in the light. In politics Mr. Hitchings is independent but has voted twice for Bryan.

In religion our subject takes a progressive stand-not attached to nor has he ever been connected with any church. Eliminate the idea of God as controlling human affairs, the destinies and lives of nations and individuals; and then cause and effect follow each other as sunshine and shadow chase each other across the summer fields. Results are reached after awful experiments and costly sacrifices. Obedience is better than sacrifice, but the undeveloped man, the man with moral sense, or any sense of duty, is the controlling element of that savagism which is still at large in our civilization. Hence the greed for land, the aspirations, so called, after property, the desire for commercial expansion beyond the fitting medium of desire, the armed forces necessary to p9olice power to follow these business interests. Restore the idea of God as One Supreme Intelligence over all this, and man a subordinate intelligence, used for a purpose, his short life hastened by the strenuosity, and mangled in the race by the machinery of competition-and you have the best idea of a devil that can be painted up to date. To secure liberty and enjoy the same will be the white man's burden to the end of that future eternity of enlightened thought, when independence will be in discord with explosives. Adaptability explains much. All life adapts itself to its environment; and in time, that becomes natural which once was hardly endurable. The world grows toward socialism, and conditions will be ripe for socialism before the minds of the people will admit or permit.

The most of the ancient deviltry that oppressed the people originated in a single human mind, some fanatic with more self confidence than good sense, withdrew from his kind, and meditated until he became a god unto himself. His thoughts they called inspiration. Such minds had wonderful influence over the ignorant, especially under religious and military ruling. Along this route came Mahomet, Rosseau, the philosopher, and Napoleon-parental influence shaped his soul for war! and with natural vanity and some ability, audacity bore him onward until he became insane over the idea that he was God selected, a man of destiny. For this he was thankful. For God has been thanked for every battle won, for every ruler assassinated. And for every soldier boy asleep today under some palm or pine, whose eyes were closed for good by some attendant nurse, some one thanked God that his sufferings were done, that it had been he and not they. Consequently this fact being once discovered, that a human mind is a creative force sending its influence far into the future, perhaps for a hundred years, the supreme intelligence is overruled thereby. This being a truth no one dares deny, the very knowledge of it has encouraged Mr. Hitchings to formulate a religion of his own for daily use.

Mr. Hitchings is at present a fruit grower and a nurseryman. He dabbles slightly in literature, but when the desire comes to drop into poetry he hitches up and goes fishing. By so doing he turns the inward eye of the mind outward toward the visible world in which lies our redemption, salvation and very means of existence.

Mr. Hitchings helped plant some of the hedges around Larchwood and much pain were taken to get them planted, while others were to come after and spend much time, labor and profanity to get them uprooted.

It was a glorious day in October when we first saw Larchwood. We had never heard of the place. Our horses unchecked went feeding from the tall blue joint grass by the roadside as we journeyed at our own sweet will, wrapped in a day dream, and nothing to do, and going nowhere in particular. We had traveled for days over $60-an-acre land (then worth $3 or $4) with no desire for owning a foot of it.

Larchwood, with its three homes and a granary with a straw roof, seemed asleep in the sun's departing smile and the only sign of life was a man making some repair on the straw roof. That man had been a paymaster appointed by Lincoln, when Lincoln said: "Mr. Fell, you and I have ridden behind the same horse on our law circuit; you have done much for the country; what will you accept?" And Mr. Fell cared for no soft snap in the Quartermaster's Department, where the salary was inconspicuous compared with the stealage; but he chose a paymaster's place-a position requiring character and probity. Mr. Fell owned 20,000 acres-to his sorrow. The locusts were bad, and to add to trouble, Governor Pillsbury of Minnesota had days appointed for fasting and prayer; and such earnestness had been shown at these meetings as to cause the insects to arise and fly. They came down into Iowa, the vicinity of Larchwood getting a good share.

Mr. Fell tried to colonize his lands with Quakers from Pennsylvania. He tried to sell his land. The east was turned against the west. The truth never travels fast enough to overtake a lie; and the east still thought of blizzards and Indian outbreaks in Larchwood. In the meantime Mr. Fell planted trees and laid out a park. The years would drag by, and traveled men from foreign lands would wander across this green expanse, and wonder what ailed this "bloody country" that it didn't settle up.

And one day an Englishman with money he never earned, but had it fall to him as inherited capital invested in the cloth business at Manchester, came stalking across the prairie like a God, with his dogs and his eye glass, and a tin bathtub bigger than a claim shanty! So he buys the whole business, park and everything else for about $5 per acre, and wins immortality, and perhaps a monument by giving the park to Larchwood. And the years will drag by no more, but fairly fly. The population will increase wonderfully as we approach old-world conditions. The crowded city tenements will send their inhabitants to the Larchwood Park in summer. For it's a wonderful place; it stretches away into woodland scenery and far dreamy vistas of foliage and flowers like the gardens of Daphne.

And the people resting here from heat of the cities, enjoying the world famous Larchwood strawberries, will bless the great Englishman who gave away the park, but none will think of the man who planted it. And such is life. So it is with the pearl diver and his gem. Unknown it was buried in the primeval mud until some heroic exertion brings it to light. It shines at the festival; it appears on great occasions; its price is the worth of a kingdom-but the pearl diver in his short life is unknown. And so it is with thought, with those who dive for ideas. As ideas they appear, they circulate, they change, they mold the life of nations and peoples, --but the discoverer dies unknown, or else is quickly forgotten.

J.A. Hoff, who came to Doon in 1892, to associate himself with Gillen Brothers in the management of their drug store, after being with some three years, purchased their entire stock, has become beyond question the leading and popular druggist in this section. His stock consists of drugs, paints, oils, and wallpapers, and is being constantly increased as the goods in market are changed by local or general conditions. What his patrons want he procures, and is so fair-minded, genial and courteous to all that his trade is constantly growing.

Mr. Hoff is a native of Ohio, where he was born January 6, 1865. While he was still small his parents came to Iowa, and made their home near Waterloo. There on a farm he passed his early youth and secured his academic education in the local schools, finishing in the Waterloo high school. When he was twenty years old he secured a position in a Waterloo drug store, and after a year in that position spent a year in the Pharmaceutical School at Iowa City. Following this he resumed his position in Waterloo, where he worked five years becoming so well versed in the secrets of pharmacy, that he took the examination before the state board. Successfully passing what is regarded as a very difficult examination, he soon after came to Lyon County, and located as noted above at Doon, where his enterprising spirit has met with large success.

Mr. Hoff was married in 1898 to Miss Mattie Gillen, a native of Pennsylvania, and their home in Doon has become a center of marked social attraction.

Mr. Hoff is a Republican, and belongs to Lodge 351, Knights of Pythias at Doon, of which he is a charter member. He has occupied the various official chairs of this body, and has represented the local lodge in the state lodge, which was held at Cedar Rapids. He also belongs to Royal Council, No. 380, Royal Arcanum, and with his wife attends the Congregational Church. She is a member of the Brethren Church, at Hudson, Iowa, while he was reared a Dunkard.

Theodore R. Hoffman, whose presence is familiar on the streets of George, where he has built up a substantial trade as one of the reliable blacksmiths of Lyon county, was born in Germany, August 20, 1875. When he was only five years old he came to this country in care of his grandfather. He was too young to realize the immense change this step was working in his fortunes, but his grandfather was a man of character and strength, and gave him much care and attention. When young Theodore had reached eleven years of age that worthy man was called to his home above, and left an unfortunate lad alone among strangers. Theodore, however, was unusually tall and large for his age, and when he sought employment as a farm laborer was readily engaged. In this capacity he continued until he reached the age of fourteen years, when he began to look into the future, and ask himself what should be his life. He chose the trade of blacksmith, and sought a reliable man from whom he could learn the trade thoroughly. He found him, and was instructed in every detail of the work. He found hecould run a shop of his own, and for this purpose came to George, to take work with a Mr. Erickson. A friend, who had been watching, and was sure there was good stuff in the young man, determined to put him at work in his own shop, and accordingly, Mr. Bernard, for such was his name, advanced the money needed to build the smithy and furnish it. There were already two shops in town, and the competition promised difficulties, but Mr. Hoffman did not long lack a good patronage. He was quick, reliable and a thorough workman. He paid close attention to business, and what-ever he promised was always ready. To such a man success was sure. In February, 1903, he was able to meet all obligations to his friend, purchase the shop, and do business entirely on his own account. He has the leading patronage in his line today, and is regarded as one of the most successful men of Lyon county.

Mr. Hoffman was married to Miss Maggie Hent. Her father, who was a miller by trade, died in Germany, but she left home when she was sixteen years old, to join a sister who had come to America a short time previously. To this union there have come two children: Morse A., and Esther.

Mr. Hoffman belongs to the George Lodge, No. 571, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all the official chairs, and to the Modern Brotherhood of America. He is a Republican, but is very independent, believing that every man should determine political questions only after much thought and study. In his physique he is large and very muscular, standing six feet in his shoes, and his pride in his strength is often shown in difficult athletic achievements.

John O. Holliday, a venerable resident of Rock Rapids, where he is passing the evening of his days in a well earned and much respected retirement, was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. April 9, 1843, and remained in his native state until he reached the age of seven years. In 1850 he was taken by his parents to Delaware county, Iowa, where they settled on a homestead claim. Here the young lad remained with his parents until he became fourteen, when he struck out for himself, doing whatever he could secure in that new country. The only schooling he could command was a few terms in the old log school house.

In 1864 John O. Holliday joined the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and in June of that year went forward from Fort Snelling with about a hundred recruits to join his command then at Marietta, Georgia. There he was assigned to Company B, and remained in camp about thirty days, when the regiment was called to the front, and took part in the battle of Jonesboro, being located on the left wing of the Union army. The regiment slowly followed General Hood on his retreat to Atlanta, as he fiercely disputed every step of the way. Mr. Holliday says that he had all the fighting a raw recruit could reasonably desire, and that right from the start. Then after General Sherman had captured Atlanta, marched with him to the sea. As one of the "foraging squad," at times he would be thirty-five miles away from the main command. At one time he turned in a large amount of sweet potatoes, and for eight days the army rations consisted mainly of sweet potatoes. The army was bearing away steadily to the south, and provender of all kinds grew very scarce, and by the time Savannah was taken the soldiers were much in need of food. There the men were liberally supplied, and the march through the Carolinas began. There was a battle at Bentonville, and another at Goldsboro, where Mr. Holliday remained three weeks. At Headley Springs they camped in the swamps where the water was knee deep. The only thing they could do was to cut down the limbs and branches, making piles of brushwood on which snatches of sleep could be taken by the tired soldiers.

When they came to resume their march, the commander was uncertain which road to take out of the swamp. A fellow of the neighborhood volunteered to show the way, but the commander for some reason became suspicious, putting him under arrest and sending forward a squad to investigate. The road at a narrow turn was found mined with torpedoes, which would have done vast damage to the troops, and the traitor was at once ordered to be shot by a squad out of the regiment. At Jonesboro he was on the firing lines for nearly three hours, and all through those stirring scenes played the part of a man and a loyal soldier of the Union. At last the regiment went into camp at Alexandria, Virginia, where it made ready for the grand review at Washington. Shortly after this the command was sent to Louisville, Kentucky where in January, 1865, it was discharged and sent home.

Mr. Holliday resumed farming, and was engaged at that work near Ida Grove, Iowa, until 1884, when he came to Lyon county, and bought a farm then in a state of nature, but giving every indication of making a valuable farm when improved and cultivated. This has been done, and he still owns it, counting it as one of the very valuable farms of Lyon county. Here he has built a fine farm house, a roomy barn, and all kinds of buildings necessary for the stock, grain and the improved machinery the cultivation of the place demands. It is held worth something more than seventy dollars an acre. Mr. Holliday has also purchased a nice dwelling house in Rock Rapids, into which he has moved to spend his days, while his only son cultivates the farm.

Mr. Holliday was married March 29, 1864 to Miss Rachel, a daughter of William Holliday, who was born in England, and died at the age of seventy-three years. To this union were born eight children, of whom there are now living: Nancy and Ernest, residing in Fayette county, Iowa; Jennie Kitchen, of Lyon county; Sarah A. Arndt, who lives in Lyon county; Walter O., now living on the paternal estate; Eva Fishel lives in Rock Rapids; and Emma C., who is at home. George Holliday, the father of John O., was born in England and came to the United States at the age of twenty-one years. John O. has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for more than thirty years, being associated with Brownsville Lodge, No. 42, of Brownsville, Minnesota. He belongs to the Rock Rapids Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, is a Republican, and has been road master, and frequently a member of the grand jury.

Dr. Holtsclaw came to Lyon County in the spring of 1887 and located in Larchwood, a small town at that time, which had no resident physician, and all medical aid then being sought at either Rock Rapids, Valley Springs or Sioux Falls. A condition of things however which did not long endure, for as soon as the people found they had with them a capable physician, they hastened to give him their patronage, and for a long time he held almost the exclusive practice of this part of the country; in fact so well satisfied were the people that other physicians have found it almost impossible to secure a foothold, and have been compelled to seek a field elsewhere. The Doctor is well up in his profession, a student, reading the best medical journals and other publications, and enjoying a library said to be one of the best in the state. Its works on surgery and diseases are especially modern and up-to-date. He closely notes the newer remedies, and those of reported value are brought into his practice as needed. In fact the city and community can well be proud of having so accomplished and earnest a student and practitioner of medicine with them.

Dr. Holtsclaw studied medicine under the celebrated physicians, Doctors Adair and E.H. Lockwood, both men of a state reputation, and both deeply sensitive as to the responsibility of a medical career. He attended the high school and then took a partial course in the Asbury University, now De Pauw College, and then taught school, saving his money for a course in the medical department of the University, from which he graduated in the class of 1881, after a three years' course. He had begun his studies of medicine in 1872, and in 1875 attended his first lectures at the University. After he had opened his office for practice he had six cases of typhoid fever with which his success was marked. From 1883 to 1887 he practiced in Buena Vista and Newell, Iowa. That year the law requiring physicians to pass the state board was enacted, and Dr. Holtsclaw immediately got his certificate among the very first, and almost immediately removed to Larchwood.

Dr. Holtsclaw belongs to the Iowa State Association of Railway Surgeons, the Sioux Valley Medical Association, and the County Association of Physicians. He is also a member of the local lodge, No. 552, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 539. He was married July 2, 1878 to Miss Sarah D. Esget, by whom he has had two children: Ralph E. and Anna. The Doctor and his family attend the Congregational Church. His parents, Barnett and Julia Ann Holtsclaw, came from Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively. The Doctor is also a member of the County, State and American Medical Associations.

Claus F. Horn, a worthy representative of the great German factor of the making of the northwest, which has done so much in the settlement of several great states, and a hustling and energetic farmer of Lyon county, whose pleasant and attractive home is in the town of Larchwood, was born in Germany, September 22, 1847, and is a son of Claus Horn, a German farmer, who died in his native land in 1854.

Claus F. Horn remained at his native home until he had occurred his education in the local schools, and when he had reached the age of twenty years, in 1867, came to this country, landing in New York, and making his way west to Davenport, Iowa, where he was employed as a farm hand some four years. In 1872 he removed to Benton county, where he was engaged in farming until 1889. That year he sold out his Benton county property, and bought a farm in Lyon county, which he has made his home to the present time.

Mr. Horn was married March 11, 1871, when Miss Matilda Braack became his wife. She was born in Germany, December 23, 1844, and by her marriage to Mr. Horn has become the mother of seven children: Herman, Henry, born in Davenport; Anna, John, William, Emma, and Clara,--were born in Benton county.

The subject of this narrative is a Republican, and is much esteemed by all who know him well. For several years he has been on the town board, and has also been on the school board. He is a hard worker, and is a good manager. At this date he owns seven hundred and thirty acres of good land, nearly all of which is under active cultivation, no more land being reserved for meadow and pasture than the place requires. The farm is well provided with buildings for all its needs, and in addition to a fine grove, Mr. Horn has a fruit orchard, now getting into bearing condition.

William Horsfall, who is the proprietor and manager of a livery barn and sales stable at George, Lyon county, was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, March 17, 1846, and was taken by his parents before he had reached the age of three years to Grant county, Wisconsin, where he received his education. He began to work in his father's woolen mill early in life and soon became an expert weaver. When the mill was destroyed by fire he did not remain to see it rebuilt, but came to the west, and in 1888 started a livery business in George. For this purpose he built a barn, and put in all the outfit required at that time. He has become noted as one of the oldest settlers of George, and has seen the town grow from almost nothing to its present considerable proportions. Honest as the day is long, and kind and humane in his spirit, and withal an industrious character, he is recognized as one of the leading business men of the place, and has a host of friends who wish him well.

Mr. Horsfall was married to Miss Emma L., daughter of Henry and Lucretia Reka. Her parents were of English origin, but were old pioneers in Vermont. To this union were born five children: Lucretia, Ivy B., Mary Ann, F.E., and Pansy. The only son is in the mail service.

Mr. Horsfall wore the Union blue during the Civil War. He enlisted in Wisconsin in 1863, becoming a member of Company J, Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving throughout the war until 1865, when he was discharged. Mr. Horsfall was in the first fight at Mobile, the assault on Fort Morgan, and fought through Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. He was in the battle of Pea Ridge, and his last campaign carried him through Texas. His discharge was received at Galveston. Our subject is naturally an ardent member of the Grand Army of the Republic. For twenty-one years and more he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and for many years he has been affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. His family belong to the Methodist church. In politics he is a Republican, and for six years has filled the position of president of the school board. It was by his efforts very largely that the construction of the present handsome school building was secured.

Joseph Horsfall, the father of William Horsfall, was born in London, England. His trace was weaving woolen and silk, and in it he attained excellence. When he came to the United States he opened a small shop in Grant county, Wisconsin, for weaving cloth, which soon became so much in demand that he had to enlarge his works. Along in 1868 he was employing from fifteen to twenty hands, but that year the shops burned down, and were never rebuilt. Mr. Horsfall retiring to a four-hundred acre farm, has since given up all active employment.


Herbert Howen, a worthy representative of the farming interests of Lyon county, now owns and operates a fine farm on section 23, Doon township, where his many manly and commendable qualities and characteristics have won him a host of friends. Coming of old German blood, his career shows many of the prevailing traits of his race and blood; and while he is appreciative of his father's home, he is proud of the great republic that claims him as a loyal son.

Mr. Howen was born on a farm in Illinois in 1866, and is a son of Riner Howen, who was born in Germany, where he was bred a farmer. Riner Howen married a German wife, and the two became the parents of a numerous family.

Herbert was the third in order of birth in a family of nine children born to his parents, who grew up in Illinois. Here he was reared to hard work, and sent to the public schools until he was sixteen years old. In 1889 he was engaged as a farm hand in Sioux County, and the following year he came into Lyon county where he settled on a farm. At the time the only improvements on the place were a small house and barn. Here Mr. Howen remained for sixteen years, greatly improving and building up the farm. Mud creek, as well as another small stream, runs across the ranch, and makes it very advantageous for stock raising.

Mr. Howen was married in 1893 to Miss Anna Smith, a native of Illinois and a daughter of German parents. Mr. and Mrs. Howen have two children, Ross and Fay. Their home is the center of many strong friendships and their genuine worth and unassuming character are known and marked in the community, where their quiet and useful lives are passing.

Ernest A. Hunt came to this country twenty years ago and purchased a quarter section of land four miles south of Rock Rapids, at once beginningthe improvement of the land. For twelve years he devoted himself to the raising of flax and wheat, and was quite successful. He bought many acres of land during these years in Lyon county, as well as in Moody county, South Dakota, until he owned at one time over a thousand acres. This land increased rapidly in value, and the most of it he sold at double what he paid for it, or even more, retaining, however, the two hundred and forty acres, which he has now put in the hands of a faithful renter.

Mr. Hunt bought residence property in Rock Rapids in 1897, whither he removed his family, and there he has since continued to live. In 1896 he bought a quarter section and in 1901 five other quarter sections in Rocktownship, making in all 960 acres in that town. This he uses as a ranchfeeding ground for cattle, having sometimes as many as six hundred head at once. In feeding cattle for the market and striking for the top prices, he has met with much success.

Mr. Hunt was born in Canada in 1857, and finished his education in the high school of his native town. When he was twenty years old he went to California, where he worked in the mines four years, and was made manager the last part of his stay there. After having saved about fifteen hundred dollars, he concluded he had enough with which to come home. There he bought a portable steam mill, and sawed lumber, ties, and otherlumber as required. He was at this work for about a year and then sold out with the intention of locating in South Dakota. His ticket was bought for Mitchell, but stopping off in Lyon county, to look at the country, he was so well pleased that he pitched his tent here, and here he has since remained.

It was in California that Mr. Hunt was married in 1880, Miss Minnie, daughter of William Shields, becoming his wife. Her father was killed by an explosion in a quartz mine. This union has been blessed by the birth of four children: Clara, Charles, Florence and Loren, all of whom are at home.

Jesse Hunt, the father of Ernest A., was born in England, and as a small lad came to Canada, with his brother James, who became a member of Parliament. The mother of Ernest A. Hunt came of an English ancestry. Judge Brew, of Vancouver Island, is one of Mrs. Ernest A. Hunt's family. Mrs. Hunt belongs to the Blakes of Galway, of Oranmore Castle. The late Governor-General Pemberton, of Vancouver, was a great-uncle of Mrs.E. Hunt. She also belongs to the family of O'Briens in England, who are titled.


Compendium/Bios Index   |   Home

Webization by Kermit Kittleson - Aug. 2006