LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY: The Compendium
MacNAB, A. M.D.
Dr. McNab is one of the distinguished characters of the medical profession in Lyon county, and easily holds a leading position as a surgeon of long and varied experience as well as of rare schooling and thorough preparation for this exacting calling. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and received his medical education at the famous Edinburgh College, where he was graduated and appointed as surgeon in the military service of the Queen. His station was in Canada, but during the Civil war he crossed the line and offered his services to the Union army. They were gladly accepted, and he assigned to the Twelfth Missouri Volunteer Infantry as assistant surgeon.
When the war had ended Dr. MacNab was so pleased with the country that he remained here, and for nine years was engaged in a successful practice at Flag Springs, Missouri. At the end of that period the Doctor came north, and settled in Rock Rapids, preferring a more exhilarating climate. Here his great medical skill and professional acquirements won instant recognition, and from the moment of his coming he has been regarded as one of the first in his calling.
Dr. MacNab was married in Canada to Clementine Gordon, by whom he has had one son, who now holds the position of clerk of the district court of Lyon county. The Doctor is a Mason of rank and standing and is affiliated with the blue lodge, chapter, commandery and shrine. He is also a member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic and is regarded in every way as one of the leading citizens of Rock Rapids.
MAHER, WILLIAM H.
William H. Maher is the oldest resident settler of Midland Township, and is noted as one of the most extensive farmers in his neighborhood. He is a recognized power in local affairs.
Mr. Maher was born in Waushara County, Wisconsin March 31, 1869, being the eighth member of a family of nine children born to John and Ann (Finerty) Maher; both are living and have their home in Ellsworth, Minnesota. They were natives respectively of counties Tipperary and Galway, Ireland, and were emigrants to this country when quite young. They were married in Massachusetts. The father settled in Wisconsin at an early date, and was a pioneer in the county where our subject was born. There he was engaged in clearing a rough and stony farm, when he heard of the vast level prairies of northwestern Iowa through relatives, where farms could be obtained almost for the fencing. In 1882 he came to Lyon County and bought land in Midland Township in the spring of that year.
William H. Maher was then but a lad of thirteen years of age, yet he recalls the fact that his father made a payment of eight hundred and fifty dollars on the land, exhausting all his resources, and leaving only his horses and farm implements. At the end of his first season, after his threshing, he had the misfortune to lose by fire all his grain and barns. Taking this heavy loss, coupled with the large indebtedness on the place, young William was compelled to assist his father from an early age, and this fact operated to deprive him of the schooling he should have had, a fact that Mr. Maher very much regrets. This is a part of the expense the pioneers often paid for securing land in its native sod, when they left old and established communities to seek homes on the frontier. The first home of the Maher family was on section 35, now known as the Boomgarden place.
In 1892 William H. Maher was married and made his home in Ellsworth, farming the land where he now lives. The advance in farm values has made the family well off, and they are now independent in township affairs, beginning from the time that Liberal, Grant, Elgin and Midland Townships were united in one organization. In 1885 when Midland Township was organized it was Democratic, which it has been to the present time. Mr. Maher belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters, and is a member of the Catholic Church. He is now serving his second term as town clerk.
Mr. Maher was married to Miss Elizabeth Butler in 1892. She is a daughter of Kern and Mary (Basing) Butler. She taught school in Minnesota, and was a lady of more than usual attainments. A sister of Mr. Maher taught the first school in Midland Township. She came to this section before the rest of the family, and made her own place in the community.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Maher are Mary; Ann; William; Irene; Gertrude; John and Kern. James Maher, brother of William H., was auditor of the Iowa, Minnesota & Dakota Grain Company in the early days.
Mr. Maher began feeding cattle for the market four years ago and two years ago in company with the neighbors sent trainload consignments to England.
MARR, CHARLES E.
Charles E. Marr, an aged resident of Riverside township, Lyon county, was born in Maine, October 28, 1839, a son of Nathaniel and Susan (Canick) Marr. The father was born in Maine, and came to Iowa about 1870. He died in Poweshiek county at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. In early life he was a blacksmith, and combined that occupation with the labors incident to a farmer's life.
Susan Canick was born in St. John's, and died in Maine at the age of forty years. She was the mother of six children, three of whom are yet living.
The grandparents of Mr. Marr on his father's side were of New York, and from his memories of the fireside conversations in his youngest days his opinion is that the grandfather participated in the war of the Revolution, though he has never taken pains to have the matter determined.
Charles E. Marr left his eastern home at the age of twenty-two, and coming to Iowa City, Iowa, worked by the month, when he removed to Powesheik county. He was married October 14, 1861, Miss Elizabeth Giddings becoming his wife. She was also born in Maine, and became the mother of seven children, three of whom are yet living: Sarah E., the wife of Peter Peterson, and the mother of two children; Jessie I., the wife of Charles Willis; Charles F., married Lydia Holliday, and has one son, Harry. Charles F. remains at home to rent and manage his father's farm, now comprising a half section of land, which was the original purchase in 1884. It has a fine house and a large and well appointed barn. Probably no farmhouse in Iowa has a better water system. There are hydrants all over the place, and the windmill is handled with a lever from the rear of the barn. Its perfection excites the admiration of all who inspect it, it seems so like the city.
Mr. Marr settled on the place where he is now living in 1884, and his first home was an old granary, which however was soon replaced by a new and handsome house. His large barn was built about 1891. At the present time he is principally engaged in stock raising, though he does market some grain. Typical New Englanders, industrious, thrifty and honest to a fault, father and son are numbered among the leading businessmen of the county. Both are Republicans, the father casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, on the occasion of his second election, and the son for William McKinley in 1896.
The Marr family are associated with the Methodist church, and Mrs. Marr as a wife and mother is a representative of the very highest grade of American womanhood.
Edward Mathson, now a prosperous and successful farmer of Doon township, Lyon county, where he is highly respected alike for his manly qualities, industrious habits and loyal American spirit, was born in Norway, in 1848, his birthplace being on a farm in the province of Solar. His father was a farmer, who lived and died in Norway.
Edward Mathson was reared a farmer, and when he reached the proper age was called to the army for such military service as the nation required of its young men. He did his work "with the colors," and after its conclusion followed farming for a time in his native land, and then in September, 1879, set out for the land of promise across the western seas. He did not stop on the Atlantic coast, but made his way to Avoca, Minnesota, where he was employed until the spring of 1882 as a railroad section hand. That spring he came to Lyon county, where he secured the position of "section boss" on a portion of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, his work being confined to the line running nine miles north from the village of Doon. For seventeen years he remained in the employ of this company, being largely engaged in the work of building and constructing railroad track, as well as in keeping it in order, a work he thoroughly understands.
Mr. Mathson was married in 1893 to Miss Carrie Torgerson, also a Norwegian compatriot. She has proved a very helpful companion, and not a little of the success which her industrious and prudent husband has won may be attributed to her wise and sympathetic encouragement.
Mr. Mathson purchased the farm where he is now established in 1886. It is the southwest quarter of section 24, Doon township, and was partly improved, but he has greatly added to it in every way, and so built it up that it is now recognized as one of the best places to be found in this part of the county. In 1902 he took charge of its cultivation himself, and has since devoted himself to its care, giving up all outside work. It comprises one hundred and twenty acres, with about ninety acres under cultivation, and is cut in two by the Rock river.
Mr. Mathson is one of the very early settlers of this county, and remembers Doon in its early days when it had only hotel, a depot and two residence. The country was then all wild prairie, and presented sights and scenes of wild life not now to be found within hundreds of miles. He has a good farm and comfortable and commodious buildings, and here he is engaged in raising stock and grain farming on a very profitable scale. He is, withal, well thought of in his own community, and has served two years as supervisor of the highways
MAUST, DANIEL W.
Daniel W. Maust, a prominent and successful farmer of Larchwood Township, Lyon County, is a worthy representative of the agricultural interest of this portion of the county, which he has done so much to develop. He is a native of Garrett County, Maryland, where he first inhaled the vital air, September 21, 1849. His father, John Maust, came of an old American family, and was a farmer all his active life. Born in Maryland in 1809, he died June 9, 1896.
When the subject of this sketch was six years of age he was taken by his parents into West Virginia, where they remained for three years, when the settled at Elliottville, Pennsylvania. There the young Maust attended the local schools and grew to maturity with a decided bent for practical and successful farming. In 1875 he removed to Marshall County, Illinois, where he worked out for a time as a farm helper, and then followed farming for himself until 1890. That year witnessed his removal to Lyon County, Iowa, where he purchased a farm for himself, to the cultivation of which he has since been assiduously devoted.
Mr. Maust and Miss Catherine Baker were married January 31, 1877. She was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania November 2, 1849, and has proved herself in every way a worthy associate to her honorable and upright husband.
Mr. Maust is a Republican. In his business life he has done well, and is now the owner of a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he has brought to a high state of fertility, and substantial improvement. It compares with neighboring farms very favorably as to the excellence of its buildings and fine appearance. There is a grove of attractive character, containing among other trees a number of evergreens. The farm also affords an abundance of small fruits, and taken altogether is one of the best in the county.
McCUTCHEON, JAMES W.
James W. McCutcheon, who bears a substantial reputation as a wise and judicious businessman, is engaged in real estate operations on a very extensive scale in Rock Rapids. He was born in April 1842, in Rushville, Illinois, a son of Jesse McCutcheon, who was both a farmer and an attorney. Jesse McCutcheon was born in Kentucky, and died in Canton, Illinois, at the age of fifty-two years. His widow is still living, and has her home with her son James W. She was born in Tennessee and was the mother of four children, three of them girls that have now passed on to the better world.
After his father's death Mr. McCutcheon returned to the farm with his mother and sisters, and there they lived together until all became of age, when the property was divided, and he received as his share, one hundred and sixty acres. He lived here longer than he would otherwise have done, but from a feeling of duty to his mother and sisters.
The circumstances of the family admitted little schooling for the only son, but his father had taught him so well that he was later able to easily pass the examination and enter high school. After his father's death and the panic of 1857, the family found their income so lessened that in the hands of the renter the farm could not produce them a living. So the son advised all to return to it. This they did with him as the active manager, and displaying those sound business qualities that have marked his life career. Much as he desired to do, the care of the family estate kept him from enlisting in the Civil War.
Mr. McCutcheon kept on and on, and reflected that nearly all the rich men he knew had become so by buying Illinois cheap lands at an early date. So, in 1883, he sold out in his Illinois home, and the spring of 1884 came to Lyon County, Iowa. He bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, adjoining the city limits and already partially improved, where he lived one year before he came to Rock Rapids. Here he is engaged in buying and selling farmlands; thousands of acres have been handled by him. While people are apt to point him out on the street as a retired capitalist he is as busy and active and so up-to-date a business man, that the thought of a retired life for him is out of the question for many years to come. When he first came here he little dreamed that he would deal so largely in land, but he grasped the opportunity, and has met with large success.
The first marriage of Mr. McCutcheon was in 1870, when Miss Lydia Huntley became his wife. She died less than a year after her wedding. In 1873 he was again married, Miss Belinda Cheek becoming his wife. They were married in Canton, Illinois. To this union was born five children: Frank died at the age of twelve years; Lydia is a graduate of the State University of Iowa; James, who is now in Seattle, spent two years at the University; Florence and Allen are students in the Rock Rapids schools.
Mr. McCutcheon is a Republican, but believing in free silver voted for W.J. Bryan in 1896. In 1900 he voted for McKinley. In Illinois he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln on the occasion of his second election. While located there he held various local positions, but no aspirations for political honors were ever displayed by him. He is a straight-out businessman. He was also a stockholder and a director in a bank, but in Lyon County he has confined himself to real-estate. Both husband and wife take a very active part in the affairs of the Congregational Church, to which they have liberally contributed, and where they are much esteemed and beloved for their genuine worth and Christian character.
McDOWELL, CHANCY R.
Chancy R. McDowell, who is very prominent in banking affairs at Doon, Lyon county, and is widely known as a man of judgment and sound financial principles, was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, June 9, 1876, and is a son of James McDowell, who was a native of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and a blacksmith by trade. He is still living, though advanced in years. His father, William McDowell, was born in the north of Ireland, and came to this country while still a young man. He also followed the occupation of a blacksmith. Mary (Summers) McDonand, the mother of Chancy B., was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Henry Summers, a farmer of English descent. Her mother lived to be eighty-six years old. She had nine children, all of whom lived to maturity.
There were five sons, of whom several served in the Union army.
Chancy R. McDowell was taken by his parents to Jerauld county, South Dakota, at the age of thirteen years, and there he passed his early boyhood on a farm, going to district school during the winter season, and finishing his education by a term at Mitchell, South Dakota. Learning telegraphy, he followed the work of lightning manipulation for eight years, for three years being station agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, and for three years by the Omaha road at Doon in the same capacity. Gradually his business abilities became marked, and a proposition was made him by the people who had charge of the bank at Doon. They wanted him to become their bookkeeper. This was in May, 1900, and he entered the bank. One year later he became assistant cashier. The cashier, Mr. Creglow, resigned in January, 1901, and was succeeded by Herman Hasche, who died in September, same year, and he was succeeded by our subject. The bank business is in his hands whenever the other officials are absent, which is the greater part of the time, as they all have their homes outside the village, and other enterprises on their minds. This bank was organized in 1879 as the Doon Savings Bank with Oscar P. Miller and J.K.P. Thompson as president and vice-president, respectively. They were both residents of Rock Rapids. The capital stock was then $10,000, and Charles Creglow was cashier. The capital stock was increased May 5, 1903, to $25,000, and it was converted into a national bank with the present officers, excepting that six years ago J.K.P. Thompson retired, and E. Huntington was elected in his place as vice-president, a position he still holds. H.D. Kenyon is assistant cashier.
Chancy R. McDowell was married September 12, 1899, to Miss Lena, daughter of D.E. Wing. The father was born in New York, and died in April, 1901, at the age of fifty-five years. The mother of Mrs. Chancy R. McDowell, Frances Merritt, was also reared on a farm in New York, and both families antedate the Revolutionary war in this country. One child was born to this union, Mary Frances.
Mr. McDowell belongs to Lodge No. 521, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the village of Doon, and attends the Congregational church. He is a Republican, and has been town clerk since 1902, as well as being secretary of the school board for three years. A portrait of him is presented on another page.
McENANEY, JAMES B. M.D.
James B. McEnaney, M.D., who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, November 15, 1860, is a son of Joseph McEnaney, and comes of an old Scotch-Irish family. The Doctor is a recent acquisition to Lyon county, having settled in Larchwood in 1899, where he practices medicine.
Dr. McEnaney was brought by his parents to Fayette county, Iowa, when he was but seven years of age. There he attained a very good education before he was sent away to secure his medical training. In 1890 he settled at Ashton, Iowa, where he was engaged very successfully in professional work for nine years. At the end of this period he came into Lyon county, opening at that time an office for medical practice in Larchwood. In this he has been very successful, and has a large patronage from a wide circle around Larchwood.
Dr. McEnaney was married in the month of June, 1878, to Miss May Huff, a native of Chicago, where she was born in 1864. Their happy union has been blessed by the birth of a family of five children, as follows: Fred, Grace, Tine, William, and Florence, who was born in Osceola county, Iowa. All the others were born in Fayette county.
The Doctor is Republican in political affairs, and seeks to promote the best interests of the community through the wise exercise of the electoral franchise. His wife owns a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which the buildings are very complete, and it is her pride to maintain this place beyond reasonable criticism.
McGILVRA, LEROY E.
Mr. McGilvra, a prominent member of the editorial fraternity of Lyon county, Iowa, was born in 1852 on a farm in Illinois, where he secured his education in the neighboring schools graduating from the high school and teaching for a number of years. He became interested in the land business, and for many years he gave his attention entirely to it. He purchased the Larchwood Leader, January 1, 1902, of which he is now the sole proprietor. His paper is a weekly publication, and circulates about six hundred copies. It has been printed in Larchwood about fifteen years, and is an independent publication, devoted more especially to the interests of Larchwood and vicinity.
The wife of Mr. McGilvra is the daughter of John Shannon and her family are closely connected with the early history of the state. She is the mother of eight children, of whom Cora L. and Almina F. are teachers; Laura E. is a bookkeeper; and Edith M., Leroy E., Robert H., Jennie M. and Manilla are younger children and at home. As the McGilvra name indicates, the family is of Scotch origin, though the family has been resident in the United States for many generations.
Marcus McGuire is one of the younger farmers of the township of Liberal, Lyon county, and has already won his standing as a reliable and successful farmer, whose management and methods are thoroughly modern.
Mr. McGuire was born on a farm in Iowa, a son of Mark McGuire, a tiller of the soil, and an old settler in Lyon county. There young Marcus was reared to manhood, and given such educational advantages as the schools of the township could furnish. He was trained to a farm life, and by practical experience was able to handle farm affairs well and successfully the moment they fell into his hands.
In 1901 occurred the marriage of Marcus McGuire and Miss Nora Cotter. Her father, Roger Cotter, was born in Ireland, and came to this country about 1831. Here he was married, and in 1882 made a location on a farm in section 6, of the northwest part of Liberal township. This place was partially improved. He died in 1900, leaving five children: Mary, Maggie, Patrick, Katie, Nora and James, who was adopted. The farm on which he left his family he had greatly improved with fine buildings, a thrifty grove, and everything that would make it a desirable country home, which was possible for him to accomplish in the time intervening between his entering upon possession and his untimely death.
Mr. and Mrs. McGuire have been blessed with the birth of one child, Mary Catherine, whose birthplace is the old family farm home.
Since the death of Mr. Cotter, Mr. McGuire has managed the Cotter farm, and he has made a decided success of his undertaking. Within the last four years he has made considerable improvement, pushed everything to its best results, and shows that he is a natural as well as a trained agriculturist.
McKINLAY, JAMES A.
James A. McKinlay, whose pleasant farm home is on section 31, Midland Township, Lyon County, is known as the oldest settler of that township. He was born September 15, 1848, and was the third member of a family of nine children born to Henry and Barbara (Clark) McKinlay, both of whom are now dead. They were both natives of Fifeshire, Scotland, where also our subject opened his eyes to the light of day. In March, 1849, the family arrived in America, and in the following February settled upon a tract of land pre-empted by the father in Clayton County, Iowa, near the little town of Millville. Here the young McKinlay was reared to the rough life of a pioneer boy, and when he had grown old enough, farmed in Fayette County for five years. In the fall of 1883 he came to Lyon County, and bought the quarter section on which he paid about twelve dollars an acre. On March 23, 1884, his family arrived in the county, and made their settlement in what has proved a happy and prosperous home. A team of horses and a few household effects were all he brought to the home, and he threw himself into the work of making a profitable farm out of the wild prairie with characteristic energy. The affairs of the township afforded him much pleasure, and he occasionally dipped into county politics with satisfaction.
Mr. McKinlay is now a prohibitionist, though formerly he affiliated with the Republican Party. In religion he is associated with the Christian church, and his life in no way belies his profession. In 1876 occurred his marriage to Miss Mary Jeffries, daughter of Elias C. and Rebecca (Lynn) Jeffries. The father lives in Rock Rapids, but the mother died in 1859. To this union were born: Milo C., a graduate of the Rock Rapids high school; Verena J., a music teacher, from Drake University, Des Moines; Hugh E., deceased; Gertrude J.; and Philip W.
In 1885 it was only by the utmost exertion that the house was saved from a great prairie fire that swept up at the rate of a third of a mile a minute.
MCMULLEN, MERRIT C.
Mr. McMullen, who takes a leading part as an agriculturist in the affairs of Logan township, Lyon county, where his farm of many broad acres shows him to be both industrious and persistent, was born on a farm in Orange county, New York, in 1858, which his father, Calvin McMullen, had long been engaged in cultivating. The father came of a Scotch ancestry, but his wife, the mother of Merrit C., came of an ancestry long in this country.
Merritt C. McMullen
Merrit C. McMullen was the fifth member of a family of seven children, and was reared on the paternal estate in New York, where he was bred to hard work, and endowed with a constitution like iron. He remained at home with his parents until he passed the age of twenty years, when he struck out for himself, and in 1878 settled in Franklin county, Iowa, where he worked by the month in farm labor for five and a half years. In the spring of 1884 he made his first appearance in Rock Valley, Sioux county, where he began farming for himself, having bought a quarter section of land two and a half miles southeast of Rock Valley. There he lived for some two years in a structure which he used for a residence as well as a stable. It was only 12 by 20 feet in size, but it sufficed for a time to cover his scanty resources. For several seasons he did much breaking of the prairie for neighbors, and in the meantime gradually brought his own place into condition until in 1888 he sold it, and bought a farm consisting of a half section of land north of Larchwood, on which he moved the following year, making it his home for the ensuing two years before he again sold out. This time he purchased land close to Larchwood, and also part of his present farm in Section 8, Logan township.
Mr. McMullen and Miss Luch Moir were married in 1892. She was born in Canada, but her parents were both natives of Scotland. They were farmer people, and old pioneer settlers in Sioux county, Iowa. To this union were born four children: Jessie, Alley E., George Dewey and Ivy May. For about a year Mr. McMullen lived on his farm adjoining Larchwood, when he plotted his land, and made it "McMullen's Addition to the village of Larchwood." Within a year it was all sold and he removed to his present home in Logan township in August, 1903. Here he had no buildings of any kind, and the farm was but partly broken, but with characteristic energy he rushed the construction of a handsome and very complete set of farm buildings, consisting principally of a house, 16 by 24, 14 by 16, and 10 by 24; a barn 32 feet square; a double corn crib, 24 by 36; a granary, cattle shed, and hog house, and other structures. With two wells and two windmills, he has a complete system of water works covering the yards. There is a grove of trees, as well as a young orchard, devoted to the fruits which the climate favors. He is engaged mostly in stock raising and cattle feeding. Our subject is also the proprietor of two other farms in Logan township, both of which are in fine cultivation, with buildings on one better than on his home place. Near Rock Rapids he owns a quarter section of land, and is altogether the proprietor of two sections of land, 1280 acres in all. This is largely rented, and with his share of the grain, he feeds stock heavily, having on hand now about three hundred head of cattle, and in partnership with W.E. Brown, has one hundred and forty head on his farm which lines south of the home place.
Mr. McMullen well deserves deliberate attention as when he came to Iowa he had not a penny and has accumulated what he owns by digging it from the soil with hard work and much planning and care.
Mr. McMullen was elected county supervisor in 1898, reelected in 1901, and again in 1903, the last time receiving the nomination without opposition, a notable tribute to his public spirit and marked ability.
Harm Meester is a wealthy and highly respected farmer, whose home is on section 9, Midland township, and whose extensive estate, comprising as it does over six hundred acres, puts him among the number of those who have not only made their living but have grown rich out of Lyon county land.
Harm Meester was born in East Friesland, Germany, January 2, 1844, and was the third of six children born to John and Susie (Rosenboom) Meester. In 1863 he came to America with his mother and three other children. The two older brothers had preceded them by a year, and a home was made in Ogle county, IL, where he at first was a farm helper, and then operated a rested farm for himself. In 1869 Harm Meester came to Grundy county, IA, where he bought eighty acres of land, the first real estate he had ever owned. Here he farmed some twenty-seven years, his labors being attended with much success. In 1892, feeling that he was working on land too high priced for profitable returns and desiring cheaper lands, Mr. Meester came to Lyon County, where with the money he had earned in the twenty-seven years of hard work on the Grundy county place, he bought a four hundred-acre tract of land; and was so impressed with the country that he sold out his Grundy county place, and moved his family to the Lyon county farm. Since that time he has made additional real estate investments and is greatly pleased with the changes he has made. His land is well improved, and the buildings he has erected since his coming would do credit to any community. Much of his land is rented, and only two hundred and forty acres is reserved for his own farming. Mr. Meester is a Republican, and belongs to the Presbyterian church. At the present time he is a member of the town board, on which he has served for two years. In 1869 occurred his marriage to Miss Gracie Kruse, who died in 1891, leaving five children: Johannes, a resident of Grundy county; Ike, a resident of Minnesota; John, now living in Lyon county; Mattie, who is Mrs. Dick Meyer, a resident of Grundy county and Daniel, who is at home. Mr. Meester contracted a second marriage in 1894, when Mrs. Henry Pruss became his wife. She had two children by a former marriage, Eilert and Mary Pruss. Her maiden name was Gepke Meyer.
When Harm Meester arrived in this country he was seventy-five dollars in debt, and today he stands as an example of the success a foreign-born citizen may achieve in this land if he will be work with all his might and wait for time to show results.
D.E.F. Merrill, who has made a good name for himself and won a competency by hard work and persistent economy in Lyon County, was born in Clayton County, Iowa, September 8, 1852. In 1855 his parents removed to Waterloo, where a year and a half later his father began farming. It was on the farm that the subject of this article spent the next few years of his life, assisting his father and attending the district school. When he was fourteen years of age he ceased his attendance at school, and devoted his entire time to his father's farm until after his marriage, which occurred April 16, 1874. Miss Mary C. Wood becoming his wife. She was a daughter of Enoch and Mildred (Bailey) Wood. For the ensuing five years Mr. Merrill was engaged in farming for himself near Waterloo. In 1879 he removed to a location in Sioux County, near the present site of the village of Ireton. This was prior to the railroad and there was no town at the time. Here Mr. Merrill engaged in farming, but In October 1881, sold out and sought a home in Lyon County. He had already bought the west half of the southwest quarter of section 36, township 100, range 46, and on this place he settled, and is found at the present time. In political matters he is a Democrat, and has been trustee of the school board for eight years. He is a man who commands the respect of all who know him, not only for his industrious habits, but also for his upright life and kindly spirit.
Roswell Merrill, the father of D.E.F., was born in Massachusetts, and came of an English ancestry. He died n Waterloo.
His wife, Harriet Burnham, the mother of D.E.F., was born in Vermont, and died near Waterloo, Iowa in September 1901. She was of Scotch descent.
Mr. and Mrs. D.E.F. Merrill are the parents of the following family: Earl A., a school teacher for about ten years in Lyon County, was married October 29, 1901, to Edyth Waite, and the two are settled on a farm; he graduated from the Rock Rapids high schools; Earnest W., a graduate of the Rock Rapids high schools, and a school teacher of more than local reputation, is now at home; Guy B.; Raleigh; Alice L.; Nellie, who was born July 25, 1880, died January 25, 1881.
C.J. Miller, a leading lawyer of Rock Rapids, where he commands the respect of the community not only for his forensic ability, but for his thorough mastery of the fundamental principles of his profession, and his analytical skill in getting the very bottom facts of a case before the judge and jury, was born December 24, 1871. After attending the high school in his native town, he continued his studies at Cornell College, Mr. Vernon, Iowa. He was in attendance there three years, and was a graduate from the collegiate Department of the Northwestern University, the famous school at Evanston, Illinois, in the class of 1894, and the Law Department of the State University of Iowa, class of 1896. After graduating he opened his professional career by locating in Rock Rapids and entering into partnership with E.A. Wagner.
During the Spanish American War Mr. Miller served as a member of the Fifty-second Regiment, Iowa Volunteers. The most of the time the regiment was in camp at Chattanooga under orders to wait for call to the front. The war was closed too soon for them to go into active service, and in the fall they returned to Iowa, to be discharged. The regiment suffered greatly by sickness while in camp.
After returning again to peaceful life Mr. Miller resumed the practice of his profession in his native city, in which he is winning fame and fortune.
Mr. Miller belongs to the blue lodge chapter and commandery of the Masonic fraternity. In his college days he was associated with the Phi Delta Phi and the Phi Kappa-Psi.
MILLER, OSCAR P.
Oscar P. Miller, the president of the Lyon County National Bank, and widely recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of Rock Rapids, was born in Chautauqua county, New York, May 15, 1850, son of Phineas J. and Sylvia (Winship) Miller, both natives of Chautauqua county.
Levi C. Miller, the grandfather of the Rock Rapids banker, came from Oneida county, New York, to Chautauqua county at an early day, where he followed farming, and where he died. Phineas J. Miller was a miller by trade, and in 1853 removed to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where he still pursued his trade, but five years later sold out, and settled in Fayette county, Iowa, where he became a farmer. In 1884 he came to Rock Rapids, to make his home with his son, Oscar P., and here he died at the advanced age of eighty-eight years, December 30, 1903. The Miller family originally came from Scotland and England, and the ancestors of Mr. Miller have been in this country for three hundred years. An uncle of Oscar P. Miller was a graduate of West Point, and rose to the rank of major in the regular army. He made a good record under General Wolfe. He last fought with the Sioux Indians, and was taken ill with a fatal fever. Phineas J. Miller enlisted in the Union army August 18, 1862, as a nurse in Company H, Thirty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the war.
The brothers and sisters of Oscar P. Miller were as follows: Julius C., of Rock Rapids; Mary I., wife of George G. Armstead, manager of Thorp Brothers' general store, at Manchester, Iowa.
The subject of this sketch received a very liberal education for the day of log school houses and frontier teachers, including a term and a half at a private institution of learning. When he reached the age of sixteen years he was pronounced competent to teach school himself, and for eleven terms he led a successful pedagogical career. In the winter of 1870 he purchased a small drug store in Auburn, Fayette county, and established himself in that business. In 1872 Mr. Miller and D.W. Redfield entered into partnership relations as Miller & Redfield, to carry on a drug and musical instrument business at Elgin, Iowa. After two years Mr. Redfield retired in favor of J.A. Hoagland, the new partnership continuing for three years. The two partners during this time organized the Exchange Bank of Elgin, with a capital of $4,000, dividing space in the same building with their store and post office, Mr. Miller being postmaster at that time. The banking business so increased that within a year it was reorganized as the Citizens' Savings Bank with a capital of $25,000.
Mr. Miller retired from the drug business in 1877, and gave his attention to the work of the bank, of which he was cashier. In June, 1879, he formed a partnership with J.K.P. Thompson, who at that time was the senior member of the firm of J.K.P. Thompson & Co., then the proprietors of the Lyon County Bank at Rock Rapids, Iowa. The new firm was known as Miller & Thompson. This firm purchased the assets of J.K.P. Thompson & Co. and continued business under the corporate name of Lyon County Bank, associating with them Senator Wm. Larrabee, Col. R.A. Richardson, and L. Sutter of Fayette county, Iowa, as special partners.
The business continued under the firm name of Miller & Thompson until January, 1903, when Mr. Thompson died and by order of the court, the business was continued for one year, or until January 11, 1904, when the bank was reorganized as a national bank with a capital of $75,000, Mr. Miller being elected president. Messrs. Richardson and Sutter retired as special partners in December, 1883, and Senator Larrabee continued as special partner until December, 1892.
The same parties in company with Wm. Jacobson and R.B. Hinkley and other local stockholders, organized the Rock County Bank at Luverne, Minnesota, with a paid up capital of $25,000.
In 1883, in company with Senator Larrabee, T.A. Black and other local stockholders, the Pipestone County Bank of Pipestone, Minnesota, was organized with a capital of $25,000, of which he has been director and vice president since its organization.
In 1884, in company with Senator Larrabee, T.A. Black, C.E. Dinehart and F.D. and Chas. Weck, he took part in the organization of the State Bank of Slayton, with a capital of $30,000, of which he has always been a director, and since 1901, vice-president.
In 1889, in company with Mr. Chas. Creglow, M.A. Cox, M.D. Hathaway, E.G. Bowman, E. Huntington and F.M. Thompson, he organized the Doon Savings Bank, with a capital of $10,000. In 1903 this institution was reorganized as a national bank, with a capital of $25,000, and a surplus of $3,000. From its organization, Mr. Miller has been its president.
In July, 1901, Mr. Miller associated with F.B. Parker, J.K.P. Thompson, M.A. Cox, Chas. Creglow and E. Huntington, purchased a controlling interest in the Citizens State Bank of Sioux Center, having a capital of $25,000. In August, 1904, this institution was converted into The First National Bank of Sioux Center, having the same capital, with Mr. Miller as president, Chas. Creglow, vice president and Neil Mouw, cashier. Mr. Miller is also a stockholder in the Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Blue Earth, Minnesota.
Mr. Miller was married December 25, 1870, to Miss Ellen M. Fowler of Fayette county, Iowa. She was born in Wisconsin, a daughter of Addison and Mary Putnam Fowler. Being a direct descendant of the Putnam family of Revolutionary fame. Her father was a native of Vermont, and settled in Wisconsin, removing to Iowa in 1868. He was born in Halifax, Vermont, January 4, 1809, and married March 14, 1838, Mary S. Putnam, who was born July 28, 1819. They had a family of eight children, the first three of whom were born in Vermont, the others in Wisconsin: Addison Putnam; Charles King; Maria Nancy; Eugene Clarence; Ellen Mary; Henry Clarence; Alber Willie; and Francis Leslie.
Elias Fowler, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Miller, was born February 6, 1776, and in 1797 he married Jerusha Summer, who was born October 21, 1779. They lived in Halifax, Vermont, where they reared a large family of children, whose names were as follows: Daniel; Daniel (2); Clarisa; Elias; John; Addison; Prentis; Charles; Harriet; Juliet; Olive; Thomas, and a babe unnamed.
To Mr. and Mrs. O.P. Miller have come the following children: Clarence J., a graduate of the University of Iowa, and the Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois, now an attorney at Rock Rapids; Mabel, who died in 1882; Arthur G., a graduate of Cornel in 1903, and now a bookkeeper in the Lyon County National Bank; Oscar P., Jr., now a student in the Rock Rapids high school.
The family are connected with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which Mr. Miller has long taken an honored part, having united with it at Elgin in 1875. In 1896 he was elected to the general conference at Cleveland, where he was placed on the book committee, a position he held for four years. He was a delegate to the general conference, held in Chicago in May, 1900, serving as a member on the committee on arrangements. There he occupied the position of treasurer during the illness of that official. He was also a member of the general conference of 1904, held at Los Angeles, where he was elected treasurer, and disbursed more than $130,000. He was again chosen a member of the book committee for eight years, and if he completes his term of office, he will have served on the one committee sixteen years.
For twelve years Mr. Miller has been a trustee of Cornell College, and for four years has been vice president of the board. At home he has served as a member of the official board and as treasurer for many years. For over twenty-seven years he has served as superintendent of Sunday schools. Has served the First Methodist Episcopal Sunday school at Rock Rapids as superintendent since its organization twenty-two years ago.
Mr. Miller has led an active and useful life through these many years that we have hastily followed his career, and is the only man now in business in Rock Rapids that was here in 1880. He votes the Republican ticket, but has no desire for political honors.
George Monlux, the president of the Lyon County Pioneer Association and for many years widely known as one of the foremost citizens and business men of Rock Rapids, has made that city his home since 1888. For many years previous to that time he had been closely associated with the growth and development of Lyon county, and there are few men living today who have done as much for the upbuilding of the county. Upright and honorable in all his dealings, he has manifested on all occasions a high integrity and a strict adherence to principle. We take pleasure in presenting a portrait of Mr. Monlux on another page of this work. (p. 251)
Mr. Monlux was born in Delaware, Ohio, May 25, 1843, a son of Ezra and Susanna (Wagner) Monlux. His father was born in Virginia, August 24, 1808, and his mother in Pennsylvania, August 16, 1810. The father followed farming all his life, and when a young man removed to Zanesville, Ohio, where he found employment for some time on the national turnpike road. About 1831 he made his home near Delaware, in that state, where he remained until 1856, when he removed with his family to Clayton, Iowa, where he died November 5, 1892, his wife having passed to her rest in that county in 1879. Of the brothers and sister of the subject of this sketch brief mention may be made: Margaret is the widow of Simon Early; William, who was born in 1833, and died in 1903, was a veteran of the Civil War, and his death resulted from an unhealed wound received in that struggle; John, a veteran of the same great war, is now living at Santa Monica, California; Charles is a resident of Pullman, Washington; Ezra served a year in the Union Army during the great Rebellion, he was born in 1849; Eliza is still living and has her home on the old farm in Clayton county.
John Wagner, the maternal grandfather of George Monlux, came to Ohio in 1830. Fifteen years later he removed to Illinois, and still later became one of the first settlers of Clayton county, Iowa. When he died in 1888 he was nearly ninety years of age, and had removed to Nebraska.
George Monlux secured his education principally from the public schools, though it was supplemented by a few terms at Western College, then a rising Iowa institution. In 1863 he left college for the purpose of enlisting in the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, Company I. His military record covered a period of twenty-five months, and was a story of a thoroughly honorable and gallant career. He was in the campaign around Atlanta, fought at Franklin and Nashville, and took part in the celebrated Wilson raid. He was never wounded, and entered the army as a private, had risen to the rank of second lieutenant at the time of the mustering out of the regiment.
After returning from the war, Mr. Monlux took charge of the old Clayton county farm, which he cultivated for four years. In November, 1870, he made his first appearance in Lyon county, remaining for about a month. He was married here January 10, 1871, and the following spring returned to the county, driving in with ox teams and making his home in section 10, Grant township, Lyon county, where he was engaged in farming for a time. In 1882 he was offered a position as traveling salesman, which he accepted and held for some years. In 1888 he made his home in Rock Rapids, where he is now living retired.
Mrs. George Monlux, whose marriage is noted above, was Phila Newcome, and was a native of Clayton County. Of the children born to this union; Ezra is an engineer of Rock Rapids, Myrtle is married; George is a farmer in Rock township; William is in the cement business in Rock Rapids; Ray is associated with his brother George in farming; and Benjamin is at home.
George Monlux was justice of the peace for some years in Grant township, where he also long officiated as secretary of the school board. In the Grand Army of the Republic in which he holds a prominent place, he has filled all the offices of Dunlap Post, No. 147, has been aide-de-camp on the national commander's staff, and at present is on the department staff of Iowa.
Mr. Monlux belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of Border Lodge, No. 406, of Rock Rapids. He is president of the Pioneer Association of Lyon county, and is very enthusiastic in the work of preserving the records and traditions of the early days in this part of the northwest. As a good business man, a hard-working farmer, and an upright and patriotic citizen he will long be remembered among the leading citizens of Rock Rapids and the great northwestern part of Iowa.
MOON, HENRY PEILE
Henry Peile Moon, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, October 10, 1861, belongs to the Moon family long established in Rock Rapids, and is a brother of Robert B. Moon, who has attained a high standing as a business man and a progressive citizen in Lyon county.
The parents of Henry Peile Moon were Charles H. and Ellen (Peile) Moon. His mother was a sister of R.M. Peile, whose sketch appears elsewhere, and belonged to the celebrated Irish branch of the Peile family. As the first school teacher in this section she was esteemed and loved by the families of the pioneers, and when she died in 1895 at about the age of sixty-nine years, it was felt that the community had lost one of its noblest characters. Our subject's father was a native of Vermont, but came to Lee county, Illinois, in an early day; remained there a number of years, and in 1864 settled in Webster county, Iowa. Five years later he took up the homestead where R.B. Moon now resides. He bought land, and platted Moon's Addition to Rock Rapids, a section of the city where R.B. Moon now has his home.
Henry Peile Moon was married May 22, 1884, to Miss M. Delle Van Patten of Stewart, Lee county, Illinois. She died August 8, 1903. She was a daughter of Herman and Hannah (Nattleton) Van Patten, natives of New York and Illinois. Her father was always a farmer and lives in Illinois. His wife died there. To this union have come five children, three of whom are dead, and two are living: Clarence E. and Hazel.
Mr. Moon was long engaged in the business of farming and stock raising, but has now retired from active work, save that he yet deals in stock.
Reared on the farm, he was educated in the local Rock Rapids schools, and is a good example of what the frontier could do in the making of a strong and forceful character.
In politics he is a Republican, and cast his first vote for James A. Garfield. In fraternity matters he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, and his family are warmly attached to the Methodist Episcopal church. No more popular character in the city may be found than the gentleman whose name introduces this article. The family is of the highest social standing, and are noted for their honesty, integrity and warm-hearted-ness.
MOON, ROBERT B.
Robert B. Moon, a noted horseman of Rock Rapids, was born in Hamilton County, Iowa, September 17, 1865, and is a son of Charles H. and Ellen (Peile) Moon. His mother was a sister of R.M. Peile, whose sketch appears on another page. Her birthplace was in Ireland, and she died in Rock Rapids about 1895, at the age of sixty-nine. She was one of the very first teachers in Lyon County, and is remembered as a lady of character and attainments. Charles H. Moon was born in Vermont, and came to Iowa in 1864; five years later settling on a homestead farm in Lyon County, where Robert B. now resides. As a far seeing businessman he went extensively into land, and Moon's addition to Rock Rapids is in the northern part of the city.
As the first mayor of Rock Rapids and the first postmaster of the city he was naturally one of the prominent men of the early times, and had much to do with the making of local history. He died in California when fifty-nine years old.
Robert B. Moon was reared on the homeplace and received his education in the Rock Rapids schools. Practically he has spent his entire life with his parents, and is now living on the old homestead in a fine and modern house. From its site they could often see at an early day large bands of Indians, sometimes as many as five hundred at once, camped out on the prairies. He remembers seeing Indians kill an elk on the ground where now stands the home of Mr. Bradley.
Mr. Moon was married in 1890 to Miss Rose, a daughter of A.T. and Mary (Tillotson) Howard, and a native of Lyon County. Her parents are still living in South Dakota. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Moon are four lovely little girls: Ellen A., Eva R., Leona M. and Marguirete. Mrs. Moon received her education in the Rock Rapids schools, and is a lady of culture and refinement, popular in society, and is noted as a devoted wife and mother. Three of the little girls are now attending the school from which the subject graduated.
Mr. Moon erected a fine building, which was intended for a home, before he built the one he now occupies. His business is principally that of stock dealing and raising, and his leading specialty is breeding roadsters and trotters. Always active like his father, for five years he was Marshal of Rock Rapids, and did much in the early days to impress an orderly and law abiding character upon the young and growing town. Always Republican, he cast his first vote for General Harrison, and has since trained with the party. Our subject is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Yeomen.
Mr. and Mrs. Moon, and their parents as well, were always glad to contribute to church building, and have had a hand in the construction of about every church in Rock Rapids. He is personally of a striking physique, and is a fine example of genuine worth and manhood.
MUELLER, J. PETE
J. Pete Mueller, a well-known and much respected farmer in the township of Doon, Lyon county, where he was long engaged in contracting and building, was born on a farm in DuPage county, Illinois, in 1861. His father, Jacob Mueller, was born in Germany, and came to Illinois in 1852. There he engaged in farming, and has been dead these many years.
J. Pete Mueller remained on the home farm until he was of age, when he struck out into the wide world for himself, his first move being to locate in LeMars, Iowa, where he spent a year or more. It was not until the spring of 1886 that he entered Lyon county, for the purpose of helping his brother, George, open a farm, and also to do carpenter work. In this last line he entirely engaged for some eight years, and it is said that he has worked on more than half the buildings in the town of Doon, as well as on every building in his own neighborhood. As a carpenter he has been employed in every part of Lyon county, and very largely in northern Sioux county.
In 1894 Mr. Mueller came to the farm where he is to be found at the present time, and here he has farmed for the last ten years. This farm was owned by his brother, and comprises one hundred and sixty acres, with all but thirty acres under active cultivation. Six acres are devoted to a promising grove, which has sprung from the planting of the seed. The entire place presents a good appearance, and shows the ability of Mr. Mueller as a high-grade agriculturist.
The subject of this writing is a Democrat, and has served twelve years as a member of the town board. Every responsibility resting on him as a man and a citizen has been faithfully met, and he has a host of friends who wish him well.
MULHALL, JAMES P.
James P. Mulhall, though a young man, is an old-time resident of Lyon County, and is a familiar presence on the streets of Rock Rapids, where his industrious habits, upright character and kindly disposition have made for him many friends who wish him well and anticipate a successful career.
Mr. Mulhall was born in Illinois in 1866, and both himself and his father are old pioneer settlers in Lyon County. His father was a very hard working man, and was very successful in his farming, as well as in his business operations. He saved his money, and wisely invested, so that at one time he was regarded as one of the wealthier farmers of the county. He had a large family, and all his sons were reared to appreciate the fact that all honest money getting comes from thrift, industry and strict honesty. They are following in his footsteps, and his children maintain his name above a stain.
James P. Mulhall is devoted to an agricultural life, and with his brothers, take rank among the successful farmers of the county. He was married in 1895, and has four children born to him, Ligouire, Frances, Aileen and Alice. Politically he is a Democrat, and in religion belongs to the Catholic Church.
Elmer Mullinex, whose name is well known to all familiar with the musical personnel of Rock Rapids, was born in Clayton county, Iowa, August 13, 1848, and received at the hands of his parents a common school education. When he was quite young he manifested a decided turn for music, and to play on the violin. He became adept at repairing old instruments. When he was fifteen years old he enlisted in the Union Army. This was in 1864, and his command Company E, Ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He joined the regiment at Davenport, but was soon sent to Nashville, where he actively engaged in a fierce and bloody campaign until his command was called in to become a part of the magnificent army with which General Sherman broke the back of the Rebellion and swept onward to the sea. Mr. Mullinex was detailed as a forager, and many a thrilling story has he to tell of those times and circumstances. He did not escape the fighting line, and there he showed what stiff he was made of. At Columbus, where the rebels made a stand across the river, the Union troops had to build a pontoon bridge and Mr. Blair was detailed with others to cross the water and draw the enemy's attention while the bridge was quietly put in order. This was a perilous enterprise, but it was successfully carried out. Mr. Mullinex will never forget his sensations as the boats were pulled across the river in the darkness, and his delight when his fellow troopers poured across the pontoon in the early morning.
Our subject was a musician of the regimental band, and continuing with General Sherman to the sea accompanied him to Washington, and participated in the Grand Review. The regiment was mustered out of service at Louisville July 18, 1865, and Mr. Mullinex returned home to his father where he spent the ensuing two years. After this he again took up the calling of a musician, and devoting himself to the making and repairing of the violin soon acquired such a reputation in that line that many of the violins he made sold as high as $150. His violins never sell for less that $100. They are heartily recommended by the masters of that instrument the wo rld over, and he has testimonials as to their value, tone and expression that to him are priceless.
Mr. Mullinex was married March 1, 1871, to Miss L. Adelia, daughter of Peter G. and Lucinda (Attlebury) Klock, and the granddaughter of Colonel Klock, who commanded a regiment in th e Revolutionary Army. The Klocks are a family noted for their readiness in every generation to shoulder arms and hasten to the battle field to defend their country. To this union have come five children, four of whom are now living: Ernie, Chase Elmer, Orlow Divillo (born July 2, 1878, died Sept 9, 1879), Maude Mae and Cassie Adelia. Maude Mae is a master of the piano, and has composed several pieces of music, which are now published. Cassie Adelia gives the violin the devotion of her musical soul, has studied with some of the best masters and is now teaching that kind of musical instruments with much success. Chase Elmer enlisted in the First Dakota regiment as principal musician of its band and went to the Philippine Islands, where he spent a year or more. He is a graduate of the Iowa State Normal School. Mr. Mullinex is a Republican, and once served as sheriff of O'Brien county. He has served on the Soldiers' Relief Commission, belongs to the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, No. 147, and is a member of the Unitarian church of Rock Rapids. He is a descendant of a French ancestry while his wife springs from a "Mohawk Dutch" parentage. Her father was killed by the Indians during the early days of the settlement of the west. They are very bright and interesting people, hospitable to the last degree, and have many friends.
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