William Henry Pingrey

Pingrey, William Henry, is a bright young business man residing at Lester, a prosperous town in Lyon County, situated at the junction of the Sioux City & Northern and the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railways. His father, Van Buren Pingrey, a retired farmer and an extensive owner of real estate, was born in 1831. He was among the early settlers of Iowa, coming here from Ohio during the fifties, and locating in Black Hawk county, near Waterloo. He was married in 1862 to Nancy Arthur Sargent, who was born in 1835.

W.H. Pingrey is a native of Iowa, and was born October 23, 1864, in Black Hawk county, near Waterloo. At the age of four, he moved with his parents to Grundy county, where all his early years were spent. Like so many of Iowa's well known men, his education was begun in the common country school, which he attended regularly until he was fifteen, with the exception of twelve weeks in the Eldora high school; and for the next two years he worked in the summer and attended school in winter. At seventeen he attended the Normal School at Cedar Falls, and soon afterwards commenced teaching, which vocation he followed during the winter for ten years, working on the farm in the summer.

At the end of this time he had acquired a cash capital of fifteen hundred dollars, all saved from his own earnings, and had an interest in a stock of farm machinery. He attended the Waterloo Business College in 1890, and after completing a prescribed course at that institution began work in the Grundy County National Bank, at Grundy Center; and in 1891 came to Lester and engaged in banking with F.S. Tewksbury, Mr. Pingrey acting as cashier under the articles of co-partnership. The firm began with a capital of eleven thousand dollars, each partner owning equal shares. Business increased and they prospered well until 1893, when the panic struck the country.

The payment at this time of a large sum of money that had been borrowed from an eastern firm, cramped the operations of the bank, and although they were able to continue in business several years, the financial depression continued so long that they never fully recovered from this drawback, and on December 23, 1895, were compelled to close up. Since then Mr. Pingrey has been busy settling up the affairs of the bank, and within less than two years was able to take it out of the receiver's hands. He is now doing a good business in real estate, land loans, insurance and collections.

Mr. Pingrey is a republican in politics, but has not been an office seeker, having held only such offices as mayor, councilman and others of a local character. He is a member of the Masonic Order, A.F. and A.M., of the I.O.O.F. and the Modern Woodmen of America. He belongs to no church, but attends the Methodist.

He was married December 14, 1892, to Helen Mar Bascom. They have two sons: Hazen Bascom, born August 26, 1895, and Loren Kent, February 19, 1897.


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