Biographical History of Page County, Iowa, 1890
[page 433]

HON. WILLIAM BUTLER, one of Page County's foremost and truly representative leaders, is introduced to the reader in this connection.
In sketching the career of a useful and eventful life one finds no easy task. Unlike the man who has slipped noiselessly through life's warfare and distinguished alone in some one particular role, is the individual whose influence has touched every branch of trade that comes in the march of a third of a century, and of whom too much can not be said. Every man makes a record, and all should (and generally do) have credit for their full measure of superiority, influence and usefulness. If it is not recorded in print, the traits of character men admire because of their nobleness and actual worth to the world, are never lost, but are seen springing up in other lives and deeds.

All men have influence and in the degree that they are strong-minded, to such a degree are they felt and duly appreciated by their fellowman. The lives of men become meritorious and recognized as great (in their sphere) by what they have accomplished and not by any fanciful theory they may have entertained and fostered, as the idol of their heart. Many a well-schooled philosopher was captivated by the wonderful workings of what we call electricity, but none went down in history as great, until Franklin, Morse, and our more modern Edison, left theory and brought to the world practical results which today are seen and read by all men. Suffice to say that men attain to true greatness in that they do something for the benefit of themselves and also for the masses with whom they mingle; their works stand as everlasting monuments, in the shadow of which mere marble shafts dwindle into utter insignificance.
No man is better, and also more favorably known by his works, of both a private and public nature, in all Southwestern Iowa, than Hon. William Butler. Especially may Page County point with pride to him of whom this notice is written, and within the space allotted for reviewing the career of so eventful a life, the writer becomes baffled in selecting the most prominent features of his subject history, each seeming to have special bearing upon his well-rounded lifework. However, the reader may be better enabled to fathom the cause for the maturing of so successful a man, by first acquainting himself with his ancestry, birthplace and earlier years.   Mr. Butler was born [page 434] in Wayne County, Indiana, September 13, 1827. He is the third son and sixth child of a family of eight children. His parents were Samuel and Mary (Davenport) Butler. The father was a native of Georgia, born in 1793, and came with his father's family to Wayne County, Indiana, in 1806, when he was thirteen years of age. The grandfather's name was Beal Butler, who married Mary Stubbs, who was the first white woman to make a home on the west side of the Whitewater River, in Wayne County, Indiana. The Butler family, of English origin, have oscillated between the pulpit and the forum, both in England and America. Now pleading in one, then thundering from the other, but in each becoming potent factors for public good.
Our subject's father, Samuel Butler, was reared on a frontier farm in the wilds of Wayne County, Indiana, and when grown to manhood was united in marriage to Miss Mary, daughter of Jesse and Rebecca (Hoover) Davenport, whose family connections were of Quaker extraction. Her father was a native of North Carolina. The mother of our subject was born in Wayne County and died when William was but four years old, just when a boy needs the tender watch-care of a kind, loving mother.
In the spring of 1843, his father removed to Whitley County, Indiana, then the home of the numerous Indian tribes, and all one vast wilderness. Here he again became a pioneer and began the no easy task of developing a farm, which, in that State, and at that day, signified great hardship and much work. Perhaps no part of the Union was settled under greater difficulties than the " Hoosier " State. Amid the frontier scenes, surrounded with naught but the wilds of an undeveloped country, were the first and perhaps most valuable lessons of Mr. Butler's life, taught by the great teacher, experience.   With him, as with so many men who have made life a success, it would seem that the labor performed and hardships endured in a new country, all tended to make strong his character.
Indeed but few men of note have been reared from infancy, midst the surroundings of cultivation and luxury. It requires the tempest to strengthen even the hardy oak.
When Mr. Butler was sixteen years of age he set forth in life's race to achieve something for himself. He possessed no means, save the strong body and active mind bestowed upon him by his parentage. He went to Wayne County and followed teaming for three years. The first winter, however, he was engaged as weighmaster in a packing house. After the third year he, in company with his brother, rented a farm which they cultivated for two years. He was married, February 2,1851, to Miss Margaret McCowen, a native of Pennsylvania, the daughter of William McCowen. Soon after his marriage Mr. Butler removed to Whitley County, Indiana, where he rented land and farmed until the winter of 1855, when, by horseteam, he moved to Henry County, Iowa. He stood on the bank of the Mississippi River and looked upon the first locomotive that crossed the river, over into Iowa, at Burlington, now so famous as a railway center. He occupied a rented farm, near New London, Iowa, for one year, and April, 1856, removed to Page County, with which he has since been closely identified and instrumental in making it, in many respects, one of Iowa's banner counties. He at once saw value in the virgin soil, of what was then a new county and pre-empted the northeast quarter of section 30, in what is now known as Harlem Township. He improved this tract of land and remained there until the spring of 1865, when he extended his landed estate by the purchase of 305 acres on which now stands the State Hospital for the Insane. From the [page 435] autumn of 1861 until after the Rebellion he was more or less engaged in buying and selling livestock.   In 1871 he became an extensive dealer in grain, and erected the first grain elevator in Clarinda.   The firm of which he was a member was Butler Brothers, which partnership existed from 1876 to 1882. During the years 1879-'80 they shipped 1,700 carloads of stock. Our subject was a member of a syndicate which handled over two million bushels of grain.   Like nearly all of our successful business men, who have secured large fortunes, Mr. Butler has ventured much and finally made for himself and family a handsome competency; and to his credit be it said he uses it with a liberal hand, the means he has secured by honest toil and business sagacity for the comfort of his family, and has never yet been the man to refuse to contribute lavishly to every praiseworthy object, whether public or private in its demand. In this he has became a true benefactor to Clarinda and Page County in general.
Mr. Butler is an honored member of the various divisions of the Masonic fraternity, and is now up to the thirty-second degree of that order, having been a member of the blue lodge for many years, and one of the charter members of both chapter and commandery. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellow fraternities.
While the years have, one by one, been slipping by, and silvery streaks been making their appearance in his once dark locks, his property hae been steadily increasing. Yet it should not be understood that this man of business, during all those years ignored politics and the general public good in the " Kingdom of Page;" for even the early records of the county, as well as every politcal campaign document, have unmistakable evidence as to his activity in this direction. He is of that practical temperament which prefers to " wear out rather than rust out," as was said of statesman Zach Chandler in Congress.
In his political belief he is thoroughly Republican, aggressive and ever to be counted on as reliable and a stanch supporter of our National and State constitutions. He has the goodwill of all parties, by reason of his honorable fairminded course in the rightful vindication of what to him seems the proper course. Again, by reference to the many public measures he has espoused, as champion and leader, it will be found that in each case (proven by final outcome) he has worked for the good of his county and State.
Being vigorous and progressive, at times he has seemed to be too far in advance, but finally, the same men who thought thus have admitted to him that they themselves should have been standing on the same plane he stood upon at the time.
In the Fremont campaign of 1856, he wrote ballots half the day, and, by good work in the afternoon of the election, assisted in coming within three votes of carrying his county Republican.
Practically speaking, Mr. Butler's political and public career dates from January 7,1861, at which time the first board of county supervisors assembled, the old county judge system being abandoned art that time, and one supervisor elected from each civil township. Mr. Butler was the first representative from Harlin township.
In 1862-'63-'64,we find him still an honored member of the board, which had many responsibilities during the period of the civil war.
In 1869, we find him again a member of the board from Nodaway Township, and using every effort to obtain a railway.
In 1869 he was elected the Representative of his district in the Iowa Legislature, that being for the XIIIth General Assembly. [page 436]

The next campaign he was re-elected as member of the House to the XIVth General Assembly and was made chairman of the appropriation committee, and was one of the prime movers in starting the present State house at Des Moines, second only to one, in point of grandeur, of all in the United States. When the question arose whether wine and beer should be classed among intoxicants, he voted "yes," and had more members voted likewise much of the long train of legislative litigation which came about through the passage of the prohibitory amendment, might have been averted.
When the "prohibition amendment" vote was taken in the Legislature he was one of the fifty-two members who voted for the law. The greatest good to the greatest number, has ever been his theory. During the special session of the Legislature, in 1873, when the " Code of 1873 " was enacted, Mr. Butler did noble service. Many laws had become dead letters and were at that time revised and amended for the better. At that session he served as chairman of the committee on police regulations, and many important laws were submitted to him. Through correct voting on various sections by Mr. Butler and his colleagues, who possessed cool, level-headed deliberation, the code of today is looked upon by the courts as among the best of the nation.
In the autumn of 1883 Mr. Butler was again elected to the House of the XXth General Assembly, and re-elected to the XXIst General Assembly in 1885. It was during 1884 that he achieved for himself and Page County his greatest victory, but only after a long, hotly contested, and also very spirited struggle, which arose over the location and erection of Iowa's third Hospital for the Insane.
In this legislative fight all the powers of his manhood had to be brought into action; legal understanding, parliamentary rules, political " wire-pulling," yet the maintenance of strict integrity, all must needs be employed; and when the testing time came, he was found complete master of the situation. These words are no idle fancy-threads with which to weave a mantle of flattery around him of whom this sketch is written, but they are matters of public record, the same being heralded by the city and local press throughout the State, many of which the writer has in his possession.
That to the Hon. William Butler belongs the honor (for such it is) of securing the location of this great State institution at Clarinda, none have questioned. It may be called his crowning triumph in the role of a legislator, giving him such a marked individuality as no other act could possibly have done; for it should be remembered that Atlantic, Creston, Red Oak and many other cities in this portion of Iowa, all had experienced and able men representing their interests in the same matter. As the home glee club sang it at the reception given him over that event:

" Butler thought it, fought it, won it; When twice 'twas lost he won; He has been a faithful servant, Let us say," Well done."

Upon receipt of the news of the final outcome of the contest the following telegram was forwarded to Mr. Butler at Des Moines: "Hon. William Butler: Five hundred assembled citizens, hoarse from enthusiastic cheering, send you congratulations."
The public reception given himself and family upon his return home, was one of the most spirited and brilliant receptions tendered to a representative. While Mr. Butler was leader and champion in all this affair of securing the hospital, it is here due Senator T. E. Clark and ex-Senator Lewellen, to state that they supported his every effort and should receive much credit. [page 437]

During the month of February, 1885, Mr. Butler was awarded the contract of building the magnificent "Temple of Justice," the present courthouse. His bid was $71,000, the lowest of all the many bids presented. He gave it special and personal attention from the foundation stone to the very dome, and all citizens agree, regardless of opinions advanced at the time, that no more honest work was ever superintended in Page County. It stands a solid monument to the work he so faithfully performed: no money withheld, but all expended as per terms of his contract, thus giving the taxpayer full value received.
No man has accomplished more for the county in the way of securing railway lines than Mr. Butler, as well as assisting in enacting State laws for the management of the same on behalf of the people. What Allison and Kirkwood have been to Iowa, Hon. William Butler has been to the people living in the southwestern portion of this great commonwealth. We now come to his more personal and domestic relations, wherein man's true virtues are best tested. He who forgets not wife and child, but fondly cherishes both, even as he does his own life, though pressed on every hand with the busy cares of an eventful life, is truly a good man.
As previously stated, Mr. Butler married Miss Margaret McCowen, in 1851; this was a happy union, only broken by the beloved wife's death, July 8, 1871. He was again united in marriage, March 3, 1873, to Miss Eleanor D. McCartey, a native of Ohio. Mrs. Butler was born in Geauga County, Ohio, July 6,1828. She is the daughter of Russell G. McCartey, who was a native of Colchester, Connecticut, born August 12, 1792. During his youth his parents removed to Martinsburg, Jefferson County, New York, where he was reared to farm life, receiving a good school education, which enabled him to teach when grown to manhood. His parents both died in one week, when he was nineteen years of age. He then came West and located in Geauga County, Ohio, where he formed a partnership with G. H. Kent, in the manufacture of pearl-ash, and in connection with which he followed agricultural pursuits. He was married, March 23, 1820, to Miss Delia Kent, who was born April 30, 1795, at Suffield, Connecticut. She was the daughter of G. H. Kent, above mentioned, who was born August 9, 1765, at Suffield, Connecticut. His wife, grandmother of Mrs. Butler, was Deborah Huntington, also a native of Connecticut, born November 21,1762. She was of English extraction. Mrs. Butler's grand­parents were the second family to settle in Geauga County, Ohio. They entered a large tract of land owned by the Government, and figured among the leading families of that county. Her grandfather took an active part in all the political issues of the day and was rewarded by seeing his oldest son elected to a seat in the Legislature. Mrs. Butler was the third in a family of six children: Henry, Deborah, Eleanor, Salmon, Minerva and Edson.
Mrs. Butler (Eleanor) is the only surviving child. She was educated at that most excellent institution, Oberlin College, as were the remainder of the family. She taught in the public schools of Cleveland one year, when she resigned on account of her father's failing health. She and her sister, Minerva, accompanied him on an extended visit to his old home in the East, visiting in Canada and New York. The father died July 5, of that year, 1857, and her sister Minerva, March 17, the following year. Her mother died June 8, 1880, at the home of Mrs. Butler, at Clarinda, Iowa. Her remains were taken to Ohio for burial, where she rests by the side of her beloved companion and five children.

Mr. and Mrs. Butler are the parents of one child, a bright, intelligent daughter, Nellie McCartey Butler, born August 26, 1875, at Denver, Colorado.   The Butler family are respected and admired by an unusually large circle of friends, which is the result of numerous causes.   In the first instance, Mr. Butler is numbered among Page County's pioneer band, and has taken active part in all the giant enterprises which have furthered the development of a section of Iowa in which it is an honor for any person to reside. By his untiring efforts in the Legislature for four sessions, he has assisted in building up the public schools and at the same time voted the saloon down.   In all his undertakings, improving his frontier farm, transacting a large amount of business in grain, stock and real estate; as member of the county board, member of the State Legislature, with all the complicated features of such a place of trust and responsibility, it is not to be wondered at that he is widely known; also, that after having accomplished so much of public good that he should have such a legion of friends.
Again, it should be remembered that it is not alone to him that this meed [sic] of praise is due, but his companion has exerted an influence upou her husband that only comes as a heaven born blessing, vouchsafed in the attributes of a loving and devoted wife. Possessing, as Mrs. Butler does, so many priceless yet rare accomplishments, she calls forth the admiration of the best type of society wherever she goes. She is at once intelligent, womanly and modest in all her ways. While Mr. Butler ranks as leader among men, his estimable lady is none the less a leader among her sex. In closing this sketch it may be added that Mr. Butler and family have thus far in life made a record well worthy to be patterned after by the rising generation, who may from their lives better know what plain, working, thinking men and women may achieve for themselves.

AMBROSE B. ROBINSON, editor and proprietor of the Page County Democrat, published at Clarinda, Iowa, came to Page County in April, 1868, from Springfield, Massachusetts.   He was born August 7, 1850, at Hamden, Delaware County, New York, and is a son of Edward and Paulina (Pettis) Robinson, of Puritan ancestry. They reared  a  family of six  children,—Anna, George W., Frank F., Miles H., Alice A. and the subject of this sketch,—five of whom survive; one daughter, Anna, died at the age of nine years.   The father died in 1863, at Hancock, New York; the good mother passed away at Sidney Plains, New York, in 1873. The family removed from Hamden to Hancock, New York, when Ambrose B. was a mere lad.   In the autumn of 1866 he went with his mother to Springfield, Massachusetts, and engaged in farm work with his uncle, Erastus King, in the vicinity of that city. His educational advantages were quite limited, attending the common schools of Delaware County, New York, until twelve years of age, and one term of grammar school in the city of Springfield.   In 1868 he came to Iowa.   He had no ready money, which at that time could have been invested to much advantage in the new West.   But, full of pluck and industry, he set about finding employment, his first work being herding cattle on the prairies, but he soon went into the Herald printing office to learn the " art preservative," and in the spring of 1869 engaged with N. C. Ridenonr, of the Democrat, of Clarinda, and before he had set type two years was made foreman of the office, which position he filled for several years. His health [page 439] failed him in 1880, and he traveled in Colorado for eight months. After returning to Iowa he worked at his trade in Bedford for nearly two years, and then embarked in the jewelry business with T. H. Bedwell, at Clarinda, and continued in the business about four years. In the fall of 1886 he disposed of his interest in that business and purchased a half interest in the Page County Democrat with Mr. Ridenour. The following March he bought the remainder of the plant and has since operated it successfully. It is the pioneer and only Democratic journal in Page County.   (See press chapter.)
Mr. Robinson was married October 1,1884, to Miss Mary E. Clement, a native of Boscobel, Wisconsin, who was born December 7, 1857. Her parents are A. T. and Eliza A. Clement, natives of the State of New York and Ireland, respectively.   (See sketch.)
Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are the parents of two sons: Frank C, born September 15,1885, and Harry B., born December 7,1888, at Clarinda, Iowa.
Mr. Robinson belongs to the Masonic fraternity, Nodaway Lodge, No. 140, and to the Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 109, and the Encampment, No. 29. He is also one of the charter members of the Knights of Pythias Lodge at Clarinda. Politically he is an avowed and life-long Democrat.


HON. T. E. CLARK, attorney at law, Clarinda, Iowa, has been prominently identified with the interests of Page County since the year 1867. He was born October 18,1845, in Jessamine County, Kentucky. His father, the Rev. James W. Clark, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and was a son of James Clark, also a native of Kentucky. The family is of Scotch-Irish descent.

James Clark, Jr., received his education at Transylvania University, Kentucky, with a view of becoming an attorney. He was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Lexington during the time that Thomas F. Marshall was at the Lexington bar. During the Blackhawk war he was a valiant soldier, and he also raised a company to participate in the Mexican war. In later years he turned his attention to theological studies and prepared himself for the ministry, following this calling until his death. He was married to Miss Martha Embry, a native of Richmond, Kentucky. She is a daughter of Talton Embry, a native of North Carolina, and the son of Granda Embry, who came to this country from France and lived to the advanced age of 112 years.
James and Martha Clark had a family of ten children, eight of whom lived to maturity. In 1854 they removed to Missouri and settled in Saline County, where Mr. Clark labored until 1863, when on account of the war, he being a Union man, was compelled to abandon all of his property. In 1866 he came to Clarinda, Iowa, and was pastor of the Presbyterian church for several years. His death occurred in 1878, and his wife still survives.
T. E. Clark was nine years of age when his parents removed to Missouri, where he spent his youth on a farm and in attending the subscription schools; he also received instruction from his father until he was fifteen years of age; he then left home and during the war went to the plains, where he was engaged in driving freight teams; he followed this business until 1867, when he came to Clarinda, where his first occupation was chopping wood; he did this for two years and then entered the law office of Hepburn & Morseman, where he studied law for two years. He was admitted to the bar under Judge James G. Day, and began the practice of his profes-[page 440]sion in 1870. Was once a copartner of Captain Morsman. He has since been associated with several different attorneys, and is at present with J. E. Hill.

In the fall of 1881 he was elected State Senator for the Seventh District, and is now serving his second term. It was since his election that the Prohibitory amendment was enacted; he was chairman of the committee for the suppression of intemperance, and introduced the bill for the suppression of obscene literature. It is due to the efforts of Mr. Clark and Mr. William Butler, the representative at that time, that the hospital for the insane was located at Clarinda. Mr. Clark also introduced a bill for the punishment of trusts, which became a law. He has served for six years with much ability, and has shown a superior fitness for the position. He has given entire satisfaction to his constituents and has reflected great credit on his county.
Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Mary H. Burtch, a native of Cadiz, Ohio, and a daughter of William and Sarah (Bennet) Burtch, also natives of Ohio. Four children have been born of this union: Alexander B., Ethel, Jesse and Talton. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Clark is an elder. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party. He is a member of Clarinda Lodge, No. 109, I. O. O. F., and has filled all the chairs of the order. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the A. O. U. W.


JOHN R. GOOD has been identified with the interests of Page County since 1864. He was born in Mercer County, Ohio, January 28, 1850, his parents being Joseph C. and Ruth (Roberts) Good. The father was a native of Virginia and a son of Joseph Good, a native of Germany. The mother of Joseph Good, Jr., was of Irish ancestry. The mother of John R. was a native of Sandusky, Ohio, and the daughter of Joshua Roberts, who was born in Virginia in 1795, of Welsh ancestry. The father of our subject was a miller in his earlier days, but later was engaged in farming and stock-growing. He died in 1865, aged forty-eight years. He came to Page County in 1864 and located near Braddyville, where he bought seven hundred acres of land.
John R. is the fifth of a family of six children. His mother married for her second husband Alexander Davis, and after this union he started out in life for himself. He went to Clarinda, where he attended school, working for his board ; after he finished the public schools he attended Bryant & Stratton's Business College and was graduated from that institution; the next three years he was engaged in teaching. He then clerked in a general store at Center P. O., and afterward bought the business out and conducted it for a time. He next purchased a farm of two hundred acres which he still owns. For nine years he was engaged in the mercantile and stock trade and met with uniform success. He went from Center P. O. to Braddyville and engaged in trade for a year, and then sold out to McKee Brothers, and formed a partnership with the Hon. W. E. Webster and established the Braddyville Bank. During that time he read law and was admitted to the bar under Judge R. C. Henry. He removed to Lyons, Kansas, where he practiced law for six months; but not finding that country what he expected he returned to Page County and went into the law office of Judge Moore for six months. At the expiration of that time he opened an office of his own at Clarinda, and is still an honored mem-[page 441]ber of the bar and has a lucrative practice. He does an extensive business in real estate, which branch was added to that of his profession in 1888; he is also agent for several leading insurance companies. In 1888 he was appointed organizing agent for the " Blue Grass League," and by special effort succeeded in getting seventeen counties in working order. He was selected manager of the land company at Clarinda in the spring of 1887.
Mr. Good was united in marriage February 16, 1872, to Miss Malinda McKie, a daughter of William D. and Sarah (Ingraham) McKie. Her father was a native of North Carolina and of Irish descent; the mother was born in Virginia of English ancestors. Mrs. Good is a native of Savannah, Missouri. Three children were born of this union: Grace A., Pearlie M. and John Ross. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Good is identified with the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias fraternities. Politically he is a Republican. By his own efforts he has come to be one of Page County's well-to-do lawyers, and bears the esteem of a large circle of admirers. Was elected and held the office of Mayor of the city of Clarinda for two years, 1887 and 1888.



The following sketch was written by Mr. Bailey himself.
A. S. BAILEY. The subject of this sketch has had a long and varied newspaper experience, but has not profited thereby. If making money and laying up a store of wealth be a test of genius or a token of a successful life, the man who is poor at the end of fifty years may write himself down a general failure.
In 1851, at the age of fourteen, I went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to learn the printer's trade in the office of the Observer, a Whig paper; served an apprenticeship of three years and then attended the University, of which James Harlan was president, for a period of perhaps three months. That finished my education except the schooling I got at the case. I helped found the Washington (Iowa) Press in 1856. In 1858, while connected with that paper, was elected a clerk of the State Senate at the first session of the Legislature at Dcs Moines. Kirkwood, Grinnell and Governor Alvin Saunders of Nebraska were in the Senate, and James F.Wilson was a member of the House. Grimes was the retiring Governor and R. P. Lowe was the new Governor. That was about the time Page County was born. I got $4 a day for my services, which were not worth a dollar.
In 1860 I started the Sigourney News just in time to aid in carrying that Democratic county for Lincoln.   Two years later I sold out, and about that time occurred the South English War, in which I saw service ; that is, I stood on picket guard one night with an old shotgun that wouldn't shoot, anxiously waiting the arrival of the Rebel army. The "rebels" were a body of copperheads whom exaggerated  rumor said  numbered 5,000 ; but afterward it was  found that fifty or a hundred Democrats, Southern sympathizers, had gathered at a distillery on Skunk river, I and at the time we were gallantly guarding the town against them they were trembling in their boots for fear the militia would gobble them !   That " war " made a big stir. Governor Kirkwood called out a little army of home guards and marched into Keokuk County, but no rebels were found.    I never received a military title nor a pension for my service in that war.
In 1863,  I returned to Washington and [page 442] again became connected with the Press. In 1867 I started the Washington Record, now the Gazette. In 1872 I printed a Granger paper, and was elected to a county office, which I filled two years. From 1875 to 1879 I published the Brighton Star, and leaving that, landed in Clarinda on the first day of 1880 to take a position on the Herald, then owned by J. W. Chaffin. In the fall of 1882 Mr. C. sold the Herald, and I, being "out of a job," started a small evening paper, the Daily Star, which was facetiously called the Twinkler. It took and did right well, but the work was too hard and I had to quit it at the end of two years. At that time Mr. L. S. Hanna owned the Journal, and health failing him he went South, putting the paper in the hands of A. P. Skeed and me under a lease. In the spring of 1888 I bought it of Mrs. Hanna, brought it out in a new dress, and, putting it on an independent political platform, I conducted it for some time, until I finally made it a prohibition paper.
All these years have been full of incident, but nothing above the common-place. Neither honor nor shekels came to me. I have performed a great deal of hard work and written a vast amount of stuff, some good, but much more bad, and nothing worth preserving. I have won some praise and much more censure.   Selah !           


[page 443]
HON THOMAS R. STOCKTON, ex-Judge of the Circuit Court, and the present attorney of Page County, forms an important part in the history of the county, and is entitled to a space in the record of the leading men. He is a native of Illinois, born near Quincy, Adams County, August 16, 1834. He is the second child of the Rev. James M. Stockton, one of the first pioneers to proclaim the gospel in this portion of Iowa, of whom honorable mention is made elsewhere.
Our subject spent his youthful days in Hancock and Henderson counties, Illinois, at farm labor and attending the district schools. In the spring of 1852, when he was eighteen years of age, the family started for Oregon, but on account of sickness on the plains they returned to Iowa and settled in Taylor County near the east line of Page County. In 1853 the father entered 320 acres of Government land, which Thomas R. assisted in opening up and placing under cultivation. During the winter months he taught school and remained on the farm until 1858; he also taught school during the winters of 1858, '59 and '60. In 1859 he began reading law, and in October, 1860, he came to Clarinda and entered the law office of J. J. Barwick as a student; he was admitted to the bar in May, 1861, under Judge Sears. In the fall of the same year he went to Montgomery County, Iowa, and taught school, and in January 1862, he opened a law office at Clarinda and began the practice of his profession. The same year Mr. Shoemaker, proprietor of the Clarinda Herald, entered the Union army and Mr. Stockton took charge of that journal, managing it until November, 1863. At the October election of 1863 he was elected probate judge of the county and served two years, still following his profession. May 1, 1866, he removed to Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, where he practiced law until November, 1872, when he was elected circuit judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District for Iowa, which included Fremont, Mills, Pottawattamie, Shelby, Audubon, Crawford, Carroll, and Greene counties. From 1866 to 1870 he was a law partner of Major A. R. Anderson. In the summer of 1873 he removed to Council Bluffs, that city being nearer the center of the district. His term of four years having been faithfully served, January 1, 1877, he opened a law office at Council Bluffs. In May of the same year, however, he caught the Black Hill mania and went to Deadwood City; but this proved an unsuccessful adventure. He returned to Sidney, and in November, 1877, he opened a law office and continued to practice until 1879, when he was elected a member of the Iowa Legislature from Fremont County.
In May, 1883, he removed to Shenandoah, Iowa, and there formed a partnership with C. S. Keenan, which existed until November, 1886, when he was elected County Attorney and removed to Clarinda. In 1888 he was re­elected to the office, and is the present incumbent.
Mr. Stockton was united in marriage August 20, 1863, to Miss Elizabeth Pierce, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Woods) Pierce, natives of the " Keystone" state, and of Scotch-Irish extraction.   They died near College Springs, [page 444] Iowa, in the winter of 1866, not having quite attained the " three score years and ten " allotted to man. Mr. and Mrs. Stockton are the parents of three children: Lillian J., a stenographer employed by the Wells-Fargo Express Company at Omaha, Nebraska; Nellie P. and Fred R. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church at Clarinda.
Politically the Judge has always affiliated with the Republican party. He is a man of much general knowledge and possesses a remarkably good memory. He is a constant reader of law and current literature, and this with his excellent conversational powers makes him a pleasant companion and has won for him a wide circle of friends through­out southwestern Iowa. As a counselor he has but few equals in this part of the State. Possessed of sound judgment his decisions while upon the bench were looked upon as near the line of justice. He has won the confidence and esteem of the members of the bar of Page County and of the people through­out this and the adjoining counties. It may be added that Judge Stockton is one of the few good and honest lawyers who esteem integrity more than money.


WILLIAM PETERS HEPBURN began his residence in Page County, in Clarinda, on the last day of June, 1867. He was born in Wellsville, Columbiana County, Ohio, November 4, 1833. His father, Lieutenant James Schmidt Hepburn of the Second United States Artillery, was graduated at West Point in the class of 1819. He died in New Orleans, May 5, 1833. His mother, Ann Fairfax Catlett, was the eldest daughter of Dr. Hanson Catlett, Surgeon in the navy and later in the army of the United States.   He died at the arsenal in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1824.  Mr. Hepburn's step-father, George S. Hampton, for a long time Clerk of the Supreme Court of Iowa, removed from Ohio to Iowa in 1840, and settled, and opened a farm in the woods, a few miles north of Iowa City—in 1843 removing to Iowa City.   In the latter place Mr. Hepburn learned the printer's trade;   later he spent a year and a half in the law office of Colonel W. Penn Clark.   He was also in the law office of Messrs. Higgins, Beck with & Strothers, Chicago, during part of 1854 and 1855.   He was admitted to practice law and returned to Iowa City in the fall of 1855. On the 7th of October, of that year, he was married to Malvina A. Morsman, the eldest daughter of Dr. M. J. Morsman, of Iowa City.   In February, 1856, the young couple removed to Marshalltown.   In August of that year he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Marshall County, and in December one of the clerks of the House of Representatives.    In January, 1858, he was the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives at the first session of the Legislature at Des Moines; and at the October election of that year was elected District Attorney of the Eleventh Judicial District, in which position he served until the summer of 1861, when he resigned his position, raised a company of cavalry in Marshall and Story counties, and with it became a part of the Second Iowa Cavalry in August, 1861.   In November of that year he was promoted to be one of the Majors of his regiment, and in January, 1863, to be Lieutenant Colonel.   In June, 1862, he was detailed upon the staff of General Sheridan as Inspector, and in September upon the staff of General W. S. Rosecrans, then commanding the Army of the Mississippi, as Judge Advocate.   The last of October, when General Rosecrans took command of the Army of the Cumberland, he was assigned to duty with [page 445] him, first as Judge Advocate, and later as Inspector General of Cavalry of the department. In August of that year he resigned his staff position and rejoined his regiment in West Tennessee. In the early part of February 1864, by order of General Grant, then Commander in Chief of the Army of the United States, he was assigned to the command of the Second Brigade of Cavalry, Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. Later, when the cavalry veteranized, he was placed in command of the non-veteran cavalry of that army corps—about 2,700 men. At the expiration of his term of service he removed with his family to Memphis, where, by order of the general in command of the District of West Tennessee, he was placed in command of a cavalry regiment, raised by that officer for local defence [sic], which command he retained until in May following. He remained in Memphis engaged in the practice of his profession until June, 1867. After removing to Clarinda, he was for fifteen years actively engaged in professional pursuits in Page and adjacent counties. For a considerable portion of time he represented the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company in their cases in the courts of Western Iowa. After a very animated contest in 1880, he was nominated by the Republican party as its candidate for Congress in the Eighth Congressional District, and was elected. He was three times subsequently nominated by the Republicans of the Eight District for that office, and twice elected. In 1886, however, he was beaten by the Hon. Albert R. Anderson, of Sidney. During his six years in Congress he served on the committees of Public Lands, Pensions, Patents, Elections, Commerce, Judiciary, and on the select committees for the Suppression of the Alcoholic Liquor Traffic, and Woman's Suffrage.   He was a Presidential Elector at large in 1876 and 1888, casting his vote for Presidents Hayes and Harrison. He was also a member of the Republican national convention in 1860 and 1888, and in the latter was selected to present the name of lion. William B. Allison as a candidate for the Presidential nomination. During the campaign of 1888, at the instance of the Republican National Committee, he assisted in the canvass in Maine, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. April 16, 1889, he was appointed by President Harrison, Solicitor of the Treasury.
Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hepburn: Edith, in 1856; Frank II., in 1858; Margaret, in 1862; Charles B., in 1867, and Bertha, in 1871. The latter died at the age of a few months. Edith, in 1875, married Mr. Warren F. Thummel, who was for a long time associated with her father in the practice of the law. Frank, in 1879, married Ella, the eldest daughter of John D. Marlin, Esq., of Lincoln Township.


CHARLES ALBERT LISLE, editor and Proprietor of the Clarinda Herald, has been associated with the interests of Page county since 1885, not an early settler, but one whose history will be read with much interest. He was born in Belmont county, Ohio, and is a son of Joseph and Mary (Evans) Lisle. The family removed to Iowa in the spring of 1861, and located in Guthrie county on a farm. Charles A. obtained his early education in the common schools and then attended the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, graduating from the classical course in 1872. He worked his way through college by teaching one term each year in the country school. Soon after his graduation he went to Burlington, Iowa, [page 446] as principal of the West Hill school; he served in this capacity one year and was re­elected to the position, but resigned to accept the superintendency of the Red Oak schools. After one year he returned to Burlington and accepted the principalship of the High School and held this position eight years. In June, 1882, he bought the Fort Madison Plain-Dealer and resigned his position in the High School to take up the life of a journalist. He started the Daily Plain-Dealer in September, 1882. In February, 1883 he was appointed Postmaster of Fort Madison under President Arthur, serving until November, 1885, when he moved to Clarinda, having purchased a half interest in the Clarinda Herald. (See press chapter.) May 1,1886, he bought the balance of the Herald plant and still conducts it in a successful manner.
While at College Mr. Lisle became acquainted with Miss Vina Spry, who was born in Zanesville, Ohio, but moved to Iowa with her parents, E. A. and J. M. Spry, when she was but a child. Miss Spry was a student in the college and was graduated in the class of 1870. Her family removed to Red Oak in 1871, and January 3, 1872, she was united in marriage to Mr. Lisle. By this union seven children have been born: Vesta, Vernon, Stella May, Edwin, Edna, Harvey Hugh, and Lawrence Lee. In religious belief the parents are Methodists. Politically Mr. Lisle is a Republican, and edits a clean, newsy, party journal.
When sixteen years of age Mr. Lisle enlisted as a recruit for the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and was quartered in Camp McCellan at Davenport for some time, but on account of an attack of typhoid fever he was never mustered into the service.
No man stands higher in the estimation of the people of Page county than Charles A. Lisle.   He is an earnest, deliberate, journalist, working in the interests and for the welfare of his patrons.


SAMUEL GORMAN was born in Washington County, Ohio, July 21, 1821, and is a son of John and Margaret (Alden) Gorman, natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. The father died in Ohio, and the mother passed away at the home of her son, Robert, in this county. When he was six years of age his parents removed to Baltimore, Ohio, on the Ohio Canal, where they spent two years, at the end of this time they went to Crawford County, Ohio. He remained at home with his parents until his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Drake, which occurred February 7, 1847. She was born in Ohio February 8, 1826.
Mr. Gorman invested in a small tract of land after his marriage, buying directly from the Government; he built a log cabin, doing all the work himself; the cash outlay was $1.40. In this structure he and his wife began housekeeping. There were forty-six and a half acres, which had cost $2.50 per acre. As his means increased Mr. Gorman made additions to his first purchase of land and finally had seventy-five acres. When he was able he erected a good frame house, and continued to make improvements until the fall of 1867, when he disposed of the whole at about $38 per acre. He had caught the western fever and emigrated to Page County, Iowa, going by rail to Chariton, the terminus. February 25, 1868, he located on his present farm of 160 acres in Nebraska Township, which is well improved and under good cultivation. In 1859, previous to his removal to Iowa, he had bought eighty acres in Page County.
Mr. Gorman has ever taken an active inter-[page 447]est in the county's welfare, and has supported all measures tending to its advancement. Politically he casts his vote with the Re publican party, having been an old-line Whig. He has served one term on the county Board of Supervisors, one term as township trustee, and one as assessor. He has faithfully performed all the duties he has assumed, and has the esteem and good will of the whole community.
Mr. and Mrs. Gorman have had nine children: Prince, deceased; Mary Etta, wife of Abe Lawrence; Jessie, the wife of Charles Hicks; Josephine, wife of Harry Hardin, and Annie and John, at home.
Mrs. Gorman was called from her husband and children to her last rest, September 11, 1881, respected and mourned by all who knew her.

J. D. ELLIOTT, M. D., was born in Henderson County, Illinois, September 21, 1857, and is the son of Jesse and and Nancy (Laswell) Elliott, natives of North Carolina and West Virginia, respectively. He was reared in his native State to the life of a farmer, and attended the common schools until he was seventeen years old; he then entered Howe's Academy at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where he continued his studies for two years. When he left school he moved with his parents to Page County and engaged in farming for three years; he then embarked in the mercantile trade at Villisca, remaining there one year. He then completed a course at Bryant & Stratton's College at St. Joseph, Missouri, after which he again engaged in mercantile business. He entered into partnership with G. W. Collier at Hawleyville, Page County, Iowa, and they conducted a general store under the firm name of Collier & Elliott.
After he had retired from this business he entered the office of Doctor Rumbaugh, a successful, pioneer physician at Hawleyville, for the purpose of studying medicine; there he pursued his studies until 1880, when he went to Keokuk, Iowa, and took two courses of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating March, 1882. In March, 1882, he commenced his practice at Hawleyville, succeeding his former friend and teacher, Dr. Rumbaugh, who died in June, 1882.
Doctor Elliott was married October 5,1876, to Miss Savilla Collier, daughter of A. M. and Nancy (McAlpin) Collier. They are the parents of two children: Leslie Elmo, born January 24, 1878, and Lena Ethel, born June 8, 1879.
The Doctor is a prominent member of the L O. O. F., Orphans' Hope Lodge, No. 254, at Hawleyville, and is its present secretary. Politically he is an active Republican, and has served his township as clerk for a term of nine years. He has also been prominently identified with the politics of the county as a member of the central committee.
Doctor Elliott has a farm of sixty-five acres in Nebraska Township, where he conducts a profitable stock business, making a specialty of the graded Galloways.
Owing to his thorough knowledge of the science of medicine and surgery, and his whole-souled, accommodating disposition, he has gained the confidence of the community and has built up a lucrative practice.

MARY BENTLY, one of tbe pioneer settlers of Nebraska Township, was born August 9, 1820, three miles from  Ashburne, England.    Her parents, [page 448] Thomas and Elizabeth (Siran) Smith, were also natives of England, and were engaged in farming; they reared a family of eight children, of whom Mary was the third. She attended the common schools for a short time and assisted her parents by working in a cotton factory as reeler and spooler, in which she was very expert.
When she had attained her twenty-sixth year she was united in marriage to Mr. James Bently, a son of John and Annie Bently, natives of England. He was born November 10, 1820, and was a carpenter by trade. After marriage they lived in the city of Manchester for twelve years. Thinking that they might better their condition, they decided to emigrate to America, and accordingly, in 1858 they set sail for the United States. The voyage from Liverpool to New York consumed one month. After landing they proceeded at once to Boston, where Mr. Bently left his wife with friends, and started for the West. He located in Page County, Iowa, and worked at his trade for three years. Mrs. Bently joined her husband in a few months, and has since made her home in Page County.
The first investment that Mr. Bently made in real estate was in Hawleyville, where he bought a house and lot which he disposed of and purchased sixty acres of land, which form a part of the old homestead of 180 acres. The place now has two dwellings, one of which Mrs. Bently occupies.
Mr. and Mrs. Bentley have had born to them six children: William, deceased ; Hannah, wife of Miles Holland; Salina, wife of S. B. Higgins; Lizzie, wife of Charles B--------- , John and Sherman; the two sons
are married and live on the home farm. January 23, 1880, the family were deeply afflicted in the death of the husband and father, who passed to his last rest after an illness of one week.   He was a man greatly respected by all who knew him. He affiliated with the Republican party, but would never accept of any official position; he was frequently offered the nomination of different township offices, which in his case meant election, but he firmly declined all such honor. He took a deep interest in religious and educational affairs, and was among the most progressive citizens of the township.
Mrs. Bently and her children are members of the Christian Church. She is a woman well-known for her kind and hospitable disposition, and has the confidence and respect of all who meet her.

EMMANUEL McVAY is one of the early settlers and among the most prominent agriculturists of Nebraska Township. He was born December 10, 1821. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Miller) McVay, were natives of Rockingham County, Virginia, and had a family of thirteen children: Thomas and Henry, both deceased; James, John, Jason, Aaron, Miller, Mary and Elizabeth, both deceased; Martha, widow of John Millenger; Hannah, widow of R. C. Russell; Minerva, widow of William McDonald, and Emmanuel, who is the subject of this brief biography. He was reared to the occupation of a farmer and remained at home assisting his parents until he was twenty-five years of age. He then rented fifty acres of land, which he cultivated for two years, boarding with his brother, who lived in a village near his land.
Mr. McVay was united in marriage February 26, 1850, to Miss Margaret L. Cretcher, who was born September 29,1823, in Champaign County, Ohio. Her father was a native of Germany. Nathan Cretcher by name; her mother was Sarah Polk, a niece of Presi-[page 449] dent Polk. After their marriage they rented a farm for three years, and then bought 160 acres of timber in Shelby County, Ohio; after living on this for six months they disposed of it and bought an improved farm in the same county, where they lived for eight years. This was then sold and a farm was rented for two years and a half. During this period Mr. McVay was collecting notes and getting his business in shape to emigrate to the West, which he did in March, 1865. The family landed in Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, March 23 of that year, and the first investment he made was in a half interest in a drug store, which he held one year; he next bought an improved farm one mile east of the public square of Clarinda; for three years be continued to reside there, and then traded for a house and lot in Clarinda; he also bought ninety acres of land, which form apart of his present farm of 192 acres in Nebraska Township; this place had some improvements, to which Mr. McVay has added many others, and now has one of the best farms in the county.
Mr. and Mrs. McVay are the parents of four children: John and Edward, both deceased; Miller C. married Miss Carrie Strong and Sarah A., wife of Charles Oates.
Politically Mr. McVay identified with the Republican party. He is a man of excellent judgment and fine business qualifications, and through pluck, energy and perseverance, has made his way to the front rank of Page County's best citizens.