Biographical History of Page County, Iowa, Lewis & Dunbar Publishers, 113 Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1890

[transcribed by Pat O'Dell: ]


[page 743]

MRS. MARCIA C. KESLING, one the early teachers of Page County, next claims our attention. She is a graduate of the classical department of Oberlin College, Ohio, and a woman of rare culture and unusual attainments. John L. Kesling, her husband, was a son of John Kesling, a native of Maryland, of German descent; the father was formerly a slave owner, but he freed his slaves and removed to southern Ohio. He had three childien: Lizzie, Mary and John L. He died in Preble County, Ohio, at the age of seventy years; he was a consistent member of the German Reformed Church. John L. Kesling was born in Ohio, February 16, 1824, and obtained his education in the common schools. He was a natural mechanic, and engaged in the manufacture of plows and carriages at West Alexandria and Farmersville. In 1863, he was united in marriage to Miss Marcia C. West, a daughter of Carlos and Betsey Fletcher West. Mr. West was descended from an English family, who originally settled in Connecticut, and removed thence to Berkshire County, Massachusetts, finally coming to the Western Reserve, Ohio. Joshua West, the grandfather of Mrs. Kesling, lived in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, but he was a native of Connecticut. He married Mary Newell, of Massachusetts, and nine children were born to them: the names of those whom Mrs. Kesling remembers are Washington, Carlos, Newell, Amasa, Jesse, Oliver, Mary and Jane. Carlos West was born in Massachusetts, and was reared to the life of a farmer; he also learned the black­smith's trade and was married in Massachusetts, and then removed to Silver Creek, Chautauqua County, New York. He and his wife had born to them five children: John M., Mary J., Betsey F., Marcia C, and one child who died in infancy. In 1867 the father moved with his family to Tabor, Fremont County, Iowa, and was occupied with loaning money. He died in 1884, at the age of eighty-one years. He was a prosperous business man, and was highly respected for the integrity of his character.
John L. Kesling lived in Ohio for eight years after his marriage, and in 1871 he came to Page County and bought land in Fremont Township. He died in 1877, at the age of fifty-three years. He was a member of the German Reformed Church. Politically he was allied with the Democratic party. He had been a member of the Ohio militia, and had served as Mayor of Farmersville, Ohio, for a number of years. He belonged to the Masonic and Odd Fellows' orders, and had taken all the degrees of the latter fraternity. He was a man of a frank and generous nature and of wide sympathies, with a great love for his fellowmen.
Marcia C. Kesling was born on Silver [page 744] Creek, Chautauqua County, New York, September 19,1838. After receiving a common-school education she entered Oberlin College, and was graduated from the classical department in 1861. When she was a student at Oberlin she taught in the district schools during the winter terms, until she entered the junior year of her course, after which she was continuously employed as teacher in the preparatory department of the college until her graduation. The years before her marriage she held a professor's chair in Antioch College, After coming to Iowa she taught at Red Oak and Cobnrg, and, since the death of her husband, in the High School at Union City, Michigan, and at Greenwood, Nebraska.
Beginning at the age of fifteen years she has devoted the greater number of years of her life to the most noble of professions. Her influence for good has been wide-spread and far-reaching, and the vast numbers of children, who have come under her kind instruction would constitute a small army. She is now in comfortable circumstances, owning over 300 acres of land and a fine property in Tabor, Iowa. Mrs. Kesling has two. sons: Frank B. is principal of the High School at Cherokee, Iowa, and Ernest N. is managing the farm in Fremont Township.



MITCHELL REED is one of the few remaining old settlers of Buchanan Township; his father, Samuel Reed, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and a pioneer in Harrison County, Ohio, where he owned a farm. He married Mary Shannon, daughter of Isaac Shannon, of Jefferson County, Ohio, and to them were born six children: Samuel, Jane, Isaac, Mitchell, John and Thomas. Mr. Reed died in Harrison County, Ohio, when his son Mitchell was a mere lad, so that he has no distinct recollection of his father. The mother afterward married Andrew Clark,who also died in Ohio, and she then removed to Clarinda, Iowa, and resides with her son Samuel.
Mitchell Reed was born February 27, 1827, on his father's farm in Harrison County, Ohio, and received a limited education in the primitive log school-house of that day. At the early age of nineteen years he married Miss Sarah Foster, a daughter of George and Jerusha (Workman) Foster. They are the parents of eight children: Samuel F., Sarah J., William D., Emmett P., George W., Frank E., Mary E. and Thomas M. Mr. Reed worked at the wagon-makers' trade in Cadiz, Ohio, and also at Union Yale, Ohio. The tide of emigration being westward, in the year 1855 he decided to remove with his family to Iowa; he settled in Wapello County, Iowa, and remained there three years; at the end of this period he came to Page County and settled in Amity Township, where he lived another three years, and then located on his present homestead of 180 acres; it is excellent farming land and is peasantry situated one-half mile from Braddyville.
Mr. and Mrs. Reed are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Mr. Reed was oneof the trustees at the time the church was built, and he has also fulfilled the office of steward. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party, and is a strong supporter of its principles.
Mr. Reed's oldest son, Samuel F., married Catharine Nichols; Sarah J. is the wife of Hugh C. Armstrong; William D. married Lydia J. Martin; Emmett P. married Ida Morrow; Frank E. married Clara Sanders: Mary E. is the wife of Robert Johnston; George W. married Flora Robinson. Mr. and Mrs. Reed have twenty-three grandchildren and one great-grandchild, the grand-[page 745] child of Samuel F. Reed, and the child of his daughter Eva R., who married George Gruver.
The descendants of this old pioneer of Page County are distinguished as a large and flourishing race of people. Mr. Reed is a man who has always lived an honorable, upright life, and has brought up his family in the paths of rectitude and virtue. He has the entire confidence and respect of his community and his whole family are held in high regard.


DAVID SIGLER, one of the prosperous early settlers of Page County, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, in 1822, and is a son of Jacob Sigler, also a Pennsylvanian by birth. His grandfather, John Sigler, was a Revolutionary soldier and served through the entire war. He was a farmer by occupation, and after the war he and his brothers removed from New Jersey to Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and engaged in agriculture. He lived to be ninety years of age and was a large landholder at the time of his death.
Jacob Sigler married Maria Stonewood, a daughter of Lewis and Sarah (Gardner) Stonewood. Eight children who lived to maturity were born to this union: Sarah, Lewis, David, Hannah, Johanna, Joel, Thomas and Valentine. In 1837 Mr. Sigler moved to Putnam County, Ohio, and settled in the heavy timber section, where he cleared a fine farm of 280 acres. He was a worthy member of the Lutheran Church, and lived an upright, honorable life. He died at the age of forty-eight years'.
David Sigler, the subject of this sketch, was but a lad, fourteen years of age, when he went with his father to the forests of Putnam County, Ohio. He assisted in building a log cabin and in clearing the farm. When his father died the care of the family fell to him and his brother Lewis. Lewis was married at the age of twenty-five years, and he remained at home and took care of his mother and the younger children. In 1865 he removed to Page County, bringing his mother with him, and settled on his present farm of 160 acres. His brother Valentine was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, and was taken prisoner; he died before his release, at Montgomery, Alabama. The mother died a few years after coming to Iowa. Mr. Sigler is still unmarried and resides on his farm; he has added to his first purchase until he now has 212 acres. He is well known for his industry and integrity and stands high in the community. He has always been self-denying, and took the kindest care of his mother until her death. He is still a hale, hearty man, and bids fair to live to a good old age.


JAMES SAUNDERS, one of the representative farmers of Nebraska Township, was born in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, August 8, 1818, and is the son of Abednego and Amy (Cook) Saunders, natives of North Carolina. There were thirteen children in the family, named as follows: Aaron, Wyatt, John M., deceased; Abednego, deceased; Jane, deceased; James, Matilda, Caroline, Mary, Orinda, William, Elizabeth and Margaret.
When James was nine years old his parents removed to Wayne County, Indiana, where they rented a farm for one year, and then removed to Delaware County, Indiana, locating on a farm. There the father died, May 7, 1835. James remained at home, assisting with the farm work until he was [page 746] twenty-two years of age. He was married January 23, 1840, to Miss Phoebe Rector, a daughter of Daniel and Nancy (Garber) Rector. She was born September 22, 1820, in Clarke County, Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. Saunders are the parents of thirteen children: Sarah Jane died when two years old; James S. died when three years old; Aaron died in the army at the age of nineteen years; William, Nancy, wife of J. W. Cubbison; Daniel, Elizabeth, wife of John W. Wheat; Emmaline Mary, wife of Charles Cole; Eliza Jane, wife of Abel Crow; J. W., Dennis, J. M., and Clara M., wife of Milton Cooper.
After his marriage Mr. Saunders remained for a time in Delaware County, and then went to Ohio, locating on a rented farm in Miami County; there he resided for seven years, when he returned to Delaware County, Indiana, and purchased eighty acres of wild land, which he improved and cultivated for six years. He disposed of this and bought a tract of eighty acres in the same county; for seven years he made this his home, and then sold out and moved to Jay Connty, Indiana; he bought eighty acres and soon added another eighty acres, making this his home for eight years. In 1869 he disposed of all his real estate and emigrated to Iowa. It was in October of this year that his mother died, having made her home with his family for a number of years.
Upon reaching Iowa he located in Hawleyville, Page County, where he remained a short time before renting a farm for the summer season; in the fall he purchased his present farm of eighty acres, which was slightly improved. He has made all the improvements necessary to a well ordered farm,.has a comfortable house, an orchard of an acre and a half, bearing fruit, and ten acres of timber.
Politically he is identified with the Republican party; he is the present Justice of the Peace, filling the office to the general satisfaction of the public.
Mr. and Mrs. Saunders are members of the township Methodist Episcopal Church, in which they take a deep interest, and to which they contribute very liberally of their means.


JOHN TIDBALL was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, October 22, 1837, and is descended from English ancestry. His father was a cabinet-maker, and died in 1841. His mother's maiden name was Jane Scott, and she was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania. After the death of the father the mother removed with her family of small children to Washington County, Pennsylvania, where John grew to manhood. At the age of fourteen years he went to learn the blacksmith's trade; after serving his apprenticeship he conducted a shop of his own for one year. Being convinced that the openings to young men in the West were greater than those offered by any other locality, he emigrated to Illinois in 1856, and settled at Rock Island. When the great civil conflict darkened this land, and industries were abandoned, he left the forge and enlisted in Company D, Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into the service at Springfield, Illinois. He re-enlisted August 7, 1862, in Company E, One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was wounded in the battle of New Hope Church, May 27, 1864, and for eleven months he was confined to the hospital. As soon as he was able for duty he rejoined his regiment, but. he was mustered out of the service June 6, 1865, at Washington, District of Columbia, soon after his recovery.   He still carries in his body [page 747] the ball of lead received in battle; he receives from the Government a pension of $10 per month.
Mr. Tidball was married July 3, 1865, to Miss Sarah Jane Bailey, a native of Indiana. They are the parents of seven children, live of whom are living. They are worthy and acceptable members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Our subject is prominently identified with the Grand Army Post of Clarinda, having served as Quartermaster for four years. He is a member of Clarinda Lodge, No. 109, I. O. O. F., and of Union Lodge, No. 33, A. O U. W. Politically he is a strong Republican voting that ticket first, last and all the time.


F. E. POTTER, M. D., was born in the city of New York, December 27,1855, and is the son of Thomas aud Mary Ann (Irwin) Potter, natives of Ireland. The father emigrated to America at the age of twenty-two years,and died May 4, 1887. His widow still survives and lives at Platteville, Taylor County, Iowa. The family consisted of five children, of whom our subject is the oldest. The father removed to Pekin, Illinois, in 1856, and resided there until the spring of 1869; he then came to Taylor County, Iowa, and purchased land near Platteville, where he passed the remainder of his days. He was engaged in farming and the general merchandise trade. He was a believer in the principles of the Republican party but never aspired to public office.
The Doctor began his education in the common schools of Pekin, Illinois, and finished his literary course at Bedford, Iowa. He began the study of medicine with Dr. Y. R. King of Platteville, Iowa, in 1875, remaining under his tutorship nearly three years.
He attended lectures at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1878-'79 and 1880-'81, being graduated in 1881. He is also a graduate of the Kentucky School of Medicine, and took a private course of instruction at Louisville, Kentucky, under Edward Miller, M. D. He began his practice at Platteville, Iowa, in 1879, and came to Shambaugh, Page County, in 1880. At the end of one year he removed to Clarinda. In April, 1889, he formed a partnership with Dr.Pittman, and for six months they operated what was known as the Clarinda Medical and Surgical Institute.
Dr. Potter was united in marriage August 27, 1877, to Miss Mary E. Large, a native of the State of Ohio, and a daughter of William Large. Her parents removed to Taylor County, Iowa, in 1858, where they were pioneers, and where they still own a very large tract of land. Two of Mrs. Potter's brothers studied medicine under her husband, and are now practicing medicine, one being located at Shambaugh and the other at Braddyville, Iowa. The Doctor is a member of the Platteville Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to the I. O. O. F. In politics he is a Republican of the independent type.


JOHN A. ORTH, of the firm of Orth Bros, at Clarinda, Iowa, was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, May 22, 1837, and is the son of Adam G. and Fannie S. (Secrist) Orth, natives of that section of country. The maternal grandparents were early settlers there and were original members of the Moravian Church, but the ancestors on the Orth side were engaged in the Revolutionary war and were debarred from membership in that church and were disinherited from a large estate. The parents of our subject were united in marriage in Lebanon County, Penn- [page 748] sylvania. In 1840 they removed to Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and resided there until their removal in 1866 to Mercer County, Illinois. The father was a tanner by trade and followed his occupation until he went to Illinois; he then engaged in farming the rest of his life; he died in 1885, but the mother still survives.
John A. served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith from 1856 to 1860, and then began business for himself at Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He followed this trade until August, 1862, when he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered into service at Harrisburg and was ordered to Washington and took part in the defeat of Lee at Antietam. He also participated in the battle at Fredericksburg, and was present at Chancellorsyille, but was disabled and could not engage in the struggle. He was mustered out in 1863, in the month of May, having served valiantly and well. He was in the second Bull Run, and was under all the commanders of the Army of the Potomac except Grant and McDowell.
In 1882 Mr. Orth came to Iowa, remained here one year and then returned to Pennsylvania; in a few months he again came to Clarinda and settled permanently. He was married February 25, 1864, to Lizzie C. Alleman, a native of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jacob and Susan (Cramer) Alleman. The father died in 1871, and the mother still resides in Pennsylvania.
Mr. and Mrs. Orth are the parents of eight children: two, Calvin and John, died in infancy; those living are, Jennie, Florence, Fannie, Mary, Grace and Guy. The father and mother were members of the Reformed Church of Mercersburg, but they have never united with a church in Clarinda.
Mr. Orth is a member of the G. A. R., and in politics he has never been anything but a plain, faithful Republican. His present business partnership was formed in April, 1884.

J. L. BATCHELOR, attorney at law, Clarinda, Iowa, became a resident of Page County in August, 1875, and has here practiced his profession ever since. He was born February 14, 1817, in Rutland County, Vermont, and while he has passed his seventy-third year, we doubt whether a better preserved man of his years can be found in the State. The activity and vigor of his movements remind one of youth rather than of old age. He attributes this excellent preservation to a good constitution, the observance of all rules of temperance, and regularity of habits. A pint cup he says will hold every drop of liquor he ever drank. He never used tobacco. He eats to live, not lives to eat. He always retires at nine o'clock and rises with the sun. He has performed a vast amount of manual labor. His parents were limited in their means and soon put their son to learn a trade. When twenty years of age he bought the last year of his time, paying his father $100 for the same. He had at the close of the year earned enough more than his debt to enable him to attend school. The next four years he spent in teaching, studying, and working.
Mr. Batchelor was first married in 1842, and again in 1855, at Painesville, Ohio, where the first twenty years of his adult life were spent. The next twenty years were passed in Warren County, Illinois, while the past fifteen years have been spent in Clarinda. In his political belief he has been a strong Republican, having cast his first vote for James [page 749] G. Birney in 1840. Later he was a " Free-soiler," and when that party merged into the Republican he was an ardent supporter of the same, continuing until 1884, since which time he has acted with the Greenback and Union Labor organizations. He argues forcibly that the present popular system of governmental power affords protection to corporations and capital at the expense of personal rights, and is fast making laborers " hewers of wood and drawers of water."
Our subject was elected Treasurer of Lake County, Ohio, during the fierce anti-slavery struggle of 1853 and conducted the Painesville Telegraph, the only Republican paper in that county, for three years, prior to and during the Fremont-Buchanan campaign. He and his family are members of the Universalist Church. His father was in the war of 1812. In 1819 he removed to the State of New York, where he followed farming and agricultural pursuits. Thence he removed to Painesville, Ohio, and thence to Erie County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1872.
Mr. Batchelor has a neat cottage on Broadway street, Clarinda, where he and his estimable wife with their only daughter, Nora, enjoy life as only the good and temperate can.


E. T. FARRENS, physician and surgeon; Clarinda, Iowa, is the son of Dr. A. H. Farrens, who located in Page County, in 1849, twelve miles southeast of Clarinda. He resided there one year and then removed to Shambaugh. He entered Government land but continued the practice of his profession. He finally came to Clarinda and purchased four lots at the southwest corner of the public square, where he erected a house which is still standing. He died April 17, 1859, at the age of thirty nine years, nine months and twenty-nine days. His widow is still living. They were the parents of four children: the second child and first-born son died in infancy; two are farmers in East River Township and Nodaway Township. The Doctor, of whom this notice is written, was born September 19, 1855, at Clarinda, Iowa, where he has grown to manhood and is engaged in the practice of his profession. He began the study of medicine January 1, 1877, under the tutorship of Doctors Enfield and Vance, remaining in their office until March 1,1881. He attended lectures at the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, and graduated from that institution.
Immediately after this event Dr. Farrens returned to the home of his youth and began the practice of medicine. He is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges.
Dr. Farrens was united in marriage, November 29, 1883, with Miss Lida Pond, a daughter of W. H. Pond, a native of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. One child has blessed this union, Paul Pond, born August 26, 1888.


W. H. PITTMAN - Physician and surgeon, Clarinda, Iowa, was born in Mount Vernon, Rock Castle County, Kentucky, March 17,1853, and is the son of George and Elizabeth (Isaacs) Pittman. The father was born in North Carolina, August 18,1829, and the mother was a native of Pennsylvania, of Dutch origin. The paternal grandfather, George Pittman, was a native of England, and the great-grandfather was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. The ancestors of W. H. Pittman removed to the wilds of Kentucky at an early day and carved from the forest a home. George Pittman, Jr., died in Illinois in 1867, and his wife died in Missouri in 1885. [page 750] Doctor Pittman received his earlier education in the common schools of Kentucky, after which he was sent to Ewing College and Franklin College, Illinois, taking the full course and being graduated in 1870. The same year he took up the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. K. M. Fulkerson, of Eddyville, Boone County, Illinois. He attended his first course of lectures at the Eclectic Medical College at Cincinnati, Ohio, in the winter of 1872-'73. The three years following he practiced in Mississippi County, Arkansas. In the spring of 1877 he was graduated at the State University of Tennessee at Nashville, and in the spring of the following year he located at Lutesville, Missouri, where he remained until 1883. In that year he removed to St. Louis, and at the end of three years he came to Clarinda. Dr. Pittman is at the head of the Clarinda Mediical and Surgical Institute, and although he has been in Clarinda but a short time he enjoys a lucrative practice.
In the spring of 1882 Dr. Pittman attended a course of lectures at the famous Bellevue Medical College, New York city, from which he derived great benefit. He keeps up with all the late discoveries in his profession, and is a successful practitioner.
The Doctor was first married September 22, 1871, to Miss Mary E. Mick, a native of Polk County, Illinois. By this union one son was born; the mother died when he was but fourteen days old. Dr. Pittman was married to his present wife, Martha E. Salier, a native of Crittenden County, Kentucky, December 16, 1873. Her parents were early settlers of that portion of the State. Three children have been born of this marriage, but one of whom is living. The parents are members of the Baptist Church. Dr. Pittman belongs to Marble Hill Lodge, No. 298, A. F. & A. M., of Missouri; he is also a member of Clarinda Lodge, No. 109, I. O. O. F., and of Clarinda Lodge, No. 139, K. P. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party.


JOHN P. BROWN, D. D. S., has been identified with the common interests of Page County since 1866, and hence finds a place in this collection of the biographies of the leading men of the county. He is a native of Ohio, born at Rainsborough, Highland County, January 16, 1844; his father, Thomas D. Brown, was a son of John Brown who served in the war of 1812. The mother of our subject was Mary E. Williams, a native of Virginia, in which State the father was also born. Both father and mother are still living in Adams County, Iowa. John P. obtained his education in the common schools and was trained in agricultural pursuits. In 1862 he enlisted in Company I, Eighty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until October 13, 1863, when he was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky on account of disability. He returned to Highland County, Ohio, and remained there until the fall of 1865, when he accompanied his parents to Iowa, locating near Villisca; he spent the winter of 1865-,66 in Villisca, and the next spring he attended school at Clarinda. During the vacation he taught school in the country, and for two years and a half he followed this profession.
In 1867 Dr. Brown was married to Miss Annie E. Jones, who died in 1870. He spent one year on the farm in Adams County and then returned to Clarinda and was employed in a woolen factory then in operation there. In the fall of 1871 he began the study of dentistry, under the preceptorship of Dr. Smith of Clarinda, and finished under Dr. [page 751] Sanborn of Tabor, Iowa. In 1872 he began to practice at Clarinda, and is now enjoying the leading practice of Page County.
In 1873 Dr. Brown married for his second wife Miss Mary Loranz. Five children have been born to this union: Walter A., Helen, Thomas L., Wilbur and Raymond. Dr. Brown is a member of the A. O. U. W., and belongs to the Presbyterian Church. Politically he is a Republican. As a citizen, a business man, a professional man, and a neighbor, he stands high in Page County.



J. M. CRABILL has been a resident of Page County, Iowa, since 1870. He was born in Hardin County, Ohio, March 16, 1849, and is a son of George and Sarah S. (Roby) Crabill. In 1866 his parents removed from Hardin County, Ohio, to Taylor County, Iowa, and located on a farm, where he remained until his marriage, which occurred May 11, 1869. His wife's maiden name was Nancy J. Collins, and she is a daughter of Benjamin and Jane V. (Barclay) Collins, natives of the Buckeye State. They removed from Ohio to Taylor County, Iowa, where they were among the earliest pioneers.
Mr. and Mrs. Crabill have had born to them three children: Emma May, Allie B. and George B.
Our subject enlisted in Hardin County, Ohio, the day before Lincoln's assassination, in Company —, One Hundred and Ninety-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at the age of sixteen years. This company was not on active duty, but was ordered to Camp Chase, and after one month Mr. Crabill was mustered out of the service. His father, however, saw more of the reality of the war, serving four years and four months; he was with Sherman on his immortal march to the sea and was a faithful, valiant soldier.
In December, 1870, Mr. Crabill came to Clarinda and engaged in the manufacture of brick. For five years he leased ground of Mr. Farrens for this purpose, and at the end of this period he purchased the land, where he has since conducted the business. The first two years he made about 500,000 brick annually, but since that time he has manufactured upward of 1,000,000 per year. Nearly all the brick used in the construction of business houses in Clarinda have come from Mr. Crabill's yard. He has also made large shipments to neighboring towns. This industry has been of great benefit to Clarinda, giving employment to twenty men the greater part of the year, and requiring 600 cords of wood a year. In 1884 Mr. Crabill built the large business house on the east side of the square known as the "Crabill Block;" the first floor contains six store-rooms, and the upper floor is fitted up for offices, and a hall which is occupied by the Knights of Pythias. It was erected at a cost of $35,000, and would be an ornament to any city.
Mr. Crabill is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Clarinda Lodge, No. 139, and is also connected with the Modern Woodmen. He is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party. Every man has a special talent, and usually a special liking for some particular amusement; that of Mr. Crabill is in the direction of hunting, and he is one of the finest shots in the State.

CYRUS J. ORTH has been a member of the business circles of Page County since 1879. He is a native of Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, born  October  12, 1845, and is a son of [page 752] Adam G. and Frances (Secrist) Orth; the father was born in 1808 and died April 4, 1884, at Keithsburg, Illinois; the mother was born in 1811, and still resides at Keithsburg. Cyrus J. passed his earlier years in the county of his birth; assisting his father and attending the common schools.
When there was a call for men to go to the defense of his country, he enlisted January, 1864, in Company L, Twenty-second Pennsylvania Cavalry; this company was formed in Franklin and Washington counties, Pennsylvania, and was mustered into the service February 27, 1864. Mr. Orth was mustered out of the service at Cumberland, Maryland, in November, 1865. September 1, 1864, he was appointed Corporal in Company L, and was in all of the important battles in which his company participated; among the more noted may be mentioned Maryland Heights, Winchester, and Cedar Creek, where Sheridan made his famous ride from " Winchester, twenty miles away."
In 1865 Mr. Orth removed to Mercer County, Illinois, and engaged in farming for two years. In January, 1868, he entered the employ of his brother, C. S. Orth, as clerk, and remained with him in that capacity until 1876, when he was made a partner in the business. In 1879 he disposed of his commercial interests in Illinois, and removed to Page County, Iowa, where he has since been engaged in active business. April 1, 1882, the firm of Orth Brothers was formed, and the same year they built the brick block whieh they now occupy.
Mr. Orth was married in 1873 to Miss Ida J. Noble, a native of Keithsburg, Illinois, and a daughter of James A. and Harriet (Frick) Noble. Her father died in 1862, and the mother still resides in Keithsburg. Mr. and Mrs. Orth have one child, Hattie N., born February 17, 1879. The father and mother are members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Orth is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the A. O. U. W., and the G. A. R. He is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party.

GEORGE BERRY, who next claims our attention in the biographical record of Page County, is a native of Scotland, born in 1826. His grandfather, Andrew Berry, was a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and he married Agnes Fyvie; they were the parents of two children: Andrew and George. The father lived to be eighty years of age; in his religious faith he was a Seceder of the most rigid sort. George Berry, father of our subject, married Ann Robertson, the daughter of a Highlander who had seven daughters. To George and Ann Berry were born ten children: Andrew, Annie, Isabel, Agnes, William, George, Margaret, Jane, John and Elizabeth. Mr. Berry was a member of the Seceder Church, but he finallv joined the Free Church of Scotland and became an elder of that society, holding the office until his death, which occurred in his ninetieth year; he was also a member of the old militia of Scotland.
George Berry, son of the above, was educated in the common schools of Scotland and learned the carpenter's trade; he worked at this business until he was twenty-seven years of age, when he emigrated to America in the year 1853. He located at Urbana, Ohio, and when he arrived there his means had dwindled to just $3. However, he immediately found employment at his trade and remained in Urbana fourteen years. In 1858 he was united in marriage to Agnes Berry, a daughter of Andrew and Annie (Adams) [page 753] Berry, of Smiddir Hill, in the parish of Alfort. Mrs. Annie Adams Berry was a daughter of Charles and Mary (Urchart) Adams, of the Parish Eight, who owned the farm of Cornhill.
Mary Urchart was the sister of Dr. Urchart, minister of the Established Church of Scotland in the Parish of Tough, and who preached there until his death.
Unto Charles and Mary Adams were born twelve children: three of the boys studied for the ministry, but two of them died before they entered their duties. The rest of them became farmers, and all died of consumption but three.
The family of Andrew and Ann Berry consisted of seven daughters: Mary, Helen, Ann, Jessie, Christena, Agnes and Elizabeth. Mrs. Berry died of consumption when the youngest girl was three years old. Mr. Berry never married again and they all lived together, emigrating to America in 1854, to Savannah, Ohio, where he lived until his death, at the seventy-fifth year. He was of the strictest type of the old Seceders and raised his family in the most rigid manner. He was extremely orthodox in his observance of the Sabbath, not allowing his daughters to sweep the house or wash the dishes on that day. The daughters all married well. Andrew Berry became a paralytic, and his children brought him to the United States to live, but he never realized that he had left Scotland.
Mr. and Mrs. George Berry have had three children: Andrew A., Anna R. and John W. Mr. Berry resided in Urbana, Ohio, until 1867, when he removed to Iowa and purchased eighty acres of land. As his means increased he added to this until he now owns 240 acres of land as fine as any in Page County. He has made many valuable improvements and has built a desirable home for his family.   He and his wife are worthy members of the United Presbyterian Church of College Springs. He has always had a high sense of honor, and when he first arrived in this country he refused to become a citizen of a government that legalized the slavery of human beings; he therefore became a stanch Abolitionist. He is also a stanch Prohibitionist. The drinking habits of Scotland was the greatest reason of his leaving his native place.
The old Presbyterians of Scotland were a sterling, liberty-loving race of people, and their descendants may look with pride upon the ancestry from which they are sprung.
Andrew A. Berry lives on the Berry Hill farm. He is the agricultural editor of the Clarinda Herald, the leading paper in the county. He is also a special contributor to a number of the foremost agricultural journals in the United States.
Anna R. Berry married John Duncan in 1882, who is the subject of a sketch in this work. They have three children: Walter, Roy and Agnes. They have a fine farm near College Springs.
John W. Berry was married in 1889, to Liilie McKie, of Blanchard, Iowa, whose parents are Scotch. John and Liilie Berry have one child, a boy, George Earl. They have a fine eighty-acre farm two miles from the Berry Hill Farm—the old home place, and is energetically making them a comfortable home.



GEORGE A. KING is descended from Agra an old family of early settlers in Rhode Island. His grandfather, David King, was a blacksmith by trade, and the father of five children: Huldah, David, Joseph, Leonard, and Olney; he removed to Oswego County, New York, before 1830, and passed [page 754] the remainder of his days there. His son, Olney, the father of George A., was born in the town of Coventry, Rhode Island, in 1793, and was a farmer by occupation. He married Amy Potter, daughter of Peter Potter, and to them were born six children: Anstiss, Amy, Alexander, George A., Richard G., and Albert D. In 1855 the father of these children removed to Bureau County, Illinois, and settled on a farm, where he died ten years later at the age of sixty-four years. He and his wife were consistent members of the Christian Church, but were not followers of Alexander Campbell. They brought up their children to a strict observance of Christian principles, and to habits of industry and thrift, setting them an example in their own lives of much greater worth than riches. Mr. King had a great repugnance to debt, and at the time of his death "owed no man anything."
George A. King, the subject of this brief biography, was born in the town of Foster, Rhode Island, April 29, 1822, receiving a meager education in the common schools; he learned the trade of a machinist, and having a strong desire to be well informed he attended the night schools, thus laying a foundation that has enabled him to pursue his business intelligently. He learned his trade at Central Falls, and for more than nine years was in a manufacturing establishment in that place.
In 1844 Mr. King was united in marriage to Miss Harriet C. Chace, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Eathforth) Chace. Mr. Chace was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1787, and was a carpenter by trade. He was descended from English ancestors, and for many years was a resident of the city in which he was born. He spent the last years of his life at Smithfield, Rhode Island. He was the father of ten children, of whom Harriet King is the fourth: she was born in Providence, Rhode Island, February 3,1821, and was twenty-three years old at the time of her marriage, September 3, 1844. The result of this union has been two children. Charles H., born June 11, 1846, and Morgia, born October 14, 1849; the birthplace of both was Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Mr. King remained in Smithfield until 1856, when he removed to Bureau County, Illinois, and engaged in farming, cultivating his father's land. In 1864 his son, Charles, who was then eighteen years of age, enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served to the close of the war. In February, 1865, when there was a final call for men, Mr. King responded, having been prevented before by the dependence of his family; he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served to the end of the bitter struggle. While on picket duty during a severe sleet and rain storm, he contracted rheumatism, from which he has never recovered. The Government has granted him a pension in recognition of his service. After the war he returned to Illinois, but it was one year before he was able to engage in any kind of labor; he then resumed farming in Bureau County, and in 1871, removed to Page County, Iowa, and settled on a wild tract of land, consisting of 120 acres, which he has converted into a fine, fertile farm.
Mr. and Mrs. King are both devoted members of the Essex Baptist Church, of which he is both deacon and trustee; they have all their lives been earnest Christians, and for forty-five years have been consistent church members. Their children have been taught the principles of the Christian religion, and to honor their Creator. They have made a great effurt to maintain the Baptist Church [page 755] at Essex, but have not met with as much success as they hoped.
Politically Mr. King affiliates with the Republican party, to which he gives his undivided support. His son, Charles A., was married, September 13, 1871, to Miss Annie Piatt. He is now train dispatcher on the Santa Fe Railroad; he received his business education at the Commercial College at Providence, Rhode Island, and March 21, 1878, Morgia married Daniel H. Dean, who is now engaged in the real estate business in Chicago.
Samuel Eathforth, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. King, was of Scotch descent, and was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, passing that terrible winter at Valley Forge. He lived to the great age of eighty-nine years. Jonathan Chace, Mrs. King's paternal grand­father, was of English descent, and lived to the age of ninety-seven years. The mother of Mrs. King lived to be ninety-nine years, four months, and twenty-two days old.


JOSEPH C. SHIELDS.—It is with pleasure that the biographical historian of Pierce Township makes a record of the above named popular subject. Mr. Shields is well and favorably known, not only to the people of Essex, but also to the surrounding towns, both in and adjoining Page County. He is one of the most accommodating and genial men in this part of Iowa. His teams are always in fine condition, horses fat and well groomed, and are good roadsters as well as safe in driving; and on occasion, if it be his customer's pleasure, he can turn out a team that will distance most of the flyers. His carriages are always well washed up and in a safe condition, presenting the natty appearance of a first-class livery. Like care and taste, of course, are exhibited in every detail of the harness and other equipments. In short, all the virtues of a first-class liveryman pertain to and sit with easy grace upon Mr. Shields. A good livery is a good indication of a thrifty town, and is as important to the reputation of the place as is a good hotel; and the man who conducts one in a first-class manner is a direct benefit to his community, and deserves the respect and support of his fellow townsmen.
Besides keeping the only livery in Essex, Mr. Shields also buys and sells horses, and it is said that he is an excellent judge of the points of a fine horse. The farmers for miles around recognize his accommodating qualities, and can be seen at his barn on business at almost any time. So popular and favorably known is Mr. Shields that even strangers and traveling men, having business with the farmers in that part of the country, frequently engage his services, and always with satisfaction. And as he is yet a young man, the neighbors predict that his liberal spirit will continue to become far more widely known, and his popularity will continue to grow until the silver hairs have long graced his locks with the crowning dignity of an honored old age.


JOHN SCIDMORE, florist, Clarinda, Iowa, is a native of the State of New York, born in Saratoga County, April 27, 1842, and is the son of Elisha and G. Elma (McCleas) Scidmore. The parents were also natives of Saratoga County, but were of English origin. The mother died in 1852, but the father survived until September, 1886, aged eighty-four years. They reared a family of seven children, six of whom survive. John is the fourth child, and was left motherless at a very early age.   He was taken by a [page 756] family named Benson and was cared for until he was able to make his own way. He served an apprenticeship with his father as a mason, and in the fall of 1862 he came to Illinois, locating in La Salle County, near Ottawa. There he remained engaged in his trade until November, 1879, when he removed to Clarinda, Iowa; there he served as cemetery sexton, and has been engaged in the management of a green-house and a plant garden.
Mr. Scidmore was united in marriage March 5, 1867, to Miss Mary E. Taylor. She was born in Virginia and removed to La Salle County, Illinois, in 1865. Her parents died when she was a child. Mr. and Mrs. Scidmore have had five children, two of whom are living: Frederick, born in 1868, and Lillie, born in 1875. The father and mother are supporters of the Universalist Church.
Our subject is a member of the Odd Fellows and also of the Modern Woodmen. He is a firm believer in Democratic politics and cast his first vote for Seymour for Governor of the State of New York.

BENJAMIN TODD, attorney at law, was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, December 25, 1830, and is the son of Charles W. and Marcillar W. (DeBonehone) Todd. The Todd family is of Scotch origin, while the maternal grandfather was a native Frenchman. The mother of Benjamin Todd was born at Frederick, Maryland, where she grew to womanhood and was married. When young Todd was twelve years of age they re-removed to Kentucky, remaining there one year; they then decided to locate in Illinois, and removed to that State and settled fifty miles north of Peoria. The father is now a resident of Colfax Springs, Iowa, and is aged eighty-two years.   The family consisted of eight children, two of whom survive. James F. Todd, M. D., is county physician of Cook County, Illinois, and fills this responsible position with much credit to himself.
When Benjamin Todd was fourteen years old he went to Peoria, Illinois, and entered a dry-goods store as clerk; he remained in mercantile life upwards of twenty years. A portion of this time he had charge of the collection department, and as the firm did an extensive business they were often involved in litigation; in this connection Mr. Todd became familiar with commercial law and, resolved to make it his profession. After reading Blackstone and other learned writers on the subject, he entered the law office of W. W. O'Brien, with whom he remained until he was admitted to the bar in March, 1870. He began his practice with Mr. O'Brien, and, meeting with flattering success, he was appointed Deputy State's Attorney, a position he filled for four years. After this he resumed a general practice, giving particular attention to commercial law.
In 1881 he decided to abandon the active practice of his profession and take up less exhaustive pursuits. His tastes and boyhood training led him naturally to select the industry of agriculture, and coming to Iowa he purchased a farm in Mills County, which he cultivated two years. At the end of this time he has yielded to the earnest solicitations of friends to resume the practice of law. He opened an office in Shenandoah and is doing an active general practice. He stands high with his colaborers at the bar and is considered an able counsellor and reliable adviser.
Politically Mr. Todd is an uncompromising Democrat.
Benjamin Todd was united in marriage May 3, 1855, to Miss Frances T. Jones of Peoria, Illinois. Their family consisted of eight children: Robert, the first-born, died at the [page 757] age of three years; Eleanor is the wife of W. J. Crandall; Charles W. is a civil engineer; Frank P. and James F. are in the employ of the Toledo, Peoria & Wabash Railway at Peoria, Illinois; Mary M. is the wife of D. W. Cahill; John W. and Josephine F. are at home.


EDWIN G. WOODROW, D. D. S., is one of Shenandoah's enterprising and successful young men, and one who has met with more than an ordinary degree of success. He was born in Glenwood, Mills County, Iowa, September 30, 1864, and is a son of Ebenezer R. S. and Mary A. (Fisk) Woodrow. His father is widely and favorably known in Mills County, where he settled in 1846; he has been prominently identified with the real estate and loan and abstract business; he was born in Ohio and his wife was a native of Virginia.
At the age of seventeen years Dr. Woodrow entered the office of F. M. Shriver, D. D. S., at Glenwood, and remained there three years, becoming thoroughly familiar with all the details of practical dentistry. He had received a good education in the public schools of his native town, and at the age of twenty years he became a student at the Iowa State University, at Iowa City; there he pursued the study of dentistry diligently for two years, and March 2, 1886, he was graduated from that institution with honor. He at once came to Shenandoah where he succeeded Dr. R. Nance.
In this profession he has doubless found his life work; he is careful and painstaking, and only uses the most excellent material in his work; he gives special attention to the latest and best improved methods of execution and is exceedingly skillful in crown and bridge work. He is enthusiastic and earnest in his profession and is possessed of the spirit that knows no failure. He has a handsomely furnished suite of rooms in Shenandoah and is well supplied with all the best instruments required in dental surgery.
The Doctor is a consistent member of the Baptist Church, and he belongs to the brotherhood of the Knights of Pythias. He is courteous and affable in manner and wins the respect and esteem of those with whom he comes in contact.


D. W. FLICKINGER is one of the active, intelligent and successful men of Washington Township. He came to Page County in March, 1877, and has since that time been prominently identified with her agricultural interests. He was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, July 19, 1855, and is a son of Daniel and Julia A. (Saylor) Flickinger, natives of the State of Pennsylvania, and of German and English extraction respectively. D. W. was reared on a farm in his native county and early became accustomed to hard labor. In 1877 he determined to seek a home in the great West, where he believed the opportunities for young men were much better than in the East. Accordingly he started out, and when he came to Page County, Iowa, he stopped and secured work of J. A. Pattison, in Morton Township; he remained there two seasons and then came to Washington Township, and settled on eighty acres of wild land which he had purchased the year he came to the county. He boarded in the family of H. H. Whitney until he was married February 17, 1881, to Miss Ella, daughter of H. H. Whitney, one of the prominent citizens of the county.
Mr. Flickinger located on his present farm [page 758] some years later; this place was improved by J. S. Wolf, and was bought at $60 per acre; it lies three-quarters of a mile from Northboro, and is a very attractive home with its modern, roomy buildings, its shade and evergreen trees, and numerous conveniences and comforts. There is an observatory on the barn, from which a splendid view of the surrounding country can be had. Neatness, thrift and prosperity are the prevailing characteristics of the Flickinger homestead.
Mr. and Mrs. Flickinger are the parents of one daughter, Jennie, born October 18,1882. They are members of the Christian Church, and active workers in the cause of their Master. Politically our subject affiliates with the Republican party. He is a man of good habits and strong purposes, and thorougly reliable in every respect, well meriting the esteem in which he is held by the members of the community in which he resides.


JOHN W. DOUGHERTY, a native of Page County, Iowa, was born July 27, 1855. He is the sixth child of Gideon and Elizabeth (Mahan) Dougherty, and was reared to farm life, receiving his education in the common schools. Until he had obtained his majority he remained at home, attending to such duties as usually devolve upon a farmer's son. September 17, 1873, Mr. Dougherty was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Thompson, a daughter of James and Rath (Roach) Thompson; she is also a native of Page County, Iowa, born August 27, 1856. After his marriage Mr. Dougherty took charge of his father's farm, situated in Mason Township, Taylor County, Iowa, and remained there for five years. . At the end of that time he removed to Atchison County, Missouri, where he spent the following five years. He then returned to Page County and settled on his present farm of 200 acres; he has a piece of finely improved land, and being a man of thrift and energy he has made a decided success in his agricultural pursuits, occupying a position among the leading farmers of East River Township.
In politics Mr. Dougherty affiliates with the Democratic party. He was chosen by the people of his township in 1889 to act as trustee, and he has also held the office of Constable. He has always taken an active interest in promoting the welfare of the community in which he lives, and has faithfully discharged any duties he has assumed. Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty are the parents of three children: Carrie, Minnie and Elmer. Mrs. Dougherty is a member of the Christian Church.