Biographical History of Page County, Iowa, 1890
[transcribed by Pat O'Dell:]

[page 469] John McVitty, of section 22, Nodaway Township, has been an enterprising citizen of Page County since 1878. He was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, May 12, 1852, and is the son of Edward and Mary (Burk) McVitty, natives of Pennsylvania. there were four children in the family, of whom John was the oldest. He was trained in the avocation of agriculture and received his education in the common schools. When a mere youth he was filled with amibition to try his fortunes in the West, and in 1876 he went to Illinois, locating in Henry County, where he lived until 1878. Concluding that there were yet better things in store for him, we went still farther west and settled in Page County, Iowa, where he has since made his home.

Mr McVitty was united in marriage in 1878, to Miss Lizzie Kerr, a very successful and popular teacher in Henry County, Illinois, where she was born, reared and educated. She is a daughter of Valentine Kerr, of Henry County, Illinois. Mr McVitty bought his farm in 1881; it was partially improved, but he has brought it to its present advanced state of cultivation; he has built a fine residence which is splendidly located, and he has all the necessary buildings for the care and protection of live-stock. He devotes his time exclusively to farming and stock-raising, and has been uniformly successful in these enterprises. Everything about the McVitty farm gives evidence of the thrift and wise management of the owner.

No American citizen is without some political belief, and our worthy subject adheres to the principles of the Republican party. He has served as treasurer of the school board for several years, and his wife is secretary of the same body, filling the position with much ability and with satisfaction to the public.

Mr and Mrs McVitty had born to them two children, a son and a daughter, both of whom died in childhood.

FRED SUNDERMANN, one of the thrifty agriculturists of Douglas Township, is entitled to space in this connection, as he has been an honored citizen of Page County for a quarter of a century. He is a native of Hanover, Germany, born May 10, 1838, and is the son of Casper and Charlotte (Goecker) Sundermann.   When he was less than two [page 470] years of age his parents emigrated to America and settled in Jackson County, Indiana, where they lived the remainder of their days. Fred was reared a farmer, and also mastered the cooper's trade, receiving his education in the common schools.
Arriving at man's estate in 1862, he was married to Louisa Monning, a native of Jackson County, Indiana, and a daughter of George and Ingel (Rolker) Monning. They remained in Jackson County three years after their marriage and then decided to remove to Iowa. They came by rail as far as St. Joe, Missouri, and from that point by team to Page County. This was in the spring of 1865, just at the close of the Rebellion.
Mr. Sundermann had already purchased a farm of 200 acres, paying $9 per acre; about fifty-five acres had been broken up, and a log cabin adorned the premises and made it seem like a sort of a home. All was wild and new; north and west was one vast, blank prairie, as nature had left it. Here the family have lived all these years, but not with the same surroundings. Year by year Mr. Sundermann has worked, and saved and planned; he has added to his first tract of land until he now owns 360 acres of land in Douglas Township and 240 acres in Nodaway Township, all of which is well improved. He lived in the log house until 1876, when he erected his present commodious and comfortable residence; it cost $1,500, and is most attractively located, being surrounded by many beautiful trees. A fine orchard of 100 trees adds very materially to the value of the farm, and all the indications are that thrift and prosperity follow the owner's hand.
Mr. and Mrs. Sundermann have six children: Henry F., Lewis J., Edwin A., Martha M., Joseph H. and Hannah Margaret; they have lost three children by death.
Politically our esteemed subject is a Democrat. He has held the responsible position of supervisor for six years, and he has also served as school director, and has been director of the Clarinda National Bank six years. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church, of which he is one of the present trustees. He makes liberal contributions to the church of his choice, and has given his children a good education both in the German and English languages.


EZEKIEL PIPER, one of the representative men of Douglas Township, came to Page County in 1868, and since that time has made his home there. He was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1845, and is a son of Daniel and Anna (Bair) Piper, natives of Pennsylvania. When he was ten years old the family removed to Henry County, Illinois, and he remained with them until 1865, when he went to Knox County, Illinois. He remained there three years, and at the end of that time the family all removed to Page County, Iowa, where the parents passed the remainder of their days. The father died February 13, 1874, and the mother died in Washington County, Kansas, September, 1888, while on a visit to a daughter.
Mr. Piper was reared to the occupation of a farmer, and for four years he lived in Valley Township, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He then returned to the old homestead, where he now lives. The farm contains eighty acres of rich land, in a good state of cultivation. There is a comfortable dwelling, substantial barns for stock and grain, and many modern conveniences for farming. A grove of beautiful trees adds much to the attractiveness of the spot, and an orchard of 120 trees is one of the luxuries [page 471] not enjoyed in every comparatively new country.

Mr. Piper has been twice married: first, December 25, 1873, he was united to Miss Martha Welch, a daughter of George and Sarah Welch. She died in September, 1883. Two years later, September 3, 1885, he was married to Miss Ida Munckey [sic, Muckey], a daughter of Jasper and Emma (McQueen) Munckey [sic, Muckey]. The parents were born in the State of New York and removed to McDonough County, Illinois, at an early day, and in 1867 they came to Page County, Iowa.
By this second marriage two children were born: Elsie Elvira and Herbert A.
In this country of free government every man has some choice of political parties, and our subject has cast his vote with the Republicans. He is in the prime of life, and is highly esteemed by all with whom he comes in contact.

N. L. VAN SANDT, physician and surgeon, Clarinda, is among the few pioneer practitioners of Page County yet living. He came to the county in 1858, and during all these long years has ever sought to better the condition of society, by aiding and fostering the public institutions, which to-day bless the " Kingdom of Page." The Doctor is one of those rare exceptions who become potent factors in other lines than their own calling. While he has been a constant practitioner at Clarinda for a third of a century, he has also been the prime mover in many laudable enterprises. He has been foremost in the efforts to obtain railroads and public buildings; in sustaining the Page County Agricultural Society and the South-Western Iowa Medical Association.
To learn something of his early years, his education, and family connection, it may be stated, by way of beginning, that he is a native of Ohio, born May 7, 1825. His father was John Van Sandt, who was a native of Fleming County, Kentucky. The Van Sandts originally came from Holland, emigrating to Berks County, Pennsylvania. The great-grandfather removed to Botetourt County, Virginia, at an early day. In the Revolutionary war he was disabled from field duty on account of his great weight, but raised a regiment and received a Colonel's commission. His son Elijah removed to Fleming County, Kentucky, where the father of our subject was born and reared, and married to Miss Nancy Northcutt, the daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Northcutt, a prominent Methodist clergyman of Kentucky. He took an active part in the great religious revival that swept the country at the commencement of this century. He was a native of North Carolina, of English descent.
After his marriage, John Van Sandt removed to Brown County, Ohio, and in 1828 to Hamilton County, Ohio, where he took an active part in the "Underground Railroad." He became an anti-slavery advocate as early as 1835, and continued a zealous worker until overtaken by death in 1847. His wife died in 1837. This John Van Sandt is the original of one of the characters in Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Our subject, the Doctor, was reared on his father's farm, and attended the subscription schools common at that date; he completed his education at Woodford and Farmers' Colleges. In 1847 he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. I. J. Avery, of Reading, Ohio. He remained with him one year and then attended lectures in 1848, 1849, and in 1850 he graduated at the Cincinnati Medical Institute (Eclectic). In 1850 he began his actual practice in Troy, Ohio, [page 472] where he remained about ten years. He then came to Iowa and engaged in the practice of his profession at Clarinda, then a mere hamlet. At one time he was in the drug business, and he also did some experimental farming. It was the worthy Doctor and his wife who were instrumental in connection with some others in planting the first shade trees on the public grounds of Clarinda, which have come to be the admiration of both strangers and citizens.
Dr. Van Sandt was married November 7, 1850, to Miss Eliza Heald, a native of Ohio, the daughter of Zimerah Heald, who was born in the state of Maine. Two children were born of this union: Florence May died in 1856, aged two years; Stanley is now a resident of Clarinda.
During his public career the Doctor has filled many positions; he was elected a member of the Iowa Legislature, serving in the House during the Tenth Assembly; he was pension examiner for eighteen years, and was also a member of the medical board for the same period of time; he was commissioned by Governor Stone as Surgeon of the State Militia; he is a member of the State Eclectic Medical Society, and of the National Society of Eclectic Physicians; he has served as President of the Iowa Eclectic Society and was Professor of Gynecology in the Iowa Eclectic College.
Both the Doctor and Mrs. Van Sandt are acceptable members of the Presbyterian Church. He is a radical Republican and has been an efficient worker in his party.
Nearly every branch of trade and vocation pursued in Page County has felt the touch and power of Dr. Van Sandt's diversified knowledge and zealous work. Some, nay, most men live to themselves, but in looking over the list of prominent and truly representative people of Page County, one finds none who have accomplished more than Dr. Van Sandt and his estimable companion.
Possessed of a high degree of intelligence and refinement it is but natural that Mrs. Van Sandt should have become a leader in social circles, while her husband per force of his natural and acquired ability impresses the masses as being a person of unusual mental strength. One result of Dr. Van Sandt's many years of residence here has been to fix in the minds of observing and thinking people the fact that men's lives are not alone valuable by reason of the property they may acquire, but that public spirit and soul-life are what true men and women most admire and appreciate. While our esteemed subject has accumulated a competence, he has expended large sums for the public good. There are people in every part of the county whom he has treated without money, and his visits have been made in summer's heat and winter's blast.
Upon all moral and political questions he has been a fearless advocate of the side that impressed him as the right one, and his influence will be felt long after he shall have passed away.
In conclusion it may be said that Dr. N. L. Van Sandt's life and character in Page County have been of that high type that men everywhere respect. The deeds of his eventful life will be his monument, and public opinion will inscribe the words, Good Citizen, Noble Manhood, Faithful Friend.


JAMES POLLOCK, one of the intelligent and successful agriculturists of Douglas Township, has been a resident of Page County since 1869. He was born in Nova Scotia, February 1, 1835, and is a son of James Pollock, also a native of Nova Scotia, [page 473] whose parents were natives of Ireland. The mother's maiden name was Ann Simpson, and she was of Scotch descent. Her father was an officer in the British army, and received from the British government lands in Nova Scotia.
James Pollock, Sr., was a farmer by occupation, and until James, Jr., was seventeen years old he was trained in the same avocation. He was twelve years old when the family removed to Canada, and at the age of eighteen years he went to serve an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and later engaged in the wagon and carriage-maker's trade.
In 1859 the family removed to Mercer County, Illinois. There were thirteen children, all of whom lived to be men and women. The mother died in 1868, and the father in 1871.
Mr. Pollock was united in marriage, March 3, 1864, to Miss Jane Brownlee, a native of Ohio.   She was born in Guernsey County, June 2, 1837, and is the daughter of Ebenezer and Ann (Mitchell) Brownlee, natives of the State of Pennsylvania, and of Scotch lineage.   The father died in 1845, and in 1858 the widow and children removed  to Mercer County, Illinois, where the mother died in 1863.   Mrs. Pollock was well educated, and was a successful teacher previous to her marriage.
Our subject resided in Mercer County, Illinois, until 1866, when he removed to Benton County, Iowa, where he remained three years. At the end of this time he came to Page County, and first purchased a tract of eighty acres of wild land which he brought to a good state of cultivation. As his means increased he made further investments in real estate, until his farm now covers 320 acres. There are two good residences on this land, and he has planted three acres in a fine assortment of fruit trees and a good grove. The farm buildings are of a most substantial character, and the place is surrounded by 1,100 rods of well-kept osage orange fence. The farm is well stocked with high-graded cattle, horses and hogs, and an air of thrift and prosperity pervades the whole surroundings.
Mr. Pollock is a zealous and active member of the United Presbyterian Church, being one of the organizers of the society and a present elder. He has also served as Sabbath-school superintendent and teacher. Politically he is a Republican Prohibitionist.


JOHN G. McMULLEN, an enterprising farmer of Douglas Township, has been a resident of Page County since his early childhood, having emigrated with his grandfather in 1854. He was born in Darke County, Ohio, August 27, 1847, and is the son of Stephen and Phoebe (Loy) McMullen. When he was two years old his father died, and a few weeks later the mother followed her husband, leaving five little children. The helpless little creatures found a good home with their grandfather, Jacob Loy, who reared them to maturity.
When John G. was seven years old his grandfather brought him to Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, and they soon settled near that town. He spent his first school days in a log school-house that was built at Clarinda, and naturally his advantages were not of the most brilliant character; however, they wore made the most of, and a foundation was laid for a successful business life. At the age of nineteen years he started out for himself, engaging to work on a farm by the month. His grandfather had been a farmer before him, and he had been trained in this occupation. [page 474] He improved a farm on section 8, Douglas Township, which he sold two years later; he then improved another tract of land on section 7, which he also disposed of, and in 1884 he embarked in the mercantile business in Clarinda. He followed this for two years, and in 1886 he located on his present farm. It is a well-improved piece of land, consisting of 160 acres in an advanced state of cultivation. The farm is watered by running streams, thus essentially adapting it to stock-raising.
Mr. McMullen was united in marriage, June 3, 1869, to Miss M. J. Lytle, a daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Secrest) Lytle. They are the parents of three daughters: Lulu, Mabel and Florence. They are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and strive to elevate the moral sentiment of the community in which they live. Mr. McMullen is one of the trustees of the church, and was at one time appointed Sabbath-school superintendent, a position he is well fitted to fill.

CHARLES WHIPP.—In sketching the career of the first settlers of any country it is often very noticeable that success crowns one man's efforts while another's seem to be one train of disappointment and failure. The question is not unfrequentiy asked, "Why are these lives so unequal?" In a general way it may be answered by remarking that men are not constituted alike; they are not trained in boyhood alike, and the circumstances which surround them are seldom the same.
The man whose name heads this sketch has been a marked success, and is today one of the happy, prosperous agriculturists of Colfax Township.   To learn of his boyhood days and earlier manhood the reader is asked to allow his thoughts to rest on that magnificent farming section in England known as Yorkshire, where Mr. Whipp was born, July 29, 1834. His father and mother were both natives of Yorkshire, and were good old English farmers of the sturdy type, and reared their family, consisting of three sons and six daughters, in the ways of prudence and industry. The father's name was George Whipp, and the mother's maiden name was Anna Whitley, daughter of G. C. Whitley. The former died in his native country in 1870, and the latter in 1864.
Charles is the only member of the family who came to America. He sailed from Liverpool in the spring of 1856, landing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after a voyage of seventeen days. The steamer was delayed on account of a wreck caused by floating ice off the coast of Newfoundland.
Mr. Whipp was married in Yorkshire, England, May 24, 1854, to Miss Grace Hollas, a daughter of Joseph and Harriet (Lever) Hollas. The mother's brother was one of the manufacturers of the wire used in the first Atlantic cable. Our subject left his wife and one child in his native land and crossed the ocean, hoping to better his circumstances. He had no capital on which to depend but his hands. He worked on a farm in New Jersey for one year, and then went to Knox County, Illinois, where he followed farming by the month until June, 1861, which brought him to the opening of the great civil war. He was not then an American citizen, but he had determined to make this country his home; he was fired with the same feelings of patriotism and love for the flag of our Union that filled the hearts of native Americans. He became a member of Company D, Seventh Illinois Cavalry in June, 1861, and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. [page 475] He enlisted as a private, and from principle rather than spoils. He was mustered out after four years and a half of hard, active service, as Sergeant of his company. He took part in many battles and skirmishes, including Corinth, Iuka, and Island No. 10. He was in the noted "Grierson Raid," which was sent out to cut off communications, destroy railroads and seize supplies. In the autumn of 1862 he was taken a prisoner of war, and held at Vicksburg from October 6 until Janury 1, 1863,-- three months. He was mustered out of the service in the fall of 1865, at Springfield, Illinois, having proved himself a soldier true and brave. No little credit attaches to those of foreign birth who served during that long and bloody contest from '61 to '65.

Upon returning to Knox County, Illinois, Mr. Whipp engaged in farming until 1866, when he removed to Henry County, Illinois, and remained there until 1869. In that year he settled in Page County, Iowa. As his life and destiny were all too uncertain during the dark days of the Rebellion, he did not send to England for his family until the year 1866, when his wife and child came to greet him in the country of their adoption. At first he purchased eighty acres on the east half of section 12, Colfax Township, to which he has from time to time made additions until his present farm contains 200 acres of valuable land, finely improved. All was then new and wild in this section of Page County. The lumber for his first house was hauled from Villisca, over thirty miles distant. But he is now comfortably situated; his buildings are substantial, and an orchard provides an abundance of good fruit. His residence is one mile and a half from College Springs, where Amity College is situated, which drew him to this county as a place to educate his children.   His farming has been of the best kind, always feeding his crops out on his place to his own stock, and meeting with universal success in his enterprises.

Mr. and Mrs. Whipp are the parents of seven intelligent children: Hannah, wife of John S. Herron, a resident of Kansas; George H. and Hattie (twins); George is at home, and Hattie is married to Thomas Hill; Alice, Fred and Flora (twins), and May B. are all at home.
The parents are members of the Congregational church at College Springs. Politically Mr. Whipp is a radical and firm believer in the general principles of the Republican party. He has never sought office, but has held local positions of trust with satisfaction to all concerned. He belongs to Page Post, G. A. R., at Coin.
In whatever way Mr. Whipp may be viewed, he is a man of sterling qualities. He is an excellent neighbor, a prudent farmer, and a loyal and true citizen, as his military and civil record attests. He believes in and supports public enterprises, schools and churches, holding that in these rests the safety of the nation. It is said that he is without an enemy in his county, where he has lived twenty-one years. The above facts have been carefully collected from among his friends and neighbors who are competent to judge.


EDWIN APLEY, a highly respected resident of section 27, Colfax Township, came to Page County on a visit in December, 1864, and, being favorably impressed with the value and productiveness of the soil in this section of Iowa, purchased eighty acres of his present farm from J. B. Newman, paying $10 per acre for the same. His present farm contains 120 acres, the last [page 476] " forty " being purchased in 1883, at a cost three times as great as that of the first land.
Concerning Mr. Apley's early career it may be stated that he was born in Windham County, Connecticut, at Woodstock, July 5, 1846, and is a son of Elias and Betsey (Chandler) Apley, native of Connecticut. The father died in his native county in July, 1874, and the mother departed this life when our subject was a mere lad. Both parents were of good Puritan ancestry. Edwin attended the common schools of his native county. It was in February, 1870, that he landed in Lee County, Illinois, where his father's brothers were then residing. There he engaged in farm labor by the month; in June of the same year he visited Washington County, Nebraska, but after looking that country over he decided that Page County, Iowa, was the best place in which to build for himself a home, and heat once began his farm improvements.
Mr. Apley was married November 26, 1885, to Miss Mary A. McDonell, the daughter of Daniel and Annie (Kane) McDonell. She was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and came to Page County with her parents in April, 1870. Her father died May 12, 1883, and her mother is still living.
Mr. and Mrs. Apley are the parents of two children: Nellie, born November 6, 1886, and Maggie, born September 15, 1888.
Politically our subject is an uncompromising Republican, but has never sought public office. He at one time served as road supervisor upon the earnest solictation of the people. He is a man of industry and public spirit. When the Blanchard Creamery stock was offered for sale he took a number of shares to help along that enterprise. When he first came to Colfax Township all was new and wild, and it took long years of toil and privation to develop his present tarnm   He had a fine, bearing orchard, and excellent facilities for raising and feeding stock. The farm is three miles east of Blanchard in one of the choicest locations in the county, and is a pleasant home, much enjoyed by him and his family. They are numbered among Page County's happy and prosperous people.

SAMUEL HERRON, one of the pioneers of Colfax township residing on section 11, came to this county in the spring of 1869, from Columbiana County, Ohio; he made the journey by rail to Hamburg, Fremont County, then the nearest station. He bought the partially improved farm of W. W. Russell, containing 200 acres of choice land. The family lived in the small, inconvient house, which was already on the premises, from March until January, 1870, when their new house was completed; it was erected at a cost of $2,000. and is 30 x 30 feet with an addition; there is a cellar 22 x 30 feet, walled with stone, which was brought from Snow Hill quarry above Coin. The lumber for the building was freighted from Hamburg, thirty miles distant, and the lime was procured at Bedford, Taylor County. The price of material was high and generous wages were paid for labor. The residence as it now stands is one of the best in the township; it is located on a natural building site and is completely surrounded by stately Norway spruce trees, a third of a century old; they were planted by pioneer Russell in 1857, when they were less than two feet high, but now tower thirty feet in height; they are a beautiful collection of trees and are said to be the finest of the kind in Page County. Good barns, shedding and stock buildings have been provided.   At one time the farm contained 280 [page 477] acres, but now has 160 acres. General farming and stock-feeding are carried on by Mr. Herron and his son.
Something of the early career of our subject will be of interest to most of Page County's citizens. He is a native of the "Emerald Isle," born in county Down, July 3, 1821. His parents emigrated to America when he was less than two years old, and settled in the State of New York. At the end of eight years they removed to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and thence to Ohio, where the father died in 1854, aged seventy years. The mother died in Page County in the spring of 1886, aged ninety years. Samuel is the only child of the family who lived to maturity. He was united in marriage January 7, 1851, to Miss Susan Graham of Columbiana county, Ohio, a daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Graham) Graham. She was born in Ireland, and when she was four years old her parents emigrated to America and settled in Columbiana County, Ohio. Her father died in 1878, aged eighty-three years, and the mother passed away in 1881, aged seventy-seven years.
Mr. and Mrs. Herron are the parents of eight children, three of whom are living: the first born, Eliza Jane, died at the age of two years; Anna Maggie died when twenty months old; a pair of twins died in infancy, and Willie W., a bright, promising boy of fourteen summers, died in 1874; the living children are John, Nathan J. and Joseph K.
Mr. Herron's education was received in the common schools of New York and Ohio, and in a " select school " which he attended two years, after which he engaged in teaching for several years. For five years he was engaged in the general merchandise trade in Carroll County, and in Columbiana County eight years; he was there when the noted raider, Morgan, was captured during the civil war.
Politically Mr. Herron has been a firm supporter of the Republican party since its organization. He and his fainilv are consistent members of the United Presbyterian Church at College Springs. He has long been looked upon as an honored member of Page County society.

JAMES M. GIBSON, a resident of section 30, has been identified with the interests common to a Page County citizen since 1865. Having been an early settler and one of the representative men of Colfax Township, he naturally finds place in the history of his county. He is a native of Putnam County, Indiana, born February 8, 1848, and is a son of James X. and Emily (Moss) Gibson, natives of the State of Kentucky. They emigrated in 1834 to Indiana and improved a farm in the midst of a dense forest in Putnam County. In 1853 the family removed to Appanoose County, Iowa, and again took up pioneer life. In 1865 they moved to Harlan Township, Page County, locating on section 22. In 1872 they went to Colfax Township and settled on section 19. The father died March 21, 1874, aged sixty-three years. The mother is still living, and makes her home in Blanchard.
James M. is the seventh of a family of five boys and five girls. Two of the brothers served in the Union army during the dark days of the civil war. George W. was killed at Marks Mills, Arkansas, in 1864, aged eighteen years; William F. enlisted in a Missouri regiment and was honorably discharged; he is now a well-to-do farmer of Washington Township, Page County. Our subject had but a limited education, a disadvantage which many sons of pioneers suffered.
Mr. Gibson was united in marriage Febru- [page 478] ary 21,1878, at College Springs, Iowa, to Miss Amanda Elgin, the daughter of James and Eliza (Calhoun) Elgin. She was born April 10,1851. Her father was a native of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and was a farmer by occupation. He died December 29, 1882, aged seventy-eight years; the mother is a native of Ireland, coming to America when a child six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Elgin reared a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. They removed to Page County, Iowa, in the spring of 1867, and were among the second band of pioneers in Amity Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Gibson are the parents of four children: Lois E., Lee O., Elmer M. and Earl J. The father, mother, and eldest child are acceptable members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Blanchard. Mr. Gibson has held the office of trustee, steward, and Sunday-school superintendent; he is an active, loyal, Christian worker, and with his estimable wife is rearing his family in paths of rectitude and right. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. While never aspiring to public office he has held some of the offices.
After his marriage in 1878 he moved to land purchased in 1874, on section 30, Colfax Township, where he still resides. At first he bought 120 acres, paying $10 per acre; in 1882 he purchased an additional forty acres, for which he paid $30 per acre, three times as much as he paid eight years before. His present farm consists of a quarter section of well improved land; it is perhaps the only farm in Page County one mile long by a quarter of a mile wide. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson had brave hearts and strong constitutions to undergo all the hardships incident to the opening of a prairie farm, away from fuel and railroads.
In the summer of 1875, before his marriage, Mr. Gibson had his crops destroyed by the grasshoppers, and in 1883, during the July 13th storm, memorable through this section of Iowa, he had one of his farm residences blown to pieces and all of his fine, growing crops destroyed. But with a firm determination to win, and a strong arm, he kept at work, and is today surrounded by many of the comforts of life. He has a good home near the town of Blanchard, and a fine tract of land near churches, schools and markets.
Mr. and Mrs. Gibson, by their correct, Christian example, have won a large circle of friends, who prize them for their many noble traits of character.


ANTHONY LORANZ, who was up to the time of his death a central figure among the hardy band of Page County pioneers, and had a part in the earlier as well as later development of what has come to be one of Iowa's choicest sections, may very appropriately find place in the biographical history of the county in which he spent so many years, was so actively engaged in various capacities, and ever bore the respect of all within the range of his extended acquaintance. He was born in the province of Baden, near Baden Baden, Germany, October 29, 1810. He was educated for a Catholic priest, but in 1831 he accompanied his parents and younger brothers to America, landing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The parents died in that city the following year of that most fatal disease, cholera. His brother, Michael, was killed in the Canadian-British trouble. He worked in and near Philadelphia as laborer and teamster until 1837, when he went to New York, where he was engaged on the Erie Canal.   In 1839 he [page 479] went to Chicago, Illinois, and thence to Fulton County, Illinois, where he resided until 1858.
In March, 1842, Mr. Loranz was married to Barbara Bolender, and to them were born seven children: Henry, Catherine, Alice, Mary, Raymond; Joseph and Sarah. Alice died in infancy, and Catherine when thirteen years old; Henry, Raymond, and Mary, wife of Dr. John P. Brown, now reside at Clarinda, while Joseph lives at Alco, Alabama. Sarah, the wife of James E. Wise, lives near Villisca, Page County.
After his marriage Mr. Loranz purchased eighty acres of timber land in Fulton County, Illinois. In March, 1858, he sold his farm and removed to Page County, Iowa. The family came to Clarinda in September of that year and were among the pioneers of this flourishing city. Mr. Loranz embarked in general merchandising, which he continued until the beginning of the Rebellion; he then sold out, intending to enlist in the Union ranks in defense of his adopted country. But physically he was found to be unable for the hardships of army life and at once engaged in the recruiting service, being commissioned by Governor Kirk wood. He was an ardent Union man as well as an active Republican. At the close of that terrible conflict, in com­pany with his son, Henry, he engaged in business again at Clarinda, the style of the firm being A. & H. Loranz. They continued in business until 1869, when through a train of disasters they failed. Mr. Loranz, however, refused to take advantage of the laws of bankruptcy, and finally every creditor was paid the full amount of his claim with interest. Under General U. S. Grant's administration as President he was appointed Postmaster of Clarinda, which office he held to the date of his death in 1881. His wife died February 12,1868; she was mourned by the entire community; perhaps no woman ever lived in Clarinda who was so universally respected for qualities of mind and heart as she. She was buried in the beautiful cemetery at Clarinda beside her daughter. Her husband erected to her memory a plain, marble slab, with this inscription: "She was, but words are wanting to tell what. Think what a wife should be, and she was that."
In April, 1869, Mr. Loranz married Mrs. Sarah Burtch, of Bellville, Nebraska, and at once brought her to Clarinda with her two children, Mary, the wife of Hon. T. E. Clark, and Elizabeth, now Mrs. Howard. Mr. Loranz lived happily with his second wife the remainder of his days. She still resides in Clarinda.
Our esteemed subject united with the Presbyterian Church in Lewistown, Fulton County, Illinois, in 1842, and continued a devout follower of the faith throughout the remainder of his earthly pilgrimage. His entire family were members of that church. It may here be stated that through his efforts and liberality the Presbyterian church of Clarinda was built in 1860; the bell which still calls the worshipers together he freighted overland from Fulton County, Illinois. He was a member of Nodaway Lodge, No. 140, A. F. and A. M., and of Clarinda Chapter, No. 29, R. A. M.


MAHLON C. JOHNSON was born at Wattsburgh, Erie County, Pennsylvania, April 13, 1845, and is a son of James P. and Margaret R. (Rouse) Johnson. His maternal grandfather, Judge Casper M. Rouse, was a soldier in the war of 1812. When he was five years old his parents removed from his native county to Winnebago County, Illinois, embarking at Erie, Pennsylvania, and [page 480] making the journey to Chicago by the way of the lakes; thence they proceeded to Rockford, Illinois, and resided there until their removal to Belvidere, Illinois, in 1851. In 1857 they went to Sycamore, and at the end of one year they came to College Springs, Page County, Iowa. The father purchased a farm, but located in the town on account of the school privileges of which he wished his children to avail themselves.
June 15,1861, at the age of sixteen years, our subject responded to the call for men to go to the defense of this nation, enlisting in Company F, First Nebraska Volunteers; this company was organized for the Fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but that being full it was mustered into the First Nebraska Infantry at Omaha. There they remained two months and were then sent to Pilot Knob, Missouri. In their first skirmish 1,300 prisoners were captured. Mr. Johnson was in the hottest of the three-days fight at Fort Donelson, and also participated in the battle of Shiloh and the siege of Corinth; also, in numerous other battles in which his regiment was engaged. He re-enlisted in June, 1864, at Duval's Bluff, and in 1865 his regiment was sent on the plains to guard the frontier from the depredations of Indians. He was mustered out of the service at Omaha, in May, 1866. He then returned to Page County and engaged in farming for four years, but was obliged to relinquish this occupation on account of ill-health, which was brought on by exposure during his service in the army. He then embarked in the hardware trade at College Springs, and for two years was Postmaster of that place. Afterward he was engaged in buying and selling live­stock until 1879, when he was elected Sheriff of Page County on the Republican ticket. The people of the county attested their appreciation of his ability and faithfulness by re­electing him the two following terms to the same office. He has always been an active worker in the Republican ranks,and is a stanch advocate of the issues of the party. After the expiration of his last term of office he was em­ployed as traveling salesman for a St. Joseph, Missouri, firm. In Deceinber,1889, he formed a partnership with John Calhoun, one of the pioneer merchants of Clarinda, in the general mercantile business. He has had a very successful business career, and although his early education was much neglected and wras still unfinished at the breaking out of the war, by diligent study and close application he was able to fit himself for positions of trust and responsibility.
Mr. Johnson was united in marriage March 7, 1867, to Miss R. Jennie Skinner, a native of Guernsey County, Ohio, and a daughter of Charles V. and Julia A. (Toombs) Skinner. Three children have been born to this union: Minnie M., Charles J. and Dee W. The parents are worthy members of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Johnson was a member of Lincoln Post No. 1, G. A. R., and an honorary member of the celebrated Flambeau Club, of Topeka, Kansas. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, Clarinda Lodge, No. 139, and to Warren Post, No. 11, G. A. R. He is at the present time quite an invalid (and is growing feebler) the direct results of hard service and disease contracted by incident exposure while in the service.


JOHN CALHOON, a man highly esteemed in the business circles of Page County, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, Apil 12, 1827, and is the son of George and Jane (Kerr) Calhoon, natives of the State of Pennsylvania.   The father was of Scotch-[page 481] Irish descent, and was a pioneer settler of Holmes County, Ohio; he located there at a very early day on a tract of heavily timbered land near Millersburgh; there John spent his youth assisting his father in clearing the land and placing it under cultivation. He received a limited education in the subscription schools at that time, but this supplemented with a keen observation has enabled him to till successfully any position to which he has been called.
Mr. Calhoon was married April 4,1855, to Miss C. N. Storm, a daughter of Jacob Storm. Four children have been born of this union: Gilbert S., a resident ot Northfield, Minnesota; Ada E. Holmes, of Kansas City; Laura L. McGuire, of Northfield, Minnesota, and C. D., now clerking in his father's store.
In February, 1857, we find our subject pushing his way to the West; he came by railroad to Mouut Pleasant, Iowa, and thence by stage to Van Buren County, where he purchased an ox team and proceeded to Page County; here he pre-empted a quarter section of land upon which he built a log cabin. The hardships and privations of pioneer life existed here as elsewhere and hearts less stout would have been discouraged. He at once eagaged in the cultivation of the soil and also did hauling from St. Joe to Clarinda. In 1862 he came to Clarinda and engaged in teaming. It was at this time that the darkest days began to dawn; he lost several valuable horses, and in hope of changing his luck he invested in a mule; he afterward sold this animal to the Government for $100, and with this capital he embarked in the mercantile business; it was a small amount, but combined with pluck and energy it was the beginning of what in after years was a competency. He formed a partnership with T. J. Bracken, which continued four years, and then he purchased the interest of Mr. Bracken and continued the business at the old stand for about eleven years, at which time he sold out and took a rest from active business for about ten years. December 1, 1889, he formed a partnership with M. C. Johnson, under the firm name of Calhoon & Johnson; they carry a fine stock of general merchandise and occupy one of the finest business blocks in the town; it was designed by Mr. Calhoon, and is especially adapted to the business. He also owns several dwelling-houses in Clarinda, which he rents, and a large business house in Braddyville; he is the proprietor of one of the finest farms in Gage County, Nebraska; it consists of 200 acres of excellent soil and has many valuable improvements.
At the organization of the Iowa State Bank of Clarinda he was made president, and filled this responsible position for some time. Politically he is identified with the Republican party. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 109.
Mr. Calhoon's life furnishes a fair example of what a man can accomplish if he has tact, energy and perseverance, even though his means be limited; he has accumulated a comfortable fortune, and an honorable standing among his fellow men is accorded him by all with whom he has dealings.


DR. A. H. FARRENS moved from Fairfield County, Ohio, in the spring of 1848, locating in Nodaway County, Missouri, twelve miles south of Clarinda, and lived there one year. Then he moved near Boler's Mill, in 1849; pre-empted a homestead in 1852; entered Government land in 1854-'55, and during the last mentioned year bought four lots at the southwest corner of the public square, and in the following year erected a house, which is still standing. [page 482] He located in Clarinda May 7, 1857, being the first physician and surgeon to practice his profession in Page County, where he continued for a period of ten years. Was a graduate of Cincinnati (Ohio) Medical College. He died in Clarinda 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 eldest son died in infancy; two are farmers, one in East River Township, and the other in Nodaway County, Missouri.
Dr. E. T. Farrens, of whom this notice is written, is the second son of Dr. A. H. Farrens. He was born in Nodaway Township, September 19, 1855, and moved with his parents to Clarinda, Iowa, in 1857, where he has grown to manhood and is now engaged in the practice of his profession. He began the study of medicine January 1,1877, under the tutorship of Drs. Enfield and Vance. Attended lectures at the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, and was graduated there in 1881. 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, to Miss Lida Pond, a daughter of W. H. Pond, of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. One child has blessed this union, Paul Pond, born August 26,1888.

N. C. RIDENOUR, present proprietor of the Hotel Linderman at Clarinda, has been a resident of Page County since the autumn of 1856. Having been an active business man, engaged in journalistic and mercantile pursuits, he is thoroughly known in this section of Iowa.   He is entitled to a space in this work if for no other reason than this, that he was a loyal soldier in the Union army, wearing the blue at a time when traitorous hands assailed the flag of our country.
Mr. Ridenour was born in Campbell County, Tennessee, July 13, 1836.   His parents were Alexander T. and Sarah T. (Loy) Ridenour, natives of Tennessee.   His grandfather Ridenour was a native of Maryland, and his grandfather Loy of North Carolina. Both pareuts died during Mr. Ridenour's childhood and he was early thrown upon his own resources with but limited means of acquiring an education.   In the month of September, 1855, he went in company with others to De Kalb County, Missouri, where he remained until the fall of 1856; he then came to Page County, Iowa, making the journey on foot via Savannah and Hawleyville to Clarinda. In April, 1857, he engaged as a clerk in the drug store of Dr. S. H. Kriddlebaugh, who was also postmaster of Clarinda.   After a short period he carried the mail on the routes from Clarinda to Sidney, Quincy and Maryville.   In 1859 he went to work at the carpenter's trade with Mr. Keys and later was employed with Osgood & Kimball.   He was next engaged as a salesman in the dry-goods store of John Wilson at Clarinda, with whom he remained until April, 1860.    He then took a trip overland with ox teams to Pike's Peak and Denver in the midst of the gold excitement.   He returned, however, in September, no richer, but much better posted in regard to that beautifully picturesque country.   Upon his return to Clarinda he again engaged as salesman with John Wilson. In March, 1861, he began operating a grocery store on his own account, in which he continued until the following January.   In February, 1862, he went to work for Mr. Wilson again, this time at St. Joseph, Missouri. He remained there until July 4, 1862, and upon [page 483] learning of an order from the Governor of Missouri to the effect that all subject to military duty were expected to become members of the militia of that State, he preferred to return to Clarinda and enlist, which he did at once; he also assisted in raising Company F, Twenty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, of which he was made Second Sergeant at Des Moines. From that city they went to St. Louis via Keokuk. They next went to Iron Mountain, Missouri, and thence to Patterson, Missouri. December 20 they broke camp, and January 11 went to West Plains, Missouri, where they arrived after much difficulty occasioned by heavy rains, snow and cold weather. They returned to Pilot Knob in February, 1863, remaining there until March, when they started for St. Genevieve and from that place they went to New Madrid. They soon embarked for Milliken's Bend, Louisiana. On April 11 they broke camp for Grand Gulf via Richmond (Louisiana) and witnessed the noted bombardment there. The next morning they crossed the Mississippi River below Grand Gulf landing at Brunesberg, and continued their march until after midnight, when the advance was fired upon by the enemy's pickets, near Port Gibson. At eight o'clock a. m., May 1, the regiment was ordered to advance and charge down a hill on the enemy, who where partly concealed in a dense cane-brake. Into this the brave men went with fixed bayonets and drove out the force. They were under fire until three p. m., when they made another charge and drove them back in such confusion that another stand could not be made that day. The regiment was in fight at Raymond and Jackson the first time. They were held in reserve at Champion Kill until after noon, when they were deployed as skirmishers. May 17 the regiment started for Black River Bridge, where the enemy had a line of entrenchments three miles long with a deep bayou in front. Here they distinguished themselves by charging the enemy's works and taking 2,500 prisoners. This was only brought about the heavy loss of troops, 134 men being killed and wounded. The regiment was then detailed to guard prisoners to Memphis, and on their return were stopped at Milliken's Bend to defend that point; they were attacked by 2,500 Texans and had one of the most severe struggles of the Rebellion, the regiment losing one-half of its engaged men. On June 20, they returned to the rear of Vicksburg and remained in the trenches until the surrender. July 5, they started in pursuit of General Johnson, and captured Jackson, Mississippi, driving the enemy across the Pearl River. The excessive heat and arduous duties told heavily upon the Twenty-third Iowa, and upon their return to Vicksburg only 120 men were ready for duty. In August the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Gulf and sent to New Orleans. They went west to Brashier City, at the mouth of the Lesbe, and marched up to near Opelousas, Texas, and returned to the place of starting. They embarked at New Orleans and crossed the Gulf, landing on Matagorda Island, and had a fight and captured the fort. The balance of the winter was spent at Indianola. In April they returned to New Orleans and went up the river, met the Banks expedition, and they were in the engagement at Fort Esperanza, and established apost, at St. Charles, Arkansas; were also in siege at Forts Spanish and Blakely, near Mobile.
During all these various changes from one section of the country to another, Mr. Ridenour saw his share of hardship and fighting. He started from Clarinda a private; at Des Moines he was made Second Sergeant, and in June, 1863, he was promoted to the position of Second Lieutenant, and was after-[page 484] ward commissioned First Lieutenant. In November, 1864, he was detailed as General Inspector, under General J. C. Black; he was afterwards made Aide-de-camp under Brevet-General Glasgow. The regiment was mustered out August 5, 1865, near Houston, Texas, and disbanded at Davenport, Iowa, Mr. Ridenour arriving in Clarinda August 26, 1865.
The next four years of his life he spent as a clerk for Dr. Conine in his drug store. In the fall of 1868 he began editing the Page County Democrat the only Democratic sheet Page County has ever had. He conducted this journal in a fearless, progressive, and able manner. In 1874 he was Sergeant-at-Arms in the Iowa Legislature, and the next year he was a candidate for Register of the Land Office upon the Democratic ticket. April 1, 1885, he was appointed Postmaster at Clarinda under President Cleveland, being the second appointment in the State, and serving until May 1, 1889. The following autumn he became proprietor of the Hotel Linderman. In politics he has been a life-long Democrat. As a vindicator of Democratic principles and a clear writer on the vexed question of " free trade," tariff for revenue only, he has but few equals in the State, and when editing the Democrat he was a terror to "protectionists" everywhere. He had the honor to be appointed a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1872, and an alternate of that body in 1876. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Clarinda, belonging to the blue lodge and chapter. He always labored for the public good of Page County, and has lived to see most of the objects for which he labored accomplished.
The peculiar traits of Mr. Ridenour's character are activity, aggressiveness, fidelity, and generous kindness: hence his many admirers. He was united in marriage March 25, 1866, to Miss Lizzie T. Smith, a daughter of T. P. and Sarali (Jones) Smith. The father was a native of Maryland and the mother was born in Kentucky; both are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Ridenour are the parents of two children: Eva F. was born September 15, 1868, and is the wife of George T. Greeley of Nashua, Iowa; Clyde C. was born June 17, 1870.


W. L. LUNDY, a leading druggist of Clarinda, is one of Page County's representative men. He was born in Putnam County, Illinois, March 3, 1856. His father, B. C. Lundy, was the leading physician of Putnam County and was an active political leader during his lifetime. He was an intimate friend of Abraham Lincoln, as letters from Mr. Lincoln now in possession of Mr. Lundy will show. He was appointed Indian agent in the Lake Superior region under Lincoln's administration. He was also a member of the Illinois Legislature. Benjamin Lundy, grandfather of our subject, was a prominent Abolitionist and was an intimate friend and partner of William Lloyd Garrison; they edited a paper at Philadelphia for several years. Mr. Lundy's mother was a native of Ohio, and her maiden name was Kate Haines.
W. L. Lundy was reared and educated in Putnam County, Illinois; he engaged as clerk in a drug store at Lacon, Illinois; in 1875, one year later, he went to Henry, Illinois, and was employed in a drug store for four years. It was in 1880 that he came to Clarinda and accepted a position in the drug house of F. W. Parish, where he remained six years. In 1886 he bought the stock of Mr. Parish, and has conducted the business in the same store-[page 485] room ever since. He is a registered pharmacist and is carrying on a business second to none in Clarinda. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party and is an active worker; he has represented the people as city clerk for five years and has been an efficient officer. He has served as chairman of the Republican Central Committee for two years, and has been the right man in the right place. He is a member of the Masonic order, being identified with Nodaway Lodge, No. 140; he is also a member of the A. O. U. W.
Mr. Lundy was united in marriage, Octo­ber 21, 1885, to Miss Alice Clement, daugh­ter of A. T. Clement, a well-known business man of Clarinda. Although a young man he has attained an enviable position both in po­litical and business circles.

HENRY LORANZ, the present Postmaster of Clarinda, Iowa, has been identified with the interests of Page County since 1858. He is a native of Fulton County, Illinois, born February 12, 1844, and is a son of Anthony Loranz, an early pioneer of Page County, whose biography appears on another page of this volume. Henry was only fourteen years of age when his father came to Page County, where he passed the remainder of his youth. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Fulton County, Illinois, and Page County, Iowa; he continued his studies at Eastman's Business College, Chicago.
It is a fact that every American citizen recognizes that he owes a duty to his country, and in July, 1863, Henry Loranz enlisted in the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, Company A, and was soon in the field of conflict. He was taken prisoner thirty-five miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, and was confined at Andersonville prison, where he suffered all the horrors that can well be imagined, for one month; he was one of thirty thousand confined there at that time, the largest number ever held there. From this place he was transferred to Charleston, where he remained one month, and was thence sent to Florence, South Carolina, where he was held five months. He was released at Wilmington, North Carolina, in March, 1865. He was taken to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was clothed and was thence sent to St. Louis. He was honorably discharged at Clinton, Iowa.
After attending business college at Chicago in 1866, he returned to Clarinda, Iowa, and engaged in mercantile pursuits with his father until 1871. In that year he was elected Treasurer of Page County, which office he held continuously for twelve years. He was not a candidate for re-election at the expiration of his last term. In 1884 he formed a co-partnership with his brother Raymond, in the abstract and loan business, which relation still exists. He was appointed Postmaster May 1, 1889, and has filled the position with credit to himself and the best interests of the public. He has been a strong Republican all his life, and has been prominently identified with the party in Page County. He is a member of Warren Post, No. 11, G. A. R., and has the honor of being a charter member of the organization. He belongs to Nodaway Lodge, No. 140, A. F. & A. M., and to Clarinda Chapter, No. 29, R. A. M. He is also connected with the A. O. U. W., Union Lodge, No. 38. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and for twenty-three years has served as clerk of the session.
Mr. Loranz was united in marriage February 18, 1869, to Miss Carrie A. Little, of Altona, Illinois. Mrs. Loranz was educated in the Granville and Steubenville Female Seminaries of Ohio, and made a specialty of [page 486] the study of music; she has been a successful teacher of the art for many years, and for twenty years has been the organist of the Presbyterian church.
Mr. and Mrs. Loranz are the parents of five children: Mabel B., Grace, Alfred B., Bertha Rose, Carrie. Mabel B., aged five years, and Grace, aged seven months, died in 1874, and were both buried in the same grave.
Mr. Loranz and his estimable wife have always taken an active interest in education and religion, and are numbered among Clarinda's most highly respected citizens.