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

by Pat O'Dell:

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THOMAS A. PREST, an honored citizen of College Springs, Iowa, is descended from an old English family. His grandfather, Edward Prest, was a farmer in Yorkshire, England, and married Margaret Brown; to them were born thirteen children, eleven of whom lived to maturity. The father died in 1814. John Prest, his son, was born in England in 1796, and early learned the trade of a cotton spinner; he became overseer in the mills at Blackburn, Chorley, Lancashire, England. In 1820 he was united in marriage to Ellen Proctor, the daughter of Thomas Proctor, of Yorkshire, England. To Mr. and Mrs. Prest were born two children: Edward and Thomas A. The parents were members of the Independents, the founders of the Congregational Church in this country. Mrs. Prest died in 1825, and Mr. Prest was again married in 1831, to Elizabeth Coultherst, a widow, by whom he had three children: Jabez, Ebenezer and John E. In 1849 Mr. Prest emigrated to America and landed in Boston. He came on the sailing vessel, " Adonis," and brought with him his son, Thomas A., the subject of this sketch, then a young man twenty-five years of age; the other members of the family came six months later. The father was employed in the cotton mills of Barre, Massachusetts, and lived in that State the remainder of his days; he died in 1865 at Whitingsville, where he had located in 1857. He was an industrious worker and accumulated some property. He was a member of the Congregational Church and lived a consistent life, endeavoring to bring up his children in the principles of the Christian religion.
Thomas A. Prest was born October 10, 1823, and learned the trade of a spinner in the cotton mills where his father was employed. He followed this occupation until he was nearly forty years of age, acting as overseer both in England and America. He was married in Norwich, Connecticut, to Harriet A. Ransom, a daughter of John and Betsy (Spencer) Ransom, of English ancestry. John Ransom was born in 1776 and served his country in the war of 1812.
Mr. and Mrs. Prest are the parents of two children: John R. and Harriet E. In 1860 Harriet died and three years later Mr. Prest removed to College Springs, Iowa; he settled in the village but engaged in agriculture, and has been very successful; he now owns 160 acres of land in an advanced state of cultivation, with excellent improvements. Politically he is a strong adherent to the principles of the Republican party, having voted that ticket since the organization of the party. He has represented his township on the county board of supervisors for three years, and has served three terms as township trustee; ten years he has been secretary of the school board, and has ever taken an active interest in educational matters. For eighteen years he has been a member of the board of trustees of Amity College. He was a member of the Union League during the late civil war. He has been identified with all movements tending to improve the village and township and has always exhibited a large public spirit.   He well deserves the reputation he has won of being an upright citizen, and is an honor to the community in which he lives. His son, John R., received a liberal education at Amity College and a legal education at the State University at Iowa City. He is now Justice of the Peace, and practices law at College Springs, Iowa.


DAVID BASS is a native of Bedfordshire, England, and a son of William Bass, a native of England, born January 3, 1810. The father was a farmer and also kept an inn at Roxton, Bedfordshire, called the "Royal Oak." He married Sarah Endersby, who was born May 28, 1812, and to them were born twelve children: Harriet, Susan, Emma, Sarah Ann, David, Arthur, Abraham, Esther, Alfred, Wallace, Hepzibah and Herbert. Mr. Bass was a member of the Church of England, and brought up his family in that faith. He was an active, industrious man, and lived in very comfortable circumstances until the rents of land were so increased; there were repeated failures of crops and these in addition to the high rents brought him misfortune in his latter days. He died at Peterborough, England, in 1884, aged seventy-four years. His son, David Bass, the subject of this brief biography, was born in Bedfordshire, England, at the " Royal Oak," where he grew to manhood. He worked on his father's land and there gained a practical knowledge of farming. He also was employed by a grocer, with whom he remained until he was twenty-four years of age. He then decided to try his fortune in the New World, and accordingly set sail for America, landing in the city of New York; he came directly to Iowa and located at Osceola; he there found employment on a farm, and later was in the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company; he remained with this corporation until 1871, and again returned to the employment of his youth, farming, having removed to Page County, Iowa.
Mr. Bass was united in marriage May 24, 1878, to Miss Annie E. Ladds, a daughter of John and Hannah (Browning) Ladds. Mr. Ladds was also a native of England, where he was a deputy tax-collector in addition to his occupation of farming. There were eight children in the family, of whom Annie E. is the second. Mr. and Mrs. Bass have had born to them three children: Lillie L., Emily G. and Emery D. Mr. Bass bought his present farm in 1872 but did not locate upon it until 1881. He has a very desirable place with many valuable improvements. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has held the office of steward and class-leader, and has taken a deep interest in religious matters, doing all he can for the cause and bringing up his children in the service of the Master. Never since coming to this country has he been out of employment, even when dependent upon the capital of other men. By industry and economy he has secured a home for his family and has won an enviable reputation [page 663] in the community by his upright and honorable dealing.


SYLVESTER JONES is deserving of mention in this connection as one of Page County's successful agriculturists. He is a native of the " Buckeye " State, born in Ross County, June 6, 1849. He is a son of Jarred and Catherine (Sollers) Jones, also natives of Ohio. The father was of Welsh and German extraction. He removed with his family to Stark County, Illinois, in 1853 and there twelve children were reared to maturity, ten of whom are still living, six sons, [page 664] and four daughters. Sylvester attended the common schools of that period, and during the summer season he devoted his time and attention to agriculture. February 17,1875, he was married to Miss Lizzie Powell, a native of Philadelphia,and a daughter of William and Mary (Guyre) Powell. He continued to reside in Illinois until 1880, when he removed to Page County, Iowa, and purchased the George Morrill farm which consists of 120 acres. By diligence and industry he has brought this land to a still higher state of cultivation and has made it a truly desirable home. The buildings are of a substantial style, and a grove and orchard render the place very attractive to the eye and also increase the money value; the barn is built on a solid rock foundation, and the cribs and granaries furnish ample room for the storing of crops; there are commodious sheds and stables for the care and protection of live­stock.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the parents of one child—Maud M., born February 2, 1877. Politically Mr. Jones is independent, with a leaning to the Prohibition ranks. He and his wife are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Blanchard. They are industrious, conscientious people, and have a host of warm friends among the leading citizens of Washington Township.

STEPHEN MANN was born in North Hampton, Pennsylvania, in 1830. His family was one of the old American families who had long been settled in Pennsylvania. His father's name was John Mann, and he was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and was a cabinet-maker by trade. He married Miss Elizabeth Rich, daughter of Abraham Rich, and to them were born five children: Solomon, Simon, Samuel, Stephen and Susan. Mr. Mann settled in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, after his marriage. It was the birthplace of his wife and all of his children except Susan, who was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, where her family were among the very first settlers. In 1845 Mr. Mann removed to Michigan, settling in St. Joseph County, near White Pigeon, where he resided several years. He was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church, and an industrious, hard-working man, respected by all who knew him. He died at Three Rivers, Michigan.
Young Stephen, the subject of this notice, was fifteen years of age when his father moved to Michigan, where he remained four years. He then went to Green County, Wisconsin, where he worked on a farm. In 1852 he married Rebecca Blackford, daughter of William and Rachel (Jones) Blackford, of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Her parents came to Wisconsin in 1845, locating in Green County. The young couple were of the same age when they began life together, twenty-two years.
In 1866 Mr. Mann removed to Page County, Iowa, where he lived for one year on his brother-in-law's farm. He then bought a tract of 240 acres in the same county. It was raw prairie and he has made all the improvements with his own hands, assisted in all his effort by his faithful wife. He probably has the best improved and most desirable farm in the township, and one of the best in the county. His buildings are first-class, the residence and barn being finished with all the modern conveniences. There are five acres in fine fruit, and altogether Mr. and Mrs. Mann are abundantly provided with this world's goods. They have had eight children. Their respective names are Alice, William, deceased at the age of twelve years; [page 665] Cecelia, Samuel, Alvah, Anna, deceased at three years of age; Amy and Lettie. The parents are members of the Baptist Church. In politics Mr. Mann has always been a stanch Democrat, and has had no reason to change his views. He has held the various township offices, and has always taken an active interest in the cause of education, having been school director for many years.
The children are all married excepting two, Alvah and Lettie. Alice married John Nichols, son of Jackson Nichols, one of the oldest settlers of Page County; they have four children living: Ora A., James, Stephen E. and an infant unnamed. Cecelia married Leonard Yaple, son of one of the early settlers ; they have four children: Jennie, Lavina, -------- and Frank.   Samuel married Belle Frost, a native of Ohio; they have one child, Alvah C.   Amy is the wife of John McKee.

DAVID McLARNON.—In perusing the pages of the histories of "Western States we find that we are indebted to the beautiful " Emerald Isle" for many of our most substantial agriculturists. The subject of this sketch is of Scotch-Irish descent, born in county Antrim, Ireland, in 1827. On a clear day the homes of his Scotch neighbors could be seen across the channel, fourteen miles away.

Hugh McLarnon, the father of David, was born in the same county; he married Sarah Allen, ot Scotch parentage, and to them were born eleven children: Henry, Robert, William, David, John, George, Sarah, Margaret, Matilda, Elizabeth and Ann. Four of the sons and two daughters are in this country; the others remained in Ireland and are now deceased. Mr. McLarnon was a bleacher by occupation; he was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. His son David emigrated to America in 1854, at the age of twenty-seven years; he first found employment as a weaver in the city of Philadelphia, where he remained two years. At the end of this time he decided to push on to the West and seek the fortune which it might hold in store for him. He came to Iowa and located in Page County, where he has since made his home, and in 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Nixon, a daughter of Samuel Nixon, a native of Indiana.
In 1864 Mr. McLarnon removed to his present farm, which is in an advanced state of cultivation and well improved with good, substantial buildings. There is a fine grove of walnut trees on the place, planted in the seed thirty-one years ago. In 1856 he entered land in Amity Township, and built a house up on it; his brother William now lives on this farm. He was one of the first settlers in this township; the Indians were numerous but quite peaceable, but the whole country was a wilderness. There were no bridges, and no railroads nearer than St. Joseph, Missouri, to which point settlers went to procure their supplies; they were obliged to live in a very primitive fashion and endure many privations.
David McLarnon, Jr., married Nellie Bugbee and they have four children: William, George, Sarah and an infant. Agnes is the wife of James Schrubshell, a resident of Missouri and a farmer by occupation; they have two children: Maud and Walter D.
Mr. McLarnon has an adopted son, Robert Lewis McLarnon, now ten years of age, and to whom he is much attached, regarding him as one of his heirs.
Politically our worthy subject is identified with the Republican party. He is a self-made man, and by honesty industry he has accumulated some property, and has won an enviable reputation in the community as an upright, honorable citizen.


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HIRAM SOLLARS, a well-known and respected resident of Washington Township, has been a citizen of Page County, Iowa, since 1872. He was born in Jackson County, Ohio, March 30, 1821, and is a son of Michael Sollars, a native of Virginia, of German origin. His mother was Hosanna Waldron, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of Philip Waldron, who was a soldier in the wars of the Revolution and 1812. Young Sollars was reared in the county in which he was born, and was trained to the occupation of a farmer. Arriving at the age of manhood, he was united in marriage, March 7, 1843, to Miss Elizabeth Graves, a native of Jackson County, Ohio, and a daughter of James and Sarah (Murray) Graves, natives of the State of North Carolina.
Mr. Sollars lived in Ohio until 1852, when the spirit of enterprise was too strong to be repressed and he emigrated to Stark County, Illinois; he remained there until 1872, when, as before stated, he came to Page County Iowa. He purchased a tract of wild land consisting of 120 acres, which he has since subdued and brought under cultivation; he has also made excellent improvements in the erection of buildings, and the planting of fruit and shade trees.
Mr. and Mrs. Sollars are the parents of eight children: Francis M. was a member of the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into the service in May, 1864; he died August 18, 1864, at Camp Butler, Illinois. David is a prominent farmer of Washington Township, a full sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this volume; Emza is the wife of Thomas Denhnrst of Missouri; Jane is the wife of T. Duckworth of Shenandoah, Iowa; Nancy Ann is the wife of Joseph Hamilton of Washington Township; Sarah Dollison; Mary, wife of I. Sheakman; Austin, a resident of Washington Township, married Henrietta Greene.
Mr. Sollars is a Republican of the radical type, and is an advocate of the principles of Prohibition. He is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Blanchard. Although he has almost attained the " three score years and ten allotted to man," his age sits lightly upon him. He is firm in his convictions of right and wrong, and has attained an enviable position in the county.

FOUNTAIN COOPER, one of the reliable farmers of East River Township, was born in Campbell County, Tennessee, February 11, 1831, and is a son of John and Hester (Sage) Cooper, natives of Lee County, Virginia. He was one of a family of eleven children, was reared to farm life, and received his education in the common schools.
Mr. Cooper was united in marriage, February 2, 1850, to Miss Leah Harrison, a daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah (Ford) Harrison, natives of Washington County, Tennessee. Mrs. Cooper is also a native of Washington County, born April 6, 1827, and is one of a family of eleven children.
After his marriage our subject settled on a farm in Tennessee, where he remained for five years. At the end of that time he removed to Gentry County, Missouri, where he again engaged in farming. In the fall of 1860 he removed with his family to Page County, and settled two miles east of Clarinda; there he was still occupied with agricultural pursuits for a year and a half, and then went to East River Township, remaining there six months; [page 667] he then settled in the coal field of East River Township, and for three years worked for wages in the mines; he then purchased an interest in one of the mines, which he operated for fourteen years, after which he disposed of this property for land in Texas County, Missouri; this he sold at the end of two years. . On leaving the mines Mr. Cooper purchased a farm in East River Township, where he still resides; he has bought and sold a considerable amount of property and now owns twenty-two and a half acres which he has brought to an advanced state of cultivation.
Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party, of which he is an active member. He represents his township as trustee, and is also President of the school board. He is a member of the Knights of Labor.
Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are the parents of eleven children, four of whom survive: John, a farmer of East River Township; Harrison, a collier, residing at New Market; Lucy Ann, wife of John Marshall, a resident of Page County, and Sarah. The family are worthy members of the Baptist Church.
Mr. Cooper devotes his time and attention to the breeding of fine grades of horses, the Norman being his favorite.

GEORGE H. DAVIS is one of that sturdy type of men that formed the pioneer bands to which we are indebted for the settlement and development of western Iowa. He is the oldest child of Alexander and Mary Davis, and was born in Sussex County, Delaware, January 30, 1830. When he was four years of age, his parents, caught in the tide of western emigration, removed to Shelby County, Indiana, where he passed his boyhood and youth. He was taught agriculture in all its branches, and remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-three years of age.
In 1853, May 10, he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza McFarland, a daughter of Moses and Sarah McFarland, natives of Pennsylvania; the mother's maiden name was McClelland. Mrs. Davis was born in Licking County, Ohio, June 5, 1832, and was married to her husband in what is now Nodaway County, Missouri, a short time after removing to that State. Mr. Davis had resided there since the spring of 1851.
After they were married they settled on a tract of sixty acres, in East River Township, which they afterward entered. In 1853 they erected a log cabin, 16 x 18 feet chinked and daubed with yellow clay, with an old stick chimney. The cooking was done by a fireplace with one skillet, and the other furnishings were in proportion. But the will and desire to succeed were there, and the trials and hardships were bravely met, and success was the reward.
At one time the valleys were flooded and it was impossible to reach the mill or market, so for three weeks the family subsisted on corn and potatoes; it was rude fare but none better could be procured, and with that courage characteristic of the early settlers in new countries, they endured their lot until relief could be had.
Additions have been made from time to time until the farm contains 145 acres and a half, in a high state of cultivation; the place is improved with a good frame residence, and barns for stock and grain.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis have had born to them four children: Mary, Letitia, wife of Amos Burley, residing in Kansas; Emma Alexine, deceased, wife of John Wolf, also deceased; Martha Jane, deceased; and Abigail Mar-[page 668]thelia, wife of Ellis Ham, a resident of Page County.
Mr. Davis is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he votes with the Republican party.
When Mrs. Davis was a young woman at home, the summer previous to her marriage she was induced to take charge of a subscription school. It was in the southern part of Buchanan Township, and there was great need of a school. An old log cabin was fitted up with benches, and twenty-three pupils at seventy-five cents each were secured for three months; they were all ages from twenty-one years down, and not one of the entire number could read or write. The teacher had not studied the higher branches but she was able to instruct them in reading, writing and mental arithmetic; she also gave them some lessons in geography, and carried on the school with very satisfactory results.

REV. DAVID McKEE is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He was born in Ireland, April 10, 1821, and his parents emigrated to the United States in 1825, settling in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; in 1839 they removed to Mercer County of the same State. After completing the course in the Mercer Academy, Mr. McKee entered the junior class in Jefferson College and was graduated in 1847 in a class of sixty-two. From the biographical history of the class written by Rev. A. G. Wallace, D. D., in 1887, the following is taken; "Our class was much indebted for its good character to a few older and graver members. Among the prominent leaders of right doing and good influence was David McKee. Good, thoughtful, studious, upright, kind, true-hearted and pious, he commanded the respect of all. No memory of foolish things lingers around his name. No blush need mantle his cheek as he recalls his college days. He is the son of David and Jane (Smith) McKee. His grade in class is indicated on the commencement program,—Salutatory, Greek, David McKee. His right was not disputed. He was professor in Westminster College for three years; studied theology in the seminary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and was licensed by the Presbytery of Pittsburg, April 9, 1851; was ordained by the Philadelphia Presbytery, July 5, 1854, as pastor of the Fourth Reformed Presbyterian congregation. After a few years there he removed to the West, and since 1861 has been pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian church of Clarinda, Iowa. In his ministry he has won for himself a high standing in the community and throughout the church. He has been an able pastor and faithful defender of the doctrines of the cross, and a cordial, firm supporter of all the great moral movements of our day. The Synod of 1885 honored him by making him its moderator. He has been a liberal writer for the press, and has published a sermon on Ministerial Fidelity and Reward.
" September 3,1856, he was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Gregg, daughter of David Gregg, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Around their table have been gathered three sons and five daughters."
The names of the children are, David. G., Mary M., Jane E., James M., Martha, Eda E., John A. and Anna K. James M. and Martha died in infancy; David G. manages the farm; Mary M. is the wife of William Black; Jane E. married James W. Turner; Eda and Anna are at home; John A. is the junior partner of the firm of Hamilton & McKee at Coin.
Rev. David McKee has ever taken an [page 669] active interest in the welfare of Page County; he has contributed liberally to secure railroad improvements, and in 1875 he raised the money with which to make the needed improvements about the Page County fair grounds.
If Christianity has one argument of greater strength and logic than another it is in pointing to the long and consistent, wondrously good and true life of him of whom we now write; and the influence for good which this noble, Christian character, both in the pulpit and outside, has exerted will be felt and prolonged years after he has gone to enjoy the blessing of an eternal inheritance. Though strong-minded, his nature seems like that of a child, and in kindness he reflects the character of his Master in whose vineyard he has so long labored.



ALEXANDER McKEOWN was born December 12, 1830, and is the sixth child of a family of eleven children of Alexander and Rose (Glasgow) McKeown. The parents were natives of county Antrim Ireland, where they were reared and married. In 1823 they bade farewell to their native land, and sailed away to America; the first year they spent in Belmont County, Ohio, thence removing to Harrison County, Ohio, there they entered land from the Government and made their home the remainder of their days. The father died in 1853, and the mother survived until 1886. Mr. McKeown was a farmer by occupation and brought up his sons to the same employment. He was a man, quiet and unassuming, and strove to inculcate the principles of right and truth in the hearts of his children. The family are named as follows: Henry, John, James, deceased; Adam, deceased; Mary J., wife of Samuel Andress; Alexander, Arthur G., Levina, wife of Robert Logan; Rose A., deceased, was wife of William Forsyth, also deceased; Glasgow, deceased, and William.
Alexander, Jr., received a common-school education, and previous to his marriage he taught two terms of school. In December, 1853, he came to eastern Iowa, and remained there almost one year. He then returned to his old home, and November 16, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss H. J. Alexander, who died December 4,1862. By this union three children were born: John A. and James U., both residents of. Harlan Township, and Mary R., deceased. Mr. McKeown was again married November 29, 1864, to Miss Jane Clarke, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, May 19,1830. One child has been born of this marriage, Henry E., residing at home.
In 1855 our subject removed to Washington County, Iowa, where he remained three years, after which he came to Page County. He spent the first winter in a temporary residence, and during that time erected a frame dwelling on a tract of sixty acres in Harlan Township. In the summer of 1862 he went back to Ohio, and in the spring of 1864 he returned to his farm in Page County. He has added to his first purchase until at one time he had 320 acres; he sold forty acres, and has deeded eighty acres to each of two sons.
When he first came to the county the land was as it had been left by the red man, but time and energy have wrought great changes, and today the McKeown farm is one of the best improved in Page County; there is a fine frame residence, and good buildings for stock and grain have been erected by the present owner. Havii g led a life of honesty and integrity, he numbers his friends by the [page 670] score, and has a standing second to none in the county.
Mr. and Mrs. McKeown have lived to see the twenty-fifth anniversary of their marriage, and were assisted in celebrating this event by almost 100 friends. They are active workers in the Reformed Presbyterian Church.


JAMES CASKEY.—Page County is not behind other counties in the State of Iowa in its indebtedness to the beautiful " Emerald Isle," which has given up so many of her sons and daughters to the settlement of the New World. Prominent among this number is James Caskey, who was born in county Londonderry, Ireland, July 17, 1802. He is a son of John and Ann (Dun) Caskey, and during his youth assisted his father in his flax-mill, and worked at farming. He remained in his native land until 1828, when he set sail for America; after landing he remained in Philadelphia for a few months, and then went to Mobile, Alabama, afterward locating on a farm in Greene County, Alabama.
Mr. Caskey was married January 29 1829, to Catherine Mawhinney, a daughter of Alexander and Jane (Dunn) Mawhinney, natives of county Londonderry, Ireland, who emigrated to America in 1820. Catherine is the second child of a family of eight; she was born in county Londonderry, Ireland, October 29, 1806. After they were married they lived on the farm in Greene County, where they continued to reside until 1852, when they removed to Cook County, Illinois; when living in this county Mr. Caskey shipped the first corn to Chicago that was transported on the Illinois Central Railroad. In October, 1856, the family landed in Page County, Iowa, where they have since made their home. In making the journey they first went to St. Louis by rail, thence by boat to St. Joseph, Missouri, and the remainder of the way in wagons. Mr. Caskey entered his farm, which consisted of 160 acres, from the Government; it was wild land without any improvements; he erected a building 16x24 feet, and when finally they were housed in this comfortable dwelling a happier or more contented family could not have been found in Page County. It was not a life of luxury or ease, which they led for many years to come, but one of industry and continued effort; the trials and privations of pioneer life were met unflinchingly, and every exertion was made to add to the prosperity of the family and community. The growth and development of the county has been largely forwarded by Mr. Caskey.
In those days neighbors wore few, but the social qualities were cultivated none the less. In the lack of a house of worship our esteemed subject opened his own dwelling, where the settlers for miles around met for religious service. The first communion was administered by the Rev. Joseph McCracken of the Reformed Presbyterian Church; he was the first regular pastor employed by the society. Mr. Caskey and his family have ever been active workers in the cause of their Master, and have thus contributed to the advancement of the community.
Ten children have been born to Mr. Caskey and wife: John died while in the service of his country, being a member of the Filth Iowa Cavalry, Company C. He passed away at Paducah, Kentucky, his death being caused by disease contracted at Ft. Donelson; Jane, the widow of William Brown, deceased, and her two daughters are still living on their farm in Harlan Township; Alexander died in July, 1889; William died in Illinois; James M. is a farmer, residing in Harlan Township; [page 671] Mary Ann is at home; Sampson died while in the service at Florence, South Carolina, January 13, 1865, having served three years; he was a member of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and was a prisoner in the Confederate army at the time of his death; Robert G. resides on a farm in Harlan Township; Joseph F. lives on the old homestead, and Isaac B., who larms in Harlan Township.
Joseph F. and Mary Ann are living with their aged parents, caring for them as only a son and daughter can do; they cheerfully per form this filial duty, and have the esteem and respect of the whole neighborhood.
While residing in the South Mr. Caskey was opposed to slave-holding, and always advocated its abolition.


MATTHEW S. RAY, a native of the State of Pennsylvania, is a son of Matthew and Jane (McCunn) Ray, natives of the north of Ireland. The father was born October 15,1805, and died November 12, 1887; the mother was born December 1, 1805, and died February 3, 1887. When Matthew Ray, Sen., came to America he was about six or seven years old; his parents, John and Mary (Moore) Ray, had ten children born to them, all of whom lived to mature age. He was reared to the occupation of a farmer, which he pursued through life. When he had attained his majority he was married to Jane McCunn, who was born in Ireland, and came to America at the age of sixteen years. Her parents were John and Mary (Smith) McCunn. Mr. and Mrs. Ray were married in Pennsylvania and spent their days in Indiana County. They were earnest Christians, and were faithful members of the Presbyterian Church. They had a family of six children: Mary Ann, born about 1834, wife of William Hammill; John M., born about 1835; Eliza C, born about 1837, wife of John Cochran; William J., born August 28, 1838, died February, 1882; Matthew S., our subject, and Mark, born March 17,1845, died in February, 1874; John M., William J. and Mark, all served in the late civil war.
Matthew S. was born August 15, 1840, and grew to manhood in his native county. He was brought up in the usual manner of farmers' sons, and received his education in the common and select schools. At the age of eighteen years he engaged in the profession of teaching, which he followed for six years.
When there was a call for men to defend the old flag Mr. Ray was not behind his countrymen in offering his services; he enlisted August 2, 1862, in the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company I, serving nine months. He reenlisted in the Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company F, and served until the close of the war. He was honorably discharged at Harrisburgh, in September, 1865. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to the position of Sergeant, and then to that of Second Lieutenant. He participated in many battles, the most noted being those of the Wilderness and Chancellorsville, took part in a number of skirmishes, and served as a guard to the railroad in West Virginia.
When the war was over Mr. Ray returned to his home in Pennsylvania and engaged in the lumber business tor sometime. In 1867 he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Nodaway Township, Page County, two and a half miles west of Clarinda. There he purchased an interest in a tract of 160 acres, which was partially improved; he resided on this land for eight years, making improvements. He then disposed of this property and returned [page 672] to his old home in Pennsylvania; he bought ninety acres of land and an interest in a hardware store in the town of Indiana; he divided his time between these two interests, but finally sold the farm and gave his entire attention to the mercantile business. He continued there for ten years and then sold out and went back to Iowa in the spring of 1886. He then bought his present farm of 160 acres in Harlan Township, which he has improved with good buildings.
Mr. Kay has some business interest in Clarinda, being one of the directors of the Clarinda National Bank.
In political thought and action he stands with the Democratic party.
Mr. Ray was united in marriage March 28, 1867, to Maggie C. Butterfield, a daughter of Clark and Elizabeth (Caldwell) Butterfield, natives of Pennsylvania.   The mother died when Maggie was a child, and the father died March 6, 1878. Mr. and Butterfield were the parents of six children: Mary J., deceased, Alfred N., deceased, Maggie C, Rebecca, wife of N. N. Gallagher; Murry and Melissa, deceased. Maggie was born at Saltsbaugh, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1844.
Mr. and Mrs. Ray are the parents of four children: Myrtle, Nina J., Clark and Albert. The father and mother are consistent members of the Presbyterian Church.


JOHN G. JOHNSON, who has been a resident of Page County since April, 1873, is entitled to a biographical notice along with the other representative men of his county. He was born in Erie County, New York, August 20, 1843, and is the son of Benjamin B. and Mary (Green) Johnson; the father was a native of Adams County, Pennsylvania, and the mother was born on Long Island, of New England ancestors. They reared a family of four sons, of whom John G. is the second. He was brought up on a farm and was trained to agricultural pursuits; his education was obtained in the common schools and the academy. In 1868 he removed to Kent County, Michigan, and remained there a few months engaged at work in a saw-mill. The following winter he taught in a public school, and in the spring of 1869 he returned to Erie County, New York.
March 23, 1869, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Laura Lester, a native of Erie County, New York, and a daughter of G. K. Lester, also a native of the Empire State. Before her marriage Mrs. Johnson was successfully engaged in teaching. After his marriage Mr. Johnson returned to Kent County, Michigan, and resided there four years; during this time he was engaged in the manufacture of shingles. In 1873 he removed to Page County and settled in Washington Township, on section 3. After two years he removed to the southern part of the township, near Union Grove, where he farmed two years; he then settled on section 18, Colfax Township, and after five years he located on his present farm on section 16. In 1883 he erected a good, two-story residence, which has a beautiful location and is surrounded by all the modern improvements. The barns, cattle sheds, and feed lots bespeak the thrift and good taste of the owner. Mr. Johnson has made a specialty of stock-raising and feeding, and has been very successful. His farm contains 205 acres and is under excellent cultivation.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of four children: Charles D., George W., Benjamin B. and Garra K.
Politically Mr. Johnson affiliates with the Republican party, and the people have shown [page 673] the confidence which they repose in him by calling him to fill many of the township offices, including that of trustee, assessor, treasurer, and member of the school board. He took the census of the township in 1885. He is a man of refinement, intelligence, and superior business qualifications. In his manner he is plain and out-spoken, and is universally respected in the township.


G.W. BOWMAN, a resident of section 7, Colfax Township, has lived in Page County since 1874, and will form the subject of this notice. He was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, May 12,1821, and is the son of John Bowman, a native of Washington County, Maryland. The paternal grandfather, John Bowman, Sr., was of German extraction. John Bowman, Jr., married Catherine Swindler, a native of the State of Maryland. They reared a family of six children, of whom G. W. is the youngest. When he was six years of age they removed to Madison County, Tennessee,where they resided until 1838, and then they went to Greene County, Illinois, where they were pioneer settlers. Later they moved to Mason County, Illinois. The mother died at the age of sixty three years, and the father livel to be seventy-nine years old. Politically he was identified with the Democratic party.
Young Bowman was trained to agricultural pnrsuits, and received his education in Tennessee. He was married in January, 1849, to Miss Magdalen Parker, a native of Ohio. Her parents, Thomas and Catherine (Louderman) Parker, were natives of Virginia. Mr. Bowman resided in Mason County, Illinois until 1863, when he removed to McDonough County, Illinois. In 1874 he came to Iowa purchased and. 160 acres in Page County, the land partially improved, and he has since built a good residence located on a fine building site, one and a half miles southwest of Coin.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowman are the parents of five children: Eliza Jane, wife of Charles Baker; Albert, the only son, married Mary Boyd; Rosa D., wife of T. Polsley; one child died in infancy, and Mary Catherine, wife of George McElvain, died in the spring of 1884, leaving one son, Selby C.
Politically our subject affiliates with the Democratic party, and is a zealous supporter of its principles. Although a man sixty-nine years old he bears his age lightly, having always been temperate in his habits. He has performed a vast amount of hard labor, has lost one good fortune which he had accumulated, and by energy has regained a competency. Mrs. Bowman has been a member of the Baptist Church since she was seventeen years old.


THOMAS BOYLE is one of the representative and intelligent members of the farming community of Colfax Township, where he made a settlement in 1867. He was born in County Antrim, Ireland, April 7, 1844, and is a son of Hugh and Jane (Clark) Boyle, natives of the beautiful " Emerald Isle." When he was but two years old his parents emigrated to America, landing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thomas was reared to farm life and obtained his education in the common schools. In 1867 the family removed to Page County, Iowa, and settled on wild prairie land, which they at once began to improve. Hugh Boyle and wife had born to them six children: Thomas, Anna, wife of Adam Lowden; Jane, wife of J. L. Brown, at one time recorder of Page County; Rachel, wife of J. Whittaker; [page 674] William J. and Elizabeth. The father died in August, 1868, aged fifty-seven years; the mother survived until October, 1889, when she passed away at the age of seventy-four years. They were both devoted members of the United Presbyterian Church.
Thomas Boyle, the subject of this notice, owns one of the best farms in Colfax Township; it consists of 205 acres, and is in an advanced state of cultivation. The improvements are of the best kind; there is two neat, comfortable farm houses situated in the midst of a magnificent artificial grove, and the barns and sheds are convenient and commodious; one barn and cattle-shed is 60 x 144 feet, and is well planned for the purpose. Mr. Boyle keeps from 100 to 130 head of cattle, and is raising, feeding, and buying the year round; he keeps a high grade of animals and feeds from 7,000 to 8,000 bushels of corn annually.
Politically he is identified with the Republican party, in favor of which he has cast his suffrage since the privilege of franchise was bestowed upon him. He was reared in the old-school Presbyterian Church, which he supports liberally. He is a man now in the prime and vigor of life, with a reputation above reproach. In going over the town­ship the writer has been impressed with the value which every one places upon the character and worth of Mr. Boyle as a correct business man and as a citizen.


JOHN HENSLEIGH, one of the early prairie settlers of Colfax Township, is well known as one of the most successful of the many painstaking farmers of his township. He came to the county in 1868 and bought land on which he settled in 1869. He was born in Devonshire, England, June 5, 1828, and is the son of Thomas Hensleigh of the same shire. His mother's maiden name was Ann Walters and she was a native of Cornwall, England. In 1833 the family sailed from Liverpool for the United States, and located in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The father was a book-keeper and surveyor by occupation. The parents reared a family of thirteen children, and they remained in Pennsylvania until the day of their death. The mother died in Louisa Countv, Iowa. John was reared to farm labor and obtained his education in the public schools of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Arriving at the age of manhood he was united in marriage, March, 1856, to Miss Nancy Tydick, who was born and reared in the " Keystone " State. She was the daughter of Jacob and Nancy (Alexander) Tydick, natives of Pennsylvania. By this union thirteen children were born: George E., John Harvey, Frank V., Elmore Watson, Nancy Ann, wife of William Jefl»y; Sarah C. B., Alexander W., Frederick Dales, Lawrence Mortimer and Arthur Gilbert; the deceased are William M. and Mary E.
Mrs. Nancy Tydick Hensleigh, the mother of the above named children, died in June, 1879. She was a worthy member of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hensleigh was married to his present wife February 22, 1883: she was Mrs. Margaret Scott, the widow of John Scott; her maiden name was McElhenny and she is the mother of six children by her first marriage: Anna Elder, Thomas Henry, Rebecca Isabelle, James Armour, and Samuel M., deceased.
Mr. Hensleigh has an excellent stock farm provided with all the modern conveniences. He has a good residence attractively situated, a large, well planned barn and a set of scales. His land is well adapted to the raising of live-stock by natural and artificial supplies of [page 675] water. The farm contains 810 acres of land in an advanced state of cultivation.
Onr worthy subject has usually voted the Republican ticket, but at present he favors the Prohibition party. He is a believer in Christianity and is a member of the United Presbyterian Church at Blanchard, of which he has been an elder and which he helped to organize. He has given his children superior school privileges, and two of them, Frank and Sarah, are teachers. Although sixty-two years of age he is full of vigor and strength. He is one of Page County's best and most progressive citizens.


JOSEPH SHAW—It is to the beautiful " Emerald Isle " that we are indebted as a nation for some of the most sturdy, robust and reliable farmers of the West. The subject of this notice owns a valuable farm of 440 acres of Page County's richest soil ...and may well be termed a pioneer as he has resided here since 1858. He was born in County Donegal, Ireland, and is the son of David Shaw and one of a family of eight sons and one daughter. He was reared to farm labor and received a limited education.
At the age of twenty-five years he sailed for America, landing in Philadelphia after a voyage of sixty days. From that city he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he remained two months; he then removed to Canada, where he made his home for two years, and at the end of that time he made a trip to Ohio and settled near Akron, residing there nine years. In 1858, as before stated, he came to Page County, Iowa.
Mr. Shaw was married in Lincoln Township in 1860, to Mrs. Aikin, a daughter of William Loy, one of the pioneers of the county.   By this union two children were born: Sarah C, wife of Milton Reed; and David Nelson. The mother died in August, 1865. Mr. Shaw was married a second time May 17, 1866, to Mrs. Drewery, a daughter of William D. and Mary S. (Mitchell) Donakey. She was first married in New Liberty, Illinois, to S. O. Drewery. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw have two children: George T. and Alma C.
Mr. Shaw's farm consists of 440 acres and lies partly in Lincoln and partly in Morton township. In 1876 he erected a neat, substantial residence which is pleasantly located. Politically he casts his suffrage with the Republican party. In his religious belief he is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a man of much intelligence and has given his children a good education; two of his daughters, Sarah C. and Alma C, have been teachers, the former in school and the latter in music. He is a man upright and candid in all his dealings, and may well be styled a representative of his township and county.

GEORGE H. FERRIS, one of the intelligent and reliable farmers of Tarkio Township, resides on section 33 where he owns a well-improved farm of 187 acres. He came from Henry County, Illinois, in 1870. He is a native of the " Empire State," born September 22, 1835, and is a son of B. P. and Rosetta (Mott) Ferris, natives of the State of New York; the father was of English extraction; he was a shoemaker by trade and in later life he embarked in general merchandising. When George H. was three years old the family removed to Athens County, Ohio, where they lived fourteen years; they then went to Henry County, Ill­inois, and in 1852 removed to Moline, Illinois, [page 676]and thence to a farm in Henry County, Illinois. B. P. Ferris and wife reared a family of seven children, of whom George H. is the oldest. The mother died in Clarinda, Iowa, October 21,1888; the father is still a resident of Page County.
George H. Ferris was educated in the common schools of Athens County, Ohio, and Moline, Illinois. During the great civil war he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel Thomas Henderson, and served three years; he took a part in many engagements, including Knoxville, Resaca, Franklin and Nashville. He was wounded June, 1864, and was taken to the Kingston, Georgia, hospital, where he remained four months and a half. He was honorably discharged at Greensborough, North Carolina, and returned to Henry County, Illinois, where he resided until 1870. He then came to Page County and bought 140 acres of land in Tarkio Township. He has brought it to an advanced state of cultivation and has erected substantial buildings; the residence is surrounded by a magnificent maple grove and there is a half acre of walnut grove and a bearing orchard near the house; the farm is well watered by living streams. A general farming and stock-raising business is conducted with much success.
Mr. Ferris was united in marriage January 12, 1860, in Henry County, Illinois, to Miss Hattie F. Piper. She is a daughter of Daniel and Anna (Bair) Piper, and removed from her native state, Pennsylvania, to Illinois at the age of sixteen years. Six children have been born of this union: Henry A., Anna Rosetta, Mary Eva, Hattie Ethel, Fred P. and Melker E.
Politically our subject is a Republican. He has served as a township official in various capacities and has discharged all his duties to the satisfaction of the public and with credit to himself. He belongs to Warren Post, No. 11, G. A. R., and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Norwich, of which he is also class-leader and trustee. In educational matters he has always taken an active part and in Sabbath-school work he has been very efficient. Mrs. Ferris and three of the children are also members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In his manner Mr. Ferris is frank, kind and obliging, and he possesses many noble traits of character which have won for him a host of friends during his residence in Tarkio Township.

WILLARD DUTTON is one of the intelligent and well-to-do members of the farming community of Tarkio Township, where he has resided since March, 1875. He was born in Norfolk, Litchfield County, Connecticut, January 12, 1819, and is a son of Asa Dutton, a native of the same State and one of a family of seven brothers; some members of the family participated in the great Revolutionary conflict and were prisoners of war. Asa Dutton was a soldier in the war of 1812. The mother of Willard Dutton was Beulah (Miller) Dutton, a native of Connecticut and a daughter of Ebenezer Miller, an officer in the Revolutionary war. The Miller family was of Welsh extraction.
Mr. Dutton served an apprenticeship at scythe-making, and followed the business for many years. He was married in August, 1840, to Miss Anna Maria Jenks, of Dutchess County, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Dutton removed to Chautauqua County, New York, in 1849 and resided there until 1863, when they came to Henry County, Iowa, and located near Mount Pleasant. In 1875 Mr. Dutton purchased his present farm and re-[page 677] moved to it at once. He has made excellent improvements, has added good buildings, and has taken great pains to develop his land in the best possible manner; it contains 160 acres and lies adjacent to the village of Norwich.
Mr. and Mrs. Dutton have seven children: Mary, wife of D. H. Kelsey; Anna M., Harriet D., wife of T. H. Campbell; Jane E., wife of W. B. Foster; W. H., Elizabeth, wife of B. Miller; Carrie, wife of T. H. Edmonds.
The greatest loss of Mr. Dutton's life was the death of his beloved wife, which occurred September 15, 1878. She was a true and faithful wife and a kind mother. She was a devoted Christian, and a worthy member of the Congregational Church at Shenandoah. Politically Mr. Dutton is a Republican. He has represented his township as trustee and as a member of the school board, serving with credit to himself and the satisfaction of his neighbors. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church at Norwich, formerly belonging to the Congregational Church at Shenandoah. Although he is seventy-one years of age he is well preserved both in body and mind, having been a temperate man all his life. He has the happy faculty of looking on the bright side of life, come what may, and possesses the good will and respect of all within the circle of his acquaintance.

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DAVID SOLLARS, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising in Washington Township, Page County, next claims our attention in this record of the leading men of the county. He was born in Jackson County, Ohio, September 3, 1847, and is a son of Hiram and Edith (Graves) Sollars. When he was five years old his parents removed to Stark County, Illinois, and there he grew to manhood; his youth was passed in attending the common school and in performing the labor that usually falls to a farmer's son. In 1872 he came with his father to Page County, Iowa, and assisted him in breaking the land which he had secured and in establishing a home. Hiram Sollars is still an honored resident of Washington Township.
Two years after coming to the county Mr. Sollars purchased forty acres of land in his own name, for which he paid $10 per acre; at the end of another two years he had accumulated sufficient means to justify him in [page 704] buying another forty acres, and he now owns 139 acres, the result of industry, energy and perseverance. The improvements on the place consist of good, substantial buildings, a fine bearing orchard and a grove; the residence is surrounded with shade and ornamental trees and presents a pleasing appearance. Mr. Sollars devoted his time to general farming.
February 21,1878, our worthy subject was united in marriage to Miss Mary L. Gaddis, daughter of Jacob Gaddis, an old settler of Page County, aud a soldier of the late civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Sollars have two children: Geneva, born July 4, 1880, and Iona, born August 20, 1884. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Northboro, Iowa. Mr. Sollars is identified with the Republican party, and has represented the people of his township as trustee and as a member of the school board. His career in Page County has in every way been a creditable one; when he arrived in the county his capital consisted of $43 in cash and one horse; he has steadily worked his way to a position of financial independence, and has won the confidence and respect of all with whom he has been associated.