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Biographical Sketches
Belknap Township
1883


Please note:  Oakland was at one time called Big Grove.


BATES, J. A. T.

Farmer and general merchandise, P.O. Oakland, was born near New Boston, Mercer Co., Ill., November 23, 1837; he is the son of John and Elizabeth (Noble) Bates. His father was born in Virginia in 1800. He was a farmer; moved to Mercer County, Ill., where he lived for nearly thirty years. In 1863, he came to Taylor County, this State, and to this county in 1871. He died in Oakland, this county, August 25, 1881. His (subject's) mother was born in Tennessee in 1804. She left Tennessee when she was young, and went to Ohio. During the war of 1812, she went to Indiana, where she experienced many hardships from the Indians. She is still living in Oakland, this county. Our subject had the advantage of a common school education, and lived at home until he was twenty-one years of age. He came to this county bringing with him a separator and a horse-power machine for the same. He followed threshing for two seasons, Mr. Brazil having an interest in the business. He then enlisted in the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry. He was one of the guards at Fort Negley under Gen. Thomas; was afterward with the troops that followed Hood through Alabama. During this time, he was on detached duty. His regiment was with Sherman in his memorable march to the sea, and he rejoined it at Goldsboro, N. C. He was in the grand review at Washington, D. C., and was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., after which he came back to Big Grove. He was married in Council Bluffs, August 9, 1866, to Mrs. Margaret Reed. She was the daughter of Louis and Susan (Palmer) Huff. Her father was born in North Carolina in 1811. He was one of the earliest settlers in Big Grove, and is still living near Oakland. Her mother was born in Indiana about 1821. She died at the age of fifty-three. After his marriage, our subject confined his attention to farming at Big Grove. He raised, principally, stock. In 1879, he went to the Gunnison country, in Colorado, where he prospected and mined for two seasons, coming home to pass the winters. The mining party of which he was a member pitched the first tent on the present site of Irwin, Colo. This party discovered and located the principal mines of the camp - the Ruby King and the Forest Queen. In the fall of 1880, he began business at his present location Block 2, Lot 10, on Main street, Oakland. He is the senior member of the firm of Bates & Reed, dealers in general merchandise. Mr. Bates lives on his farm, half a mile south of Oakland, which he also operates. He has seven children, four sons and three daughters - Clara B., John O., Susie E., Phoebe D., Thomas A. C, Pardon H. and H. Irwin. Mr. Bates was for a time Justice of the Peace, and was the first Postmaster at Big Grove. He is an A., F. & A. M., and is a charter member of the lodge to which he belongs, Mrs. Bates is a member of the Baptist Church. He is Democratic in politics.


BAXTER, John K.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Leesburg, Ohio, December 13, 1842. He is the son of Joseph H. and Isabella (Porter) Baxter. His father was born in Cannonsburg, Washington Co., Penn., August 17, 1806. He was a blacksmith, and worked at his trade in his native town, and also in Leesburg, Ohio, to which place he moved about 1840. His death occurred in the latter place, February 20, 1837. His (subject's) mother was born in Caunonsburg, Penn., March 20, 1806. This most worthy lady still enjoys good health, and lives with her daughter, Mrs. John W. Gard, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Both the parents are of Scotch descent. Their ancestors were compelled to seek refuge in the North of Ireland to escape the bitter persecution visited upon the "non-Conformists" under the Stuart dynasty. They finally emigrated to Pennsylvania previous to the Revolution. Our subject's father, in early life, had a taste for military tactics, and was for many years Captain of a military company in Pennsylvania. He was the father of ten children, eight of whom lived and grew to maturity - five sons and three daughters. Four of the sons were Union soldiers in the late civil war. Robert was killed while on a "scout" in Baxter County, Va., in 1862. James was a member of the Eleventh Iowa, and was wounded in the battle of Shiloh, from the effects of which he died in 1863. Joseph and our subject were also through the war, but escaped unhurt, with the exception that the latter lost his hearing at the battle of Shiloh. Our subject received a common-school education, and lived at home till he was seventeen years of age. At that time, he went to Moscow, this State, for the purpose of studying medicine with his brother. He attended the high school, and his brother gave him courses in anatomy. September 10, 1861, he enlisted in the Eleventh Iowa as musician of Company I, under Capt. C. B. Millinger. He received his discharge October 28, 1863, on account of physical disability, namely, loss of hearing, as before stated. After his discharge, he continued his study of medicine with his brother, intending to become a physician, but was compelled to give it up in consequence of his defective hearing. He was appointed Postmaster at Moscow, Iowa, in 1863, and held this position till the spring of 1869, since which time he has run a store, an insurance office and the Merchants' Union Express. He was married in Iowa City, October 10, 1867, to Texie A. Buuch, born in Albemarle County, Va., October 18, 1844; she was the daughter of William E. and Sarah (Crank) Bunch, both natives of Virginia. Her father came to Moscow, this State, in 1855, and was engaged in the merchandising and afterward in the drug business. He now lives at Saratoga, McDonald Co., Mo., where he keeps a drug store. In 1869, our subject sold out in Moscow, and moved to Lamar, Barton Co., Mo. Here his family had such poor health, that he came back to Jasper County, Iowa, where he farmed five years. In June, 1877, he came to this county. He owns forty acres in Belknap Township, where he now resides, and also 200 acres in Woodbury County, this State. He has three children living - Colfax E. (born August 6, 1868), Grace J. (born July 23, 1872), and Claude J. (born June 13, 1881). Mrs. Baxter is a member of the Evangelical Methodist Church. In politics, Mr. Baxter is a Republican.


BRYANT, C. W.

Of Norton & Bryant, hardware, Oakland, was born in Keutucky December 3, 1834. He is the son of James M. and Elizabeth (Sulenger) Brj'ant; his father was born in Georgia about 1808. He moved to Kentucky, and afterward to Missouri about 1836. He was married near Vincennes, Knox Co., Ind. He lived in Scotland County, Mo., for several years, and in 1843 moved to Putnam County, Mo. In 1850, he came with his family to Council Bluffs (then Kauesville). He first lived in a little log cabin, situated just west of where the Pacific House now stands. In the summer of 1850, he bought a Mormon claim, located about one mile east of the Ogden House; he died September 16, 1851. The family moved back to Scotland County, Mo., in the following spring. Our subject's mother was born in Indiana in 1813. He left her in Scotland County, Mo., and in the spring of 1853 came to Couucil Bluffs, where he worked with his uncle, A. S. Bryant, on his farm till the spring of 1860. The three following years he was in Colorado and New Mexico. He returned to the Bluffs and assisted his uncle in the Farmers' Hotel. He afterward went in partnership with Henry Thatcher, and kept a provision store on the Union Pacific Bailway, while that road was being built. They were located at different points on that road at different times. They sold out, and our subject returned to the Bluffs, and engaged in the grocery business, in connection with E. Hubbard. He sold out shortly afterward, and for some time was engaged in various occupations, finally going in partnership with his brother, R. T. Bryant, and W. B. Clark in the real estate business. They bought eighty acres of land of A. S. Bryant, situated west and north of the Union Pacific Transfer Depot. They divided it up into town lots. In September, 1870, our subject, with his brother, opened a dry goods and furniture store. In December of the same year, they moved their business to Avoca, this county, where they continued it till the election of R. T. as Clerk of the District Court, after which subject conducted the business till the spring of 1876, when he sold out. He then clerked for C. H. Norton in a hardware store in Avoca. After this he went in partnership with his brother, J. C. Norton, and opened up in the hardware business in Oakland. They added a line of furniture, and the firm still stands Norton & Bryant. Our subject was married in Council Bluffs, on March 7, 1871, by Rev. P. H. Cleland, to Louisa F. Brockie, born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1852. She was the daughter of Henry and Jennie (Wells) Brockie, both natives of Glasgow, Scotland. They came to this country in 1850, landing in New Orleans. La. They lived for a time in St. Louis, and came to Council Bluffs in 1857. The father is dead, and the mother is at present living in Mills County, this State.


CARSE, James

Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born in County Down, Ireland, October 19, 1830. He is the son of James and Mary (Gaugh) Carse, both natives of the same county. His father was a farmer, and died when our subject was fourteen years old. His ancestors were Scotch "non-conformists." His (subject's) mother, was of English descent, and died in Ireland. The parents had ten children, five sons and five daughters. Our subject has four sisters living in America, and a brother John, who is a successful miner in Australia. He (subject) received a good common school education, and lived with his mother's family until he came to America in 1859. He located at Newburg, Orange Co., N. Y., where he lived for two years, being engaged as a coachman; he then came to Dixon, Ill., where he worked out for nine months, at the end of which time he commenced farming for himself. He was married at Dixon, Ill., September 3, 1863, to Mary Wallace Carse; born in the same place as her husband, January 17, 1835. She was the daughter of James and Margaret (Wallace) Carse, both natives of Ireland, and both of whom are dead. Subject's wife came to the United States in 1857, living in Baltimore, Md., till 1863, when she moved to Illinois. After his marriage, our subject farmed in Illinois for fourteen years. He purchased his land in this county September 6, 1876, and moved on it in the spring of 1877. He has made all the improvements himself; he has six children - Margaret Wallace, Mary Gaugh, Sarah Elizabeth, William Henry, James Stewart and John Archibald. Mrs. Carse's parents had six children, three sons and three daughters. All of the daughters and one son, James, are living in this country. James is living with our subject, and owns eighty acres of land adjoining his farm, which consists of 240 acres in Sections 19 and 20, Belknap Township. His specialty is stock, for which he raises his own grain. Mr. and Mrs. Carse were raised Presbyterians. In politics, he is Republican.


CARSE, Joseph

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in County Down, Ireland, December 21, 1808. He is the son of John and Abagail (McCormick) Carse, both natives of County Down, Ireland. His father was born in 1776. He was a farmer, and his ancestors, as near as we can ascertain, came from Scotland in A. D. 1611. His (subject's) mother was born in 1766 and died in her native country in 1850. Our subject received a fair education in the old subscription schools. His grandfather took out a perpetuity on a piece of land in 1748, on which our subject and his father lived; Lord Dufferin was his landlord. Our subject came to the United States in 1860, locating in Lee County, Ill., where he lived and farmed until 1878, when he came to this county, and now lives on Section 21, Township 75, Range 40. He was married in County Down, Ireland, October 6, 1843, to Elizabeth Spratt, born in that county October 27, 1821. She was the daughter of John and Hannah (Carse) Spratt; both natives of the latter county; her father, born October 31, 1775, and died about 1869, in Ireland; her mother, born in the same county in 1796, and died May 26, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Carse have had eleven children - Hannah, born September 19, 1844; Abigail, born November 20, 1846, died November 31, 1878; John, born January 10, 1849; Elizabeth, born March 19, 1851; Joseph, born March 19, 1853; James, born March 13, 1855; William, born March 15, 1857; Archie, born December 23, 1858; Ann I., born October 12, 1860; Sarah A., born February 11, 1863, and Robert H., born December 10. 1865. The family are all members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Carse has a brother in Lee County, Ill., and a sister living in Allegheny City, Penn.


COOPER, G. W.

Of G. W. Cooper & Co., general merchandise, Oakland, was born in Erie County, Penn., the son of Wilson and Margaret (Riblet) Cooper, both natives of Pennsylvania. Our subject received a good education; he came to Council Bluffs in 1867, and has been a resident of this county ever since. In 1809, he was engaged as traveling salesman by Brewster & Co., of Council Blutfs. He remained in their employ for one year, after which he traveled eleven years for Steward Bros., of the same city. In March, 1880, he began business for himself in Oakland, this county. He rented a storeroom of Mr. Daniel Freeman, situated at the foot of Oakland avenue. In the spring of 1882, he moved up to the corner of Oakland avenue and Main street, where, under the firm name of G. W. Cooper & Co., he is engaged in the general merchandise business.


COX, A. T.

Publisher, Oakland, was born in Newton, Jasper Co., Iowa, June 9, 1857. He is the son of John M. and Mary (Wilson) Cox. His father was born in Monroe County, Ind., January 31, 1823. His (subject's) mother was born in the same place in 1821. His parents moved from their native State to Green Bay, Wis., where they lived for a short time, afterward going to Jasper County, this State. Here the father was engaged in the flour business for a short time, after which he farmed in the same county for six years. In 1864, the family moved to Shelby County, Iowa, near Harlan, where the fimily have carried on a farm, while the father worked at his trade of painter and plasterer. He is also a Baptist clergyman, and is pastor over several charges. The parents have nine children - five sons and four daughters, all of whom except our subject and his youngest brother are married, and all except subject live in Shelby County, this State. Oursubject received a common school education, and began life for himself by teaching school, which he followed for about six years with marked success. In the spring of 1882, he assumed entire control of the Oakland Acorn, which he has since conducted with great zeal and a commendable spirit of independence, advocating right at all times, without regard to party or personal interests.


DABNEY, W. H. H.

Stock and grain, Oakland, was born in Vermillion County, Ill., December 31, 1835. He is the son of Henry and Maria (Stanfield) Dabney. His father was born in King William County, Va., December 31, 1795; he had a number of slaves left him, which he afterward set free; he left his native State in 1825, and. in the winter of 1825-26 he taught the first school in Terre Haute, Ind.; he went from here to Vermillion County, Ill., where he located, and was married. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was in a number of active engagements; he moved to Dallas County, this State, in 1855, and afterward to Madison County, Iowa, where he died in Winterset March 24, 1870. His (subject's) mother was born in Knoxville, Green Co., Tenn., October 6, 1813, and is still living, in the enjoyment of good health, in Winterset, Madison County, this State. Our subject has eight brothers and two sisters living. One brother is a prominent lawyer in Madison Coiinty, Iowa. Onr subject received a common school education and worked on his father's farm until tweny-one years of age, when he started in for himself by clerking in a store for two years; he then started for Colorado without a dollar; he commenced business with two yoke of cattle and a wagon, which he bought on time; he freighted four years from the Missouri River to Colorado, and four years from Salt Lake City to Montana; he then owned ten wagons, with five yoke of cattle to each. During this time he came home, and was married, March 15, 1866, to Mary B. Lee; born in Licking County, Ohio, September 12, 1849. She was the daughter of E. B. and Ann (Shields) Lee. Her father was born in Licking County, Ohio, in 1814; he was a farmer and stock-shipper; he died in Barton County, Kan., at the age of sixty-eight; her mother was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1824, and is now living in Barton County, Kan. After his marriage, our subject freighted for eighteen months, at the end of which time he sold his train and returned to this State, locating in Winterset, Madison County. Here he dealt in land, stock and grain, and built and ran an elevator. In February, 1880, he moved to this county, having previously, in 1868, bought the farm on which he now resides, Section 2, Township 75, Range 40. He owns 600 acres in Belknap and James Townships, which is farmed by renters. He is engaged in feeding and shipping stock, and also grain. He has had four children, all of whom were born in Winterset, this State - William, died when he was eighteen mouths old; Minnie Alice, born October 5, 1868; John Maurice, born April 4, 1872; Henry Bowman, born July 9, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Dabney are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics, a Republican.


FETTER, J. L.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born at Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland Co., Peun., September 19, 1820. He is the son of Christian and Sarah (Lobingier) Fetter. His father was born in Richmond, Va. He was a physician, and followed his profession up to the time of his death, which occurred in Caledonia, Putnam Co., Ill., in 1847. He came to his death by an accident. Upon returning home one evening from his usual round of professional visitation he came to a ditch which it was necessary that his horse should jump. He stood upon the opposite side of the ditch, and called upon the animal to jump, which did so at once, but struck upon the unfortunate man, inflicting injuries which proved fatal. His (subject's) mother was born at Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland Co., Penn., May 5, 1796, and died at the residence of her son-in-law, Dr. L. S. Herrs, in Evansville, Ind., March 25, 1881. Our subject lived witli his grandfather, John Lobingier, until he was twenty years of age. His grandfather was a prominent lawyer, and was Judge of Westmoreland County, Penn. He raised our subject, and gave him the best education that was obtainable in the city of Mt. Pleasant. Our subject came West with his father in the spring of 1840, and settled at Caledonia, Putuam Co., Ill. Here he studied law. He was married, April 19, 1843, eleven miles east of Lacon, Ill., at Elder H. D. Palmer's residence, to Charlotte R. Palmer; born in Carlisle, Ind., November 1, 1821. She was the daughter of Elder H. D. and Martha (Angel) Palmer. Her father was born in South Carolina, and was one of the first ministers of the Christian Church. He was engaged in active ministerial labors for over forty years. He emigrated from his native State on account of his repugnance for slavery. He and a number of others brought their slaves along with them, and liberated them upon their arrival at their destination. He first settled in Illinois, not far from Vincennes, Ind., and afterward moved to Carlisle, Ind. In the latter part of his life he moved to Eureka, Woodford Co., Ill., where he died at the age of eighty-one. His wife (our subject's wife's mother) was a native of North Carolina. She emigrated to Tennessee, where she was married to Elder Palmer. After his marriage, our subject lived in Lacon, Ill., until April, 1856, when he came to Big Grove, this county. He still resides on his original settlement - northwest quarter Section 10, Township 75, Range 40. He has been Magistrate for eighteen years, and was Town Clerk for ten years. He is at present Treasurer of the School Board. He has four children - Frank P. (a graduate of Oskaloosa College, class of '78), Trannie B. (wife of J. H. Louis, who is County Recorder and Auditor of Shelby County, Iowa), Florence and May A. Our subject rents out his 600 acres of land, which he owns in Belknap Township. He and family are members of the Christian Church.


FREEMAN, Daniel

Retired merchant, Oakland, was born in St. Louis, Mo., April 26, 1818; his father, Daniel Freeman, was born in New Hampshire in 1780, and came West to St. Louis, Mo., in 1800, when that place was a small village. There he built a hotel called the "Green Tree," where he had the honor of entertaining La Fayette, when that noted soldier and statesman visited the United States; he died near St. Louis in 1839. Mr. Freeman remembers St. Louis, as it was in the days of its crooked streets and old-fiishioned houses, when the few steamboats then on the river fired cannon to denote their approach to the city. Mr. Freeman received a good education for those days, and lived at home till his fatlier's death, when he was married, and farmed for three years in Illinois, opposite St. Louis; thence went to Rockford, Winnebago County, where he remained five years, and then went to Rock County, Wis. In the latter place. Mr. Freeman lost his wife, Mary Waller, whom he married in Madison County, Ill.; she was born in Kentucky in 1818, and was the daughter of Richard and Nancy (Ellis) Waller; he is a native of Maryland, and she of Georgia. From Rock County, Wis., Mr. Freeman moved to La Fayette County, where he farmed for about twenty-five years. Six years after the death of his first wife, Mr. Freeman married Elizabeth Swindlow, born in England in 1834. In 1876, Mr. Freeman came to Big Grove, Pottawattamie County, engaged for two years in the mercantile business, and then sold out to his son-in-law, G. L. Whitehead. Since selling out, Mr. Freeman has lived in retirement from active business pursuits, though he still has some business interests. Mr. Freeman has five sons by his first wife, viz.: James Wilson, William Henry, Daniel Boone, Levi Ellis and Benjamin Franklin; they are all married and doing well. By his second wife, Mr. Freeman has had five children - Don Alonzo, Nancy Emily (deceased), Elizabeth Murray (now wife of L. G. Whitehead), Elmer Ellsworth and Charles Frederick. Mr. Freeman is a strong Republican.


FREEMAN, W. H.

Banker, Oakland, was born in Rockford, III, April 11, 1844; son of Daniel and Mary (Waller) Freeman; he was born in St. Louis, Mo., April 29, 1818; she, born in Kentucky in April, 1819, died in Wisconsin April 9, 1850. Subject's father was one of the early settlers of Rockford, locating there in 1843. From Rockford, Ill., subject's father moved to Wisconsin, where he lived in Rock and La Fayette Counties respectively till 1876, when he came to Big Grove, and engaged for about two years in the mercantile business; then sold out to Mr. Baker, and now lives in Oakland. Subject's mother died when he was six years old, and he lived with his mother's relatives till he was eleven years of age, when he joined his father in La Fayette County, Wis. Mr. Freeman engaged in farming with his father till twenty-one years of age, when he went to Davis, Ill., and farmed for one year. He came from Davis to Big Grove, Iowa, remained a short time, and then went to Nebraska, where he furnished wood and ties for the Union Pacific Railroad, then in course of construction. In 1867, Mr. Freeman left Nebraska, and returned to Big Grove, remained till spring, and removed to Newtown, near what is now Avoca; while there he constructed the wood culvert extending from Walnut to Neola, on the Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. In May, 1869, Mr. Freeman purchased what was known as the Davenport Saw-Mill, and moved it to Big Grove, where he operated it in connection with the mercantile business; in the latter, he was interested with his brother, D. B. Freeman. In the fall of 1876, Mr. Freeman removed his saw-mill to Green County, Wis., when he continued the lumber business, making a specialty of black-walnut till the summer of 1881, when he returned for the third time to Oakland. Here, December 23, 1881, our subject in connection with his brother, B. F. Freeman, opened the "Oakland Bank" under the firm name of " W. H. & B. F. Freeman, private bankers." Our subject was married in Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, September 21, 1869, to Malinda J. Shipp, born in Greencastle, Iowa, November 30, 1851; daughter of Albert and Mahala (Piles) Shipp, natives of Kentucky; he, born January 1, 1825, is a farmer living in Shelby County, Iowa; she, born November 20, 1826, died December 10, 1864; her parents were early settlers of Jasper County, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman have two children - Jennie May, born March 3, 1871, and Clyde Alden, born September 14, 1873. After the incoporation of Oakland in April, 1882, Mr. Freeman was elected Mayor; he has also served as Justice of the Peace; he is a Mason and a Republican.


GEHRMANN, Emil J.

Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born on the river Weiser, Germany, December 7, 1850. He is the son of Charles F. and Johannah (Riceland) Gehrmann. His father was a machinist and engineer, born in Germany March 20, 1823. He was passenger engineer for about twenty years. He ran the first German train into Russia, and also the first train that was run between Moscow and Kaureh, as a trial, prior to drawing the train that bore the Duke Alexis to the Black Sea. He drove the train that bore the Duke on his trip. He also ran the first train on this road, which train, before starting, was sprinkled with Holy water, by the Priest of the Greek Church. From the early part of 1860 to 1869, our subject's father lived in several diflferent places in Russia. August 16, 1869, he, with his family landed in New York City. They came to Chicago and visited a few days with a brother. In September of the same year they came to Council Blufls. The father had come ahead and purchased land in Macedonia Township, this county, where the family moved, and lived for six years. At the end of this time they sold out and bought in Section 29, Township 75, Range 40, where the father (our subject) and a brother, have each farms. The father worked ten years in the Union Pacific machine shops, but has now retired to his farm. Our subject's mother was born in Saxony, Germany, August 16, 1827. This was the native Province of Martin Luther, and she has seen the house in which the school which he attended was kept; also his ink-bottle and pen. When a little girl, she visited his grave, and planted small bass-wood trees about it. Our subject received a good education in the German and Russian schools. He talks fluently the German, Russian and English languages. He attended a mechanical institute in Germany, and studied the machinist trade from 1863 to 1866. He afterward fired about one year on a railroad, finally becoming an engineer himself. Since coming to this country he has devoted his attention exclusively to farming, and has been very successful. He now has 120 acres of land. He was married in Belknap Township, this county. May 1, 1879, to Elizabeth Carse, born in County Down, Ireland, near Belfast, March 19, 1851, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Spratt) Carse, both natives of Ireland. Her parents and family came to America in 1860, locating in Dixon, Ill., where they lived for about eighteen years. They came to this county in 1878, locating on the farm in Section 21, Belknap Township, where both the parents still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Gehrmann have one child - Emil, born May 2, 1880. They are members of the Lutheran Church.


GEHRMANN, F. H.

Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born in Berlin, Prussia, August 25, 1852. He is the son of Charles F. and Johannah (Riceland) Gehrmann. Our subject received his education principally in Germany. He attended the common schools until he was fourteen years of age, after which he attended two years at the high school. He then learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked till he came to America, with his father, in 1869, since which he has been engaged in farming.


GOFP, H. A.

Stock-dealer, Oakland, was born in Henry County, Ind., January 30, 1833, son of Abram and Nancy (Smith) Goff, natives of Kentucky; he was a farmer by occupation, and died when our subject was eighteen months old; she was born about 1809; after the death of her first husband, she married Robert Erwin, of Virginia; she died in Henderson County, Ill., in 1879. Mr. Goff left home at the age of sixteen, and worked by the month till November, 1851, when he was married in Tippecanoe County, Ind., to Elizabeth Crose, a native of the aforesaid county, born in 1833, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Crouch) Crose, natives of Ohio. After his marriage, Mr. Goff farmed one year in Tippecanoe County, Ind., then moved to Henderson County, Ill., where he bought land and farmed for sixteen years. There Mr. Goff lost his wife March 20, 1858, and then he again married, November 28, 1859, this time to Sarah Jane Brown, born in Kentucky October 28, 1839, daughter of Charles and Ann (Percell) Brown, natives of Kentucky; he was born December 25, 1810, and came to Illinois with his family, when Mrs. Goff was five years old; her mother died in Illinois; her father is now living with his children in Iowa. In the fall of 1868, Mr. Goff came to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and bought land in James Township; this land he improved and lived upon till the following summer, when the grasshoppers became troublesome and he returned to Illinois. After remaining in the latter State eighteen months, he returned to his farm in Iowa, where he remained till the spring of 1882, when he moved in Oakland, where he has since been engaged in trading in cattle and hogs. For the past ten years, Mr. Goff has furnished beeves to the butchers of Avoca. Mr. Groff has, by his second wife, seven children - Ellen (now Mrs. Hayse), George, Flora Ann (now Mrs. Clayton), Dolly Jane (now Mrs. Strong), Charles, Lily May and Samuel. Mr. Goff is a Democrat.


McDONALD, John

Flour and feed, Oakland, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in April, 1834; his father, William McDonald, was born in the same place as subject, and was a miller by occupation; he emigrated to the United States and settled in Illinois, Warren County, in 1855, and died the following year of typhoid fever. Subject's mother was born in Ireland; came to this country with her husband and died at Oxford, Jones Co., Iowa. Subject's brother, Samuel, and sister Martha, came to the United States with their parents, the oldest brother preceded them to this county. Mr. McDonald received a fair common school education, and worked with his father at milling, until he married, March 8, 1852, Bessie McElhinney, born in Ireland November 20, 1833. She was a daughter of William and Bessie (Thompson) McElhinney, natives of Ireland, where the father died. After his marriage, Mr. McDonald came to this country and located in Warren County, Ill., June 3, 1853. He ran a grist-mill at Monmouth, Ill., for four years for Silas Umpstead; then moved to Keithsburg and conducted a mill for Joseph Ogden, for seven years; thence to North Henderson, Mercer County, for a year; then, after a year spent in Millersburg, he purchased a mill in Bureau County, Ill.; operated it for two years, sold it and came to Jones County, Iowa, where he rented a mill for a year. Upon leaving Jones County, Mr. McDonald moved to Union Township, Shelby County, where he bought a farm near the present site of Defiance; there he engaged in farming for seven years, when he and his wife began traveling for the latter's health in California and Washington Territory; in the latter Territory she died of consumption September 4, 1878. In 1879, Mr. McDonald located in Neola, and established the "Exchange Mills Flour and Feed Store," which his son now conducts. Mr. McDonald sold his property in Neola; established a similar business in Marne, Cass Co., Iowa; conducted it six months; sold out and came to Oakland in December, 1880, where he has since conducted a flour and feed business. Our subject has, by his first wife, four children - Jennie, Ella, William aud Thomas Thompson. April 1, 1880, at Neola, Iowa, Mr. McDonald married Margaret Gallup, born in Harrison County, Iowa, in 1861, daughter of Jasper and Sarah (Wood) Gallup, early settlers of Pottawattamie County - he a native of New York State, and she of Ohio. This second union has been blessed with one child - Frederick Samuel. Mr. McDonald is a Mason and a member of the V. A. S.; he is a member of the City Council and a Republican.


McMURRY, J. L.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Indiana April 9, 1853; son of John and Elizabeth (Wilson) McMurry; he was born in North Carolina, was a farmer by occupation, and died about 1859 in Davis County, Iowa; she, born in North Carolina, is now living at the age of sixty-four in Davis County, Iowa. Mr. McMurry worked at home till December 24, 1874, when he was married, near Drakesville, Davis County, to Mary E. Wood, born in Davis County, Iowa, September 17, 1848, daughter of John G. and Mary (Vaughn) Wood; he was a farmer by occupation, and died in Davis County, Iowa, in October, 1880; she, born in Ohio in July, 1805, is living in Davis County. After his marriage, Mr. McMurry farmed for himself for two years in Davis County, then moved to Mills County, Iowa, where he worked two years for L. W. Tubbs. In 1879, Mr. McMurry left Mills County and came to Pottawattamie County, where he has since been engaged in farming. In politics, Mr. McMurry is a Republican.


NASH, George N.

Agricultural implements, Oakland, was born in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Mass., December 13, 1846. He is the son of Abner P. and Silence (Humphrey) Nash, both natives of Weymouth, Mass. His father was born July 24, 1803. He was a wholesale leather merchant in Boston, Mass. He is now living a retired life in his native town, and is an unusually vigorous old gentleman. His (subject's) mother died in her native town in 1846. Our subject lived with his father until he was twenty-one years of age, when he came to this State, locating on his present farm of 640 acres, situated iu Sections 23 and 24, Township 75, Range 39, in Center Township, this county. He lived here till January, 1882, when he weut into his present business in Oakland. He was married in Center Township, March 8, 1873, to Louisa L. Russell, born in Middlebury, Addison Co., Vt., December 9, 1846. She is the daughter of Samuel and Laura (Drake) Russell, both natives of Addison County, Vt. Her father died iu Middlebury, Vt., in 1855, at the age of forty-seven. He was a horse dealer and grocer. Her mother was born January 16, 1816, and is still living with her son, E. S. Russell, of Center Township, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Nash have three children - Fred A., born February 21, 1875; Russell, born January 18, 1878; and E. Ernest, born February 14, 1882. Our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a Republican.


NORTON, J. C.

Hardware and furniture, Oakland, was born in Livingston County, N.Y., June 13, 1836, son of William C. and Harriet (Thayer) Norton; he, born in Onondaga County, N. Y., in January, 1811, is a carpenter, living in Oakfield, Audubon County, Iowa; she, born in Oneida County, N. Y., in September, 1813, is the mother of three sons and four daughters. The girls received sufficient education to enable them to teach, but Mr. Norton, being the oldest child, was deprived of school advantages till he became twenty-three years old, when he attended school two years, and one year later he obtained a certificate for teaching. Mr. Norton early learned the trade of carpentering, and worked at home till twenty-one years of age. In October, 1856, Mr. Norton's parents migrated to Audubon County, Iowa, where our subject worked at his trade summers and engaged in trapping, winters. In 1867, Mr. Norton opened a mercantile business in Oakfield, Audubon County, Iowa; there he continued two years, and in 1869 came to Avoca, Pottawattamie County, when there were but two houses in the place. He was engaged in merchandising iu Avoca, till 1875, when he sold out and started West for his health, spending a year aud a half iu California and Oregon; while in the latter State he engaged in the sewing machine business, which he sold in 1876, and then returned to Avoca. After returning to the latter place, Mr. Norton retired from business till 1880, when he erected the first building iu the new town of Oakland, where he has since conducted a mercantile business, the firm name being Norton & Bryant. Mr. Norton was married in Oakfield, Iowa, February 2, 1868, to Susie Ostrander, born iu Illinois in 1846, daughter of James Ostrander, a native of New York State, and a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Norton have four children  - Elmer D., born November 4, 1871; Arthur, June 28, 1876; Jessie, June 28, 1878; and Clarice, born September 9, 1881. Mr. Norton is a member of the Congregational Church and is a Republican.


PALMER, M. T.

Physician, Parma, was born in Fayette County, Ind., March 22, 1822. His father, William Palmer, was born in South Carolina about 1774; he served in the war of 1812; was an early settler in Fayette County, Ind., and subsequently settled in Rock Island County, Ill, where he lived about two years, and then died October 25, 1840. Subject's mother, Jane (Gill) Palmer, was born in Virginia about 1780, and died August 25, 1846. The parents had ten children, eight of whom, three sons and five daughters, grew to maturity. Mr. Palmer's school advantages were very limited, his education being mainly self-acquired; he being the youngest son, remained at home engaged in farming and taking care of his parents till their death; then, he being in delicate health, lived for three years with an older sister at Yellow Banks, Ill. While at the latter place, Mr. Palmer studied medicine; he also there met Caroline Tuel, whom he afterward married in Rock Island County, Ill., November 30, 1848; her parents were Presley and Mary (Bell) Tuel. he a native of Virginia, died in Ohio; she a native of Ohio, died at the residence of her daughter in Iowa. After marriage, !Mr. Palmer spent a year on the homestead in Rock Island County, Ill.; then sold out and moved to Sugar Grove, Mercer County, where he farmed and learned carpentering. October 31, 1853, he moved to Council Bluffs, where he helped to build the first steam sawmill erected on the bottom west of that place; he also took the contract for the first frame building erected in Omaha, Neb. Mr. Palmer engaged in farming near Council Bluffs from 1854 to 1856, when he came to Big Grove, then a new settlement, and located on the farm where he still lives. After studying medicine for about six years, and receiving much instruction from Dr. Barrett, a graduate of Glasgow, Scotland, Mr. Palmer began to practice medicine about 1861, and since then has been active and successful in the profession. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have had nine childieu - Marion, born April 5, 1851; Sumner Steven, April 28, 1853; George, May 6, 1855, died February 4, 1876; Minor T., Jr., May 21, 1857, died August 17, 1857; Mary Matilda, December 30, 1859; Abraham Lincoln, April 26, 1861; Alexis Presley, July 28, 1864; Hiram Thomas, January 16. 1868; and Lucy Adella, July 9, 1872. Mr. Palmer has been School Director, and has twice been Postmaster. He and wife are Missionary Baptists; he is a Republican.


POTTER L. F.

(Of Potter & DeGraff), general erchandise, Oakland, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., March 27, 1855. He is the son of L. B. and Hitty (Wenzell) Potter. His father was born in Fitzwilliam, Cheshire Co., N. H., December 15, 1815, and was a school teacher in his native State. He afterward kept a meat market and packed pork in Fitchburg, Mass. In 1839, he came to Milwaukee, Wis., where he engaged in the manufacture of butter, and later in the manufacture of cheese. He is now living a retired life near the latter city. His (subject's) mother was born in Framingham, Mass., July 26, 1820; she died in Wisconsin October 27, 1864. Our subject received a common school education, and for one year afterward was a student in the English department of Ripon College, Wis. At the age of seventeen, he was sufticiently advanced in all English branches to enter college, and so began the study of Latin and Greek in the preparatory department of the Beloit College, Wis. After pursuing his studies at this place for one year, he was compelled to leave, together with many of his fellow-students, on account of an eye-sore which appeared to come in the form of an epidemic. From the effects of this disease, our subject never sufficiently recovered to resume his studies. He subsequently taught school for four or five years in Wisconsin and this State. He came to this county in 1876, and after teaching for a time, he took half-interest in business with J. L. Caldwell. In May, 1880, Mr. Caldwell sold his interest to M. J. DeGraff, a brother-in-law to our subject, being married to his sister. Our subject was married in Council Bluffs, November 29, 1881, to Miss M. J. Wood, born in 1856. She is a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Potter is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a Republican.


REED, J. I.

Farming, P. O. Oakland, was born in Rushville, Rush Co., Ind., November 26, 1830. His father. Zenas Reed, was born in South Carolina March 9, 1795; was a stock-dealer and farmer. When twenty-three years old, he moved to Indiana, where he lived till 1840. About 1830, he became County Judge of Rush County, Ind.. which position he held a number of years; he held several other civil offices. In 1840, he moved from Indiana to Mercer County. Ill., where he farmed till his death, March 6, 1845. Subject's mother, Elizabeth (Rishling) Reed, was born in Pittsburgh, Penn.. March 10, 1805. She is the mother of eight children, four sons and four daughters. Two sons and one daughter are dead. Mr. Reed received his education mostly in a subscription school, the building for which was erected by subject's father and three other men. When Mr. Reed was fifteen years old, his father died, and the care of the stock and farm devolved on our subject and an older brother. They conducted the farm till they were of age. This brother, George, was afterward the first Postmaster of Big Grove. October 21, 1851, our subject was married, in Mercer County, Ill., to Hannah Jane Sherer, born in Lawrence County, Penn.. February 27, 1832; daughter of Robert and Mary (Adair) Sherer, he born in Lawrence County, Penn., in 1803, was a farmer by occupation, and died December 25, 1854, in Mercer County, Ill. When Mrs. Reed was one year old, her mother died. After his marriage, Mr. Reed farmed in Mercer County, Ill., till 1855, when he came to Council Bluffs. After remaining a short time in Council Bluffs engaged in teaming, Mr. Reed returned to Mercer County, Ill., where he remained till 1861, when he came back to Iowa, and bought prairie land. The latter he improved and exchanged for a farm in Big Grove; there he lived from February, 1863, to October, 1881, when he sold his farm and bought nine acres on the northern limits of Oakland. In 1882, Mr. Reed bought 200 acres two and one-half miles south of Hancock. This is very fine land. For the last three years, Mr. Reed has dealt in hogs. Mr. and Mrs. Reed have ten children - Adaline (Mrs. McMartin), Mary (Mrs. Larue), Maggie (Mrs. Russell), Robert, George, John, Albert, Irwin, Harry and May. Mrs. Reed is a Presbyterian; Mr. Reed is a member of the I. O. O. F., and a Republican.


RUST, S. S.

Grain-dealer, Oakland, was born in Henderson County, Ill.. February 23, 1848. His father, Jacob Rust, was born in Frederick County, Va., May 27, 1795. Subject's grandfather, George Rust, was born about March 20, 1767, and had four brothers in the Revolutionary war. One of them, Vincent, died in the service; John was a Captain, Peter a lieutenant and Jerry a private; the last three were in the battles of Brandywine, Cowpens, and at the surrender of the British at Yorktown. In 1829, Jacob Rust left Kentucky and emigrated to the military tract now called Warren County, Ill. He boarded Maj. Butler and Capt. Jennings while they were surveying the site for the town of Monmouth, Warren County. After Warren County was organized as such, Jacob Rust served as Justice of the Peace for a number of years. He afterward moved to Henderson County, Ill., then to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, locating at Big Grove, where he was one of the first settlers. There he followed farming till retiring from business. He now lives at Oakland, and is eighty-eight years old. He was first married, in Hardin County, Ky., to Frances 3IcDonald, born in Virginia; this union was blessed by fourteen children, of whom three survive - Mrs. W. E. Brunk, Mrs. C. E. Chastain and Mrs. Louisa Ward. Subject's father next married, in Illinois, Mrs. Eda E. Morris, by whom he had three children - Mrs. Reuben Morris, Steven Sumner (our subject) and Larue, who died at the age of four years. Subject's early education was limited to two years in the common schools, but he has since stulied much by himself. Mr. Rust worked out from the age of fourteen till he was seventeen, when he began farming for himself; this he continued till the fall of 1879, when he began buying grain at Parma, two and one-half miles north of Oakland. In the fall of 1880, he sold his farm and came to Oakland, Pottawattamie County, where he has since been engaged as a grain-dealer. Mr. Rust was married at Council Bluffs, September 2, 1865, to Mary Anne Strong, born in Ohio February 18, 1845, daughter of J. M. and Nancy (Barker) Strong, natives of Ohio, who came to this county in 1863, and now live near Oakland. Mr. and Mrs. Rust have one child - Bertie. Mr. Rust was for five years Treasurer of the school fund of Centre Township, and he is now Treasurer of the Oakland School Board. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow; in politics, he is a Republican.


SLOAN, James R.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Henderson County, Ill., June 4, 1854. He is the son of Workman and Pearl Ann (Roberts) Sloan. His father was born in Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio, January 12, 1824. He was a farmer, and came to Illinois when a young man. His (subject's) mother was born in Greene County, Penn., December 10, 1831. His grandmother Sloan still lives in Henderson County, Ill. She has never seen a railway car, though she is living at present within four miles of the depot. Our subject received a good common school education, and lived at home until he was twenty-one years of age, when he made a start for himself. He was married near Terre Haute, Henderson Co., Ill., June 10, 1875, to Analine L. Showalter, born in Lancaster County, Penn., October 14, 1853. She is the daughter of John Showalter, born in the same county October 19, 1823, and died November 23, 1879, in Henderson County, Ill. Her mother was born in Montgomery County, Penn., December 24, 1831, and is still living in Henderson County, Ill., where she and her husband moved November 19, 1869. After his marriage, our subject lived and farmed in Illinois for six years. October 12, 1881, he came to this county on a prospecting tour, and, finally, made a purchase of land, the northwest quarter of Section 19, Township 75, Range 40. He left Illinois and moved on to his laud in this county March 3, 1882. September 5, 1881, he was in a railroad disaster while going to visit some friends in Page County, this State. Thomas Leecox, the great inventor, was killed. Mr. Sloan sustained a dislocation of his right shoulder, and also received injuries in the back and bowels. Mr. and Mrs. Sloan have two children - William Oscar, born October 26, 1878, and Cora Emma, born September 13, 1880. They are members of the Baptist Church. In politics, Mr. Sloan is a Republican.


SLOCUM, S.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Huron County, Ohio, December 24, 1835; son of G. A. and Mary (Harroune) Slocum; he was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., May 10, 1811, is a shoemaker by trade, but has been engaged in farming in Belknap Township, Pottawattamie County, since August, 1854. Subject's mother was born in New Hampshire December 17, 1811, and died December 13, 1878. Our subject was named by his grandfather Slocum after one of the latter's comrades in the Revolution. Until twenty-one years of age, Mr. Slocum worked at home, then, after farming two years, he went to Council Bluffs and learned the carpenter trade, at which he began to work in 1860. He built the second log house and the third frame house in Belknap Township. Mr. Slocum continued to work at his trade till 1870, when he came to his present farm of sixty acres, situated 100 rods from the Oakland depot. He devotes the most of his time to gardening, occasionally working at his trade. He was married, in March, 1857, to Marilla Belknap, born September 21, 1836, died September 21, 1863. Her father, Orin Belknap, born in Kentucky, was the first settler in Belknap Township, which was named after him. Her mother, Anne Draper, was born in Ohio, and died in this county about 1856. Mr. Slocum has by his first wife one child - George Orin, now in Las Vegas, New Mexico, engaged in the coal and coke business. Mr. Slocum was again married, in Center Township, January 3. 1867, to Emeline Reed, born in Mercer County, Ill., January 23, 1843, daughter of Enos and Elizabeth (Rishling) Reed; he was born in South Carolina March 9, 1795, and died in Mercer County, Ill.; she was born in Pittsburgh, Penn., March 10, 1805; is now living in this county with her children. This second union has resulted in two children - Fred and Hattie Grace. Mr. Slocum is a member of the M. E. Church. In politics, he is a Republican, and believes in prohibition.


WHITE, J. S.

Farmer, P. O. Carson, was born in Fulton County, Ill., June 3, 1845. He is the son of J. M. and Elizabeth (Rist) White; his father was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1820; he is a farmer, and lives on Section 22, Washington Township, this county; he came from Henderson County, Ill., in 1867, to Mills County, this State, and has lived in this county for the past two years. His (subject's) mother was born in Allegheny County, Penn., in 1823, and died in Fulton County, Ill., in 1858. In 1863, our subject joined the Union army, but was taken sick, and returned home on that account; he enlisted a second time, in Company H, Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry. He was in the siege of Mobile, under Burnside, and at Forts Gains and Blakely. He was then transferred to Brownsville, Texas, under command of Steele and Canby. He was mustered out of service at this latter place on March 25, 1865. He was married in Terre Haute, Ill., June 11, 1867, to Mary Spencer, born in Perry County, Ohio, September 29, 1848. She was the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Fowler) Spencer, both natives of Ohio. Her father was a farmer; went to the war in 1861; he was taken prisoner at the time of Bank's retreat at Winchester, and died in Andersonville Prison in 1862; her mother died before the war. After his marriage, our subject farmed two seasons in Illinois, and then came to Mills County, this Slate. He has resided in this county about four years; his residence is situated in the northeast quarter Section 31, Belknap Township, where he farms 200 acres in and owns 160 acres elsewhere. He conducted a real estate office, handling land all over this county; he was once elected Justice of the Peace, but declined to serve; he has served as School Director ever since coming to this county; he has five children - John E., born May 3, 1808; William, born November 25, 1870; Mary J., born October 25, 1872; Sarah, born October 20, 1874, and Charles W., born May 12, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. White are members of the Methodtst Episcopal Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics is Independent.


WRIGHT, James H.

Farmer, P. O. Oakland, was born in Henderson County, Ill., January 25, 1855. He is the son of James and Lncretia (Hammond) Wright. His father was born in Nelson County, Ky., February 17, 1812. He was a farmer, and emigrated to Illinois about 1848. He is still living in this county. His (subject's) mother was born in the same county as his father, in 1817, and is still living. Our subject lived at home until he was twentytwo years of age, when he began farming for himself; he left Illinois with his father in the fall of 1868, and came to this county, locating in Center Township. He was married in Adair County, this State, in 1879, to Rosa Jennings, born in that county January 18, 1863. She is the daughter of Robert and Nancy (Snyder) Jennings, both natives of Pennsylvania. Her father died in Warren County, Ill., in 1864; her mother lives with subject, who, since his marriage, has been engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Wright have one child, Lisle Claude, born March 26, 1881. In politics, Republican.

From John H. Keatley's History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, published by O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883
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