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Biographical Sketches
Keg Creek Township
1883

BEBENSEE, Henry C.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Schleswig, Germany, September 29, 1823, son of Henry F. and Maria Magdalena (Kohn) Bebensee, he a native of Holstein, and she a native of Schleswig, Germany. They were farmers, and were the parents of three children - two sons and one daughter. Our subject received his schooling in his native town, and began life as a tiller of the soil. He was married, in May, 1851, in his native town, to Margaretta Koch, born in Germany in 1825, daughter of Jurgen and Mrs. (Ramin) Koch, both natives of Germany. Our subject was in the Schleswig-Holstein war, from 1848 to 1850. He sustained two wounds, one in each leg. He came to the United States in 1872, coming to this coimty, and purchasing, in Keg Creek Township, 220 acres of land at $12 per acre. In 1881, he bought eighty acres more at $15.75 per acre. His farm now contains good buildings and other improvements. He carries on farming in all its branches. He has six children - Fred Rudolph, born April 16, 1852; Dora, born March 12, 1859; Mary, born December 23, 1861; Ereka, born January 8, 1864; Henry, born January 13, 1866; and Johanna, born January 24, 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Bebensee are Lutherans. In politics, he is a Democrat.


BUSCH, John L.

Farmer, P. O. Keg Creek, was born in Holstein, Germany, August 22, 1833, son of Joe and Margaretta (Buck) Busch, both natives of Holstein, Germany, where they also died. They were the parents of four children, of whom our subject is the only son. He received his education in his native town, and started in life as a farmer. He came to the United States October 3, 1857. He lived in Scott County, this State, several years, and in Clinton County six years; was also in St. Louis and New Orleans. He came to Keg Creek Township and purchased, in 1871, eighty acres of land at $10 per acre. He made subsequent purchases, and now has 320 acres of good, improved land. He engages in general farming. He has been twice married - the first time in Scott County, this State, to Dorothea Quater. His second marriage was with Sophia Kluver, which occurred in Keg Creek Township, June 14, 1877. She was born in Germany April 24, 1838, daughter of Ditleft and Sophia Kluver, both natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Busch have one child, Chris. Our subject has filled township offices. In religion, he is a Lutheran, and in politics, a Democrat


CAMPBELL, Rasmus

Farmer, P. O. Keg Creek, was born in Wayne County, Ind., in 1840. He is the oldest settler in Keg Creek Township, coming here in 1852, and he has lived here ever since, within one mile of the place he first settled on. He received his education in the schools of this county. His father, William Campbell, was a native of New York, and lived in Harrison County, Iowa. He died in Monona County, Iowa, in 1880. When our subject first settled in the county, there was only one settler between him and Council Bluffs. This was Mr. Thomas Moffatt, who lived on the farm now owned by S. G. Underwood. It was five miles up Keg Creek to any settler, and to the south there was no settlement till Glenwood was reached. Mr. Campbell was married, in this county, in 1864, to Miss Martha M. Moffatt, a daughter of Thomas Moffatt, one of the earliest settlers in this township. They have had six children, three boys of whom are living. They lost two children by typhoid fever in 1881. Mr. Campbell's farm consists of 127 acres. He is engaged in stock-raising and general farming. He has three brothers - one living in Hardin township, one in Lewis Township, and one living in Monona County. In politics, Mr. Campbell has always been a Republican.


FLOOD, James

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Ireland in 1830. He came to America in 1847, and settled near Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Ill. Here he remained until 1856, when he came to Mills County, Iowa, settling in Glenwood. He lived here for eight years, but was away part of the time, being engaged in freighting with ox teams from the Missouri River to the mountains. It usually took from two to three months to make a round trip, the time, of course, depending upon the condition of the roads, Indians, etc. Mr. Flood was married, in Morgan County, Ill., in 1856, to Louisa M. Ballatti. She was born in England, and came to America with her parents, who are still living, in Morgan County, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Flood have six children - five sons and one daughter. Two of his sons have each a farm, one consisting of a quarter-section, and the other of eighty acres. Mr. Flood's farm consists of 400 acres, situated on Middle Silver Creek. He raises a good deal of stock, besides doing a general farming business. While in Mills County, he engaged largely in buying and selling cattle, and also in feeding. He has been on his present farm eight years. When he first came, there were but few settlers in this part of the township, but now the entire surrounding country has been fenced in and improvements made. Mr. Flood has always taken an active interest in educational matters. In politics, he is a Democrat.


FRANK, D. S.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Lake County, Ohio, August 23, 1850, within three-fourths of a mile of the lamented Garfield's home. He is the son of Solomon S. and Phcebe (Davis) Frank, he a native of Pennsylvania, and she of New York. They are farmers, and are now living in Hardin Township, this county. They were the parents of eight children - four sons and four daughters. Our subject received hie education in Council Bluffs, and began life at farming. He was but eight years old when he came to Council Bluffs, where he lived for four years. He has been a resident of this county for the past twenty-four years. His present farm consists of 160 acres; is well improved land, containing good buildings and a walnut grove of 500 trees. He carries on general farming. March 20, 1878, he was married, in Keg Creek Township, to Marguerette Orr, born in Ohio November 25, 1850, daughter of William and Marguerette Orr, natives of Ireland. Our subject has been School Director in the township, and in politics he is a Democrat.



FRANKE, Ernest

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Germany in 1845, and came to America in 1866, settling two miles north of Glenwood, in Mills County, Iowa, where he remained for six years. He then came to this county, and has since lived, with the exception of four years, on his present farm of 180 acres. Mr. Franke has good buildings on his farm, and he engages in all the branches of farming. In the spring of 1872, he married Miss Paulina Bhoam, a native of Germany. They have six childi-en - three sons and three daughters. Mr. Franke votes the Democratic ticket.


INGRAM, Robert

Farmer, P. O. Silver City, Mills County, was born in Scotland August 30, 1831, son of James and Jane (Serling) Ingram, both natives of Ayrshire, Scotland, he born in 1792, and is still living in the same place; she born in 1797, and died in her native town in 1846. They were farmers, and had five children, of whom our subject is the only boy. He received his education in Ayrshire, Scotland, and began life at the plow. He came to America in 1851, and to Keg Ci'eek Township in 1871, where he purchased 220 acres of prairie land at $10 per acre. He has since added 160 acres, which cost on an average of 12.50 per acre. He has made many substantial improvements, including a good grove and orchard, and a new two-story frame house, which he erected in 1882, at a cost of 1,800. His present farm of 380 acres contains a constant supply of living water, which would make it an excellent farm for stock-raising. He carries on general farming. He was married, in La Porte County, Ind., in May, 1851, to Eliza Cane, born in Ohio, and died in the place of her marriage in the following year. She was the daughter of John and Ruth (Hullinger) Cane, he born and died in Ohio, and she also a native of Ohio, born in 1808, and is now living in Lake County, Ind. Our subject was married a second time, to Miss Melissa McMurphy, a half-sister of his former wife. She was born in Michigan February 7, 1814, the daughter of Moses McMurphy, a native of Vermont, born in 1806. By his first wife our subject had one child, James M.; by his second wife, four children, three of whom are living - Andrew L., Martha and Robert Marion. Our subject has filled several township offices. He belongs to the Baptist Church, and is a Republican in politics.


KIRBY, William

Farmer, P. O. Silver City, Mills County, was born in Yorkshire. England, February 13, 1850, son of James and Jane (Croft) Kirby, natives of Y'orkshire, England, he, born in 1808, was a large farmer, and died in Clyde, Ill., July 22, 1866; she born October 15, 1819, and is now living in Keg Creek Township. They were the parents of four children - three boys and one girl. Our subject received his schooling in Logan County, Ill., and started in life as a farmer. It was in 1854 that he came to the United States, and he lived in Illinois for eighteen years. March 4, 1875, he came to Keg Creek Township and bought 100 acres of prairie land, at $11, $12.50 and $16.75 per acre. He has made many substantial improvements, and carries on general farming. Since his residence in this county, he has dealt considerably in land, having been in the real estate business for some time. He votes the Republican ticket.


KNOWLES, Henry B.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., August 7, 1849, son of Henry and Jane L. (Brush) Knowles; he, born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., June 23, 1815, is a lawyer in Potsdam, N. Y.; she, born in Vergennes, Vt., June 21, 1817, and is still living. They are the parents of six children - two sons and four daughters. Our subject received his education in Potsdam, N. Y., Williamstown, Mass., and Cornell University. He started in life as a farmer and stock man. He was married, in Keg Creek Township, February 10, 1881, to Elizabeth J. Orr, born near Cleveland, Ohio, June 15, 1855, daughter of William and Marguerette Orr, both natives of Belfast, Ireland, he born March 13, 1817, she March 23, 1817. Our subject came to Council Bluffs in the fall of 1872. His present farm consists of 400 acres, which was, at the time he purchased it, all prairie land, but now contains many substantial improvements, including good buildings, his house being one of the largest and best in the county. He feeds cattle in the winters, and afterward ships them to Chicago. In politics, he is a Republican.


McELRATH, Robert

Farmer, P. O. Silver City, Mills County, was born in Erie County, Penn., March 11, 1836, sou of James and Elizabeth (Leland) McElrath, both natives of Northumberland County, Penn., he, born March 12, 1800, and died in St. Joseph County, Mich., in December, 1862; she, born in 1802, and still living, in St. Joseph County, Mich. The parents were farmers, and raised eight children - four boys and four girls. Our subject received his schooling in St. Joseph County, Mich., to which place his parents had moved shortly after his birth, and commenced life as a tiller of the soil. He afterward learned the shoemaker's trade, but returned to farming. August 8, 1802, he enlisted in the Nineteenth Michigan Infantry, Company K, Capt. Duffy. He took part in the engagement of Spring Hill, Tenn., and was taken prisoner, and sent to Libby Prison, Virginia. He was married, February 4, 1857, in St. Croix County, Wis., to Nancy M. Harris, born in New York September 24, 1836. Our subject lived in Michigan until 1869, when he went to Shelby County, Mo,, where he lived until he came to Keg Creek Township in 1873, where he purchased eighty acres of land at $15 per acre. He has set out a grove and made other substantial improvements. He engages in general farming. He has two daughters - Susan Elmina, born March 5, 1861; and Alice Elcina, born July 15, 1862. Mr. McElrath is an Odd Fellow, Silver City Lodge. He votes the Republican ticket.


ORR, Col. William

Farmer and stockraiser, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born near Belfast, Ireland, March 13, 1826. He is the son of John and Margaret Orr. His father died in Ireland in 1841. Our subject received his education in Ireland. He first attended the subscription schools, and afterward the public schools, when the national system of free instruction came into vogue. When but sixteen years of age, he came to Ohio, where he remained until the year 1856, with the exception of about four years, during which he lived in Western Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1848, he returred to the old country, and was married, near Belfast, in 1849, to Miss Margaret
Orr. He immediately came back to Ohio and commenced farming and stock-raising, in which occupations he has ever since been engaged. The same year, his mother visited him, but returned to Ireland shortly afterward, and died there in 1853. In the spring of 1857, our subject moved to a place near Florence, Neb., remaining there for four years, when he went to Harrison County, Iowa, where he lived till 1872, finally coming to his present farm in Keg Creek Township. Mr. and Mrs. Orr have had twelve children, seven of whom are living - three sons and four daughters. Lamont, William, Mary and Emma are living at home. John A. is married, and lives in Harrison County, near the old homestead. Margaret A. and Elizabeth J. are married, and reside in this county. From about 1866 to 1879, Col. Orr was engaged in breeding Short-Horn cattle, but he held a sale in 1879, from which he retained but a few head. He is at present engaged in breeding cattle of the Hereford blood. Besides this, he makes it a business of feeding cattle through the winter season, having at times several hundred head. The Colonel is also a breeder of thoroughbred horses, sheep and hogs, at present breeding the Chester White and Poland-China hogs. Col. Orr is one of the earliest who have made fine stock-raising a specialty, and he has probably been more extensively engaged in that business than any other man in the county. His farm consists of 640 acres, and he has a quarter-section more, which he leases. His farm is complete in all the necessaiy equipments pertaining to the business. In his pasture he has a self-regulating Halliday windmill. Col. Orr raises his own hay, in which he has been very successful, cutting as high as three tons to the acre. In politics, the Colonel is a Democrat, but has never taken a very active interest in political affairs. His party did, however, run him for the State Senatorship in the fall of 1880, but he was defeated by Hon. George F. Wright, the Republican candidate. [Col. Orr's wife and daugher referred to as Margaret in this section are referred to as Marguerette in previous sketches on this page.]


PERKINS, A. B.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Warren County, Ill., in 1846, and, with his parents, moved to Warren County, Iowa, when he was nine years old. His father, D. R. Perkins, moved to Southern Kansas in the fall of 1870, and in the March following, our subject went to Nebraska, remaining there two years, when he came to Keg Creek Township, in March, 1873. At that time, his present place was all open prairie, and there were but two or three other settlers near him. He had ample range for his cattle, but, inside of five years, some of the roughest of the neighboringr land had been settled up. Mr. Perkins paid $10 per acre at the time he first purchased. His farm at present consists of 180 acres, all of which is under cultivation. He raises some stock, and engages in general farming. He was married, in Warren County, Iowa, in 1868, to Miss Malinda Whited, who was born in this State. They have eight children - five boys and three girl. Mr. Perkins is at present one of the Trustees of Keg Creek Township. He is a member of the Christian Church, and also of Silver City Lodge, I. O. O. F. Politically, he is a Democrat.


SAAR, H. F.

Farmer, P. O.Keg Creek, was born iu Moniteau County, Mo., in 1848, and was the son of Henry Saar. His parents moved by ox teams to this State when he was a small boy. They settled in Mills County, where both parents are still living. Our subject was educated in the schools of Mills County. He was married, in June, 1872, to Miss Caroline Riekman, who was born in Davenport, Iowa. They have five children - three boys and two girls. Mr. Saar settled on his present farm in the fall of 1876. He had lived in this county before that time, but had returned to Mills County, where he stayed for a year or so. His present farm consists of 520 acres, about 180 acre of which are under cultivation, the remainder being in meadow and pasture land. He is engaged in stock-raising and general farming. The first 120 acres which he bought was improved to some extent, but the balance of his improvements he has made himself. His success has been attained by hard labor and close attention to business. His father's farm in Mills County lies on what was once an old stage route, which was one of the thoroughfares for emigrants going to California. At one time, a train of 1,000 mules stopped to feed at his father's place, and they had to haul corn by the load and scatter it over the ground in order to feed them. When our subject first came to this county, twelve years ago, he broke prairie on his brother Julius' farm, at which time the country all around was all open prairie. He has seen the stage
drive over his father's fence many a time in the winter. It was a rail fence which would be completely buried in snow, so severe would be the storms in that locality.


SAAR, Julius J.

Farmer, P. O. Council Blufis. was born in Jefferson City, Mo., January 1, 1845. He was but four years old when his parents moved to Mills County, Iowa. Here our subject lived until 1S70, when he came to this county. He received his education in the schools of Mills County. He is the eldest son of Heniy Saar, who, with his wife (our subject's mother), is living in Mills County. His grandfather, John Plumer, is one of the oldest settlers in Mills County, and still lives on the place he first settled, and is over ninety years old. Our subject was married, in Mills County, in January, 1869, to Miss Catharine Shoning, a native of Germany. They have seven children - five boys and two girls. Mrs. Saar's farm consists of 280 acres, 150 acres of which are under cultivation, and the remainder are in pastiure and grass. He has a pleasant farm home with good buildings, orchards, forest trees and other improvements, which give to the place an air of comfort and happiness. Out of a piece of the open prairie, Mr. Saar has, by his hard work and energy, made his farm what it is. He is engaged in general farming. He belongs to the Lutheran Church, and votes the Democratic ticket.


WYMAN, Albert W.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Parma, Monroe Co., N. Y., February 20, 1834, son of Samuel and Betsey (Atchison) Wyman, he born in Sheffield, Mass., May 31, 1789, and died in Parma, N. Y., in January, 1876; she born in Parma, N. Y., January 21, 1799, and is still living in that place. The father was a blacksmith. The parents had ten children - six sons and four daughters - of whom three boys and one girl are now deceased. Our subject received his education in his native town, where he also learned the carpenter's trade, in which occupation he began life. He was married, November 10, 1858, in Half Moon, Saratoga Co., N. Y., to Harriet M. Peek, born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., November 15, 1837, daughter of A. and Betsey Ann (Wood) Peek, he born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., in 1807; she in 1808, and still living in Saratoga County, N. Y. Our subject lived in New York until 1871. He was a carpenter on the Albany & Northern Railroad, but afterward rose to the position of foreman on the third division of that road. He was Lieutenant in the Home Guards, State militia, Capt. Diver. In 1871, he came to Keg Creek Township, where he shortly afterward purchased 160 acres of land at $10 per acre. He set out 7,000 forest and 140 fruit trees, which are in a thriving, and the fruit trees in a bearing, condition. He has good buildings, living water on the place, and engages in general farming, but mostly stock-raising and feeding in winter. Mr. and Mrs. Wyman have one boy, born October 6, 1859. Our subject is an A. F. & A. M., Clinton Lodge, No. 140, being a charter member of the same. In politics, he is a Democrat.


From History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, published by O. L. Baskin & Co.; Libby Prison photo in the public domain
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