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Biographical Sketches
Neola Township
1883

BARDSLEY, Mrs. Betty

Neola, was born in Cheshire, England, March 26, 1820, daughter of Charles and Ellen (Hibert) Bradley, natives of England; he, born in February, 1794, was a miner and farmer in England, and died December 23, 1878; she, born about 1800, was the mother of ten children, of whom three came to America. Mrs. Bardsley was first married, in England, August 29, 1841, to John Handbury, born in England February 8, 1814. They came to America in 1850, and to Council Bluffs April 15 of that year. Mr. Handbury was engaged in farming near Macedonia for eighteen months, when he died, leaving his wife and four children - Elizabeth, David, Ann and Joseph E. Mrs. Handbury kept herself and children until her second marriage, which occurred July 17, 1852. Mr. Bardsley, her second husband, was born in England July 21, 1800, and came to America in 1850, settling at Highland Grove, where he lived at the time of his marriage to Mrs. Handbury. One year after their marriage, they moved onto the farm where Mrs. Bardsley now lives. There, from 1854 till his death, Mr. Bardsley followed farming. He was Justice of the Peace several years. He died December 20, 1860, from injuries received by the kick of a cow. Mis. Bardsley has by her second husband four children - John J., Charles B., Ellen and Thomas R.; the latter is at home; Charles B. owns a farm of eighty acres adjoining the home farm. The latter place consists of 240 acres in one body, situated on Bardsley's Creek, five miles west of Neola. Mrs. Bardsley has one son in the mercantile business in Neola, and one keeping a restaurant. Charles B. was married, April 1, 1880, to Miss M. J. Spencer. James Ward, the husband of Mrs. Bardsley's eldest daughter, died in the service of his country in 1864.


BOCK, August

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Prussia September 4, 1844, son of Fred and Christina (Stephen) Bock; he, born in Germany about 1820, was a day laborer, and died there when our subject was about nine years old; she, born in Germany about 1823, came to America in 1866, now lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Mr. Bock is one of five children and was educated in Germany. He has supported himself since nine years of age. While in his native country, he worked at farming. After coming to this country, he worked in a brewery in Council Bluffs for several years, then engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1878, he purchased 140 acres of raw prairie, which is now in good cultivation. Mr. Bock was married, in Mills County, Iowa, in September, 1869, to Annie Frank, born in Germany in 1852, daughter of William and Anna (Apple) Frank, natives of Germany, both living with subject, and both hale and hearty, notwithstanding that he is seventy-two and she sixty-nine years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Bock have four children - William, August, Alvena and Mary. They are members of the Lutheran Church.


DILLIN, C. D.

Lumber, grain and coal merchant, Neola, was born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1842. His father, Israel Dillin, was born in Pennsylvania about 1791, and moved to Ohio at an early date. He was engaged in farming and merchandising, and also bought horses and drove them across the Alleghany Mountains to New York City. He emigrated from Ohio to Iowa in 1850, and settled at Marengo, Iowa Co., Iowa, where he engaged in farming until he went to California, where he died in 1856. Subject's mother, Mary (Hall) Dillin, was born in Pennsylvania in 1795. She moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio with her husband, and from there to Iowa, where she died in 1851. Subject was educated in the common schools of Iowa. At the age of fifteen years, he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was clerk in a drug store from 1857 to 1858; was also clerk in a drug store at Crescent City, for Johnson & Blake. In the spring of 1859, he went to Marengo; attended school and clerked till the opening of the war, then he enlisted in the Seventh Iowa Infantry; was first private, then Corporal, then First Lieutenant, then Captain. He served four years, nineteen months of which were spent as follows: Nine months in Libby Prison, four at Macon, two in Charleston and four in Columbia. On returning from the army in the fall of 1865, Mr. Dillin married Miss Lucy Crenshaw. After this, he served two years as Deputy Treasurer in Iowa County, Iowa, and then one year was spent in looking after milling interests; then for about five years he was Deputy Clerk of Iowa County, Iowa. He moved to Pottawattamie County in 1873, located where he now is, and started the leading grain, lumber and coal business of Neola. Mrs. Dillin was born in April, 1845, in Jackson County, State of Indiana. Her father, Josephus Crenshaw, was born in 1811, in Indiana, and now lives at Marengo, Iowa. Her mother, Nancy L. (Reddick) Crenshaw, died when Mrs. Dillin was but two years old. Mr. and Mrs. Dillin have five children - Joseph I., John W., Cora B., Nellie R. and Hugo. Mr. Dillin owns a farm of 135 acres, bordering on the south edge of the tovm of Neola, and an elevator with a capacity of 10,000 bushels. Mr. Dillin is a Republican.


DOWNS, Drusilla

P. O. Neola, was born in Kentucky February 3, 1827, daughter of William and Rebecca Ann (McGuire) Johnston. Her father was born in Virginia; emigrated to Kentucky, where he was married; from Kentucky he went to Ohio, thence to Illinois, where he died. Mrs. Downs' mother was bom in Kentucky, and died while the former was quite youug. Mr. Asa Downs was born March 3, 1816, in Indiana, son of Ezekiel and Charlotte (Rowlands) Downs, natives of Indiana. Mr. Asa Downs began life as a farmer in Illinois, where he remained twelve years; then, in 1851, he came to Iowa and bought a claim near Weston, of Absalom Smith, a Mormon. This farm is still owned by Mrs. Downs. When the farm was first purchased, there was a saw and grist mill upon it, which was among the first mills of the county, and it was known as the Downs Mill, and was situated on Mosquito Creek, ten miles from Council Bluffs. The mill was destroyed by high water in 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Downs were married, in Illinois, December 7, 1845. They had thirteen children, one of whom is dead. They are Mary E., born January 1, 1844; William, October 7, 1848; Emily, April 7, 1849; Anthony W., June 16, 1850; Willis E., June 5, 1852; Marion J., June 5, 1854; Alice J., April 28, 1856; Caroline, March 6, 1858; Thomas, November 11, 1860; George, September 17, 1862; Sidney, February 27, 1864; Albert, November 12, 1866; Charles, April 28, 1868; and Amy E., December 22, 1869. November 3, 1879, Mr. Downs died, in Downsville, a village in Norwalk Township named in honor of him, and where he had lived many years. Mr. Downs was much esteemed by all who knew him, and in his death the county lost one of its best and most useful citizens. Mrs. Downs is a Quakeress.


ELLIS, Joseph

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Monroe County, W. Va., in August, 1824, son of John and Ellen (Rupert) Ellis; he, born in Virginia, was a Surgeon in the war of 1812; she, born in South Carolina, is living in Virginia, and the mother of six children - five girls and one boy - our subject. He attended the common schools of his native county, and then went to the seminary in Alleghany County, Va. He went to Missouri in 1844, where he was occupied as a Government land agent till the breaking out of the war. He advocated the right of slavery, but did not join the Southern army. In 1864, he came to Iowa; lived in Council Bluffs a year, two years at the Eight Mile Grove, one year in Crescent Township, thence to his present farm of sixty acres, which he purchased of J. P. Casady. When Mr. Ellis first purchased this land, it was unimproved; he has improved it, and now has a comfortable home there. January 19, 1847, in Missouri, Mr. Ellis married Frances Cochran, daughter of James Cochran, who was born in Madison County, Ky. and migrated to Missouri when it was a Territory. By this union there are five children - Mary E., born March 17, 1849; Minerva A., 1851; Robert S., May 20, 1853; Charles A., April 11, 1855; and Harvey, born in 1856. During his residence in Missouri, Mr. Ellis was at one time Judge of the County Court; he was also Major of militia. Since coming to Iowa, he has been a member of the Board of Supervisors of this county, and has also served as Justice of the Peace, and is now a member of the Board of School Directors. Politically, he is a Democrat.


HENDERSON, G. W.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Crawford County, Mo., April 27, 1828, son of Jimmy and Anna (Harris) Henderson; he, born in Virginia, near Jamestown, November 27, 1805, removed with his father to Missouri when quite young. There he remained as a farmer till 1834, when he removed to Illinois and settled on a farm, where he remained till his death, which occurred September 8, 1843. He was married in Illinois about 1825. His wife was born in Tennessee in 1803, and died in 1843. They raised a family of five girls and four boys, all of whom were married and raised families. They are as follows: Mary, born April 18, 1827; Jane, July 4, 1830; John, December 1, 1831; Nancy J., January 18, 1843; Martha, March 12, 1835; Sarah, July 1836; Samuel, April 18, 1838; and William, bom June 26, 1840. Our subject attended the subscription schools of Illinois and Eastern Iowa, and is a man well posted in the affairs of the day. He first learned stone-cutting, then cabinet-making, and then went to farming. He subsequently made his home with a sister, and, after the death of her husband, took care of her family till his own marriage, in 1855, his wife being Miss E. L. Galup, a native of New York State. After his marriage, Mr. Henderson located on the farm of eighty acres where he now lives. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson's children are Ed, born in 1840; Margaret, March 31, 1860; I. N., May 9, 1861; N. I., August 26, 1863; Jimmy, Sejstember 25, 1865; H. A., February 23, 1867; W. W., June 13, 1869; Julia K, 1871; Elmira, March 4, 1873; H., February 4, 1877; and Hattie A., April 9, 1879. Mr. Henderson was a minute-man during the rebellion. He has been Road Supervisor and School Director. He is a Democrat, and votes for principle, not party.


HORN, J. N.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born May 12, 1849, in Garner Township, this county, son of John and Bebecca W. (Shuttle) Horn, natives of Dover, Kent, England. Subject's father was born in 1815, and came to the United States in 1847; settled in Garner Township, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, in 1848. He is a carpenter by trade, but has been a farmer since his residence in this country. Subject's mother was born in 1815, and has borne eight children - three sons and five daughters; three of the latter are dead. Mr. Horn attended school till fourteen years of age, and worked on his father's farm till twenty-one, when be began working by the month in Hazel Dell Township. This he continued three years, and then, after renting land for three years, he moved to Neola Township in 1876, and bought the farm of 190 acres where he now lives. Mr. Horn was married, January 1, 1873, in Neola, to Mary Ann Spencer, born in Crescent Township, this county, October 6, 1855, daughter of Thomas and Selina (Charlesworth) Spencer, natives of England, both now living in this county, near our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Horn have had five children, two of whom are dead. The children are George Thomas, born January 26, 1874; Phillip Jesse, October 26, 1875, died December 7, 1876; James Albert, September 13, 1877, died February 15, 1879; John Robert, September 15, 1879; and Ida Belle, December 6, 1881. Mr. Horn was one of the first white children born in this county, and he has never been a mile beyond the county line. He is a Republican in politics.


IVINS, E. P.

Editor of the Neola Tribune, Neola, was born in Clinton County, Ind., July 25, 1849. His father, Dr. Daniel Ivins, was born in New Jersey in 1815, and was a physician of forty years' practice. He graduated at Cincinnati Medical College about 1840; practiced in the State of Indiana till coming to Iowa, in 1856; remained four years in Bedford, Taylor County, then in Monroe County till the breaking-out of the rebellion, when he went into the army and served about three years as Assistant Surgeon. He then returned to Iowa, where he practiced till his death, which occurred in October, 1880. Mr. Ivins' mother, Elizabeth P. (Davis) Ivins, was born near Dayton, Ohio, March 4, 1828, and died in February, 1881. She was the mother of three boys and four girls; one of the former and two of the latter are dead. Mr. Ivins attended the common schools of Albia, Monroe Co., Iowa, and there served an apprenticeship at printing. In 1862, he entered the army as drummer; remained about three years, and then, returning home, resumed his trade, which he followed until July 1, 1881, when he located in Neola. At that time, he purchased and became editor of the paper known, as the Neola Tribune. It was first edited in 1878, by a man named Zenas Brown, and subsequently passed into the hands of McWilliams & Chapman, whom our subject bought out. The Neola Tribune, as edited by Mr. Ivins, is a wide-awake weekly journal, devoted to general news and matters of local interest. Mr. Ivins was married, at Dallas, Iowa, December 25, 1873, to Maggie Logan, born near Pittsburgh, Penn., March 5, 1852, daughter of Hugh and Mary A. (Hughes) Logan; he, born in Irehmd about 1804, was a farmer, and served in the army three years; she, born in Pennsylvania about 1813, died in 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Ivins have one child, Hattie L. Mr. Ivins is a Bepublican.


JACKSON, Mrs. Martha J.

Neola, was born in Logan County, Ohio, November 24, 1825; her father, J. L. Hemphill, was born in Kentucky October 10, 1796; was a carpenter by trade, but turned his attention to farming in Ohio, where he died December 25. 1874. Her mother, Elinor (Rittenhouse) Hemphill, was born in Virginia February 9, 1794, and was the mother of nine children, six of whom are living. Mrs. Jackson was first married, in Ohio, March 19, 1844, to Samuel B. Kirkland, born March 30, 1822; his father, James Kirkland, was born in Licking County, Ohio, August 30, 1791; having lost a limb, he turned his attention to teaching, which he prosecuted during life; he died in Iowa in May, 1870. His wife, Sarah (Smith) Kirkland. was born June 9, 1800, and died October 14, 1843, and was the mother of eleven children, nine of whom are dead, two of them dying in the army. Mr. S. B. Kirkland was an engineer for seven years on the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad. He then farmed in Iowa till going to the war in July, 1861. He served as Drum Major till taken sick at Vicksburg. He then started for home on the hospital steamer, "R. C. Wood," and died at the landing at Keokuk. Iowa, August 30, 1863, leaving seven children - Sarah E., born February 2, 1845; Eliza H., October 29, 1846; Henrietta A., January 18, 1849; Clara J., September 25, 1851; Mina, December 19, 1855; William F., July 8, 1857; and Olive F., May 15, 1859. Our subject was again married, March 30, 1865, this time to Abraham Jackson, who has since died, leaving two children - Martha E., born February 10, 1866; and Abraham, born April 13, 1867. Mrs. Jackson has one son married and four married daughters, one of whom has since died. Our subject lives on a farm two and a half miles northwest of Neola. She is a Presbyterian.


LEONARD, P.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Ireland March 18, 1818, son of Mark and Agnes (Durkin) Leonard, natives of Ireland; he, born in 1776, was a farmer, and died in his native country; she died in Ireland, and was the mother of eight children, two of whom came to America. Mr. Leonard learned theoretical and practical surveying in Ireland. He came to America July 12, 1841, landing at the port of St. John, N. B., where he remained eight years, teaching school six years of his time. He left New Brunswick in May, 1849, and, after traveling in the States of Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, ho located in Middlesex County, province of Ontario, where he taught one school eight consecutive years, and another seven. While teaching, he boarded on his farm, which he conducted at the same time, walking to and from his farm, a distance of seven miles, each day. He continued farming in Canada till April, 1872, when he came to Neola, Iowa, and settled on the southeast quarter of Section 26, where he still resides. This first quarter has been improved, 200 acres added to it, and the whole inclosed by fence. Mr. Leonard married Miss Ann Van Tassel, born in Queen's County, N. B., in 1820, daughter of Reuben and Sarah (Foster) Van Tassel, he born in New Brunswick about 1788, she born in New Brunswick in 1801. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard have had ten children, five of whom have taught school; two are dead. Mr. Leonard is President of the Board of School Trustees, which position he has held for the past five years. He is a member of the Catholic Church, and a Democrat in politics.


MATSON, N. W.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Georgetown, Harrison Co., Ohio, November 22, 1827, son of Peter and Jane (Dawson) Matson; he born in Virginia in 1804, and died in Illinois in 1855; she born in Pennsylvania in 1801, died in December, 1876. The parents had ten children, eight of whom are living. Mr. Matson began farming on his own responsibility in Illinois in 1847, where, for ten years, he rented land. In 1857, he removed to Minnesota and bought land, which he remained upon and improved for about twelve years. The following five years, he was a freighter in Faribault, Rice County. In 1875, he came to Iowa, and settled upon his present farm of 200 acres, valued at $30 per acre. It is situated in Norwalk and Neola Townships. Mr. Matson raises stock extensively, and sells from eighty to one hundred pounds of butter per week, in Council Bluffs. March 15, 1851, our subject married Miss Sarah C. Romine, born in Indiana in 1832, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Johnston) Romine; he was born in Indiana about 1802; she died in Muscatine, Iowa, about 1839, and was the mother of six children. Mr. and Mrs. Matson have one son, Mervin Matson, born in 1855. Mr. Matson is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a Republican in politics.


MATTHEWS, B. F.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Lincoln County, Mo., May 20, 1842. His father was born in Pennsylvania in 1810, and died November 8, 1860; he moved to Kentucky when quite young, thence, in 1825, to Missouri, first settling in St. Louis County, and then in Lincoln County, where our subject was born. His mother, Azila J. (Ligon) Matthews, was born in Tennessee, and died September 5, 1860. The parents had four boys and four girls, three of whom are living. Mr. Matthews attended school in his native county, and his first work on his own responsibility was as overseer for a slave-owner in Missouri, which position he occupied eight months, and then entered the Fifth Missouri State Militia, in which he remained six months; was then mustered out and returned home. He soon enlisted in the Third Missouri State Cavalry (Federal); he remained in the service three years, being in several engagements, and, when mustered out in 1865, he went to work on a farm in Missouri. Mr. Matthews came to Iowa in August, 1873, and located at Council Bluffs, where he worked in a supply store one winter, in a wholesale grocery a short time, and then went onto a farm in Mills County, Iowa. After an absence of sixteen months iu Council Bluffs, during which he worked for J. P. Goldern, he returned to Mills County, thence to this county for a year. He next spent two years in Greene County, when, in 1880, he returned to this county, where he now resides. Mr. Matthews was married, January 10, 1867, to Miss Laura Holmes, born in Missouri August 22, 1851, daughter of Lemuel B. and Jane (Keland) Holmes, residents of Missouri, where the father was occupied as a farmer. Mrs. Matthews died May 23, 1869, leaving two children - Luenda B., born January 23, 1868; and James F., born March 19, 1869. While in the army, Mr. Matthews was accompanied by his brother, James C, who has since had an arm blown off while loading a cannon at a re-union of the troops. Mr. Mabthews is a Methodist in religion, and a Republican in politics.


MCDONALD, Will

Flour merchant, Neola, was born in Illinois September 4, 1856, son of John aud Bessie (McAlhaney) McDonald, natives of Ireland; he, born about 1832, is now engaged in business in Oakland, Iowa; she, born about 1835, died December 3, 1878, in Washington Territory, where she had gone for her health. The parents had four children - Ella, Jennie, Thomas and Will. After a common schooling, Mr. McDonald learned the trade of a miller. He worked at farming till 1878, when he went to Washington Territory to attend his mother, who was ill; remained there a year, until the death of his mother, and, returning to I[owa], he located on a farm in Shelby County, near the town of Defiance. After six months in the latter place, he engaged in milling for a short time, and was then appointed manager of the Neola Exchange Mill, which position he fills to the satisfaction oŁ all interested. This mill was opened in April, 1880, and does a large business. Mr. McDonald was married, September 1, 1880, in Council Blufis, Iowa, to Lottie Dingman, born in Council Blufis December 28, 1861, daughter of John B. and Martha A. (Ritter) Dingman, he born in Canada October 16, 1828, she born in Virginia September 18, 1837. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald have one child, Theodore Lionel, born June 26, 1881. Mr. McDonald is a member of the Iowa Legion of Honor, and in politics is a Eepublican.


MCGREW, Lowry

Saloon-keeper, Neola, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., July 18, 1831. His father, John McGrew, was born in Pennsylvania in 1796; emigrated to Illinois in 1843; remained in Rock Island County till about 1870, when he removed to Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He died in Harrison County, Iowa, in 1876. His mother, Elizabeth (Robbins) McGrew, was born in Pennsylvania; came West with her family, and died in Rock Island County, Ill., in 1845. She was the mother of eight children - four boys and four girls. Our subject commenced the business of life by mining, in 1860, in Colorado, in the California Gulch Gold Mine. After five years spent there, he went to Mexico, where he spent five years in diiferent places and various employments. After leaving Mexico, he spent eight years herding cattle, and then, in 1873, located at St. Louis, Mo., where he was employed about a year as night clerk in a hotel. August 21, 1874, he came to Neola, farmed for a time, and then opened a saloon where he now is. Mr. McGrew was married, in Neola, Iowa, June 28, 1879, to Miss Ida Norris, born in Michigan July 21, 1853, daughter of J. W. Norris. Mr. McGrew is a Republican.


MCGREW, Simon

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., November 23, 1843, son of John and Elizabeth (Robbins) McGrew, natives of Pennsylvania; he, born about 1798, died about 1876; was a miller by trade, also a farmer; she, born about 1808, died in 1845, and was the mother of eight children, two of whom are dead. When our subject was one year old, his parents removed to Illinois. He there attended the common schools and worked on his father's farm till he joined the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. After serving three years in the army, he returned to Illinois, where he remained a year, thence to Iowa one year, and, after a year spent in Illinois, he again farmed in Iowa for a year, and then clerked for three years in his brother's store, after which he broke prairie one year. In 1875, he bought the farm of forty acres on which he now lives. Mr. McGrew was married, November 11, 1875, in Council Blufi's, Iowa, to Emma J. Norris, born November 11, 1855, in Ingham County, Mich., daughter of J. W. and Electa A. (Greenman) Morris, natives of New York State, he born September 20, 1824, she born March 24, 1831. Mr. and Mrs. McGrew have three children - Ella G., born September 3, 1876; Alice M., January 19, 1878; and John L., November 6, 1879. Mr. McGrew is a Republican.


MCWILLIAMS, H. L.

Attorney, Neola, was born October 2, 1849, near Mineral Point, Iowa Co., Wis.; was raised and brought up on a farm near the place of his birth; obtained his early education through the district and normal schools of his native State, and largely through his grandfather, Francis McKenna, who was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; left home in 1870; came to Iowa; became a schoolteacher and farmer; gave that up, and went into the real estate business, and took up the study of the law at the same time; continued in that business about a year; moved to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where he again took up the study of the law, in the office of Flickinger Bros., at Walnut and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar in 1878; opened an office in Walnut, Iowa, and continued in the practice there about six months; came to Neola, his present residence, in March, 1879; formed a copartnership with Mr. J. C. Chapman, under the firm name of McWilliams & Chapman, attorneys at law and real estate agents. The above firm have built up a large business since coming here. Was married, at Walnut, Iowa, April 29, 1882, to Miss Anna Stuart, a descendant of the Stuarts of Scotland.


MENDEL, Herman

Merchant, Neola, was born in Holstein, Germany, March 11, 1846, and came to America when twenty-one years of age. After clerking for two years in the city of New York, he came to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in July, 1869, and, soon after, entered the employ of Langdon Bros., dealers in groceries and liquors. In December, 1869, he came to Neola and opened the first mercantile establishment in the place, buying the first load of corn ever sold there. The business was started with a capital of about $300, and was conducted under the firm name of H. Mendel & Co. In 1870, Thomas McGrew became a partner, and the firm continued, under the name of McGrew & Mendel, until 1874, when Mr. Mendel sold his interest to his partner, and, with Mr. Roane, started a similar business in his present location. The firm of Mendel & Roane continued until 1876, when Mr. Mendel became sole proprietor, and has since conducted business under the name of H. Mendel. In 1881, he visited his father, who lives in Germany, and is seventy-two years old. November 18. 1875, Mr. Mendel married Miss Augusta Burke, born in Ohio about 1851, daughter of John Burke, a resident of Ereeport, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Mendel have two children - Gracie and Max. Mr. Mendel is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a Democrat.


NORRIS, John W.

Huckstering, Neola, was born in Penfield, Monroe Co., N. Y., September 20, 1824. His father, John Norris, was born in New Jersey May 8, 1778. When quite young, he went to New York State, where he was engaged in farming. In the spring of 1834, he moved to Michigan, where he died in 1862. Subject's mother, Mary (Hall) Norris, was born in New York State April 27, 1780, and died about 1834. She was the mother of thirteen children, of whom our subject is the youngest. Mr. Norris was a farmer for seventeen years, and then learned blacksmithing. After serving an apprenticeship of three years, he started a shop of his own, in Nankin, Wayne Co., Mich., where he worked at his trade about three years, and then bought a farm, on which he lived till about 1855. He then sold his first place, and bought another near Lansing, Mich., where he remained till 1863, then went to California, remained ten months, and returned to Michigan. In 1864, he sold his property in Michigan, and, coming to Iowa, located at Council Blnffs, and worked at blacksmithing two years; then, after farming in Harrison County for three years, he came to Neola, in September, 1869, his being the first American family to settle in that place. Mr. Norris was married, in Nankin, Wayne Co., Mich., March 18, 1849, to Electa A. Greenman, born in New York State March 29, 1831. daughter of Hiram and Henrietta (Delong) Greenman; he, born March 23, 1799, died about 1861; she, born in New York State September 7, 1802, died in 1842. The children of this marriage are as follows: Hattie, born January 23, 1850, died September 13, 1852; George O., December 10, 1851, died September 13, 1852; Ida J., born July 21, 1853; Eva J., November 11, 1855; and Henrietta, July 12, 1860. After first settling in Neola, Mr. Norris worked at his trade one and a half years, then farmed six years, and, in December, 1878, returned to Neola. where he has since followed huckstering. In politics, he is a Democrat.


RISHTON, Thomas

Merchant, Neola, was born in Manchester, England, July 11, 1840, son of Henry and Mary (Bland) Eishton, natives of England, he born April 10, 1810, she born May 9, 1815. The parents were married in England November 11, 1832, and have eight children. The father was a block printer in England, which occupation he followed when first coming to this country, in 1844. He was one of the first seven printers who came to America. His wife came over the year after he did, and he worked at his trade in Rhode Island and Massachusetts until May 15, 1850, when they started for Council Bluffs, the journey occupying over six weeks, their express team being two cows yoked together. Our subject began life as a farmer in this county. This occupation he followed till 1864, when he went to Montana Territory, where he remained on a ranch till 1867. He then returned to Springfield, Ill., remained a year, and settled, in 1868, in this county, on a farm, where he remained five years. In 1873, he went to Council Bluffs and clerked for Gould & Johnston for a year, then kept a grocery for four years, the firm name being Mullis & Rishtou. In 1878, the firm of Rishton Bros, opened their business in Neola. Our subject continued a member of this firm till August, 1881, when he started a separate store, which he still continues. He was married, in Council Blufis, in March, 1863, to Mary Breckinridge, born in Sangamon County, III., January 15, 1841, daughter of Preston and Catharine (Moler) Breckinridge; he, born near Paris, Bourbon Co., Ky., August 5, 1807, died July 25, 1880; she, born August 30, 1804, died February 4, 1847. Mr. Rishton is an Odd Fellow and a Democrat. Mrs. Rishton's maiden name, Breckinridge, had the following peculiar origin: A family in Scotland by the name of McIlvain, while participating in one of the wars between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, were defeated, and sought refuge under a species of low shrub called brack, which grows on the ridges of the Highlands of Scotland; hence the name McIlvain changed to Brack-on-ridge, and finally merged into Breckinridge. The same family took part in some of the religious wars of Ireland, in which they were eventually defeated. The great-grandfather of Preston Breckinridge (father of Mrs. Rishton) was a leader in these wars, and, upon being defeated, fled, with his brothers, to America. One of the brothers settled in Pennsvlvania and the other in Virginia. The latter raised a family, among whom was one son, Alexander, who had a son Robert, who was the father of John, who had two sons - Robert J. (better known as Rev. R. J., D. D.) and Joseph Campbell, the latter of whom was the father of John C. Breckinridge, ex-Vice President of the United States. Alexander (before mentioned) was the father of George, who had a son Alexander; he was twice married, and the eldest child by ihe second wife was Preston, father of Mrs. Thomas (Breckinridge) Rishton. Preston Breckinridge married Catharine Moler, in Kentucky, November 17, 1827. They had twelve children, who were born and married as follows: Alexander, born October 31, 1828, married. May 25, 1852, to Martha H. Barnhill, they had eight children; Hugh, born December 9, 1829, married, February 22, 1855, to Sarah M. Randolph, have two children; Cornelius, born March 12, 1831, married, September 4, 1855, to Elizabeth L. Barnhill, they have five children; Joseph, the last, born in Kentucky, was born on July 17, 1832, married, March 28, 1855, to Sarah J. Matthew, had two children; Elmore, born November 4, 1834, the first of the family born in Sangamon County, Ill., married, November, 1857, to Susannah Randolph, had six children; Cleophas, born August 7, 1836, married, after serving in the army, to Lilian T. Cave, have two children; Catharine, born June, 19, 1838, married, January 30, 1856, to Simon P. Randolph, they have six children; Elizabeth and Mary were twins, born January 13, 1841; Elizabeth married, April, 1862, to James H. Abell; Mary married, March, 1863, to our subject; Preston, born December 11, 1842, was in the army, returned home sick, August 7, 1865, and died the following day; Jane, born February 9, 1845, married, August, 1864, to William Kamlage. Mr. Breckinridge's second marriage was with Lucy Robb; she died November 18, 1854, leaving two children - David, born December 28, 1850, lives in Texas, unmarried, and Lucy D., born August 13, 1854, married, October 13, 1874, to W. H. Hunter. Mr. Breckinridge was a man of political notoriety, having opposed Abraham Lincoln for the State Legislature of Illinois, and was elected over him and served during the years of 1851 and 1852.


REICHART, E.

Merchant, Neola, was born in York County, Penn., June 4, 1844, son of Henry and Catharine (Gaytross) Reichart, he born in York County, Penn., in April, 1795; she, born in Germany in 1789, came, when fifteen years old, with her parents, to America. Subject's father raised his family and tilled the soil in his native county till 1869, when he settled in Norwalk Township, this county, on a farm, where he died in April, 1881, and his wife in January, 1877. They had six children. Subject's grandfather was one of the first settlers of York County, Penn., coming there from Germany and locating on a farm in a very early day of this country's history. Mr. Reichart was educated in the common and high schools of York, Penn., where he served an apprenticeship of two years, learning the trade of a millwright. At this time, the war broke out, and Mr. Reichart, with all his comrades in trade, enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, Col. Dayley. He joined the army as a private in 1862, and was discharged as Orderly Ser'geant in 1865. Mr. Reichart was at the second battle of Bull Run; also at Fredericksburg, Culpepper and Gettysburg. At the latter battle, he was captured, and paroled on the field. He was in the battle of the Wilderness; also at Cold Harbor, where he was wounded. He was discharged in Harrisburg, Penn., June 19, 1865, shortly after the surrender of Lee's army. Upon leaving the army, he returned to Iowa, and, shortly after, bought a farm near Council Bluffs. This he improved and lived on till 1877, when he came to Neola and opened a general hardware and agricultural implement store, under the firm name of Reichart Bros. Mr. Reichart was married, in June, 1868, in Council Bluflfs, to Eliza J. Ritter, born in this county in 1849, daughter of Adam and Nancy (Ward) Ritter; he, born in Virginia in 1812, came to Iowa in 1847 and located in Garner Township, where he has since been engaged in farming; she, born in Virginia in 1818, is the mother of eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Reichart have four children - Laura, Carrie, Sadie and Elizabeth. Mr. Reichart was the first Justice of the Peace in Norwalk Township, and served in that capacity four years. He was one of the first Aldermen of Neola, and served on the Board of Trustees of Norwalk Township for six years. He is an Odd Fellow, and a Democrat in politics.


RODGERS, G. W.

Stock-dealer, Neola, was born in Ohio County, W. Va., May 28, 1831; his father was born in West Virginia March 28, 1799, was a farmer and blacksmith and died in his native county June 15, 1845. The mother of our subject, Mary (Taylor) Rodgers, was born February 14, 1804, and died in 1879; the parents had nine children, seven of whom are living. When fifteen years of age, Mr. Rodgers moved fiom West Virginia to Illinois, where he worked three years as a hired man and then rented a farm till March, 1860, when he came to Appanoose County, Iowa; he remained there till September 1, 1800. when he moved, with an ox-team, to Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County; there he spent two years on a farm owned by Joseph Foreman, then two years on Thomas Coplan's farm: there, April 8. 1863, he lost his first wife, Ellen (Miller) Rodgers, born in Illinois in 1836; she was the mother of five children. After spending a short time in his native State, visiting friends, Mr. Rodgers returned to Iowa, and worked for two years, at $25 per month, for Dr. Robert McGovern, of Harrison County. After spending three months in Virginia, Mr. Rodgers worked four months for William Keline, of Iowa, at $40 per month. He then went into farming and stock-raising for himself. April 1, 1875, Mr. Rodgers located on his present farm; from March 1 to July 18, 1882, he shipped, from Neola, 1,500 head of cattle and about 5,000 head of hogs; he has at present 300 head of stock cattle; he owns 1,030 acres of inclosed land in one body, valued at about $25 an acre. Mr. Rodgers was married a second time, November 28, 1878, to Miss Amelia Ward, born in England February 22, 1850, daughter of George and Martha (Warton) Ward; he was born in England and died in this country; she died at the home of our subject, February 22, 1882. Mr. Rodgers has six children - Martin L., Mary C., George C., Nancy E., Charlie and Viola. The family are members of the M. E. Church. Mr. Rodgers is a Republican.


ROUSH, S.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born December 8, 1835, in Highland County, Ohio, son of John and Rebecca (Rhodes) Roush, he born in Virginia about 1799, went to Ohio when three years of age and remained upon the same farm fifty years, coming to Iowa, Mai-ion County, where he now lives, in 1854. Subject's mother, of German descent, was born about 1802, and is the mother of fourteen children, two of whom are dead. Mr. Roush had but little schooling in his younger days, but he is a good business man and well informed upon topics of general interest. He first rented a farm in Marion County, Iowa, in 1855: there he continued about twelve years, when he removed to this county, and after renting for two years, bought forty acres, which he improved and sold six years later; after renting land three years, he bought eighty acres, which he sold after farming one season; he rented three years more, and then, in 1880, bought his present farm, situated two and one-half miles north of Neola. Mr. Roush was married, in Marion County, Iowa, in 1858, to Amanda M. Hughes, born in Iowa about 1839, daughter of Asa and Sarah (Parker) Hughes. This union has been blessed with twelve children, two of whom are dead. Those surviving are Sarah J., William, John, Martha P., Robert, Chester K., Harlow, Harry, Jennie L. and George. Mr. Roush is a Democrat.


SCHIERBROCK, H. J.

Blacksmith, Neola, was born in Lee County, Iowa, March 29, 1859; his father, Christian Schierbrock, was born in Germany October 10, 1809; he came to America in 1857, and settled in West Point, Lee Co., Iowa, where he has since followed the carpenter trade, being a hale, hearty man, despite his age; he was married, in Germany, about 1817, and his wife has blessed him with nine children - Catharine, Adolph, Mary, Herman, William, Henry J., Lizzie, John and Annie; seven of them are living, of whom our subject is the youngest son. The latter left home when twelve years of age, and went to Missovrri, where he worked two summers in a brick-yard; then worked two years with his father at carpentering. At the age of sixteen, he began as an apprentice at blacksmithing, serving his time with George Vandahar, at West Point, Iowa. He worked at his trade for seven months at Quincy, Ill., then came to Neola March 5, 1878, and after working as a journeyman for ten months, opened on his own account and has since conducted the leading blacksmith shop of the place, having all the appurtenances of a first-elass shop. He owns 320 acres of land, in Dakota; he is a Catholic in religion and a Democrat in politics.


TODD, Levi. W.

Physician and surgeon, Neola, was born in Jennings County, Ind., in September, 1854 The family originated in Scotland, but subsequently removed to Ireland, where a man by the name of Todd (his first name believed to have been David) married Hannah Owen, and came to this country with other members of the family previous to the American Revolution. They settled at Pequea, Lancaster Co., Penn., and had three sons - John, Robert and Levi - who were educated by their uncle, Rev. John Todd, who conducted a literary institute in Virginia. About 1778, the three brothers emigrated to what became Fayette County, Ky. They were influential in forming the institutions of the State, and took an active part in the Indian wars of those days. John Todd, under commission from Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, was authorized to establish the county of Illinois. In the commission, dated December 12, 1778, at Williamsburg, then the capital of the State, he was styled County Lieutenant Commandant, and as such organized the county, and thus became in fact, though not in name, the first Governor of Illinois. At the outbreak of the Indians west of the Ohio, he was commissioned Colonel, and was slain at the battle of Blue Licks, August 18, 1782. Robert Todd, the second brother, acquired the title of General, in connection with the Indian wars and later military operations in Kentucky. One of his daughters became the wife of Gen. William O. Butler, of Carrollton, Ky. Levi Todd, the youngest of the three brothers, was engaged in the early Indian wars in Kentucky, and was a Lieutenant under Col. Clark in the expedition that captured Fort Gates and the village of Kaskaskia July 4, 1778. Lieut. Todd afterward acquired the title of General. He was Clerk of the Circuit Court of Fayette County, Ky.; spent the most of his life at Lexington, Ky., where he died. His daughter Hannah was the mother of Hon. John T. Stuart; his son, Robert Todd, was the father of Mrs. N. W. Edwards, Mrs. Dr. William S. Wallace, Mrs. C. M. Smith and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, all of Springfield, Ill. Gen. Levi Todd, the third son, before mentioned, was the head of the family of our subject. Dr. Levi W. Todd, youngest son of Levi W. and Demia (Butler) Todd, he born in Ohio in 1807, was Treasurer of Jennings County, Ind., for fourteen years, during which time he studied medicine, afterward graduated at Cincinnati, and is now practicing at Litchfield, Minn. Our subject's mother was born in New York State in 1812, and died in 1876; she was the mother of ten ehildren, one of whom is dead. Our subject began his education in the common schools of Jennings County, Ind., and afterward spent two terms in Franklin College, Johnson County, Ind. He came to this county in 1870, and, after teaching school for two years, returned to Indiana and read medicine with his father. He graduated in 1879 at Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago; then located in Neola, where he has since practiced medicine. Dr. Todd was married, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1878, to Fannie Foot, born in Connecticut July 4, 1855, daughter of Reuben M. and Nancy (Taylor) Foot, natives of Connecticut. Dr. and Mrs. Foot have one child - an infant daughter, Demia. Members of the Christian Church. The Doctor is a member of the I. O. O. F., of the Iowa Legion of Honor, and is a Republican.


UPSON, J. A.

Farming, P. O. Neola, was born in Ohio August 10, 1837, son of Reuben A. and Jane (Furber) Upson; he, born in Connecticut about 1808, emigrated from there to Ohio, where he was occupied as a farmer and raised his family; he is now living in Henry County, Ill. Subject's mother was born in England about 1810, and when ten years old came to America with her parents; she had seven children, three of whom are dead. Mr. Upson was engaged in farming; rented land in Illinois till he joined the army, in 1862; he enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, and served three years. He was taken prisoner by Hood's forces, near Nashville, Tenu., and after about seventeen days he escaped from the enemy and returned to the Union lines. The faithfulness of the negroes to the Union cause is illustrated in the following incident: In December, 1864, some Federal soldiers, among whom was our subject, were confined in an old court house in Columbia, from which Mr. Upson escaped while after water; he was taken in by a colored family and secreted for eight or nine days in their garret. Gen. Thomas then took the town, and Mr. Upson was restored to his regiment. After returning from the war, Mr. Upson settled in Hampton, Ill., and worked in a mill one year, then engaged in farming two years, after which he spent two years farming in Iowa; thence to Nebraska, where he spent five years on a homestead and timber claim; sold this and returned to Iowa; spent five years in Harrison County, and in the fall of 1881 came to Pottawattamie County. Mr. Upson was married, in Rock Island County, Ill., in 1861, to Delia Richardson, born in Rock Island County, Ill., in 1838, daughter of Stephen and Nancy (Deby) Richardson; he, born in Connecticut in 1809, lives in Illinois; she, born in Pennsylvania, died some years since. Mr. and Mrs. Upson have eight children - George, Ida M., Nellie L., Sarah J., Bennie L., Minnie, Lily N. and Kate. Mr.
Upson is a Republican.


WATKINS, H. S.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in London, England, January 2, 1840; his father, William Watkins, was born in England about 1801, and came to America about 1842, settling first in Hancock County, Ill., thence to Iowa, where he lived near Crescent City till 1852, when he emigrated to Utah and located in Brigham City, where he died in 1865. He was a plasterer, bricklayer and cabinet-maker, but farmed in this country. Subject's mother, Hannah M. (Gypp) Watkins, was born in London, England, in 1802, and came to America with her husband and three children; she died in Brigham City, Utah, in 1867, and was the mother of thirteen children. Mr. Watkins began as a day laborer in Utah, in 1859, and was employed in various places in that Territory and Montana until 1860. when he married and came to this county, and was engaged in farming until 1863, when he again turned westward and for two years engaged in mining and freighting in Colorado, Montana and Utah. In the fall of 1865, Mr. Watkins returned to Iowa, and bought a farm in Pottawattamie County, and remained upon it till 1881, when he bought the farm of 320 acres where he now lives. It is situated about four and a half miles northwest of Neola. Mr. Watkins was married, in Utah, in I860, to Sarah T. Jones, born in Wales in 1844; her father, John Jones, was born in Wales, and came to America in 1849, settled first in this county, and then went to Utah in 1852; her mother, Jane (Taeharn) Jones, was born in Wales and came to America with her husband; she was tlie mother of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins have four children - Estella E., Maria J., Mary A. and David A. Mr. Watkins is not a partisan in politics.



WATKINS. J. H.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in London, England, February 18, 1838, son of William and Maria (Gypp) Watkins, natives of London, England: he was born about 1801, and died in Brigham City, Utah, in 1865; he came to America in 1842; while in England, he worked as a brick-layer and plasterer; also a cabinet-maker; in this country, he was mostly occupied as a farmer. The mother of our subject was born about 1802, and died in Brigham City, Utah, in 1867; she came to America with her husband, whom she blessed wiih thirteen children, four of whom are living. Mr. Watkins' father first settled in Illinois, and in 1847 removed to Iowa, near Crescent City, where he remained until 1852, when he went to Utah; there our subject was employed as a trader till 1858, when he returned to Iowa and rented a farm in Fremont County, till 1863. During the summer of the latter year, he drove team to Denver City, making two trips; during 1864, he farmed, and the following year lumbered and mined in Montana Territory. After a short time spent in Utah, he returned to the Montana mines, thence back to Iowa, where he rented a farm till moving to Pottawattamie County, where, after renting a farm of Mr. H. Rishton, Sr., for four years, he bought 120 acres, where he now lives. Mr. Watkins was married, in Utah, in December, 1858, to Mary E. Ettleman, born in February, 1840, in Illinois, daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Smith) Ettleman, he, born in Pennsylvania, was a hotel-keeper and died at the age of eighty-six; she is still living, at the age of eighty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins' children are Joseph H., Margaret M., Rosy E., Eudora, Hiram A., Lucy E., Nettie A., Perry J. and Jessie. Mr. Watkins is a Democrat.


WILLIAMS, G. J.

Farmer, P. O. Neola, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 14, 1855; his father, Thomas Williams, living on a farm in Pottawattamie County, was born in England about 1827; is a blacksmith and farmer; also a musician; he came to America in 1851 with his father, who lives with our subject; his mother, Anna (Jones) Williams, was born in Wales about 1832; she came to this country with her parents, who, after spending one year in Council Bluffs, located in Salt Lake City, where they still reside. Mr. Williams attended the common schools of Pottawattamie County,where he is now an active farmer and stock-dealer. He first engaged in stock-dealing, by which occupation he cleared enough in four years to purchase his present farm of eighty acres, situated two miles south of Neola. Mr. Williams was married, in Norwalk Township, this county, December 25, 1877, to Sarah E. Minturn, born in this county September 13, 1862, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah A. (Pickets) Minturn; he, born in Illinois in 1812, is a farmer by occupation, living in this county; she, bom in Prince Edward Island in 1821, died in Iowa in 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have one child - Clara S., born June 12, 1881. Mr. Williams is an Odd Fellow and a Republican.


WITT, Charles M.

Merchant, Neola, was born in Prussia January 2, 1853; his father and mother were natives of Germany, the former bom in 1853 and the latter in 1856. Subject's grandfather, Frederick Witt, was a soldier in the allied army of Blucher's Division, and in the battle of Waterloo was taken prisoner. About 1856, Mr. Witt came to America with his parents, who, after spending two years in Newark. N. J., removed to Chicago, where they still reside. Mr. Witt has five brothers and five sisters, all living in America. Our subject obtained his education by attending night school in Chicago, while in the employ of Sinclair & Moore, proprietors of a planing-mill. He commenced working for them when ten years of age, and finally became foreman of the mill, which position he held for two years, or until the mill changed hands, when Mr. Witt went to Ottawa, Ill., where he was foreman of a large lumber yard for two years. From Ottawa, Mr. Witt returned to Chicago, and entered the hardware firm of George Rehm & Co., with whom he remained one year; then, in 1879, he came to Neola, Iowa, and opened a hardware and furniture store, to which he has since added farm implements; he has built up a large and lucrative trade. Mr. Witt was married, in Ottawa, Ill., to Miss Adeline Jacob, born in Lancaster County, Penn., February 11, 1858, daughter of Henry and Catharine (Machedance) Jacob, who came to America from Germany in 1840; he is a dyer by trade, born January 10, 1823; they are now living on a farm in Illinois. This union has resulted in two children - Frederick H., born November 24, 1878, and Adeline E., born August 12, 1880. In 1880, Mr. Witt erected one of the finest houses in the town of Neola; he also has a fine double store in which to conduct his business. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the Legion of Honor; in politics he is a Republican, and in religion, Methodist Episcopal.


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