1890 Portrait and Biographical Album 
of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa

Van Buren County Biographical Sketches Transcribed Below


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FOSTER ANDERSON, living on section 12, Lick Creek Township, Van Buren County, is a pioneer of 1845. He was born in Somerset County, Pa., October 15, 1825, his parents being Stoddard M. and Ellen (Johnson) Anderson. His father was a native of Ireland, who during the years of his young manhood crossed the Atlantic to America, and in Pennsylvania married Miss Johnson, who was descended from good old Revolutionary stock. He was a mechanic by trade, and an expert workman. For many years he did business in Pennsylvania, and in 1831 removed to Holmes County, Ohio, where his death occurred in 1862. His wife survived him some years, and died near Birmingham, Iowa. There were nine children in their family, as follows: Jane, now deceased; James, also deceased; Margaret, Nancy, John, Francis, Abigail, Elizabeth and Foster. John, Elizabeth and Foster, are residents of this community. Mr. Anderson was a member of the Methodist Church, also belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and was a supporter of the Whig party until the rise of the Republican party, when he identified himself with that organization. 

The first six years of his life our subject spent in Pennsylvania, and from that time until seventeen years of age he lived upon his father's farm in Ohio, during which time he attended the common schools for about three months in the year, which constituted his entire educational privileges. He then served an apprenticeship of two years to the carpenter's trade, and in 1845, at the age of twenty, he made his way westward to Van Buren County, in the Territory of Iowa. He chose Birmingham as the scene of his future labors, and then announced that he was ready to receive any patronage which the public was willing to accord him. Being an expert workman, his services were soon in great demand as emigrants began to pour in quite rapidly, and homes must be built for their accommodation. For a quarter of a century he followed carpentering with good success, and secured a competency which now enables him to live a retired life. 

Mr. Anderson has ever been a leading citizen of the community, and one who has never shirked his duty, but with commendable interest has done all in his power for the advancement of Van Buren County's best interests. He has taken an active part in political affairs, and his opinions carry weight with them in the local conventions of his party. He cast his first Presidential vote for Franklin Pierce, but in 1856 be supported the first Republican candidate, and has been a zealous partisan of Republican principles since. 

In 1849 Mr. Anderson was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ann Hardesty, and unto them were born nine children, as follows: V. W., a resident of Kansas; Flora E., wife of W. F. Hackney, of Kansas; Oscar and Annetta, who are living in the same State; James W. and Katie; Henrietta, wife of J. D. Albert, of Birmingham; Jennie, wife of George G. Walker, and Belle, who is living in Boise City, Idaho. The mother of this family died in 1873, and Mr. Anderson wedded Herena Ketchem. Their union has been graced by one child, Harry F., now a lad of ten years. Mr. Anderson and his family have a pleasant home conveniently situated about one mile from Birmingham.

LEVI ANDERSON owns and operates two hundred and seventeen acres of land on section 34, Lick Creek Township, Van Buren County, where has been his home for many years. The Anderson family was established in America by Stoddard M. Anderson, the grandfather of our subject, who left Ireland, the land of his nativity, in the days of his young manhood and crossed the Atlantic to America. He settled in Pennsylvania, and there married Ellen Johnson. When the Revolutionary War broke out he was among the first to take up arms against the mother country, and fought at the famous battle of Bunker Hill. His wife's relatives were also in the same struggle. Mr. Anderson was a mechanic by trade, and spent the greater part of his active life in the Keystone State. In 1831 he removed to Ohio, where his death occurred in 1862. His wife survived him and died near Birmingham, Iowa. 

John Anderson, the father of our subject, was born in Somerset County, Pa., February 15, 1819, but was reared to manhood on his father's farm in Ohio. In Holmes County, that State, on the 27th of February, 1841, he wedded Elizabeth Harbaugh, a native of Ohio, after which he began life in earnest, continuing his farming operations in the Buckeye State until 1846, when, accompanied by his family, he emigrated to the new State of Iowa, locating near Birmingham, Van Buren County. He at first rented land, but as his financial resources increased purchased a farm. The prairie was then all open, and one could ride miles without coming across a fence or settlement to impede his progress. Mr. Anderson continued to reside in Van Buren County until 1880, when he sold out and removed to Kansas, but the year 1889 witnessed his return, and he is now living in Lick Creek Township, a respected citizen of that community. His wife died on the 17th of February, 1873, and her death was the occasion of sincere grief on the part of many friends. Their children were as follows: Levi, of this sketch; Benjamin, who enlisted in the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry during the late war, and died in the service; Josiah, of Birmingham; Mary E., wife of G. W. Bonnette, of Union Township, Van Buren County; Charles F. living in Kansas; Elizabeth, wife of George Deal, of Birmingham; James, of Kansas; Samantha, wife of Israel Bonnette, of Union Township; and Annie, wife of Melvin Nelson, who resides near Birmingham. 

Our subject has passed almost his entire life in Van Buren County. Although only four years of age at the time he yet retains a recollection of the journey to Iowa, which was made by team across the country. His childhood days were spent in the usual manner of farmer lads, and until twenty years of age he remained under the parental roof but at that time he bade good-bye to home and friends to enter the service of his country. His educational advantages had been limited, and were somewhat restricted by his enlistment, but with the blood of Revolutionary heroes flowing in his veins, he could not but respond to his patriotic impulses, and on the 15th of August, 1862, became a member of Company D, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry. The first engagement in which he participated was an attack on Vicksburg, which was followed by the battle of Arkansas Post and Jackson, Miss. Then came the long and trying siege of Vicksburg, which lasted two nights, and during which Mr. Anderson's regiment lost heavily. Later occurred the charge on Ft. Gibson, which was followed by the battle of Cherokee Station, where the Colonel of the regiment and the Captain of Company D. were killed, together with many men. Mr. Anderson then took part in the "Battle Above the Clouds," with Hooker, followed by the engagements at Missionary Ridge and Ringgold. Under Gen. Sherman he fought at Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, and participated in the siege and capture of Atlanta, where he was taken sick and sent back to the hospital. He was discharged June 17, 1865, after having served three years, in which he participated in some twenty battles. He faithfully performed his duty throughout the entire service, but came out of the army with impaired health, and has never regained the strength of former years. 

The first land which Mr. Anderson owned was a one hundred and twenty-acre tract given him by his father. This he began to operate in 1866, and the same year, on the 15th of March, he married Miss Margaret Jane Wharton, a native of Ohio. They have become parents of seven children: Flora, born March 1, 1867, died at the age of nineteen; Ella, born November 13, 1869; Frank, March 12, 1871; Zachariah, October 2, 1874; Lewis, June 7, 1876; Roy, November 6, 1880; and Lola, March 15, 1883. 

Mr. Anderson's farm of one hundred and twenty acres he has increased to a two hundred and seventeen-acre tract, and the greater part of the improvements which we find thereon stand as monuments of his own thrift and industry. He is a Republican in politics, and cast his first Presidential vote for Lincoln. Like a true American citizen he feels an interest in political affairs, has frequently attended the conventions of his party and labors for its success, but has never sought or desired public preferment for himself.

[Editor's note: see correction to this bio here.]

THOMAS ANSON, who resides on section 20, Henry Township, dates his residence in Van Buren County from 1835, therefore for fifty-five consecutive years his history has been connected with that of the community. Most of his friends and neighbors of that early day have passed away, he being one of the few left to tell the story of life in Iowa when the State was situated on the extreme western frontier. The story of those pioneer days was one of great interest and we regret that we cannot enter more elaborately into details, but as we proceed to give a history of his life we will doubtless mention facts which are new to our younger readers. 

Thomas Anson was born in Pike County, Mo., July 24, 1826. Little is known concerning the early history of the family except that it was established in America during Colonial days. His father, Henry Anson, was born in Maryland, there spent the days of his boyhood and youth and on attaining to years of maturity wedded Elizabeth Paralee, also a native of that State. About 1820, they removed with their family to Kentucky but four years later resumed their westward journey and made a location in Pike County, Mo., where Mr. Anson opened up a farm, clearing and developing the wild land. Again in 1835 a change of residence occurred. The preceding year he came to Van Buren County, Iowa, and laid a claim, after which he brought his family to their new home and from that time until his death he was numbered among the leading citizens of the county. He took an active part in political affairs and was interested in all that pertained to the welfare and upbuilding of the community. On the 15th of April, 1850, at the ripe old age of seventy-seven years, he was called to his final rest. His wife preceded him to their final home, dying in 1846. They had a large family numbering twelve children but only four are now living. Peter died in La Fayette County, Mo., leaving a family; Keziah died in California in 1887; Catherine, wife of Isaac Rigsby, died at her home in Henry Township, in June, 1887; Henry died in Lick Creek Township, in 1882; George makes his home in California; Eliza resides with her brother Thomas; Flarious died in California in 1889; Christiana died in Van Buren County, in 1883; Thomas is the next in order of birth; and William is married and living in Henry Township. 

Mr. Anson, whose name heads this sketch, was a lad of nine summers when he accompanied his parents to Van Buren County. Iowa then formed a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. He has therefore resided in the Territory of Wisconsin and the Territory and State of Iowa, yet all the time his home has been within the borders of Van Buren County. The companions of his childhood he found among the Indian boys and being thus thrown frequently into their company he learned their language. On many of their hunting expeditions he accompanied them, for friendly were the relations between the white and red races at that day. In the subscription schools he acquired his education and necessarily his advantages were quite limited, but in a great measure experience and observation have overcome the difficulties arising therefrom and he is now well informed on all matters of general interest. He assisted his father in the arduous task of developing a farm, following the oxen day after day in breaking prairie. When only seventeen years of age he began life for himself. In company with his brother William, he purchased four hundred and thirty acres of partially improved land which they placed under cultivation and thereby reaped a golden reward for their efforts. Although he has met with some obstacles and difficulties he has generally traveled the road of success and is now the owner of eight hundred and seventeen acres of land individually, and half owner in a one hundred and eighty-four and a half acre tract. The former amount is under a good state of cultivation or in pasturage. Without interruption save about three years spent on the Pacific Slope, Mr. Anson has resided in Van Buren County. since 1835. It was during the gold excitement in California that in 1850 he crossed the plains with an ox-team to that State, reaching his destination after three months of travel. He gave his attention to mining for some three years and in the spring of 1853 returned by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York City. Once more resuming the occupation of farming he has since devoted himself exclusively to that pursuit and to stock raising. A truly self-made man, he deserves no little credit for his success. On reaching California he had but thirty-five cents in his pocket but on his return his exchequer was in somewhat better condition. In the years which have followed he has gained a handsome property, yet has been liberal with his means for the advancement of all enterprises calculated to benefit the town or county. For a quarter of a century he has served on the School Board and to him in no small degree is due the excellence of the school system in this community. In political sentiment, he is a Republican and a stalwart supporter of the party principles.

WILLIAM ANSON, a farmer and and stock-raiser of Henry Township, residing on section 9, has spent almost his entire life in Van Buren County. He was born in Pike County, Mo., on December 10, 1827, and at the age of seven years accompanied his parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Paralee) Anson, to Iowa. Being the youngest in a family of twelve children the advantages which he received in his youth were necessarily limited. The first school which he attended was taught by Dr. Comstock in a leg building, the dimensions of which were 8x8 feet. He there conned his first lessons and in the district schools of the neighborhood acquired a knowledge of the common branches. The companions of his boyhood were mostly Indian lads, for the red men were still numerous in the neighborhood having not yet left for their western reservation. He became well acquainted with the chiefs, Black Hawk and Keokuk, who frequently came to his father's home and remained for a meal. 

At eighteen years of age Mr. Anson began life for himself. By that time his older brothers and sisters were almost all married and left the parental roof for homes of their own and he took upon himself the management and care of the homestead farm. In 1862 he was united in marriage with Miss Charlotta Martin, a daughter of Abner and Louisa (White) Martin, who are numbered among the pioneer settlers of Van Buren County. The same spring he purchased two hundred and fifty acres of partially improved land in Henry Township which constitutes a portion of his present farm and began its development, transforming the wild prairie into rich and fertile fields. As his financial resources were increased, the result of his energy and industry, he extended the boundaries of his farm and purchased other lands until his possessions now aggregate seven hundred and ten acres. The homestead is one of the finest farms in the community, having good buildings, well kept fences and the latest improved machinery which together with his comfortable residence plainly indicates that the owner is a man of thrift and enterprise. In addition to general farming he carries on stock-raising, keeping on hand only improved grades. In political sentiment, Mr. Anson is a Republican and in the success of his party manifests a deep interest. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend and any worthy object calculated to benefit or upbuild the county may feel assured that it will receive his hearty support and co-operation. 

Mr. and Mrs. Anson are the parents of five children now living and they lost one son, Grant, who died in 1864. Those who still survive are Belle, Owen, Iowa, Curtis and Fred.

JOHN BALDWIN ARNOLD, a leading farmer of Union Township, Van Buren County; residing on section 34, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 5, 1827, his parents being George and Rachel (Wright) Arnold. The family is of English origin and was founded in America by the grandfather of our subject, who braved the dangers of an ocean voyage, crossing the Atlantic to America, and settled in Maryland in Colonial days. George Arnold was born near Frederickstown, that State, and on reaching manhood wedded Miss Wright who was also a native of Maryland. Her father was a native of Ireland but her mother's people were of Scotch extraction. In an early day the parents of our subject made them a home in Fairfield County, Ohio. They settled in the midst of a dense forest of maple and beeches, but notwithstanding the difficulty of the task a fine farm was there developed, upon which they resided until called to the home above. He died at the age of eighty-five years, strong in the faith of the Catholic Church, and she was a strong believer in the Presbyterian doctrine, dying a member of that church, at the age of fifty-seven years. Their family numbered seven children but only two are now living — Mrs. Eliza Ewing who makes her home in Ohio and our subject. 

John Baldwin Arnold was the fifth in order of birth in his father's family. He was early inured to hard labor, being reared on a new farm in the midst of the forest, but the lessons of thrift and industry which be learned in his youth were never forgotten and have proved of incalculable benefit in later years. On reaching his majority his father began to pay him for his services on the farm at the rate of $9 per month. he having hitherto performed the same service without compensation as the return of a dutiful son for the care which he had received in his childhood. His first business venture was accomplished after riding five hundred miles on horseback to Maryland, where he settled up the business pertaining to a small estate left his mother. 

On the 10th of September, 1848, Mr. Arnold was joined in marriage with Miss Louisa Cupp, who the same year had come to Van Buren County. She was horn in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 25, 1828, and the same year of his marriage Mr. Arnold came with his father-in-law to Iowa, where he spent one winter, but having no money with which to purchase land he returned to Ohio, where he rented a farm some seven years. In 1855, having in the meantime accumulated some capital, he once more came to Van Buren County and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, his present farm, or rather a portion of it, as its boundaries have been greatly extended by additional purchases. Only thirty-five acres had been placed under cultivation but in a short time the entire quarter section was yielding him a ready return for the labor bestowed upon it. As opportunity offered he made other investments in lands and at one time was the owner of seven hundred acres, but a portion of this amount he has since given, to his children. Two sons and six daughters were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Arnold as follows: Emma F., wife of Richard Brewer; George W. who died in infancy; Mary A., wife of A. Brumley; John L., a resident farmer of Union Township, Van Buren County; Rachel L. who died in infancy; Clara A., wife of Elias Hall; Alpha N., wife of Charles Warner; and Ada C. who is yet with her parents. 

In political sentiment Mr. Arnold is a Democrat but not an active partisan. He would never accept any office although tendered some positions of honor and trust, preferring to devote his entire attention to the interests of his family and his business. He has been a successful stock-raiser and keeps on hand only the best grades. He was perhaps the first to introduce Cotswold sheep and Galloway cattle into the county and was the first to make an exhibit of the same at the county fair. For thirty-five years, Mr. Arnold has been a resident of Van Buren County, during which time he has never so much as testified in court, which fact shows that he has lived a peaceable and upright life as well as a busy one. Though his career has been pre-eminently prosperous, clouds of adversity have sometimes shut out the sunshine of fortune. One instance of this occurred on the 30th of May, 1879, when, between eleven and twelve o'clock at night, a terrific cyclone swept away three of his barns, a corn crib, wagon shed, cattle sheds, one hundred and seventy-five apple trees and several miles of fence. It seemed to drop from the skies for his especial discomfiture as no one else was materially injured, whereas his loss was at least $2,000. Kind neighbors and friends volunteered their assistance in rebuilding the fences to protect the crops from the stock, for which Mr. Arnold still holds them in grateful remembrance. Various causes were suggested to explain why one person should thus be singled out as a victim. Some thought it was because Mr. Arnold is a Universalist in religious faith; others, scouting an idea so foolish, held it was a special visitation of Providence to punish him for being a Democrat. Disastrous as was the result it has long since been repaired.

WALTER ATKINS, a physician and surgeon of Lebanon, Iowa, commenced the practice of medicine in that place in 1887. He has resided in Van Buren County during the greater part of his life but is a native of Delaware. The family is of French extraction and was founded in America during the seventeenth century. Many of its members were seafaring people and through several generations they continued their residence in Delaware. The father of our subject, Henry Atkins, was born in that State and in his youth learned the carpenter's trade which he there followed until 1860, when he came to Van Buren County, Iowa, with his family. He settled in Milton, where he engaged in the furniture business until his death, which occurred in April, 1869, at the age of forty-eight years. He married Mary Joseph, who was a native of Delaware and whose father served in the Revolutionary War. She still survives her husband and makes her home in Milton. The children born unto this worthy couple are Walter, whose name heads this sketch; James who is married and resides in Jackson Township, Van Buren County; Ida, wife of Oliver Burton, of Osceola County, Iowa; and Theodosia, wife of George Russell, of Milton. 

The birth of our subject occurred in 1853, and when a lad of seven summers he was brought by his parents to Iowa. The family located in Milton, and in its schools he began his education which he completed by a full course of study in the Troy Academy, of Troy, Iowa. His school life being ended, he entered upon his business career as a teacher in Jackson Township, and in connection with the prosecution of that profession engaged in painting and plastering for some five years. It was his desire to make the practice of medicine his life work and by the pursuit of those vocations just mentioned he acquired the funds necessary to fit him for his chosen work. In 1884, he entered the Medical Institute, of Keokuk, Iowa, and after two years of thorough study was graduated in the class of 1886. He then opened an office in the vicinity of his old home. It is said that one cannot make a success of such a business in the community where they have been reared, but if this rule holds good in most cases Dr. Atkins is an exception to it. By close application to business as a supplement to his skill and ability, he has won a large and lucrative practice which is increasing from year to year. The past year, 1889, netted him $3,500. 

An important event in the life of Dr. Atkins occurred in Davis County, Iowa, in 1877, when he was joined in wedlock with Miss Catharine Oliver, daughter of James and Mercy (Noel) Oliver, who were natives of Ohio and emigrated to Davis County, Iowa, in 1863, where they now reside. To this union have been born three sons — Perry, now a lad of twelve years; Clarence, ten years of age; and Clyde who is now in his seventh year. The Doctor and his wife are well known throughout the community where they make their home and rank high in the social world. He is a worthy and enterprising citizen and one who manifests a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of town and county. He votes with the Democratic party and socially is a member of Lone Star Lodge, No. 155, I. O. O. F.

G. S. BAILEY, M. D., is one of the pioneer physicians and early settlers of Van Buren County, having made his home within its borders since June, 1837. Probably no man in the community has been more prominently identified with its history, especially during the early days, than he, and the active part which he took in the upbuilding and advancement of the county's interests certainly deserves mention in this volume and should be remembered with gratitude by the citizens through coming generations. Indiana was the State of his nativity, and in Lawrence County, on the 3d of June, 1809, he first opened his eyes to the light of day. His parents were Charles and Sally (Smith) Bailey, and he was the sixth child of the family. The days of his boyhood and youth were spent in Lawrence County and at an early age he determined to engage in the practice of medicine. To this end he entered the office of Dr. Moberly, under whose direction he pursued a course of reading, which he continued until accompanying his family on their removal to Shelby County, Ill., where he completed his medical studies and entered upon the practice of his chosen profession in Charleston, Coles County. It was during his residence in that place that he led to the marriage altar Miss Julia Manwaring, an accomplished lady, a native of Connecticut. Their union was celebrated in 1835, and for three years they resided in Illinois, but believing that the country beyond the Mississippi would furnish better opportunities for a young man in his profession, the Doctor and his wife crossed the Father of Waters into Iowa. He chose Van Buren County as the scene of his future labors, and they took up their residence in a rude log cabin, but ere the first season had passed he erected a neat frame residence. 

At once, after reaching Iowa, Dr. Bailey embarked in the practice of his profession and for a few years did an extensive business in that line, but his attention was then attracted toward political questions, and laying aside his business interests, he entered actively into political life. From 1838 until 1861 he was continually serving the people in some official capacity, whereby he gained a wide reputation and made many friends among the prominent citizens of the State. He represented Van Buren County in the First General Assembly under Territorial Government, which convened in the Methodist Church in Burlington in 1838; he was a member of the Territorial Council and served as United States Marshal of Iowa under the administration of President Polk. He was a member of the State Senate during the special session of 1861, when questions of the greatest importance, attending the Civil War, came up for decision. His public, as well as his private life is above reproach, for, ever faithful to the trust reposed in him, he discharged his duties with fidelity and promptness, winning the respect of all with whom he came in contact. 

In 1865 Dr. Bailey was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in the month of February. They were the parents of two children, a son and a daughter — Augustus C., now living in Lancaster, Mo.; and Julia, deceased wife of Harris Waterman. The Doctor was again married September 3, 1869, his second union being with Ann M. Schneck, daughter of Jacob Schneck. She was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1839, and came to this country when twenty years of age. Their union has been blessed with one child, Gideon C. S., now a youth of fourteen years. The Doctor has for some time past lived a retired life. Being now in his declining years, he is resting from the toils and labors of the past, having acquired a competence, which releases him from all cares. He was formerly one of the most prominent and energetic citizens of Van Buren County, and is now an honored pioneer, who yet retains his interest in the growth and upbuilding of the county for which he did so much in earlier years.

CHARLES BALDWIN and his wife, who are now residing in Keosauqua, rank among the pioneers of Van Buren County, the husband dating his residence from March, 1841, and Mrs. Baldwin from the spring of 1840. They have thus been witnesses of almost its entire growth and development, and having taken an active interest in its progress are certainly deserving of a representation in its history. 

Mr. Baldwin was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, July 18, 1818, and is a son of David and Lavina (Wheeler) Baldwin, both of whom were natives of Connecticut, the former born in Weston in 1792, the latter in Bridgeport in 1795. The Baldwins are of English descent and the family was founded in Connecticut at a very early day. Six children constituted the family of David and Lavina Baldwin and are as follows: Julia, who is now the wife of Josiah Allison, of Elmira, Salina County, Cal.; Mary, widow of Judge Johnston, an eminent scholar and lawyer of ability, who was elected judge of his district and honored with a seat in the State Senate; George, who was a young man of judge of his district and honored with a seat in the State Senate; George, who was a young man of great promise and a warm personal friend of Senator Stanford's, died in California about 1861; Harriet is the wife of O. D. Tisdale, a retired merchant of Ottumwa, Iowa; Lavina married Darwin Degalio and both died in California. By trade, David Baldwin was a tanner and followed that business as a life occupation. He was a man well posted on all affairs of State and county and took an active part in politics, although he never sought or was desirous of holding office. Throughout the community he was known as Deacon Baldwin, having been a Deacon in the Congregational Church for many years. ln 1817 he emigrated to Ohio, locating in Waterford, Washington County, when it was a vast wilderness and there made a home in which he and his wife spent their remaining days. Like her husband, Mrs. Baldwin was greatly beloved for her many excellent qualities of heart and hand. She lived the life of a consistent Christian and as her lot was cast in a settlement where ministers were few, on Sunday she would often take her place behind the desk in the old log schoolhouse and read a sermon to the pioneers there assembled. She died at the age of thirty-six years. mourned by all who knew her. 

Much work and little play was the rule of our subject's early life. His education was acquired in a log schoolhouse in his native State, where he conned the rudimentary studies for about two months in the year, the remaining ten months being devoted to assisting his father in the tannery, but by study in leisure hours he gained a knowledge sufficient to teach at the age of nineteen years. After a year spent in that vocation he went to Morgan County, Ohio, where he repaired a tannery, remaining a couple of years, but the following March he turned his face Westward and in the Territory of Iowa found a home. Locating in Van Buren County, he made a contract with the firm of Lyon & Games to operate a tannery for five years, the profits of the same to be equally divided, but on the failure of those gentlemen to comply with the terms of the contract he abandoned the enterprise and entered the office of Hon. James B. Howell, under whose direction he studied law for a year. At the expiration of that time he erected a tannery of his own which he operated for ten years with good success, when he disposed of his business, having, in 1852, been elected Clerk of the District Court. He served one term but refused a renomination, considering the duties too confining. His next venture was in the mercantile business as a partner of Thomas Rankin, whose interest he purchased after a year and continued the business alone until 1858, when on account of the financial depression felt throughout the country he found it impossible to make collections and discontinued business. Out of employment he once more turned his attention to law and was admitted to the bar in 1859, but the gold excitement, caused by discoveries at Pike's Peak, was then at its height and he made a journey to that region, spending the summer in the mountains. On returning to Keosauqua, he formed a law partnership with Judge George G. Wright, under the firm name of Wright & Baldwin which connection continued until 1861 when the Judge was called to the bench to fill a vacancy. Mr. Baldwin was then alone in the practice of his profession until his retirement from that pursuit in 1884. He won prominence at the bar and by his professional brethren was regarded as an able lawyer, while his popularity with the people was evinced by the liberal patronage which he received. 

On the 28th of September, 1844, in Van Buren County, Mr. Baldwin and Miss Rachel, daughter of John and Rachel (Seaman) Wright, were united in marriage. Their union has been blessed with six children: William W., who graduated from the Iowa University and became an attorney-at-law, was for a time connected with the Hon. J. B. Hall. of Burlington, Iowa, and is now attorney for the Chicago. Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, with headquarters in Burlington; Charles Jr., who was educated in the State University, is a practicing attorney of Salt Lake City. Utah; Lavina is the wife of Rev. J. W. Cheney. of Missouri ; Lutie is the wife of Charles Lefferts, a loan and real-estate agent of Council Bluffs. Iowa; Julia is the wife of Dr. McKibben, a practicing physician of Keosauqua; and Edward died at the age of fifteen years. 

During Cleveland's administration, Mr. Baldwin served as Postmaster of Keosauqua and since resigning in 1888, has lived a retired life. The succeeding winter he and Mrs. Baldwin spent in the West, passing a portion of their time in Salt Lake City and the remainder in California. They are now living in retirement at their pleasant home in Keosauqua; resting from the labors of former years and enjoying the fruits of past toil. In early life Mr. Baldwin was a Whig and cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, but on the dissolution of that party he joined the ranks of the Democratic party, with which he has since affiliated.

A. C. BARKER, who resides on section 4, Washington Township, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Van Buren County, his parents being Joseph and Anna (Manchester) Barker, whose sketch appears on another page of this work. He was born on the old homestead, where he still resides, March 18, 1842, and the days of his boyhood and youth were spent in the usual manner of farmer lads. After attending the district schools of the neighborhood, at the age of nineteen years he responded to his country's call for troops, enlisting in the United States service as a member of Company H, Third Iowa Cavalry, under Capt. Jesse Hughes in September, 1861. He was mustered in at Keokuk and the regiment was assigned to the Third Army Corps, in the Army of the Tennessee. His company being detailed to skirmish duty made several raids through Northern Missouri, at one time capturing one hundred and seventy-two kegs of powder and at another, five hundred kegs of the same article. They spent the first winter in Mexico, Mo. Afterwards Mr. Barker participated in the battle of Moore's Mills, where he received a gun shot wound through the left jaw which unfitted him for duty for two weeks. On rejoining his command he participated in the battle of Little Rock, Ark., and Guntown, Miss. At the latter place he was dismounted by his horse giving out and made a forced march on foot to White Station, Tenn., a distance of sixty miles which he covered in ten hours. He was also with the Wilson raid through Tennessee and Alabama, and was mustered out in Atlanta, Ga., on the 9th of August, 1865, after four years of faithful service on Southern battle fields. 

Returning home at the close of the war Mr. Barker purchased one hundred and eighty acres of land and engaged in agricultural pursuits. His boyhood training had fitted him for his chosen occupation and with the passage of time his possessions have been increased until he is now the owner of a fine farm of three hundred and forty-seven acres — a portion of the old homestead. The entire amount is under a good state of cultivation and well improved, and the owner takes rank among the enterprising agriculturists of the community. 

As a companion on life's journey Mr. Barker chose Miss Martha M. Van Eman, their union being celebrated on the 2d of February, 1871. Her father, Rev. George Van Eman, was born in Washington County, Pa., January 29, 1823, and her mother, whose maiden name. was Elizabeth Poage, is a native of Pocahontas County, Va. Both parents are still living at this writing in 1890, and make their home in Vernon, Tex., where Mr. Van Erman has charge of a church. Mrs. Barker was born in Missouri, December 3, 1852. She was the second in a family of seven children as follows: Ella, now deceased; James A., a resident of Wilburger, Tex.; Mrs. Mary R. Gray, of St. Paul, Neb.; Joseph, who is living in the Lone Star State; Edward E., of Baltimore, Md.; and Mrs. Stella Hicks, of Texas. The Barker family consists of eight children as follows: George V., born December 29, 1871; John H., September 8, 1873; Maud O., July 31, 1875; Nellie, November 22, 1876; William R., May 18, 1878; Josie E., August 6, 1880; A. C., June 15, 1883; and Manchester, August 12, 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Barker and their four older children are members of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Zion, in which the father holds the office of Elder. He contributes liberally to the support of church and charitable institutions and all laudable enterprises, feeling a deep interest in anything which pertains to the welfare of the community. In politics he is a supporter of Republican principles.

WILLIAM ANDERSON BARKER, who since 1839 has been a resident of Van Buren County, now resides on section 6 , Van Buren Township, in a magnificent home, where comforts and luxuries abound as the result of his own enterprise and industry. His occupation is that of farming and stock-raising, and by the exercise of good business principles he has become one of the substantial citizens of the community. The history of his life is as follows. 

Mr. Barker was born on the 3d of July, 1833, in Carroll County, Ohio, being the sixth child of Joseph and Anna (Manchester) Barker. We have no authentic record concerning the early history of the family. His father, however, was a native of Washington County, Pa., where he grew to manhood receiving a limited education as far as schools were concerned, but by self culture he became a well-informed man. He learned the carpenter's trade in his youth and followed that occupation as a means of livelihood until he had accumulated enough to purchase a farm, when he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, continuing that business during the remainder of his life. When about twenty-one years of age he left his native State and removed to Ohio, where he shortly afterward married Miss Anna Manchester, who was born in 1808, and was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Manchester. The fruits of this union were seventeen children, fourteen of whom grew to maturity, while ten of the number are still living. Alfred, the eldest, died in infancy; Eunice died at the age of seventeen years; Elizabeth died aged five years; Eliza J. became the wife of Henry Shaffer, and died in Davis County, Iowa, about 1857, leaving two children ; Mrs. Mary Hootman, of Van Buren Township, is the mother of ten children; W. A.. of this sketch is the next younger; Mrs. Hannah Sherod died in 1863, leaving three children; Almira, now Mrs. Freshwaters, is living in Van Buren County; Mrs. Isabel Calhoun, makes her home in Birmingham, Union Township, Van Buren County; Mrs. Sarah Smith. now a widow, is living in Van Buren Township; Arnold C. is engaged in farming in Washington Township; Joseph A. died in Lebanon, Mo., while in the United States' service in 1863; John S. is engaged in farming in Davis County ; Catharine is the wife Of William Bott, of Lick Creek Township; Maria T. is the wife of L. Sherod, of Union Township, and Hugh B. is a merchant of Mt. Zion, and another died in infancy. 

The father of this family, Joseph Barker, is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Van Buren County of 1839, in which year he and his family took up their residence upon a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of Government laud which he had entered. He became one of the prominent citizens of the community, and took an active part in both politics and church work. In 1854 he identified himself with the Republican party and continued one of its stanch supporters until his death. He was also a zealous member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in November, 1882, at the age of eighty-three years. His wife, whose death occured the year previous, was a devout Christian woman and a follower of the Calvanist doctrine. 

Amid the wild scenes of pioneer life W. A. Barker was reared to manhood. His advantages were necessarily limited and he was obliged to assist in the arduous labors of farm life in those early days. From 1840 until 1854, during the winter seasons, he attended school in a log schoolhouse, and at the age of twenty started out in life for himself. The discovery of gold in California had awakened hopes in his breast and with the desire of rapidly acquiring wealth he crossed the plains to the Golden State. He gave a cow and $15 in cash for the privilege of driving an ox-team, and was six months in making the trip. He remained on the Pacific Slope until November, 1859, engaged in mining and farming, but not meeting with the success he anticipated he decided to return. Once more be resumed farming in Van Buren County, and during the thirty-one years which have since elapsed has continued that occupation. His first purchase of land consisted of an eighty-acre tract only partially improved, upon which he raised corn and hogs, but the boundaries of his farm have since been extended until he now owns eight hundred and fifty acres, the greater part of which is situated in one body. For the past five years he has engaged in sheep-raising, keeping on hand an average of about eight hundred head of a good grade. He also raises horses, cattle and hogs, and no inferior animal will be seen in the whole lot. He takes a pride in raising fine stock, and has done not a little to advance the grades of stock in this county. As before intimated, he has met with success in his undertakings and in the years of industry and ceaseless activity which have passed since his return from California, he has worked his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence. As a citizen, he is highly esteemed and is regarded as a leading member of the Republican party in this community. But notwithstanding he has ever felt a deep interest in the success and welfare of the party he has never aspired to official distinction, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests. 

In 1860 Mr. Barker married Miss Rebecca D., daughter of Wesley and Sarah (Sherod) True, both of whom were natives of Ohio. Her mother died when she was an infant but her father is still living and makes his home in Miami County, Kan. By their union there have been born ten children, seven of whom are yet living: Frank, born in 1861, died at the age of fourteen months; Zora, born in 1863, is at home; Elna L., born in 1864, is the wife of T. L. Workman, of Van Buren Township, and the mother of two children— Blanche and Hazel; Della, born in 1866, is still with her parents; Walter G., born in 1869, died at the age of two years; Lelia 0. was born in 1871; Bessie L., in 1873; Wilda A., in 1876; William W., in 1878; Claude, who was born in 1883 and died in 1888, completes the family. Mr. and Mrs. Barker, together with several of their children, are members of the Presbyterian Church, of Mt. Zion, iii which the father holds the office of Elder. He gives liberally to the support of the church, is an active worker for its interests, and is also a warm friend to the cause of education. The home of this family, whose members we have just individually mentioned, is probably the finest in Van Buren County. The large and elegant brick dwelling, which is neat and tasty in architectural designs and elegant in finish, and which is also furnished handsomely, though not gaudily, is surrounded by a large and well-kept lawn and beautiful shade trees. Outlying building's indicate that ample provision has been made for the care of the stock, and the farm may truly be called a model one.

HIRAM BARNES is a retired farmer and honored citizen of Birmingham, Van Buren County. Known to many throughout the county, and held in the highest esteem by all, his sketch will be received with interest by many of our readers. His birthplace is in Harrison County, Ohio, and the date on which he first opened his eyes to the light, March 18, 1818. He is a son of James A. Barnes and a grandson of Leonard Barnes. who was probably a native of Ireland. From Maryland he removed to Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his life engaged in farming. James Barnes was born in the Buckeye State, and on reaching the age of twenty-one married Miss Elizabeth Barnett, also a native of Ohio. Her father was a Frenchman and her mother's people belonged to the Society of Friends. Mr. Barnes improved a new farm after his marriage, and later moved from Tuscarawas County to Holmes County, where he resided some four years. It was in 1839 that he first set foot upon Iowa soil. Crossing the Mississippi, he continued his journey to Van Buren County and made a location about a mile south of Birmingham, where he entered one hundred and twenty acres of land. After building a log cabin, he began the improvement of a farm, while the family lived in true pioneer style. He was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife in 1862, and ten years later his death occurred. Many of the comforts of civilized life had been added to their home before that time, and a highly cultivated farm supplied their wants. He was a stalwart Republican in political sentiment, and Mrs. Barnes was a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Their family numbered thirteen children, of whom the following grew to mature years — Matilda, who was married and died in Ohio; Hiram, of this sketch; Barnett, who was killed in California while in his own cabin; Reason, Sarah and Albert, who are residents of California; James, who served in the Third Iowa Cavalry during the late war and thereby lost his eyesight; Harriet and Elizabeth, who are also living in the Golden State. 

The days of his boyhood and youth, Hiram Barnes spent in the State of his nativity, where he also served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. He came with his family to the Territory of Iowa when twenty-one years of age, and remained under the parental roof until 1846, in which year his marriage with Hannah B. Loomis was celebrated. The lady is a native of Ohio, and a daughter of William and Sylvia Loomis. After his marriage, Mr. Barnes purchased land lying partly in Birmingham, and on the lot where stands their present residence he and his wife began their domestic life. He devoted his attention to farming until 1850. when, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he crossed the plains with three brothers and spent nearly two years in the northern mines. Again returning home, he resumed his interrupted farming labors, and in addition, engaged in the livery business, but in 1861, on the breaking out of the late war, he laid down the implements of peaceful occupation and marched away to the front. 

Mr. Barnes enlisted in Company H. Third Iowa Cavalry, and when the regiment was organized was made First Lieutenant of his company, in which position he served two years, when he received his discharge on account of failing health. The service of the regiment was arduous, being mostly warfare against the guerrillas. He had command of his company during the greater part of the time as the Captain was old and unable to take the lead. The principal engagement occurred at Kirksville. Mo., but he participated m many skirmishes. 

Returning to his home, Mr. Barnes again took up farming and the livery business, which latter he followed for thirty years. He is still the owner of one hundred and fifteen acres of land lying partly within the corporation limits of Birmingham, but to a great extent he has laid aside all business care and is resting in the enjoyment of the fruits of former toil. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have been born six children, yet living — Louisa, widow of W. J. Hale, has two children and is living in Birmingham, near her parents; W. A. is a farmer of Warren County, Iowa, and a graduate of the Commercial College, of Keokuk; Belle, wife of Abe Kirkpatrick, is living in California; Virginia is the wife of Horace McCormick, of Des Moines, who is connected with the famous agricultural implement manufactory; Mary is the wife of B. F. Loomis, of Kansas; and Iola is with her parents. 

Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have a charming home in Birmingham, where they are surrounded with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He has served as Mayor of that city and is an honored member of the Old Settlers Society. He cast his first Presidential ballot for William Henry Harrison, and the last vote up to this time for Benjamin Harrison, the illustrious grandson of the Tippecanoe hero. More than half a century has passed away since Mr. Barnes came to this county. Time and the citizens of the community have brought many changes, effacing many of the old landmarks but putting in their places structures which show the enterprise of its settlers.

MORTIMER D. BAXTER, photographer, proprietor of the only gallery in Milton, established business here in 1876, and has carried it on continuously since, covering a period of fourteen consecutive years. Mr. Baxter was born in Union County, Ohio, January 4, 1844, and is the son of Benjamin D. and Lucinda (Harrington) Baxter. His father was born in the State of New York in 1811, was of English descent, and died in August, 1844, when our subject was a babe of a few months. The mother was a native of Vermont, born in 1819. Some years after the death of Mr. Baxter, she married Daniel Kent, and in 1851, with her family emigrated to Iowa, and settled in Van Buren County. 

Mortimer D., who came to Iowa with his mother, attended school at Keosauqua, and in 1864 began studying photography in that place. On account of sore eyes he spent a year on the farm, and then traveled with a car photographing. About 1868 he established a gallery in Milton. From 1871 until 1878 he devoted himself to the grocery trade; since 1878 has devoted his attention exclusively to photography. Mr. Baxter is a Republican in politics, and in 1872 was appointed Postmaster at Milton, under the administration of President Grant, serving until 1877. In 1886 he was elected Mayor of Milton, and served one tern) in that office. 

Mr. Baxter has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Miranda Cooley, and their union was celebrated in Milton in 1868. The lady was a daughter of Fountain Cooley, and was born in Davis County, Iowa. Her death occurred on the 27th of December, 1877, and Mr. Baxter was again married on the 17th of February, 1880, his second marriage taking place in Bloomfield, Davis County, where he led to the hymeneal altar Miss Emma Rosebrough, daughter of James H. Rosebrough. She is a native of Davis County, where her people were early settlers. Four children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Baxter, three sons and a daughter — Eugene Mortimer, November 21, 1881; Iowa M., October 3, 1883; Neal Dow, July 18, 1885; and Rex R., November 21, 1887. All were born in Milton. 

Mr. and Mrs. Baxter are members of the Methodist Protestant Church, in which he has been Class Leader and Steward for many years. He is also an active worker in the cause of temperance, and is considered a leader in all advanced ideas in moral culture. He is a member of Jackson Lodge, No. 28, K. P., having been actively identified with that order since 1881. In his business life he has prospered and his gallery has won popularity. As an official he won commendation and the respect of all concerned. With the exception of a very brief interval Mr. Baxter has now been a resident of Milton for a quarter of a century, and is widely and favorably known to the citizens of Van Buren and adjoining counties.

JOSEPH BEELER, a blacksmith and wagon-maker, of Lebanon, Van Buren County, is a native of Iowa. He was born in Lee County, May 28, 1847, and is a son of John and Hannah (Vale) Beeler, both of whom were natives of Indiana. His father was born in 1817, and having attained to mature years, led to the marriage altar, in 1839, Miss Vale, who was born in 1818. They removed to Lee County, where Mr. Beeler died in the prime of life, being but thirty-four years of age when called to his final rest. His wife long survived him, dying at the age of sixty-three years. They were parents of four children, of whom our subject was third in order of birth, and Jacob and Joseph are the only ones now living. The former is a resident of Washington Territory. 

Joseph Beeler passed the days of his boyhood and youth in his native county, where he learned the trades of blacksmithing and wagon-making. Going to Garden Grove, Iowa, in 1862, he followed his trade at that place, but the Civil War being then in progress, and feeling it his duty to aid in the preservation of the Union, he enlisted in the Third Iowa Cavalry under Capt. J. D. Brown. The regiment was commanded by Col. Noble, now Secretary of the Interior under President Harrison. They participated in a few important engagements during that campaign, but in the summer of 1864 were engaged mostly in raids against the troops of Gen. Forrest. They did guard duty at Memphis and participated in the battles of Tupelo and Guntown. In September of that year they crossed the river and started on a raid against Gen. Price, whom they followed through Missouri and Kansas. 

The forces were then scattered and the Third Iowa Cavalry went to St. Louis, at which place its members boarded a steamer which was blown up by the bursting of a boiler. They afterwards joined Gen. Wilson, and with whom they participated in the raid through Alabama and Georgia, in which took place the battles of Selma, Montgomery, Macon and Columbus. Their next move was against Atlanta, Ga., where they were mustered out on the 9th of August, 1865. Mr. Beeler was present at the capture of Jeff. Davis. He was a faithful soldier, ever found at his post of duty, and at the close of the war was honorably discharged. 

When hostilities had ceased and the troops were once more free to return to their homes, Mr. Beeler resumed the trade of blacksmithing and wagon-making in Garden Grove, Iowa, where he remained until 1875, when he came to Lebanon and purchased his present shop. He is doing a general line of blacksmithing and general jobbing business together with wooden work, and also manufactures wagons and buggies. His business now yields him an annual income of $1,200. He is an expert workman in both branches of his trade, and by fair and honest dealing he has secured the confidence of those who give him their patronage. 

The accomplished wife of Mr. Beeler, was in her maidenhood, Miss Gracie Warner. She was born in October, 1863, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Beeler is a Republican in politics. They have but one child, a little son, Stanley.

GEORGE W. BELL, of the firm of Hill, Bell & Kays, dealers in lumber, grain and live stock, of Milton, Iowa, was born on a farm two and a half miles north of Keosauqua, one of the first farms opened in Van Buren County, on the 18th of June, 1840, and is a son of James and Barbara ( Walker) Bell, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. His education was acquired in the common schools of the neighborhood and his youthful days were spent mid play and work in the usual manner of farmer lads. Having, at length attained to mature years, he was united in marriage with Miss Malvina Frazee, daughter of William Frazee. She was born in Ohio and came to this county during childhood. Their marriage was celebrated on the 5th of January, 1862, in Van Buren County, and blessed with a family of eight children, two sons and six daughters, as follows: Emery L., who married Etha Pettit, and is living in Pueblo, Col.; Mary I., wife of Elbert Davis, a resident farmer of Davis County; Barbara Alice, wife of John P. Denning, who is also engaged in farming in Davis County; Angie, at home; Sadie, wife of George Likes, of Davis County, a teacher by profession; Jennie and Willie A., at home; and one child who died in infancy. The death of the mother occurred April 16, 1888. She was a member of the Methodist Church. 

Mr. Bell was again married on the 14th of November, 1888, in Milton, to Mary Elizabeth Russell, daughter of John Russell, and a native of Sussex County, Del., whence she removed to Iowa with her parents in early childhood, the family locating in Van Buren County. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are members of the Methodist Church, and in political sentiment he is a supporter of Democratic principles. 

The children of James Bell, father of our subject, were reared to habits of industry and integrity and have proved worthy of their ancestry, while their lives have been carried out in accordance with the teachings and example of their parents. As a family they are universally respected, and in business the sons of James Bell hold their word as sacred as did their father before them, which trait of character is sure to command respect and confidence. George Bell entered upon his business career as a farmer of Roscoe Township, Davis County, and continued operations in the line of an agriculturist until the autumn of 1890. He is yet the owner of two farms, aggregating six hundred and forty-five acres of land which he still has in charge. He has farmed and dealt in live stock since early manhood. and since becoming a member of the firm of Hill, Bell & Kays he has attended to the live-stock department of the business principally. This firm does an annual business of over $250,000, and as its members are men of worth, ability and enterprise, they have won the confidence and respect of their patrons. Mr. Bell is a member of Aurora Lodge, No. 50, A. F. & A. M.

JAMES BELL, deceased, an honored pioneer of Van Buren County, of 1837, was born in Virginia, about 1810. In early childhood he was left an orphan and reared by strangers, with whom in his boyhood he went to Kentucky. Prior to his marriage he emigrated to Illinois, locating in Hancock County, where he formed the acquaintance of Miss Barbara Walker, whom he afterward made his wife. With the hope of securing a home, in 1837, they started westward crossed the Mississippi and made a location in the central part of Van Buren County, Iowa, about two miles north of Keosauqua. At that time there were only one or two families living in the central portion of the county and a cornfield marked the site of the present county seat. It will thus be seen that the work of advancement and development had not been carried forward with very rapid strides. Mr. Bell entered land which he transformed into a fine farm, and at his death the old homestead comprised two hundred and forty acres of as highly cultivated land as could be found in the county. 

Seven children, four sons and three daughters were born of the union of James Bell and Barbara Walker. Eli, the first born, married Sarah A. Matthews and his farm, a short distance north of Keosauqua, joins the old homestead; Rachel is the wife of Mr. Jackson, a resident farmer of Davis County, Iowa; John R. who operates the home farm has been three times married, his present wife being Mary Miller; George W., an enterprising business man of Milton, is represented elsewhere in this work; Sarah E. is the wife of Jonathan Denning who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Van Buren County; Henry who married Almira Kimball, was drowned in the Des Moines River at Pittsburg, in 1870, and one died in infancy. 

The death of Mrs. Bell occurred in October, 1863, but Mr. Bell survived his wife some seven years, dying in 1870, in the sixty-first year of his age. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and were identified with the first church in the county. He was a Democrat in politics but gave little attention to political affairs. He was familiarly known among his neighbors and friends as "Uncle Jim," and the word of Uncle Jim was as readily received as the bond of most men. He was genial and kindly by nature and was always ready to give assistance, encouragement or sympathy to those in need of his kindly offices. A typical pioneer, such as made the era of good feeling proverbial in the early settlement of the West, his sketch deserves representation in this volume which will long perpetuate his memory.

JOHN R. BELL, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 19, Van Buren Township, Van Buren County, is a native of Hancock County, Ill. He was born on the 14th of November, 1836, the third child of James and Barbara (Walker) Bell. His father was born in Virginia, July 16, 1813, and in his native State in the usual manner of farmer lads spent his boyhood days. At the age of sixteen years he started out in life for himself, going to Campbell County, Ky., where he worked as a farm hand by the month for four or five years. He then married and engaged in farming in his own interest. Removing to Hancock County in 1836, he there spent one year, during which time our subject was born, and in 1837 continued his journey westward until reaching Van Buren County, Iowa. He was truly one of the pioneer settlers of this community. At that time the work of advancement and progress had scarcely been commenced, few settlements had been made and the country was still inhabited by the red men. The land was unsurveyed but Mr. Bell made a claim and as soon as it came into market paid the Government price for his farm-$1.25 per acre. It was a one hundred and fifty-five-acre tract of timber land without improvement, but tree after tree fell before his ax, the brush was cleared away, the ground was plowed, and in the course of time abundant harvests were garnered as the result of his labors. That farm, which a half century ago was an unbroken wilderness, is now the home of our subject. His father also made many substantial improvements, including the erection, in 1856, of a good brick dwelling. He was a quiet, unassuming man yet just and honorable in all his dealings, winning the respect of all with whom he came in contact. He voted the Democratic ticket. His death occurred on the old homestead. April 15, 1872. His wife, who was born in Kentucky, May 4, 1810, and resided in that State until her marriage, was called to her final rest October 8, 1862. She was for many years an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their family numbered six children, all of whom grew to mature years, namely; Eli D., a resident farmer of Van Buren Township; Rachel D., wife of J. M. Jackson, of Davis County; John R., of this sketch; George W., a farmer of Davis County; Sarah E., wife of Jonathan Denning, a farmer of Van Buren Township, and H. L., now deceased. 

When a babe of five months John R. Bell was brought by his parents to Van Buren County, and upon the farm which his father cleared and developed he has passed his entire life and the old homestead, doubly dear to him, as the dwelling place of his parents and the spot where his own boyhood days were passed, will doubtless continue to be his abiding place until this life shall have ended. He acquired his education in the district schools of the neighborhood and, like a dutiful son, assisted his father until he had attained to man's estate when he began working in his own interests as a farmer. Throughout his entire life he has engaged in agricultural pursuits and in connection is now doing a good business in the line of stock-raising. He keeps on hand a good grade of stock which he is constantly improving, and is now grading into Short-horn cattle and heavy draft horses. 

At the age of twenty-two years, Mr. Bell was joined in wedlock with Miss Sarah A. Bridell, of this county, daughter of Isaac and Maria (Roach) Bridell, both of whom were natives of Indiana. Her parents are now deceased. By this union were born three children: Marietta, who became the wife of J. G. Hootman and died leaving one son — Wentford R.; Harriet T., wife of H. S. Beer, of Van Buren Township, by whom she has one child— who was a member of the Methodist Church, departed this life July 11, 1871. On the 24th of January, 1872, Mr. Bell wedded Mrs. Almira Bell, widow of H. L. Bell and daughter of Henry and Sarah (Knupp) Kimmel. Their union was blessed with one child, John S., who was left motherless September 16, 1876. On the 3d of October, 1877, Mr. Bell was a third time married, his union being with Miss Mary C. Miller, daughter of G. W. and Eliza J. (Henry) Miller. They also had one child, a daughter — Carrie M. The parents and the elder children are members of the Methodist Church, and in political sentiment, Mr. Bell is a Democrat. He takes an active interest in all that pertains to the advancement and welfare of the community and is an earnest worker in Mt. Zion Methodist Church, being Superintendent of the Sunday-school and Class-Leader, having acted in that capacity for twelve or fifteen years. Few, if any, have been longer residents of the county than he. Its growth and advancement he has witnessed, and in its development he has borne no inconsiderable part. He has seen towns and villages spring up, has witnessed the introduction of the railroad, has seen the establishment of churches and schools within its borders, while the county has been made to bloom and blossom like the rose.

JAMES BESWICK, Jr., is a representative farmer of Union Township, Van Buren County, residing on section 26. For forty years he has been identified with the growth and progress of this community and has borne no inconsiderable part in the advancement of its worthy enterprises. He is now one of the heaviest tax payers in the township, but no complaint is heard from him as he feels it his duty to aid in the promotion of the interests of the county. His early life however, was not passed amid prosperous surroundings. He was born on a farm in Washington County, Ohio, March 13, 1832, was reared to manhood under the parental roof and in the old log schoolhouse common at that day familiarized himself with the English branches. He was a young man of eighteen years, when in 1850, the family came to Van Buren County, Iowa. On attaining his majority he hired out to his father for whom he had hitherto worked without compensation, as a dutiful son, repaying in a measure the care and attention which he had received in his youth. Knowing that he would wish to begin to make something for himself, his father then offered him $100 per year and his clothes. The offer was accepted and for some time he aided m the operation of the home farm. 

On the 21st of October, 1858, Mr. Beswick was joined in wedlock with Mary E. Whittlesey, a native of Ohio, born August 18, 1840. They became parents of four children — Agnes V., now the wife of C. R. Johnson ; Alice M., wife of Stephen Johnson ; Wilson S. who died at the age of sixteen years ; and Lena R., wife of Julius Nixon. The mother of these children died on the 4th of September, 1868, and November 25, 1869, Mr. Beswick led to the marriage altar Miss Viola Racer, who was horn in Washington County, Ohio, September 6, 1849, and at the age of eighteen years came to Van Buren County. Two children grace their union--W. Lloyd and Worthy D. who are still with their parents. 

Mr. Beswick and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, and in the social world are held in high regard. The Beswick household is noted for its hospitality and the members of the family have many friends. The husband and father has prospered in his business life, possessing the ability, energy and thrift which insures success. His father gave to him eighty acres of raw prairie land and in payment for a year's labors twenty acres of timber. This he placed under development but after a time sold out and removed to Wayne County, Iowa, where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land which he afterwards traded for eighty acres in Cedar Township, Van Buren County. In 1863, he made purchase of his present farm, a finely improved and fertile tract of two hundred acres. He has bought and sold a considerable amount of land at various intervals, his possessions now aggregating six hundred and eighty-eight acres. His home is one of the finest residences in the community and is surrounded by four good barns, which in turn he in the midst of broad and well cultivated fields. He also engages quite extensively in raising fine stock and has received many premiums on the same at the county fairs. He also took a premium on a mule at the first State Fair with Dr. J. N. Norris as judge. For eight years he served as trustee of the Van Buren County Fair Association, and during the whole time in which the county has held these annual exhibitions he has failed to attend only two. He cast his first Presidential vote for Buchanan and has since supported the Democratic party. He takes considerable interest in political affairs, but has never sought public preferment for himself. Mr. Beswick is an enterprising, progressive citizen who has won the good will and respect of his neighbors and acquaintances.

JAMES BESWICK, SR., one of the honored early settlers of Van Buren County, is of English birth, and a son of James and Elizabeth (Gaywood) Beswick, who were also natives of England. By trade his father was a shoemaker. and did an extensive business, furnishing employment to several men. Wishing to try his fortune in the New World, in 1818, accompanied by his family, he crossed the Atlantic to America, and made a location in Washington County, Ohio, where he turned his attention to the occupation of farming. He reached the allotted three-score years and ten, and his wife died at the ripe old age of eighty-six years. Six children accompanied them on their emigration to the United States, of whom three are now living — James, Mrs. Elizabeth Beach and George. The two latter are residents of Ohio. 

James Beswick was born in the town of Stockport, Cheshire, England, on the 13th of April, 1806, and ere leaving his native land had mastered the common English branches of learning. Leaving the parental roof at nineteen years, he began life's battle with the world to struggle forward and at last gain the victory. By years of industry and toil, supplemented by good business ability and fair dealing, he acquired a competence which now enables him to live a retired life and rest from the toils of former years. Along life's journey, aiding him in all possible ways and encouraging him in hours of adversity, has walked one who for sixty-four years has truly proved a helpmate to him —his wife. On the 10th of December, 1826, he led to the marriage altar Miss Augusta E. Thorniley, a native of Washington County, Ohio, born January 18, 1804. Her parents were William and Elizabeth (Markham) Thorniley, the former a native of Cheshire and the latter of London, England. In early life both came to the United States. Her father, with his parents and her mother, who had been left an orphan in early girlhood, with friends. Soon after their marriage they removed to Marietta, Ohio. where Mr. Thorniley worked in a ship-yard. He died at the age of fifty-six years, but his wife lived to the advanced age of eighty-six. Mrs. Beswick is the only one of their seven children now living. 

For many years Mr. Beswick carried on farming in Ohio, but at length, in 1850, he resolved to seek a home further west, and located in Van Buren County, Iowa, where he purchased one hundred acres of land on section 23, Union Township. That farm continued to be his home for nineteen years, when, in 1869, he and his estimable wife removed to Winchester, where they expect to spend their last days. He was a successful farmer, and in all his dealings his transactions were marked by an uprightness and honesty which won him the confidence of all with whom he came in contact. He has been a voter for some sixty-two years. He cast his first Presidential ballot for Andrew Jackson in 1828, and has continued to support the Democratic party. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beswick were born twelve children, six of whom are yet living: George G., who resides in Memphis, Mo.; James, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Mrs. Fannie Plummer and Mrs. August Whitaker, who reside in Van Buren County; Thomas T., whose sketch is given elsewhere; and Mrs. Minerva Thorniley, of Van Buren County. 

The parents of this family have now reached an advanced age, and their lives have been well and worthily spent. They have reared a family of children who occupy important positions in society, and have exerted an influence on the side of morality which will be felt long after they have passed away. The kindness and charity of their lives has won them friends and the respect of the entire community is unreservedly given them.

THOMAS T. BESWICK still lives at his boyhood home, a pleasant farm on section 23, Union Township, to the operation of which he devotes his time and energies. He was born in Washington County, Ohio, June 24, 1838, and when a lad of twelve summers came with his parents to Van Buren County. His scholastic training was rather meagre, for the district schools of those days offered no superior advantages. Having remained at home until 1863, he then spent about two and a half years in farming in Nevada and California, returning by way of the Nicaraugua route. 

The first wife of Thomas Beswick was in her maidenhood Miss Eliza Fee, and their marriage was celebrated in February, 1866. She was a native of Ireland, and lived only about two and a half years after her marriage, dying in May, 1868. On the 2d of May, 1873, Mr. Beswick was joined in wedlock with Miss Kate Goodall, one of Van Buren County's fair daughters. Unto them were born three children — Charles L.; Anna, who died in infancy; and Alethea. 

Since attaining his majority Mr. Beswick has supported the Democratic party, and has felt a deep interest in its success, but has never for himself desired public preferment. As before stated, his present home was also that of his childhood. He is now the owner of two hundred and fifty acres of highly improved land, furnished with good buildings and having one of the finest arrangements for supplying water by a wind pump, in the county. His farm is not known for its "broad acres," but has a reputation for the neatness with which it is kept. High grades of stock are also raised thereon, and the owner is accounted one of the most successful and energetic farmers of the county. He is a representative of one of the honored families of the community, and like his father and brother is a worthy and valued citizen.

JOHN BlSHOP, one of the prosperous farmers of Liberty Township, Jefferson County, was one of six children born unto Sylvester and Rachel (Barker) Bishop. His father, who followed the occupation of farming throughout his entire life, was a native of West Virginia, and in that State was married in 1821. The following year he emigrated to Ohio, but afterward returned to his native State, where he spent five years, when he again emigrated westward. Making a location in the Buckeye State, he lived the life of a farmer, and at the close of an upright and useful career was called to his flnal home in 1854. On the mother's side we hear of the grandfather serving with credit in the War of 1812. 

John Bishop, whose name heads this sketch, was born on the 22d of September, 1826, and grew to manhood in his native State—Ohio, where he acquired a common school education. Having attained to years of manhood, he started out to seek his fortune, and in 1850 made a location in Van Buren County, lowa. Four years later the death of his father occurred and the management of the old homestead then devolved upon his brother Ulrich, but he survived only a short time and John then returned to his old home and brought with him to Iowa his widowed mother and Payton and Mary, his brother and sister. The other members of the family, Hiram, Sylvester and Catherine, were already residents of the State, and now the entire family were gathered together in Van Buren County. The mother long survived her husband, dying in 1876, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. 

In his youth John Bishop had learned the trade of carpentering, which he followed as a means of livelihood for about five years after his arrival in Iowa, when, in 1858, he purchased land and turned his attention to farming. In 1868 he purchased his present farm, then comprising two hundred acres, to which, in the spring of 1890, he added a a one hundred and twenty-acre tract. Well-tilled fields, good barns and outbuildings and many improvements both of a useful and ornamental character indicate the thrift and enterprise of the owner who is now enjoying the results of a life of well-directed efforts in a large and pleasantly-arranged home, which is furnished and surrounded by all the comforts which go to make life worth living. 

On the 4th of March, 1854, Mr. Bishop led to the marriage altar Miss Mary E. Huffman, of Van Buren County, daughter of Burk and Mary Huffman, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Kentucky. Mrs. Bishop has the honor of being the first white child born in Van Buren County, her birth occurring on a farm lying both in Van Buren and Jefferson Counties, on the 8th of January, 1838. Her parents came to Iowa in December, 1836, and made their home in Ft. Madison until March of the following year, when they came to Van Buren County, locating on the farm before mentioned, which continued to be their home until the death of Mr. Huffman in 1857. Beside their daughter Mary, that worthy couple were the parents of Barbara, James, Samuel, George, Hirt, John, Frederick and Robert Huffman. Five of their sons donned the blue and fought in defense of their country during the late war. Samuel was wounded at Ft. Donelson and died at home on the 22d of March 1862; John was the commander of Company H, Fifth Iowa Infantry, and was in prison fifteen months; Fred was wounded at Missionary Ridge. Robert was taken prisoner at the same battle and died in Andersonville Prison in 1863, after being held in captivity for fifteen months. James was a member of the Missouri Militia. 

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Bishop was blessed with a family of nine children, but three of the number died in infancy. The surviving members of the family are Joseph Talbot, Sylvester Burk, Ann Maria, Robert, Carl and Mary, all of whom reside at home with the exception of Sylvester, who married Emma Heald and is now a resident of Liberty Township. Carl is a graduate of Parsons College, of Fairfield, and is now employed as principal of the Libertyville Schools, while Mary, who received an academic education, is a successful teacher in the district schools. 

Mr. Bishop has ever manifested a deep interest in the cause of education and has served as a School Director in his district. By reason of his long residence in the county he has become an honored member of the Old Settlers Association. He is one of the stockholders of the County Fair; in politics he is a Republican with strong Prohibition principles, and as a citizen he ranks among the best.

BENJAMIN P. BLACKMER, M. D., a practicing physician and surgeon of Bonaparte, Van Buren County, Iowa, was born in Wyoming County, N. Y., on the 6th of April, 1839, and is a son of Gen. Charles J. Blackmer. The family is of English descent and was founded in America by the great-grandfather of our subject, who at an early day left his home across the water and emigrated to America. That was prior to the War of the Revolution in which he served. Gen. Blackmer was an attorney-at-law by profession and was a man of superior ability. His large and well balanced brain which readily grasped any situation, made him a power at the bar and his commanding presence readily claimed the attention of all. In disposition he was social, genial and proved an entertaining companion. He had a keen perception of honor, was a good judge of nature and endeavored to make truth and purity the standard by which his own life was governed. All who knew him respected him and sincere grief was felt at his death, which occurred in Wyoming County, N. Y. He married Miss Permela Peck, who was also descended from Revolutionary stock, her grandfather having served in the War for Independence, during which he was captured and imprisoned in the old prison ship in New York Harbor. By the union of Gen. Blackmer and his wife, five children were born, four sons and a daughter: Irvin, Benjamin P., James, Urana and George M. The daughter is the widow of the late Edgar L. Eighney, of Attica, N. Y., and the youngest son is also a physician engaged in practice in Pike, Wyoming County, N. Y. He graduated from the Keokuk Medical College and afterwards from Bellevue Hospital at New York City. The mother of this family who, like her husband, won for herself many friends as the result of her graces of character and many excellent qualities, died in Wyoming County, N. Y. 

Dr. Blackmer, whose name heads this notice, spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native State and received his education in the common schools and the Brockport Collegiate Institute. It was his desire to engage in the practice of medicine as a life work and to this end he began reading at home. Ten years later he emigrated to Paw Paw, Mich., where he engaged in teaching school and also embarked in the prosecution of his chosen profession which he continued in that locality for five years. In 1878, he came to Bonaparte, Iowa. The same year he attended a course of lectures in the Keokuk Medical College and in the month of June was graduated from that institution, since which time he has been in active practice in Bonaparte. 

In 1881, Dr. Blackmer was united in marriage with Miss Colusa Sturdivant, daughter of R. J. Sturdivant, and by their union have been born two children — Capitola and Nola. This family holds a high position in the social world and the Blackmer household is noted for its hospitality. The Doctor is essentially a self-made man and no person living in Van Buren County to-day is entitled to greater credit for raising himself from a comparative humble position to one of eminence in his profession. He is still a student,as is every first-class member of the profession, and keeps well informed concerning all of the latest discoveries in medical science.

SAMUEL BOON, a farmer and plasterer, has long been numbered among the leading citizens of Van Buren County. A friend to her best interests he has done not a little for her advancement and progress and his many friends will be glad to see his sketch in the county's history. 

His grandfather, Thomas Boon, at the age of seventeen years, left the Emerald Isle, his native land, and sailed for America. On reaching this country he was sold to a man in Philadelphia to pay his passage. He became a mechanic and engaged also in farming, following the dual occupation in the Keystone State, where he married Margaret Dunlap, a lady of Scotch descent. Their son, George W. Boon, was born in 1777, grew to manhood in Pennsylvania and learned the cooper's trade. On account of his father marrying again he was thrown upon his own resources at the tender age of twelve years and from that time fought life's battle unaided. About 1800, in Westmoreland County, Pa., he wedded Nancy Hutchinson and eleven years later they emigrated to Ohio, locating in the wilderness. They had to live in block houses to protect them from the Indians who were far more numerous at the time than the white settlers. No roads had been made through the forests and the work of civilization had just begun. Amid such surroundings our subject was reared to manhood. In the family were fifteen children, seven sons and eight daughters, but only three sons and one daughter are now living. The father died in December, 1857, and the mother passed away ten years previously. They lived consistent Christian lives and were members of what is now the United Presbyterian Church. 

Reared amid the wild scenes of pioneer life in Ohio, the educational advantages which Samuel Boon received in his youth were necessarily limited, but possessing an observing eye and retentive memory he has by subsequent reading and observation made himself a well informed man. He was born in Wayne County, Ohio, October 19, 1820, and after he had reached his twenty-first year he learned the blacksmith's trade which continued to be his occupation for a quarter of a century. In March, 1845, he led to the marriage altar Miss Sarah Crawford and then brought his bride to Iowa where, in Birmingham, in company with his brother he followed blacksmithing with good success for sixteen years. Accumulating capital through his industry and good management he made an investment in one hundred and fifty acres of land which has been his home for twenty years and in connection with the cultivation of that farm he has devoted his energies to the plasterer's trade. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Boon were born three children — Rebecca, now living in Ashland County; Edith L., wife of Francis Harlan, a merchant of Stockport; and Robert L., now a practicing physician of Bentonsport. When only fifteen years of age he entered the army as a member of the Third Iowa Regiment. He graduated from the Rush Medical College, of Chicago and has won for himself an honored place in the ranks of the medical fraternity. 

Mrs. Boon died in 1856 and in May, 1858, Mr. Boon wedded Hepsibel Gould, by whom he had one son and three daughters — Anna M., at home; Margaret H., wife of Warren Cunningham, a resident farmer of Union Township, Van Buren County; Ada B., at home; and William Ross, who married Irena Cunningham and is farming near his old home. The children have been liberally educated and have all followed teaching. The parents are members of the United Presbyterian Church in which he serves as Deacon. In political sentiment he was first a Democrat but later became a Freesoiler and voted for John P. Hale. He was a delegate to the convention of Abolitionists in Keosauqua in 1848, which was twice mobbed but which nevertheless performed its work successfully. He then became a Republican and voted with that party until the campaign of 1880, when he supported the Prohibitionists, with which he has since been connected. He carried the Prohibition standard as candidate for the Legislature in 1887 and made a strong canvass of the county, during which he challenged the opposing candidates to a discussion but both refused. Mr. Boon served acceptably in the office of Justice of the Peace for eight years.  He has been a citizen of the county for forty-five years and a supporter of all its best interests.

JOHN L. BROWN, a veteran of the late war and an early settler of Van Buren County, Iowa, now residing in Fairfield, Jefferson County, was born in the town of Yellowbud, Ross County, Ohio. February 1, 1838, and is a son of G. Washington and Mary (Long) Brown. His father, the youngest of eleven children, was born in Huntingdon, Pa., in the year 1811, and was of Scotch and German descent. He came to Iowa with his family in 1846, settled in Van Buren County, and is now a resident of Keosauqua. The mother was horn in Highland County, Ohio, in 1809, and was descended from English ancestry. 

Our subject was a lad of eight years when he accompanied his parents to Iowa, reaching Keosauqua at Christmas time. The family settled on a farm in Vernon Township, Van Buren County, where he was reared to manhood, receiving his education in the public schools. Responding to his country's call for troops he enlisted for the late war on the 1st of August, 1861, as a member of Company G. Third Iowa Cavalry, was promoted from Third Corporal to First Sergeant and, in June, 1864, was commissioned First Lieutenant in the Freedmen's Bureau Service and assumed staff duty, serving until that department was closed out in 1866. Lieut. Brown took part in many important engagements, including the battles of Tupelo, Guntown, Selma, Columbia, Little Rock, Hartsville, Grierson's raid, Moore's Mill and in skirmishes too numerous to mention. He was in command of the provost guard at Memphis at the time of Forrest's celebrated raid on that city. Toward the close of his service he received an injury in the left hip which at first took the form of a tumor and at times caused him much pain, unfitting him for duty. After his return from the war his ailment increased and eventually resulted in an abcess which affected first the left leg and then the right until their usefulness, as a means of locomotion, was virtually destroyed. Mr. Brown has now been a sufferer for nearly twenty-five years, and from the rugged man of six feet, three inches in height, weighing two hundred and thirty pounds, he is reduced to one hundred and fifty-six pounds in weight and is perceptibly lessened in stature. However, not-withstanding his physical afflictions he is cheerful and makes the best of his misfortune. 

On the 25th of February, 1864, in Fairfield, Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Miss Martha Bell, daughter of Asahel Brown, an early pioneer of Jefferson County, whose sketch appears else-where in this work. Mrs. Brown was born in Huntingdon, Pa., and came to Fairfield, Iowa, with her parents in July, 1844. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown has been born one child, a daughter, Lulu Z., who is now the wife of George Colburn, of Des Moines. Mrs. Brown and her daughter are members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Brown is a Republican in politics and a member of George Strong Post, No. 19, G. A. R. His father was also a soldier of the late war, joining the regiment known as the Iowa Graybeards, in 1863 and, after nine months service, was discharged on account of physical disability. Our subject continued to reside in Van Buren County until 1871, when he removed to Fairfield where he has since resided. He has made many warm friends throughout the community and is held in high esteem by all who know him.

HON. CHANDLER E. BULL, Mayor of Milton, and a farmer and breeder and dealer in live-stock, ranks among the progressive and influential citizens of Van Buren County. He is a native of Scotland County, Mo., born October 3, 1853, and a son of Hezekiah and Abigail (Burris) Bull. His father was born in Highland County, Ohio, June 22, 1827, while his mother is a native of Marion County, Ind. In August, 1850, they became residents of Scotland County, Mo., where they yet make their home. The subject of this sketch received his primary education in the district schools of the neighborhood and later attended the Kirksville Normal where he fitted himself for the profession of teaching. He taught four terms of school and then embarked in farming in his native county, where he continued his agricultural pursuits until 1881, which year witnessed his arrival in Van Buren County, Iowa. He purchased a farm in the southern part of Jackson Township, near the State line, being four and a half miles south of the city of Milton. He has since increased its acreage until he is now the owner of six hundred and sixty-five acres of well-improved land, constituting one of the finest improved stock farms in Southeastern Iowa. This is well stocked with fine grades of horses, cattle and hogs, but he is making a specialty of breeding roadster horses. Other interests have also occupied the attention of Mr Bull. In 1885, he removed to Milton but still retains the ownership of his farm, and engaged in the lumber and grain business in company with J. D. Hollinshead as partner but later was associated with H. C. Hill. That connection continued until July, 1890, when he sold out, since which time he has been engaged in dealing in live stock, making a specialty of good driving horses. He personally superintends the operations of his farm and does an extensive business in the lines before mentioned. 

It was in Scotland County, Mo., that on the 1st of December, 1875, Mr. Bull led to the marriage altar Miss Ida Billups, daughter of Joseph Billups, formerly of Missouri, now a resident of Milton. Mrs. Bull was born in Scotland County, where her family were among the earliest settlers, on the 11th of April, 1853. One child has been born of this union, a daughter, Minnie May, who was born in Scotland County, Mo., on the 15th of March, 1878. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bull are Universalists in their religous views. In politics; he is a Democrat and has been chosen to various local offices of honor and trust. He has served as Township Trustee, Treasurer of the Township School Board, President of the Milton Board of Education and is the present Mayor of the city. His faithfulness to the trust reposed in him and the promptness with which he discharges every duty, has made him a popular officer and won him the respect of all concerned. Socially he is a member of Lone Star Lodge, No. 155, I. O. O. F.; of Aurora Lodge, No. 50, A. F. & A. M. and of Jackson Lodge, No. 28, K. P.  Mr. Bull is recognized as one of the most enterprising and successful business men of Van Buren County and is deservedly popular. His unpretending and affable manner, prompt and business-like methods command respect and confidence and have won him a host of warm friends.

Transcribed by Rich Lowe for the Van Buren County IAGenWeb Project - copyright 2007

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