1890 Portrait and Biographical Album
of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa
Van Buren County Biographical Sketches Transcribed BelowIndex
A-B C-D E-F G-H I-J-K L-Mc M-N-O-P Q-R S T-ZHENRY C. CALDWELLHENRY C. CALDWELL was born in Marshall County, W. Va., on September 4, 1832. He was the son of Van and Susan Caldwell. On his father's side he is of Scotch origin, the family having originated at the Cold Wells in Scotland, and on his mother's side he is descended from Irish stock. His maternal grandfather was an Irishman by birth, became a Methodist minister, volunteered in the War of 1812, and died in the service. His parents removed from West Virginia to Iowa in 1836, where he was educated in the private and common schools of that day. He began the study of law in the law office of Wright & Knapp, at Keosauqua, Iowa, at the age of seventeen, was admitted to practice in his twentieth year, and shortly thereafter became a junior member of that firm. He at once engaged in active practice, and was soon recognized as one of the most successful lawyers of his age in the State. In 1856, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for his district, and in 1858 was elected to the Legislature, and for two sessions was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House. In 1861, he was commissioned Major in the Third Iowa Cavalry, and was promoted successively to be Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel of that regiment. Gen. Bussey, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Judge Caldwell and Gen. Noble, Secretary of the Interior, were successively and in the order named Colonels of that regiment. He was an efficient officer. Gen. Davison, in his Official Report on the occasion of the capture of Little Rock, says: "Lieut-Col. Caldwell, whose untiring devotion and energy never flags, during night or day, deserves for his gallantry and varied accomplishments as a cavalry officer, promotion to the rank of a general officer."' In June, 1864, our subject while serving with his regiment, President Lincoln appointed him District Judge of the United States for the district of Arkansas. The United States courts were opened in Arkansas in 1865, and immediately the docket was crowded with business. From that time to the present, Judge Caldwell has continued to hold the Federal Court in this district, and has occasionally held court in districts in other States. Judge Caldwell is a self-made man, and possesses a vigorous grasp of intellect and a strong sense of justice, and though not a classical scholar, is a master of terse English. The force and clearness of his opinions have attracted the attention of the bench and bar of the country, and some of them have become leading authority on the subjects to which they relate. His administration of justice has been characterized by ability, honesty and impartiality, and it is probable that there is not a judge in the United States who enjoys in a higher degree the confidence and esteem of the bar of his court, which numbers among its members lawyers as eminent as any in the country. On March 4, 1890, Judge Caldwell was appointed United States Circuit Judge, for the Eighth Circuit. As a member of the Arkansas State Bar Association, and otherwise, Judge Caldwell has participated actively in the amendment and improvement of the laws of that State. His address on the "Insecurity of titles to real property" led to important legislation on that subject, and his address on the "Anaconda Mortgage System" prevailing in that State attracted wide attention and caused an amendment of the law and contributed largely to foster the spirit that led to the establishment of cooperative stores by the "wheel" organizations of that State. He was active in procuring the enactment of the law which secures to married women the absolute ownership and enjoyment of their separate property, free from the control of their husbands or the claims of their creditors. He aided in the establishment of the present system of laws in Arkansas regulating the liquor traffic, and which is esteemed by many as the best code on that subject in the country. It was largely due to his influence that the act was passed making the debts and liabilities incurred in the operation of railroads liens on the road, paramount to the liens of mortgages on the road. Judge Caldwell is a poor man and utterly indifferent to the acquisition of property or money beyond a sum sufficient to defray the current expenses of his family, who live plainly.DAVID K. CALHOUNDAVID K. CALHOUN is another of the representative citizens of Van Buren County who devotes his time and attention to agricultural pursuits. His home is on section 15, Union Township, where a farm of two hundred acres furnished with all modern improvements, pays tribute to the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. The entire surroundings indicate the thrift and enterprise of the owner, and as a worthy citizen of the community his sketch is deserving a place in the volume of his county's history. The Calhoun family is of Scotch extraction but the grandparents of our subject were born in Ireland, whence in childhood they emigrated to Pennsylvania where they were married. William Calhoun, father of David, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., April 15, 1804, and in his youth he learned the wheelwright's trade, which he followed until after his marriage to Miss Mary Torrence, who was born in Westmoreland County, October 7, 1804. She too was of Scotch-Irish descent and was a sister of Col. William M. Torrence of the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry. Mr. Calhoun and his family turned their faces toward the setting sun and traveling westward at length made a location upon the farm which is now the home of David K. Calhoun. Both parents were believers in the Presbyterian doctrine and consistent members of the church. The husband died October 8, 1872, and on February 18, 1887, Mrs. Calhoun passed away. The five children of their family are Mrs. Elizabeth K. Phillips, whose home is in Pennsylvania; Mrs. Mary C. Gordon of Fairfield; Samuel J., a farmer and teacher of Nebraska; Mrs. Margaret Hill of Jefferson County, Iowa; and David K. The last named, whose history is of interest to our readers, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., March 9, 1842, and when a lad of sixteen years came to this county. He is numbered among the boys in blue of Company I, Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, with whom he enrolled his name on the 13th of August, 1862. Until the following summer they operated in Southern Missouri. He had been confined in the hospital in Springfield, Mo., when Marmaduke made his raid on that city but when volunteers were called for in the hospital, he, with others, at once shouldered his musket and marched to the defense of the town. From there he went to Vicksburg, and with his regiment took part in its siege and capture. Following this occurred the Black River Expedition in which he took part, then came the battle of Port Hudson, after which they were ordered to Morganza, where the Nineteenth Iowa and Twenty-sixth Indiana, together with a small force of cavalry were sent to Stelings Farm, about half way between the opposing lines. By a circuitous route they were cut off from reinforcements, and for more than two hours with an effective force of about four hundred and fifty men they kept in check the enemy who ten to one out-numbered them. Mr. Calhoun was on picket duty at the time of the attack. All were taken prisoners and after marching all day long they were kept in Shrevesport for twenty hours without provisions; all sparable articles were given to hucksters for food. They were then marched to Tyler, Tex., where they were kept in stockade without shelter and when winter came were sent back to Shreveport. In March, they were once more hurried back to Tyler, Tex., then soon afterwards again started for Shreveport, but were returned to Tyler. Finally, however, they were taken to Shreveport and exchanged on the 22d of July, 1864, having been held in captivity from the 29th of February, preceding. Mr. Calhoun then went with his comrades to New Orleans, where he received good clothing and food. Some weeks later the regiment was again formed and went to Ft. Barancas, Fla., after which the troops participated in the capture of Spanish Fort and Mobile. Our subject was discharged at Mobile, Ala., July 10, 1865, after three years of hard service on southern battle fields. He was quite fortunate, however, in receiving no wound of any kind. On the 19th of November, 1868, Mr. Calhoun was united in marriage with Miss Emma Travis who was born in Indiana County, Pa., June 12, 1849, and is a daughter of Martin B. and Isabella (Brown) Travis. Her father was born in the Key-stone State, July 22, 1805, but his wife was a native of Ireland, born September 18, 1811, and brought to this country during her infancy. They were married in Pennsylvania where her death occurred September 3, 1854. Subsequently he married Catherine Redman and emigrated to Shelby County, Ill., where he died September 3, 1865. Mrs. Calhoun was one of eight children. five of whom are living, three sons and two daughters. She came to this county in 1865, and by her marriage four children have been born — E. Birdie, wife of Jesse Bonnette, of Union Township, Van Buren County; Mary Luella, Johnson B. and Lillie B. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church and since their marriage have resided upon the farm which is yet their home. He is a Republican in politics and belongs to Newell Post, G. A. R., in which he has held the office of Chaplain. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches" says the wise man, and assuredly Mr. Calhoun has that valuable possession for he is one of Van Buren County's trusted and honored citizens.NEWTON L. CALHOUNNEWTON L. CALHOUN is a representative of one of the pioneer families whose history is inseparably connected with that of Van Buren County. Throughout Southeastern Iowa the name is known as representing men of sterling worth, engaged in agricultural pursuits, who in many ways have also labored for the best interests of the community and for the welfare of town, county and State. His honored parents, Newton and Esther (Saunders) Calhoun, are mentioned more full in the sketch of his brother Vurnum. His birth occurred on the homestead farm July 31, 1840, succeeding the arrival of the family in the Territory of Iowa. He acquired his education in the Birmingham schools, and having attained his majority on the last day of July, 1861, he enlisted the following month in Company H, Third Iowa Cavalry, for three year's service in the War of the Rebellion. The first two years his regiment spent in Missouri, where the troops were engaged in dispersing rebels, capturing supplies, etc. Proceeding southward they afterwards participated in the capture of Little Rock, Ark. Mr. Calhoun did not veteranize at the close of his term of service but remained in that city until sent to Keokuk, where be received his discharge September 19, 1864. During the last year and a half of his service he held the office of Commissary Sergeant. Returning to Birmingham, Mr. Calhoun spent the following winter in school and then devoted himself to the occupation of farming, by which he has since not only gained a livelihood but which has proved to him the means of securing a handsome competence. On the 1st of March, 1866, he was united in marriage with Margaret E. Farrer, a native of Ohio, born April 30, 1844, Three children graced their union — Orange S., who is now a farmer of Van Buren County; M. Nellie, wife of Charles S. Walker, son of Maj. Walker; and Joseph F. Mr. Calhoun was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 26th of October, 1886. She was a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church and was beloved by all for her many excellencies of character. On the 14th of November, 1889, he was again married, his second union being with Eliza J. Torrence, a native of Lick Creek Township. She also is a member of the Presbyterian Church and a lady of culture. Forty-four years have passed in which Mr. Calhoun has known no other home than the farm upon which he yet resides. It is endeared to him by many associations of his boyhood, his youth and of mature years. Here his children were born and here he has become a prosperous citizen as the result of his industrious and thrifty efforts. Socially, he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in political sentiment supports the Republican party, by which he was several terms elected Assessor of his Township. He is engaged in farming on an extensive scale, also is one of the large stock-raisers of the county and is the oldest native citizen of his township.VURNUM SAUNDERS CALHOUNVURNUM SAUNDERS CALHOUN, one of the early settlers of Van Buren County, engaged in farming on section 21, Union Township, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, July 5, 1838, his parents being Newton and Esther (Saunders) Calhoun. His grandfather, David Calhoun, a gentleman of Scotch-Irish descent, emigrated from Beaver County,. Pa., to Holmes County, Ohio, about 1816, but further than this little is known concerning the early history of the family. At the time of the removal, Newton Calhoun, who was born May 19, 1809, was in his eighth year. He was reared among the wild scenes of that heavily timbered country and in his youth was inured to hardships, while into his mind were instilled lessons of industry. His scholastic training was very limited indeed. Before attaining his majority, he was married on the 8th of April, 1830, to Matilda Saunders, who was born October 16, 1811, and by whom he had three children, one of whom died in infancy, while George and Thomas are farmers of Scotland County, Mo. His wife died February 12, 1836, and on the 18th of October, of the same year he wedded Esther Saunders, sister of his first wife, who was a native of New York State, but when two years of age removed with her parents to Holmes County, Ohio. She was born April 5, 1815. Her father followed the sea for some years and several of his brothers were either owners or masters of vessels. Newton Calhoun cleared a farm in Ohio. He was a man of great pluck and energy as is shown by the fact that when about twenty-six years of age a tree fell upon him, injuring him severely, but upon his knees he cleared several acres of land. He was a man of powerful physique and after he was seventy-five years of age he drove a sled three miles, cut two cords of wood, leaving the butts for rails, and hauled one cord home at night. Thinking to better his financial condition by a removal further westward, with a four-horse team he brought his family to Van Buren County, arriving in the month of May, 1839. On section 17, Union Township, he located land, paying$1,000 for a three hundred and twenty acre claim which he then had to enter from the government. Four poles held the claim but not an improvement had been made thereon. He cut logs, piled them one above another in the form of a house, secured clapboards from which he formed the roof and the same day moved into his cabin. He was an enterprising man and soon built a brick house, one of the best in the country. He was not a marked success as a financier, but he reared a family who became useful citizens and by his own efforts did not a little to advance the interests of the community. His second wife died September 17, 1878. Nine children were born of that union, six of whom are living — Vurnum of this sketch; Newton L., a resident farmer of Van Buren County: Ross who is engaged in the mercantile and real-estate business in Ness City, Kan.; John C. who was killed by lightning when sixteen years of age, James T., proprietor of a hotel in Ness City, Kan.; Orange S. who died at the age of ten years; Smith P. who died when four years of age; Nathan S., County Clerk, of Ness County, Kan.; and Mrs. R. M. Bonnette. Mr. Calhoun was a third time married in 1881, the lady of his choice being Belle Barker. Unto them was born a daughter, Mary. Mr. Calhoun has been a life-long Methodist, served as Class-Leader for many years, has given liberally in support of the Gospel and has lived a consistent Christian life. The mother of our subject was also a member of that church, and was a lady of more than ordinary ability, being well informed on political questions and other subjects of interest. Believing the abolition principles to be of the utmost importance she influenced not a few to her way of thinking. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun was a station on the Underground Railway and when the Republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery, he was one of the first to espouse its cause. He is now an old man who at farthest can live but a few years longer, but his life has been well spent in the service of him whom he recognizes as Master and an influence for good will remain long after he has passed away. Our subject is the eldest of the family of nine children and therefore much of the labor of the farm devolved upon him. He remained at home until the spring of 1862, when he went to California by way of New York and the Isthmus of Panama, where he prospected a little but mostly worked on ranches. The following year he returned by way of the Isthmus, being the first to re-establish the line broken by the bandit Walker. Previous to this time he had operated a threshing machine and his services were in great demand, having in fact to refuse many who would have employed him had he the opportunity to perform their work. On his return from California, he again resumed this business, which he followed successfully for some twelve years, after which for some three years, he was employed by the Government to bale hay. V. S. Calhoun and Miss Nancy Spraker, a native of Indiana, were united in marriage, on the 3d of November, 1870. She was eight years of age when she came to this county and after five years of happy wedded life she died September 20, 1875, in the faith of the Methodist Church, of which she was a consistent member. On the 17th of February, Mr. Calhoun wedded Emma E. Fleming, who was horn in Brown County, Ohio, February 10, 1852, but was reared in Pennsylvania until fourteen years of age, when in 1866 she came to Iowa. They have two children, sons, Vurnum S. and John N. Mr. Calhoun devoted his time and attention to the operation of his excellent farm of two hundred and fifty acres and to the raising and shipping of stock. He keeps on hand only the best grades and these he has in considerable numbers. Twice has he led the Chicago market with stock of his own feeding. In politics he is a Republican and cast his first vote for President Lincoln. For more than half a century he has lived in this county, has witnessed its growth and progress and aided in its development. Through the greater part of that time he has been identified with its agricultural interests and in the promotion of its enterprises he has borne his share. He is accounted a good citizen and ranks among the well-to-do farmers of Union Township.BETHEL CAMPBELLBETHEL CAMPBELL, the second child of Archibald and Catherine (Houk) Campbell, well-known pioneers of this community of 1842, is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 8, Van Buren Township, Van Buren County, the old homestead of the family. His father, who was widely known throughout this region, was born in Virginia in the year of 1806, grew to manhood in his native State and made farming his life occupation. Going to Ohio, he was there married, at about the age of twenty-four years, to Catherine Houk, who was born in the Buckeye State in 1813. Returning with his bride to Virginia he settled upon a farm, which he obtained from his father, paying him (the father) $100 per year during the remainder of his life. The spring of 1842 witnessed the arrival of Archibald Campbell and his family in Van Buren County, and soon afterward he made purchase of three hundred and twenty acres of timber land, located in Van Buren Township. He then began life in true pioneer style. Into a log cabin, which he built, the family moved, after which the work of developing and improving the farm began. His efforts were crowned with success and soon a comfortable home was obtained as the reward of his labors. He died August 31, 1890, in Village Township, Van Buren County, at the advanced age of eighty-four years, a worthy and respected citizen. Throughout life he had been a supporter of Democratic principles and for many years he had been a member of the Methodist Church. His wife, who was also connected with that church for ninny years as one of its zealous members, was called to her reward July 21, 1884. Twelve children were born unto them and with the exception of one, who died in infancy, all lived to adult age. Alexander, the eldest, is engaged in farming in Village Township; Bethel is the next younger; Henry, who served three years in the Union army during the war, is now deceased; James is a farmer of Union Township; Jacob died in infancy; John C. served three years in Company I, Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, and is now deceased; Margaret J. resides in this county; Martha E. is now Mrs. Shipley, of Des Moines Township; Mary A. is now Mrs. Rambo, of Van Buren Township; Mrs. Nancy Martin resides in Fairfield, Jefferson County; Archibald P. makes his home in Clay County, Kan.; and Alice is now deceased. Our subject was a lad of nine summers when he accompanied his parents to Van Buren County. In consequence of their early settlement in the community, little opportunity was afforded him for securing an education, but by self-culture he sufficiently prepared to engage in teaching in the district schools of the State, which he followed for some years. Having a natural aptitude for tools and mechanics, he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked for some time after beginning life for himself at the age of eighteen years. Alternating his time between that occupation and school teaching, he gained some capital, but with the hope of bettering his financial condition in the spring of 1862, with an ox-team, he crossed the plains to the Pacific Slope, consuming about five months in making the journey. He first went to Oregon, where he worked at carpentering for a half year. In February, 1863, he went to Idaho where he constructed the trestle work of an aqueduct for mining a ditch. The structure is one hundred and four feet at the highest point and about three hundred feet long. Afterward he became agent for the Ditch Company, in whose employ he remained about three years. At the expiration of that time he returned to this county. He made the journey on horseback from Idaho City to Ft. Benton at a time when the Sioux and Blackfeet Indians were on the war path. It was necessary oftimes, to travel far into the night to find a place for camping in safety, and some would stand guard while others slept. Notwithstanding the care taken to avoid all danger, the party with which hetraveled had some very narrow and exciting escapes from being captured by the dusky warriors. From Ft. Benton Mr. Campbell traveled by boat to Omaha, then by stage to Ft. Des Moines, where he took the Des Moines Valley Railroad which had just been completed, and finished his journey by rail. Soon after his return Mr. Campbell again engaged in teaching for a time, after which he purchased the old homestead and resuming the occupation to which he had been reared, has since devoted his time and attention to farming and stock-raising. He is numbered among the representative farmers of the community and has a reputation for raising only the best grades of stock, including horses cattle, sheep and hogs. His farm, comprising three hundred and forty acres is all well improved and gives evidence of the thrift and industry of the owner. On the 26th of November, 1867, Mr. Campbell led to the marriage altar Miss Mary E. Johnston, of Van Buren County, a daughter of William and Martha (Forbes) Johnston. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania, but her mother was of Irish birth. The former died March 15, 1881, and Mrs. Johnston passed away on the 2d of September, 1889. Mrs. Campbell was horn in Ohio, July 2, 1843, and as the result of their union they have three interesting children — Thomas E., Charles A. and Myrtle L., all at home. They have lost one child, Ira W., the third in order of birth, who died in infancy. Mr. Campbell is a Democrat in politics and his wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Zion.JOHN P. CAMPBELLJOHN P. CAMPBELL, one of the prominent farmers of Des Moines Township, Jefferson County, residing on section 34, was born in Fayette County, Pa., in 1843, his parents being James and Rebecca (Hanshaw) Campbell, both of whom were also natives of Fayette County. By occupation his father was a farmer and followed that business throughout his entire life. Coming to Van Buren County, Iowa, in 1855, he purchased two hundred and forty acres of partially improved land and made his home upon that farm until his death, which occurred in 1872. His wife survived him a number of years, and died at the home of our subject in 1885. Mr. Campbell was a quiet and unassuming, yet valued citizen who conscientiously discharged every duty devolving upon him and aided in the growth and upbuilding of the county's best interests. He took little part in political affairs, casting his vote first with the Whig party and then with the Republican party. The children born of his union with Rebecca Hanshaw were A. E., now Mrs. Fender, of Cedar Township, Van Buren County; E. B. who is married and engaged in farming in Cedar Township; Lewis who is married and resides in Harrisburg Township, Van Buren County. The fourth and youngest member of this family is John P. Campbell, the gentleman whose name heals this sketch. His early boyhood days were spent in his native State where he began his education, but at the age of twelve years, he accompanied his parents to Van Buren County, Iowa, and in the community his school life was ended. The advantages here afforded were not very extensive in character but subsequent reading and experience have made him a well informed man. In 1863, when twenty years of age, he enlisted at Birmingham in Company C, of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, for three years service or during the remainder of the war. After being mustered in at Davenport, the regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and participated in Hood's campaign under Gen. Thomas. In 1865, Mr. Campbell was under the command of Gen. Wilson and took part in what is known as Wilson's cavalry raid. He belonged to what is known as the lost brigade and at the close of the war, in August, 1865, received his discharge in Clinton, Iowa. Returning to Van Buren County, Mr. Campbell embarked in farming for himself and having made a start, he completed his arrangements for a home by his union with Miss Naomi Jordan. The marriage was celebrated in Henry County, in 1867, after which the lady was at once installed as mistress of the new home. She is a native of Fayette County, Pa., and a daughter of Roger and Sarah Ann (Lindsey) Jordan. Her father was a native of Maine, but in Pennsylvania became acquainted with and married Miss Lindsey, who was born in Maryland. In 1856, they came to Van Buren County, locating in Cedar Township, but after a year they removed to Hillsboro, Henry County, where Mr. Jordan engaged in merchandising until his death, which occurred December 19, 1873. His wife survived him until November; 1887, when she too was called home. He was an earnest worker in the Republican party, an influential advocate of its principles and both he and his wife were members of the Free Will Baptist Church. They had been residents of this section of Iowa, for many years and were numbered among its highly respected citizens. From 1867 until 1874, Mr. Campbell carried on farming operations in Van Buren County, but in the latter year, he removed to Liberty Township, Jefferson County, which continued to be his home for fifteen years. Only since 1889, has he made his home in Des Moines Township, but in the few months which have since elapsed he has made many excellent improvements and now has a fine farm of one hundred and fifty acres, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has witnessed almost the entire growth of Van Buren and Jefferson Counties and has identified himself with its best interests. His memory goes back to the days when Keokuk was their market and when the country round about was so sparsely settled that one might ride long distances without meeting a single individual. His father, in that early day, was the owner of the only story and a half house in this section which throughout the surrounding country was known as the "high house." Great changes have taken place, transforming Southeastern Iowa into one of the richest and best portions of the State. It might be claimed as an honor to be a witness of this growth but to be a participant in the wonderful development and upbuilding, is a favor not shown to every one, but among the latter class may be enrolled Mr. Campbell. In politics, he is a stalwart Republican and an influential delegate of the county conventions. He labors for the success of the party as he wishes its principles to become laws and not for any pecuniary benefit which he might receive as an officeholder, for he has never sought or desired public preferment. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell hold membership in the Mission Baptist Church of Fairfield. They are parents of eight children — Lucy Iowa, Orris C., Anna J., Alta B., Lu Ethel, Harry, Arthur S. and James Harrison. As one of the representative families of the county, whose members are worthy the high regard tendered them, the Campbells deserve representation in this volume and we therefore record this sketch.HON. JOHN W. CARRHON. JOHN W. CARR, a farmer and banker, who for the past thirty years has been a resident of Milton, Van Buren County, was born near Columbus, in Franklin County, Ohio, on the 14th of November, 1836. His parents were Jonathan and Margaret Jane (Weatherington) Carr. The father was born in Virginia in 1810, was a farmer by occupation, and settled in Franklin County, Ohio, in early life. The mother was born near Columbus, in 1813, and was the daughter of John and Sarah Weatherington, who were natives of Virginia. In 1844 John W. Carr removed with his parents to Madison County, Ill., where his father died the year following. Soon after her husband's death Mrs. Carr returned to her former home in Ohio. John W. attended school in his native State until the spring of 1853 when, with his mother, he emigrated to Iowa, settling on a farm situated three miles to the northward of the city of Milton, in the township of Jackson, Van Buren County. He at once engaged in farming and in making a home for his mother. The following winter he attended the Troy Academy for one term and fitted himself for teaching, after which, for several successive years, he was employed on the farm during the working seasons and in teaching school during the winter months. At length, having secured a cash capital of $350, he embarked in merchandising in Milton in company with George Smith, under the firm name of Smith & Carr. In 1862 Robert Russell was admitted to partnership, and in 1864 Mr. Smith sold out to his partners. The business was conducted by Messrs. Carr and Russell until 1867, when Mr. Carr became sole proprietor, and from that time carried on operations alone until January, 1875, when his father-in-law, Joseph Moore, purchased an interest in the business, and the connection continued until March, 1882, when Mr. Carr sold out and turned his attention to his extensive farming property which he had gradually acquired while merchandising. His farms, which aggregate twelve hundred acres, lie principally in Jackson Township, Van Buren County, while a portion of his land is situated in Roscoe Township adjoining, just across the line in Davis County. In Van Buren County, on the 27th of December, 1860, Mr. Carr was married to Miss Henrietta Moore, daughter of Joseph and Lucy Moore, of Chequest Township, this county. The lady was born in Franklin County, Ohio, July 21, 1840, and came to Van Buren County with her parents in 1842. On the 5th of October, 1887, Mr. Carr, in company with Messrs. J. E. Billups, Joseph Moore, J. D. Rowland, the Russell brothers and C. E. Bull, bought out J. D. Nash and incorporated the Citizens' Bank, of Milton, with a capital of $10,000 Mr. Carr was elected President and W. D. Russell Cashier. William Billups subsequently bought out the Russell brothers' interest and served one year as Cashier, after which he resigned the position to Frank M. Edmundson, the present cashier, but still retains his interest in the hank. Mr. Carr has held the position of President uninterruptedly since the organization of the company. In political sentiment he is a Democrat. He has held numerous township offices in Jackson Township and enjoys the distinction of having been the only Democrat ever elected to the State Senate from the Second District of Iowa. He was elected in 1884 over one of the most popular Republicans in the district, Col. S. A. Moore, by a majority of 350; Mr. Carr's vote was 3,122, to Mr. Moore's 2,772, while Mr. Trebblecock, the Greenback candidate, received 899 votes. Mr. Carr is esteemed one of the most successful business men of Van Buren County and has won his success by his unaided efforts and sagacious business management. As a financier, he is an acknowledged leader in his community, where he enjoys the unbounded confidence and respect of a wide circle of friends and business associates.JOHN CAVINJOHN CAVIN, deceased, was one of the early settlers of Van Buren County, having in the year 1836 settled within her borders. He was born in Prince Edward County. Va., in 1788, and during his early manhood enlisted as a soldier in the War of 1812. Soon after the close of that struggle he went to Tennessee where he married Miss Judah Mann, who was also a native of the Old Dominion, born in 1790. The young couple began their domestic life in Tennessee, where they remained until 1834, in which year they made a location in McDonough County, Ill. Two years later, however, they crossed the Father of Waters and in the Territory of Wisconsin, as it was then known, began making a home, their place of location being in Harrisburg, Township, Van Buren County. The Indians had not then left for their homes further West, but were frequent visitors in the settlement and rattlesnakes were often unwelcomed companions. The country round about abounded in wild game, wolves and other animals were killed in the vicinity of the settlement and hardships of which we know nothing were to be borne. Eight children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Cavin — Irena who became the wife of Manswit Leffler, settled in this county and died in 1881; Lucinda, widow of Harry Alexander, is living in Van Buren County; Andrew J. died during the service while in the Mexican War; Margaret A. is now Mrs. Sturdivant of Bonaparte; Melvina married James Harrington of California; John is living in Mahaska County, Iowa; Julinda became the wife of William Saddler and died in Van Buren County; and Matilda is the wife of Moses Smith, of the same county. Mr. Cavin was one of the sturdy pioneers of this region and will be remembered by many of the early settlers. He developed a farm and made for himself a comfortable home but nine years after his arrival in the community he was called to the home above. His wife survived him until 1861. Both were members of the Baptist Church and earnest workers in the Master's vineyard.L. C. CHENEYL. C. CHENEY. For twenty-two consecutive years upon a farm on section 33, Harrisburg Township, Van Buren County, Mr. Cheney has resided, a respected citizen of the community, and for thirty years his home has been in this neighborhood. His parents, Jonathan and Lydia (Tuttle) Cheney, were both natives of New Hampshire, were there married and in that State were born unto them four children, the eldest of whom is the subject of this sketch, his birth occurring August 9, 1821. His mother is still living at the advanced age of over ninety years, but his father died in this county in 1862. The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood days in his native State, but began his business career while in his teens in a grocery house in Lowell, Mass. It soon became evident that he possessed excellent business qualifications, and with the thrift and enterprise characteristic of the Yankee he applied himself to his business and at the age of twenty-two years had saved a sufficient sum to embark in business for himself, which he did, engaging in the manufacture of boots and shoes in Campton, N. H. He soon worked up a good trade, his patronage requiring the employment of ten or twelve hands. Continuing his career of prosperity he soon became known as one of the substantial citizens of the community, and while there residing was made Captain of the militia company, and was also for a number of years Cleric of the township. In 1844, Mr. Cheney led to the marriage altar Miss Betsy A. Smith, of Tilton, N. H., and in the old Granite State there was born unto them a family of four children, the record of whom we here append. George, the eldest, who is engaged in carpentering in York, Neb., married Miss Sarah Sherman, of Bonaparte, Iowa, by whom he has one child—Elsie; Daniel, who married Miss Elizabeth J. Cheney, of Hancock, Ill., was for about fifteen years a station agent in the employ of the Rock Island Railroad, but is now living on the old farm, his home being brightened by the presence of two little daughters—Juniatta and Winnefred May; Alice E. is now the wife of Dr. W. E. Lee, a practicing physician of Beatrice, Neb., and unto them have been born two children—Frank and Gussie; Edwin L. married Miss Estella Bugbee, of Lake Village, N. H., where he is engaged in the grocery business. They have three children — Fern, Allie Wilber and an infant daughter. In November, 1860, having severed his business connections in the East, Mr. Cheney emigrated to Iowa and purchased a partly improved farm of one hundred and forty-five acres in Harrisburg Township, where he continued to make his home for seven years, when he exchanged it for his present farm, consisting of one hundred and seventy-five acres. The entire amount he has placed under excellent cultivation and added many useful and ornamental improvements. He also keeps the latest improved machinery and raises a good grade of stock. In fact everything connected with and surrounding his home is in No. 1 order and bespeaks the typical Eastern farmer, whose shrewd business qualities and untiring industry have made him known almost all over the world. In political sentiment Mr. Cheney is a Democrat, but has never aspired to public office. He holds the position of President of the Mt. Zion Farmers' Alliance, and his son Daniel is Secretary of the same order. The death of Mrs. Cheney occurred very unexpectedly on the 17th of January, 1887, caused by heart disease. She had many warm friends who mourned her loss and shared in the deep bereavement of the family.JAMES R. CLARKJAMES R. CLARK owns two hundred acres of the rich farming land of Van Buren County, embracing a portion of section 7, Des Moines Township. Since the autumn of 1841 he has made his home in the community — a period in which many changes have occurred, bringing prosperity to him and to the county. He emigrated from Ohio, the State of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Green County in 1834. The family is of Irish origin. The paternal grandfather, William Clark, was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to this country about the time of the Revolutionary War, settling in Virginia, whence he removed with his family about the year 1830 to Indiana, where he and his wife spent their last days. Their son, Samuel, was born in Virginia, but in his youth went to Maryland, where he became acquainted with and married Miss Elizabeth Reynolds, their union being celebrated in 1824. The lady was a native of Washington County, Md., and a daughter of Maj. Reynolds, who procured his title during the War of 1812. He was taken captive by the Indians while on his way down the Ohio River, together with his parents, who were kept prisoners for some six years. He, however, succeeded in making his escape and rturned to Maryland, where he spent the remainder of his life. Eight years after their marriage in 1832, Mr. and Mrs. Clark emigrated to Ohio, making a location in Green County, where they continued to reside until, following the course of emigration, which was steadily drifting westward, they located in Van Buren County, Iowa, in 1841. Mr. Clark was a preacher of the Methodist faith and traveled as an itinerant minister throughout Jefferson, Lee, Henry, Des Moines, Davis, Van Buren and other counties. He thus formed an extensive acquaintance and made many warm friends who admired and respected him for his sterling worth and up-right Christian character. At one time, in May, 1842, he engaged in a debate with Abner Kneeland, a renowned infidel of Van Buren County. He spoke for three hours, and in that time completely dethroned infidelity in this community. His death occurred on the 9th of January, 1857, at the age of fifty-seven years, and his wife, a most estimable lady, died in Mahaska County some years later. This worthy couple were the parents of nine children, and eight of the number became residents of Iowa, namely — John, who was a physician and surgeon of Mt. Sterling, and died in Van Buren County in 1884; George H., a resident of Mahaska County; Allen T., who married and makes his home in Oregon; Mrs. Mary Pettit. of Chequest Township, Van Buren County; J. R.., of this sketch, who is fifth in order of birth; Mrs. Elizabeth Manville, of Colorado; Samuel M., who who is married and resides in Keokuk, where he publishes a paper, and Mrs. Acha Hitchcock, now of Crawford County, Kan. Reared to farm life, James R. Clark has followed that occupation throughout the years of his manhood. He was a lad of seven summers when he came to Van Buren County, and in the schools of this community, and at New London and West Point, Iowa, he acquired a good English education. He assisted in the labors of the home farm until twenty-five years of age, when he began life for himself. He was married near Milton, Iowa, in 1869, to Miss Eudora Wright, a native of Van Buren County, and a daughter of John R. and Susan (Lowman) Wright, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Maryland respectively. In March, 1839, her father reached Iowa, and shortly afterwards came to Van Buren County, where in Harrisburg Township in 1840, he was married. He was a brickmason and contractor, and for some years did a flourishing business in Keosauqua. His death occurred in Jackson Township, Van Buren County, April 30, 1874, in the sixty-first year of his age, and his wife survived him just one year, dying on the 30th of April, 1875. He took quite an active part in politics during the early history of the county, and was honored with an election to the General Assembly in 1872, being the candidate of the Republican party, the measures and principles of which he strongly advocated. Soon after his marriage, Mr. Clark settled upon a farm in Des Moines Township, which he still owns. This he inherited from his father, and with that as a beginning, he has become through industry, perseverance and good management, one of the well-to-do citizens of the community. He also takes an active interest in politics and votes with the Republican party. He has been sent as a delegate to the county, State and Congressional conventions, and his opinions carry weight with them in these assemblies. He is a man of prominence and influence in the county, and one who is never backward in supporting any worthy enterprise by voice, money or vote. He has lived in the county for many years, and is acquainted with all of its needs. With pride he has watched its growth and aided in its progress. His memory goes back to the days when Alexandria, Mo., was the nearest market; later they went to Keokuk for their supplies, until the railroad facilities brought all needed articles, comforts and luxuries to Keosauqua and other near points. Mr. and Mrs. Clark are the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. Samuel M., the eldest, is at home; Sophia, is attending school at Keokuk, and John R. and Elizabeth, the younger members of the family are still under the parental roof.JULIUS L. CLARKJULIUS L. CLARK is a progressive farmer and representative citizen of Liberty Township, Jefferson County, his home being on section 29. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on the 7th of April, 1824, and was a son of Robert and Rebecca (Lindsey) Clark. He married Rebecca Lindsey, whose grandfather was taken prisoner and forced into the British service in England, but he escaped and joined the American forces, fighting under Gen. Washington. For some years Robert and Rebecca Clark made their home in Ohio, but in 1859 left the Buckeye State and became residents of Van Buren County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming. Their children were: Madison, who is now living in Ottumwa; Julius, whose name heads this sketch; Elizabeth, who died in Wapello County, in 1881; Joseph, who died in the army in 1862; John, who came to Iowa, but died at Arkansas Post during the War of the Rebellion: Waterman, who was a resident of Elkhart County, Ind., Samuel, who died while in the service of his country during the late war; Caroline, who married W. R. Smith, of Van Buren County, and died in Crawford County, Kan., in the spring of 1874; and George, who met his death in the engagement at Mobile, Ala. The day before the battle he wrote home "to-morrow we charge Mobile," little thinking that it would be his last message. He left two little boys who grew to manhood waiting for news of a father who never came. The subject of this sketch, Julius L. Clark, spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the State of his nativity. No event of special importance marked his early career, but on attaining his majority he started out in life for himself, choosing the West as the scene of his future labors. In 1845 he came to Iowa and engaged in the wagon and undertaking business in Van Buren County, continuing operations in that line for a number of years. In 1847 he led to the marriage altar Miss Emeline Carson, who was born on the 31st of October, 1827. Their union was blessed with nine children, all born in Van Buren County with the exception of the two youngest — Joseph, born October 29, 1849, is represented elsewhere in this volume; William, born in 1851, died in 1857; Samuel G., born August 8, 1855, is now a prosperous farmer of Edwards County, Kan; Mary Rebecca, born September 1, 1857, is the widow of S. L. Smith, of Durango, Colo.; John Mason, born in 1860, died in 1866; Sarah Ann, born May 9, 1862, is the wife of Oscar Cornell, a farmer of Pawnee County, Kan.; Nora Jane, born August 13, 1864, is the wife of W. S. Shumaker, of Batavia, who was Postmaster at that place under President Cleveland; Thomas Manford, born May 16, 1867. and Amanda, November 25, 1870, complete the family. In 1850, during the gold excitement in California, Mr. Clark joined a party numbering one hundred and ten men, who, under Capt. Zachariah Walker, now deceased, made an overland journey with ox-teams to the Golden State. They remained for more than a year, during which time Mr. Clark engaged in prospecting, but sickness compelled him to relinquish his claim, which afterward proved to be a very rich one. He made the return trip by water, reaching the Isthmus of Panama after a fifty-five days voyage on the Pacific, and on a Mississippi steamer returned to Iowa. On reaching home he resumed his former business, that of undertaking and wagon making, which he continued until 1865, when he purchased a farm on section 29, Liberty Township, Jefferson County, where he has since made his home. For six years, from 1854 until 1860, he was Postmaster of Business Corner. In political sentiment, he is a Republican, and a stanch advocate of his party principles. For eighteen years his neighbors have manifested their trust in him by retaining him as District Treasurer, and it is needless to say every duty has been faithfully discharged. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1847, and in 1859 he changed to the Protestant, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. Throughout the community this worthy couple are held in high esteem for their many excellent qualities and their upright lives. They are also numbered among the honored pioneers of the county, having for forty-five years made their home within its borders or in its immediate vicinity.PETER COUNTRYMANPETER COUNTRYMAN, deceased, was born in Somerset County, Pa., on the 28th of November, 1808, where he grew to manhood. Having attained to mature years, he there married Mary Berkley, a native of the same county, horn in 1809. About 1832, they removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where they continued to reside some twelve years, arriving in Iowa in 1844. Their destination was Van Buren County, and they made a location in Lick Creek Township, where Mr. Countryman engaged in farming, although by trade he was a cabinet-maker. Throughout his entire life he supported the Democratic principles, and served acceptably as Township Trustee. As consistent members of the Lutheran Church, both he and his wife lived upright Christian lives, and died in the faith which had been their guide for many years. Mr. Countryman was called to his final rest in 1867, and in 1873 his wife also passed away. Unto them was born a family of eleven children, nine of whom grew to mature years, while eight of the number yet abide, namely: Hosiah, a cabinet-maker of Birmingham; Sarah, wife of James Ferrel, a resident of Lick Creek Township; Lucy is the widow of John Boyd; William and Michael, twins, are farmers of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, respectively; George W. is the next younger; Frank is a farmer of Jefferson County; and Noah devotes his time to the same pursuit in Van Buren County. George W. Countryman is the only member of the family who has devoted himself to mercantile life. He was born in Lick Creek Township, on the 6th of January, 1849, and his early life was passed in the usual manner of farmer lads, aiding in the work of the home farm during the summer season, and attending the common schools of the neighborhood during the winter months. He remained at home until twenty years of age, after which he worked at carpentering for two years with his brother, and for a year was in the employ of W. B. Tatman. He embarked in business for himself in 1873, when he opened a furniture store at Douds Station, but in the fall of the following year he disposed of his interest, and going to Ottumwa, entered the employ of a man engaged in the manufacture of show cases. In 1875, he came to Birmingham and purchased a small stock of furniture, beginning operations in a one-story frame building 16x60 feet, but increased patronage and increased facilities forced him to make an addition to the establishment, which he extended until it covered all of his ground. n 1887 he built his present store where he now does business, the dimensions of which are 22x82 feet, and two stories in height, in addition to which he also has a coffin room 20x20 feet. In November, 1889, Mr. Countryman admitted to partnership in the business, C. G. Miller. The firm has now one of the best stocks of furniture in this part of the State, and constantly increasing patronage rewards their business enterprise. On the 13th of April, 1873, Mr. Countryman was united in marriage with Miss Lee A. Chalfant, who was born in Ohio, and with her parents came to this county when three years old. They have an interesting family of four children, two sons and two daughters — Charlie C., George C., Nellie A., and Jessie L. The mother is an Adventist in religious belief. In political sentiment Mr. Countryman is a Republican, and has served as a member of the City Council of Birmingham. He deserves not a little credit, for his success in life is due to his industrious efforts and good management. When he began business for himself at Douds Station, he purchased only $300 worth of stock, and for that had to give his note, but now he not only owns the excellent store before mentioned, but in addition eighty acres of land pay tribute to him, besides some town property, and he is also engaged in shipping walnut lumber. Mr. Countryman has lived in Van Buren County for some forty-one years, and is accounted one of the leading business men of Birmingham.MATTHEW Q. CRETCHERMATTHEW Q. CRETCHER, a prominent farmer and pioneer settler of Van Buren County, residing in Milton, was born in Champaign County, Ohio, April 20, 1821, and is a son of Jabez and Nancy (Pollock) Cretcher. His father was born in Delaware in 1791, and removed with his parents to Kentucky in childhood, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits, removing thence to Champaign County, Ohio, in 1814. The Cretcher family is of English origin, and was founded in America by three brothers who emigrated to this country in early Colonial times. One of these brothers was the great-grandfather of our subject. His son, M. Q. Cretcher, was born in Maryland, was an only son, and at the age of fifteen years enlisted in the War of the Revolution. He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and served until the colonies had secured their independence. Mr. Cretcher's mother was born in Delaware, about 1794, and died in Miami Township, Logan County, Ohio, in 1878. When a babe of two years our subject was taken by his parents to Logan County, Ohio, where he received a common-school education, and was reared on a farm. He learned the carpenter's and joiner's trade, and in 1842 came to Van Buren County, Iowa, with his father, looking up a location. Returning to Ohio that fall, he spent the winter and spring in his native State, and in July, 1843, returned to Iowa, on foot and alone. For a few years after coming to this county he worked at his trade in order to secure money to enter land and make a home. The year 1846 saw the realization of his hopes in the former particular. He entered eighty acres of land lying on sections 11 and 14, Des Moines Township, and adjacent to the southern boundary of the State. From that time his success seemed assured, and to his possessions he added from time to time until he is now the owner of seven hundred and two acres. There are two hundred and forty acres in the homestead farm in Des Moines Township, one hundred and eighty acres joining it, but lying in Missouri; another farm of one hundred and sixty-two acres in Missouri, and eighty acres in Hancock County, Iowa. Mr. Cretcher was married in Scotland County, Mo., on the 31st of January, 1847, to Miss Lucinda Sayre, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Sayre, and a native of Preston County, Va., horn May 3, 1827. When nine years of age she went with her parents to Ohio, and in 1841 came with them to Van Buren County. Both are now deceased, the father having departed this life in July, 1846, at the age of fifty years, while the mother's death occurred in April, 1880, at the age of seventy-four. Both died in Scotland County, Mo., where their remains were laid to rest. A family of nine children has been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cretcher, four sons and five daughters, and the family circle yet remains un broken. William, the eldest, born December 30, 1847, married Miss Josephine Meredith, and is now farming in Des Moines Township; Lycurgus, born September 7, 1849, wedded Ella Fix, and is also farming in Des Moines Township; Elizabeth Ann, born September 1, 1851, is the wife of Charles Langford, a resident farmer of the same township; Daniel, who was born August 26, 1854, carries on the old homestead; Lucy Jane, born January 7, 1857, is the wife of John Bell, a farmer of Vernon Township, Van Buren County; Ida May, wife of Franklin Case, of Johnson Township, Scotland County, Mo., was born June. 14, 1854; Mary Frances, born September 17, 1861, is the wife of J. W. Smith, a farmer of Des Moines Township; Lucinda, born July 19, 1865, wedded Henry Davis, of Woodson County, Kan.; and Matthew Q., the youngest, who was born June 2, 1873, is pursuing his studies in the Milton high school. Mr. Cretcher continued his residence upon his farm in Des Moines Township until October, 1889, when he temporarily removed to Milton for the purpose of affording his youngest son better facilities for education. In politics he was a Free-soil Democrat until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks, voting for Fremont in 1856, and for each successive Republican candidate since that time, including Benjamin Harrison, our present Executive. In his religious views he is liberal, and does not affiliate with any sect or denomination. He was made a Mason in 1856, being initiated into the mysteries of that order in Mt. Sterling Lodge, now Aurora Lodge, No. 50, A. F. & A. M., and has since maintained his connection with the fraternity, being now a member of Appollo Lodge, No. 461, A. F. & A. M., of Cantril. Throughout his entire life Mr. Cretcher has always been a bard-working, industrious man, of temperate habits, and of correct business principles. He is recognized as a man of superior judgment and practical sense, unpretending and plain in manner, and of unquestioned integrity. He has reared a large family, and has lived to see them become useful and respected members of society and enjoying comfortable homes; while he has, by prudent management and patient industry, accumulated a large and valuable property.PETER DAHLBURGPETER DAHLBURG, for the long period of forty-two years, has been a resident of Van Buren County and is both widely and favorably known throughout the community. He is of Swedish birth, but Iowa has but few better citizens. He was horn on the 7th of June, 1802, and in his native land grew to manhood. At length, having attained to mature years, he was united in marriage with Miss Ingar Nelson who was also born in Sweden, the date of her birth being December 20, 1807. Having lived for some years after their marriage in Sweden, Mr. and Mrs. Dahlburg, accompanied by their children, in 1845 crossed the Atlantic to America with the intention of making a permanent location on this side of the water. Landing on the shores of the New World they at once continued their journey until having arrived in Iowa, when they located in Jefferson County. After a short stay, however, they removed to Keokuk, and the year 1848, witnessed their arrival in Van Buren County, where they have since made their home. A family of ten children, eight of whom are living, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dahlburg, namely: Cecilia, wife of J. D. Irish, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Elsie, wife of Peter Le Gresley of Henry County, Iowa; Ellen, widow of Frank Metz who was killed during the late war in the engagement at Ft. Donelson; Joanna, widow of George N. Thomas: Robert N., who served as one of the boys in blue and is now engaged in carpentering in Pittsburg; Charlotte, wife of Aaron Mort of Kansas; Amanda M., wife of James W. Pace of Knoxville, who also followed the flag during the Rebellion; and Charles L., a shorthand reporter of Des Moines. The parents of this family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are highly respected citizens in the community where they have so long made their home. They have been witnesses of almost the entire growth and development of Van Buren County, have seen the progress made, have aided in its advancement and have the honor of being numbered among the pioneer settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Dahlburg were married in February, 1827, and have now lived together as man and wife for upwards of sixty-three years.GEORGE W. DAVIDSONGEORGE W. DAVIDSON, who is engaged in farming on section 21, Bonaparte Township, has resided in Van Buren County for fifty-four consecutive years, and is therefore numbered among its earliest settlers. The public enterprises of the county, such as were calculated for the up- building of the community have received his support, and with the growth of the county he has been prominently identified, especially has he been instrumental in the development of its wild land. He is a native of Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio, born December 18, 1818, and is a son of John and Mary (West) Davidson, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Maryland. In childhood they removed with their respective families to Kentucky, settling near Augusta at an early day, when the country round about was wild and unimproved. Having married, they settled in Brown County. In the midst of the heavy timbered region Mr. Davidson developed a farm. Twelve children were born of his union with Miss West, eleven of whom lived to mature years, and emigrated to Iowa. The eldest of the family is John W.; Eliza married Gibson Hessler, and both are now deceased; Nancy married Samuel Hessler, and died in this county; Benjamin F., when last heard of was in Texas; George W. is the next younger; Christopher C. died in the South during the Rebellion; Oliver E. went to Texas, and in 1862 started for the North. Being forced into the service, he went to Ft. Hudson, and was captured by Gen. Banks. He was sent to the hospital at New Orleans, where he is supposed to have died ; Thomas P. died in the South; Mary Ann became the wife of James Schoolcraft, and removed to Texas, but during the Rebellion they returned to this county, where both died; Matilda became the wife of Daniel McCoy, and died in this county; Susan became the wife of Jacob Gardenhyre, and is living in the South. One child died in infancy. In 1836, Mr. Davidson, the father of this family, brought his wife and children to Van Buren County, but subsequently removed to Texas, where he died in 1873. In his early life he was a Whig, but on the dissolution of that party became a Democrat. A man of worth and intelligence, he became a prominent citizen, and his opinions bore weight wherever they were expressed. He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention from Van Buren County. His wife died in 1867. Grandfather Joshua Davidson was seven years in the Revolutionary War; was in the artillery, the firing of which much impaired his hearing. His father came from Scotland, and settled in Pennsylvania, and his mother, Ellen Beam, emigrated from Germany. The subject of this sketch was educated in the county of his nativity, and in his boyhood days was a school mate of U. S. Grant when they at-tended the log schoolhouse together. At the age of sixteen years he accompanied the family on their removal to Vermilion County, Ill. During their journey they passed through Indianapolis, then a mere hamlet containing but few houses. As before stated, the month of July, 1836, witnessed his arrival in Van Buren County, then a part of the Territory of Wisconsin. He has borne his share in the hardships and trials of pioneer life, and aided in the arduous task of developing from the wild land a fertile farm. Mr. Davidson has been twice married. In 1840, he led to the marriage altar Miss Hannah A. Tompkins, daughter of Sarles and Anna Tompkins, and a distant relative of Gov. Tompkins, of New York, of which State she was a native. By their union were born seven children as follows: Sarles T., who enlisted in the Second Iowa Infantry, was wounded in the thigh, at Corinth, Miss., and served three years; Joanna, wife of John Ray, of Lewis County, Mo.; James, who is living in Van Buren County; Mary E., wife of William Scott, of Colorado; Maria, wife of Samuel Giles, of Lewis County Mo.; Sarah J., wife of James Tompkins, of California; and Elma, wife of Pierce Bradford, who makes his home in Van Buren County. Mrs. Davidson died on the 30th of June, 1886, and her loss was sincerely mourned by many friends as well as her immediate family. She was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends. On the 9th of April, 1889, Mr. Davidson was again married, the lady of his choice being Miss Nancy A. Pervines, daughter of James and Mary Ann Pervines, pioneer settlers of this county. She is a Presbyterian. Few have longer been residents of Van Buren County than he whose name heads this sketch, there are not many more widely known, and none are held in higher esteem. He has made farming his life occupation, and devoted himself to that pursuit in a quiet, unassuming manner, at the same time faithfully discharging his duties of citizenship. Politically, he was a Whig, then a Republican until of later years, now being conservative.R. M. DICKSONR. M. DICKSON is the proprietor of the pottery, of Vernon, Iowa, and one of the leading business men of Van Buren County. He has carried on operations in this line for some thirty-eight years. It was in April, 1852, that he came to the county and purchased an old pottery located in South Bentonsport, now Vernon. Repairing the same, he embarked in business as a manufacturer of stoneware and soon had a flourishing trade, which continued with him until 1864, when his establishment was destroyed by fire. As soon as he had rebuilt, which he immediately did, his old customers returned to him, and many new ones added their names to the list of his patrons. Fair and honest dealing won him the confidence of the public, and the excellent quality of his ware has secured him the trade which yields him a handsome income. This pottery is one of the leading business enterprises of Vernon and furnishes employment to five men. Mr. Dickson is a native of York County, Pa., his birth having occurred in 1826. The parents of the family of eleven children, of which he was third in order of birth, were Robert D. and Susanna P. (McCall) Dickson. His father was a native of Scotland. and ere be left that country for America, served under the British flag in the famous battle of Waterloo as one of the Scottish Grays. It was during the early years of his manhood that he crossed the Atlantic to America and located in Pennsylvania, where he became acquainted with and married Miss McCall. Her father, James McCall, was a native of Ireland, and came to this country during the Revolutionary War to aid England in her attempt to bring the Colonies, under subjection to her rule, but his sympathies were enlisted with the brave soldiers who were struggling for freedom and, deserting the British service, he donned the blue and buff worn by the American troops and continued to aid them until independence was achieved. He then began arrangements for making a home in this country. He entered land on the banks of the Susquehanna River in York County, Pa., soon afterwards married and settled upon his farm, where he continued to reside until his death in 1833. To that farm came Robert Dickson to woo his bride. They began their domestic life in the Keystone State, but about 1828 removed to Muskingum County, Ohio, where he purchased and improved a farm. His wife died on the old homestead in that county in 1849, and ten years later Mr. Dickson crossed the dark river to meet the loved one gone before. Our subject was a babe of two years when his parents emigrated to the Buckeye State. His boyhood days were spent in assisting his father in the labors of the farm and in attendance at the district school of the neighborhood, which was taught in a log house, such as were common at that day, and such as many of the most famous men of the nation acquired their rudimentary knowledge in. He left Ohio in 1850, going to Winchester, Scott County, Ill., where he engaged in the pottery business. It was there that in 1852 he was united in marriage with Miss Melinda J. Hanback, a native of Kentucky and a daughter of John and Deborah (Edmonson) Hanback, who were born in Hopkinsville, Ky. At an early day, however, they removed to Scott County, Ill., where the mother spent her last days, dying in 1852. Four years later Mr. Hanback came to live with his daughter, and in the home of our subject his death occurred in 1870. Immediately after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Dickson came to Vernon, Iowa, and their home has here been blessed by the presence of seven children, but only four are now living — Robert Leslie, who was killed in the clay mill in 1863, at the age of ten years; John Howard, who was killed in a railroad accident near St. Marys, Wyo., while en route to California in 1875, he being then eighteen years of age; Mary A., now Mrs. Moore, of Pierce City, Mo.; Charlie T., who wedded Miss Susie Gaston in October, 1887, and is employed as general agent on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad at Luzerne, Mo.; Anna V., now Mrs. Folker, of Vernon Township, Van Buren County; Blanche, now Mrs. Fulton, of the same township; and William Clayton, who died in infancy. When Mr. Dickson came to the county traveling was done by way of the river and by wagon trains. It was not until about 1857 that the railroad was built. Prior to that time there was comparatively little intercourse with the outside world, for it was then no easy task to accomplish a journey as the roads were poor, being almost impassable during the rainy period of spring and fall. The nearest market at that time was some miles distant, and the work of improvement was but just begun. In all possible ways he has aided in everything pertaining to the advancement of the community, especially has he been instrumental in bringing about the present excellent school system. He, for some years, was a member of the School Board, and has also served as Justice of the Peace. In political sentiment he is a stanch Republican, and socially is a Master Mason, holding membership in Bentonsport Lodge, No. 49, A. F. & A. M., and La Fayette Chapter, No. 61, R. A. M. In this organization he has held a number of offices and is one of the prominent members. Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Dickson was one of the founders of that church in Bentonsport, and for thirty-seven years has served in the official capacity of Elder. He gives liberally to the support of the church, is an active worker for its interests, and lives a consistent Christian life in harmony with his professions. Charitable and benevolent, he is a friend to those in need, and his sympathy and material aid have cheered many hearts.JOSEPH DRAKESJOSEPH DRAKES, deceased, who for some years was numbered among the respected citizens of Van Buren County, was born in Lincolnshire, England, March 15, 1809, and died at his home in Harrisburg Township, on the 5th of March, 1881. His parents, Thomas and Mary (Hill) Drakes, were also natives of England, and unto them was born a family of nine children, of whom he was fifth in order of birth. His father engaged in agricultural pursuits, and in consequence the day's of his boyhood and youth were spent upon the farm, where he became acquainted with the business in all its details. He acquired a common-school education and remained at home until attaining his majority, when he resolved to seek his fortune in the land across the waters. In a slow-going sailship in 1830, he embarked for the New World, and after a voyage of several weeks arrived at his destination. For four years he was in the employ of Harry Livingston as private coachman, and for a number of years served in the same capacity for the illustrious Daniel Webster, one of America's great statesmen. In 1841, while in Pennsylvania, Mr. Drakes was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Jane Nixon, and located in the western part of the State, where he drove a stage coach belonging to the Good Intent stage line until the autumn of 1848. Hearing favorable reports from the new State of Iowa, and the excellent opportunities and advantages afforded its new settlers, he then determined to make his home in that far western region, and accompanied by his wife, at length reached Van Buren County. They settled on a farm, which is still occupied by Mrs. Drakes, and purchased eighty acres of wild land, which has since been transformed into a most comfortable home. Year by year saw improvements added, the work of cultivation carried forward and industry and enterprise changing the once unfruitful regions into fields of rich fertility, which paid a golden tribute to the care and cultivation of the owner. Mr. Drakes lived to see much of the growth and development of the county. He was a valued citizen, and one that took an active interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the community. As before stated, he died on the 5th of March, 1881, respected by all who knew him. He was an active Republican in politics and served for many years as Justice of the Peace. He was reared in the faith of the Church of England and adhered to its principles throughout life. Mrs. Drakes, who still survives her husband, was born in Fayette County, Pa., March 12, 1819, and is a daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Brian) Nixon. In a family of fourteen children, of which she is the eldest, eleven grew to manhood and womanhood, and eight of the number still abide, namely: Mrs. Drakes; Nancy, wife of J. A. Jones, of Osceola, Clark County, Iowa; Maria. L., widow of William Spaw, of Wayne County, Iowa; Mrs. Juliet Israel, deceased; Mary, now Mrs. Henry Keck, of Harrisburg Township; Eliza A., wife of Cary Stevens, who makes his home in Adams Country, Iowa; Sarah, wife of E. B. Campbell, a resident farmer of Cedar Township, Van Buren County; Clarinda, who wedded A. J. Jacobs, of the same township; Ella T., wife of J. W. Ellerton, of Aurora, Neb.; Phoebe A., deceased wife of R. B. Junk; Joseph C., who was a member of Company C., Eighth Iowa Cavalry, and was killed at the battle of Franklin, Tenn. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Drakes was never blessed with children of their own, but they reared as an own son Leroy Junk, son of George A. Junk. who was a brother-in-law of Mrs. Drakes and died in Andersonville Prison, September 13, 1864, having been captured while on the Stoneman raid through Georgia. Leroy grew up on the farm, surrounded by the loving care and attention of Mr. and Mrs. Drakes, and in October, 1883, was united in marriage with Miss Florence, daughter of Daniel and Lavina (Warner) Boerstler, of this county. After spending three or four years in Nebraska, they returned to Van Buren County, and Leroy has now taken charge of the homestead farm of Mrs. Drakes, and will in future here reside. Unto the young couple have been born three children—George A., Edith and Ethel.CAPT. WILLIAM A. DUCKWORTHCAPT. WILLIAM A. DUCKWORTH, one of the wide awake business men of Keosauqua, is engaged in farming, is a dealer in lumber, and is a contractor with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, to which he furnishes ties and timber. Men of his enterprise and business capacity add not a little to the growth and progress of the city, and it was fortunate for Keosauqua that he chose there to make his home. The Captain, a native of Greencastle, Ind., was born May 31, 1837, and is a son of Thomas C. Duckworth. His father, who was born in North Carolina, June 12, 1811, in early life emigrated to Washington County, Ind., and later to Greencastle, where he became acquainted with and married Miss Rachel T. Stone, whose birth occurred on the 14th of October, 1814, in Mercer County, Ky. By their union were born nine children, five sons and four daughters, as follows: Mary A., who became the wife of George C. O'Neil, and died in Moulton, Iowa, in the fall of 1888; John A., who enlisted as a private in Company G, Second Iowa Infantry, and was promoted to the rank of captain for gallant service, died in Savannah, Ga., in December, 1864, leaving a widow, whose maiden name was Rebecca C. Evans; William A., whose name heads this sketch, is the next younger; Sarah A., who died near Denver, Colo., in 1887, was the wife of W. F. Hammett; Dr. D. A., a practicing physician of Keosauqua; Enoch A., who also served in the Second Iowa Infantry; Elizabeth J., of Bloomfield; G. Lewis, dealer in harness and agricultural implements, of Bloomfield; and Celesta A., wife of Harrison Bruce, of Sherman, Kan. Thomas C. Duckworth, the father of this family was a man of more than ordinary ability. He possessed a powerful mind, was a strong reasoner and deep thinker, and was very successful in his chosen profession of teaching, which he followed for many years. Politically, he was a stalwart Democrat, and was favored with several local offices of trust, while a resident of Indiana. In 1854, he emigrated to Davis County, Iowa, where his death occurred in 1888. In early life both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church, but after coming West, there was no church organization of that denomination in the neighborhood where they settled, and they associated themselves with the Methodist Church. In his youth our subject received limited educational advantages, but to-day we find him a well-informed man. Studious by nature, and possessing an observing eye and retentive memory, he has familiarized himself with many standard works, and has gained a practical knowledge of men and their manners which could not have been acquired from text books, and which has been of great benefit to him in his business career. He also has a knowledge of many subjects of general interest, is posted in regard to political affairs, and is a pleasing conversationalist. At the age of eighteen years he was apprenticed to the millwright's trade, and having become a proficient workman, followed the business for several years, during which time he constructed a number of the best mills in Southern Iowa. On the 26th of July, 1859, he was united in marriage with Miss Rebecca C. Evans, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Goldsmith) Evans, but ere two years had passed away, he was called from home and wife to serve his country upon Southern battle fields. Capt. Duckworth watched with interest yet with apprehension, the progress of events in the South, and noted with disfavor the attitude which the Southern States assumed, and when his worst hopes were realized and Ft. Sumter was fired upon, he resolved that he would strike a blow in defense of his country's honor, and the close of the week following the assault of the fort, saw him enlisted among the boys in blue. He was mustered into service at Keokuk as a member of Company G, Second Iowa Infantry, and after a short rendezvous was sent to Hannibal, Mo., to guard the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad. On the return of the troops to St. Louis, they were soon afterward sent to Bird's Point, opposite Cairo, Ill., but in a short time returned to St. Louis, and guarded the rebel prisoners. Later the regiment was ordered to Ft. Donelson. and during the battle was placed in the front ranks, and received the credit and honor of being the first regiment to break the works. Their next engagement was at the battle of Shiloh, as a part of Gen. W. H. L. Wallace's Division, and Capt. Duckworth was near the General when he was shot from his horse. This was followed by the battle of Iuka, and the first and second battles of Corinth, the Second Iowa then remaining at Corinth until after the siege of Vicksburg was raised when a portion of the regiment, including our subject, was granted a thirty-clays furlough. On rejoining his command, Mr. Duckworth was made First Lieutenant of the One Hundred and Tenth Regiment Colored Infantry., and on the 24th of September, 1864, was attacked by Forrest, who, greatly superior in numbers, captured the entire command, sending them as prisoners to Enterprise, Miss., where they were paroled. The treatment they there received differs vastly from that of the experience of many others; in fact, they were well treated, and as Capt. Duckworth remarks, were "allowed to wear a boiled shirt, and go to meeting on Sundays." Later they were sent to St. Louis and exchanged, and then joined the army at Savannah, Ga., whence the Captain made his way to Goldsborough, N. C., where he resigned, April 6, 1865. On the return trip he passed through Washington, D. C., and was in the city the night of the assassination of President Lincoln. After a four-years' experience on Southern battle fields, during which he endured many hardships and privations, Capt. Duckworth returned to his home and business. From 1865 until 1874, he engaged in milling in Davis County, Iowa, but in the latter year sold out and removed to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he owned and operated a foundry for a short time, but fire destroyed his property, and he lost nearly all he had. In company with Dr. Cook, he then built a mill, but sold his interest in the business to his partner in 1876, since which time he has been engaged in furnishing ties and timber to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, with headquarters in Floris, Eldon and Keosauqua. In 1882, he removed to the latter city, where he has since made his home, and in addition to the enterprise before mentioned, he is also engaged in the lumber business and in farming. In politics, the Captain is a stanch supporter of the Democracy, and while residing in Davis County, was honored with the nomination of State Senator, but as the county has an overwhelming Republican majority, he could not hope for an election. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. In 1889, Capt. Duckworth suffered the loss of his wife, who died at their home in Keosauqua, on the 25th of July, leaving a family of four children; Albert S., Herbert E., Rachel E., and Lewis S. The wife and mother was a most estimable lady, and a sincere Christian, a member of the Congregational Church. Beloved for her many excellencies of character, and respected by all who knew her, her death was sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.JAMES DUFFIELD, SR.JAMES DUFFIELD, SR., deceased, one of the honored pioneers of Van Buren County, located his claim in Van Buren Township, then a part of the Territory of Wisconsin, in the autumn of 1836, and the following spring removed his family to their new home, accomplishing the journey by the means of a yoke of oxen and a team of horses attached to the same wagon. Mr. Duffield was a native of Maryland. His father, however, was born in Pennsylvania. He became a resident of Maryland and subsequently emigrated on horseback across the mountains to Jefferson County, Ohio, where he engaged in trading. In 1833, he removed to Fulton County, Ill., and in 1837, accompanied by his wife and children he reached Van Buren County, Iowa. His wife, in her maidenhood, was Miss Marietta J. Byerly, a native of Pennsylvania. Unto them were born ten children, as follows: Maria, now Mrs. Funk, of Caldwell, Kingman County, Kan.; John who is married, resides in Van Buren County; William, who was drowned in 1850, in Henry County ; George C.; James, who is married and resides on the old homestead ; Joseph, who died in Vicksburg, Miss., in 1849; Elizabeth, wife of Thornton Mathias, of Van Buren Township, Van Buren County; J. H., who is married and resides in Jerseyville, Ill.; Jane, who died in Ohio, at the age of three years; and Henry D., who is married and living in Van Buren County. These children are worthy representatives of their honored parents and as the result of their early training have become useful members of society and valued citizens of the various communities in which they make their homes. James Duffield, coming as he did to Van Buren County in 1837, had to endure the hardships and privations of pioneer life, such as grinding their own corn for meal, going long distances to market, etc. Indians then were more numerous than their white neighbors, wild game of all kinds was plentiful and wolves were frequently killed near the settlement. Neither was it an easy task to transform the hitherto unimproved prairie into a rich and fertile farm, but the work Mr. Duffield accomplished through his energy, perseverance and industry. His days were greatly taken up by his business interests, yet he found sufficient time to devote to public affairs, especially if any enterprise for the benefit of the community was the question in hand. He did all in his power to promote the interests of town and county and was a valued citizen. In political sentiment, he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican, but never sought or desired political preferment. He assisted in the organization of the county and forming of the State; his life has left an impress on the community and with the record of its progress and advancement his history has been inseparably connected. He died at his home in Van Buren County, in 1876. after a long and useful life and his wife was called to her final rest ten years later. Both Mr. and Mrs. Duffield died in the eighty-sixth year of their age.WILLIAM DUNWOODYWILLIAM DUNWOODY, retired, one of the early settlers of Fairfield, claims Pennsylvania as the State of his nativity. He was born in Somerset County, on the 1st of March, 1811, and is a son of Robert and Susanna (Reahm) Dunwoody. Little is known concerning the early history of the family except that the father was of Scotch-Irish descent, and the mother a descendant of German ancestry. Robert Dunwoody made farming his chief occupation through life, but was a great admirer of and always kept on hand a number of fine horses. His marriage was celebrated in the Keystone State, but about 1817, he left the East and removed with his family to Ohio, settling near Coshocton, whence he afterward removed to Columbus. In the Buckeye State he was engaged in running freight wagons, hauling freight from Cincinnati and other cities to Philadelphia. He lived to the age of sixty years and his widow afterward became the wife of Austin Groodrich, with whom she came to Iowa about 1846. They settled in Van Buren County, where the death of Mrs. Groodrich occurred when some seventy years of age. By her first marriage she had six children but our subject, who was the fourth in order of birth, is the only one known to be living. She also had six children by her secoud marriage. William Dunwoody's early life was not surrounded with many advantages. The educational privileges afforded him were such as the common schools provided, and he was permitted to attend little after attaining the age of nine years. At that time his mother and step-father removed to a farm and he remained at home assisting in the cultivation of the land until twenty-two years of age, when he went to Columbus to learn the tinner's trade. Previously he had acquired a practical knowledge of tinner's tools in his step-father's shop and after two years spent in Columbus his employer informed him that he was master of the business. His proficiency enabled him easily to obtain positions and he worked at the business in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Chillicothe, Mo., and other cities. One of the most importaut events in the life of Mr. Dunwoody occurred in Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio, where on the 21st of May, 1837, he led to the marriage altar Miss Sarah Murphy, who was born in Zanesville, Ohio, April 10, 1815, aud is a daughter of Patrick and Amelia (Ruckel)Murphy. Her parents were both natives of Limerick, Ireland, where they married. Two children were born to them in that country and about 1812 they emigrated with their family to America; locating in Pennsylvania. Their deaths occurred in the same year in Columbus, Ohio, the husband being about fifty years of age, and his wife forty-six. In their family were eight children. In May, 1849, Mr. and Mrs. Dunwoody became residents of Fairfield, then a mere hamlet. In those days they used grease lamps instead of electricity, and many other adjuncts of pioneer life were found in their home. Mr. Dunwoody established a bus line and successfully engaged in that business for some years, but at length misfortune overtook him and he lost almost everything he had. In his political sentiments he was formerly a Whig and cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay, but since the rise of the Republican party he has identified himself with that organization. For nearly forty years he has been connected with the Odd Fellows society, and he and his wife have been faithful members of the Episcopal Church through almost their entire lives. To this worthy couple were born seven children, but four of the number died in childhood. William P., the eldest of the surviving ones, was educated in Griswold College, of Davenport, subsequently held a position in the Treasury Department at Washington, D. C., and later was graduated from the law school of Washington. He was with the great Jay Cook at the time of the failure of that gentleman; was a member of the National Board of Health, and is now connected with the Equitable Life Insurance Company of New York City; Capt. H. H. C., the next younger, was graduated from the Millitary School of West Point in 1866, and is employed in the United States Signal Service office at Washington, and is a member of the regular army. Rising steadily step by step, he was at length promoted to the rank of Captain in June. 1889; Francis M., the youngest child, completed his education in Washington, D. C., and for eight years has been employed in the revenue service. Mr. and Mrs. Dunwoody cannot boast of great wealth amassed, but of their children they have reason to be proud. They have toiled and deprived themselves of comforts in order to give their boys the best possible opportunities, and in return their sons show the greatest consideration for their loved parents, leaving nothing undone that will add to their comfort.THOMAS H. DYETHOMAS H. DYE, a substantial farmer and stock-raiser of section 12, Jackson Township, and a representative citizen of Van Buren County, has been a resident of Iowa from his birth. The family is of Irish descent, and was established in America in Colonial days, many of its members becoming residents of New York. The paternal grandfather of our subject grew to manhood, was married, and reared a family of children in the Empire State. Later in life he emigrated to Ohio, where he died in 1864, at the very advanced age of ninety-seven years. His wife died a few years previous. The father of our subject was born in Noble County, then Morgan County, Ohio, in 1821, and the days of his boyhood and youth were spent at the parental home in the Buckeye State. The year 1845 witnessed the celebration of his marriage to Miss Sarah Buskirk, also a native of Ohio. Soon after their marriage, they sought a home beyond the Mississippi, choosing as a location Wapello County, in the Territory of Iowa, but in 1846, they removed to Davis County, where on the 27th of June, 1847, our subject first opened his eyes to the light of day. The following year the death of Mr. Dye occurred. Having been afflicted with white swelling, it was thought probable that he would recover, his limb was amputated, but death came in the midst of the surgical operation. His remains lie buried in the cemetery of Lebanon, and a handsome monument marks the last resting place of the husband and father, who will never be forgotten by the children who were the recipients of his loving care and kindness. In 1850, his widow married George Smith, and came to Van Buren County, where Thomas was reared to manhood. As the schools of a new county are rather primitive in character, the educational advantages which our subject received, were necessarily limited, but observation and reading in subsequent years have made him a well-informed man. He chose the occupation of his father as his life work, and has carried on farming with most excellent success, winning a competence which now numbers him among the well-to-do citizens of the county. His first purchase of land consisted of seventy acres which he operated until 1875, when he sold out and removed to California, but two years of farm life in that State convinced him that in his opinion Iowa was preferable for a home. Returning then to Van Buren County, he once more resumed his agricultural pursuits. He purchased from his step-father the old homestead, and began life in earnest, determined to secure a fair share of the world's goods, and provide a comfortable home for himself and family. The boundaries of his farm have been extended until from a tract of ninety-one acres, it has been increased until it comprises three hundred and twenty-seven acres of as fine land as can he found in Southeastern Iowa. The entire amount is under cultivation, yielding a ready return for the care and labor bestowed upon it, while many improvements add to the value of the place, including a comfortable residence, barns and outbuildings, and everything necessary for the care of his stock and grain. His fair dealing and upright life have won him a place in the esteem of his neighbors and townsmen, and he is one of the county's representative citizens. A marriage ceremony performed in 1872, united the destinies of Thomas Dye and Hattie Kays, daughter of Martin and Mary J. Kays. natives of New Jersey, who with their family came to Iowa during the year 1858. Mr. Kays has assisted in the growth and prosperity of the county, and is numbered among its early settlers. The wife of our subject was born in New Jersey, on the 11th of April, 1852, and their marriage was blessed with four children, but only two are now living: Alta, the eldest, died in infancy; and Harry, the third child, died at the age of eight years; Charlie and Amy are still with their parents. Mr. Dye and his wife are members of the Methodist Church of Cantril, and are faithful workers in the Master's vineyard. He also holds membership in Apollo Lodge, No. 461, A. F. & A. M., and in Prairie Gem Lodge, of the Knights of Pythias. He is an ardent Republican in politics, and does all in his power to promote the welfare, and insure the success of his party. He is a member of the Cantril District School Board, recently elected. During the administration of this Board, they have erected the handsome school building which stands as a monument to the enterprise and progressive spirit of its founders. Anything pertaining to the county's welfare, receives the hearty support and co-operation of Mr. Dye, and as a valued citizen of the county, we gladly insert his sketch in this history.HENRY M. DYSARTHENRY M. DYSART, editor and proprietor of the Milton Herald, was born near Farmington, Marshall County, Tenn., November 19, 1841, and is the son of Milton H. and Harriet C. (Neill) Dysart, who were also natives of the same State. His education was acquired in a subscription school which was taught alternately by his father and mother, this being the only means of education, as the common school system was not then in operation in that part of the State. His parents seeing the inevitable conflict with slavery approaching, determined to remove to a free State, consequently, at considerable financial sacrifice they removed to Iowa, arriving at their destination — Troy, Davis County — on the 11th of April, 1854. Henry M. was reared on the farm and attended the Troy Academy until November 12, 1860, after which he taught a winter's term of school. Although his early life was spent in a slave State he opposed that institution, and on the 26th of September, 1861, enlisted in the service of his country. On the 1st of May, 1863, he was captured at La Grange, Ark., and for four months was held prisoner at Little Rock, after which he was discharged. He returned to active service and remained with his command until the term of enlistment had expired. He participated in the battles of La Grange and Pea Ridge, Ark., and in various skirmishes and campaigns. He was accidentally wounded in camp at Little Rock in April, 1864, while on duty, but otherwise escaped uninjured. After three years of warfare in the South, he received his discharge from the service September 19, 1864. On returning from the war, Mr. Dysart engaged in the mercantile business at Troy, Iowa, which he continued until 1870, when he sold out and removed to Bloomfield, of the same county. The real-estate business there engrossed his attention, and he made many excellent improvements at that place. His residence in Milton covers a period of nineteen consecutive years. On here locating, in 1871, he engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, G. S. Dysart, but after two years that connection was discontinued, and he accepted the appointment of Postmaster of Milton from President Grant, his commission bearing date 1872. He continued to hold office until the year 1873, when he resigned and was employed as traveling salesman, continuing his services in that capacity until 1878, when he was again appointed Postmaster by President Arthur, and retained the office until Grover Cleveland had been one year President, when he resigned in March, 1886, and bought out the Milton Herald, which he has edited and published continuously since. After speaking of the Milton Headlight, which it says was started in October, 1876, and suspended in March, 1878, the county history of 1878 says: "The Milton Herald was started in April, 1878, and is now run by McNeil & Baxter." Mr. Dysart purchased it in 1886 of Mr. Baxter. It was then a seven-column folio with a very limited patronage, but under the management of its present proprietor it has been increased one column in width, and very largely in circulation and material, until now it is one of the leading papers of the blue grass region of Southern Iowa. It is independent in politics and devoted largely to the interests of Milton, and to that of Van Buren and neighboring counties. Mr. Dysart was married in Troy, Iowa, on the 2d of October, 1867, to Miss Jane Olivia Bruce, daughter of Amor and Margaret Bruce. Mrs. Dysart was born in Dearborn County, Ind., and on her father's side is of Scotch ancestry. They have two children, a son and daughter — Paul, born in Troy, Iowa, July 22, 1868; and Chloe, born in Milton, November 7, 1883. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are highly respected citizens of the community. Mr. Dysart is one of the enterprising business men of Milton, and is an honored member of Charles W. Fisher Post, No. 433, G. A. R., of Milton, and of Jackson Lodge, No. 28, K. P., in both of which he has held all the offices. He has served one term as Mayor of Milton, and has just recently been elected for the sixth consecutive year as Secretary of the Milton District Agricultural Society, a flourishing organization in the district. the characteristics of a great lawyer. Studious by inclination, he is well grounded in the law. His mind, always active, grasps with force the subject of his thoughts, and his opinions are expressed in terms at once clear, logical and comprehensive. In his intercourse with men his manner is entirely free from ostentation and self-consciousness, but is calm, dignified and at the same time evincing an earnest cordiality that wins him many friends. The purity of his life and his fidelity to every trust have won for him the unbounded confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens, both at home and abroad.
Transcribed by Rich Lowe for the Van Buren County IAGenWeb Project - copyright 2007
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