1878 Bonaparte Twp., Van Buren County, IA
Biographical Directory of Citizens

Search Hint: Search for surnames by using the "Find" command usually found under the "Edit" menu or by the keyboard command "Ctrl+F" on most PC's. Use "Ctrl+G" to find next instance of same name. Names in some cases are not in alphabetical order. Others my be found in the body of the bio rather than as the subject.

Armstrong, James A., farmer, S. 23; P.O. Farmington; owns 150 acres of land, valued at $25 per acre; born Feb. 22, 1801, in Bucks Co., Penn.; parents moved to Pittsburgh in 1805; commenced clerking in a drug store when about 13; when about 19; commenced the business on his own account; spring of 1825, went to Clinton, Ohio. Married there Miss Hattie Driskill Dec. 27, 1825; she was born in Maryland June, 1806; moved to McLean Co., Ill., in 1831; to DeKalb Co., Ill., in 1832; spring of 1836, came to Van Buren Co., same fall, purchased the claim of land he still owns. Mr. Armstrong is a man of real personal worth and integrity, and of good, sound judgement; has raised a family of eleven children, all living--Charles A., Hannibal H., Lucien C., Cyrus E., William A., Gilbert M., Clara L., James H., Fridley M., Oliver H.P., Zachary T., and Dora G., and adopted daughter. Five of his sons served their country during the war, one only was wounded.

Armstrong, William A., far., Sec. 14; P.O., Bonaparte.

Baber, Charles M., laborer, Bonaparte.

Bailey, James, far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Barber, G. W., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

Barr, J. H., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Beard, William, laborer, Bonaparte.

Beck, Hellen, Bonaparte.

Besecker, John, clerk, Bonaparte.

Boyer, D.W., farmer, Sec. 16; P.O. Bonaparte; owns eighty-three acres of land, valued at $25 per acre; born Feb. 22, 1806, in Frederick Co., Md.; came to Lee Co., Iowa, in 1854; to this county in 1865. Married Maria Francis, Nov. 8, 1830, in Maryland; she was born in Loudoun Co., Va., Nov. 4, 1811; have thirteen children living -- Wm. F., Dewitt C., Thos. W., Samuel A., Timothy T., John M., Lewis M., Mary C., Alvin O., Nancy J., James F., Benjamin O., Maria I.; lost three -- Mariella, Levin and Reuben; his son Lewis served his country during the war. Member of the Baptist Church.

Boyer, G. F., far., S. 24; P.O. Farmington.

Boyer, John M., Farmington.

Boyer, T. W., dealer in dry goods and general merchandise, Bonaparte; born July 26, 1846, in Muskingum Co., Ohio; came to Lee Co., Iowa, in the fall of 1854; received his education at the public schools of Denmark; went to St. Joseph, Mo., in 1859; spring of 1860; came to Bonaparte and commenced the study of medicine, with a Dr. Oliver George; attended lectures at the Keokuk Medical College, where he graduated in February, 1863; practiced till 1870, when he engaged in his present business. Married Miss Nancy A. Meek, daughter of Isaiah Meek, May 1, 1865; she was born Feb. 8, 1847, in this county; have three children -- Flora N., Edson I. and an infant not named. Democrat.

Bridge, James, employe of Meek Bros., P.O. Bonaparte.

Brooker, Wm. H., marble dealer, Bonaparte.

Brower, David, far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Brown, Suphana; P.O. Bonaparte.

Burnett, Thos., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Bushell, Dan., plasterer, Bonaparte.

Calhoun, James, farmer; P.O. Bonaparte.

Cassady, M., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Chapman, Alfred, butcher, Bonaparte.

Chapman, H. H., grain dealer, Bonaparte.

Chapman, Samuel, Sr., far., Sec. 3; P.O. Bonaparte.

Christian, A. L., carpenter and joiner, Bonaparte.

Christy, Thomas, dealer in dry goods and general merchandise, firm of Christy and Johnson, Bonaparte; born Nov. 16, 1829, in Harrison Co., Ohio; came to this county spring of 1842, and settled one and a half miles above Bonaparte, then called Lexington; two years after, moved to Lick Creek Tp.; fall of 1848, came to Bonaparte and engaged upon public works; spring of 1850,went to California and followed mining; the spring of 1853, returned to Bonaparte; the following fall, elected Sheriff of the county, and moved to Keosauqua; at the expiration of his term of office, returned to Bonaparte and commenced his present business firm of Gregory & Christy, which was changed to the present firm in 1857. Fall of 1855, was elected member of the Legislature from this county; fall of 1872, was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors. Married Miss S. C. Johnson July 24, 1853; she was born June 7, 1835, in Indiana; have five children living -- Gertrude E., Hattie E., Jennie A., Thomas H. and Dora; lost four -- Mary B., Anna, Emma and Maggie; his sister Elizabeth has been a member of his family since his marriage. Democrat.

Clark, W., far., Sec. 6; P.O. Bentonsport.

Collins, H., retired; P.O. Bonaparte.

Coolidge, H., merchant, Bonaparte.

Coolidge, H. L., merchant, Bonaparte.

Corwin, J., canvasser, Bonaparte.

Cresap, Jonathan, dealer in agricultural implements and furniture, also proprietor of planing-mill, Bonaparte; born March 9, 1835, in Alleghany Co., Md.; came to this county in the spring of 1856, and settled in Bonaparte; has been in the employ of Meek Brothers about fifteen years--two years with Joseph Meek, in the planing mill; commenced running the business on his own account in the fall of 1877. Married Mary Washington in April, 1858; she was born in June, 1841, in Pittsburgh, Penn; have five children--George, Orion, Lulu, Delia and Jeff. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church; Democrat.

Cresap, J. H., saloon-keeper; Bonaparte.

Cresap, Roger N., DR., physician, and a partner of J. P. Davis in the hardware business, Bonaparte; born Sept. 26, 1809, in Alleghany Co., Md.; went to Hampshire Co., Va., in 1826, and commenced studying medicine there with his brother-in-law, Dr. John Temple; in the fall of 1829, he moved to Marysville, Tenn., and completed the study of medicine, and graduated at the Knoxville Medical College, in 1830; came to Keokuk, Iowa, in the spring of 1833, and engaged in the grocery and drug business; in the fall of 1834, he and Messrs. Blackburn and Coates came here and made claims in the vicinity of what is now the village of Bonaparte. Dr. Cresap's claim embraced a part of the plat of Bonaparte, which he, in company with Mr. William Meek, laid out in 1837; he followed farming and practicing medicine; also kept a hotel in Bonaparte, about twenty-five years. Married Angeline Thompson in October, 1830, in Tennessee; she died in the fall of 1835, leaving one son--John B., a little daughter, Mary, having gone before; he was again married to Mary S. Keith, Oct. 3, 1836; she was born Nov. 19, 1813, in Culpeper Co., Va.; have had one daughter--Angeline, who also passed away. Mr. Cresap owns several hundred acres of land in the county; has also served as Postmaster several years. Republican.

Cresap, R. T., proprietor of two billiard-halls and saloons, Bonaparte; born April 9, 1837 , in Alleghany Co., Md., worked on a farm and attended school till he was 15, and then went to the carpenter trade; in the spring of 1856 he came to Bonaparte, thence to Keokuk; in the fall of 1857, he went to Kansas City, Mo.; in June, 1860, he returned to Maryland on a visit; came to Bonaparte in Feb., 1861; worked at his trade five years; in Meek Brothers' woolen mills three years; also in the planing-mills; in 1874, he had the misfortune of having a thumb and two fingers cut off from his right hand, after which he engaged in this present business. Married Mariam W. Slaughter Dec. 25, 1862, of this county; she was born in February, 1845,; have five children--Anna L., Bryon E., Charles P., Eddie F. and Jessie M. Member of A., F. & A. M.; Democrat.

Cresap, V., Bonaparte.

Cullen, W. C., far.: P.O. Bonaparte.

Cummings, Alexander, farmer, S. 20; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 350 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born May 20, 1823, in Donegal Co., Ireland; came to Chester Co., Penn., in 1842; in the spring of 1851 came to Van Buren Co., Iowa, and purchased eighty acres of his present farm; following fall went to California; returned in 1853. Married Harriet Corwin July 14, 1854; she was born Jan. 31, 1837, in Scioto Co., Ohio; have seven children--William, Robert, Mary, Eliza, James, Thomas and Alexander. Mr. Cummings has, by his own industry and economy, accumulated a handsome property. Independent.

Cummins, Wm., far., S. 21: P.O. Bonaparte.

Custer, J. L., patentee and far., Bonaparte.

Dauber, Ferdinand, farmer, P.O. Bonaparte.

Davidson, G. W., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Davis, J. P., dealer in hardware, groceries, etc., also Postmaster of Bonaparte; born Feb. 11, 1844, in Wheeling, W. Va., emigrated with his parents to Burlington, Iowa, the following spring; in the fall of 1858, went to Edina, Mo; was educated at the high school there; commenced reading law in 1864 with Hollister & Perry of that place; admitted to the bar in 1868; followed his profession till fall of 1870; went to Kahoka, Mo., thence to Bonaparte in 1873; was Principal of the school here until he commenced his present business, July, 1877, in company with Dr.R. N. Cresap; appointed Postmaster July, 1877. Married Alice Sullivan, of Lewis Co., Mo., April 14, 1864; she was born in same county, Feb. 10, 1840; have two children--Winnie G. and Lola G. Mr. Davis is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church. Republican.

Dempel, Morris, cabinet-maker, Bonaparte; born May 3, 1819, in Bavaria, Germany; came to America in October, 1847, and settled in Harrisburg Tp.; moved to Farmington in the spring of 1851, soon after to Bonaparte; worked as millwright a year, cabinet work about a year, then for Meek Bros.; in 1866, commenced present business. Married Mary A. Rigler Nov. 22, 1849; she was born Nov. 8, 1825, in Germany; have five children living--Mary A., Anna, Louisa, George and Eugene; lost one son--Charles, who was murdered at Osceola, Ark., May 27, 1878. Member of the Catholic Church.

Derr, Davis, teamster, Bonaparte.

Derozer, William, far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Detwiler, S. C., telegraph operator, Bonaparte.

Dofflemeyer, Joseph, blacksmith, Bonaparte.

Dutton, Frank E., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Duer, James H., plasterer, Bonaparte.

Ervin, Thomas, Bonaparte.

Eason, E. W. & Mary A., proprietors of Eason House, Bonaparte; Mary A. Eason, daughter of Michael S. and Sarah A. Cresap; was born Oct. 1, 1839, in Alleghany Co., Md. Parents moved to Somerset Co., Penn., in 1843, and Fayette Co., in 1851; thence to Bonaparte June, 1856; was engaged in the employ of her uncle, R. N. Cresap, then proprietor of the hotel now known as Eason House; she married Eli W. Eason March 22, 1865; he was born in 1833 in Vermont; came into this hotel in spring of 1873; have two children living--French L. and Clyde M. Lost two--George and an infant.

Entler, John S., dealer in stoves and tinware, Bonaparte; son of W. W. and Sarah E. Entler; born in Harrisburg Tp., of this county, Jan. 17, 1852; lived on a farm till his father moved into Bonaparte in 1867; in 1864, his brother commenced the stove and tinware business; he learned the trade with him, and bought him out, but now are partners. Married Jenette R. Sherman Oct. 1, 1874; she was born May, 1853, in Bonaparte; have one daughter--Myrtle. Independent.

Entler, W. W., Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, insuring and real estate agent, Bonaparte; born Jan. 29, 1819, in York Co., Penn. Parents moved to Adams Co., in 1826; in 1831, went to Baltimore, Md., to live with an uncle; learned the carpenter and joiners trade; in 1839, returned to Adams Co.; engaged in mercantile business about four years. Married Sarah E. Bodenhamer Feb. 2, 1841; she was born Dec. 25, 1822, in Jefferson Co., Va. Fall of 1844, came to Iowa, and settled in Harrisburg Tp., of this county; served as Justice of the Peace there four years; spring of 1867, moved to Bonaparte; has since worked at his trade, besides attending to official business; for the last two years has devoted his time to his present business. Has six children living--George W., William H., Phillip J., John S., Jacob F., Catherine J.; lost three--Edward J., Mary A. and Franklin P. Member German Reformed Church; Democrat.

Ethridge, Charles, laborer, Bonaparte

Flick, Isaac, laborer, Bonaparte

Foster, W. L., far.; P.O. Bonaparte

Frankle, Louis, clothing merchant, Bonaparte.

Fridley, W. H., lumber dealer, Bonaparte.

Gabby, James B., farmer, Sec. 11; P.O. Bonaparte.

George Bros., druggists, Bonaparte.

George, William A., physician and surgeon, Bonaparte; born in Bonaparte, Iowa, Jan. 6, 1853; educated under Profs. Mowath and Howe, and at 18, commenced his medical studies with his father, the late Dr. Oliver George, of Bonaparte; continued one year, then placed himself under the instructions of the eminent surgeon, Lewis A. Sayre, of New York City; graduated from Bellevue Medical College in the class of 1876, with distinction, being one of nine, who received honorable mention in a class of 165; frequently contributed verbatim reports of lectures to the various medical journals, and in addition to the labors of graduation year, revised, corrected and satisfactorily carried through the press for his preceptor, a 500 page 8vo surgical work, besides much other labor in the way of reports and proof-reading. He had made every arrangement for publishing a medical journal in New York, having been promised the support of the ablest practitioners of the city, when his health broke down from the effects of a severe accident and overwork combined, and he was compelled to return to his home in Van Buren Co., where his widowed mother resides and where his deceased father was widely known, and his rare medical skill generally appreciated. Dr.Oliver George, who died April 7, 1874, was a man of intellectual endowments, of fine social qualities, one, whose extensive information, and almost faultless memory, gave his opinions weight not only in matters of medical science, but on all the current topics of the day; born in Westmoreland Co., Penn., Sept. 1, 1820; he graduated after due preparation, at the Pennsylvania Medical University at Philadelphia, at that time the best medical college in the United States; he subsequently received an ad eundem degree from Keokuk Medical College, and upon the organization of the Iowa State Medical Association, was made Chairman of its Committee on Correspondences with other medical societies; after seven years' practice in Olney, Ill., he removed to Van Buren Co., in 1851, where he was actively engaged in his profession until his death, having devoted thirty-three years of his life to medical practice. During his residence in Olney, in the summer of 1845, he married Miss N. M. Powers, cousin of the eminent sculptor, Hiram Powers. Was a member of the Masonic fraternity for many years; he organized Bonaparte Lodge, No. 73, and was for eight consecutive years its Master; was also High Priest of the Moore Chapter. A Knight of Malta, Knight of the Red Cross, Knight Templar and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Iowa, devoting some of the best years of his life to the interests of the fraternity. He was a devout believer in natural religion; took an intense delight in the works of creation,; was a true worshipper of the beautiful and true, not only in the physical world, but also in the kingdom of mind.

Grimsley, H. M., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

Guess, Elisha, sawyer, Bonaparte.

Hall, Charles L., book-keeper, Bonaparte.

Hanback, Thos., proprietor of Bonaparte Pottery, in company with Robert Wilson; Bonaparte; born Aug. 13, 1838, in Scott Co., Ill., spring of 1867, came to Vernon of this county; worked in the pottery and learned the trade; in 1866, came to Bonaparte and established a pottery, in company with Mr. S. Parker, who sold his interest to Mr. Wilson in 1873. Married Jennette Herryman Nov. 25, 1858; she was born June 17, 1843, in Posey Co., Ind.; have two children-Mary and Alice; lost two--Florence and Carrie. Republican.

Haney, Dennis, farmer, Sec. 7: P.O. Bonaparte; owns about 500 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born in November, 1822, in County Derry, Ireland; in 1842, came to Philadelphia, Penn.; in 1845, returned to Ireland and remained nearly a year; came over to Boston in the spring of 1846. Enlisted in the general services of the United States Army; went on a recruiting tour to Chesapeake, Fort McHenry, New York, where he was attached to Co. L, of the U. S. 3rd Artillery; went to Mexico in Gen. Worth's Division; was promoted to 2d Sargeant; was in the battles of Vera Cruz, National Bridge, Cerro Gorde, Molino del Rey, Chapultepee and at the capture of the City of Mexico; was detailed as guard of a chain gang from Vera Cruz to Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort, Md., where he was discharged. Went to Washington and got his land warrant; in September, 1848, came to Iowa and located his land in Monroe Co.; came to Bonaparte and went to work for Meek & Son; in the summer of 1849; went to California, overland; in 1852, returned to Bonaparte, and purchased the farm upon which he still lives. Married Susanna McClure Feb. 22, 1854; she was born in 1831, in Indiana; have four children living-Elizabeth, Lulu, Robert A. and William; lost two-Rachel and Mary. Mr. Haney was one of the first Directors of the Bonaparte Academy, afterward purchased by the district; he has served his township as Trustee several years; is the owner of several buildings in Bonaparte, including the Masonic Hall, he being a member of the Order.

Henry, Levi, photographer, Bonaparte.

Henneigh, H. K., retired Presbyterian minister, Bonaparte.

Hopkins, T. H., dealer in and manufacturer of boots and shoes, Bonaparte; born Dec. 24, 1822, in Sussex Co., Del.; his father died when he was 1 year old, and his mother when 9 years old; lived with Mr. B. H. Marvel till he was 17; came to Champaign Co., Ohio, in the fall of 1834; in 1839, went to Baltimore, Md.; learned the shoemaker's trade; was there five years, after which he worked at journey work in different cities along the seacoast; in 1847, returned to Champaign Co., Ohio. Married there Miss Hannah Jones Oct. 28, 1848; she was born in Ohio, March 16, 1824; they moved to Bonaparte in the spring of 1850; in 1851, to Mt. Sterling, this county; in 1855, returned to Bonaparte and commenced his present business; have five children living-Fidelia, who lives in Kansas; Josephine, in Colorado, and Ida M.; Thomas H. and Charles B. are yet at home; lost three-William, Henrietta and an infant, not named. Mr. H. has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1848. Democrat.

Hornbaker, David, far., Sec. 18, P.O. Bonaparte; owns 140 acres of land, valued at $40 per acre; born Nov. 11, 1841, in Preble Co., Ohio; came with parents to this county in the fall of 1845, and settled about a mile west of his present residence. Enlisted May 1, 1861, in Co. F, 2d Iowa Inf.; discharged in January following for disability; in March, 1862, re-enlisted in the same company and regiment; and again, as a veteran, in March, 1864, participated in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh, Iuka, siege and battle of Corinth, and siege of Vicksburg, also with Sherman in his march to the sea, and all the battles during that campaign; was discharged at Davenport, Iowa, August 1, 1865. Married Mary A. Bachelor, of this county, March 11, 1867; she was born Aug. 14, 1843, in London, England; parents came the same fall to New York City, and, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1851, and to this county in 1852; have six children-Willie H., Carrie B., Benjamin F., David R., James G. and John R. Republican.

Hornbaker, Martin, far., P.O. Vernon.

Huffman, Geo., merchant, Bonaparte.

Humphrey, H., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

Humphrey, J. T., boot and shoe dealer, Bonaparte.

Humphrey, W., painter, Bonaparte.

Johnson, William J., merchant and farmer, Bonaparte.

Johnson, T. B., far., Sec. 18; P.O. Bonaparte; owns ninety-five acres of land, valued at $35 per acre; born Aug. 12, 1842, on the farm where he now lives; Bonaparte; owns ninety-five acres of land, his father, William Johnson, came from Fountain Co., Indiana, in 1838; died Sept. 25, 1845; spring of 1864, Mr. Johnson went to Montana; June, 1866, returned. Married Rebecca J. Perkins, daughter of J. F. Perkins, Feb. 18, 1873; she was born Nov. 11, 1851, in this county; have two children--Hattie and Barton. Democrat.

Kean, Joseph A., carpenter and joiner, Bonaparte.

Keasling, F., farmer; P.O. Bonaparte.

Kelley, John, far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Kerr, W. B., dealer in lumber, Bonaparte.

Ketcham, Benjamin, far., Sec. 1; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 600 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born Nov. 19, 1829, in Allegheny Co., Penn.; came to Van Buren Co., Iowa; spring of 1855, purchased a part of his present farm in February, 1856, which he improved and rented out for eight years, working on it part of the time; spent some time in Pennsylvania in farming. Married Miss Mary Lightfoot, of Lee Co., Iowa, Oct. 27, 1863; she was born in Manchester, England, Oct. 25, 1843; came with parents to St. Louis, spring of 1845; to Lee Co., in 1847. Mr. Ketcham moved on his farm the fall he married; have six children living--Minnie B., Joel, Lizzie J., George, Frank, and one infant not named. Has been Justice of Peace and Township Trustee. Member of Presbyterian Church; Democrat.

Lanshaw, W., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Leng, J., gardener, Bonaparte.

Lumb, L., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

McDaniel, J., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

McDaniel, M., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

McKasson, G., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Medlock, D., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Meek, H. H., book-keeper for the firm of Meek Bros., Bonaparte; son of Isaiah Meek; born June 4, 1851, in this town; was educated here; has been connected with the business of the firm from boyhood; acted as salesman of the road for the last seven years; recently assumed the management of the books of the company. Married Miss Mary C. Shang Nov. 29, 1870; she was born in Virginia; died June 20, 1871; again married Nannie E. Duncan Nov. 22, 1875; she was born April 18, 1853, in Mercer Co., Mo.; have no family. Democrat.

Meek, Isaiah, of the firm Meek Bros., proprietors of the Bonaparte Grist, Saw and Woolen Mills, Bonaparte; born Jan. 31, 1821, in Warren Co., Ohio; parents moved to St. Joseph Co., Mich., in 1829; to Bonaparte in the spring of 1837; his father, William Meek, in company with Dr. R. N. Cresap, laid out the town of Bonaparte the same year; in 1844, William Meek & Sons built the grist-mills, and, in 1853, the woolen-mills; the latter burned in 1863; were rebuilt by Meek Bros. the same year. Mr. Meek married Cynthia A. Ingels in December, 1844; she was born in 1827 in Ohio; have six children--Nancy A., Phoebe L., Hugh H., Mary E., Byron and Kirk. Mr. Meek owns, individually, 540 acres of land, valued at $25 per acre, and about 2,000 acres in company with his brother Robert, and 500 acres with Robert and Joseph. The Meek Brothers are among the leading business firms of Van Buren Co.; are now building a fine new grist-mill, to contain six runs of stone, at a cost of $15,000. Democrat.

Meek, Joseph, one of the firm of Meek Brothers, Bonaparte; born June 9, 1830, in St. Joseph Co., Mich.; came with parents to this county in the spring of 1837; settled in Bonaparte; has been one of the firm of Meek Brothers since the death of his father. Married Mary Ward, of this county, May 18, 1852; she was born Nov. 19, 1832, in Indiana; died July 12, 1853; was again married, to Mary A. King Nov. 2, 1856; she was born June 23, 1838, in County Galway, Ireland; has seven children living, all by second wife--Eliza, Kate, Mary A., Robert, Maggie, Priscilla D. and Alice; lost one--Ann E., by first wife. Mr. Meek owns individually about 140 acres of land, besides one-third interest with his brothers in 500 acres.

Meek, Ralph F., proprietor livery stable, Bonaparte; son of Robert and Nancy (Flint) Meek; born Aug. 11, 1851, in Bonaparte; was educated in the public schools of his native town; served as clerk and book-keeper in the office of Meek Bros. for several years; commenced his present business in the spring of 1878. Married Miss Gertrude E. Christy, daughter of Thomas Christy; she was born Nov. 26, 1854, in Keosauqua; have two children--Carl E. and Harry C. Democrat.

Meek, Robert, of the firm of Meek Brothers, proprietors of Bonaparte Grist, Saw and Woolen Mills, Bonaparte; born Jan. 25, 1815, in Wayne Co., Ohio; his father, William Meek, moved to St. Joseph Co., Mich., in 1829; to Lee Co., Iowa, in the fall of 1836; the following spring to this county; his father purchased the claim of a Mr. Moffatt, the land upon which he and Dr. R. N. Cresap laid out the town of Bonaparte in 1837; the grist-mills were built by William Meek & Sons in 1844; the woolen-mills in 1853; the latter were burned in 1863; rebuilt by Meek Brothers the same year; the father died Aug. 9, 1863; the mother Jan. 25, 1855; the Meek Bros. assumed control of the mills about 1859. Mr. Meek married Mary A. Allen, of Lee Co., Iowa, April 23, 1838; she was born April 10, 1819; died Oct. 3, 1845; again married, Nancy Flint Oct. 10, 1847; she was born May 24, 1815; died June 1, 1853; again married, Abigail P. Barber Oct. 12, 1856; she was born Oct. 24, 1822; have nine children living, three by each wife--first, Elizabeth A., Sarah and Alvia; second, Alinda P., William and Ralph F.; third, Lewis C., Robert E. and Oscar L., lost two of second wife's children and one of third. Mr. Meek owns individually about four hundred acres of land and one-half interest in about two thousand acres and one-third interest in about five hundred acres. Member of the Baptist Church; Democrat. The firm of Meek Brothers are among the most solid and enterprising business men of Southeastern Iowa.

Meek & Kerr, lumber dealers, Bonaparte.

Merrick, Legrand, far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Meek, William, clerk and salesman in the office of Meek Brothers, Bonaparte; son of Robert and Nancy (Flint) Meek; born in Bonaparte Sept. 29, 1849; educated in the schools of his native town. Married Alice Sharp, of Bonaparte July 3, 1870; she died Sept. 12, 1873; again married, Maggie M. Johnson March 5, 1874; she was born Oct. 27, 1851, in Bonaparte; has four children, two by first wife and two by second wife--Alden H. and Effie, and Shirley R. and Carlotta C.

Miller, E. E., farmer; P.O. Bonaparte; son of Peter and Mary Miller; born Dec. 18, 1831, in Westmoreland Co., Penn; came with parents to Van Buren Co., Iowa, in the spring of 1854, and settled in this township; in the spring of 1859, went overland to California; in the spring of 1866, went to Montana; remained till the fall of 1872; returned to Van Buren Co. and purchased his present farm of 228 1/2 acres, valued at $35 per acre; his father died April 6, 1873. Married Miss Martha W. Ryland, of this county, Dec. 14, 1875; she was born Feb. 4, 1853, in this township; have two children--Glen A. and one infant not named. Republican.

Miller, John A., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Miller, Joseph, far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Miller, Simon, teamster, P.O. Bonaparte.

Miller, Solomon, far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Mitchell, J. P., farmer; Sec. 6; P.O. Bonaparte; son of John and Liddich Mitchell; born July 1, 1831, in Perry Co., Penn.; came with parents to this county in the spring of 1839, and settled in Bonaparte Tp. in the fall of 1842; returned to Pennsylvania and remained till the spring of 1856, then returned to their old farm in Van Buren Co., where his father died July 29, 1875, in the 78th year of his age; he was a native of Armagh Co., Ireland and emigrated to the United States in 1808; Mr. J. P. Mitchell to California in the spring of 1864, and followed mining; in the spring of 1869, returned and took charge of his father's farm of 165 acres, of which he still has charge and an interest as one of the heirs; his mother is still living on the farm. Mr. Mitchell was never married. Republican.

Murphy, Samuel, coal-miner, Bonaparte.

Myers, Lewis, far., Sec. 16; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 120 acres of land, valued at $35 per acre; born Oct. 22, 1808, in Gallipolis, Ohio; parents moved into Virginia in 1811, and in 1814, into Kentucky, opposite the mouth of the Scioto River; in 1817, moved to Scioto Co., Ohio; in the spring of 1839, came to Van Buren Co., Iowa, and purchased the farm upon which he lives. Married Mary Milford, of this county, in November, 1847; she was a native of Pennsylvania; she died Dec. 29, 1848, leaving one child--Mary, who died when about 3 years of age; again married, Mary A. Cackley Sept. 2, 1852; she was born Oct. 23, 1819, in Pocahontas Co., Va.; have four children living--Clarinda, Hugh, John and Alva; lost two--George and James; his wife's mother, Frances Cackley, lives in the family. Mr. Myers is a member of the Masonic Order, both Blue Lodge and Chapter, at Farmington.

Neal, Uriel, farmer, P.O. Bonaparte; owns 240 acres of land, valued at $40 per acre; born Oct. 11, 1810, in Boone Co., Ky.; in the fall of 1830, parents moved into Dearborn Co., Ind.; in the summer of 1835, came to Illinois, twenty miles east of Burlington; in the spring of 1836, came to Van Buren Co., Iowa, and located a part of the farm upon which he lives. Married in Indiana Catherine Brokaw Sept. 7, 1834; she was born in Pennsylvania April 24, 1810; have but one daughter--Rachel, who lives at home. Mr. Neal has filled the offices of Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Assessor and Trustee for his township several years. Member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Orders. Democrat.

Ogle, J., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Page, W. H. H., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Parker, S., potter; P.O. Bonaparte.

Patterson, C. F., far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Perkins, Joseph F., farmer; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 333 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born July 21, 1816, in Pocahontas Co., W. Va.; parents moved to Logan Co., Ohio, in the fall of 1833; in 1834, went to Indiana, and stopped in Lima; in the spring of 1836, came to Iowa, and made his claim on the south side of the Des Moines River, opposite where Bonaparte now stands; his parents and the family came the same year; subsequently went on to California, except his brother William. Married Eliza Maxwell in January, 1837; she died Oct. 4, 1844, leaving two children--Joseph and Mary; again married, Eliza Myers April 1, 1847; she was born in March, 1820, in Ohio; have seven children--Sarah, Robert, Wm. H., Jane, James C., Ellen and Allen. Mr. Perkins is among the well-to-do farmers of his township, has accumulated property by his own industry and economy, filled several official positions in his township, and is present Justice of the Peace. Democrat.

Perkins, Robert, Franklin and George, farmers; P.O. Bonaparte.

Perkins, M.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Perkins, W., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Radistock, Charles, farmer; P.O. Bonaparte.

Reese, Richard, wagon-maker, Bonaparte.

Rigler, Frederick, far., Sec. 6; P.O. Bonaparte.

Robb, Harvey, retired farmer; P.O. Bonaparte; son of James and Isabella Robb; born Dec. 10, 1819, in Clark Co., Ky.; in the spring of 1820, his parents moved to Jefferson Co., Ind; in 1834, went to Fountain Co.; in February, 1838, Mr. Robb came to Van Buren Co.; purchased several hundred acres of land in Henry Tp., of which he still owns 578 acres, valued at $40 per acre. Married Rachel Christy, of this county, Aug. 31, 1843; she was born Sept. 8, 1824, in Harrison Co., Ohio. Has followed farming and stock-raising, also buying and shipping to some extent; in the fall of 1875, he left his farm and moved to Chicago, and engaged in the stock commission business at the Union Stock-Yards; his health failing, he returned, and located in Bonaparte in 1876. Has three children living--Mary I., now Mrs. G. W. Meredith; Sarah J., now Mrs. W. C. Cackley; and Thomas, who married Amanda Brewster; all are living in this county. Members of the Presbyterian Church; Democrat.

Robinson, Farncis, far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Robison, J. R., barber and propreitor of Robison Block, Bonaparte; son of James and Milley Robison; born in Petersburg, Va., July 5, 1853; the year 1862, his parents spent in Woodville, Miss.; returned to Petersburg, Va., he going to New Orleans in company with his brother; remained a short time, then went up the Mississipi River to Cairo, Ill., where his brother remained; he came on to Duquoin, thence to Keokuk, Iowa; to Bonaparte in the fall of 1863, and engaged in the employ of Dr. R. N. Cresap; then proprietor of what is now Eason House; remained with him about five years; then went to Mt. Pleasant and attended school about six months; returned, went to Keosauqua and attended school about six months, then went to Keokuk, and with George Caves learned the barber's trade; returned to Bonaparte adn engaged in his present business; by close attention to business saved his surplus earnings, and purchased the block in which he carries on his business, and rents the store-rooms for other business. Republican.

Ryan, A. S., miller, Bonaparte.

Ryland, B. D., miller, Bonaparte.

Sage, J. R., tailor, Bonaparte.

Sanders, J., far., S. 16; P.O. Bonaparte.

Sedgwick, D. E., jeweler, Bonaparte.

Schleter, H., far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Sherman Brothers, proprietors of the Bonaparte Journal, Bonaparte; J. W. was born Sept. 8, 1852, in Washington Co., Ill.; parents came to this town in 1856; he commenced learning the printer's trade in 1870 in the office of the Van Buren Democrat, published in the room they now occupy; went to Leon, Decatur Co., Iowa, in September, 1875; was a partner in the Leon Reporter; sold out the following spring and went to Newton, Jasper Co., Iowa; was a partner in the Jasper County Independent; sold out in the spring of 1877, and returned to Bonaparte, and, in company with his brother, started the Bonaparte Journal. Married Jennie Brooker Feb. 19, 1874; she was born in June, 1856; have one son--Joseph A. John H. was born Jan. 12, 1857, in Bonaparte; commenced to learn the printer's trade with his brother at Leon in 1875; was with him as a partner in Newton, Jasper Co., Iowa, and is a partner in the Journal office.

Sherman, N. E., Bonaparte.

Smith, N. H., carpenter and cooper, Bonaparte.

Smith, O., stone-mason, Bonaparte.

Smith, W., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

Spence, A., employe of Meek Bros., Bonaparte.

Stark, J., far.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Steadman, A., stone-cutter, Bonaparte.

Steadman, Jas., stone-cutter, Bonaparte.

Sterling, Wm., employe of Meek Bros.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Stirling, John, Superintendent of the Meek Bros.' Woolen-Mills, Bonaparte; born Nov. 15, 1824, in Stirlingshire, Scotland; commenced working in the Cambusbarron Mills when he was about 10 years old. He was married to Jessie Reid Nov. 20, 1846; she was born in March, 1825; came to Littleton, N. H., in 1857; and, in the summer of 1866, to Warren, Ill., where he remained till January, 1868; when he came to Bonaparte, and engaged in the employ of Meek Bros., in their woolen-mills, as Superintendent of the weaver's department, which position he held till 1872; since that has been Superintendent of the mills, except a year spent in visiting in the old country. He has nine children living--John, William, Joseph, Mary, Janet, Ellen, George, Martha and Jean; lost four--James, Alexander, Mary and Euphemia. Member of the Presbyterian Church.

Stienmeyer, F. A., physician, Bonaparte.

Stutsman, D. W., Dr., Homeopathic physician and surgeon; Bonaparte; born Feb. 12, 1839, in Morgan Co., Ind.; came with his parents to Lee Co., Iowa, in 1843, where, two years later, his father died; went to Chariton Co., Mo., in 1857; in 1864, came to Bentonsport, in this county, engaged in the drug business; while there he commenced the study of medicine. In January, 1865, was appointed Commissary Steward in the 60th U. S. Colored Regiment; discharged in November, 1865. He returned home and attended lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk; graduated in the spring of 1867; then came to Bonaparte and commenced practice. Married Emma A. Lewis, July 3, 1873; she was born in Illinois, Jan. 24, 1850; have one daughter--Xantippe. Dr. Stutsman is the present W. M. of Bonaparte Lodge, No. 73, A., F. & A. M. Republican.

Sturdivant, Wm. Co., farmer, dealer and shipper of stock, Sec. 2; P.O. Bonaparte; son of Dr. R. J. Sturdivant; owns 180 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born this county Aug. 6, 1848. Married Jennie Monroe, of this county, Jan. 27, 1870; she was born in London, England, in January, 1848; have five children--Guy, Leslie, Audley, J., William C. and Clyde. Mr. Sturdivant owns the Eason House in Bonaparte. Democrat.

Tompkins, S. V.; P.O. Bonaparte.

Thompson, Otis, Bonaparte.

Troutman, G. W., retired far., Bonaparte.

Van Dorn, William, grain dealer, Bonaparte.

Vauseggen, Charles H., far., Sec. 21; P.O. Bonaparte.

Vauseggen, John W., far., Sec. 21; P.O. Bonaparte.

Watts, Isaac, far., S. 19, P.O. Bonaparte.

Wagner, Benjamin, far., P.O. Bonaparte; owns 254 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born Nov. 10, 1817, in Montgomery Co., Ohio. Married Margaret Shrayer Jan. 12, 1843; she was born Sept. 28, 1825, in same State; came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1855; spring of 1860, came to Van Buren Co., and purchased his present farm; has served his Township as Assessor several terms; has six children living--America A., William S., Mary, Charles E., Kate E. and Benjamin P.; lost two--Margaret E. and one infant. Is a member of A., F. & A. M. Republican.

Welch, James, minister, Bonaparte.

White, Nathan, far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Whiteley, J. W.; P.O. Bonaparte, dealer in groceries, stationery, notions, sewing machines and attachments, etc., also Superintendent of the wool-sorting room, in the Bonaparte Woolen-Mills; born April 28, 1826, in Yorkshire, England; came to the United States via New Orleans, and went to Cheshire Co., N.H.; the following year to Connellsville, Penn.; married there Sarah A. Giles April 25, 1852; same year moved to Belmont Co., Ohio; next year, returned to Pennsylvania; fall of 1856, came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; spring of 1857, to Bonaparte, and engaged in the employ of Meek Bros., in the woolen-mills; commenced the grocery business in 1870. His wife died Feb. 20, 1872; again married, Hattie A. Johnson Aug. 18, 1878; have six children living--Thomas C., an attorney, in Burlington; Jos. G., at home; Mary R., married to W. I. Allender, of Pella, Iowa; Sarah E., married to Harry Mitcheler; George A., who is studying law with his brother in Burlington, and Phil S., at home; lost one daughter--Emma G. Independent.

Whitlock, A., dealer in agricultural implements, Bonaparte.

Whitmore, B. F., laborer, Bonaparte.

Williamson, J., far., Sec. 1; P.O. Bonaparte.

Wilson, E., laborer, Bonaparte.

Wilson, E. A., laborer, Bonaparte.

Wilson, Robert, proprietor of Bonaparte Pottery with Thomas Hanback, Bonaparte; born Feb. 17, 1827, in Staffordshire, England. In December, 1845, enlisted in H. M. 24th Foot, and sailed for India the following May; served through the campaign of Punjaub, in 1848-49; received a medal and two clasps of recognition for service; was under Lord Gough, Sir Colin Campbell, and Sir Charles Napier; returned to England in August, 1856; same fall came to Boston, Mass.; following summer to Peoria, Ill. In April, 1861, enlisted in Co. E, of the 8th Illinois Infantry for three months; was Second Sergeant; afterward elected Captain, Co. I; wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson, and left for dead on the battle-field over night; recovered, and participated at siege of Corinth, after which, resigned. Came to Farmington; engaged in the pottery business. Fall of 1863 was tendered the captaincy of the 5th U. S. Heavy Artillery, accepted, and again went into service; was engaged principally in garrison duty; promoted to Major and Lieut.-Colonel by brevet, for gallantry at Fort Donelson; mustered out fall of 1865. Came to Peoria, Ill., and engaged in the pottery business; December, 1866, came to Farmington; in 1871, to Bonaparte and engaged with Messrs. Hanback & Parker; in 1873, bought Mr. Parker's interest. Married Miss Sarah J. Miles, of Tazewell Co., Ill., June 9, 1863; she died December, 1868; again married, Anna M. Atkinson, of Illinois, Dec. 9, 1869; she was born in Wicklow Co., Ireland, Nov. 26, 1839; has two children by second wife-Thomas W. and Fanny H.; his wife had two children by former husband-Carrie M. and Cora D. Republican.

Wilson, W. C., far., Sec. 16; P.O. Bonaparte.

Wolf, Michael, far., Sec. 12; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 242 acres of land, valued at $25 per acre; born Feb. 3, 1820, in Butler Co., Ohio; parents moved to Wayne Co., Ind., in 1831. Married Melvina Tilson, of Darke Co., Ohio, July 2, 1842; she was born in same county in 1827; fall of 1844, moved into Darke Co., Ohio; his wife died the same fall, leaving a daughter--Mary A., who died the fall of 1845. Went to Williamsburg, Ind., and worked at his trade of blacksmithing nine months; then went to Hollandsburg, Ohio, and married Lucinda Harlan March, 1846; she was born in April, 1830; spring of 1847, moved to Bethel, Ind.; in 1849, returned to Hollandsburg, Ohio; fall of 1850, came to Lee Co., Iowa; then to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and worked at his trade; in 1852, came to Harrisburg Tp., of this county; worked at his trade and farming; his wife died there Dec. 31, 1859; again married, Narcissa Brown, of Lee Co.; she was born March 12, 1844, in Highland Co., Ohio; moved to Bonaparte fall of 1866; worked at his trade till 1869; in the hardware business till 1871; then came to his present farm. Had seven children by second wife-Amanda J., Elizabeth A., Norman H., Jacob D., Mary E., Rosella B. and Josephine; the last five are dead; by third wife five--Sarah F., William M., David C., Effie B. and Calvin M.; the last three are dead. Members Baptist Church; Republican.

Wyer, John, farmer, Sec. 2; P.O. Bonaparte; owns 110 acres of land, valued at $35 per acre; born, July 22, 1830, in Warren Co., N. J.; parents moved to Licking Co., Ohio, thence to Van Buren Co., Iowa, in the fall of 1852, and settled on the farm where he now lives; his father died in November, 1854, and his mother March 5, 1864. Married Mary E. Miller, of this county, Nov. 15, 1855; she was born Oct. 1, 1833, in Pennsylvania; have five children living--Mary A., Henrietta, Emma, William and Frank; lost one-Sarah E. Members of the Baptist Church; Republican.

Wyer, A., far., Sec. 20; P.O. Bonaparte.

Young, B. H., far., P.O. Bonaparte.

Young, C.P., carpenter, Bonaparte.

Zane, Levi, farmer, Sec. 14; P.O. Bonaparte; owns about 300 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born Nov. 27, 1820, in Salem Co., N. J.; came to Lee Co., Iowa, in the spring of 1851; to Van Buren Co. in February, 1854. Married, in New Jersey, Miss Mary A. Justice Feb. 28, 1847; she was born June 16, 1821; have only one son living-Wilbert, born April 21, 1865; lost five children-Levi J., John, Justice, William and Hannah; are raising an orphan child-Adaline Fox. Members of the M. E. Church.

1878 Biographies of Bonaparte Township, Van Buren County, Iowa
transcribed by Rich Lowe. E-mail - richlowe@web-iowa.com

1878 Township Index | Van Buren County, IAGenWeb

Van Buren County 1878 Biography Index created and maintained by richlowe@web-iowa.com
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