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Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. online

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Online LibraryHobart Publishing Company (Chicago)Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. → online text (page 13 of 85)
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school education, she went to Mount
Pleasant and entered Howe's Academy,
where she completed her work as a stu-
dent. They have three children, one, Ed-
ward H., having died in infancy. Those
now living are: George F., who now owns
the old home farm, which he bought in
1890, and has since added to it one hun-
dred and twenty acres; Charles O. is a
farmer of Jefferson township ; and Pearl
P. living in Elmira, Washington.

Mr. Barr is a member of the Aletho-
dist Episcopal church, which he joined in
1853, while residing in Ohio, and has
filled many important and trustworthy of-
fices in this church, having been recording

steward since 1903, has been Sunday
school superintendent for nine years, and
has ever been a faithful and earnest w^orker
in the cause.

He is a republican and a stanch sup-
porter of the party to which he has given
his allegiance. He was elected to the of-
fice of justice of the peace in 1887, a po-
sition which he held until 1900, when he

David Henry Barr is a man of genuine
worth and an earnest Christian gentleman.
He has been a faithful servant of his coun-
try in times of war, and has just as faith-
fully served his own village in times of
peace and prosperity. It is a matter of
pride with him that he belongs to the
Grand Army of the Republic. He is a
man who has worked out his own career
and pushed his way steadily upward de-
pending upon his own resources to make
his ow^n position in life. That he has been
eminently successful is proved by his life


Palus E. Everts is the owner of a valu-
able farm property of two hundred and
forty-three acres of arable land and in ad-
dition he owns fifty-five acres of timber
land. In the control of his farming in-
terests he display's good business ability
and executive force and is meeting with
well merited prosperity. He was born
near Elmira. New York, January 24,
1839, and is a son of Lawrence and Mar-
garet (Wiggins) Everts, both of whom


are natives of the Empire state. The one hundred and eighty acres of tillable
father was born in Schuyler county, land and eighty acres of timber land. He
and was a son of Aranthus Everts, who has since added to his possessions until he
was born in Massachusetts and whose wife now has two hundred and forty-three
bore the maiden name of Margaret Mat- acres of land, which is rich and product-
thews. Having arrived at years of ma- \\t, while his timber tract has been re-
turitv, Lawrence Everts was married in the duced to fiftv-five acres, the remainder
Empire state to Miss Margaret Wiggins, having been cleared. In 1882 he erected
a daughter of William Wiggins, also a a residence of eight rooms, and in 1886
native of Xew York. In the year 1844 he built a good barn thirty-four by forty-
they left the east and came to Henry coun- four feet with basement. The place is
ty, Iowa, settling on a farm of two hun- well tiled so that drainage has made the
dred and forty acres, on section 36, Jeffer- fields productive and he altogether has a
son township. Upon the place was a small well improved property. In the tilling of
cabin and a few acres had been plowed the soil he has shown a good knowledge
but otherwise the entire tract was unim- of the value of rotating crops and a thor-
proved. He built a house, broke the ough understanding of the needs of the
prairie and transformed the once wild tract different kinds of grain which he raises,
into richly cultivated fields, continuing the He annually harvests good crops and in
work of improvement until he had as fine addition he raises horses, catle and hogs,
a farm as could be found in the township, his sales of stock each year materially in-
As a worthy pioneer settler he assisted creasing his bank account,
materially in the early development and In December, 1874, Mr. Everts was
progress of this section of the state and united in marriage to Miss Margaret E.
his worth as a citizen was widely acknowl- Alontgomery, who was born in Ohio and
edged. In the family were three sons and attended Howe's Academy in :\Iount
six dauo-hters. Pleasant. Her father was Samuel ]Mont-
Palus E. Everts, the second in order gomery, a native of Ohio. In their fam-
of birth, remained with his parents ily were four children: Clara, now the
throughout their lifetime. The father wife of Clyde Hodges, of Guide Rock,
passed away in 1865 and the mother's Nebraska ; Catherine, Mary, and Clark, all
death occurred in 1874. He was educated at home. The family are well known in
in the common schools of Iowa and for a the county and have a large circle of warm
short time attended the Iowa Wesleyan friends. ^Ir. Everts is independent in
University, of Mount Pleasant. He was politics, having always preferred to give
trained to all the duties and labors that his undivided attention to his business in-
fall to the lot of the agriculturist and he terests and his capable management of
continued to ^^•ork upon the home farm his fami has gained him rank with the
until after the death of his parents, when leading agriculturists of this part of the
he purchased the interest of the other state. His life has been a busy and use-
heirs in the property which then comprised ful one and he has the satisfaction of



knowing that his success has been honor-
ably gained without regard to fraudulent
measures. It has resulted entirely from
his strong and earnest purpose, guided by
sound judgment and supplemented by un-
faltering diligence.


Edwin Spencer Gill, a retired farmer
now residing in Mount Pleasant, was born
near New Baltimore, Fairfield county,
Ohio, October 5, 1828, a son of Selmon
and Margaret (Dorette) Gill. The father
was born in the state of Maryland on the
15th of December, 1790, while the moth-
er's birth occurred in that state October
6th, of the same year. In early life Mr.
Selmon Gill learned the trade of an edge
tool maker, which pursuit he followed for
ten years. He enlisted for service in the
war of 1812, and although he was never
called out for active duty, he stood ready
at all times to respond in case of his coun-
try's need of further aid. It was on the
19th of December, 18 13, that he wedded
Miss Margaret Dorette, the wedding cere-
mony being performed by Rev. M. Bever-
ley W'augh, who was the second bishop
in America. In the year 1820 or 1821
Selmon Gill removed with his family to
Ohio and there he carried on farming and
blacksmithing with excellent success until
1843, '^^■lic" he came to Iowa, settling on
a farm in Lee county, where he made his
home with his son Edwin up to the time
of his death, which occurred in 1862. The

mother passed away three years, after their
arrival in Iowa, her death occurring in
1846. Mr. Gill gave his early political
support to the whig party, and afterward
endorsed republican principles. Having lost
his first wife he was married again in Ohio
on the /th of July, 1850, his second un-
ion being with Miss Margaret Chamber-
lain. By the first marriage there were nine
children: William, Henry H., Elenorah,
Joshua, Selmon, Margaret, Maiy William,
Edwin Spencer, Amanda and Rosanna
Matilda, but Edwin S. is the only one now
living. There were two children of the
second marriage, James Harrison and

Edwin Spencer Gill pursued his educa-
tion in the district schools of Ohio until
fourteen years of age, when he came to
Iowa and here he spent twenty days in
school. The schoolhouse had been built
three years after he arrived in Lee county,
and it was there that he continued his stu-
dies for the Ijrief period mentioned. He
first worked on his father's farm, being
thus employed until he was able to buy
a farm of his own. when he invested in
one hundred and sixty acres of land in
Franklin township, Lee county. He first
erected the small buildings which were
most needed, and from time to time he
added further impro^'ements. This farm
he sold in the fall of 1861, and in January,
1862, he bought a new raw farm of one
hundred sixty acres, in Cedar township,
which fann was later one of the finest in
diis section of the state, not having any
land that was not tillable and productive,
building fine barns and granaries, and at
the time he left the farm, about nine years
aso, he owned the finest house in the



neighborhood, it ha\-ing l)een erected in
1875, at a cost of three thousand dollars.
He placed his fields under a high state of
cultivation and annually harvested good
crops as a reward for his labors. On
selhng that farm, in 1900, to W. B. See-
ley he purchased a tract of land in Henry
county, about six miles from Mount Pleas-
ant. \\hich he owned until September 24,
1905, when he sold this property and
bought a fine farm of one hundred and
ninety-two acres, five miles west of Mount
Pleasant. In May, 1898, he built a beau-
tiful cottage on the corner cxf Locust and
East Clay streets in Mount Pleasant,
where he has since resided. It stands in
the midst of a well kept lawn, adorned
with fine roses and flowers of all kinds.
There are also various kinds of fruit, in-
cluding pears, plums and apples, and he
has a nice garden.

On the 25th of January, 1853, Mr. Gill
was married to Miss Nancy McCracken,
a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Perrin)
McCracken. The mother died during the
early girlhood of her daughter. John Mc-
Cracken was born in Delaware, October
I, 1802. When three years old he removed
with his parents to Franklin county, Ohio.
He grew up as a farmer, and in 1824 mar-
ried Elizabeth Perrin. She died in 1837,
and three children survived. He was a
class leader of the Methodist Episcopal
church for forty years. His death oc-
curred January 7, 1890. He followed
farming throughout his entire life and died
in Iowa. By his first marriage he had
three children: Susan, who became the
wife of Harrison Brown, and after his
death married Wesley Harrison, a promi-
nent man of Lee county; Nancy A., who

became Mrs. Gill; and Jacob Elijah, who
married a Miss McCord, and afterward
wadded Miss Garrett. Following the fleath
of his first wife John McCracken wedded
Miss Elizabeth Collins, who is now living
with her son, near LaCrew, Iowa, at the
advanced age of eighty-four vears. j\Irs.
Gill was born in 1830, and for more than
a half century our subject and his wife
have traveled life's journey happily to-
gether. They have become the parents
of seven children : Elizabeth Ellen, born
in 1854, is the wife of Emery Pease, of
Sharon, Iowa, and has two children.
Nancy Amelia, born in 1856, is the wife
of Augustus McKey, of California; Flora
Anna, born in 1858, is the wife of Samuel
Hampton, of LaCrew, Lee county, Iowa.
Fannie Alice died when twenty-three years
of age. Edwin Herbert married Aggie
Gardener and follows farming near Dover,
Iowa. John Francis died at the age of
six years. William died when about three
years of age. He and his brother John
died of diphtheria. The children who have
reached mature years have all been af-
forded excellent educational privileges,
some of them attending college in Salem
and some having been students in Howe's
/Vcademy at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Two
of the daughters, Elizabeth Ellen and
Nancy Amelia, have been successful teach-
ers of Lee county.

In politics Mr. Gill has always been a
stalwart republican and for a very long
period served as school director in Lee
county. The cause of education has al-
wavs found in him a stalwart friend and
he has put forth earnest and effective ef-
fort to improve the i)ublic school system.
He and his wife hold membership in the



Methodist Episcopal church, of which he
has been a trustee for twenty-live years
and for some time has been church stew-
ard. When Mr. Gill came to Iowa, this
part of the state was an unbroken wilder-
ness, covered largely with timber. He is
an intelligent man whose life has been
characterized by enterprise and who has
ever displayed a pleasant, genial nature,
so that he has won many friends. In the
early days the Indians were more nu-
merous than the white settlers and there
w^ere many difficult conditions of pioneer
life to be met but as the years passed
Mr. Gill overcame all of the hardships
in his path and worked his way steadily
upward to success, being now in posses-
sion of a comfortable competence. His
kindly spirit, genial disposition and hon-
orable principles have greatly endeared him
to those with whom he has been associated
and he is respected by all.


Rev. Jonathan Lee is well known in
Henry county in connection with his
farming interests and as a minister of the
Baptist church and one who has labored
long and effectively for the moral de-
velopment of the community and the up-
lifting of his fellow men. He has wielded
a wide influence and what he has ac-
complished has made his name an hon-
ored one wherever he is known. He was
born in Vernon. Indian^, on the 9th of
November, 1839. His paternal grand-

father, Mark Lee, was a native of Ken-
tucky, and with his family removed from
that state to Indiana in 1821. About two
years later both he and his wife died of
milk sickness and were buried in the same
grave. Their son, Martin Lee, was born
in Kentucky but was reared in Indiana,
and having arrived at years of maturity,
w^as married at Vernon, that state, to
Miss Lydia A. Riley, whose birth oc-
curred in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her parents
were Rev. Oliver and Elizabeth (Harri-
son) Riley. Her father was a minis-
ter of the Methodist Episcopal church and
served as chaplain in the war of 1812
with a Virginia regiment. She was a
cousin of President Harrison. At the
time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs.
Martin Lee settled on a farm near Ver-
non, Indiana, wdiere they remained for
two years, and in 1840 they drove across
the country with covered wagons to Tip-
pecanoe township, Henry county, Iowa.
It was then a largely undeveloped region
but here and there a few settlements had
been made to show that the work of im-
provement had been begun. Mr. Lee pur-
chased eighty acres of uncultivated land
on section 31, Tippecanoe township, and
at once began to plow and plant the fields
and in due course of time he gathered rich
harvests. For a long period he was close-
!}• associated with farming interests here
and he died in this county in April, 1899.
His wife passed away in November, 1903,
and thus the county lost two of its promi-
nent, worthy and respected pioneer set-

Rev. Jonathan Lee is the eldest in a
family of three sons and three daughters,
of whom two sons and one daughter died


in childhood, while the others reached community, he has also devoted consid-

mature years. He was less than a year erable time to the work of the church and

old when brought from Indiana to Iowa is now pastor of two different churches,

and his education was acquired in the He was also pastor of the Baptist church

district schools of Tippecanoe township, at Seymour, Wayne county, Iowa, for

He spent his boyhood days on the home eight years; at Harrisburg, Van Buren

farm with his parents, working in the county, Iowa, for fifteen years; and at

fields through the months of summer and West Point, Lee county, for a short time,

until crops were harvested in the late He is now pastor of the Glasgow church

autumn. His times was thus occupied at Jefferson county, Iowa, and an out-

until he reached the age of twenty-one station of Tippecanoe township. His first

vears, when he determined to engage in ministerial work, however, was done at

farming on his own account and bought Rome, Iowa, where he engaged in preach-

forty acres of land in brush on section ing in the railroad depot and he built a

31, Tippecanoe township. A log cabin meeting house there. He also preached for

had been built on the tract and he at once twelve years in the village of Salem and

began to improve the land. At the same for two years in Bonaparte and he has

time he began preaching the gospel as a acted as supply pastor at Mount Pleasant

minister of the Baptist church, having and other places. He is now moderator

studied for this holy calling under the of the Keokuk Baptist Church Associa-

direction of the Rev. M. Elliott, the first tion, which position he has filled since

Baptist preacher ordained in Iowa. Rev. 1900, and he has been a member of the

Jonathan Lee was ordained at Glasgow board of the Iowa Baptist State Conven-

in 1857. and engaged in preaching in ad- tion since 1898. Thus his labors have

dition to carrying on the work of the been most untiring, earnest and effective

farm. For many years he lived in a log in promoting the interests of his church

cabin, his home being formed of that and in advancing moral development and

primitive character until 1883, when he in the various localities with which he has

built his present frame residence, com- been connected. He has also been presi-

prising seven rooms in a two-story build- dent of the Old Settlers' Association of

ing with an addition containing kitchen Salem since 1895, and in this connection

and pantry. He has resided on this farm is widely known, and has been vice-presi-

since he started out in life on his own dent of the Savings Bank of Rome since

account, and has extended its boundaries its organization.

until it now comprises two hundred and On the 19th of May, 1858, Rev. Lee

twenty acres of arable and productive was joined in the holy bonds of matri-

land on sections 29, 30 and 31, Tippe- mony to Miss Mary Harter, who was

canoe township. born in Indiana February 12, 1839, a

While Rev. Lee has succeeded in his daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Har-

farming operations and has become one ter) Harter, both natives of Indiana,

of the substantial agriculturists of his Mrs. Lee passed away January 16. 1869,



leaving three children : Amanda, who
was born March 23, 1859, and is the wife
of Henry Wood, of Fairbnry, Nebraska ;
Curtis, who was born September 16,
1 86 1, married Annie Cline November i,
1882, and is living in Jefferson county,
Iowa ; and Edwin, who was born Novem-
ber 12, 1866, married Nellie Cook Oc-
tober 17, 1887, and resides in Salem
township, this county.

On the 3d of November, 1869, Rev.
Lee was united in marriage to Miss Alice
Boyd, who was born in Wayne county,
Indiana, June 22, 1850, and accjuired her
education in Earlham College, in Rich-
mond, that state. Her parents were Dr.
J. B. and Nancy (Fender) Boyd, natives
of South Carolina. Her mother died
when Mrs. Lee was but a babe and she
was reared by her grandparents, James
and Nancy (Ruby) Boyd, natives of
Kentucky. On the 2nd of March. 1869,
she came to Van Buren county, Iowa, her
grandparents having died, and lived with
an uncle. Jacob Fender, until her mar-
riage. A Fort Worth (Texas) daily pa-
per, under the heading, "After Forty
Years," gives the following reference to
the arrival of Mrs. Jonathan Lee, of Tip-
pecanoe township, Henry county, in Fort
Worth :

"One of the most pathetic scenes which
has taken place at the Union depot for a
long while occurred this morning imme-
diately after the arrival of the Rock Is-
land passenger train from the north. Dr.
J. B. Boyd, ex-county treasurer, was at
the depot to meet his daughter, whom he
had not seen since she was four years of
age — forty years ago. The Doctor told
Officer Fulford that he was expecting his

daughter, Mrs. Alice Lee, but did not
know how she looked nor did she know
him. Officer Fulford found her after the
arrival of the train and took her to her
aged father. When she saw the Doctor
she said, Ts this Pa?' and both almost
broke down and wept with joy over the
reunion. As stated, her mother died when
she was a little child and her father left
her with his mother when she was but
four years old and came to Texas with the
intention of going on to Mexico. He was
here only a few days when the war broke
out and he was taken into the Confed-
erate army as surgeon. After the war
he established himself in Fort Worth and
married. Following his mother's death
his daughter was taken care of by an
uncle and Doctor Boyd lost track of her
until about ten years ago. They have been
corresponding since but could not man-
age to see one another until this morn-
ing, when she came in from Henry
county, Iowa."

Dr. Boyd died in the spring of 1899.
He had served for sixteen years as county
treasurer of Fort Worth county, Texas,
and was an influential citizen there.

Unto Rev. Lee and his second wife
were born five children: Oliver B.. born
January 4, 1872, married Ella Wilson
August 3. 1889, has charge of the busi-
ness of the Standard Oil Company at Ot-
tumwa, Iowa. Lydia, born March 31,
1876, died on the 3d of August, of that
year. Roe F., born September 26, 1877,
died October 31, 1893. Milo D., born
September 3, 1882. died September 21,
1883. Raymond J., born August 20,
1886, wedded Mary A. Bausman and re-
sides on the home farm.



During' his pastorate Rev. Lee has mar-
ried over seven hundred and eighteen
couples and there has been one minister
in Iowa who has surpassed this record.
His poHtical support is given to the Re-
pubHcan party but he has Ijeen without
aspiration for office, preferring to give his
undivided attention to his business affairs
and to his church work and in l^oth he has
achieved a measure of success which is
certainly gratifying- and commendable.
His life has in many respects been a
source of inspiration to others and his
influence in behalf of religigus progress is


Edward Livingston Penn, who was the
first exclusive dry goods merchant of
Mount Pleasant and for many years fig-
ured prominently in business circles as a
representative of commercial and banking
interests here, was born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, on the 14th of August,
18 14, a son of Abraham and Elizabeth
(Livingston) Penn. The father was de-
scended from Admiral Penn, who was also
the father of William Penn, but Edward
Livingston Penn traced his line of de-
scent from Richard Penn, a brother of the
founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.
The father of Abraham Penn was a master
builder of the king's dock yards at Chat-
ham, England, and his history is remem-
bered to this day in that locality. He was
born in England, and ^^•hen about eight-
een or nineteen years of age he went to

sea to learn navigation. He won pro-
motion as a seaman until he became first
mate of a vessel which was afterward
wrecked. Being picked up by an American
sailing vessel he was brought to Philadel-
phia, \\here he remained for some time
and then returned to England. Having
received a cordial welcome and Ijeing
greatly pleased with the new world he re-
turned to Philadelphia and for some time
he continued to follow the sea. He was
captain of a merchantman for many years.
While making his home at Philadelphia,
he was married to Miss Elizabeth Living-
ston, a daughter of Captain James Liv-
ingston, who won distinction as a soldier
of the Revoluti'onai'y war, and gave his
life upon the altar of liberty at the battle
of Brandy wine. Her mother was Ann But-
ler, a direct descendant of Pierce Butler,
duke of Ormond, who was the first gov-
ernor of Ireland, and for whom Dublin
Castle was built. The family history can
be traced back for about one thousand
years. With his father Captain Abraham
Penn removed to Ohio, and turned his at-
tention to fanning in the vicinity of Cir-
cleville. It was the desire of his wife to
get her sons away from the sea which
caused the removal to that inland vicinity.
There Captain Penn spent his remaining
days, his death occurring when he had
reached the age of eighty-four years. He
was a Friend, or Quaker, in religious faith
but his wife was a member of the Episco-
pal church.

Edward Lixingston Penn spent his
early .youth in his native city, but when
about twelve years of age went with his
parents to Ohio, and when a youth of
fourteen, desiring to enter business life.



his father took him to the town of Cir-
cleville, Ohio, giving him a new suit of
clothes and fifty cents in money. He also
secured for him a position in the store of
a Mr. Will, and from that time on Ed-
ward Livingston Penn provided for his
own support. He was taken into the
home of the merchant an'Iio employed him,
but in six months he was offered better
wages than his first employer could offer

Online LibraryHobart Publishing Company (Chicago)Biographical review of Henry County, Iowa, containing biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past .. → online text (page 13 of 85)