Hobart 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

. (page 14 of 85)
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 14 of 85)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and accepted the new position. There he
remained for some time, after which he
went to Chillicothe, Ohio, but soon left
that place for Lafayette, Lidiana, and be-
fore a year had passed in his new^ posi-
tion he was made managing partner of the
business. He seemed to possess natural
aptitude for merchandising, and became a
partner in the fimi of Fowler & Penn, con-
ducting the store at Lafayette, and also a
second mercantile establishment at Rens-
selaer, Indiana. Mr. Penn was thus iden-
tified with commercial interests in the
Hoosier state until 1856. when he dis-
posed of his store there and came to Mount
Pleasant. Here he opened the first ex-
clusive dr}' goods establishment of the
city, it being also the first store to conduct
a business upon the cash system. He not
only sold but also bought for cash and suc-
ceeded in the new enterprise from the be-
ginning. Later he added to his di-y goods
store a boot and shoe department, which
was opened in 1867. In i860 he had
erected a store building, now known as
the Union block and there he conducted
an extensive and growing business for
many years, but for about two decades
prior to his death he was not active in the
management of commercial interests. A
gentleman of resourceful business ability.

he extended his efforts to other fields of
labor and became one of the organizers
of the First National Bank and later one
of its incorporators. He was chosen a
member of its first directory and afterward
was elected president, which position he
held to the time of his death. He lived to
see that institution become one of the solid
financial concerns of the county, con-
ducting a business of considerable extent.
Mr. Penn was also the promoter of a bank
at AA'infield in connection with his brother-
in-law, Mr. Clark. He possessed keen
discernment and every step in his career
was carefully and thoughtfully made. He
therefore advanced steadilv toward the
objective point and for many years was
classed with the most prosperous as well
as most enterprising citizen of ]\Iount

In August, 185 1, Mr. Penn was married
to Miss Amelia Weaver, a daughter of
Dr. Jacob and Catherine (Close) Weaver.
They had three daughters : Ella Amelia ;
Lula Bertha, the wife of Frank W. In-
gersoll, of Chicago; and Kate Alma, now
the wife of A. H. Cole, of the Cole
Brothers Manufacturing Company, of
Chicago. ]\Ir. Penn built a beautiful home
at No. 408 North Jefferson street in 1856,
and it is still one of the fine residences
of the city. At that time it occupied a
whole square and was unequaled by any
building in Mount Pleasant.

Politically a republican, l\Ir. Penn
might have attained to high official honors
had he so desired but he cared not for
office as a reward for party fealty. In
matters of citizenship, however, he was
never remiss and his labors proved a
tangible factor in many movements for



general improvement and progress. For a
long period he was one of the most faith-
ful workers of the Iowa Wesleyan Uni-
versity and for about forty years was pres-
ident of its executive board. He also gave
liberally to the support of the college and
the cause of public education found in him
a warm friend. Active and earnest in
church work he identified himself with
the Methodist Episcopal denomination.
Liberal in many ways, he had no prejudice
against a thing because it was new and
was not slow in giving general support
to plans and projects for theaipbuilding of
public interests. His charities were many
but to most people they were unknown for
in his life he exemplified the precept not
to let the left hand know what the right
hand was doing. He died Alay i, 1901,
mourned by all, having for forty-five years
been a resident of Mount Pleasant. His
successful business career excited the ad-
miration of his contemporaies, his honor-
able methods won their respect, and his
charitable spirit, his kindly disposition,
and the helping hand which he was con-
tinuously extending won him the love and
deep regard of his fellow men.


Joseph W. Thompson, a florist carry-
ing on business in Center township, just
outside of the city limits of Mount Pleas-
ant, where he owns forty-four acres of
land, is one of the leading representatives
of his line of trade in eastern Iowa, and his

business is now extensive and profitable,
owing to his thorough understanding of
floriculture, his practical methods, his close
application and keen business discernment.
He was born in Cumberland county, Eng-
land, April I, 1850, his parents being Jo-
seph and Marv' (Richardson) Thompson,
who were likewise natives of that country.
The father died when his son Joseph was
but two years of age, and the mother after-
ward married John Jackson, of Edin-
burgh, Scotland. She died in England
and her remains were interred in that
country near the burial place of her first
husband. Joseph W. Thompson was the
only child of the first marriage, and there
were three by the second marriage, one
brother, James, being killed on the rail-
road in England in 1873. He was the eld-
est son of the second marriage, and the
others are John and Thomas, both of
whom yet reside near the old family home
in England.

Joseph \\\ Thompson spent the days
of his boyhood and youth in his native
land, acquiring a fair English education
there and then, attracted by the business
conditions and possibilities of the new-
world, he sailed for the United States in
1 87 1, landing in New York after a voy-
age of eleven days. He spent seven months
in the eastern metropolis and for four
months was engaged in gardening in New
Jersey. In 1872, however, he continued
his westward way to the IMississippi val-
ley, reaching Mount Pleasant on the T7th
of March. 1872. Here he entered the em-
ploy of Mr. Hanson, and later he became
a student in the original school founded
and conducted by Professor Howe. His
early education had been in the pay schools



of his native land, and he further quahfied
for a business career by his study in this

Immediately after leaving school Mr.
Thompson was married, the wedding be-
ing celebrated on tlie 3d of March, 1875,
Miss Frances M. Sharp becoming his
wafe. She was born in Henry county,
March 2, 1852, and is a daughter of Rev.
W. P. and Mary (Finley) Sharp, the for-
mer born in Indiana in 1819, and the latter
in Tennessee, in 18 18. The father came
to the west at an early day, and was an
itinerant minister of the Methodist church,
proclaiming the gospel in and around
Mount Pleasant, his labors being an effect-
ive factor in the moral development of the
community. Many of the early settlers of
the county still cherish his memory and
the influence of his noble upright life is
still manifest in those with wdiom he came
in contact. During the period of the Civil
war he served for three months in defense
of the Union cause. In early manhood
he wedded Mary Gains Finley, who was
born in Overton county, Tennessee, about
twenty miles from Monroe, the county
seat. May i, 18 18. Her ancesti-y, both
lineal and collateral, is distinctively Amer-
ican. John Hancock, one of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence, was an
uncle of her grandfather, William Han-
cock, who was a Revolutionary soldier be-
longing to a South Carolina regiment, and
who w^as killed in battle. Clem Hancock,
a brother of William Hancock, was a reg-
ular soldier under General Andrew Jack-
son in the war of 1812, and was killed
in the battle of New Orleans. William
Hancock married Martha Henderson, and
after her father died her grandmother took

her to Tennessee. Mrs. Sharp was one of
a family of sixteen children, all of whom
are now deceased, with the exception of
Catherine, who became the wife of John
H. Strain, who died in 1874, while his
widow now lives in Bussey, Iowa, at the
home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. J.
W. Anderson. Rev. Sharp died in 1892,
and was laid to rest in Kansas, where he
had lived retired for several years. His
w^ife survived him for about thirteen years,
and died June 19, 1905. her remains being
interred by the side of her husband. Mr.
Sharp was one of the early Masons of
Henry county, and was a republican in
politics. Mrs. Sharp, like her husband,
was a consistent Christian and her life
was filled with many good deeds and acts
of benevolence. She met her husband
for the first time at a meeting of the Cum-
berland Presbyterian church, and they
were married September 2, 1840. After
living for eight years upon his fann in
Indiana, they came to Henr}^ county,
Iowa, in 1849, '^^i'^^ purchased a farm a
mile and a half north of Stringtown. Later
they owned a farm adjoining the city
limits, where they lived many years, and
after that they removed to Richwood and
later to Centendlle, Kansas, w^here their
last days were passed. Mrs. Sharp at the
time of her death had seven children, thir-
ty-two grandchildren and twenty-six great-
grandchildren. Of the seven children six
reached years of maturity. George mar-
ried Jane Dean, a niece of Henry Clay
Dean, and now resides at Eldora Springs,
Missouri. Finley was drowned Alonzo
married May Logsdon and resides in Linn
county, Kansas. Fannie is the wife of Mr.
Thompson. Sarah is the widow of Frank



Mitts and lives in Woods county, Okla-
homa. Ella is the wife of John DeGroodt,
of Woods county, Oklahoma.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Thomp-
son has been blessed with nine children,
of whom eight are now living, and all were
born in Henrv' count}'. Walter, born Jan-
uary 1 6, 1876, is timekeeper in the Tubu-
lar Works, in Kewanee, Illinois. Oliver,
born December 2y, 1877, is employed at
the same plant. Hattie, born March 12,
188 1, is the wife of Frank Howe, of
A'lount Pleasant, and has one child, Jo-
seph Harold. Edith, born September 15,
1883, and Grace E., born November 6,
1885, are at home. William Frederick,
born October 26, 1887, is with his broth-
ers, in Kewanee, Illinois. Elsie, born Au-
gust 30, 1890, and Ruth Emma, born
March 22, 1893, are also with their par-
ents. The . daughters, Hattie and Edith,
are graduates of the IMount Pleasant

After his marriage Mr. Thompson spent
one year in Keokuk county, Iowa, where
he was engaged in fanning and during the
succeeding six years he carried on garden-
ing just east of Mount Pleasant. In 1882
he removed to his present home, having
forty-four acres of land adjoining Mount
Pleasant, in Center township. This was
originally the Timothy Whiting residence
and later the State Reform School for
Girls, being used for the latter purpose
for fi\'e years, at the end of which time the
school was removed from Mount Pleasant
to Mitchellville, Iowa. During the first
three years of his residence here Mr.
Thompson engaged in gardening and in
raising small fruits, and in 1885 he es-
tablished his greenhouse. In 1891 he was

given charge of the state greenhouse and
gardens at the asylum, continuing in that
position for seven years, while Mrs.
Thompson conducted the home place. She
is as well versed in the care of plants and
shrubs as Air. Thompson and carefully
conducted the business. Since his retire-
ment from the state position he has con-
centrated his energies upon the building
up of the business at his present place of
residence. He raises all kinds of garden
vegetables and flowers, under glass, and
has recently completed a new greenhouse
and boilerhouse, and will complete two
more greenhouses in 1906. One of the
greenhouses will be used for lettuce, another
for roses and a third for carnations
and bedding plants, he having the largest
and best collection in Mount Pleasant.
These are all equipped with modern im-
provements and conveniences for the
proper heating, ventilation and light and
that the business has steadily grown is
indicated by the fact that Mr. Thompson
now employs from six to seven men each
year, and has constantly increased his
equipment to its present capacity, so that
he is now raising all kinds of plants and
furnishes a large supply of cut flowers
to the city market. He has developed his
-business along modern lines and a vei'y
extensive patronage is accorded him, so
that he is now prospering in his under-

Mr. Thompson is a Bryan democrat and
has filled the office of road supervisor. For
thirty-two years he has been a member
of the Odd Fellows Society, belonging to
Mystic Lodge, No. 55, and he is also con-
nected with the Ancient Order of L'^nited
Workmen. He belongs to the Episcopal



church and his wife to the Methodist
church and they are worthy Christian peo-
ple. Mr. Thompson is a typical Eng-lish-
man, possessing ready wit, excellent busi-
ness discernment and enterprise and his
labors are ably supplemented by the efforts
of his wife. They are both generous as
w^ell as enterprising and their good quali-
ties ha^•e ^^■on for them a host of warm


Harry K. Smith, a well known and active
representative of commercial interests in
Mount Pleasant, where he is now en-
gaged in dealing in agricultural imple-
ments and ^-ehicles, w'as born in Wayne
township, this county. May ly, i860, his
parents being Sylvester and Delilah Jane
(Conn) Smith. He acquired his early
education in the common schools of
Wayne township and was upon the home
farm until twenty-five years of age, when
he married Miss Margaret Ann McKee,
of ^^'ashing•ton county, Iowa, the wed-
ding being celebrated on the 12th of Feb-
ruary, 1884.

The young couple began their domestic
life on a farm in Wayne township, where
Mr. Smith carried on general agricultural
pursuits for two years. On the expiration
of that period he purchased a store at
Wayne and engaged in general merchan-
dising for three years. He also became
postmaster under the Harrison adminis-
tration and thus the position of postmas-
ter was filled successively by the grand-

father, father and grandson. He con-
ducted a successful mercantile enterprise
there but eventually sold out and bought
the grain and lumber business at Olds,
building an elevator there. He w^as first
in partnership as a member of the firm
of Peterson & Smith and when Mr. Peter-
son disposed of his interests the firm be-
came Smith & Lamme, an association that
was maintained for many years. The firm
did an excellent business for a number of
years and then sold out after w^hich they
came to Mount Pleasant and bought the
Leedham & Baugh lumber and planing
mill. This was the only planing and house
finishing mill in the city and in connec-
tion with dealing in lumber they con-
ducted an extensive and profitable busi-
ness which they carried on until January.
1904. At that date they disposed of their
lumber yard and mill but still as the firm
of Smith & Lamme purchased an estab-
lished agricultural implement business.
The partnership was maintained until the
spring of 1905, when Mr. Smith pur-
chased Mr. Lamme's interest and is now
in business alone. He conducts the only
enterprise of the kind in Mount Pleasant
and has a large wareroom on South Jef-
ferson street for storing agricultural im-
plements and vehicles. His trade is now
large and the business is bringing to him
a very gratifying financial return.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been
born two daughters and two sons : Ethel,
Ora S. and Ira J., twins, and Delilah M.
The parents were members of the Congre-
gational church at Olds and Mr. Smith
was its treasurer. Since their removal to
Mount Pleasant he has become a trustee
of the church here. He has built a home



on Poplar street, a fine residence which
he and his family now occupy and where
the true spirit of hospitality and good
cheer reign supreme. He has been active
in republican politics and has been a mem-
ber of the Central Executive Committee.
In 1904 he was elected without opposition
to the office of county supervisor and is
proving a capable officer. The heavy
flood in the spring of 1905 made much ex-
tra work for the board. Mr. Smith has
always been loyal in citizenship, co-oper-
ating in many measures for the general
good and his aid can be always counted
upon where the general welfare is con-
cerned. His life has been active, his ac-
tions manly and sincere and he is justly
classed w'ith the most honorable and pros-
perous business men of Mount Pleasant.


Sampson Lewis, who since 1877 has
been engaged in a milling business in
Lowell, is one of the representative men
whose enterprise and activity are an im-
portant element in the general prosperity
and growth of the community. He was
born in Highland county, Ohio, Novem-
ber 26, 1834. and is a son of Andrew and
Mary (Bowers) Lewis. The father died
in Indiana during the early boyhood of
our subject, who in 1842, when a youth
of eight years, came with his mother to
Iowa. They made their way to Henry
county, locating just west of New Lon-
don on a farm owned by a brother of Mr.

Lewis, who came in 1838. The mother's
death occurred in New London township
in 1847, '^"d her remains were interred in
Brooks cemetery, west of the village of
New London. In her family were ten
children, of whom four are yet living.
The record is as follows : John ; Rebecca.
the wife of Samuel Martin : W^illiam.
who died while serving in the Mexican
war : Eva, who became Mrs. Gardner, and
after the death of her first husband wed-
ded William Goudy ; James and David.
both deceased; Mrs. Eliza Cooper; Samp-
son ; Rachel, who has passed away ; and
Thomas, who died while serving in the
Civil war.

L^pon the farm on which he located on
coming to Henry county, Sampson Lewis
remained until he removed to Baltimore
township, taking up his abode in Lowell.
He had here purchased a mill, which he
operated until 1888, when he purchased
the mill opposite the old one. He has
since been conducting all of the milling
business of this section. His mill is op-
erated entirely by water power, and is
thoroughly equipped for doing all kinds
of grinding. The building is a three-story
structure, fifty-two by fifty-six feet, and
is supplied with good machinery, so that
excellent work is done. The mill dam is
owned and kept in repair by Mr. Lewis.
and the mill is located just across the
bridge from the business part of the town.
In the conduct of this enterprise he has
met with a gratifying measure of success,
for he produces excellent grades of flour
and feed, and for his products finds a
ready and profitable sale on the market.

In January, 1867, Mr. Lewis was united
in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Walters, a



daughter of Archibald Walters. vSix chil-
dren have been born of this marriage :
Flora, who is now the wife of William
Gerber, of Fort Madison; William Mer-
ton, who is living in Colfax; Lola, who
died at the age of three years; Andrew,
who died when two months old ; Albert,
who died when four years of age; and
Bertha, at home. Mr. Lewis became a
Mason in New London, Iowa, about 1880.
and is still affiliated with the craft. He
likewise belongs to the Baptist church,
and is interested in all that pertains to the
moral development as well as material
progress of his community. He seems to
have made no mistake in changing his oc-
cupation, for since leaving the farm he
has developed and carried on a good busi-
ness in Lowell, and now has a gratifying
patronage being one of the substantial
men of the communitv.


Noah Schriver. who at one time was
closely identified with building opera-
tions in Henry county but is now living
retired after a successful business career,
has a wide and favorable acquaintance in
this part of the state. He is a native of
Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred in
York county on the nth of March, 1841,
his parents being Philip and Sarah
(Knisely) Schriver, natives of York and
Perry counties, Pennsylvania, resj^ectively.
The father was a cabinetmaker and general
mechanic and continued to spend his en-
tire life in die Ke}^stone state, where he

died about 1886, having survived his wife
for ten years.

Mr. Schriver of this review spent his
youth in his parents' home, acquired a
common school education and learned the
cabinetmaker's trade there. He went to
Pittsburg at the age of twenty-two years
and completed his apprenticeship to the
trade, during which time he also attended
night school in order to study architecture.
He spent seven years in that city and came
to the west well equipped by practical ex-
perience and broad knowledge for a suc-
cessful business career. In 1867 he re-
moved to Mount Pleasant, where he car-
ried on business as a building contractor
until 1882. He was a carpenter at the
asylum for two years and for twenty
}ears was foreman, having charge of the
carpenter work there. He then retired
from active business life and is now living
witli his son, John C. Schriver. In March,
1866, Noah Schriver was united in mar-
riage to Miss Lu\'ina Chronister, who
was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania,
in 1844, a daughter of John and Kate
(Heikes) Chronister, both of whom were
natives of Adams county, Pennsylvania.
This marriage has been blessed witli two
sons and two daughters: John C. who is
actively engaged in farming in Baltimore
township; William H., a carpenter by
trade, living in Mount Pleasant, where he
is also assistant mail carrier; Edna A., the
wife of William H. Kile, a farmer of
Mount Pleasant ; and Lenora Gertrude,
who died in 1904, at the age of twenty-
four years.

Since age conferred upon him the right
of franchise Mr. Schriver has been a stal-
wart advocate of republican principles and



though not an office seeker lias taken an
active interest in the work of his partv.
A\'hile in Pennsylvania he heiong-ed to the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows bnt i^
not associated with that organization now.
His life has been one of intense and well
directed activity and he was for many
years widely known as a prominent repre-
sentative of building interests in Henry

John C. Schriver is one of the enterpris-
ing, wide-awake and practical business
men of Baltimore township carrying on
general farming, in addition to which he
raises Shropshire sheep and Angora goats,
also draft horses, shorthorn cattle and
Poland China hogs. He likewise has a
stone quarry and his varied business in-
terests are capably managed, bringing him
a gratifying competence. He was born in
Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, August 19.
1867, and largely acquired his education
in Central school at Mount Pleasant, hav-
ing come to this county in the late fall of
that vear. He was a resident of the counts-
seat from that time until Februar\-, 1898,
and after putting aside his text-books he
learned the carpenters trade and was first
employed as a carpenter on the insane asy-
lum. He made all of the sash in the west
wing of the asylum, spending six months
in that way. He afterward engaged hi
teaming there for several years and later
he rented a farm at Mount Pleasant that
has since been divided into town lots and
is known as Judge Kilpatrick's place. He
resided upon that tract of land for five
years, after which he removed to the
Johnson place, adjoining the corjioration
limits of the city on the east. Three years
were spent there and in February. 1898.

he brought two hundred and twenty acres
of land on sections 5 and 6, Baltimore
township, which was partially improved.
There \\as a small frame house of four
rooms and the place was also to some ex-
tent under cultivation. There is still about
fifty acres of the place that is covered with
timl:er and brush. He first built a large
barn, thirt} - two by thirty-two feet, and
tlien put an addition to the house, adding
f I )ur more rooms and a cellar. He has
enclosed his fields with wire fencing aild
he has upon his land a good stone quarry,
from which he takes out building '^tone
of good quality which he hauls to Xew
London. He follows general farming to
some extent, raising the cereals best
adapted to soil and climate but is prin-
cipally engaged in stock-raising. He has
about one hundred head of sheep and from
thirty to forty head of goats. He also
has about five head of draft horses and
raises from twenty to thirty head of short-
horn cattle each year while his Poland
China hogs number from forty to fifty
annuallv. He is an excellent judge of

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 14 of 85)