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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 17 of 85)
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added twenty acres and he improved the
place by additions to the house and barn
and in other ways, at the same time keep-
ing his fields under a high state of cultiva-
tion, so that as the years passed he pros-
pered. He continued to reside upon this
place until 1893, when he sold and re-
moved to Mount Pleasant, where he re-
mained for three years. In 1896 he pur-
chased one hundred and twenty acres of
land on section 12, Tippecanoe township.
This had been improved and with char-
acteristic energy he began its further cul-
tivation and development. Later he added
to it sixty-four acres and a further pur-
chase extended the boundaries of the
farm to include forty more acres. He has
since remodeled the house, making a mod-
ern residence with good cellar underneath.
He has also built barns and remodeled
the other buildings upon the place and his
farm is now neat and thrifty in appear-

ance and gives evidence of the careful su-
pervision of a painstaking and progres-
sive owner. AVhile living in Mount Pleas-
ant he was the owner of a good residence
on Locust street, which he occupied for
three years and then sold upon returning
to farm life. Again, however, he went to
Mount Pleasant in 1902, and bought a
home at the corner of Jay and Henry
streets, where he lived for two years, when
he once more sold out and n the fall of
1904 again took up his abode upon his

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Boyd have been born
seven children: Myrtle, who was born
August 28, 1 881 ; Ralph, who was born
January 24, 1883. and is now engaged in
teaming in Mount Pleasant, where he
makes his home; Grace, born February 18,
1885; Earl S., October 13, 1891; Walter,
September 8, 1894; Gladys, May 8, 1897;
and Edith, on the 5th of January, 1899.
The youngest daughter was badly burned
by an accident, from which she did not re-
cover for seven months. A small boy in
trying to light a candle put a taper into the
stove and thereby set fire to the dress of
little Edith, and but for the timely arrival
of her mother and a neighbor she would
have been burned to death. She has, how-
ever, now reco^•ered from her injuries.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Bovd have a wide and
favorable acquaintance in this county,
where her entire life has been passed and
where Mr. Boyd has lived for about thir-
ty-seven years. Throughout this |3eriod he
has commanded the respect and confidence
of his fellow men who class him with
the citizens of g^enuine worth, whose reli-
ability, business integrity and loyalty to
the general good have made them promi-



nent residents of their community. ]\Ir.
Boyd has served as school director in Cen-
ter township, and fraternally he is con-
nected with the Odd Fellows lodge at
Blount Pleasant maintaining pleasant rela-
tionship with his brethren of that or-


Simon B. \\^se, at one time an active
factor in mercantile circles in Wayland,
and secretary of the Wayland Telephone
Company, and also of the Wayland Invest-
ment Company, is a native of Fulton
county, Ohio, born on the 22d of July,
1844. He comes of Swiss ancestry, his
parents, Peter and Catherine (Brandt)
W5^se, having both been natives of Swit-
zerland. In early life, however, they left
the land of the Alps and came to the new
world, their marriage being celebrated in
Ohio, where unto them \\'ere born nine
sons and three daughters. He followed
the occupation of farming in Ohio, owning
a good tract of land there, his attention
being devoted to its further development
and improvement until his life's labors
were ended in death in 1856. His widow
afterward sold the place.

Simon B. \Vyse was a youth of only
twelve years of age at the time of his fa-
ther's death and he remained at home with
his mother until he had attained his ma-
jority. He attended the common schools
and was reared in the usual manner of
farm lads, devoting the summer months
to the work of the fields, while in the win-

ter seasons he pursued his studies. In
1867 he became a resident of Jefferson
township, Henry county, Iowa, and spent
two years at work as a farm laborer. With
the capital he had then acquired through
his earnings he purchased one hundred
and sixty acres of land in Trenton town-
ship and resided thereon for twelve years,
giving his attention to the cultivation and
improvement of his land. At the expira-
tion of that period he rented the farm and
in the fall of 1893 came to Wayland,
where he embarked in general merchandis-
ing in connection with C. F. Jacobs, this
relationship being maintained for three
years, at the end of which time Islr. Jacobs
sold his interest to C. C. Schantz. When
only three years had passed ]\Ir. WA'se
purchased Mr. Schantz's interest in the
business and continued alone in general
merchandising until 1901, when he sold
out to J. F. Conrad and retired altog'ether
from the trade. He had for almost
twenty years been connected with c(jm-
mercial interests in the town and had
become well known as a representative of
business life in Wayland, where his
straightforward methods, his earnest pur-
pose and his indefatigable energy had se-
cured for him a growing and profitable
trade. About 1900 he sold his farm, but
he now owns his residence in Wayland,
which stands in the midst of two acres of
ground. He also owns a house and one
acre in another part of the town. More-
over he is financially interested in impor-
tant business enterprises, being the secre-
tary and a stockholder of the \\'ayland
Telephone Company. He is also secre-
tary of the Wayland Investment Company
organized for the purpose of improving



and laying out town lots. The company
upon its organization, in 1902. owned
forty lots, and that success has crowned
their efforts is indicated by the fact that
they have only eight lots remaining at this
writing, in the winter of 1905-6.

Mr. Wyse has been married twice. In
May, 1870, he wedded Miss Hannah Con-
rad, who was born in W^ayne county,
Ohio, and came to Henry county in her
girlhood days. There were four children
born of this marriage : Ella, who is liv-
ing in Tacoma, Washington ; Emma, the
wife of Jesse Davis, of this township;
Frank, of San Francisco, California; and
Lester, who is a student in Ames Col-
lege. The wife and mother died in De-
cember, 1885. In October, 1889, Mr.
\Vyse was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary
Schantz, who was born in Washington
county, Iowa, and is a daughter of Chris-
tian and Barbara (Rich) Schantz, both of
whom were natives of Switzerland. They
were the parents of six children. By the
second marriage there are two children :
Leola and Emerson, both residing at

^Ir. \\'yse votes with the democracy
and has taken an active interest in politi-
cal affairs in his locality. He was ap-
pointed trustee of Trenton township, also
of Jeft'erson township, and was clerk of
Trenton township. Since 1903 he has
been president of the school board of W'ay-
land, and has exercised his official preroga-
tives for the benefit of the cause of public
instruction. He belongs to the Mennonite
church, and is an esteemed and worthy
citizen, who in all life's relations has mer-
ited the trust and confidence so uniformly
extended to him. In his business interests

he has been found reliable and energetic
and his well directed lalxirs have brought
him a measure of success which numbers
him among the men of affluence in W'ay-
land and enables him to enjoy a well
earned rest.


Orville Howe Keith is a wide-awake,
alert, and enterprising business man,
who in Wayland is conducting an
elevator business and also is engaged
in dealing in grain, seeds, coal, and
tile. He is yet a young man and
is one of the native sons of the county, his
birth having occurred in Jefferson town-
ship on the 1 2th of July. 1874. His fa-
ther, John Wesley Keith, was born in In-
diana and was married in that state to
Miss Susan E. Campbell, who was also
born there and was a daughter of Hugh
Campbell. They removed from Indiana
to Henry count)', Iowa, where they located
upon a farm given them by her father and
comprising one hundred and sixty acres
of unimpro^■ed land in Jefferson town-
ship. It was a tract of raw prairie on
which iNlr. Keith liroke the sod and pre-
pared the fields for cultivation. He built
a house and barn, tilled the land and in
course of time garnered rich harvests. .\s
the years passed by he ])rospered in his
undertakings and as his financial resources
increased he added to his original property
until at the time of his retirement from
active business lite, in 1892, he was the
owner of two hundred and eighty acres.



He removed to Wayland, where he and
his wife yet make their home. For a long
period he was an active factor in agricul-
tural circles and his labors were attended
with a measure of success that now sup-
plies him with all of the comforts and
many of the luxuries of life.

Orville Howe Keith spent the days of
his boyhood and youth in his parents'
home, and in his early boyhood pursued
his studies in the district schools near by.
He afterward attended the Iowa Wesleyan
University for two years and also pursued
a. commercial course in Elliott's Business
College at Burlington, Iowa, being thus
well equipped for the duties and responsi-
bilities of a practical business career. He
also received ample training at farm labor,
continuing at home with his parents until
they removed to Wayland in 1891, and,
after his commercial course entered as
an assistant in his father's hardware store,
in Wayland, Iowa, whe];e he had pur-
chased the business of Gardener & Roth in
189 1. Mr. Keith was then married on the
1st of January, 1896, to Miss Edna Earl
Livingston, who was born in Wayland and
pursued her education in the public schools
of the town. Her parents were D. M. and
Susan (Vansant) Livingston, residents of
Wayland. This union has been blessed
with a daughter and two sons : Helen F.,
born May 26, 1897; Lloyd Wesley, born
March 23, 1900; and Max Livingston,
February 12, 1904.

For a year after his marriage Mr. Keith
rented a farm in Washington county, and
then took up his abode upon his father's
farm, which he cultivated and improved
for two years. In 1900 he purchased a
half interest in a business in Wayland, be-

coming a dealer in grain, seeds, hay and
straw, in connection with A. D. Hayes.
This relation was continued for nearly a
year, at the end of which time Mr. Hayes
sold out to C. M, Roth, who sold his in-
terest of P. P. Showalter on the 23d of
November, 1903. In the same year they
began dealing in coal and are now the only
merchants handling this fuel in Wayland.
They also have the only grain elevator
here, and they also own and operate an
elevator at Coppock, Iowa. They also
handle brick and tile in connection with
grain and seeds, and their business is
rapidly increasing. They weigh all the
stock in this locality and are in control
of a trade which has now reached ex-
tensive proportions, bringing to them a
g"ood annual return.

Mr. Keith is a member of the Metho-
dist Episcopal' church, in the work of
which he takes an active and helpful part.
He served as trustee from 1902 until 1904,
inclusive, and since 1904 has been steward.
He votes with the democracy, and in the
fall of 1902 was elected township clerk.
He is a young man of keen business in-
sight and sagacity, and added to this is
an unabating energy which enables him to
readily master business situations and
work his way steadily upward.


There is no name in Des Moines county
which carries with it more of integrity, of
uprightness, of earnest citizenship, or calls



forth more universal expressions of re-
gard, than that of W. Claiborn Hunt, now
among the oldest settlers in the county.
Whatever of virtue in the character of
Mr. Hunt, whatever of quality in his li\-
ing. has been directly founded upon traits
inherited from an ancestry rich in the vir-
tues of patriotism, loyalty, steadfastness,
and principle, which today places him in
the foremost ranks of the highly honored
and respected men of the community.

Mr. Hunt w^as born January 21, 18 18,
in Bond county, Illinois, and is a son
of John Bael and Esther (Bartlett) Hunt.
His father was born in Baltimore, Marv-
land, February 2, 1771, and located in
Bond county in 181 1, where he bought a
large farm, and was engaged in general
farming for many years. He died Febru-
ary 21, 1850, at the age of seventy-nine
years. The mother of our subject was
born in Greenbrier county. West Virginia,
June 27, 1773, and survived her hus-
band eight years, dying September 10,
1858. They were the parents of eleven
children, of whom all are dead but three:
Claiborn, of this review; Esther, the wife
of Peter L. DelasHmutt, of Montgomerv
county, Iowa; and Louise Hunt, who re-
sides near Chicago. Mrs. and Mr. Hunt
were devoted members of the Methodist
church, and the latter was a firm democrat,
but by no means an office seeker. He
served all through the war of 18 12, sta-
tioned at Edwardsville, Madison county,

Claiborn Hunt attended the district
schools in Bond county for a short time,
and then later pursued his studies in a
little old log schoolhouse in McDonough
county, Illinois. He then remained on his

father's farm till he was about twenty-
one years of age, when he went to Eddy-
ville, Iowa, in 1836, and lived alone on a
piece of land for a while.

On November 21, 1843, ^i^*- Hunt
married Miss Ann Smith, who is a daugh-
ter of Peter and Alartha (Ellison) Smith,
and was born in Sutton, England, August
15, 1 82 1. A full history of her parents
will appear in the sketch of her brother,
Samuel Smith, on another page of this
book. Mrs. Hunt was educated in the
Moravian school, in England, and came
to America in 1835 with her parents. Af-
ter the marriage of this worthy couple they
settled on forty acres of land in Union
township, Des Moines county, and at first
lived in a little log house in the old-fash-
ioned pioneer times. From time to time
he added more land, made the improve-
ments of a substantial kind, which are nec-
essaiy for the progressive farmer, and
built a comfortable brick residence. He
carried on farming and«stock-raising, and
continued to live on this farm, which had
increased to one hundred and fifty acres
under his careful management and gen-
eral supervision for over fifty-seven years.
In 1 90 1 Mr. Hunt sold his entire farm,
and shortly afterward moved to the city
of Burlington and purchased a beautiful
home at 10 1 Woodlawn avenue, where he
and ]\Irs. Hunt can have more frequent
social intercourse with their many friends
and acquaintances, and spend the evening
of their active and well sj^ent lives in ease
and pleasure. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hunt
were born eight children, of whom six are
still living: Laura, married Albert Gunn,
of Cobden, Illinois, and died in 1901,
leaving three children, Josephine, Lucy



Elizabeth, and George: William A., an
employe of the Rand Lumber Company, of
Burlington, Iowa, residing at loi W^ood-
lawn avenue. He has one son, Harvey,
who is a railway postal clerk, and lives
with his parents. Josephine died vSeptem-
ber 28, 1872. Esther is the wife of H.
J. Whipple, who had three children by his
former marriage. Amy. Elsie and James,
who are students in a Boston college. Mr.
and Mrs. Wliipple formerly resided in
South Dakota, but now live in Cuba,
Charles C, who is also in Cuba with hi-,
sister. Martha B. married Fremont Jack-
son and lives on a farm in Kansas. She
has three children. Claiborn, Josephine
Den i rah and Frances. Francis Bell, a
farmer in Burlington township, who has
three children, Nixon Claiborn, Gray and
Robert. Dr. John P., a prosperous den-
tist in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, has seven
children, Ethel ]\Iay, James, Arthur, Paul,
Annie Christine, Alice and Walter.

Mrs. Hunt has .been a devoted member
of the Methodist church for over fifiy
years, and in her younger days was much
interested in Sunday-school work. Mr.
Hunt has always cast his vote for the
democratic candidates, but did not care
for office, though he served his township
as school director for six years. Time has
dealt gently with this aged and worthy
couple, as soon the sixty-third anniversary
of their marriage will te celebrated — a
happy occurrance which falls to the lot of
but very few. Mrs. Hunt made a visit
to the land of her birth alone several years
ago, and Mr. Hunt is also physically able
to visit his children often. They have
noted many vast changes in the county
during their long .sojourn through life.

and can give some very interesting ac-
counts of the pioneer times of fifty years
ago. \Miat Mr. and Mrs. Hunt have ac-
complished in life by their moral and up-
right lives cannot be measured in words;
the fruits of their living will go on be-
yond the borders of the present, and blos-
som again, bringing into the lives of those
yet to come the beauty and richness of un-
selfish pioneer lives, strong in the elements
upon which a statehood is always founded.


Dr. John P. Hunt, practicing his pro-
fession in Mount Pleasant since 1900,
with constantly growing success that is
indicative of his efficient, modern methods
and his business ability as well, was born
in Burlington on the 13th of September,
1863, a son of Claybourne and Ann
( Smith) Hunt. The common schools in
the Hunt settlement afforded him his early
educational privileges and he afterward at-
tended the Burlington Academy and the
Iowa State University, at Iowa City. In
the latter institution he prepared for his
profession, being graduated from the den-
tal department with the class of 1885. He
then located for practice at Pella, Iowa,
where he remained for eight years, and
while there was interested in the Central
University, now known as Central Col-
lege, of which he was trustee and secretary
for nearly se\en years, doing effective serv-
ice for . its upbuilding and improvement.
In i(S93 he removed to Des Moines. Iowa,



where he engaged n the practice of his pro-
fession, receiving a liberal share of the
public support, but in 1900 he disposed of
his luisiness interests there and came to
Mount Pleasant, induced to this step by
the fact that he preferred a residence in
a small town and also by reason of the su-
perior educational advantages that he
could here afford his children.

In Mount Pleasant Dr. Hunt became
the successor of Dr. Beers, a successful
dentist who for many years has been a
successful practitioner at this place.
Through his personal ability he has suc-
ceeded in holding the patronage of his
predecessor and also adding to it, and to-
day he has a large business that brings
him gratifying financial returns annually.
He practices along modern, scientific lines,
keeping in touch with the advanced thought
of the profession, its experiments and dis-
coveries. In no calling has there been
more rapid advance than there has in den-
tistiy. The methods of practice have been
entirely revolutionized within the last
quarter of a century and Dr. Hunt in his
^^•ork employs onl}' the most modern meth-
ods and yet those whose practical utility
have been proven. He was one of the first
members of the Southeastern Iowa Dental
Society, in which he is still associated.

On the 1 2th of September, 1889, Dr.
Hunt was married to Miss Alice M. Sex-
ton, of Pella, Iowa, a daughter of J. B.
Sexton, now of Des Moines, and to them
have been born seven children. Ethel M.,
James C, Arthur E., John Paul. Anna
C. Alice Sarah and Walter Sexton.

Dr. and ]\Irs. Hunt are members of the
Baptist church, and while in Pella he ser\ed
as deacon and clerk of the church and as

superintendent of the Sunday-school, tak-
ing a most active and helpful interest in
the various departments of church activ-
ity. He has transferred his membership
to the church in Mount Pleasant, but has
had no opportunity for official service, al-
though requested to accept office. He has
purchased here a pleasant home and a farm
of twenty-one acres on South Main street,
and there spends his leisure hours after
putting aside the professional duties of the
day. Genial in manner, with a deference
for the opinions of others that arises from
true courtesy. Dr. Hunt has gained many
friends and much personal popularity.

\\'illia:m lovette powell.

\\\ L. Powell, who is engaged in the
real-estate business in ]\Iount Pleasant and
is thoroughly conversant with realty
values in this city and section of the state,
was born near Columbus, Franklin county,
Ohio, January 14, 185 1, a son of George
W. and Nancy (McCracken) Powell. The
father was born in Bedford county, Penn-
sylvania, and when a young man went to
Ohio, where he engaged in fanning until
1864. In that year he arrived in Lee
county, Iowa, settling on a farm in the
northwestern part of the county in Ma-
rion township. His entire life was devoted
to agricultural pursuits, and he died May,
1883. He was a liberal democrat and hekl
various tDwnship offices in Lee county.
A lifelong memlier of the Methodist Epis-
copal church, he t^ok an active and help-



ful part in its work and filled all of the
local offices of the church save that of
preacher. His wife was born and reared
in Ohio and by their marriage they be-
came the parents of eleven children, of
whom ten are living. Clarissa A., the
eldest, married W. A. Geese and they re-
side in Mount Hamill, Iowa. They have
five children : Otis Taft, a civil engineer
in Arkansas; Emma, who married Elijah
Tyner, who resides upon a farm near Sa-
lem, Iowa, and by whom she has six chil-
dren; Effie, the wife of Frank Worthing-
ton, paymaster in the Western Wheel
Scraper Works, at Aurora, Ilhnois;
Frank, who resides upon a farm near
Mount Hamill, and married Letitia
Brown; and Nannie, who married Joseph
Reid, a real-estate dealer in Aurora, Illi-
nois. Syrena Powell, the second child of
George W. Powell, married Oliver
Hempy, by whom she had three children.
Ella married William King, near Parsons,
Kansas. They have ten living children, Ida,
now the wife of E. Hough, a merchant of
Mount Hamill. They have one son. Ol-
ive, who married Rev. J. L. Dimmitt, a
minister of the Methodist Episcopal
church, of Sturgis, South Dakota. They
have three children. Her second husband
was Mathew Newby. The children of
Mr. and Mrs. Newby are : Mary, the wife
of Sherman Taylor, a farmer of Cedar
township, Lee county, Iowa; Alta, a mis-
sionary of the Methodist church, in Nan-
chang, China; Anna, the wife of Clyde
Bell, a farmer living near Mount Hamill;
Ada and Edward, twins, at home; and
Joseph, who married Anna Bell, a sister
of Clyde Bell, also near Mount Hamill,

J. T. Powell, the third member of the
family of George W. Powell, resides near
LaCrew, Iowa. He married Miss Clara
Miller, of Columbus, Ohio, and they have
five children : Elmer, a farmer of Davis
county, Iowa, who married Ollie Cald-
well; Nannie, the wife of Commodore
Dawson, a farmer near LaCrew; Aldia,
who married Berry Paschal, and has one
child, their home also being on a farm near
LaCrew; Emma, who is engaged in the
practice of medicine in Ottumwa, Iowa;
and Lulu, the wife of William Young,
a farmer, near Ottumwa, Iowa. David
M. Powell, the fourth member of the fam-
ily, married Miss Arey Overton, and re-
sides in Cedar township, Lee county. They
had three children : George, of Lee
county, who married Luella Ransom; Dr.
Charles Powell, near Marshalltown, Iowa,
who married Nellie Buechler, and has
one child; and Allie, who is living in
Mount Hamill, Iowa, and who married
Dr. Wright, of Farmington, Iowa, where
he died, leaving three children. The wife
of David Powell died in April, 1905.
Aurilla J. Powell, the fifth member of
the family, is the wife of P. M. Mathews,
of \Varren, Iowa, and they have five liv-
ing children and four who are deceased :
Jesse, who is married and has three chil-
dren, lives in Clark county, Missouri;
Floyd, proprietor of a general store in
Stockport, Iowa, who married Miss Rus-
sell, of Warren, Iowa, and has one child;
Nannie, the wife of James McGeehan, who
is living on a farm near Primrose, Iowa;
George, who married Miss Murray and
resides on a farm near Warren, Iowa;
and Stella, who is at home. John, the

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 17 of 85)