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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 20 of 85)
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ried, his second union being with Mrs.
Anna Gustin. a native of Alsace, France,
and a daughter of Jacob Schaad. Mr. and
]\Irs. Magdefrau occupy an enviable posi-
tion in social circles and their own home
is a very hospitable one. Mr. Magdefrau
is a republican in his political views, rec-
ognized as one of the stalwart advocates
and leaders of his party in this section of
the countv. He has served for three terms

as justice of the peace, his decisions being
strictly fair and impartial. He has also
been town assessor for two terms and
mayor for two terms, and is now serving
for the second term as councilman. Xo
higher testimonial of capability and loy-
alty could be given than the fact that he
has been re-elected to each office to which
he has been chosen, showing that his serv-
ice has been all that is exemplary. He be-
longs to the Methodist Episcopal church,
in which he is filling the office of trustee.
He is a man of broad sympathies and the
poor and needy have found in him a
friend. He stands as a splendid type of
our German-American citizenship. By
perseverance, determination and honor-
able effort he has overthrown the ob-
stacles which barred his path to success
and reached the goal of prosperity, while
his genuine worth, broad mind and pub-
lic spirit have made him a director of
public thought and action.


Charles Clifford Anderson, representing
agricultural interest of Henr}^ county, was
born May 4, 1868, on the farm on which
he yet resides, in Marion township. His
parents, E. D. and Eliza J. (Smith) An-
derson, were natives of Ohio, the father's
birth having occurred in Highland county
on the loth of December, 1828. Eliza J.
Smith was torn in Fayette county, Ohio,
December 8, 183 1, where she was married.
Her death occurred in Henrv countv, Feb-


ruary 14. 1872. He was a stock-raiser marriage of Mr. Anderson and Miss Lena
and in 1856 came to the west, settling in Sutton, a teacher of Henry county, and a
Henry county upon the farm where our daughter of Joseph and Martha J. (Craig)
subject now resides, in 1866. To the Sutton. Her father was born in Pennsyl-
further cultivation and development of vania, and die mother in Ohio,
that property he devoted his energies, He was supervisor of the Mount Pleas-
bringing his fann up to a high state of cul- ant Hospital for the Insane for eight years
tivation. In December, 1872, he was again after which he was in the government em-
married, his second union being to Miss ploy in South Dakota in connection with
Hattie J. Spry, of Henry county, who is the Indian agency for eighteen years, when
now living with our subject. he returned to Trenton township, where

Mr. Anderson died November 15, 1895, he has a stock farm,
and both he and his first wife are buried in Mr. Anderson's political position is not
Hickory Grove cemetery. Mr. Anderson an equivocal one, for he is a stalwart
was an earnest republican, and both he and champion of republican principles and
his wife* were consistent Christian people, fearless in defense of his honest convic-
holding membership in the Methodist tions. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson attend and
Episcopal church, in which he served as support the Wesley Methodist Episcopal
class leader for forty years. Their reli- chapel, but Mrs. Anderson, an accom-
gious belief permeated their lives and they plished and refined lady of pleasing person-
were devoted followers of the golden ality, is a member of the Baptist church of
rule. In their family were four children : Mount Pleasant. A self-made man, he has
Carroll B. ; Ella L., the widow of Homer eagerly embraced the opportunities for ad-
Spiy ; Frank L. ; and Charles Clifford, of vancement and has realized that labor is
this review, all children of the first wife, the basis of all success and has therefore

The last named at the usual age began worked persistently and diligently in his
his education in the district schools of Ma- eft'orts to acquire a competence. He is
rion township, and throughout his entire also reliable in his dealings and has the
life has been connected with farming and friendly regard of many with whom he is
stock-raising. He has long been an ex- associated
tensive horse-breeder, owning fine regis-
tered English shire horses, and now has

eight stallions, the head of his herd being

Alexander, No. 7,218, and Lord Curzon,

No. 7,038. He also has fine registered JOSEPH HARRISON.

Percheron and road horses. Mr. Anderson

breeds many young horses, and always has Joseph Harrison, sexton of the ceme-

eood stock on hand for sale, and is known tery in Scott township and owner of a

throughout this section as one of the best well improved farm of seventy-three

judges of horses in this vicinity. acres, was born in Jefferson county, Iowa.

On the loth of May, 1893, occurred the on the 4th of May. 1861, and his entire



life has been spent in this state. He is by
birth, training and preference a typical
citizen of the middle west, belonging to
that class whose diligence and enterprise
have been the source of the rapid and sub-
stantial development of this section of the
country. His father, William Harrison
was born in Clark county, Ohio, in 181 7
and was a son of Shadrach Harrison, who
in the year 1827 removed with his family
from Ohio to Cass county, Michigan,
which was then a pioneer district in which
the work of development and improve-
ment had scarcely been begun. There
the family remained for seven years, when
in 1834 they cast in their lot with the pio-
neer residents of Louisa county, Iowa.
William Harrison was at that time a
young man of seventeen years and he
assisted in the arduous task of developing
new land and converting it from a wild
state into one of rich fertility. In 1842
he removed from Louisa to Jefferson
county, Iowa, where he again settled upon
a farm, devoting his entire life to general
agricultural pursuits. He was married to
Miss Susanna Mace, a native of Tennes-
see and for a long period they traveled
life's journey together, being separated by
the death of Mrs. Harrison in September,
1893. Mr. Harrison survived for almost
ten years, passing away in March, 1903.

Joseph Harrison of this review was
reared upon the old family homestead in
Jefferson county and worked with his
father upon the farm, which comprised
three hundred and forty acres of very rich
and productive land and of which his
father retained the ownership until 1890.
Joseph Harrison there lived until 1889,
when he went to Nebraska, spending a

year in that state. He then returned to
Jefferson county, sold his portion of the
old home place and afterward went to
Wapello, Iowa. Following his marriage
he bought a farm of seventy-three acres
located on the southern half of section 15,
Scott township, and hereon has built a fine
residence and also substantial barns and
outbuildings ample for the shelter of
grain and stock. In fact he has carried
forward the work of development and
improvement in so progressive a manner
that his labors have been attended with a
high measure of success. He has drilled
a well which is one hundred and thirty
feet in depth, has divided his place into
fields of convenient size by wire fences,
has placed considerable time on the farm
and thus enhanced its productiveness and
has planted three and a half acres to
pears, apples and small fruits. He has an
excellent farm and altogether his place is
one of the most attractive and best
improved in the township. He took up
his abode thereon on the 9th of March,

1892, and has wrought a splendid trans-
formation in the appearance of the farm
since that time. He has also been engaged
in dealing in nursery stock since 1899
and N. R. Heath, living west of Win-
field, has a five-acre orchard of cherry
trees containing eight hundred trees
which were secured from Mr. Harrison.
The latter has also been agent for Leyda
& Company, dealers in tomb stones at
Burlington, Iowa, since 1894. In July,

1893, he was appointed sexton of the
Scott township cemetery which adjoins
his place. Prior to this time the cemetery
was overrun with wild grass and weeds
but it is now one of the best kept cities of



the dead in this section. Everything is
orderly and neat in appearance and flow-
ers and trees add greatly to the beauty of
the place, showing the careful supervision
and labor of Mr. Harrison.

On the 17th of August, 1891, was cele-
brated the marriage of Joseph Harrison
and Miss Isabelle M. Anderson, a daugh
ter of Albert and Mary E. (Spangler)
Anderson, both of whom are natives of
this county. Mrs. Harrison was also born
in this county and was educated in the
public schools of Wayne township. By
her marriage she has become the mother
of three children : Edith May, born July
30. 1896; and Joseph Earl, born January
12, 1899, and Arnold, who died in in-
fancy, was born in 1895.

Mr. Harrison exercises his right of"
franchise in support of the men and
measures of the Republican party and in
November, 1904, he was elected to the
office of assessor of Scott township as the
successor of Edward Neil, his incumbency
to continue until 1906. He is a member
of the Fraternal Aid Association of Law-
rence, Kansas, and in his religious faith is
a Presbyterian. Since starting out in life
on his own account he has won a very
desirable measure of success and in an
analyzation of his life record it will be
found that his proseprity is due to his
earnest purpose and unremitting diligence.


Charles W^hite Gambell, carrying on
business as a farmer and stock-raiser, in
which direction he has gained more than

local reputation, was born in Washington
county, Pennsylvania, May 8, 1847,
and is a son of Harvey and Catherine-
(Cooper) Gambell, the former a native of
Shelby county, Ohio, and the latter of
Washington county, Pennsylvania. The
paternal grandfather was John Gambell,
a native of New York, while the maternal
grandfather was Sylvenus Cooper, who
was born in the Keystone state. The par-
ents of our subject were married January
I, 1837, and in 1855 emigrated westward
to Louisa county, Iowa, settling upon a
farm where they lived for two years.
They then came to Henry county and the
father purchased one hundred and sixty
acres of land on sections 13 and 14, Scott
township. He also entered a quarter sec-
tion in Warren county, which was wild
prairie, not a furrow having been turned
or an improvement made thereon, but this
tract he gave to his son LeRoy, who de-
veloped and cultivated it. The father
devoted his energies to general agricul-
tural pursuits throughout his entire life
and became one of the leading farmers of
his community in the middle part of the
nineteenth century. He also followed his
trade of a carpenter, while living on the
farm. His death occurred in 1868 and
the mother survived until 1892.

Charles White Gambell was a young
lad of eight summers when brought by
his parents from Pennsylvania to Iowa.
He acquired his early education in the
common schools and afterward spent one
year as a student in Howe's Academy in
Mount Pleasant. Through the periods of
vacation he assisted his father in the
labors of the home farm and gained com-
prehensive and practical knowledge of the


best methods of carrying on the farm the PhiHppines and participated in the

work, so that when he started out in hfe battle of Manila, being present at the sur-

for himself he was well equipped for the render of that city. He pursued his edu-

care of field and meadow. He was the cation in the common schools and in the

youngest of four sons and since coming A\'infield high school, in which he spent

to Henry county has resided continuously three years. He spent some time in Colo-

upon the old Gambell homestead. He rado but is now a farmer of Louisa

inherited forty acres of this at the time of county, Iowa, capably controlling his

his father's death and forty acres when agricultural interests. In March, 1902,

his mother passed away, while the remain- he was married to Miss Almina Hewitt, a

ing eighty acres of the old home place was native of Louisa county and they have one

inherited by his brother. John C. who child, Raymond LeRoy, born October i,

held it until his death. In October, 1903, 1904.

Charles W. Gambell added ten acres of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Gambell

timber land on section 15, Scott township, have an attractive home upon their farm,

He carries on general farming, his fields it being a pleasant house of six rooms,

being richly cultivated and returning to which he remodeled in 1889. It stands

him golden harvests. He is also success- in the midst of one of the finest lawns in
fully engaged in stock-raising, having • this part of the county, adorned with

from three to fifteen head of horses each splendid shade trees, which make the

year, from twenty-five to thirty head of place one of the attractive features of the

short-horn cattle, from fifty to seventy landscape. He gives his political support

head of Poland China hogs and usually to the Republican party and since 1903

from forty to fifty head of sheep. has served as trustee.

On the 31st of March, 1874, Mr. Gam- Li March, 1902, he was appointed jus-
bell was united in marriage to Miss Kate tice of the peace of Scott township to fill
A. Haight, who was born in McLean, a vacancy which expired January, 1903.
New York, and is a daughter of Thomas and has been his own successor ever since.
G. and Luthera (Reed) Haight, both of prior to his appointment as justice of the
whom were natives of the Empire state, peace he served six years as constable. His
Mrs. Gambell was educated in the public religious faith is indicated by his member-
schools of New York and of Iowa and ship in the Presbyterian church.
after completing her own education suc-
cessfully engaged in teaching for several

terms in this state, proving a capable edu-
cator. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gambell has

been born one son, Charles Oscar, whose HOMER J. GILFILLAN, M. D.
birth occurred January i, 1875, and who

served as a member of Company I, First Dr. Homer J. Gilfillan. engaged in the

Colorado Infantry, at the time of the practice of medicine in Mount Pleasant,

Spanish-American war. He was sent to is a native son of Iowa, his birth having



occurred in Milton, Van Buren county, on
the 28th of April, 1868. He is a son of
Dr. George W. and Josephine (Swartz)
Gilfillan. His paternal grandparents were
Dr. Edward and Mary ( McKinley) Gil-
tillan, the former born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and the latter in West Vir-
ginia. The grandfather engaged in the
practice of medicine in Washington coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, for forty years, and was
the beloved family physician in many a
household. He died there in 1853, while
his wife passed away in 1854. In the
family were eight children, of whom two
are now living, John F. Oberlin Gilfillan
married Sarah Reed and is a retired farmer
residing in Milton, Iowa.

The other surviving member of the fam-
ily of Dr. Edward Gilfillan is Dr. George
Gilfillan, who was born in W^est Alex-
ander, Washington county, Pennsylvania,
October 25, 1835, and acquired his early
education in the common schools there, af-
ter which he attended the academy in his
native town. Following his father's death
he took up the study of medicine with Dr.
Swartz as his preceptor, and under his
direction pursued his reading and cjualified
for practice. He came west in 1855, mak-
ing his way direct to Keokuk. Iowa, where
he attended school for two terms and then
came to \^an Buren county, Iowa, first
practicing in Bentonsport.

On the 9th of May. 1861, Dr. George
Gilfillan was married to Miss Josephine
O. Swartz, a daughter of Dr. Swartz, of
Keosauqua. Iowa, his fomier preceptor.
She was born in WHieeling, West Virginia,
in 1836, and was educated in the semi-
nary in Washington, Pennsylvania, of
which she is a graduate. Unto this mar-

riage eight children have been born, of
whom two died in infancy. The others
are : Edward, a book merchant residing
in Chicago: Dr. H. J. Gilfillan, of this
review ; Marietta, the wife of Dr. James
Hainline. of Denver, Colorado; Stella, a
teacher of instrumental music in Chicago;
Xellie, who is also a music teacher in that
city; and Maud, who is a teacher in the
schools of Henry county.

Dr. George W. Gilfillan is a Mason and
both he and his wife are members of the
Methodist Episcopal church, and Mrs.
Gilfillan belongs to the Woman's Relief
Corps. They reside at No. 301 North
^lain street. In his practice Dr. Gilfillan
makes a specialty of the diseases of the
stomach and bowels, and has l^een very
successful in this branch of medical science.
In 186 1 he settled in Milton, Van Buren
county, Iowa, where he remained until
August, 1895, when he removed to Chi
cago, where he continued in general ])rac-
tice until 1901. He then came to Mount
Pleasant and as his health does not permit
of general practice he is confining his
attention to stomach troubles. Mrs. Gil-
fillan lias taken a most active interest in
music since she was graduated in 1854
from the seminary in Pennsylvania and
has been extremely successful as a music
teacher. Although now a grandmother
she still keeps up her practice in music,
and gives lessons. Both Dr. and ]Mrs.
Gilfillan have many excellent qualities of
heart and mind that have endeared them
to all with whom they have come in con-
tact and the family is one of prominence
in Henry county.

Dr. H. J. Gilfillan was educated at the
common schools and the high schf-iol of



Milton, after which he was with the Mil-
ton Herald for four years, and then he
established the Tri-County Independent, a
weekly newspaper at Milton, which he
conducted successfully for a time. He
then took a course in pharmacy at the
Highland Park College, at Des Moines.
He then entered the college of Physicians
and Svn-geons, at Keokuk, from which
he was graduated with the degree of Doc-
tor of Medicine in 1896.

Soon after his graduation he located
at Trenton, this county, where, he estab-
lished a good general practice. Selling his
practice he took a post-graduate course in
Chicago, in 1901, and then located in
Mount Pleasant in October, the same year.
He is a member of the Henry County
Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical
Society and the American Medical Asso-
ciation, and is also examiner for a num-
ber of the most prominent life insurance

Here he has a well equipped office on
North Main street and enjoys a large pat-
ronage, which includes an extensive coun-
try practice. He keeps in touch with
modern research along medical and sur-
gical lines, and is a scientific practitioner,
whose ability is well indicated by the li1>
eral patronage that is accorded him.

Dr. Gilfillan has a beautiful home with
elegant surroundings located at 412 North
Main street, where he has all the comforts .
of a modern home.

On the 24th of August, 1893, Dr. Gil-
fillan was married to Miss Clara M. Moon,
of Milton, Iowa, a daughter of William
T. and Arminda (Pabst) Moon, both of
whom were natives of Ohio. Mrs. Gilfil-
lan was born in Ohio, October 21, 1873.

and began her education in the schools of
that state, while later she continued her
studies in Milton, Iowa. Six children
have been born unto Dr. and INIrs. Gil-
fillan, all of whom are living : Pauline,
Esther, William, Harold, Dorothy, and

Dr. Gilfillan is connected with the Odd
Fellows, and both he and his wife are
members of the Methodist Episcopal
church, of which he has served as a trus-
tee. In his practice he has made a credit-
able name, adhering closely to a- high
standard of professional ethics, and con-
ducting his business along scientific lines,
which has resulted in successful accom-


J. Louis Whitney, of the firm of Whit-
ney & Bergdahl, leading building contrac-
tors, of Mount Pleasant, was born in this
city, January 12, 1870, a son of William
and Nancy (Lambert) Whitney. The fa-
ther was a native of Shelby county, Ohio,
and in early manhood came to Mount
Pleasant, where he followed the business
of contracting and building, erecting
many of the substantial structures of this
city, including residences, business blocks
and churches. His labors also extended
to other towns and he was regarded as a
leading contractor of his day in this part
of the state. Here he married Miss
Nancy Lambert, who came to Iowa from
Illinois with her father, Isaac Lambert,
and his family, who cast in their lot with



the early settlers of Henry county, makine-
the journey thither ^yith teams before the
era of railroad building. The father and
mother are still liying, and he is engaged
in business at Ottumwa, ^\•here they have
resided since 1900. They are consistent
members of the Christian church.

In the pubhc schools J. Louis Whitney
accjuired his education and then learned
the carpenter's trade under the direction of
his father, with whom he was associated
from his early youth. He continued with
him until twenty-one years of age, when
he began contracting on hig own account.
He afterward spent liye years and ten
months at the hospital, in the employ of
the state working at his trade, when he re-
sumed building operations and soon be-
came recognized as a leading builder of
this city, giving employment to three or
four men. In 1900 he formed a partner-
ship with K. A. Bergdahl, also a practical
carpenter and mill man, under the firm
style of Whitney & Bergdahl. They have
erected a number of the best houses of
Mount Pleasant, and also did the carpen-
ter work on the buildings of Parsons Col-
lege, at Fairfield. They furnished em-
ployment to twenty-two men and are most
successful contractors, with a business that
has constantly grown in volume and im-
portance. In the spring of 1905 they took
the contract for erecting the Young Men's
Christian xA-Ssociation building, known as
the Seeley Memorial building, the finest
structure in Mount Pleasant, built at a
cost of eighty thousand dollars, and
the work is being carried rapidly forward
and will be completed on the ist of May.
1906. On this and their other building oper-
ations, which are also extensive, they give

employment to between forty and fifty
men. They are today the leading con-
tractors in this section, and not only do
they erect buildings for others but are also
speculative builders, buying unimproved
property on which they erect buildings for

Mr. Whitney was married on the ist of
June. 1891, to Miss Anna Thompson, a
daughter of Richard Thompson, of Jef-
ferson county, Iowa. She was born in
Pennsylvania but was reared in Jefferson
county, and by her marriage has become
the mother of two sons and a daughter :
Carl D., Alice Lucile and Richard H.
Airs. Whitney is a member of the Con-
gregational church and Mr. Whitney at-
tends its services and contributes to its
support. They have a fine home on South
White street, which he erected and it is
not only attractive architecturally, Imt it is
also celebrated for its warm-hearted and
generous hospitality. Mr. Whitney be-
longs to Henry Lodge, Independent Or-
der of Odd Fellows, in which he has been
noble grand, and he has also taken the
encampment degree. He likewise affili-
ates with the Modern Woodmen of Amer-
ica. In politics he is a republican, but has
never been an aspirant for office, prefer-
ring to give his undivided attention to his
business affairs. That the building in-
terests of Mount Pleasant have some most
competent representative men who have
attained high proficiency in this line of
industrial art, is evidenced throughout this
beautiful city in its fine residences, sub-
stantial business blocks and modern pub-
lic buildings. The firm of Whitnev &'
Beredahl, of which J. Louis Whitney is
the senior partner, are receiving a liberal



share of the piibhc patronage in this Hue
because of an abihty and business integ-
rity that have won for them an enviable
position in industrial circles. Moreover,
Mr. Whitney is well known socially and
in the city of his birth, which has also
always been the city of his residence, he
has a wide circle of warm friends.


Charles G. Gloeckler, one of the promi-
nent and rising young lousiness men of
Mount Pleasant, was born in Portage

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 20 of 85)