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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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and in 1902 he extended the scope of his
business activity and operations by adding
a feed mill, doing his grinding by power
furnished by a nine-horse-power gasoline
engine. In the more recently established
enterprise he is meeting with good suc-
cess, finding it a profitable investment.

In October, 1890. occurred the mar-
riage of Mr. Kesinger ^ncl Miss May F.
Paxston, who was born in Rome, in Jan-
uary. 1872. and who is a daughter of
Matthew and G. G. (Anderson) Paxston,
the former a native of Ohio, and the lat-
ter of Sweden -

Mr. and Mrs. Kesinger have one son.
Harry Allen, born October ,3. 1891. Mr.
Kesinger is a republican in politics, and
is interested in the success and growth of



1 86



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



his party, and has served for more than
one year as township trustee. He has also
been school director for two years, and
the cause of education finds in him a warm
and helpful friend. In fact, his interest
extends to every movement or plan for
the general good, and he endorses all pro-



g-ressive measures.



THOMAS WASHINGTOX COOPER.

Thomas Washingtcjn Cooper is the
owner of a valuable farm in Wayne town-
ship upon which is a comfortable resi-
dence, good barns and large, substantial
sheds. Moreover he has set out maple,
pine and ornamental trees and he has a
splendid orchard and is engaged in gen-
eral farming and stock-raising.

Mr. Cooper was born in Highland
county, Ohio, April 2t^, ^843. His pa-
ternal grandfather, John Cooper, was a
native of Ireland and his father, Jesse
Cooper, was born in Lancaster county,
Pennsylvania. Having arrived at years
of maturity he married Miss Mary Elea-
nor Rees, a native of Virginia, and a
daughter of Thomas and Eleanor (Down-
ing) Rees.

Thomas Washington Cooper, son of
Jesse and Mary E. (Rees) Cooper, was a
public school student in Ohio in his early
boyhood days, later attended the Leba-
non (Ohio) College, and afterward pre-
pared for a business career by a course of
study in Bryant & Stratton's Commercial
College, at Columbus, Ohio. He was a



voung man of but nineteen years, when,
in June, 1862. he responded to the coun-
try's call for troops, enlisting in Com-
pany E, Sixtieth Ohio Infantr}-. The
regiment was assigned to duty in Vir-
ginia and on the 15th of September, 1862,
Mr. Cooper was captured by the Confed-
erate troops in that state. Two days later,
however, he was paroled and was sent
to Camp Douglas near Chicago, where he
was discharged in December, 1862. He
remained at home for three months and
then re-enlisted in the Eleventh Ohio
Cavalry to fight the Indians, becoming a
member of that command in August,
1863. He was assigned to service at Eort
Laramie and afterward in Idaho, now
Wyoming. Once a severe battle occurred
at Mud Springs and was continued to
Rush Creek, eight miles distant. The
Indian chiefs were Sitting Bull and Red
Cloud. The white men killed ninety-
seven Indians and among the soldiers
there were seven killed and about eleven
wounded. The regiment remained there
until August, 1866, when the troops were
discharged.

When the country no longer needed his
services Mr. Cooper returned to Ohio,
where he attended school until the spring
of 1867. He then came to Henry county
and purchased eighty acres of raw prairie
land in Wayne township, for which he
paid about nine dollars per acre. Today
he would refuse one hundred and forty
dollars per acre, so greatly has the land
appreciated in value, owing to the rapid
settlement of the country and the excel-
lent improvements that he has placed
upon his farm. After making the pur-
chase he broke the prairie and built a



HEXRY COUNTY, 10 IV A.



187



house, twenty-two by twenty-four feet,
and one and a half stories in height.
There he hved until 1902, when he re-
modeled the dwelling and now has a com-
fortable home of five rooms. The entire
farm is surrounded by a woven wire fence
that also divides the place into five fields.
In 1877 he built a barn, twenty- four by
thirty-six feet, and afterward erected
thereon a shed, which extends on two
sides of the barn. The value and at-
tractive apeparance of the place have been
greatly enhanced by the maple, pine and
ornamental trees which he has set out and
he likewise has an orchard containing
forty apple trees, thirty peaches trees and
six' plum trees, from which he gathers
good harvests. He carries on general
farming, the well tilled fields bringing to
him good harvests, and he also raises cat-
tle, horses and hogs.

On the 28th of December, 1867. Mr.
Cooper was united in marriage to Miss
Hannah Thornburg. who was born in
Clinton county, Ohio, a daughter of Sam-
uel and Jane ( Sharp) Thornbin^g. She
was educated in the common schools of
her native county. They have two chil-
dren : Leanora, the wife of Oliver P.
Hough, who resides upon a part of her
father's farm ; and Alva Curtis, who is
also living upon a part of the okl home
place. Mr. Cooper has resided upon his
present farm for about thirty-nine years
and it is today a splendidly improved
property, which gives every evidence of
his care and supervision. He was born
of Quaker parentage and was reared in
the faith of the Society of Friends, with
which he was connected until 1893, when
he joined the Wesleyan Methodist church.



In politics he is a republican and has
twice been elected justice of the peace of
Wayne township. In community affairs he
is deeply interested, desiring the best de-
velopment of the township and county,
and his efforts in behalf of general prog-
ress have been a matter of public benefit.



GEORGE W. NEFF.

It is always of interest to examine into
the history of a self-made man and note
the methods that he has followed and the
business principles that he has practiced
in carrying on his life work and winning
thereby the success which all men seek.
Mr. Neff, starting out for himself at a
very early age, has become one of the
prosperous residents of Henry county,
where for many years he carried on farm-
ing, while at the present time he is liv-
ing, while at the present time he is living
retired in Waylandintheenjojanentof well
earned ease. He is a native of Ohio, his
birth having occurred in Tuscarawas
county on the loth of July, 1855. His
father, Jacob Neff, was born in Pennsyl-
vania and married Christina Johnson, a
native of Scotland. In their family were
four sons and four daughters and the
parents died when George \\'. Xeff was
but two years of age. The children then
went to live in different homes in the
neighborhood, and George \V. Neff was
taken by Jacob D. Yoder with whom he
lived until seventeen years of age, when he
left Ohio and came to Henry county,



i88



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



Iowa, where he worked for Mr. Yoder's
son, Phihp, who was extensively engaged
in sheep raising. Mr. Neff took charge
of the ranch, which he managed for two
and a half years, and later he worked for
James Laird on a large farm for eight
months. Desiring, however, that his la-
bors should be of more direct benefit to
himself, he rented a farm from Philip
Yoder and operated it for a year in con-
nection w^ith one of his brothers. At the
end of that time he took charge of the
stock ranch owned by Daniel Turney, one
of the prominent stockmen of eastern
Iowa. The place was located near Tren-
ton, and he remained in charge for thir-
teen months.

It was about that time that Mr. Neff
was married, winning as a companion and
helpmate for life's journey Miss Mattie
Sommers, whom he wedded on the 28th of
December, 1870. She was born in Holmes
county, Ohio, and is a daughter of Joseph
and Elizabeth (Miller) Sommers, he, a
native of Pennsylvania and she. a native
of Ohio. After their marriage Mr. Neff
rented a portion of the last farm on which
he had worked, remaining thereon a year,
after which he again operated a leased
farm for a year. Subsequently he pur-
chased forty-five acres of land in Wash-
ington county, Iowa, which was covered
with brush. This he cleared and culti-
vated, improving it and adding to it until
the place comprised one hundred acres,
upon \vhich he resided for thirteen years.
In 1886 he traded that property for one
hundred acres of land adjoining Way-
land on the north and there he built a resi-
dence and barn and otherwise improved
the property. His attention was devoted



to general agricultural pursuits there for
about sixteen years, when he sold all of
the farm with the exception of about three
acres. He thus keeps two town lots and
upon the place he has a fine modern resi-
dence, containing twelve rooms heated
with furnace and supplied with water. It
ine one of the most attractive and best
equipped residences of Wayland and in
this home Mr. Neff is now enjoying the
comforts and luxuries of life, which have
l)een secured to him through his own well
directed labor. Upon this place he also
has a large barn thirty by forty feet.
There is a well kept lawn surrounding his
home, which is tastefully furnished and
which is the center of a cultured society
circle. In addition to his other property
]vlr. Neff owns a farm of one hundred and
sixty acres in Marion township, Wash-
ington county, which he keeps well stocked
with cattle, horses and hogs, this being
operated by two of his sons. Miles and
Gola.

.Unto Mr. and Mrs. Neff have been
born ten children : Elizabeth, the wife of
Charles Lute, a resident of Jefferson town-
ship; Miles P., residing in Wayland; Jo-
seph, who died at the age of two years;
Arnold, who was killed bv a horse when
nine years of age; Maud, the w^ife of
William Barnet, a druggist, of Wayland;
Fred, Gola H., Randolph, Lydia, and
Martha, all at home. The parents are
members of the Mennonite church, and
Mr. Neff gives his political support to
the republican party, but has never sought
or desired office as a reward for party
fealty. His life has indeed been a busy
one, for from an early age he has earned
his own living, often through hard and



HENRY COUNTY, lOlVA.



189



self-denying labor. As the years have gone
by, however, he has prospered and, hav-
ing acquired a handsome competence, he
is now enabled to live retired.



HEZEKIAH SMITH JERREL.

H. S. Jerrel, one of the prosperous
farmers of Marion township, who displays
excellent business ability and executive
force in the management of his agricul-
tural interests, was born in ^Vashington
county, Indiana, February 21, 1839. his
parents being Charles F. and Jane D.
(Davis) Jerrel. His paternal grandfather,
William Jerrel, was one of the North Car-
olina heroes of the Revolutionary war,
serving for seven years in defense of the
colonies in their endeavor to secure inde-
pendence, remaining with the army until
victory rewarded the earnest efforts of the
soldiers. He reached the very advanced
age of one hundred and seven years. His
last years were spent near Greencastle,
Indiana. The maternal grandfather,
Enoch Davis, was a soldier in the war
of 18 12 and died at the age of ninety-nine
years. His early life w^as spent in North
Carolina and his later days in Indiana.

The parents of our subject w^ere both
natives of Guilford" county. North Caro-
lina, born in 1801. The father was a
farmer by occupation, and at an early day
in the development of Indiana removed to
that state, where he carried on farming
until 1850, when he came to Iowa. He
settled upon a farm of forty acres near



the present home of our subject, remaining
there until his death, which occurred
March 4, 1864. His widow long survived
him and died in 1900, in her ninety-ninth
year, at which time her remains were in-
terred by the side of her husband's in
Hickory Grove cemetery. Mr. Jerrel was
a democrat in his political views and fre-
quently acted as deputy sheriff. His wife
was a member of the Methodist church.
In their family were ten children, but only
three are now living : Ruth, the wife of
Robert Loudon, who resides at Russell.
Lucas county, Iowa; H. S., of this re-
view, and Susan, the wife of Joseph Cof-
fin, who is now living in Oskaloosa.
Abner D. Jerrel, an elder brother of our
subject, served in the Civil war, enlisting
in the Fourth Iowa Cavahy and acting as
a teamster to carry provisions.

H. S. Jerrel acquired his education in
the district schools of his native county
and also in Henry county, being a youth
of eleven years when he accompanied his
parents on their removal to Iowa. He re-
mained upon the old homestead until his
father's death, and soon afterward made
preparation for having a home of his own
by his marriage on the 17th of March,
1864, to Miss Elizabeth D. Patton, who
was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
November 4, 1839, and when eleven years
of age was brought to Iowa by her parents,
David and Susan (Haveley) Patton. Her
father w^as also a native of Fayette county,
born January 4. 1807, while the mother's
birth occurred in Washington county,
Pennsylvania, May 27, 181 1. In the east
Mr. Patton learned and followed the trade
of a bridge carpenter and cabinet-maker,
and in 18^1 he came westward to Iowa,



190



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



settling on a farm in Henry county. His
last clays, however, were spent in Van
Buren county, where he died November
13, 1 86 1, while his wife passed away in
the same county March 4, 1859. They
w^ere members of the Presbyterian church
in Pennsylvania, but after their removal
to Iowa Mrs. Patton became a member
of the Congregational church. ]Mr. Patton
belonged to the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and gave his political allegiance
to the republican party. In their family
were ten children, of whom three are liv-
ing: Elizabeth D.. now Mrs. Jerrel, who
was educated in Howe's Academy and
taught school in Henry and Van Buren
counties before her marriage ; Augustus
B.. who wedded Ida Davis and is living
in Ogden, Utah, and Margaret L., the
wife of Lewis Railey, of New Castle, Col-
orado. One son of this family, William
D. Patton, served for nine months in the
Civil war, being a member of Company
C, Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry. He was
honorably discharged on account of illness.
In the year of his marriage Mr. Jerrel
purchased thirty-seven and a half acres of
land, to ■\^'hich he has added from time to
time until he is now the owner of a valu-
able farm of two hundred and seventy
acres on section 16, Marion township. He
has built an attractive residence in modem
style of architecture and the house is con-
veniently arranged and tastefully fur-
nished. In 1876 he erected substantial
barns and outbuildings and he has suc-
cessfully carried on general farming and
stock-raising, becoming one of the pros-
perous residents of the community. He
.now feeds about four car loads of cattle
each vear and raises and feeds Poland



China hogs extensively. In his business
interests he shows keen discernment and
unfaltering enterprise and is seldom, if
ever, at error in matters of judgment con-
nected with agricultural and live stock
interests.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Jerrel have been
born five children. Charlemagne M., the
eldest, born in Henr}^ county, December
12, 1864, was educated in Howe's Acad-
emy and the Iowa Wesleyan University
of Mount Pleasant. He then took up the
study of law with the firm of Woolson &
Babb, and following his admission to the
Ijar by examination, engaged in the prac-
tice of law for ten years, but his health
failed and he was compelled to return to
his parents" farm. Fraternally he is con-
nected with the Masons and the Knights
of Pythias. In politics he is a republican
and is now serving for his fourth year as
township clerk. Clinton O. Jerrel, Doctor
of Dental Surgery is the second of the fam-
ily and was born on the homestead farm,
educated in the district schools, Howe's
Academy and the state university. He pre-
pared for practice of dentistry in the last
named and was graduated in 1891. He
then practiced in Pennsylvania from April,
1891, until August, 1893, after w^hich he
removed to Mount Pleasant. Here he has
built up a good practice and is widely ac-
quainted. He was an ambitious boy and
is a self-educated as well as self-made man,
having worked his way through college.
He has high ideals concerning the respon-
sibilities and duties of the profession, and
by his conscientious work and efficient
professional sen-ice has gained the esteem
and trust of the community. In politics
he is an independent republican. Dr. Burt



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA. 191

O. Jerrel. the third son, was born March GUSTAV JERICHO.
2, 1869, and after attending Howe's Acad-
emy in Mount Pleasant and Elhott's Busi- Gustav Jericlio, whose hfe is an illus-
ness College in Burlington, Iowa, attended tration of the fact that America offers
and was graduated from the Chicago Med- splendid business opportunities to voung
ical College, of Chicago. Illinois. He now men of energ}- and determination and that
lives in Oskaloosa. Iowa, where he is en- labor finds its just reward in this coun-
joying a large and prosperous practice, try where efifort is unhampered by caste
He married Miss Rosa Blanchard, a or class, has for fifty- four years been a
daughter of Judge Blanchard. of Oska- well known resident of Mount Pleasant,
loosa. and they have one child. Louise, He is today enjoying a well earned ease
who was born July 21. 1902. Alfretta after a long period of active connection
Jerrel, born September 30. 1872. attended with business interests in the city. His
the district schools, also Howe's Academy birth occurred in Prussia, Germanv. Tune
and the Wesleyan University, and has i. 1838. his parents being Frederic W'il-
taught to some extent in the country liam and Ann Sophia Jericho. The father
schools, but makes her home with her A\ho was a saddler and harness maker by
parents. Alfred B. Jerrel. the youngest trade, died in 1841. leaving several small
of the family, born August 12, 1875, was children to care for his widow. She kept
also a student in Howe's Academy, and her family together, and in 18^8 came to
is in the employ of the Chicago. Burling- Mount Pleasant, where she remained until
ton & Ouincy Railroad Company at Au- her death, in 1889, at the advanced age of
rora. Illinois, where he has a good ninety-three years.

position. Gustav Jericho was a youth of thirteen

Mr. Jerrel xoXts with the democratic years when he came with his mother to

party, but has no desire for the honors the new world in 185 1. He has since been

nor emoluments of public office. Mr. and dependent upon his own resources and be-

Mrs. Jerrel are members of the Congre- gan earning his living here by leaming the

gational church, in which he is serving as harness maker's trade. He also attended

a trustee. He has long lived in the county, the public schools and fitted himself for

where he has witnessed many changes, college, subsequent to which he entered the

and he is a self-made man, whose earnest Iowa Wesleyan University. \Mien his

labors have wrought success, making him education was completed he nrade his way

one of the prosperous agriculturists of his to Jackson, Missouri, where for two years

community. He is now classed w ith the he was engaged in house painting and on

old settlers of the county, and he and his the expiration of that period he returned

wife are genial people, who have a \ery to Mount Pleasant, where he enteretl the

large circle of friends, which is practically employ of his brother, who conducted a

co-extensive with their acquaintance and saddleiy establishment in this city. In

no review of the county would be com- i860 Mr. Jerich(T went to Chicago, where

plete without mention of this family. he was employed at painting, and on the



192



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



breaking out of the Civil war, on Alay i,
1 86 1, he enhstecl in the Sturges Independ-
ent Rifle Company of Sharpshooters. With
this command he did service in West Vir-
ginia, and the company was afterward at-
tached to the Amiy of the Potomac, with
which he participated in the battles of
Fair Oaks, Gaines Mills, Malvern Hill
and other important engagements. He
was orderly or first sergeant of his com-
pany and was mustered out in November,
1862.

Again returning to Mount Pleasant Mr.
Jericho once more resumed the harness
maker's trade and later he represented
Cole Brothers in soliciting patronage for
their lightening rods. On severing that
business connection he turned his atten-
tion to house painting, in which he con-
tinued until 1890. His sons having been
educated for pharmacists ]\Ir. Jericho then
purchased a drug store at the corner of
Main and Monroe streets, the leading
business corner of the city, and success-
fully conducted the store until he turned
it over to his sons a few years ago. He
has since lived retired in the enjoyment
of a well earned rest and the visible evi-
dence of his life of enterprise and capable
management is seen in his fine brick resi-
dence at the comer of Green and White
streets, and other valuable city property,
including the Brazelton House block
which he held till 1906, and also in his
fann in Van Buren county.

Mr. Jericho was married in Chicago, in
May, i860, just prior to his enlistment in
the army, to Miss Louisa Flam, also a na-
tive of Germany, from whence she came to
America with her father, following her
mother's death. Mr. and Mrs. Jericho



have become the parents of eight children
who yet survive : Gustav B., who is a
member of the drug firm of Mount Pleas-
ant ; Richard, who is in Chicago ; John
H., a druggist of this city; Frederic, who
is conducting a similar enterprise in Fair-
field, Iowa; William, of Mount Pleasant;
Anna, the wife of Gustav Grau, of Mount
Pleasant; Albert, who is a druggist at
Cantrell, Iowa ; and Ernest, a druggist of
Monmouth, Illinois, and who served as a
member of the Fiftieth Iowa Volunteer
Infantr}^ during the Spanish-American
war.

Mr. Jericho is a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and has
been its noble grand. He also belongs
to McFarland post. Grand Army of the
Republic. He well deserves the praise
which is conferred in the term, ''a self-
made man,'' for he came to America with-
out money and has gained his position in
the business and financial circles in Henry
county owing to his determination, stal-
wart energ}^ and unremitting diligence.
He is one of the substantial men of this
city, respected by all, and his example is
well worthv of emulation.



WILLIAM KING HOBART.

William K. Hobart, who lives in a
]5leasant home in Mount Pleasant, belongs
to that class of citizens who win the ad-
miration and respect of all by what they
have accomplished by individual effort
and along honorable lines. ]\Ir. Hobart is



HENRY county; IOWA.



193



entirely a self-made man and all. that he
has enjoyed and possessed has been won
through well directed labor, guided by
sound business judgment. He was born
March 4, 1836, in Oneida county, New
York, the son of William and Axie (In-
graham) Hobart. The parents were mar-
ried in Oneida county. The father was
in his early life a prosperous miller in
city of Dublin, Ireland, learning the trade
from his father, A\ho was a wealth}' mil-
ler of that city. The family was a fam-
ily of great wealth in Ireland, but owing
to the law of primo-genitivre, the father
of our subject, William, who was not the
oldest son, did not inherit much of this.
He was. however, equipped with a good
education, being especially proficient in
mathematics, and being also gifted with
much determination of character, he de-
cided to come to the new world, feeling
that here he would find better opportuni-
ties for advancement. He first came to
the state of New York some three or four
years before his marriage. Here he felt
the disadvantage of his unfamiliarity with
the American people and their ways, and
in order to make himself acquainted with
them, became a pack-peddler. Of this
he made a partial success financially, as
well as learning the all important facts
about the country and the people of which
he had started out in search. He was
married in Oneida county. New "S'ork, and
lived there for a number of years. The
family then came to McDonough county.
Illinois, in 1851, where he bought a small
tract of timber land, but which they never
improved. The family on coming to Amer-
ica, and later, on coming to the west, were
very poor, so that it has been a struggle



against the greatest odds, by which our
subject has attained the honored and re-
spected position of financial independence
which henow occupies. Onmoving to Iowa
the father bought a farm in Scott town-



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 22 of 85)