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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 23 of 85)
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ship, near Winfield, a place of 180 acres,
all wild prairie land. This his sons, our
subject and his brothers, improved, and on
it they built a house where the father lived
till the time of his death. His remains
now lie buried in Forest Home cemetei-y,
in Mount Pleasant.

William King Hobart received his
early education in public and subscription
schools near his home. These opportu-
nities were very limited, but he inherited a
taste for learning and was willing to en-
dure some discomforts in order to ob-
tain the education that he so much de-
sired. For a time he did chores and odd
jobs to pay his way in school and by the
time that that became impracticable, he
had formed a taste for reading, and had
learned how to study, so that he was able
to go on and educate himself. He has
always been a close reader of the best
books, a patron of literary societies, and
a constant attendant at the higher grade
of lectures, and has kept well posted on
all current events and the leading ques-
tons of public interest and policy through-
out the world, so that today he ranks
amono- the best informed as well as well
educated men of Mount Pleasant.

In his boyhood, Mr. Hobart learned
the trade of the carpenter, serving his ap-
prenticeship while he was living in Illi-
nois. He worked for a year for the firm
of Hewey & Behmiller without wages.
He was to a large extent a natural me-
chanic, and enjoyed his work so much



194



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



that he h^s foHowed it for most of his
hfetime since. He worked on a farm for
a short time, tending- the home place dur-
ing one season during the war, while his
brothers were at the front. He and his
brothers have a war record of which any
family might \vell ht proud. Six l^roth-
ers of them — Frederick E.. Milo, Frank-
lin. Joseph, William K., and Mortimer —
were all in the war, and served an aver-
age of three years each, although one was
killed in the first year of the war. Morti-
mer gave up his life for his country at the
battle of Shiloh, on x\pril 6, 1862. Three
of the brothers underwent the unspeak-
able horrors of Anderson\ille prison. Wil-
lian K., himself being held there in captiv-
ity for seven long months, and suffering
hardships from which his system has
never recovered.

Mr. Hobart enlisted at the very begin-
ning of the war, being one of the original
"three months" men, and took part in the
battle of Wilson Creek, Missouri. After
the time of his first enlistment had expired,
he returned to Iowa in October, i86t,
and remained on the farm until January,
1862, when he re-enlisted. His company
rendezvoused at Keokuk, Iowa, then went
to Missouri. He was a member of Com-
pany F, of the Seventeenth Iowa. Their
first engagement was at Macon, IMissouri.
After this, they crossed the Mississippi
river and joined General Lyons. At the
end of this year he re-enlisted, and in the
spring of 1863 joined his regiment at
Huntsville, Alabama, and went with Sher-
man on his famous "march to the sea."
At Tilton, Georgia, his entire regiment,
except one company, about three or four
hundred men. was captured. Mr. Hobart



was among the number who were cap-
tured, and he was taken to Cahaba to
prison. From there he was removed to
Millen, and later to Andersonville, where
for seven months he endured the worst de-
privations that were known throughout
diis most cruel of wars. His brothers,
Joseph and Frank, were fellow cnptives
with him in Andersonville. Mr. Hobart
was finally exchanged at Vicksburg, but
he is still a sufferer from the effects of the
hardships of those days of trial. He v;as
finally honorably discharged at Daven-
port, Iowa, and his grateful country tries
now to show in some small degree her a])-
preciation of his services by allowing him
a pension of twelve dollars a month, al-
though his natural reluctance to take such
a step he ne\'er applied for one until a few
years ago.

Of the other brothers who survi\^ed the
war. two. Frederick and Milo, have since
passed to the world beyond ; Joseph li^'es
at ^Vinfield, this county ; and Franklin re-
sides at Ventura, California.

After the close of the war, Mr. Hobart
resumed work at his trade, and was \-ery
successful. Prior to devoting himself ex-
clusively to his trade, he and his lirothers
purchased a quarter section of land in
Scott tov.nship. and he took one-fourth
of that and farmed it, for a time, doing
some carpentering at the same time. In
1868 he removed to Mount Pleasant, and
gave his entire time to his trade. Two
years afterward he built a comfortable
home in a very pleasant location in the
city, and has since made his residence
there, an honored citizen, who has filled
an important place in the industrial, so-
cial, and political aff'airs of the city.



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



195



Mr. Hobart was united in marriaoe to
Miss Eliza W. Graves, daughter of Enoch
Graves, of Wayne township, Henry coun-
tv. one of the pioneer settlers of the state
of ToAva. To this union have been born
three daughters and one son. Lillian,
who was a successful teacher in Mount
Pleasant prior to her marriage, is the wife
of John Walker, a graduate of the Iowa
^\"esIeyan University, and now a devoted
minister of the gospel in Hinton, a suburb
of Sioux City, Iowa. They have two chil-
dren : Hobart and Mildred. The second
daughter. Mary, was educated in the pub-
lic schools of Mount Pleasant, and for
three or four years was deputy auditor
here, and also held a commission as notary
public. She was the second woman in
Iowa to hold a notary's commission. She
is the wife of C. W. Robinson, a prosper-
ous farmer, of W^ayne township, and they
are the parents of one child, Ralph Edgar.
Mr. Hobart's son, Ralph E., received his
education in the public schools, and took
one year in the Mount Pleasant .Vcademy,
following a commercial course. He mar-
ried Miss Delia Hughes, of Omaha, Ne-
braska, and makes his home in Omaha,
where he has a good position as book-
keeper in a large wholesale grocery. Miss
Clara B. Hobart also received her educa-
tion in the ])ublic schools of Mount Pleas-
ant, supplementing this by a stenographic
course of one year at the Northern Illi-
nios Normal College, at Dixon, Illinois.
She has been engaged in the work of
teaching for several years, having had ex-
perience in Wayland, Bedford, and in
Mount Pleasant, where she has proven
herself eminently successful as a discip-
linarian, and efficient in imparting instruc-



tion. Mr. Hobart has a family of which
he may well be ])roud. and their home is
a. center of hospitality to an ever-increas-
ing circle of friends who value them for
what they themselves have done and are.

Air. and Mrs. Hobart are faithful mem-
bers and supp(n-ters of the Methodist
church and can be counted upon to lend
a helping hand in any time of need. He
was originally a member of the Christian
church, but on coming to Mount Pleas-
ant found that that denomination had no
organization here, so transferred his mem-
bership to the Methodist Episcopal church
in this city. Mr. Hobart has always been
a close student of the leading political
questions of the day, and has always voted
with the Republican party. He voted for
Abraham Lincoln for Senator, when Lin-
coln made his famous campaign in which
he was defeated by Stephen A. Douglas,
that being the first vote that Mr. Hobart
ever cast. He has taken a strong inter-
est in questions pertaining to the welfare
of the community, and served the third
ward on the city council for a period of
two years some years ago. He has a very
wide fraternal acc[uaintance, having taken
a prominent part in lodge history of the
city. He is a member of the Masonic or-
der, and has held a number of minor of-
fices. He belongs to the Independent Or-
der of Odd Fellows, and has passed
through the chairs. He has kept up his
memories of war times, and the associa-
tions with his old time comrades by his
membership in the Grand Army of the
Republic, of which he was at one time the
commander.

Mr. Hobart is still actively engaged in
his trade, at which he has had a degree



196



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



of success unusual to the followers of any
trade, and is still a craftsman of cunning
skill, but he expects soon to retire from
active life, leaving the brunt of the bur-
den of the day to a younger generation,
while he enjoys a well earned rest from
the heat of the day. He began life at the
foot of the ladder, without aid and with-
out capital, and all he has acquired has
come to him by virtue of his own frugal-
ity, industry, care and natural talents. He
deserves great credit for what he has ac-
complished, and his success under such
conditions is a more fitting commentary
on his character than any tribute that
might be framed in words.



JAMES M. WIDEMAN.

Business activity and energ}' have been
the salient features in the life record of
James AI. Wideman, who is now engaged
in the manufacture and sale of harness in
Wayland. He has a well appointed es-
tablishment and is doing a good business,
his annual sales reaching a gratifying fig-
ure. Mr. ^^'ideman is an eastern man, his
birth having occurred in Pittsburg, Penn-
sylvania, on the 1 8th of January, 1853. His
parents were Philip and Mary J. (Barr)
Wideman, the former a native of Germany
and the latter of the Keystone state. He
was at one time engaged in merchandising
in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and also lived
for some time in St. Louis, Missouri,
where he was engaged in the manufacture
of furniture. His first wife died during



their residence in that city. It was after
this time that he made his home in Pitts-
burg, whence he removed to Iowa in
1853, settling in Burlington, where he
conducted a general store for three years.
In the winter of 1856 he went to Talley-
rand, Keokuk county, Iowa, where he
conducted a mercantile enterprise for
about eight years or until 1864, when he
removed to a farm in the same county,
trading his town property for his land.
After devoting a few months to agricul-
tural pursuits he left the farm and went
to Washington, Iowa, where he estab-
lished a drug store, which he conducted
for five years. On the expiration of that
period he sold out and removed to ]\Iar-
shall, (now Wayland), where he also con-
ducted a drug business. He was post-
master under President Haves, filling the
position up to the time of his death, which
occurred in October, 1880. He was an
energetic business man, thoroughly re-
liable in his dealings and whatever success
he achieved was attributable entirely to his
own efforts. His widow still survives him
and now makes her home with her son
James.

In his first year James M. Wideman
was brought from Pennsylvania to Iowa
by his parents, and his education was
largely acquired in the common schools
of Washington, this state. He accompa-
nied his parents on their various removals
during his boyhood and youth and ere
attaining his majority went toKeota, Iowa,
where he learned the harness-making trade,
spending four years in mastering the busi-
ness and becoming thereby an expert
workman. In 1875 he established a har-
ness-making shop in Wayland. renting the



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



197



second story of a frame building for four
years. He afterward erected a frame
building, which he occupied until 1900,
when he built a fine brick business block
twenty-four by seventy feet. He occu-
pies the first floor with his harness shop
and manufactured goods, and the second
floor is divided into four offices, which
he rents. He deals in harness, saddles,
collars and oils, and in fact, carries every-
thing found in a first class establishment
of this character. He also has a Landis
sewing machine, weight six hundred
pounds and also the latest impro\^ed ma-
chinery of other descriptions necessary
for carrying on the business. His shop
is one of the best equipped in this portion
of the country and he carries a stock of
goods to the value of two thousand dol-
lars. His Landis machine is a wonder-
ful piece of mechanism, saving the labor
of nine men.

On the 20th of January, 1886, Mr.
Wideman was united in marriage to Miss
Mary Lucetta Henthorn. who was born
in Henry county, and is a daughter of
Jefferson Henthorn. Two children were
born of this union : Stella Elizabeth, on
the 2rst of July, 1887, and James Owen,
on the 1 2th of January, 1890. The latter
died at the age of three months and the
wife and mother passed away November
3, 1893, her death being deeply deplored
by many friends by reason of her many
excellent traits of heart and mind, which
had endeared her to all with whom she
came in contact.

Mr. Wideman is an inflexible adherent
of republican principles, having given his
support to the party since attaining his
majority. He was one of the first coun-



cilmen of Wayland, serving in that office
for six years, and he was also town clerk
for two years. Community affairs are
matters of deep interest to him and his
co-operation can always be counted upon
to further any movement for the public
good. His success in business has been
uniform and rapid and undoubtedly re-
sults largely from his persistency of pur-
pose in following out a line of work in
which he embarked as a young tradesman.
His earnest desire to please his patrons
and his well known reliability are also
elements in his success. The greater part
of his life has been passed in Iowa, and
for many years he has resided in Henry
county and his life record is typical of the
spirit of western enterprise and accom-
plishment.



WnXIAM HENDRICKS JACKSON.

William Hendricks Jackson, residing in
Rome, where he is now practically living
retired, was for many years connected
with as^ricultural interests in Henrv coun-
tv and thus gained the competence that en-
ables him now to live in well earned ease.
He was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, on the
15th of March, 1832. and is a son of
George W. Jackson, a native of Ken-
tucky, who in that state was married to
Miss Mary McGill, also born in Ken-
tucky. The father followed farm labor
there for some time and then hoping to im-
prove his financial condition by a removal
to Illinois took up his abode near Nauvoo,
Hancock count v. where he became the



198



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



owner of a large tract of land. There he
resided until the fall of 1833, when he en-
tered land on Skunk river in Trenton
township, becoming the owner of over five
hundred acres, all of which was covered
with timber. This he cleared, performing
the arduous task incident to cutting away
the trees and grubbing out the stumps, luit
in the course of years the fields were cul-
tivated and brought forth good harvests.
At the time he took up his abode on
Skunk ri^'er there were yet many Indians
in the county, and there were wild ani-
mals to menace the stock. Wolves fre-
quently made the night hideous with their
howling and caused depredations among
the stock. Deer and other wild game could
be had in abundance, and thus meat was
secured for many a pioneer meal. Various
hardships and trials were to be endured,
])ut there were also many pleasures which
are uncommon at the present day. Upon
the homestead which he cultivated and
improved both Mr. and Mrs. Jackson
spent their remaining days, the death of
the father occurring about 1844, while
the mother survived until 1856.

William H. Jackson pursued his early
education in the common schools of Iowa
and following his father's death he re-
mained for eight years with his mother
upon the old homestead, when, in 1852,
at the age of twenty years, he crossed the
plains with oxteams to Oregon, where he
prospected for gold. He was also con-
nected with a pack train in that country
and remained for twelve years in Oregon
and for three years was in the gold fields
of northeastern Idaho. He likewise spent
three years in California, where he was
engaged in mining for gold and in lum-



l:ering, and he became familiar with the
history of that section of the country dur-
ing a most picturescjue epoch there. In
November, 1868, he returned by steamer
on the Missouri river from Fort Benton,
being sixty days upon the way. He left
the river at Sioux City, Iowa, wliere he
took a stage to Des Moines, and thence
proceeded by rail to Mount Pleasant. He
traded his packing interests to his brother
Thomas for his interest in the old home-
stead, and thus Mr. Jack.son of this re-
view came into possession of about one
hundred and twenty acres of land. Fol-
lowing his return to Henry county he at
once began to cultivate and improve this
tract, and he has since added forty acres
to the original farm. He now owns two
hundred acres on section 33, Trenton town-
ship, about a mile and a half from Rome,
and has eighty acres on section 18, Tippe-
canoe township, which is covered with
timber. He is thus the owner of exten-
sive landed interests, aggregating two
hundred and eighty acres, and the income
from his property supplies him with a
comfortable living. He built a large barn
on his place in Trenton township. The
residence upon the old homestead was
built by his father and Mr. Jackson re-
sided there continuously until March 15,
1905, when he removed to Rome and pur-
chased a fine home, containing seven
rooms and cellar. This house stands in
the midst of four large lots and the land
is kwell kept and the place is altogether
one of the attractive residences of the vil-
Igge. Since leaving the farm, his son,
Harry O. Jackson, has conducted it.

On the 6th of January, 1869, Mr. Jack-
son was united in marriage to Miss Mar-



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



199



garet Kershner, who was born in Greene
county, Ohio, March 19. 1844, and ac-
quired her education in the pubhc schools
of that state. Her parents were Wilham
E. and EHzabeth (Kinney) Kershner, the
former a native of Maryland and the lat-
ter of Greene county, Ohio. The paternal
grandfather, Daniel Kershner, was born
in Maryland and married a Miss Hicks,
while John Kinney, the maternal grandfa-
ther, was a native of Pennsylvania. Miss
Kershner came to Rome with her aunt in
1865, her parents being dead.

The marriage of Mr. ancl Mrs. Jack-
son has been blessed with fi\'e children :
George Perry, who was born August zj,
1 87 1, and died at the age of ten years;
Alfred Harvey, who was born March 19,
1875, and died November 2, 1880; Julia
Jane, born March 30, 1877; Harry Oliver
September 13, 1880, married Lena Riley;
and Enna Myrtle, who ^^•as born Septem-
ber 9. 1882, and is now the wife of Oscar
W. Sandburg, a resident farmer of Tippe-
canoe township.

In his political views Mr. Jackson is a
democrat wdio keeps well informed on the
questions and issues of the day and always
supports the men and measures of the
party. He has been a member of the Bap-
tist church for over forty years, but is now
independent in religious faith and is in-
terested in all that pertains to the material,
intellectual, and moral progress of his
community. His life has been an active
one, in which his labor has been crowned
with success. His youth was a period of
earnest toil and at the age of twenty years
he started out in life on his own account
and has since been dependent entirely upon
his own resources. While for many years



interested in farming interests in this
county he worked energetically and per-
sistently and moreover maintained hon-
orable principles in all of his business
transactions. It was through his unfalter-
ing diligence and earnest purpose that he
acquired a handsome competence, becom-
ing the owner of large landed interests.



CORNELIUS C. CASE.

Corelius C. Case, one of the prominent
and rising young business men of Mount
Pleasant, conducting a carriage and wa-
gon repair shop and general blacksmithing
business, was born in Blairstown, Benton
county, Iowa. June 2},. 1870. his parents
being Separate and Samantha (Bacheler)
Case. The father, a farmer by occupa-
tion, was born in Indiana, but when a
young man went to Clinton count}-, L)wa,
and later purchased a farm in Benton
countv, where he spent the remainder of
his active business life. He died at the
home of his son near Belle Plain, and the
mother passed away in 1879. at Blairs-
towni.

Cornelius C. Case, having pursued his
elementary education in the schools of
Benton county, continued his studies in
Iowa Seminary, at Blairstown. after
which his attention was devoted to farm
work in Benton county until he came to
Mount Pleasant in i8()4. Here he learned
the blacksmith's trade, which he followed
in the employ of others until he formed
a partnership with his brother under the



200



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



firm style of Case Brothers. They car-
ried on the business which had formerly
been established by the brother, Cornelius
C. Case having purchased a half interest
and until 1903 conducted a general
wagon repair and blacksmithing shop.
Since that time Cornelius C. Case has
been sole proprietor, having purchased
his brother's interest and he now conducts
an extensive and successful business at
No. 213 East Monroe street which he re-
cently erected and fitted with improved
machinery for his work, where he fur-
nishes employment to three men and at
the same time does active work in the
shop himself. His patronage has con-
tinually increased and he is now in charge
of a good remunerative business. Al-
though he came to the county without
capital his ability and industry have been
the strong elements in success.

On the I St of June, 1898, in Mount
Pleasant, Mr. Case was married to Miss
Bertha Nicholson, a daughter of John
Nicholson, one of the early residents here.
Her grandfather, Thomas Nicholson, is
still living in Mount Pleasant. Mr. and
Mrs. Case have three sons : John, Ever-
ett, and Charles. They attend and sup-
port the Methodist Episcopal church, of
which Mrs. Case is also a member and
they own and occupy a pleasant home on
East Monroe street, which is one of the
fine residence streets of the city. Mr. Case
votes with the Republican party and be-
longs to Mystic Lodge, Independent Or-
der of Odd Fellows. Although a young
man he has won a creditable position in
industrial circles and his strong and sa-
lient characteristics are such as argue well
for future success.



ISAAC LINDER.

Isaac Linder, a prominent representa-
tive of business interests in New Lon-
don, where he is now^ associated with the
lumber trade, was born in Des Moines
county, Iowa, on the 7th of July, 1841, and
in his life has manifested the enterpris-
ing spirit which has been the dominant
and influencing factor in the rapid and
substantial upbuilding of the middle west.
He comes of a family of German and
English ancestry that, however, has been
represented in America through a number
of generations. Members of the family
removed from Virginia to Indiana and
in 1839 the father of our subject removed
to Des Moines county, Iowa. In 1840
he returned to Indiana, where he was
married and then with his bride again
made his way to this state, settling in
Pleasant Grove township, Des Moines
county, where they resided for many
years, his attention being given to gen-
eral agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Linder
passed away in New London in 1893, but
the father is still living, having cele-
brated the eighty-ninth anniversay of his
birth on the loth of November, 1905. In
the family of this worthy couple were
four children, of whom the following are
vet livinsf: Isaac, of this review; Wil-
liam L., a resident of Burlington; and
Mary M., the wife of Allen Lee, a resi-
dent of Washington township, Des
Moines county. The other child, Henry
Clay, died in infancy. In his political
views the father was originally a whig
and upon the dissoulition of that party
joined the ranks of the Democratic party,
with which he has since affiliated. He is



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



201



now one of the honored pioneer residents
of eastern Iowa, having for ahiiost seven
decades made his home in this state.

Isaac Linder, whose name introduces
this review acquired a common school
education in his native county and was
reared to the occupation of farming. As
soon as old enough to handle the plow
he took his place in the fields and through
the summer months aided in the work of
cultivation. He continued to follow farm-
ing until 1894 in Pleasant Grove and
Washington townships and then came to
New London, leaving the farm on ac-
count of his health. For a few years
thereafter he rested from further labor
and thereby recuperated his health. He
did not again engage in any business ven-



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 23 of 85)