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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 has three children. Frank married
Laura Land, has a large family, and lives
in Aurora. Ella is head lady in a corset
factory in Aurora. Milton, living in Rock
Island, Iowa, married Lillie Barnhouse,
now deceased, and has two children. Hat-



tie is the wife of William Tate, of Hous-
ton, Texas, and has four children. Myra
is the wife of Lafayette Burnett, of Au-
rora, Illinois, and has five children.

Mrs. Taft was educated in the public
schools, and both our subject and his wife
are well known in social circles in Mount
Pleasant. They live upon a part of the
old home lot formerly owned by his
father, Mr. Taft having erected his house
in 1880. Unto him and his wife have
been born seven children, and the family
circle yet remains unbroken by the hand
of death. Claude is now assisting in his
father's store. Kate is the wife of James
Thompson, of Mount Pleasant, and has a
daughter, Edna, who, however, is called
Eunice. Ralph, who is employed in the
scraper works at Aurora, Illinois, married
Sadie ]\Iitchell and has one child, Claude.
Ethel is at home. Hazel, Vera and Myra
are all students in the public schools.

Mr. Taft has ever gi\'en his support to
the democracy, following in his father's
footsteps in this direction. The latter
served as alderman of Mount Pleasant for
several terms, but Edward Taft has no
aspiration in that direction, preferring to
concentrate his energies upon his business
affair. His wife is a member of the Con-
gregational church and fraternally he is
connected with the Odd Fellows, the An-
cient Order of United Workmen and the
Court of Honor. He has always been
very successful in business and is one of
the oldest representatives of commercial in-
terests in this city. He is a pleasant man,
gentlemanly in deportment, courteous in
his treatment of others, and in his mercan-
tile career has won a gratifying and well
merited measure of success.


Professor Benjamin Lavelle Cozier, a
man of broad scientific and literary attain-
ments, was for many years principal of
the public schools of Mount Pleasant and
left the impress of his individuality upon
the intellectual development and progress
of this city and section of the state. He
was born near Springfield, Ohio, March 14,
1833, a son of John and Hannah (Carter)
Cozier. The father was owner of a lum-
ber mill and was also a contractor, sup-
plying in that capacit}' large amounts of
lumber ad ties to the railroad companies
during the construction of their lines. He
acquired considerable wealth, but lost
heavily by fire and later removed to the
vicinity of Findlay, Iowa, where he turned
his attention to agriculaural pursuits.
There the members of the family are

Professor Cozier was one of thirteen
children and in the public schools he con-
tinued his studies until fourteen years of
age, when he entered the Spring-field Acad-
emy, while subsequently he matriculated
in Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware,
where he was graduated with the degree of
Bachelor of Arts and the honors of the
class of 1854. He excelled in his class as
a linguist and mathematician and had the
record of solving every mathematical prob-
lem in his course — a record that has not
since been equaled. Following his gradu-
ation, he was elected to a position in the
Pittsburgh Female College, where he
taught for one year, and on resigning he
came to Iowa in 1856, here entering upon
the studv of law in Mount Pleasant. He



^^'as thus engaged when on the 24th of Au-
gust, 1863, he enhsted for service with
the Fourth Iowa Battery. The command
was on duty in the vicinity of New Or-
leans, and there he was honorably dis-
charged July 14, 1865. He contracted
inflammatory rheumatism owing to the ex-
posures and hardships of war and on ac-
count of ill-health was made lieutenant
quartermaster, which position he filled
with much credit to himself and the satis-
faction of his superiors.

Following his return to the north. Pro-
fessor Cozier engaged in teaching in Mount
Pleasant and for thirteen years was the
principal of the high school and also su-
perintendent of the city schools. He in-
stituted many needed refomis and progres-
sive movements. During that time he
graded the schools and brought about many
other progressive steps whereby the pub-
lic school system of Mount Pleasant was
brought to a high standard of efficiency.
The cause of education in this cit}' owes
much to his efforts and is yet benefiting
by the stimulating effect of his labors and
the high ideals \\hich he introduced in
public education here. Because of ill
health Professor Cozier resigned and
turned his attention to the drug business
but after a short time became a furniture
merchant, in which line he continued suc-
cessfully for ten years. He w^as ever a
student, however, and was one of the most
capable and learned botanists of this sec-
tion of the state. He read broadly, consid-
ered deeply and continually added to his
knowledge through research, experiment
and investigation. He was a gentleman of
wide scientific and literaiy attainments and
was indeed a helpful factor in the intel-

lectual development of this part of the

On the 28th of July, 1869, Professor
Cozier was married to Miss Augusta L.
Flor}', of Mount Pleasant, who survives
him. Her parents were George W. and
Phoebe (Shadel) Flory. Her father was
bor at Hagestown, Maryland, in 18 10,
and as a young man went to Ohio, being
married in Loudonville, tliat state, on the
4th of March, 1841. They resided near
Mansfield, Ohio, where Mrs. Cozier was
born, the father having charge o fthe mills
there. He came to Mount Pleasant June
8, 1854, and was at first engaged in mer-
chandising, but afterward took charge of
the Oakland flouring mills. In later years
he retired from acti\'e business life, s|)end-
ing his remaining days in the enjoyment
of a w-ell earned rest. His death occurred
October 2, 1898, while his wife passed
away July 4, 1896. They were the parents
of four children, of whom Francis Marion
was killed at the battle of Atlanta in 1864.
None of the family are now living, with
the exception of Mrs. Cozier,. In religi-
ous faith they were Lutherans and lived
in consistance with their belief.

Professor and Mrs. Cozier were mem-
bers of St. Michael's Episcopal church
and he served as secretary of the vestry for
many }'ears and was lay reader of the
church for a long time. He was a member
of the Grand Army of the Republic, act-
ing as second commander of McFarland
Post. He also belonged to Xenium Podge,
No. 207. Ancient Free and Accepted Ma-
sons, and for seven consecutive years was
worshipful master and also acted as its
secretary. He was likewise a member and
secretary of Henr\' Chapter, No. 7, Royal



Arch Masons, and secretary of Jerusalem
Commandery, Knights Templar, for about
twelve years, while Airs. Cozier has been
a member of the Eastern Star since its
first institution, being a charter member
of Bethlehem Chapter, and was conductress
ten years, matron two years and is now
secretaiy and is also past associate grand
matron and has held other offices. She
has also been active in the Woman's Relief
Coi"ps, and in the local corps has been
secretary for se^'en years, treasiuxr seven
vears, and at present is its president, while
in the Department of Iowa she was depart-
ment treasurer for two years and also
chairman of the executive board the fol-
lowing year. He departed this life August
7, 1904, leaving behind him the record of
an honorable life fraught with good deeds
and a helpful spirit toward his fellow
men. W'liile he ne\'er sought prominence
in political circles, he stood as an exponent
of loyal and progressive citizenship and of
individual development and progress and
his life was an exemplification of the prin-
ciples in which he believed. Mrs. Cozier
still resides in Mount Pleasant and for
many years has been an active member of
the Ladies' Library Association of which
she is now ser\'ing as treasurer. She took
a helpful part in the building of the Car-
negie Library, the ladies contributing one
thousand dollars on the lot and six thou-
sand volumes as a nucleus for the present
excellent library, while on the day of dedi-
cation they presented a beautiful clock
that cost one hundred and twenty-five dol-
lars. Mrs. Cozier still lives in the home
of her parents, which was afterward the
home of herself and husband, a fine old
brick residence on South Jefiferson street.


For more than a half century El wood
Holaday has been a resident of Henry
county. It was here that he was born, his
birthplace being in Salem township, his
natal day June 27, 1850. He is a repre-
sentative of one of the old families of
North Carolina, tracing his ancestry back
to James and Nellie Holaday, who were
natives of that state. Their son, Abram
Holaday, grandfather of our subject, was
born in North Carolina and became a
farmer, following that pursuit in the state
of his nativity until his removal to Orange
county, Indiana, where he again carried
on general agricultural pursuits. He
afterward removed to Park county. Indi-
ana, where he owned land and improved
a farm, making it his place of residence
until his death, which occurred in 1844.
He had Ijeen married in North Carolina
to Miss Elizabeth Dicks, also a native of
that state and for many years she was a
faithful companion and helpmate to him
on life's journey. Following his demise
she went to Kansas, where she lived with
one of her children until her death in

William Holaday. father of Elwood
Holaday, was born in Orange county,
Indiana, and was there reared in a fron-
tier district amid the usual scenes and
environments of pioneer life. He wedded
Miss Malinda Woody, who was born in
LawTcnce county, Indiana, a tlaughter of
James and Elizabeth (Crawford) Woody,
who were natives of North Carolina but
removed in an early day to the Hoosier
state. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs.
\\'illiam Holadav occurred April 5. 1840,



after which they drove from Indiana to
Henry county, Iowa, being eleven days
upon the way. Their destination was
Salem township and here Mr. Holaday
rented land for several years, but during
that period owned two lots and a house in
Salem, where he conducted a tannery for
some time. Eventually he bought a farm
in Jackson township, wdiere he and his
wnfe made their home for eight years. On
disposing of that property, Mr. Holaday
purchased land north of Salem, where he
carried on general agricultural pursuits
for fourteen years and then again sold
out. . He next bought eighty-two and a
half acres on section 6, Salem township,
which had been originally covered with
timber, but at that time was improved.
There he made his home throughout his
remaining days, his death occurring on
the nth of April, 1885. His wife, who
was born February 14, 1820, still resides
upon that place with her son Elwood. In
the family were but two children, the
daughter being Elizabeth, who became
the wife of J- H. Maxwell, of Tippecanoe
township and who died in May, 1884.

Elwood Holaday has always resided
with his mother, he owning the old home
place, which comprises eighty-two and a
half acres of good farm land. He was
educated in the district schools and was
trained to farm labor under the direction
of his father. He is progressive yet prac-
tical in all of his work and his fields are
under a high state of cultivation, so that
he annually harv^ests good crops. Here
he also raises horses, cattle and hogs and
keeps high grade animals. He is recog-
nized as a wide-awake, alert and enter-
prising business man.

On the 13th of February, 1879, Mr.
Holaday was married to Miss Mary
Louisa Lamm, who was born in Tippe-
canoe township and is a daughter of
Reuben and Keziah (Denney) Lamm,
who were natives of North Carolina. Mr.
and Mrs. Holaday now have a daughter
and two sons: Florence C, who was
born December 2, 1881 ; R. F., born
February 14, 1883; and William, March
18, 1885. Mrs. Holaday died May 16.
1889. They were members of the society
of Friends and she was buried in the
church yard at Salem. Mr. Holaday is
recognized as a stalwart supporter of
republican principles and a leader in local
ranks of his party. He has filled all of
the township offices with the exception of
that of assessor and for nine years was
township trustee. The duties of these
positions he has discharged with prompt-
ness and fidelity, reflecting credit upon
himself and giving entire satisfaction to
his constituents.


Payton W. Cook, carrying on general
farming on section 5, Salem township,
where he owns two hundred acres of land,
is a native son of this township, having
been born on the 15th of April, 1842. His
paternal grandparents were Eli and Eliza-
beth (Denney) Cook, natives of Ohio,
who in the year 1836 came to Henry
county, Iowa, settling in Salem township,
where Mr. Cook entered land from the
government. He thus became the owner


of many acres northwest of Salem and he marriage Mr. and Mrs. John Cook settled

also obtained possession of large holdings upon a farm near Salem, but afterward

in Salem township. He had thirteen removed to Tippecanoe township, where

children, to all of whom he gave land he resided for a few years. Later they

with the exception of one son, who went again took up their abode in Salem town-

to California and was never heard from ship and Mr. Cook gave his attention to

again. He was closely associated with general agricultural pursuits up to the

early pioneer development in his part of time of his demise, which occurred Febru-

the state and when he passed away in ary 26, 1890. His wife survived him for

May, 1874, the community mourned the about fourteen years, her death occurring

loss of a representative pioneer. He had December 31, 1904.

survived his wife for only a brief period, Payton W. Cook is the eldest in a fam-

her death having occurred in February, ily of nine sons and two daughters and

1874. . eight of the number are yet living, four

John Cook, son of Eli Cook and father being residents of Henry county. He

of our subject, was born in Ohio and came spent his boyhood days under the parental

with his parents to Henry county in 1836. roof and mastered the common branches

Here he assisted in the arduous task of of learning by attending the district

developing new land and converting it schools. In the summer months he

into a productive farm. In Salem town- worked in the fields and he remained with

ship he wedded Miss Sarah Wilson, a his father until twenty years of age, when

native of Indiana and a daughter of Pay- he began farming on his own account on

ton and Hannah (Holliday) Wilson, the a tract of rented land, being thus engaged

former a native of Kentucky and the lat- for twelve years. At the end of that time

ter of North Carolina. Payton Wilson he purchased twenty acres on section 31,

came to Henry county in 1837 and he, Tippecanoe township, but never moved

too, entered land from the government, into that place. He afterward bought

securing claims in Salem and Tippecanoe eighty acres on section 4, Salem township

townships and adding to his property and resided there for five years. In 1881

until his landed possessions aggregated he sold that property and in\-ested in

over five hundred acres. There were ninety-two acres, which had once been

eight children in his family, to each of covered with timber but was all cleared at

whom he gave a part of his land. His that time. He has since added to the

home place was situated on section 3, property until he now owns two hundred

Salem township. It was entirely unim- acres on section 5. Salem townshi]). where

proved when he entered it, but his per- he carries on general farming and also

sistent labor and well directed diligence raises horses, cattle and hogs. He has

transformed it into a good farm, upon good grades of stock upon his place and

which he lived until his death on the ist his annual sales bring a gratifying finan-

of March, 1868. His wife passed away cial return. He also produces good crops

on the 4th of February, 1858. After their and has a well equipped farm, where the



result of care and well directed effort are
plainly visible.

On the 5th of September, 1861, Mr.
Cook was married to Miss Emma Bales,
who was born in Salem township, April
2, 1845, a daughter of Curtis and Mary
(Johnson) Bales, both of whom were
natives of Indiana. Her father was a son
of Jacob and Mary (Thornburg) Bales,
who were likewise natives of the Hoosier
state. The maternal grandparents, how-
ever, were Jonathan and Hannah John-
son, natives of North Carolina. Mrs.
Cook was a public school student in Salem
township and has a wide and favorable
acquaintance, many of her friends having
known her from her early girlhood days
to the present. By this marriage there
have been born five children : Lillie A.
became the wife of Havila Corsbie and
after his death married Murray Corsbie,
brother of her first husband, their home
being now in Nebraska. Grant, who was
born in 1864 and resided in Salem town-
ship, died in 1894. Charles B. is living
in Grundy county, Missouri. Nellie is
the wife of Edward Lee, of Salem town-
ship. William H. is still upon the old
home farm.

Mr. Cook is a birthright Quaker and
has always maintained his allegiance to
the Society of Friends. He votes with
the Republican party and was elected and
served for one term as justice of the peace,
but he has never been a politician in the
sense of office seeking, preferring to leave
office holding to others, while he concen-
trates his attention and energies upon his
business affairs in order to provide a com-
fortable living for his family and a com-
petency for old age.


Solomon Paul Stephenson, who is
engaged in the grain and lumber business
at Olds, controlling a trade of extensive
proportions, was born in Wayne town-
ship, Henry county, on the 29th of Octo-
ber, 1870, his parents being Oliver and
Mary (Johnson) Stephenson. His father
came to Iowa with his parents in 1847.
In that year the cholera was raging
throughout the country and several of the
relatives were buried while the party were
journeying to the west. They soon pur-
chased land in Jefferson county, where
they resided until 1866, when they came
to Henry county. Oliver Stephenson had
purchased forty acres of land covered
with dense brush in Jefferson county and
had cleared and improved that tract. In
1866 he bought one hundred and sixty
acres on section 18, Wayne township, to
which he afterward added another quar-
ter section. He likewise bought one hun-
dred and sixty acres in Wallace county,
Kansas, one hundred and sixty acres in
Kearney county, Nebraska, one hundred
and twenty acres in Buena Vista county,
Iowa, and another sixty acres on section
33. Wayne township. At the time of his
death he owned all of this property with
the exception of the quarter section in
Kearney county, Nebraska, which he had
sold. In the family of Mr. and Mrs.
Stephenson were eleven children, nine of
whom are still living, while Arthur died
in infancy and Melvin died in childhood.
Those who still survive are as follows :
Tillie became the wife of John E. Lindell,
who resided on a farm about two miles
and a quarter east of Swedesburg, but



wh(j died in January, 1905 ; Caroline is
the wife of Rev. Christian Swenson, a
minister now Hving in MediapoHs, Iowa:
Charles is the next of the family ; Clara is
the wife of Rev. Charles Brynolf Wester-
lund, also a preacher who has charge of a
church in St. Paul, Minnesota ; Solomon
P. of this review ; Archie Oliver, wdio is
living in Olds ; Alma and Etta, both resid-
ing in St. Paul, Minnesota; George, who
is a student in the University of Chicago
and makes his home with Solomon P.
Stephenson. The father of this family
died July 16, 1898, at the. age of sixty-
four years and the mother died August
26, 1 89 1, aged fifty-four years.

Solomon P. Stephenson was educated
in the district schools near his home and
in Augustana Business College at Rock
Island, Illinois, from which institution he
was graduated in the class of 1895.
When he had put aside his text-books he
joined his brother, Charles, in business at
Buena Vista, Iowa, in the control of a
general mercantile store, which they con-
ducted for seven or eight years. On the
expiration of that period they removed to
Winfield, where they again conducted a
general store and at the same time they
engaged in the elevator, grain and lum-
ber business at Olds, S. P. Stephenson
having charge of their interests in Win-
field and Charles Stephenson at Olds. In
1903, however, they sold their interests in
the former place and concentrated their
energies upon the development of the
business at Olds. Their trade has reached
large proportions and the proprietors are
numbered among the prominent business
men in this part of the state.

On the 22nd of September, 1897, Mr.

Stephenson was united in marriage to
Miss Florence Morgan, also a native of
Wayne township, Henry county. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson has been born a
daughter, Lurene Janette, who was born
November 2, 1902. The parents occupy
an enviable position in social circles and
their own pleasant home is justly cele-
brated for its gracious and pleasing hos-
pitality. In his business career Mr.
Stephenson has ever been watchful of
opportunities and by their utilization has
made steady and gratifying progress
toward the goal of affluence. Realizing
that close application and indefatigable
energy constitute the real basis of success
he has worked persistently and energet-
ically as the years have gone by and
although he is yet a comparatively young
man he is also one of the prominent busi-
ness men of Wayne township. Mr.
Stephenson is a member of the Sw'edish
Lutheran church and in politics is a stanch
republican. He is an active worker in the
party and in March, 1905, was elected to
the office of mayor, and is the present in-


Isaiah T. Irwin, a veteran of the Civil
war and a representative farmer of Scott
township, was born in Belmont county,
Ohio, on the 28th of August, 1844, rep-
resenting one of the old families of that
part of the state. His father, George
Irwin, was also born in Belmont county,
as was his wife, who bore the maiden



name of Elizabeth Campbell. She be-
longed to one of the prominent repre-
sentative families of that part of the state,
the Campbells being represented in the
United States senate and in congress. The
paternal grandfather, John Campbell,
was one of the pioneer residents of Ohio,
taking an active part in shaping the policy
of the commonwealth and represented
Ohio in the United States senate.

George Irwin was a carpenter by trade,
who also owned and operated a saw mill
in Ohio, being connected with industrial
pursuits in Belmont county until his re-
moval to Iowa, in 1851. He took up his
abode in Lee county, where he engaged in
carpentering for six years and on the ex-
piration of that period he removed to
Mount Pleasant, where he was identified
with building operations until 1867. In
that year he retired from active connec-
tion with his trade and bought a farm of
eighty acres in Scott township, on which
he successfully carried on general agri-
cultural pursuits until his life's labors
were ended in death in 1883. His wife
also remained upon the old homestead
until her demise in 1885. In their family
were eight children, four sons and four

Isaiah T. Irwin, the sixth in order of
birth, was a student in the public schools
of Lee and of Henry counties and re-
mained upon the home farm with his par-
ents up to the time of his marriage, which
was celebrated on the 6th of August,
1875, Miss Jane Reed becoming his wife.
She was born in Clark county, Ohio, and
was a daughter of Elijah and Mary
(Bennett) Reed, who came to Iowa in
1849. A year later they returned to Ohio,

but after three years once more came to
this state, so that Mrs. Irwin was reared
here, acquiring her preliminary education
in the district schools of Henry county,
while later she attended Howe's Acad-
emy, in Mount Pleasant. The marriage
of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin has been blessed

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 32 of 85)