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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 34 of 85)
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of the interests of the old soldiers. He
was likewise a delegate to the national
encampments at ^Minneapolis, Pittsburg,
Cleveland and San Francisco, and in a
private capacity has attended many other
meetings of the national 1:odv of the
Grand iVrmy of the Republic.

Captain Abraham was married in 1865,
soon after his return from the war, to Miss
Sarah C. Alden, a sister of John B. Alden,
a well known publisher of New York city.
She was killed in a runaway accident,
August 5, 1888, leaving three daughters
and a son. John G., who is a graduate
of Ames Agricultural College, married
Miss Alice Barger and is now a well
known farmer of Jackson township.

Sarah, who was also educated at Ames
College, is the wife of William H. Waugh,
an extensive rice planter living near Gal-
veston, Texas. Mary is the wife of George
Wright and resides in Jackson township.
Kate is the wife of Morton Bourne, of
Long Beach, California. For his second
wife Captain Abraham chose Mrs. Alary
E. Blacker, a daughter of Peter Blant.
She was born in Butler county, Ohio,
where she resided until the time of her
marriage to Captain Abraham on the 22d
of October, 189 1. They now have one
son, Frank P.

Captain Abraham has been a member
of the Christian church. He believes in
Christianity without creed, recognizing
that the true spirit of religion is found in
Biblical teaching and not in its interpre-
tation JDy men. He has been an extensive
traveler, visiting every state and territory
of the Union and also the Canadian prov-
inces. He has likewise traveled abroad,
visiting" England, France, Switzerland,
Italy and other sections of Europe, also
Syria, Palestine and Egypt. He has been
a close and careful observer of the forms
and customs of the various people whom
he has met and through travel and read-
ing has become a broad-minded, intelli-
gent man. He possesses, moreover, a re-
tentive memory and his mind is stored
with many interesting reminiscences of his
trips. He has over four hundred camera
views of different scenes, a portion of
which he has had made into stereopticon
slides for the entertainment of himself and
friends. Captain Abraham is always in
touch with the progress of the times in
l)usiness life, in political thought, in re-
ligious sentiment and in the general move-



ment of the world toward a higher ci\-ili-
zation, and he has heen a forceful factor
in molding public thought and opinion,
leaving the impress of his individuality
for good upon many lines of thought and


James H. Reed, who has always lived
upon the farm which is naw his home,
which is situated in \\'ayne township, and
as a native son of Henry county and one
of its representative agriculturists he well
deserves mention in this volume. His
natal day was October 28. 1859. and he
is descended from old families of Mary-
land, his paternal grandparents, John and-
Nancy (Marshall) Reed, having both
been natives of Maryland. AVilliam A.
Reed, the father of our subject, was born
in Clark county, Ohio, and in 1842 he
accompanied his parents on their removal
to Washington county, Iowa, the family
home being established on a farm in
Crawford township. There he was reared
amid the wild scenes of frontier life and
assisted in the arduous task of develop-
ing a new farm. He remained under the
parental roof up to the time of his mar-
riage to Miss Mary E. Huston, who was
also a native of Clark county, Ohio, and
was a daughter of William and Eliza
(Ellis) Huston, the former a native of
Kentucky, and the latter of Ohio. Mrs.
Reed had come to Iowa with her parents
in 1839, settling in Henry county but
the following year her father entered land

in Washington county. She was trained
to the duties of the household and was
thus well qualified to take charge of a
home of her own at the time of her mar-
riage. Mr. and Mrs. Reed began their
domestic life in Wayne township, Heiiry
county, where he purchased one hundred
and twenty acres of land on section 11.
This was wild prairie, unimproved by any
building, and not a furrow had been
turned but the breaking plow soon turned
the sod and in due course of time good
crops were harvested. He first broke a
small amount of prairie but increased
the amount each year until the entire
place was under cultivation. He also
built a little log house, eighteen feet
square, and lived in true pioneer style,
remaining in the cabin home until 1856.
when the log house was torn down and
a frame residence of six rooms was
erected, this building being thirtv-six bv
fortv-six feet. He hauled the lumber
from Burlington, it taking nearly two
days for the trip over muddy roads, for
while there is no richer or more product-
ive land for the cultivation of crops with
the rain upon the black soil the highways
are often rendered almcxst impassable. In
those early days he would haul wheat to
Skunk River to have it ground into fiour.
It was a long- distance to mill and mar-
ket, but much of the products fiir home
consumption were produced upon the
farm. Deer were to be seen in great
herds and there were wild turkeys and
prairie chickens, so that the settler who
was a good shot had no difficultv in ob-
taining a plentiful supply of fresh meat
for the table. There were also timber
wolves, wild cats. Ivnx and i^ther wild



animals, showing that civiHzation had not
advanced far at that time. He buih a
prairie stable and also a horse barn about
the time he erected the house. There were
no churches or schools in this vicinity
but hospitality reigned supreme in the
pioneer homes and the settlers were al-
ways willing to assist each other in any
way possible. The farm machinery was
somewhat crude and much of the labor
now done by improved agricultural im-
plements was then performed by hand.
Mr. Reed carried on general farming and
also raised stock and as the years passed
by he prospered in his undertakings. The
marriage of Mr. and !Mrs. Reed which
was celebrated in February, 1856, was
blessed with nine children : Eliza, the
wife of Clinton T. Hall ; John, of Henry
county ; \\'illiam. who died at the age of
five years ; Nancy, at the age of four
years; James H., of this review; Vashti
M., the wife of Charles Huntsberrv; Eliz-
abeth, the wife of C. R. Miller ; Margery,
who died in infancy ; and Alice, who died
at the age of four years. The death of
the father occurred on the 26th of Feb-
ruary, 1903, and thus passed away one
of the honored pioneer settlers of the
county, who did much to assist in the
early and substantial development of this
part of the state. He was a typical pio-
neer resident, willing to endure the hard-
ships and dangers of frontier life in or-
der to make a good home for his family
and at the same time he contributed to the
work of public progress and improve-
ment. His widow still svu-\-ives him and
now resides in Winfield.

James H. Reed has spent his entire life
upon the farm where he yet makes his

home, having been reared to the occu-
pation of farming and after putting aside
his text-books giving his entire attention
to the further development and cultiva-
tion of the fields. In his early youth he
attended the common schools and after-
ward continued his studies in Howe's
Academy. In all his farm work he has
been practical, methodical and progres-
sive, accomplishing much by perseverance,
unfaltering determination and sound
judgment. He purchased the old home-
stead farm in 1904. He also owns eighty
acres adjoining on the east. He carries
on general farming and also raises horses,
cattle and hogs. He has the place well
tiled, so that the land is very productive
and he annually harvests good crops. He
has remodeled the house, put a cellar un-
der it, has good barns, corn cribs and
sheds and in fact has a well ecfuipped farm
property which indicates his careful su-
pervision and practical methods.

Mr. Reed was united in marriage to
Miss Martha Shafer, who was born in
Jackson township, Henry county, and is
a daughter of Adam Shafer, a native of
Wilkesbarre, Penns3'lvania. Mrs. Reed
was educated in the common schools and
is an estimable lady, who has made many
friends in- the locality in which she re-
sides. The children born of this mar-
riage are as follows : Allen, a farmer of
Wayne township, Henry county ; Elmer ;
Jennie, Leslie. Roscoe, Raymond, Marie,
and Nettie, all at home.

Both Mr. and Airs. Reed are widely
and favorably known in the community
where they make their home and a friend-
ly spirit has rendered their home a hos-
pitable one. its good cheer being greatly



enjoyed by many who know them. They
are members of the Wesleyan Methodist
church, and Mr. Reed exercises his right
of franchise in support of the men and
measures of the Repubhcan party, with
which he has affihated since attaining his
majority. He has worked persistently
day after day in the conduct of his busi-
ness interests, finding ample opportunity
in farm labor for the exercise of his tal-
ents and his industry and meeting thereby
the success which is the just reward of
earnest labor.


One of the most prominent and, at the
same time, one of the most versatile busi-
ness men of Ne\^• London is Mr. Edgar
Peterson, born in the state of Iowa and
educated in the count}' where he now
lives, his interests have always been con-
cerned in the welfare and in the prosper-
ity of his native city. As a representa-
tive business man; as an active and earn-
est worker in all that tends to promote the
best interests of the municipality and of
the individual, Mr. Peterson stands in the
foremost rank of the successful business
men of the community.

His father, Robert Henry Peterson,
was of Scotch extraction, his ancestors
having- come from Scotland several gen-
erations ago. They chose \\''estmore-
land county. Pennsylvania, as their home
and here Robert Henry was born, reared
and educated. In his early manhood he

was a farmer and a school teacher; later,
in Iowa, he became a merchant. In 1855
he went to Monroe county and in 1871
to New London. He wedded Sarah Eliz-
abeth Shelleday and to them were born
four children, one of whom, Robert
Howard, died in infancy. The three now
living are John Edgar, Ida A. and Laura
(Mrs. W. H. Spurgeon), who resides in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mother
died in 1882, aged forty-six years and the
father passed away in 1897, at the age of
sixty-six years.

John Edgar Peterson was born in
Monroe county, Iowa, October 12, 1861,
and lived there until he was nine years
of age, when his parents moved to Xew
London. Here in the public schools he
obtained his general education, acquiring
at the same time the solid foundation for
his business career by spending his spare
time as a clerk in his father's store. Thus
in his boyhood, he gained an insight into
business methods and a knowledge of
mercantile life, that has enabled him to
become the successful proprietor where
he began as clerk.

In 1889, he assisted in organizing the
business of the old bank and in incor-
porating the institution under the name
of the New London Banking Company.
He became the first president. He was
also one of the organizers of the First
National Bank, established in 1900. He
became vice president of this company
and still continues in that position. '\\'hen
the Henry County Telephone Company
was formed he was one of the promoters
and stockholders. At the present time
he is vice president and the only one of
the original stockholders left with the



company. The capital stock represented
is seventeen thousand two hundred and
fifty dollars, and the company controls
lines in Des Moines and Henry counties
and has connections with the larger cities.

In spite of his other manifold enter-
prises, John Edgar Peterson has always
been deeph' interested in the growth and
progress of New London. He was one
of the men most instrumental in helping
to form the New London Improvement
Company, which in 1892 platted all the
north part of the town, laying out, at that
time, eighty-five lots. The New London
Land Company is also indebted to Mr.
Peterson as one of its originators. Eighty
lots on the south side of town were
platted by this company. The Lynn ad-
dition of forty lots on the northwest, also
the Philpot addition of forty acre-tracts
in the eastern part of to\^•n and the New-
land addition of about forty lots were laid
out by the Henry County Land Company,
of which Mr. Peterson was one of the
promoters. Mr. Peterson is also inter-
ested in farm lands and owns some fine
tracts in London township.

Socially J. E. Peterson is a member
of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, No.
185, of New London, and was at one
time a trustee of the local lodge. In reli-
gious matters. Mr. Peterson is a member
of the Methodist Protestant church in
which he has always been an earnest and
efficient worker, while for many years he
has been a valued trustee.

On September 28. 1886, John Edgar
Peterson was united in marriage to Flor-
ence Lee, a daughter of Samuel and Mary
(Lease) Lee. They are the parents of
four children : Ruth, Norma. Glenn and

Mary. The three older children are in
school in New London.

Mr. Peterson 's father was the founder
of the mercantile concern which Mr. Pe-
terson now owns. It was incorporated
in January. 1904, with a capital stock of
thirty thousand dollars. Mr. Peterson is
president and general manager ; Mrs. J.
E. Peterson is vice president ; and R. H.
Dameron is secretary.

In 1902 and '03 jNIr. Peterson built,
upon the main street of New London, a
large and substantial business block for
the accommodation of his mercantile in-
terests. It is sixty by eighty feet and is
divided into three departments. On the
ground floor is one department used ex-
clusively for men's and boys' clothing;
another for ladies' and children's shoes
and dry goods and the other for gro-
ceries. On the upper floor is a line of
carpets, cloaks, wall paper, furnishings
and queensware.

A man of great energy and business
enterprise. Mr. Peterson well deserves
the esteem and high regard in which he
is held by his fellow men. He has been
one of the promoters of many of the lead-
ing enterprises connected with the growth
and development of his home city. By
his uprightness in business, by his hon-
orable private life, he has earned the re-
spect of all who know him.


Robert Barclay Cox, a resident farmer
of Salem township, represents one of the
old families of New England, his ances-



try being" traced back to John Cox, who
was one of three brothers who came to
the United States in colonial days. They
crossed the Atlantic from England, their
native country, and John Cox settled near
Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1725. His
brother Isaac afterward returned to Eng-
land, married an East India lady and
going to her native country there spent
his remaining" days. The third brother,
Thomas Cox, became a resident of South
Carolina. Benjamin Cox, son of John
Cox and great-grandfather of our subject,
was born in Pennsylvania. He wedded
Martha Garretson, also a native of the
Keystone state. Their son, Jeremiah
Cox, grandfather of our subject, was
born in North Carolina and was married
three times. He had seven children by
the first wife and three by the second
wife. For his third wife he chose Cath-
erine Morrison, also a native of North
Carolina, and unto them were born eight
children, which number included Robert
Cox. father of our subject. The grand-
parents had removed from North Caro-
lina to Indiana and it was where the city
of Richmond, Indiana, now stands that
Robert Cox was born on the i8th of
July, 181 1. He lived with his mother
until twenty-three years of age, his father
having died nine years previous. On the
31st of August, 1837, he married Miss
Martha Butler, who was born near
Jamestown, West Virginia, July 17, 18 18,
and was a daughter of Lemuel and Jane
(Durham) Butler, who were born in Vir-
ginia. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cox began
their domestic life in Montgomery county,
Indiana, and unto them were born four
sons and five daughters, of whom Robert

Barclay Cox was the fifth in order of
birth. The father devoted his attention
to general agricultural pursuits for many
years, thus providing for his wife and
children. His last days were spent in
Kokomo, Indiana, where he died Novem-
ber 16, 1892, having for more than thir-
teen years survived his wife, who also
passed awav in Kokomo, August 16,

Robert B. Cox, whose name introduces
this review, was born in Darlington,
Montgomery county, Indiana, January 5,
1847, and pursued his education in the
common schools of that state. He was
reared to farm life, early becoming con-
versant with all the work that falls to the
lot of the agriculturist as he assisted his
father in the improvement of the home
farm in Indiana. He lived with his par-
ents until his marriage and afterward
spent one year near Plainfield, Indiana,
where he was engaged in teaching school.
He then removed to Dublin, Wayne
county, Indiana, where he was employed
as miller in a gristmill for three months,
when, thinking that he might enjoy better
business opportunities in a less thickly
settled district but one which was rapidly
growing, he came to Iowa, arriving at
Burlington on the 23d of March, 1871.
The following morning he went to Oska-
loosa, where he secured employment in a
woolen mill, being thus engaged until the
succeeding fall. He then settled upon a
farm in Salem township, which he rented
for seven years and the capital which he
saved from his earnings then enabled him,
in 1879, to purchase one hundred acres of
land on section 7, Jackson township, of
which fiftv-five acres was timber, while



the remainder was improved. He has
cleared fifteen acres more of the timber
land and now has a well developed farm
property on which he has placed many
modern equipments including the latest
improved machinery to facilitate the
work of the fields. He has built two
barns, drilled wells, made a cellar under
the house and has fenced his place and
now he raises various kinds of grain and
also cattle and hogs.

It was on the i8th of October, 1869.
that Mr. Cox was united in marriage to
Miss Amanda I. Hayworth, who was
bom near Rural Dale. Muskingum
county, Ohio, September 23, 1848. and
pursued her education in the common
schools of Indiana, to which state she
went with her parents when about six
years of age. She is a daughter of
George W. and Caroline E. (Kirk) Hay-
worth, the former a native of Chester
county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of
Muskingum county, Ohio. Her paternal
grandparents were John and Susanna
(Mayfield) Hayworth and her maternal
grandparents were Elisha and Catherine
(Barr) Kirk. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cox
have been born three daughters and one
son : Josephine, who was born October
I, 1870, and died July 7, 1871 ; Lillus,
who was born August 10, 1872, and
became the wife of Carl Hedges, of
Thorntown, Indiana, while her death
occurred February 18, 1903 ; Gertrude,
who was born March 4, 1875, and is the
wife of Guy Hedges, of Mount Pleasant,
Iowa; and Walter, who was born April
10, 1882, and is at home.

In his political views Mr. Cox is a
republican and keeps well informed on the

questions and issues of the day, so that he
is able to support his position by intelli-
gent argument. He belongs to the Soci-
ety of Friends and his life has been in
consistent harmony with his professions.
Li\'ing at peace with all men he has been
honorable in his business dealings, never
taking advantage of the necessities of
others in a trade transaction and manifest-
ing a considerate and kindly spirit which
has won for him the high respect of those
with whom he has come in contact.


Hon. Washington Mullen is the owner
of one of the productive farms of Scott
township, whose excellent location is also
one of its attractive features. He is one
of the enterprising and energetic agri-
culturists of the community and more-
over is well known in political circles, be-
ing recognized as one of the prominent
workers in the Republican party. A na-
tive of Ohio, his birth occurred in Mont-
gomery county on the 30th of June, 1838,
and he is descended from Virginia ances-
try. His paternal grandfather was Isaac
Mullen, who was born in the Old Do-
minion and w^as married there to Miss
Elizabeth Haynes, a native of the same
state. They removed to Warren county.
Ohio, where Nathan Mullen, father of
our subject, was born and reared. Hav-
ing reached man's estate he wedded Miss
Mary A. Borton, who was born in New
Jersey, as were her parents, Edward and



Mary (Braddock) Borton. For some
time Mr. and Mrs. Nathan A'lullen re-
sided in Montgomery county, Ohio, and
then thinking to have better business op-
portunities in Iowa, they started for
Henry county, travehng by rail to New-
London. At the same time Washington
Mullen came by boat on the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers, landing at Keokuk and
bringing with him the household goods
and live stock belonging to his father. He
then drove across the country from Keo-
kuk to Mount Pleasant, where the family
remained until October, wlifn they took
up their abode in Trenton, Henry county,
the parents there residing until 1859. In
that year they returned to Ohio, continu-
ing their residence in the Buckeye state
until called to their final rest, Mr. Mullen
departing this life in 1881, while his wife
survived until 1894. In their family were
ten children, three sons and seven daugh-
ters, of whom Washington Mullen is the
eldest. One brother and three sisters still
survive, the brother and two of the sis-
ters being residents of Ohio, while one
sister makes her home in Salt Lake City.

Washington Mullen pursued his educa-
tion in the public schools of Ohio which
he attended until seventeen years of age,
when he came to Iowa, as before de-
scribed. In May, 1856, his father purchased
a farm of one hundred and sixty acres
situated in the northwest part of Scott
township. Eighty acres of this has since
been sold and subdivided as town lots
of Winfield, while the remaining eighty
acres is still devoted to farm purposes.
Mr. Mullen of this review returned to
Ohio with his parents and remained for

six months, but he was pleased with the
west and its business opportunities and
returned to Henry county, where he pur-
chased the farm his father owned. There
was a house of two rooms upon the place
which is now used as a corn crib and in
that little home he took up his abode. In
the fall of 1862 he built a barn, twenty-
four by thirty- four feet, and in 1879
he replaced his first house by a large ten-
room residence built in modern style of
architecure and supplied with many mod-
ern equipments and conveniences. He has
enclosed the farm with a fence and has
the entire place well tiled. There are
two hundred rods of hedge fence upon the
place, while the remainder is woven wire.
He also has a cattle barn, thirty-two by
seventy feet, built in 1893, which is also
used for hay. A deep well, seventy-two
feet, furnishes an abundant supply of
water which is pumped by a windmill.
His farm is most conveniently located and
is unsurpassed in productiveness by any
tract of land in the county. The entire
place lies within the corporation limits of
W'infield. but he is exempt frt)m village
taxation. E\'erything about his place pre-
sents a well kept appearance, indicating
the careful supervision of the owner, who
is practical and systematic in his busi-
ness methods, energetic antl determined
in all that he undertakes.

On the 6th of October, 1859, was cele-
brated the marriage of Washington ]\Iul-
len and Miss Elizabeth Felgar, who was
born in Allen county, Ohio, and with her
parents came to Henr}' county several
years before the arrival of Mr. Mullen.

She pursued her education in the com-
mon schools of Iowa and is a daughter of



Samuel and Lucretia i(Trout) Felgar.
both of whom were natives of Washing-
ton county, Pennsylvania. On emigrat-
ing westward they took up land in Tren-
ton township, Henry county, and were
pioneer residents of the state, where they
continued to reside until her death. Mr.
Felgar assisted in the early improvement

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 34 of 85)