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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 35 of 85)
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and development of Henry county and
aided in planting the seeds for the
future growth and progress. Unto
Mr. and Mrs. Mullen were born the
following named : Lucinda, the wife
of J. W. James, an attorney of Hast-
ings, Nebraska ; Alberta, who married
George Keeper, who is a farmer of Scott
township ; Mary A., the wife of John A.
Baxter, a lumber dealer of Winfield;
Henry and Harrison, twins, who died
at the age of three months ; and Virginia,
who married Fred Gilyert, who resides
upon her father's farm. The wife and
mother died February 5, 1901, and her
remains were laid to rest in Winfield cem-
etery. Mrs. Mullen was an estimable
lady, who, during the long years of her
residence in Henry county had made
many friends, so that her death was
deeply regretted.

While carefully and successfully con-
trolling his business interests, Mr. Mul-
len has at the same time found opportu-
nity to faithfully discharge his duties of
citizenship and moreover has taken an ac-
tive and helpful interest in public affairs.
He is a standard advocate of republican
principles and has been called to all of
the township offices save that of assessor.
He is active in the work of the party, his
efforts being far-reaching and beneficial
and in 1897 he was called to represent

his district in the twenty-sixth general as-
sembly of Iowa, where he served as a ca-
pable member, giving to each question
careful and earnest consideration and sup-
porting with all his strength the measures
which he deemed would prove of public
benefit or opposing in equally strong man-
ner every interest that he believed would
be detrimental to the good of county or
commonwealth. He is justly classed with
the representative men of Henry county
and has a wide and favorable acquaint-
ance among the leading citizens of this
and other portions of the state.


Charles A. Miller is the owner of a
valuable farm of two hundred acres on
sections 13 and 14, Scott township, and
has an attractive residence on the latter
section. His place is well improved and
the richly cultivated fields are the visible
evidence of the life of thrift and enter-
prise led by the owner. Mr. Miller is a
native of Pennsylvania, his birth having
occurred in Juniata county, on the 3d of
February, 1864, his parents being John
and Mary E. (Eirsman) Miller, both na-
tives of Pennsylvania. The father's birth
occurred in Franklin county, near the line
of Fulton county, on the 28th of May,
1824. His parents were J. P. and Mar-
garet (Ferl) Miller, the former of Ger-
man descent and the latter of Scotch-Irish
lineage. John Miller remained under the
parental roof until twenty-one years of


age, when he started out upon an inde- in the state of his nativity, spending his
pendent business career and learned the boyhood days in his parents' home and
miller's trade, which he followed in Penn- acquiring his education in the common
sylvania until 1878. He then came to schools. Having arrived at years of ma-
Iowa, reaching Morning Sun on the ist turity he was married in Henry county,
of April, 1878, and soon afterward he Iowa, on the 8th of February, 1894, to
settled upon a farm in Scott township, Miss Elizabeth Freeman, who was born
Henry county, where the family resided in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, Octo-
for nineteen years. This was known as ber 2, 1868, a daughter of Azel and
the Patterson farm and the father con- Frances (Nixon) Freeman, who were
tinned the work of cultivation and im- also natives of Fayette county, whence
provement up to the time of his death, they came to Henry county, Iowa, about
which occurred in August, 1888. His 1869, settling on a farm in Scott town-
widow continued to reside upon the old ship. Their daughter was reared in
home place until 1893 and then went to Pennsylvania and in Iowa and after at-
live with her daughter, Mrs. J. E. Boltz, tending the common schools spent two
near Morning Sun, Louisa county. Mrs. years in pursuing the scientific course in
Miller has made her home with her son Iowa Wesleyan University. She also
Frank since June, 1905, he having lost his took a course in Elliott's Business College
wife in January of that year. at Burlington. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Mil-
Mrs. Miller was a daughter of Jacob ler have been born two children: Flor-
and Cassandra (Smith) Eirsman, both of ence E., born June 22, 1895; ^^id Lucile,
whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the born April 29, 1898.
■father's birth having occurred in York Charles A. Miller remained at home
county. The daughter was reared in the up to the time of his marriage and then
Buckeye state, and in February, 1853, purchased eighty acres of land in con-
gave her hand in marriage to John Miller, nection with his brother. Later he pur-
with whom she happily traveled life's chased his brother's interest but sold the
journey for thirty-five years, when they entire farni to him in 1896, in which year
were separated in death. It was in 1878 he purchased eighty acres of land on see-
that Mr. and Mrs. Miller removed from tions 13 and 14, Scott township. To this
Pennsylvania to Iowa. They became the he has added from time to time until two
parents of six children : Jacob, a farmer hundred acres are now comprised within
residing in Missouri; George, who died the boundaries of the home farm, his
in Kansas in December, 1887; Flora B., dwelling being located on section 14. He
the wife of George Swearingen, of Sioux has built good barns, a carriage house
City, Iowa ; C. Frank, of Scott township ; and hay and cattle sheds and altogether
Charles; Sadie. E., the wife of J. E has a splendidly improved property. He
Boltz, of Louisa county, this state. carries on general agricultural pursuits
Charles A. Miller, whose name intro- and is also engaged in feeding cattle and
duces this review, was reared to manhood hogs, shipping from one to two carloads



of cattle each year. Both branches of this
business are proving remunerative and
he is classed among the substantial and
prosperous agriculturists of his commu-
nity. He is a member of the Presby-
terian church and in politics is a


, John E. Elliott who is now living re-
tired in Rome after active connection with
mercantile interests for a number of vears.
is one of the native sons of Henry county.
His birth occurred in Salem township on
the loth of July. 1867. his parents being
Charles and Sarah ( Fetty) Elliott, both of
whom were natives of Carroll county,
Ohio, in which state they were reared and
married. They continued to make their
home there until 1863. when they removed
to Henry county. Iowa, settling in Salem
township, where they resided until 1868.
In that year they came to Rome and Mr.
Elliott was employed on the railroad for
many years, but is now enjoying the fruits
of his labor in living retired. His wife
departed this life in 1895.

John E. Elliott was educated in the pub-
lic schools of Rome. No event of special
importance occurred to vary the routine
of life for him in his boyhood days, his at-
tention being given to the duties of the
schoolroom, the pleasures of the play-
ground and to various tasks which Avere
from time to time assigned to him. At
the age of eighteen years he started out in
life on his own account, being employed

as a farm hand for a year, after which he
accepted a clerkship in a mercantile house,
being thus employed until the fall of 1892.
He then embarked in merchandising on
his own account and for twelve years was
a factor in commercial circles in Rome,
carrying on the store with good success
until November, 1904, when he sold out
to A. A. Carlson & Company. He has
since li^■ed retired in the enjoyment of a
well earned rest, having during his active
business career acquired a gratifying com-

On the 26th of October. 1892, Air. El-
liott was united in marriage to Miss Cora
D. Tracy, who was born in Rome and
was educated in the public schools of this
village. Her parents are John A. and
Ellen (Duncanson) Tracy, both of whom
are natives of Jefferson county. The chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Elliott are Bertha
E., born June 3, 1893; Ruth S., October
22, 1895; Mamie F.. September 12,
1898: and Charles Walter. November
3. 1900.

Mr. Elliott exercises his right of fran-
chise in support of the men and measures
of the republican party and is a recog-
nized leader in its local ranks, doing all in
his power to promote the growth and in-
sure the success of the organization. He
was elected village clerk of Rome in the
spring of 1904 and re-elected in 1906. He
belongs to the Modem Woodmen of
America, camp No. 7041. in which he
served as clerk from 1899 until 1903, and
is popular and prominent in business, po-
litical, fraternal and social circles. Both
he and his wife have spent their entire
lives in this county and have many warm




Dennis Morony, prominent and active
among the younger business men of
Alount Pleasant is a native son of this
city, born September 28, i860. His par-
ents were Alichael and JuHa ( Shanahan)
Morony. The father \\as born in County
Clare, Ireland, where he was reared, and
when a young man he came to New York,
where he met and married Miss Shana-
han. The year 1856 witnessed his arrival
in Iowa, at which time he cgme to Mount
Pleasant, casting in his lot with the early
residents. He had learned the black-
smith's trade in his native country and
soon after reaching this city he opened a
shop here, which he conducted for about
thirty-five years. He was the best known
smith in all this part of die country, and
had a very extensive business so that as
the years passed he acquired a good busi-
ness. In politics he was a democrat but
never aspired to office. He held member-
ship in the Catholic church and died in
that faith, October 23, 1893. His widow
still survives and is now living in St.
Louis. Nine children of the family were
living at the time of the father's death.

Dennis Morony. educated in the public
schools of his native city, began his busi-
ness life as a printer, following that pur-
suit for four years as an employe in the
Journal office. Later he became a clerk
and for nine years was in the service of
S. W. Garvin, then the leading dry goods
merchant of the city. He was likewise
connected with other commercial enter-
prises here, and in 1892 he embarked in
business on his own account as a success-
ful dry goods merchant, opening his store

on the west side of the public square. He
conducted the new venture successfully
for fi^•e years and then sold out on ac-
count of ill health. In 1897 he engaged
in the real-estate business and has proven
that he is eminently fitted for this line of
work as well. In 1899 he went to St.
Louis, where he established a fine business
as a real-estate agent but again failing
health compelled him to sell out at a time
when he was enjoying a large clientage
and had the prospect of rapidly accj[uiring
a splendid competence. He had become
widely known and was recognized as one
of the most forceful men on Chestnut
street, doing business independently. In
the fall of 1900, however, he returned to
Mount Pleasant and again opened a real-
estate office. Later he admitted L. A.
Traxler to a partnership, but after a year
purchased his interest and became a part-
ner of P. J. Hurley, formerly a shoe mer-
chant of this city. The firm of Morony &
Hurley has continued and is probably do-
ing the heaviest business in southeastern
Iowa. They conduct their business along
modern lines of real-estate operations and
at a conversative estimate their business
reaches one million dollars annually, and
is constantly growing. They deal in lands
throughout the first congressional district
and are exclusively a real-estate and loan
firm, making a specialty of farm lands.
They have negotiated many impor-
tant real-estate transfers and their enter-
prise, keen discernment and indefatigable
energy have been the salient features in a
success which is as enviable as it is

Politically independent. Mr. Morony
has never been an aspirant for office but



was called b}' his fellow townsmen to the
position of councilman for the third ward.
He refused re-election, but at a more re-
cent date was again chosen for the office.
During his connection with the city coun-
cil he was chairman of the light committee
and negotiated the lease where the plant
now stands. He was also active in the
purchase of machinery and consolidation
of the water and light plants. He was ac-
tive in the organization of the Citizens
Commercial Organization of Mount Pleas-
ant and was elected its first president. This
association is composed of leading busi-
ness and monied men interested in the im-
provement and benefit of Mount Pleasant
and vicinity.

Mr. Morony was married June 27,
189 1, to Miss Rebecca McNoon, of this
city, and they have eight children: Erma
M., Florence M., IMiriam C, Paul F.,
James E., Louis R., Catherine E. and
John J. The family home is a fine resi-
dence on Green street, four blocks from the
court house, where he has a property cov-
ering eight acres. He is a man of domes-
tic tastes, devoted to the welfare of his
wife and children, and counting no per-
sonal sacrifice on his part too great if it
would enhance the happiness or promote
the welfare of his family. All are mem-
Ijers of St. Alphonsus Catholic church. In
business affairs he is energetic, prompt and
notably reliable with tireless energ}^, keen
perception and honesty of purpose com-
bined with every-day common sense and
'guided by resistless will power — these are
the chief characteristics of the man, and
watchful of all the details of his business
and of all indications pointing to success
he has made steady and consecutive ad-

vancement toward the goal of prosper-
ity which is the ultimate aim of each indi-
\'idual who enters business life.


\\'arren Freeman, who was born in
Champaign county, Ohio, March 14, 1855,
is now the owner of a valuable farm of
two' hundred and seventy-seven acres in
Tippecanoe township, Henry county. In
the midst of this property stands a fine
residence, and, in fact, his is one of the
best improved farms of this part of the
state. His father, Ira Freeman, was a na-
tive of Cayuga county. New York, but re-
moved from the Empire state to Ohio early
in life and was there married to Miss Sa-
rah Starks. They took up their abode upon
a farm in Champaign county and the fa-
ther devoted his attention to agricultural
pursuits there for a long period. His wife
died in 1861 and he later married again
in Ohio. In the fall of 1863 he started
with teams for low-a, traveling across the
country on a journey which consumed six
weeks. He crossed the Mississippi river
at Burlington, camped out, west of the
town, over night, and continued on his
way to iMahaska county, where Mr. Free-
man bought eighty acres of prairie land
and twent}' acres of timber. Locating
upon that property he there lived for
eiehteen months and when he sold out
there he bought two hundred and forty
acres of timber land in Henry county, a
part of which had been cleared. He be-



gan clearing the remainder, and at differ-
ent times he sold off portions of the tract
until he owned bnt eighty acres in one
place and thirty acres in another, a total
of one hundred ten acres.

He lived a busy, useful and active life
and won a fair measure of success. His
death occurred in 1877. while his second
wife still resides in Mount Pleasant, mak-
ing her home with a daughter.

Warren Freeman, whose name intro-
duces this review, was a young lad of about
eight years when brought by his father to
Henrv countv, and here he continued his
education in' the district schools. He was
reared to the occupation of farming and
became a self-reliant, energetic young
man, whose laudable ambition permitted
him to save his earnings until he had cap-
ital sufficient to enable him to purchase
the original Freeman homestead farm of
eighty acres upon his father's death. He
was married on the 2d of November,
1882. to Miss Louisa E. Hobbs, who was
born in Henry county, Iowa, and is a
daughter of Nathaniel and Lydia (Rork)
Hobbs, both of whom were natives of
New Jersey. At the time of their mar-
riage jMr. and Mrs. Freeman removed
upon the old homestead farni and he re-
modeled the house and barn and other-
wise improved the property. Two years
later he sold out and for a year lived upon
an adjoining farm. In 1886 he bought
one hundred and sixty acres of land on sec-
tion 13. Tipecanoe township. There were
no improvements upon the place save a
fence, and he first built a small frame
dwelling sixteen by twenty-four feet. In
the following autumn he built a stable and
he also built fences to surround the place

and also to divide it into fields of con-
venient size. During the first spring he
broke forty acres of land, and he has since
continued the work of cultivation and im-
provement with unremitting energy. The
farm comprised one hundred acres of till-
able land, while the remainder was cov-
ered with lirush and timber. He has built
two barns, one thirty-six by forty feet
with fourteen-foot shed on two sides,
\\hile the other l;arn is twenty-four by
forty-two feet with a twelve-foot shed on
both sides. In 1894 he erected a commo-
dious and attractive two-story residence,
containing nine rooms and cellar. He has
added to his farm until he now owns two
hundred and seventy-seven acres in one
body, and this is one of the productive and
valuable properties of the township. He
engages in the cultivation of the cereals
best adapted to soil and climate, and he
also raises horses and shorthorn Hereford
cattle. Since 1900 he has raised Durock
Jersey hogs, keeping from fifty to sixty
head per year, and is one of the successful
farmers of the community.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Freeman have been
born five children : May Florence. Edna
Linton. Harry P.. John Albert, and Milan
Emmet, who are all at home with their
parents. Mrs. Freeman died April 21.
1902, and was laid to rest in Oakland
cemetery. Mr. Freeman married Mrs.
Emma Ferine. .April 2. 1904. She was
the daughter of Theodore Rork. born in
this county, and the widow of Peter Fe-
rine. She had one child. Ella (now Mrs.
Everett Whaley, of this township). Mr.
and Mrs. Freeman are members of the
Church of God. at Oakland ]\Iills. and in
his political aftiliations he is a republican.



His connection with these two organiza-
tions indicate the character of the man who
is honorable in all life's relations, fully
meriting' the trust which is uniformly ex-
tended to him by those who know him. He
has a wide accjuaintance, having" lived for
about forty-three years in this county, and
the fact that many of his stanchest friends
are those who ha\-e known him from his
boyhood days, is an indication that his
has been a life characterized by all the
qualities and principles which make for
upright manhood, good citizenship and
faithful friensdhip. and a review of Henry
county would not be complete without
mention of Mr. Freeman.


James R. Ross is the owner of a farm
of seventy acres on section ly, Alarion
township, constituting a well improved
property, which is highly cultivated and
returns him golden harvests. He was
born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, De-
cember 17. 1832, his parents being Sam-
uel H. and Sarah (Livingstone) Ross,
both of ^^•hom were natives of Westmore-
land county, Pennsylvania.

The father's birth occurred in Novem-
ber, 1 799, and the mother was born in 1803.
Having arrived at years of maturity he
engaged in farming in Pennsylvania and
was connected with agricultural interests
in that state until 1841, when he came to
Iowa, settling northeast of Mount Pleas-
ant, where he rented a farm. Later he

bought eighty acres of timber land in
Center township, southwest of Mount
Pleasant, and his attention was given to
the tilling of the soil until 1876, when he
retired from active business, and lived in
]\Iount Pleasant until 1886. He then
spent his remaining days in the home of
his son, James R., passing away in Feb-
ruary, 1890, when a little more than
ninety years of age. Although he had
attained an advanced age he had always
enjoyed good health. His wife passed
away in September, 1887, and they were
laid to rest in Forest Home cemeter}'. Mr.
Ross w-as a republican in his political
\iews and both he and his wife were mem-
bers of the United Presbyterian church. In
their family were ten children, of whom
six reached adult age: John P., who mar-
ried Martha Smith and resides at Big
City, Oregon ; James R. ; Martha, who is
the widow of Thomas Lash and is a resi-
dent of Oklahoma; W. F., who died in
Xevada; Airs. Sarah Hughlings, de-
ceased; and Samuel R.. who resides at Big
City, Oregon.

James R. Ross was educated in the dis-
trict schools of Pennsylvania until eight
years of age and afterward spent four
years in Iowa as a district school student
of Henr)- county. Through reading,
tra\'el and observation he has added
greatly to his knowledge and is now well
informed, keeping in touch with the gen-
eral trend of thought and progress of the
present day.

Making his home under the parental
roof, he worked at intervals as a farm
hand until 1860, when he left Iowa for
Colorado, attracted by the discoveiy of
gold in that state. Not long afterward,



however, he returned to Marion township,
Henry county, and in 1868 took up his
ahode upon a farm of forty acres, entirely
unbroken. \\'ith characteristic energy,
however, he began the development of a
farm and his labors soon wrought a notice-
able change in its appearance. He had
been married in 1866 to jMiss Mary A.
Neel, who was born in Indiana in 1834,
and was a daughter of Jesse and Rebecca
Neel. They had two children : Elwood
F., who married Nettie Huber and is liv-
ing in Mount Pleasant, their children be-
ing three in number, N^eelie C. William
F. and Ellis L. ; and Neel, who married
W'illian A. Zuhn and resides in Marion
township upon a farm adjoining the Ross
homestead. Mrs. Ross died in 1877 and
her remains were interred in the Mount
Pleasant cemetery.

^On the 8th of November, 1880. 'Mr.
Ross was married to Miss Laura A. Mols-
bee, who was born in Vermilion county,
Indiana, September 29, 1843, ^'""^^ '^'^'^^ a
daughter of Epps and Sarah (Wright)
Molsbee, both of whom were natives of
Tennessee, the former born February 26,
1815. and the mother September 15, 18 10.
Mr. Molsbee was a farmer by occupation
and when a young man removed to Park
county, Indiana, where he devoted his at-
tention to agricultural pursuits. He died
September 20, 1897, having for several
years survived his wife, whose demise oc-
curred July 26, 1885. They were buried
in Linebarger cemetery in Indiana. . ]\lr.
Molsbee was a democrat, unfaltering in
his advocacy of the principles of the party.
Unto him and his wife w^ere born three
children: Laura A., now Mrs. Ross;
Elizabeth E.. who is livine at the old

homestead in Indiana; and William E.,
who resides with his sister upon the old
home farm. The last two are unmarried.
Mr. and Mrs. Molsbee also had an adopted
son, Preston A., who married Ora Rat-
cliffe and resides in Bloomingdale, Indi-
ana, where Elizabeth Ellen and William
Molsbee also make their home.

In the spring of 1884 ^Ir. Ross re-
moved to his present farm which com-
prises seventy acres on section zy, Marion
township. Here he engaged in farming
for ten years, but for the past decade has
rented the land and li\-es retired. At the
time of the Civil war he enlisted for serv-
ice in the Union army, but on account of
physical disability he was rejected as was
his brother. W\ F. Ross, who, however,
served for three months.

Mr. Ross has ever voted in support of
the men who are pledged to uphold repub-
lican principles. He is deeply interested in
educational progress and has served as
a member and president of the school
board. He has long resided in Henry
county having come here in pioneer days
when the district was largely unbroken
prairie and a few people residing here felt
that the uncultivated prairie tracts would
ne\"er l)e of much \alue. He is a self-
made man in eveiy sense of the term and
his life record proves that success may

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 35 of 85)