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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 36 of 85)
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be attained through i)ersistent and earn-
est effort. At tlic same time a pleasant
and genial manner have won for him
warm friendship and high regard, and he
is classed with the worthy citizens of his
community, where he is highly esteemed
by all who know him. ha\ing resided in
the vicinity for m()re than a third of a




Charles B. Goe, one of the leading liv-
erymen of southeastern Iowa, having a
very fine stable and equipment at Mount
Pleasant, was born in this city July i6,
1861, a son of Joseph L. and Cynthia
(Samuels) Goe. He acquired a good
practical education in the public schools
and Howe's Academy and as a boy he
learned the livery business with his father,
acting as his assistant for some time and
afterward entering into partnership with
him under the firm name of J. L. Goe &
Son. He soon took active charge of the
business, his father retiring from the man-
agement. He built a fine two-story stone
and brick livery barn on North Jefferson
street, with a frontage of forty feet and
a depth of one hundred and fiftv feet. All
of the building is used for a stable and
repository, except a space sixty by forty
feet, constituting- a residence flat in the
front. This is one of the best equipped
livery barns in southeastern Iowa. Mr.
Goe has a fine line of carriages, coupes,
landaus, etc., and one of the finest funeral
cars in the state. He keeps twenty-four
head of horses, and enjoys a liberal and
growing patronage, by reason of his
straightforward dealing with his patrons
and his earnest desire to please.

Mr. Goe was married May 27, 1885, to
Miss Nellie Cook, of Fairfield, Iowa, a
daughter of William Cook. They had
one son, Joseph, who died October 27,
1903. In his political views Mr. Goe is an
earnest republican, strong in support of
the party and its principles, and active in
its local ranks. He has represented the
first ward in the city council, and during

that time Main street was paved. Mr.
Goe belongs to the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows fraternity. He has a wide
acquaintance in the city, where his en-
tire life has been passed and where he
has worked his way upward to a position
among the successful business men, be-
coming a recognized leader in his line of
activity in this part of the state.


John Alfred Abrahamson is the owner
of an excellent farm of eighty acres in
Wayne township, well improved with all
modern accessories and equipments and
the spirit of enterprise and progress is
manifest in his work and constitutes the
secret of his success. He is yet a young
man, but has already attained a very cred-
itable position as a representative of ag-
ricultural interests in his native county.
He was born in Wayne township, No-
vember 28, 1 87 1, and is a son of William
and Sophia (Johnson) Abrahamson. The
father, a native of Sweden, came to
America and to the Mississippi valley
prior to the Civil war, settling first in Il-
linois. At the time of hostilities between
the north and the south he enlisted for
service in behalf of the Union cause, be-
coming a member of Company K, Eighty-
fourth Illinois Infantry. The command
was ordered to the front and he took part
in active field duty until he was shot in
the lep- and one of his shoulders, which
disabled him for some time. When he had



sufficiently recovered his health he was
stationed to guard prisoners and he thus
continued in the army until the close of
the war. After receiving an honorable
discharge he returned to his home in Illi-
nois, but soon removed to Iowa, settling
in Jefferson county, for a short time. He
afterward purchased fifty-three acres of
farm land on section 34, Wayne town-
ship. Henry county, which was a tract of
wild prairie, on which he placed all of the
improvements. He afterward traded that
farm for eighty acres in the western part
of the same section and iipon the new
farm made his home until his death,
which occurred September 30, 1877. He
worked untiringly year after year to de-
velop his property and transformed a wild
tract into a richly cultivated farm. His
widow still survives him and continued
to reside upon the old homestead until
1904. since which time she has made her
home with her son John.

In taking up the personal history of
John Alfred Abrahamson we present to
our readers the life record of one whose
persistency of purpose and unfaltering en-
erev have enabled him to rise from a
humble financial position to one of af-
fluence. In his youth he attended the dis-
trict schools and worked at farm labor
upon the old homestead, remaining with
his mother until twenty-six years of age.
He was then married on the 12th of Jan-
uary, 1898. to Miss Hilma Sophia Peter-
son, who was born near Stanton. Mont-
gomery county, Iowa, and is a daughter
of Oscar and Almeda Sophia (Swanson)
Peterson, the former a native of Sweden
and the latter of Jefferson county, Iowa.-
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Abrahamson

has been blessed with two daughters : Bes-
sie Almeda, born ]\Iarch 28. 1899: and
Myrtle Naomi, born January 9, 1902.

Throughout his entire life Mr. Abra-
hamson has been connected with agri-
cultural pursuits. In connection with his
brother Frank he purchased one hundred
and six acres of land on section 34,
Wayne township, and this they operated
together for four years. Their brother
Oscar, according to arrangements pre-
viously made, was then taken in as an
equal partner and the business interests
were conducted by the three brothers until
1900. when their land was divided, fifty-
three acres coming to John A. Abraham-
son as his share. He has purchased from
his brother on the north an amount of
land sufficient to make his farm eighty
acres in extent and he has now a good
and well improved property, having
erected a house of six rooms, also with
pantry, closets and halls. He afterward
built an addition to and remodeled his
barn, which is thirty-four by thirty feet,
furnishing ample shelter for hay and
horses. He also has a double corn crib,
twenty-six by thirty-two feet, and a por-
tion of this is used as a granary. He has
drilled a well to the depth of one hundred
and thirty-seven feet and he carries on
general fafming and also raises cattle and
hoes. He has likewise a good orchard
upon his place, containing thirty apple
trees, thirty peach trees and also eight
plum trees and three cherry trees. The farm
indicates his careful supervision and prac-
tical methods in its splendidly cultivated
and cared-for appearance. In all of his
work Mr. Abrahamson is practical and
quicklv recognizes and utilizes any busi-



ness opportunity. He early came to a
realization of the fact as stated in the ad-
monition of the old Greek philosopher,
"Earn thy reward ; the gods give naught
to sloth," and as the years have passed
by he has labored so energetically that he
is now classed with the substantial agri-
culturists of Wayne township. He votes
with the Republican party and he holds
membership in the Swedish Lutheran
church, and at all times he is recognized
as one who is fearless in support of his
honest convictions.

Oscar Victor Abrahamson, young-
est brother of our subject, is also a well
known land owner of this community,
having a well improved farm of eighty
acres on section 34, Wayne township. He
was born August 11, 1874, on the old
home place and received his preliminary
education in the public schools and then
attended the Lutheran Academy, at Wa-
hoo, Nebraska, for one term. He worked
on the farm with his brothers until he was
about eighteen years of age. but was
never very robust, and on account of fail-
ing health he was compelled to go to Ne-
braska for two and one-half years, then
returned to Iowa. He completed his edu-
cation in the Mount Pleasant Academy
and in Elliott's Business College. On the
29th of March, 1900, he was united in
marriage to Miss Elizabeth Amelia John-
son, born and educated in Ottumwa,
Iowa. To them have been born two chil-
dren : Prudence Irene ; and Margaret
Louise, both born in Wayne township.
Mr. Abrahamson is a man who has not
been easily discouraged, and though hin-
dered by ill health, has put forth every
effort to overcome all difficulties, and his

efforts have been crowned by success as
is shown by his well kept and prosperous
appearing farm and his pleasant home.
He and his family are members of the
Swedish Lutheran church, and are faith-
ful attendants of that body.


Among the enterprising residents of
Jefferson township is numbered Jacob
Shively, who was born in this township.
May 27, 185 1, and is a son of Joel and
Naomi ( Arnold) Shively. His paternal
grandparents were Jacob and Barbara
Shively, nati\'es of Pennsylvania, from
which state they removed to Ohio, taking
up their abode in Stark county. It was
there that Joel Shively was born and
reared, pursued a common-school educa-
tion and gained comprehensive and inti-
mate knowledge of the work of the farm.
He wedded Miss Naomi Arnold, who was
born in Scioto county, Ohio, and was a
daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth
(Nowel) Arnold, both of whom were na-
tives of Virginia. The wedding of Mr.
and Mrs. Joel Shi\'ely was celebrated in
Scioto county, Ohio, where they began
tlieir domestic life upon a farm, remaining
there until 1839. Thinking to have still
better business opportunities in what is
now the middle west, but was then re-
garded as a far frontier district, they
started by boat for Iowa, proceeding down
the Ohio and up the Mississippi rivers to
Burlington. In the spring of 1840 they
took up their abode in Jefferson town-



ship, Henry county, and Mr. Shively en-
tered land from the government. Not a
furrow had been turned nor an improve-
ment made upon this place but the break-
ing plow soon did its work and grain was
sown that in due course of time produced
golden harvests. At the time of their ar-
rival there were about five hundred In-
dians encamped at what is known as Shive-
ly's ford, but they proved friendly to the
white men. Mr. Shi\'ely remembers a bull
not let a white man come near the house,
dog which he owned and which would
but when an Indian approached he would
run and hide under the house and would
not come out in response to his master's
call. The father built a log cabin upon
his place and began life in Iowa in true
pioneer style. The greater part of his
land was covered with timber and much
arduous labor was recjuired to improve
and develop the farm. There were many
deer and timber wolves were frecjuently
seen and killed, while other wild animals
infested the forests. If the supply of bread
stufT was exhausted some member of the
family would go out after wild turkeys
at night, and they would use the breast
meat for bread. Owing to the unsettled
condition of the country they had to have
their grist ground at Skunk River, east of
Mount Pleasant, which was between
twenty-five and thirty miles from their
home. It was long distances to market
as well, and there were no railroad facili-
ties for shipment in those times. The fa-
ther was a carpenter and he hired his farm
cleared by others, while he gave his atten-
tion to building operations. He had about
eighty acres of his farm cleared and im-
proved and upon the place was a log cabin

A\hich was occupied by the family until
i860, when he erected a frame house of
four rooms which was used by them as a
dwelling house and church, being utilized
in the latter way until after the war, when
a new church was erected near by. Mr.
Shively was a minister of the United
Brethren church and was untiring in his
efforts in behalf of his denomination. He
has w^alked as far as twenty-two miles in
one day in order to preach the gospel, re-
turning the succeeding day. As stated,
he allowed his home to be used as a house
of worship all through the period of the
Civil war and he put forth every effort
in his power to promote the growth of the
church and to sow the seed of Christianity
in this part of the state. His influence
was widely felt and w^as most beneficial.
He continued to reside upon the home
farm until his demise, which occurred Oc-
tober 13, 1883, ''vhen he was about sev-
enty-five years of age, for he was born on
the loth of July, 1808. His wife, who
was born July 20, 18 10. died on the 3d of
December, 1885. They had seven chil-
dren, two sons and five daughters, Jacob
Shively being the youngest of the family.
One sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Davidson, now
resides in Washington, Iowa.

Jacob Shively always remained ui)on
the home fami, caring for his father and
mother in their declining years, lie was
educated in the district schools and was
early trained to the labors of field and
meadow, learning the best time and meth-
ods of planting the crops, cultivating the
soil and caring for the harvests. Follow-
ing the death of his parents he purchased
the interest of the other heirs in the old
home i)roperty and thus continues to re-




side upon the farm which lias been his
place of residence throughout his entire
life. He carries on general farming and,
also raises stock, black polled Angus cat-
tle and Jersey red hogs. He is an excel-
lent judge of stock and is thus enabled
to make judicious purchases and profitable
sales. He always has good grades of
stock upon his place and finds this branch
of his business profitable. He has erected
a house, also built barns and corn cribs
and other structures, which show the
owner to be a man of progressive ideas
and practicable methods in his farm work.
The fields are well tilled and e\Trything
about the place is neat and thrifty in ap-
pearance. His residence is on section 6,
Jefferson towaiship, where he has eighty
acres of land and in addition he owns one
hundred and forty acres on section 7, Jef-
ferson township, and eighty-six acres in
Walnut township, Jefferson county, Iowa.
On the 14th of May. 1872, Mr. Shive-
ly was united in marriage to Miss Har-
riet P. Stones, who was born in Mus-
kingham comity, Ohio, and came to Jeffer-
son township with her parents in 1856.
She is a daughter of J. F. and Mary Ann
(Price) Stones, both of whom were na-
tives of Muskingum county, Ohio. Her
paternal grandparents, James and Mary
(x\shcroft) Stones, w^ere both natives of
England and were the first of the family
to seek a home in the new world. The
maternal grandfather, Martin Price, was
a native of Ohio and was united in mar-
riage to Miss Judith Edwards, whose
birth occurred in Maine. Mrs. Shively
pursued her education in the common
schools and has been an able helpmate and
companion to her husband since they

started upon life's journey together a
third of a century ago. Their home was
blessed with the presence of nine chil-
dren : Annie, now the wife of Frank
Neyens, of Muscatine, Iowa; David, who
is living in Henry county; Ella, the wife
of E. A. Borgstrand, of this county; Eva,
who died at the age of fourteen years;
Mary, the wife of Charles Ballard, of this
county; Lucretia, the wife of Frank Mc-
Cune, of Washington county, Iowa; and
Joel, who died at the age of ten months;
and Judson and Arnold, who are both
staying at home.

Mrs. Shively holds membership in the
United Brethren church and he is con-
nected with the Brotherhood of Amer-
ican Yeomen, w^hile his political views are
in accord with republican principles. His
entire life has been devoted to general ag-
ricultural pursuits and he has found that
labor is a sure and safe foundation upon
which to build the superstructure of suc-
cess. Today he is the owner of a valu-
able farming property, the greater part of
which has been acquired through his own
efforts and in his work he is found as a
persistent, energetic, and reliable man.


Canada has furnished to the United
States many of its valued citizens, who,
attracted by the livelier competition, the
greater business opportunities and the ad-
N'ancement which is more quickly secured
in the United States, have crossed the bor-



der and by embracing the opportunities
of this country have worked their way
steadily upward. To this class belongs
the representatives of the Schlatter family,
now well known in eastern Iowa. The
subject of this review was born in Ham-
burg, Waterloo county, Ontario, Canada,
on the 25th of June, 185 1, and is a son of
Joseph R. and Lena (Christner) Schlat-
ter, the former a native of Alsace, France,
and the latter of Byron, Germany. In
1834, when thirty years of age, the father
bade adieu to friends and nat-ive land and
crossed the Atlantic to Canada, believing
that he might have better business oppor-
tunities in the new world than could be se-
cured in the district in which he was
reared. He was married in Canada and
there continued to reside until 1856, when
he removed to Washington county, Iowa,
making the journey by rail to Rock Is-
land, Illinois, which was then the terminus
of the line. He continued on his way with
wagons to Washington county, where he
purchased an improved farm of two hun-
dred acres of arable land and also bought
eighty. acres of timber land, lying in Ma-
rion township near the Henry county line.
His remaining days were devoted to agri-
cultural pursuits and his efforts wrought
a very notable transformation in the ap-
pearance of his place as he brought his
fields under a high state of cultivation.
He continued to reside thereon until his
death, which occurred in 1877. His wife
long survived him and passed away in

John Schlatter was a youth of only
about five years when brought by his par-
ents to Iowa and his education was ac-
c[uired in the common schools of Washing-

ton county. He was reared upon the home-
stead farm there and aided in its cultiva-
tion and improvement, giving his time and
energies to the cultivation of field and
meadow during the summer months, while
in the winter seasons he attended the pub-
lic schools. After putting aside his text-
books his undivided attention was given
to farm labor until he was twenty-three
years of age, when his father purchased
eighty acres of land near Trenton in
Henry county. This was partially im-
proved. John Schlatter took up his abode
on that property, where he carried on
farming for eight years, when he sold
out. He then bought one hundred and
sixty acres of prairie land in Jefferson
township, which had been improved and
tiled all save forty acres. In fact it was
one of the first farms tiled in the county,
the work having been done by Samuel
Black, who was then the owner. Mr.
Schlatter took up his abode upon this place
in Februarv, 1882, and resided there until
1889, when he bought a twenty-acre farm
one mile to the west and removed to the
latter place. There he lived for four years,
when he sold his twenty-acre tract and
on the 20th of October, 1893, purchased
eighty acres of improved land on section
22, Jefferson township. His energy and
business ability have made him one of
the substantial agriculturists of the com-
munity. In 1897 he built a good barn,
twenty-eight by forty-four feet. He car-
ries on the work of tilling the soil and an-
nually harvests good crops. He also raises
Poland China hogs, having from fifty to
seventy head each year. By judicious
investment he has increased his landed pos-
sessions until he now owns two hundred



and fifty acres, including ten acres of tim-
ber, all in Jefferson township.

On the 1 6th of September, 1867, Mr.
Schlatter was married to Miss Catherine
Miller, who was born in Henry county,
Iowa, and attended the common schools.
Her father was John Miller, who in early
manhood wedded Annie Raber, and both
were natives of Alsace, Germany. In the
family of Mr. and Mrs. Schlatter are six
children : Lena, now the wife of Simon
Gingerich, a resident farmer of Jefferson
township; David, who carries on farming
in the same township; Annie, William,
Emma and John, all at home. In his busi-
ness affairs Mr. Schlatter has ever been
thoroughly reliable and energetic and his
farm is the visible evidence of his life
of well directed enterprise and thrift. In
politics he is independent, voting for men
and measures rather than party. He takes
an active interest in the Mennonite church,
has served as trustee since 1891, contrib-
utes liberally to the support of the church
and is interested in all that tends to pro-
mote the material, intellectual and moral
development of his community.


The Saunders family has been identified
with the early settlement and growth of
Henry county, Iowa. Presley Saunders
pre-empted the land from the government
in the year 1834 upon which Mount
Pleasant is situated, and laid out the town
of Mount Pleasant in the year 1835.

In 1836 his brother, Alvin Saunders,
followed him to Mount Pleasant, and, in
the spring of 1845, his brother William A.
Saunders, came to that town, and, in
1856, his cousin, William G. Saunders,
came from Kentucky to Mount Pleasant.

There are no two names more closely
identified or better known in Henry
county than William G. Saunders and
Presley Saunders, to whom this article
will more particularly refer.

The Saunders family originally came
from England, and the first one of the
family now known is Henry Saunders,
who was killed in the battle of Culloden,
Scotland, in 1756. His son, James Saun-
ders, married Sarah Gunnell in England,
and they moved to America in 1746 and
settled in Virginia. He died on April 7,
1778, and his wife died September 21,
1793. Their children were Mary, born
January i, 1732; William, born March
21, 1741 ; John S., born February i, 1746,
and died May 6. 1797; Gunnell, born
March 10, 1748; Barbara, born Febru-
ary 20, 1750; Presley, born December 3,
1752. died August 31. 1823 ; Henry, born
September 21. 1755, died February 19,
1823; Moses and James, born November
24, 1757; Cyrus, born December 22, 1760.
and died in November, 1822.

Gunnell Saunders, son of James Saun-
ders, above mentioned, lived in Virginia
and afterward moved to Kentucky. He
had six sons, William, Oliver, Gunnell,
Sylvester, Moses and Aaron.

William Saunders, son of Gunnell
Saunders, was born in Virginia on March
II, 1780, and when quite young moved
with his father to Kentucky, where he re-
sided until the date of his death, Febru-




arv 21, 1870. He was married when quite
\oung in Kentucky to Margaret Mauzy.
She was of French descent and was born
in 1 78 1 near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Her parents moved to Kentucky when
she was nine years of age and settled near
Sherburne in the same neighborhood
with the Saunders family. They moved
to Mount Pleasant in the spring of 1856.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Saunders were reli-
giously inclined and were members of the
Christian church at Mount Pleasant. She
died June 15, 1869.

The children of William and Margaret
Saunders were :

Sarah, who married James Grant, and
who had six children. — William. Roland,
Margaret. Jennie. James Austin, and
Frank. But two of these children are now
living, Margaret, and James Austin, both
of whom are residing in Mount Pleasant.

Eleanor was born February 13, 1805.
in Fleming county, Kentucky, and mar-
ried Isaac Fouche April 20. 1826. Their
children were Emily. Margaret. James,
Mary, Barbara. Sarah, George W., and
Matilda. Those now living are Emily
Vandall and James Fouche. who live at
Osceola. Iowa : Mary Ball, of Fresno.
California, and Barbara R. and Matilda,
of Mount Pleasant.

Austin, who lived and died in Ken-
tucky. He left one daughter, who mar-
ried Joseph D. Ringo, who resides at
Sherburne Mills. Fleming county, Ken-

Ann, who married Mathew G. Jones.
They had three children, — Jefferson.
Thomas and Goldsmith.

Margaret, who married James Garvin.
They had seven children: Jasper,

Samuel Wallace, Ann Eliza. Sarah
Harriet, Mecca, and Julia. Of these
Jasper, Samuel Wallace, Ann Eliza,
and Harriet are still living, but the
only one who now resides at Mount
Pleasant is Samuel Wallace, who is
an honored citizen and who for a long
time has been identified with Henry
county and Mount Pleasant, both as a
citizen and an official.

William G. was born in Fleming coun-
ty. Kentucky, December 25, 181 5, and
on May 25, 1843. ^''^ ^^'^s married by his
uncle, Aaron Saunders, a minister of the

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 36 of 85)