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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 38 of 85)
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William P. Young, who was formerly
engaged in general farming in Henry
county but now devotes his attention to
the purchase and sale of wool in ]\Iount
Pleasant, where he is also known as a
real-estate dealer, was born in Fulton
county, Ohio, Januaiy i, 1838, his parents
being William and Esther (Stott) Young.
The father was born in Belfast, Ireland,
and when ten years of age was brought
to Aemrica by his parents, who settled in
Pennsylvania. There he was reared to
the occupation of a miller in Pennsylvania,
and he removed from the Keystone state
to Fulton county, Ohio, where for
twenty-five years he lived upon a farm. He
was married to Miss Esther Stott, a native
of Danville, Pennsylvania, and in the year
1855 they came to Iowa, settling first in
Muscatine county, whence in 1856 they
came to Henry county, locating in Alarion
tow^nship, seven miles north of ]\Iount
Pleasant, on a partiall}' improved farm.
The mother's death occurred on that farm
in October, 1881, and in 1884 the father
was again married, his second union being
with Mrs. Nancy Philips. Both parents of
our subject were members of the Presby-
terian church in Pennsylvania, but in Ohio



became members of the United Brethren
church. In his poHtical views Mr. Young
was a democrat untilafteri852 ;in 1856 he
became a repubhcan and cast his ballot for
Fremont, and continued to support that
party up to the time of his demise. While
living in Ohio he served as a school di-
rector, but he had no desire for the hon-
ors or emoluments of public office. The
father died April 18, 1881. Both he and
his wife were interred in Hickoiy Grove
cemetery. In their family were nine chil-
dren, of whom four are yet living : Charles
S., who married Aliss Johanna Williams,
and resides in Fremont county. Iowa;
Robert, who married Martha Nicholson
and resides in Marion township, Henry
county; William P., of this review; and
Miller, who married Iowa \\'ray and re-
sides in North Liberty township, ten miles
northwest of Iowa City.

A\^illiam P. Young accjuired his early
education in the public schools of Ohio
and following the removal of the family
to Iowa he continued his studies in the
Howe Academy, of Mount Pleasant. His
present beautiful home is situated on the
original site of that academy and the old
well and cistern are still in use. After
finishing his education Mr. Young en-
gaged in farming with his brother Charles
for two years, after which he put aside
business cares in order to respond to his
country's call for aid, enlisting in 1861 as
a member of Company K. Fourth Iowa Cav-
alry, with which he served throughout the
war, being granted a furlough of a month
at the time of his re-enlistment as a vet-
eran. He participated in twenty-one dif-
ferent engagements, including the siege of
Vicksburg and the Wilson raid. He was

also in the last battle of the war at Colum-
bus, Georgia, and was honorably dis-
charged at Atlanta, while at Davenport,
Iowa, he was mustered out, having served
from October 9, 1861. to August 25,
1865. He was a brave and loyal soldier,
always true to his duty on the picket line
or the firing line, and with a creditable
militaiT record he returned to â– Mount

]\Ir. Young soon afterward settled upon
a farm near the city and was there ex-
tensively and successfully engaged in the
raising of fine stock, making a specialty
of shorthorn cattle for over thirty years,
during which time he held twelve public
sales and realized a good financial return
upon his investment. He became known
as one of the leading stockmen of this
part of the state, and gained an excellent
reputation as a judge of farm animals,
which enabled him to make judicious pur-
chases and profitable sales. In 1902 he re-
moved to the city of Mount Pleasant. For
seven years he has been engaged in han-
dling wool and he also operates in real es-
tate, having" negotiated some important
property transfers in this city and county.
He is now interested in farm lands in
Butler county, iMissouri, where he owns a
farm of one hundred and twenty acres.

On the 8th of March, 1866, Mr. Young
was married to ]\liss Mary B. Smith, who
was born in Fayette county, Ohio, May
30, 1846, a daughter of Adam and Lydia
E. (Bruce) Smith, both of whom were na-
tives of Virginia, the father born April
13, 1796, and the latter on the 22d of
June, 18 12. The father was a farmer and
in 1856 came to Henry county, buying a
farm at Hickory Grove, where he lived



until his death. He served as a soldier in
the war of 18 12. His early political alle-
giance was given to the whig partv and he
afterward was a stanch republican, hold-
ing some township offices within the gift
of his friends and neighbors. Both he
and his wife belonged to the Methodist
church, in which he served as steward and
class leader and in the work of the church
they were actively and helpfully inter-
ested. Mr. Smith died February 23, 1862,
and his wife passed away November 22,
1893, both being interred in Hickory
Grove cemeteiy.

Unto Air. and Airs. Young h^xe been
born five children, of whom four are now
living. Clara Ellen, born Alay 31, 1867,
became the wife of Enoch D. Xixon and
died January 15, 1893. William Emory,
born May 7, 1869, married Susan Camp-
bell, by whom he has three children, Karl,
Mai-}' Emily and ^^^illiam Thomas, and
their home is in Marion township. Charles
Bruce, born March 8, 1872, married Helen
Andrews and lives near Kalispell, Alon-
tana. Mar}- Emily, born May 19, 1877. is
the wife of Dr. Guy Ramsay, of North
Liberty, Iowa, by whom she has two chil-
dren, Paul and Alary Lurene. Edith
Elizabeth, born Alarch 9, 1882, is pur-
suing the study of vocal music in Chicago,
under the direction of Airs. Alinnie Fish

Air. Young is a stalwart republican Imt
never seeks or desires office, although he
has served as a member of the school
board, the cause of education finding in
him a warm friend. He belongs to AIc-
Farlane Post, No. 20, Grand Army of the
Republic, and he and his wife are earnest
and active members of the Alethodist Epis-

copal church, in which he has served as
steward for over forty years. He has
witnessed almost the entire growth of
Mount Pleasant and of Heniy county, for
at the time of his arrival here he found a
small village in the midst of a district
largely wild and unimproved. He has
taken just pride in what has been accom-
plished and has lived an upright life, his
word being as good as any bond that was
ever solemnized by signature or seal. In
manner he is genial and pleasant and his
intelligence and personal worth have
gained him high respect, while equally
admirable qualities have won warm friend-
ships for Airs. Young. His business has
resulted in bringing to him a handsome
competence, for placing his dependence
upon safe and substantial qualities he has
labored consecutively and earnestly and is
now in possession of a handsome com-


John Elgar, deceased, who left behind
him an untarnished name as well as a
comfortable competence, was born in Jef-
ferson county, Ohio, near Salem, on the
2 1 St of April, 1843, l^is parents being
\\'illiam and Nancy (Watson) Elgar. He
comes of German lineage, his father hav-
ing been born in Germany on the 31st of
July, 1806, and the mother was likewise a
native of that land. On crossing the At-
lantic to America they took up their abode
in Ohio, where the father followed the
occupation of farming for a few years.


and then removed with liis family to Indi- a farmer by occupation, and on coming

ana, where he again carried on general to the west settled upon a tract of land in

agricultural pursuits and also worked at Henry county, Iowa, in 1842. Here he

the blacksmith's trade. He came to Iowa devoted his time and energies to general

in 1868 and lived retired in Henry county agricultural pursuits until his demise,

until 1874, when he returned to Indiana, Both he and his wife were laid to rest in

where he made his home until his death, Findlay cemetery, in this county. In

on the 15th of August, 1885. In politics their family Avere nine children, but only

he was always a democrat, after becoming four are now living : Emilius, who mar-

a naturalized citizen. In his family w^re ried ]\Iiss Maggie Montgomery, and re-

five children, but all have now passed sides upon the old home farm in Jefferson

away. " township; Mrs. Elgar; Jael, who married

John Elgar w'as educated in the com- Samuel Green, and resides near Trenton ;
mon schools of Ohio and Indiana, and and Mrs. Genevieve Campbell, who is liv-
was reared to farm life, early becoming ing in Superior, Nebraska,
familiar with the duties and labors that Unto Mr. and Mrs. Elgar were born
fall to the lot of the agriculturist. In 1866 six children, five of whom survive: Al-
he became a resident of Henry county, bert, who was born in this county, Janu-
and in 1874 purchased the farm upon ary 16, 1870, and is living in California;
which his widow now^ resides, comprising May, who was born February 13, 1872.
eighty acres of land on section 5, Marion and is at home with her mother; John,
township. A few improvements had been who was born August 20, 1875, and op-
made thereon, but ^Ir. Elgar erected the crates the old homestead place; Homer,
present fine farm house, also set out an who was born September 29, 1878, and
orchard and added other modern equip- Herman, born November 13, 1882, and
ments and accessories of a model farm, now a teacher in the home school. Albert
As the years passed, he devoted his ener- and May both attended the Iowa Wes-
gies to the work of tilling the soil, and leyan University, and Herman was grad-
annually harvested good crops. He was uated at Antrim's College and Normal
also a veterinary surgeon, being one of School for Teachers. Mr. Elgar died
the first to practice the profession in the very suddenly, after an illness of four
county. days, on the 7th of September, 1905, when

In 1869 Mr. Elgar was married to Miss sixty-seven years of age, and the inter-
Augusta Everetts, who was born in ment occurred in Findlay Chapel ceme-
Henry county, September 26, 1845, ^^^ is terv. There were no exciting chapters in
a daughter of Lorentz and Margaret his life history, but his record was that
(Wiggins) Everetts, the former a native of a man honorable and reliable at all
of New York and the latter of New Jer- times, and who, in the faithful perform-
sey. Her paternal grandfather was a sol- ance of each day's duty, won success and
dier of the Revolutionary war, and rose also gained the respect and confidence of
to the rank of colonel. Mr. Everetts was his fellow men. He was devoted to the



^velfare of his family, and gave strict at-
tention to his business, in order that he
miglit provide for their support. He left
his widow a good farm in Marion town-
ship, and she also owns one hundred and
sixty acres of farm land in Kansas. The
family is well known in the community,
and the members of the household enjoy
an enviable position in social circles.


Samuel Brown, living on section 17,
Marion township, was reared to the oc-
cupation of farming. He has made it his
life work, and is today accounted one of
the leading and prosperous agriculturists
of the county. He was born January 23,
1830, in Rush county, Indiana, a son of
Steward and Matilda (Kinton) Brown.
His paternal grandparents, natives of Eng-
land, came to America about 1805 and set-
tled in Pennsylvania, where the grand-
father, Steward Brown, followed his trade
of coverlid weaver. After about ten years
he removed with his family to Ohio. His
son, Steward Brown, was born in West-
moreland, England, in 1799, and was
about six years of age at the time of the
emigration of his parents to the new world.
At the age of fifteen years he accompanied
them to Ohio and there he learned the trade
of coverlid weaving from his father. He
wedded Miss Matilda Kinton, who was
born in 1800. Her father, Thomas Kin-
ton, was born and reared in Germany, and
coming to the United States, became a
soldier of the war of 1812. When thirty
years of age Steward Brown removed to

Indiana, where he carried on weaving,
doing all kinds of work in that line. He
was reared in the faith of the Democratic
party, but afterward joined the ranks of
the republican party. He died in Indiana
in 1868, and his wife survived until Sep-
tember, 1 88 1. In their family were thir-
teen children, twelve of whom reached
adult age, while six are yet living, namely :
Samuel; Robert, who married Miss Mary
E. Bowen and lives in Center township,
Henry county, Iowa; James H., who mar-
ried Alice Lemons and resides in Pulaski
county, Indiana; Nathaniel, who wedded
Mary Rliodes and lives near Logansport;
Richard is a resident of Indianapolis, In-
diana, and Phoebe A., of Indianapolis,
whose husband was a soldier of the Civil
war. Thomas Brown, a brother of our
subject, now deceased, responded to the
last call for troops and served with the
Twenty-eighth Indiana Regiment until
the close of hostilities. Martin, another
brother, enlisted twice in the same regi-
ment, serving throughout the period of
hostilities and participating in the siege of
Vicksburg and the battle of Chattanooga.
John Brown, a third brother, served in the
same regiment, but after two months in
the army, died at Gallatin, Tennessee.

Samuel Brown never attended school
except for six months in his life, but by
study, investigation and observation he
has acquired a good general knowledge,
and in the school of experience has learned
many valuable lessons. He remained upon
his father's fami in his youth, and as he
was the eldest, the labor and management
of the place largely devolved upon him,
while his father gave his attention to weav-
ing. Subsequently, :\[r. Brown of this



review spent t\\o years at work as a fann
hand in Indiana, and then came to Heniy
county, Iowa, where he was employed for
three years and three months, working
with James Leech on his farm on the
shares. This was opposite his present
place of residence.

On the 8th of January. 1856, Mr.
Brown was married to ]\Iiss Jincy Ray,
who was born in Indiana in 1832 and
died in 1866. Mr. Brown made his way
to Iowa first and earned a certain sum of
money before he felt that he was justified
in assuming the cares of married life. He
soon accumulated this sum, however, and
following his marriage settled in Shelby
county, Indiana, where he li^-ed until after
the death of his wife. They were the
parents of two children, of whom one is
now living, Robert M., who was born
Januaiy 2, 1857, i" Shelby county, Indi-
ana, and who came with his father to
Heniy county, Iowa, in 1870. Here he
has since carried on farming in Marion
township, and in 1894 he built his present
attractive home. He has one hundred and
twenty acres of land, which constitute a
valuable and productive farm, and he has
made all of the improvements upon this
property. He also owns forty acres of
land in W'ayne township, and his father
resides with him upon the farm in Marion
township. In politics he adheres to demo-
cratic principles, but at local elections
where no issues are involved he votes in-
dependently. He has been a school director
for several years and is an enterprising,
wide-awake citizen, active and alert in
business and in public affairs as well.
R. M. Brown is a member of the Metho-
dist church, in which he is servinsf as

steward. He was married in j\Iarch, 1885,
to Miss Mar}^ E. Collins, who was born
in Tippecanoe township, Henry county,
in April, 1861, and is a daughter of John
and Martha (Heck) Collins. Her father
was born in Germany, February 7, 1825,
and came to America when ten years of
age. He was married in this country to
Miss Martha Heck, whose birth occurred
in Virginia, April 27, 1827. In the '40s
he came to Iowa, settling upon a farm in
Henry county, and his death occurred here
in March, 1895. He was a republican in
his political views and in religious faith
a Friend, or Quaker, while his wife is a
member of the Methodist church. She
still suiwives her husband and is living
upon the home farm in Tippecanoe town-
ship at the age of seventy-eight years. In
the family of Mr. and Mrs. Collins were
ten children : Sarah, who married Joel
Campbell and died January 26, 1873;
Alice, the deceased wife of John Laird;
Edward, who married Ella \\'ilmet and
resides in Salem township; Eliza, who is
the widow of Alfred Whittlesy and makes
her home in Mount Pleasant; Mary E.,
the wife of Robert ]M. Brown, of Marion
township; Cornelius S., who is living in
West Oakland, Iowa; Lydia C, who mar-
ried Joseph Needder, of Kansas; Harvey
J., who resides with his mother; Delia,
the wife of John Gopin, of Danville, Iowa,
and one who died in infancy. Unto ]\lr.
and ]\Irs. Robert M. Brown have been
born three children: Ray C, born Sep-
tember 17, 1887; Florence Ruth, October
12, 1892; and Gilbert, December 29, 1899.
On the 28th of September, 1868, Sam-
uel Brown was a second time married,
Mrs. Mary M. Jones becoming his wife.



She was born in Virginia, June 5, 1828,
and was the last surviving member of a
family of six children, whose parents were
George and Elizabeth Torronce, natives
of Virginia and farming people, who died
in Indiana. For her first husband Mary
M. Torronce chose Wesley Jones, and
after his death gave her hand in marriage
to Mr. Brown. She died March 7, 1900,
at the age of seventy-two years and her
remains were interred in Nebraska.

Following the death of his first wife,
Mr. Brown came to Iowa and for ten
years resided upon a farm in Wayne town-
ship, Henry county. He then removed to
Nebraska, settling upon a farm, where he
lived until the death of his second wife.
For fifty-nine summers he engaged in the
cultivation of corn and then sold his farm
and went to live with his son Robert, with
whom he now finds a pleasant home. He
casts his ballot for the presidential nomi-
nees of the democratic party, but at local
elections votes independently. He first
supported Franklin Pierce. He and his
second wife were members of the United
Brethren church, but he has since joined
the Methodist church. When he first came
to Iowa there were no homes of any note
in the county and straggling bands of
Indians were frequently seen. Mount
Pleasant was but a small village, in which
there was no railroad and no telegraphic
or telephonic communication. The settlers
were widely scattered, but Mr. Brown has
lived to witness the introduction of all
modern invention and improvement, while
the county has become thickly settled with
a prosperous and contented people. He is
entirely a self-made man, having never
received but two hundred dollars as a gift

in his life, his father giving him one hun-
dred dollars and his father-in-law an equal
amount. He has, however, made a good
living as the years have gone by and has
been generous of his means with others
less fortunate. Honest and upright, his
name is a synonym for integrity, and he
is greatly respected by all who know him.


Lyman Cobb, deceased, whose life ex-
emplified all the traits of the good citizen
and upright man, was born in the state
of New York in 1833, a son of Usual and
Sarah (Stevens) Cobb. The father re-
sided for a number of years in the Em-
pire state, and upon removing to the west
settled in Janesville, Wisconsin, whence
he afterward came to Henry county, Iowa,
w^here both he and his wife spent their re-
maining days upon a farm, their remains
beine interred in Forest Home cemetery,
about twenty-six years ago. They were
both members of the Methodist church and
their lives were in harmony with their
professions. They were the parents of ten
children, seven sons and tliree daughters,
of whom four are living: Gerry, who
resides in Correctionville, Iowa ; Ebenezer,
who is also a resident of Correctionville;
William, who is living at Littleton, near
Denver, Colorado; and Warren, who re-
sides at Columbus Junction, Iowa. Two
of the sons, Gerry and Luman, the latter
now deceased, were soldiers throughout
the Civil war. During the time of the



war Mr. Cobb paid three hundred dollars
for a substitute and also took to his home
the family of his brother Luman and cared
for them, so that while not at the front
he did much for the cause.

Lyman Cobb of this review attained his
education in the public schools of New
York and entered upon his business career
by working by the month in a hotel, where
he was employed until about 1862. He
then went to Wisconsin, where he spent
two years on a farm and in 1864 arri\-ed
in Hemy county, Iowa, and became iden-
tified with agricultural interests in this
state. Here he owned one hundred acres
and carried on general farming and stock-
raising, and in his work was practical and
systematic. He placed his fields under a
high state of cultivation and gained a good
profit from the sale of his crops and of
his stock. Thus he annually added to his
income until he had acquired a comfortable
competence, and in 1890 retired from fur-
ther active connection with agricultural in-
terests and removed to Mount Pleasant,
taking up his abode at No. 603 East Henry
street, where he purchased a pleasant home
and where his widow still resides.

On the 22d of December, 1856, Mr.
Cobb was united in marriage to Miss
Emma M. Drum, who was born in Lu-
zerne county, Pennsylvania, January 30,
1833, and is a daughter of Andrew and
Katherine (Gordon) Drum, both of whom
were natives of Pennsylvania. Her father
was a carpenter by trade and was a good
accountant, often acting as bookkeeper for
various firms. He also farmed at times
and was an active, energetic business man.
He held membership in the Odd Fellows
society and also in the Methodist church,

while his wife was a member of the Luth-
eran church. His political support was
given to the republican party and he served
as justice of the peace for a number of
years, his decisions, which were strictly
fair and impartial, winning him favorable
regard from the general pul^lic. Both he
and his wife passed away in Pennsylvania,
the mother dying atout eight or nine years
ago. Mr. and Mrs. Drum were the par-
ents of five children, of whom Mrs. Cobb
is the only one now living. Unto our sub-
ject and his wife were born four sons :
Benjamin Franklin, who was born in Rock
county, Wisconsin. December 7, 1858, and
is now living in Denver, Colorado, mar-
ried Miss Anna O'Hare, who died, leaving
a little son, Samuel Nolan. He again mar-
ried and by this union has two sons, W^al-
ter and Thomas. William Betrawn and
A\'^illard Betrawn are twins, born in \\'is-
consin, March 8, 1861. The latter mar-
ried and has a daughter, Nellie Belle, and
they reside in Santa Barbara, California.
William, a barber of ]\'Iount Pleasant,
Iowa, married Miss Allie McRoberts and
has two sons, Roy L. and Harold. Ulysses
Grant Cobb, born x\pril 18, 1865, in
Henry county, married and is living in
Omaha, Nebraska, being a part owner and
manager of the Balduff restaurant.

In his political affiliation Lyman Cobb
was a stalwart republican. Mr. and Mrs.
Cobb held meml3ership in the Baptist
church and for many years he acted as jan-
itor of the church in Mount Pleasant, fol-
lowing his retirement from farm life. He
passed away at his home in this city Sep-
tember 21, 1902, and his remains were
interred in Forest Home cemetery. He
was a man of genuine worth, esteeined be-



cause of his excellent qualities of heart
and mind, and he left behind the priceless
heritage of an untarnished name. Mrs.
Cobb is an earnest Christian woman, of
sweet disposition and modest demeanor,
who has been devoted to her family and
has also put forth many efforts for the
good of the community, especially in the
assistance rendered to the poor.


Colonel Asbury B. Porter, a legis-
lator of Iowa in territorial days, and
prominent in the pioneer development of
the state, was born in Millersburg, Ken-
tucky, on the 20th day of July, 1808. His
life record covered seventy-seven years.
His father, Watson Porter, was a native
of Pennsylvania, born in 1780, while the
grandfather, Robert Porter, was born in
the same state in 1750. and at the out-
break of hostilities between the colonies

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 38 of 85)