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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 41 of 85)
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position to waste his money in foolish ex-
travagance. He has kept his word, and
his pledge has been like a bond. Kind
to the poor, and with an ear always open
to the crv of the needv. he has ever been



a good neighbor, a generous friend and
an upright citizen. These are the virtues
that belong to the German blood, and these
characterize the career of the man whose
life deeds and achievements are the sub-
ject of this biographical history.

Charles Jacob Lang, who is now living
a life of retirement from active work in
the city of Mount Pleasant, was born in
Wurtemburg, Germany, on January i8,
1834, the son of Jacob and Katherine
(Smith) Lang. He was the oldest of a
family of four sons and two daughters,
all of whom are still living except one of
the sons, John.

The father was a weaver by trade, and
emigrated to America with his family
when Charles w^as only thirteen years of
age. He had entered into a contract by
which he was to receive employment in
Pennsylvania, and after the long sailing
voyage of thirty-one days was completed,
started to go to that state, going by way
of the Erie canal. How-ever, when he
reached Utica, New' York, his wife was
taken ill, so that he was unable to continue
the journey. Li this time of trouble the
young lad, Charles, took upon his shoul-
ders part of the family burden and started
out to find employment. He found a place
where he could work as a furniture fin-
isher in Utica, and also succeeded in find-
ing a position for his father. He worked
there for nine years.

In 1856 Mr. Lang decided that there
were better opportunities for a young man
in the newly opened territory farther west.
Accordingly in the fall of that year he
came to Iowa, first locating in Burlington,
then only a small city, but thriving and
very progressive. He remained there but

a few months, coming in the spring of
1857 to ]\Iount Pleasant, where he worked
at finishing furniture for a time. He found
veiy little here to do in that line, so he
went to St. Louis and remained for a time,
working at his trade. But preferring to
make his home in ^Nlount Pleasant, he re-
turned here and worked as a house painter,
continuing at that trade for the remainder
of his active life. He made an unusual suc-
cess at this work, and became known far
and wide throughout the country for the
excellence of his w^ork. He was compelled
to employ a number of assistants, having
four, five and six men working under him
all of the time. He trained many of the
men in this and neighboring cities who
do this work now. He did a great deal
of work in the surrounding country, as
well as in iNIount Pleasant. He w^as one
of the first men in Henry county to do
hardwood finishing, and the owners of
many of the finest residences in Mount
Pleasant are proud to say that the beauty
of the finishing of the woodwork in their
homes is due to the skill of Mr. Lang. He
was a man who attended strictly to busi-
ness all of his life, and has "handled the
brush" since 1848, a period of fifty-seven
A'ears. during which time he won an envi-
able reputation as an expert workman.

Mr. Lang was married in his early man-
hood, the ceremony being performed the
day before he started w-est. His wife was
Miss Sophia Blankenburg, also a native
of Gemiany. They enjoyed together a
long, happy married life of forty years,
then, in 1897, she laid down the burden
of life, and passed to a better land, her
remains being laid to rest in Forest Home
cemeterv' in Mount Pleasant. They were



the parents of seven children, of whom
three are Hving. as follows : Henry, a
painter, who learned his trade from his
father, and now lives in Topeka, Kansas,
his wife being a native of that city; Kath-
erine, who is the wife of John Holland,
the well known druggist of Mount Pleas-
ant; Stella, who lives at home with her
father. The two daughters, Stella and
Katherine, are both graduates of the
Mount Pleasant High School. Another
daugther, Louisa, now deceased, was the
wife of E. W. Krieg, of Burlington, and
left one child, a daughter, Myrl, who has
always made her home with Mr. Lang.

Mr. Lang has built a fine home in Mount
Pleasant, where he lives with his youngest
daughter, a lady of rare social charms
and an artist in oil painting of much tal-
ent and ability, she having had lessons
from the best available teachers, besides
having many beatiful landscapes and floral
pieces. She has sold many and is
also a successful teacher. He has given
his skill and his natural artistic tal-
ents full play in the designing and
ornamenting of this home, and the
result is an abode that is not only the place
of comfort and peace that is implied in the
word home, but that is also by its beauty
of interior a solace to the artistic tempera-
ment of its owner. Mr. Lang designed the
ornamentation of the ceiling of the recep-
tion room in his home, and decorated it
himself with oil painting.

Politically ]\Ir. Lang has always allied
himself with the republican party, and
has rendered valuable services in the ranks
of the party workers, though he has never
been an aspirant to political preferment.
He has always been a great admirer of the
character, and deeds accomplished by

Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lang was baptized
in infancy into the Lutheran church, and
character and deeds accomplished by Abra-
helped to build the Lutheran church in
Mount Pleasant, although he is not now
a member of the organization. Frater-
nally, he is a member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and has always
been active in the work of the order. He
is the oldest member, though not the old-
est man, in the local lodge of Mount Pleas-
ant. He has passed through the chairs,
and once joined the Encampment, but
found that he did not have the time to
devote to it, so dropped that part of the

Mr. Lang began life with no capital but
a strong heart, a clear brain trained by
the education that he received in the public
schools of his native land, and a good
bodily endowment. He has been indus-
trious, calculating and keenly alive to all
the possibilities opening before him, and
he has achieved a very fair competence.
As one of the self-made men of the pass-
ing generation, he possesses the respect
of the community in which he lives to an
uncommon degree, for his manly qualities
and upright character are not questioned.
His life record should act as an inspiration
to many young men who may feel that
they are more handicapped than their as-
sociates in the struggle for success.


Charles C. Murray is a self-made man,
who has had an eventful history. He has
visited manv countries on the face of the



globe, and from the age of twelve years
has been dependent entirely upon his own
resources. He has wrought along lines
that have developed an honorable char-
acter and a successful business as well and
he is today classed with the representative
citizens of Tippecanoe township.

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland. ]\Ir.
Alurray was born in 1844, and in his in-
fancy was left an orphan and was reared
in an institution for the care of orphan
children until about twelve vears of aee,
when he started out in life on his own ac-
count. He went on board a fishing ves-
sel, and so(3n after was apprenticed to a
foreign-going ship for four years, and fol-
lowed the sea for fifteen years, the latter
years as a marine engineer, sailing largely
upon the Mediterranean sea and East In-
dia, and was also in the navy for five
years. His educational privileges were
only such as Avere afforded by the common
schools of his native country.

Having arrived at years of maturit)^,
Mr. Murray was married to ^liss Eu-
phemia Anderson, who was born in Aber-
deen, Scotland. He afterward sailed in the
coasting service on the Baltic sea and sub-
sequently on the East India seas. Event-
ually determining to leave the water, he
settled in Dundee, Scotland, where he
learned the business of an engineer, which
he followed for many years in his native
land. After four years of married life
Mrs. Murray was called to her final rest
in 1868, leaving one son, Charles F. Mur-
ray, who is now engineer in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. In 1870 Air. Murray was again
married, his second union being with Bella
Gunn, who w^as born in the highlands of
Scotland. There were four children bom

of this marriage, who all died in infancy,
and ]Mrs. ^Murray passed away in Iowa
in 1 89 1.

It was in 1882 that Mr. ^Murray, leav-
ing the land of his birth, sailed for the
new world, and took up his abode in Cedar
Rapids, Iowa, where he secured employ-
ment as an engineer. He remained in
that city for several years, after which he
removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he
lived for five years. In 1900 he took up
his abode in Mount Pleasant, where he
also spent a few years, during which time
he was engaged in selling books. On the
1st of January, 1904, he wedded Airs.
Ellen (Frazer) Lawrence, who was born
at Forest Hill, Scotland, a daughter of
George and Margaret (Dickey) Frazer.
She spent her early girlhood days in her
parents' home, and after her marriage to
George Lawrence came with him to the
United States. They made their way into
the interior of the countr\- to Cleveland,
Ohio, where they lived for five years, and
then came to Mount Pleasant, where Mr.
Lawrence worked at his trade of stone
cutting, being employed on the building of
the asylum in this county. He was thus
identified with industrial pursuits up to
the time of his death, which occurred Sep-
tember 27, 1901. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Law-rence \\ere born seven children : Mar-
garet, now the wife of James Allender;
Robert, who died in infancy; George, a
resident of this county ; Robert, who is
the second of the name and lives in Henry
county; Ella, the wife of James Lusk;
Mary, the wife of Thomas Neice. of
Mount Pleasant; and Eugenia, the wife of
Edwin Barton, of Salem, Iowa.

]\Ir. and Mrs. Murray now reside upon




a farm of eighty acres in Tippecanoe
township, on which Mrs. Murray has
made her home for many years. He has
visited many places on the globe and has
thus through travel, experience and ob-
servation greatly broadened his knowledge
and stored his mind with manv interestine"
reminiscences of his trips. For a number
of 3'ears he has now lived in Henry county
and both he and his wife are widely and
favorably known here. Air. Murray is
a member of the Seventh Day Adventist
church, and is a republican in his political
views, having supported the party since
becoming a naturalized American citizen.


Jacob Kassel, who since 1900 has been
a resident of New London and since 1904
has been a representative of its trade in-
terests, being engaged in the lumber busi-
ness here, was born in Union township,
Des Moines county, Iowa, on the 23d
of March, 1856, his parents being Conrad
and Mary Anna (Hentz) Kassel. The
father removed from St. Louis to Bur-
lington, Iowa, in 1849, ^^d soon after-
ward purchased a claim in L^nion town-
ship, Des Moines county, on Long Creek.
It was but a small tract, which he after-
ward sold. He then bought out on the
prairie, where he lived up to the time
of his death, which occurred in 1886,
when he was seventy-two years of age.
He found that the prairie land was rich
and productive and he developed there a

good farm. His wife survived him for a
number of years, passing away in 1901
at the age of seventy-eight years. In the
their family were ten children, of whom
six are living : Henry, who resides in
Montgomery county, Iowa; John, a resi-
dent of Augusta township; Mar}^ the
wife of Christ Hauber, who is living in
Burlington ; AMlliam, a resident of L^n-
ion township, Des Moines county; Jacob,
of this review ; and Anna, the wife of
George Xau, whose home is in Augusta
township, Des Moines county. Those who
have passed away are : Conrad, who died
at the age of sixteen years ; Christina, at
the age of twenty-two }-ears ; Louisa,
when about thirty years of age, and Philip
when twenty-eight years of age.

Jacob Kassel, whose name forms the
caption of this review, was reared under
the parental roof. His educational privi-
leges were those afforded by the public
school system of L^nion township and he
was reared to the occupation of farming,
early becoming familiar with various du-
ties and labors incident to the develop-
ment of the fields and the care of the
crops. He continued his identification
with agricultural pursuits until 1900 and
remained upon the home farm until 1884,
when he purchased eighty acres of land
of Joseph Aller, residing thereon until
t888, when he sold that farm and bought
a tract of land of eighty acres from D.
B. Copeland. The following year he in-
vested in forty acres of land which he
purchased from Mr. Kissinger, but which
was known as the Hathaway place and
upon this farm he put about one thou-
sand rods of tile. Two vears later his
house was destroyed by fire, but he did


35 T

not allow himself to become discouraeed
by this disaster and at once erected a
modern residence, which he continued to
occupy until his removal to Xew London
in 1899. He carried on general farm-
ing and the neat and thrifty appearance
of his fields indicated his careful super-
vision and practical methods. After tak-
ing up his abode in this village he rested
from further labor for several years, but
in 1904 purchased the lumber business
which up to that time had been conducted
by A. C. Sater. The business was es-
tablished by R. H. Peterson and adjoined
the yards of the Gill^ert & Hedge Com-
pany, of Burlington. Later the two in-
terests were consolidated and conducted
by the firm of Linder & Garden, succes-
sors to T. B. Lee. At a still more recent
date Air. Ganaway became the owner of
the business and eventually sold out to
A. C. Sater. He continued as proprietor
until 1904. when he sold to Air. Kassel,
who is now engaged in the lumber trade.
having a well appointed yard and re-
ceiving from the public a liberal patron-
age. His close application and unfalter-
ing energy have constituted the strong di-
recting force in his business life and have
resulted in the acquirement of a large
and profitable trade.

On the 31st of December. 1884, was
celebrated the marriage of Air. Kassel
and Aliss Ratha Estella Hannah, daugh-
ter of Sylvester O. and Jane (Devault)
Hannah. There has been one child born
of this marriage, Rubv Belle, whose na-
tal day was April 16, 1887. Air. Kassel
belongs to the Knights of Pythias Lodge.
No. 184. of New London and his reli-
gious faith is indicated by his member-

ship in the Presbyterian church. Po-
litically he is a democrat, but without as-
piration for office, preferring to devote
his time and energies to his business af-
fairs. He has never been known to take
advantage of the necessities of his fellow
men in any trade transactions and is fair
and just in all of his dealings, having due
regard at all times and under all condi-
tions for the rights and privileges of


Louis Alilton Alagers, who lived dur-
ing his mature and prosperous years in
New London, passed away in that village
and left to lament his untimely death one
son grown to manhood and his wife, who
now resides in the handsome modern resi-
dence which he built in 1898. Air. Alagers
v.as born September 18, 1848, being the
son of Thomas and Elvira (Shopbell)
Alagers. Wdien a youth he went with his
parents to live in Henry county, Iowa.
He attended the public schools of his
county and after finishing his education
went into business with his father, from
whom he learned the trade of a black-
smith and wagonmaker. After becoming
well skilled in these trades he entered into
business upon his own responsibility in
New London, where he spent all of his
mature years of activity and labor. He
purchased the brick business block of
Perry Frank and later another upon
Alain street. These he owned at the time
of his death.



In 1873 he wedded Miss Ellen Fowler,
a daughter of \Mlliam E. and Jane
(Lyons) Fowler. In her childhood she
lived in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and
in 1859 went with her parents to live in
Burlington. low^a. They remained there
several years, and in 1866 moved to New
London, where the father soon became
engaged in his trade of tinsmith, a busi-
ness which he had followed all his life.
The family continued to live in Xew Lon-
don, where the daughter was married and
where she is still living. The father died
in 1894, and the mother in 1898.

Mr. and ^Iys. ]Magers became the par-
ents of one child, whom thev reared to
manhood, Thomas Frederick, now a den-
tist livine in St. Louis. ^Missouri. He is
married, his wife formerly being ^liss
Lillian Humes. They have no children.

Louis Milton Magers was a progres-
sive business man. He early learned the
lesson of industry and frugality and ap-
plied himself with diligence to his life
duties. He was, at the time of his death,
still a comparatively young man. but he
had mastered the true principles of a suc-
cessful business life and won for him-
self the distinction of being a self-made
man. Mr. ^Nlagers had many friends in
New London, and is missed by them as
well as at his own fireside.


Among the native sons of Henry county
who have found here good business oppor-
tunities, which, improved, have led to suc-

cess, is numbered John A. Wick, now
residing in Canaan tow^nship, where he
owns and operates two hundred and sev-
enty acres on section 15. He first opened
his eyes to the light of day in this county
on the 8th day of September, 1866, his
parents being August and Elizabeth
(Schultz) Wick, both of whom were na-
tives of Germany. The father came to
Henry county in 1845, settling in ]\Iarion
township, where he purchased a tract of
timber land. In the midst of the green
forest he began to hew out a farm, and
as one by one the trees were cut away he
also cleared out the brush and stumps and
soon the track of the plow was seen across
the fields. He continued to reside upon
the old homestead property up to the time
of his death, which occurred February 22,

John A. W^ick was reared in the usual
manner of farm lads of his age and local-
ity. He attended the district schools,
thereby acc[uiring a knowledge that has
enabled him to transact business affairs,
and under the direction of his father he
became familiar with the best methods of
carrying on farm work. He lived with
his parents through the days of his boy-
hood and youth, and in early manhood
came to Canaan township, where he pur-
chased seventy acres of land. Ambitious
to obtain success, he wisely invested his
earnings in more land from time to time
until now he is the owner of a valuable
and attractive farm of two hundred and
seventy acres, all on section 15, Canaan
township. In 1900 he erected an attrac-
tive residence of eight rooms, built in
modern style of architecture. It is sur-
rounded by a well kept lawn and the home



is tasteful!}- furnished. Other improve-
ments on the farm indicate the careful su-
pervision of a progressive owner, who car-
ries forward to successful completion
whatever he undertakes. He has good
barns and corn cribs upon his place and
uses the latest improved machiner}- in the
care and cultivation of his fields. In addi-
tion to raising good crops annually, he
also raises good grades of hogs and cattle.
On the 4th of October, 1888, Mr. Wick-
was united in marriage to Miss Clara Hup-
pie, who was born in Burlington and was
educated in the public schools of that city.
Her father, August Huppie, was bom in
Germany and wedded ^Miss Rickie Eckey,
also a native of that country. Unto ^Ir.
and ]Mrs. Wick have been born seven chil-
dren, namely : Albert, Elizabeth, Willie,
Rickie, Roy, ]\Iarie and John, all at home
and all born in Canaan township, Henry
county, Iowa, on the present home place.
Mr. AA^ick is a member of the Presbyterian
church and in his political views is a demo-
crat. While he is leading an active life in
business affairs, he yet finds time and op-
portunity to aid in the advancement of
measures for general good and is a public-
spirited citizen, causes of local advance-
ment and national progress both being dear
to his heart


William Waugh Cunningham has been
a leading factor in the business life of
New London since 1896. When our sub-

ject was four years old, his parents came
to Wapello county, Iowa, from Ohio. He
was born in Delaware county, Ohio, on
October 10, 1865, the son of \\'illiam
Waugh and Elizabeth (Hursey) Cun-
ningham. He received an education in the
common schools and enjoyed the advan-
tage of a training as a farmer both in his
bringing up and in actual labor. In 1896
Mr. Cunningham retired from farming
and engaged in the hardware business in
New London, which he pursued for a
number of years.

In ]\Iarch of 1904 he became a stock-
holder in the Brown Mercantile Company
and has since been identified with this
business interest.

Fraternally he claims membership with
the order of Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons, Chapter 28, New London, the
Knights of Pythias and Modern AA'ood-
men of America. Not only is he a stanch
democrat in his political ideas, but he has
served in a public capacity as representa-
tive of Wapello county, and member of
New London Council. His life is also
characterized by an interest in educational
affairs,, having performed the public du-
ties as a member of the school board and
of the township board of \\'apello county.

On February 2, 1893, he married Flora
Belle Prendergist. daughter of Henry and
Catherine (\A'ickeiser) Prendergist. They
are the parents of three children:
Juanita Bell, William Bryan, and Helen
Louise, of whom the former is a student
in the public school.

Although ]\Ir. Cunningham has scarce-
ly reached middle age. he has exhibited a
business ability and industry which have
made him a successful man.




Cornelius Scott, now living retired in
Salem, after many years of active and
honorable connection with farming in-
terests and business affairs here, was born
in Sharon. Schoharie county. New York,
April 12, 1834. The family was es-
tablished in the east at an early day, Rob-
ert Scott having been born in Pennsyl-
vania. His son, John Scott was born
in Schoharie county. New York. Oc-
tober 14, 1796, and was married
in the Empire state on the 13th of
September, 1816, to Miss Mary Mal-
ick, who was born in Schoharie county
in 1792. Her death occurred November 24,
1853, and on the 22nd of August, 1855,
Mr. Scott wedded Altha W. Bradaway.
Following his first marriage he owned
and operated a farm in Schoharie county,
New York, where he lived until 1850,
when he removed to the town of Ray-
mond, in Racine county, Wisconsin.
There he purchased land and engaged in
farming until his death, which occurred
October 14, i860. In the family were
three sons and fi\'e daughters, of whom
Cornelius was the sixth in order of birth
and is the only one now living.

Cornelius Scott never attended school,
having no educational advantages pro-
vided, but he is a self-educated man, who
has gained much valuable knowledge
through experience and observation. He
accompanied his father on his removal to
Wisconsin and worked with him there
until 1858, when he came to Iowa, tak-
ing up his abode in Lowell, Baltimore
township, Henry county. There he resided
until 1861, his attention being given to

farming and in that year he removed to
Jackson township, where he operated a
rented farm for four years. Success at-
tended his efforts during that period and
he acquired capital sufficient to enable
him to make purchase of one hundred and
fifty-seven and three quarters acres of land
on section 16. This was but partially im-
pro\-ed and upon it was a small house,
no barn and but few rods of fence. He
at once began to further cultivate and im-
prove the property, clearing the timber
from thirty acres and otherwise bringing
the farm under cultivation. He first built
a barn, afterward improved the house,
dug wells and put the land in first class
shape. He tilled the soil, and his labors
were so practical and enterprising that
his labors were crowned with good har-
vests. He also raised horses, cattle, sheep

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 41 of 85)