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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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church in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania,
near Harrisburg, which it is claimed was
one of the first Presbyterian churches in
that state. The lineage of the ]\IcClures
and Grahams can be traced back to the
A\'allaces and Stuarts of Scotland.

Leaving Pennsylvania Dr. McClure's
parents emigrated to \\'arren county,
Ohio, and were among the first settlers in
that region. They took up a farm in the
midst of the timber, cleared their land and
resided thereon for many years. AMien
they removed to Ohio they were poor in
this world's goods but by industry and
thrift acquired a comfortable competence.
Andrew McClure, the father of Dr.
^IcClure. was a patriotic soldier of the
war of 1812. He gave his political sup-
port of the Free Soil and AMiig parties
and was a warm admirer of Henry Clay
and Daniel \\'ebster. He died in the year
1858. while his wife passed away in 1884.

Andrew Wilson McClure, the subject
of this sketch, was reared upon the home
farm and after leaving the country
schools acquired an academic education
in the Lebanon Academy. When twenty-
one years of age he began reading medi-
cine in the office of Dr. Fisher, of Leba-
non, and at the same time had advantage
of the Turtle Creek Academy, a Quaker
school near Lebanon. Lender Dr. Fisher
he obtained a good ground work for a
thorough medical education which he
completed by a course in the Ohio Medi-
cal College, at Cincinnati, being grad-
uated with the class of 1853. At once he
began the practice of his profession in
Paris, Illinois, in connection with Dr.



York, of that place. This partnership was
dissolved in 1856 and Dr. McClure came
to Mount Pleasant, where he acquired a
well deserved reputation of a successful
physician and surgeon. On his removal
to this city he entered into partnership
with Dr. Bird.

In 1 86 1 Dr. McClure responded to his
country's -call for aid and entered the ser-
\'ice as surgeon of the Fourth Iowa Cav-
alry, Henry county's "crack" regiment
because it was commanded, raised and
equipped by a pioneer resident of Henry
county — Colonel A. B. Porter, who was
exempt from service by age but whose
patriotism made his years no bar. The
regiment was under important instruction
at Mount Pleasant until the early spring
of 1862, when the command \vas sent to
Springfield. Missouri. After the battle of
Pea Ridge the Fourth Iowa was attached
to the army under General Curtis in Gen-
eral Carr's division and the summer was
spent in marching and scouting in the
southwest, after which they went into
winter quarters at Helena, Arkansas. On
the invasion of Vicksburg they were met
by Grant's army and took part in the
siege and capture of that city. Following
the capitulation of Vicksburg Dr.
McClure resigned his commission on
account of ill health and returned to
Mount Pleasant, where he resumed the
active practice of medicine and surgery,
after two years' military service in the

Dr. McClure occupied an enviable
position as one of the leading physicians
at home and abroad, being an active mem-
ber of the State and Local Medical Socie-
ties. He was president of the State Medi-

cal Society in 1886 and 1887. The
address he delivered at the annual meet-
ing before that society when president in
1887 received the warmest encomiums
from the most eminent physicians present
and has been widely copied in medical and
other journals. Dr. AlcClure was promi-
nently identified with the industrial, edu-
cational and social life of the city, where
he made his home for almost fifty years.
He was honored with various positions
of public trust, including that of presi-
dent of the board of trustees of the State
Insane Hospital at IXIount Pleasant for
many years. He was also school director
for seventeen years and filled other posi-
tions in which his calm and honest judg-
ment could serve his friends. \Miile not
in the ordinary sense a politician he
always took an active interest in public
afi^airs, being a life-long republican yet
never asking for recognition at the hands
of his party as an office seeker. He
believed that all men should take an active
interest in selecting the best men for such
places as the party controlled.

In the fall of 1901 Dr. IMcClure's
health failed and he retired from active
labor, having required a competence from
his profession and manufacturing inter-
ests. He spent his time in private, pass-
ino- the winters in the south but in the
winter of 1904-5 he became ill and passed
away on the 20th of ]\Iay of the latter
year at his home in Mount Pleasant — the
home that he had founded and occupied
without change of location since i860.
He was a member of the Masonic frater-
nity and of the Grand Army of the
Republic. In the following will be found
the words of appreciation in which he was



held in his home city : "Dr. McCKire is
dead. These words probably brought and
will bring genuine and deep sorrow to
more hearts than if the same fact were
stated of almost any other resident of our
city and county. During his long medi-
cal practice here — more than forty years
— the genial qualities of his heart and

same loving care as long as he remained
with them. He was an ideal husband and
father for he gave of himself and strove
ever to make his home the center of
spiritual and worldly comfort for his fam-

Winning friends and success as he did
in his practice it was only a natural conse-

soul endeared him to hundreds of patients quence that he should also win a most

and friends. His presence in a sick room enviable reputation and standing among

was a veritable blessing, for his cheerful his brother practitioners. His reputation

and inspiring manner often did as much as a physician was state-wide. His coun-

as the medicine. Once his friend, always
his friend is the true history of many,
many people who came in contact with
him either in a professional or friendly
wa}'. Dr. McClure lived to see those
whose advent into this world he assisted
grow into manhood and womanhood and
possessed their love and respect to an

unusual decree.

The weight


f vears.

trouble and disease whitened his hair,
dimmed the keen luster of his eye and
slowed the former brisk and cheery step,
but his heart was young, his spirit
undaunted even to the last months of his

sel and sympathy was to the younger
members of his profession most depend-
able and valuable. He was an inspiration
to such both by his beautiful life as well
as through his genial and sympathetic
mind. Students who first entered upon
the study of medicine with Dr. McClure
received much more instruction than the
text-books contained. His wide scholar-
ship and excellent judgment brought
older practitioners to him for counsel and
assistance. The professional side of Dr.
jMcClure's life was not the only source
of that really justifiable pride which the

life. He possessed on account of this the people of this city have a right to

power of winning the confidence, the com- acknowledge in naming him as one of our

panionship and the respect of young peo- most prominent citizens. His eminence

pie and deepened the love and sympathy as a physician would alone have made

of his older friends. him an important member of any com-

In his home life Dr. McClure main- munity. His record as a soldier and

tained the same quiet, cheerful serenity patriot made his name honorable. His

that marked his professional and public standing among men identified with the

life. He was indeed a comrade and best interests of the county and state was

adviser to whom the members of his
household could always go, certain of
comfort and sympathetic companionship.
In spite of his busy, busy life he found
much time to devote to the education and
welfare of his children, continuing the

unimpeachable. He served his commu-
nity faithfully as a schoolman, as politi-
cian in the best sense of the word and as
a friend of every good work. He served
his country honorably as a surgeon in the
army; he served his profession conscien-



tiously and his church with the deep con-
sistent piety of a true Christian. But if
Abou Ben Adhem's prayer :

"I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fehow-

could be uttered in connection with the
name of any in our community, then Dr.
McClure's name would surely "lead all
the rest."

In 1858 Dr. McClure was married at
Homer, Illinois, to Miss Maria Conkey, a
native of Massachusetts, who lived but
a year after her marriage. In the fall of
i860 Dr. McClure wedded Emily Porter,
a daughter of Colonel Asbury B. and
Martha ( Brazelton) Porter, who were
among the earliest settlers of Henry
county, and also numbered among her
best known citizens.

-Mrs. McClure is a granddaughter of
General Samuel and Sarah (Caulk)
Brazelton. who came to Henry county
with Mrs. McClure' s parents in 1835.
General Brazelton was a commissioned
officer of the Black Hawk war, living at
the time of hostilities in Illinois, to which
state he had emigrated with his wife and
children from Guilford county, North
Carolina. He was also one of the first
commissioners selected in Henry county
when it was a part of the Wisconsin terri-
tory. Mrs. McClure's grandparents on
both sides w^ere among the representative
families in Iowa, doing much for its
development and permanent growth.
"Mother" Porter, as Mrs. McClure's
mother was called by her neighbors and
friends during her later years, was noted
for high intelligence and culture. It has
been said bv those who heard her narrate

the incidents and happenings of her early
pioneer life that her romances and tales
would make in print as readable and inter-
esting books as any of our colonial stories,
and Mrs. Porter would have been as ca-
pable of inditing them in her younger days.
The true Indian stories are the treasured
remembrances of her grandchildren. The
families have since 1835 been residents of
Henry county, the grandparents and par-
ents all having passed from their homes
here to the home beyond, while their
remains rest in "God's acre," in Mount
Pleasant. Mrs. McClure hands down to
her daughters an unbroken line of ances-
try from the emigration of the Porters
from England and the history of their
participation in the Revolutionary war.
Her father was from the Kentucky branch
of the family who settled at Lexington
and he was born in Bourbon county near
that city in 1808. Her mother's birth
occurred in Guilford county. North Caro-
lina, in 1 8 18. The pioneer spirit was
surely born in them for the Porters and
Brazeltons met as pioneers in Illinois and
uniting by marriage they came to Iowa as
frontier settlers. Here they found peace
and plenty and happiness in the simple
sturdy life that the early settlers lived,
gathering the "gold" they were told of in
the ripening harvests of yellow wheat and

Mrs. ]\IcClure has lived in Mount
Pleasant all her life, having been born in
Henry county in 1839, when it was a part
of the Wisconsin territory. She is proud
of her title as given to the children of pio-
neers at the old settlers' meeting — that of
one of the pioneer "babies." She was edu-
cated at Howe's Academv and the Iowa



Wesleyan University, having for her
teacher Senator Harlan, on which ac-
count he was selected by her to perform
the marriage ceremony on the 20th of
November, i860. Dr. and Mrs. McClure
were the parents of three children, but
Victor, the only son, died in 1870. Mary
McClure Kelly lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Martha, the youngest, is at home and was
associated with her father in his manufac-
turing business — the Western \Vheeled
Scraper Company at Aurora, Illinois, and
other manufacturing interests.

That Dr. McClure was loved and hon-
ored by the old friends and soldiers, the
following resolutions wdiich were adopted
by the Grand Army Corps to which he
belonged show :


"Whereas, In the death of the late Dr.
A. \\\ McClure the state of Iowa has lost
one of her most learned and illustrious
physicians, Henry county one of her most
honored, most respected and most loved
citizens, this community one of its best
friends and most conspicuous members,
and we of McFarland Post one of our
most patriotic, chivarlrous, generous, and
loyal comrades, therefore be it

"Resolved, That during his active and
long career as a physician, wherein he has
occupied the highest position in the gift
of the State Medical Society, there has
been illustrated the noblest ideals of pro-
fessional honor, the most unswerving
devotion to the dignity of his profession
and a burning zeal for the enlargement
of the service and help which the true
physician owes to the individual, the com-
munity and the state.

"Resolved, That his relation to this

community, his example as a Christian
gentleman, the breadth of his mind and
the benevolence of his heart, the sim-
plicity and purity of his life, his especial
interest in and helpfulness to the young,
his respect for the aged and tenderness for
the unfortunate, and above all the abiding
charity wath wdiich he regarded his fel-
low men make his death, although ripe
in years and full of honors, a painful and
permanent loss.

"Resolved, That we, his comrades of
McFarland Post, hereby express our deep
loss and personal bereavement. In him
was exemplified the true spirit of com-
radeship ; genial, generous, tactful and
inspiring, he held his comrades in high
and just esteem and inspired in them a
corresponding confidence and soldierly
affection. Few men w^ere actuated with
deeper patriotism or a more sincere and
personal love of country. He kept the
incense of patriotism ever burning upon
the altar, was zealous beyond example for
the good name of his country, and loved
its flag with a deep and ardent affection.
His public addresses and political speeches
were appeals to patriotism and he never
lost an opportunity to inspire in all with
whom he came in contact an abiding love
of country.

"Resolved, That as a surgeon in the
army he was comprehensive and capable,
organizing and administering relief ably
and effectively. Tender and affectionate
to the unfortunate victim of war's desola-
tion his hand w^as as ready to administer
relief to the ills of the body as was his
heart to bind up the broken spirit.

Resolved, That while the loss from
his home to his bereaved widow and



grieving daughters is one beyond word
to assuage, ^^■e can but commend them to
the God of their departed husband and
father and to the consolation that his vir-
tues in all the relations of life will long
keep his memory green.

"Ed N. Kitchen,
"George VanBeek,
"G. W. Laird,
"C. M. Snyder,
"Committee McFarland
Post, No. 20, G. A. R."


\\'illiam Henry Pickle, owning a valu-
able tract of land of eighty acres, whereon
he engages in general farming and stock-
raising, was born in Union county Penn-
sylvania, August 14, 1846. His paternal
grandparents were Baldus and Sophia
(Van Horn) Pickle, natives of Pennsyl-
vania and New Jersey, respectively. Their
son, Joseph Pickle, was born in the Key-
stone state, and having arrived at years
of maturity was married to Mary Jane
Whitaker, a daughter of John Whitaker.
The maternal grandfather was a soldier
of the war of 181 2, and in battle was
w^ounded in the hand, having two fingers
taken off. He was also stabbed in the
back with a bayonet at Stony Creek, and
was shot in the side. Receiving a land
grant in recognition of his services, he
located this in McDonough county, Illi-
nois, in 1848. He never removed to the
middle west, however, but continued to

make his home in Pennsylvania until his

Removing to the west, Joseph Pickle
secured a farm, which he improved. It
was nearly all prairie, and the tract com-
prised one hundred and sixty acres, which
he cultivated and developed, residing
thereon until 1864, when he sold that
property and came to Baltimore township,
Henry county, Iowa, purchasing two
hundred and twenty-five acres of land on
sections 31 and 32. This was only par-
tially improved, and he began the task of
its further development and cultivation.
As the years passed, he brought his fields
up to a high state of improvement, and
gathered therefrom rich and abundant
harvests. He continued a representative
agriculturist of this part of the state until
his death, which occurred on the 5th of
August, 1888. His wife sun-ived him
for only a brief period, passing away on
the 17th of August of the same year. The
children of this family are: Catherine
M., who resides with her brother Benja-
min ; William, of this review; John S.,
who is living in the state of Washington ;
Benjamin F., who makes his home in Bal-
timore township; and J. R., also of the
state of ^^^ashington.

William H. Pickle was a young lad
when his parents removed to Illinois, and
he acquired his education in the district
schools of that state and of Henry county.
He continued under the parental roof not
only during the period of his boyhood, but
also lived with his parents until they were
called to their final rest, after which he
and his brother Benjamin purchased the
interest of the other heirs in the home
property. They were associated in their



business dealings until 1902, when the
partnership was dissolved. Mr. Pickle
has eighty acres of the best portion of the
farm and carries on the work of tilling
the soil and of raising cattle and hogs.
He is a busy man, whose life is one of
usefulness and activity, and in his labors
he is meeting with very gratifying suc-

In December, 1891. Mr. Pickle was
united in marriage to Miss Telitha Cath-
erine Renner, who was born in Baltimore
township, and is a daughter of George
and Nancy (Yates) Renner. Mr. and
Mrs. Pickle now have a son, William
Lee, born October 24, 1892. The father
is a republican in his political views, and
served as constable of his township for
one term, but otherwise has never sought
or desired office, preferring to concentrate
his energies upon his business affairs,
which are now carefully conducted. He
has lived in this county from the age of
eighteen years, and possesses many ster-
ling traits of character, which have awak-
ened for him high regard.


John N. Waters is the owner of sev-
enty-three acres of land on section 33.
Canaan township, and although he is not
now actively engaged in tilling the soil,
he yet gives considerable attention to the
feeding of stock, which he carries on ex-
tensively. He is one of the native sons
of the county, his birth having here oc-

curred on the loth of December, 1854, his
parents being Samuel and Mary (Ketch-
um) Waters, the former a native of Ohio
and the latter of Indiana. The paternal
grandparents were William and Nancy
Waters. The father came to Henry county
ty in 1847 ^nd purchased a farm in New
London township. He had been married
in Indiana, and had lived there for some
years prior to the removal of the family
to Iowa. Two children had been born
unto them in Indiana, and here the family
circle was extended by the birth of six
children, making in all six sons and two
daug-hters, of whom John N. \A^aters was
the fifth in order of birth.

In taking up the personal history of
Mr. Waters, of this review, we present
to our readers the life record of one who
is widely and favorably known in agricul-
tural circles in Henry county. He at-
tended the district schools of Canaan
township, and when not busy with his text-
books his attention was largely given to
the work of the home farm. He contin-
ued under the parental roof until twenty-
two years of age, when he bought a farm
of one hundred and thirteen acres, which
was improved only with a fence and an
old house. He rebuilt the house, making
it a place of four rooms. He also built a
prairie stable, and about ten years later
built a good barn, twenty-six by thirty-
six feet. To this he has since added un-
til its present dimensions are thirty-six
by forty-eight feet. In 1903 he converted
it into a cattle barn and erected a barn
for his horses, twenty-four by thirty-two
feet. He has upon the place one double
corn crib and has three single cribs. The
land is well tiled and is now very arable



and productive. The place comprises sev-
enty-three acres on section 33, Canaan
township, and since 1900 he has rented
most of his land, while he gives his at-
tention to the feeding- of cattle and hogs,
feeding- about three carloads of cattle and
one hundred head of hogs annually. He
finds this a profitable source of industry,
for he is an excellent judge of stock, and
is, therefore, enabled to make judicious
purchases and profitable sales.

On the 5th of September. 1877, Mr.
Waters was united in marriage to Miss
Sarah Moon, who was born in Henry
county. Iowa, but was reared in Illinois,
and acquired her education in the com-
mon schools of that state. Her parents
were Jesse and Nancy (Woody) Moon.
]\Ir. and Mrs. A\^aters were married in
Henry county, where his wife had resided
for two years previous. Their union has
been blessed with two children. Fred T.,
born October 3, 1879, married Elizabeth
Pricket, and is now a farmer of Van Bu-
ren county, Iowa. Jennie, born October
6, 1881, married Clyde \\'ilson. who owns
eighty acres adjoining his father's place.

For a half century Mr. \\'aters has
been a witness of the growth and develop-
ment of Henry county, and has seen many
changes, which have wrought a marked
transformation, as the wild land has been
reclaimed and cultivated, and as all the
evidences of eastern civilization have been
introduced into the towns and villages
He votes with the Republican party, and
is an active and valued member of the
Methodist Episcopal church, serving a^
president of its board of trustees since
1899, and doing all in his power to pro-
mote its growth and extend its influence.


John Thomas Crain, one of Henry
county's natiA'e sons living in Canaan
township, was born in New London
township on the 21st of June, 1852, and
acquired his education as a district school
student and by one term's study in the
high school at New London. During
this period he remained under the paren-
tal roof. He is a son of William and
Hannah (Griffith) Crain, both natives of
Ohio, the latter born in Somerset, ^^'hen
the tide of emigration was steadily flow-
ing westward and men and women made
their way toward the setting sun in order
to enjoy the advantages that might be
secured in new districts, ^\^illiam Crain
and his wife made their way from the
Buckeye state to Iowa, settling in New
London in 1842. They traveled down
the Ohio and up the Mississippi river to
Burlington, and after establishing his
home in New London Mr. Crain worked
at his trade of cabinet-making, which he
had learned in the east. His first pur-
chase of land was a farm two miles west
of the village, and in the course of years
he owned several different farms, mak-
ing judicious investment of his capital
in real estate. All he possessed was ac-
quired through his own efforts and
proved conclusively that success is not
a matter of genius, but the outcome of
clear judgment, experience and indefati-
eable labor. He continued until his death
a respected and honored resident of
Henry county, remaining here for almost
six decades. He died in the spring of
1900, at the ageof eighty years and passed
away respected and honored by all who



knew him. His wife is still living upon
the old homestead and she, too, has
reached the age of four-score years.

John Thomas Grain spent the days of
his boyhood under the parental roof, re-
maining at home until twenty-two years
of age, and thus gained practical knowl-
edge of farm methods, for from an early
ao;e he assisted his father in the labors of
the field and the improvement of the
farm. At the age of twenty-two he se-
cured employment in the tile factory at
Mount Pleasant, where he worked for
one season. He was afterward employed
on a dairy farm near the county seat
for a year, and in 1876 he left Iowa and
went to the southeastern part of Ne-
braska, where he was emploA'ed at farm
labor b}' the month. After four months
he came to New London and remained
at home up to the time of his marriage.

It was on the 15th of March, 1877,

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 43 of 85)