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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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that Mr. Grain was united in marriage
to Alice Gary Houseman, daughter of
Jacob and Susan (Spearman) House-
man, the former a native of Cumberland
county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of
Franklin county, Kentucky. The parents
came to Iowa at an early day and their
daughter, Mrs. Grain, was reared in
Mount Pleasant, where she entered the
public schools, passing through succes-
sive grades until she became a high school
student, while later she attended the Iowa
Wesleyan University. Unto Mr. and
Mrs. Grain have been born two daugh-
ters, Estella May and Susan Hannah.
The former, born December 22, 1877, is
the wife of Glarence Hockett, a resident
farmer of Marion township. Susan H.,
born October 16, 1883, is the wife of



Glyde Thompson, who follows farming
in Ganaan township.

John T. Grain, following his marriage,
located upon the old home place, where
he resided until the fall of the same year,
when he removed to Genter township,
where he lived for two years. He then
returned to the dairy farm, where he had
previously been employed, working there
until the fall of the same year, when he
went to southeastern Nebraska and en-
gaged in the cultivation of a rented farm
for five years. He next removed to the
northwestern part of the state, where he
took a homestead claim, which he proved
up and afterward rented the land. On
the 24th of December, 1891, lie removed
to Genter township, Henry county, where
he lived for five years with his mother-
in-law. Subsequently he rented a farm
in 3tIarion township for three years, at
the end of which time he took up his
abode -upon the Young farm in Ganaan
township, where he resided for a year.
In the fall of 1901 he purchased eighty
acres of farm land on section 16, Ganaan
township, which was improved. He has
here built a pleasant residence, has re-
modeled the barns, has built corn cribs
and has added other modern accessories.
He uses the latest improved machinery
in the care of his fields, and in all of his
work is practical and enterprising, the
result of his labor being seen in the ex-
cellent crops which are annually har-
vested. He also raises horses, cattle and
hogs, and the sale of his stock adds ma-
terially to his annual income.

In matters of citizenship Mr. Grain
displays the progressive spirit which
leads to acti\e co-operation in plan and



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



373



movements for the g-eneral good. He is
a republican and fraternall}- is connected
with the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows at Mount Pleasant, while religiously
he is connected with the Methodist
Episcopal church. These associations in-
dicate something of the character of the
man. showing that he is in hearty svm-
patliy with the principles of mutual help-
fulness and right living.



GEORGE W. BIRD.

George \\\ Bird omus. occupies and op-
erates a valuable farm of one hundred and
seventy-five acres situated on sections 25
and 36, Marion township. The place is
known as the Spring Brook farm, and is
a valuable property, which in its neat and
thrifty appearance indicates the careful
supervision and progressive methods of
the owner. His birth occurred in Marion
township, August 25. 1868, his parents
being James W. and Deborah Elizabeth
(White) Bird. The father, Rev. James
Bird, was bom in Pennsylvania. February
14. 1820. and was raised and educated in
the same community. Upon leaving the
Keystone state he removed to Ohio, and
in 1844 came to Iowa, settling in Marion
township, Henry county. He cast in his
lot with the pioneer residents and was
deeph' interested in the growth and prog-
ress of the community as it developed from
primitive conditions and took on all the
improvements of an advanced civiliza-
tion. Mr. Bird was a local preacher of



the Methodist Episcopal church, and at
different times held both the \Vashington
and Eureka circuits, besides preaching
many times to fill vacancies. He was called
upon very frequently to officiate at funer-
als and has performed innumerable mar-
riage ceremonies, many still living in this
community for whom he tied the nuptial
knot. He also preached in Ohio before
his removal to the middle west.

Flis study of the political issues of the
day led him to give his support to the
Republican party, and he was likewise in-
terested in the public schools, being school
trustee, school director, and president of
the board. On November 3, 1865, he was
united in marriage to Deborah E. White,
born in Virginia, Januaiy 4, 1834. Her
parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (Kibbler)
^^d^ite, with their family, drove through
from Virginia to Iowa in 1846, and set-
tled in Jefferson toxMiship, when neigh-
bors were few and far between. In reli-
gious belief ]Mr. White was a Ouaker. and
politically a whig. Death claimed him in
1856. and his widow in 1875. Miss White
was raised in Jefferson township and fin-
ished her education in the Iowa Wesleyan
University, later teaching in the country
schools for fourteen years. Unto ]\Ir. and
Mrs. Bird were born six children, of
whom five are yet living: Pearl T. mar-
ried to Miss Clara Deal and resides in
Scott township, near ]\Iount Union, Iowa ;
George W., of this review; ]\Iary Bessie,
married to L. W. Cutlerand living at Shell
Lake, Wisconsin; Frank A., who married
Blanche Augusta Courtney and resides in
Mount Pleasant; and Jennie L..who makes
her home with her mother, in jNIount
Pleasant. Mr. Bird was claimed bv death



374



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



in May, 1893, but his widow is still liv-
ing, and at the age of seventy-two years
is enjoying excellent health for a person
of her age.

George W. Bird is indebted to the pub-
lic school system of Marion township for
the educational privileges he enjoyed.
Through the months of vacation he as-
sisted in the labors of the fields and de-
voted his attention to the further improve-
ment of the home property. After leaving
school he continued with his father until
the time of his marriage. That important
event in his life occurred on the 3d of
March, 1891, Miss Letitia Heston be-
coming his wife. She was born in Ba-
tavia. New York, October 3, 1863, and is
a daughter of John and Elizabeth ( Canljy )
Heston. The father followed farming in
the east, and after removing to the west,
in 1874, settled upon a farm in Marion
township, Henry county, where he carried
on general agricultural pursuits up to the
time of his death, on the 24th of May,
189 1. His widow still survives him and
is now living in Albany, Oregon, at the
age of about seventy-seven years, her birth
having occurred in 1829, while ]Mr. Hes-
ton was born in 1820.

]\Ir. Heston endorsed republican prin-
ciples, served as a school officer, and for
fifteen or twenty years acted as school
treasurer in Marion township. He held
membership in the Episcopal church, of
which Mrs. Heston is still a communicant.
In their family were eight children, of
whom six are h^-ing: Rachel, who re-
sides with her brother in Seattle, Wash-
ington; Mary, the wife of Edward Price,
of Albany, Oregon; Esther, who for ten
years has been employed in the pension



office at Des Moines ; Letitia, now Mrs.
Bird; George, who married Lizzie Leon-
ard (now deceased), residing in Seattle;
and Elizabeth, the wife of Reuben Golden,
of Shell Lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Bird have three children,
and the family circle yet remains unbroken
by the hand of death. These are: Flor-
ence, born October 22, 1892; Esther, born
June 4, 1896; and Ralph, born April 29,
1902. The family home stands in a finely
improved tract of land of one hundred and
seventy-fi\'e acres, well known in this part
of the state as the Spring Brook farm. The
place is attractive in its many improve-
ments and well kept appearance, and Mr.
Bird has here carried in general agricul-
tural ])ursuits since 1893. He is also a
stock raiser buys and sells cattle and hogs,
and deals quite extensively in horses, and
his close application to his business and
his unfaltering perseverance constitute the
secret of his un\'arying and unbounded
success.

Mr. Bird \otts with the Republican
party and has ser^•ed as township trustee,
but is not a politician in the sense of office
seeking, although he keeps well informed
on the questions of the day and is loyal
to the principles in which he believes. He
belongs to Henry Lodge, No. 10, Lide-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, at Mount
Pleasant, and also to the Modern Wood-
men of America Camp, No. 625. Mrs.
Bird is a member of the Episcopal church.
They are highly esteemed people of the
community, and Mr. Bird is a worthy son
of Heniy county, being a typically repre-
sentative citizen, possessing" the enterprise
which has been the dominant factor in the
upbuilding of the middle west.



HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.



v5/D



ARTHUR CHARLES JAEGER.

Arthur Charles Jaeger, conducting an
upholstering and undertaking establish-
ment on Xorth ]\lain street, in Alount
Pleasant, was born in Burlington, Iowa,
July, 7, 1870, while his parents, Melcher
and Anna (Dauner) Jaeger, were both na-
tives of Germany, born there in 1834 and
1835 respectively. They were married in
Germany, December 4, 1857, and soon came
to America on an old-time sailing vessel
which was about thirty days in making the
voyage, during \\hich they encountered
two severe storms, l^ut at length anchor
was dropped in the harbor of Xew York.
]\Ir. and Airs. Jaeger did not tarry in the
east but made their way at once to Bur-
lington, Iowa. There the father learned the
shoemakers trade, which he followed until
about 1875, and has since been employed
in the \A'est Burlington Railroad shops.
Unto him and his wife ha^•e been born
twelve children, but only two are now
living: Arthur Charles; and L. M. Jae-
ger. The latter married Miss Lizzie
Hahn, of Mount Rose, Iowa, and they re-
side in Burlington, where he is engaged
in Ijusiness as a cigarmaker. By a pre-
vious marriage he had two children. Hazel
and Arnold. Melcher Jaeger votes inde-
pendently, and in religious faith both he
and his wife are connected with the Ger-
man Lutheran church, at Burlington.

Arthur Charles Jaeger was educated in
the public schools of his native city and
entered business life when fifteen years of
age as an employe of W. G. Hoer, a cigar
box manufacturer on Jefferson street. Bur-
lington, with whom he remained for two
years. He then spent six months in the



Embalming Burial Case factor}^ after
which he learned the upholstering business,
remaining in the employ of the firm of
Chittenden & Eastman for four years. He
next spent one year as an employe in the
Burlington mattress factory, after which
he was again connected with Chittenden &
Eastman until 1894. In March, 1895,
he came to Mount Pleasant and worked
for J. M. Brunner & Brother, conducting
business under the name of the Mount
Pleasant Furniture Company. He occu-
pied that position until September, 1903,
and in November, of that year, he opened
an undertaking and upholstering establish-
ment of his own. He had learned the un-
dertaking business with Mr. Brunner, of
Mount Pleasant, and was licensed b}- the
state board of health at Des IMoines, hav-
ing fine undertaking rooms at No. 217
North Main street, where he also conducts
an upholstering business, and is accorded
a liberal patronage.

In September, 1900, ]\Ir. Jaeger was
married to MissAUieB. Johnson, of Mount
Pleasant, Iowa. Her father died about a
quarter of a centuiy ago, while her mother,
Mrs. Matilda (Ketcham) Johnson, is now
living with Mr. and Mrs. Jaeger. In the
Johnson family there were two children :
Frank, who is married and lives in Ot-
tumwa, Iowa, ^vhere he is employed by the
Pennsylvania Oil Ct^mpany; and Allie B..
who ^vas born on a farm south of Mount
Pleasant and is now the wife of our sul>
ject. Mrs. Jaeger was educated in the
public scohools of Alount Pleasant, and by
her marriage has become the mother of
two sons : Marion Arthur, born Septem-
loer 30. 190 1 : and Orville Melcher, No-
vember 20, 1902.



376



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



In his political views Mr. Jaeger is a
stalwart republican, but without aspiration
for office. He is a member of Mount
Pleasant Lodge, No. 8, Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons and the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Knights
of Pythias, and both he and his wife are
members of the Presbyterian church. He
is recognized as an enterprising, active and
energetic business man, reliable in his trade
transactions, and moreover, he deserves
all the praise implied in the term, a self-
made man. for since the age of fifteen
years he has been dependent entirely upon
his own resources, working for adA-antages
which other boys had provided for them,
and winning advancement through capa-
bility, integrity and unfaltering diligence.



CHARLES SUMNER ROGERS.

Charles Sumner Rogers, editor of the
Mount Pleasant News, was born in North
Windham, Maine, April 14, 1868, a son
of Sumner and ]\lartha C. (Page) Rog-
ers, who were also natives of North Wind-
ham. The father was a stationary' engineer
in tlie Pine Tree state, and on leaving
Maine he removed to Maynard, ]\Iassa-
chusetts. when his son Charles was three
years of age. There he has continued in
the same line of business, still making his
home in Alaynard. Li politics he is a
republican and both he and his wife are
members of the Congregational church.
He has always been loyal and public spir-
ited in citizenship and at the time of the



Cw'W \\2iV he became a member of the
navy and by enlisting twice served
throughout the perod of hostilities, being
engaged mostly in blockade service and
spending the entire time on salt w^ater in
protecting the coast. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Rog-
ers were the parents of four children, of
whom two are living : Charles S. ; and
Warren O, who resides in Cleveland,
Ohio.

Charles Sumner Rogers is indebted to
the public schools of ]\Iaynard, Massa-
chusetts, for the early educational privi-
leg"es he enjoyed and he pursued his high
school studies in Concord. ]Massachusetts,
after which he became a student in Wes-
leyan University, at ^Nlount Pleasant. He
was graduated in 1891 and on the morning
following the commencement exercises he
entered upon his business career as an em-
ploye of the Burlington Hawk-Eye Com-
panv with wihch he continued until he pur-
chased the Mount Pleasant Daily and
Weekly News, becoming owner on the ist
of January, 1892. He first conducted the
business on North Jefferson street, but af-
terward removed to North Alan street in
1898 and has since continued the publica-
tion of the paper, which is a. bright and
entertaining journal, published in accord-
ance with the most modern ideas of news-
paper art.

On the 1 8th of April, 1894, Mr. Rog-
ers was united in marriage to Miss Lillian
Kendig, a daughter of O. J. and Nannie
(Henderson) Kendig, the fonner a native
of Ohio, and the latter of Virginia. Mr.
Kendig is engaged in the grocery busi-
ness in Knoxville, Iowa, where he and his
wife have a pleasant home. The paternal
grandfather of ]\Irs. Rogers was a minis-



HEXRY COUNTY, IOWA.



Z77



ter of the ^Methodist church. Her father
is a repiibhcan in his political views but
without aspiration for office. A veteran
of the Civil war, he was with the Union
army throughout the period of hostilities,
enlisting at Oskaloosa in the Thirty-third
Iowa Infantry. Mrs. Rogers is an only
child and was born June 14, 1870. By
her marriage she has become the mother
of two sons : Warren, who was born
January 2y, 1895; and Elbert, born Oc-
tober 14, 1896. Both are students in the
public schools of Mount Pleasant. The
family home is on South ^^^alnut street,
where ]\Ir. Rogers recently erected a resi-
dence. Both Mr. and j\Irs. Rogers hold
membership in the First Methodist Episco-
pal church, in which he is one of the stew-
ards. He is also trustee of the Iowa Wes-
leyan University, having served for six
years, now serving on his second term, and
is also acting as trustee of the public li-
brary. Fraternally he is connected with the
Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.
Politically he is a republican and is serving
as government oil inspector, having filled
the office since the ist of July, 1902. A
young man of good business ability and
enterprise, he is ever watchful of oppor-
tunities pointing to success in his news-
paper career, and is equally alert to the
possibilities for advancement in the city
and is recognized as the champion of many
progressive movements which have been
of material benefit to Mount Pleasant. He
is justly accounted one of the progressive
citizens, upright and fair in his dealings,
and a pleasant, cordial nature has won for
both Mr. and Mrs. Rogers a large circle
of warm friends in Mount Pleasant and
vicinity.



RICHARD W. HOBBIE.

One of the prominent German- Ameri-
can citizens of Canaan township, Henry
county, Iowa, is Richard W. Hobbie. He
is of German parentage and birth, and
has for many years followed successfully
the occupation of farming and stock-rais-
ing. Having at first learned by actual
experience the methods of conducting the
work of a farm, he has made a decided
success of "his life work.

Richard W. Hobbie was born in Olden-
burg, Germany, September 14. 1857, and
during the vears of his childhood and
early youth attended the public schools of
his native country. In 1870, when Rich-
ard was thirteen years of age. his parents
had come to America, and when they
moved to Burlington Richard attended
the Burlington Eutheran school there for
two years, then the parents moving to
Canaan township, the son entered the pub-
lic school there for two years, at the end
of which time he went to Mount Pleas-
ant and became a student in the Iowa
Weslevan Universitv. Later he finished
his education by a course in the business
college at Burlington.

He lived with his parents until he
reached the age of twenty-two years, when
he left the parental roof to establish a
home of his own. having, on March 28.
1879. wedded Frederica Coleman, who
was of his own nationality, being a daugh-
ter of Henry and Henrietta (Harms)
Coleman, both bom in Hanover, Ger-
many. They came to Clinton, Iowa, in
1 87 1, where the daughter received the
most of her education.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Hobbie



3/8



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



rented eighty acres of land of Caleb
Dailey, where he lived for one year, and
then moved to liis father's farm, where
he remained another year. He then un-
dertook a new enterprise, starting a tile
factory in Des Moines county, near New
London. After four years in this line of
work he sold out his business and moved
to Cambridge. Nebraska, and again en-
tered upon the life of a farmer and stock-
raiser. He took up a homestead of one
hundred and sixty acres, and added to it
by subsequent purchases imtil he acquired
in all five hundred and twenty acres. He
expended about four thousand dollars in
improvements, and placed one hundred
and sixty acres under cultivation, raising
mainly wheat and corn. His stock-rais-
ing- was confined mostly to the breeding
of cattle, and he had a herd of about one
hundred and fifty head a year. He lived
on his Nebraska farm for seventeen years,
and in the spring of 1902, feeling that he
was needed by his father, he leased this
property and returned to his old home
near New London. He has since been
employed in cultivating this place and
caring for his father, who has become
totally blind.

]\Ir. and Mrs. Hobble's eldest son. Wil-
liam, was born April 5. 1880, educated
in the public schools and high school of
Cambridge, Nebraska, and commercial
college of Lincoln of the same state. He
was employed as assistant cashier in the
Mount L^nion State bank for two years
and bookkeeper for J. E. Peterson in his
general store in New London, then trav-
eled six months, selling whips and leather.
Li 1904 lie. in company with H. R. Wil-
liams, bought the elevator at Mount



L'nion, and he is still engaged in the buy-
ing and selling of wheat. The other chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Hobble are: Paul-
ine, born December 26, 1883, Emma and
Otto.

Mr. Hobbie is a member and supporter
of the German Evangelical church. In
his political views he is a democrat, and
has filled with credit several municipal
offices. For two years he was justice of
the peace. He has fraternal relations
with the Ancient Order of United W^ork-
men.

Richard W. Hobbie is a man worthy
of the admiration and respect of all young
men who would succeed in life. He early
learned that he was adapted both by train-
ing and by temperament to a life devoted
to agricultural pursuits. He has kept this
in view, and has, by applying himself to
his chosen work, made a success of his
life. He has acquired the means of as-
suring himself and his family a comfort-
able and a happy future.



CHARLIE SCALES.

Charlie Scales, who is now conducting
the old Scales homestead farm in Canaan
to\\'nship, Henry county, has traveled
quite extensively, visiting many parts of
this country, and has gained thereby the
knowledge and culture which only travel
can bring. There is nothing \A-hich so
broadens the mind of a man as to learn
of other people than those among whom
he has been reared, and the different



HEXRY COUNTY, lOJJ'A.



379



views of life which are held by others
owing to conditions and environments
totally different from those in which he
has been reared. ^h\ Scales was born
in Henry comity. April 3, 1864, a son of
John and ^Margaret (^McLean) Scales,
both of whom were natives of Ireland,
in which country they spent their child-
hood and youth and were married. On
crossing the Atlantic to the new world
thev made their way to Ohio, where they
resided for some years and then came
to Mount Pleasant, Henry county. The
father here rented a farm, upon which
he lived for about five years, after which
he leased a farm in Scott towniship for
eisfht vears. In the meantime he care-
fully saved his earnings and by his fru-
gality and industry acquired capital suffi-
cient to enable him to purchase land. He
then invested in two hundred and forty
acres in the southeastern part of section
2, Canaan township, which at that time
was unimproved. ^^'ith characteristic
energy he took up the task of clearing
and cultivating the fields and he has
drained the place by tiling. He has
erected good buildings and now^ has one
of the finest farms in this section of the
state. His life has been one of unremit-
ting energy and thrift, but he is now liv-
ing a retired life. His wife died May
7, 1877, at the age of fifty-nine years,
four months and twenty days, and for
some time thereafter he continued to man-
age and cultivate the farm, but in more
recent years has lived in Mount Union in
the enjoyment of a well earned rest. In
his family w^ere eight children : William,
who is now living in Utah ; Mary, the
wife of W. R. Buchanan, of Mount



Union; Tames, of Idaho; Lizzie, the wife
of Frank Gawthrop; John, a resident of
Los Angeles ; Charlie, of this review ;
Fannie, the wife of Owen Wynne, lixing
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Ella, the wife
of Charles Jones, of Washington. Iowa.

Charlie Scales at the usual age began
his education in the common schools of
Henry county, and through the periods
of vacation he assisted in farm labor
upon the old homestead. He remained
on that farm for about three years after
his mother's death and then after several
months of travel he returned home and
again gave his time and energies to farm
labor for two years, when he again spent
several years traveling in the western
states. On again coming to Iowa he set-
tled in the northwest corner of the state,
being employed at farm labor there for
three months. Coming to the home
place, he continued until the following
April, wdien he again spent some time in
travel and then again located upon the
old homestead farm near ]\Iount Union,
where he has since devoted his time and
energies to general agricultural pursuits.
In addition to the tilling of the soil, he
raises cattle and hogs and has a good
grade of farm animals upon his place.
In all of his work he is practical and
systematic and his labors have resulted
successfully in the improvement of his
farm and in the acquirement of a com-
fortable competence.

On the 30th of September, 1903. Mr.
Scales was married to Miss Alta Cornic,
who Avas born in Des Moines county and
was educated in the district schools there.
Her paternal grandparents were Charles
and Margaret (Lavton) Cornic, the for-



38o



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



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 44 of 85)