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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 45 of 85)
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mer a native of Ohio and the latter of
Ihinois. Thomas Cornic, father of Mrs.
Scales, was born in Burlington, Iowa,
and wedded Aliss ]\Iary Gabeline, who
was also born in that city and was a
daughter of Jacob and Emily (\\'alkerj
Gabeline, the f()rmer a native of Ger-
many and the latter of Burlington, Iowa.
Unto ]\Ir. and Mrs. Thomas Cornic were
born five sons and live daughters : Elmer,
living in Scott township, Henry county ;
Estella. the wife of John Crawford ; Alta ;
Jay, who also resides in Scott township :
Mamie, the wife of George Burg, of
Henrv county ; Weaker, Pearl and Ray.
all with their parents in this county, and
Grace and Hattie, twins, at home.

Mr. and ]\Irs. Scales are well known
in this part of the state and ha^'e a large
circle of friends. Mr. Scales votes with
the Republican party, but has manifested
no aspiration for the honors nor emolu-
ments of office, preferring to give his im-
divided attention to his business affairs
in which he has met \\'ith success.


Jacob H. Deyarman. who owns, occu-
pies, and operates a well improved farm
of one hundred and fifty-six acres on
section i8, Scott township, was born in
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, July i,
1853, and is a son of Hugh and Belle
(Kyle) Deyarman, both of whom were
also natives of Fayette county. His pater-
nal grandparents were Hugh and Belle
(Spratt) Deyarman, natives of county

Down, Ireland, while maternal grandpar-
ents were Jacob and Elizabeth (Stewart)
Kyle, ■♦whose birth occurred in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania. The father spent
his entire life in the Keystone state, his
death occurring in 1863. The mother
resided there until 1881, when she went
with her daughter to Holt county. Ne-
braska, where she died November 20,

Jacob H. Deyarman spent the first
twenty-one years of his life in the place
of his nativity and is indebted to the
public schools for the educational privi-
liges he enjoyed. In 1874 he came to
Iowa, settling first at \Mnfield, where he
worked at the blacksmith's trade for four
years, having mastered the business in
Pennsylvania. He then turned his atten-
tion to agricultural pursuits and rented a
farm in Scott township for eight years.
He afterward purchased forty acres on
section 18 and lived there for a year, when
he rented the place and went to Califor-
nia, spending the winter there. In the
spring he returned and ag"ain took up his
abode on his farm but afterward rented
his farm and leased another farm on
which he resided for two years. He then
sold his farm and bought one hundred
and fifty-six acres on the southwest quar-
ter of section 18, Scott township, upon
Avhich he took up his abode. It was
improved to some extent but he has since
built a buggy shed and com crib and has
laid twenty thousand tile upon the place.
He has added one hundred and twenty-
five acres to the original purchase, so
that he now has a valuable farm of two
hundred and eighty acres, which is
equipped with modern accessories and



improvements and is a very desirable
farm property.

On the 29th of November, 1877, Mr.
Deyarman was married to Miss Allie
Huntsbury, who was born in Piqua
county, Ohio, and there attended the com-
mon schools. Her parents were Jacob
and Catherine (Bowman) Huntsburv,
both of whom were natives of Virginia,
whence they came to Henry county in
1 87 1. Mr. and Mrs. Deyarman have
seven children : Callie Belle, Elvira,
Charles \\'illiam, Grover Cleveland, Leroy
Lester, Alta and Myra. In politics Mr.
Deyarman is independent. The cause of
education, however, finds in him a warm
friend and he served as school director
for several terms. He and his family are
held in hig-h regard in the community
where they reside and his example in busi-
ness life is worthy of emulation for his
record proves what can be accomplished
by earnest purpose, indefatigable energy
and unremitting diligence. He has
depended entirely upon his own efforts
for a livelihood and is now enabled to
provide for his family all of the comforts
and manv of the luxuries of life.


The Swedish element is an important
one in our American citizenship. The
sons of Sweden have come to the new
world and have readily adapted them-
selves to altered conditions and surround-
ings, manifesting at the same time the
unfaltering industry and perseverance

which have ever been characteristic of the
race. Thus they have become prosperous
citizens of the various communities in
which they have resided and at the same
time they are most loyal to their adopted

To this class of men Albert Johnson
belongs. He was born in Sweden on the
25th of March, 1843, ^i^d is a son of Elof
Johnson, who died in Sweden when
Albert Johnson was but an infant. The
mother afterward came with her family to
the new world, making her way to Jeffer-
son county, Iowa, and there the subject
of this review was reared and educated,
pursuing his studies in the public schools.
In 1862 he enlisted in Company H, 30th
Iowa Infantry, and served to the close of
the war and was honorably discharged at
Washington, D. C. He took part in sev-
eral of the important battles of the war.
He continued to reside in Jefferson county
until about 1873, when he removed to
Henry county and here purchased sixty-
five acres of land. The farm had been
enclosed on two sides by a fence and
there was an old house upon the place,
but this constituted all of the improve-
ments. ]Mr. Johnson tore down the house
and purchased a little house which he
removed to his place, living for some
years in that home. In the meantime his
labors had brought to him increased cap-
ital and he afterward built a new house of
five rooms. He has also added many
other modern improvements, building a
horse and hay barn and a shed for cattle
forty by forty feet. He also has a good
granar}^, chicken house and other build-
ings on his place and his land has been
brought to a productive condition by til-



ing. The fields are now under a high
state of cultivation and he annually har-
vests good crops as the result of the care
and labor which he bestows upon his

April i8th. 1874, Mr. Johnson was
united in marriage to Miss Annie Jacob-
son, who was born in Sweden and came
to the United States about 1865. This
marriage has been blessed with one son,
Henry Lyman, who was born in 1877 and
lives at home. He was carefully trained
to farm work and now tills the fields,
thus relieving his father of much labor,
so that Mr. Johnson has done little active
farm work in several years. In his polit-
ical views he is a stalwart republican, but
without aspiration for office. His reli-
gious faith is indicated by his membership
in the Swedish Lutheran church. Hav-
ing been brought to Iowa in early boy-
hood days by his mother, he has since
spent his years in Jefferson and Henry
counties and has been a witness of the
growth and progress of this section of the
state for about a half century. Great
changes have occurred during this time
and he has contributed to the general
agricultural development, his labors being
the source of a gratifying measure of suc-
cess which he is today enjoying.


Thomas Henessee operates a fine farm
of three hundred and sixtv'-four acres in
Baltimore township, the land being well

improved, and in addition to its cultiva-
tion he raises cattle and hogs. His life
has been one of continuous and well di-
rected activity, and he is classed with the
leading agriculturists of his community.
He was born in Rochester, New York,
December 23, 1852, and is a grandson of
Patrick and Catherine (Burk) Henessee,
natives of Ireland. His father, Patrick
Henessee, Jr., was born in County Kerry,
Ireland, and in 185 1 became a resident of
the state of New York. In the same year
Ellen Roach arrived in this country and
they were married in Rochester a few
months later. She was born in County
Cork. Ireland, and w^as a daughter of
Edmond and Catherine (Collins) Roach.
Patrick Henessee, Jr., engaged in business
as a laborer on different railroads in New
York prior to his removal to Ohio, where
he lived for a short time, coming thence
to Heniy county, Iowa, in 1858. He set-
tled in Mount Pleasant, where he still
worked on the railroad, living there for
a year. He then removed to New Lon-
don, where he resided until 1867, renting
a farm in New London township for a
year. He next purchased forty acres of
land on section 34 of the same township,
all of which \vas covered with timber and
in the midst of the forest he built a log
house of two rooms and began to clear
the tract, cutting away the trees and plac-
ing the land under cultivation. There he
resided until his death, which occurred
April 12. 1893, when he was sixty-seven
3'ears of age. his birth having occurred in
1827. His widow, who was born in 1834,
still survives and now makes her home
with her children. In their family were
three sons and four daughters.



Thomas Henessee, the eldest of the fam-
ily, was educated in the district schools
of Ohio and New London township, Henry
county, Iowa. His educational privileges,
however, were very meager and his knowl-
edge has been largely acquired through
reading and investigation since his mar-
riage. \\^hen fifteen years of age he be-
came an active helper of his father in the
work of clearing the farm and grubbing
out the stumps, and he was thus employed
until nineteen years of age. He was then
married on the 23d of October, 1870, to
Miss Farzina Prier, who was born in
New London township, June 4, 1853. Her
father, Michael C. Prier, was a native of
Hem-}' county, Indiana, and a son of Wes-
ley and Hannah (See) Prier, both of
whom were natives of Virginia. In pio-
neer days Wesley Prier came to Iowa and
entered from the government one hundred
and sixty acres of unimproved land in
New London township. Henr}^ county.
With the assistance of his sons he cleared
and cultivated the place and was actively
engaged in farm work up to the time of
his death. In fact, he died when working
in the fields, his demise being occasioned
by apoplexy. Michael C. Prier, having
arrived at years of maturity, wedded Miss
]\Iarv Ann Elcock. a native of London,
England, and a daughter of ^^^illiam and
Elizabeth Elcock, who were also natives
of that countrs^ Mr. Prier died May 5,
1902. He had for many 3-ears been a resi-
dent of this county and had become a pros-
perous farmer, accumulating a large and
valuable tract of land.

Following his marriage, Thomas Hen-
essee rented a farm in New London town-
ship for a year and then invested in eighty

acres of land on section 4, Baltimore town-
ship, which was but partially improved.
There was a log house and stable upon the
place and he lived in the fonner for two
years, when he replaced the little cabin
home by a frame dwelling. He cut off
the timber and plowed and planted the
fields, and as the years -passed kept adding
to his land until he had one hundred and
ten acres, constituting a well improved and
valuable farm, which he owned until he
disposed of it Januar}- 2, 1905. In the
meantime his wife's father had died, and
as she was his only heir she came into pos-
session of his farm, comprising three hun-
dred and sixty-four acres of productive
land, of which three hundred and thirty-
six acres is in Baltimore township and the
remainder in New London township. In
the spring of 1905 Mr. Henessee built
here a hay bam fifty-four by fifty-six feet
and in the fall of the same year he erected
a fine countr}- residence, containing nine
rooms. He intends to improve the place
and make it one of the most modern and
best developed famis in the county. In
former years he was employed one season
by the Mount Pleasant Grader Company
and he also worked for the Lomax Grader
Company of Lomax, Illinois, for several
seasons. His undivided attention is now
given to general farming and stock-rais-
inof. He raises from fiftv to one hundred
head of cattle each year and feeds from
sixty to seventy head of hogs annually.
His business methods are practical and his
keen sagacity and sound judgment consti-
tute a strong element in the success which
has attended his labors.

Unto j\Ir. and Mrs. Henessee have been
bom the following named : Mar}^ Ellen,



Avho is the wife of Andrew J. Sullivan and
resides in Baltimore township; Fouten-
nella, the wife of Sheridan Calhoun, of
Des Moines county, Iowa; Alice E., who
died at the age of two years; Margaret,
who was born in 1880 and died at the age
of sixteen years ; Daisy, who died in in-
fancy : Catherina, who is the wife of
Henr_\- Morrow, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa;
John Joseph, a resident farmer of Balti-
more township ; Michael Patrick and
Frances Genevieve, who are both at home;
Edward, who died in 1893, at the age of
two years, and Bryan Leroy, at home.
The family are communicants of the
Catholic church at ]\I(^unt Pleasant and
•in his political affiliation ]\Ir. Henessee
is a stalwart democrat. He served as
township trustee for one term and as
justice of the peace for two years, and
his intrest in community affairs is that of
a public-spirited citizen, whose labors in
behalf of general progress and improve-
ment have been effective and far-reaching.


One of the younger agriculturists of
Henry county is Henry Oberman, of Ca-
naan township. He was born in Des
Moines county, Iowa, at Pleasant Grove,
on May 26, 1873. Henry Oberman re-
ceived his early education in the common
schools of his native town, adding to this
a course in the Howe and Antrim Acad-
emy at Mount Pleasant. Although he
was born on American soil, he has been

blessed w'ith a German father, from
whom he inherits the industry and per-
severance peculiar to the German people.
His mother was a New- England woman,
Mary Ann Hale, born in Rhode Island,
and granddaughter of Gardner Hale, an
Englishman and a sailor along the At-
lantic coast. Thus we can see the son
might unite German industry and perse-
verance with Yankee shrewdness.

Fred AV. Oberman, the father, came
to Des Moines county in 1847 wdth his
sister and made a home in Pleasant
Grove, where he still busies himself in
the pursuit of his trades of cabinet-maker
and carpenter. He was called upon to
mourn the loss of his wife on January
18, 1893.

At the early age of thirteen our subject
started to earn a livelihood and was em-
ployed upon farms in the vicinity of
Danville and Yarmouth. It w^as not until
1898 that Mr. Oberman saw fit to make
a change, when he then felt it wdse to
rent a farm and assume the responsibili-
ties of its management. This farm was
the Senator F. N. Smith homestead and
was Mr. Oberman's home for two years.
During the following year he remained
on the Henry Petzingei; farm, between
Henry and Des Moines counties. After
this year he was able to buy a fine farm
of seventy-four acres, section 4, southeast
corner of Canaan township. This w^as
in the spring of 1902. There w^as a small
house and a few small buildings on this
farm. He has put many impro^-ements
on the place and has added greatly to its
value and has the place thoroughly tiled.

In 1902, on February 12, Mr. Ober-
man was united in marriaere to Lucv



Frances Hudson. Miss Hudson was edu-
cated at the district school and at Howe's
Academy. Her father, John Hudson,
was born in Pennsylvania and her mother
was Elizabeth Dowell, of Indiana. Two
children have blessed this union : Cecil,
born March 17, 1903, and Herbert, born
July 8, 1904. Cecil was taken from his
loving parents in July, 1903.

Mr. Oberman gives his political sup-
port to tlie republican party and is a de-
A'oted member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church. He is a liberal and broad-
minded man, as he is not content to ad-
here to his political party and to his
church, but also exhibits great interest in
the educational affairs of his township,
having served as secretary of the school
board. It is to be desired that all of
our rising young men might promote the
prosperity of the country by interesting
themseh'es in the three great lines of pul)-
lic welfare — the church, the state, and the


John D. Dohrmann, whose progressive
spirit is indicated by his beautiful home
and the modern improvements upon his
farm on section 12, Canaan township,
is one of the native sons of Iowa, his
birth having occurred in Des ]\Ioines
county on the 27th of September. 1851.
His father. John Dohrmann. was born
in Germany, where his childhood aiid
youth were passed and in that country
he wedded Mary Grody, also a nati\'e

there. In the year 1848 they crossed
the Atlantic to America, becoming resi-
dents of Des Moines county, and in 1849
removed from Burlington to Pleasant
Grove, where they took up their abode
upon a rented farm, which Mr. Dohr-
mann continued to cultivate and improve
until 1853. He then went to Xauvoo.
Illinois, where he lived for twelve years,
after which he purchased a farm four
miles southeast of that town in Hancock
county, Illinois. His remaining days
were devoted to the further development
and cultivation of his place and he be-
came one of the best known agriculturists
of his community. In 1853 he was called
upon to mourn the loss of his wife and
he afterward married again. His second
wife died in 1898, while he survived until
1899. ^^ never had occasion to regret
his determination to try his fortune in
the new world, for here he found good
business opportunities, which he im-
proved, his labors leading to success.

John D. Dohrmann is indebted to the
public school system of Hancock county,
Illinois, for the educational privileges
which he enjoyed in his youth and which
qualified him for the performance of the
daily duties of a business career. He
lived with his parents until twenty-one
years of age and then returned to Iowa,
making his way to Pleasant Grove. After
a year he purchased eighty acres of farm
land, which he improved, keeping bache-
lor's hall upon his place for a year. He
then sold his property and through the
succeeding year was in the employ of
William Beck, his cousin. About that
time he chose a companion and helpmate
for life's journey, being married on the



6th of April. 1874, to ]sliss Susan Serena
Bonar. who was horn in Des Moines
county and was educated in the schools
of Danville. Iowa. Following his mar-
riage. Mr. Dohrmann rented a tract of
land in Des Moines county for two years,
and then, as the result of the careful hus-
banding of his resources, his strict econ-
omy and his unswerving diligence, he
was enabled, in 1876. to purchase forty
acres of land. This was located on sec-
tion 13. Canaan township, and proved
the nucleus of his present extensive pos-
sessions, for he has added from time to
time to the property until he now owns
one hundred and sixty acres of rich and
arable land in Canaan township. When
he made his first purchase the place was
fenced, but was not otherwise improved.
He built a small house and other neces-
sary buildings, and year by year labored
earnestly in the cultivation of the fields,
producing crops which, finding a ready
sale on the market, brought to him a good
financial return. Year by year he added
to his capital until he became recognized
as one of the prosperous farmers of his
community, a fact which was further
demonstrated when in 1890. after his
home had been destroyed b}- fire, he
erected his present fine residence con-
taining eleven rooms. It is one of the
most modern homes of the county and
would be a credit to any city. It is heated
by furnace and lighted by an acetylene
gas plant. There is a cellar under the
entire house and this is divided into three
sections for convenience in use for differ-
ent purposes. The home is comfortably
and tastefully furnished and, moreover,
it is the abode of warm hearted and gen-

erous hospitality. In the barn yard is
a large barn for the horses and hay and
nearby is a double corn crib one hundred
and twenty feet long. There are also
other cribs and a good cattle shed. He
has a deep well with a supply tank and
there are twelve hydrants upon the place,
so that water is conveniently furnished to
many parts of the farm. This same well
supplies the home farm and an eighty-
acre farm, which is now owned and occu-
pied by his son and upon which Mr.
Dohrmann built a comfortable residence
of six rooms. He has also erected a large
hay barn and made other improvements
upon that tract, which he recently sold
to his son William.

Unto Air. and Airs. Dohrmann have
been born two sons and a daughter : WW-
liam D., who was married in June, 1904,
to Miss Cora De Lashmutt, and is living
upon the eighty-acre farm purchased of
his father, which lies just across the road
from the home place, and Burt B. and
Minnie May. at home. The parents at-
tend the Baptist church, in which they
hold membership, and Mr. Dohrmann
politically is a democrat. He has served
as school director since 1886, and the
cause of education finds in him a warm
friend, who does all in his power to ad-
vance the standard of public instruction.
His is a nature that could never be con-
tent with mediocrity and therefore his
life has been marked bv stead v and con-
tinuous progress in whatever department
of labor he has exerted his energies. He
is public spirited in an eminent degree
and, moreover, he possesses a genial na-
ture and unfailing courtesy, which have
made him a favorite with manv friends.




Ira Elmer Leedham, whose farm on
section 3, Baltimore township, comprises
one hundred and forty-nine and a half
acres of good land, is one of the enter-
prising young farmers of the county. He
was born in Xew London township, Oc-
tober 20, 1877, and pursued his education
in the Oak Grove district school, while
spending the days of his boyhood and
youth in the home of his parents. Edmond
and Marietta (Raines) Leedham. The
father was a native of England. They
were married in this country and lived
upon a farm in Xew London township,
Henry county, Iowa, for a number of
years, their place comprising between
three and four hundred acres. It was
upon that farm that Mr. Leedham passed
away in 1888. His widow has since mar-
ried Edward Anderson and still resides
upon the old homestead. By her first
marriage she had three sons and a
daughter : Charles, who also resides upon
the home farm ; Gertrude, the wife of
Loren Willey, of New London; Ira E.,
and Roy, deceased. There is also a half-
brother and a half-sister, Carl and Grace
Anderson, who are with their mother.

Following his father's death, Ira E.
Leedham remained with his mother until
the 15th of December, 1898, which was
his wedding day, the lady of his choice
being Miss Jennie Warren, who was born
in Baltimore township. She was edu-
cated in the district schools, and her par-
ents were Henry and Mary Ann (Car-
ter) Warren, natives of England. Mr.
and Mrs. Leedham now have a daugh-
ter and two sons : Mabel, born Decem-

ber 14, 1900; Elmer, born February 10,
1903, and George, April 17, 1905.

Following his marriage, Mr. Leedham
lived on the old homestead, a part of
which he inherited from his father. He
now owns eighty acres of land on the
northeast corner of section 4. He lived
upon this place for three years, at the
end of which time he purchased one hun-
dred forty-nine and a half acres on sec-
tion 3, Baltimore township, which was
all improved. His attention is given to
the production of the cereals best adapted
to the soil and climate, and in addition
to the cultivation of the fields he raises
horses, shorthorn cattle and Poland
China hogs. There is not more than
twenty-five acres of timber on his first
place of eighty acres, while the home
farm is all cleared and under cultivation.
His political allegiance is given to the
democracy, but he does not seek or de-
sire office, preferring to give his undi-
vided attention to his business interests,
which are capably and carefully con-


Fred B. Gheen, conducting a profitable
business as a member of the Gheen Fuel
Company in Mount Pleasant, was born
October 28, 1878, in Henry county, and
is an enterprising young business man
widely and favorably known in this part
of the state. His parents were Enos and

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 45 of 85)