Hobart 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

. (page 47 of 85)
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 47 of 85)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

survived him until 1883 and their remains
were interred in Clay Grove cemetery, in
Lee county. In their family were ten
children : William, who died of cholera
when about twenty-one years of age and
was laid to rest in Clay Grove cemetery;
Robert, who married Miss Hattie Gusto
and died leaving two children; Jane, the
wife of Andrew McCracken, of Russell
county, Kansas, by whom she has four
children; John, who married Miss Almira
Courtwright and is living in Mount Ham-
ilton, Lee county, with his wife and seven
children; James M., a resident of Eagle-
^■ille, Nevada ; Andrew Borland, who re-
sides' in Fort Madison, Iowa, with his
younger sister; Joseph, of this review;
Mary E., the wife of George A\'. Krieger.
of Lee county; Boyd E., who is living
near Center City, ■Nlerritt county, Ne-
braska, and married Lizzie Knauff. by
whom he has five children, one son and four
daughters, and Anna M.. the wife of Rob-
ert J. Barr, who is living in Fort Madison.
Joseph Caldwell, whose name introduces
this review^ was educated in the commc^n
schools of Lee county and remained with
his father until twenty-seven years of age.
living upon the old homestead and assist-
ing in the work of the farm. He then
purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty
acres of land in Lee county, where he
lived for thirty-one years, giving his time
and energies to general agricultural pur-



suits. He brought his land u]) to a liigh
state of cultivation, transforming it into
productiA-e fields, from which he annually
harvested good crops. The years brought
to him a comfortable comi:)etence and when
he felt that his possessions justified him
in retiring from business life he put aside
the active work of the farm and removed
to Mount Pleasant in 1898, since which
time he has resided in a beautiful home on
East Washington street.

On the 27th of February, 1868, Mr.
Caldwell was married to Miss Anna E.
Emmerson, a daughter of ^Michael and
Sarah (Dodsworth) Emmerson. She was
born in a log cabin in Lee county, Iowa,
Alay 9. 1849. Her father was born in
Scarborough. Yorkshire, England, Octo-
ber 10, 1815, and his wife's birth occurred
there on the 15th of July, 1821. Mr.
Emmerson devoted seven years to learning
the tailor s trade in England, and in 1840
he crossed the Atlantic to America in an
old time sailing vessel. He settled in
Lee county and two years later he pur-
chased a large farm, ^^l^en he arrived
in Iowa he had but one dollar in money
and two suits of clothes, and while culti-
vating his farm in the early days he
worked at the tailor's trade at night and
at odd times, and was thus enabled to pay
for the rails used in fencing his farm and
also meet the payment upon a part of
his land. He likewise worked at the tail-
or's trade in Illinois for several years,
after which he gave his undivided atten-
tion to the tilling of the soil upon his farm
in Lee county. He visited England a few
years after he first came to America, but
never again returned to his native land.
His wife came to the L'nited States with.

her parents in 1834, the family settling in
Morgan count}^, Illinois, and in 1842 she
gave her hand in marriage to John Em-
merson. B}' this union there were two
children : Thomas, who died in infancy,
and Richard, who married Miss Addie
Swain and is living on a farm in Morgan
county, Illinois. In 1846 John Emmer-
son enlisted for sei^vice in the Mexican
war and fell while defending his country
at the battle of Buena Vista on the 23d
day of February, 1847. Later his widow
gave her hand in marriage to Michael
Emmerson. who though of the same name,
was not a relative of her first husband.
By this union there were three children,
namely: Anna, now the wife of Joseph
Caldwell; John S., who died in infancy,
and Mary, the wife of M T. Overton, a
resident of Lee county, Iowa, by whom
she has six children. The father died
March 10, 1895, and the mother passed
away Februaiy 3, 1899, at the advanced
age of seventy-seven years. They trav-
eled life's journey together for nearly
forty-eight years, and Mr. Emmerson was
a resident of Lee count}' for fifty-five
years, being one of its most worthy and
respected citizens and pioneers. Coming
to America empty-handed, he depended
entirely upon his own resources for a liv-
ing, and as the years advanced he pros-
pered in his undertakings.

Unto ]\Ir. and Mrs. Caldwell were
born five children. Ollie J. is the wife
of John Elmer Powell, who is living on
a farm at Milton, Iowa, and they ha^'e
one child, Ruth Viola, now nine years of
age. Lutie May is a milliner employed
in Airs. Anderson's establishment in
Alount Pleasant. Cora Ann is a clerk in



tlie Hoaglin diy goods store in Mount
Pleasant. Flora Belle is the wife of Alvin
C. Haffner, president of the Concrete
Block Company in Den\-er, Colorado,
where they reside. Grace Ada is living
at home with her parents.

l\Ir. and Mrs. Caldwell attend the Pres-
byterian church and he gives his political
allegiance to the democracy, but has never
aspired to office. Mrs. Caldwell is a most
estimable lady of pleasing manner, cor-
dial disposition and innate culture and re-
finement, yir. Caldwell is a self-made
man, whose advancement in life is attribu-
table entirely to his own efforts and whose
example is well worthy of emulation.


Ira A. Detrick. who is engaged in gen-
eral fanning, was born November i6,
1857, in Baltimore township, where he still
resides. He is a representative of one of
the old Pennsylvania families, his paternal
grandparents being Jacob and Hannah
(Hannis) Detrick. of Luzerne county,
Pennsylvania, who in the year 1856 be-
came residents of Johnson county, Iowa.
whence in the fall of the same year they
came to Baltimore township, Henr}^
county. Jacob Detrick here purchased
from \\'illiam Lysle one hundred and
sixty-two and a third acres of land, upon
which he h^ed until his death, taking an
active part in the early development of this
portion of the state. His son, James Mon-
roe Detrick, ^^•as bom in Luzerne countv.

Pennsylvania, and came with his parents
to Iowa but in the fall of the same year
returned to the east and was there mar-
ried to Miss Adeline Sleppy, who
was also born in Luzerne comity, as
were her parents, George and Amelia
(Creamer) Sleppy. Following his mar-
riage he brought his bride to Henr}'
county and lived upon a portion of his
fathers place until the fall of 1859, ^vhen
he took up forty acres in Marshall count}',
Kansas. He enlisted in October, 1861,
in response to the countr}^'s call for aid,
for the preservation of the Union, joining
the Thirteenth Missouri Infantiy at St.
Joseph. He was in camp at Cassville,
Missouri, and there died two weeks later.
His widow afterward married Shennan
Hurd, who died a year later and after that
time she was twice married. Her death
occurred in northern California in 1904.
Ira A. Detrick, having lost his father
in his infancy, was taken to tlie old farm
homestead of his Grandfather Detrick in
1863 and lived with his grandmother until
twenty-six years of age. He acquired his
preliminar}' education in the district
schools and aftenvard attended Howe's
Academy at Mount Pleasant in the winter
of 1879-80. He was married at the age
of twenty-six years to Mrs. Catherine
(Krekel) Williams, the widow of Daniel
Williams. By her former marriage she
had one child, Annie, who is now living in
Mount Pleasant. Her parents were Henry
and Catherine (Schabb) Krekel, who were
natives of Gemiany. The wedding of Mr.
and Mrs. Detrick was celebrated on the
13th of Februar}-, 1884. He had pre-
viously rented eight}' acres of land on sec-
tion 9, Baltimore township. The follow-



ing spring" he purchased property ^vhich
had upon it a small one-story house and
a little barn. In 1898 he replaced the orig-
inal dwelling with a large two-story frame
residence of nine rooms, one of the finest
houses of the vicinity. He also built a bam
twenty-four by forty-one feet with sheds
in 1897, and has since made an addition
thereto imtil the bani is now thirty-six by
forty-one feet. In 1890 he extended the
boundaries of his farm by the additional
purchase of forty acres and he carries on
general agricultural pursuits and stock-
raising, making a specialty of Duroc Jer-
sey hogs. He also has good grades of
cattle and horses and his business interests
are so carefully directed that his labors
have been attended with success.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Detrick have been
bom three daughters and a son. May,
who was bom May 19, 1885, and is the
wife of John Hennessee, of this township,
by whom she has one daughter, born April
3, 1906; Nellie C, who was born Jan-
uary 14, 1888; James H., February 13,
1890; and Laura W., January i, 1892.
^Ir. Detrick gives his political support to
the democracy and served as justice of the
peace in 1900 and 1901. He has always
lived in this county and has witnessed
manv changes.


Douglas Skipton, who carries on gen-
eral farming and stock-raising, was born
rm section 18, Canaan township, on the

3d of April, 1861, and is one of the na-
tive sons of the county, who has never
seen the necessity of seeking a location
elsewhere, but, on the contrary, has prof-
ited by the opportunities here afforded and
through the careful conduct of business
interests has W'On a creditable position in
agricultural circles. He is a grandson of
John Skipton, who died December 24,
1889, at ninety-five years of age, and a
son of Francis Skipton, who died Janu-
ary 7. 1878. The latter was born in Ohio,
and was married in Des Moines county,
Iowa, to Miss Sarah Winters, a native of
England, and a daughter of John and
Caroline (Cook) Winters. Three years
after their marriage Mr. and jNIrs. Fran-
cis Skipton left Des Moines county and
took up their abode in Canaan township,
Henry county, where the father purchased
a farm. He arrived here in 1854, and
bought forty acres of wild prairie land,
upon which not a furrow had been turned
nor an improvement made. He performed
the arduous task of breaking the soil,
planting the crops, but though his life was
a strenuous one, he persevered in his cho-
sen field of labor, and improved a good
property, on which he erected substantial
buildings, also divided the farm into fields
of convenient size by well kept fences.
That he prospered is indicated by the fact
that he was able to add eighty more acres
to his original purchase. He continued
to carry on general agricultural pursuits
utnil his life's labors were ended in death,
in the year 1878. His wndow now lives
upon the old homestead at the age of
eighty-one years and is numbered among
the worthy pioneer residents of Henry



Douglas Skipton has always resided
upon the farm upon which his birth oc-
curred, and in his youth he attended the
district schools, while later he pursued his
studies in Howe's Academy, and thus
gained a good knowledge of business
methods. His entire life has been devoted
to general farming, for he took his place
in the fields at an early age and soon be-
came familiar with the tasks of plowing,
planting and harvesting. He now carries
on general farming" and raises cattle,
horses and hogs, but he rents eighty acres
of his land.

On March 6, 1890, Mr. Skipton was
joined in wedlock to Miss Catharine E.
Cutler, a native of Ohio, and a daughter
of Decatur and Laura (Ettinger) Cutler,
both of whom were natives of Ohio. Only
one child has been born unto Mr. and
Mrs. Skipton, Douglas, who died in in-
fancy. Politically Mr. Skipton is a demo-
crat, keeping well informed on the issues
and questions of the day, while fraternally
he is connected with the Independent Or-
der of Odd Fellows at Swedesburg. He
is well known in the community where he
has spent his entire life, and that many
of his stanchest friends have known him
from his boyhood days to the present is
an indication that his life has ever been
straightforward and honorable.


The many improvements on the home
place of Miller Gilbert indicate a life
of industry, perserverance and success-
ful accomplishment, for he has one of the

fine improved farms of Baltimore town-
ship, equipped with many modern acces-
sories. His life record began on the 14th
of September, 1850, in Luzerne county,
Pennsylvania, and he attended the district
schools of New London township, while
spending his boyhood days in his parents'
home. He is the son of Henry B. and
Elizabeth (Miller) Gilbert and a grand-
son of Luman Gilbert, all natives of
Pennsylvania. The parents were married
in the Keystone state in 1846 and there
the father owned a farm, which he oper-
ated until 1857, when he removed with
his family to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and
purchased near by a farm of over one
hundred acres. His parents also came at
the same time and bought an adjoining
farm, whereon they spent their remaining
days. Mrs. Elizabeth Gilbert was not
long permitted to enjoy her new home,
for her death occurred in 1858, but
Henry B, Gilbert still survives. He con-
tinued to live upon the old homestead
until 1884, when he removed to Clark
county, Iowa, and married a second wife,
who was Mrs. Rebecca (Monroe) Barnes
and there were two sons and a daughter
by that union. The father was born Feb-
ruary 12, 1 8 14, and is therefore now
more than ninety-two years of age.

Miller Gilbert was the youngest in a
family of three children and made his
home with his parents until he started out
in life for himself, working by the month.
He was then eighteen years of age and
whatever success he has since enjoyed is
attributable entirely to his own labors.
He won a companion and helpmate for
the journey of life on the 31st of Decem-
ber, 1886, on which date was celebrated



his marriage to Miss Grizzie Elizabeth
Detrick, who was born in Luzerne coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1853, and
accompanied her parents on their removal
to Iowa City in the spring of 1856. In
the fall of the same year they settled on a
farm on section 6, Baltimore township,
comprising sixty acres of land, which was
then but partially improved, half of it
being in brush and timber but there were
several log buildings upon the place and
a number of wells. ]\Ir. Detrick built a
frame house of seven rooms in the fall
of his arrival and otherwise improved the
place, making it a good property. He
died January 25, 1879, at the age of
eighty-four years ; his wife died Novem-
ber 14, 1883, aged seventy-six years.

Following his marriage Mr. Gilbert
lived upon the farm belonging to his
wife's father and also worked some of
his father's homestead farm but lived
on the Detrick farm until 1877, wdien Mr.
Gilbert purchased sixty-seven acres of
land on section 8, Baltimore township.
There he resided until the fall of 1883,
when he sold that property and bought
the home place, comprising one hundred
and sixty-two acres of land. He has put
up many rods of w^ire fencing and has
otherwise greatly improved the property.
To the house he has built a kitchen, four-
teen by sixteen feet. He has also built a
a barn, forty by fifty feet, for horses and
hay and a cow^ barn. He has secured
many of the latest improved farm imple-
ments and has planted many trees in the
orchard. He carries on general agricul-
tural pursuits, raising grain and some
fruit and he also raises draft horses, cat-
tle and Duroc Jersey hogs.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert have been
born six daughters, two of whom died
when babies, first Carrie Gilbert, four-
teen months: second, Nora Gilbert, six
months of age ; and two sons. Lola Dell,
born October 23, 1877, is now^ an attend-
ant in the hospital at Clarinda, Iowa;
William Horton, born October 21, 1884,
Gertrude Eldora, born July 13, 1886.
Lectie Zerlena. September 23, 1890, Mil-
ler D., March 3, 1892, and Bessie Marie,
September 12, 1895, are all at home with
their parents.

In community affairs Mr. Gilbert is
deeply and actively interested and exer-
cises his right of franchise in support of
the men and measures of the democracy.
He served for six years at different times
as road supervisor and for about five
years he was a member of the Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows. His farming
interests indicate the diligence and sound
judgment w^hich he has employed in the
emplo3anent of his business affairs.


\\^illiam Eckey, a farmer and stock-
raiser of Canaan township, was born in
this township on the ist of September,
1872, and is descended from German
ancestry. His parents, Henry C. ^^^ and
Elizabeth (Korfshult) Eckey, were both
natives of Germany. The father came
to Des Moines county with his parents
about 1855, settling south of Burling-
ton, where he lived up to the time of his



marriage. He afterward spent one year
in the city of Burlington and subsequently
resided upon a farm in Des Moines
county, where he lived for two years. In
1872 he came to Canaan township, Henry
county, purchasing the farm of eighty
acres. He has since devoted his time
and energies to general agricultural pur-
suits and is one of the thrifty and enter-
prising farmers of Canaan township.

AMlliam Eckey pursued his early edu-
cation in the public schools of Mount
Union and afterwards attended Elliott's
Business College in Burlington. Iowa, be-
ing thus well equipped for the practical
duties of a business life. In his youth he
assisted in farm labor wdien not occupied
with his studies and he remained at home
upon the farm up to the time of his mar-
riage, which was celebrated on the 20th
of March, 1895, the lady of his choice
being Miss Mary Lydia ^^^eise, who was
born in Burlington and was educated in
the public schools of Jefferson county.
Her parents were Peter and Minnie
(Berg) \\>ise, both of whom were na-
tives of Germany. Two children were
born of this union : Rudolph Peter,
whose birth occurred December 18, 1896.
and Eddie \A'illiam. born December 3,

After his marriage Mr. Eckey began
farming on his own account upon a tract
north of Mount Union, where he lived
for two years. He then purchased one
hundred acres on section ly, Canaan
township. There was a small house upon
the place, but few improvements had been
made. He now has a farm well equipped
with good buildings, including a com-
fortable residence of six rooms, a large

barn, twenty-four by thirty-two feet, to
which he has added a shed eighteen by
thirty-two feet. There is also granary
capacity for twelve hundred bushels.
There is a carriage house and wood house
upon the place, and in fact no accessory
of the model farm of the twentieth cen-
tury is lacking. He keeps his buildings
in good repair and the place is thoroughly
tiled. His attention is given to general
farming and he raises some cattle and
horses and about seventy-five head of
hogs each year. His labor has resulted
in bringing to him the prosperity which
he now enjoys and his property is the visi-
ble evidence of a life of well directed
thrift. He votes with the democracy,
but is without aspiration for office. He
belone-s to the Christian Science church
at Mount Pleasant and is one of the
esteemed native sons of the county, hav-
ing spent his entire life within its bor-
ders. In fact, he has always been a resi-
dent of Canaan township and is well
known there as a reliable farmer and
business man. who is public spirited in
citizenship and loyal in his friendships.


August Brink, who is engaged in the
manufacture of brick and tile in New
London and is also successfully engaged
in farming and stock-raising, belongs to
that class of representative Swedish-
American citizens who have come from
their native country to the new world to



enjoy its better business opportunities
and have here steadily progressed until
they have gained apositionof prominence
among the substantial citizens of their
respective communities. 'Sir. Brink was
born in the western part of Sweden, No-
vember 13, 1843. His father was Lar-
son Swanson and his mother was Mary
Anderson.. He was educated in the pub-
lic schools and was reared to the occupa-
tion of farming, which pursuit he fol-
lowed in his native country until he came
to America. On the 17th of June, 1865,
he left Sweden, thinking to enjoy better
business opportunities and advantages in
the new world, for he had heard much
concerning the improved conditions here.
Crossing the Atlantic he proceeded into
the interior of the country and made his
first location in Galesburg, Illinois, where
he remained for two and a half years. He
then went to Burlington and entered the
employ of the Chicago, Burlington &
Ouincy Railroad Company, working on
the track and also assisting in bridge-
building, continuing with that corpora-
tion for about five years. He also spent
about a year and a half in Peoria, Illi-
nois, where he worked at carpentering,
after which he returned to Sweden, where
he continued for another year and a half.
In 1876, however, he again came to the
United States and visited the exposition
in Philadelphia, after which he continued
his journey to Burlington, where he re-
mained until January, 1877. He then
bought forty acres of land on section 2,
New London township, from Henry
Shoemaker, who had erected a tile fac-
tory, which has since been operated by
Mr. Brink. He makes tile of all sizes

up to eight inches and is also engaged
in the manufacture of brick. He made
the brick for his own residence, which he
rebuilt in 1891, it being a veneered build-
ing and one of the pretty homes of the
township. He has continuously made
brick and tile since he has been here ex-
cept one year — in 1897 — when the fac-
tory burned. This is one of the good
productive industries of the community
and is being profitably conducted by Mr.
Brink. He has also added to his landed
estate until he now owns two hundred
acres, all of which is cultivated and im-
proved under his own supervision. He
has seventy acres on section 2, eighty
acres on section 1 1 and fifty acres on sec-
tion 12, New London township. He
raises and feeds about thirty head of cat-
tle annually and about twenty head of
hogs. He now has sixty-five acres of his
land under cultivation, while the remain-
der is devoted to pasturage. He has put
all of the improvements on his property
and has cleared much of it for cultivation.

On the 1 8th of June, 1891, Mr.
Brink was united in marriage to Miss
Mary L. Anderson, a daughter of An-
drus Peter and Martha (Carlson) An-
derson. Two children have been born of
this union : Paul Reynold, born May 24,
1892; and Ruby Victoria, born May 20,
1894. Both are students in the public

In his political affiliation Mr. Brink
is a stalwart republican, keeping well in-
formed on the questions and issues of the
day, but has never sought nor desired
office. He is a member of the Evangel-
ical Lutheran church, in which he has
served as trustee and deacon, holding



both positions at the present time. He is
a very energetic man of resolute will and
and strong purpose and in his life the
statement that "Sweden is the home of
the honest man," finds exemplification,
for at all times this worthy son of Swe-
den is thoroughly reliable and trust-

His business success has come to him
through the utilization of opportunities
and the recognition of the fact that the
present and not the future is the time to
put forth one's best energies for the at-
tainment of success.


John A. Hankins, living on section 7,
Canaan township, is a native of the neig'h-
boring county of Des Moines, his birth
having there occurred on the 15th of Feb-
ruary, 1869. His father. Albert Han-
kins, was born in Pike county. Ohio.
Having reached manhood, he wedded
Miss Mary Van Dyke, a native of Des
Moines county. Iowa, and they reside
upon a farm in Henry county.

John A. Hankins acquired his early ed-
ucation in the public schools of Des
Moines county and afterward continued
his studies in Henry county. He lived
w^ith his parents up to the time of his
marriage, which important event in his
life was celebrated on the 17th of Febru-
ary, 1892, the lady of his choice being
Miss Katie E. Nutt, who was born in Lee
county. Iowa, on the nth of November',

1 87 1. She is of English descent. Her

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 47 of 85)