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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 51 of 85)
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Stevens. The parents were natives of New
York, the father's birth having occurred
in St. Lawrence county in 1830, while his
wife was born in Troy. He was a car-
penter by trade, and when eighteen years
of age emigrated westward to W^iscon-
sin, where he followed building opera-
tions. His political allegiance was given
to the Republican party, and he was a
worthy representative of industrial in-
terests in the community in which he long
made his home. His death occurred in
Wisconsin in 1901, and his widow is still
living in that state. They were the par-
ents of six children : Clayton C, who
resides in California ; Alta, the wife of
J. M. ]Miller, also living in that state;
Emilv, who died at the age of sixteen
years ; Fred, who was drowned when
eight years of age; C. H., who is living
in Wisconsin, and has two children ; and
Frank T.

Dr. Stevens attended successively the
Fon du Lac (Wisconsin) high school, the
L'niversity of A\'isconsin, and the North-
western University Medical School, in
Chicago, completing his medical studies
in Vienna, Austria.

Having thus qualified for his profes-
sion, he came to Mount Pleasant in 1893,
and in 1898 was made first assistant in
the hospital, which position he has since
filled. On the 26th of November, 1896. Dr.
Stevens was married to Miss Emma K.
Giffin. a daughter of N. C. Giftin, of Fond
du Lac, Wisconsin.

Among the native sons of Henry
county still actively identified with farm-
ing interests here is numbered Charles
Wilbur Lute, Avho was born in Jefferson
township, November 12, 1865. His pa-
ternal grandfather, Daniel Lute, was a na-
tive of Ohio, and married Elizabeth Arn-
old, of that state. Li 1835 he came to
Iowa and entered land from the govern-
ment in Jefferson township, Henry county,
becoming the owner of a tract of timber
land. The Indians were more numerous
than the white men at that day, their wig-
wams being seen at various places in the
forest and they frequently made calls upon
the settlers. Deer were to be seen in large
herds, and Mr. Lute had ample opportu-
nit}' to indulge in his love of hunting and
kept his table always supplied with veni-
son. He never neglected his farming in-
terests, but cleared, cultivated and im-
proved his land, comprising one hundred
acres which he transformed into a good
farm. He continued a resident of Iowa
for about forty-two years and assisted
largely in the early development of this
section of the state. He was on a visit to
relatives in Missouri in 1887. when his
death occurred.

The parents of our subject were mar-
ried in Henry county and lived for some
time with the wife's father. She bore the
maiden name of Sarah Lute. Charles
Wilbur Lute of this review was reared
by his grandfather with whom he re-
mained until eleven years of age when he
started out on his own account, working
as a farm hand, which pursuit he fol-
lowed up to the time of his marriage. On



the T7th of June. 1888, he was joined in
wedlock to Miss EHzabeth Neff, whose
birth occurred in Jefferson township,
Henry county, and her education was ac-
quired in the district schools near her
home. Her father, George W. Neff, was
a native of Ohio, and a son of Jacob Neff.
When he had reached adult age he was
married to Miss Martha Somers, whose
birth occurred in Holmes county, Ohio,
and was a daughter of Joseph Sommers.
Mr. and Mrs. Lute began their domestic
life in Taylor county. Iowa, where he con-
ducted a farm for a year ■ and then re-
moved to Washington county, where he
carried on general farming for six months.
On the expiration of that period he rented
land in Henry county for a year, and in
the meantime he had carefully husbanded
his earnings and was at length enabled to
purchase a farm, becoming owner of one
hundred and five acres of land in W^ash-
ington county. To this he added until
he had one hundred and twenty-four
acres. When he had resided for ten vears
upon that farm he sold the property and
invested in one hundred and eighteen
acres in Jefferson township, Henry county.
the place being located on section 5. It
was improved when it came into his pos-
session and he took up his abode thereon
December 6, 1890. Here he devotes his
energies to the tilling of the soil and the
raising of the crops best adapted to the
climate. He also raises horses, Polled An-
gus cattle. Chester White hogs and Shrop-
shire sheep, having some high grade ani-
mals upon his place. He annually sells
considerable stock from his farm and thus
•adds materially to his income.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lute have been

born seven children, namely : Feme, born
March 26, 1889; Beulah, December 16,
1890; Olive, April 17, 1893; George W.,
September 27, 1895; Florence, December
27, 1897; Mattie S., May 31, 1902; and
Geneva M., July 28, 1905. The parents
are widely and favorably known in this
section of the state where they have long
resided. Mr. Lute votes with the repub-
lican party. He is entirely a self-made
man, for at the early age of eleven years
he started out in life on his own account
without capital. He possessed, however,
willingness to work and strong determi-
nation and as the years have gone by he
has labored persistently and energetically,
overcoming all the difficulties and ob-
stacles in his path by his strong and de-
termined purpose. He now has a good
farm and the careful management of his
agricultural interests results in bringing
him the necessities and many of the com-
forts of life.


Clarence Schaffner. one of the pros-
perous and prominent farmers of Center
township, living on sections 5 and 6.
where he owns a valuable and well im-
pro\'ed farm of one hundred and fifteen
acres, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, born
in 1862, his parents licing Solomon and
Henrietta (Schwab) Schaffner, both of
whom were natives of Germany. The fa-
ther was born in 18 19 and was about
twent} - five years of age when he came to



America, settling first in Wayne county,
Ohio, whence he afterward removed to
Cleveland. He was a merchant at that
city, but eventually removed to Chicago,
Illinois, w^here his last days were passed.
In politics he was a republican, and both
he and his wife were members of the
Jewish church. His death occurred about
i88t, while his wife, who was born in
1819, passed away in 1894, at the age of
seventy-five years, both being interred in
Chicago. In their family were seven chil-
dren, five sons and two daughters : Jo-
seph, who married Sarah Halle and li\-es
in Chicago; Nathan, resides in Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania ; Carrie and Henry, who
have departed this life ; x-\braham, who has
also passed away; and Rachel, who is liv-
ing with her brother Joseph in Chicago.

Clarence Schaffner was educated in the
public schools of Chicago, and after put-
ting aside his text-books learned the trade
of a book binder there. He afterward
went to New Mexico and to California,
traveling for about ten years, and he spent
three or four years at sea, visiting nearly
all of the principal ports on the face of the
globe, and gaining a broad and intimate
knowledge of the different countries, their
inhabitants and customs. He sailed from
Liverpool upon a return voyage to Amer-
ica, made his way to Chicago, and in 1894
removed to Henry county, where he pur-
chased one hundred and fifteen acres of
land on sections 5 and 6, Center township.
The house had been built, but he has made
the other improvements here, and now has
a fine farm property supplied with all
modern equipments and accessories. He
carries on general farming, meeting with
well merited success in his undertakings.

On the 9th of December, 1894, Mr.
Schaffner was married to Miss Mary Mc-
Millan, who was born in 1871, upon a
farm adjoining her husband's property.
She is a daughter of Charles and ]\Iary
(Woodworth) McMillan. Her father
died in February, 1905, and her mother is
now living in the city of Mount Pleasant.
He was a carpenter and farmer, giving his
life to those two pursuits. Fraternally he
was a Mason, being the eldest representa-
tive of the craft in Henry county at the
time of his death. His birth occurred in
]\Iillbrook, Wayne county, Ohio, in 1830,
and he reached the age of seventy-four
years, passing away in February, 1905.
His father was a member of the Ohio leg-
islature, as was the maternal grandfather
of Mrs. Schaffner, and Joseph MclMillan,
an uncle of Mrs. Schaffner, was a soldier
of the Civil war. The McMillan family
was established in Henry county at a xevy
early day, the grandparents making the
journey by team and wagon from Ohio to
Henry county. A tract of land was cleared
and a log and sod house was built, in
which the family lived in true pioneer
style. Mrs. McMillan, mother of Mrs.
Schaffner, was born in York, Randolph
county, Indiana, in 1839, and is therefore
sixty-seven years of age at the present
time. By her marriage she became the
mother of six children, of whom five are
now living: Sarah, the widow of George
McKane and a resident of Wyoming;
George, who married Lizzie Barrett and
resides in Mount Pleasant; ]\Iary. now
Mrs. Schaffner; Thomas, who is living
with his mother in Mount Pleasant and
is superintendent of the electric light
company; and Warren, who married El-



len Phalen and makes his home in Aurora,

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Schaffner
has been blessed with five children, and the
family circle yet remains unbroken by the
hand of death. All are natives of Henry
county, namely: Joseph, born November
22. 1895; Paul, June 21, 1897; Henri-
etta, June 22, 1899; Esther, September
19, 1901 : and \\'alter, January 9, 1904.

Mr. Schaffner has always followed gen-
eral farming and whatever success he has
achieved or eiijoyed is attributable entirely
to his own efforts. His willing hands, his
strong detemiination and laudable ambi-
tion ha\-e wrought for him success, and he
is today in . possession of a very comfort-
able competence. He is also a man of
broad general information, gaining that
knowledge, experience and culture which
only travel can bring. Through his trips
in this country and in foreign lands he has
become well acquainted with the different
people of the globe, with their manners
and customs, and reading has kept him in
touch with the trend of modern thought.
In politics he is a republican. Fraternally
he is connected with Henry Lodge, No.
10, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of
Mount Pleasant, and he is also a member
of the camp of the Modern Woodmen of
America in the county seat. He is now
spending his days happily upon his farm
in the midst of his family, having great
contentment at his own fireside. He is a
gentleman of pleasing appearance, of gen-
ial and courteous manner, and is enterpris-
ing and public spirited, giving active and
hearty support to many movements and
measures for the general welfare. His has
been an interesting life history and if writ-

ten in detail would present many chapters
that would closely hold the reader's atten-
tion. Because of his broad expenrience his
mind is stored with many reminiscences of
his travels which he frequently relates to
the entertainment of those who are his


Nathan P. Nicholson devotes his time
and energies to general farming in Jack-
son township. It was in this township
that he was born on the 4th of September,
1849. His paternal grandfather, John
Nicholson, a native of North Carolina,
wedded a Miss Lacy, also of that state. In
the early days of development and prog-
ress in Iowa he came to Henry county and
remained a resident of Jackson township
up to the time of his demise, contributing
in substantial measure to the pioneer im-
provement of this portion of the state. His
son, Thomas Nicholson, also born in
North Carolina, came to Iowa w^ith his
parents and was married in Jackson town-
ship to Miss Margaret Maxwell, a native
of Indiana and a daughter of Jacob and
Margaret (Hevenridge) jMaxwell. Mr.
and Mrs. Thomas Nicholson located in
Jackson township, where they resided con-
tinuously until the death of the wife on the
TOth of July, 1889. Mr. Nicholson after-
ward went to make his home among his
children, with whom he lived for a num-
l:)er of years, and he now resides with his
half-sister, Mrs. Ann Kerr, at Salem,
Iowa. He was bom April 6, 1820, and



has therefore passed the eighty-sixth mile-
stone on Hfe's journey.

Nathan P. Nicholson was the second
in order of birth in a family of five sons
and one daughter. The daughter, who
was the eldest, died at the age of five years.
He made his home with his parents until
November 21, 1879, when, at the age of
thirty years, he was married to Flora
Belle Prottsman, who was born in Cham-
paign county, Ohio, November 3, 1859,
and was educated in a graded school of
Lee county, Iowa, having been brought
to this state by her parents in 1863. She
is a daughter of J. W. and Josephine
(Diltz) Prottsman, natives of Ohio. Her
father was a son of William and Nancy
(Woodbur}^) Prottsman, and the mother
was a daughter of \\"ilkison S. and Cath-
erine (Newell) Diltz, also natives of the
Buckeye state.

Following his marriage Mr. Nicholson
and his bride began their domestic life
upon the old farm belonging to his pater-
nal grandfather, which he rented for a
year. He then lived upon another rented
farm through a summer season, after
which he rented fifty acres of land on sec-
tion 6 and eighty acres on section 7, Jack-
son township. Upon that farm he resided
continuously for seven years, at the end
of which time he bought a fifty-acre tract
and in 1880 he purchased eighty acres.
Upon the place there was only a small
house of two rooms, which he occupied
until his financial resources justified the
erection of his present desirable residence
of seven rooms in the fall of 1898. Upon
the farm is a horse, hay and cattle barn,
thirty-four by forty-four feet. The land
is well drained and he carries on general

farming, but since 1900 has devoted his
attention largely to the dairy business, be-
ing engaged in the manufacture of butter.
He likewise raises draft and road horses,
Jersey cows and Poland China hogs, hav-
ing about twenty-five head of hogs. His
place is known as the Clover Leaf farm
and is now a well developed property, the
various branches of his business proving
profitable as the result of his life of un-
tiring energy and thrift. Mr. Nicholson
is a member of the Congregational church,
in which he served as steward for two
years. He also belongs to the Odd Fel-
lows Lodge, No. 48, of Salem, and in his
political views is a stalwart republican. He
has held some of the township offices and
is always interested and active in support
of measures for the general good.


Frank E. Becker is the owner of four
hundred and twentv acres of valuable
land which constitutes the Locust Stock
Fann, and is here engaged in general
stock-raising and farming, in the pur-
chase and sale of stock, in threshing and
kindred employment. His entire life has
been spent in Iowa., his birth having oc-
curred in Des Moines county on the 30th
of January, 1866, his parents being John
and Louisa (Davis) Becker, both natives
of Lebanon countv, Pennsvlvania. In the
spring of 1850 they became residents of
Danville township, Des Moines county,
and were married shortly afterward. They



settled upon a farm which AJr. Becker
purchased and there resided until 1878,
when he sold the property and then re-
moved to Jackson township, Henry coun-
tv, Iowa, where he purchased two hundred
acres of land situated on section 5. To
this he kept adding from time to time
until he owned four hundred and twenty
acres of \-ery desirable land on sections 5
and 8. He improved the place, adding to
it many equipments and carried on general
farming and stock-raising. His death oc-
curred Decemljer 27,, 1902, while his wife
passed away on the 24th of December,
1893. In their family were two children,
the daughter being Samantha J. Becker,
now the wife of Charles Noble, a resident
farmer of Jackson township.

Under the parental roof Frank Becker
spent the days of his boyhood and youth,
and his education was acquired in the dis-
trict schools of Des Moines and Henry
counties, where he became familiar with
those branches of learning which qualify
one for the practical duties of life. In the
months of summer he aided his father in
the work of the farm, continuing to give
him the benefit of his services up to the
time of his marriage. It was on the ist of
September, 1889, that he was joined in
wedlock to Miss Annie L. Scott, who was
born in Jackson township, Henry county,
on the 9th of September, 1869, and was
educated in the district schools. Her par-
ents were Cornelius and Louisa (Ben-
bow) Scott, the former a native of New
York and the latter of England. Her pa-
ternal grandfather was John Scott, a na-
tive of New York and her maternal
grandparents were William and Annie
(Bagley) Benbow. natives of Yorkshire,

England. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs.
Becker has been blessed with four chil-
dren: Louise, born April 12, 1890; Ma-
rion, September 15, 1891 ; Elijah J.,
March 15, 1893; and Norine N., July
25, 1902.

Soon after their marriage Mr. and
Mrs. Becker began their domestic life
upon the old home farm where they lived
for four years and then removed to Salem,
where he engaged in merchandising, pur-
chasing the stock of \. B. Marsh. He con-
tinued in business for three years and
then sold out, after which he returned to
the old homestead. He purchased four
hundred and tw^enty acres of land and be-
gan general fanning, not only tilling the
fields, but also raising horses, shorthorn
cattle, Poland China hogs and Shropshire
sheep. He has good grades pf stock upon
his place and in addition to raising stock
he also Ijuys and sells. He is likewdse
engaged in threshing, in hulling and in
wood-saw'ing, and is a man of enterprise
and business ability, who carefully directs
his business affairs. He has had an out-
fit of clover huller and threshing machine
since 1898; and he also takes contracts
within a radius of five miles for the saw-
ing of wood. His home is a commodious
and pleasant residence of eight rooms in
the rear of which are good outbuildings
for the shelter of grain and stock, includ-
ing a large barn. Everything about the
place is w^ell kept and indicates his careful
supervision, his labors being conducted
in accordance with ideas of progressive

In his political views Mr. Becker is
a republican and has served three times
as a member of the board of trustees in



his township. In all matters of citizen-
ship he is interested and his co-operation
has heen given to many measures for the
public good. \Vhatever he undertakes he
carries forward to successful completion
and he deserves much credit for what he
has accomplished in a business way, as
his fine farm is the visible evidence of his
industry and perseverance.


Horace W. Folsom, who is now cin-
centrating his energies upon the business
of stock-raising and makes his home in
Wayne township, where he owns a good
farm, is a native of Geauga county, Ohio,
born on the 6th of March, 1847. His
paternal grandfather was William Haw-
ley Folsom, who became one of the pio-
neer residents of the Buckeve state, where
he aided in subduing the wilderness and
extending' the frontier. His son, Daniel
Folsom, father of our subject, was born
in the Empire state and after arriving at
years of maturity was married in Ohio to
Miss Betsy Warren, w'ho was born in
Geauga county, and was a daughter of
Horace Warren. They began their do-
mestic life upon a farm in Ohio and con-
tinued their connection with agricultural
interests in that state until called to their
final rest.

Horace W. Folsom was reared in the
usual manner of farm lads of that age and
localit}^, no event of special importance
occurring to vary the routine of life for

him in his boyhood days. He was edu-
cated in the district schools, which he
attended through the winter months and
in the summer time he worked in the
fields, so that he early gained practical
knowledge of the best methods of tilling
the soil. On August 11. 1864, he enlisted
in the Seventieth Ohio Volunteer Infan-
try and served with them until May 29,
1865, when he was honorably discharged
at Washington, D. C. After that he con-
tinued with his parents until the fall of
1867, when, at the age of twenty years,
he made his way westward, coming to
Henry county, Iowa, with T. Harned.
who purchased a farm of eighty acres of
improved land on section 19, Wayne
township. Mr. Folsom remained for
some time in this county and then w^ent
to Washington county, where he was em-
ployed for three summers. He afterward
returned to Mr. Harned's place, where
he has always made his home.

In December, 1892, was celebrated ^he
marriage of Horace W. Folsom and Miss
Emily Harned, a native • of Geauga
county, Ohio, in wdiich state she acquired
her education by attendance at the com-
mon schools. Her parents, Isaac and Jane
Harned, were born on Long Island, New
York, and it was with them that Mr.
Folsom came to low^a. Following his
marriage he continued to live upon his
father-in-law's farm and to carry on the
work of the fields. In the fall of 1894
he purchased a tract of land upon which
he has since erected new buildings, in-
cluding a fine residence of nine rooms,
besides halls and closets. This is one of
the attractive country homes of Wayne
township. He has built two barns, one



for horses and the other for cattle and
each contains a large hay mow. He also
has a large double corn crib on his place,
a granary and shelter for his hogs. His
orchard contains sixty apple trees in addi-
tion to peach, cherry, and plum trees and
none of the equipments of a model farm
are lacking. Year by year he devoted his
attention to the tilling of the soil as well
as to the raising of stock and fruit until
1903, since which time he has rented his
land, while he gives his attention to stock-
raising interests. He now has upon his
place nine head of cattle and sixty head of
Poland China and Jersey red hogs.

In his political views Mr. Folsom is a
republican, voting for the men and meas-
ures of the party, but he has never had
political aspiration for himself, prefer-
ring to give his undivided attention to his
business affairs. He started out in life
empty-handed, but he found in Iowa the
business opportunities he sought — which
by the way are always open to ambitious,
energetic young men — and through per-
severance and well directed activity he
has worked his way upward, becoming
one of the substantial agriculturists of
his community and maintaining at the
same time a reputation for reliability that
makes him one of the representative citi-
zens of Wayne township.


\\ illiam H. Beery, one of the trustees
of Center township, who is extensively
enqraged in farming and is also a director

of the Henry County Farmers' Mutual
Insurance Company, was born in Balti-
more township, this county, on the 12th
of March, 1846, a son of Levi L. and Mar-
garet (Short) Beery. The father, a pio-
neer settler of this state, was born in Lan-
caster county, Ohio, in 1814, and was a
son of Isaac Beery, a native of Germany,
who came to Ohio on crossing the Atlan-
tic to America. Levi Beery was reared
in the Buckeye state and there wedded
Miss Margaret Short, who was a native
of Pennsylvania. He was a tanner by
trade and follow'ed that pursuit until
1840, Avhen he visited Iowa on a prospect-
ing tour and purchased land in Henry
county. In 1842 he removed with his
family to his farm in Baltimore township,
transforming the wild and unimproved
land into a rich and productive tract. In
the course of years his place became a
valuable farm and remained his home up
to the time of his death. He also had one
of the first saw and grist mills of the
county on Big Creek and was a promoter
of the substantial improvement and mate-
rial welfare of the county for many years.
As his financial resources increased he
made judicious investment in property
until he o^^'ned between seven and eight
hundred acres of land at the time of his
demise. He held different township
offices, the duties of which he discharged

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 51 of 85)