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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 54 of 85)
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an independent business career, his first was born July 18, 1876, and is the wife

employment being that of engineer in a of John W. Brown, of Lee county, Iowa ;

flouring mill and sawmill of this vicinity. Jimmie L., who was born September 10,

Six months later he removed to Hardin 1878, and is living in Salem township;

county, Iowa, where he worked at farm Susie R., who was born November 16,

labor for a year, after which he returned 1880, and is the wife of Bert A. Jay, of

to Henry county, where he was again em- Tippecanoe township; Martha L., who

ployed for a few years in a grist and saw- was born September 18, 1884, and is the

mill. He has been watchful of opportu- wife of Howard Brown, of Salem, Iowa;

nities pointing to success and by his ju- and Lawrence A., who was born Febru-

dicious use of the advantages which have ary 12, 1887, and is at home,
come to him he has gained a place among After his marriage David S. Mills was

the substantial agriculturists of Henry engaged at milling for a time, after which

county. he had charge of his father-in-law's farm

On the 19th of January, i860, Mr. for a year. He then rented land which

Mills was married to Miss Margaret A. he cultivated and improved and also a

Hockett, who was born in Salem town- tract of forty acres which his wife re-



ceived from her parents. Upon that place
he built a house which they occupied for
three years and then traded the property
for eighty acres in Hardin county, Iowa,
whereon they lived for about eight years,
although that period was not a continuous
one, for during an interval of a year they
lived in Henry county. At length Mr.
Mills purchased one hundred and sixty
acres in Hardin count};, which Avas open
prairie and he carried on general farm-
ing there for a time but eventually he sold
that property and built a frame store
building in Union, in which he conducted
a drug business and general store for six
months. Selling out his mercantile in-
terests, he returned to Tippecanoe town-
ship, Henry county, and purchased eighty
acres of land on section 33, to which he
has added from time to time until he now
owns two hundred and seventy-seven
acres of rich and productive land, situated
on section 33 and 34, Tippecanoe town-
ship. He carries on general farming and
also raises cattle, horses, and hogs. Mr.
Mills has met with difficulties and re-
verses in his business, but has regarded
these obstacles rather as an impetus for
renewed effort and has worked his wav
steadily upward through the force of un-
remitting diligence and determination. In
politics he is a democrat and has served
both as road supervisor and school di-
rector. He is interested in community
aft'airs to the extent of giving co-opera-
tion to many movements for the general
good, but his chief attention has been
^concentrated upon his business affairs
which have resulted beneficially in the ac-
quirement of one of the fine farms of the


In Carl Moehle we find a splendid rep-
resentative of the self-made man — a man
who without special family or pecuniary
advantages at the outset of his career has
worked his way steadily upward unde-
terred by difficulties and obstacles and has
by persistent and capable management
gained a desirable competence. He is
now successfully engaged in farming and
stock-raising, having a good tract of land
of one hundred and sixty acres in Henry
county and also one hundred and forty-
seven acres in Louisa county.

Mr. Moehle is a native of Germany,
his birth having occurred in Prussia on
the 4th of July, i860. His parents were
Gottlieb and Louisa (Brinkhoff) Moehle,
both of whom were natives of Germany.
There the father died in 1887 but the
mother is still living in her native land.

Carl Moehle had very limited oppor-
tunities for acquiring an education as he
had to begin earning his own living at an
early age. Hearing favorable reports
concerning America and its business
opportunities he resolved to test the truth
of these tales and benefit if possible by
the improved business conditions in the
new world. Accordingly he sailed for
the United States and on the 12th of
October, 1885, arrived in Burlington.
Having no capital it was necessary that
he secure immediate employment and for
three years he worked as a farm hand in
Des Moines county, during which time he
saved from his earnings the money which
enabled him to purchase a farm of eighty
acres. He then at once began its cultiva-
tion and improvement and afterward



added to it a tract of twenty acres. He
tlicn carried on farming on his own
account in Des Moines county until the
spring- of 1895. when he sold his first
propert}- and invested in one hundred and
sixtv-three acres on section 12, Scott
townshij). Henry county. In 1901 he
bought land in Louisa county just across
tiie road from his residence and he now
has one hundred and forty-seven acres in
that tract and one hundred and sixty
acres in the home place in Henry county.
The work of improvement has been car-
ried steadily forward here. He made addi-
tion to his barn forty feet square with six-
teen-foot posts and seven-foot basement.
He has room for two carloads of cattle
each year and he also raises from twenty-
five to seventy head of Poland China hogs
and from two to four head of horses
annually. He cultivates all his land,
carrying on general farming and the fields
return good crops for the care and labor
bestowed upon them. His field products
and his stock both find a ready sale on the
market and he is doing a profitable busi-
ness which each year adds to his income
and his capital.

On the 1 2th of March. 1889, Mr.
Moehle was united in marriage to Miss
, Tillie Yohontzmeier, who was born in
Franklin township, Des Moines county,
and is a daughter of Carl and Mary
(Breur) Yohontzmeier, both of whom
were natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs.
Moehle have five children. Lulu, Carl,
Clarence, Gilbert and John. Mr. Moehle
certainly deserves great credit for what he
has accomplished in life as he came to
America empty-handed and with little
knowledge of the English language. He

mastered the foreign tongue, acquainted
himself with business conditions and ad-
vantages in the new world and with the
utilization of his opportunities combined
with unremitting dililegence he has
worked his way steadily upward until he
is now accounted one of the prosperous
farmers of Scott township. Li politics
he is republican and is a Presbyterian in
religious faith.


Joseph M. Green, a capitalist largely
engaged in loaning money in Mount
Pleasant, was born in Henry county,
Iowa, on the 17th of March. 1850. His
parents, James C. and Jane (Morrison)
Green, were both natives of Pennsylvania,
and in the year 1836 the father came to
Iowa, settling in Henry county. He en-
tered a farm from the government and
began the development of the property,
making his home thereon until his death.
His children engaged in the operation of
the land, while he devoted his time to
loaning money and to other financial in-
terests, thus accumulating a very desir-
able competence. He died in the year
1888, and his remains were interred in
Green Mound cemetery at Trenton, Iowa.
His political allegiance was given to the
Democracy, and he was affiliated with the
various positions of political preferment,
serving as justice of the .peace in Tren-
ton, as a member of the board of super-
visors, of Henry county, and as a repre-



sentative to the state legislature. Be-
cause of his activity in business affairs
and political life he became one of the
prominent and influential residents of this
section of the state, leaving his impress
for good upon the history of Henry
county, with which he has been connected
from a ^■ery early epoch in its develop-
ment. Fraternally he was connected with
the Odd Fellows Society in which he
passed all of the chairs. His wife departed
this life in 1895. In their family were
nine children : Sarah, deceased ; Anna,
the wife of C. C. Turney, a resident of
Nebraska ; Samuel, wdio married Joel
Evert and is living in Trenton, Iowa ;
Charles, who wedded Martha Bone, and
resides in Mount Pleasant; Emily, de-
ceased ; Alice, who has also passed away ;
James, who married Mrs. Shaffer, and is
living in AVinfield, Iowa ; and Frank,

Joseph M. Green reared under the pa-
rental roof pursued his education in the
public schools of Trenton and afterward
gave his undivided attention to farm
work upon the old homestead, being thus
engaged until his father's death. In 1899
he located in Mount Pleasant, where he is
engaged in loaning money. He formerly
lived with his sister Alice and after her
death took up his abode in the Harlan
House. In 1898 he erected an elegant
resident at No. 301 Jefferson street, at
the corner of West Henry street. He is
a representative of an honored pioneer
family, the name Green being closely as-
sociated with the history of Henry
county from a very early date. His fa-
ther left him some means which he has
greatly increased through his judicious

investment and excellent business ability.
He displays keen discernment in business
transactions, sound judgment and unfal-
tering enterprise and his efforts have been
attended with a very gratifying measure
of prosperity.


Thomas B. Walker, who for manv
years was closely connected with agri-
cultural interests in Henry county but is
now living in Wayland, was born in Ran-
dolph county, Indiana, on the 13th of
December, 1835. He is a representative
of an old Virginia family. His paternal
grandparents, Horatio and Susan (Sad-
ler) Walker, w^ere born in Virginia,
whence they removed to Ross county,
Ohio, and it was there that William S.
Walker, father of our subject, was born
and reared. He wedded ]\Iiss Sarah
Parry, who was born in the eastern part
of Ohio and was a daughter of Caleb
and Ellen (McGiffen) Parry. The mar-
riage of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker
was celebrated in the Buckeye state and
they began their domsetic life there upon
a farm, his attention being devoted to
general agricultural pursuits until 1835.
In that year he removed to Indiana, where
he resided for ten }'ears and then brought
his family to Iowa, making the journey
westward by wagon. Few railroads had
been built in the country at that time and
most of the traveling was done by stage
or private conveyance. The Walker fam-



ily were over three weeks upon the way
in traversing a distance that could now
be covered in a few hours. They settled
three miles w^est of Burlington upon a
rented farm and three years later came to
Jefferson township, Henry county, where
the father purchased a tract of wild prai-
rie land upon which not a furrow had
been turned nor an improvement made.
He first built a log cabin into which the
family moved on the 29th of November,
1848. and thus in true pioneer style they
began life in this county. He continued
to reside upon the farm up to the time of
his death, w'hich occurred January 28,
1863. His widow long survived him and
died March 10, 1900.

Thomas B. \\'alker was less than ten
years old when brought by his parents to
Iowa, so that he w^as reared amid pioneer
surroundings here and like the other
members of the family he pursued his
early education in the public schools.

Mr. \\^alker made his home with his fa-
ther until the latter's death and then
started out in life for himself in 1863. He
farmed his mother's land until 1865, when
he went to California, spending two years
in the northern part of the state. He was
here engaged in teaming and working by
the month on ranches. In 1867 he re-
turned to Iowa. A short time prior to
his father's death he had purchased forty
acres of the home farm and in 1871 he
bought an adjoining tract of forty acres,
which was under cultivation. In 1874
he further extended the boundaries of his
property by buying a tract of one hundred
acres lying adjacent to the original farm
and a portion of which had been cul-

He also bought fiftv acres of land ad-
joining Way land on the north, a portion
of which lies within the corporation limits
of the cit}'. This was purchased in 1902
and was all used for farming but had no
buildings upon it.

He always carried on general farming,
the fields being well tilled and in addi-
tion to the cultivation of the cereals he
also raised and fed cattle and raised hogs
and horses. He retired from the active
work of the farm in Januar}', 1904, and
is now living in Wayland, his life hitherto
having been one of untiring activity.

\Y\t\\ the exception of two years spent
in California almost his entire life has
been passed in this part of the state and
for more than sixty years he has watched
its growth and development, noting the
many changes which have transformed it
from a primitive wilderness to a district
of rich fertility improved wnth all of the
advantages of modern civilization.


John F. Mallans, who for twenty-seven
years has resided on his present farm
in Center township, was born in Sara-
toga, New York, July 21, 1849. His
father. John Mallams, was a native
of England, born in 1824. and after
working in a coal mine for a year
and a half came to America in 1832.
being at that time only eig-ht years
of age. He accompanied his par-
ents, who made the voyage in a sailing



vessel which dropped anchor in the har-
bor of New York after sixty-five or sev-
enty days spent upon the ocean, during
which time a severe storm was encoun-
tered. The grandfather first engaged in
business and later turned his attention to
farming between Albany and New York,
where he cleared one hundred and sixty-
five acres of land which w^as devoted to
gardening and to the raising of various
cereals adapted to the soil and climate.
He met with reverses there, however, and
decided to come west, settling in the vi-
vicinity of Mount Pleasant, in 1855.
The father of our subject lived upon a
farm about a mile from where John F.
Mallams now makes his home and there
the latter remained until eighteen years
of age. The father afterward removed
to New London township when his son
John was about twenty-four years of age
and there he spent his remaining days,
passing away in 1892. He was married
three times and his widow is living in
New London. The mother of our sub-
ject W'as the first wife and there were
three children by that marriage, of whom
two are living, namely: Sarah J., of
Jefferson county, Iowa; and John F., of
this review. By the second marriage there
was one child, May C, now the wife of
Robert Frost, of Nebraska. There were
two children by the third marriage :
Beatrice, the wife of Ed DeGammo, of
New London, Iowa ; and Ferrell, wdio is
living in Jefferson county, this state. The
father was a republican in his political
views and served as school director and
as road supervisor. He and his wife held
membership in the Presbyterian church
and he was interested in all that pertains

to the general welfare of the communitv,
aiding as far as possible in the work of
public improvement and development.
When called to his final rest his remains
were interred in Bethel cemetery in Cen-
ter township.

John F. Mallams acquired his educa-
tion in the district schools of Henry
county and in Howe's Academy. He re-
mained with his father until twenty-four
years of age, working upon the home
farm and gaining" practical knowledge of
the best methods of tilling the soil and
caring for the crops. As a companion
and helpmate on life's journey he chose
Miss Emma S. Neel, to whom he w^as
married on the 31st of December, 1873.
She was born in Center tow'nship in 1849,
a daughter of Jesse and Rebecca (Strat-
ton) Neel. The father's birth occurred
in Franklin county, Maryland, and the
mother was born in Champaign county,
Ohio. She died in Iowa, August 26,
1892, in the house now^ occupied by "Sir.
Mallams. Mr. Neel came to the west in
1844 and here turned his attention to
general agricultural pursuits, although he
had followed carpentering in the east. He
carried on farming up to the time of his
retirement from business life about ten
or twelve years before he was called to
his final rest, his last years being spent
in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mal-
lams. His political allegiance w^as given
to the Republican party and both he and
his wife were members of the Christian
church. In the family of this worthy
couple were ten children, of whom
five are now living, namely : John.
N., who married Miss Ann Snow and
lives in Mount Pleasant; Ann, the wife



of George McNealley. of Russell, Iowa;
Ella, the wife of John Cox, of Mount
Pleasant; Emma, the wife of John F.
Mallams; and Sarah, who is the widow of
Enoch Davis and resides in Mount

Mr. and ^Irs. JNIallams have five sons.
all of whom were born in Henry count}-.
Francis Burke, born January 16, 1875
and now living in Center township, mar-
ried Miss Myrtle Purdy. by whom he has
two children. Miles Edgar and Florence
Elizabeth. Lot Neel, born September 29,
1875, is a railroad conductor living in
Aurora, Illinois. Robert Nelson, born
November 14, 1882. died December 23,
1894. John \\'ilbur, born February 13,
1885. Perry Franklin, born July 12,
1889, and Clarence Verl, born January
29, 1892, are all at home.

For twenty-seven years ]\Ir. Mal-
lams has resided upon his present
farm, which had formerly been the
home of his wife before her mar-
riage, so that she has lived here for
thirty-eight years. He has remodeled
the house and made other improvements
and the farm is kept in excellent condi-
tion. In addition to this property he also
owns twenty-seven acres of partially cul-
tivated land, also in Center township. His
home place is located on sections 5, 6, 7,
and 8, and the well tilled fields and neat
appearance of the place indicate the care-
ful supervision of a practical and pro-
gressive owner. Mr. Mallams is a repub-
lican and for four years has served as
school director. He belongs to Mystic
Lodge, No. 55, Independent Order of
Ofld Fellows, in which he has filled all of
the chairs and he and his wife are devoted

members of the Presbyterian church. In
business affairs and in citizenship he is
progressive and enterprising, just and
generous and both Mr. and Mrs. Mal-
lams are highly esteemed in the commu-
nity, where they make their home. Since
the above was written they have sold out
and removed from Henry county to Van
Buren county, Hillsboro still being their


George H. Conover. a retired contractor
and builder now living upon a farm in
Jefferson township, has made his home
upon this place since 1863. His activity
and energy in former years brought him
the capital that now enables him to rest
from further labors and in well earned
ease he is enjoying life and the fruits of
his former toil. He was born in Mon-
mouth county, New Jersey, April 10,
1832, and he was the third in a family of
seven children, three sons and four daugh-
ters, whose parents were Cornelius D.
and Johnanna G. (Rogers) Conover.
both of whom were natives of Monmouth
county. New Jersey. The parents were
farming people of that state, where they
spent their entire lives, the father dying
June 18. 1849. while the mother passed
away on the 2d of November, 1857.

George H. Conover spent his youth in
the state of his nativity and acquired his
education in the common schols there. He
afterward went to New York city, where
he learned and followed the carpenter's



trade, spending more than four years in
the eastern metropoHs. On the 7th of Jan-
uary, 1856, he came to Henry county, be-
Heving that he might have better business
oportunities in this section of the state,
which was then comparatively new but
was developing rapidly. He remained
with an uncle the first winter and on the
1st of March, 1856, he secured a contract
and beg'an the erection of a large brick
residence for Jacob Moore, doing the
woodwork alone. It recjuired a year to
complete that task. He also built a frame
house about the same time and his ex-
cellent workmanship soon established his
reputation and secured him a large and
growing patronage. He did contracting
and building all through the country and
has erected many of the finest buildings
in this section of Iowa. Every house
which he has erected has withstood the
wind storms and the ravages of time,
showing that they were well constructed.
In 1862 he purchased a farm of eighty
acres on section 24, Jefferson township,
on which some improvements had been
made and there he built a small house, in
which he lived until he erected his pres-
ent residence of eight rooms. There is
a cellar underneath the whole house and
a thirteen-inch wall of brick. In 1873,
he rented his land, while he continued in
the contracting and building business, but
in the spring of 1897 he retired therefrom
and has since resided on his farm.

On the 24th of October, 1858, was
celebrated the marriage of Mr. Conover
and Miss Adelaide Kingsbury. She was
educated in the common schools of Indiana
and when eighteen years of age left that
state and came to Mount Pleasant with

her parents, George and Rebecca ( Ra-
mey) Kingsbury, the former a native of
Connecticut and the latter of Indiana. In
their family were the following children :
Edmond F., who was born May 22, i860,
and is living in Henry county; Madison
M., who was born August 24, 1862, and
died August 28, 1862.; Lottie M., who
was born August 24, 1863, and died on
the 29th of September of the same year;
Freddie G.«, who was born June 4, 1865,
and died on the 21st of August, follow-
ing; Lue R., who was born October 8.
1866, and died September 22, 1878;
Howard H., who was born May 10, 1868,
and is a resident of Buda, Illinois ; George
W., who was born September 16, 1869,
and is living in Wayland, Iowa; Etta M.,
who was born October 11, 1871, and died
October 16, 1872; Lettie, who was born
September 21, 1873, and died on the 8th
of November, of that year; Elmer, who
was born March 5, 1875, and died Sep-
tember 14, 1878; Irvin, who was born
July 28, 1878, and resided in Mount
Pleasant; and Florence, who was born
October 16, 1879, and is at home with her

Mr. Conover has led a busy and use-
ful life and all his undertakings have been
characterized by the thoroughness and re-
liability. Many of the fine buildings of
the county stand as monuments to his
thrift, skill, and labor, and at all times he
has maintained an excellent reputation for
enterprise and straightforward dealing.
In politics he is a republican but has been
without aspiration for office, giving his
entire time to his business affairs which
have been capably managed. Now in the
evening of life with a comfortable compe-



tence which is the reward of earnest en-
deavor he is lixing retired upon his farm
in the enjoyment of a well earned rest.


Azel Freeman, deceased, in whose
death the community lost a .representa-
tive citizen and an enterprising farmer,
was born in Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, October 4, 1834. He represented
one of the old families of that state, his
parents being John M. and Julia Ann
(Hop wood) Freeman, who were likewise
natives of Pennsylvania. The mother's
birth occurred in Monroe and both died
in Fayette county.

Azel Freeman was a district school stu-
dent, at Walnut Hill, Pennsylvania, in
his boyhood days and was reared in the
usual manner of farm lads, assisting in
the labors of field and meadow when not
occupied with the duties of the school
room. He continued his active connec-
tions with farming interests in the Key-
stone state until his removal to Iowa,
when he purchased one hundred acres of
land on the southeast quarter of section
II, Scott township, Henry county. A
house had been erected here and there
was a barn, orchard and good fences.
With characteristic energy Mr. Freeman
began the further development and im-
provement of this place, which soon gave
evidence of his careful supervision and
labor in its well kept appearance and large
crops. After about eight years he pur-

chased other land in the same locality, se-
curing in all two hundred and forty acres
of cultivable land and fifteen acres of tim-

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 54 of 85)