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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 55 of 85)
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ber land in Henry county and five acres
in Louisa county. He built a large hay
barn and good sheds and at different times
added to and remodeled the house, mak-
ing one of the best improved farm prop-
erties in his township. In all of his work
he was systematic, realizing that "order
is nature's first law," and by his prac-
tical and indefatigable effort he achieved
a gratifying measure of success. His at-
tention was devoted to general farming
until 1885, when he ceased to cultivate
his land to any extent but used it for pas-

On the 4th of October, 1864, Mr. Free-
man was united in marriage to Miss
Frances Nixon, who was born in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, in which state the
marriage was celebrated. Mrs. Freeman
was a daughter of Moses H. and Louisa
(Bailey) Nixon, the former a native of
Fayette county and the latter of Green
county, Pennsylvania. Her paternal grand-
parents were William and Frances (Smi-
ley) Nixon, the former a native of Ire-
land and the latter of Fayette county,
Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandpar-
ents were Eli and Perly (Gregg) Bailey,
both natives of Green county. Mrs. Free-
man pursued her education in the public
schools and remained at home up to the
time of her marriage. This union was
blessed with three daughters : Anna Lou-
isa, who was born September 11, 1865,
and died January 2, 1869 ; Elizabeth, born
October 2, 1868, the wife of C. A. Mil-
ler, a resident farmer of Scott township;
and Julia Eva. who is at home with her



mother, was born June 18, 1876, and is
a graduate of the Iowa Wesleyan Uni-
versity, of the class of 1897.

On the 4th of June, 1901, Azel Free-
man was caUed to his final rest and his
death was deeply regretted by many
friends as well as his immediate family.
He voted with the Republican party, his
first presidential vote being cast for John
C. Fremont, and in all matters of citi-
zenship was public spirited and progres-
sive, taking an active and helpful part in
supporting many measures for the public
good. He held membership in the Metho-
dist Episcopal church and its teachings
permeated his life and guided him in his
relations with his fellow men. After her
husband's death Mrs. Freeman lived
upon the home farm until March i, 1902,
when she bought a fine property in Win-
field. She has rented the farm, which
returns to her a good annual income and
with her daughter, Julia Eva Freeman,
makes her home in the village. The
mother and daughters are well known so-
cially in this part of the county and have
a wide circle of warm friends.


Mrs. Freeman's grandfather died on
his way to California, and sleeps beneath
the placid waters of the Pacific ocean. Mr.
Freemaii has a noble ancestry.

On his mother's side the Hopwood's
family is traced back to Normandy
whence , in 1066, they came with William
the Conquorer to England and helped
found a new kingdom at the battle of
Hastings. About the year 1700 Moses
Hopwood came to America and settled in

Virginia. His sons took part in the Rev-
olutionary war, one being one of Gen-
eral Washington's staff officers.

At the close of the war he settled in
western Penns3dvania. The Freemans are
originally from Oxford, England.

The first representatives of the family
to come to the new world were Edward
Freeman and his three sons, boys between
the ages of ten and fifteen years, who
came over in 1681 in the same ship that
brought William Penn.

At the landing where Philadelphia now
stands Mr. Freeman was accidentally
knocked overboard and his body never
recovered. The three boys left friendless
and penniless ( for the father's wealth was
all on his person) were after the custom
of that age, bound out.

The oldest, Henry, had a very tyran-
nical master, whom he soon left, crossing
the Delaware river into New Jersey by
night and found a refuge, and when
grown to manhood amassed a fortune
there, and from there moved into western

Although men of peace, they were ever
ready to shoulder the musket in defense of
home and nati^'e land. So we find them
fighting under Washington at Monmouth
and elsewhere.

Physically they had the lilue eyes and
fair complexions of their Norman ances-
tors, were men of powerful physique and
capable of great physical endurance.
Modest and unassuming, broad minded
and generous, hating everything mean or
dishonorable, the}' were men whose in-
fluence was always on the side of right,
men from whom no one deserving ever
asked help in vain.




John J. Fitzgerald, a capitalist of
Mount Pleasant, was born in Mason
county, Kentucky. January 5, 1856, and
is a son of John and Isabelle (Wallace)
Fitzgerald, the former also a native of
Kentucky, a son of Moses and Nancy
(White) Fitzgerald. Moses was born in
Kentucky, and Miss AMiite in Pennsyl-
vania. Moses served as a soldier in the
war of 181 2.

Isabelle \\'allace is the daughter of
David and Nancy (Campbell) Wallace,
both born near Londonderry. Ireland, of
Scotch ancestry.

Both the Fitzgerald and Wallace fami-
lies have the religious faith of the Pres-
byterian church, the former being estab-
lished in Virginia at the early day of the
colonization of the new world, and later
becoming residents of Kentucky. The
Fitzgeralds were very prominent in the
Blue-grass state, were connected w'ith
many of the leading families, and were in-
terested in many matters of public mo-
ment. The father of our subject is now
deceased, having passed away in Ken-
tucky, in August. 1855, of cholera, but the
mother is still living, making her home in
this city.

John J. Fitzgerald was brought to Iowa
in his boyhood days and is a graduate
of the Mount Pleasant high school. He
won the degree of Bachelor of Arts upon
graduation from the Iowa Wesleyan Uni-
versity in 1875. after which he entered
the law office of Woolson & Babb. re-
maining until after his examination and
admission to the bar in 1878. He prac-
ticed law for about one vear. l)ut studied

the profession mainly for the purpose of
using his knowledge in the management
of his private business interests. Since
coming to Iowa in his vouth he has lived
in Washington and Henry counties, and
is the owner of six hundred acres of very
valuable farming land in addition to his
residence property in Mount Pleasant and
a three-story business building on the
square. He owns altogether about forty
acres of land within the city limits. He
has recently purchased three sections of
land in Canada and he likewise has large
property interests in Seattle, Washington.
He is a lumber manufacturer of Florida,
where he owns several thousand acres of
land, and lumber. He has two saw mills
near Argyle and there he gives employ-
ment to many men, while his Florida
home is at De Funiak Springs, a beautiful
resort location and also the location of
the Florida Chautauqua, of which Mr.
Fitzgerald is an active director. He is
now one of the oldest directors in point of
service, and has helped to build up one of
the largest Chautauqua Associations in the
United States. Mr. Fitzgerald, wath two
others, bought the State Normal College
buildings and are now locating a Presby-
terian college. Here Mr. Fitzgerald has
made his Avinter home for twenty-one

He deals quite extensively in land in
Henry county, and yet not in the line of
real-estate operations, but rather as an

On the 31st of October, 1878, in Pekin,
Illinois, Mr. Fitzgerald was married to
Miss Anna Smith, a daughter of Henry
Smith, who is now deceased. The father
was an extensive manufacturer of wagons


THE WRW roftk



and farm implements, which business is church at De Funiak Springs, and is the

still conducted under his name in Pekin. oldest director in the Chautauqua there.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald were born This is the third Chautauqua in point of

the following named : Isabelle, born De- importance in the United States, holding

cember i. 1879, a graduate of the State session for nine weeks and drawing its

Normal School at De Funiak Springs, audiences from all parts of the United

Florida, of the class of 1902, and is now States. Mr. Fitzgerald has been con-

the wife of L. D. Hathaway, of Brooks- nected therewith for fifteen years, and his

ville, Florida. wise counsel is an important element in

Catherine, born August 3, 1881, the its success. While in college he was a

W'ife of W. T. Shepard, of Montgomery, member of the Beta Theta Pi. In politics he

Alabama, where he is engaged in the is a stalwart republican and formerly was a

wholesale lumber business and they have member of the central county committee

three children, Anna, and Vanna, twins, and frequently addressed audiences on the

and Catherine. issues of the campaigns. His life stands for

John \\'allace, born September i, 1883, progress of material, intellectual and

spent one year as a student in the Iowa moral progress. His success is largely

Wesleyan University and one year in the the result of his own efforts, for though

Chicago University, and was about ready he inherited property in later life, he had

to graduate from the State Normal Uni- previously secured a considerable meas-

versity, at De Funiak Springs, when his ure of prosperity, owing to his judicious

health failed him and he is now in Mont- investments and his careful control of his

gomery , Alabama. business interests. In his private life he

Anna, born June 9, 1889; Henry Paul, is distinguished by all that marks the

May 26, 1893; Ruth, October 19, 1895; true gentleman. His is a noble character

and Donald C, August 13, 1897, are all at — one of the subordinates of public am-

home. Mrs. Fitzgerald was in delicate bition to public good, and seeks rather

health for twenty years and died at De the benefit of others than the aggrandize-

Funiak Springs, Florida, August 27. ment of self. His many good works have

1903, her remains being interred there at won him generous commendation from

the Valley church. For many years Mr. his contemporaries, who unite in bearing

Fitzgerald devoted almost his entire at- testimony of his high character and su-

tention to the care of his wife, doing all perior mind,
in his power to promote her comfort.

In public affairs relating to the progress

and welfare of this community, ]\Ir. Fitz-
gerald is deeply interested and his co- DAVID FRANCY.
operation has been a potent element for

good, along many lines of advancement. David Francy, a retired farmer and

He is a trustee of the Iowa Wesleyan Uni- stock-raiser, residing in Mount Pleasant, is

versitv, is an elder in the Presbyterian one of Henry county's native sons, his



birth having occurred in Jackson town-
ship on the loth of November, 1855. His
father. John Francy, was a farmer and
stock-raiser and was closely associated
with the agricultural development of this
county for many years. His birth oc-
curred in Ireland and his wife, who bore
the maiden name of Joyce Richey, was
also born in that country. In 185 1 they
took up their abode upon the old home-
stead farm in Jackson township, where
they spent their remaining days. The
father was not only an enterprising and
progressive business man but was also
influential in community affairs and
served as township trustee and in other
local offices, giving an unfaltering sup-
port to the Democracy from the time he
became a naturalized American citizen.
His religious faith was^that of the Metho-
dist Episcopal church. When called to
his final rest his remains were interred at
Pleasant Hill chapel, in Center township,
and his wife's grave was there made by
his side.

David Francy acquired a district school
education and then began work upon the
home farm, continuing with his father un-
til twenty-four years of age, when, in
1878. he was married to Miss Ella Clark,
a daughter of Moses A. and Nancy E.
Clark, farming people of this county.
Her parents are now deceased and his
grave was made in Baltimore township,
while his widow was buried in Pleasant
Hill chapel cemetery. :\Irs. Clark was a
pioneer resident of this county. Her birth
occurred in Nova Scotia in 181 8, and she
came to Iowa in 1838, when Henry
cr)unty was an almost unbroken wilder-
ness. For long years she was a witness of

the changes that occurred as the wild
land was reclaimed for the uses of civili-
zation, as farms were developed and the
towns built. She died in 1905, at the very
venerable age of eighty-seven years, her
death resulting from an accident. Mrs.
Francy was born in Jackson township and
spent her girlhood days under the parent-
al roof. By this marriage there are nine
children : Wilbur, who was born April
16. 1880, and attended Howe's Academy,
in Mount Pleasant, is now in Chicago
with Seigel Cooper & Company; Clyde,
wdio was born July 29, 1882, and died
October 4. 1903, his remains being in-
terred in Pleasant Hill chapel cemetery ;
Maude, born July 4, 1884, and Blanch,
July 3. 1886, are now employed at the
Fair, at Chicago ; May, on the 28th of
May, 1888, is now the wife of George
Staub, of Denmark, low^a ; Harry, May
31, 1890; Mark, January 21, 1894; Vic-
tor, April 16, 1901 ; and Eloise, July 8,
1902. A year after his marriage Mr.
Francy purchased a farm of sixty-eight
acres in Jackson township, which con-
stituted the nucleus of his present exten-
sive possessions. He began its cultivation
and impro^^ement and the good crops
which he raised soon brought him a grati-
fying financial return. As his resources
thus increased, he added to his property
from time to time until he became the
owner of about six hundred acres of very
valuable land, including the old home-
stead. His farms lie in Jackson, Balti-
more, Center, and New London tovvn-
ships. All are rich land and he has im-
proved much of this, not only placing the
fields under cultivation but also building
substantial residences, good barns and



sheds. His industry has been a stiOiig'
factor in his career and the basis of a
prosperity which is as creditable as it is
desirable. He has also carried on stock
raising on an extensive scale, selling to
local dealers and both branches of his
business prove profitable. He continued
to reside upon his farm until November,
1903, when he removed to the city of
Mount Pleasant, purchasing a fine resi-
dence in the eastern district. Mr. Francy
votes with the Democracy but is not ac-
tive in politics. His wife is a member of
the Methodist church and he contributes
to its- support. He is now living retired
and his rest is well merited because it has
been honorably earned. He figured for
many years as a leading agriculturist and
stock-raiser of the county and his life
record proves the attractiveness of this
district as a place of residence, showing
what has been accomplished by one of its
native sons through close application, un-
remitting diligence and laudable ambition.


James Culligan, a retired farmer living
at No. 1 00 1 East Washington street,
Mount Pleasant, has made a creditable
record and his life stands in exemplifica-
tion of the fact that success is the legiti-
mate outcome of earnest and indefatigable
labor, guided by sound judgment. He was
born in Ireland in 1838, and is a son of
Dennis and Mary (Kane) Culligan.
When a little boy he accompanied his par-

ents on their emigration to America, the
family home being established in Owego,
New York, where the mother died in
1864. The father was a tailor by trade
and neither of the parents ever came to
the west. In their family were eleven
children, of whom three are now living:
James; Catherine, the wife of Michael
Frawley, a resident of Owego, New
York; and Patrick, who married Miss
•Katherine Shay and is living in Ithaca,
New York.

James Culligan acquired his education
in the public schools of Owego, and on
leaving the Empire state went to Canada,
where he entered business by devoting two
years to work as a fireman on the railroad,
also teamster for a lumber camp. He then
returned to the United States and again
spent a number of years in New York.
He was in Rochester and in Buffalo, and
afterward was in Cleveland and Cincin-
nati, Ohio, in Indiana and also in
St. Louis, Missouri, being engaged in
railroading from each place. In 1856 he
arrived in Henry county, Iowa, and es-
tablished his home in Mount Pleasant,
continuing upon the Burlington road for
nine years, he havinghelpedtolay the track
into the town. With the money he had
saved from his earnings he then purchased
an improved farm of two hundred acres,
in Jackson township, and in 1865 began
tilling the fields and raising stock. For
almost thirty years thereafter he devoted
his time and energies to general agricul-
tural pursuits and then retired from fann-
ing, leasing the place and removing to his
comfortable home on East Washington
street in Mount Pleasant. His life has
been characterized by unfaltering dili-



gence, by a utilization of all the means at
hand and by a watchfulness of all that has
enabled him to embrace opportunity for
winning- success and moreover he sustains
an unassailaljle reputation in business

Jn August, 1857, ]\Ir. Culligan was
married to Miss Johannah Clancey, who
M-as born in Ireland, in which country her
parents died, and in her early girlhood she
was brought to the United States by a
brother and sister. Her parents had ten
or eleven children, of whom only two are
now living: Mary, now Mrs. Maloney,
of Mount Pleasant ; and John, who is liv-
ing in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Unto Mr.
and Mrs. Culligan were born twelve chil-
dren, six sons and six daughters; but the
eldest, a son. died unnamed. Susannah
and Dennis, the second and third children,
died in infancy, while Kate died at the age
of thirteen years. Ella is a trained nurse
in the Clarinda, Iowa (Iowa) Hospital,
first taking a course in the A'lount Pleas-
ant Hospital and afterward graduating
from the Clarinda Hospital, in which she
is now regarded as one of the most com-
petent nurses. Mary Ann also pursued a
course in the Mount Pleasant Hospital,
but is now acting as her father's house-
keeper. Michael Culligan. who is a clerk in
a large lumber establishment there, is mar-
ried and has two children, Catherine and
Florence Stuart. Edward died at the age
of twenty-two years. Marcus died in in-
fancy. William, who is now the agent
and operator for the Burlington Railroad,
at West Point, Iowa, married Katherine
Stevensmire. and has six children. James
Alfonscj, Steven Stacia. Edward Chris-
topher, Agnes. Eveline and Angeline

Axere twins, both of whom are deceased.
Hannah was the wife of Joseph Hellman,
a resident of St. Paul, Lee county, Iowa,
and she has had two children, Helena, now
deceased; and James Henry. Elizabeth
died in March, 1896, at the age of eight-
een years.

In 1895 Mr. Culligan was called upon
to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on
the 1 8th of September, of that year, and
was buried in St. Paul cemetery, in Lee
county, Iowa. She was fifty-five years
of age at the time of her demise. A home-
loving woman, she devoted to her family
and possessed many excellent traits which
seem to have been inherited by her daugh-
ter, who is now at home. She was a com-
municant of the Catholic church, to which
Mr. Culligan also belongs. He usually
votes the democratic ticket, but does not
consider himself bound to party ties, and
often casts his ballot for a candidate with-
out regard to his political affiliation. He
is one of the old-time residents of the
county; and Mount Pleasant was a little
village when he took up his abode here. It
contained at that time only one or two
sidewalks, one being in front of the Tif-
fany House, on West Monroe street, and
north on Jefferson street. Today the city
contains every modern equipment and im-
provement and its beautiful homes and
well kept streets together with its splen-
did business enterprises and educational
facilities make it one of the model cities
of eastern Iowa. Mr. Culligan is of a
retiring disposition, but honest and re-
liable and may well be termed a self-made
man. having acquired through his own la-
bor the competence that now enables him
to rest from further business cares. His



economy and fair dealing constitute the
secret of his success and have been cjuali-
ties which have won for him the admira-
tion of his fellow men.


Elmer L. Reed, proprietor of a steam
laundry in Mount Pleasant, and thus con-
nected with the industrial life of the city,
is a young man of good business ability
who has already won creditable success
since he became a factor in business life.
He was born March 6, 1884, in Olds,
Iowa, his parents being James H. and Mar-
tha (Shafer) Reed. His father is also a
native of Olds, born in 1855, and is now a
prosperous farmer residing near his na-
tive village. He purchased land from his
father and has placed the most of the im-
provements on the property, transforming
it into a splendidly improved farm. In
his political view^s he has always been an
earnest republican and has long served as
school director and for eight years has
been road supervisor, discharging his of-
ficial duties with a promptness and fidelity
that has won him high commendation.
Both he and his wife are devoted and sin-
cere members of the Wesleyan church.
Mrs. Reed w^as born in Henry county in
1865, and thus both were representatives
of old pioneer families of this part of the
state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. James H. Reed
have been born eight children and the fam-
ily circle yet remains unbroken by the
hand of death. William Allen, the eldest.

living in Crawfordsville, Iowa, married
Miss Mary Fishburn and they have one
child. Elmer L. is the second in order of
birth. Jennie L., Joseph Leslie, Roscoe
Harold, John Raymond, Mattie Marie
and Nettie Louisa, are all at home. The
four elder children attended the district
schools of the county and afterward be-
came students in the jMount Pleasant

Elmer L. Reed was afforded educa-
tional privileges equivalent to those ex-
tended the others of the household and
when he had put aside his text-books he
entered business life as a clerk in a hard
ware store, being thus employed for three
months in Mount Pleasant. On the 26th
of June, 1905, he opened a steam laundry
at the corner of Monroe and Adams
streets. It is the only establishment of
the kind in the city and he gives employ-
ment to eight operatives. The laundry
is well equipped with modern machinery
and he conducts an extensive business, his
patronage is constantly increasing. He is
a pleasant and intelligent young man
with a host of warm friends, and is meet-
ing- with very desirable success in his busi-
ness career. His political support is given
to the Republican party.


Dr. Stuart, magnetic physician, who
is a well known figure throughout Henry
county, is an honored member of a noble
calling, and well sustains the best tradi-



tioiis of his profession. It is a calling that
demands the best in human nature, and
confers its richest rewards only on those
who take its vows of consecration, and
live as brothers to all the world of suffer-
ing and needy. It is the work of the physi-
cian to help and cheer. It is his to put
courage into hearts that falter and faint,
and strength into bodies weak and feeble.
His shadow uix)n the threshold of pain
should be a benediction upon the fevered
brow of sickness, and in his touch a heal-
ing. Such men are very close to the heart
of the race; and when they are once dis-
covered, are revered and loved. Dr.
Stuart is a man after the best ideals of
his profession, studious and learned,
deeply versed in medical lore, but modest
and unassuming, he is respected and es-
teemed w^herever he is known.

Dr. Stuart is of Scotch descent, of the
historic house of Stuart, Kings of Eng-
land and Scotland. He was born in Edin-
burgh, Scotland, FebruaiT 14, 1856, the
son of John and Anne (Fortheringham)
Stuart. The father was a physician of
great prominence in Edinburgh in both
professional and political lines. He was
a member of the city council of Edin-
burgh, and was celebrated throughout the
entire country for his high rank in his pro-
fession being president of the Royal Col-

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 55 of 85)