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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 61 of 85)
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he also operates his father-in-law's farm,
which lies just across the road. He tills
the soil and annually harvests good crops
of grain. He also raises about one hun-
dred head of Poland China hogs each
year and this proves to be a profitable
source of income. He is a republican in
his political views and in 1898 was chosen
township trustee, in which position he
will continue (having been re-elected)
until the fall of 1906. He is an active
and earnest member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, in which he has served
as steward from 1895 until 1905. He
does all in his power to promote the po-
litical principles in which he believes and
his active aid in behalf of public progress
and improvement has been a tangible and
valuable factor in the work accomplished
in Henrv countv.

D. ^^^ brown,

D. W. Brown, president and general
manager of the Brown Mercantile Com-
pany of New London, is closely identified

with the most thriving business interests
of the village. He is a man who through
his energy and executive ability has made
himself an enviable place in the world.

The Brown ^Mercantile Company occupy
the large building owned by D. \V.
Brown. M. C. Parrott and C. E. Hamp-
ton, of Blount Pleasant. They have a
stock consisting of general merchandise
and light hardware.

It was in 1897 that Mr. Brown first
entered into business in New London.
For one year he kept a stock of groceries
exclusively, then added another depart-
ment to his business, introducing a line
of shoes and finally adding a stock of dry
goods. He was sole proprietor and man-
ager of this department store until 1901,
when he sold a half interest to H. G. Gra-
ham, of Birmingham, Iowa, and took him
as a partner. The firm continued' under
this management until September of
1 90 1, when a stock company was formed
with a capital of $12,000. The business
was incorporated with three stockhold-
ers. W. D. Brown, H. G. Graham and M;
C. Parrott. Mr. Graham and 'Mr. Par-
rott then sold their stock to W. D. Mil-
ler and C. M. Miller and the capi-
tal stock was increased to $18,000. In
March. 1904, Mr. \\\ \\\ Cunning-
ham purchased the stock of the Mil-
ler brothers and the stockholders are
now D. W. Brown, president : W. W.
Cunningham, secretary and treasurer;
and I. Redfern vice-president, the last
named holds $2,000 worth of stock.

D. \\'. Brown is a son of John G. and
Sarah (Walker) Brown and was born
in Birmingham, Van Buren county, Iowa,
December 20. 1865. He was educated in



the public schools of the town of his birth
and after finishing his education worked
for three years upon a farm. At the end
of this time he secured a position as grain
buyer for Bryant & Rittenhouse, of Win-
field, Iowa, with headquarters at Marsh,
Iowa. He remained with this company
for two vears then went to Sante Fe, New
Mexico, where he entered the employ-
ment of the Sante Fe Railroad Company
as clerk and telegraph operator. At the
expiration of one year of employment
in this capacity, he became a clerk for E.
Manning, of Cantrill, Iowa. For ten
years he remained with Mr. Manning,
then engaged in business for himself in
Bonaparte, Iowa, conducting a general
store with a stock of groceries and shoes.
In 1897 he transferred his interest to
New London, where he has since been a
loyal and earnest citizen.

Mr. Brown is a member of various so-
cial and fraternal organizations, being
connected with the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 288, and the
Knights of Pythias and the L'nity Lodge.
He is a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church.

On June 25, 1894, Mr. Brown was
vvedded to Maggie E. Moore, a daughter
of David H. and Luella (McCartney)
Moore. She was also a native of Birm-
ingham. They have three children, Wal-
ter G., Louella, and Craig.

Mr. Brown's father was a native of
York county, Pennsylvania. In his youth
he went to Ohio to reside, then later re-
moved to Iowa, where he resided perma-
nently. The grandfather served in the
war of 1812; he was of Irish descent, the
family originally coming from Ireland.

Mr. Brown though still a young man
has behind him an enviable career, worthy
of emulation by all young men who
would succeed in life and he has before
him the reaping of the harvest of his
early labors. He has grasped the oppor-
tunities that have come to him and has
made his life a financial as well as a so-
cial success. He has won by his achieve-
ments the respected honor of his fel-
low rhen.


New London is proud to number among
her representative citizens Carl William
von Coelln a man of broad and liberal
culture : a man who values and appre-
ciates education, for education's sake, who
has devoted his life to the spreading of
the ideas and to the creating of the ideals
that go to make up a broad and well
rounded existence. By his living the cause
of education has been materially ad-
vanced, for he has been successively stu-
dent, teacher and editor. It is to Ger-
many that ^ve are indebted for many of
our scholarly men. In this country Carl
\A'illiam von Coelln was born on August
31, 1830, in the province of Westphalia.
He is the son of Theodore August and
Charlotte (Evers) von Coelln. Lie at-
tended the public schools in the city where
his father was pastor, later the gymna-
sium, at Hereford, from which he was
graduated in 1851, then the L^niversity
at Bonn, after which he entered the Ger-
man armv, serving for one vear, during



this time he furnished his own provi-
sio;is and being a graduate of a gymna-
sium, he was required to serve only a
year. In 1835, he took passage upon a
saihng vessel bound for Xew York, and
after a voyage of fifty-two days reached
distination in safety. From New York,
he went to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where
he found employment upon a dairy farm
for one year. At the end of that period,
he began teaching, and for the succeeding
five years, taught in private schools and
academies in Ashtabula, Trumbull, and
Summit counties. In 1861 he went to
Des Moines and became a teacher in the
public schools for six months, then opened
an academy in Cascade, Dubuque county.
Later he was chosen professor of mathe-
matics in Iowa College at Grinnell. re-
maining there for seven years ; then for
one and one-half years he taught in the
college at Kidder, Missouri, following
which he became instructor in Waterloo,
Iowa, in the public schools.

From 1876 until 1882 he served as
state superintendent, then entered the
public schools at Dennison as a teacher,
where he remained until he gave up his
position to enter the employ of D. Apple-
ton »& Company, publishers of school

In 1892 he went to Storm Lake, Iowa,
to become professor of mathematics but
at the expiration of four and a half years
retired from active life.

Again in 1902 he entered the field of
active labor, becoming county superin-
tendent of schools of Crawford county.
He remained in this position for two
years and in the spring of 1904 went
to New London to become editor-in-chief

of the Farmer Times, a paper which he
purchased in partnership with his daugh-
ter. Anna.

In his religious views Air. von Coelln
is a Presbyterian, and a stanch supporter
of the church in which he for many years
has been an elder.

In politics he is a republican and a
firm believer in the doctrines as set forth
by the party to which he belongs.

On the 19th of November. 1857, Wil-
liam von Coelln married Celia A. Good-
rich, of Ashtabula county. They have
five children, Charlotta (Mrs. Harvey J.
Cook), of Dennison: Theodore A., who
has not been heard from in twelve years ;
Carl D. connected with the Nonpariel, of
Council Bluffs; Laura Christina (Mrs.
Eugene Connor), of Tama; and Anna,
her father's assistant and a member of
the firm.

In 1896 \Miitney & Noble owned the
printing establishment, of which Mr. von
Coelln is now the proprietor, publishing
a paper called The Moon. \\'hitney &
Noble sold the business to Mr. Gifford,
who changed the name of the paper to the
Times, which was afterwards consoli-
dated with the Farmer.

W'hen Mr. von Coelln entered this
business he purchased the Farmer's Times.
It has a circulation of about one thou-
sand copies and is a bright and newsy
paper, always watched for expectantly by
its subscribers; the only paper in New

Mr. von Coelln has lived a life of de-
votion to his chosen profession and has
ever been an active worker in the field
of education. His life has indeed been well
spent for by his career as a teacher and



his business life as an editor he has been
instrumental in a wide-spread dissemina-
tion of knowledge. Mr. von Coelln is
loved and respected by all who know him
and well deserves the position he holds as
one of the foremost citizens of Xew


Dr. James McFarland Evans, classed
with the successful practitioners of Sa-
lem, possesses a nature that could never
be content with mediocrity and by reason,
close application and laudable ambition
he has worked his way steadily upward.
He is descended from Scotch and Irish
ancestry, tracing the line back to Daniel
McFarland, who came from Scotland to
America about 1750, and after residing
for a time in Xew England took up his
permanent abode in W^ashington county,
Pennsylvania, where he became a very en-
terprising and prominent citizen. He held
a commission as a soldier in the Revolu-
tionary war and died in 181 7, at the ad-
vanced age of eighty-seven years, leaving
a comfortable estate which is still in pos-
session of his descendants. He was the
father of Judge \Mlliam McFarland,
whose daughter, Sarah McFarland, be-
came the wife of Joseph Evans, who w^as
of W'elsh descent. Their son, Abel M.
Evans, was the father of Dr. Evans. Abel
Evans was born iniSiQ, and on the 15th
of March, 1838, married Elizabeth Weir,
who was born in 1821, and whose father,
Adam Weir, was the William Weir

who came to this country from Scot-
land in 1750, and settled in Frank-
lin county, Pennsylvania. The Wier
family, residents of the parish of
Lesmahagow, in Scotland, was at one
time very prominent in that country, it
being registered that in 1695 two mem-
bers of the family, James and John Weir,
ow^ned an estate and grounds known as
Glenare and that the castle remained
standing until 1857. Others of the fam-
ily were clergymen, soldiers, members of
parliament and military leaders who were
conspucious during the war of the Cove-
nant in Scotland, which raged during the
sixteenth century, fighting bravely for the
right to worship according to the dic-
tates of their consciences. In various
walks of life representatives of the fam-
ily attained prominence and distinction.

Abel Evans died in March, 1903, at
the age of eighty-five years. He had two
sons, the elder being Samuel, who died
June 30, 1864, from the effects of wounds
sustained at the battle of Cold Harbor.
The mother died when Dr. Evans of this
re\-iew was but two weeks old and he was
therefore reared by relatives.

In the common schools of Pennsyl-
vania Dr. Evans acquired his early educa-
tion and at the age of sixteen years en-
tered Waynesburg College in Greene
county, Pennsylvania, where he remained
a student for three years but he left that
institution before the completion of his
course in order to enlist in the Union
army, becoming a private of Company K,
Eighth Pennsvlvania Reserves, on the ist
of May, 1 86 1. He participated in the sec-
ond battle of Bull Run and sustained a
severe wound in the left shoulder bv




reason of which he was discharged for
disabihty at Baltimore, Maryland, Feb-
ruary 13, 1863. Coming to Iowa on the
28th of May, 1865, he entered upon the
study of medicine under the direction of
Dr. L. E. Goodell, at Pilot Grove, Lee
count)% who was abroad-minded man and
one of the notable physicians of the state.
After a year and a half spent in his office
Dr. Evans attended lectures at the West-
ern Medical College in Cleveland, Ohio,
and in 1868 entered upon practice in Pilot
Grove, where he remained until October
15, 1872, removing then to West Point.
On the 2d of March, 1880, he located in
Salem, Iowa, where he has since been
successfully engaged in the practice of his
profession. He has been actively con-
nected with his chosen calling for over
thirty-five years and has accumulated a
comfortable competence, at the same time
doing a most beneficial work for his fel-
low men. He has one of the best medical
libraries in the state and he is still en-
gaged in active practice.

Dr. Evans was one of the founders of
the Henry County Medical Society and
served as its first president, also a mem-
ber of the District Medical Association
and also a member of the State Medical
Society and thus keeps in touch with the
more advanced views of the day.

Dr. Evans was married December 3,
1868, to Miss Helena Lusk, who was
born April 18, 1847, ^^'^ i^ ^ daughter
of James and Nancy (Rickets) Lusk,
both of whom were of Scotch-Irish de-
scent, the former born July 8, 1799, and
the latter July 22, 1809. The father fol-
lowed farming and during the latter part
of his life resided in Iowa, where he died

May 8, 1875, his wife passing away July
5, 1893. Both were buried near their old
home, in Clay Grove cemetery. Mr.
Lusk was a democrat and they were
members of the United Presbyterian
church. He is spoken of as one of the
best men that ever lived, being kind
hearted and at all times true and honor-
able. In the family were three children.
James H., now deceased, married Alice
Allen and she lives in Denver, Colorado.
She has one daughter, Minnie Luella
Lusk. Helena Isabelle became the first
wife of Dr. Evans. Emma J. is the wife
of Daniel S. Keller, an undertaker of Sa-
lem, Iowa. Mrs. Evans died May 2,
1897, and was laid to rest by the side of
her parents in Clay Grove cemetery. vShe
was also a devoted member of the Pres-
byterian church. By this marriage there
were three children : Elma Victorine,
born in Lee county, September 6, 1869,
married Clifford Cook, who resides at
Sioux City, Iowa, where he is a ship-
ping clerk in Cudahy's packing house.
They have had three children, of whom
two are living — Helen Elizabeth Cook,
born May 11, 1902, in Sioux City, and
Miriam McFarland Cook, born in Sioux
City, August 20, 1905, while Mack Cook,
born at Sioux City, May 17, 1900, died
on the 3d of August, of the same year.
Emma Winona Evans, born in Lee
county, August 14, 1871, is the wife of
Harry Reeves, of Keokuk, Iowa, and
they have one child, Helen L. Reeves,
born September 25, 1901. Helen Mc-
Farland Evans, born July 2, 1873, mar-
ried Fred W. Garretson, of Keokuk. Dr.
Evans was again married March 15,
1900, to Miss Mertie E. Balsley, who was



born November 9, 1857, at Spring Prai-
rie, Wisconsin, and was a daughter of
Henry and Martha J. (Snushah) May-
cock, both natives of England. Follow-
ing her mother's death she was reared by
the Balsley family and took their name.
She cared for her father during the
last ten years of his life and he passed
away in wSalem, Henry county, in March,
1905. He served in the Civil war, be-
longing to the Ninth Wisconsin Battery,
enlisting in 1862. In politics he was a
republican but was without aspiration for
office and his time and energies were de-
voted to farming. Airs. Evans was an

onlv child.

Both Dr. and Mrs.

Evans belonged to the Congregational
church, in wdiich he has served as elder
for thirty-five years. He owns a good
building on North Main street, where he
maintains both his ofifice and residence.
He is a member of Salem Lodge, No. 17,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of
which he is now past master and several
times represented his lodge in the grand
lodge. He is also a member of the Grand
Army of the Republic, of Avhich he was
the first commander of the Adam
Kemple Post, and served for a number of
years, and has since served at different
times a member of the grand commandery
and has several times served as aid-de-
campe to the grand commander. In his
political views he is a stanch republican.
His attention is largely given to his pro-
fession, in which he has met with excel-
lent success, owing to his good qualifica-
tions, his conscientious performance of
his duties and his broad and comprehen-
sive knowledge of the principles that un-
derlie the profession.


In 1890 a new enterprise was added to
the growing industries of New London —
the New London Banking Company, or-
ganized by J. E. Peterson. The first
cashier was William W. Lee, a son of
New London and a bright, progressive
young man, well fitted for his position,
having enjoyed the advantages offered by
a course of collegiate training in the Iowa
State L'niversity. He was the first cashier
of the institution and wdth all its grow^th
and changes in management has contin-
ued in the same responsible position.
XAHien the company was organized, suc-
ceeding the business of R. H. Peterson,
the bank had an annual deposit of thirty
thousand dollars. It has increased yearly
until it has now reached three hundred
and fifty thousand dollars, with a surplus
and capital of twenty-nine thousand dol-
lars. The first president was John Edgar
Peterson, the vice-president, Samuel Kei-
ser, cashier, William Wesley Lee and as-
sistant cashier F. B. Wilson. At the end
of the first year in 1891, when the elec-
tion of officers took place. Mr. Reiser be-
came president, William Lee, Sr., vice-
president, while the cashier and assistant
cashier retained their former positions.
In 1895 Mr. William Lee, Sr., was
chosen president with Mr. Keiser as vice-
president and Ross Walker assistant
cashier in 1903. The directors at the pres-
ent time are: Anton Totemeier, W. J.
Francy. Samuel Keiser, Hiram Allen, T.
B. Lee and William Lee.

William Wesley Lee has always lived
in New London and his best interests are
closelv allied with those of his native



town. He was born in the village on
March 20, 1863, being a son of William
and Sarah Hardin Lee. His father is a
much respected business man of New
London, one whose sound business judg-
ment can always be relied upon. He is a
stanch believer in education and the son
early became a student in the New Lon-
don public schools. After finishing his
course there he entered the State Univer-
sity at Mount Pleasant, from which in-
stitution he was graduated in 1887. In
order to round out his education he ac-
cepted a position as teacher in Henry
county and continued in this field of la-
bor for three years. At the end of this
time he was chosen to fill the position
which he now occupies. For fifteen years
he has been the able efficient cashier of
this bank and has seen it develop from
a comparatively small institution to its
present degree of wide-spread business in-
terests. It is now doing over ten times
the amount of business it did at first.

Mr. Lee is prominent in religious cir-
cles and is identified with the Methodist
Episcopal church of New London. He is
an active and efficient worker in all that
pertains to the welfare of the church. He
has been a trustee for three years.

William Wesley Lee was married Au-
gust 25, 1888, toMissLouella Grace Wal-
lar, a daughter of W. D. and Peninah
(Rosencrans) Wallar. They have one
child, Raymond William, a student in the
village schools.

Mr. Lee has been remarkably favored
both by birth and education. He has had
before him, in his father, the example of
a successful business man. He has
learned by actual experience the value of

an education. He is a man of superior
business ability and sound judgment and
has for a period of fifteen years filled with
credit to himself and to his employers the
position which he now occupies. He has
at heart the success of the institution for
which he works and welfare of his native
town. New London is justly proud of
William W. Lee.


John Fitzpatrick, one of the leading
farmers and stock-dealers of New Lon-
don township, was born in Burlington,
Iowa, on the ist of August, 1861, and is
a son of James and Margaret (O'Laugh-
lin) Fitzpatrick. During his infancy his
parents removed to the Clements farm
and thereon he was reared, spending his
boyhood days in the work of the fields
or in attending the public schools. He
acquired a good practical education in
this manner and he was reared to farm la-
bor. He has always carried on general
agricultural pursuits save for the last two
years, when he has concentrated his en-
ergies almost entirely upon stock-feeding
and shipping. He feeds from four to six
carloads of cattle each year and is recog-
nized as one of the leading representatives
of this business in this part of the county.
He also feeds quite a large number of
hogs. He has one hundred acres in the
home farm and about one hundred and
eighty acres on section 16. He likewise
has another tract of one hundred acres
on section 21. He has improved his farm



according to modern ideas and has upon
his place two large hay barns and one
corn crib.

On the 24th of June, 1896, occurred
the marriage of Mr. Fitzpatrick and Miss
Margaret McCormick, a daughter of
Michael and Margaret (Smith) McCor-
mick. They now have two children, Irma
and Rosella. The members of the house-
hold occupy an enviable position in so-
cial circles and have many warm friends
in the community. Mr. Fritzpatrick gives
his political allegiance to the Demorcatic
party, believing firmly in its principles as
most conducive to good government. In
1900 he was elected upon the party ticket
as assessor of his town and by re-election
has been continued in the office. He was
also census enumerator of his township
in January, 1905. His religious faith is
indicated by his membership in the Cath-
olic church. His entire life his been
passed in this county and his fellow
townsmen know him as a busy, enterpris-
ing man, who has worked persistently to
acquire success, realizing that labor is
the basis of all legitimate and honorable


Dudley Arthur Scott, who is conduct-
ing the leading hotel and livery business
in New London, is one of Henry coun-
ty's native sons, his birth having occurred
in Jackson township on the i6th of May,
1864. His parents are Cornelius and Lou-
isa (Benbow) Scott, and while a member

of their household he pursued his educa-
tion in the Center district school and
aided in the labors of the home farm,
plowing, planting and harvesting, as it
was necessary to carry on the work of
the fields. After attaining his majority
he rented a farm in New London town-
ship for a year and afterward removed to
Jackson township, where he operated a
rented farm for two years near the old
home place. He then returned to New
London township, where he again en-
gaged in farming leased land for four
years. Later he resided once more in
Jackson township and after renting the
home place for a year he purchased the
property, comprising one hundred fifty-
five and three quarters acres of land. He
also bought a threshing machine in part-
nership with his brother-in-law, Charles
Sheets, which they operated for about
four years and then sold. Mr. Scott con-
tinued to carry on the home place, doing
general farming, and for one year he
raised sheep, shorthorn cattle and Poland
China and Duroc Jersey hogs. He like-
wise raised road horses and his stock-
raising interests proved an" important
branch of his business. In the fall of
1905, however, he sold his farm and re-
moved to New London, where he pur-
chased from F. C. Spearman the city liv-
ery stable. He keeps fifteen horses for
rental. In connection with the livery
barn Mr. Scott rented the City Hotel in
New London and furnished it throughout
and is now conducting the leading hotel
and livery business of the town with a
liberal patronage, which is well merited.
On the 27th of September, 1887. Mr.
Scott was united in marriage to Miss Ly-



donia Sheets, who was born in New Lon-
don township, September 30, 1863, ^i^d
was educated in the Greenwood district
school, her parents being Henry and
Sarah (Wahers) Sheets. Two children
grace this marriage : Cora Dell, born
May 7, 1889; and Charles C, born Sep-

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 61 of 85)