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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 62 of 85)
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tember 9, 1898. ]Mr. Scott is a democrat
and has served for four terms as road
supervisor of Jackson township. He be-
longs to the Knights of Pythias frater-
nity of New London and is interested in
community affairs to the extent of giving
hearty and helpful co-operation to many
movements that are of direct benefit in
promoting the material, intellectual and
social progress of the community.


Henry Conor, a resident farmer of Bal-
timore township, who is engaged in the
raising of cattle and hogs in addition to
the tilling of the soil, was born in John-
son county, Iowa, March 29, 1864. His
paternal grandfather, William Conor,
was born in Pennsylvania. The parents
were Marion and Sarah (Albert) Conor,
the former a native of the Keystone state
and the latter of Ohio. Her parents were
Henry and Margaret (Pierce) Albert, na-
tives of Ohio and Vermont respectively.
Mr. and Mrs. Marion Conor were mar-
ried in Johnson county, Iowa, and about
a year after the birth of their son Henry
the mother came to Jackson township.
Henrv countv, Iowa, and lived with her

mother. Henry Conor therefore spent
the days of his youth in the home of his
Grandfather Albert until fourteen years
of age, when he began working as a farm
hand in this locality. He was employed
in that way until the age of nineteen
years, when he went to York county, Ne-
braska. There he rented land and raised
a crop of corn which, however, was de-
stroyed by a hail storm so that he
lost the money which he had in-
vested, amounting to about four hundred
dollars. The following vear he worked
at farm labor in Nebraska and then re-
turned to Baltimore township. He would
work in the fields throughout the year
and thus gained a start in life. For two
years he operated a farm, which he rented
from James Harts, after which he re-
moved to the Williford farm near Oak-
land, where he resided for a year. On
the expiration of that period he took up
his abode east of Salem, where he op-
erated rented land for three years, remov-
ing thence to the Krakel place of one hun-
dred acres in Baltimore township. \Mien
he had spent three years upon that farm
he made investment of the capital which
he had earned by purchasing fifty-two
acres of land on section 6, Baltimore
township, from Mrs. Allsup, and he
added to this thirteen acres, upon which
was a stone quarry. After two years he
sold the original tract and bought sixty
acres on section 8, Baltimore township.
In January, 1906, he bought twenty acres
more and in 1905 he sold his stone
(juarry from which he had taken build-
ing stone for five years. Ten acres of
his farm is in timber.

His attention is now given to agricul-



tural pursuits and he also rents sixty
acres of land, on which he raises hogs
and shorthorn Hereford cattle. He keeps
high grades of stock and thus finds a
good market for the cattle and hogs
which he raises. His fields are also well
tilled and the place is carefully cared for
and is neat and thrifty in appearance.

On the 20th of September, 1887, Mr.
Conor was married to Miss Paola Allsup,
who was born in Baltimore township, a
daughter of Ralph and Lucy (Andrews)
Allsup. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Conor have
been born seven children: Edna Grace,
born March 3, 1889; Jessie Halsene, born
September 3. 1890; Laura Adelia. born
in 1892; Wilber Volney, born December
22, 1895 ; Lola, born September 27, 1898;
Norma, born August 14, 1900; Alta Ger-
trude, born December 29, 1903.

In his political aftiliation Mr. Conor
is a democrat but is without aspiration
for ofiice, as his time is fully occupied
with his business cares. Dependent upon
his own labors from an early age his dili-
gence has been the fundamental principle
in his success and his life record shows
what may be accomplished when one has
determination and energy.


George W. lies, who carries on general
farming on section 3, Baltimore town-
ship, where he also raises peaches, apples
and cherries, having a good orchard, was
born in Bennington township, Licking

county, Ohio, in 1846, and is a son of
Adam lies, who was likewise a native of
the Buckeye state. The mother died in
185 1 and the father in 1856, so that
George W. lies was left an orphan when
a little lad of ten years. He resided with
his sister, Mrs. William Hatch, for over
nine years, and to some extent attended
the common schools, but his educational
privileges were rather meager. He has,
however, added largely to his knowledge
through reading, observation and expe-
rience in later years. In early manhood
he worked at farm labor by the day or
month, being thus employed up to the
time of his marriage, which occurred on
the 28th of November, 1879, the lady of
his choice being Miss Selena Hall, who
was born in Jennings county, Indiana,
a daughter of Edward and Julia (Un-
derwood) Hall, the former a native of
Kentucky and the latter of of Indiana.
Following his marriage Mr. lies removed
to Stockton, Kansas, and secured a farm
in Rollins county, where they remained
for three months. At the end of that
time, however, they returned to Henry
county, and in the following autumn Mr.
Isle purchased forty acres of land on sec-
tion 3, Baltimore township. With the
exception of a few acres the farm was un-
improved, but he at once began its cul-
tivation and soon turned the furrows in
the fields, planted the seed and in course
of time reaped good harvests. He built
a house containing three rooms.

L'nto Mr. and Mrs. lies have been born
three children : Emma, who was born
August 25, 1880, and is the wife of Ed-
ward Cantwell, of Lake Geneva, Wis-
consin ; Sarah, who was born September



15. 1882, and is the wife of Frank Nor-
man, of Aurora, Illinois; and John, born
September 16, 1884, who married Hattie
Cooper, who was born in Baltimore. Mr.
lies is a member of the Christian church.
In his political views he is democrat and
has served as school director.


Andrew Allen, now deceased, was for
many years actively engaged in general
farming and stock-raising in Henry coun-
ty and became a prosperous citizen. His
birth occurred in Knox county, Missouri,
on the 31st of October, 1842, his parents
being Robert Oden and Keziah (Davis)
Allen, both of whom were natives of In-
diana. In early life they went to Mis-
souri with their respective parents and
were married in the latter state. They
then began their domestic life there and
continued to reside in Missouri until
called to the home beyond.

Andrew Allen was educated in the com-
mon schools near his father's home and
was reared to farm labor, gaining in pro-
ficiency in the work of the fields as the
years passed by. He continued with his
parents until twenty-six years of age,
when he removed to McDonough county,
Illinois. On the 8th of August, 1865, he
was united in marriage to ^Miss Malvena
Huns:ate, who was born in ^McDonough
county, and was a daughter of Charles
and Catherine (Dorothy) Hungate, both
of whom were natives of Kentucky,

whence they removed to McDonough
county, Illinois, in an early day and were
there married.

Xot long after his marriage Mr. Allen
came to Henry county, Iowa, settling in
Canaan township, where he purchased
one hundred and twenty acres of land,
building thereon a good house. He other-
wise improved the property, which was a
tract of wild prairie when it came into his
possession. He turned the first furrows
in the fields and continued the work of
plowing, planting and harvesting until
annually he gathered rich crops, which
found a ready sale on the market and thus
brought him a good financial return for
his labor. He worked persistently and
untiringly year after year, giving his un-
divided attention to his agricultural pur-
suits up to the time of his death.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Allen were born
six children:

Charles, born June i, 1867, and died
at the age of thirty-one years. He was
a farmer and resided in Canaan town-
ship. He married Miss Fannie Lynn,
who now resides in Missouri.

Robert, born November 20, 1868, re-
sides in Canaan township, where he is
ensraged in farming. He married Jennie
Bryson. They have one daughter.

Frank, born on the 20th of Decemlier,
1 87 1. He resides in Baltimore township.
Henry county, Iowa, and is a farmer. He
married Stella Davey, and they have two
daughters. Vida and Fern.

Mary Catherine, who was born Feb-
ruary 16, 1875, in Canaan township.
Henry county. Iowa, was educated in the
public schools of Mount Union. She



married Richard Peckham, now deceased,
who was born in Washington township,
Des Moines county, Iowa. He was born
October 20, 1869, and was a farmer and
resided in Washington township until his
death, which occurred February 22,
1899. They had one son.

Perl Monroe^ born in AA'ashington
township, Des Moines county, Iowa, on
March 25, 1896, is now a student in the
Mount Union schools.

Mrs. Peckham now resides with her

Clara, born February 8, 1878. the wife
of Howard Snyder, of Canaan township.
They have one daughter, Vera.

Lura, born June 2, 1881, is the wife of
Frank Young, of Canaan township. They
have two children, Adelbert i\llen and
Frances Lucile.

All the children of Mrs. Allen were
born in Canaan township, Henry county,

The death of Mr. Allen occurred on the
I St of August, 1886, when he was but
forty-four )'-ears of age. He voted with
the democracy, but was never a politician
in the sense of office seeking, preferring
to devote his energies to his business in-
terests, which were carefully conducted
and brought him a good return. His
life was characterized by integrity as well
as industry and his name was an honored
one. Following her husband's death Mrs.
Allen continued to reside upon the farm
and there erected a fine residence in 1893.
She purchased eighty acres of land on
section 14, Canaan township, which was
improved and which she sold in 1894 to
her son, Robert, who has further im-
proved the property. She still lives upon

the old homestead and is one of the es-
teemed ladies of the community, having
a large circle of warm friends.


James A. Johnson, one of the early
settlers of Des Moines county, Iowa, and
now one of the prominent and highly re-
spected and esteemed residents of Ca-
naan township, Henry county, resides
upon a farm of eighty acres on section i,
where he is living retired, enjoying the
fruits and comforts of a well spent life.
He is a native of Illinois and was born
in Morgan county, June 26, 1828. His
paternal grandfather. Craven Johnson,
was born in one of the southern states and
at an early day went to Tennessee. Dur-
ing the pioneer period of his residence
there he had to contend with the hostile
Indians of that region and the family
were finally driven from the farm. With
other neighbors they took refuge in the
fort. For a long time they had to be
guarded while they worked in the fields
and Kinsey Johnson, a brother of Craven
Johnson, was killed and scalped by Chero-
kee Indians while attending to his beaver
traps. Craven Johnson finally came to
Iowa and made his home with his son
during his old age, passing away in Flint
River township, when a little more than a
hundred years of age, his remains being
interred in Flint River cemetery.

His son, Joel Johnson, father of our
subject, was born in Knox county, Ten-
nessee, and was reared and married in



that state, after which he removed to
^Morgan county, Illinois, where he en-
gaged in farming. Repurchased a tract of
land there and resided thereon for nine
years, after which he removed to Des
]\Ioines county, Iowa, settling on section
7, Flint River township, where he pur-
chased a farm, to which he added from
time to time until he was the owner of
four hundred acres of valuable farm land
and harvested therefrom good crops. The
year 1835 witnessed his arrival in Iowa.
The land upon which he located was en-
tirel}' wild and unbroken save that fi\'e
acres had been placed under cultivation.
He at once began to clear and develop the
farm and made substantial improvements
thereon, including the erection of a good
two-story brick residence which he con-
tinued to occupy until his death. His
attention was given to general farming
and stock-raising to some extent until his
life's labors were ended in death, al-
though naturally in his later }'ears he left
the more arduous duties of the fields to
others. He lacked only a few days of
being ninety years of age when called to
his final rest, passing away on the old
homestead in April, 1890. He was a
democrat throughout his entire life but
though reared in a slave state he never
owned a slave and always said that he
never would. He took part in the Black
Hawk war during the pioneer epoch in
the middle west and remained with the
arm}- until the defeat of the Indian chief-
tain and his followers. His grave was
also made in the cemetery in Flint River
township. His wife, Mrs. Susan John-
son, was born in Alabama and died in
Flint River township when her son,

James A., was only about fifteen years of
age. She was the mother of seven chil-
dren, three of whom are still living, al-
though ]\Ir. Johnson of this review is the
only one now living in Henry county.

In taking up the personal history of
James A. Johnson we present to our
readers the life record of one who is
widely and favorably known in this part
of the state. He was a young lad when
his parents removed to Des Moines coun-
ty, Iowa, and upon the home farm there
he was reared, acquiring his education in
the common schools of Flint River town-
ship, while in the summer months he as-
sisted in the labors of the fields and in
the autumn seasons aided in gathering
the harvests. He remained upon the old
homestead until about twenty-seven years
of age, when he was married and pur-
chased a small farm on section 21, Flint
River township. He partially improved
this place and made a home there, giving
his attention to general agricultural pur-
suits for a number of years. He then re-
moved to the place now owned by his fa-
ther-in-law and resided thereon until
coming to Henry county in 1892, in
which year he purchased his present farm
just a half mile north of the village of
Mount Union. Here he has since lived
engaged in general farming and stock-
raising to some extent, largely making a
specialty of hogs. He has put many
many improvements on tlie |)lace and
takes great pride in keei)ing everything
about his farm in excellent condition.
It is in fact in many res[)ects a model prop-
erty, while the buildings are in an ex-
cellent state of repair. He now loax'es
the active work of the farm to others.



while he is enjoying a well earned rest
amid the comforts and conveniences of
life, which he has secured as the result
of his active, well directed and untiring
labor in former years.

Mr. Johnson was married on the 28th
of May, 1856, to Miss Dicy Feese, who
was born in 1835 and came with her par-
ents to Iowa at an early day, the family
being established in Flint River town-
ship, Des Moines county. She was a
daughter of David and Lucinda (Hill)
Feese, both of whom are now deceased.
Her father was a prominent agricul-
turist of Flint River township, where he
arrived about 1835, making his home
there until his death. Mrs. Johnson was
educated in Flint River township in the
common schools and passed away on the
home farm in Canaan towniship, Henry
county, September 28, 1903, at the age
of sixty-eight years. She was a member
of the Baptist church and is buried in
Trinity church cemetery in Canaan town-
ship, Henry county. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Johnson were born nine children, of
whom two died young. The others are as .
follows : Carrie resides in San Francisco,
California. Alma is the wife of Albert
De Lashmutt, who is mentioned on
another page of this volume ; Emma is the
widow of John Hitchen, resides in Bur-
lington, New Jersey, and has two children,
Thomas and John. Charles is a traveling
salesman residing in California and mar-
ried Myrtle Erickson. Edwin, a farmer
of Washington township, Des Moines
county, where he owns one hundred and
forty acres of good land, married Anna
Wick and has tw^o children. Rex and
Adelbert. Lillian and Idella are both at

home. All of the children of this family
were born in Des Moines county and
were educated in the public schools of
Flint River township.

In his political views Mr. Johnson has
always been an earnest democrat but has
never cared for public ofhce, devoting his
attention strictly to his business interests.
At the time of the Civil war he enlisted
in October, 1864, as a member of Com-
pany E, Fifteenth Regiment of Iowa
Infantry, and served until the close of
hostilities, being discharged at Davenport,
where he was mustered out. He went
with Sherman on the celebrated march
to the sea and participated in other impor-
tant military movements. He has always
been interested in matters of progressive
citizenship although never seeking public
honors for himself and he has stood for
progress and improvement. His entire
life has been passed in this section of the
state and he has reached the seventy-
eighth milestone on life's journey, so that
he has been a witness of almost the entire
development, growth and improvement of
Des Moines and Henry counties. In his
iniierests he has been closely allied with
agricultural life and has found therein a
good basis for success, winning through
his close application, unfaltering diligence
and business integrity a very gratifying
measure of prosperity.


Chris R. Miller is the owner of a farm
of one hundred and twenty acres of pro-
ductive land. He was born in Lee countv.



Iowa, October 14. 1855, ^^^d is a son of
John Miller, a native of Germany. When
a youth of fourteen years the father came
to the United States with his parents and
the family home was established in Ohio.
Thev afterward went to Lee county and
settled upon a farm and it was there that
John Miller was united in marriage to
Anna Raber, also a native of Germany.
They remained residents of Lee county
until the spring of 1856, when they
removed to Jefferson county, residing
there for one year, after which they
bought eighty acres of land in Trenton
township and settled thereon, making it
their place of residence for thirteen years.
Mr. Miller greatly improved the property,
placing the fields under a high state of
cultivation and resided thereon until 1867,
when he removed to another farm, which
he had purchased in Trenton township.
There the mother died August 5. 1868,
and the father passed away on the 4th of
July, 1869. surviving her for a little less
than a year.

Chris R. Miller lived with his parents
until their death, being less than fourteen
years of age at the time of his father's
demise. In the meantime he had attended
the district schools and after being left
an orphan he worked 1)y the month as a
farm hand, thus earning his living until
the spring of 1882, when he took up his
abode in Wayne and engaged in the gen-
eral merchandise business. A year later.
however, he sold out and remo\-ed to
Olds, where he turned his attention to the
grain trade, continuing in that line until
the fall of 1888. He was the First Imsi-
ness man in Olds and he there erected a
store Ixiilding, twenty by fort>- feet. He

stocked it with a general line of merchan-
dise and he also established a lumber and
coal yard, conducting the dual business
interests for about fi\-e years, when he
sold out to Andrew Lauger. He then
turned his attention to the grain trade in
Winfield, conducting the business for a
short time, after which he once more sold
out and has since given his attention to
general agricultural pursuits. He bought
eighty acres of land adjoining Winfield
on the southwest and resided thereon for
eighteen months, when he disposed of
that property and invested in eighty acres
on section 3, Wayne township. This was
improved but he has since replaced all of
the buildings with more modern, ctnii-
modious and substantial ones and now has
a splendid farm which is well tiled and
the fields have been brought under a high
state of cultivation so that they yield rich
crops annually. He built his present home
of seven rooms in 1891. He has also
added to his farm, extending the original
boundaries until it now comprises one
hundred and twenty acres, the additional
ffMty acres having been purchased in
IQOI. All is well drained and the fields
are rich and productive. He carries on
general farming and he also raises horses,
cattle and hogs.

On the 6th of November, 1884, Mr.
Miller was united in marriage to Miss
Lizzie AL Reed, who was born in Henry
county. Iowa, and is a daughter of Wil-
liam A. and Mary E. (Huston) Reed.
She pursued her education in the common
schools and spent her girlhood days
under the parental roof. Three children
have been born of this union : Nettie
Edith, who is the wife of \\'alter G.



Huston, a farmer residing in Washington
county, Iowa ; Nellie L. and Izyel, both at
home. Mr. Miller spent his entire life in
Iowa and during the period of more than
a half century has witnessed the growth
and development of this section of the
state as it has emerged from pioneer con-
ditions and replaced the evidence of fron-
tier life by the improvements of an
advanced civilization. He attends the
Congregational church at Olds and gives
his political allegiance to the democracy
but never seeks or desires office, prefer-
ring to give his time and energy to
his business affairs which are capably con-
ducted and bring him the success which is
the goal of all business endeavor.


Frank S. Bell, a member of the bar of
Henry county engaged in practice in
Salem and also connected with the firm of
Bell & Percival, maintaining an office in
AMnterset, Iowa, was born in Lee county
on the 20th of October, 1867, and is
descended from one of the old families of
Pennsylvania. Still farther back, how-
ever, the ancestry can be traced to the
great-great-grandfather. William Bell,
and his wife, Elizabeth (Stewart) Bell.
AMlliam Bell was born in Ireland of
Scotch ancestry in 1731, and died April
5, 1819, and there he married Elizabeth
Stewart, who was born in Scotland in
1737, died October 17, 1825, a member of
the Stewart clan and if legend can Ije

proven was of royal blood. In religious
belief they were United Presbyterians.
They emigrated from Ireland to the new
world, settling in Tuscorora valley. Miff-
lin county, Pennsylvania, prior to the year
1757. This William Bell was with Wash-
ington at the time of Braddock's defeat,
and later served as an officer of the Revo-
lutionary war, being a member of the
Pennsylvania line. He was also one of
the organizers of the Huntingdon ( Penn-
sylvania) presbytery and was a most
prominent and influential member of the
Presbyterian church, serving as a ruling
elder of his local church in the Keystone
state at that early day. He died in Miff-
lin county, Pennsylvania as did David
Bell, the great-grandfather of our subject.
The latter's wife bore the maiden name of
Alice Allen. David Stewart Bell, grand-
father of our subject, was born on Bell's
Island in the Juniata river in Mifflin coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, and in the spring of 1837
he came to Fort Madison, casting in his lot
with the pioneer settlers of that place. He
was the first deputy recorder of Lee coun-
ty and became a member of the twentieth
general assembly of Iowa, the building of
the new capitol being among the measures
before the house during this session. He
was well fitted for leadership and did
much to mold public thought and action
in his community. A very prominent and
influential citizen, he continued his resi-
dence in Lee county up to the time of his
death, which occurred in 1877. his re-
mains being interred in Sharon cemetery.
At Fort Madison he married Sarah
Stewart Rail, of Fort Madison, a daugh-
ter of Benjamin and Ann (]\Iohler) Rail,
who were pioneer residents coming from



Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Bell were prominent earlv
members of the Presbyterian church of
Fort Madison.

Thomas Allen Bell, father of F. S. Bell,
was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania,

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 62 of 85)