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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 68 of 85)
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acres of land in the southeast corner of
section 21, Scr)tt tow^nship, upon which
there was an old house and a shed, consti-
tuting the only improvements. After his
death Mrs. Kongable rebuilt and remod-

eled the house until it is now a comforta-
ble residence of eight rooms. The second
year after taking up his abode here he
"built a good barn and did considerable
tiling. He carried on general farming
and in addition to raising the cereals best
adapted to the soil and climate he also
gave considerable attention to raising
horses, cattle and hogs.

Mrs. Kongable was a daughter of Isaac
and Jane (Everson) Wynkoop, the for-
mer a native of Indiana and the latter of
Butler county, Ohio. They resided for a
time in Butler county but in 1872 pur-
chased a farm in Preble county, Ohio,
near Eaton, wdiere their remaining days
were passed, the father departing this
life in 1899, while the mother's death
occurred in February, 1905. L^nto Mr.
and Mrs. Kongable Avere born five chil-
dren, w^ho are yet living, and they lost a
daughter, Mintie Edith, who died in 1887
at the age of tw^o years. Those who still
survive are : Jennie Elizabeth, ' Ora
Edgar, James Everson, William Ellis,
and Clara Belle.

Mr. Kongable continued to reside
upon the homestead place and through its
cultivation and improvement provided for
his family up to the time of his death,
which occurred June 12, 1896. He dis-
played many excellent traits of character,
so that he won strong friendships and his
loss w^as deeply deplored therefore by
many outside of his immediate family. A
worthy Christian gentleman, he held
membership in the United Presbyterian
church and was one of its trustees. His
political allegiance was given to the Re-
publican party. He left to his family a
good property and also the priceless her-



itage of an untarnished name. Mrs. Kon-
gable still resides with her children upon
the farm left to her by her husband and
has also rented eighty acres just north
of the home place which her sons operate
in connection with their own farm.


John Edward Lindell deceased, was a
representative agriculturist of ^^'ayne
township. His birth occurred in Hes-
sleby, Sweden, on the 12th of November,
1852. his parents being Jonas P. and
Anna (Samuelson) Lindell, who in 1869
came with their family to \\"ayne town-
ship, Henry county, Iowa. They were
the parents of two sons and two daugh-
ters, all of whom were born in Sweden.
The father purchased here one hundred
and twenty acres of land on sections 24
and 25, ^^'ayne township, which had been
improved to some extent. He built a
modern residence in 1880, planted fifty
fruit trees, made fences and continued
the work of tilling the soil for a number
of years, but afterward retired to another
farm of twenty acres in Scott township,
where he spent his remaining days, his
death occurring on the 21st of August.
1891. His widow still survives him and
has been a resident of Chicago, Illinois,
since January, 1892.

John Edward Lindell spent the first
seventeen years of his life in his native
land and then came with his parents to
the new world. He was reared to farm

pursuits and always devoted his time and
energies to the tilling of the soil. In
1883 he purchased the old family home-
stead, took up his abode thereon and as
his financial resources increased he added
to the place until he had two hundred
and forty acres on sections 24 and 25. He
carried on general farming and also raised
Poland China hogs, producing the best
stock of that kind ever raised in this sec-
tion of the state. He was also an exten-
sive dealer in horses, which he bought and
sold and in all of his business he was
progressive and enterprising.

On the 24th of February, 1881, Mr.
Lindell was married to Miss Matilda
Stephenson, who was born in Jefferson
county, Iowa, and was a daughter of Oli-
ver and Mary H. (Johnson) Stephenson,
both of whom were natives of Sweden.
Her father came to Iowa with his parents
in 1849, the family home being established
in Jeft'erson county and the mother
arrived in Alount Pleasant with friends
in 1858. They were married in Jefferson
county in i860 and became the parents of
eleven children, of whom ■Mrs. Lindell
is the eldest. Nine of the number are
now living. Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson
began their domestic life in Jefferson
county, where he owned eighty acres of
land. He also owned a half section in
Wayne township, being the home place,
and one hundred acres in Clay county,
Iowa, together with eighty acres in Wal-
lace county, Kansas. As the years passed
he prospered in his undertakings, making
judicious investments in real estate. He
died July 16, 1898, having for several
vears suiwived his wife, who passed away
August 24, 1891, their remains being




interred in the cemetery at Swedesburg.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lindell were born
twelve children: Elsie Lenora. married
January 17, 1906, Augustus Nelson, who
was bom at Prairie City, Illinois, and is
now farming the property of Mrs. Lin-
dell : Edna Caroline; May Violet: John
Harlan Oliver: Selma Averda, who died
September 6, 1892, at the age of two
rears: Paul Harold, who died January
22. 1902. at the age of nine years
and four months; Lloyd Wilford ; Ivan
Walter; Ruth Nina; Virgil Stephenson;
Clemens Burdette: and Alma Dorothea
Pauline. Mr. Lindell erected upon his
farm a large residence of eleven rooms
and an acetylene gas plant was installed
for lighting purposes in 1902. There is
a bath room, various closets and alto-
gether there are twenty-three apartments
in the house. Water is supplied to the
house and in fact it is equipped with all
modem conveniences and is one of the
finest farm residences in the county. In
his business affairs Mr. Lindell met with
success, carefully controlling his interests
and by unfaltering diligence winning the
prosperity that crowned his efforts and
enabled him to leave his family in very
comfortable circumstances. He passed
away January 21, 1905, and was laid to
rest at Swedesburg. His business associ-
ates and his acquaintances of socal life felt
deep regret at his untimely taking off,
but the greatest loss came to the family,
for he was a devoted husband and father.
Mrs. Lindell now resides on the home
farm, being surrounded by all her living
children with the exception of John H.
O.. who is now in Augustana College at
Rock Island, Illinois. Mr. Lindell was

a republican and took a deep interest in
the work and success of his party. He
held membership in the Swedish Lutheran
church, in which he filled the offices of
trustee and secretary and he was also
superintendent of the building committee
at the time of the erection of the par-
sonage in 1 901. His life was character-
ized by all that is honorable and manly
and moreover his record proved what may
be attained by close and persistent pur-
pose supplemented by unqualified business


^^^illiam Ransom, who has passed the
eighty-first milestone on life's journey and
is therefore living retired, owns, however,
three hundred and thirty acres of valuable
land in Henry county and his possessions
are such as to bring him a very desirable
income, so that he is enabled to enjoy all
the comforts and many of the luxuries of
life. He was born in Yorkshire, Eng-
land, January 17, 1825, a son of James
and Elizabeth Ransom. His parents were
weavers in England and in the year 1832
they bade adieu to their friends and native
countiw and took passage upon a sailing
vessel bound for the United States. The
voyage lasted for six weeks ere anchor
was dropped in the harbor of New York.
They had sailed from Liverpool and after
reaching the American port they hastened
westward to Morgan county, Illinois,
making the journey by wagon and by the
Ohio, Mississippi and Ihinois rivers. At



length they reached Jacksonville, Illinois,
where Mr. Ransom rented a farm and in
connection with its cultivation he eneaeed
also in weaving. There he lived for sev-
eral years and in 1841 came to Salem
township, Henry county, Iowa, where he
invested the capital which he had ac-
quired through his diligence and perse-
verance in a tract of two hundred acres
of land on section 33, Salem township.
There was a log house and a well upon
the place but only about eleven acres of
the wild prairie land had been broken.
Therefore upon him devolved the arduous
task of developing new land and to the
work he gave his energies in untiring
manner until his death, which occurred
in 1854, when he was seventy-five years
of age. His wife survived him until 1882.
passing away at the age of eighty-two.
William Ransom, the eldest of their
seven children, of whom two sons had
been born prior to the emigration to the
United States, had but very limited educa-
tional privileges and in fact his knowledge
has been acquired almost entirely through
experience and observation. He was but
seven years of age when the family
crossed the Atlantic and was a youth of
only sixteen at the time of the removal
to Iowa. When he came here he saw many
Indians, who frequently visited the settle-
ments of the frontier. He also saw
wolves and deer and underwent the usual
hardships of early pioneer times. Follow-
ing his parents' death he farmed the land,
constituting the old homestead, which at
one time comprised nine hundred and
ninety-nine acres but Mr. Ransom has
since disposed of a considerable portion of
this, although he still retains the owner-

ship of three hundred and thirty acres.
This is a valuable property, which returns
to him a good income and enables him to
enjoy many of the comforts of life.

In September, 1885, Mr. Ransom was
married to Miss Rebecca Hawkins, who
was born in Ohio, a daughter of Johnson
Hawkins. He built his present stone res-
idence in 1863 and he has improved the
place in fine shape, making it one of the
valuable farm properties of this portion
of the state. His life has been character-
ized by diligence and earnest toil and as
the years have gone by he placed his land
under a high state of cultivation, tilling
the fields until they return him golden
harvests for the care and labor bestowed
upon them. He also raised horses, mules,
sheep, cattle and hogs and was an excel-
lent judge of stock and gained success in
this line of business. Now he is leaving
the active work of the farm to others and
is enjoying a well earned rest and the
income which he derives from his farm of
three hundred and thirty acres.

In his political views Mr. Ransom is
a democrat and has served as school
director and as treasurer of the township,
filling the office for thirty years. His
residence in this part of the state covers
almost sixty-five years and he has there-
fore been a witness to its material growth
and progress as the evidences of pioneer
life have given way before those of an
advancing civilization. He has done his
full share in the work of reclaiming this
district and has always been honored by
his fellow men for what he has accom-
plished, deserving much more credit than
many who in youth were provided with
excellent educational privileges.




Enoch Beery is the owner of three hvm-
dred and twenty acres of valuable land in
Salem township, located on section 22 and
as a general agriculturist and stock-raiser
he has become well known by reason of
his practical enterprising methods and his
enviable success. He was born in Balti-
more townsliip, Henry county, on the 6th
of October, 1856. and is a son of Levi L.
and jMargaret (Short) Beery, both of
whom were natives of Fairfield county,
Ohio. The paternal grandfather was
Isaac Beery. It was the year 1842 that
Levi L. Beery came to this county and
had located, after which his wife and two
children joined him, he having been mar-
ried in Fairfield county, Ohio. He pur-
chased land in Baltimore township, secur-
ing a tract of timber situated on Big
Creek. Only a few acres had been cleared
and he at once began the difficult task of
cutting away the timber, clearing out the
brush and grubbing out the stumps. He
cleared many acres and thus aided in sub-
duing the wilderness and transforming a
wild tract into a valuable possession. His
first purchase comprised one hundred and
sixty acres of land, but as he prospered
in his undertakings and his financial
resources were increased he also increased
his acreage until he had about one thou-
sand acres in Henry county. He also
made judicious investments in real estate
in Nebraska, having one thousand acres
in Fillmore and Valley counties. He died
in the year 1893, having for about, two
years survived his wife, who died in 1891.

Enoch Beery was the youngest in a
family of seven children, three of whom

were sons. He pursued his early educa-
tion in the district schools and afterward
attended. Howe's Academy at Mount
Pleasant, thus acquiring a good English
education which well equipped him for the
performance of life's practical and
responsible duties. He spent his boyhood
days in Baltimore township, living with
his parents until twenty-eight years of
age, when he was married and established
a home of his own. It was on the 27th of
November, 1883, that he wedded Miss
Susan Rains, who was born in New Lon-
don township and was a student in the
public schools in her girlhood days. Her
parents were Zebbedee and Phebe (Ham-
ell) Rains, both of whom were natives
of Indiana and her paternal grandfather
was Samuel Rains and her maternal
grandmother Dorcas Hamell. Three chil-
dren were born of the marriage of Mr.
and Mrs. Beery; Levi L., born September
7, 1888; Floyd R., born November 26,
1891 ; and Mary H., August 27, 1894.

Following his marriage Enoch Beery
took up his abode upon a farm of two
hundred and twenty acres on section 22,
Salem tow^nship. He came into posses-
sion of this tract at his father's death and
later he added one hundred acres, so that
he now has a valuable farm of three hun-
dred and twenty acres. This tract, like
much of Iowa's land, is very productive,
responding readily to cultivation and he
carries on general farming and stock-
raising, keeping horses, cattle, hogs and
sheep upon his place. ]\Ir. Beery is an
extensive and successful stock-dealer, his
principal business being buying and sell-
ing stock cattle, selling to the feeders
mainly. He raises only good grades and



iMrnuk L.CNVX .y^u



he therefore finds a ready sale for his
stock upon the market. In matters of busi-
ness his judgment is rarely, if ever, at
fault and in the control of his interests
he has found that keen discrimination,
capable management, close application
and indefatigable energy form a splendid
foundation upon which to rear the super-
structure of success. In those relations of
life which indicate personal views and
tendencies of character. Mr. Beery is found
on the side of improvement and progress.
He is an exemplary representative of the
Masonic fraternity, in which he has
attained the degrees of the lodge, chap-
ter and commanderv at Mount Pleasant
and he is also a member of the Knights
of Pythias fraternity, while politically he
is an earnest republican.


Marion McVey, deceased, who for
man)^ 3^ears was identified with farming
and stock-raising interests in this county,
was born in Morgan county, Indiana,
September 26, 1840, his parents being
John and A. Eliza (Rhodes) McVey,
who were likewise natives of Indiana.
The former was a son of William McVey
and the latter a daughter of Joseph
Rhodes. In the year 1850 the parents
came from Indiana to Iowa, settling in
Jackson township, Henry county, near
Salem, where John McVey purchased
eighty acres of land. This was unim-
proved and he began its cultivation and
development, transforming it into a pro-

ductive tract. He has since been a resi-
dent of the county, covering a period of
fifty-six years and he now resides in Jack-
son township, being one of the venerable
pioneer settlers of this part of the state,
who has long witnessed the changes that
have occurred here, bringing about the
present advanced state of development.

Marion McVey was a youth of ten
summers when brought by his parents to
Iowa, and his youth was spent under the
parental roof, while in the common
schools he acquired his education. Dur-
ing the periods of vacation he worked in
the fields and had thus gained practical
knowledge of farming when he started
out in life for himself. He traveled to
some extent through the western states
prior to his marriage, which important
event in his life occurred on the 24th of
September, 1879, the lady of his choice
being Miss Charity Scarborough, who
was born in Henry county, March 12,
1859. She, too, was indebted to the pub-
lic school system for the educational privi-
leges she received. Her parents were John
L. and Eunice (Hiatt) Scarborough, na-
tives of North Carolina, and of Ohio re-
spectively and the latter was a daughter
of Isom Hiatt, who was likewise born in
the Buckeye state. Mr. and Mrs. Mc-
Vey became the 'parents of seven chil-
dren, three of whom died in infancy : Guy
J., born July 30, 1881, married Mabel
Flossie Jameson and now lives in Keo-
kuk, he owning a farm in Missouri ; Mel-
vin M., September 9, 1883, at home; For-
est L., December 13. 1889: and Eunice
E., April 19, 1892, are still living.

At the time of his marriage Mr. Mc-
Vev owned a farm of eighty acres in sec-



tion 25, Salem township, and ninety-two
acres in Jackson township. The home
farm in Salem township had an old house
where they li^'ed for several years, bnt as
the months went by he prospered, and in
1890 felt that his capital justified the
erection of a new home. He built a frame
residence containing seven rooms and he
also added forty acres to his former hold-
ings, thus becoming the possessor alto-
gether of two hundred and ninety-seven
acres of rich and cultivable land, of which
eighty acres was on section 25, Salem
township, and the remainder in Jackson
township. Mr. McVey gave his atten-
tion to general agricultural pursuits and
stock-raising, having well tilled fields,
while in his pastures were seen good
grades of horses, cattle and hogs, and also
was quite a stock-dealer. He was energetic
in his work, resolute in all that he under-
took and carried forward to successful
completion whatever he began. His po-
litical support was given to the Democ-
racy, but he never sought nor desired of-
fice, preferring to concentrate his ener-
gies upon his business interests and
through his capable management and in-
defatigable energy he became possessed
of a good property, which thus enabled
him to leave his family in comfortable cir-
cumstances. He died January 26, 1899,
and was laid to rest in Salem cemetery.
He had been a good business man, reli-
able in his dealings and was also a faith-
ful friend, while in his family he was a
devoted husband and father. Nearly his
entire life had been spent in this county,
and many who knew him felt a sense of
deep personal loss when he was called


The farming interests of Scott town-
ship find a worthy representative in W.
A. Wilev, whose life record began on the
8th of January, 1841, in Genesee county.
New York. He is a son of James and
Elizabeth (Corbett) Wiley, both of whom
were natives of Putnam county, New
York. The paternal grandfather, George
\A'iley, was, however, a native of Scot-
land, and William Corbett, the maternal
grandfather, also first opened his eyes to
the light of day in the land of hills and
heather. In his early life James Wiley
learned and followed the carpenter's
trade, removing from Putnam to Genesee
county. New York.

In the latter county W. A. ^^''iley of
this review was reared and educated, pur-
suing" his studies in the district schools.
His time and attention were devoted to
work and play in the usual manner of lads
of the period and he continued a resi-
dent of Genesee county until 1866, when,
thinking that he might have better busi-
ness opportunities in the new but rapidly
growing west, he made his way to Henry
county, Iowa, where he began life upon a
rented farm in Wayne township. There
he resided until 1869, when he invested
the capital that he had saved from his
earnings in a tract of land of eighty acres
on section 33, Scott township. There he
built a residence of eight rooms and also
a barn, forty-four by fifty-four feet, fur-
nishing ample shelter for hay and stock.
He also planted hedge fences and laid
many rods of tiling, so that the farm is
well drained. In 1880 he added eightv
acres to his original tract, his place being



divided by the north and south road. Here
he carried on general farming and he also
raises from ten to twelve head of horses
each year, about twenty cattle, mostly of
the Durham breed and about fifty head of
Poland China hogs. He is an excellent
judge of the value of stock and in his
business interests in this direction he has
met with success. He also finds a ready
sale for his crops upon the market because
he uses good seed, follows progressive
methods in tilling the fields and therefore
annually garners good harvests.

A\'hen the countiw was engaged in the
Civil war Mr. Wiley proved his loyalty to
the Union by enlisting for active service
on the 7th of October, 1861, as a member
of Company M. First New York Light
Artillery. The regiment was assigned to
duty under General Banks in the Shenan-
doah valley and remained under that lead-
ership until the battle of Antietam. Mr.
Wiley was largely engaged in sersdce in
Virginia and Tennessee as a member of
the twelfth army corps and for two years
was connected with the Army of the Poto-
mac. This fact indicates that he was in
much hard ser\nce, participating in many
hotly contested battles and on the expira-
tion of his three years' term he w^as hon-
orably discharged at Atlanta, Georgia, on
the 2 1 St of October. 1864.

On the 28th of November. 1866. Mr.
Wiley was united in marriage to Miss
Matilda Canby. who was born in Waynes-
ville. Ohio, and there attended school until
she came with her parents to Iowa, the
family home being established in Daven-
port, where her father engaged in milling.
She was a daughter of Joshua and Esther
(Lownes) Canbv. both of whom were

natives of Maryland. After removing to
Iowa, Mrs. Wiley continued her studies
in the schools of Davenport and is a lady
of good education, culture and refinement,
held in high esteem by many friends.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wiley have been born
five children : Alice, the wife of David
Osborn. of Scott township; Fred, who is
living in the same township; Hugh and
Guy, who are residents of Canaan town-
ship ; and Ralph, at home.

Mr. Wiley is a republican, interested
in the success of his party, yet without
aspiration for office. Fraternally he is
connected with the Masonic lodge at Win-
field. In a review of his life history, not-
ing the salient points and his chief charac-
teristics, we find much that is commenda-
ble, for in business he has been energetic
and reliable, in military service loyal and
obedient, and in social relations has held
friendship inviolable and the duties of the
home sacred.


Although eighty years of age. ^^'illiam
R. Crew is still an active factor in busi-
ness life and such a record of industry
should put to shame many a man, who.
having grown weary of the struggles and
burdens of a business career, would rel-
egate to others the work that he should
perform. Mr. Crew was formerly the
owner of three hundred and forty acres
of valuable land, which he carefully culti-
vated, but in more recent years has sold


the original farm and now owns forty harvests. His labors were devoted to gen-
acres near Salem, on which he is engaged eral agricultural pursuits there up to the
in the raising of poultr}'. time of his death and his wife also passed
His life history began in Hanover away upon that farm. The property then
countv, Viro-inia, oii the 12th of Decem- came into possesion of the brother of our
ber, 1826. His paternal grandparents subject, who lived thereon until his own
were Macajah and Telitha (Ladd) Crew, demise in j\Iarch, 1905.
both of whom were natives of England, William R. Crew is a self-educated

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 68 of 85)