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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 72 of 85)
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stock-raiser, practical in his efforts and
successful in the result which attends his
labors. He now has ninety acres of rich
land, the greater part of which is under



cultivation, and also operates ninety
acres he rents and in the midst of his
fields stand good buildings, while every-
thing about his place indicates his care-
ful supervision and practical, yet progres-
sive methods.

On the 20th of January, 1904, Mr.
Davis was united in marriage to Miss
IVIarietta Becker, who was born in this
county February 10, 1875, a daughter of
Urskine and Hester Ann (Morehead)
Becker, the former born in Indiana in
1845, and the latter in Henry county,
Iowa, in 185 1. The father devoted his
time and energies to agricultural pursuits
for many years but he and his wife are
now living retired in Mount Pleasant. He
has long voted with the Republican party
but has been without aspiration for office.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Becker hold member-
ship in the Methodist church, in w^hich he
is serving as a trustee. In the family
have been born five children : Lillian C,
the wife of F. A. Hinkson, a resident of
New London township ; Marietta, now
Mrs. Davis; Callie B.. the wife of D. H.
Palmer, of Henry county; John Wesley,
who died at the age of five years; and
Myrtle, at home. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Davis
have two sons, Harold John and Ralph B.

Mr. Davis exercises his right of fran-
chise in support of the men and measures
of the Republican party, and while living
in Illinois served as town clerk. He is
an Odd Fellow, holding membership in
Mystic lodge, and his wife is a member of
the Methodist church. They have a good
home in the midst of a fine farm and are
well known young people of Henry
county, who occupy an enviable position
in social circles, while cordial hospitality

is freely extended to them by many


Cornelius Lacy Sanderson is the owner
of a valuable farm constituting the old
homestead property of the Sanderson
famil}^ in Salem township. It is improved
with good buildings, is enclosed almost
entirely with wire fencing and is care-
fully improved along modern lines of
agricultural progress and in connection
wath the tilling of the soil Mr. Sander-
son raises horses, Hereford cattle and
Poland China hogs, being widely recog-
nized as an able business man of his com-
munity. His life record began in Lee
county, Iowa, on the 9th of April. 1854,
his parents being Cornelius and Ann
(Lunn) Sanderson, both natives of Eng-
land. His paternal grandfather, John ■
Sanderson, was also born in England and
married a Miss Lacy. On the "merrie
isle" the parents were married and in
185 1 they became residents of Salem,
Iowa, their home being a little log cabin
in which they lived for a year. They af-
terward spent six years in Houghton,
Lee county, and on the expiration of that
period took up their abode in Salem town-
ship, Henr}- county, where Mr. Sander-
son rented the Macock place for three
years. They had joined the Mormons in
England and with a colony of people of
that religious sect came to America. In
June, 1856, they started with ox teams
for Salt Lake City, Utah, arriving there



in the fall of the same year. The father
found, however, that he had been deceived
in regard to the teachings and practices
of this sect and he attempted through va-
rious means to leave the colony. In the fol-
lowing summer after he had harvested his
crop of wheat from forty acres of land a
company was formed to return to the east.
There were many families in the party
and they had eighty rifles among them.
They made their arrangements to leave
quietly so as not to awaken the opposi-
tion of the zealous followers of Mor-
monism and started in the night. On
the way they passed the train that was
massacred in the Mountain Meadow mas-
sacre a few days after they had gone by
them but the train with which Mr. San-
derson traveled did not learn of this catas-
trophe until they arrived at Lincoln, Ne-
braska. After traveling by slow and te-
dious stages they eventual!)' reached
Houghton, Lee county, Iowa, in the late
fall and Cornelius Sanderson, Sr., began
working in a coal mine in that localitv
for fifty cents per day. He followed dif-
ferent employments that would yield him
an honest living and e\'entually began
farming on school land. He bought a
horse on time and paid for it by selling
meal at sixteen cents per bushel. As his
financial resources increased, owing to his
good crops which brought a ready sale,
he was enabled to purchsae eighty acres
of land situated on section 19, Salem
township, most of which, however, was
covered with timber, although there was a
small clearing upon the place. He had
previously lived on different farms in the
township, making purchase of the home
place in the spring of 1866. He then

cleared and improved his land, transform-
ing the timber tract into richly cultivated
fields, whereon he resided until Septem-
ber, 1884, when he sold his ranch to his
son Cornelius and removed to Harvey
county, Kansas. There he purchased one
hundred and sixty acres of partially im-
proved land, which he continued to culti-
vate and farm until his life's labors were
ended in death on September 28. 1886.
His wife survived him, passing away in
February, 1895.

Cornelius L. Sanderson, whose name
introduces this record, was the fifth in a
family of four sons and eight daughters,
of whom one boy and two girls have now
passed away. He was educated in the
district schools of Salem township and
lived with his parents until the fall of
1877, when he removed to Sumner
county, Kansas, where he entered a quar-
ter section of land, proving up the place.
He cultivated sixty acres of the tract
and continued to own the property until
1884, when he sold out, having in the
meantime returned to Salem in 1880. On
disposing of his Kansas property in 1884
he purchased the old home place in Henry
county, and has since resided thereon now
covering a period of twenty-two years,
having added forty acres since, making
one hundred and twenty acres. In the
fall of 1 89 1 he erected a comfortable
frame residence, containing- three rooms
on the first floor and three on the second.
He has also built a barn for the shelter
of horses, cattle and hay, erecting this in
the spring of 1888. He now has the
place nearly all fenced with wire and he
does general farming, annually iiarvest-
ing good crops of corn, wheat and other



products. He also raises horses. Hereford
cattle, and Poland China hogs, and his
stock interests constitute an important de-
partment of his business.

On the 20th of February, 1884, Mr.
Sanderson was united in marriage to Miss
Kate Greenup, who was born in Morgan
county, Illinois. January 2, 1862. her par-
ents being Witten and Catherine (De-
laney) Greenup, natives of Kentucky,
while the grandfather was William
Greenup. Mrs. Sanderson's parents be-
came residents of Van Buren county,
Iowa, in 1864. and in 1872 went to John-
son county, Missouri, where they resided
for two years. There the father died in
September, 1874. after which the mother
returned with her family to Van Buren
county, where she still makes her home.
]\Irs. Sanderson, although born in Illi-
nois, was educated in the district schools
of Van Buren county, Iowa. By her
marriage she has become the mother of
five children: Guilford E., who was
born December 4. 1884. is now rural free
delivery carrier from Hillsboro; Murray,
who was born December 28, 1886, and
died June 19, 1887; Rose Edna, born July
I, 1888; Ethel Belle, born January 18,
1891 ; and Bert Lacy, born December 2,

Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson are members
of the Free Baptist church, and he is one
of the solicitors. His political allegiance is
given to the Republican party and he be-
longs to Hillsboro Lodge. No. 373, Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and to
the Order of Rebekahs with his wife.
Much of his life has been passed in Iowa
and he has alwavs carried on general ae-
ricultural pursuits, his labors resulting in

the acquisition of a good property and
comfortable competence.


Alexander Ruth is the owner of one of
the fine farms of Scott township, compris-
ing one hundred and thirty-five acres of
rich land situated at the southeast corner
of section 6. He also has tw'enty-five
acres of timber land here and he has
transformed his place into a very product-
ive farm, in the midst of which stands
a commodious residence of ten rooms,
while all of the accessories of a model
place are here found. His life record be-
gan on the 7th of November, 1833, in
Rockbridge county. Virginia. He is a
son of Daniel Ruth, wdio was born in
Bucks countv, Pennsvlvania, while the
grandfather was John Ruth, a native of
Germany. The latter became the founder
of the family in the new^ world, making
his home for some time in the Keystone
state. Having arrived at adult age, Dan-
iel Ruth was married to Miss Sarah Im-
boden, who ^^•as born in Augusta county,
Virginia, and was a daughter of John
Imboden. a native of Pennsylvania. The
father of John Imboden came to the
United States at the time of the Revolu-
tionary war and served for three months
in the armv. He afterward enp-asfed in
clerking for a Mr. Morrison, who fur-
nished clothing for the army. The father
of our subject enlisted at Baltimore for
service in the war of 181 2. and partici-



pated in the engagements which occurred
at that place. He was also with the army
for three months. He lived for some time
in Virginia and then removed to McLean
county, Illinois, settling six miles west
of Bloomington upon a farm which he
rented there in 1840. He was not long
permitted to enjoy his western home,
however, for his death occurred in 1842.
His wife lived upon the farm which he
secured in Illinois for sixteen years and
there reared the family, seven of whom
reached adult age, Alexander being the
fifth in order of birth. One brother, Ben-
jamin F., is now living near Olympia.
\A'"ashington, where he owiis fourteen
hundred acres of land. The mother re-
sided with her son Alexander until
1863, when she went to live with
her son Henry, who at that time
was a resident of Indianola, Warren
county, Iowa, and there she made her
home until her death, which occurred in
September, 1884.

Mr. Ruth of this review acquired his
education in the schools of McLean
county. Illinois, and remained upon the
old family homestead there up to the
time of his marriage, which was cele-
brated in March, 1863. Miss Arellah Jane
Meyers becoming his wife. She was born
in Greenbriar county, Virginia, in 1845,
and in 1851 came to Iowa with her par-
ents, George and Jane (Lynch) Meyers,
both of whom were natives of Greenbriar
county. Mrs. Ruth attended the com-
mon schools, at Winfield, Iowa, and was
trained to the duties of the household by
her mother, so that she was well qualified
to take charge of a home of her own
at the time of her marriage. She has be-

come the mother of seven children : Loess,
now the wife of George Brown, living
in Wenatchee, Washington; Minnie Ila,
the wife of Harvey Beauchamp, of Wash-
ington county, this state ; Sarah Jane,
who married Fred Jackson and is living
in Louisa county ; Mary Estus, the wife
of Joseph H. Rickey, of Louisa county;
Colin, a resident of Leavenworth, W'ash-
ingtbn ; Marie, who is engaged in teach-
ing school in Scott township ; and Frank,
at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Ruth began their do-
mestic life upon a rented farm a mile and
a half west of \\'infield, where Mr. Ruth
had lived for three years prior to their
marriage and where he remained for two
years after that e\'ent. Prospering in his
undertakings, he saved from his labors
a sum sufficient to enable him to purchase
one hundred and thirty-five acres of land
in the southeast portion of section 6,
Scott township, and also twenty-five acres
of timber land. The farm was unim-
proved and he at once began its develop-
ment and cultivation, placing the fields
under the plow and in the course of time
harvesting good crops. As the years
have gone by he has added substantial
buildings to the place, erecting a fine
home which contains ten rooms with a
splendid cellar under the whole house.
He has also built barns for the stock and
the hay and he has two good corn cribs.
He fenced the entire place with rails but
has since replaced the rail fence by barbed
wire fencing. He also has about one
hundred and sixty rods of tile draining
a swampy place. He carries on general
farming and keeps about six head of
horses and thirteen head of cows, also



twenty-one head of Poland China hog-s.
Harvesting good crops, he finds a ready
sale for his grain upon the market and
he is regarded throughout Henry county
as a man of good business ability and en-
terprise, whose earnest labors have con-
stituted the key that has unlocked for
him the portals of success. He has now
resided for a long period in Iowa, where
both he and his wife have become widely
known and gained many friends.


John McCully is one of the extensive
land owners of Scott township, his pos-
sessions embracing over four hundred
acres of Iowa's rich and productive soil.
He has now passed the seventy-eighth
milestone on life's journey and is prac-
tically living retired, renting all of his
land, so that he is relieved of the necessity
of tilling the soil and supervising the
place. His birth occurred in Green
county. Ohio, August 17, 1827, his par-
ents being James and Isabelle (Pomeroy)
McCully, the former born in Tennessee
and the latter near Louisville, Kentucky.
They were married in the Blue Grass
state and removed thence to Green county,
Ohio. The father had been previously
married and had four children by his first
wife. After living in Ohio for some time
he disposed of his property there and
went to Little York, Henderson county,
Illinois, but in 1836 came to Scott town-
ship, Henry county, Iowa. Only two

years before had the first settlement of
white men been made in this county and
the region was yet largley wild and unim-
proved, presenting the same appearance
as it did when it came fresh from the
hands of nature. Mr. McCully purchased
one hundred and sixty acres of land, of
which he broke twenty acres. The jour-
ney to Illinois had been made by driving
across the country and they were a month
upon the way, during which time it
rained every day excepting the first three
days of the trip. The land which Mr. Mc-
Cully purchased in Iowa was entirely un-
improved save for a small log cabin and
nearly all of the tract was covered with
timber and brush. He at once began the
further development of the property and
soon where had originally been seen the
forest trees and the native timber growth
were to be seen rich fields of waving
grain. Both he and his wife continued to
reside upon the farm until they were
called to the home beyond.

John McCully began his education in
the public schools of Ohio and continued
his studies in Illinois. He lived with his
parents until they passed away, residing
first in the primitive log cabin which was
a typical pioneer home and in which the
family shared in the hardships and priva-
tions as well as the pleasures and privi-
leges incident to life on the frontier. A
number of years ago Mr. McCully of this
review built his present home, going to
Muscatine and purchasing all of the lum-
ber which was used in its construction and
also the lumber used in the L'nited Pres-
byterian church. He early became famil-
iar with the arduous task of developing
new land and convertiner a raw tract into



productive fields and he soon came to
realize the necessity for continuous and
earnest labor if success would be obtained.
Following his parents' death he came into
possession of the two hundred acres of
land to which he has added from time to
time until he now has over four hun-
dred acres, of which three hundred
and twenty acres lie in Louisa county.
His is a splendidly improved farm prop-
erty. He has built all of the barns and
other buildings upon the place, has se-
cured good machinery and has continued
his labors until he now owns one of the
finest farms in this part of the state, but
now in advanced years he has rented his
land and is thus relieved of the necessity
of caring for the place. He, however,
has not altogether put aside business
interests, but raises from eighteen to
twenty-five head of horses each year and
expects in another year to raise about fifty
head. There is only one other member of
the father's family living — James P. AIc-
Cully, who owns the remainder of the
home place and is now residing in Wash-
ington. Iowa.

Mr. McCully of this review is familiar
with all of the pioneer experiences and
conditions of frontier life that were to be
met in Iowa more than sixty years ago.
He made his way to this state from Little
York. Illinois, with a companion by the
name of Bravard. It was winter time and
they walked to the Mississippi river,
where they got a chance to be carried
across the ice but just after they crossed
the ice broke up. Mr. McCully and his
companion walked on from New London
to his parents' place, where they arrived
about noon, having spent two and a half

days in making the journey from Little
York. Mr. Bravard told Mr. AlcCully
that he would freeze, but the latter re-
sponded that he could stand as much ex-
posure to the elements as the former and
they persevered on the journey until they
reached their destination. As the years
have gone by many changes have oc-
curred in the county and Mr. McCully
has done his full share in the work of
improvement, especially along agricul-
tural lines.


Gust Albert Tolander, who operates
the old homestead farm of the Tolander
family in Henry county, was born in
Henderson county, Illinois, February 18,
1863, and is the second in order of birth
in a family of four children, three sons
and a daughter, whose parents were John
and Eva (Brant) Tolander, both of
whom were natives of Sweden. Having
crossed the Atlantic to America, the
father took up his abode in the western
part of Illinois, where he worked at farm
labor. The mother was twice married,
first becoming the wife of Captain Brooks
and in the year 1850 she crossed the At-
lantic to New York city. Her husband
was captain of the famous steamer. Lady
Elgin, which was sunk in Lake Michigan
with all on board, the crew and passen-
gers numbering about three hundred.
Mrs. Brooks afterward gave her hand in
marriage to John Tolander, the wedding
being celebrated in Illinois and subse-



quently the}- removed to Jefferson county,
Iowa, but after a few years returned to
Illinois and in 1865 came to Henry
county, living upon a rented farm for two
years. Later the father purchased forty
acres of land on section 28, Wayne town-
ship, but the tract at that time was wild
and unimproved. His energy and dili-
gence, however, converted it into an ex-
cellent farm, upon which he erected all of
the buildings and made other modern
impro^'ements. For years he was actively
and successfully engaged in general farm-
ing but his eyesight began to fail and
since 1903 he has been totally blind.

Mr. Tolander of this review was reared
under the parental roof, early becoming
familiar with all the duties and labors thai
fall to the lot of the agriculturist. The
public schools of Iowa afforded him his
educational privileges and he continued to
assist in farm work upon the old home-
stead until twenty-one years of age, when
he went to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where
he learned the machinist's trade, becom-
ing hostler on the Burlington & Missouri
railroad at Akron, Colorado. He filled
that position for three years and then
went to McCook, Nebraska, after which
he was employed for two years as a fire-
man on the same road. He was then pro-
moted io the position of engineer and re-
mained in active connection with the road
for sometime. \Vhen a strike was declared
he was in charge of the finances of the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
acted in that capacity during the strike,
which was continued for eighteen months.
He afterward took up a homestead in
Nebraska, where he lived for three years,
after which he sold out and joined his

brother, Martin, in the establishment of
a creamery at Emerson and at Essex,
Iowa, conducting the two plants for six
years. On the expiration of that period
the creamery at Emerson was destroyed
by fire and about that time Mr. Tolander
returned to the old homestead farm in
Henry county on account of the health of
his father and mother, his aid being
needed in the management and operation
of the property.

In April, 1889, Mr. Tolander was
united in marriage to Miss Catherine
Smith, who was born near Galesburg,
Knox county, Illinois. They have become
the parents of three children : Mary Alice
and Eugene Aloysius, at home ; and Mar-
garet, who is with her aunt, Mrs.
Amanda AVoodall, of Omaha, Nebraska.
Mr. Tolander has a wide acquaintance in
Henry county, where much of his life has
been passed and is now classed with the
energetic and wide-awake farmers who
are keeping in touch with modern pro-
gress in their labors in the fields. He
votes with the Republican party.


Harry Weaver Clawson, conducting a
profitable tin smithing and roofing busi-
ness in New iLondon, was born in Preble
county. Ohio, September 3, 1857. and is
a son of John and Lucy (Fisher) Claw-
son, who in the year 1853 took up their
abode in Mount Pleasant, so that the son
was educated in the public schools of that



city, where he also attended Howe's Acad-
emy. His choice of an occupation led him
to take up the tin smith's trade under the
direction of his father and he has al-
ways continued his connection therewith.
In 1876 he went to Creston, Iowa, where
he was located until 1890, when he re-
moved to Mount Plasant, where he car-
ried on his trade. He was also located for
a time in both Fairfield and Ottumwa.
He afterward returned to Mount Pleas-
ant and since 1895 he has been engaged
in 1)usiness in New London, doing the
entire tin work and roofing of this vicin-
ity. He has equipments for carrying on
work in every department of this line
of activity and does all kinds of sheet
metal work in every design. He also
handles both gasoline and heating stoves
and he has a well equipped establish-
ment at the corner of Main and East
Main streets, where business is carried
on under the firm style of H. \\\ Claw-
son & Son, for he is associated with his
son in the conduct of this enterprise.

On the 8th of May, 1874, Mr. Claw-
son was united in marriage to Miss Mary
Gunn, a daughter of Louis and Anna
Belle Gunn. Unto them has been born
a son, Frank LeRoy, who is a partner of
his father in the tinning business, having
thoroughly learned the trade under the
direction of the senior member of the
firm. He married Alberta Pixley and they
had three children : Emma and Laura,
now living: and Grace, who died in

In his political views Mr. Clawson is
an earnest democrat and in the year 1901
served as treasurer of New London. He
belongs to the Universalist church and is

interested in all that pertains to the intel-
lectual and moral progress of the commu-
nity as well as to its material growth and
upbuilding. Mr. Clawson is a popular
citizen, being a favorite with many warm
friends and his position therfore in New
London 1)Oth in a business way and so-
ciallv is an enviable one.


Konrad H. Schwartz, living in Scott
township, where his time and energies are
dcA-oted to general agricultural pursuits.
is one of the German-American citizens,
who have performed an important service
in the development and upbuilding of
Iowa. Public progress results not from
the efforts of a few but from the aggre-
p-ate endeavor of manv and each man who
faithfully performs his daily duties and
makes the most of his opportunities, be-
comes a factor of ^'alue in a community
or commonwealth. Mr. Schwartz was
born in Nassau, Prussia, Germany, on the
28th of July, 1 85 1, his parents being John
and Elizabeth Schwartz, both of whom
were natives of Germany. In the year
1867 the parents came to America and

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 72 of 85)