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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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K, Sixth Iowa Infantry and participated
in the battles of Shiloh and Missionary
Ridge. He was seriously wounded three
times and has since been a cripple.

William E. Perree, born in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1846,
was educated in the common schools of
Iowa and Pennsylvania, after which he
gave his attention to farming, remaining
with his father until the latter's death.
He was but seventeen years of age when,
in November, 1863, he joined Company
M, of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, which
was assigned to the Army of the Tennes-
see. He was under the command of Cap-
tain AMiitney and Colonel A\'inslow and
was honorably discharged at Atlanta,
Georgia, August 8, 1865. He had par-
ticipated in many hotly contested engage-
ments, including the battles of Ripley,
Tupelo, Guntown, Monta Valley, Selma
and Columbus and numerous skirmishes.
In his political affiliation Mr. Ferree has
always been a stalwart republican and has
been called to various offices. He has
served as justice of the peace, as a mem-
ber of the school board, as township trus-
tee, and was census enumerator in 1890.
In June, 1897, he was appointed postmas-
ter of Hillsboro and is still filling that po-
sition, his son and daughter practically
managing the ofiice and conducting" the
business connected therewith.

In July, 1880, Mr. Ferree was married
to Miss Lavina B. Isaman, who was born
in Tuscarawas, Ohio, in 1855, and is
a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Gra-
ham) Isaman, 1:)oth of whom were natives



of Pennsylvania, the father born in 1814
and the mother in 181 5. It was in the
year 1857 that Mr. Isaman came to Hills-
boro and settled upon a farm, where he
remained continuously until his death in
1902. His wife passed away in 1895
and both were interred in the Hillsboro
cemetery. In his political views Mr. Isa-
man was a republican and both he and his
"wife were members of the ^Methodist
church, in which he filled the office of
steward. In their family were seven chil-
dren : Frank married Alena Xewhold
and died in 190 1, while his widow now
resides in Aurora, Nebraska. Catherine
is the wife of George Deeds, a resident of
Colorado. Lafayette married Sarah \A'hite
and lives in Aurora, Nebraska. David
married Magdalene Beckley and is now
deceased, while his widow resides in
Hillsboro. Samuel married Emma Rey-
nolds and resides in Lewiston, Idaho.
Leah is the wife of Fred Beech, of Ship-
ley, Nebraska. Lavina B. is now Mrs.
Ferree. Of this family B. F. and Lafay-
ette Isaman were both soldiers of the
Civil war, serving in Company F. Four-
teenth Iowa Infantry.

Unto Air. and Mrs. Ferree have been
born five children : Armatha, born in
Henry county in 1881, is the wife of
Craig Groves and resides in Hillsboro.
William S., born in 1884, is in the Hills-
boro postofiice. Paul G., born in 1887,
also resides in Hillsboro and married
Miss Bertha AMieatley, by whom he has
one child. Zada Zordatha. Harriet E.,
born in December, 1890, is a high school
student. Isaac Edgar, born in 1894, is
also in school.

Mr. Ferree resides on Commerce street.

Hillsboro, where he owns a pretty cot-
tage. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow
and has passed all of the chairs in lodge.
No. 373. He also belongs to the Masonic
Lodge, No. 541, and to the Grand Army
of the Republic. Both he and his wife
are members of the Baptist church and are
people of the highest respectability, whose
many excellent traits of heart and mind
have won for them the unqualified esteem
of those with whom they have been asso-
ciated. Since returning from the war Mr.
Ferree has suffered from ill health, but
has a mind unimpaired and a wonderful
memory, assimilating all he reads. He
keeps well informed on the questions of
general interest, political and otherwise,
and has a mind well stored with compre-
hensive knowledge of facts in American
history. There is no one residing here
save Dr. Allen and Mrs. Mary Ellerton
wdio have lived longer in Hillsboro than
Mr. Ferree, and he has seen many
changes in the village and in the county
as the work of improvement and modern
development have been carried forward.


Joseph B. Pope is a representative of
one of the old and honored pioneer fami-
lies of Henry county, and three genera-
tions of the family have been born upon
the farm near Hillsboro on which he still
resides. His birth occurred in this county,
July 16, 1847, ^''is parents being John A.
and Eliza (Johnson) Pope. His pater-



nal grandfather was a native of England
and served as a colonel in the war of
1812. He had in the meantime become a
resident of the United States and was in
hearty sympathy with his adopted land
when he took up arms in defense of her
rights in the second war with England.
John A. Pope was born in Highland
county, Ohio, February 23, 18 17. and
lived upon the old home farm with his fa-
ther in the Buckeye state until 1842, when
at the age of twenty-five years he came
to Iowa, casting in his lot with the early
settlers of Henry county. Here he pur-
chased eight)^ acres of land for one dol-
lar per acre, and today the same property,
now in possession of Joseph B. Pope, is
w'orth one hundred and twenty-five dol-
lars per acre. His brother, Robert Pope,
also became a resident of Iowa. He served
as a soldier in the Mexican war, and his
last days were spent in Fairfield, this
state, where his widow now resides. On
removing to Henry county, John A. Pope,
with characteristic energy, began the cul-
tivation and improvement of his farm
and transformed it into a model prop-
erty equipped with many modern conve-
niences and accessories. He worked
earnestly and persistently and as the re-
sult of his labors and the rapid settle-
ment of the countv his land greatlv in-
creased in value. In his political views
he was a stalwart republican and served
for sixteen consecutive years as justice
of the peace. He also held other township
offices, the duties of which he discharged
with promptness and fidelity. He was
one of the early Masons of Salem Lodge,
No. 17, Ancient Free and Accepted Ma-
sons, and he exemplified in his life the

beneficient teachings of the craft. Per-
sonally he was a large, fine appearing man
and his temperament was a jovial happy
one. His wife was born in Highland
county, Ohio, January 16, 1816. They
became the parents of two sons and two
daughters: T. M., who married a Miss
Jones and resides in Hillsboro: Mary E.,
the wife of Dr. E. Cook, a resident of
Harlan, Shelby county, Iowa; Joseph B.,
of this review ; and Katherine, who died
when thirteen years of age. The mother's
death occurred in 1887, and the father
passed away in 1888, at which time his
grsixe was made by hers in Hillsboro

Joseph B. Pope, spending his boyhood
days in his parents' home, was educated
in Hillsboro and when not busy with his
text-books his time and energies were
devoted to the work of the farm. In fact
he continued upon the old homestead for
seventeen years after his marriage, for
during ten years of that time his father
was paralyzed and he relieved him of the
care and responsibility of cultivating the
fields and improving the property.

It was on the 17th of January, 1871,
that ]\Ir. Pope wedded Miss Vina David-
son, who was born in Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, October 7, 1853, a daugh-
ter of J. R. and Rachel (Jordan) David-
son, who were also natives of Fayette
county, the former born January 26.
1836, and the latter March 3. 1833. The
father was a farmer by occupation and
in 1856 removed with his family, con-
sisting of wife and two children, to Ohio,
where he followed farming. In 1858 he
came to Iowa, settling in Van Buren
county. He afterward came to Henry


68 1

count}', where he followed farming and
alsa became a leading stockman, carry-
ing on the latter branch of business with
great success for a number of years. It
was in 1865 that he removed to the vil-
lage of Hillsboro, where he successfully
conducted a blacksmith shop for thirteen
years and in later years, following his re-
tirement from public office, he passed an
examination which secured his admission
to the bar, after which he practiced law
for a considerable period. He had taught
school in his early life, "both before and
after his marriage and he was a very ac-
tive man who did much to promote the
prosperity of his community. He also
exerted considerable influence in public
affairs and was always a stalwart advo-
cate of republican principles. For two
terms he served as sheriff of Henry
county, was notary public for many years,
filled all the township offices, and con-
tinuously served as a member of the
school board. He was indeed a public
spirited man, devoted to the local inter-
ests and general progress and his efforts
in behalf of public good were far-reach-
ing and beneficial. Fraternally he was
connected with the Masons and the Odd
Fellows. Both he and his wife were mem-
bers of the Baptist church, of which he
served for a long period as clerk and he
was also superintendent and teacher in the
Sunday school until his health failed.
Unto ]\Ir. and Mrs. Davidson were born
six children: Vina, born March 13,
1856; John, who died June 5, 1889;
Roger, who married Callie Buchanan and
died November 11, 1903, while his
widow now resides in North Platte, Ne-
braska, and has three children, Ella.

Helen, and Ruth ; Anna, born June 9,
1863, became the wife of Will Eyers and
died June 13, 1894, leaving one son,
Ralph. Air. Eyers now resides in Os-
ceola, Iowa; J. W., born in 1867, married
Iowa Moxley and resides in Van Buren
countv, this state. Thev have one son,
John; Lottie, born September i, 1872,
died November 25, 1876, at the age of
four years. The mother's death occurred
September 24, 1892, and Mr. Davidson
passed away May 5, 1903, the remains of
both being interred in the Hillsboro ceme-
tery. After the death of his wife he re-
sided with his son John. The Davidson
family also has a good war record, for
Robert, Richard, and Samuel Davidson,
uncles of Mrs. Pope, were all soldiers of
the Union army.

Mr. Pope has throughout his business
career been quite extensively engaged in
dealing in horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep,
and his extensive operations in this direc-
tion have made him a prosperous citizen.
He still owns his father's old farm of two
hundred and forty acres, but in 1902 he
removed to Hillsboro, purchasing a pretty
home, upon which he has since made some
improvements, having now a modern and
attractive dwelling in the midst of pleas-
ing surroundings. He also owns one hun-
dred and forty acres of land in Salem
township. In 1888 he added a large
frame addition to the stone house which
his father had erected upon the old home
farm in 1861. He was born in the orig-
inal log cabin which stood upon that
place, his sons were born in the old stone
house; his grandson was also born there.

Mr. and Mrs. Pope have become the
parents of two sons. William, born De-



cember 25, 1875, and now residing upon
the old homestead farm, married Miss
Cora Tuning, by whom he has one child,
Lester, born on the 27th of January,

1898. The younger son, John Pope, born
October 8, 1879, died from an operation
performed for appendicitis October 23,

1899, and his remains were interred in
the Hillsboro cemetery. He was a good
Christian boy, a lover of home and his
genuine worth, fidelity to honorable
manly principles, and kindly spirit made
him beloved by all who knew him. Both
sons were given good educational privi-
leges, attending Howx's Academy and
also Antrim's Business College. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Pope are membersi of the
Baptist church and Mr. Pope belongs
to Lodge, No. 541, Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons, of which he is
treasurer. His wife is a leading member
of the Eastern Star, in which she is serv-
ing as associate conductress. In his po-
litical views Mr. Pope is a very earnest
and stalwart democrat, but has never
cared for nor sought office, preferring to
concentrate his energies upon his business
affairs. He is a representative of one of
the old and prominent pioneer families
of the county, the name of Pope having
ever figured conspicuously and honorably
in connection w^ith progress and improve-
ment in this part of the state through
many decades. Mr. Pope now has in his
possession a china tea canister that be-
longed to his great-great-grandfather, who
lived at Leesburg, Virginia, and General
Washington often drank tea made from
the contents of this canister. He like-
wise has his grandfather's old silver
watch and also a gun that his great-great-

erandfather took with him to Ohio in the
early settlement of that state. These are
cherished heirlooms in the family. Mr.
Pope possesses an excellent memory for
dates and events connected with the early
history of Henry county and can relate
many interesting incidents of pioneer life
here. He has made his home in this
locality from a very early day, Henry
county being then largely an unimproved
district, while the entire state of Iowa
had but a small population. Both he
and his wife exemplify in their daily lives
their Christian faith and belief. In the
fall of 1905 they made a trip to California
and Oregon and while greatly enjoying
the visit to the Pacific coast they decided
that after all there was no place so dear
as their old Iowa home. It is here that
they have lived and labored for many
years and Henry county has witnessed
their trials and their triumphs. Having
left the farm, they are now residing in
an attractive home in Hillsboro sur-
rounded by the comforts and luxuries of
life which have been made possible to
them through the earnest and indefati-
gable efforts of Mr. Pope in his business
affairs in earlier vears.

S. T. D.

Rev. John William Hancher, S. T. D.,
in the scope of whose efforts Iowa Wes-
leyan L'niversity, of ^^•h^ch he has been
president, has been greatly benefited and



the cause of education advanced, was born
upon a farm in Noble county, Ohio, April
9, 1856, his parents being James and
Anzie Eleanor (Johnson) Hancher. The
Hancher family was known in W^inchester,
Virginia, at an early date in the coloniza-
tion of the new world, and there the father
was born. When a youth of nine years he
accompanied his parents on their removal
to Belmont county, Ohio, and when a
young man went to Noble county, where
he engaged in teaching for three years
at a salary of thirteen dollars per month.
For his second wife he married Miss An-
zie Eleanor Johnson, who was also a
teacher and ^^•as descended from German
ancestry, her father having been born in
Germany. She, however, was born in this
country in 1830. Following his first mar-
riage, James Hancher engaged in farming
and became one of the prominent and ex-
tensive agriculturists of Noble county,
Ohio. He was recognized as one of the
leading members of the Whig party, and
upon its dissolution he joined the ranks
of the new Republican party, but would
never accept a salaried political office, al-
though frecjuently urged to do so by his
fellow townsmen. He labored, however,
for the adoption of the principles of the
party, and was also prominent in educa-
tional work, supporting every movement
that tended to advance the interests of the
schools. Both he and his wife were up-
right, earnest people, with lofty concep-
tions of the Christian life and high moral
standards. He still lives upon the old
homestead in Ohio, but the mother passed
away on the 13th of January, 1903. In
their family were seven children, who
reached mature vears. .

Rev. John W. Hancher, the second in
order of birth and the eldest son, spent
his youth on the home farm and began
his education in the public schools. Later
he engaged in teaching, and then in order
to still further prepare himself for pro-
fessional service he attended the Noble
County Normal Shcool and the Ohio Cen-
tral Normal Scliool. He likewise received
instruction from private teachers and was
graduated in the Dakota School of Mines
in 1888, winning the Bachelor of Science
degree, while in 189 1 he received the Mas-
ter of Science degree from the same in-

Rev. Hancher began his active connec-
tion with the church in 1880, when he
joined the South Kansas Methodist Epis-
copal conference. He spent four years in
southern Kansas and two years in the
Upper Iowa conference, after which he
went to the Black Hills as home mission-
ary and engaged in preaching at Rapid
City, South Dakota, for two years. He
was president of the Black Hills College
at Hot Springs, South Dakota, for eight
years, and in 1897 was transferred to the
St. Louis conference, filling the pastorate
of the Grand avenue church in Kansas
City, Missouri, for two years, that being
one of the largest churches in Methodism.
On the expiration of that period he joined
the Northern New York conference and
labored for the interests of the Methodist
church in Herkimer, New York, for two
years, when on the ist of May, 1901, he
came to Mount Pleasant to accept the
presidency of the Iowa \\'esle}'an Uni-

In 1890 Rev. Hancher received the de-
eree of Master of Arts from Mount LTnion



College of Ohio, in 1905 the degree of
S. T. D., and in 1905 the honorar}^ degree
of LL. D., the last mentioned being con-
ferred by Simpson College. Since coming
to Iowa Wesleyan University Rev. Han-
cher has filled tlie chair of mental and
moral science, while de\'oting his attention
assiduously to the business of the school.
He is a man of excellent executive force,
keen discernment and financial ability and
has succeeded in wiping out a large in-
debtedness which had been incurred by
the university and placing the universitv'
upon a sound financial basis. He has
studied closely methods and means, has
improved e^•er}- opportunity and today the
school as it now stands, free from debt,,
is largelv a monument to his business fore-
sight and capable management. There is
perhaps no one who has a wider reputa-
tion for the successful control of church
finances. He has been truly helpful in
raising money at the dedicatoiy services
of various churches, having the ability to
enlist the interest and co-operation of many
in the noble work of spreading the gospel.
Dr. Hancher is also widely known as a
lecturer on many public and literaiy sub-
jects and his addresses show wide research,
deep thought and thorough understanding
of the questions under discussion. He has
a large acqtiaintance with men, having
traveled widely in this country and in Eu-
rope and studied critically the personality
of the successful men of our time as well
as the methods upon which their successes
have been built. He was chosen to head
the delegation of the Iowa conference at
the last quadrennial session of the General
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal
church, held at Los Angeles, California,

in 1904. In 1892 and 1896 he attended
that body, representing the Black Hills
Mission, but was not a member, missions
not being entitled to membership. Aside
from his efforts in behalf of educational
progress, Dr. Hancher has displayed ex-
cellent business force and keen sagacity,
and is now a director of tlie United States
Packing Company that is erecting large
packing plants in Mexico. He also has
other business interests which bring a de-
sirable financial return.

On the loth of May, 1877, was cele-
brated the marriage of Mr. Hancher and
Miss Virginia Adelaide Taylor, of Xoble
county, Ohio, a daughter of Edward Y.
and Eliza (Shankland) Taylor. They
had two children, but the elder, ]\Iaude
Blanche, died at the age of eighteen
months. The surviving daughter, Ada
Grace, who ^^•as graduated from Iowa
Wesleyan University in the class of 1904,
is now the wife of Burton Beck, who was
graduated from the same school in 1903
and is now assistant division passenger
agent for the Oregon Railway and Navi-
gation Company at Tacoma, Washington.
Dr. and Mrs. Hancher hold membership
in the Asbuiy Methodist Episcopal church.
A man of scholarly attainments, keen and
clear-headed, always busy, always care-
ful, and conservative in financial matters,
moving slowly but surely in ever>' trans-
action, he has few superiors in the steady
progress which invariably deads to the
objective point. The spirit of his achieve-
ment must inspire all young men \\ho read
it with a truer estimate of the \a\ue and
sure rewards of character, and his work
in the world as the promoter of those quali-
ties, which, after all, are the onlv ones



that really count — the qualities of intel-
lectual and moral attainment — is a fact
acknowledged by all.


Hon. John West Palm, who served a?
postmaster at Mount Pleasant a number
of years, was born in Southington, Trum-
bull county, Ohio, October 23, 1850, his
parents being Adam and Jane (West)
Palm. The father was born in Trumbull
county, Ohio, March 26, 18 16, and was
of German extraction. His death oc-
curred in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. October
II, 1889, when he was seventy-three years
of age. He was a farmer and brick ma-
son, and in 1856 came to Iowa, settling
in Marion township, Henry county, where
he followed farming, devoting his atten-
tion to general agricultural pursuits for
many years. He afterward removed to
Mount Pleasant, where he lived retired up
to the time of his death. His wife was of
Scotch and English parentage, and be-
came a resident of Ohio in early girlhood.
Her death occurred in this county in 1857,
and, like her husband, she was laid to rest
in the Ebenezer cemetery in Marion town-
ship. In their family were seven children :
Mary, the wife of Hon. J. W. Vernon, of
Memphis, Tennessee; Martha, who be-
came the wife of Col. R. K. Miller, of East
Des Moines, but both are now deceased;
Julia, who became the wife of Colonel
Miller after the death of her sister, and is
now living in Des Moines; Permelia, who

is the widow of William Faulkner, and
resides in Lincoln, Nebraska; William,
who ded in infancy; John \\\, of this re-
view ; and Alice, the deceased wife of \\'\\-
bur Davis. In his political views, the
father was a republican. Both he and his
wife were devoted members of the Metho-
dist church, and he died as he lived, with
unfaltering faith and trust in the Chris-
tian religion. He ever followed the best
impulses of his nature, and his life con-
formed to a high standard of morality.
He faithfully met every obligation that
devolved upon him in his relations to his
familv, his friends and his communitv,
and his life of rectitude and honor consti-
tutes an example well worthy of emula-
tion. His neighbors, friends and all w^ho
knew him will long remember his sturdy
integrity and his uplifting influence, his
generous spirit and his many benevolent
and kindly acts. He spent his last days in
the home of his son, John West Palm, and
was a resdent of Mount Pleasant from
1869 to the time of his death. Following
the demise of his first wife, he remained
unmarried for twenty-two years, and then
wadded Mrs. Emma Gregg, by whom he
had one son, George, who is now livin_§^
in Kila, Montana.

John W'est Palm pursued his education
in the schools of Mount Pleasant, and was
graduated from the high school in the
class of 1869. He also spent two years
as a student in Howe's Academy, where
he prepared for teaching, and entered
upon the work of the classical course in
the Iowa ^^'esleyan College in Mount
Pleasant, graduating in 1876. In 1877 he
was appointed to fill out the unexpired
term of Professor S. L. Howe, who was



the superintendent of county schools, and
the following year was elected to the of-
fice, but resigned ere the expiration of
one year and purchased the Journal, a
newspaper published in Mount Pleasant.
He became part owner in 1878, and con-
tinued as editor and joint proprietor for
nine years, on the expiration of which pe-
riod he was elected county treasurer. His
wife continued the publication of the pa-
per as local editor for four years, and thus
Mr. Palm remained owner of the Journal
for thirteen years. In 1887 he was elected
county treasurer and filled the office two
terms, and afterward served for one year
as deputy county treasurer, during which
5^ear he was nominated and elected to the

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 81 of 85)