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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 84 of 85)
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Chariton, Lucas county, where Mr. Kink-
ead was identified with farming interests
for a long period, making his home there
until his death, in December, 1898. He
had been married near Granville, Ohio,
at a settlement called the Welch Hills, to
Miss Jerusha Smith, a daughter of Jesse
Smith, who came from Wales in early
life. In the year 1857 Mrs. Kinkead was
called to her final rest, leaving four chil-
dren who reached mature years, Albert
of this review being the youngest. Both
parents were members of the Presbyte-
rian church.

In the common schools of his native
town Albert W. Kinkead accjuired his
early education, which was supplemented
by study in other Ohio schools and later
in Howe's Academv. at Mount Pleasant,
where he pursued a full course. At that
time this institution was a very strong;
school, the founder, Samuel L. Howe,
being the principal. Mr. Kinkead en-
gaged in teaching for a time both before
and after pursuing his academic course,
and subsequently he entered the law office
of H. & R. Ambler, at Mount Pleasant,
who directed his reading, after which he
w-as admitted to the bar by examination
before the circuit court of Henry county
on the 13th of August, 1877. Immedi-
ately afterward he entered into partner-
ship with C. B. Whitford, a relation that
was maintained for three years, after
which Mr. Kinkead was elected city so-
licitor in 1879. serving for two years. In
1886 he was chosen, by popular suffrage,


to the office of comity attorney of Henry grees of the council, but there is no or-
county, and for four years filled that of- ganization of the council in Mount Pleas-
lice, having been re-elected in 1888. It ant at the present time. He has attained
was at the former date that the office of to the order of high priesthood, however,
district attorney was abolished and the and has been trustee of the Masonic
position of county attorney created. Upon bodies. He belongs to Mystic Lodge, No.
his retirement from office on the ist of 55, Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
January, 1891, Mr. Kinkead resumed but has avoided office in that organiza-
the general practice of law, in which he tion although he is chairman of the trus-
has met with gratifying success. A liberal tees. His political support is given to
clientage is accorded him which indicates the Republican party and he has taken
the consensus of public opinion regarding an active interest in its work, attending
his legal talents and capability as well as the various county, state and congres-
his devotion to the interests of those sional conventions, while at this writing,
whom he serves. He has also prepared in 1906, he is chairman of the judicial
a set of abstract books that are unsur- convention.

passed anywhere and has a fine business On the 2d of May, 1888, Mr. Kinkead
in that line as w^ell. He has developed w^as married to Miss Lorena Lois Wallar,
and impro^'ed his system and the ab- of New I>ondon, Iowa, a daughter of W.
stracts that have been furnished have D. and Peninah Wallar. She was born
numbered over twenty-seven hundred and and reared at New London, and by her
fifty since the completion of his set of marriage became the mother of one
books. He began the work in 1882 and daughter, Leah, who graduated from the
now has a fine set of verbatim copies such Mount Pleasant high school with the
as is to be found nowhere else in the west, class of 1906, is now at home. The wife
Fraternally Mr. Kinkead has gained and mother died February 16, 1892. She
considerable distinction by reason of his was a member of the Methodist Episco-
hearty sympathy with the principles of the pal church. Mr. Kinkead has a pleasant
different organizations with which he is home at No. 206 North Harrison street,
allied and his exemplification of every where warm-hearted hospitality is freely
principle in his daily life. He was made extended to his many friends. Without
a Mason in Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. special pecuniary or family advantages to
8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, aid him at the outset of his career, Mr.
was for four years worshipful master and Kinkead has made steady progress toward
has likewise been representative to the his objective point, his professional ca-
grand lodge. He also belongs to Henry reer being characterized by unremitting
Chapter, No. 8, Royal Arch Masons, in industr3% laudable ambition, and success-
which he has been high priest six times ful accomplishment. Moreover, the sa-
and in the grand chapter has been prin- lient principles of his manhood have been
cipal sojourner and delegate to the grand such as to command the respect and con-
chapter of Ohio. He also took the de- fidence and Mount Pleasant numbers him


• I-




among its representative citizens who are
worthy the trust and good will of their
fellow men.


Charles Herbert Dyall, a leading pho-
tographer of Mount Pleasant, was born
in Canada on the 20th of November,
1 87 1, a son of Thomas and Martha (Fen-
ton) Dyall, for whose sketch see another
page of this book.

C. H. Dyall pursued his education in
the public schools of the various towns
in which his father was located and after
coming to jMount Pleasant in 1 889 he con-
tinued his studies in Howe's Academy
until he was graduated with the class of
1 89 1. He then entered the Iowa Wes-
leyan University, in which he spent two
y«ars. During the summer vacations he
began to take views, being deeply inter-
ested in photography and in this way he
traveled over Henry county for three or
four summers. Subsequently he entered
into partnership with his brother, who
owned the College art gallery, and in
1894 they removed to this present loca-
tion, the building being especially de-
signed and erected for the firm. Here the
partnership was maintained for three
years, at the end of which time C. H.
Dyall purchased his brother's interest. In
1 90 1 he removed to the adjoining room
and purchased the building now occupied
by him. He occupies the entire first floor
for the purposes of his business, having
an elegant art and reception room in the
front, while the remainder is used for the
operating and finishing departments. In
1904 he purchased the adjoining building

and now owns the entire double building.
He has a thoroughly modern establish-
ment, equipped with the latest improve-
ments and accessories known to the art,
and has built up a business of large vol-
ume, from which he annually receives ^
good income. Mr. Dyall also has a pros-
perous branch gallery in New London,
an active business point, and where he has
a good patronage, it being the only gal-
lery between Mount Pleasant and Bur-
lington. He attends the leading photog-
raphers' conventions and is a member of
the Photographic Association of Iowa,
and thus keeps in touch with the progress
in the profession.

Mr. Dyall seems well equipped by na-
ture for the work that he has undertaken
and has indeed made a creditable success.
His personal zeal and interest in his work
has brought him excellent results and the
high position to which he has attained
is fully merited.

Mr. Dyall is a member of the Modern
Woodmen of America Camp, No. 625.
He takes great interest in religious work
and is a member of the Baptist church, in
which he is a trustee; he is also deeply
interested in music and is a member of
the Baptist choir. Mr. Dyall by his own
unaided efforts and ability has come to be
one of the substantial and respected busi-
ness men of Mount Pleasant and well de-
serves that highest of all American titles,
a self-made man.


Hon, James Harlan was probably the
best known, best loved and most admired



of any resident of Henry county. Indeed,
there are few men whose hves are
crowned with the honor and respect which
was uniformly accorded to James Harlan,
for through many years' connection with
^our national history his was an unblem-
ished character. He displayed none of
those dazzling meteoric qualities which
have commanded world-wide but tran-
scient attention. On the contrary, he was
one of the world's workers, assisting
materially in laying the foundation for
the stability, progress and substantial
growth of the nation and thus his name
is closely interwoven with much of the
legislation which has proved of the great-
est and most lasting benefit to the coun-
try. In an article in a volume published
by the Iowa Wesleyan University the fol-
lowing is found as opening words :
"James Harlan, Christian statesman, is a
fitting title for the man to whose mem-
ory this volume is dedicated. Titles he
had and college degrees, but the name
stands best without qualifying affix or
suffix. In purity and strength of charac-
ter, in the unfaltering performance of
duty whether as a private citizen or public
servant, in unflinching patriotism and
able statesmanship, James Harlan had
few equals and no superiors."

He was born in Clark county, Illinois,
August 26, 1820, a son of Silas and Mary
(Conley) Harlan. On the paternal side
the family is of English origin and was
founded in South Carolina at an early
day, whence representatives of the name
removed to Pennsylvania. The maternal
grandfather was a soldier of the Revolu-
tionary war. Silas Harlan, with his fam-
ily, removed to Park county, Indiana,
when his son James was but three years

of age and there the latter was reared
upon a farm. He acquired his higher
education at Asbury University at Green
castle, Indiana, then under the presi-
dency of the late Bishop Simpson and was
graduated in the class of 1845.

After receiving his diploma Mr. Har-
lan came to Iowa, locating first at Iowa
City, where he was offered and accepted
a chair in the Iowa City College, after-
ward the state university at that place. In
1846 he was elected state superintendent
of public instruction and was the only
candidate of his party who succeeded in
winning election that year. After serving
for one year, however, the election was
declared void and, going before the peo-
ple, he was re-elected, but on account of
some informalities in the ballots — the bal-
lots being variously printed Harland and
Harlin instead of Harlan — the office was
given to his opponent.

In the meantime Mr. Harlan was in
1848 admitted to the bar and practiced
law successfully at Iowa City until 1853,
when he was elected the first president of
the Iowa Wesleyan University and re-
moved to Mount Pleasant, which he made
his place of residence until his death in
1899. Under his able administration the
business of the university was financially
successful. When he was called to the
presidency the school was known as the
Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute and
it was largely through his influence and
ability as an executive that it was re-
organized and the name changed to the
Iowa Wesleyan University, Mr. Harlan
becoming the first president of the newly
organized institution. His administra-
tion was brief, however, for in 1855, after
two years' service, he was elected to the



of his active life was spent in the pubhc
United States senate and the remainder
service, but his loyalty to the college
never failed and the Wesleyan University
bears the imprint of his individuality,
ability and co-operation more than that of
any other man.

It would have been impossible for a
man of his breadth of vision, thorough-
ness of research and wide reading to have
remained quietly at home without exert-
ing a strong influence on public thought
and action. He studied closely the socio-
logical, economic and political questions
of the times and as early as 1848 had
become known as a campaign speaker in
the state of Iowa, delivering addresses in
support of General Taylor in 1848. In
1849 he declined the candidacy for the
state senate and in 1850 the ^^'hig nomi-
nation for governor. It seemed that he
had no strong political aspirations in
early life, but the fact that his party
wished him to become its standard bearer
shows that he was early prominent. In
1855, however, he became a candidate and
was elected to the United States senate.
His first speech in the senate, made March
27, 1856, was on the admission of Kansas
into the Union. He had prepared this
with great care and it deeply impressed
the older members of the Senate. He had
taken his seat in the upper house of the
national legislature in March, 1856, and
he served until the end of that session.
In the re-assembling of the senate in the
session of 1856-7 his seat was declared
vacant, the majority according that he
was not regularly elected by the Iowa leg-
islature. Returning home, the legislature
being then in session, he was re-elected
and returned to Washington, where he

served out his term. In May, 1861, he
was again chosen for a second term of
six years, but resigned in 1865, having
been chosen by President Lincoln as a
member of his cabinet at the beginning of
his second term. One who knew Senator
Harlan well said, "No American perhaps
certainly no president, had a clearer, more
intuitive insight into the character and
ability of public men than had Abraham
Lincoln. This great and good man did
not fail to note the peculiar power and
natural statesmanship of Harlan and he ex-
emplified his faith in him by calling him
to the portfolio of the interior soon after
its creation as a co-ordinant department
in the affairs of the nation. James Har-
lan had the natural instincts and intuitive
perceptions of the statesman from his
youth. The easy grasp and broad com-
prehension of all the deeper problems of
state which he exhibited in his early years
marked him as a rising star and unusual
force in the senate of the United States
and no one was quicker or surer to dis-
cern these commanding faculties than the
"great commoner," who was called to the
presidency during the period of the Civil
war. His greatness was always apparent.
His very presence, his easy, simple dig-
nity, his composed and all but gentle man-
ner, marked him as of superior mold and
of great strength of character. His great-
ness was instinctive and apparent. The
depth and dignity of his mind impressed
all at first sight. A feeling of deference,
of being in the presence of strength and
sincerity and power, took instant posses-
sion of all who were so fortunate as to be
the possessor of his personal acquaintance
and friendship. This was not so much
an impression of alertness as of strength.


Although no detail escaped his attention judge of said court, in which capacity he
and he was equipped with a wonderful served until the business of the court was
wealth of especial information his great- concluded June i, 1885.
est gift was in close, clear, simple, logical Senator Harlan was married in Octo-
analysis. A question once investigated, ber, 1845, to Miss Ann Eliza Peck, who
once considered and discussed by Harlan, died at Old Point Comfort, Virginia,
was exhausted. His conclusions were ir- September 4, 1884, after almost thirty-
resistible and usually final in the consid- nine years of married life and was buried
eration of any subject he chose to inves- in Forest Home cemetery, where Senator
tigate." Harlan Avas later laid by her side. Of
When Mr. Harlan retired from the four children born to them only one now
position of cabinet officer he was again survives, Mary E., the wife of Robert T.
elected to the United States senate and Lincoln, of Chicago.

served from March, 1867, until March, On his retirement from the position of
1873. During his service in the senate presiding judge Senator Harlan returned
he was an industrious and influential to Mount Pleasant, where he had a fine
member, serving on some of the most old country home opposite the campus of
important committees and as chairman of the Iowa Wesleyan University and there
a number of these. He was known for he lived retired from the exciting and ex-
his influence in securing the passage of acting duties of an active official life,
"great measures" and was very instru- Here we was near the educational work
mental during the reconstruction period, which was so dear to his heart, for he
He was also responsible for many effec- always regarded the Wesleyan University
tive and beneficial measures having to do as a foster child. His was a familiar fig-
with southern conditions. After he be- ure about the campus for many years and
came chairman of the committee on public fortunate was the student who obtained
lands he exerted a powerful, even control- an insight into his character. There was
ling, influence in shaping the policy of the that indefinable something which tells us
governinent in disposing of the public do- we are in the presence of a great man and
main in such a manner as to advance the none knew him but to admire and respect
public interests of the frontier settlers and him for his true greatness. In an esti-
especially the cause of education. He also mate of his character it will be seen that
did a noble work on the committee of many strong elements were manifest. He
agriculture. was a conservative man who must be re-
After leaving the senate on the 4th of garded as a statesman, always striving to
March, 1873, Senator Harlan took no build up for the benefit of the people and
official part in public affairs until the sum- to insure a continuous national progress,
mer of 1882, when he was appointed a believing that nations, like men, cannot
udge of the court of claims in the cele- stand still; they must go forward or back-
brated Alabama case and on the death of ward ; but they cannot go backward with-
presiding judge Wells he was appointed out decay, therefore it is imperative that
by President Arthur as the presiding they go forward. He was conspicuous


as a public officer who was always at his largest circulation of any journal pub-
post of duty and always at work. No man lished in this section of the state. Since
ever represented Iowa who was more Mr. Porter assumed control, modern ap-
faithful to the trust reposed in him by the pliances and equipments, known to the
people. His mental characteristics were printing art, have been introduced and
of the solid and practical rather than of this is now the best equipped newspaper
the ostentatious and brilliant order. He office in the county, having splendidly im-
was essentially strong in intellect and ca- proved presses and all facilities for the
pable of reaching safe, reasonable and issuance of a paper that is an excellenli
prudent conclusions. In the long and specimen of the perfection to which the
crowded line of illustrious men of whom printer's art has attained. A large job
Iowa is justly proud the public lite of few department is conducted with a liberal
others has extended over as long a period patronage, and the circulation of the
as his and certainly the life of none has Mount Pleasant Republican is larger than
been more varied in service, more con- that of any other paper in Henry county,
stant in honor, more fearless in conduct It is devoted to the interests of the Repub-
or more stainless in reputation. lican party and wields a wide influence for

progress. It stands as the champion of
those interests which are matters of civic
virtue and civic pride, labors for general
improvement and progressive develop-

THE MOUNT PLEASANT REPUB- ment and through the dissemination of

LICAN. general and local news makes a thor-
oughly readable and enjoyable sheet.
The Mount Pleasant Republican, the
leading newspaper of Henry county, now

ably edited and conducted by Frank P.

Porter, was established in 1899 by Hardin '.
Tribby, who conducted it for a year, when

he sold out to a stock company, consisting MOUNT PLEASANT PUBLIC

of Capt. W. Beckwith, Dr. A. W. Mc- LIBRARY.
Clure, Ex-Governor Newbold, Sol Cav-

anee, and J. M. Button. Captain Beck- The Mount Pleasant Public Library,

with owned the controlling interest and which in February, 1905, was installed in

afterward purchased the shares of all of a beautiful new home, the gift of Andrew

the other stockholders save Doctor Mc- Carnegie, had its beginning in the early

Clure. In 1901 Frank P. Porter took years of the city's development. The

charge of this paper as manager and has first library movement in Mount Pleasant

so continued to the present writing, in was started in 1844, just ten years after

1906. This is an eight-page paper, pub- the first settlement was made in Henry

lished weekly, is the organ of the Repub- county by white men. Nine young men,

lican party in Henry county, and has the Morton Munger, John Grantham, Samuel



Nelson, J. E. Payne, Nelson Lathrop,
John Craig, J. C. Hall, James Walmsley
and Alvin Sanders formed the Mount
Pleasant Lyceum, which was incorporated
February 14, 1844 "to establish a library
and scientific apparatus, the cultivation of
the arts and sciences and the diffusion of
useful knowledge." The second attempt
toward establishing a libraiw was made
about 1855, when Dr. William B. Cham-
berlain removed from Burlington to
Mount Pleasant and gave eight hundred
lx)oks for a public libraiy. These for a
time were taken care of by different young
men of the city. A third attempt was
made soon after the war by seven young
men who organized the Young ]\Ien's
Christian Association to establish a li-
brar}^ and reading room and conduct a
course of lectures. They took charge of
the Chamberlain librar}- and invested two
hundred and ten dollars in new books but
their lecture course did not prove profit-
able and they sold their new books at auc-
tion to pay their debts and boxed the Cham-
berlain library. In 1872 some ladies of the
city formed a reading circle for mutual
improvement and in connection with it
a Ladies Lecture Association. This as-
sociation brought to Alount Pleasant some
of the most distinguished speakers of the
country, including such men as Frederick
Douglas, Wendell Phillips, Carl Schurtz,
Theodore Tilton, Henry Ward Beecher,
John C. Saxe, C. D. B. Mills and Bronson
Alcott. In 1875 the Ladies Lecture As-
sociation was merged into the Ladies Li-
brar}'- Association and thus began a work
which was continued with great courage
by the ladies in the face of great difficul-
ties and obstacles until the city of Mount

Pleasant voted to establish a new public
library. The ladies had no funds save
what they could raise by courses of lec-
tures and by public entertainments. Dur-
ing the years the city council was several
times asked to make the library a free city
institution and when they refused the la-
dies resolutely again took up the work of
continuing their library, charging only
such fees as was absolutely necessary to
help with the expense.

It was not until 1901 that the city coun-
cil resolved to put the matter to vote at
the general election. The minutes of the
Ladies Library Association, February,
1901, show that the following resolution
was passed and sent to the council : "To
the Honorable Mayor and City Council
of the City of Mount Pleasant, Iowa : We,
the undersigned residents of Mount Pleas-
ant. Iowa, would respectfully represent to
your honorable body that our city is in
need of a free public librar}^, open at all
reasonable times to the public; that the in-
fluence of such an institution would be
beneficial in every way; and that such an
institution would broaden the intellectual
life of Mount Pleasant and elevate the
moral standard of the community. We
would also represent that the members of
the Ladies Librar}^ Association of Mount
Pleasant have expressed a willingness to
make their library a part of a free public
libraiy, if a free public library is estab-
lished upon a proper basis and along
proper lines. We therefore feel that this
suggestion from the Ladies Library As-
sociation is an opportunity which the citi-
zens of Mount Pleasant cannot afford to
neglect. Others cities less able than
Mount Pleasant have taken this step and



no city having a free public library would
now willingly surrender the same. We
feel that the importance of this matter can
not be overestimated and that it will meet
the approval of all lovers of education
and of all who feel that the general intelli-
gence of the community would be pro-

"We, therefore, petition your honor-
able body to submit to the electors of
Mount Pleasant at the next general elec-

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 84 of 85)