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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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Jesse has been twice married. His first
wife was Miss Maude Hall, of Unionville,
Missouri. His second marriage was to
Miss Ethel Lindberg, and they now live
on Jefferson Street, Mount Pleasant. He
is also engaged in the lumber business with
his brother Winfield.

The Ketcham brothers have been re-
markably successful in the lumber busi-
ness, ranking among the greatest lumber-
men of the state. They cleared off the
timber from most of Henry county, and
also cutting the timber from the western
part of this state and also from Putnam
and Sullivan counties, Missouri, and for
many years supplied almost all of the tim-
ber used in the construction of the Bur-
lington Railroad through Iowa. They
supplied ties, bridge timber, etc.. and did
an enormous business. He was intimate
with leading railroad men of the day.
In addition to their .lumber interests, they
were for a long time the proprietors of a
large elevator and a flouring mill, but this
business was closed out in 1905. Their
business integrity and the qualities that
have worked with that to bring them their
well earned prosperity have also won them
the universal respect and esteem of all
with whom they have had any dealings.

Miss Hattie Ketcham, the immediate
subject of this historical review, received



her education in Mount Pleasant, being
srraduated from the Iowa Weslevan Uni-
versity with the class of 1876. While
she was a student in the University she
identified herself with the sorority life of
the institution by becoming a member of
Pi Beta Phi in 1873, and she still keeps
up her connection with the organization.
She has always taken the deepest interest
in the progress of education, especially as
it affects the community in which she
lives, and especially has she been solicitous
of the welfare of her alma mater. She has
served several times as secretary and
treasurer of the Alumni Association of
the university.

Being gifted with a large share of the
executive ability and business sagacity
that has been so noticeable in the different
members of the family. Miss Ketcham has
also taken an active part in the active
work of the town. She has for twelve
years conducted a store downtown, in
which she makes a specialty of all those
articles pertaining to decorative needle-
work. She carries a large stock of goods,
and makes it her pride to have every article
that can be desired for the making of the
latest fancy in this fascinating work for
women. She herself does this work, and
conducts a class for the instruction of
others. Her own work is artistic in the
highest degree, and she is the acknowl-
edged leader in this work in Mount Pleas-
ant. She has genuine artistic sense, and
a love for the work, as is evidenced by
the fact that she herself never had a
teacher in the work, but has learned it
by herself.

In addition to her business pursuits.
Miss Ketcham has found time to take part

in the social, literary and philanthropic life
of the neighborhood. She has served with
distinction for sixteen years as secretary
of the Ladies' Library Association, being
also the secretary of the Ladies' Library
Club for several years. She has been very
active in church work, as has the entire
family, particularly the parents. They
were members of the Baptist church, and
Miss Ketcham has been a faithful worker,
never shirking what she conceived to be
her duty, but rendering efficient aid in all
the church work, accomplishing much in
the church society and contributing gen-
erously to its charities. She has acted as
clerk of the church for many years. She
is also a student of the principles of Chris-
tian Science.

Miss Ketcham has filled a prominent
place in the life of the town, whether con-
sidered from the standpoint of business,
education, religion, philanthropy or so-
ciety. Personally she is ever cheerful,
courteous, considerate of others and un-
failingly kind to all. She numbers her
friends by the score, and is universally re-
spected for those high qualities which have
endeared her to those who know her best.


Among the distinguished citizens who
have conferred honor and digiiitv upon
the state which has honored them is num-
bered Governor Joshua G. Newbold, de-
ceased, whose official record covered serv-
ice as the chief executive of his citv and






also of the commonwealth. The quali-
ties which make for leadership were pre-
eminently his, for he not only had the
ability to formulate plans and g-uide the
actions of others, but was also prompted
by a spirit of patriotism and devotion to
the public good that were above question.
He had a statesman's grasp of affairs, and
to each question of moment gave careful
consideration, followed by influential ef-
fort for the cause which he believed to be
for the best interests of Iowa.

A native of Pennsylvania, Go\'ernor
Newbold was born in Fa}'ette count}' on
the I2th of May, 1830, a son of Brazilla
and Katherine (Houseman) Newbold.
The father owned and operated a flouring
mill in Pennsylvania until about 1854 or
1855. when he came to Iowa, subsequent
to which time he turned his attention to
agricultural pursuits, and botli he and his
wife passed away on the farm near Hills-
boro. They held membership in the Free
Will Baptist church.

Governor Newbold, attending the
schools of Fayette county, acquired a
good, liberal education, and further
broadened his knowledge by an academic
course, subsequent to which time he en-
gaged in teaching for several years. He
was married in his native state. May 2,
1850, to Miss Rachael Farquhar, a daugh-
ter of Robert and Mary (Maston) Far-
quhar. Her father was a farmer of Fay-
ette county, Pennsylvania, connected with
families of prominence in that country.

Following his removal to the west, Gov-
ernor Newbold resided for a year in
Mount Pleasant, and then removed to a
farm in Van Buren county, near Hills-
boro, where he engaged in general agri-

cultural pursuits for several years. In
i860 he took up his abode in Hillsboro,
where he continued farming, his farm
adjoining the village. He was also en-
gaged in merchandising, and later return-
ing to Mount Pleasant, he embarked in
merchandising in this city, successfullv
conducting a general store. Following
his retirement from that line of business,
he was largely occupied in the settlement
of estates, having the full trust and con-
fidence of the people, and acted as admin-
istrator, executor and guardian in many
cases, in which he performed his duties to
the best of his ability — and that ability
was of superior order.

At-'the time of the Civil war Governor
Newbold put aside personal considera-
tions and raised a company of the Four-
teenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but, be-
coming ill, was unable to go to the front.
His brother Joseph went out as captain,
and later was elected major, with which
rank he served until shot, at the battle of
Red River. After recovering his health.
Joshua G. Newbold helped to raise the
Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry in the fall of
1862. and was commissioned captain of
Company F. This was the noted fighting
regiment of the state. After participating
in the battle at Helena, Arkansas, in No-
vember, 1862, they sailed the following
December on the expedition against
Vicksburg, going by way of Chickasaw
Bayou, where they were under fire, and
later participating in the battle of Arkan-
sas Post, where the regiment lost more
than sixty men in killed and wounded.
Following the battle of Lookout Moun-
tain, the Twenty-fifth Iowa pursued Bragg
to Ringgold, where the engagement oc-



CLirred on the 27th of Xovember. The
next year the regiment joined Sherman
on the Atlanta campaign and the march
to the sea, and afterward participated in
the Carohna campaign. He served for
more than two years, or until a short time
before the close of the war, when he re-
signed on account of disability. He was
at Vicksburg during the siege of that city,
and becoming ill with typhoid fever was
brought to his home, starting when un-
conscious. As soon as he had recovered
his health, however, he rejoined his com-
mand at the front, and continued there for
some time, but being still unable to per-
form his duties, he was discharged. Dur-
ing the last two or three months of his
sendee he held the position of jitdge-advo-
cate, with headquarters at Woodville, A\-
abama. His regiment won fame in 'a
number of engagements. Following his
return from the war. Governor Newbold
engaged in merchandising for a short
time and later devoted his time to the set-
tlement of estates and kindred duties.

He was long recognized as a leading
factor in republican circles, giving stanch
support to the party from the time of its
organization. He held a number of local
ofifices in Van Buren county, and was
elected to represent Henry county in the
thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth gen-
eral assemblies, where he proved an able
member, connected with much important
constructive legislation. He served as
chairman of the school committee on ap-
propriations in the fifteenth. In the lat-
ter, in 1874, he was also temporary
speaker during the deadlock organizing
the house. In 1875 he was elected lieu-
tenant governor on the republican ticket

with Samuel J. Kirkw^ood, the democratic
competitor being E. D. Woodward, who
received ninety-three thousand and sixty
votes, while Governor Kirk wood received
one hundred and thirty-four thousand one
hundred and sixty-six. During his term
of office Governor Kirkwood was elected
to the United States senate, and thereby
Lieutenant-Governor Newbold became his
successor, entering upon the duties of the
office on the ist of February, 1877. being
succeeded by Governor Gear in 1878. His
message given to the legislature in 187S
was a gTeat state paper, and the recom-
mendations w^hich he made were carefully
considered and were largely adopted.
The state finances were then in a less
creditable condition than ever before or
since, as there was an increasing floating
debt amounting to three hundred and
forty thousand eight hundred and twenty-
six dollars and fifty-six cents, more than
ninety thousand dollars in excess of the
constitutional limitation. Governor New-
bold in his message said : "The common-
wealth ought not to set an example of dil-
atoriness in meeting its obligations. Of
all forms of indebtedness that of a floating
character is the most objectionable. The
uncertainty as to its amount will invari-
ably enter into any computation made by
persons contracting with the state for sup-
plies, material or labor. To remove the
present difficulty and to aA-ert its continu-
ance. I look upon as the most important
work that will demand your attention."
The following recommendations show
Governor Newbold abreast of the fore-
most thinkers of the age: "Therein
equalities of the personal property valua-
tion of the several counties suggests to



my mind the propriety of so adjusting
the state's levy as to require the counties
to pay into the state treasury only the tax
on realty having the corresponding tax
on personalty in the county treasury. This
would rest with each county the adjust-
ment of its own personal property valu-
ations, without fear that they might be
so high as to work injustice to itself in
comparison with other counties."

During the period of his services as
governor of Iowa, Mr. Newbold removed
his residence to ]Mount Pleasant, and was
later elected to represent Henry county in
the legislature, where he again served for
one term. Local offices were afterward
conferred upon him, and he was chosen
mayor of the city, in which capacity he
served for a year, when he refused a re-
election on account of other pressing
claims. In 1899, however, he was once
more chosen chief executive of the city
for two years' term, and in 1900 was
aeain elected to that office. During that
time many of the permanent improve-
ments were made. He was known as one
of the strong mayors of Mount Pleasant,
giving careful consideration to its possi-
bilities for reform, improvements and sub-
stantial development, and formulating
plans and instituting measures that have
had direct bearing upon the city and its
permanent good.

Unto Governor and Mrs. Newbold
were born five children, two of whom died
in infancy, while George passed away at
the age of eighteen years. Allene is now
the widow of Mr. F. Isaman, and has
four children : Kate, who is now Mrs.
White, has a son, Frank, who is a
great-grandchild of Governor Newbold;

Joshua, who wedded Mary Salsbury, and
has two daughters, Frances and Emma;
George, who married Carrie Moore, and
has a son, Butler; and Mrs. Rachel Cole,
who has a son, Harvey. Emma I. New-
bold became the wife of Butler Buchanan,
of North Platte, Nebraska, and has three
sons. Perry, who married Jennie Smith,
and lives at North Platte, Frank and

Governor and Mrs. Newbold were
members of the Baptist church at Hills-
boro, and on removing to ]\Iount Pleasant
identified themselves with the Presbyte-
rian church of this city. They had a fine
home on East Washington street, where
Airs. Newbold still resides. The gov-
ernor died here, June 10, 1903, his re-
mains being interred in Forest Home
cemetery, while his name was enrolled on
the list of Iowa's honored dead. He was
a man lofty in patriotism, fearless in ac-
tion and stainless in reputation. In his
business life his path was not strewn with
the wreck of other men's fortunes, suc-
cess coming to him as the direct result of
close and earnest application and the care-
ful conduct of his interests. He won the
thorough respect of his associates in the
les:islative halls and in the affairs of the
commonwealth, for although men may
have dift'ered from him. none doubted his


Capt. Allen T. Brooks is a veteran of
the Civil war who has been equally loyal
to his country in days of peace and in the



discharge of various official duties in
Mount Pleasant has shown that he fully
merits the trust and confidence reposed in
him. He is regarded as one of the repre-
sentative residents of this city, esteemed
by all who know him. His birth occurred
in Springfield, Ohio, April 23, 1826. so
that he has reached the eightieth milestone
on life's journey. His parents were Wil-
liam and Elizabeth (Stitt) Brooks. The
father was born in Pennsylvania in 1779
and lived to be eighty-seven years ''of age,
while his mother's birth occurred in Ken-
tucky in 1785. In early manliood WW-
liam Brooks followed farming in the Key-
stone state and afterward in Logan county,
Ohio. In 1838 he came to Iowa, settling
on a farm in Van Buren county. He was
one of its pioneer residents and assisted in
the earl}' material development and prog-
ress of his portion of the state. He
belonged to that class of representati\'e
American men, who, while advancing in-
dividual interests, also contribute to the
public welfare. His attentioii was fle-
voted to farming until about fifteen vears
prior, to his death, when he retired and
went to live with his son, A. T. Brooks,
upon his fiarm, there passing away in
April, 1866. He had served as a soldier
of die war of 1812. and his early political
support was given to the democracy, but
his six sons were all whigs, and at the time
of the organization of the new republican
party the father and sons all joined its
ranks. Mr. Brooks and his wife were
members of the Methodist Episcopal
church, taking an active and interested
part in its work and Mr. Brooks was an
elder and preacher who traveled from
place to place in the performance of his

ministerial duties. His wife survived him
for but a brief period, passing away in the
fall of 1866, her great grief at the loss
of her husband undoubtedly hastening her
own death. Their remains were interred
side by side in the cemetery in Van Buren
county. In their family were eight chil-
dren, but only two are living. Ben-
jamin, Samuel, James, Rachel, John and
William have all passed away. Mary
Ann l^ecame the wife of Martin Fate and
resides in Van Buren county, but her hus-
band is deceased. A. T. Brooks completes
the family. Two of the sons, James and
John, were soldiers of the Civil war, also
two sons of James, two sons of John, two
sons of Samuel and two sons of Benjamin,
making two brothers and eight nephews
of our subject who were in the great
Civil conflict. John Brooks was a member
of the Third Iowa Cavalry, while James
ser\'^ed in the Eighth Iowa Infantry and
A. T. Brooks of this review was a mem-
ber of the Second Iowa Infantry, to which
four O'f his nephews also belonged, while
two of the nephews were members of the
Third Iowa Cavalry. Both brothers of our
subject were disabled in the war, and
James died soon after his return home, but
John ling-ered until a few years ago.

A. T. Brooks was educated in the semi-
nary at Farmington, Iowa, and in the col-
lege at Greencastle, Indiana, and after his
student days were over he engaged in
teaching school for nineteen years in Van-
Buren county, dividing his time between
Bloomfield and Keosaucpia. He was also
city superintendent of schools at the latter
place for a number of years and was
county superintendent of schools in Van
Buren countv for one vear. His educa-



tional labors, however, were interrupted
bv his sen-ice in the Civil war, for after
the outbreak of hostilities he responded to
his country's call, enlisting in Company F,
Second Iowa Infantry and fully sustaining
the splendid family record for bravery and
loyalty. The first important engagement
in which he participated was at Fort Don-
elson, his regiment storming the fort. He
was also in the battle of Shiloh and al-
though he was never wounded he suffered
from a sun stroke which disabled him and
caused him to be honorably discharged at
Keokuk in 1862.

In the spring of 1866. Mr. Brooks came
to Mount Pleasant and \\'as called to pub-
lic office here as a candidate of the rqDub-
lican party. He filled the jx^sition of in-
ternal revenue assessor from 1867 until
1873, and subsequently was mayor of the
citv for five years. His administration
was business like, public spirited, prac-
tical and progressive and under his guid-
ance many valuable reforms and improve-
ments were wrought. He afterward served
as justice of the peace for three terms of
one year each and follo\\ing his retirement
from office he engaged in bu}'ing and sell-
ing fine horses until 1899. In that year
he went to live in Chicago, spending two
vears with three of his children there, af-
ter which he returned to his old home in
Momit Pleasant and has l:een th€ efficient
weighmaster of the city since 1903.

On the 8th of December, 1847. Mr.
Brooks was united in marriage to Miss
Mary C. Vinson, who was born in St.
:\Iaiy\s. Ohio, in 1825. a daughter of
Cuthbert and Deborah (Sewers) Vinson.
Her father was born on the eastern shore
of Maryland and the mother's birth oc-

curred in the same locality. Mr. Vinson
gave his attention to farming and from
Maryland removed to Ohio, where he car-
ried on agricultural pursuits until his death
in 1846. His wife had died about 1835.
He and all of his ancestors were whigs
and in religious faith were Methodists.
]\[r. and Mrs. Vinson w^re the parents of
thirteen children. Malachai (bed at the
home of Mr. Brooks in 1896 and one of
his sons was killed at the liattle of Fort
Donelson in the Ci\'il war. Detorah mar-
ried Lorenzo Roebuck and both are now
deceased. They had two sons in the war,
one of whom returned to the north, but
the other was starved to death in Libby
prison. Cuthbert and Greenbeny Vinson
are both deceased. W^illiam A. was killed
by Spaniards in California. Nancy is the
widows of John Brooks, brother of our sub-
ject, and now resides in Salt Lake City,
Utah, at the advanced age of eighty-four
years. Amanda died, the widow of \Y\\-
liam I-Iollingsworth. Hester Ann mar-
ried William Payne and both are deceased.
They had one son who is a lawyer of
Bloomfield, Iowa. Mary C, now Mrs.
Brooks, is the ninth of the family. Clara
is the wife of Colonel J. B. Weaver, of
Colfax, Iowa. Fie was a meml;er of the
Second Iowa Tnfantiy. served for three
years in the Cix'il war and came out with
the rank of Colonel and was a general by
brevet. There is no account of the other
members of the Vinson family.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brooks were born
five chil(h-en. all of whom are >et living.
Alice Carey, born in 1849, '^^ ^^^^''^
county, Iowa, is now the wife of .\. J.
Briggs. They are well-to-do i^eople and
travel about for health and pleasure, being



now in California. They have one son.
George A., who is Hving in Elkhart, In-
diana. Belle F., born in Van Buren
county in 1852, is the wife of T. Y. Lynch,
owner of a lumber yard at Holton, Kan-
sas. They have two sons, William and
Elmer, both of N\hom are married and the
former has a daughter. May Ella, born
in Van Buren county, Iowa, in 1856, is
the wife of Howard E. Snider, of Mount
Pleasant, and they have two daughters :
Stella, who is a stenographer; and Bertha,
who is a music teacher in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Elmer, born in Van Buren
county, Iowa, in 1863, married Miss
Fannie Bond and is living in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. They have two children, Ben-
niice and Margaret. M. B. Brooks, born in
Van Buren county in 1865, was married
to Fannie Snyder and lives in Elkhart,
Indiana. They have three children : Ruby,
Florence and Allen, the last mentioned be-
ine the onlv namesake of his Grandfather
Brooks and the only male child in the

Both ]\Ir. and Mrs. Brooks are earnest
and faithful members of the Methodist
church, in which for forty-five years he
has held office, serving as treasurer and
as steward. He is also deeply interested
in the Grand Army of the Republic, with
which he holds membership. He has lived
for forty years in his present home and he
and his wife have now traveled life's jour-
ney together for fifty-nine years, sharing
in all their joys and sorrows and though
re\'erses have come to tbem and they have
met obstacles, they are contented and happy
that their children are still spared to them.
Mr. Brooks is a self-made man, who
started out in life empty-handed, but by

willing hands, laudable ambition and
strong determination he has secured for his
family all the necessities and many of the
comforts of life. As a citizen, as a soldier,
as a public officer, he holds the entire re-
spect of those who knew him because of
his plain and unostentatious demeanor, his
honest methods, his kindly spirit and be-
cause of the hospitailty which is so char-
acteristic of his home. He is known ev-
erywhere as Captain Brooks and his place
of business on the public square is a fa-
\'orite resort with many of his friends who
congregate there to talk over the events of
the past and of the marvelous improve-
ments of the present.


Thomas V. Packer, deceased, became a
resident of Henr}^ county in 185 1 and since
that time the family has figured promi-
nently in this part of the state, Air. Packer
having been an honored and respected resi-
dent here up to the time of his demise.
He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania,
February 16, 18 14, and was a son of
Aaron and Rebecca (Dewees) Packer,
1:)oth of whom were born in or near Phila-
delphia. The family was established in
eastern Pennsylvania at an early period
in the settlement of the colony and among
its representatives have been many who
have attained prominence in various walks
of life. John and Samuel Packer have
been members of congress from Pennsyl-
vania, and a cousin, William F. Packer,



was governor of that state. Asa Packer,
of Mavich Chunk, Pennsylvania,' was a
judge and at one time owned extensive
coal mines in Pennsylvania. He was one
of the promoters of the Centennial Expo-
sition at Philadelphia in 1876 and at its'
close found that he \\-as hea\'ily in debt.
However, he secured a franchise to oper-
ate the railroad from his coal mines to
Lake Ontario, and through this means he
regained his fortune and was able to leave
a handsome competence to his family. He
was entirely a self-made man, being in
youth employed on the canal,* but he judi-

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 9 of 85)