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The United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume online

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Louis (1860-1) he has been a resident of this place '
since March, 1850.

In May, 1863, Dr. Greenleaf was commissioned
surgeon of the 4th Iowa Infantry, and was mustered
out in August, 1865. He was very attentive to the
wants of the regiment in his line, no man ever suf-
fering because the doctor was off" duty. Day and
night for twenty-seven months he was at his post,
and won the highest esteem of officers and soldiers
by his unwearying attentions and skillful services.

Dr. Greenleaf was a representative in the Iowa
legislature in 1855 and 1856, and voted for George
G. Wright for chief justice and James Harlan for
United States senator, and for the bfll removing the
capital from Iowa City to Des Moines. He is a re-



publican, and was formerly a whig, but never be-
comes so absorbed in politics as to neglect his pro-
fessional business.

The doctor is a third-degree Mason, a member
and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church, and
a man of sterling character. Were he a good col-
lector of his own medical bills, he would be still
more independent in his pecuniary circumstances.

In June, 1853, he was joined in wedlock with

Miss Amanda Young, whose home was at Keosauqua,
Van Buren county. She died in 1858, leaving two
children : Stephen Greenleaf now a physician in
Unionville, twelve miles west^ of Bloomfield, and
Eugene Young Greenleaf, a teacher and law-student
in Bloomfield. The present wife of Dr. Greenleaf
was Miss Augustine V. Young, of Bloomfield ; mar-
ried in 1859. She has had eight children, all of
them yet living.



JAMES McKEAN was born near Pease's Mill,
on Ten-Mile Creek, Washington county, Penn-
sylvania, on the 24th of September, 1795. His
father's name was Hugh McKean, who was born in
Antrim county, Ireland, in 1753. The father of
Hugh McKean died in 1763, at an advanced age.

The family came originally from Scotland, and
were what is known as the Scotch-Irish, settling in
Ireland about the close of the sixteenth century, and
were originally Scotch covenanters. Hugh McKean
emigrated to America at the close of the revolution.
He intended to come before, but the war interfered.

James' youth was spent on a farm west of New
Wilmington, on the Pulaski road, one mile from the
Shenango creek. He joined the army at the age of
nineteen years, in the war against Great Britain, at
Erie, Pennsylvania, and was a member of Captain
Rea's company. Colonel Christy, Pennsylvania Mili-
tia. On his discharge he marched home ninety
miles. The weather was cold and the snow very
deep, and in after-life he was afflicted with bron-
chitis and weakness of the chest arising from dis-
eases contracted in his army career.

TJie schools at that early day were few, and clas-
sical education was hard to obtain. He worked by
the job or by the month, and in any way that was
remunerative and honorable to obtain funds. He
was one of the men who in the year 1818 helped to
clear the ground where Wooster, Ohio, now stands,
receiving fifteen dollars per month for his services.
For several years he attended the academy at Mer-
cer, Pennsylvania, under the care of a teacher named
Amberson, and went over the whole college curri-
culum, but owing to failure of health was not able
to finish the course at Jefferson College, Pennsyl-
vania, where several of his classmates graduated.

He was married to Nancy Smith, of Mercer county,
Pennsylvania, in May, 1822. His health failing from
over-study while at school, he was not expected to
live, and retired to his farm in Neshannock township,
Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, where his health
was comparatively restored; and after about nine
years, having studied theology under the charge of
Rev. William Wood, pastor of Neshannock Church,
and for about two years under care of Beaver pres-
bytery, he was licensed to preach by the presbytery
of Beaver, and about the year 1834 was sent as a
missionary to Ohio, where he was settled as pastor
of Waynesburg, Still Fork and Bethlehem churches
at a salary of four hundred dollars per year, which
at that early day was all that they could pay. As
the churches grew stronger, and his labors increased,
he gave up Bethlehem and Still Fork by consent of
the presbytery, at about the year 1845, and retained
Waynesburg alone of the three original churches,
and for nine years preached at Waynesburg and New
Harrisburg until the year 1856, when he removed to
Scotch Grove, Jones county, Iowa.

At the time he first preached in Ohio within the
bounds of the Still Fork congregation there was an
organization of infidels under the lead of one Per-
marr and Zach. Wathy, who were followers of Hume,
Bolingbroke and Thomas Paine. This leader gave
him an opportunity for a public discussion, and the
question was as to the credibility of the religion of
Christ. He completely and forever demolished the
society, which never met after the discussion.

As a debater, he had hardly an equal in logic and
strength of argument. He lectured on temperance
and slavery, and persistently fought every foe of man
and of the country. For years during the winter
months he preached in school-houses and private



dwellings, all over his county and beyond. Nearly
every church from the Ohio river west in the Steu-
benville presbytery was privileged to hear his faith-
ful exhortations and pungent logic. The disease of
his throat so increased upon him that, at the age of
sixty years, he was compelled to give up the pastor-
ate in Ohio and remove to Iowa. Here for several
years he preached one-half his time to the church
of Wayne.

He died on the ist of September, 1876, at Scotch
Grove, Iowa, and was buried in the cemetery of the
Presbyterian Church. A man of inflexible courage
and great will power, he had naturally what is
called an iron constitution, was of great activity
and strength, and when in the army could throw
any man in his company and regiment.

He had eight children, as follows : Jane McKean,
who died and was buried at Bethlehem, Ohio; Rev.
James W. McKean, president of Lenox Collegiate
Institute and captain of company C, 44th Iowa
Infantry Volunteers, who died at Memphis, Ten-
nessee, in officers' hospital, on the 9th of July, 1864;
Dr. Hugh C. McKean, the beloved physician of
Scotch Grove, where his name and memory are still
held sacred in the minds of many to whose health
he had contributed, — ^^he died in November, 1865;
F. S. McKean, attorney-at-law, Anamosa, Iowa, for

many years auditor of Carroll county, Ohio, and
county treasurer of Jones county, Iowa, who died
on the 2Sth of December, 1867 ; Francis C. Mc-
Kean, captain of company D, of the 9th regiment of
Iowa Infantry Veteran Volunteers, and attorney and
counselor-at-law, who died at Evans, Colorado, on
the 5th of May, 1874; Dr. Alexander McKean, of
Scotch Grove ; C. B. McKean, of Scotch Grove,
and John McKean, of Anamosa, judge of the cir-
cuit court, eighth judicial circuit.

Father McKean was a jovial, good natured, good
humored man ; had a great fund of Irish wit, which
amused his friends and overcame his opponents,
bright as the light and fresh as the dew of the
morning. Still he had a great admiration for drill,
and every son was a good scholar in Latin and
mathematics, and several were proficient in Greek;
two were graduates of Jefferson College, Pennsyl-
vania (James W. and John). James W. was one
of the " honor " men of his class of about sixty
men, class of 1859. He was a great teacher; he
taught his children, taught his churches, taught all
within the reach of his influence, the true granite
principles of government, logic, religion and moral-
ity. He died on the ist of September, 1876, in
the joyful expression and profession of an uncom-
promising faith.



JOHN McKEAN, judge of the eighth judicial cir-
cuit, is a native of Lawrence county, Pennsylva-
nia, and was born on the 19th of July, 1835, his
parents being James and Nancy (Smith) McKean.
The McKeans are of Scotch-Irish pedigree, and
came from the parish of Balymena, Antrim county,
Ireland, and settled in Lawrence county, Pennsyl-
vania. Hugh McKean, the pioneer, and the grand-
father of the subject of this sketch, came over at
the close of the American revolution. James Mc-
Kean was a soldier in the second war with England,
and was stationed for some time at Erie, Pennsylva-
nia. He studied at the Mercer Academy, became
a Presbyterian minister, and preached for nearly
forty years, dying in Scotch Grove, Jones county,
Iowa, in September, 1876.

The wife of James McKean was also of Irish de-
scent. She was a native of Westmoreland county,

Pennsylvania, and a very pious and worthy woman,
the mother of eight children, of whom John was the
fifth child.

James McKean moved with his family to Carroll
county, Ohio, when John was an infant, and the
father having a farm, the son, when arrived ,at a
suitable age, spent his summers in agricultural and
his winters in intellectual pursuits, attending a com-
mon school until sixteen, and then spending one
year at the New Hagerstown Academy. A little
later he studied at New Richmond College, Jeffer-
son county, for eight months.

In October, 1854, John and an elder brother,
James W. McKean, came to Jones county, Iowa,
with a two-horse wagon, pitched their tent in Scotch
Grove township ; camped in the woods on section
three in the winter and spring, and during that pe-
riod fenced forty acres of prairie land and built a

J:7^nyff3MU&Ssns.J3£arcJai^ SiF.T



small frame house, nearly all of it with material of
their own getting out. The remainder of the family
reached Scotch Grove the ensuing June. The next
winter John taught a select school, he having been
similarly employed two seasons before leaving Ohio.

In May, 1856, James and John returned to the east,
entered Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pennsylva-
nia, and graduated in August, 1859. In March of
that year John McKean was Franklin debater, and
received the award of honor in a logical contest
held that month, five learned men acting as judges.

On leaving college Mr. McKean returned to Jones
county, Iowa, located at Anamosa, the county seat,
where he read law with Thomas S. Pierce, and was
admitted to practice in 1861, and has ever since
been a member of the Jones county bar.

During the last ten or twelve years he has spent
no inconsiderable part of his time in the service of
the state. He was a member of the lower house of
the general assembly in 1866 and i868, and was in
the senate in the regular sessions of 1870 and 1872.
Being nominated for circuit judge in the summer of
1872, he resigned his seat in the senate and did not
attend the adjourned session. While in the house he
was chairman of the committee on constitutional
amendments, a very important committee in that
juncture of our national history, and in the senate
was always on the committees of ways and means
and the judiciary. While in the house he intro-
duced the bill, which became a law, allowing town-
ships, towns and cities to levy a five-per-cent tax to
aid in constructing railroads.

As a legislator, he showed himself an ardent friend
of the State University, the Agricultural College, and
of educational matters generally. He served for six
years as regent of the State University. He had
great influence in the legislative body, and while in
the senate he originated, the measure and secured
the passage of a bill for a second penitentiary, located
at Anamosa, Jones county, and the whole state owe
him a debt of gratitude for his services rendered in
the legislature.

Judge McKean took his seat on the bench in Jan-
uary, 1873; was reelected at the end of four years,
and his present term will expire in January, 1881.
He is one of the best equity lawyers in the state ; is
noted for his honesty, and carries all the best traits
of his character to the bench, being above bribery
or corruption.

He was a democrat until the civil war burst upon
the land, and shortly afterward from a war democrat
became an out-and-out republican, to which party
he owes his repeated political honors.

The judge is a Freemason, a member of the com-
mandery, and an Odd-Fellow.

He is a member of the Presbyterian church, an
elder in the same, and a man of the purest christian
character. He was for some time a trustee of the
Lenox Collegiate Institute, a Presbyterian school,
located at Hopkinton, Delaware county, Iowa.

The wife of Judge McKean was Mrs. Nancy A.
Carr, of Jones county. They were joined in wed-
lock on the i6th of November, 1865, and have six



David Culbertson, farmer, merchant and
stockdealer, and Mary G. Linn, is a native of Perry
county, Pennsylvania, and was born on the 3d of
December, 1844. The Culbertsons, from which
branch he descended, are an old Pennsylvania fam-
ily. His maternal grandfather, William Linn, was
in the second war with the mother country.

William L. spent his boyhood in Philadelphia,
where his father was a merchant for several years,
the son giving his time mainly to studies in the
public schools. In i860 he came to Iowa with his
father, locating at Princeton, Scott county, on the

Mississippi river, here attending a private school
and clerking. In 1862, while civil war was raging
in the south, he enlisted as a private in company G,
20th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served three
years; was in many engagements, but received no
wounds, and was never off duty except while a pris-
oner four months in 1864, at Tyler, Texas.

In the winter of 1866-67 Mr. Culbertson attended
Dun's Commercial College in Pittsburgh, Pennsyl-
vania; returned to Princeton, where he had enlisted,
and remained there until the summer of 1868, when
he settled in Carroll county, where he has since re-
sided. Opening a farm near Glidden, in the eastern



part of the county, he cultivated it two seasons ; was
appointed county auditor in 1870; elected to the
same office two years later, and held it, in all, four
years. At the expiration of this time he became
county treasurer, for one term. During these six years
that he was in county offices, his residence was at the
county seat, which he has since made his home.

In April, 1876, Mr. Culbertson purchased the
Bank of Carroll, of Orlando H. Manning, and is its
sole proprietor. It is a substantial institution.
Since residing at the county seat Mr. Culbertson
has dealt largely in real estate ; has done more or
less insurance business, and has succeeded in his
operations generally. He is a member of the board
of supervisors ; an eminently practical business man,

and one of the most trustworthy and reliable citizens
of the county.

In politics, Mr. Culbertson is a republican, unwa-
vering, active and influential. In Odd-Fellowship,
he is a past chief patriarch, and a member of the
grand lodge.

On the sth of May, 1873, Miss Ruth O. Johnson,
of Carroll, became the wife of Mr. Culbertson, and
they have one child, a daughter,

Mr. Culbertson has a light complexion, gray hazel
eyes and a very pleasant expression of the counte-
nance. He is five feet eight and a half inches in
height, and weighs one hundred and thirty pounds.
His manners are easy, courteous and winning, and
he is just the person to make and retain friends.



THE pioneer settlers in Kossuth county, Iowa,
and the plotters of Algona, the county seat,
were Asa C. and Ambrose A. Call, brothers by the
ties of nature and in enterprise. Their parents were
Asa Call and Mary Metcalf. Their grandfather, Asa
Call, was in the first war with England, and their
father was in the second. Asa C. was born in Geau-
ga county, Ohio, on the 26th of September, 1825;
Ambrose A. in Huron county, on the 9th of June,
1833. Their father died before the younger son was
two years 6ld, and in 1835 their mother moved to
Cattaraugus county. New York, and five years later
returned to the west, settling at South Bend, Indiana.
An elder brother, Joseph Call, was at the head of the
family during these years.

When about eighteen, Asa C. took a district school,
and for two or three years alternated between teach-
ing and attending school at Oberlin, Ohio. In 1850
he went to California and Oregon, acting, part of the
time while there, as a commissioner, treating with
the northern tribes of Indians. While in the far
west he built-and ran a ferry on Snake river, near old
Fort Bois, in eastern Oregon. He returned early in
1854, married Miss Sarah Heckart, of Elkhart, In-
diana; went to Iowa city in June of the same year,
invested in government lands near that place, and on
the 9th of the following month, with his brother
Ambrose, pitched his tent on the present site of Al-
gona. Here he took up government claims, the land
being unsurveyed, and, with his brother, stuck down

stakes for life. Their location is on an open prairie,
on the east branch of the Des Moines river, and they
were then the only white settlers north of Fort Dodge
and west of the Cedar until you reach the Missouri

The two brothers laid out the town in the spring
of 1856, at which time several families had settled
in or near "Call's Grove," the name by which this
immediate section was known for some time. A few
families settled here in the autumn of 1854.

At the organization of Kossuth county, in the
autumn of 1855, Mr. Call was elected judge. About
this time he commenced reading law, and a year or
two later was admitted to the bar, but he has prac-
ticed very little. He has held several offices by ap-
pointment, but is not a very decided politician. He
has, however, been a delegate to one or two repub-
lican national conventions, and aided in nominating
the present President of the United States.

Judge Call is a member of the blue lodge in the
Masonic order.

His wife died in June, 1876, leaving seven children.

Since laying out and naming the town of Algona
m 1856, the judge has laid out one or two other
towns farther west, and has devoted his great ener-
gies largely to the development of the agricultural
resources of the upper Des Moines valley. He is
an enterprise projector and town builder, one of the
men who have aided essentially in making Iowa
what it is, the empire state of the west.



Ambrose A. Call left home at fifteen, taught a
district school occasionally before coming to Iowa,
reached Algona the month after he was of age, im-
proved his claims, and in i860 started the Algona
" Pioneer Press,'' the first paper in the county. The
writer of this sketch was then editing a daily paper
in Dubuque, and well recollects the little hebdomadal
sheet which used to reach his office when it was
nearly a week old. Now Algona has two large
weekly papers, and they reach Dubuque by rail in
the short space of fifteen hours. He was a journalist
for about four years.

Mr. Call was elected county supervisor the first
year of the existence of that officer. He was assist-
ant assessor of internal revenue four or five years,
resigning in 1868. He has been a mail contractor
since i860, the heaviest single contractor in Iowa, and

that is his chief business at the present time. Like
his brother, he has had his ups and downs, his re-
verses in land speculations, but both have enough
lands and houses, barns and cattle on the prairies to
make them independent.

In politics, Mr. Call has always been a republican.
He belongs to one secret order, the Masonic.

In October, 1859, Miss Nancy E. Henderson, of
Oskaloosa, Iowa, became his wife, and she has be«;n
the mother of six children, five of them yet living.

During the early part of the centennial year Mr.
Call wrote a series of letters historical of the county,
and by invitation, on the Centennial Fourth of July,
read an epitome of those letters. His writings in
this line will increase in value, and will be quoted as
historical authority by the generations to come. He
has the annals of Kossuth county by heart.



WILLIAM WATSON, for nearly a quarter of
a century a practicing physician in Dubuque,
is a native of Leeds, England, and is the son of
Joseph and Ann (Metcalf ) Watson, and was born
on the 14th of May, i8z6. When he was a year old
his parents emigrated to the United States; spent
four years in Middletown, Connecticut, and then set-
tled in Onondaga county. New York, where Joseph
Watson engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods.
In 1844 William came as far west as Ohio, where he
taught a district school, and the next spring came
to Beloit, Wi'feconsin. Two years later his father fol-
lowed, and settled on a farm sixteen miles west of
Beloit. After working two years at the carpenter's
trade, which he had partly-learned at the east, Will-
iam supplemented the privileges of the common
school enjoyed in New York State with one year's
attendance at a seminary in Beloit, paying his way
by working at his trade mornings and evenings, and
Saturday afternoons, thus acquiring a good educa-
tion and much experience that was of great service
to him in after-life.

He commenced reading medicine in the country
in 1849; a year later went to Beloit and read with
Dr. Asahel Clark ; attended a course of lectures in
Rush Medical College, Chicago, in the winter of
1851-2; practiced eighteen months in McGregor,
Iowa, — the first physician to locate there ; attended

a second course of lectures at Rush Medical Col-
lege ; graduated in February, 1854, and two months
later he made a permanent settlement in Dubuque.
Only one physician. Dr. Asa Horr, still remains here
who was in practice at that time. In November,
1854, Dr. Watson formed a partnership with Dr. R.
S. Lewis, and that partnership was not dissolved un-
til the demise of Dr. Lewis, on the 9th of September,
i86g. Since that date Dr. Watson has been alone
in the practice, and is doing now, as he always has
done, a thrifty business. Medicine and surgery have
been his sole occupation, and no man in Dubuque
has ever been more asslduou-s in the duties of his
profession. In boyhood he was a great reader and
has since been a diligent student, and is now reaping
the reward of his assiduity.

On the 20th of October, 186 1, Dr. Watson entered
the army as surgeon of the nth Iowa Infantry, state
service; resigned on the 4th of March, 1863, to ac-
cept the position of assistant surgeon, United States
Volunteers, under an appointment of President Lin-
coln, being commissioned by the secretary of war
and was assigned to hospital duties at Memphis,
Tennessee. In August, 1863, he was placed in charge
of the Jackson Hospital ; the next month was pro-
moted to sufgeon of volunteers; was ordered to
Louisville, Kentucky, in February, 1864, and placed
in charge of Crittenden Hospital, and the next month



was ordered to Rock Island, Illinois, to take charge
of the post and prison hospitals located there. He
remained at that post until mustered out, on the 24th
of October, 1865. On returning to Dubuque he re-
ceived a brevet commission of lieutenant-colonel.
While in the service he was thoroughly devoted to
his duties, and untiring in his efforts to relieve the
sick and wounded. He left the army with an un-
tarnished and truly bright record.

In politics, Dr. Watson was a democrat until the
republican party was organized ; he changed his
views and is still adhering to the latter party. He
has never sought office.

The doctor is an Odd-Fellow, and has been a rep-
resentative to the grand lodge two or three times ;
but, owing to a press of business, rarely attends the
meetings of the local lodge.

He is a member of the Dubuque County Medical
Society and of the State Medical Society, and has

been president of both. He was president of the
State Medical Society in 1868, when it held its first
annual meeting at Des Moines. Three times he has
been a delegate to the American Medical Associa-
tion, and was a delegate to the international medical
congress which met at Philadelphia in 1876. No
man in the state is in better standing with the med-
ical profession.

Dr. Watson was first married in Portland, Maine,
in November, i860, to Miss Lucy Giddings, who
died on the 13th of March, 1862, leaving one child,

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 100 of 125)