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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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member of either house, and is everywhere regarded
as a wise, patriotic and safe legislator, thoroughly
earnest and conscientious in all his sayings and
doings; warm and ardent in his temperament; clear,
logical and zealous as a speaker, always command-
ing unflagging attention. Naturally proud of the
character of a " tribune of the people," he is per-
haps somewhat imperious in manner and at times a
little egotistical, but aside from the arena of debate,
genial, social, eminently warm-hearted and full of
good humor. His private character is unblemished
and unexceptionable.- In church communion, he is

a Presbyterian, but entertaining broad views of re-
ligion and humanity, he is at once one of the most
popular and useful men of his day. In personal
appearance, he is tall and of dignified presence,
dark hair and eyes, with an expression of counte-
nance betokening a lively interest in all that is
transpiring around him.

On the 14th- of April, 1857, he married Anna Lu-
cas, of Portsmouth, Ohio, niece of ex-Governor
Robert Lucas of that state, afterward governor of
Iowa Territory, a lady of pleasing manners, aifec-
tionate disposition, good appearance, and who takes
pride in her husband and her boys, desiring them to
excel in all things. The result of this union is three
sons : William, Robert and Samuel.



THE first physician to locate in Belle Plaine was
Joshua Worley, a native of Covington, Miami
county, Ohio. He is the son of Rev. Caleb Worley,
a minister of the Christian denomination, and Eliza-
beth Adams, and was born on the 6th of March,
1834, the youngest in a family of six children. His
maternal grandfather, George Adams, cousin of
Daniel Boone, lived in this country in the "times
which tried men's souls " and participated in the
strife for independence a hundred years ago. Caleb
Worley, a Quaker, came from England in 1699, set-
tled in Philadelphia, and had two sons, Francis and
Henry, who formed the head of the two branches of
the Worley family. Francis obtained a tract of land
of the Penns, near York, Pennsylvania, and in order
to have a neighbor gave a man one hundred acres of
land for a cow. The old homestead, it is said, still
stands, one and a half miles from York, and is still
in the hands of Francis Worley's heirs. Henry
Worley immigrated to James river, Virginia, about
1730, and raised a family of children, some of whom
returned to Pennsylvania. Caleb, one of the sons,
settled in Kentucky in 1783, and his son, Nathan,
located in Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1804, dying
in Germantown, in that county, in 1848. He was a
Christian or Disciple minister. His eldest son, Ca-
leb, father of Joshua, died at Covington, Miami
county, Ohio, in 187 1.

The subject of this short biography was educated
in the common and select schools of Covington,

doing some work on a farm in the busy season until
fifteen years of age ; at seventeen went to Versailles,
in his native state, and on a cash capital of three
hundred dollars became a hardware merchant, fol-
lowing the business four or five years with a gradual
increase of success and of capital. Having an in-
clination toward the medical profession, at twenty-
two he sold out his stock of merchandise: com-
menced reading with Dr. J. C. Williamson, of Ver-
sailles ; attended two courses of lectures at Starling
Medical College, Columbus; practiced one year
with his preceptor; attended .a third course of lec-
tures in Columbus, and graduated in March, 1861;
moved to Koszta, Iowa county, Iowa, the following
summer; practiced there one year with Dr. E. P.
Miller, and then settled at Belle Plaine, a town just
then springing up, now a city of twenty-five hundred

In May, 1864, Dr. Worley went into the army as
assistant surgeon of the 126th Ohio Infantry, and
remained until the rebellion was crushed. That
regiment was in the sixth army corps, part of the
time during the last year of the war in the Shenan-
doah valley, Virginia, but most of the time before
Petersburg. Surgeons in that locality had usually
plenty of cases on hand, and Dr. Worley had little
time for idleness.

At the close of the war, in July, 1865, he returned
to Belle Plaine, and has here been in active prac-
tice since that time, with the exception of two or



three seasons spent on his farm near town, on ac-
count of ill health. During this period he continued
his medical studies, and he makes constant advance-
ment in the theory as well as practice of his profes-
sion. The opportunities which he had for improve-
ment during the year that he was in the army were
unusually good, and he reaped the highest advan-
tage from them. No man of his age in this section
of the state has a better reputation, especially as a
surgeon. His rides are quite extensive. He is a

member of the State Medical Society, and of the
Iowa Union Medical Society. His standing is good
in both.

In politics, Dr. Worley is a democrat, but rarely
has anything to do with office. His profession ab-
sorbs his time.

He is a Knight Templar among the Freemasons.

On the 23d of September, 1862, Miss Salome Sul-
lenberger, of Koszta, Iowa, became his wife. They
have no children.



Ashland, Ohio, and the son of Abraham and
Mary (Thomas) Young, was born on the 3d of Sep-
tember, 1 83 1. His ancestors in this country settled
first in Pennsylvania. His great-grandfather fought
for American independence. His grandfather was
in the whisky rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
Abraham Young was a farmer, and raised his son in
that calling, the latter supplementing a common-
school education with six months' attendance at the
Ashland Academy. At nineteen he opened a winter
school, teaching two terms in Ohio. At twenty he
was appointed deputy clerk of Ashland county, hold-
ing that position for one year.

In the spring of 1853 Abraham Young sold his
farm and the family moved to Noble county, Indi-
ana, and for two years the subject of this sketch
assisted in clearing land in the summer and taught
district school in the winter. In the spring of 1855,
with one winter's earnings in his pocket, he started
westward to seek his fortune, intending to go into
southwestern Iowa. On reaching Leon, Decatur
county, his funds were exhausted, and he was obliged
to stop and seek work. At first he wrote for a few
weeks in the county recorder's office, receiving his
board in return ; he then took a summer school and
taught for two months. At the end of this time the
school-house was demolished by a tornado, and his
school was thus brought hastily and unceremoniously
to a close. He now engaged as a clerk in a store at
Leon, and thus busied himself until the next year,
when he was elected clerk of the district court, hold-
ing that position three terms by repeated reelections.

In September, 1862, Mr. Young formed a partner-
ship with Seth Richards, then of Bentonsport, and

they opened a mercantile house in Mount Ayr, twen-
ty-eight miles west of Leon. There they traded four-
teen years, having good success, arid closing out in
the autumn of 1876. After spending a year and a
half in settling up his business, in the spring of 1878,
Mr. Young located once more in Leon, where he has
a broker's office in company with Joseph S. Warner,
the firm of Young and Warner, doing well.

Mr. Young is a cautious, prudent man, and man-
ages all his matters systematically and with the ut-
most care. He came to Iowa with scanty means,
but with willing hands, and the skill to apply them,
with a resolute heart he has pushed on and has at
length acquired a competency. His accumulations
have all been made by honest and upright dealings.

In politics, Mr. Young has usually cooperated with
the democrats, but is quite independent, and votes
for no one on an unsatisfactory platform. He was
on the school board while residing at Leon the first
time and also for several years in Mount Ayr, and
takes great interest in educational matters.

He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and
an elder of the same. He is a warm friend of the
Sunday-school cause, and superintended a school ten
or eleven years. He is also an earnest worker in the
temperance cause, and has given much time and
money to advance it. His heart is in every good
enterprise tending to further the interests, mental,
moral, and material, of his fellow-men. No com-
munity can have too many men of this class.

Mr. Young aided in organizing the Masonic lodges
at Leon and Mount Ayr; has been master of both
and is now a Knight Templar.

On the 23d of December, 1B58, he became the
husband of Miss Hattie A. Patterson, of Leon, and



they have four children, Helen H., Lulu S., George
Willard and Hattie E., all bright and promising.
Mrs. Young was president of the Mount Ayr Chris-
tian Temperance Union when she left the place; has

been a teacher in Sunday schools since sixteen years
of age and is an active christian philanthropist, often
seeking out the needy and in a quiet way supplying
their wants.



ABEL BROWN SMEDLEY, three years master
i\ of the state grange, and for the last two years
lecturer for the national grange, is a native of Jeffer-
son county, New York, and was born on the 2d of
September, 1825. His father, Joseph Smedley, was
a Methodist minister. The maiden name of his
mother was Mary Jones. The Smedley family were
from England, settling at first in New England,
spreading into New York, and thence into the west-
ern states.

The subject of this brief memoir spent his youth
in agricultural pursuits, receiving an academic edu-
cation at Williamstown, Massachusetts. He was
subsequently educated for a master machinist at
Fulton, Oswego county. New York ; removed to
Wisconsin in 1849, and was an iron manufacturer in
Oshkosh until after the civil war commenced.

In 1862 Mr. Smedley went into the military ser-
vice as major of the 32d Wisconsin Infantry; was
promoted to lieutenant-colonel in June, 1863; re-
turned to Wisconsin in 1864 on account of sickness;
at the end of three months returned to the service
as lieutenant-colonel of the 46th Wisconsin, and was
mustered out in October, 1865.

In 1868 Colonel Smedley located in the new town
of Cresco, which has since been his home. Since
coming to Iowa he has devoted himself to agricult-
ural and horticultural pursuits, he being one of the
most scientific workers in these branches of industry
in the State of Iowa. He has a farm of four hun-
dred acres in Fillmore county, Minnesota, half a
mile from the Iowa line, on which farm he raises
large quantities of fruit, some grain and blooded
stock, and has one of the finest creameries in this
part of the country.

His homestead in the village of Cresco, contain-
ing five acres, is one of the loveliest rural homes in
the state. Here Colonel Smedley has more than
twenty varieties of grapes, thirty or forty varieties of
apples, and all kinds of small fruits which will grow
in Iowa, the whole surrounded by a red-fruited bar-

berry hedge. On New Year's night, 1878, his beau-
tiful residence was reduced to ashes, and with it
went seven hundred or eight hundred volumes of
books, sixty choice paintings, all framed and hung,
and many precious mementos of friendship and
love, which no amount of money can ever replace.

Colonel Smedley was one of the first men in Iowa
to start in the grange movement, and in this great
" ground-swell " soon became one of the foremost
men of the nation. He organized the local lodge,
and was its master in 1872, acting at the same time
as overseer of the state grange, organizing hundreds
of lodges; was master of the state grange from 1873
to 1876, and for two years has been lecturer for the
national grange. He has visited and lectured many
times in all the states of the Union, except those on
the Pacific slope, and probably understands the
principles and workings of the order better than
any other man in the United States.

He is the author of two or three works, among
them " The Patron's Monitor " and a " Manual of
Jurisprudence and Cooperation." He also wrote
between one and two hundred pages of "The Foot-
prints of Time." Probably no man in the country
is the author of more grange literature. He has also
written a great deal on agriculture and horticulture
for various newspapers and periodicals, and on these
topics his pen was never perhaps more busy than at
the present time. He is very high authority on
fruit-growing, butter-making, stock-raising, and kin-
dred branches of rural industry.

On the loth of September, 1867, he was joined in
wedlock with Mrs. Jennie Sherman, an artist of Mil-
waukee, and they have one child, a son eight years

Mrs. Smedley was born on the 20th of May, 1826,
in Madison county, New York, and is the daughter
of Nathaniel Tompkins, who removed to Milwaukee
in 1849, and from that time until his death in 1868
was largely identified with the business interests of
that city, Mrs, Sarah J. Tompkins was educated at



Delancy Institute, near Clinton, New York. Mrs.
Smedley was first married to Henry Sherman, of
Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1853, with whom she
lived three years, during which time was born to her
a daughter, now twenty-two years of age. Miss
Bertie Sherman attended the Iowa Agricultural Col-
lege for three and a half years, and then entered the
senior class at the Milwaukee Female College, and
graduated on the 21st of June, 1876. Miss Sherman
is a young lady of rare attainments.

Mrs. Smedley, as an artist, may be said to have
been born such. Some of the rarest pictures in oil
in the state are from her brush. From 1862 to 1868
she devoted herself entirely to her profession. Her

studio in Milwaukee will long be remembered for its
rare collection of works of art and the resort of art
lovers. Since her marriage to Colonel Smedley she
has been, in its broadest sense, a helpmeet to her
husband. She is an enthusiast in horticulture, flori-
culture and agriculture, and their beautiful home
bears ample evidence of her industry and cultivated
taste. Her ability and fitness for public life have
taken nothing from her charms as a wife and mother.
Mrs. Smedley is a living exemplification of the fact
that a woman who has the ability and devotes a por-
tion of her talents and life to the elevation of her sex
and humanity, can at the same time be a wife and
mother in the highest sense of these holy attributes.



and Harriet O'Neal Drake, was born in Rush-
ville, Schuyler county, Illinois, on the 30th of De-
cember, 1830. When he was six years old the fam-
ily moved to Fort Madison, Iowa, where Francis M.
received such education as the schools of the place
afforded. In 1846 John A. Drake removed to Davis
county and founded the town of Drakeville, now on
the southwestern branch of the Chicago, Rock Isl-
and and Pacific railroad, the father and two sons,
John H. and Francis M., engaging in the mercantile
trade there.

In 1859 the subject of this sketch removed to
Unionville, Appanoose county, twelve miles west of
Drakeville, there selling goods and dealing in stock
until the civil war commenced.

In the spring of 1861 Mr. Drake raised a company
at Unionville, intending to join the 2d Iowa Infant-
ry, but was too late. In the meantime the governor
furnished the company with arms, and Captain Drake
drilled it during the summer.

In September, 186 1, southern Iowa was invaded
by the rebel general Patten ; Governor Kirkwood
called out troops, and Captain Drake with his com-
pany joined Colonel Edwards' independent regiment
of Iowa volunteers and marched into Missouri. At
Allenville Captain Drake was made major ; he took
command of sixteen companies, and pushed on to
attack General Patten, who was retreating to join
General Price, Major Drake following him as far as
Saint Joseph. There he met General Prentiss, who

assigned him to the command at Saint Joseph, with
Iowa, Kansas and Ohio troops. He was in com-
mand there when Colonel Mulligan surrendered at

In September, 1862, Major Drake was commis-
sioned lieutenant-colonel of the 36th Iowa Infantry,
and_ served in that capacity until February, 1865,
when he was breveted brigadier-general for merito-
rious services, and continued in the field until mus-
tered out, in September, 1865. While serving as
brigadier-general he showed on many occasions a
good deal of boldness and dash, as well as military

He was in many expeditions, among them, the
Camden, under General Steele, to reinforce General
Banks, on the Red river, and on the 4th of April,
1864, there was a great contest to see who should
get possession of and hold the ford on the Little Mis-
souri river, in Arkansas. Colonel Drake finally got
possession of the ford, and with five hundred men
fought General Marmaduke, with his whole division,
for half a day, capturing Lieutenant Fackler, an aid-
de-camp on Marmaduke's staff. Colonel Drake was
shot through the clothes three times during that day,
but received no wound.

On the 25th of the same month, by special as-
signment, Colonel Drake had command of the 2d
brigade of General Solomon's division,, and with one
thousand men that day, in the battle of Marks' Mills,
fought General Fagan, who commanded all the cav-
alry forces under Dick Taylor, eight thousand strong.



according to the official report of the confederates.
In that engagement Colonel Drake's horse was shot
five times, and he himself was severely, and reported
mortally, wounded. He fell and was captured, but,
owing to his condition, was paroled immediately.

After being breveted brigadier-general he relieved
General Thayer at Saint Charles, on the White river,
Arkansas, and subsequently commanded a brigade
in General Shaler's division until the close of the
war. His military record is such as the state may
be proud of.

While General Drake was in the service his family
resided at Centerville, Appanoose county, which has
been his home for the last fifteen years.

Before going into the army he had read law ; up-
on his return he resumed its study, and was admitted
to the bar in 1867. For three years he was associ-
ated in practice with Judge Amos Harris, the firm
name being Harris and Drake. The latter was out
of practice three or four years, from the ist of Janu-
ary, 187 1, his business being railroad building. He
organized a company, and constructed a road from
Keokuk to Centerville, a distance of ninety miles,
the road being known as the Missouri, Iowa and

Nebraska railroad. The cars entered Centerville on
the 27th of December, 1872. General Drake was
made president of the company at its organization,
and still holds that office. He is a man of great
energy of character and executive ability.

In May, 1875, he resumed the practice of law, as-
sociating with him General A. J. Baker, formerly at-
torney-general of Missouri.

As a citizen of Centerville, General Drake has few
peers in enterprise. His whole interest is in the
town, and he labors indefatigably to build it up. He
has been president of the school board almost con-
stantly for nine or ten years. He is a member of the
Christian church, and was a delegate to the national
convention of that body in 1877. He is very liberal
in benevolent enterprises.

Politically, General Drake is a republican, and was
a delegate to the national convention in 1872.

He is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order,
and past chief patriarch in Odd-Fellowship.

On the 24th of December, 1855, he was united in
marriage with Miss Mary J. Lord, of Bloomfield,
Iowa, and they have had seven children, all yet liv-
ing except one child.



JAMES GAMBLE DAY, late chief justice, and
still on the supreme bench, is a son of George
Day, a farmer, and Sarah Gamble, and was born in
Jefferson county, Ohio, on the 28th of June, 1832.
His grandfather, George Day, senior, was from Eng-
land, and settled in Maryland. The Gambles are
of Irish descent. John A. Gamble, who died in
Jersey Shore, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, in
February, r878, and who was once a member of the
Pennsylvania legislature, a canal commissioner, a
leading politician and banker, was an uncle of Judge
Day. James Gamble, another uncle, was a member
of congress thirty years ago, and is now a judge of
the court of common pleas in that county. Matthew
A. Gamble, a third uncle, is a wealthy banker and
leading man at Jersey Shore.

The subject of this sketch was on his father's farm
until eighteen years of age; then attended Rich-
mond College, in his native county, nearly three
years, devoting especial attention to mathematics
and the languages ; taught about the same space of

time in district and graded schools; read law in pri-
vate, and entered the law school at Cincinnati in
1856, graduating in the spring of the following year.
On receiving his diploma he came directly to Iowa,
locating at Afton, Union county, where he remained
three years, serving as prosecuting attorney the first

In i860 he came to Sidney, his present home, and
formed a partnership in the legal profession with L.
Lingenfelter, Esq.

In the autumn of 1861 Mr. Day entered the mili-
tary service as first lieutenant company F, isth Iowa
Infantry ; was soon promoted to captain of company
I, and on being wounded in the battle of Shiloh, on
the 6th of April, 1862, was compelled to resign.
Before leaving the army he was nominated for judge
of the third judicial district; went on the bench on
the ist of January, 1863; was reelected four years
later, and served in that position until August, 1870,
when he was appointed to the supreme bench by
Governor Merrill, to fill a vacancy caused by the



resignation of Judge George G. Wright, who had
been elected United States senator. Two months
before this appointment the republican state con-
vention had nominated Judge Day for the same po-
sition, and the people sanctioned the wise choice of
the governor. In 1871, and again in 1877, he was
reelected, and is still on the bench. During the first
year, in accordance with the Iowa statutes, he was
chief justice of the supreme court, and again in 1877^

Persons best acquainted with Judge Day regard
him as a superior court and chancery lawyer, always
having excellent briefs, and presenting his points
systematically and logically. As a judge, while on
the district bench, says an old associate, " he was
pleasant and affable, always maintaining the utmost
decorum, and was very highly respected by the bar,
the officers of the court, and the jurors. He never
allowed himself to become irritated, and presided
with marked dignity." All the best traits of the
true jurist he exhibits on the supreme bench.

Judge Day has always been a republican, but not
a very active politician.

Religiously, his connection is with the Presbyte-
rian church, of which he is an elder.

In moral and religious character, as well as legal

attainments and judicial standing, he is an ornament
to the state.

On the Tst of December, 1857, he was united in
marriage with Miss Minerva C. Manly, of Steuben-
ville, Ohio, and they have seven children. Two of
the older ones are at Tabor College, Fremont coun-
ty, twelve miles north of Sidney ; others are pursu-
ing their studies at home. Mrs. Day, before her
marriage, was a teacher, and noted for her efficiency
and success. She is an active worker in the temper-
ance cause, and in various benevolent enterprises ;
very domestic in her habits, and heartily devoted to
the interests of her own family.

Judge Day has a dark complexion, dark hazel eyes
and black hair, slightly sprinkled with gray; a bilious-
nervous temperament, and a dignified yet easy ad-
dress ; is five feet and eleven and a half inches tall,
and weighs two hundred and ten pounds.

His father, who died in 1850, was a prominent
whig politician, at one time a member of the Ohio
legislature, and during thirty years an elder in the
Presbyterian church. The mother of the judge,
who died about 1868, was a woman of remarkable
force of character, and noted for her many and
marked christian graces.


Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 107 of 125)