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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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German descent, his parents, John Trimble
and Elizabeth Hoffman, having Teutonic blood in
their veins. The Trimbles were early settlers in
Rockingham county, Virginia, the grandfather of
Henry H. being a soldier in the days "which tried
men's souls." The Hofifmans were pioneers in Penn-
sylvania, and connected by marriage with the Scotts
of that state, who were old Indian fighters, some of
them being with General Braddock when he suffered
his ignominious defeat.

During the boyhood of Henry H., his father, who
was a carpenter in early life, and afterward a farmer
and merchant, lived in succession in Rush, Decatur
and Shelby counties, Indiana ; his son farming until
sixteen years of age.

He received his literary education in the prepar-
atory department of Franklin College, and in the
State University at Bloomington and Asbury Uni-
versity at Greencastle, all in his native state, grad-

uating from the last named institution on the 21st of
July, 1847. He taught more or less while pursuing
his studies, and did other kinds of work, defraying
his entire expenses.

From college Mr. Trimble went directly into the
Mexican war, serving one year in the 5th Indiana
Volunteers, James H. Lane, colonel.

On his return from the war, Mr. Trimble read law,
at first with Eden H. Davis, of Shelbyville, Indiana,
and afterward with the Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks,
teaching during this period the Shelbyville Academy
for one year.

His father removed to Iowa in 1848, and he fol-
lowed the next year, continued his law studies, and
was admitted to the practice by Hon. J. F. Kinney,
of the supreme bench at Keosauqua, on the 29th of
April, 1850, taking in a very few years a high posi-
tion at the bar.

He was county attorney from 185 1 to 1855, and
state senator from 1855 to 1859, being at the last

A'^ ^iy£SB':,ai-S.-^.



session held at Iowa city and the first held in Des
Moines, and on the judiciary committee during his
entire term.

In July, 1861, Mr. Trimble entered the service as
lieutenant-colonel of the 3d Iowa Cavalry; served
in that position until the 9th of September, 1862,
when he was discharged on account of a wound he
received in the face at the battle of Pea Ridge, Ar-
kansas, on the 7th of March, 1862. The ball en-
tered his right cheek, passed through his face, and
came out at the bottom of his right ear. It was
years before this wound healed,, externally ; it still
discharges slightly, and he suffers from it more or
less at all times.

At the October election in 1862 Colonel Trimble
was elected district judge of the second district and
served four years. His mind is of the analytical
type, and he has the ability to analyze thoroughly a
question suggested to him. He excels as a trial law-
yer, and has great influence with the courts. He has,
by study and experience, made himself thoroughly
familiar with the general principles of law. As ques-
tions arise in the trial of a cause, by a little analyz-
ing he assigns them to their proper places. His
tenacity is wonderful, and he never gives up until
the very last. Regardless of the amount involved, he
brings to bear all his professional talent to gain his
case. One who has practiced with him and before
him, and who has been intimate with him for years,
says that he is probably as successful a criminal law-
yer as there is in the state. His practice in the fed-
eral as well as in other courts has been very exten-
sive. He displays masterly skill in the examination
of witnesses, and has few peers in any department
of legal practice.

One of his strong points as a lawyer is in cases
where the question of insanity is involved. He has
made this subject a study for years; has, so to speak,
fathomed its lowest depths as a science. Whenever
he has a cause in which this question arises, and he
has occasion to defend a person on the plea of in-
sanity, he astonishes everybody with his wonderful
grasp of the subject and the amount of research and
learning which he exhibits.

In 1866 a corporation was organized by the cit-
izens of southern Iowa called the Saint Louis and
Cedar Rapids Railway Company, the purpose of
which was to extend the North Missouri railway,
then being constructed, into Iowa. Judge Trimble
was chosen one of the directors, and remained such
till September, 1868, when the directors, becoming

dissatisfied with the then president, procured his
resignation, and the judge was chosen to take his
place. He immediately entered on the duties of
his new office ; in four weeks had the railroad bonds
negotiated and iron bought. In six weeks track-
laying commenced and continued until the track
reached the flourishing city of Ottumwa. This is
the only direct line of road from the great city of
Saint Louis into Iowa, and is one of the most valu-
able lines in the state. The judge remained presi-
dent of that company until the sale of the road in
1875. He also assisted in building the Burlington
and Southwestern railway, and has always taken an
active interest in all public enterprises.

Judge Trimble has always affiliated with the dem-
ocratic party, and has been a prominent member of
it for more than thirty years, having, in fact, a na-
tional as well as state reputation as a JDolitician. Be-
fore the capital was removed from Iowa city, and
when, under the old constitution, the judges were
chosen by the legislature, he received the democratic
support for member of the supreme bench, coming
within two or three votes of being elected, the re-
publican majority then being very small. He ran
for the same office before the people in 1863. He
was a candidate for congress in the first district in
1858, running against General Curtis, and coming
within five hundred votes of an election, reducing
the usual republican majority more than twelve hun-
dred votes. He ran a second time for the same
office in 1872 against Hon. William Loughridge, then
a candidate for reelection, running more than five
thousand votes ahead of Horace Greeley, the demo-
cratic nominee for President. He was a delegate at
large in the democratic national convention which
met at Saint Louis in 1876, and cast his vote for
Governor Hendricks while there seemed to be any
hope for that gentleman's nomination. He was a
member of the committee on resolutions in that con-

No democrat in the state is more popular with his
party than Judge Trimble. In all respects his stand-
ing is exalted. He is president of the State Bar
Association, and in a double sense is at the head of
the Iowa bar.

He is a member of the^commandery in the Ma-
sonic order.

The judge, is a believer in the cardinal doctrines
of Christianity, but is not connected with any re-
ligious denomination.

His wife was Miss Emma M. Carruthers, a native



of Wheeling, West Virginia; married at Shelbyville,
Indiana, on the 5th of April, 1849. She is the
mother of five children, all yet living, and retains to
a wonderful degree the freshness and bloom as well
as vivacity of girlhood. A stranger would take her
for a lady under thirty years of age.

The eldest son. Palmer Trimble, is married and
an attorney-at-law in the firm of Trimble, Carruthers
and Trimble, the middle member being Samuel S.
Carruthers, a brother-in-law of the judge, and his
law partner since 1867. The second son of Judge
Trimble, Frank K., is studying with this firm.



THE longest resident of Denison in the medical
fraternity, and one of the leading practitioners
in Crawford county, is William Iseminger, a native
of La Porte county, Indiana. He is the son of a
farmer, Jacob Iseminger, of German descent, and
was born on the roth of July, 1836. His mother
was Elizabeth Graybeal, who is of Irish pedigree.
William lived on the farm in La Porte county until
twenty years of age, sharing in the ordinary educa-
tional privileges of farmers' sons. Quite unsatisfied
with his literary attainments, in 1856 he went to
Greencastle, Indiana, and spent six years in fitting
for and going through Asbury University.

On graduating, Mr. Iseminger came to Iowa, in
December, 1862, and taught two seasons in Polk and
Jasper counties. He read medicine with Dr. D. V.
Cole, of Des Moines; attended two courses of lec-
tures at Ann Arbor, Michigan. After spending three
years in Vandalia, Jasper county, alternating be-
tween teaching and practicing, in May, 1868, he set-
tled in Denison, where he has built up an extensive

business, his rides sometimes embracing a circle of
twenty and even thirty miles. In difficult cases of
surgery his rides for consultation are still more ex-
tensive. His practice is general, as it must neces-
sarily be in a country so sparsely settled as Craw-
ford and the adjoining counties. He is a careful
reader of medical books and periodicals, he know-
ing very well that in no other way can one keep
pace with the progress of medical science.

Dr. Iseminger is United States examining surgeon
for pensions ; has been the county coroner for six
or seven years ; is on the school board, and has held
other local offices. He is a practical business man
and a very useful citizen. He is a republican.

He was formerly a member of the Christian or
Disciple church, but there is no such an organiza-
tion in Denison. In moral and religious character
his standing is exalted.

His wife was Miss Nancy J. Cavett, of Vandalia,
Iowa; married on the I oth of September, 1868. They
have one child living, and have lost one.



HUGH WRIGHT MAXWELL, late judge of
the fifth judicial district, was the son of Will-
iam Maxwell, a farmer, and Charity Wright, and was
born in Vermilion county, Illinois, on the 14th of
February, 1827. His paternal grandfather, Hugh
Maxwell, came from Ireland and settled in North
Carolina. The Wrights, were English. Hugh W.
farmed with his father in his native county until of
age, finishing his education at the Georgetown Sem-
inary, near Danville, and graduating in the summer
of 1852. The next October he crossed the Missis-
sippi river into Iowa, located at Indianola, Warren

county, where he taught school for two years; also
spent some time in surveying during the interim. In
1854 he was elected clerk of the district court, which
office he held for five consecutive years, studying
law at the same time, and was admitted to the bar at
Indianola in r857 and practiced steadily until the
second year of the rebellion.

In 1862 Mr. Maxwell went into the army as bri-
gade commissary, but at the end of about one year
his health failed and he was obliged to resign. Re-
turning to Indianola, he resumed practice; in 1864
was elected attorney of the district embracing Polk



and nine other counties; at the end of two years he
was appointed judge, to fill a vacancy caused by the
death of Judge J. H. Gray; in the autumn of the
same year (1866) was elected for a term of four
years; was reelected in 1870 for another term, leav-
ing the bench on the 31st of December, 1874.

On resuming legal practice. Judge Maxwell locat-
ed at the capital, where he is still to be found, and
is among the foremost attorneys at the Polk county
bar. He does business in all the state and federal

To the lovers of justice the administration of
Judge Maxwell was especially satisfactory. To the
violators of the liquor law and to criminals he sought
to mete out the punishment which they merited. In
all cases his sympathies were with the injured.

Judge Maxwell usually affiliates with the repub-
lican party, but never knowingly votes for a man of
bad habits. He is a strong advocate of the temper-
ance cause.

He is' a member of the Methodist Episcopal
church, a man of unbending integrity, and is living
a consistent christian life.

The judge has had two wives. The first was Miss
Mary L. Johnston, of Indianola; married in 1853.
She died two years afterward, leaving one son,
Trenck J., now a merchant in Olathe, Kansas. The
present wife of the judge was Mrs. Frances F. Fox,
of Indianola; married in June, 1856. She has had
four children, three of them yet living, Mary B., a
teacher in Des Moines ; Sallie F. and Franc W. are
being educated in the public schools.



CHARLES E. HEDGES, deceased, was a son
of Nathaniel G. Hedges, and was born in
Switzerland county, Indiana, on the 21st of June,
1834. He remained in that state until his nineteenth
year, receiving an academic education. He was the
eldest child of the family, which moved to Keokuk,
Iowa, in December, 1856. Attracted by the geo-
graphical location of Sioux City, then recently sur-
veyed and laid out, and its favorable situation as a
business point, a month or two after reaching Iowa
Charles E. and his father came to this place and
opened a real-estate office. A younger brother, Dan-
iel T., followed in April.

In the autumn of 1857 the subject of this sketch
formed a partnership with J. W. Bosler in a private
bank. During the same autumn Mr. Hedges was
elected county recorder and treasurer, which office
he held by reelection four years, making, as he did
in every kind of business through life, a clean record.

In i860 the Hedges brothers went into the mer-
cantile trade, which was continued for eight years.
Charles, meantime, in i86i, was appointed trader at
the Yankton Agency, holding it for six years, and
residing there the greater part of the time. During
the year 1866 he also filled the place of sutler at
Fort Randall.

From 1868 until his death, in 1877, Mr. Hedges
resided in Sioux City, all this time in partnership
with his brother Daniel in various enterprises.

Among these were contracts for carrying the mail

to Fort Sully and to points in Minnesota, and for

furnishing military and Indian supplies for the United

States government ; dealing in cattle and grain as

well as real estate ; running an elevator and a steam

flouring mill, and building the Woodbury county

court-house and railroads. Mr. Hedges was one of

the original projectors and owners of the Covington,

Columbus and Black Hills railroad, holding the office

of treasurer of the company for some time, and at the

time of his death he was one of the directors of the

new company. He and his brother contracted for

and graded thirty-six miles of this road a short time

before his death.

During some of these years, as we learn from the

Sioux City "Journal," from which we glean several of

these facts, the business of Hedges Brothers amounted

to more than half a million dollars. That daily paper,

in speaking of his death, in its issue of the isth of

August, 1877, says :

The occasion of Charles' death was contingent upon the
circumstance that he was at the time engaged in filh'ng a
cattle contract with tlie Indian department, in which he had a
one-fourth interest; and it is owing to the constant personal
attention the Hedges Brothers gave their business, what-
ever it might be, that led him to be there. They never
shrank from the most arduous work, and no laborer in their
employ ever gave so many hard hours a day to their busi-
ness as they did themselves. Being men of very strong
physical build, they have been able to stand what would
long ago have taken down almost any other men.

Mr. Hedges died on the 9th of August, 1877,



He was found about twenty-five miles southeast of Lower
Brule Agency, on the west side of the Missouri river. He
was traveling up the river in charge of his herd of five
thousand cattle, and left the herd, going alone in his wagon
to hunt a new trail to the agency, saying he would get into
Brule Agency and return to the herd next day with pro-
visions. Not returning as agreed, search was diligently
made for him, and three days later his body was found a
short distance from where he had left the herd. He was
shot through the head. Everything was found in the buggy,
not a single article of any kind missing. The general belief
is that it was an accident; in what way happening can
never be known. His pi-tol was found with two empty cart-
ridges, one of which he exploded before he left the party ;
the other it is rot unlikely he discharged by accident, by the
revolver falling off the seat on the back of the buggy, and
striking with the hammer on the side of the box.

At the time of his death Mr. Hedges was a mem-
ber of the city council and a director of the State
Agricultural Society.

He left a second wife to mourn her great loss. His
first wife was Miss Mary L. Krutz ; married at Flor-
ence, Indiana, in December, 1868. She died in July,
1870. On the gth of January, 1873, he was married
to Miss Emma Quintrel, of Cleveland, Ohio.

He was buried by the Freemasons.

There was everywhere observable a spirit which showed
the sorrow that filled the hearts of the community. ... It
was a tribute to the memory of a man the vacancy of whose
position will for years be a potent reminder that a head and
heart and hand are still that thought and felt and worked
for the benefit of the community of which their possessor
was a member.

He was, no doubt, the most energetic man that
helped to make Sioux city what it is, the great com-
mercial city of northwestern Iowa.

A few months after the burial of Mr. Hedges his
remains were taken to Spring Grove cemetery, Cin-
cinnati, Ohio.

The " Commercial Gazette," of Sioux City, thus
spoke of Mr. Hedges at the time of his demise:

Dame Nature rarely grants to one community more than
one such man ; and by his death there certainly exists in
the commercial ranks of Sioux City a vaca,ncy which no
other man can fill. With the body of a Hercules, the cour-
age of a lion, the great force of character which m.ade for
him a fortune and a name, he has done for this community
in the way of public advancement more than any other man
could do. On both sides of the Missouri, from Council "
Blufts to Niobrara, over the broad prairies of Dakota terri-
tory, on the homesteads of northwestern Iowa and northern
Nebraska the common verdict presses itself home to human
hearts that his death was a public calamity.

Like all men of tremendous mental force, he had his ene-
mies. The selfish and the envious ones lagging behind him
in the race of fortune envied him who was so much their
superior. But those who knew his warm and generous
nature best loved him best. He leaves a fond wife, a brother,
father and sisters to mourn his tragic death.

The same paper contained a metrical tribute to
the memory of Mr. Hedges, concluding as follows :

" I weep not that the autumn leaves

Are torn in fragments by the breeze;
I weep not that the golden sheaves

The sun in autumn fallen sees.


" I weep that manhood in its prime

Was torn from all that makes life sweet;
That human life in summer time
Its sad, untimely end should meet.

"And such a man — of giant form:
A form that clad a mighty mind.
With soul impetuous, brave and warm
As ever dwelt in human kind.

" Sioux City, mourn your mighty son.

That gave you much of power and pride.
And grant him now, when life is done.
The honor envy long denied.

" Green be the turf above his breast.
And lightly o'er his grave the sod;
And pray we that his soul may rest
In peace eternal with his God."



AN eminently self-made man, whose brief biogra-
Jr\. phy gives but an imperfect narrative of the
many exploits of his early life, to which he now in
the fifty-sixth year of his age, and in a perfect con-
dition of health, adverts with more of the subject-
matter of romance than of personal exploits.

It is only in the western section of the United
States that such subjects are to be found. The self-
imposed trials through which Dr. Beebe has passed
should stimulate the young men of to-day, who have
nothing but their innate courage to help them to ad-
vancement in the social scale.

Our subject was born in Knox county, Ohio, on
the 27th of June, 1821. His father was John Beebe,
and his mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Tal-
mage. The doctor has two brothers and two sisters
now living. At the age of nine he commenced go-
ing to a district school. He worked on the farm in
the summer, and went to school in the winter months
until he was seventeen, when he went to Dewit
Academy, where he remained for seven months.
From that time he worked upon the farm in the
summer, taught school in the winter, and commenced
the study of the preparatory course of medicine;



subsequently he read a regular course of medicine
in the office of Dr. Page, at Delaware county, Ohio,
with whom he remained till 1843, when he went to
Cincinnati and registered at the Ohio Medical Col-
lege, where he remained for two years under the
faculty of said college, from which he graduated in
March, 1845, then removed to Columbia City, Indi-
ana, and commenced the practice of medicine.

At the time he left Cincinnati he owed fifty dol-
lars on his tuition fee. He took stage to Saint
Mary's, from which place, with less than three dol-
lars in his pocket, he commenced his walk of sixty
miles to Columbia City; when he reached this place
his finances were reduced to thirty-one cents, and
he was a stranger in a strange land. He stopped at
the hotel, and the next day made the acquaintance
of one or two brother Methodists, to whom he ex-
plained his desire to commence the practice of med-
icine, but said nothing of his private impecunious-
ness. Receiving encouragement from them, he re-
turned to the hotel, then started for the home of a
cousin, by marriage, who lived twenty-five miles dis-
tant. He spent twenty-five of his thirty-one cents
for food, begged his last meal at a farm-house, and
finally reached his cousi-n's, to whom he told the
story of his advent into Columbia City and his pros-
pects there, and from whom he obtained a horse and
bridle and ten dollars in cash ; and after resting him-
self for a day or two he rode back to the hotel.
He continued to board at this place, and at once
built up a lucrative practice. This was in March.
In the November following he returned to Knox
county, Ohio. Here he remained for four weeks,
and married Miss Philene Helt, of Sparta. His wife's
father moved them to Columbia City. The father
returned to Sparta, and young Dr. Beebe and wife
went to housekeeping. Here they remained until
October, 1847, when Mrs. Beebe's health declining
they concluded to go to Mount Gilead, where the
doctor bought property, commenced the practice of
medicine, and remained there for seventeen years ;
during which time he had born to him two boys and
one girl. The latter, now Mrs. Rice, resides at Des
Moines ; the eldest son is in the wholesale drug busi-
ness at Burlington, with the house of Reynolds and
Churchill, and the youngest son is in business with
his father at Afton. Though blessed with a very
large and lucrative practice at Mount Gilead, Dr.
Beebe conceived the idea of placing himself in such
a position as better to advance the interests of his
two sons, and with this in view he, together with

some seven other families, determined to go to Afton,
Iowa. They were thirty-two days on the road, camp-
ing out at night. Reaching Afton, then a hundred
miles distant from any railway, he bought two hun-
dred acres of land near Afton, which he commenced
to improve.

In January, 1865, he bought a half interest in a
drug store at Afton with Dr. Roberts, whom he sub-
sequently entirely bought out.

Early in the spring of 1866 he had built and oc-
cupied his new home at the farm, intending to retire
from medical practice, having sold his store during
the preceding winter. But there was to be only a
temporary respite from the cares of business. His
old clients and new ones were continually importun-
ing him to return to his practice. In the following
October he sold his farm to good advantage, and
concluded to remove to Brookfield, a division station
on the Hannibal and Saint Joe railroad. Here he
went into the drug business with his former partner.
Dr. Roberts, and resumed his professional practice.

In 1868 Dr. Beebe returned to Afton, bought out
a drug store, and commenced the construction of a
dwelling, into which he moved in November follow-
ing. At the same time he built a business block.

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 108 of 125)