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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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Lydia Leal Harkness, his father being of Irish and
his mother of Scotch descent, though both were
born in this country. Robert Harkness was a
farmer, and reared his son until sixteen years of age
in agricultural pursuits ; the son then prepared for
college at Delhi, Delaware county ; entered the
junior class of Union College, Schenectady, in 1861,
and graduated in 1863. After teaching one year at
Cherry Valley in his native state, Mr. Harkness
came to Iowa, locating at Garden Grove, Decatur
county, in the spring of 1864, and has been a teacher
here since that date, building up one of the best
graded schools in the state. A high-school depart-
ment was added at the start, and Professor Hark-
ness pays especial attention to the fitting of students

for the State University and other higher institutions
of learning. One of his students is now in Yale
College; and go where they will his students find
no trouble in entering. He has the happy faculty
of drawing out students, making them self-reliant
and inspiring them with enthusiasm in their studies.
He is a man of indomitable energy and perseverance,
as well as mental force, and his students seem to im-
bibe his spirit.

While Professor Harkness has made teaching his
main work, he has done something at farming, and
especially horticulture. He is cultivating eight or
ten acres/of land, five or six of it being devoted to
fruit-raising. He has grapes and the smaller fruits,
and his orchard is in a fine state of improvement,
like everything else to which he puts his hand.

He is very successful as a conductor of teachers'
institutes, and often has more applications for such
work to be done during vacations than he can fill.



Professor Harkness is a republican in politics, and
is a member of the county central committee. His
name has been before the republican state conven-
tions as a candidate for state superintendent of pub-
lic instruction, a position for which people who best
know him think he has peculiar fitness. He is,
however, no office-seeker, and would be the last
man to ask for any position other than the one he
now holds. He is active in educational matters,
and some of the ablest and best papers read at state
teachers' institutes were prepared by him.

The professor is an elder in the Presbyterian
church, and a trustee of Parsons College, which is

located at Fairfield, Jefferson county, and is the
leading Presbyterian school in Iowa.

He is an Odd-Fellow, but there is no lodge at
Garden Grove, and latterly he has paid but little at-
tention to the meetings of the order.

His wife was Miss Susie Humeston, formerly of
Portage county, Ohio. They were married on the
9th of August, 1865, and have two daughters: Mary
L., aged eleven, and Susie A., aged four years. Mrs.
Harkness' father is the Hon. A. Humeston, late
member of the general assembly from Wayne coun-
ty, Iowa. Humeston Station, near Garden Grove,
was named for him.



WARREN S. DUNGAN is the leading lawyer
of Lucas county, and is a gentleman univer-
sally esteemed for his probity and good nature, for
his solid acquirements and spotless integrity. He is
one whom the bar delights to honor, and to whom
his fellow-citizens point with pride and admiration ;
a man whose wisdom is courted and whose reputa-
tion is unsullied. His is an exemplary character
throughout ; a patriot who, holding the position of
state senator, elected for four years, responds to the
call of his state for volunteers during the first year
of his official duties, sets himself to work to raise
a company, and in one month presents the same to
his governor at the state capital at Des Moines; and
as lieutenant-colonel, and subsequently breveted col-
onel, follows the fortunes of war almost from the
incipiency of the rebellion to its close, and returns
to the practice of his profession in the city of his

Colonel Dungan was born at Frankfort Springs,
Beaver county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of Sep-
tember, 1822. His father's name was David Davis
Dungan, who was born in the same place on the i6th
of April, 1787, where he still resides, at the ripe old
age of ninety. His mother's maiden name was Isabel
McFerran, who was born at Northampton county,
Pennsylvania, and who died in 1831, when the sub-
ject of this sketch was but eight years of age.

His grandfather had settled in Beaver county,
Pennsylvania, as early as 1773.

Warren S. attended a school near home until 1840,
when he entered the Frankfort Springs Academy.

He worked upon the farm in the summer months,
and walked three miles a day in the winter months
to and from this academy. He had a great desire
to study law, and after finishing the course at the
academy he taught school in the winters until he
was twenty-eight.

In order to obtain the means to enable him to
continuously study law, he taught school at Baton
Rouge, Louisiana, and at Panolla, Mississippi, for
three years, reading law in the office of Colonel Cal-
vin Miller, of Panolla.

In the course of time he returned to Pennsylvania
and renewed his study of law in the office of Rob-
erts and Quay, at Beaver, and was admitted to the
bar at that place on the 8th of March, 1856. He
then determined to seek his fortune in the young
and growing state of Iowa, and came to Chariton
and immediately commenced the practice of law.

In the year 186 1 he was elected on the republican
ticket as state senator for a term of four years. In
the fall of the same year Colonel Dungan assisted
in raising the first company of volunteers from Chari-
ton. This company elected Daniel D. Iseminger its
captain, and became company B, of the 6th Iowa

In May, 1862, a second company was raised at
Chariton, and elected James Baker its captain, be-
coming company C, of the 13th Iowa regiment. This
company left Chariton on the 4th of July, on which
occasion Colonel Dungan, in a farewell speech to the
boys, assured them that he would take immediate steps
to raise a third company, which promise he put into



immediate effect, and was elected captain by accla-
mation, but was never mustered in as such. Colonel
Dungan took his company to Des Moines on the en-
suing 9th of August. While here with his company
an extra session of the legislature was called, which
he attended.

Two more companies were subsequently recruit-
ed at Chariton, which joined those at Des Moines,
and then the line officers of commands in Warren,
Lucas, Decatur and Wayne counties came in with
their forces and joined the Chariton force, complet-
ing the regiment. They then proceeded to elect
officers, with the following results : G. W. Clark, of
Warren county, colonel ; Warren S. Dungan, of Lu-
cas county, heutenant-colonel, aYid Hon. Racine D.
Kellogg, of Decatur, major, together with a full
complement of field and staff officers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan was then appointed
to wait upon the governor with a request that he
confirm the organization, which was done, and the
regiment was styled the 34th regiment of Iowa. Pro-
ceeding to Burlington, and pitching their tents at
Camp Langman, they were regularly mustered into
the service by Lieutenant Ball, of the regular army,
on the isth of October, 1862.

In December the regiment was ordered to Vicks-
burg, resting for a week or so at Helena, Arkansas,
from whence they marched to join General Sher-

man's command, in the investment of that place;
after which the regiment was ordered to Arkansas
Post, which post was invested and carried, leaving in
our hands some five thousand rebel prisoners.

At the close of the war they were mustered out of
the service at Houston, Texas, from whence they
proceeded to Davenport, Iowa, where they were paid
off" and disbanded in 1865.

Colonel Dungan then returned to Chariton and
resumed the practice of law. He has always taken
an active interest in educational matters ; was for a
long time a member of the school board, and has
been city solicitor of Chariton. In 1872 he was a
delegate to the republican national convention which
renominated General Grant, and the same year was
made Presidential electorof his district, the seventh
of Iowa.

Colonel Dungan married on the 3d of April, 1859,
Miss Abby K. Procter, of Massachusetts. He has
had born to him one son and six daughters, all of
whom, save the eldest daughter, are now living.

He has always been a strong temperance man, and
belongs to the Temple of Honor. He is also a mem-
ber of the Grand Array of the Republic, and was
Iowa's delegate to the national council at Philadel-
phia in 1872. He united with the Presbyterian
church in Pennsylvania in 1855, and is at present a
ruling elder in the church at Chariton.



THE first physician to locate in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, was Dr. Eber Lewis Mansfield, a man
still in active life. He was born on the 26th of Jan-
uary, 182 1, in the town of Canaan, Athens county,
Ohio, and is the son of Martin and Margaret Durham
Mansfield. His father settled in Athens county,
when Ohio was a territory; built the second brick
house in the county, and was justice of the peace in
Canaan twenty-one years. The father of Martin
Mansfield served seven full years in the revolution-
ary army, receiving a wound in the leg at the battle
of Brandywine, which wound produced a fever sore,
and finally caused his death. Margaret Durham
was a native of Delaware.

Eber aided his father on a farm until of age ; then
packed up and left without money or education, but
not too late to secure both. He spent three years

at the Ohio University at Athens, paying his way
largely by working moonlight nights and during va-
cations. He read' medicine with Dr. William Black-
stone, of Athens ; attended lectures at the Cleveland
Medical College ; practiced a short time at Harri-
sonville, Meigs county, and in the spring of 1847
bade adieu to his native state, crossed the great
" Father of Waters," and stuck down his stakes for
life in the embryo town of Cedar Rapids. Here,
for a round thirty years, he has been one of the most
stirring, wide-awake men in the place.

During the first few years of his practice here
physicians were scarce, and his rides were very ex-
tensive, often thirty or forty and sometimes a hun-
dred miles from home. He once went to Cerro
Gordo county, near where Clear Lake now stands,
to amputate a limb, going with a span of horses and



a buggy, and making a six days' trip through a
country much of the way without roads' and across
bridgeless streams. For years nearly all the sur-
gical cases in this part of the state tested his skill.

On locating in Cedar Rapids Dr. Mansfield en-
tered lands, and has always dealt more or less in
real estate. He has been successful in every enter-
prise in which he has engaged, whatever he touched
seeming to turn to gold. In 1850 he crossed the
plains, went to the state whose golden gates open to
the Pacific, and returned the next year with marked
increase of wealth. His motto seems to be: "Be
satisfied with small but sure profits, and never en-
gage in dishonest speculations." He has been a
liberal donor to church, school and other enter-
prises; is full of public spirit, working for the inter-
ests of the city as well as for himself. Both have

He has been in the council and school board re-
peatedly; has been a director of the City National
Bank since its organization, and was at the head of
the Farmers' Insurance Company for a long time.
He was surgeon for the Burlington, Cedar Rapids

and Northern Railroad Company for five or six
years, resigning in the spring of 1876.

Dr. Mansfield was a democrat until the passage
of the Kansas-Nebraska bill ; acted with the repub-
lican party from 1856 to 1872, and then returned to
his original political faith. He is not an active pol-
itician, and eschews office if he can consistently with
his duties as a citizen.

In religious sentiment, he is a Universalist.

He was first married on the 6th of April, 1852, to
Miss Lucy A. Warriner, of Greensburg, Indiana.
She had five children, and died in 1868, leaving
three of them in this world. Her eldest surviving
child is the wife of Charles J. Deacon, an attorney,
and one of the firm of Hubbard, Clark and Deacon,
Cedar Rapids; the other two, a son and daughter,
are single, living at home. The doctor's present
wife was Mary E. Warriner, of Jefferson county.
New York, a very distant relative of his first wife.

Dr. Mansfield has never used tobacco or intoxi-
cating liquors ; is as active as ordinary men in middle
life, and by persons not knowing him would be mis-
taken for a person under fifty years of age.



JAMES DAWSON was born near Newcastle,
Lawrence county, Pefinsylvania, on the 24th of
October, 1808, his parents being Joseph Dawson
and Barbara n^e Galey. His grandfather, Robert
Dawson, was a native of the north of Ireland, and
emigrated to America in the year 1774, bringing
with him a wife and two children, both older than
Joseph, who was subsequently born in Cumberland
county, Pennsylvania, where the family first located.
They soon after moved to Washington county, Penn-
sylvania, where Robert died in 1792. Joseph, the
father of our subject, married in the last-named
county Miss Galey, a lady of Scotch lineage. She
died, at the age of forty years, in 1824, and is buried
in Richland county, Ohio. Soon after his marriage
Joseph Dawson removed to Lawrence county, Penn-
sylvania, where he remained about eight years, when
he emigrated to Richland county, then an unbroken
wilderness. He built a cabin in the woods, cleared
a large farm of land, and remained there until 1844,
when he removed to Washington county, Iowa, where
he died in 1852. He had a family of six sons and

three daughters, of whom our subject was the fourth
child. All of the brothers and one sister are buried
in the Washington (Iowa) cemetery.

James Dawson was raised in his native state and
on his father's farm till the age of twenty-one, his
schooling being bounded by the log-cabin subscrip-
tion schools of his day, which he attended some four
winters. After he attained his majority he attended
a common school for three months in Ligonier val-
ley, Pennsylvania. This completed his education.

In the year 1829 he made a tour through eastern
Pennsylvania, and was employed as a day-laborer
upon the Pennsylvania canal, then being constructed
from Pittsburg to Johnstown. In this capacity he
learned the stonemason trade, at which he soon be-
came quite an expert, and was employed as foreman
at a salary of one dollar and fifty cents a day, while
other mechanics were receiving but one dollar. He
was subsequently engaged in constructing the first
railroad built across the Alleghanies, connecting
transportation between the eastern and western di-
visions of the canal. The Pennsylvania Central,



which now owns the track, runs over a bridge, the
abutments of which our subject helped to construct
over the Little Conemaugh river. He remained on
the public works about seven years, after which he
joined his father and family in Ohio, where he re-
mained till 1839, when he removed to Washington
county, Iowa. Here he bought a " claim," on which
a squatter had built a cabin sixteen by sixteen feet,
some four miles southeast of where the city of Wash-
ington now stands, on which he remained some four
years, when he sold out and moved to another farm
nearer town, on which he remained some four years.
In the winter of 1847-8 he concluded to try his
fortune as a trader, and accordingly commenced his
career in this line, in partnership with Mr. Alexander
Lee, by purchasing some five hundred head of hogs
at an average price of one dollar and seventy-five
cents per hundredweight, net weight. After driv-
ing their purchase to Burlington, a distance of fifty
miles, they were able to dispose of it, with some dif-
ficulty, at two dollars per hundredweight, net weight,
receiving in payment one third cash, one third in
notes to mature at six months, and one third in dry
goods at wholesale prices. On returning to Wash-
ington they found their stock of dry goods an ele-
phant on their hands. There were but two small
stores of this description in the city, neither of which
would purchase their goods, but one of the mer-
chants, John Dougherty, proposed to sell out to
them at cost and ten per cent added. They found
themselves obliged to accept the terms, and in this
way they drifted into " store-keeping." The stock
of Mr. Dougherty, all told, amounted to six hundred
dollars, and the new firm of James Dawson and Co.
commenced business in the spring of 1848. They
took in a new partner with some capital, a Mr. Bick-
ford ; recruited their stock, paying cash for all new
purchases, and soon established a good credit in
Saint Louis, where they were able to buy goods on
very advantageous terms. They began to prosper
at once, and soon were the leading merchants of the
city. In about a year and a half Messrs. Lee and
Bickford both retired from the firm, leaving Mr.
Dawson in sole possession. For the next ten years
he devoted himself exclusively to business, with very
satisfactory results. During this period he erected
a number of business houses around the square, sev-
eral of which are still standing. In the spring of
1858 he sold out his establishment to his brother,
Mr. John Dawson, and in the autumn of the same
year became the local agent of the Mississippi. and

Missouri Railroad Company, which had just com-
pleted its line to Washington. He held this position
for over two years, and in i860 he built the large
grain elevator known as the Blair Mills and Eleva-
tor Company of Washington, at a cost of eight thou-
sand dollars, operated by a steam engine, the first
elevator of any kind completed in the State of Iowa.
After this he embarked largely in the wheat and
grain business generally. In the winter of 186 1-2
he bought forty thousand bushels of wheat at an av-
erage price of forty-seven cents per bushel, which
proved to be a most profitable speculation. During
the continuance of the war his transactions in grain
were large and satisfactory.

In 1864 he became connected with the extensjve
commission and forwarding house of George M.
Howe and Co., of Chicago, and spent most of his
time in that city until 1869. In the last-named
year Mr. Dawson retired from' the Chicago firm and
resumed business in Washington.

In 1859 he was one of the originators of the State
Bank branch at Washington, which, in 1863, became
the First National Bank of Washington, of which he
continued a director until the 31st of~December,
1876, and during the preceding two years was vice-
president and acting president of the institution.
Early in 1877 he sold out his bank stock, together
with all his other interests, and is now retired from
business altogether.

In the year 1832 he became an uncompromising
abolitionist, and afterward was identified with the
free-soilers. During the late war he was the staunch
friend of the government, and gave liberally of his
means toward encouraging enlistments and for the
support of the families of those who entered the
military service.

In 1870 he was one of the commissioners ap-
pointed by the legislature to adopt plans for a new
state capitol, and served on the commission for two
years. In 1877 he was a delegate to the state repub-
lican convention which nominated state officers, and
represented the temperance element of the party.

He has never been a member of any secret society.

He was brought up in the Associate Presbyterian
church, since merged into the United Presbyterian
church, of which he has been a member since the
junction of the bodies. He was one of the original
organizers of the first congregation of the United
Presbyterian church in Washington in 1841. He
has been a ruling elder of the congregation since
the commencement, and has frequently represented



his congregation in the presbytery, in the synod and
the general assembly of the church. He is, more-
over, one of the most liberal contributors to the ex-
penses of the congregation and the missionary enter-
prises of the denomination in the west.

He is radical in all his views, and on all questions
in which he takes an interest, whether political or
religious. He is necessarily a leader in whatever
sphere of activity he may operate, not because he
desires to lead, but because that in his presence
men are conscious of something in him that should
be deferred to, and that determines his position by
a destiny that cannot be disregarded. He is a man
of large intelligence, always keeping abreast of the
times. He is naturally, and by culture and disci-
pline, a gentleman, a patriot and a christian.

He was married on the 5th of May, 1831, to Miss
Elizabeth Shannon, a native of Westmoreland coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, of Scotch and German parentage.
She died on the gth of November, 1848, leaving two

sons and three daughters surviving her : Josiah,
George, Sarah Jane, Mary, and Martha Shannon.
Josiah is connected with the large boot and shoe
house of M. D. Wells and Co., of Chicago ; George
was murdered by Indians on his way to Texas in
1869, and is buried in an unknown grave; Sarah
was married to George C. Anderson, of Washington,
and died in 1863; Mary was the wife of James L.
Anderson, Esq., and died in 1853 ; Martha Shannon
is the wife of Dr. W. R. Adair, of Washington. On
the 26th of June, 1849, Mr. Dawson's second mar-
riage occurred, to Miss Jennett French, who died
on the 27th of April, 1859, leaving three children,
the youngest of whom, James Willard, died in 1872,
aged sixteen ; Hellen F. and Maryette survive. On
the 15th of February, r86o, he married Mrs. N. A.
Clarke, widow of the late Rev. John B. Clarke, of
Le Claire, Iowa, by whom he has had three children,
two of whom survive, Harlan H. and Llewellyn ;
the second, Robert L., died in 1876.



AMONG the leading attorneys of Council Bluffs
is Joseph Lyman, twenty years a resident of
Pottawattamie county. His native place is Lyons,
Oakland county, Michigan, where he was born on
the 13th of September, 1840. The Lymans from
whom he sprung are of Scotch descent, and settled
on the Connecticut river in Massachusetts, his grand-
father being a captain in the revolutionary army.
His father, William Lyman, a farmer, was born in
Lebanon, Connecticut. His mother's maiden name
was Sarah Pierce. When Joseph was but eighteen
months old the family removed from Michigan to
Defiance, Ohio, and lived there until 1857, when
they pushed westward, and settled in the eastern
part of Pottawattamie county, Iowa. There, for
three or four years, as in Ohio, Joseph aided his
father in opening a farm, attending, and afterward
teaching, a district school. He was the pioneer
schoolmaster in two or three districts. In 1857
there were one or two schools in Council Bluffs, but
no regular school-house in the county; now they
are reckoned by the hundred.

In 1861 Mr. Lyman enlisted as a private in com-
pany E, 4th Iowa Cavalry, A. B. Porter, colonel ; in
1862 was promoted to adjutant 29th Infantry, Thom-

as H. Benton, commander, and in 1864 to major of
the same. He was in many engagements, and had
two horses shot under him, but received no wound
himself. For some time he was on the staff of Gen-
eral S. A. Rice, and when mustered out on the loth
of September, 1865, was on the staff of Getieral
Fred. Steele, acting as adjutant-general of the army
of the Rio Grande, with headquarters at Brownsville,
Texas. When he was promoted to the rank of ma-
jor it was by especial request of every captain in the
regiment. He was a cool and brave officer, and
aided by gallantry in burnishing the military record
of Iowa during the civil war.

On leaving the service Major Lyman returned to
Iowa ; commenced reading law with Judges Wright
and Cole, of Des Moines, in November, 1865 ; was
admitted to the bar at that place at the December
term of the supreme court, 1866; commenced prac-
tice at Council Bluffs in the January following, and
has since made the law his entire business. He is a
partner of Hon. W. F. Sapp, member of congress
from the eighth district.

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 119 of 125)