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Mr. Lyman is a first-class lawyer. He is untiring
in his labors; prepares his cases v/ith the utmost
care, and tries them most admirably. He has a



logical cast of mind, is clear in his reasoning, candid,
sincere, earnest, and makes a good impression on a

Major Lyman has always been a republican ; is a
firm and earnest member of the party, but seems to
have no political aspirations. As far as we can learn,
he is contented with success in his profession.

He is a Knight Templar in the Masonic order;
has been master of Excelsior Lodge, Council Bluffs,

for several years; high priest of the Star Chapter;
commander of Ivanhoe Commandery ; grand warden
of the grand lodge of the state, and captain-general
of the grand commandery.

On the 2ist of July, 1875, he was united in mar-
riage with Miss Rachel Shaw, of Olney, Richland
county, Illinois. Her father, Hon. Aaron Shaw, is
an ex-congressman, and ex-member of the bench of
that state.



Iowa for nearly thirty years, is a native of
Jackson county, Indiana, and the date of his birth
is the 31st of October, 1829. His father, Hezekiah
Applegate, was a farmer, who died when David D.
was sixteen years old. His great-grandfather fought
with Washington under General Braddock.

The subject of this sketch was the youngest child
in a family of nine children, seven of whom grew up
and six are still living. At seventeen years of age
he came to Cedar county, Iowa ; worked for differ-
ent farmers two or three years, and at twenty re-
turned to his native county and taught school two
terms. In 1851 he returned to Iowa and took up a
" claim " in Tama county, twelve miles northwest of
Toledo; worked his lands till the fall of 1854, when
he moved to a place near where Toledo now stands,
he having been chosen county clerk. This office he
held by reelections from May, 1853, to the ist of Jan-
uary, 1869, making a faithful and efiScient officer.

While discharging the duties of county clerk Mr.
Applegate read law at his leisure ; was admitted to

the bar in the autumn of 1868, and law practice has
since been his business. After being alone one year
he became the partner of L. G. Kinne, this firm
(Applegate and Kinne) continuing from November,
1869, to December, 1876. Since the latter date
he has practiced alone. His collecting business, as
well as court practice, is excellent, and in all re-
spects he is a safe, true and reliable man. He has
been faithful to every trust confided in him.

Mr. Applegate was a member of the county board
of supervisors in 1869 and 1870; has been mayor
one term, and member of the school board at sun-
dry times, being quite active in educational matters
and in whatever tends to the mental or moral good
of the community. He isa communicant in the Con-
gregational church, and a man of unsullied character.

In politics, he was formerly a whig ; latterly has
been a republican. He is a Knight Templar among
the Freemasons.

He was married on the sth of June, 1856, to Miss
Margaret McLaury, of Benton county, Iowa. They
have had six children, three of whom are still living.



PROBABLY the best representative of the stock
raisers and stock dealers of Iowa is Oliver Mills,
of Cass county. He is a native of Trumbull county,
Ohio, and was born in the town of Gustavus, on the
2d of February, 1819. His father, Harlow Mills,
was an extensive farmer and stock dealer, educating
his son in all the minutiae of the dairy and every
branch of farm work. The great-grandfather of

Oliver, Gardner Mills, was in the revolutionary army.
The Millses were originally from England. The
maiden name of Oliver's mother was Faith Ann
Spencer, of German pedigree.

The subject of this notice was educated at the
Farmington Academy, in his native county, where
he spent two years, giving his attention mainly to
such studies as would be of most uSe to him. The



practical and best part of his education has since
been obtained on the farm, in the dairy, and in other
departments of agriculture. He spent the first thirty
years or more of his life in Trumbull county, carry-
ing on a large dairy for fifteen years, and raising and
buying stock for the eastern market.

In 1850 Mr. Mills settled in Denmark, Lee county,
Iowa, there establishing the first large dairy in the
state, and managing it for seven years, buying and
selling hogs and cattle at the same time.

In 1857 he removed to Lewis, Cass county, where
he is still found. Here, for six or seven years, he
was the largest cattle and swine feeder in the state,
buying all the stock raised in the Nishnabotna val-
ley for twenty or thirty miles in either direction, and
all the corn in ten or fifteen miles, his business in
some years amounting to two hundred thousand dol-
lars. He was the only stock and grain dealer to any
extent in this county until the Chicago, Rock Island
and Pacific railroad passed through nine years ago.
His name, for twenty years, has been known, through-
out the state and in Chicago, as a synonyme for en-
terprise, public spirit and fair dealing.

In 1875 Mr. Mills retired from business. He was
long and largely identified with the agricultural in-
terests of Iowa, and no man is more serviceable at

state fairs than he. He has been a director of the
State Agricultural for twenty consecutive years; was
its efficient president in 1874, 1875 and 1876, and has
attended every fair since the society was organized.

Mr. Mills was a member of the fourteenth general
assembly of Iowa, and did good service to the state
in that body. He was a trustee and the treasurer of
the Agricultural College two terms.

He was originally a whig, and has been a republi-
can since there existed such a party, he contributing
his assistance in organizing the same.

Mr. Mills has been a member of either a Presbyte-
rian or Congregational church since he was fourteen
years old, and as far as we can ascertain he has lived
strictly in accordance with the gospel of peace.

Mr. Mills has a second wife. His first was Miss
Sophia Arnold, of Ashtabula county, Ohio ; married
on the 17th of April, 1839. She died in December,
1876, leaving five children. One son, John A. Mills,
a soldier four years in the Union army, had preceded
her to the world of spirits. His present wife was
Miss Julia Forgy, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, formerly
of Dayton, Ohio.

Nature, in her distribution of noblemen, has been
generous toward Iowa, and in the front rank is Oli-
ver Mills.



L\. from the fiftieth district, and a citizen of north-
western Iowa of much promise, is a native of Oswego
county. New York, dating his birth on the 29th of
July, 1839. He is a son of Thomas and Mary M.
(Ellis) Lawrence, both of early Massachusetts fami-
lies. His mother was a relative of General Ellis,
and his great-grandsires on both sides participated in
the seven years' struggle for independence. His ma-
ternal grandfather was in the second war with the
mother country.

Thomas Lawrence moved with his family to Onon-
daga county when Albert was four years old. Here
he spent his youth, receiving an academic education
at Homer, Cortland county. He there prepared for
college, but never entered, on account of the weak-
ness of his eyes, a disease with which he is still
troubled. In youth he lost his right arm.

He commenced reading law in i860 with Smith

and Markham, of Syracuse ; finished with Hon. N.
C. Ruger, of the same city, and was admitted to the
bar in 1864, at a term of the supreme court held in

Mr. Lawrence practiced one year at Pit Hole City,
in the oil region of Pennsylvania, and in 1866 came
to Toledo, Tama county, Iowa, where he was in
practice until October, 1872, when he settled in Le-
mars, Plymouth county, his present home. Here he
added real estate to his professional business, and
has been very successful in both branches, most of
the time operating alone. Pecuniarily, few lawyers
in his part of the state have had equal prosperity.

Mr. Lawrence is a close student, giving all the
time that his eyes will permit to his books. During
the four years which he originally gave to legal studies
he laid a good foundation on which to build, and the
superstructure since reared has already commanding
proportions. Possibly the condition of his eyes may



eventually compel him to abandon his profession.
Should this happen, the bar of Plymouth county will
lose a member of the highest standing.

While a resident of Toledo Mr. Lawrence served
two years as county attorney, and since locating in
Plymouth county he has been a member of the school
board of the independent district of Lemars, he do-
ing especially commendatory labor in the latter posi-
tion. His literary taste, and his zeal for the cause of
education, made him eminently useful, during three
or four years in the infancy of the city, while he was
on that board.

Mr. Lawrence was elected to the senate in Oc-
tober, 1877, and represents Plymouth, Woodbury,
Cherokee, Bucna Vista, Sioux and Lyons counties.
While we write he is serving in the seventeenth gen-

eral assembly; is chairman of the committee on elec-
tions, and a member of the committee of ways and
means, normal schools, representative districts, and
fish and game. He is always in his place, attending
to his duties with the greatest assiduity.

Mr. Lawrence is an unswerving republican, and
somewhat active in local politics. It is not, however,
at his own suggestion that he is in the state senate ;
he is modest, retiring, and the last man to push him-
self forward or to ask others to do it.

On the 20th of December, 1870, Miss Clara M.,
daughter of S. W. Cole, then of Tama City, now of
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, became the wife of Senator
Lawrence, and they have two children. Mrs. Law-
rence is a member of the Congregational church,
where the family worship.



LEOPOLD H. GORDON, member of the lower
^ house of the general assembly from the sev-
enty-second district, belongs to the younger class of
legislators. He was early trained in business habits;
has an eminently practical turn of mind, and is one
of the hard-working and very valuable members of
the seventeenth general assembly. He is a native
of New Hampton, Belknap county, New Hampshire,
and is a son of Lewis and Sarah E. (Merrill) Gordon,
and was born on the 2d of December, 1844. This
branch of the Gordon family descended from Alex-
ander Gordon, a soldier in the days of Charles I.

This eminent ancestor of the branch of the Gor-
don family, here under consideration, was a young
soldier, captured about 1650, by Cromwell, with other
Scotchmen fighting for the Stuarts and against the
Puritan commonwealth. He was taken to Tuttle-
field, a prison camp near London, but was released
by Daniel Stone, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr.
Stone paying for him and sending him to Massa-
chusetts. Mr. Gordon found a home with John
Cloise, a mariner, who held a position in the vessel
which brought Gordon over. Cloise lived at Water-
town, Massachusetts, and there Gordon worked more
than a year for him to pay for the transportation to
this country.

The family spread through New England and into
Ohio and other western states, and also into some of
the southern states.

When the subject of this sketch was fourteen years
old, Lewis Gordon removed with his family to Con-
cord, New Hampshire, the son subsequently return-
ing to his native town and spending three terms in
the old academy, started there more than fifty years
ago, and which he had attended four years before
leaving for Concord. He took the classical course.
While in Concord he spent some time as a clerk in
a dry-goods store, and subsequently was in the mer-
cantile business in partnership with his father.

In 1865 he came with his parents to Dubuque,
Iowa, and was there engaged for five years, with his
father, in running a planing mill and manufacturing
sash, doors and blinds.

In 1870 Mr. Gordon removed to the new town of
Newell, Buena Vista county, on the Iowa division of
the Illinois Central railroad, engaging in the lumber,
coal and milling business, in the firm of L. H. Gor-
don and Co., his partner being George B. Burch,
mayor of Dubuque. Mr. Gordon has first-class bus-
iness capacities, and success has crowned his ener-
getic and well directed efforts.

He was the first mayor of Newell, and by reelec-
tion has served two terms. He has been a member
and treasurer of the school board, and in many ways
makes himself eminently useful to the community in
which he lives.

Mr. Gordon has always coincided heartily with
the republican party, and his nomination for the



general assembly in 1877 was made by acclamation.
He represented Buena Vista, Cherokeej Pocahontas
and Sac counties, and carried every one of them,
except Cherokee county, at the October election of
that year. The committees on which he is serving
are : railroads, banks and banking, normal schools,
printing, congressional districts, and asylum for the
deaf and dumb. He is a Royal Arch Mason.

On the ist of October, 1866, Mr. Gordon was
united in marriage with Miss Annie M. Robbins, of
Dubuque, and they have had two children, only one
of them, Alice, nine years of age, now living. The
family attend the Congregational church, and Mr.
Gordon is treasurer of the society. In every rela-
tion in life he has shown himself to be largely en-
dowed with the elements of true manhood.



the supreme bench of Iowa, is a son of
Samuel and Mary Eicher Miller, and was born near
Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland county, Pennsylva-
nia, on the 1 8th of October, 1823. His father was a
native of Somerset county, in the same state ; re-
moved to Johnson county, Iowa, in 1854. The sub-
ject of this sketch was the second son in a family of
ten children, eight of whom are yet living. He spent
his early youth on his father's farm, and in his fif-
teenth year engaged with his father in a foundry
and machine shop at Mount Pleasant, receiving, at
the same period, a fair English education in the
select schools of those days.

On the ist of August, 1844, Miss Mary Robinson,
daughter of James Robinson, Esq., of Fayette coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, became his wife, and two years
later he commenced the study of law.

In the autumn of 1852 he moved to Iowa, settling
at Iowa City. The following winter he reported the
proceedings of the senate during the fourth general
assembly for the Iowa City " Republican " and the
"Iowa Capitol Reporter." The following May, 1853,
he was admitted to the bar of Johnson county, which
was strongly democratic, yet in 1854 Judge Miller
was elected prosecuting attorney for that county on
the opposition ticket. In October, 1858, he was
elected judge of the eighth judicial district, compris-
ing Johnson, Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Linn and
Tama counties, and although the courts at that time
had a vast amount of business, he cleared the docket
in two years, and established an enviable reputation
as an energetic, prompt, efficient and able jurist.

His four years on the bench had not quite expired
when, in 1862, he became colonel of the 28th Iowa
Infantry. In March, 1863, on account of ill health,
he resigned.

In 1864, soon after resuming law practice at Iowa
City, he began to prepare "A Treatise on Pleading
and Practice in Actions, and Special Proceedings at
Law and in Equity in the Courts of Iowa, Under the
Revision of i860." The first edition of this work
was published in 1868, and, though a large one, was
soon exhausted, and a new one, revised to meet the
changes resulting from subsequent legislation, has
been published ; the best evidence of the intrinsic
merits of the work.

In 1869 Judge Miller was again placed on the
bench, this time in the circuit court of the eighth
judicial district. Before his term of circuit judge
had expired, a vacancy occurred in the supreme
court by the transfer of Judge Dillon to the circuit
court of the United States, and in casting about for
some one to fill that vacancy, the governor appointed
Judge Miller. This selection was deemed very wise
on account of the experience that Judge Miller had
had as a district and circuit judge, and his marked
qualifications in every respect for that exalted posi-
tion. He had been on the supreme bench but a few
months, when, in October, 1870, the republican party
elected him to the same office. His term expired on
the ist of January, 1876. The constitution of Iowa
requires the judge having the shortest term to act as
chief justice, and Judge Miller held that high posi-
tion from the ist of January, 1874, to the expiration
of his term.

In the spring of 1871 Judge Miller succeeded
Judge Wright in the law department of the State
University as professor of constitutional and criminal
law. This connection he held until June, 1875. Two
years prior to this date, in the spring of 1873, in
order to have access to the archives of the supreme
court and to the state library, he moved to Des
Moines, where he continues to reside.



Judge Miller is a member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church.

The judge is a prominent member of the Masonic
order. In 1866 he was elected junior warden, and
represented his lodge in that capacity at the annual

communication of the grand lodge of that year. The
next year he was its representative as senior warden.
He has written more or less Masonic literature of a
legal character, and has a high standing among the
fraternity in the commonwealth.



THE grandfather of the subject of this sketch
was Captain Hamilton Karr, a noted pioneer
and Indian hunter of Ohio. He was of Scotch de-
scent, and was a man of extraordinary muscular
power. Captain Karr was the father of four sons
and five daughters.

William Karr, the eldest son, and father of the
party whose name heads this sketch, and two sisters,
still survive. He was born at Marietta, Ohio, on the
5th of April, 1796, and in the following winter re-
moved with his parents to the mouth of Leading
creek, in Gallia county (now Meigs), Ohio. He was
the first white child ever brought into the territory
which is now Meigs county. Educated to the busi-
ness of farming, he has pursued it with fair success.

On the 20th of March, 1820, he was married to
Miss Jane Murray, a native of Clarksburg, Virginia,
with whom he settled on a tract of woodland, out of
which he made a farm, within two miles of the place
where he first landed in early childhood. He, with
his wife, is living there still, enjoying unusual good
health. He has raised a large family of children,
consisting of six sons and three daughters, who sur-
vived to manhood and womanhood. Four of the
sons and two of the daughters are living, and the
youngest of the former is the subject of this sketch.

Hamilton L. Karr was born in Meigs county, in
the State of Ohio, on the 13th of August, 1836. His
schooling was commenced in the common schools of
the neighborhood of his birthplace when he was five
or six years of age. He attended school winters and
spent his summers on the farm until he was seven-
teen or eighteen years of age, at which time his
father granted him his time, and permitted him to
operate for himself. From this time until the winter
of 1857-8 he employed himself mostly in teaching
and going to school.

In January, 1858, he entered the Lombard Uni-
versity at Galesburg, Illinois, from which he grad-
uated in June, 1862.

The war of the rebellion still raging, he returned
to his home, and in August, 1862, he entered the
Union army, enlisting as a private in the ii6th Ohio
Infantry. His qualifications and deportment soon
singled him out for positions of greater usefulness,
and before his regiment had left the state he was
advanced to the grade of first-lieutenant. Detached
service and ill health of his captain left Lieutenant
Karr in command of his company.

In January, 1863, the captain resigned and Lieu-
tenant Karr was promoted to the captaincy of his
company. At that time there was an order in force
from the governor of the State of Ohio, that all pro-
motions among officers of Ohio troops should be by
seniority, but notwithstanding thece were senior lieu-
tenants in the regiment claiming promotion by virtue
of said order, Lieutenant Karr's meritorious conduct
and soldierly bearing during his command of the
company had so won the confidence and respect of
Colonel Washburn, his regimental commander, that
he refused to recommend any other person than
Lieutenant Karr for the promotion, and so deter-
mined was the colonel that no officer but Lieutenant
Karr should take command of his company, that he
proceeded at once to the capital of Ohio to prevail
on the governor to deviate in this instance from his
published order. All arguments with the governor
prevailed only by the firm declaration that "no of-
ficer will command that company over Lieutenant
Karr while I command the regiment, if Lieutenant
Karr has to command as lieutenant during his entire
term of service."

He served under Generals Siegel, Hunter, Crooks
and Sheridan, in all the campaigns of those generals
in the Shenandoah valley, and in December, 1864,
he joined the army of the Potomac in front of Rich-
mond, serving most of the time as a staff officer,
first on the staff of. the gallant Colonel George D.
Wells, of the 34th Massachusetts Infantry, who fell
at the head of his division at the second battle of



Cedar Creek, Virginia ; then on that of General T.
N. Harris, and then on that of Major-General Tur-
ner, with whom he took part in all the closing cam-
paigns of Virginia, including the battle at Appomat-
tox Court House, and the surrender of General Lee
and his army.

On the 29th of March, 1865, he was commissioned
major of his regiment by the governor of Ohio, and
at the close of the Richmond campaign, on the
recommendation of General Turner, he was breveted
major by the war department for gallant services.

After the last battle was fought, and the rebel
armies had surrendered, and orders came for the
gradual muster out of the troops, Major-General Tur-
ner, upon whose staff Major Karr had been serving,
tendered him an assurance of a major's commission
in the regular army for staff duty with him as long
as he should remain in the service ; but Major Karr
had enlisted solely in the war for the suppression of
the rebellion and the perpetuity of the Union, and
he gratefully declined his commander's offer, pre-
ferring to be mustered out with his regiment, and to
return to his home and engage in some civil pursuit.
In time of war he preferred to be a soldier; in time
of peace, a civilian.

During his military career Major Karr participated
in numerous battles, among the most noted of which
were those of Moorefield, Winchester, Halltown,
Opequan, Fisher's Hill, the two battles of Cedar
Creek, Hatcher's Run, Fort Gregs and Appomattox
Court House.

Major Karr was a prompt, brave and efficient of-
ficer, whose gentlemanly appearance and soldierly
bearing ever gained for him the respect and favor of
his superiors in rank and the esteem of his inferiors.

In June, 1865, he was mustered out of the military
service, and returned to his home and immediately
entered upon the study of law. During the winter
of 1865-6 he attended the law department of the
Michigan University.

In April, 1866, at Pomeroy, Ohio, he was admitted
to practice in the courts of Ohio, and, in the same
month, in the classical language associated with the
beginner of the profession, he " hung out his shin-
gle " in Meigs county, Ohio, and there, and in the
adjoining county of Jackson, West Virginia, contin-
ued the practice for one or two years with the starv-
ing success that usually attends the initiates of his
profession. Taking the advice of Horace Greeley
he '"went west," and in June, 1868, he located at
Osceola, Clark county, Iowa, where he resumed the
practice of his profession, in which he still continues,
having established a paying business.

He has had but a few years of active professional

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 120 of 125)