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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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delivered the last oration on the programme be-
fore the valedictory poem. Among his associates
in college were General Daniel Butterfield, Fred-
eric D. Seward, Governor John F. Hartranft, and
many others who have become distinguished in the
various walks of life. While at Union College he
took an extra course of civil engineering and sur-
veying under Professor Gillespie, author of " Roads
and Railroads," and other standard works in that
profession ; and upon graduating, in addition to his
certificate, he gave him a letter of introduction and
recommendation to W. J. McAlpine, engineer and
surveyor of the State of New York, who immedi-
ately offered him a situation in the state engineer's
department, which was accepted. He spent nearly
a year in that service at Albany and along the lin^
of the Erie canal. Being ambitious, and inheriting
from his father a love for politics, he resigned his
situation and began the study of law in the office
of U. G. Paris, Esq., in his native town, and shortly
afterward entered the Ballston Law School, then
under the charge of the learned Professor Fowler,
where he remained several months, till its removal
to Poughkeepsie, New York. He then returned
home, and finished his studies in the office of Hughes
and Northrup. He was examined in the general
term of the supreme court at Salem, New York, by
Judges Cady, Allen, Paige and James, and admitted
to practice at that term, May, 1853. Early in 1854



he decided to locate in the west; and having an
uncle, the Hon. Thomas Rogers, residing at Du-
buque, Iowa, decided to make that state his future
home. He arrived at Davenport in 1854, just after
the Chicago and Rock Island railway was completed.
The district court being in session, by motion of
Hon. Jno. P. Cook he was admitted to practice in
all the courts of the state. He remained at Daven-
port several months, until Mr. Barnard, who resided
in Le Clair in the same county (Scott), was elected
prosecuting attorney, when he removed to Le Clair
and took his business. Here he remained five years,
acting as attorney for the Le Clair Marine Railway
Company, and engaged in a large and lucrative law
business, the proceeds of which he invested in
government lands and land warrants, and laid the
foundation of his present competence.' At the ur-
gent solicitation of his particular friend, Colonel W.
H. Merritt, he removed in 1859 to Cedar Rapids,
remaining there for more than a year engaged in
active practice of his profession. He was married
in Philadelphia on the 22d of December, i860, to
Miss Julia Augusta Waples, the daughter of Peter
Waples, Esq., a wholesale merchant of that city and
one of the oldest settlers of Dubuque, having trans-
acted business there for many years as a merchant,
and built the Waples House, now called the Julien
House, of that city.

Mrs. Rogers is a lady of rare accomplishments, a
good French and German scholar, is a natural mu-
sician, possessing a magnificent voice, and is con-
sidered one of the best and sweetest amateur singers

in the west. They have one child, Charles Hodgon
Rogers, about five years of age. He removed to
Dubuque in February, 1861, engaged in the practice
of his profession, and has made it his residence
since. He was raised in the democratic school of
politics and earnestly advocates its principles, and
during the war made many stirring speeches in fa-
vor of the government and upholding the old flag.
He has been an uncompromising democrat, taking
an active part in all the prominent conventions of
the party since his residence in the state.

In 1873 he was nominated and triumphantly
elected by the democracy of Dubuque as member
of the legislature, though nearly all of the entire
democratic ticket was defeated. He was one of the
prominent leaders of his party in the fifteenth gen-
eral assembly, and during the two weeks' balloting
for speaker (the vote standing fifty for Gear and
fifty for Dixon), he was appointed by his party chair-
man of the committee of conference, where he
rendered valuable aid which resulted in organizing
the house after one hundred and forty-three bal-
lots. Personally, he has rare qualities, and by his
upright course of life, his manly deportment and in-
dependence of chara<;ter, has made for himself an
honorable reputation. He is not only considered
a fine advocate, but is one of the most eloquent
political orators in the northwest. He is a genial
gentleman, quick of observation, and prompt in his
business as he is generous in his social relations,
thoroughly meriting the esteem in which he is held
by his fellow-citizens.



LIBERTY E. FELLOWS, one of the leading
w lawyers of Allamakee county, Iowa, was born
at Corinth, Orange county, Vermont, on the iiA of
August, 1834. His parents, Hubbard and Mary Ann
(Eaton) Fellows, were industrious farming people.
His father was a prominent man in Corinth, repre-
senting the town two or three times in the legisla-
ture. Liberty lived at home until he was twenty-two
years of age. In 1856 he turned his steps west-
ward, going to Wisconsin, and teaching a school
near Monroe, Green county. In the autumn of
the next year he crossed the Mississippi and lo-
cated at Waukon, then the seat of justice of Alla-

makee county, teaching school the following winter.
From 1858 to 186 1 he was an assistant clerk in two
county -offices, and removed to Lansing during the
latter year. Here he read law, and was, on the
26th of May, 1862, admitted to the bar of Alla-
makee county, judge E. H. Williams presiding.
He has practiced in Lansing fifteen years, and has
been quite successful. He loves his profession,
and started out with the determination to make
it his life-long employment.

Twice he has yielded to the partiality and urgent
request of political friends, and consented to be a
candidate for office. In the autumn of 1865 he



was chosen to represent his county in the lower
house of the general assembly, and two years later
was sent to the upper house, serving, in all, six
years. In the house he was quite active on the
school committee, and during all the time he was
in the legislative body took great interest in the
state educational and benevolent institutions, heart-
ily supporting all measures tending to increase their
efficiency. In the senate Mr. Fellows was on sev-
eral committees, some of them the most important,
including the judiciary committee. His talents and
services were fully appreciated by his constituents,
and they would, no doubt, be glad to use them
still more ; but, though a democrat, and living in
a county usually democratic, and never failing of
an election when a candidate, he prefers the quiet
of private life. He is a good speaker and a suc-
cessful canvasser, and sometimes goes into the po-
litical field, but it is not a kind of warfare most
congenial to his tastes.

He is one of the trustees of the Hospital for
the Insane, at Mount Pleasant.

Mr. Fellows is a member of the Masonic frater-

He belongs to the Methodist church, and is an
office bearer in the same.

On the 4th of July, i86i, Mr. Fellows was joined
in wedlock with Miss Mary S. Reed, of Waukon.
She has six children and has lost two.

In educational and other local interests the heart
of Mr. Fellows is warmly enlisted, and he is en-
titled to a large share of credit for the building
up of the river city of Allamakee county.

Mr. Fellows appHes himself closely to his books,
prepares his cases with great care, and his candor
and sincerity 'give his arguments their full weight.
He excels, however, as a court lawyer.

A former member of the Allamakee county bar

thus writes in regard to Mr. Fellows :

He must be classed among the best lawyers in this
district. He is well read in his profession .and is ready
and skillful in the application of knowledge to the vary-
ing questions that are constantly arising in practice. He
thinks clearly and logically, and speak s forcibly and some-
times eloquently. His unquestioned integrity adds to the
weight of his words before court and jury.



HENRY LEWIS HUFF is a native of Penn-
sylvania, and was born in Cumberland coun-
ty on the 29th of January, 1829. His parents were
John and Priscilla Davis Huff. His father died
when Henry was in his infancy. His mother moved
to Wayne county, Ohio, and married John Mercer.
In his youth Henry worked on a farm, and a short
time in a tailor's shop, attending a district school
part of the time each year. At an early age he had
a desire to be a lawyer, and at sixteen, while spend-
ing three terms at the Edinburgh Academy, near
where he lived, he also devoted some time to the
study of legal lore. Three or four years later, hav-
ing read diligently all this time at home, he went to
Muncie, Indiana, and studied with Judge March,
and was admitted to the bar in that place in August,


Mr. Huff renaoved to Iowa in December, 1853,

and the following spring opened an office at Ma-
rengo, Iowa county, in partnership with Hon. J. D.
Templin, of Iowa City. At the end of one year.
May 20, 185s, he went to Eldora, where he now
resides. For the first few years, as a partner in the

firm of Ankeny, Huff and Co., in the business of
real estate and law, he represented the legal branch.
In i860 and 1861 he was in partnership with Hon.
J. D. Thompson, the firm being Huff and Thomp-
son. From 1863 to 1869 Mr. Huif was alone, and
since the latter date he has been of the firm of Huff
and Reed. Except during the short period during
which he was in the service of the state, he has de-
voted his entire time to his profession. He has
been and still is a close student; is one of the best
read lawyers in Hardin county, and among the lead-
ing jurists of the eleventh judicial district.

Some years ago, when Iowa had a prosecuting
attorney in every county, he served three years in
that capacity (1857, 1858 and 1859), part of the time
being ex-officio county judge.

Mr. Huff was a member of the lower house of
the general assembly during the thirteenth session
(1869-1870); was on five or six committees, and
chairman of two or three. He drew all the bills
presented by the committee on commerce; was a
leading member, though not chairman, of the judi-
ciary committee, and was known as one of the dill-



gent men of thait body. He is a fluent speaker, but
his work more than his eloquence left its impress
on that assembly.

Mr. Huff is a Master Mason, and belongs to El-
dora Chapter. He was a democrat until the opening
of the rebellion, and has since been a republican.

On the nth of May, 1861, he married Miss Eliza-
beth B. Devin, of Abingdon, Illinois, and she has
had six children, five now living.

Mr. Huff was one of the prime movers in the en-

terprise which brought a railroad from Ackley to
Eldora, and was the president of the Eldora and
Steamboat Rock Coal Company, which originated
the railroad enterprise. In its incipiency and during
its progress he gave much time and his great ener-
gies to the work. He is a stockholder and director
in the Iowa Terra Cotta and Fire Clay Company,
recently organized and operating at Eldora. Every
public enterprise has had hi^ support, and he is to-
day one of the most influential citizens of Eldora.



BIOGRAPHICAL history teaches us that a
great many men have lived to whom obstacles
seemed to be a help rather than a hindrance. The
greater the barriers, the stronger their resolution,
and the more earnestly they struggled on to success.
Just such men live now, and the lesson of their
lives cannot be put too early or too prominently
before the world. Unforeseen emergencies have
developed their character, tested their pluck, in-
ventive resources and endurance. We rejoice that
many such men gface the annals of every state.
The subject of this sketch is a conspicuous example
of this class. Aided by God alone, he has built for
himself, — built broadly and nobly.

Cyrus A. Farwell is the son of a Vermont farmer,
George Farwell, and was born in Dorset, Benning-
ton county, on the 7 th of September, 1832. His
mother's maiden name was Louise C. Baldwin. His
parents immigrated to Wyoming county. New York,
when he was about five years old, and there he
remained until he was eighteen, aiding his father
and attending school in the home district, and two
terms at the Warsaw Academy.

In 1850 the whole family removed to Westfield,
Chautauqua county. New York, where Cyrus spent
two years in the employ of F. Waters and Co.,
earning his living and saving enough money to take
him to California via the isthmus. He sailed from
New York in November, 1852, and reached San
Francisco on the 17th of the next month. On the
way out, and in California, we have a test of his
energy and pluck. Not being " flush," he crossed
the isthmus on foot. He could not find work in
San Francisco, and, determined not to be idle, he
started for Sacramento, losing his baggage while on

the steamer. Next we find him in Sacramento city
with eight dollars in money and no change of cloth-
ing. Under these discouraging circumstances, he
was glad to get work of any respectable kind. The
first opening he found was that of waiter in a res-
taurant, and he did not hesitate a moment to fill it.
A few days later he is found working for a forward-
ing house, driving a four-horse team from Sacra-
mento city to the mountains, at one hundred and
twenty-five dollars a month and board. Five
months later he was driving a team of his own, and
clearing over one hundred dollars per week. At
the end of eight months he had funds enough to
enable him to .become a live-stock dealer." Success
attended him in this business, but his health failed
in a few months, and he resolved to return to his
eastern home, leaving quite an investment in real
estate on the American river, which he still holds.
He reached Westfield in August, 1854.

In March, 1856, Mr. Farwell went to Iowa. After
spending a few weeks in exploring different parts of
the state, he returned to the valley of the Cedar
river, making Waterloo his permanent home. In
the spring of 1857 he purchased two yoke of oxen
and a plow, and tried the experiment of breaking
prairie land, at which he succeeded admirably.

The next spring he went to Mitchell county, near
the Minnesota line, and made a preemption claim,
going with three yoke of oxen. It was in the month
of March ; the river was high, and there was not a
bridge of any kind on the upper Cedar, Three
times he had to swim his oxen across this swollen
and angry stream. Each time he fastened the
.wagon-body to the running gear that it might not
float away, and astride of the near ox of the rear



yoke, that he might reach and guide the leaders
with his long whip, he went safely, triumphantly
over. Securing the title to his claim, he returned
to Waterloo, and engaged in buying and selling
cattle, following that occupation until i86i. He
then, in partnership with Mr. E. Johnson, put up
the first elevator erected in Waterloo. In Decem-
ber of the same year he purchased Mr. Johnson's
interest in the firm, ajid at one' time owned and
operated five elevators, besides carrying on an ex-
tensive lumber trade.

In 1867 Mr. Farwell opened a private banking
house, and three years later, in connection with Ed-
mund Miller and others, organized the National
Savings Bank, he being the first cashier, and still
holding that position. In February, 1874, he was
elected to the same office of the First National
Bank of Waterloo, he being one of its original stock-
holders. He owns a large amount of property of

various kinds in Waterloo, and is a public-spirited,
generous man, foremost in all enterprises tending to
benefit the people or build up the town.

On the 20th of October, i860, he was married to
Miss Mary P. Evans, daughter of James Evans, of
New Orleans, Louisiana, a woman of highly-polished
manners and great refinement.

Such, in brief, is the history of Cyrus A. Farwell,
a man who has pushed on to independence with
a steady, unfaltering tread in a strictly honorable
course. Always ready for work, he never shrank
from employment which, while not degrading to his
manhood, would prove profitable. When he was
driving a team in the mountains of California, or
breaking prairie in Iowa, he was laying the founda-
tion of his fortune Just as much as Holcroft, the
dramatic author, was laying the foundation of his
fame while casting up sums on the paling of the
stable-yard at Newmarket.



NORMAN BOARDMAN is the son of a Ver-
mont farmer, Ozias Boardman, and of Lydia
Whitney, and was born at Morristown, Lamoille
county, on the 30th of April, 1813. His father was
from Coniiecticut, his mother from Massachusetts,
and he was of genuine Puritan stock. He worked
at farming, attending school and teaching until
twenty-five years of age, finishing his education at
the Johnson Academy, Professor Perry Haskall,

Mr. Boardman read law with Harlow P. Smith, of
Hyde Park, Vermont, now a resident of Chicago;
attended Judge Turner's lectures at St. Albans, and
was admitted to the bar at that place in September,
1839. He commenced practice immediately at Troy,
Vermont ; remained there fourteen years, and dur-
ing that time was deputy-collector of customs and
state's attorney, being elected to the latter office in
1850, and holding it two years.

In 1853 Mr. Boardman moved to Potsdam, New
York, and practiced one year with Judge William
A. Wallace; and in 1855 settled in Lyons, Iowa,
having previously visited the state, purchased land
and selected a home. Real estate for twenty-two
years has been his leading business, though he oper-
ated in the mercantile trade five years at Anamosa,

Jones county ; and the historian of Iowa gives him
credit for aiding to lay out the thriving town of
Osage, Mitchell cqunty. For years he had business
in several counties in northern and western Iowa,
where he has been an extensive dealer in lands. At
times he has had an interest in different kinds of
manufactories. He is public-spirited, and lends a
willing hand to enterprises calculated to advance
the general interests of his adopted home.

Mr. Boardman was a member of the state senate
from 1862 to 1866; was chairman of the committee
on schools and school lands, and was very active in
securing improvement in the law for the collecting
of taxes. At that period there were several hundred
thousand dollars of state taxes uncollected, and it
was proposed in the emergency to use the school
fund for general purposes. This plan he strongly
opposed, and carried his point. Soon after amend-
ing the laws, as he suggested, the state was in a good
financial condition.

In May, 1869, Mr. Boardman was appointed United
States collector for the second district of Iowa; held
the office six years and then resigned, leaving an
unblotted record. He has held a few minor offices
in the municipality of Lyons, and has always dis-
charged his duties with promptness and fidelity.



He was a democrat until the Nebraska bill had
passed in congress, when he became ashamed ofhis
party and abandoned it. He has been one of the
leaders of the republican party in Clinton county
since the civil outbreak in 1861. In religious senti-
ment he is a Universalist.

Mr. Boardman has been three times married.
The first wife was Miss Lydia Ann George, of
Orange county, Vermont ; she died in 1844, about
three years after their marriage, leaving no chil-
dren. His second wife was Miss Lois B. Knight, of
St. Lawrence county, New York, chosen in 1846;
she died in February, 1857, leaving three boys,
all now enterprising young men, and in business

for themselves. Homer C. and Willie K, are mer-
chants in Lyons, and Charles D. graduated from the
Chicago Medical College in March, 1877; is prac-
ticing at Monticello, Iowa. Mr. Boardman 's th.ird
wife was Miss Sarah M Knight, of Jaffrey, New
Hampshire, and they were married in February,
1858; she is a model step-mother, and in every
respect an excellent woman.

Though not partial to secret societies, Mr. Board-
man aided in organizing at Lyons the first Union
League in the state, and he assisted in forming many
other leagues in eastern Iowa. He is intensely
patriotic, and gave much of his time, during the
civil war, to promoting the cause of the Union.



IN the records of the world's history there are
eras which produce remarkable men ; some-
times great poets, at others great warriors. Then,
again, we have great writers, great preachers, great
statesmen or great inventors, or they may be great
in some other way that makes them remarkable.
In his time and in his community none are more
remarkable than Jacob Mull Eldridge, president of
the Iowa Board' of Real-Estate Agents, and one of
the largest real-estate dealers in the west. He was
born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, on the 20th. of
November, 1824, and is the son of Duncan C. and
Rachel Eldridge, both natives of New Jersey. His
father was one of the pioneer settlers of Davenport,
locating there in 1836. He was postmaster for six-
teen years, and built the third frame and second
brick house in the state.

The subject of our sketch received his education
at the common school, working during the summer
and attending school two or three months in the
year. In his early youth, owing to the death of his
mother, he was placed in charge ofhis grandparents,
his father emigrating west. When he was thirteen
years old, at the death of his grandfather, he con-
cluded to "branch out" for himself, and went to
work for six dollars per month, driving team and at
times attending school. At seventeen he purchased
a team and went into business for himself, and at
nineteen sold out and commenced as clerk in a
store in Camden, New Jersey. In one year he pur-
chased the stock and conducted the business. This

he carried on about a year, and disposing of it
started for the great west. He stopped in Cincin-
nati a short time, as also in Indianapolis. While at
the latter place he was in the capitol when the bill
passed granting a charter to build a railroad from
Indianapolis to Madison, on the Ohio river, which
was the first railroad built in Indiana. Taking the
stage again, he was told it would be impossible to
travel, as the snow on 'the great prairies prevented.
Pressing on, he arrived at Rock Island on the 23d
of December, 1845, crossing to Davenport the next
day, being two months on his journey from Phila-

Pleased with the country, he concluded to make
Davenport his home, and entered a farm within
three miles of Davenport, most of which he still
owns. Returning east the next year, he settled his
business, and returning to Davenport made it his
residence since. From first to last Mr. Eldridge
has been eminently successful in his business, rely-
ing solely on himself, and by his unaided energy
and perseverance has placed himself at the head of
real-estate dealers in the west. Within the last year
he has sold over one hundred thousand acres of
land in Iowa and Nebraska. He is a builder of
towns and cities, as well as a dealer in broad acres.
He laid out the town of Eldridge, ten miles from
Davenport, and on the Davenport and St. Paul rail-
road, which bids fair to become one of the finest
towns in Scott county. He was elected president of
the Iowa Board of Real-Estate Agents in 187 1 ; is



a stockholder in the Davenport and St. Paul railway,
and a director in the Davenport Central Street Rail-
way Company.

Mr. Eldridge was raised in the republican school
of politics, but is liberal in his views, and votes for
the best man in his judgment, irrespective of party.
He is an ardent advocate of temperance.

He was married on the 23d of June, 185 1, to Miss
Mary Williams, of Davenport.

He is a member of the Christian church, having
joined in 1845.

He is a prominent member of the Sons of Tem-

perance, and the only delegate from Iowa to the
national division of the Sons of Temperance at
Philadelphia, June, 1876.

Mr. Eldridge is emphatically a self-made man;
commencing life without a penny, he has, by his

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 19 of 125)