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the strife, near General McPherson when that gal-
lant and heroic commander fell mortally wounded.
The war developed the manly traits of Lieutenant
Stone's character, and fitted him in part for eminent
usefulness in the less exciting sphere of civil life.

In October, 1865, after studying law, he was ad-
mitted to the practice of that profession, making
Glenwood his home. He rose rapidly at the bar,
soon taking a leading rank, which he still holds.
After his admission he attracted the notice of the
people, who were quick to discover his adaptation
for legislative work, and in the autumn of 1867, at
the age of twenty-four, he was elected to the lower
house of the general assembly. He labored so
faithfully for the interests of his constituents, and
made in all respects so creditable a record, that at
the end of his term he was returned to the same
branch of the legislature. At the end of his second
term he was elected to the upper house, and when
this term of four years was ended his constituents
sent him a third time to the lower house. In that
session, the sixteenth of the general assembly, he
was made a candidate for speaker, and was beaten
by Hon. John H. Gear, now governor of the state.
During that session he was chairman of the judici-
ary committee, and the unquestioned leader of the
house. In 1877 the constituents of Mr. Stone
elected him a fifth time to the legislature; and when
his term shall have expired, on the 31st of Decem-
ber, 1879, it will make twelve consecutive years that
he has been a member. Long before the seven-
teenth general assembly now in session had met, it
was evident that the leader of the house in the six-
teenth, and the powerful competitor of Governor



Gear for the speaker's chair, would reach it this
time without opposition ; and when the legislators
convened, and the republican caucus was held, Mr.
Stone was nominated by acclamation, and when the
final voting came, only two or three members of
any party in the house failed to vote for him, a de-
gree of unanimity in electing a speaker rarely wit-
nessed in any legislative body. The wisdom of this
choice is seen in the promptness, accuracy and facil-
ity with which speaker Stone discharges his duties.

He has been actively and notably connected with
the discussion of almost all the important questions
in the legislature for the last ten years, and has ta-
ken a prominent and influential part in moulding
the legislation of the state during that time. In
1872, while in the senate, he was chairman of the
committee on congressional districts, and drafted
the present law dividing the state into such districts.

He has always been a consistent, unwavering re-
publican, and in 1876 was a delegate-at-large to the
national republican convention which met in Cin-
cinnati and nominated Rutherford B. Hayes. He
was selected by that convention as the Iowa member
of the national republican committee, which position
he now holds.

The wife of speaker Stone was Miss Harriet Sol-
omon, of Glenwood, Iowa; married on the 8th of
January, 1868. They have one child, Clarence. In
the latter part of August, 1876, Mr. Stone and his
little boy Clarence, then five years old, were violent-
ly thrown from a carriage in the streets of Glen-
wood. Unable to save both, the father, with a
promptness inspired by affection, disregarding his
own safety, held the child up with both hands, and
received the whole shock himself In thus attempt-

ing to- save the life of his child, at the risk of his
own, his left limb was broken just below the knee;
but he had the great happiness of seeing his darling
escape unhurt. This was done at the opening of
the political campaign of that year; and so neces-
sary was it deemed that Mr. Stone should be on the
stump, that long before the splints were taken off,
and contrary to the orders of his surgeon, he was
seen in different parts of his district making speeches
sitting on the side of a table or bench ; and here it
may be added that he is one of the most effective
canvassers in the state. His last contest for elec-
tion was one of the most exciting and hard fought
ever made in a county canvass. It attracted atten-
tion throughout the state. Concerning this notable
engagement, a political writer of the time remarked :

His lasl triumph, in a series of victories, that of succeed-
ing over a most unholy combination of elements in his own
county to defeat his reelection to the house, was notable
and brilliant. He had to meet the meanest, and the most
determined, and the best organized fight ever made against
a candidate in a county contest in this state. With the
mettle and the genius of leadership, he met the combined
opposition and routed them completely.

Speaker Stone has bluish-gray eyes, brown hair, a
florid complexion, a nervous-bilious yet rather even
temperament; is five feet and nine inches tall, and
weighs one hundred and seventy-five pounds. His
build is very solid, and his general appearance that
of health in the efflorescence of early summer-time.

Socially, his qualities are of the finest order. He
has great magnetism, and was made for a leader;
he has intellectual powers of a high order, with re-
served forces yet to be developed, and ambition
enough to draw them out whenever occasion calls
for it. The favorite of his party, with prudence on
his part he may yet have higher steps to take.



TOSHUA G. NEWBOLD, at the time of writing
J (October, 1877,) in the executive chair of the
state, is a native of Pennsylvania, and his ancestors
in this country were among the very early settlers in
New Jersey. They were Quakers, and consequently
none of them figured in the struggle for the inde-
pendence of the colonies. Governor Newbold is the
son of Barzilla and Catherine Houseman Newbold ;
was born in Fayette county, on the 12th of May,
1830, and reared as a farmer. When he was eight



years of age the family moved to Westmoreland coun-
ty, where he was educated in the common school,
and also in a select school or academy, the latter
taught by Dr. John Lewis, now of Grinnell, Iowa.
At sixteen he returned with the family to Fayette
county, where he remained eight years, assisting his
father in running a flouring mill, when not teaching.
When about nineteen he commenced the study of
medicine, reading a year or more while teaching, and
then abandoning the notion of being a physician.


In the month of March, 1854, Mr. Newbold re-
moved to Iowa, locating on a farm, now partly in
the corporation of Mount Pleasant, Henry county.
At the end of one year he removed to Cedar town-
ship. Van Buren county, there merchandising and
farming till about i860, when he removed to Hills-
boro, Henry county, and pursued the same callings.

In 1862, when the call was made for six hundred
thousand men to finish the work of crushing the re-
bellion, Mr. Newbold left his farm in the hands of
his family, and his store in the charge of his partner,
and went into the army as captain of company C,
25th regiment, Iowa Infantry. He served nearly
three years, resigning just before the war closed, on
account of disability. During the last two or three
months at the south he served as judge advocate,
with headquarters at Woodville, Alabama.

On returning to Iowa he continued in the mer-
cantile trade at Hillsboro for three or four years,
and then sold out, giving thereafter his whole atten-
tion to agriculture, stock raising and stock dealing,
making the stock department an important factor in
his business for several years.

Mr. Newbold was a member of the thirteenth, four-
teenth and fifteenth general assemblies, from Henry
county, and was chairman of the school committee in

the fourteenth, and of the committee on appropria-
tions in the fifteenth general assembly. In the fif-
teenth he was temporary speaker (1874) during the
dead-lock in organizing the house. In 1875 he was
elected lieutenant-governor, serving as president of
the senate in the session of 1876. Governor Kirk-
wood being elected United States senator during
that session, Mr. Newbold became governor, taking
the chair on the istof February, 1877. He will va-
cate it in January, 1878, Hon. John H. Gear having
been elected. The home of Governor Newbold is
at Mount Pleasant.

He has always affiliated with the republican party,
and holds to its great cardinal doctrines having once
embraced them, with the same sincerity and honesty
that he cherishes his religious sentiments. He has
been a member of the christian church for something
like twenty-five years, his connection be'ing with the
Free Baptists.

Governor Newbold found his wife, Miss Rachel
Farquhar, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, their
union taking place on the 2d of May, 1850. They
have had five children, and lost two. Mary Allene,
the eldest daughter living, is the wife of Benjamin
F. Isaman, of Aurora, Hamilton county, Nebraska.
Emma Irene and George G. are single.



JOHN H. GEAR was born in Ithaca, New York,
J on the 7th of April, 1825. His father was Rev.
E. G. Gear, a clergyman of the Protestant Episco-
pal church, who was born in New London, Connec-
ticut, in 1792. At early age his family removed to
Pittsfield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts; ini8i6,
after being ordained, he immigrated to New York
and settled at Onondaga Hill, near what is known
now as the thriving city of Syracuse. Soon after
his locating there he was married to Miss Miranda
E. Cook, and was engaged in the ministry in various
places in western New York until 1836, when he re-
moved to Galena, Illinois, where he remained un-
til 1838, when he was appointed chaplain in the
United States army at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and
died in 1874, at the age of eighty-two years.

John H., his only son, in 1843 came to Burling-
ton, where he has since continued to reside. On
his arrival he commenced his mercantile career

by engaging as clerk with the firm of Bridgeman
and Bros. After being with this firm for a little
over a year he entered the employment of W. F.
Coolbaugh, (late president of the Union National
Bank, of Chicago,) who was even at that early date
the leading merchant of eastern Iowa; he was clerk
for Mr. Coolbaugh for about five years, when he was
taken into partnership. The firm (W. F. Coolbaugh
and Co.) continued in business for nearly five years,
at which time he succeeded to the business by pur-
chase and has ever since carried it on, being now
the oldest wholesale grocer in the state.

Mr. Gear has been honored by his fellow-citizens
with many positions of trust. In 1852 he was elected
alderman; in 1863 was elected mayor over A. W.
Carpenter, being the first republican up to that time
who had been elected in Burlington on a party issue.
In 1867 the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minne-
sota Railroad Company was organized, and he was



chosen as its president. His efforts highly contrib-
uted to the success of the enterprise, which has done
much for the city. He was also active in promoting
the Burlington and Southwestern railway as well
as the Burlington and Northwestern narrow-gauge
road. He has taken great interest in this new system
of railroads, and has written a pamphlet entitled
" Five Reasons why the people of Iowa should en-
courage the Building of Narrow-gauge Railroads."
It was ably written and had a large circulation in
the west, and has done much toward stimulating the
building of this new system.

He has always acted with the republican party,
and in 187 1 was nominated and elected a member
of the house of representatives of the fourteenth
general assembly. In 1873 he was elected to the
fifteenth assembly. The republican caucus of the
house nominated him for speaker by acclamation,
and after a contest of two weeks he was chosen over
his opponent, J. W. D'ixon. He filled the position
of speaker very acceptably, and at the close of the
session all the members of the house (independent
of party) joined in signing their names to a resolu-
tion of thanks, which was engraved and presented
to him. In 1875 he was the third time nominated to

the assembly by the republican party, and while his
county gave a large democratic vote he was again
elected and again nominated by the republican cau-
cus for speaker, and elected by a handsome majority
over his competitor, Hon. John Y. Stone. He is the
only man in the state who ever had the honor of
being chosen to this high position the second time.
He enjoys the reputation of being an able parliamen-
tarian, his rulings never having been appealed from.
At the close of the session he again received the
unanimous thanks of the house for his courtesy and
impartiality. He has been at all times a diligent
and worthy representative, and has secured a high
reputation for his fidelity to his constituents, for his
liberality, for his unchanging firmness in the advo-
cacy of his principles, and for the undiscriminating
courtesy he extends to all who approach him. He
was elected governor in October, 1877, and now oc-
cupies the executive chair of the state.

He was married in 1852 to Harriett 8. Foot, for-
merly of Middlebury, Vermont, by whom he has had
four children, two of whom are living.

Mr. Gear is now in the fifty-second year of his
age, and is in the full vigor of both his n-'ental and
physical faculties.



CHESTER CICERO COLE, late chief justice
of the supreme court of Iowa, and a man with
few peers in the legal profession in the state, sprang
from a very early New England family. Its progeni-
tor in this country was one of the little company of
men who accompanied Roger Williams when he was
banished from the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and
founded a colony at Providence, Rhode Island.
From that point the family has spread over most
of the states in the Union.

Chester C. was the son of Samuel Cole, a farmer,
and Alice (Pullman) Cole, and was born in Oxford,
Chenango county, New York, on the 4th of June,
1824. He fitted for college at the Oxford Academy,
and at eighteen was prepared to enter the junior
class of Union College; but protracted ill health
prevented, and at twenty-two he entered the law
school of Harvard University, where he received a
thorough training under the best legal instructors in
the country, and graduated in about two years.

Mr. Cole went immediately to Frankfort, Ken-
tucky, and took charge for a short time of the legis-
lative department of the " Commonwealth," a daily
paper of that place; he then located at Marion, Crit-
tenden county, Kentucky, where he was admitted to
the bai", and commenced what has proved to be a
very brilliant career in the legal profession. It was
brilliant from the start. Success marked his first
case at the bar and gave him such a notoriety that
at the ensuing term of the circuit court he was en-
gaged in more than thirty cases, and at the following
term of the court he was retained in every case.

Mr. Cole remained in Marion nine years, and the
success which attended him was almost marvelous.
We have it from perfectly reliable authority that
during these years he was engaged in every impor-
tant contested trial ; that in criminal practice he
cleared every client whom he defended, and that he
prosecuted but two men, one of whom was hung for
murder, and the other sent to the penitentiary for

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passing counterfeit money. His uniform success was
all the more remarkable from the fact that he had to
contend at the bar with the ablest lawyers in Ken-
tucky ; in those days among them were L. W. Pow-
ell, Archibald Dixon, Samuel A. Kingman, Robert A.
Patterson, George W. Barber and H. C. Burnett, all
of whom have since held high positions in the states
or the federal congress. During the same period his
practice extended into other states, where he had
the best and ablest legal talent to contend against.

In May, 1857, Mr. Cole settled in Des Moines,
which has since been his home, and where his suc-
cess as an attorney has been second to that of none
at the capital of the state or probably in Iowa.

In 1859 he was the democratic candidate for Judge
of the supreme court, and was defeated. In i860 he
ran for congress on the same ticket against General
Curtiss, making a brilliant canvass, but the district
was republican and he was again defeated.

When, in the spring of 1861, the American flag
was stricken down at Fort Sumter, he was among
the first to protest against the infamous deed, and
to raise his voice for the marshaling of Union troops.
With an eloquence rarely surpassed he appealed to
his democratic brethren at sundry times to support
the federal government in its efforts to crush the re-
bellion, but failing to secure their cooperation as a
party organization, in his disgust and mortification
he shook the democratic dust off his feet, and in
1862 came out boldly for the great Union party.
Since that date his affiliations have been uniformly
with the republicans. At one time in 1863, a most
critical period in our history, he dropped his press-
ing legal business, and almost incessantly for thirty
days and thirty nights delivered able speeches to
rouse the people for home defense, raids from the
Missouri border being threatened. His frantic ap-
peals were attended with striking success.

In February, 1864, Mr. Cole was appointed one of
the judges of the supreme court; the next autumn
he was elected to the same office by the unprec-
edented majority of forty thousand votes, and re-
elected in 1870 by an equally flattering vote. He
was one of the foremost men in organizing the sol-
diers' Orphans' Home ; was made a trustee of the
same, and subsequently its president. In 1865 he
was associated with Judge G. G. Wright in organiz-
ing a law school at Des Moines, since made a part
of the State University at Iowa city.

In 1869 Judge Cole became chief justice, and
served in that capacity until the expiration of that

term. He was reelected chief justice, but resigned
the office on the ist of January, 1876, and returned
to the practice of his profession.

For an account of his career on the bench, and
his qualifications as a jurist, we cannot do better
than copy a paragraph or two from a sketch of him
which we find in " Andrews' Historical Atlas," pub-
lished two years ago. It was written by a gentle-
man who had the most favorable opportunities for
judging of his character.

Associated during his judicial experience with the ablest
minds which the state has produced — with Wright and
Dillon and Lowe; with Beck and Miller and Day; called
to the consideration of legal questions, a large part of which
were without precedent in the reports of the state, partic-
ularly those relating to the taxing power, and to the rela-
tion of corporations to the whole body corporate, Judge
Cole has been the peer of the ablest of his judicial associ-
ates. With respect to the subjects to which we have ad-
verted, and which, during this period, have been matters of
absorbing public interest, the decisions of the court have
been plainly and indelibly impressed with the stamp of his
conviction. The positions which he assumed in the early
history of this time, particularly with reference to corporate
rights, have come to be the settled faith of the public mind.

His judicial work has been distinguished for a display of
the highest qualities which are demanded by the bench.
Of remarkable quickness and correctness of apprehension,
he always deals directly with the point at issue; of great
discrimination in the selection of analogies, he illustrates
his opinions with few but apt citations of authorities; for-
tunate in his early legal training, and still more fortunate
in the possession of an untiring industry, which has never
given him respite from study, he has infused into his de-
cisions, and thus into the local monuments of the state, the
spirit with which he has been imbued from a life-long in-
tercourse with the highest sources of the law. To these
qualities he has brought a singleness of intellectual purpose,
which has always kept him from discursive argument and
reasoning, and a courage of conviction by which he has an-
nounced the law boldly and fearlessly, regardless of per-
sonal consequences or present approval.

As a judicial writer, he has eloquence, clearness and
force. Some of his opinions, while always reaching to the
very point in issue, have the characteristics of scholarly es-
says upon legal topics. At the same time, while his ele-
gance of diction and readiness of expression might expose
him to the danger of intellectual display, his opinions al-
ways bear the evident purpose of casting upon the mind of
the reader the same light which is shining in his own. This
paramount and single object is always in view, to illustrate
clearly and logically his own earnest and honest convictions.

To one other characteristic, his reputation stands not a
little indebted ; while always a lawyer and jurist, his inspira-
tion has not been drawn alone from the study of authorities,
or guided by the formula of the books, df large sympa-
thies and a thorough practical knowledge, he has never lost
sight of the human and ethical side of the law in his devo-
tion to the maxims of the past. With him a decision must
always, indeed, have been grounded in the law; but that
could not be law which did violence to equity, or resulted in
inconvenience or wrong to great masses of the community.

Judge Cole has been for several years the editor
of the " Western Jurist," a periodical published at
Des Moines, and conducted with marked ability.
He is also the editor of the new edition of the " Iowa
Law Reports," which he has liberally annotated, and



which exhibit his great legal acumen and exhaustive

The wife of Judge Cole was Miss Amanda M.
Bennett, an associate of his youth. They were mar-
ried on the 24th of June, 1848, and have had seven

children, four sons and three daughters, five of December, 1874

whom are still living, two sons dying in childhood.
His eldest son, William W., graduated at the law
department of the Iowa State University, and is
now engaged in his profession in Des Moines. His
eldest daughter was married to A. C. Atherton, in



A MONG the men in the west who have been called
1\. from private life to places of trust on account
of their peculiar fitness for office, is Colonel Samuel
Merrill, ex-governor of Iowa. He was born in the
town of Turner, Oxford county, Maine, on the 7th
of August, 1822. He is of English ancestry, being
a descendant, on his mother's side, of Peter Hill,
who came from the west of England and settled in
Saco, Maine (now known as Biddeford), in 1653.
From this ancestry have sprung the most of the
Hills of America. On his father's side he is a de-
scendant of Nathaniel Merrill, who, with his brother
John, came from Salisbury, England, and settled in
Newburg, Massachusetts, in 1636.

Abel Merrill married Abigail Hill, on the 25th of
June, 1809, in Buxton, Maine. They soon moved
to Turner, where they became the parents of eight
children; Samuel, the subject of this sketch, being
next to the youngest, the fourth and youngest son
in the family, and in the eighth generation from his
pilgrim fathers.

Samuel was married to Catherine Thoms, who
died in 1847, but fourteen months after their mar-
riage. In January, 1851, he was again married, his
second wife being a Miss Hill, of Buxton, Maine. To
this union there has been four children, three of
whom died young, the eldest living only to be two
and a half years old. Little Hattie is now seven
years of age, full of life, and buoyant with the hope
of coming usefulness in the approaching years of

At the age of sixteen he moved with his parents
to Buxton, where his time was mostly engaged in
turns at teaching and in attending school until he
attained his majority. Having determined to make
teaching a profession, he set out for that purpose
toward the sunny south, but, as he says, he was
" born too far north " for his political comfort. Sus-
picion having been raised as to his abolitionist pro-

clivities, and finding the elements not altogether con-
genial, he soon abandoned the land of the palm and

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 2 of 125)