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since i86g has been treasurer of the same. He has
also been connected with the Oakdale Cemetery
Company since its organization, and is now secre-
tary of the same.

He has always been an outspoken friend of tem-
perance, and has heartily encouraged every move-
ment tending to lead men into ways of sobriety.

In religious sentiment he is a Methodist, and
united with that church in 1832. He has been an
active worker in the Sunday-school, and in times of
need has given generously of his time and means to
the support of this cause, which, under the blessing
of God, has resulted in great good.

He has never sought, or ever desired, political
honors, preferring the quiet and peace of his legiti-
mate business to the turmoil and excitement of
political strife; and having found in that oppor-
tunity for the employment of his best powers, he
has always deemed it the highest honor to be recog-
nized as an honest American citizen. •

M;-. Hall's personal and social qualities are of the
highest type ; cordial, sympathetic and generous in
his nature, he has won a place in the hearts of all
who know him, gaining their lasting confidence and
high esteem.



AMONG the noble men whom Iowa furnished in
l\. the late civil war, none fought more bravely
or made for himself a more honorable record than
he, a brief history of whose life we give below.

A native of Brattleboro, Vermont, he was born on
the 14th of February, 1838, the son of Israel Hall
and Rachael ne'e Brown. In 1839 his parents re-
moved to the west and settled at Davenport, Iowa,
and there, among the pioneer settlers of Scott
county, he passed his youth and grew to manhood.

From early life he disclosed a firmness of charac-
ter and resolution of purpose that gained the admira-
tion of all who knew him. Among his schoolmates,

his honesty of motive was well known, and, although
slow of speech, his words of advice, delivered with
coolness and deliberation, even in the excitement of
the play-ground, never failed to command respect
and esteem of his fellow-students.

The circumstances of his early life, and the dis-
cipline received at the hands of his parents, accus-
tomed him to habits of industry and integrity which
marked his conduct and dealings.

At the opening of the war of the rebellion his
patriotism became thoroughly aroused, and with
that coolness and determination which character-
ized all his doings, he determined to enter the



army. Accordingly he enlisted as a private in
company C, of the famous 2d Iowa Infantry.

Upon the organization of the company he became
sergeant, and served with unusual vigor and credit
beyond the full term of his enlistment. In the des-
perate charge of his regiment at Fort Donelson, he
made for himself a most honorable record for his
courage and bravery. In that battle he was very
seriously wounded, and afterward sent home until
he should recover. He was promoted from time to
time for meritorious services, and closed his military
career as first lieutenant and acting ordnance offi-
cer on the staff of General Sweeney, second divi-
sion, left wing, sixteenth army corps.

As a soldier, he was loyal, patient and brave, and
for the noble service which he rendered, well de-
serves a place on Iowa's roll of honor.

Major Thomas G. Morrison, of the 2d Indiana
regiment, writing to a friend, says of him :

I became acquainted with George in January of 1863,
and esteemed him so highly as an officer and a gentleman,
that,' as the months rolled on, I was proud at last to know-
that we were friends. Seeing and knowing him as I did,
at all hours of the day and night in garrison, and in the
march — in summer heat and in the snow and frost of win-
ter — in bivouac and battle, always the same genial, happy
soul. All who knew him loved him for his quiet, unosten-
tatious patriotism, his untiring energy and devotion to
duty, and for his patient unflinching courage in the storm
of ^battle. He was the only son, and his death in the very
prime of a splendid manhood was an irreparable loss to his
family and country."

After the close of his service in the army. Lieu-
tenant Hall returned to his home with health seri-
ously impaired by hardships which he had under-
gone. With a view to recruiting his strength he made
a trip to California, where he partially recovered.
Turning his steps homeward, no doubt with high
hopes of a long life of usefulness, he on the way
received injuries which cut short his days. In
jumping from the ocean steamer, to go on shore, he
fell, from the effects of which an abscess formed in
his right side, proving unexpectedly fatal soon after
his arrival at home. He died on Friday morning,
on the 6th of April, 1866, aged twenty-eight years,
two months and twenty-one days. The funeral ser-
vices on the following Monday were conducted by
the Rev. Mr. Powers, of the Episcopal church, and
the Rev. Mr. Baylies, of the Methodist church.
The pall-bearers, intimate friends of the deceased,
and brother soldiers and representatives of the
"old settlers," were Major Hamill, Captain Doo-
little, Captain Andreas, Lieutenant McNeil, Lieu-
tenant Hartwell, Dr McCosh and L. S. Davis. The
funeral cortege was largely composed of old settlers,
soldiers and friends, who laid the body away in Oak-
dale Cemetery, where, on each returning decoration
day, the huge granite block that bears the soldier's
name and marks his grave is wreathed with a beau-
tiful floral tribute.

IOWA ciTr.

MOSES BLOOM, ex-mayor of Iowa City, was
born in Alsace, France, on the 28th of
March, 1834. His father was a man of wealth, and
until his sixteenth year Moses had all the advan-
tages of an education. He attended the schools of
his native town, and later entered Strasbourg Col-
lege, but did not graduate, owing to the misfortune
of his father, who lost his estate by becoming bonds-
man for friends. In his sixteenth year he came
alone to America, and started making a living un-
aided by any relative, and succeeded in securing a
situation as clerk in a mercantile house in New
York, remaining a year, and removed to Hagers-
town, Maryland. In 1854 he came west, first to
Lafayette, and then to South Bend, Indiana, where
he engaged in the mercantile business until 1858,
when he removed to -and permanently settled at

Iowa City, Iowa. Here he engaged in the cloth-
ing business, and such has been his success that
he now stands at the head of one of the largest
establishments, in his line, in the State of Iowa.
Much of his success is due to his energy, patience
and perseverance, and to his undisputed reputation
as a fair dealer and a liberal dispenser of charities
to the needy, regardless of creed or nationality.

Not only is Mr. Bloom popular as a merchant,
but also as a man and a citizen. In i860 he was
elected alderman, and in 1873 mayor of Iowa City,
and, serving one term, declined a reelection. In
1875 he received the nomination as representative
to the legislature of the state, and, though running
far ahead of his ticket, was defeated by only seven-
teen votes. Without any solicitation on his part
the democratic party of Johnson county renomi-



nated him as their candidate for representative to
the legislature, and he was triumphantly elected by
a very large majority at the election of the 9th of
October, 1877.

He has been connected with nearly all the enter-
prises tending to develop the interests of the city
and the country, and is at present a director of the
Johnson County Savings Bank, one of the solid in-
stitutions of the west, of which Governor S. J.
Kirkwood is president.

He was made a Mason in i860, and was one of
the originators of Teutonia Lodge of the Independ-
ent Order of Odd-Fellows, of which he is a past
grand and past representative in the Grand Lodge.

Though born an Israelite, he is generous in his

religious views toward people of all creeds, as his
liberality toward the many churches of Iowa City
have frequently demonstrated.

In politics, he is a democrat, and an advocate of
reform. During the war of the rebellion, his sym-
path}', purse and voice was for the Union and right.
He is a good speaker, and carries force and convic-
tion in his words, and his party finds in him an able
advocate of their principles.

Mr. Bloom is courteous and genial, and has the
happy faculty of making and keeping friends ; has a
fine commanding appearance and dignified bearing
which gain for him respect everywhere. Such is
the brief history of the struggles of one who has,
unaided, climbed the ladder of success.



ident of the Board of Trade, Davenport, was
born in Tazewell county, Illinois, on the 6th of
November, 1836, and is the son of Harrison and
Martha (Rockhold) Hancock, the former a native of
New Hampshire, and the latter a native of Mary-
land. His father is descended from English ances-
tors who settled in New England some four genera-
tions since, from whence have sprung most of the
families of that name now scattered throughout the
nation, the distinguished Major-General Hancock,
United States army, being a connection. His mother
is descended from Welsh stock who settled in Mary-
land shortly before the revolution, where the name
is now quite frequently met with. His father was a
thrifty farmer and lumberman in his native state,
where by his industry and energy he wrung from the
sterile soil and flinty cliffs a comfortable subsistence,
and was in easy, if not affluent, circumstances. Fol-
lowing the tide of empire, they moved westward in
the fall of 1830, remained the ensuing winter in
Ohio, from whence they removed in the following
summer to Tazewell county, Illinois, where both
parents still reside in the enjoyment of health and
afiSuence. Soon after settling in Illinois his father
commenced farming on a large scale, which he con-
tinued with great success for thirty-five years, when
he retired. They had two sons and three daughters.
The younger son died in early youth, leaving our
subject the only male survivor of the children.

Frederick H. Hancock received the rudiments of
his education in the common schools of his native
county, and afterward took a thorough course at a
private academy in Pekin, Illinois, conducted by a
Rev. Mr. Bailey, studying, besides the usual branches
of higher education, the German language. He
subsequently received a very superior business edu-
cation at a commercial college in the same city, and
was thus fitted for success in the business of life.

From a very early period his leading desire was
to be a merchant, in which even then his fancy por-
trayed the success which has since crowned his
intelligent efforts. It was the wish of his father,
however, that he should continue the pursuit of
husbandry, from which he had already reaped a
bountiful reward, and in deference to the parental
wish he entered extensively upon the business of
farming, which he conducted in its various depart-
ments for six years with very satisfactory results.
His penchant for mercantile enterprise was, however,
unabated, and he regarded his farming operations
as simply a means to an end. Accordingly, as soon
as he had accumulated sufficient capital, he engaged
in the grain and produce business, which he con-
ducted for three years with marked success at An-
nawan, Illinois. He moved, in 1867, to Davenport,
Iowa, where he formed a partnership with Dow
Brothers and S. F. Oilman, Esq., in the grain, mill-
ing and elevator business, which has grown to be
one of the largest and most prosperous concerns in



the west, the firm also owning extensive grain ele-
vators at Annawan, Illinois, Atlantic and Wilton,
Iowa, besides the Star Flouring Mill and a capacious
elevator at Davenport. Mr. Hancock is likewise the
proprietor of many thousands of acres of excellent
farming lands in the states of Illinois, Iowa and
Nebraska, and is justly recognized as one of the
capitalists of the west. His superior business qual-
ifications and sterling integrity were appropriately
recognized by his election to the presidency of the
Davenport Board of Trade in 1875, to which he
was reelected in 1876, being probably the youngest
merchant who was ever honored with a position of
like responsibility and eminence. His characteris-
tics as a business man may be inferred from the
success which has attended his brief but brilliant
career. A sound judgment, united with the most
scrupulous integrity of moral principle, an intuitive
perception of men's motives and character, quick-
ness to adapt himself to unexpected events, and
prompt decisive action when he has made up his
mind, are doubtless the chief qualities that have
contributed to his business success, to which may
be added that push and energy characteristic of so
many successful western men. He, moreover, pos-
sesses a genial and affable temperament, and is one
of the most devoted and unchangeable of friends.

Generous and charitable, he witnesses with pleasure
the success of others, and cheerfully gives a helping
hand to worthy young men beginning in life.

He was brought up under Methodist influence,
but is now a regular attendant on the services of the
Presbyterian church, to the support of which, as
well as to charitable and benevolent objects gener-
ally, he is a generous contributor.

In politics, he is a staunch and earnest republican ;
but has never held any ofiSce, except of a local or
municipal character.

Mr. Hancock is a distinguished Mason, a Knight
Templar of No. 9, St. Simon of Cyrene, and was
during his residence in Illinois four years master of
lodge 352.

He was married on the 5th of December, 1867, to
Miss Mary E., daughter of Rev. Samuel B. Hard-
man, a veteran minister of the Methodist Episcopal
church, a lady of rare personal beauty, and of the
highest mental endowments ; amiable, graceful, ac-
complished and vivacious. She diffuses happiness
and sunshine amidst a large circle of devoted friends
and admirers. She is, moreover, an exemplary
member of the Presbyterian church, and illustrates
her christian principles by a life of consistency and
usefulness. They have one child, Harry Walton,
born on the 12th of May, 1870.



gress for the sixth district of Iowa, was born
in Huron county, Ohio, on the 6th of December,
1831, and is the son of Ezekiel Sampson and Polly
nee Merifield. Ezekiel Sampson was third in de-
scent from Ezekiel Sampson, — supposed to have
been a native of Massachusetts, but of English par-
entage, — who, in 1766, united with Warwick Baptist

Tradition says that said Ezekiel was a lieutenant
in the revolutionary war, and subsequently pastor of a
church in Shohockton, Delaware county, New York.
A paragraph in " Whaley's History" states that the
first wedding in Mount Pleasant, Wayne county,
Pennsylvania, which occurred on the ist of January,
1796, was that of Silas Kellogg and the eldest daugh-
ter of Josiah Mumford. " The ceremony was per-
formed by Ezekiel Sampson, a Baptist minister ;

there was then no resident clergyman or magistrate.
Mr. Sampson came from the Delaware, twenty miles
distant, guided by marked (or ' blazed ') trees. It
was a gay new-year's party, for nearly every man,
woman and child in the town was present, and
all were accommodated in one room," — -from which
it may be inferred that the room was either very
large, or the town very small. Later authentic
records inform us that this same " Elder" Sampson,
" recognized " at Mount Pleasant, Wayne county,
Pennsylvania, on the 29th of October, 1806, the first
Baptist church organized in that county. He came
from " Eighth" town, a point between Owego and
Ithaca, New York, and preached before Chenny
Association. The records touching the time and
place of his death are conflicting ; one account says
that he died in the " Lake country" at an advanced
age, another says that he died in Detroit, Michigan.



Isaac Sampson, son of " Elder" Sampson, as he
was called, was also a soldier in the' revolutionary-
war during the entire struggle, and afterward re-
moved from Delaware county. New York, to Ontario,
near Geneva; thence to Rochester ; thence to Huron
county, Ohio, and thence, about the year 1835, to
Fulton county, Illinois, where he died soon after.
Isaac Sampson was the father of Ezekiel Sampson,
the father of our subject, who was born in the State
of New York in 1793. He was a soldier in the war
of 1812, and was married in Monroe county, New
York, to Polly Merifield, in 1816. He removed
thence to Huron county, Ohio, and from there to
Fulton county, Illinois ; thence to what is now Keo-
kuk county, Iowa, in 1843 — the first year the whites
were permitted to enter upon that portion of the
territory called the " New Purchase." He took and
improved a claim, and subsequently entered a part
of it. This he continued to improve and cultivate
until the time of his death in 1853. He was a very
energetic, hard working man, and acquired considera-
ble property in his younger days, but lost it all in
the hard times of 1836-40, and came to Iowa a very
poor man ; but by hard work at his trade of stone-
mason, and plasterer part of the time, and close at-
tention to his new farm, assisted by his family, he
was enabled to save the money to enter his place, by
the time the land came into market.

He and his wife were once members of the Baptist
church, but while yet in Ohio, and early in life, they
united with the Christian church, and maintained
that connection till the time of their death. He was
an elder and leading member of the organization,
near Springfield, Keokuk county, for many years
before his decease, and was highly respected and
honored by all who knew him.

Although he had received but a limited education,
yet he was extremely fond of reading religious and
historic works, and afterward became possessed of
considerable information.

The mother of our subject was a native of Ver-
mont, and the daughter of Joseph Merifield, who
in early life (from about 1790 till 1806), in addition
to farming in a small way, assisted in the mainte-
nance of his family by hunting and trapping along
what are now the historic banks of Otter creek.
Her leading traits of character were, strong attach-
ment to localities, conscientious regard for religion,
order and deliberation in her movements, and pre-
cision, accuracy and ingenuity in all work where
these qualities were called into requisition. She died

in 1870, aged eighty-two years, in the full assurance
of faith and in hope of a blessed immortality. She
had made her home for several years previous to her
death with our subject, who is the youngest of a
family of eight children, of whom but four survive.

Ezekiel S. Sampson, our subject, attended the
public and subscription schools a portion of the
time between the age of seven and twelve years.
From twelve to nineteen he worked on his father's
farm, attending school but one winter. He was,
however, a diligent student, and extremely fond of
books. He studied arithmetic and grammar at night
and during the intervals of labor, often carrying
Kirkham's grammar to the corn-field, to read while
his jaded horses would rest. His father, being in
limited circumstances, was able to render but little
assistance to his son in the way of procuring an
education, so that he was mainly thrown upon his
own resources.

From 1850 till 1853 he attended the high school
of Professor S. S. Howe, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
In addition to the management of his academy, the
professor published a newspaper, and gave his stu-
dents the privilege of learning to set type, an oppor-
tunity of which young Sampson availed himself
until he became so proficient at the business that
during the last two years of his stay at the academy
he was able, by working Saturdays, and mornings
and evenings, to pay his board and tuition fees. In
the autumn of 1853 he entered the sophomore class
of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, and passed
through the year on very scanty means, working to
help pay his expenses, when the work could be pro-
cured. His father died during this year, which ter-
minated his educational privileges. He had acquired
a fair knowledge of mathematics, Latin, and the
sciences generally, and a considerable understanding
of Greek. He had also developed a taste and apt-
ness for professional studies, and accordingly in the
autumn of 1854 commenced the study of law in the
office of Messrs. Enoch Eastman and S. A. Rice, then
in the practice of law at Oskaloosa. In the year fol-
lowing he was admitted to the bar, and in the spring
of 1856 moved to Sigourney (which has since been
his home) and entered upon the practice of his pro-
fession. In the month of August following he was
elected county prosecuting attorney, and held the
position till January, 1859, carrying on a general
civil practice at the same time. In the autumn of
the last-named year he was nominated by the re-
publicans for representative of Keokuk county in



the general assembly of the state, but was defeated
by a majority of thirty-four votes.

Immediately after the fall of Fort Sumter, in
April 1 86 1, he volunteered with a sufficient number
of others from the county, to form a company, which
was tendered to the governor on the first call for
troops, but on account of the many earlier offers of
others, more convenient of access, the company was
not actually mustered into the service till the isth of
July, i86i,when it became company F, sth Iowa In-
fantry. Our subject served as captain of this com-
pany till September, 1862, when he was promoted to
the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, and
served in that capacity until mustered out in Sep-
tember, 1864. He participated in all the marches,
fatigues, hardships and privations, and shared in the
triumphs and glories achieved by his gallant com-
mand, in the advance on New Madrid, capture of
the rebel force of Island No. 10, and the manoeuvres
iagainst Corinth under General Halleck, in the battle
of luka, the battle of Corinth under General Rose-
crans, trip down the Yazoo Pass, battle of Jackson
(Mississippi), battle of Champion Hills, and assault
on Vicksburg, on the 22d of May, 1863, — in which
last three engagements he commanded the regi-
ment. He was also in command from the time
the army under Grant left Milliken's Bend to cross
the river below Vicksburg, till some time after the
last-named stronghold was invested. He also par-
ticipated in the battles of Mission Ridge, near Chat-
tanooga. In one of these engagements. Champion
\ Hills, his horse was shot under him, a minie-ball
entering his left side near the heart. With blood
streaming, and frantic with pain, he plunged down
the hill among fallen trees, where the colonel was
compelled to dismount, abandon him and proceed
with the formation of his regiment in line of battle.
The horse ran back a short distance and expired.
In other engagements Colonel Sampson twice felt
the rebel lead on his person, but so lightly as not to
disable him from duty. His conduct at the memo-
rable battle of luka, one of the fiercest contests of
the war, is complimented in the highest terms by
his colonel in his report of that encounter.

So pleased and filled with admiration were the offi-
cers of his regiment by his courage and skill, that as
a fitting expression of their sentiments with regard
to his conduct while in command, that they had
manufactured a magnificent and costly sword, with
appropriate devices, which was presented to him
with an address soon after. Among the devices

on the one side of the weapon is an illustration of
the regiment in battle,— the colonel's horse expiring
on the field, while he on foot is issuing his com-
mands to the regiment; on the other side is the
following inscription :

Presented to Lieutenant-Colonel E. S. Sampson by the
officers of the 5th regiment Iowa Infantry, in token of our
appreciation of his gallant services in the fields of Jackson,
Champion Hills and Vicksburg.

This well-earned and highly complimentary memen-
to of his gallant services to his country, from 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 30 of 125)