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About this time he established a grocery store in
the city of Lyons, with Wm. Lyall as manager. He
also invested in other property in the same vicinity,
and finally, in 1858, moved hither with his family.

This enterprise is still in successful operation,
doing business in a commodious edifice erected
by himself Associating himself principally with
Messrs. Rands, he entered into the banking busi-
ness, and early, with few associates, established the
first national bank at Lyons, O. McMahon and he
being the principal owners. He has been the presi-
dent of the bank since its organization. In 1873
he erected in Clinton, Iowa, the building known as
the Farmers and Citizens' Savings Bank. He is the
owner of the building and nearly the entire stock
of the institution. It enjoys a fair business, and is
increasing in usefulness.

The extent and variety of his business relations,
and the admirable manner in which they have been
managed, furnish sufficient proof of his comprehen-

sive intellect and thorough business capacity. His
reputation for financial ability and integrity is so
extensive that he is made the custodian of impor-
tant trusts, not only in his own, but also in neigh-
boring communities. His financial career has been
characterized by remarkable success. He has proved
what a man can do who depends upon himself, and
is resolved to trust himself to the end. He did not
believe that man is the creature, but the lord, of
his circumstances. Those who hope for his success
must adopt his means.

His religious views are peculiar and somewhat in-
definite. He is neither a sceptic nor a sectarian;
he believes all religion relates to life, and that the
life of religion is to do good.

In politics, Mr. Gage is decidedly an independ-
ent thinker and actor, and has no sympathy with
the party hacks who make politics a trade. Al-
though not a partisan in politics, yet he is a firm
believer in the science of self-government, and
entertaining an abiding faith in the Demos-Krotos

He was married on the 24th of November, 1836,
to Mary Jane Davis, of Wellington Square, Canada.
This lady died on the 7th of February, 1857. In
1858 was again united in matrimony, to Helen Julia
Buck, of Palermo, Canada West. One son and two
daughters are the result of the latter marriage. Mr.
Bidwell Gage, the very efficient and gentlemanly
cashier of the Farmers and Citizens' Savings Bank, is
the only surviving issue of the former marriage.

Mr. Gage is a man of pleasing address ; his man-
ners are affable and courteous, yet manly and digni-
fied. He has been highly favored by nature, being
endowed with an active and comprehensive mind,
singularly keen perceptions, and the most untiring
energy. He is one of the most prominent and
influential men in that region of Iowa where he
resides, and, as a business man, has the confidence
of a wide circle of merchants and capitalists, who
find in him a prompt and trustworthy associate.



THE subject of this sketch, a native of West-
phalia, Prussia, was born on the i6th of De-
cember, [824, the son of Ignatz and Elizabeth
Becker. His father was a lawyer of considerable

celebrity in his country. Frederick received his
education at Coesfeld, Germany; and after com-
pleting a thorough classical course and graduating
with honor, he, at the age of fourteen years, entered



a large manufacturing establishment for the pur-
pose of learning a trade, and remained until 1846.
He was next called to his military duties in the
army, but after seven months of service was dis-
charged by reason of ill health. After spending a
short time with his brother in the wine business,
he, in 1848, immigrated to America, and there found
himself in a strange land without a friend. He at
the first established a small hotel or boarding house,
which he conducted with good success for about
eighteen months, and at the expiration of that time
removed to Buffalo, New York, and there resumed
the same business, and continued it for nearly five
years. Selling out his establishment, he next opened
a wholesale liquor business, in partnership with his
brother-in-law, which was conducted under the firm
name of Funck and Becker. In 1857 he removed
to the west, and settling at Burlington, at once re-

sumed the liquor business, and by his native busi-
ness ability, energy, enterprise and fair dealing, has
accumulated a handsome fortune. During his early
life Mr. Becker traveled extensively throughout Eu-
rope, gaining an experience and a knowledge of
men and things that have been invaluable to him
in all his subsequent business career.

His early religious training was under Catholic
influences, b.ut he is now very liberal in his views,
belonging to no church organization.

In politics, also, he is very liberal, being boimd
by no party ties.

Mr. Becker was married on the 20th of June, 1848,
to Miss Bettie Altrenter, of Bavaria.

He has rare personal characteristics, a command-
ing presence, and most excellent social qualities,
and enjoys the highest confidence and esteem of all
who know him.



PROBABLY no man in the central part of the
state is more thoroughly wedded to his pro-
fession than Dr. Huntsman, who has been a phy-
sician in Iowa (except when in the army) since 1851.
He was born in Dayton, Ohio, on the i6th of Sep-
tember, 1826. His father, Howell Huntsman, a
farmer in early life, and subsequently a general busi-
ness man, was born in 1801, and is yet living at his
home in La Porte, Indiana. The grandfather of Dr.
Huntsman cam^ over from Prussia, settled in New
Jersey, and fought in the war during the adminis-
tration of James Madison. The wife of Howell
Huntsman was Sarah Rogan, whose ancestors were
early emigrants from England -to New England.
When Henry C. was about five years old the family
moved to Elkhart, Indiana, and a few years later
removed to La Porte county, settling near La Porte
city. There the son aided his father in cultivating
land, receiving such education as could be obtained
at a common school, and a few terms at Franklin
College, Indiana, where he paid especial attention
to the classics. He studied medicine at La Porte
with Professors Meeker and Higday, of the med-
ical college, which was then in its palmiest period ;
attended two courses of lectures at La Porte, another
at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated ' from the
latter place in April, 185 1.

Dr. Huntsman then removed to Iowa, and prac-
ticed medicine at Lafayette, Polk county, — a town
since become extinct — about three years, and at
Pella, Marion county, from 1855 until after the civil
war had commenced. In the winter of 1861-62
he raised a company of volunteers, intending to
enter the service with the isth Iowa Infantry; but
at the solicitation of his family he relinquished the
idea of going into the line service, and substituted
the medical.

In the spring of 1862 he was appointed first as-
sistant surgeon of the sth Iowa Infantry, and joined
the regiment in front of Corinth in April ; in Au-
gust, 1863, he was appointed by the President, sur-
geon of United States volunteers, and had charge
of general hospitals, and did general staff duty for
three years, not being mustered out until the sum-
mer of 1866. By special order of the secretary of
war he was retained in the service the last year
to finish up the work of the field, and take care
of the medical supplies of the government. These
supplies he sold in Jackson, Mississippi, and upon
final settlement with the government was able to
account for every cent of the vast amount of public
property and funds for which he became responsible,
and received a full discharge.

Dr. Huntsman located at Oskaloosa in 1868, and



soon became the leading physician. He has a steady,
uniform and successful practice; attends to his pro-
fessional duties with the utmost attention, and his
kindly feelings and gentle and polished manners,
coupled with his skill, make him a very welcome
visitor in the sick room. He had much experience
in surgery during the rebellion, and makes this
branch a specialty, though doing general practice.
He is surgeon for the Oskaloosa branch of the Chi-
cago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company.
The confidence of the community in him, both as
a citizen and physician, seems to be unlimited.

Dr. Huntsman pays some attention to conchology,
and has the finest collection in this branch of the
natural sciences in this part of the state. His scien-
tific studies, with this single exception, are given to
medicine and surgery. He is a careful economist
of time ; gives to his medical library and fresh peri-
odicals the hours which can be spared from pro-

fessional visits, and with his studious habits and
excellent means for growth in knowledge, is making
fine progress.

In politics, the doctor is a republican.

His religious connection is with the Baptists, he
having been a member of the church since twenty
years of age. He is quite active in religious matters,
and most emphatically a christian gentleman.

His wife was Miss Matilda Fulton, of Ohio ; they
were joined in wedlock on the 29th of September,
1856, and have five children.

Dr. Huntsman has been president of the Mahaska
County Medical Society; was the first president of
the Des Moines Valley Medical Association, and is
a member of the State Medical Society and of the
American Medical Association. His standing in
the profession is truly enviable. In all respects Dr.
Huntsman is a very useful and honored member of



THE oldest journalist in Linn county, Iowa,
Robert Holmes, is a native of Kentucky, and
was born in Shelby county, on the 29th of May,
1819. His father, Andrew Holmes, a farmer and
surveyor, died when Robert was two years old. The
mother, whp was a McCormick, moved to Mont-
gomery county, Indiana, eight years afterward.
From ten to fourteen years of age Robert spent
his time in school and aiding an elder brother on
a farm; he then went to Crawfordsville, the county
seat, and acted as clerk for another brother in a
drug store until he was about twenty, when he be-
came a partner in the business. In 1841 he moved
to Marion, Iowa, and opened a dry-goods store, still
in partnership with the brother, who followed him
to Iowa a short time afterward. At the end of two
years Robert bought out his brother, and continued
the mercantile business until 1857, when he took
possession of the " Linn County Register,'' this he
published until 1863, when he sold out, and did not
engage in business until the autumn of 1865, con-
tinuing it until 1867.

Three years ago Mr. Holmes moved to Cedar
Rapids, joined the editorial corps of the " Daily
Republican," and is now its political editor. He is
at his post early and late, applies himself with great

diligence to his task, and makes a good local reper-
tory of passing events. He looks well to the interests
of Cedar Rapids.

Mr. Holmes served two years as clerk of the board
of county commissioners, and one year as school
commissioner for the sale of public lands while Iowa
was still a territory. In 1854 he was elected to the
lower house of the general assembly, serving one

In 1864 Mr. Holmes was appointed commissary
of subsistence, with rank of captain ; was sent to
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as post commissary; re-
mained there until May, 1865, when he was sent to
Denver, Colorado, to occupy the same official posi-
tion. Late in the same year, when discharged, he
received a commission as brevet major for faithful
and meritorious services.

Mr. Holmes is a Mason, having received the blue
lodge, chapter and council degrees.

He was a whig until the dissolution of that party,
and in 1850 was the whig candidate for treasurer of
state. He has been a very active republican since
the party was organized, and is an earnest worker in
its interests at the present time.

On the 3d of .October, 1849, he married Miss
Eliza Keys, of Marion. They have had eight chil-



dren, only four of whom are living. The eldest son
is a book-keeper in the " Republican" office.

When Mr. Holmes settled in Linn county thirty-
five years ago, Marion had about one hundred and
fifty inhabitants, Cedar Rapids a single cabin, and

the county between three and four hundred voters.
He has lived to see the population swell to more
than thirty thousand souls, and a city of ten thou-
sand inhabitants surround the site of the single log
cabin of 1841.



AMONG the men who have taken a high and
ly. leading part in the Iowa legislature, none
deserves a more honorable mention than Hon. M.
J. Rohlfs. He was born at Tondern, Germany, on
the 19th of April, 1816, and is son of Augustus and
Mary Rohlfs, both natives of the above place. His
father was a professor in the University at Tondern,
and was much noted for his learning and his excel-
lence as a teacher.

Mr. Rohlfs received his education at the Univer-
sity at Tondern (which institute was devoted to the
training and culture of teachers), where he grad-
uated and commenced teaching, following this oc-
cupation for several years. In 1847 he immigrated
to the United States, and, coming west, located at
Davenport, Iowa, which has since been his home.
On his arrival he at once rented a farm, and as-
sumed the arduous duties of a farmer's life, until
1866, when he was elected to the state legislature
on the republican ticket by a large majority. He
was reelected to this office three times, and during
his last session was elected speaker, pro tempore,
in which position his impartial rulings were to the

satisfaction of both sides of the house. He left the
republican party and joined the liberals, and was
a delegate to the Cincinnati convention which nomi-
nated Greeley for President, and in the following
campaign stumped part of the state. In 1872 he
received the nomination for state treasurer, but was
defeated. In 1873 he was elected treasurer of Scott
county, to which position he was reelected in 1875.

He has been a member of the Independent Order
of Odd-Fellows for the past twelve years. His
travels have extended over much of northern Eu-
rope, and parts of the United States.

He is liberal in his religious opinions, and al-
though educated among very orthodox influences,
has changed his views very much. In politics, he
is a liberal, and earnestly advocates reform ; as a
speaker, he is earnest and eloquent.

He was married on the 29th of November, 1840,
to Miss Eliza Rode, a lady of high attainments, and
distinguished for her womanly virtues.

Mr. Rohlfs stands high in the community as a
useful and respected citizen, and fully merits the
confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens.



WHILE the lives of self-made men seldom
abound in incidents of a sensational char-
acter, there is yet an energy, a perseverance and
an underflow of character that lends to them a
charm,— an attractiveness and worth that merit
admiration and careful thought. Henry P. But-
ton began life a poor boy, and by his own efforts
has risen to an honorable position, both in his
profession and in social life. He was born in
Lower Sandusky, Ohio, on the 24th of October,
183s, and is the son of Elijah Button and Mary N.

nee Miner, both of whom were natives of New
York and of Scotch-Irish descent. Both his pater-
nal and maternal grandfathers were participants in
the war of 1812. Henry's early life was that of a
farmer-boy, and he was early taught those habits of
economy and industry which have marked his sub-
sequent life. His early education was gained at the
common schools, but later, from 1854 to 1857, he
attended an academy at Painesville, Ohio. He
early developed a great fondness for the study
of medicine, and having decided to enter the



medical profession, to the accomplishment of this
end he bent all of his energies. Being dependent
upon himself, he went through that course of
training so common to young doctors — teaching
school, — in the meantime, taking up the study of
medicine, working on a farm in the summer to pay
the expense of his medical schooling. Of such
material are our sturdy American reformers made.
In i860 and 1861 he was engaged in hospital prac-
tice at Louisville, Kentucky, under the auspices of
the sanitary commission ; and the experience gained
there was of constant service to him. *He after-
ward became the private pupil of Dr. Olmstead
at Painesville, Ohio, and finally, in 187 1, graduated
from Hahnemann College, Chicago. He had, five
years prior to this, removed to the west and settled
for the practice of his profession at Mount Vernon,
Iowa. After a short time of successful practice
there, being desirous of a wider field for the em-
ployment of his powers, he removed to Iowa City
and there made a permanent settlement, and though
meeting with great opposition from the old-school
physicians, has, step by step, fought his way to a
full vindication of the systems of Hahnemann, and
to such success in practice as to be the leading phy-
sician in his city and county.

His career has been remarkably eventful, and his
struggles and success form an interesting chapter of
his life history. Perhaps it is due to Dr. Button,
more than any other man, that homoeopathy was
established in the medical department of the Iowa

State University. Certain it is that he determined,
with the help of friends, to carry the project
through, and was eminently successful, and to-day
finds an equality of schools in that institution.

In his religious views, he is liberal, and holds the
golden rule as his rule of action.

He was raised in the republican school of poli-
tics, but has been so occupied in his profession as
to have no time to devote to political matters.

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and
high priest of Iowa City Royal Arch Chapter, No. 2,
for past two years.

He was married in September, 1869, to Mrs.
Sarah L. Sill, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, an estimable
lady, who has indeed proven a helpmeet to him in
his great life work, and whose aid and encourage-
ment has smoothed the rough paths he has been
forced to tread. From this brief sketch it may be
seen that Dr. Button is an enthusiastic devotee of
homoeopathy, and his success as a physician may
be attributed to his earnest and exclusive devotion
to his profession, which was always placed above
every other consideration, he never allowing politics
or speculations to interfere with his duties. He has
by his exertions probably contributed as much, or
more, to the spread and popularity of homoeopathy
in the west than any other physician.

He is possessed of refined tastes and feelings, of
sterling integrity and fine social qualities, and is
highly esteemed, both as a man and physician, by
all who know him.



ONE of the men of mark in Hamilton county
is Samuel I,. Rose, whose beautiful home is
at Rose Grove. He was born in Augusta, Oneida
county. New York, on the igth of December, 1818.
His father was Dr. Nathaniel Rose, and one of the
ancestors of his mother (whose maiden name was
Abigail Knowles) came over in the Mayflower. The
paternal grandfather of Samuel was a victim of the
Indian massacre at Wyoming, Pennsylvania. The
early years of young Rose were spent in school, he
entering the Augusta Academy at an early age, and
remaining in it until he was eighteen, excepting
one winter, when, at the age of sixteen, he taught
school at Kennett, Chester county, Pennsylvania.

Among his pupils that season were Bayard Taylor
and Mr. Wickersham, since state superintendent of
public instruction in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Rose began to study medicine before leav-
ing the academy, but at nineteen abandoned it for
the study of the law, reading at first with Judge
Beardsley, of Utica, and then with Hon. Timothy
Jenkins, of Oneida. He was admitted to the bar in
1841, and practiced in his native town until 1850.
During the last-named year he moved to Beaver
Dam, Wisconsin, where he rose to eminence as a
lawyer, he giving, meanwhile, part of his time to
railroad matters.

In December, 1857, he removed to Milwaukee,



where he engaged more extensively in railroading,
and was at one time president of the Milwaukee
and Western Railway Company.

In 1862 he crossed the Mississippi, halting one
year at Fort Dodge, Iowa', and then locating at
Rose Grove, in the adjoining county of Hamilton,
fifteen miles from the county seat, where he now
has one of the loveliest homes in this part of the
state. A farmer's life has long been his choice. He
has six hundred acres under improvement, and raises
a great deal of fruit.

Mr. Rose was elected judge of Dodge county,
Wisconsin, before he was a voter in the state, and
served until 1856, when he resigned. He was a
member of the Wisconsin legislature four years, two
in each house, and was one of the most prominent
men in that body.

Mr. Rose was the first postmaster at Rose Grove,
and held the office six years. He was judge of the
circuit- court in the eleventh district of Iowa four
years, and made a dignified and impartial judicial
ofificer. He has been chairman of the board of
county supervisors six years. While a resident of
Wisconsin he was part of the time very active in
educational matters. He aided in founding Way-
land University, at Beaver Dam, and was the first

president of its board of trustees. For six years
he was one of the regents of the University of Wis-
consin. Mr. Rose belongs to the Masonic and Odd-
Fellows orders.

He was a democrat of free-soil proclivities until
1856, since which date he has been a republican.
He is a Congregationalist in religious sympathy, but
a member of no church.

On the 5th of August, 1846, he was married

to Miss Mary E. Norris,, of Augusta, New York.

She had one child, and both mother and child are

dead. MVs. Rose, who died on the 19th of August,

1872, was a woman of great goodness of heart, and

a model christian mother :

" None knew her but to love her;
None named her but to praise."

Few persons in Hamilton county have died more
lamented. The daughter, Mary Emma Rose, leav-
ing her earthly for her heavenly father at twenty-two,
was a rare and radiant maiden whose companionship
was sought by the angels all too early for the
widowered father's comfort. The Rose-Grove home-
stead, an Eden of rural charms, has lost its two lights,
and most emphatically Mr. Rose's house is left unto
■him desolate. Death loves a shining mark, and
sometimes one does not suffice.

IOWA ciTr.

THE career of Father Emonds presents a suc-
cession of varied and interesting experiences;
in many respects very like others, yet marked by a
force of will and character well worthy of mention
in the lists of prominent and successful men.

He was born in Bielefeld, Prussia, on the 13th
of June, 1830, and is of French ancestry, they
having removed to Prussia in the beginning of the
nineteenth century. His father was an officer in the
Prussian army, and his mother a native of West-
phalia. His early education was gained at the gym-
nasium at Munster, from which he graduated in
1849. From youth he had a desire to study for the
church, which was prompted and fostered by the
counsels of his mother.

During the year of his graduation he immigrated
to America, and settled at Dubuque, Iowa' where
he was ordained in 1852 a priest in the Catholic
church, and for three years was pastor of the Ger-

ninan Catholic congregation. From 1855 until the
fall of 1856 he traveled all over Iowa, under the
direction of the bishop, in search of Catholics- and
the establishment of new missions. Near the close of
1856 he settled in Keokuk as pastor of Saint Peter's
Church, the then largest church edifice in the city.
At the close of the year he had the satisfaction of
assisting in its dedication, and its consecration to
the devotional and religious exercises peculiar to
the Catholic faith. In 1857 he visited Europe and
traveled extensively over the continent, gaining much
useful information.

Regaining his health, which from excessive study
was much impaired, he returned to America in 1858,

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 37 of 125)