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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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and settled in Iowa City, where he has since resided.
In 1869, through the efforts of Father Emonds, they
completed a large and neatly constructed church
edifice, being second in size in the state. The in-
terior is magnificently furnished, being superior in



this respect to any church in Iowa. In 1861, under
his administration, the Saint Agatha's Female Sem-
inary was established. This has had a very success-
ful career, and occupies a large, three-story building
nicely arranged for its present use. He established
Saint Joseph's Institute, one of the best institutions
of the kind in the west. The chemical laboratory
and philosophical apparatus is large and costly, em-
bracing a valuable foreign collection. In an adjoin-
ing building there is a parish free school, under the
directions of the Sisters of Charity. It was the de-
termination of Father Emonds, and those in charge
of these schools, to make them equal to the State
University or any other educational institution in

the state, in which they have met with pleasing suc-
cess. In September, 1875, a community of twenty-
nine Franciscan sisters exiled by Bismark was re-
ceived in Iowa City, whose mother's house numbers
forty inmates; an orphan asylum under their guid-
ance for the diocese of Dubuque has been estab-
lished at Mount Saint Mary's, formerly Mr. Gower's
place, near the city.

Thus briefly have we written the sketch of a good
man. Other lives are more sensational, but a life
devoted to his people and the church over which he
presides challenges emulation. He is popular with
his congregation, possessing their love and esteem,
and is respected and honored by the community.



AMONG the names of the early settlers of Du-
buque (1836), when upon the site of Iowa's
largest city was only a hamlet of a few inhabitants,
may be found that of C. H. Booth ; and among the'
affluent citizens of Dubuque of the year 1876 he
may still be found enjoying the memories of the
past, as well as the substantial results of a success-
ful life. If we shall seek the secret of his success
we shall find it in a firm perseverance and patience,
united with prudence, good management, quickness
of perception and prompt action. Caleb H. Booth
was born in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, Christ-
mas eve, 1814. His early experiences were those
of a farmer-boy, and he was early trained to habits
of economy and industry, which have had their
effect upon all his subsequent life.

At the age of twelve years he was sent to school
at a fine classical institution in Burlington, New
Jersey, where he studied mathematics, Latin and
French, and made a specialty of preparing himself
for an engineer. At the age of seventeen he had
an offer of a position as engineer on the Camden
and Amboy railroad, but, with regret, declined,
and, in keeping with his father's wishes, began the
study of law. He read in the office of Samuel
Edwards, Esq., in Chester, Pennsylvania, and on the
3d of May, 1836, was admitted to the bar. He re-
moved to the west and settled at Dubuque (then
in Michigan Territory) on the 3d of July, 1836, one
day before the act of congress establishing the new
territory of Wisconsin took effect.

In 1838 he engaged in the mercantile business as
a member of the firm of Booth, Townsend and Co.,
and in mining, under the firm name of Booth and

In 1839 he was elected to the legislature, and
served during the first session at Iowa City. In
1841 he was elected first mayor of Dubuque, and
has served in the council several times since. In
February, 1849, he was appointed by President Polk
surveyor-general of the land district embraced in
Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, having his office at
Dubuque, an office for which he was eminently fitted
by reason of his early education, and which he filled
with honor and to the satisfaction of all concerned.
So satisfactory was his administration of his duties,
that he remained under President Taylor, his ap-
posite in politics, during his term of office, and was
superseded under Fillmore by General George B.
Sargeant, of Davenport. In 1851 he engaged with
William J. Barney in buying and selling land war-
rants in various parts of the country, which grew to
be an enormous business. In 1853 the firm was
merged into Cook, Sargeant, Barney arid Co., whose
operations were the most extensive in the state until
the financial crash of 1857, which ruined their pros-
pects, as it did thousands of others in the west. In
1857 he was elected treasurer and one of the direct-
ors of the Dubuque and Pacific railway, in which
he owned a large amount of stock ; and from that
time to this he has been continuously engaged and
connected with railroads in various ways. General



Booth has been the pioneer of a number of the
industries of Dubuque. He built the first flouring-
mill in Dubuque in 1848. For a number of years
he gave his personal attention exclusively to mining,
and in 1843 struck one of the largest lodes ever
opened in Dubuque, from which were taken seven
million pounds of lead. In 1856 he was one of the
state commissioners to establish the State Bank of
Iowa, an institution which owed its origin and
establishment to him and his associates.

He is a prominent member of the St. John's Epis-
copal Church of Dubuque, and senior warden of the

Prior to the war of the rebellion General Booth

was a democrat in political sentiment, but since that
time has been identified with the republican party ;
and in the fall of 1872 was elected on the republican
ticket to the fourteenth general assembly.

In the various changes of an active life General
Booth has gained the respect of a large circle of
friends, and the confidence of his business connec-
tions. He is a man of good sound judgment, of
large practical experience, -and of genial courtesy.

He was married in 1838 to Miss Henrietta Eyre,
a native of the same town where he was born in
Pennsylvania ; she is a lady of high attainments,
and distinguished for a m'arked excellence of wom-
anly and christian virtues.



THE father of Albert Boomer, the subject of this
sketch, was Allen Boomer ; he was a sailor in
his early life, but at the time of Albert's birth, on
the 3d of October, 1823, was in the employ of the
United States government on the Grenadier Island
in the St. Lawrence river, guarding the frontier from
smugglers. He was of English descent ; his father
participated in the revolutionary struggle, and he
himself was engaged in the war of 181 2. The
mother of our subject was Paulina (Snow) Boomer,
of German ancestry. Allen Boomer, with his family,
left the island, and settled on a farm in Jefferson
county. New York, when Albert w-as five years of
age, and about 1839 immigrated to Boone county,
Illinois, and settled on Garden Prairie, six miles
east of Belvidere. Prior to his nineteenth year
Albert received but little schooling, at no period
more than four months in a year, at the ordinary
common schools. He had, however, a great fond-
ness for study, and finally obtained the consent of
his father to attend an academy, if he would sup-
port himself Willing to make almost any sacrifice
for the sake of gratifying his thirst for knowledge,
in company with another young man of similar
tastes and aspirations, he erected on the outskirts of
Belvidere a rude hut six by twelve feet,, with a
fireplace in one end and a bed in the other, and
boarded himself there and attended the academy
nine months. He received some provisions from
home, and with but little outlay, except for tuition
and text-books, made very satisfactory progress.

He taught during the next winter, and attended
school the summer following ; then for about three
years he worked on the farm in summer and at-
tended the academy during the winters. While thus
engaged he employed some of his spare moments
in reading medical books, and, becoming interested
in the medical science, about 1849 began to give
the subject his chief attention. He read first in
the office of Dr. D. H. Whitney, and afterward with
Dr. Lake, both of Belvidere.

In the spring of 1853 he graduated from Rush
Medical College, Chicago, and during that same
year established himself in practice at Delhi, Del-
aware county, Iowa. At first, in connection with
his professional business, he conducted a drug store ;
but in about five years traded this for land, a por-
tion of which is now the large and beautiful farm
on which he now resides, one and a quarter miles
north of Delhi village.

In 1862 Dr. Boomer was appointed assistant sur-
geon of the 27th regiment Iowa Infantry, under
command of Colonel Gilbert, and served in that
capacity with great faithfulness until near the close
of the war. Part of 'the time he had the whole
charge of the regiment, Surgeon Sanborn having
medical charge of a brigade, and from exposure and
over-work, became impaired in health, and was com-
pelled to leave the army. He returned to Delhi, as
he and his comrades supposed, to die. His greatest
trouble was the chronic diarrhoea, which clung to
him for four years, and indeed has never fully left hira.



Since his return from the army Dr. Boomer has
lived on his farm, and latterly has tried by degrees
to retire from medical practice, but his old neigh-
bors, whose family physician, in some cases, he has
been for more than twenty years, are reluctant to
dispense with Tiis valuable services, when he is at

Aside from his professional duties, he has been
honored with positions of honor and trust. He was
for two years a member of the lower house of the
state legislature, and for six years a member of
the state senate. During his senatorial term in the
fourteenth and fifteenth general assemblies he was
a prominent member, and took a very decided stand
on the temperance question, being a strong pro-

Dr. Boomer has been a republican since the party
was organized, and a member of the Methodist
church for more than thirty years.

On the 4th of July, 1846, he was married to
Miss Charlotte A. Brownell, of Boone county, Illinois,
and by her has had ten children, three of whom

are now living, and three having died in infancy
and childhood of diphtheria, under peculiarly melan-
choly circumstances. Dr. Boomer delayed joining
his regiment in 1862 to bury two of these children,
and the day after he left, obeying peremptory orders
from military headquarters, the third, the youngest
lamb of the fold, closed its eyes in death. Thrice
smitten in three consecutive weeks,- the mother went
the third time to the cemetery, with no husband
present on whom to lean, but with the Di\ ine Spirit
to comfort and strengthen her. It was a dark
hour, but she bore her burden with heroic firmness
and true christian resignation. The eldest living
child of the family is the wife of Dr. George H.
Fuller, surgeon by governmental appointment at the
Indian agency, Ross Fork, Idaho Territory.

Dr. Boomer is a well-read man, of independent
thought, and has very strong convictions of his re-
sponsibility as a citizen, never wavering in the dis-
charge of his duty in any of the relations of life.
He despises a political schemer or a mere policy
man of any class.



EZEKIEL CUTLER comes of good New Eng-
land stock, his parents belonging to the agri-
cultural class, whence four-fifths of our best and
most distinguished men have their origin. He was
born in Waterford, Vermont, on the 26th of April,
1827, and took the full name of his father. His
mother, who was an Atkins, and a woman of solid
christian character, died when her son was seventeen
years of age. Though working hard on the farm
three-fourths of each year, and having only ordinary
school privileges, yet, by close application to his
books, both in and out of school, at the date of his
orphanage he was prepared to teach a district
school. This vocation he followed for several win-
ters, at the same time fitting himself for college, by
attending a few terms at different academies. In
August, 1849, he entered the University of Vermont
at Burlington, and graduated in August, 1853.
While in college he taught three or four months
each year, and kept up with his classes, having,
however, to apply himself very closely to his studies.
Shortly after graduating, we find Mr. Cutler in
Erie county, New York, at the head of the Spring-

ville .Academy, thirty miles south of Buffalo. This
school he taught only one term, when he went to
Buffalo, and entered the law ofifice of Talcott and
Thompson, finishing his legal studies with J. D.
Husbands, of the same city. He was admitted to
the bar in October, 1855, and during, the same
autumn immigrated westward across the Mississippi.
.\fter prospecting in Iowa a few months he settled
at Anamosa, Jones county, in May, 1856. He there
practiced law, except when absent on civil or mil-
itary duty, until 1864.

In September, 1866, Mr. Cutler removed to Deco-
rah, and resumed the practice of law. Prior to this
for two years, he had been prostrated with sickness
contracted in the army. Latterly, on account of the
state of his health, he has not been able to attend
to the arduous labors of an attorney, and has given
his attention to business of insurance.

In September, 1862, Mr. Cutler was commissioned
major of the 31st regiment of Infantry, and served
until the following spring, when physical disability
compelled him to resign.

Soon after locating in Anamosa he was elected



prosecuting attorney, and served one term. In the
autumn after returning from the war he was elected
to the state senate, to fill a vacancy occasioned by
the death of Captain Carpenter, serving one session,
or until he left Jones county.

In the autumn of 1867 Major Cutler was elected
judge of Winneshiek county, and at the end of one
year was, by law; transferred to the office of auditor,
commencing its duties on the ist of January, 1869.
To this office he was twice reelected, and held it
five years. The duties of every position to which

he has been assigned he has discharged with fidelity,
and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.

He has always been a firm adherent to republican
principles. His religious connection is with the
Congregational church, in which he bears office.

On the 30th of July, 1857, he married Miss Sarah
E. Brigham, of Keeseville, New York. They have
three children.

Major Cutler has not at all times had the physical
strength to do as much as he would like to, but
what he has done has been done well.



MANY of the men who may well be called the
fathers of thriving young cities west of the
Mississippi river are still in their prime and en-
joying the fruits of their early privation and toil.
Twenty or twenty-five years ago, coming from the
east and selecting a home in. the wilderness, they
made the first important improvements and gath-
ered around them other enterprising men, and in a
few years found themselves the center of small but
lively and constantly growing towns. Of such men
is Edward P. Greeley, who for twenty-one years has
been a resident of Nashua, Chickasaw county, where
he settled in March, 1856, at which time not more
than half-a-dozen families resided there. The town
was then known as Woodbridge, so called for Enoch
D. Woodbridge, who was the pioneer settler. Mr.
Greeley changed the name to Nashua, he being a
native of Nashua, New Hampshire, where he was
born on the 27th of February, 1833. He is a
son of Colonel Joseph Greeley, a prominent citi-
zen of that city. The maiden name of his mother
was Hannah Thornton, a granddaughter 0/ the
signer of the " Declaration of Independence " of
that name. His paternal grandfather was among
the first to enlist in the war for freedom from the
British yoke, and was wounded at the battle of
Bunker Hill.

The subject of this sketch spent his youth in
school and at farming on the old homestead. At
sixteen he went to Boston, Massachusetts, and after
being nearly six years in the commission house of
Parker, Wilder and Co., came to Iowa, as before
mentioned. He built the first store in Nashua, and
spent one year in trade. He then bought the water- I

power on the Cedar river at this point, of Wood-
bridge and Sample, and milling has since been his
principal business. In 1862 he put up a merchant
mill, with granite foundation and frame above — a
substantial structure, with four run of stone and a
capacity for two hundred thousand barrels of flour
per annum. This marked an epoch in the history of
Nashua, making it a rallying point for business, and
guaranteeing for the place more than simply "a
local habitation and a name." Mr. Greeley early
saw that the Cedar valley must, at a not very remote
day, have a railroad, so he set a civil engineer to
work to survey the route, and a few years afterward,
in 1868, he enjoyed the pleasure of hearing the
rumbling of cars rushing into town.

With the exception of the work he did in getting
a railroad to this point, Mr. Greeley has attended
exclusively to his milling business, never holding
a political office. He seems to be contented with
being a first-class miller and the leading builder of
a beautiful little city. While we write he has a
brick dwelling-house and two or three stores under
way, and nearly every year has witnessed his enter-
prise in this direction.

Mr. Greeley lives in a Gothic frame house on a
rise of land overlooking the city from the west side,
with a profusion of shrubbery, shade trees and other
attractive surroundings, — the finest residence in this
immediate section of the Cedar valley.

In politics, he is an independent or liberal repub-
lican, and liberal also in his religious sentiments.

The wife of Mr. Greeley was Miss Mary A. Roby,
of Nashua, New Hampshire; married on the 12th
of May, 1859; he is the mother of three children,



only two of them living. The varied qualifications
of his wife make her an ornament and a general
favorite in society.

At the celebration of our national independence^
in 1877, at Nashua, Mr. Greeley was president of the
day, and in the opening speech indulged in the fol-
lowing reminiscences of the " day of small things "
in that now thriving young city :

The multitude here assembled demonstrates your con-
tinued appreciation of this great day, the anniversary of our

nation's birth. The first celebration of this kind in Nashua
happened twenty-one years ago, when the town was with-
out form or even a street, and when there was not a com-
pleted frame building to be seen. Two log palaces and a
few slab villas constituted the abode of her people. The
few settlers up and down the Cedar joined the villagers and
marclied behind the fife and drum to Highland Grove, situ-
ated on the bluff" or bank of the river, where a stand and
seats were rudely constructed. The late Deacon Wood-
bridge officiated as president of the day, and the late Elder
Babcock as chaplain. Hon. Moses Conger delivered an
eloquent oration and I read the Declaration. The office of
marshal was filled by Andrew Sample, and it required
every other man present to fill the rest of the offices.



ONE of the earliest settlers in Cerro Gordo
county, and one of the most noteworthy men,
is Judge Randall, who was one of the thirty-four
voters that organized the county in the summer of
1855. Elisha Randall took the full name of his
father, who was one of the judges of the court of
Madison county. New York, for many years. The
son was born at Brookfield, in that county, on the
22d of September, 1818. His mother, Betsy Brown
Randall, was a daughter of one of the first settlers
in Madison county.

Judge Randall, senior, owned a clothing-mill, a saw-
mill and an oil-mill, and until he was twenty-two
years of age the son worked with his father, at-
tending a common school during part of his boy-
hood. In 1844 the son moved to Edmeston, Otsego
county, where he remained six years operating a
grist-mill and manufacturing hardware. He then
removed to Belmont, Allegany county, and spent
nearly four years in manufacturing lumber.

In the autumn of 1854 Mr. Randall immigrated
to Iowa, halting a short time at Waterloo, and the
next June took up his permanent residence in Cerro
Gordo county, one mile north of Mason City post-
office. On locating here he built a saw-mill on Lime
creek, in connection with Samuel Douglas, of Ben-
ton county, and a grist-mill two years later, running
both for several years.

In 1870. Mr. Randall built a lime-kilni in connec-
tion with other parties, and operated it a short time.
He made the business a study, and in July, 1872,
received a patent for the " Randall Perpetual Lime-
kiln." Two years ago he sold his interest in this
patent in Cerro Gordo county, and recently his mill
property, moving on a farm two miles from town.

Judge Randall, as his neighbors love to call him,
was the first supervisor of Mason township ; was
justice of the peace for several years after the county
was organized ; was county judge two years, and
while holding this office was elected recorder of the
county, serving one term.

He aided in getting the three railroads to Mason
City, and at one time was a director of the Central
Railroad of Iowa. He has doiie much to build up
Cerro Gordo county.

Judge Randall belongs to the Masonic fraternity.

He has been a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church since he was seventeen years old, and
has lived a consistent christian life, leaving in this
respect a precious legacy to his family.

In politics, he was first a whig and then a repub-
lican, and adheres to the latter party.

On the 31st of October, 1838, he was married to
Miss Lucy M. York, of Brookfield, New York. They
have had twelve children, eight of whom are living.
Five of them, one son and four daughters, are mar-

When the rebellion broke out. Judge Randall
had no sons old enough to enlist, but sent three
sons-in-law ; one of them, Charles H. Huntley, ad-
jutant of the 32d Iowa Infantry, was killed at the
battle of Pleasant Hill. Another was a Virginian,
Henry Keerl, who promptly enlisted in the Union
army, while four brothers at the south fought in the
rebel army. He was a lieutenant in the 32d regiment,
and for his bravery at the battle of Pleasant Hill
was offered- the captaincy of the company, but he
refused to accept because of an impediment in his
speech. At that battle he received a ball in his can-
teen. The other son-in-law fought on the Indian



frontier. His name was George W. Henderson. He
returned after serving three years and three months
in the 7th United States Cavalry. One of his
daughters, the widow of Charles H. Huntley, is
now the wife of L. L. Huntley, formerly United

States revenue assessor at Dubuque, and now of
the White Lime and Stone Company, Mason City.

Judge Randall is a modest, social and very pleas-
ant man, always hard-working, yet well preserved
and likely to live to enjoy a serene old age.



JOURNALISM, long followed, is a Hberal educa-
-' tion. The biographical history of this country
abounds in instances of men who, educated at the
printer's case, or editor's desk, or both, have thus
found, the stepping-stones to eminence. A list of
the names only of this class would make a portly
volume. Among the rising men of Iowa, in middle
life, largely self-taught, and owing much in this
respect to journalistic pursuits, is Marcus C. Wood-
ruff, whose modesty shrank from appearing in a
work like this, but whose habits of industry, great
improvement in writing, and noble bearing, at the
head of one of the leading daily journals of Iowa,
embody a lesson worth perpetuating.

Mr. Woodruff was .born at Aurora, Erie county,
New York, on the 21st of March, 1831. He re-
ceived the rudiments of education at the common
school of his native village, and for a short time he
attended the Aurora Academy, a respectable insti-
tution of its class thirty years ago. At the age of
eighteen he taught school one season in his native
town, and then went to Buffalo and spent three or
four years in book-keeping in a wholesale house.

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 38 of 125)