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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 insanity in the world.

The doctor is a man of massive framework, over
six feet high in stature, and weighing about two
hundred pounds; has an intellectual brow and pleas-
ing countenance; graceful and dignified manners; is
an earnest student of nature, feeling his way up from
nature to nature's God. He is modest and reticent
except to his most intimate friends, to whom he re-
veals a depth of feeling and an intensity of thought
seldom suspected by the outside world. He seems to
grapple with the infinite ; and the scintillations of
light which sometimes flash upon his inner being,
revealing to him glimpses of the transcendental,
are but dimly shadowed by the half-spoken sen-
tences in which he sometimes essays to express the
unutterable thoughts that well up in his soul.

The doctor will probably retire from the practice
in a short time and devote the balance of his days
to study and travel.

On the loth of September, 1855, he married Miss
Martha, daughter of Moorman Butterworth, of Main-
ville, Ohio, of Quaker stock, noted for integrity of
character and strong abolition principles. Mrs.
Witham is a lady of high literary and social attain-
ments ; is also a great student of nature and art, and is
noted as a mathematician. In early life she studied
the sciences of medicine and botany, and still de-



votes some time to, and derives much pleasure from,
investigations in both sciences. During the winter
of 1862-3 she volunteered her services as nurse at
" Hospital No. 2," Lebanon, Kentucky, and for five

months superintended the cooking and nursing in
that institution, doing most effective service, which
was both appreciated and complimented by the
medical authorities.



l\. five years a practicing physician in Camanche,
is a native of ''Tennessee, and was born at Sevier-
ville, Sevier county, on the 12th of March, 1818.
His parents were Thomas L. and Hannah Wood
Ireland. The Irelands were from Maryland. His
mother was the daughter of the Rev. Richard Wood,
a Baptist clergyman prominent in Tennessee forty
or fifty years ago. In 1836 Thomas • L. Ireland
moved with his family to Schuyler county, Illinois,
and two years later to Tazewell county. He was
a farmer, and his son followed that business until
eighteen years of age, when he commenced teach-
ing, following that profession five years. During
this time he studied medicine more or less; fin-
ished these studies at Jacksonville, Illinois, and there
graduated from Illinois College in 1846.

Dr. Ireland settled in Andrew, Jackson county,
Iowa, and with the exception of one year (1850)
spent in California, practiced there until June, 1852,
when he settled in Camanche. Here he has at-
tended very closely to his profession, in which he
has a high standing in the vicinity. He is a member
of the Clinton County Medical Society, the Iowa
State Medical Society, and the American Medical
Association, and is one of the reading, thinking, pro-
gressive men in medical knowledge.

In 1857, when Camanche became a city. Dr.
Ireland was elected mayor, and again in 1859.
He was a member of the county board of super-
visors one year, and of the upper house of the
general assembly from 1870 to 1874. While a state
senator he was chairman of the committee on state
universities and normal schools, and was on the
committees on charitable institutions, congressional
districts, and one or two others. He made a judi-
cious legislator.

Dr. Ireland is a Royal Arch Mason, and belongs to
the encampment of the Independent Order of Odd-

In politics, he was a democrat until 1861, since
which time he has been a firm republican.

He is a member of the Baptist church.

On the 8th of July, 1854, he married Miss Mary
E. Cady, of New Berlin, New York. They have had
five children, and have lost one of them. She died
on the 9th of May, 1873. She was a devoted chris-
tian woman and a true mother.

The eldest child living, Jennie, is the wife of
Le Roy Heilman, of Camanche. The other three
children, Fannie A., Mary Antonette and Lewis A.,
are living at home. Dr. Ireland is looking well to
the education of his children. He has an excellent
mind, and is also very much polished in manners.



THE life of Hon. John Lodwick Davies (de-
ceased) presents one of those numerous ex-
amples to be found in the United States of rapid
personal progress from humble beginnings to a sub-
stantial and honored position. He was born in the
parish of Llangeithoe, Cardigan county, Wales, on
the 22d of August, 1813. He received his edu-
cation at the parish school of Tiefilan, in his native

county ; his early training developing an obedient,
studious boyhood, on which the life of a useful man
and honored citizen was reared.

He learned a trade in Bath, England, and became
a skillful workman in the weaving of gold and silver
lace for coach trimmings. This he left before com-
ing to his majority, owing to his having early im-
bibed a constantly-strengthening radicalism which



rebelled against " making gewgaws for the pampered
aristocracy." He devoted his attention to a more
sturdy industry and became a skillful carpenter and
joiner, and as such emigrated to the United States,
settling at Cinoinnati, Ohio. From that city, down
the Ohio and on to Louisiana, a winter's work on a
plantation sufficed to settle deep in his breast that
uncompromising hatred of human slavery that made
him thenceforward one of the most consistent and
zealous among the early abolitionists.

Returning to Cincinnati, he there married, in
1840, Miss Margaret Jones, who still lives, honored
by fidelity as a wife, her devotion as a mother,
and her charities as a true christian woman.

They at once set out for a home in Iowa, but
reaching Keokuk were driven back by the ice, and
wintered in St. Louis, terminating their journey to
Davenport in March, 1841. Here he worked at his
trade for ten years, and in 1851, in connection with
B. F. Cotes, completed and put in operation the
first wood-working machinery in Davenport. In
August, 1859, with Hon. G. H. French, he pur-
chased the large saw-mill owned by himself and
son, L. S. Davies, Esq., at the time of his death.
Besides this mill he had two mills in Wisconsin,
one at Wausau and one at Pine River, Marathon

Mr. Davies filled many positions of honor and
trust, though always unsought by him : alderman
of the ward in which he lived, director and vice-
president of the school board, member of the Scott
county board of supervisors, and for two terms
mayor of the city ; formerly a director of the First
National Bank, and at his death director in the
Davenport National Bank, as also director of the
Davenport and St. Paul Railroad Company, of which
he was one of the originators, and also one of its
unfaltering supporters until it was successfully es-
tablished. His counsels, financial ability and recog-
nized worth contributed largely to the establish-
ment of the First National at a time when such sup-
port was necessary to the success of institutions. of
that character. In 1868 he was made trustee at
large of the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home, was
president of the board, and served as a member of
the executive committee until his death. He died
on the 28th of March, 1872, surrounded by an un-
usually large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Mr. Davies was a warm admirer of republican
institutions, a temperance man, and a christian, hav-
ing been a member of the Sons of Temperance and
of the Congregational church. He won honor by
resolute fidelity to principle, and patriotism and be-
nevolence were his distinguishing characteristics.



JOEL SMITH BINGHAM was born at Cornwall,
Vermont, on the i6th of October, 1815, and is
eldest son of Deacon Asahal Bingham and Laura
nh Smith, of English origin. His father, a promi-
nent man in his community, served several years in
the Vermont legislature as representative, and was
also colonel of militia. He was a strong abolitionist,
and advocated that doctrine when to do so was
considered almost a crime. A man of great gen-
erosity and benevolence, he was called the poor
man's friend. His mother was an earnest christian
woman, and from her Joel very early received re-
ligious impressions, and to the influence of her teach-
ings and example is largely due the steadfastness
of his religious convictions, one of his strongest
characteristics. The habits of economy and indus-
try acquired in his early life have proved invaluable
to him in all his subsequent life.

He received his primary education in the com-
mon school, making diligent use of his time. At
the age of seventeen he was converted, and united
with the church, and at that time determined to
devote his life to the gospel ministry. In the fol-
lowing year he left home inspired with an ambition
for a career of usefulness, entirely dependent for
support upon his own resources. He began a pre-
paratory course of study at Marietta, Ohio, under
the instruction of Dr. Henry Smith, now president
of Lane Seminary, and at the expiration of two
years, in the fall of 1835, entered college. In the
spring of 1836, leaving this school, he entered Middle-
bury College, where he remained until in his junior
year, when, by reason of ill health, he was forced
to abandon his studies. For seven years thereafter
he was engaged as preceptor in an academy, and
employed his leisure hours in the study of theology,



and also at times supplied feeble churches with ser-
mons, lectures, etc. In 1846, in response to an earnest
call from Charlotte Church, he took charge of their
religious service as a layman, and in May of the
same year was licensed to preach by the North-
western Association of Vermont, and was ordained
and installed on the 20th of the following October.
He had charge of two or three churches prior to
1863, and at that time accepted a call to the Maver-
ick Church, Boston, Massachusetts, where he labored
until 1870. Finding the climate incompatible with
his health, and wishing for a change, he accepted a
call from the Congregational Church of Dubuque,
Iowa, where he still continues. Here Dr. Bingham has
been eminently successful ; under his leadership the
church has been greatly revived, and become the
largest and wealthiest Protestant church in the city.
He was married on the 2 2d of August, 1838, to

Miss Jane Robbins, daughter of Rev. S. B. Rob-
bins, of Marietta, Ohio, and a direct descendant of
Chandler Robbins, one of the first ministers of
Plymouth Church. Mrs. Bingham is a lady of high
attainments, and distinguished for her womanly and
christian virtues.

Dr. Bingham has pursued his chosen course with
untiring zeal, and with a success which has earned
for him no inferior rank among the distinguished
preachers of the land. He is a man of strong, sharp
intellect, untiring ambition, and as a pulpit orator
has few equals. If his chief characteristic as a
preacher and pulpit orator were to be expressed in
one word, that word would be momentum. The
growing prosperity of the church over which he
presides, and the prominence into which it has sprung
while yet young, is a monument which might satisfy
any ordinary ambition.



JOHN HENRY KEATLEY was born at Boals-
-' burg. Center county, Pennsylvania, on the ist of
December, 1838. His parents' names were James
Gregg and Emily Keatley. His grandfather, Chris-
topher Keatley, emigrated from Antrim county, Ire-
land, on account of political" troubles in which he
took part, and in which Roland Curtin, the father of
ex-Governor A. G. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, also
participated. The paternal grandmother of our
subject was a Gregg; and a cousin of Andrew Gregg,
who was United States senator from Pennsylvania
shortly after the organization of the federal govern-
ment, and who was the maternal grandfather of ex-
Governor Curtin. The ancestry of Mr. Keatley on
his father's side is Scotch-Irish. His maternal an-
cestors settled in Berks county about the middle of
the eighteenth century, having emigrated from Sax-
ony in Germany. His maternal great-grandfather
moved west of the Susquehanna when only a lad,
and took an active part in repelling the attacks made
on the settlements by Logan, the celebrated Mingo
chief and was also a soldier in the Pennsylvania line
during the war for independence.

The religious faith of the paternal ancestry of Mr.
Keatley was the Presbyterian, while his mother's
family were believers in the Lutheran form of wor-
ship. His parents were from his earliest recollection

in humble circumstances, his father having been a
sober and industrious millwright, wholly dependent
upon his daily exertions for the support of his little
family, and consequently having little means to de-
vote to their education, the facilities for which were
confined to the traditional log school-house with
rough benches, in charge of persons wholly incom-
petent for the profession. At the age of eight years
our subject could read, cipher and write a little, but
owing to lack of opportunity his early education
was sadly neglected. The circumstances of his
parents were such that at ten years of age he was
obliged to commence earning his own living by such
work among neighboring farmers as he was able to
do, his school-days ending at this period. An occa-
sional newspaper which fell in his way early excited
an interest in political subjects, which has never left
him, and he has taken a warm interest in all the
great political events of the last thirty years. About
this time he became possessed of a torn copy of Sir
Walter Scott's " Tales of my Landlord," and this fas-
cinating book aroused in him an ambition to become
acquainted with English literature. Odd volumes
of Hume's " History of England " falling in his way
only served to increase his appetite for knowledge,
and whHe working hard all day as a farm hand, a
large part of the night was spent in study. He felt



that if he could fit himself for a teacher the avenue
to knowledge would become more open to him, and
with that view alone he undertook the task, and in
1856 received the coveted certificate permitting him
to become an instructor. He then resolved to gradu-
ate at some college, and taking a college catalogue
for his guide, and with no other helps than those
furnished by text-books, with some occasional assist-
ance from D. C. Boal, a classical scholar, he entered
upon a preparatory course. In this way he acquired
some knowledge of the Latin and Greek classics,
the higher mathematics, and moral and intellectual
philosophy. During this time he worked as an or-
dinary farm laborer in the summer, teaching in the
winter, and having only odd moments and even-
ings to devote to study. In 1858 he was advised
by Hon. A. G. Curtin to study law, but his earnings
being necessary for his own and his parents' support
he was unable to enter the office of Mr. Curtin, but
.was obliged to pursue his legal studies only in lei-
sure moments during winters of teaching and sum-
mers of farm labor. In August, i860, he was
examined for admission to the bar at Bellefonte,
Pennsylvania, and duly admitted to practice.

During the following winter, which was spent in
teaching, he was married to Margaret J. Fleck, of
Sinking Valley, Blair county, Pennsylvania, and in
April, 1 86 1, they removed to Hollidaysburg, the
county seat of Blair county, reaching there on the
same day on which the news of the bombardment
of Fort Sumter was received — the most gloomy
period of the war. Arriving there without acquaint-
ances or business, and almost without money, he
determined to earn a living for himself and his little
family by the practice of his profession. The out-
look was very dark. The courts were closed, busi-
ness was almost stagnant, and the chief occupation
of the people was in the preparation for war. He,
however, opened an office and did what he could
until fall, when he became a half-owner in the " Blair
County Whig," a new.spaper published in Hollidays-
burg, in the interests of the republican party and
the administration of President Lincoln. It was
uphill business to keep above water, but by frugal
living he managed to do so without going in debt,
and gradually made some headway in legal business ;
but when, through the exigencies of the war, Presi-
dent Lincoln called for more troops in the summer
of 1862, he felt it his duty to enlist, and did so in
the 125th regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. On
the 28th of August, 1862, just two weeks after his

enlistment, he participated in the second battle of
Bull Run, and on the 14th of September was with
his regiment in the battle of South Mountain, where
General Longstreet was driven from his strong posi-
tion in the mountains and compelled to fall back
toward Hagerstown. On the 17th of September he
was in the battle of Antietam, and saw General Mans-
field, of the twelfth corps, fall mortally wounded.
All his company officers being disabled in this en-
gagement, he, being then a sergeant, was left in
command of the company. In December, 1862, he
was in the fight at Ocqua river ; was in the rear of
the line at Stafford Court House, in February, 1863,
and was with the twelfth corps in the battle of Chan-
cellorsville, in May, 1863. During the Gettysburg
campaign, in July, 1863, he was detached and sent
to assist in the defense of the line of the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad Company, by the erection of earth-
works in the South Mountain region west of Cham-
bersburg, and to defend the bridges over the Juniata
river west of Harrisburg. At this time he was act-
ing assistant adjutant-general with Colonel Jacob
Higgins, who was in command of the troops assigned
to this duty. This detachment repulsed an attempt
of the rebel general Imboden to cut the railroad
bridges, and at the same time assisted in covering
the retreat of General Milroy's command from Win-
chester. In the fall of 1863, while still in the ser-
vice, he was elected district attorney of Blair county,
Pennsylvania, the duties of the office being dis-
charged, however, by 1D. J. Neff. He took part in
the siege of Petersburg during the winter of 1864-5,
led an attack on the works on the morning before
the surrender of General Lee, after which he was
sent with his command to Norfolk, Virginia. By
special order of General Terry, of the department
of Virginia, he was detailed to take charge of the
bureau of negro affairs for southeastern Virginia, and
to organize civil courts for five counties in that sec-
tion, which he did. For six months after the sur-
render of General Lee the only attempt to administer
justice in the five counties of southeastern Virginia,
including the city of Norfolk, was through the mili-
tary court sitting in Norfolk, of which he acted as
judge. He was present during the month of May,
1865, when the grand jury of the United States court,
sitting at Norfolk, returned indictments against Jef-
ferson Davis and Robert E. Lee for treason. In
September, 1865, he was honorably discharged from
the service, and upon his return to Blair county,
Pennsylvania, resumed the practice of his profession



and the discharge of his duties as district attorney.
He was reelected to the same office in 1866, on the
republican ticket, and served until November, 1867,
when he resigned for the purpose of removing to
Iowa, locating at Cedar Falls, where he remained
until August, 1868, when he went to Council Bluffs
and became local editor of the " Daily Nonpareil,"
of wliich he took entire editorial charge on the ist
of April, 1869, and continued to do all editorial work
until April, 1870, when he resigned. In May, 1870,
he' was appointed by Secretary Boutwell to the law
department of the third auditor's office at Washing-
ton, but declined to act, and resumed the practice of
law at Council Bluffs, where he has since remained.
In October, 1870, he was appointed assistant assess-
or of internal revenue, and discharged the duties of
that office until July, 1871. In the spring of 1872
he was elected chairman of the republican county
committee of Pottawattamie county, but taking part

in the liberal republican movement of that year,
promptly resigned this position, and at the liberal
republican state convention held at Des Moines in
August, 1872, was elected chairman of the state
central committee. At the state convention held in
August, 1874, he was nominated for attorney-general,
and carried his county by seven hundred majority,
while the balance of the ticket was defeated by two
hundred majority. In April, 1876, he was elected
mayor of Council Bluffs, on an independent ticket,
beating his competitor by three hundred and thirty-
eight votes.

Colonel Keatley has four children : three daugh-
ters, Mary Virginia, Emily Frances and Margaret
Louisa ; and one son, Thomas Francis Meagher.

He is a prominent Royal Arch Mason, a firm be-
liever in the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and has
always made the '' golden rule " his guiding principle
in life.



strictly New England pedigree. His father,
John Chamberlain, a merchant, was of Puritan stock,
and his mother. Amy Perkins Chamberlain, belonged
to Rhode Island. The Chamberlains are a mercan-
tile family, noted for their association with enter-
prising and successful business.

William was born in Brookfield, Madison county,
New York, on the i8th of February, 1834. When
he was three years old his father moved to Virgil,
Cortland county. The intention was to send the
son to college, but owing to commercial revulsions,
at fifteen he was placed in one of the leading stores
in Utica. He began at the bottom, and in five years
became the chief clerk. During this time he had
access to the public library, and made good use of
his opportunities for mental training. When bus-
iness hours were over he usually remained in the
store and read till bedtime. During the last two or
three years that he was in Utica he was fortunate in
being connected, by invitation, with a scientific and
literary club, of which Governor Seymour, Dr. M.
M. Bagg and others were leading members, and he
finally became its secretary. He was a constant
attendant, and appreciated to the fullest extent its
literary privileges.

When about twenty years of age Mr. Chaijiberlain
was taken up by the westward floating tide of immi-
gration, and made a landing in Chicago early one
morning in March, 1854. He came well recom-
mended, and though among strangers found no dif-
ficulty in securing a situation the first day. He had
not been in Chicago twenty-four hours before he
commenced work as a salesman in one of the largest
commercial houses in the city. A year later his
attention was turned to Iowa, and in looking over
the several points decided that Dubuque was the
most important as a commercial center, and located
there in November, 1855. In connection with F. A.
Doolittle, he started the first store for the sale of
agricultural implements exclusively west of the
Mississippi and north of St. Louis. When this bus-
iness was commenced, few, if any, of the improved
implements and machines of this class now in gen-
eral use, and which have revolutionized the methods
of labor on— the farm, had come into use, excepting
the reapers of McCormick and Manny. It has been
the mission of Mr. Chamberlain to search out new
inventions of merit for farmers' use, and a large
number of the now well-known and successful
farming implements and machines have been made
known to the public west of the Mississippi through



his instrumentality, no other person having done so
much in that way ; and it is a fact that nearly every
new article that has received his indorsement has
proved successful. Mr. Chamberlain's business has
had a steady, healthy growth, and-he is probably the
leading merchant in his line in this section of the
state. He has trade in nearly every town in north-
ern Iowa, southern Minnesota and portions of Wis-
consin. His business is unique, and partakes of 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 45 of 125)