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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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four regiments, but he was then a member of the
legislature, and deferred the matter until December,
1864, when he accepted that responsibility of the

2ist Infantry. He served till June, 1865, when the
regiment was mustered out.

Dr. Chase belongs to Honorius Commandery, No.
8, of the Masonic order. In politics, he is one of
those republicans who never waver.

On the 17th of August, 1849, he married Miss Ellen
J. Lyon, of Eagle, New York, and has two daughters.
The elder, Kate, is the wife of Van E. Butler, of Del-
phos, Kansas ; the other, Ellen Lyon, lives at home.

Dr. Chase is a valuable citizen. Though his pro-
fessional duties are far from light, he finds sufficient
time to look after local interests, and aid in promot-
ing them. He is very kind to the poor, and has
traveled hundreds of miles to comfort the sick and
relieve the distressed, without any expectation of
reward except the satisfaction of restoring health,
prolonging life, or mitigating pain.



AMONG the early settlers in Hardin county is
1\. Daniel F. Ellsworth, better known as Colonel
Ellsworth. Though past sixty-five, his hair shows
none of the usual signs of age, he makes but a sorry
display of wrinkles, and stands as erect as when
shooting deer in the valley of the Iowa twenty-three
years ago.

Daniel Freeman Ellsworth is a native of New
York, but spent most of his youth and early man-
hood in Pennsylvania. He was born in Phelps,
Ontario county, on the 6th of October, 1811. His
parents were William and Sarah Parshall Ellsworth.
His father was a soldier in the second war with
England. When Daniel was about fourteen years
of age, the whole family moved to Tioga county,
Pennsylvania. Living a long way from a school
house in his early years, the son had very meager
opportunities for education. He worked with his
father, who was a carpenter and joiner, until he
was past twenty, when he went on a farm in Potter
county, Pennsylvania, and tilled it five or six years;
then moved to the county seat, in order to dis-
charge the duties of county commissioner, to which
office he had been elected, and which he held three
years. During this time he was chosen justice of
the peace, and held that office twelve years.

In the month of May, 1854, he started for Iowa,
and reached Eldora, Hardin county, on the 25th

of that month. Here he still resides in a very
pleasant home. He has witnessed great changes
in Hardin county. In the spring of 1854 there was
only one small store in Eldora, the only frame
building in the place. The dwelling houses were
built of hewn logs, and not half a dozen in num-
ber. The merchants were Edgington Brothers, who
are still in Eldora. Joseph Edgington being now
the postmaster, and Colonel Samuel R. Edgington
the proprietor of the Commercial Hotel. When
Mr. Ellsworth came to Eldora there were not fifty
voters in the county. The year previous Alexander
Smith was chosen first judge of the county, and had
twenty-eight votes.

Mr. Ellsworth bought land near town for his sons
to cultivate, but has himself always lived within
what is now the corporation limits, and has seen
the original "four corners" expand into a lovely
city of nearly three thousand inhabitants, with
large brick blocks, elegant churches, fine school
houses, and other indices of the highest christian
civilization. Soon after settling in Eldora Mr.
Ellsworth built a hotel of which he was the pro-
prietor for twenty years, and was known in early
days there as " the model landlord." During the
first two years of his residence in Iowa he devoted
his leisure to the study of law, to which he had
paid some attention while he was justice of the



peace in Pennsylvania, and in 1856 he was ad-
mitted to the bar, but never opened an office. At
the present time he is a mail contractor, and owns
a daily line of stages from Eldora to Grundy Center.
Mr. Ellsworth was appointed sheriff of Hardin
county to fill a vacancy in 1855, the fees in those
days amounting to something like two hundred dol-
lars. He was the democratic candidate for register
of the state land office in 1868, and ran ahead of the
party ticket. He was appointed United States com-
missioner by the United States district court nine or
ten years ago, and still holds that office. In 1875 he
was a delegate to the national democratic convention
held at St. Louis, of which he was the Iowa vice-
president. He has always been a democrat.

In religious sentiment Mr. Ellsworth is a Meth-
odist, but is not a member of the church.

On the 23d of November, 1831, he married Miss
Rhoda L. Babcock, of Bath, New York. She was
the mother of six children, all of whom survive
her. She died in i86i. Two of the sons, Le Roy
and Daniel V., are merchants in Eldora ; the eldest
daughter, Mahala, married Hon. S. G. Winchester,
a resident of Eldora for more than twenty years;
and another daughter, Dianthia, -is the wife of
James St. John, a wealthy farmer, living near El-
dora. The other children live out of the county.
On the ist of September, 1862, Mr. Ellsworth mar-
ried Miss Elsie Harriott, of Eldora, and by her has
had three children, only one of whom is living.



THOMAS W. NEWMAN was born in Somerset
county, Maryland, on the 23d day of January,
1829, of Isaac Newman and Harriet nee Batson.
Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal
church, and used every means in their power for
the moral training of their four sons and two

The father died in 1840 at the age of forty-one
years, leaving an estate valued at thirty thousand
dollars. Five years later the mother removed to
Baltimore, Maryland, with her family, and there
died in 1846, leaving her children to the care of
Thomas, the eldest son, through whose careful
efforts they received a good education and attained
to respectable positions in society. Thomas, after
closing his primary studies, entered Washington
Academy, in Princess Anne, Somerset county, Mary-
land, and, with the exception of Greek, pursued the
studies of the regular academic course.

Aside .from his studies he enjoyed many advan-
tages, and in the management of his father's estate
and the care that naturally devolved upon him from
his position, received an experience which has been
invaluable to him in all his subsequent life.

His associations in a large city like Baltimore
brought him into contact with many fine speakers
in. the courts and of the best actors on the stage,
and naturally developed in him an excessive fond-
ness for oratory, to gratify which desire he decided
to enter the legal profession. Beginning his studies

soon after leaving school, he was admitted to the
bar in 1850, and with a view to finding a wider field
for action at once removed to the west, and with a
capital of about four thousand dollars established
himself in his profession at Burlington, Iowa. Find-
ing himself among strangers in a strange city, he cast
himself upon his own energies, and although during
the first years of his practice progress was slow, he
struggled on hopefully, gaining public confidence
with every new advance, and receiving at length the
reward that inevitably comes from honest, faithful
and persistent effort. Positive in his character, he
has always fearlessly maintained his opinions, and
of course has not failed to make some enemies in
life's contests.

At the opening of the late civil war his whole
heart became deeply in sympathy with the Union
caiise, and in August, 1861, through the influence
of Senator Grimes, of Iowa, he was commissioned
by President Lincoln a captain in the nth United
States Infantry. Accepting the position, he at once
entered upon the duties of recruiting officer and
military commander at Burlington. In 1862 he was
sent to Indianapolis, Indiana, on mustering and dis-
bursing duty under General H. B. Carrington, and
in the fall of that year was appointed commander
of that post, a position which he held until the
spring of 1863. It was while here that he came in
contact with Judge Perkins, of the supreme court
of Indiana, by refusing to surrender men (arrested




for desertion) under writs of habeas corpus issued
by him. Acting under advice of the President and
Secretary of War he declined to surrender himself
to the sheriff under a writ of attachment for con-
tempt, stating that he would resist with all the mili-
tary power at his command any violence or force
offered by civil authority. Judge Perkins said that
the writ must be executed if the streets should run
with blood, but when he found that Captain New-
man was in readiness with several regiments of in-
fantry and two batteries of artillery, and that Gov-
ernor Morton would not furnish him a military
force, he was obliged to withdraw the writ, which
ended the matter.

About this time, by reason of exposure and un-
tiring activity, he experienced a very severe attack
of rheumatism, and, obtaining leave of absence, he
was for a time at home receiving medical treatment.
While here Captafn Newman was ordered to Wash-
ington, District of Columbia, when able to travel,
and on his arrival received further treatment from
the best army surgeons, but after some weeks of
suffering, and finding from medical examination that
he would be unable to endure the exposure and
labor of the field, he resigned at the end of nearly
three years of service, being unwilling to draw pay
when unable to render efficient service.

His military career, though short, was of much
service to the country. After his return to his home
he spent some six months in recuperating, and then
resumed his profession. Aside from his profes-
sional work he has been honored with many posi-
tions of honor and trust. From 1855 to 1857 he
held the office of judge of Des Moines county, and
in the fall of 1874 was appointed by Governor Car-
penter to fill a vacancy in the office of district judge
of the first judicial district of Iowa. At the Octo-
ber election he was elected for the unexpired term
ending January i, 1875, and for a full term of four
years from that date. In this position he has gained
new honors, given entire satisfaction, and, by his
ability, shown himself most eminently fitted for his
work. His recent sentence of E. J. Bruce, con-
victed of murder in the first degree, was by reason
of its perspicuity and tenderness, coupled with rare
judicial qualities, the occasion of much comment,
and pronounced the most beautiful and effective ever
delivered in the district.

In 1855-6 he was a director of the Burlington
and Missouri River Railroad Company, and at the
present time (1876) is a director of the Merchant's

National Bank of Burlington. Since the orga
tion of Burlington University in 1852, he has
one of its trustees, and either treasurer or seen
and is now one of its chief benefactors.

Politically, Judge Newman, formerly a demc
has, since the organization of the republican \
been closely identified with the interests of
body. At the time of the " Kansas-Nebraska
in 1854, he held to the views of Mr. Douglas res
ing the doctrine_jof popular sovereignty as a sol
for the then existing slavery agitation in the te:
ries, and so continued to believe until convi
that the whole purpose of the bill was a pretes
the extension of slavery, and thereby to enabli
democratic party to hold the balance of p
under the name of popular sovereignty. Livii
the state adjoining Nebraska, he was in a fair
tion to watch the operation of the new law,
seeing the sectional controversy, the political
and the domestic violence which it engendered
seeing that the purpose of the democratic part)
to force slavery against the will of the peopL
though born and bred in a slave state, and hii
at one time the owner of slaves (which, howeve
manumitted), his native love of liberty and ju
revolted against the outrage and led him to abai
the party. Joining the republican party, which
then coming into existence, he supported, for 1
ernor of Iowa, James W. Grimes, through w
powerful influence the state, previously democi
gave a large republican majority. In i860 J
Newman gave his best efforts, on the stump
otherwise, to secure the election of Mr. Lin<
Recognizing in him an honored instrument ir
hands of God for the accomplishment of a |
purpose, he remained his firm supporter, an
1864 threw his whole soul into the work of hi
election. He was a vigorous supporter of Gei
Grant during both campaigns, and although he
many faults in the republican party, believes tha
highest interest of the government depends upc
success. He believes that it has power to p
itself of its dishonest men and inflict upon then
just punishment for their crimes. He holds tl
prosperous government must rest upon a hard m
basis; that specie redemption should be govt
by the necessities of the people and not by arbi
legislation ; that necessity caused the " Legal
der Act," and when that necessity ceases it sli
be repealed as soon as practicable. He fav(
tariff for revenue and not for protection, and



lieves that what is needed beyond this for the sup-
port of the government should be raised by direct
taxation. He looks with disfavor upon further land
grants to railroads or other private or quasi-private
enterprises, and holds that private capital should
meet the public demands. He believes that public
officers should be held to a strict account for all
their duties and conduct, and when found guilty of
crime, exposed and punished, the punishment being
regulated by the responsibility of the office. Feel-
ing that the officers are the mouth, hands and
brains of the government, to be wise and strong,
mouths should speak well, hands should work well,
and brains should think and control well.

In his religious communion Judge Newman is
connected with the regular Baptist church, to whose
faith he has been strongly attached since early man-
hood. During two years past he has held the office
of president of the Baptist State Convention of Iowa.
He takes a deep and active interest in all matters
pertaining to the welfare of his fellows, and is al-
ways ready to further with his sympathies, his hands

and his money, all worthy and benevolent enter-

He was married on the 3d of November, 1852, to
Miss Sarah A. Warren, of central New York, a dis-
tant relative of General Warren, of revolutionary
fame. Of the six children which they have had,
five are now living. Nellie, a daughter of fifteen
years, died in the spring of 1873. She was a child
of more than ordinary promise, and only six days
previous to her death had been converted under
the preaching of the Rev. E. P. Hammond. From
the deep interest taken in her by reason of her con-
version, her funeral was the occasion of a larger
attendance and more wide-spread feeling than had
ever before been witnessed in the city. In life she
was beloved, and left every evidence of a bright and
happy future.

Such, in brief, is an outline of the life-history of
one of Iowa's successful men. His great aim has
been to make the highest use of his powers, and so
to employ all his resources as to honor God and
better his fellow-men.



DR. MIXER is of patriotic blood, both of his
grandfathers having been soldiers in the rev-
olutionary war. He is a son of Julius U. Mixer,
an Ohio farmer, and Belinda Simmons, and was
born in the town of Madison, Lake county, on the
25th of April, 1828. His paternal grandfather was
one of the early settlers on the "Western Reserve,"
and his father occupied part of the original home-
stead until his death. During the war of 181 2-15 his
father, concealed in some bushes, saw a small num-
ber of British soldiers come ashore on Lake Erie,
kill one of his oxen and carry it off. They left
two sovereigns done up in a rag and stuck up on
a pole, with some writing inside^ stating that if that
was not enough for the ox they would pay the rest
when they came again !

Henry was educated at Grand River Academy,
a manual labor school, in Ashtabula county. At
nineteen went to Lake Mills, Jefferson county, Wis-
consin, and taught a select school two years ; com-
menced reading medicine at that place with Dr.
Joslyn ; finished with Dr. Lorenzo A. Hamilton, of
Chardon, Geauga county, Ohio ; attended lectures

in the medical department of the Western Reserve
College, Cleveland, and graduated at Pittsfield, Mas-
sachusetts, in the autumn of r854.

Dr. Mixer practiced at Chardon until the autumn
of 1859; was in the drug business one year at
Painesville. In the spring of 1861 went to Colum-
bia county, Wisconsin, entered the service in August
of that year as assistant surgeon in the navy and
served three years, two-thirds of this time on the
famous United States gunboat Lexington. He was
surgeon of the Indianola when it was captured be-
low Vicksburg, and was in the hands of the rebels
for three months, acting as surgeon in one of their
hospitals at Vicksburg.

In October, 1865, Dr. Mixer located at New
Hampton, the seat of justice of Chickasaw county,
Iowa, where he is still found, the leading practi-
tioner of the village and the county. His experi-
ence during the war was of great service to him,
and he has an excellent and well-merited reputation
both as a surgeon and general practitioner. His
consulting business far exceeds that of any other
physician in this part of the state. His rides ex-


tend into adjoining counties. The doctor is quite
public-spirited, and interests himself in matters out-
side of his profession, though he has not much time
to attend to them. He is descended from a long
line of farmers, and is himself a lover of agricultural
pursuits. He has been president of the Chickasaw
County Agricultural Society several years, and has
done very much to develop the resources of the
county of his adoption. He has had, from the start,
great faith in New Hampton, and has -aided es-
sentially its prosperity. He was twice elected mayor
of the city by a unanimous vote, and was very efifi-
cient as an executive officer.

Dr. Mixer is a republican in politics, but very in-
dependent ; is a member of the Masonic and Odd-
Fellovvs orders; a communicant in the Congrega-

tional church, and a man of unquestionec
of life. His intellectual and social qualities

His wife was Miss Mary Phelps, of C
Ohio, their union taking place on the 6th
tember, 1854. She is a daughter of Judge
Phelps, many years an honored citizen of C
and a sister of Seth L. Phelps, twenty year;
United States navy, and now chairman of tl
missioners of the District of Columbia. S
christian woman, of most excellent mind anc
cultivated manners.

Dr. Mixer has light blue eyes, and a ligl
plexion ; is five feet and eight inches tall ;
two hundred and fifteen pounds, and has
usually good physique.



JUDGE STACY was born on the 13th of May,
J 1833, at De Kalb, St. Lawrence county. New
York. His parents were Pelatiah and Jerusha Tan-
ner Stacy. The paternal ancestors were from Mas-
sachusetts, thence to Otsego, New York, and his
grandfather was one of the first settlers in De Kalb.
His father served a short time in the war of 1812, at
Ogdensburgh. His maternal ancestors were settlers
in the vicinity of Cooperstown, New York, and the
remains of many of them rest in the cemetery in
that town.

In boyhood John Seeley Stacy had a great taste
for reading, but was accustomed to the hard work
of a farm, with only a few months at school each
year until he was sixteen, when he attended an
academy at Gouverneur, New York, there preparing
for college. He attended one term at Oberlin, Ohio,
then entered the sophomore class of Union College,
and graduated in 1857. It was during President
Nott's administration that Mr. Stacy was at Union
College, and his class recited to that great and good
man during the course, and was often addressed by
him. From a natural taste for engineering Mr. Stacy
pursued a partial course in it, under that eminent
and scholarly man, Professor Gillespie, using the
notes of several of the works which he afterward

He taught school a few terms, studying law at the
same time and during vacations. Immigrating west-

ward, he spent a short time in teaching at
Bureau county, Illinois, and in the spring 1
located at Anamosa, Iowa. He entered 1
office of Hon. E. Cutler, and was admitted
bar in the autumn of the same year. He ai
an invitation to become a partner of Mr.
and the law firm of Cutler and Stacy comi
business on the 1st of January, 1859, which
nated in the autumn of 1862 by Mr. Cutler e
the military service.

In 1864 Mr. Stacy engaged in banking, in 1
tion with the practice of law, continuing u:
autumn of 1873, when the panic compelled
surrender. He was actively engaged in the
ing of the Iowa Midland railroad as at^orr
director. He was also president of the lo
Minnesota Railway Company, which had so
ceeded as to secure the preliminary negotia'
London for a loan that would doubtless have 1
in the success of the enterprise but for thi
just alluded to, which put a stop to a grea
important enterprises. Nothing but a deteni
on Mr. Stacy's part not to let the enterprise i
ried it as far as it went. Under the convicti
it was a practicable scheme and one that o
succeed, he risked largely, and lost. In
times it would have been otherwise, and h(
have had credit for sagacity and energy ir
ing forward a noble work to completion.



In 1874 Mr. Stacy visited California, and spent
two months there. He returned to that state again
in 1875, and remained nearly two years, practicing
law with success in San Francisco.

Mr. Stacy was elected judge of Jones county in
1 861, and served one term. He has been repeatedly
invited to accept the candidacy for other offices,
but has uniformly declined. He was tendered the
office of state senator for Jones county about 1863,
but urged the nomination of his former partner,
Major Cutler, whom he aided in electing.

Judge Stacy has always been an ardent and active
republican, doing much more for the elevation of
others in office than for himself. He was a delegate
to the national convention which renominated Mr.
Lincoln in 1864, and was one of his most hearty
supporters. At one time he was offered the circuit
judgeship, but declined on account of the press of

In 1858, while in Dover, Illinois, Judge Stacy
united with the Congregational church, and on set-

tling in Iowa he transferred his membership to the
Anamosa church. He is an active christian worker,
and foremost in all philanthropic measures.

On the i6th of. November, 1862, he married Miss
Charlotte A. Kellogg, a daughter of Rev. E. W. Kel-
logg, who for forty years was a congregational min-
ister in Vermont. She is a lineal descendant of
William Bradford, second governor of the Plymouth
Colony; is a woman of fine mental culture and
exalted christian character, a worthy representative
of the best Puritan stock. She has three children,
who feel daily the moulding hand of a christian

Judge Stacy has always been strictly temperate in
his habits ; has in all respects taken the best care of
himself; is a little below the average height and
compactly built, and presents as fine a physique,
perhaps, as any man in Jones county. He is true
to his honest convictions, carries his conscience into
all his business, and belongs to the highest type of
American citizens.



WILLIAM MOBLEY WELLS was a native of
Abingdon, Washington county, Virginia, and
was born on the 8th of June, 1825, the son of An-
drew Wells and Mary n^e Mobley. His great-grand-
father was a sea captain. His grandfather, Richard
Wells, was stolen when a child, by his uncle, Dr.
George Wells, and taken from Pennsylvania to
Georgia. When sixteen years old he went with the
revolutionary soldiers to Virginia, and there settled
and engaged in farming. He died in Floyd county,
Kentucky, aged about sixty-three years. He mar-
ried Miss Eliza Huchinson. Dr. George Wells, liv-
ing in those days of chivalry, fought five duels, in
the last of which both he and his opponent fell.

The maternal grandparents of our subject were
William and Mary (Braughton) Mobley. His grand-

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 48 of 125)