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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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THE boys who have the hardest row to hoe,
often, if not usually, make the best men.
Their early struggles have a tendency to develop
their self-reliance and other manly traits. Junius
W. Shannon is not an exception to this rule.

He lost his father in infancy, and his mother, a
delicate, yet resolute woman, became a widow before
she had been married two years, and was left with
no means of support for herself and child, except her
own weak, yet willing and diligent hands. She
had a difficult task, but lived through it, reared her
son, and is now the recipient of that son's grate-
fully rendered hospitalities.

Junius W. Shannon was the son of Robert Em-
mett and Nancy Daniels Shannon, and was born m
Will county, Illinois, on the 19th of February, 1835.
His father was of Irish and the mother of French-
Irish descent.

Robert E. Shannon was a brilliant young lawyer
whom a malarious fever carried off about three years
after settling in Illinois.

Until seventeen years of age Junius spent his time

largely on a farm, with a few months' schooling each
year. When a little older he attended a select
school six months at Sterling, Illinois. At nineteen
he went into the office of the "Sterling Times," be-
ginning at the bottom as printer's devil, and in nine
months had editorial charge of the paper. He
never completed a regular apprenticeship at the
printer's trade, but picked up the whole art in a few
years, and can make a good roller, put up a neat job,
or set up an editorial without putting it on pa-
per. He edited papers at SterHng and Morrison,
Whiteside county, until November, 1858, when he
removed to Fayette county, Iowa, spending a year or
more on a farm.

In i860 he established the "North Iowa Ob-
server," at Fayette, meeting with good success.

Seven years later, in connection with C. H. Tal-
madge, he started the " West Union Gazette," an-
other success. The paper is now conducted by Mr.
Talraadge, and is the leading journal in Fayette

In 1 87 1 Mr. Shannon took charge of the "Iowa



State Reporter," at Waterloo, and the next spring
when the " Cedar Rapids Daily Republican " was
started, he became its chief editorial writer, and re-
mained in that position until he purchased the
"Clayton County Journal," Elkader, in August,
1872. This, the oldest paper in the county, he still
conducts with marked ability. In February, 1873,
he was appointed postmaster, and the oversight of
this office in addition to his editorial and other cares,
make him a busy man.

He has held several minor offices in different
counties, but craves none more than a printing of-
fice. There he is at home.

When about seventeen, to please his mother, he
began to read law with Hon. Miles S. Henry, of

Sterling; read two years, afterward, with Judge Mc-
Glatherly, of West Union, finished the course and
was admitted to the bar of Fayette county, but hav-
ing no taste for the profession he never practiced.

Mr. Shannon is a member of the Episcopal
church, holding his connection at West Union.

In boyhood he was an abolitionist, and since he
was old enough to vote he has acted with the re-
publican party.

On the i2th of February, 1859, Mr. Shannon mar-
ried Miss Laura Spencer, daughter of Ralph H.
Spencer, of Fayette county. Mrs. Shannon has had
four children, three of them still living. The two
eldest children, boys, are growing up in the printing
office with their father's industrious habits.



JOSEPH C. STONE, a prominent physician of
J Burlington, Iowa, was born in Westport, Essex
county. New York, on the 30th of July, 1829. His
parents were Henry and Abigail Stone, who were
natives of New England. His father was a farmer,
and served in the war of 1812, participating in the
battle of Plattsburg. His mother, who was highly
educated, having enjoyed academic privileges, in the
absence of any other opportunity was enabled to
give her family a knowledge of the rudiments of
learning. Thus Joseph grew up to manhood with
only such advantages as were to be found at a family
fireside forty years ago. In 1844 the family moved
to the west, and settled in Le Claire, Scott county,
Iowa, and for six years he worked upon the farm ;
but owing to failing health and a desire to know
more of mankind, he left his home and went out
into the world. Determining he would make medi-
cine his profession, he went to Illinois College,
where he remained a year, preparatory to entering
upon his professional studies. He studied medicine
under the direction of the eminent Professor Charles
A. Pope, of St. Louis, and graduated with high
honor at the .medical department of the St. Louis
University (Pope's College) in 1853-4. After grad-
uation he returned to Iowa and entered at once
upon a good practice, and gained an enviable repu-
tation as an accomplished surgeon. When the
Russia-Allied war came. Dr. Pope, knowing the
ambition rff the young surgeon to visit Europe,

kindly used his influence and secured a commission
in the Russian service, which was accepted, and for
over a year he was engaged in foreign service. At
the close of the war he returned to Iowa, and en-
gaged in private practice at Iowa City.

In politics, he has always been an ardent republi-
can, though never taking an active part in questions
of governmental policy until the Kansas-Nebraska
bill and the Dred Scott decision. From that time
to the present he has been known as an earnest
advocate of the representation principle, and in
speeches often declared "that an absolutely wise and
honest administration of public affairs was the only
safety of the republic."

At the breaking out of the war of the rebellion he
closed his office and was one of the first to offer
his services to his country, and enlisted in the ranks
of the army. He was soon made adjutant of his
regiment, the ist Iowa Cavalry, and in a few weeks
was appointed captain and assistant adjutant-gen-
eral, and from time to time was promoted to the
offices of major and lieutenant-colonel, entirely with-
out solicitation on his part. While in the army he
had the reputation of being an officer of good exec-
utive ability and solid integrity, having the respect
and confidence of his superior officers and the love
of the men in a high degree ; and when the war was
over, and he about to return home, General Canby
indorsed on his final order: "Few officers return
from the service of their country with the conscious-



ness that their every act has been approved, and that
through their watchful care millions of dollars have
been saved to the government. That consciousness
you carry with you to your home, and with it the
respect and love of your commanding officer and
friend." At the close of the war he settled at Bur-
lington and engaged in the practice of his profes-
sion. He has the confidence of the medical men to
a high degree. Not only at home is he well known
and highly respected, but also throughout the state.
He is a man of quick perception, clear judgment
and a high sense of honor. Positive in his charac-
ter, he makes but little allowance for the men of
policy, and is slow to forgive political offenses. The
men who have degraded their high offices by thiev-
ery and dishonesty find no excuse in his mind, and

he has for them only words of condemnation. By
his bitter denunciation of demagogues and thieving
officials he has made some enemies. This he does
not regard, but sticks by his convictions and contin-
ues his work, trusting that time and the better nature
and judgment of men will correct the errors that
disturb the harmony of our social system and de-
grade and disgrace the public service.

He married in 1862 Miss Ellen L. Lutz, of Ohio,
and has one daughter, an only child.

Dr. Stone has gained much prominence in his
profession, and now stands among the first medical
practitioners in the state. Appreciated ar.d beloved
by a host of friends, his future bids fair to end on
the top of the ladder of fame, the result of merito-
rious services.


10 IV A cn^r.

A MONG the self-made men of our times none
Jr\. deserve more honorable mention than Hon.
Zephaniah C. Luse, past grand high priest of the
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
and present grand master of Iowa.

He was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania,
on the 23d of January, 1826, and is son of Caleb
and Margaret (Cuthbertson) Luse, both natives of
Pennsylvania. His boyhood was passed upon a
farm, and by attending the country schools gained
the rudiments of an education. Being very ambi-
tious, and feeling the great need of knowledge as
the highway to success, he devoted himself to study.
At eighteen he was apprenticed to the carpenter's
trade, which, having learned, he resolved to labor
no more with his hands until he had acquired the
education his mind had so long coveted. Accord-
ingly, he wended his way to a distant county and
entered an academy. The next five years were
spent teaching part of the time to pay his way and
qualify himself for college, which he successfully
accomplished, thus gaining that practical education
which has afterward been his greatest treasure.
During these years, however, he (as many another
ambitious youth) read law without an instructor,
but did not till later years enter into its practice.
In 1852 he removed to the west, and settled at St.
Paul, but finding the climate too severe for his con-
stitution, he traveled for a season, stopping at Rock

Island, Davenport and other places, until the spring
of 1855, when he removed to, and permanently
settled in, Iowa City.

Here he engaged as trader and as general auc-
tioneer, continuing in that business till 1858, when
he commenced the practice of law. Never ambitious
for office nor the distinction it confers, he was never-
theless appointed county judge in 1864, to fill a
vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Williams.
This appointment was a compliment to his judg-
ment and ability, as it was made by a board com-
posed of those of opposite political faith. Holding
at the same time the office of city solicitor, an office
more congenial to his taste, he declined a nomination
by his party for election to the office, and there-
after devoted himself with renewed energy and dili-
gence to his profession. Judge Luse had had dur-
ing his early years a longing desire to become a
Mason, but the prejudices of his father, who was a
strong " anti-Mason," and who thought all Masons
alHed with Satan, — this, added after marriage to the
opposition of his wife, prevented his earlier associa-
tion with the body. With the lapse of years, how-
ever, her opposition ceased, and she yielded her full
consent, so that late in 1858 he joined the order in
Iowa City. The same ambition to learn and ad-
vance which had urged him to acquire an education
is manifest in his career as a Mason, and in 1859
he was elected senior warden, and in 1865 was

*'s^iv£L'ivirtus^.!rT,i3..-n i




elected junior grand warden of the Grand Lodge.
After holding numerous offices in the subordinate
and 'grand lodges which the briefness of our space
will not allow of enumeration, he was in 1870 elected
grand high priest, but owing to failing health in
187 1 declined reelection. Previous to this, in June,
1864, he was elected grand treasurer of the Grand
Commandery of the State of Iowa, to which he was
reelected three successive terms. In consulting the
records- of the subordinate bodies, we find Judge
Luse has served repeatedly as treasurer of them all.
He received the degrees of the A. and A. rite, and
was subsequently elected to the office of grand
chancellor, which he continues to fill. In 1874 he
was elected deputy grand commander, and in June,
1877, elected grand master. In all the bodies,
grand and subordinate, he has ever proved an in-
telligent, useful member, setting a worthy example.

In religious views, he is a Methodist, in which
church, as in Masonry, his influence has been ex-
erted for the good of his fellow-men, and amidst his
sufferings he finds in the religion of his blessed
Redeemer that consolation the world can neither
given nor take away.

In politics, he is a republican, and an active advo-
cate of its principles, though never accepting office.

On the 9th of March, 1852, he married Miss Jane
A. Henry, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania.

Much of Judge Luse's success in early life was
due to the influence of a good christian mother, and
in after years to a devoted, christian wife, influences
which are, in the experience of nearly all, most
happy and effective. In i868 the judge's failing
health admonished him that he should, at least for a
season, give up his professional labors and seek a
more active outdoor exercise. This he did, and in
the fall of 1869 made a trip to the Pacific coast,
returning with greatly improved health. In 1871 he
was more severely attacked, but this time with rheu-
matism, superinduced by overwork and study, which
finally located in the head, and from that he suf-
fered for a number of years, and still suffers occa-
sionally. Recovering partially in 1873, he formed
a copartnership with his son Frank, his only living
child, under the firm name of Z. C. Luse and Son,
in the raising of fine stock. Such has been his suc-
cess that his name is used in connection with fine
stock all over the country. His fine Jersey cattle
have secured premiums in state and county fairs
wherever exhibited, and gained the encomiums of
both press and people. Such is the brief outline of
the life-history of one who, struggling through trials,
has worked his way from obscurity to a place of higR
esteem, and performed a work the influence of which
shall live in the hearts of those who have known
him, and increase with the passing years.



AMONG the honored names of Dubuque's early
XV. settlers, none are more worthy of record than
that of William Graham Stewart, who for over forty
years has been a citizen of Dubuque, and for more
than half of which time he has held positions of
honor and trust, with high credit to himself and to
the satisfaction of his constituents.

He was born in Lee county, Virginia, on the loth
of July, 1813, and is son of William and Jane
Stewart, both natives of Virginia. His early edu-
cation was limited, and embraced but the rudiments;
but later, through his own efforts of reading and
study, he has placed himself above others, with
much better opportunities for learning.

In early life he had an ambition to see and live
in the great west, and in September, 183 1, on the
removal of his father and family to Montgomery

county, Missouri, he accompanied them. In the
spring of 1832 he was employed by the government
to assist in the removal of the remnants of the tribes
of Seneca, Delaware, and other tribes of Indians,
from Ohio to their reservations, about one hundred
miles above Little Rock, Arkansas.

Having heard of the Galena lead mines and their
great wealth, he determined to visit them. Arriving
at Galena, in October, 1833, he remained until the
loth of February, 1834, when he came to Dubuque
(then in Michigan territory), and returned to Mis-
souri the following summer.

After remaining away nearly a year, on account
of sickness, he returned to Dubuque and engaged
in farming and mining. Was elected sheriff" of Du-
buque county in 1847, and held the office for six



In 1856 he was elected to the state senate for a
term of four years. Was elected county treasurer,
in 1869, by a large majority, and by reelections held
that office twelve years.

He is connected with the Dubuque and Sioux
City, Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota, and Iowa
Pacific railroads, and is active in the development
of the interests of the city and country; has always
been identified with the democratic party, and an
advocate of its principles ; and was a member of the
order of the Sons of Temperance several years.

In religious views he is liberal, and is guided by

the principle that " man should do unto man as he
would have man do unto him," fear God and obey
the laws.

He was married on the 2d of June, 1842, to Mrs.
Caroline Wilson, by whom he has six children, two
sons and four daughters.

From boyhood up, Mr. Stewart's 'life has been
marked by strict integrity, independent action, and
close attention to business. Conscientious, benevo-
lent, and warm in his affections, he has endeared
himself to a large circle of friends, and presents an
example of self-culture well worthy of emulation.



WILLIAM A. FOSTER, attorney and coun-
selor-at-law, was born at Davenport, Scott
county, Iowa, on the 24th of July, 1842, and is one
of the few members of the Iowa bar claiming the
" Hawkeye " as their native state.

His parents were Asa and Cora (Wray) Foster,

who moved from Indiana and settled in Scott


county, Iowa, in 1838, soon after the organization of
the territory.

The Foster family is of Scottish origin and date,
their residence far back in the colonial history of
New England ; whence some of the descendants
removed to Long Island, New York, and thence the
grandparents of our subject removed to the west,
and were among the pioneer settlers of Ohio and

The early education of our subject was such as
the log school-houses of a sparsely settled and im-
perfectly organized new country afforded.

During his minority he resided upon the farm on
which he was born. His father died when he was
but thirteen years of age, and much of the respon-
sibility of the care of the farm and the support of his
widowed mother fell upon him. His tastes in early
life were not averse to farming, but he was influenced
by a strong desire to improve his limited oppor-
tunities for education and observation ; and accord-
ingly on attaining his majority he entered the
Davenport high school, where the major part of his
literary education was attained.

In the spring of 1865 he entered the law office of
Davison and True, of Davenport, as a student, with-
out any fixed intention, however, of adopting the law

as a profession, but thought he might gather some
practical knowledge that would be important to him
in after life. He soon, however, became enthusias-
tically fond of both the study and practice of the
law; a sentiment which has grown with his growth
and strengthened with his strength, until he has come
to regard it as one of the noblest vocations on earth.
He was admitted to the bar in October, 1866, and
during the short interval he has risen to the very
highest ranks of his profession.

Early in his career he developed not only a fond-
ness but a passion for criminal practice, especially
on the side of the defense. A prisoner behind the
iron bars of a cell, protesting his innocence and im-
ploring his assistance, appealed to his innermost
sympathies, and nerved him to the most determined
action. He makes the cause of his client emphat-
ically his own, and acts as though he himself must
rise or fall, sink or swim, with the accused.

For several years past he has been the acknowl-
edged chief in this department of the practice, not
only in- his own district but throughout the state,
and in other states.

Among the celebrated capital cases in which, dur-
ing the past few years, he conducted the defense to
a successful issue, were the following : Henning Lo-
renzen and two others, charged with the killing of
William Schuman in 1873; Lewis Johnson, charged
with the murder of Mrs. Browler and child in 1874;
Dr. Alberti, charged with the murder of F. E. Ehrig
in 1875 ; Charles Hermann, charged with the murder
of Russell, of Le Claire ; Samuel C. Prichard, charged
with the murder of John Helmus, and Elizabeth C.



Hervey, charged with the poisoning of Mrs. Mary
Bruce ; in every one of which, by his eloquence
and consummate ability, he either cleared his clients
or secured for them a greatly mitigated punish-
ment, and that where the evidence seemed to be
overwhelmingly against them.

In referring to the Prichard case, which was that
of a youth of sixteen, charged with the murder of
John Helmus, a farmer of Colfax county, Nebraska,
and describing the effects of the eloquence of Mr.
Foster on the court and spectators, the Fremont
" Tribune " of the 3d of June, 1876, employs the
following language :

The argument of Mr. Foster was a studied eftbrt of four
hours' duration. It was a masterly appeal, and it carried its
effects. It carried the hearts of tlie crowded court-room to
the gallows to witness the last agonizing farewell of the
stricken mother . . . The scene was so graphically
described that the wretched mother, who was in court, ran
frantically to her boy, and clasping him around the neck
rocked him to and fro in a very transport of agony. Ladies
wept and strong men's hearts gave way at the scene. And
when at last the orator closed his eloquent appeal, a murmur
of subdued applause was heard above the sobs of women
and the rustle of handkerchiefs. The jury retired and in
half an hour returned with a verdict of acquittal.

As an illustration of his extraordinary influence
over the minds of a jury, this extract must suffice,
though the columns of the Davenport press during
the past five years furnish numerous instances of a
similar character.

He is emotional, — one of the absolute requisites
of a successful criminal lawyer ; but he talks in that
familiar way which is free from dithyrambic flights,
but never wearies the audience.

His talents as a criminal lawyer are not, however,
confined to his ability as an orator. He is an adept
at cross-examination ; has a very insinuating, affable

and pleasant manner, and a witness is led into a
snare so gradually, but so surely, that he is not con-
scious of where he is drifting till be is overwhelmed
with confusion.

Nor has he attained his success without diligent
and laborious study. He has never appeared as
counsel in any case, whether in the lowest or the
highest court, which he had not thoroughly studied
and mastered.

Almost from the outset of his career he has found
himself pitted against the ablest and most expe-
rienced lawyers of the bar, and with a success rarely
paralleled by men of his years. Another important
element in his strength is his earnestness ; the sin-
cerity of his manners and the momentum of his well-
considered words tell powerfully on a jury.

Added to all, he is a gentleman of unimpeachable
moral character and of the highest social standing.
He is blessed with a robust constitution, which he in-
vigorates by healthful outdoor exercise and athletic
sports, being especially fond of hunting and fishing.

To all human appearance there is yet in store for
William A. Foster a career of brilliancy and success
that falls to the lot of but few men.

In politics, be is radically republican, and* is now
a member of the state senate.

In religion, he holds to the Protestant faith, but
his views are not in harmony with any of the ortho-
dox creeds, though he heartily indorses the golden
rule, and the principles cf Christ's sermon on the

He was married on the 12th of June, 1867, to
Miss Lucy M. Birchard, daughter of Backus Birch-
ard, Esq., a large farmer, of Scott county, Iowa.



JOHN ARTHUR CARTON, who drew the first
J load of lumber to Ackley, for his own building,
and built the first elevator there, and who is second
in enterprise to no man in the place, became a resi-
dent of Iowa in 1856, moving from his home at
Ottawa, Illinois, and arriving at Dubuque on the
4th of November of that year.

His father, James Carton, was one of the pioneer
settlers of La Salle county, Illinois ; and the family,
brothers and sisters of Mr. Carton, still reside there.

The subject of this sketch made Ottawa his home

until after he became of age ; was educated at Otta-
wa and Chicago for a civil engineer, and from 1856
to i86t was on the line of the Dubuque and Pacific,
now the Iowa branch of the Illinois Central rail-
road, aiding to survey the route from end to end.

In 1 86 1 Mr. Carton became a clerk in the bank of
J. H. Leavitt, of Waterloo, Iowa.

On the demise of his father the following year, he

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 58 of 125)