pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

The United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume online

. (page 70 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

He early formed a great desire to study history and
solid literature generally, which induced him to ob-
tain, if possible, a collegiate education.

Mr. Temple married at Morgantown, West Vir-
ginia, on the 30th of September, 1873, Miss Julia
M. Protzman, who has borne him one boy.

In religious matters, he inclines toward Method-
ism, though he is allied to no church organization.

In politics, he is an active democrat.

Mr. Temple is in the enjoyment of a large and
lucrative practice throughout Clark county. He is
physically and mentally a strong, active man. In
the twenty-ninth year of his age we find him well
established in reputation and profit in the* practice
of his profession, a noble example of what pluck,
guided by well earned scholarship, can do to advance



470



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARr.



the interests of a rising man. What a commentary
the success of such a man is to the thousands on
thousands of comparatively briefless lawyers who
are rotting away in dingy offices in the great Atlan-
tic cities, who have book knowledge enough, but who
lack the nerve to strike out for themselves .amid
the thousand and one opportunities which continu-
ously present themselves in the great west for men



of tact and energy of character. Mr. Temple is a
climbing man, and notwithstanding just now he
seems to be .unambitious, yet it will by no means
surprise us to find him, ere he reaches the meridian
of life, making an indelible mark upon the history
of the state of his adoption.

He became a member of Clark Lodge, No. 95, in
December, 1875.



HON. SUMNER B. HEWETT,

EAGLE GROVE.



SUMNER BARSTOW HEWETT, a pioneer set-
tler in Wright county, Iowa, and second judge
of the county, is a son of Sumner B. Hewett, sen-
ior, a millwright and carpenter, and Mary E. Allen,
and was born in Northbridge, Massachusetts, on the
22d of June, 1833. The Hewetts are of English
pedigree, and were early settlers in the Old Bay
State. The grandfather of our subject was in the
war of 1812. Sumner spent his boyhood in Sutton,
Worcester county, Massachusetts, near his birth-
place, finishing his education at the East Douglas
Academy. He was a clerk in a store at East Doug-
las and other places a few years ; afterward an ac-
countant in Boston four years, and in 1854, at the
age of twenty-one, settled in Wright county, which
has since been his home. His father and brother-
in-law, Nathaniel B. Paine, came with him, and they
were the first settlers who remained. With the ex-
ception of narrow belts of timber on the streams
and around Walled Lake and other bodies of water,
and here and there a grove, the county twenty-four
years ago was an open prairie, " unshorn and beau-
tiful," waiting for the plow. Buffalo, elk, deer and
other wild animals were abundant, but no white man
had turned a furrow.

Judge Hewett selected his home in Eagle Grove
township, in the southwestern part of the county, and
started what is now known all over northwestern
Iowa as Eagle Grove Farm. It consists of six hun-
dred acres of the best quality of land, under good
improvement, and well stocked with short-horn and
graded cattle. Stock raising has been a specialty
with Judge Hewett. He has taken much pains to
acquaint himself with the science of the business ;
is well posted on matters generally pertaining to agri-
culture; has a small orchard, and is a good repre-
sentative of Iowa men engaged in this pursuit.



He was appointed county judge in April, 1861,
and the following October was elected to the same
office for the term of two years. In 1862 he was
appointed revenue collector for the sixth district,
and held the latter office until turned out by Andrew
Johnson, the bolting republican president. Prior to
taking this office in January, 1862, he was appointed
engrossing clerk of the senate in the general assem-
bly, and most of the time acted as second assistant
secretary of the senate.

Judge Hewett was elected to the general assembly
in the autumn of 187 1, and in the session held the
next January-March served on the committees on
agricultural college, railroads and public buildings,
being chairman of the first-named committee, and
doing good work on all of them. He was for some
time a director of the Iowa State Agricultural Soci-
ety, and quite active and efficient in the board.

He seems to be always ready for public service,
and prompt in the discharge of every duty.

The records of the fourteenth general assembly
indicate that representative Hewett was usually in
his place when votes were taken. He was a dis-
creet legislator, doing very little public talking, but
prompt and untiring in the committee room.

He has always been a republican, and is vigilant
in his efforts to advance the interests of the party,
after attending congressional and state conventions.
Politically and in all respects he is an influential
man.

He has been a Freemason since 1862, having,
however, taken only three degrees.

The wife of Judge Hewett was Miss Abbie S.
Parker, of Blue Hill, Maine, a woman of good edu-
cation, and in her younger years a popular school
teacher. They were married on the 24th of October,
1854. They have two adopted children, recently





■'■irXSMZi.SanslSSa^d.^Sijrr



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.



473



taken, a boy and a girl, whom they are intending to
educate and fit for usefulness.

The judge has been engaged from time to time
in trying to secure a railroad for his part of the state ;
was one of the first men to suggest the Iowa Pacific



road, now graded through Wright county, and pass-
ing within a mile and a half of his farm ; and is one
of the foremost men in his section in prosecuting
enterprises calculated to develop the wealth of the
soil or the best qualities of the people.



WILLIAM H. BAXTER, M.D.,

WILTON.



WILLIAM HENRY BAXTER was born in
Cannonsburg, Washington county, Penn-
sylvania, on the 28th of December, 1828, and is the
eldest child of Joseph Baxter and Isabella n^e Por-
ter, both natives of the Keystone State. His father
was an industrious blacksmith, and wrought at the
anvil all his lifetime, but having a family of ten
children to support, his utmost efforts were ex-
hausted in hammering out a bare subsistence for
them, so that beyond the then crude and irregular
public schools he was unable to provide for their
education ; consequently the children were early
thrown upon their own resources. Both parents
are descended from Scotch Covenanter ancestors,
who took refuge in the north of Ireland to escape
the bitter persecution visited upon the non-con-
formists under the Stuart dynasty, from, whence
they emigrated to Pennsylvania previous to the
revolution.

The father of our subject in early life had a taste
for military tactics, and was for many years captain
of a military company under the militia laws of the
state. Of his ten children, two died in infancy and
eight lived to maturity, namely, five sons and three
daughters. Four of the sons were soldiers in the
Union army during the late rebellion. Robert was
a member of an Ohio regiment and was killed while
on a "scout" in Braxton county, Virginia, in 1862.
James was a member of the nth Iowa, and was
wounded in the battle of Shiloh, from the effects of
which he died in 1863. The other two, Joseph and
John, were also through the war, but escaped un-
hurt. Mary Jane is the wife of John W. Guard, of
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Elizabeth Ann is the wife of
Joseph Herron, of Clay City, Illinois, and Martha
Matilda is the wife of Samuel Comer, of Moscow,
Iowa. The father died in 1857, in Leesville, Carroll
county, Ohio, and the mother, a most worthy lady, is
still living, in the enjoyment of good health, in the
family of her daughter at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



At the age of twelve years William Henry re-
moved with his parents to Leesville, Carroll county,
Ohio, where, by working in the summer months, he
was enabled to pay his way through an academic
course in the New Hagerstown Academy, in that
county. At the age of sixteen he taught a district
school for several winters.

From a very early period in his history he enter-
tained a controlling desire to become a physician,
and in 1847 an opportunity offered for preparation
for the profession which had been the aim of his
life. In that year he entered the office of Dr. John
H. Stephenson, of Leesville, Ohio, where for four
years he was a diligent student. Ambitious to at-
tain to a full knowledge of the science of medicine,
and indefatigable in his pursuit of experimental
skill, he was in high favor with his preceptor, who
during the last years of his pupilage was accus-
tomed to place the knife into the hands of his
pupil and superintend while the latter performed
some of the most critical operations coming with-
in the practice of a country physician of that day.
Dr. Stephenson has often been heard to say that he
would never relinquish the practice in Leesville until
Dr. Baxter would remove there and take his place.

In 1850 Dr. Baxter commenced the practice of
his profession at Leesville (without a college diplo-
ma), and remained one year longer under the eye of
his preceptor. In 1851 he removed to New Franklin,
Harrison county, Ohio, where he practiced a year;
and in 1852 he immigrated to Moscow, Muscatine
county, Iowa, where he practiced with very flatter-
ing success for fifteen years. In 1867 he removed
to Wilton, which has since been his home, where he
has long since attained to the highest rank in the
profession, and built up a large and lucrative prac-
tice extending many miles into the country, and be-
ing often called upon by his brother practitioners in
other towns to consultations on the most serious and
critical cases.



474



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARr.



In 1865 he attended a course of lectures at the
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk^ Iowa,
from which he graduated with honors ; and during
the winter following he graduated at the Medical
College, Chicago, Illinois, receiving addendum de-
gree. He is one of the assistant surgeons of the
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad, and at-
tends to all the accidents occurring on the line in
the vicinity of Wilton Junction. He is a member
of the Muscatine County Medical Society, of the
Iowa and Illinois Medical Association, the Iowa
State Medical Society and the American Medical
Association. He was president of the Iowa and
Illinois Association in 1874, and in 1870 was a del-
egate from Iowa to the national convention of the
American Association held at Washington, District
of Columbia, and served as the representative of
his state on the committee for the nomination of
officers for the ensuing year.

He is a member of the Masonic, order, and has
been twice master of Wilton lodge, No. 167, also a
member of the Muscatine Chapter of Royal Arch
Masons.

His religious views are orthodox, but he is not in
union with any church, though an attendant of the
services of the Presbyterian church, and is gener-



ous in his contributions toward religious and benev-
olent objects generally. In politics, he is a republi-
can of the radical school.

In personal appearance, the doctor is rather be-
low the middle size, of fair and ruddy complexion
and solid build, weighing one hundred and ninety
pounds, of a bright and cheerful disposition. His
presence and breezy manners in the sick room be-
ing often not less beneficial to the desponding pa-
tient than his professional treatment. He is known
as a kind-hearted, whole-souled and generous gentle-
man. He possesses considerable professional pride
and courtesy, and is very highly esteemed by his
brother practitioners for his eminent ability, skill
and integrity. In a word, he is an amiable gentle-
tleman and an exemplary citizen.

He has been twice married : on the i8th of Janu-
ary, 1852, to Miss Matilda J., daughter of William
Wright, Esq., of New Franklin, Harrison county,
Ohio, by whom he has two children, Clara and Ida.
She died on the 9th of February, 1863. On the 14th
of April, 1864, he was married to Miss Mary Eliza-
beth, daughter of Alexander Small, of Washington,
Tazewell county, Illinois. They have had four chil-
dren, one of whom died in infancy, and three sur-
vive, namely, Nelly, Lizzy and Willie.



SANFORD W. HUFF, M.D.,

SIGOURNET.



SANFORD WILLIAMS HUFF was born in
Hamburg, Erie county. New York, on the 25th
of December, 1826, and is the son of Timothy
,Hnff and Phebe nee Potter. His father was born
near Vergennes, Vermont, and removed, at the age
of twenty-one years, to the wilderness known as the
" Holland Purchase," which composed several of the
westernmost counties of that great state, and in-
cluding the sites of the present cities of Buffalo and
Rochester. The former was but a village of a few
rustic houses when, with knapsack in hand, this
stalwart youth, six feet one in his stocking feet, hair
black, dark eyes, and erect symmetrical figure, first
set foot upon its streets as a pioneer of the newly-
opened-up annexation to the state. Locating his
claim of a tract of wild land purchased from the
Holland Company, at their office in Buffalo, near
the present thriving town of Hamburg, he com-
menced opening up a farm, Success crowned his



industrious efforts, and he subsequently became a
well-to-do farmer, and a man locally renowned for
his integrity of character. He was often called upon
to perform important public duties, and intrusted
with responsible official positions. For many years
he held a magistrate's commission, and " Esquire
Huff's" court was always the synonyme of justice
and impartiality. His death occurred in 1854.

The mother of our subject was Phebe Potter, a
sparkling young Quakeress, daughter of Nathaniel
Potter, descended from one of the solid old fami-
lies of that persuasion, of New England historical
stock, which suffered persecution and martyrdom at
the hands of the Puritans of the Colonial days, in
that era of religious intolerance which was marked
by edicts of banishment, and often capital punish-
ment, for heresies against orthodox creeds. Out of
these persecutions grew a hatred of sectarianism in
religion by this exemplary and otherwise amiable



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.



475



persuasion that lasted through generations, and which
is still manifest in many of the descendants of the
old stock. To the influence of his mother's liberal
and genial views of christian duties may possibly
be attributed the disinclination to the restraints of
creeds, and the large and liberal views of christian
duties, and the faith upon which they are based, so
eminently characteristic of our subject.

The first of the family known to the American
genealogical records is Angalus Huff, of German
nativity. (The family chronicler has said German,
but it has been thought by some branches of the fami-
ly that this is an error of some copyist of the records
in confounding in his own mind the terms Dutch
and German, so common in conversation in this
country; if so, it has served to make the extraction
somewhat doubtful to all future generations). An-
galus Huff seems to have been a man of consider-
able local celebrity for his scholarship, which was
thought remarkable for that early day and locality.
He was also noted for his dashing horsemanship,
and for his great longevity. He died in the one
hundred aijd twenty-first year of his age.

The family records fade into indefiniteness for a
generation or two after. The Huffs are next found
on the banks of the Hudson, in Dutchess county,
in one of the thriving neighborhoods of that ancient
county, where the grandfather of our subject, John
Huff, was born.

He joined the revolutionary army at the age of
sixteen, and for the next six years he carried a
musket. Except his participation in the battles of
Saratoga and Brooklyn, little is known of his army
career.

He returned home, after the achievement of the
independence of the colonies, to find his father
ruined in property by the devastations of the sev-
eral armies.

He removed soon after to the newly formed state
of Vermont, where he married, and where most of
his children were born, including the father of our
subject, who was one of the eldest of several broth-
ers, and was educated under the sparing facilities of
that then new state. However, the proclivity for
education was predominant in the blood, and most
of the children, especially the younger members,
overcame the obstacles of the situation and ob-
tained good educations, and became men and wom-
en of more or less intellectual prominence.

The fruit of his marriage with Phebe Potter was
five children, of whom our subject is the youngest.



and four of whom are still living : the oldest brother
named Levi, two sisters and the doctor, each the
head of a family, and residents of different states
of the Union.

A sister, Mrs. Charlotte Gould, residing on a farm
adjoining the homestead, remains the sole repre-
sentative of the family in its native state of New
York; while Adalia is the wife of a merchant named
Scott, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

As the youngest of the family Sanford W. came
into the world after the first wild roughness of pio-
neer life had passed away. He grew up in vigorous
usefulness on the farm, passing much of his boyhood,
however, in the school-house on the hill. The Huff
family, as noted above, were all lovers of knowledge.

Financial embarrassments which overtook the
father in his declining days prevented in a measure
the carrying out of a cherished design to give our
subject the advantage of a thorough collegiate edu-
cation, so that he was left to achieve his own mental
discipline as best he could. He was able by dint of
perseverance, economy and industry to avail himself
of the advantages of academical schools. During
his boyhood the state, by a legislative enactment,
provided for the establishment of circulatory libra-
ries in the school districts, of one of which his father
became the custodian and librarian. To our sub-
ject, who had been starving for something more to
read than the few scattering books in the families of
the neighborhood, this was a God-send. It was a
fountain from which he drank largely, and upon
which he grew intellectually. He graduated from
the medical department of the University of Buffalo
in the spring of 1 851, and in the summer of the same
year commenced practice as the partner of a prac-
titioner of high standing in that city. But the severe
application incident to his professional studies now
began to recoil upon his health, demanding the more
vigorous exercise, and healthful atmosphere of the
country, and after twelve months of city practice
he was obliged to flee to the country for dear life.
Opening an office in the pleasant village of North
Evans, in his native state, he was soon crowded with
business that kept him in the saddle or the sulky al-
most constantly, under the stimulus of which he grew
strong and vigorous, regaining the ancestral vitality
and physical development. In 1857 he removed to
Iowa, and located at Iowa City. During the first
two years of his western experience his attention
was divided between his profession and outside op-
erations and speculations, which in the main were



476



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



not remunerative. Afterward, relinquishing all sub-
sidiary affairs, he devoted himself exclusively to his
profession, and when the war opened in 1862 he
accepted the surgeoncy of the 12th Iowa Infantry,
which he joined in August of that year at Corinth,
Mississippi, and of which he retained medical com-
mand until it was mustered out nearly four years
after, being separated from it only when ordered to
positions of greater responsibility as surgeon-in-
chief of division or department. From the battle of
Corinth, one of the most fiercely contested of the
war, which occurred in October, 1862, he partici-
pated in nearly all the great achievements of the
army of the southwest, among which may be in-
stanced those of Vicksburg, Jackson, Nashville, Mo-
bile, and many lesser engagements, and in various
expeditions and raids that occupied the time be-
tween great battles, filling, in the meantime, all the
grades of responsibility to which a regimental sur-
geon is eligible. As surgeon of brigade, he served
on the staff of the gallant General Mathias, of Iowa;
as surgeon-in-chief of division, on the staff first of
General Mower and afterward of General McArthur.
As surgeon-in-chief of the department of Alabama,
on the staff of General Davies; this latter service
was rendered in 1865. The capitulation of Lee
found him at Montgomery, Alabama, but his division
was transferred soon after to Selma. Scarcely were
the troops fairly encamped in the environs of pictu-
resque Selma, than the doctor was ordered to pro-
ceed at once to visit the several confederate general
hospitals in his department, take possession of them
in behalf of our government, and convert such of
their stores as were available into use for the Union
troops, who were to be organized for the present into
an army of occupation.

He was afterward immediately ordered to Mont-
gomery, Alabama, to take charge of the central de-
pot of supplies for the department, the business of
which was in great confusion. He discharged the
duties of surgeon-in-chief to the department until
he was mustered out of the service in the winter of
i865 - 6, after a period of nearly four years of active
and arduous labor, interrupted only by a few days'
leave of absence in the winter of 1863-4, when he
was called home to see his dying wife. Returning
home in the spring of 1866, he entered again upon
the business of his profession, which he soon rebuilt.

Soon after his return he was elected to the posi-
tion of secretary to the State Historical Society and
-editor of its " Annals." The little publication grew



in his hands from a pamphlet of some thirty odd
pages to a dignified quarterly of magazine propor-
tions. Hitherto the state had been parsimonious
in its patronage of this noble enterprise. Feeling
deeply the need of more generous aid by the state.
Dr. Huff visited the legislature during its session
of 1868-9 at his own expense, and after a few weeks'
lobbying, secured an appropriation of seven thou-
sand dollars, with which to defray the expense of
printing and preserving the records and accumula-
tions of the society for the benefit of the future his-
torian of the state. The sum was carefully ex-
pended under the direction of the curators, and the
result is now a part of the archives of the State
University. After three years of toilsome but suc-
cessful labor in this work, more imperative demands
of private business compelled him to resign the po-
sition, and the work has since been measurably sus-
pended. Soon after this he was induced to engage
in a newspaper enterprise, the Iowa "Tribune," then
about to be started, and of which he afterward took
the editorial management ; but his professional du-
ties which he had never relinquished requiring his
attention, the paper soon after passed by absorption
into the hands of the "Republican."

In this connection we should not omit to notice
the fact that a very flattering unofficial invitation to
a " chair " in the medical department of the State
University was declined by Dr. Huff in favor of
the last-named enterprise.

The doctor was for several years, during his resi-
dence in Iowa City, president of the medical asso-
ciation of that county. He is also a member of the
State Medical Association, and in 1877 was a dele-
gate to the annual meeting of the National Medical
Association held at Chicago.

In the. spring of 1872 he removed to Sigourney,
where he has since been in active practice, with an
industry that would have broken down a constitu-
tion less vigorous.

In politics, he has always been a republican, al-
though for the past five years he has been other-
wise too fully occupied to devote much attention to
political matters. However, the late financial em-
barrassments of the country having called his at-
tention to the causes leading thereto, he was drawn
into sympathy with what is known as the greenback
movement, and having written and published in the
Sigourney " News " a series of articles on what may
be termed "the philosophy of the paper money
question," which attracted much attention, he was



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.



477



naturally put forward as the standard bearer of the