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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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party in his district, and nominated for the office of
state senator by that party.

The doctor has been twice married: first, in 1853,
in his native state, to Miss Harriet E. Borland, then
aged eighteen. She died in 1863, after ten years of
harmonious companionship, leaving an only child,
Alice, who has been educated at the State Univer-
sity of Iowa, and is now completing her musical
studies at an eastern institution. After a period of
seven years he married, in 1870, Miss Laura S.
Nickerson, a lady of New York parentage, born in
the historical town of Ticonderoga ; of high educa-
tion and refinement, and of fine artistic talents. The
fruits of the last union have been three children,

the eldest of whom, a darling boy, was accidentally
killed at his father's gate by a runaway team. The
others are named respectively Laura and Francis.

Dr. Huff is a man of fine physical proportions,
measuring six feet and weighing over two hundred
pounds, dark hair, fair skin, majestic and pleasing
countenance. His life has been full of work, and
he seems destined to wear out rather than rust out.

His taste for literature has not prevented him
from concentrating his intellectual forces on the
great sciences belonging to his profession. In it he
h;is always been a success, taking leading parts in
professional gatherings, making an enviable reputa-
tion as a practitioner and winning a large share of
patronage wherever he has been located.



at Buxton Center, Maine, on the 26th of April,
1827. His parents were Hall J. and Abigail Staples.
His mother, nearly ninety years of age, is still hale
and vigorous. His grandfather on the father's side
was an officer of the revolution. When George was
fifteen years old a select school was opened four
miles from his home, and so anxious was he for an
education that he walked that distance twice a day,
and did not miss a day during the term. Prior to
that period he had had only common-school privi-
leges. In 1844 he entered Gorham Academy, and
by studying sixteen or seventeen hours a day he
was enabled to enter Waterville College, now Colby
University, in one year. He was graduated in 1849,
and was among the first scholars of his class. His
natural taste led him to select the medical profes-
sion. He studied with Dr. Allen Phillips, of Farm-
ington, in his native state. Before concluding his
medical studies he was a short time principal of
Hebron Academy, and two years at the head of the
Center grammar school for boys, in Portland. He
graduated as doctor of medicine in the medical
department of Harvard University, Boston, in March,
1855, and immediately formed a partnership with
his medical preceptor, with whose daughter, Abbie
Crosswell Phillips, he had formed a partnership in
August of the previous year.

Not fancying midnight rides over deep snowdrifts
in a rural town. Dr. Staples, before the end of the

first winter month, concluded to move to the west,
and found himself, an entire stranger, in the city
of Dubuque, Iowa, on the 3d of January, 1856. He
had acquired a lucrative and growing practice be-
fore the civil war broke out ; soon after that event, in
November, 1861, he accepted the office of surgeon
of the 14th regiment Iowa Infantry, and saw much
hard service. On the opening of the battle of Fort
Donelson he was ordered to the general hospital,
and for six days did not remove his clothing, and
found very little time for sleep. At Pittsburgh Land-
ing on the morning of the battle he was appointed
surgeon-in-chief of Wallace's division, and provided
for all his wounded, between seven hundred and
eight hundred men. Soon after the occupation of
Corinth, from excessive labor, his health gave way,
and he was compelled to ask for leave of absence to
return north. About this time complaint was made
that many disabled men had been enlisted in the
new regiments, and at Adjutant-general Baker's re-
quest General Grant ordered Dr. Staples to proceed
to Dubuque and examine the four regiments forming
there in August, 1862. The autumn of that year
found him again at the front, and in the spring of
1863 he was transferred to Columbus, Kentucky,
and appointed medical director of the sixth division,
sixteenth army corps, on General Asboth's staff.
When this officer was relieved by General A. J.
Smith Dr. Staples continued with the latter officer,
accompanying him on General Sherman's raid from



Vicksburg to Meridian in the winter of 1863-4, and
subsequently, as medical director of right wing, six-
teenth army corps, up the red river to cooperate with
General Banks, then back to Mississippi, where at
Tupelo, after a brilliant victory over General For-
est won by General Smith, Dr. Staples had thrown
upon his hands, as before upon the Red River cam-
paign, hundreds of wounded men, most of whom
had to be dressed and transported in wagons a dis-
tance of fifty or sixty miles over the worst kind of
roads. Still acting as medical director, he accom-
panied this command into Missouri, sent there to
repel General Price. The term of service of the
14th Iowa Infantry had now about expired, and the
regiment had started for home ; but General Smith
refused to part with his medical director until the
campaign closed. When finally Dr. Staples was
relieved from duty General Smith sat down and
hastily wrote as follows :

Headquarters Right Wing Sixteenth Army Corps,

Harrisonville, Missouri, October 28, 1864.

Surgeon G. M. Staples:

Dear Sir, — You have acted as the medical director of the
right wing of the sixteenth army corps since April of this
year, and been attached to my personal staff. You are now
about to leave the service, and in justice to you I must ten-
der you my most hearty thanks for the very able manner
you have discharged the various duties devolved upon you.
fc)ur intercourse has always been most friendly, and I hope
our friendship may die only with us. Wishing you health
and prosperity, I remain, ever your true friend,

A. J. Smith, Major-General.

Dr. Staples was mustered out of the service at
Davenport, Iowa, on the i6th of November, 1864.
The following winter he was breveted lieutenant-
colonel by the President, for " faithful and meritori-

ous services during the war." He immediately
resumed practice in Dubuque, and has built up an
extensive business both as medical practitioner and
surgeon. It is said that he performed the first suc-
cessful case of ovariotomy in this section of country,
removing, in the spring of 1872, a tumor, weighing,
with its contents, forty pounds. The woman is still
alive and well. He was also among the first to
resort to amputation of the leg through the knee
joint, now so popular.

Dr. Staples has filled all the offices of the Dubuque
Medical Society, and has long been a member of the
American Medical Association. He has contributed
several valuable papers to the medical journals of
the country, and is a close student and enthusiastic-
ally devoted to his profession. His reputation is
widespread, and the benefit of his experience is
extensively sought for in difficult cases.

Dr. Staples has been a republican from the origin
of the party, and a member of the Methodist church
for more than twenty years. As a christian citizen
and medical practitioner, he has always exhibited
the finest traits of character. His sympathies are
enlisted in every benevolent enterprise. The great
resources of his art and skill are always at the com-
mand of the public, and he has never been known
to refuse medical aid to the worthy poor whenever
it was possible for him to render it.

Dr. Staples has a sandy complexion and a san-
guine temperament ; is a little above the medium
height, with symmetrical proportions, and though
nearly fifty years of age is still as vigorous as in
middle life.



TH E pioneer physician in Jefferson county,
Iowa, was Jessie Corfield Ware, a resident of
Fairfield since 1840 He practiced here long be-
fore there were any roads or bridges in the county,
visiting his few scattered patients, in some case.s,
by following Indian trails across a prairie ten or
twelve miles wide, sometimes going thirty or forty
miles. He was at one time the family physician of
Keokuk, then at the Indian agency in Wapello coun-
ty, twenty miles from Fairfield ; was also the physi-
cian of other Indian agencies. He was appointed
physician to the agencies by General Street.

When he located at Fairfield, thirty-eight years
ago, there were not more than half a dozen families
in the place; Cranmore Gage and the widow of Ellis
Woods being the only persons, now living there, that
were there when he came.

Dr. Ware was born near Blairsville, Pennsylvania,
on the 6th of March, 181 2, and was the son of
Hugh and Rebecca (Hanson) Ware. The Wares
are Scotch-Irish, and were an early family in Vir-
ginia. The parents of Jessie moved to Hillsboro,
Highland county, Ohio, when he was six years old.
The son was educated at Oxford College, from



which he was graduated in 1831. He read medi-
cine at first with Dr. McCollum, of Petersburg, and
then with Dr. Kirby, of Hillsboro, and attended lec-
tures in Cincinnati.

In 1846, after practicing several years, he attend-
ed a course of lectures in Saint Louis, and received
his diploma in 1846. He practiced two years in
Knox county, Illinois, and two years in Saint Louis,
Missouri; removed to Iowa in 1837, and after prac-
ticing three years at Fort Madison and West Point,
in Lee county, he located permanently in Fairfield,
where he has since spent nearly all his time in gen-
eral practice.

In 1846 he went to Saint Louis, attended a course
of medical lectures, and received his diploma.

In 1850 he took a trip to California, was absent
about eighteen months, and part of that time was in
practice at Sacramento. In 1864 he spent a few
months at Virginia City, Montana Territory.

The doctor is still in practice, doing all the busi-
ness that a man of his age could reasonably wish
for — more than he desires. He stands perfectly
erect, and is as active, seemingly, as he was at forty

years of age. No stranger would take him to be
even sixty years old.

He has seen Fairfield grow from an embryo vil-
lage to a city of thirty-five hundred inhabitants, in-
cluding nine or ten doctors. He has attended to
his profession with the utmost closeness, having held
only one office, that of marshal, to take the census
in i860, an office almost forced upon him.

He has been a life-long democrat, and for years
attended most of the state conventions. He is well
known all over the state, especially among politi-
cians. By all classes he is highly respected.

On the 5th of July, 1833, Miss Jenny Ware, a
cousin, and daughter of James Ware, of Bourbon
county, Kentucky, was joined in wedlock with Dr.
Ware, and they had one child that died in infancy.
He has educated three orphan boys, two of them
now lawyers in Dubuque and one of them an edi-
tor in California, also two orphan girls. He now
has a fourth boy, whom he is raising and educating.
The doctor is a man of humane and very generous
impulses, kind to everybody. His friends are many,
his enemies few, if any.



THE growth and prosperous condition of this
house is a fine illustration of what industry
and integrity, coupled with energy and a prudent
oversight of business, can accomplish in a few years,
though starting on a very small capital. John Mac-
lay and J. C. Green opened a stove and tin store
at No. 768 Main street, in 1853, with a capital of
about one hundred dollars. A wagon shop then
stood on the leased lot, and they cut thirty feet off
the front part and put up a frame front, using the
rest of the wagon shop for a tin shop. At the end
of five years Mr. Maclay bought out Mr. Green.
The business steadily increased, and at the end of
five more years Mr. Maclay put a man into the field
and gradually branched out in the wholesale line.
In 1866 he purchased the lot, tore down the old
store, removed the debris of the wagon shop in the
rear and put up a three-story brick store nineteen
by one hundred and thirteen feet, and filled it from
bottom to top with merchandise. At the close of
187s his business capital had" increased from fifty
dollars, his share in the original investment, to thir-

ty-five thousand dollars, and his sales that year
amounted to one hundred and forty thousand dol-
lars. In March, 1876, he took into partnership
two young men who had been in his employ for
several years, their names being James W. Concher
and Charles Schreiber. They had become thor-
oughly posted in the business and had proved them-
selves to be faithful, energetic business men. The
wholesale trade of this house has had a healthy in-
crease from year to year, and has spread over north-
ern Iowa, southern Minnesota, northwestern Illinois
and western Wisconsin. Stoves and tinners' stock
have long been made a specialty, the stoves being
selected from the best foundries in the United
States. Since Mr. Maclay opened a store in 1853
at 768 Main street, that store has never wavered an
iota in financial firmness.

John Maclay is of Scotch parentage, and was born
in New York city, on the i8th of August, 1826. In
his infancy his family removed to Pittsburgh, and
three or four years afterward to Galena, Illinois. He
attended a common school for a few weeks each



winter until he was fifteen, when he was appren-
ticed to a tinsmith. He left Galena for Dubuque,
Iowa, in 1845, and worked at his trade here as a
journeyman until he went into business as before

He has been a member of the Presbyterian church
since 1842, and an elder for more than twenty years.
He is now the senior elder of the Second Presbyte-
rian church, Dubuque.

Mr. Maclay is a- republican, unwavering in his
political principles, but not an office-seeker. He
served, against his wishes, two years as alderman,
maintaining in that position, as in every other, his
high sense of integrity.

In 1847 he was married to Miss Anna Alexander,
a lady of Scotch descent and most estimable char-
acter. They have seven children living, and have
lost one or two.



AMONG the younger class of men whose names
. appear in this book is George Henry Warren,
who was born in Whitingham, Vermont, on the i8th
of December, 1844. His parents were Linus Austin
Warren, a well-to-do farmer, and Sophronia Parker,
both industrious, religious and much respected peo-
ple. They had five children, three boys and two
girls, and strove to bring up all of them carefully,
early instilling into their tender hearts the pure
principles of Christianity. George H. was the fourth
child. His paternal grandfather, Deacon Jarties
Warren, moved from Conway, Massachusetts, to
Whitingham at an early date, settling in the wil-
derness, and residing in that town until old age,
dying at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, where he
lived a short time. The maternal grandfather of
George H. was Captain Samuel Parker, of Whiting-
ham, a revolutionary soldier, who was detailed for
special service under General Washington, with
whom he was a favorite. Both the Warren and
Parker families were remarkable for their physical
strength and longevity.

From what we can learn in regard to the early
life of Mr. Warren, it would appear to have been
unusually happy. He had a pleasant home, affec-
tionate parents, a love for books, and an opportunity
to gratify it. He preferred mental to physical labor,
and for that reason some of his bucolic associates
called him "lazy," and that annoyed him; it was,
perhaps, the sole grief of childhood years. He had
so much literary ambition that at fifteen he was
prepared to teach, and commenced his first district
school. For three years he taught during the winter
and studied in the summer.

At eighteen he entered the old and famous acade-
my at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, paying his

way by teaching a part of each day, while carrying
on a regular and full course of studies. At nine-
teen, owing to mental overwork, his health began
to decline, and he gave up the idea, fondly cher-
ished, of going through Brown University. He be-
came teller of the Shelburne Falls National Bank,
and soon afterward cashier of the same. Prior to
this period he had been looking to the law as his
profession, but relinquished this hope and made up
his mind to be a banker.

In the winter of 1868 he resigned his position in
the bank at Shelburne Falls, came to Tama .City
and carried on a private banking business until
October, 187 1, when the First National Bank of
Tama City was organized, of which institution he
has since held the position of cashier, and has man-
aged its business with a great deal of clerical and
executive ability.

During the last three or four years he has like-
wise given a great deal of attention, and all the
energy at his command, to the development of the
water-power on the Iowa river at this point. He
seems to be deeply impressed with the importance
of encouraging manufactures at the west, as a hand-
maid of railroads in embracing the true interests of
all classes. The water-power enterprise, started here
in 1874, has proved a grand success, several manu-
factories being already in operation. While others
wavered and became indifferent as regarded this
noble scheme, Mr. Warren, with characteristic per-
sistency, continued his efforts to keep it before the

At a grand jubilee held on the completion of this
work, on the 13th of November, 1874, Rev. O. A.
Holmes read a historical essay, in which he thus
spoke of Mr. Warren's part in the work :


'-l,rjirj..i '.n^'-lB-'.hyStJT



It is just to say, of all those who have labored for the
accomplishment of this work, G. H. Warren is deserving
of the highest credit. It is safe to say, only for Mr. Warren
it would not have been undertaken, and no one but he
could have carried it through. It was his strong faith, his
dogged persistence, that did it. Some men do not know
when they are defeated, and will always manage to turn a
defeat into a victory. Such a man is G. H. Warren.

In 1875 Mr. Warren formed the Union Plow Com-
pany, which bids fair to become one of the most
successful enterprises in the interior of Iowa.

He joined the Freemasons in Massachusetts in
1867, and took the chapter degrees at Tama City
in 1870.

He has been a member of the Baptist churgh
since ten years of age, and has been accustomed
from youth to make every business enterprise, or
project or charge of any kind, a subject of especial
prayer. He is convinced that his petitions have
been answered, and evidently believes his Heavenly
Father regards the minutest as well as greatest in-
terests of the trusting one's life. He superintends
the Sunday-school, and aims to make himself useful
in many ways.

In politics, Mr. Warren is republican, but is not
very active.

He married his wife at Shelburne Falls, Massa-
chusetts, on the 14th of April, 1866, she being Miss

Kate Louise Gardner, only child of Joseph W. Gard-
ner, a celebrated cutlery manufacturer of that place.
Mr. Gardner is a native of England, and is a man
of wealth and high standing. Mrs. Warren is the
mother of one child.

Mr. Warren has a light complexion, is five feet
and nine inches tall, and weighs one hundred and
thirty-five pounds. Persons who know him best
call him very conscientious and considerate. It is
not likely that he ever intentionally injured any
one. He has been wronged himself by trusting
too implicitly in the promises and pledges of other
persons whom he took to be honest and reliable.
He believes there is a great deal of goodness in
mankind in the concrete, but has found it rather
diluted in some cases where he expected to find it
in its full strength. He, however, is more to be
commended who is overtrustful and confiding,
though he may sometimes lose in the game of life,
than he who distrusts everybody, approaches every
man with his fists doubled up, and whose life is a
warfare with the better elements of his own nature.
Experience has taught Mr. Warren that caution may
be a virtue; of late years he has made liberal use of
it, and his life thus far, in a pecuniary and in every
sense has been a splendid success.



Winchendon, Massachusetts, on the 20th of
March, 1799, and was a son of Captain David Bea-
man, of that place. He graduated at Union College
and Andover Theological Seminary, and entered the
Presbyterian ministry in 1831. He was married the
sarae'year to Elizabeth G. Jacobs, and removed to
Piketon, Pike county, Ohio, and there organized a
Presbyterian church ; became a prominent leader in
the anti-slavery movement of those days, and par-
ticipated in the conflict in that county with the pro-
slavery element, coming near losing his life several
times at the hands of pro-slavery mobs. While
there, in 1834, his wife died.

In 1836 he was married to Emelia Crichton, who
was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1814, and was
a descendant of the Crichton family to which the
Admiral Crichton beloiiged.

Mr. Beaman removed to Burlington, Lawrence

county, Ohio, in 1837, and for five years was princi-
pal of the academy there.

In 1846 he removed to Montrose, Lee county,
Iowa, and organized one of the pioneer Presbyterian
churches in the midst of the Mormon settlements
of that region. The Mormon war was then in pro-
gress, and soon after the Mormon temple at Nauvoo,
Illinois, just across the Mississippi river opposite
Montrose, was burned, and a general exodus of Mor-
mons took place. The temple stood upon an emi-
nence about a mile from the river, which at that
point is over a mile in width, making its distance
from Montrose over two miles. Notwithstanding
this distance a newspaper of the finest print could
be easily read by the light of the burning temple,
and for more than four miles in the surrounding
country people got out of their beds and chickens
crowed, supposing it to be daylight. The conflagra-
tion occurred about two o'clock in the morning.



Having placed the church at Montrose on a sure
footing, and having, as it were, a desire for more
aggressive work, he removed in 1852 to Croton, in
the same county and on the Des Moines river, into
the midst of the infidel colony of Abner Kneeland.
Kneeland had been imprisoned in Boston, Massa-
chusetts, a few years before for blasphemy, and on
his release had sought this beautiful location when
almost entirely unsettled, and had written to his
friends in the east to come out and locate there, as
he had found a place where there was "no priest, no
God, no heaven, no hell."

Soon, however, he was overtaken by the onward
march of Christianity, and Mr. Beaman organized
there another pioneer church and planted the stand-
ard of the cross in the very center of the infidel's
stronghold. For twenty-one years the contest be-
tween infidelity and religion was carried on ; several
other churches were organized in the neighborhood
by Mr. Beaman ; the influence and spread of infi-
delity was checked, and finally its organization was
wholly overthrown, its followers dead or scattered
until almost every vestige of it has disappeared, and
the benign influence of the religion of the Redeemer

is felt and revered where once the icy pall of atheism
covered the land like a dark cloud.

Having thus accomplished a great work at that
place, Mr. Beaman received a call in 1873 to return
to his old charge at Montrose, which was accepted.
He continued at Montrose until 1875, when, being
quite old, his declining strength compelled him to
desist from ministerial labors, which he had prose-
cuted without cessation for forty-four years. This
he did with great reliictance, having continued to
preach as long as his strength enabled him to go
from his house to the church.

.In 1875, being evidently near the close of his life,
he removed to the residence of his son, D. C. Bea-
man, at Keosauqua, in Van Buren county, where on
the 26th of October, 1875, he died a peaceful death,
at the advanced age of seventy-six years, after an

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 71 of 125)