pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

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

. (page 74 of 125)
Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 74 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

time for the institution. Tilford Academy, a flour-

ishing school, is located on grounds donated by him.
He is a man alive to every interest of Vinton, ma-
terial, educational, moral and religious. He has
been a member of the Presbyterian church some-
thing like thirty years; is one of the pillars of the
local society, and a well wisher to every genuine
christian organization.

Mr. Tilford was a democrat in early life ; voted,
however, for General Winfield Scott, whig, for Presi-
dent, in 1852, and since 1855 has acted with the
republicans. He has kept out of office, exceptsome
local one of trifling importance.

On the 2 1 St of April, 1835, Miss Margaret J.
Young, daughter of Joseph Young, of Franklin,
Indiana, was married to Mr. Tilford, and they
have had six children, of whom only three lived
to maturity. John Young, the oldest living child,
has a family, and lives one and a half miles south
of Vinton. Ann J. is the widow of W. W. Hanford,
many years publisher of the Vinton " Eagle," and
Helen A. is the widow of Job R. Tracy, who was
also a resident of Vinton.



AMONG the officers who were in the Mexican
. army and who now reside in Iowa is Lucian
Q. Hoggatt, a native of Washington county, Indiana,
born on the 21st of March, 1815, when this state
was a territory. His father was William Hoggatt, a
farmer by occupation, but for many years an official
of Washington and Lawrence counties. His mother
was Elizabeth Coffin. The Hoggatts were from
North Carolina and Virginia; the Coffins from Nan-
tucket, both families being Quakers or Friends. Some
of them left the south early in this century, on ac-
count of their anti-slavery views.

Lucian received a common English education,
picking up a good deal of it by his industry, leaving
school when thirteen years old. He lived on the
farm until about fifteen or sixteen; from 1833 to
1853 shipped more or less produce annually on flat-
boats to New Orleans, acting at first for others. Part
of this time he was salesman in a store.

In 1845 he raised a company for the Mexican war,
and went into the service as first lieutenant company
F, 2d Indiana Volunteers, and adjutant of the regi-
ment, and served exactly one year. He was at the

battle of Buena Vista, under General Taylor, the
only engagement of any importance that his regi-
ment participated in ; and we have heard him de-
clare that the official account of that battle is little
better than a fiction ; that the letter " V " which it is
said Colonel Jefferson Davis formed with his mgn,
thus saving the day, is a pure myth.

After his return from the Mexican war he carried
on tanning and merchandising in Union county,

In 1859 he engaged in farming in Lawrence county,
in his native state ; at the end of one year, however,
he removed to Iowa, settling on wild prairie adjoin-
ing the present site of Ames, in April, i860. He is
now the oldest settler at the forks of Squaw creek
and the Skunk river, farming having been his lead-
ing business here. In August, 1861, he lost his right
leg in a threshing machine, and since that time has
not accomplished much himself on the farm. For
about four years he was engaged on the railway now
connecting Ames with Des Moines. He was one of
the early and principal men in engineering this en-



While living in Lawrence county, Indiana, Mr.
Hoggatt was sheriff four years, and member of the
legislature one term ; has also served a similar period
as sheriff of Story county, and was a member of the
fifteenth general assembly.

In politics, he was a democrat until 1854; then
changing his views, became a republican, but is now
known as an independent politician, with powerful
greenback convictions.

He has been a Freemason nearly forty years, and
has taken the royal-arch and council degrees.

He has a wife and nine children, and has lost two
children. Three daughters and one son are married :
Clorinda E. is the wife of Thomas Grayson, of Ames ;
Iris M., of Douglass McAffee, of Lawrence county,
Indiana ; and Rebecca S., of George D. Loud, of
Dubuque, Iowa. J. Brown Hoggatt, the only son
who has a family, resides at Nevada, eight miles east
of Ames. The wife of Lucian Q. was Abigail Brown,
of Indiana, their union taking place on the i6th of
March, 1841.

Mr. Hoggatt has had a liberal share of backwoods
and frontier life. Born in the terf-itory of Indiana,
where school-houses, "like angels' visits," were "few
and far between," he had to forage on Pike and Dil-
worth just where he happened to find them, bidding

a final adieu to the school-house in his fourteenth
year, and aiding to run a flat-boat to the Crescent
City before he was seventeen. In those early days
from 1833 to 1850 or later, there were many rough
people on the Mississippi river and on some of its
islands. Sometimes parties landing with well loaded
boats at Islands Nos. 66 or 67 would be robbed of
their provisions. Now and then a man, and in one
or two cases a whole crew, would be missing. There
being no law to reach these robbers and murderers,
the boatmen themselves took the matter in hand,
and the population of the two islands mentioned be-
came suddenly very much decimated. Mr. Hoggatt
is familiar with the minutest parts of that episode in
flat-boating life.

Before leaving Indiana he formed the acquaint-
ance of more than one horse thief and counterfeiter
belonging to a branch of the Reno family, of Brown
county ; and once or twice he was chosen captain
or leader of a band who drove the scoundrels out
of that part of the state. He is evidently a stranger
to fear, and is just the man to lead in a serious trial
of " roughing it."

Mr. Hoggatt has a strong mind, is well posted on
current events, and in talking has probably no rival,
male or female, in Story county.

CHARLES McAllister, m.d.,


CHARLES McAllister, who represents the
seventy-fifth assembly district in the state leg-
islature, is a native of Lee, Berkshire county, Massa-
chusetts, dating his birth on the ist of February,
1840. His parents were John and Cynthia Heath
McAllister. He is of Scotch-Irish descent on his
father's side, his grandfather, Alexander McAUister,
coming from Ireland in the latter part of the last
century, and settling in eastern New York. John
McAllister was a farmer, and died in 1873. His
wife was of Puritan stock.

The subject of this sketch prepared for college at
Williams Academy, Stockbridge, in his native county ;
entered the freshman class of Williams College in
1859, and, his health failing, left near the close of
the sophomore year. He read medicine with an
uncle, Charles McAllister, M.D. ; attended lectures
in the Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield; gradu-
ated in the spring of 1865 ; practiced three- years in^

Stockbridge, when, his health again failing, he started
for the west, reaching Dixon, Illinois, in the spring
of 1869. At length, with his health partially restored,
he spent the autumn of 187 1 and the following win-
ter in traveling through the states of Iowa, Minne-
sota, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, and the fol-
lowing March located in Spencer, the seat of justice
of Clay county. Here he has steadily followed his
profession, his rides extending over Clay county and
into O'Brien, Dickinson, Buena Vista, Emmett, Osce-
ola, Cherokee and Palo Alto counties. When first
settling in Iowa he purchased land at Spencer; has
opened a farm, which he works by proxy, and has
dealt more or less in real estate, success attending
all his operations.

In the autumn of 1877 Dr. McAllister was elected
to the general assembly, representing Clay, Dickin-
son, Osceola and O'Brien counties. He received all
but about two- hundred votes, having the largest



majority ever given in the district, and the largest
received by any member of the house in the seven-
teenth general assembly. He was made chairman
of a special committee on the practice of medicine,
and placed on the committees on railroads, hospital
for the insane, asylum for the deaf and dumb, sup-
pression of intemperance, and judicial districts. He
is a new member, and says very little, but shirks no
duties in the committee rooms.

Representative McAllister is a Master Mason, was
made so in Massachusetts, and is a member of the
Spencer Lodge.

He is a communicant in the Congregational church,

superintendent of the Sunday-school, and an active
and true christian man. He is president of the Clay
County Bible Society, and has been for years.

On the ist of January, 1869, he was united in mar-
riage with Miss Laura McAllister, an adopted daugh-
ter of his uncle. Dr. McAllister, and they have one
child, a son.

Representative McAllister is about the average
height, being five feet and eight inches tall, and
weighs one hundred and forty-five pounds. He is
polished alike in mind and manners; is courteous
and cordial, frank and communicative, an easy con-
verser, and has all the elements of a true gentleman.



THE man who, in the battle of life against the
odds of poverty and adversity, rises to a posi-
tion" of honor, usefulness and independence by his
own unaided energy and talents, illustrates a life
story worthy of emulation. Such a man is the sub-
ject of this sketch.

Lyman H. Washburn was born at Morristown, St.
Lawrence county, New York, on the ist of July,
1832, and is the son of Zephaniah Washburn and
Phebe nSe Parsons. His father removed to Worth-
ington, Franklin county, Ohio, in 1834, where he
remained till 1840, when he removed still farther
west, and settled in Muscatine, Iowa. About this
period he embraced the principles of total absti-
nence, and devoted the next four years of his life
to the advocacy of temperance in public lectures in
Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. He afterward built the
Nevada Flouring Mills of Muscatine ; was for many
years a justice of the peace, and was the first mayor
of Muscatine after its incorporation as a city in 1851.

Our subject received a common-school education
in Muscatine, and as soon as able was put to manual
labor to aid in support of the family. In 1852, at
twenty years of age, he followed the tide of emigra-
tion to the Pacific slope, and there engaged in min-
ing for three years, when the premature discharge
of a blast brought his career as miner to a sudden
termination, and came near ending his life. He es-
caped, however, with the loss of his right hand some
four inches below the elbow. The expenses inci-
dent to this disaster involved his previous earnings,
so that he returned to his home poorer than when

he left it, with the irreparable loss of his right arm.
In 1858 he was elected by his fellow-citizens to the
office of justice of the peace, which he retained five
years, during which period he was an industrious
law student, and in 1862 was admitted to the bar
of Muscatine, and since then has been engaged more
or less actively in the practice of his profession with
very fair pecuniary results.

Mr. Washburn has always been a man of great pub-
lic spirit, giving his best thoughts and energies to the
public welfare, in the broadest sense of that term.
In 187:^ he took a deep interest in the cause of the
Muscatine Western Railroad Company, a new high-
way seeking to extend its lines across Iowa. Be-
lieving, the enterprise to be for the public good and
the especial benefit of his city, he gave three years
of his time to it, with but very slight compensation
a small part of the time ; but at this period the panic
of 1873 being succeeded by a persistent "granger
crusade " against all railroads, the company became
involved and the work on the line was suspended
after thirty-two miles had been built.

He served as alderman of the city of Muscatine
from 1865 to 1869, and during that period, owing
mainly to his energy and influence, the city was re-
graded and all the principal streets macadamized.
He is also a member of the school board of the
city, and has left the impress of his vigorous char-
acter upon every department of the city's interest
with which he has been connected.

In politics, he has always been a radical republi-
can, and for some time edited a party paper.



He was raised under Methodist influence, but on
making a public profession of faith in his Redeem-
er, united with the Baptist church, on the question
of immersion. He is president of the Young Men's
Christian Association of Muscatine, and a leading
spirit in the temperance organizations of his city,
and devotes as much time to the advancement of
the cause of religion and morahty as any other lay-
man in the community.

On the 4th of July, 1858, he married Miss Louisa
A. Lloyd, at Norwalk, Ohio, a lady of English pa-
rentage. They have three children, namely, Jessie
M., Frank L. and Charles L.

Few young men returning to the home of their
parents as Mr. Washburn did, at the age of twenty-
three, from a California mine, with nothing to show
for it but an amputated right arm, would have known
what they were still good for, or that they were good
for anything. It was a dreary outlook for one whose
young heart was thus left to beat itself against the

bars so cruelly closed and locked upon it. To con-
vert the left hand into the right wa.s an immediate
religious duty with Mr. Washburn. By dint of the
closest practice and the severest discipline this al-
most unnatural feat was accomplished, and the odds
against him were greatly reduced. True he had but
one hand, was an unlettered young miner and pos-
sessed not a dollar in the world, but the education of
his left hand had wrought the same result for his
hitherto left-handed mind — brought it into use in the
study of men as well as books, of cause and effect
in the world of enterprise and industry around him.
He saw that opportunities do not grow by the way-
side, but in hot-houses, under constant cultivation ;
that cities as well as men make their own circum-
stances; that the secret of success in every depart-
ment of life is action.. There are few in Muscatine
to-day who think of Mr. Washburn as a one-handed
man : he is rather Briareus of the hundred hands,
and doing the thinking of the god's fifty heads.



ONE of the best examples of a self-made man,
in the State of Iowa, is William H. Stivers,
who never went to school ten weeks after twelve
years of age, who worked at the blacksmith trade
until twenty-six years old, and who is now a leading
man at the bar of Tama county. He is the son of
a blacksmith, Benjamin Stivers, a resident of Attica,
then Genesee, now Wyoming county. New York, and
was "born on the i8th of May, 1830. His grand-
father, Daniel Stivers, a German, who settled in New
Jersey, was a pensioner of the revolutionary war. The
mother of William was Sophronia Strong, and her
mother was also from Germany.

In the spring of 1836 Benjamin Stivers moved to
Nyesville, Meigs county, Ohio, reaching there the
day his son was six years old. The place is now
called Pomeroy. There William learned his father's
trade, and worked at it steadily until 1850, when he
immigrated to Iowa, working at blacksmithing in
Jones county.

In 1 85 1 he removed to Linn county, and in com-
pany with David Zeikenfuse built the first black-
smith shop in the embryotic town of Lisbon. He
carried on the business five years, studying law dur-
ing the latter part of this period, being encouraged

to so do by Hon. Isaac M. Preston, who is still liv-
ing at Marion, in that county.

In 1856 Mr. Stivers moved to his present home,
read law, and in March of the next year returned
to Linn county, and was admitted to the bar at
Marion, then and now the county seat.

For nearly twenty-one years Mr. Stivers has been
in practice at Toledo. For eight years during this
period he was in company with J. G. Safley, the firm
name being Stivers and Safley. He is now of the
firm of Stivers and Leland.

During the eight years he and Mr. Safley were
together they were the attorneys for Tama county,
the only political office of the least importance with
which Mr. Stivers has had any connection. Though
a republican, and living in a republican county, dis-
trict and state, and interested in the welfare of his
party, he has given his study, his time and his in-
domitable energies exclusively to the law. Begin-
ning legal studies late in life, he seems to have come
to the conclusion that to succeed in his profession
he must make it his sole pursuit. His great strength
is before a jury, he being a powerful advocate. Like
General Taylor in battle, Mr. Stivers, with his case
in court, never knows when he is beaten. He holds

I't^" bylSSall SLSemJiSiLrdayStJIX



on with bull-dog tenacity, and usually wins. He is
five feet and eleven inches tall, is solidly built, has
strong lungs, and knows nothing of physical ex-

Mr. Stivers has passed all the chairs in the sub-
ordinate lodges of Odd-Fellowship, and belongs to
the grand lodge of the state.

He was a member of the first free-soil convention
held in Jones county, and has acted heartily with
the republican party since it was formed.

Miss Emily Baugh, of Jones county, Iowa, became
his wife on the 22A of August, 1852, and they have
four children, two girls and two boys. Emma, the

eldest child, is the. wife of Michael J. Boyle, of To-
ledo; Seward J. is married, and lives upon a farm
near town ; George Sumner is also a farmer, living
at home, and Lilly, the youngest child, is a student
at the Rockford (Illinois) Seminary.

Like the Rev. Robert CoUyer, of Chicago, Mr.
Stivers can still shoe a horse, and do it well. Dur-
ing the past year a journeyman blacksmith, of To-
ledo, in attempting to put the shoes on one of Mr.
Stivers' horses made a failure with one shoe, and
Mr. Stivers did the little job for him neatly and
hastily, to the surprise and admiration of those who
were present.

DeWITT c. richman,


and counselor at law, named after Governor
DeWitt Clinton, an intimate friend of his father's,
who was visiting at the home of his parents about the
time of his birth, was born at Somerset, Perry coun-
ty, Ohio, on the ist of September, 1826, and is the
seventh child of Evert and Mary (Scott) Richman,*
natives of Pennsylvania, and brother of Hon. J.
Scott Richman (elsewhere sketched in this volume).
The father of our subject was a Methodist minis-
ter, and died when the latter was but three years of
age, leaving the care of a family of seven children
upon his excellent mother, who seems to have been
one of the noblest of her sex. Her genealogy has
not been preserved beyond the fact that she was de-
scended of Scotch ancestors, and that she exhibited
many of the traits of character for which that utili-
tarian race are noted. Her watchful care for her
children was unceasing, and her widowed life was
apparently planned and lived for the main purpose
of so rearing her offspring as that they might be pre-
pared for honorable and useful lives. And after
they had grown up and gone out into the world she
often expressed great satisfaction that her care and
watchfulness had been so richly rewarded. Wise
judgment and an affectionate heart enabled her to
so manage and control her family that they were
constrained to obedience; and while they respected
her authority they never ceased to love her, and
" our mother " with them had no peer in the world.

* For genealogy of the Richman family, see sketch of J.
S. Richman.

Her memory is precious to her surviving children.
She was made perfect through suffering, and died
among her loved ones at a good old age.

DeWitt C. was educated at the primitive public
schools of Bucks county,, Pennsylvania, to which
place his mother had removed soon after the death
of his father; there he studied the usual branches
taught in such institutions, and from which he grad-
uated at the age of twelve years; and he was always'
fond of books, and an incessant reader, brief histo-
ries of Greece and Rome being among his earliest
studies. Scott's poetical and prose writings were
his favorite works of fiction; one of these, entitled
" Guy Mannering," he almost committed to mem-
ory; while the Bible was his constant companion,
his vade mecum, with the sacred teachings of which
he became enriched. He was of a thoughtful and
contemplative turn of mind, and while at school
was addicted to the composition of crude poems
and essays on topics suggested by his associations ;
one of these juvenile effusions fell into the hands
of the teacher, or master, as the pedagogue was
then called, which he read aloud to the school,
criticising and turning it into ridicule as he pro-
gressed, to the no small shame and mortification of
the young aspirant to literary fame. The propen-
sity was not quenced, however; and although cast
down by the rebuff of his teacher, the boy was by no
means discouraged. He was also fond of reading
in company, and it was his daily practice to read
aloud to his grandmother from the family Bible,
much to the edification of the good old lady. He



was also fond of the prevalent juvenile sports and
plays, and was an expert skater. He was likewise
something of a mechanical genius, and exhibited
some skill in the construction of his own sleds and
other playthings. He was fond of music, for which
he had an excellent ear, and sometimes indulged in
the singing of ballads and sentimental songs for the
edification of his companions or the family circle.

He was naturally sensitive and keenly alive to
neglect or discourtesy. His feelings were dread-
fully lacerated on one occasion by the putting of a
small switch in his Christmas stockings. This sym-
bolic implication of deserved chastisement tortured
him more than the most severe reproof or even
castigation could have done, and from the emotion
with which he sometimes refers to the incident, it
would seem that he has not yet entirely recovered
from the effects of the shock to his then ardent and
susceptible feelings.

How carefully should parents try to discern the
temperaments of their children and studiously avoid
wounding their sensibilities. Especially should this
rule be observed on festive or joyous occasions.
Many a happy and promising lad has been thus
wantonly bruised, and its after life soured and
blighted by just such indiscretion.

From the age of twelve to sixteen years our sub-
ject worked on a farm in Bucks county, Pennsylva-
nia, except a few months spent in a store in Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania. He served about a year as
clerk in a store at Trenton, New Jersey.

At the age of eighteen he removed to Muscatine,
Iowa, where his eldest brother, John W. Richman,
lived and kept a grocery house.* Here he remained
two years in his brother's employ, when he returned
to Trenton, New Jersey, resumed his clerkship, and
remained there till 1853, when, at the request of
his brother J. Scott, he returned to Muscatine to
pursue the study of law in his office. He had pre-
viously read a little of Blackstone and Kent, but
now he set about the work in real earnest, and in
the year following was admitted to the bar, having
just recovered from an eight weeks' siege of typhoid
fever, the result of overwork as a student.

Being at the time visiting friends in Knox^'ille,
Illinois, at the suggestion of Judge Hannaman, of
that city, he was examined and admitted to the bar
there, and afterward at Muscatine, Iowa. One of

* This John W. Richman was one of the earliest settlers
and most prominent business men of Muscatine. He was
never married, and died in 1S50,

the examining committee being something of a wag,
while young Richman was awaiting with beating
heart and bated breath, broke out suddenly with
the preliminary question : " Mr. Richman, can you
give us a correct outline of female beauty.'" The
revulsion of feeling which this question produced
was astonishing. The rest of the committee burst
into a loud laugh, while the candidate, recovering
ing his self-possession, replied: "If you will give me
a piece of chalk I'll try." The remainder of the
ordeal was easy enough. His examiners soon found
that his freshness from the study of general defini-
tions rendered him more than a match for their

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 74 of 125)