pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

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

. (page 76 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

yet come into market. The commissioners had lo-
cated the county seat here early that spring; here
in imagination he saw a town rising, and here he
resolved to make his home. Soon after completing
his log house he opened it to the public; enlarged
it in a short time, and kept a hotel for six years. At
the end of that period he sold this property, and in
company with Preston J. Friend engaged in the mer-
cantile business, each one putting in fifteen hundred



dollars. Their business improved until they had a
stock of twelve or fourteen thousand dollars' worth
on hand at a time, and from a business of perhaps
eight or nine thousand dollars the first year it in-
creased to thirty or forty thousand a year during the
progress of the civil war, and even prior to that date.

In the summer of 1867 Mr. Friend died, In 1868
Mr. Culbertson closed his store, bought a farm near
town, and for the last six years has paid considerable
attention to agriculture. He has also an interesf in
a lumber yard, managed by his only son, John T.
Culbertson, an enterprising business man.

About 1844 Mr. Culbertson was appointed clerk
of the district court, the only political office of the
least consequence that he would ever accept.

He has always acted with the democratic party ;
during the rebellion was known as a war democrat,
he being a firm Union man.

Mr. Culbertson has been a member of the Meth-
odist church since boyhood ; is a trustee of the Tip-
ton church, and has been a lay delegate to eccle-

siastical gatherings. He is a liberal supporter of
religious enterprises, and one of the strong pillars
of the Tipton Methodist Episcopal church.

On the T2th of December, 1837, Miss Margaret
Jones, of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, became his
wife, and they have had four children, all living ex-
cept the eldest daughter, Susan M., who, full of prom-
ise, and while being educated at Cornell College, died
at the age of eighteen years. John T., the eldest
child, already mentioned, is married and has a fam-
ily ; Ellen is the wife of John Ferguson, junior, of
Tipton ; Margaret B., the youngest child, lives at

Mr. Culbertson is a good illustration of what econ-
omy and perseverance can accomplish. He came to
Iowa territory a poor man ; has always been prudent
in his expenditures ; pushed his business, until of
late years, day and night, and his labor, pluck and
perseverance have been well rewarded. He is one
of the wealthy men of Tipton, and every dollar he
possesses is the fruit of untiring industry.



ONE of the earliest settlers and most success-
ful business men of Iowa is Edwin Manning,
one of the merchant and farmer princes of this noble
commonwealth. He is of English descent, the pro-
genitor of his branch of the family being a settler in
the Bay State a few decades after the arrival of the

Edwin is the son of Calvin and Desire (Gurley)
Manning, and was born in South Coventry, Tolland
county, Connecticut, on the 8th of February, 1810.
He was raised on a farm, and educated in a common
school until sixteen years of age, when he worked
for an uncle, Royal Manning, six months in a coun-
try store for his board and clothing.

He had now accumulated about thirty dollars as
the proceeds of his industry, and started out to seek
his fortune in the beech woods of northern Penn-
sylvania. He went by steamboat to New York, and
had his first glimpse of babel life in a great city.
He kept his eyes wide open, being a careful ob-
server, and had the good luck to get safely out of
the city with only one exorbitant tax on his verdan-
cy — a double price for a cabman's services. He
went to Bethany, Pennsylvania ; became a clerk in

his uncle James Manning's store, at ten dollars a
month and board, and at the commencement of the
fourth year was taken into partnership, with one-
third interest in the business.

In the summer of 183 1, being of age and possess-
ing a strong desire to see more of the country, Mr.
Manning took his uncle's old family horse and went
through the northern counties of the state, visited
every county seat, and made observations and notes
of his travels, and in reaching Smithport, in McKean
county, he made up his mind that whatever occupa-
tion one adopted in that forest-covered country at
that time, solid work was before him if he expected
to succeed.

His explorations finally resulted in his locating
at a small place known as Canton Corners, in Brad-
ford county. There he opened a general exchange
store, paying in merchandise for all kinds of farm
and forest products. He was very successful, be-
came popular, and seems to have been highly es-
teemed by everybody, excepting the man who had
preceded him in business and made a failure. This
man's envy or jealousy, or some other mean ingre-
dient in his composition, led him to sue Mr. Man-

£ng^lyff£Mall& S'>nsJ3Bari:laj^StJ/y



ning, under the pretense that he (Mr. M.) was not
selling a certain article of merchandise in exact ac-
cordance with the statutes of the state. Mr. Man-
ning understood his business, carried on the suit
and won — the only lawsuit he had for many years.
The writer once heard him remark that it was a
good lesson, and doubly.impressed on his mind the
importance of never meddling with the law unless
he had a clear case.

Mr. Manning had a partner named John C. Rose,
and the firm of Manning and Rose was for six years
a synonyme for integrity in dealing, and for sound-
ness and success.

In the autumn of 1836, having disposed of his
interests in Canton Corners, Mr. Manning made his
d^but in what was then the "Far West." He crossed
the Mississippi and visited Saint Louis. He was told
by Colonel Benton and Colonel Brant that that was
the place for an enterprising young man who desired
to expedite the building up of his fortune. But Mr.
Manning ran his hands down into his pockets and
concluded that they were not deep enough to make
a start in so large a city. Accordingly he pushed
on, with some associates, reaching Lexington, in the
same state, and' surveying the country in that vicini-
ty, he made some investments in real estate, but did
not fall in love with the system of slavery, and bore
northward toward freer lands.

In December, 1836, he and his associates came
to Saint Francisville, on the Des Moines river, Lee
county, Iowa, found a shelter in a log cabin, literally
filled with sojourning people, with fireplace ample
for every reasonable purpose. Some of the denizens
were " half-breed " speculators, and, to be fashion-
able, Mr. Manning invested lightly in "half-breed
claims," the extent being five hundred dollars. That
was not the foundation of his great wealth. Near
the close of the month just mentioned Mr. Manning
and John J. Fairman rode out to Fort Madison, and
on tlieir way called on Black Hawk in his " wick-a-
up." He treated them well, but seemed quite low-
spirited, but not any nTore so, probably, than some
other rnonarchs after their glory had departed.

In January, 1837, Mr. Manning, aided by his un-
cle and Mr. Fairman, with John Cams and James
Hall, laid out Kedsauqua, being struck by the beau-
ty of the location on the Des Moines river. They
named the place for the Indian name of the river.
In 1838 Mr. Manning attended the first land sale in
Iowa, held at Burlington, bought lands to a small
extent for himself and for other parties, entering

thousands of acres. This practice he continued
for years, entering lands for actual settlers and giv-
ing them liberal time for payment.

In 1839 Mr. Manning started a store here. A
fevv years later began to start others, one at a time,
until he had branch stores at Bonaparte, Fairfield,
Bloomfield, Eddyville and Chariton, running them
all simultaneously.. He took all kinds of farm prod-
uce in exchange for his wares, and at an early day
ran it on flat-boats down the Des Moines river, and
thence via the Mississippi to Saint Louis. He built
the first flat-boat that ever passed out of the Des
Moines. In 1851 he pulled out the lock and
other obstructions and ran a loaded steamboat char-
tered a-t Saint Louis to Des Moines, thus opening
this the grandest natural canal of Iowa, and giving
the capital of the state direct commercial inter-
course by water with Saint Louis. He was commis-
sioner of the Des Moines river improvement from
1856 to 1859, and caused the settlement of the dif-
ficulties with the New York company, thus benefit-
ing the state more than one hundred thousand dol-
lars. His name is engraven in the history of Iowa
as deeply as the bed of her deepest rivers.

During the civil war, when the five-twenty gov-
ernment bonds were put on the market, he was the
first man in Iowa to invest, taking ten thousand dol-
lars to start with, adding from time to time, until
many thousands were invested. He had unbounded
confidence in the perpetuity of the government, and
was glad of an opportunity in any way to aid in the
prosecution of the war. A purer patriot than Mr.
Manning does not breathe in Iowa.

He now owns five stores, has a half interest in.
two more in as many different Iowa towns, is sole
owner of the Exchange Bank of Keosauqua, and
half owner of Manning and Penick's bank at Char-
iton, he being president of both, and until recently
has operated a pork-packing house at Eddyville.
He is the owner of more than ten thousand acres
of choice land, one third of it in Van Buren coun-
ty, where he lives. He has also one of the finest
farms and summer resorts in Connecticut. There
is no better financier in Iowa.

Mr. Manning was a Henry Clay whig and a life-
long admirer and personal friend of Horace Gree-
ley ; latterly has been a republican with independ-
ent tendencies. He has repeatedly been urged to
take office, and could have had the nomination for
congress a year or two ago, but declined to let his
name go before the convention. He seems to be



contented with being the peerless merchant and
farmers' friend of the Hawkeye State. Mr. Man-
ning is a good talker in public, his speeches always
attracting much attention.

He is a member of no church, leans to Unitarian-
ism in his faith and is a liberal contributor to all the
denominations in Keosauqua and vicinity.

'He is a warm friend of education, and his munifi-
cence has been felt by many of the literary institu-
tions of Iowa.

He is a strong advocate of temperance, and goes
for prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors ex-
cept by the general government.

Mr. Manning has had two wives, the first being
Miss Sarah J. Sample, of Lee county, Iowa,- a sister
of Hugh W. Sample, of Keokuk ; married in March,
1842. She had four children, and died on the ist
of June, 1857. She was a woman of many kind

qualities and an earnest christian. Three of her
children survive her. Calvin, the elder son, is mar-
ried, and is a promising young attorney ; settled in
bttumwa, Iowa. William S. and Anna G. are at
home; the son is acquainting himself with all the
details of that calling by which his father has ac-
cumulated a magnificent fortune. The second wife
of Mr. Manning was Miss Nannie B. Bryant, an
adopted daughter of the late Hon. Joseph A. Wright,
formerly governor of Indiana. By this union they
have had six children, and five of them are living:
Edward Bates, Albert Wright, Kate Wittlesey, Stan-
ley White and Craig Ives. Of Mrs. Manning it can
be said that she is a noble and a christian woman.
None stand higher among the class of liberal and
ever-aiding ones than she. Truly Mr. Manning has
been fortunate in having the aid of such a loving
and kind wife.



ADDISON L. HARVEY, one of the early re-
iX corders and treasurers of Harrison county,
and its leading land dealer, is a native of Madison
county. New York, and was born in Smithfield, on
the 8th of July, 1829. His parents were Nathan
and Auril T. (Lyman) Harvey. His paternal grand-
father, Spencer Harvey, was a native of Vermont,
and removed to Madison county. New York, when
it was an almost unbroken wilderness, and there
cleared and improved a farm. Addison spent his
youth and early manhood in that county ; in his
seventeenth year attended Munnville Academy ; sub-
sequently clerked five years in a store at Peterboro,
and three in a railroad office at Piermont, Rockland
county, twenty-five miles from New York city.

Believing the west to be a promising field for
young men, in 1855 Mr. Harvey crossed the Missis-
sippi river at Davenport, and came as far as New-
ton, Jasper- county, and after prospecting one sea-
son, settled in Magnolia, then the seat of justice of
Harrison county. After spending one year in the
Inercantile trade he was appointed recorder and
treasurer of the county, and by election and reelec-
tion held the office for five consecutive years, com-
mencing in January, 1859, with a salary of four
hundred dollars for the combined offices.

In 1864 Mr. Harvey began operating in the real-

estate business, and still continues it, though since
December, 1875, at Logan, where the county seat
lias been since the autumn of that year. He is by
far the most extensive land dealer in the county,
and as a business man is very successful. He is
upright, high minded and fair dealing, and has as
many personal friends as any citizen of the county.
No man takes more pleasure than he in the pros-
perity of the farmers whom he has furnished with
homesteads. No man has done so much to fill the
county with a good class of agriculturists.

In September, 1876, he started a bank, associating
with him in this .business Mr. James C. Milliman,
and they the proprietors of the Harrison County
Bank, an institution founded on a solid basis and
rapidly rising in popularity.

During most of the time that the civil war was in
progress Mr. Harvey acted' as assistant assessor of
internal revenue, his district including, part of the
time, Shelby as well as Harrison county.

He has always affiliated with the republican party,
and is a firm adherent, but seems to have no very
strong political aspirations. He has been at sundry
times and is now chairman of the republican central
coinmittee, and is the most influential man in the
county. In agricultural and other enterprises he is
also a leader.



He has been a Freemason since about i860, and
is a fifth-degree Odd-Fellow.

His religious views would be designated liberal.

His wife, Miss Maggie Miller, of Piermont, New
York, married on the 4th of December, i860, has
had seven children, all of whom are living except
the eldest daughter.

The parents of Mr. Harvey moved to Iowa the
year before he did, and his father died at the son's
house, in Magnolia, about ten years ago. His moth-
er, now in her seventy-fifth year, is living with her
son, and is in fair health. The Lymans are an ex-
tensive family in New England, and are gradually
spreading over the western states.



JOHN HERRON, treasurer of Plymouth county,
is a native of Wexford county, Ireland, and was
born in 1836, his parents being. Nicholas and El-
eanor (Lambert) Herron, industrious members of
the farming community. They emigrated to Ameri-
ca when the son was about fourteen years old, land-
ing at Quebec, and proceeding thence to Madison,
Wisconsin, where the subject of this sketch com-
menced labor by carrying the " Statesman," a paper
published by W. W. Wyman. In that office he spent
one year, and partly learned the printer's trade, fin-
ishing at Watertown, in the same state, with J. A.
Hadley, of the "Chronicle." Returning to Madi-
son, he -worked about six years on the ''Argus" and
"Democrat," went thence to Mineral Point, founded
the " Home Intelligencer," changed its name to the
" National Democrat " in 1864, conducted it until the
autumn of 1868, when he sold out, and in March,
1869, took up a homestead near Lemars, one mile
from the depot.

The next January he moved to Vermilion, Da-
kota Territory, and worked in the " Republican "
office three months for Charles H. True; spent
about the same length of time on the Yankton
Press," of which he became part owner, and in

the same year (1870) he returned to the homestead
once more.

Continuing his farming, he also dealt considerably
in real estate from 187 1 to 1874. At the beginning
of the latter year he became county treasurer, to
which office he had been elected the autumn before.
He has been reelected twice, and is now serving his
third term. He is a democrat, and lives in a republi-
can county, and his strength and popularity are seen
in the fact that he has been reelected by an increased
majority. In 1877 ^^ received over one thousand
votes out of one thousand four hundred cast. His
honesty and capability have been thoroughly tested ;
he is serving the county with the utmost faithful-
ness, and his labors are fully appreciated.

Mr. Herron was reared in the Catholic church,
and firmly adheres to the faith of his parents and
ancestors. He has lived a life above reproach.

He retains the homestead near the city of Le-
mars, has other lands in the county, and is in very
comfortable circumstances.

The wife of Mr. Herron was Miss Susan Gehlen,
daughter of Peter Gehlen, many years a resident of
Jackson county, Iowa, and now a manufacturer in



HENRY WATTS HART has been a practicing
physician for more than thirty years, most of
this time in the State of Iowa. He went info the
profession from a love of it; has pursued it with
great diligence, made constant progress in the heal-
ing art, and stands among the foremost men in the
medical fraternity in western Iowa.

He is a native of Chenango county. New York,
dating his birth at Sherburne, on the 14th of Octo-
ber, 1 818. His grandfather, Thomas Hart, was a
Connecticut man, and a revolutionary soldier. His
father, Thomas Hart, junior, was a farmer, and in
that employment reared his son Henry.

About 1833 the family moved to Ontario county.



in the western part of the state, and in 1838 to Bel-
videre, Illinois, the son being engaged in agricultural
pursuits until he became of age. At this period,
having received only a common-school education,
and quite unsatisfied with his literary attainments,
Mr. Hart returned to New York in 1840, and at-
tended the Franklin Academy at Prattsburg, Steu-
ben county. While pursuing his literary education
he commenced reading medicine with Dr. Addison
Niles ; attended lectures at Geneva, New York, and
graduated in 1846.

After practicing a year or more in his native state,
Dr. Hart moved to Johnston, Rock county, Wiscon-
sin, remaining there until 1853, when he removed to
West Union, Fayette county, Iowa; there he built
up a large practice, and was doing finely when, in
1861, civil war burst upon the land. In September
of that year he went to the south as surgeon of the
9th Iowa Infantry, Hon. William Vandever, colonel ;
at the end of about one year was transferred to the
38th, and was its surgeon until the regiment was
mustered out in the summer of 1865.

At Vicksburg Dr. Hart had charge of the gen-
eral hospital; was overworked, broke down, and had
a three months' sickness ; the only period he was off
duty during the three years and ten months he was
living a camp life. He is a man of very kindly feel-
ings, and his heart, as well as his judgment and con-

science, prompted him to be very attentive to the
sick and wounded.

While Dr. Hart was in the army his family resided
in Dubuque, and on his return he remained in that
city practicing and prospecting for a short period.

In 1868 he settled in Council Bluffs, and has
gained a high standing in his profession. His long
experience in the army gave him superior advan-
tages in surgeonry, which he has latterly made a
specialty, though his practice is general. His stand-
ing in every respect is excellent. He lives to benefit
the .well, and never neglects the sick.

In politics, the doctor was in early life a whig; of
late years has been a republican. He quietly casts
his vote, and has time to do but little more in that

He has been a member of the Congregational
church since returning from the war; is a trustee
of the Council Bluffs Society, and is deeply inter-
ested in the progress of the christian religion.

On the ist of May, 1845, he was joined in wed-
lock with Miss Sarah H. Way, of Bath, New York.
They have lost one child, and have two sons and
one daughter living. Frank H. has a family, and is
a banker and real-estate dealer in Beloit, Kansas;
Jane Way is the wife of James D. Edmunson, an
attorney of Council Bluffs, and Ernest E. is a stu-
dent in Yale College.



WHEN Richard Cobden came down the Mis-
sissippi, during his visit to America in 1856,
he stepped off the steamer while it was discharging
and receiving cargo at Muscatine, and walked into
the city. Viewing the long lines of business blocks
on Second street, Mr. Cobden exclaimed : " Here it
is again ! Everywhere I go in the west I find these
marvelous cities that have risen as if by enchant-
ment in a night." Foremost among those western
magi whose potent wands have called these cities
into being, as it were out of the ground, like Mac-
beth 's witches, stands the man whose name heads
this sketch. His character is distinctly traced in
his enterprising life, one of the most busy and use-
ful in the great valley of the Mississippi. To-day we
find him throwing a bridge across a river at his own
expense, costing thousands; to-morrow building the

largest flouring mill in the state; the next day organ-
izing a telegraph company and putting up the wires;
the next building a plank road to bring some rural
district into commercial relations with the city of his
adoption, and anon building a steamboat to trans-
port the merchandise of his city to the seaboard.
In a word, the promoter of all the best interests of
his city ; a man with a large heart, an expansive
mind, and zealous in all good works, — such is Joseph

He was born at Lunensburgh, Worcester county,
Massachusetts, on the sth of December, 1817. His
parents were Archelas T. Bennett and Debora nie
Wheeler. His father was a respectable shoemaker,
and followed the business through life. He was a
quiet, honest, conscientious, plodding man; and al-
though he was able to make a comfortable living for



his family, they were left to their own resources in
early life.

The ancestors of Joseph Bennett emigrated to'
this country from England soon after the revolution,
and settled in Massachusetts, where a colony of the
descendants still reside.

Our subject attended the common schools of his
native, place during eight weeks of each winter till
the age of fourteen, after which he worked as a farm
hand till the age of twenty-one, when lie removed to
Muscatine, Iowa, and -was employed as clerk in the
store of Mr. Brownell ; but after three or four months
he bought out the interest of his employer, and
commenced his career as a merchant. A year later
he was joined by his brother, Oliver Bennett ; the
business was enlarged, taking in everything in the
line of general merchandising. Three years after-
ward Mr. Stephen L. Foss was admitted to a partner-
ship, Mr. Oliver Bennett retiring. In 1848 the busi-
ness again passed under the exclusive control of our
subject, and was conducted with great success until
i860, when a series of disasters, culminating in finan-
cial embarrassments, caused him to retire from com-
mercial pursuits and devote his attention entirely to
farming, which he has since followed, and at which
he has enjoyed more contentment and prosperity
than at any other business.

He was a man of indomitable perseverance and
energy. There was no enterprise engaged in for the
benefit of Muscatine, or the prosperity of its people,
in which he was not prominent, and to his energy
and influence are due as much as to any other man
the success and enterprise of the city of Muscatine.
In 1850 he built the largest flouring mill then in
the west, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. It
was capable of grinding five hundred barrels of flour
per day. This "magnificent structure was accident-