pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

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

. (page 78 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

grandfather just mentioned, an early Rhode Island
cotton manufacturer, who carefully reared and edu-
cated him. At a suitable age he was placed in the
Fruit Hill Classical Institute, in North Providence,



where he remained until his seventeenth year, when
he went into the counting room of an uncle, and
spent three years clerking for him and other parties.
Subsequently he was interested in the cotton busi-
ness in Providence with the late S. Sterry Smith.

When about twenty years of age Mr. Hunt, hav-
ing a strong desire to see 'the great west and other
parts of North America, started on a tour of obser-
vation and speculation, first visiting the central west-
ern states, then proceeding southward to Texas, then
to old Mexico, Central America, California, Oregon
and the British provinces, mining, trading, etc.

During this time his father moved to Mills county,
in the extreme southwestern part of Iowa, settling
there about sixteen years ago, and in the autumn of
1866 the son returned from the Pacific slope, and
after remaining one winter with his father the whole
family removed to Pottawattamie county. They set-
tled in the Nishnabotna valley, four miles southwest
of where Avoca now stands, building a flouring-mill
and engaging in milling and farming.

About five years ago Mr. Hunt lost his health j



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.



523



sold out his interest in the mill and other property
and traveled a year or two until his health was re-
stored. On returning he made Avoca his home, and
since 1875 has been operating in real estate, farming
and stock-raising. He has a thousand acres of land
in Pottawattamie county, and is cultivating about
one-third of it.

In the autumn of 1875 Mr. Hunt was elected to
the lower house of the general assembly, and served
in the session of 1876, being on the committees on
asylum for the deaf and dumb, county and township
organizations, compensation of public offices, and for
the suppression of intemperance. During that ses-
sion he was influential in getting a bill for a new
county, to be called Grimes, and to be taken from
the eastern part of Pottawattamie, but the measure
was defeated by a vote of the people.



Mr. Hunt was reared a whig, and since the disso-
lution of that party has acted with the democrats.
He usually attends the state conventions of his party,
and is one of its leaders in Pottawattamie county.
He has a great deal of magnetism, and exerts a strong
influence.

He is a Master Mason.

The wife of Mr. Hunt was Miss Harriet M. Mor-
timore, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana; they
were married on the 14th of August, 1861.

Mr. Hunt is of a nervous temperament, has gray
eyes and a dark complexion ; he is five feet eleven
and a half inches in height, and weighs one hundred
and fifty pounds. He has seen a great deal of the
world, and has " roughed it " to some extent on the
Pacific coast, yet he has a good polish of manners
and excellent social qualities.



THOMAS J. ANDERSON,

KNOXVILLE.



THE subject of this notice is a son of Robert
Anderson, a farmer, and Lucinda Larue, and
dates his birth in Fulton county, Illinois, on the 4th
of March, 1837. The Andersons, his ancestors,
are of English descent and an old Virginia family.
The Larues were French Huguenots. Robert An-
derson was a private soldier a short time in the war
of 1812-15. In 1853 he moved with his family to
Marion county, Iowa. Here the son worked on a
farm one season, but having reached the age of sev-
enteen, with- but limited educational advantages, he
bought his time of his father, and turned his atten-
tion to literary pursuits, spending three or four years
alternating between attending a select school at Os-
kaloosa, taught by Professor Drake, and in teaching
a district school in Marion county. In 1858, Mr.
Anderson, then a promising young man, was elected
surveyor of Marion county, and having some leisure
commenced the reading of law in the autumn of the
same year with Hon. J. E. Neal, of Knoxville. He
was admitted to the bar in October, i860, and has
practiced continuously at the county seat, except
when absent in the service of his country. In the
autumn of 1862 he went into the army as first lieu-
tenant, company A, 40th Iowa Infantry ; was subse-
quently promoted to captain, and while holding that
position resigned on the 2d of December, 1864, and
returned to Knoxville. During the last five or six



months in the service he acted as judge advocate.
For mental recreation, and as a partial episode in
his life, before going into the military service, from
November, i860, until January, 1862, Mr. Anderson
edited a democratic paper at Knoxville, not, how-
ever, to the neglect of his legal practice. He is of
the firm of Anderson and Gamble, his partner be-
ing J. D. Gamble. They have a large and excellent
library, and do a great amount of collecting as well
as criminal and other law business. Mr. Anderson
is a good judge of law, a powerful reasoner, deep
and clear in argument, and makes a very forcible
plea. He is humorous and spicy withal, even on
the driest topic, and succeeds in putting himself on
the best of terms with a jury, with whom he has
great influence and success. He is regarded as a
brilliant lawyer.

Captain Anderson has always acted with the dem-
ocratic party,, for whose father, Thomas Jefferson,
he was named. He was a candidate for judge in
the sixth judicial district in 1874, and ran more than
a thousand votes ahead of his ticket, but the district
is strongly republican. He was a delegate to the
national democratic convention held at Saint Louis
in June, 1876, and is an influential man in his party
in this part of Iowa. He is a Blue Lodge Mason.

On the 26th of February, 1862, Miss Mary A.
Rousseau, daughter of Dr. Rousseau, of Hamilton



524



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



Marion county, became his wife, and she has been
the mother of five children, all living but one.

Major Anderson, as everybody in Marion county
calls him, has a light complexion and blue eyes ; is
solidly built, six feet and two inches in height, and
weighs two hundred and fifteen pounds. In appear-



ance he is health personified. There is no finer
physique seen daily on the streets of Knoxville.
Socially, he is a rich entertainer, full of anecdote,
and the best story teller, probably, at the Marion
county bar. He is a foe to dullness, has many
friends, and is respected by all who know him.



SEAMUN R. HEWETT, M.D.,



NORA SPRINGS.



AMONG the younger class of physicians in the
£\. Shellrock valley, no one probably stands high-
er in the practice, and particularly in surgery, than
Dr. Seamun R. Hewett. For this branch of the heal-
ing art he has a decided taste, and to it has devoted
a great deal of time and study. His popularity as a
surgeon is well established, although he has been in
Iowa but a few years.

Seamun R. Hewett is the son of Samuel and El-
mina (Tucker) Hewett, and was born in Wyoming,
New York, on the 22d of July, 1839. Both his par-
ents are still living. His paternal and maternal great-
grandfathers were soldiers in the revolution. Sea-
mun farmed until twenty years of age in Wisconsin,
whither the family moved when he was seven years
old. He attended the Baraboo Institute two or three
terms, also reading medicine at that period, part of
the time with Drs. B. F. Dodson and Miles Mix, of
Berlin, Wisconsin. He attended lectures at Rush
Medical College, Chicago, and there graduated in
February, 1867. He practiced two or three years
in Berlin and Waupun, Wisconsin, and in December,
1869, removed to Nora Springs, where he has since



been in steady practice with growing favor in the
community.

During the rebellion he' spent two years in the
Marine Hospital and Infirmary, of Chicago, and his
experience there has been of great benefit to him in
his profession.

Dr. Hewett is a scarlet member of the Odd-Fellows
fraternity, and a Master Mason ; not, however, pay-
ing so much attention to the meetings of either or-
der as to conflict with his professional interests.

In his political views, he is republican ; in his
religious, liberal.

He was married on the 30th of October, 1867, to
Miss Alice E. Talcott, of Alto, Fond du Lac county,
Wisconsin, and has one child. Mrs. Hewett is a
woman of fine attainments and superior talents, and
very active in the Methodist Episcopal church.

Dr. Hewett possesses a good library, which is well-
stocked with medical periodicals; devotes some time
to the reporting of cases for medical journals, espe-
cially pertaining to the department of surgery, and
more of his leisure to careful study of medical and
surgical science.



WILLIAM L. HUSTON, M. D.,

MARENGO.



WILLIAM LANGFORD HUSTON, a native
of Carroll county, Ohio, and son of John
Huston, farmer, and Elizabeth Langford, was born
on the 19th of March, 1830. His maternal grand-
father fought in the revolution. William L. comes
from an old Pennsylvania family, and his father was
among the pioneer land-clearers in Carroll county ;
opening the farm in Harrison township, on which
the son was born.

William L. was the youngest child in a family of



ten children, and had some taste of farm work in
early life. He does not, however, seem to have
been suited with that kind of labor, and after fifteen
or sixteen years of age gave most of his time to
literary pursuits.

At eighteen he entered Hagerstown College, in
his native state, and spent three years there, acquir-
ing a good English and a fair classical education,
but not going through the full college curriculum.

He read medicine at Garrollton with Dr. John Q.



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



525



Adams ; attended lectures at Jefferson Medical Col-
lege, Philadelphia ; practiced three or four years ;
attended another course of lectures at the same
college, and took his degree in 1856. After practic-
ing a short time at the east, Dr. Huston pushed
westward across the " Father of Waters,'' and lo-
cated near Oxford, Johnson county, Iowa. He prac-
ticed there until the war broke out in the southern
states; enlisted as a private, under Colonel Hatch,
in the 2d Iowa Cavalry ; in a short time was com-
missioned assistant surgeon 32d Iowa Infantry, John
Scott, colonel, and served in that capacity until the
rebellion ended.

During part of the time that he was in the ser-
vice Dr. Huston was on detached duty, being in
the hospitals at Memphis, Tennessee ; Columbus,
Kentucky, and New Orleans, Lotiisiana. His la-
bors at times were very arduous, but he was always
at the post of duty.

On returning to Iowa, after prospecting awhile.



the doctor located in Marengo, Iowa county, where
he has since labored in the constant practice of his
profession. Though doing a general business, he
makes a specialty of surgery, performing the most
difficult operations in that line in his vicinity. His
experience in the army was in this respect of great
benefit to him. He was surgeon for the Chicago,
Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company three or
four years, and still does some business for that com-
pany.

Dr. Huston is a strong republican, but rarely has
time to do more than cast his vote on election day.

He is a Royal Arch Mason, but not a regular at-
tendant at lodge meetings.

Religiously, he has a preference for the Presbyte-
rian church, which he attends, but is not a commu-
nicant.

Miss Antha Groff, of Marengo, became his wife
on the 29th of November, 1866. They have three
children, two of whom are still living.



ALEXANDER BURNS, D.D.,

INDIANOLA.



ALEXANDER BURNS, for the last nine years
/A. at the head of Simpson Centenary College, is a
native of Belfast, Ireland, and a son of James and
Eliza McAdam Burns. He was born on the 12th
of April, 1834. In his thirteenth year the family
crossed the ocean, and after remaining three years
in Quebec, settled in Toronto, Ontario. The son
was educated at Victoria College, Cobourg, in the
same province, spending six years there before grad-
uating, and, at the time of graduating in 1861, re-
ceived the Prince of Wales gold medal. He was
tutor in the same institution four years, and taught
one year after graduating.

Dr. Burns was reared in the Presbyterian faith, but
joined the Wesleyan Methodists at Toronto when a
young man, and in 1862 entered the ministry, preach-
ing at Guelph, Ontario.

At the solicitation of Rev. Dr. Charles Elliott,
president of Wesleyan University, Mount Pleasant,
Dr. Burns came to Iowa and taught three years in
the institution just mentioned, acting also, at the
same time, as its vice-president. In 1868 he was
elected president of Simpson Centenary College. A
year later he was offered the presidency of Wesleyan
University, but refused to leave Indianola. His



coming here marked an epoch in the history of the
institution. The year before it had been raised
from a seminary to a college, with a full classical
course, and, commencing with his second year, has
graduated a class annually. The college has had
a steady growth, and enrolls each year from two
hundred and fifty to three hundred students in its
several departments. At the time of writing (Octo-
ber, 1877,) nearly two hundred names are on the roll.
While Dr. Burns' special chair is that of Mental and
Moral Science, he teaches various other branches,
having great versatility of attainments as well as tal-
ents. Recently his name has been mentioned in con-
nection with the presidency of the State University
at Iowa City, but it is doubtful if he could be per-
suaded to leave Indianola at present. He received
the title of doctor of divinity from the Indiana State
University in 1869.

Simpson Centenary College has an endowment of
about seventy thousand dollars, and nearly every
dollar of it has been raised by the president during
his leisure time. He has great physical as well as
mental energy, and rarely fails to accomplish what-
ever work he undertakes. He is practical and forci-
ble as well as scholarly.



526



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



As a scholar, Dr. Burns appears to be at home in
every branch, — the higher mathematics, the classics,
the physical sciences generally, as well as the particu-
lar branches assigned to his chair, and in biblical
history it would be difficult to find his peer in the
northwest. As a speaker, he has great power ; is
logical, clear and animated, usually flinging his whole



soul into his subject, rising at times into high strains
of oratory. Such a man cannot fail to make some
indelible footprints on the sands of time.

In June, 1864, Miss Sarah Andrews, a native of
Devonshire, England, became the wife of Dr. Burns,
and they have had five children, all living except the
first-born.



REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG,

FAIRFIELD.



T OHN ARMSTRONG, president of Parsons Col-
J lege, Fairfield, is a native of Oxford, Pennsylva-
nia, and was born on the nth of March, 1825, his
parents being Andrew and Maria (Thomas) Arm-
strong. His branch of the Armstrong family is
Scotch-Irish stock ; William Armstrong, its first set-
tler in this country, coming from Ireland about 1736
and settling in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. The
Thomases are of Welsh descent, and also settled in
eastern Pennsylvania.

The grandfather of president Armstrong served a-
short time in the first war with England, and his
father was in the second, the latter drawing a pen-
sion until his death in 1872. The subject of this
sketch spent his early youth in his native town, aid-
ing his father, who was a farmer. He prepared for
college at the New London Academy, Chester coun-
ty; taught two years in the southern states; entered
the sophomore class of Lafayette College, Pennsyl-
vania, in the autumn of 1847 ; at the end of one
year went to Washington College, Lexington, Vir-
ginia, and was there graduated in 1850. He spent
three years at Princeton Theological Seminary ; was
ordained to the gospel ministry by the presbytery
of New Castle in April, 1853 ; preached one year at
Platte City, Missouri ; was pastor of the Presbyte-
rian Church at Hazleton, Luzerne county, Pennsyl-
vania, ten years, and the same length of time of the
Presbyterian Church , in Muscatine, Iowa. These
twenty years of pastorate over two churches were
marked by the steady and healthful growth of both.

In Pennsylvania he had a new and, at first, es-
pecially hard field of labor (a newly developed coal
region), preaching in school-houses, private houses,
and even saw-mills.

Leaving Muscatine for Fairfield, in 1875, marks
an epoch in Mr. Armstrong's life. He became an
educator in classic halls rather than in the pulpit.



Parsons College, at the head of which we now find
him, owes its origin to the late Lewis B. Parsons,
senior, of Buffalo, New York, a man of very benevo-
lent impulses, and who died in 1855. From the
second and last annual catalogue of the college we
learn that he was a merchant, and a man of most
marked character. Almost from his boyhood he
was a decided Christian, and a great advocate of all
educational enterprises. Being deeply impressed
with the importance of education under christian
influences in this new state, he invested what means
he could command in government lands in Iowa;
and in his will directed his sons and executors,
General Lewis B. Parsons, junior, Charles Parsons
and George Parsons, to found a college, to be under
the control of the Presbyterians of Iowa, and to
endow it with this property. On^the 24th of Feb-
ruary, 1875, General L. B. Parsons, junior, and his
co-executors, in accordance with the provisions of
the will, and acting in cooperation with a committee
of the synod of Iowa South, founded the college at
Fairfield, and transferred to a board of trustees,
whom they selected, the legacy, consisting at that
time of four thousand and sixteen dollars in cash
and notes, and about thirty-six hundred acres of
unimproved land. This constitutes the "Parsons
Fund," the income only of which can be used.
Twenty-seven thousand dollars have been received
from the sale of a portion of these lands, including
the four thousand dollars above mentioned, and the
value of the remainder is about thirteen thousand
dollars. The citizens of Fairfield have also con-
tributed about twenty-seven thousand dollars, which
have been expended in the purchase of a site and
the erection of suitable buildings. By the terms of
the college charter the synod of Iowa South has the
right to veto the election of any trustee, and also to
appoint annually a visiting committee.



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



527



Mr. Armstrong became deeply interested in the
founding of this college before its location had been
decided upon, and while still a pastor at Muscatine,
he having been designated by the Parsons executors
six years before as one of the parties to select a site
for the institution. Upon his vacating the pulpit in
1874, the synod of Iowa South appointed him its
agent to attend to the great work of founding the
college.

He had previously traveled over a considerable
portion of the state, at his own expense, in order to
awaken an interest in this grand enterprise. He
now, in company with the sons of Lewis B. Par-
sons, gave an entire winter to this work, traveling, at
his own expense, in the interest of this institution ;
the result being the locating of it as before men-
tioned, and the appointment of Mr. Armstrong as
financial agent by the board of trustees.

In the summer of 1875 he was elected to the chair
of English literature, history and moral philosophy,
the college opening in September of that year. He
teaches without compensation, cheerfully giving, in
fact, more than his time. He has decorated the
grounds with evergreens and flowers ; he has sup-
plied the college with excellent physiological charts
and geographical maps, costly philosophical appa-
ratus, and a fine collection of geological specimens,
and has also contributed several hundred volumes
for the library. It will readily be seen that it is
owing largely to his benevolence and untiring labors
that the college owes its existence and prosperity.

In June, 1877, he was elected president of the



college, and has settled down to what seems likely
to be his life work. He is a man of fine education
and large practical ability. His genial manner and
pleasant sympathy give him an influence over the
students that restrains disorder without the use of
force, and his teaching is the fruit of wide reading
and accurate research. His special department is
mental and moral sciences, but he is also well at
home in history, of which eh is an able teacher.

As a preacher in the college chapel, his discourses
evince careful preparation and great earnestness, and
always command careful attention. The college is
located in a twenty-acre lot, on a rise of ground in
the northern part of the city. The college building
is a substantial brick structure, well arranged and
well equipped for educational purposes. In another
brick building are the rooms of the literary socie-
ties, the college library, etc. The college has made
an excellent beginning, and its friends have no fears
of a failure.

President Armstrong is one of the directors of the
Northwestern Theological Seminary of the Presby-
terian church in Chicago.

The wife of president Armstrong is a daughter of
Samuel Rowland, late a prominent business man of
Rowlandville, Cecil county, Maryland ; they were
married on the 1st of May, 1855, and have no chil-
dren. Mrs. Armstrong heartily sympathizes with
her husband in his great and noble work, and ren-
ders him valuable assistance, without which he could
not have accomplished all that he has done; she is
a true helpmeet.



JONATHAN T. BUTTOLPH,



IOWA FALLS.



JONATHAN TREADWAY BUTTOLPH, for
J more than twenty years a resident of Iowa Falls
and one of its most successful business men, is a
native of the Green Mountain State, and was born
in Middlebury on the loth of December, 1826. His
parents were Joseph and Harriet Treadway But-
tolph, residing on a farm one mile from the village.
The Buttolphs early settled in Connecticut, and Eli-
sha Buttolph, the grandfather of our subject, was
one of the first men to settle in Middlebury. Jona-
than Treadway, the maternal grandfather of Jonathan
T., was a revolutionary soldier, and his father was in
the second war with England.
S3



The subject of this notice was educated in his na-
tive town, intended by his parents to be sent through
college, but he left in the freshman year. A student's
life seems to have been distasteful to him. He had
a speculative turn of mind, afterward fully and freely
developed, but it ran to live stock and corner lots
rather than to philosophy or any other branch of
science.

At eighteen years of age he went to Ticonderoga,
New York; was there employed as clerk for two
years, then came as far west as Fond du Lac, Wiscon-
sin, in 1849, and engaged in speculations; a year or
two later returned to Vermont and farmed six or



528



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



seven years in Orwell, and in June, 1857, located at
Iowa Falls, one of the best sites for a town in the
valley of the Iowa river, and then a village of less
than thirty families. Here he began at once to buy
and sell land, and to deal in live stock.

On the ist of October, 1874, the Bank of Iowa
Falls was incorporated ; Mr. Buttolph was made its
president, and that position he still holds. It is a
firm institution, solid as the rocky foundation of the
town, and is in high repute in Hardin and Franklin
counties.

Mr. Buttolph has been a lifelong democrat, strongly
attached to his party and quite active in county pol-
itics, but has no aspirations for office. In this line



he will work zealously for his friends while he would
do nothing for himself.

He has been a member of the Baptist church for
nine or ten years, and is a liberal supporter of relig-
ious and benevolent enterprises.

On the I St of January, 1859, he was married to
Miss Maria Woodruff, of Iowa Falls, and they have
had three children, all yet living. He is carefully
attending to their education.

Mr. Buttolph is endowed with a large degree of
common sense, good judgment, and a liberal share
of Yankee shrewdness; and being a prudent and
careful manager, success has attended him in every
branch of business.



WILLIAM C. LEWIS, M. D.,

CLERMONT.



DR. LEWIS was born near the city of Worces-
ter, England. His parents dying in his in-
fancy, he was reared by his maternal grandfather.