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and packed more hogs than any other establish-
ment north of St. Louis. In the year 1854 they
slaughtered nineteen thousand hogs. During that
time they also bought, sold and shipped more grain
than any other firm in the state. In the financial
panic of 1857-9, however, their losses were very
great. In the disastrous failure of Cook and Sar-
geant they lost heavily, and were obliged to close
business, compromise with their creditors and dis-
solve partnership. In the following year Mr. Bur-
rows commenced anew, with a fair prospect of suc-
cess, and for three years did a reasonable and mod-
erately paying business; but in 1863 he met with
another serious misfortune, the entire destruction of
his mill by fire. This swept from him everything
he had accumulated, for he had no insurance, and
he was once more penniless. His credit, however,
was good, and by the aid of friends he built a new
mill, which he operated successfully for three years
more, during which time he paid the entire cost of

its construction, when suddenly and mysteriously it
also caught fire and was burned to ashes, and he
was again reduced to where he began. But Mr.
Burrows has a will and an energy that are irrepress-
ible ; he is again engaged in business as a produce
and commission merchant, with a fair prospect of
regaining his lost fortune. >

On the ist of December, 1836, he married Miss
Sarah Meeker Gamage, of Cincinnati, Ohio, a most
excellent woman, who shared in meekness and thank-
fulness his prosperity, and, without murmur or com-
plaint, his adversity. She was ever noted for her
undissembled piety and hearty benevolence. She
died in January, 1876, mourned by all who knew
her. Of the eleven children who were born to them
only one, Elisha, is now living. He is engaged in
business with his father.

Mr. Burrows was raised a Presbyterian ; has al-
ways been a consistent member of that church, and
expects to die in that faith.

He has never taken an active part in politics ; was
a " Henry Clay whig,'' and, after the death of that
party, opposed the extension of slavery, and is now
keenly sensitive to the shortcomings and partisan
trickery from which no party seems to be free.



THE life of Rush Clark presents one of those
numerous examples to be found in the United
States of rapid personal progress from humble be-
ginnings to a substantial and honored position. It
is conceded also that of all the different professions
none affords greater opportunity for the develop-
ment of native ability than that of law. A fair
proof of this is evidenced in the successful career
of the subject of our sketch. He was born at
Schellsburg, Bedford county, Pennsylvania, on the
1st of October, 1834, and is one of a family of nine
children of John and Mary (Smith) Clark. He was
educated at the Ligonier Academy, and later at Jef-
ferson College, taking a classical course and gradu-
ating in 1853, at eighteen years of age. His tastes
early turned to the medical profession, and before
graduating he studied medicine in the office of Dr.
Ealy in his native town. In the spring of 1853 he
removed to Iowa, studying law with his brother,
George W. Clark, Esq., and was admitted to the

bar at Iowa City. Before commencing his practice
he temporarily took editorial charge of the "Iowa
City Republican," then the whig organ, and being
published at the then state capital wielded a large
influence. While in charge of this paper, in 1854,
the republican party was organized, which, in con-
vention, nominated Hon. James W. Grimes for gov-
ernor (afterward United States senator), and in the
campaign which followed he, through the columns
of his paper, took an active part in the issue which
changed the politics of the state. After the can-
vass he confined his energies to building up of a
law practice, in which he was eminently successful,
and has enjoyed a large and lucrative business built
up by patient energetic work, and has gained for
himself no inferior rank among the leading members
of the Iowa bar. In the summer of i86i he was
appointed on Governor Kirkwood's staff, with rank
of lieutenant-colonel, and was active in mustering
troops and rendezvousing them preparatory to tak-



ing the field. In 1859 was elected to the general
assembly on the republican ticket, though his county-
was considered democratic, and by reelection served
two terms. In 1862 he was elected speaker of the
house and received the highest encomiums of both
parties for his impartial decisions, from which there
"tfever was an appeal. At the expiration of his term
of office he returned to his practice, and gave it
his entire attention until 1875, when he was again
elected to the general assembly. In June, 1876, he
was nominated for congress, and afterward elected
in his district. He was educated in the Presbyterian
faith, and is still an attendant upon that church.

He joined the republican party at its organization,
and has always been an active partisan and an able
advocate of its principles.

He was married in 1863, to Miss Eugenia Orr, of
Iowa City, who died in 1867. She was a ladyof
high attainments, and distinguished for a marked
excellence of womanly and christian virtues. Mr.
Clark was again married in 1868, to Mrs. Sidney
Robinson, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While a self-made man, atid generally engaged in
the activity of a professional life, yet he has found
time to devote to general literature, and is well read
in the current events of the age. As a public speaker
he is eloquent, earnest and convincing; as an official,
is courteous, kind and obliging, and has the entire
confidence of his constituents. He is known as a
man of sterling integrity, decided character and un-
tiring energy, and has every promise of a prosperous
and honorable career.



HON. G. C. R. MITCHELL, late judge of
the fourteenth judicial district of Iowa, was
born on the 6th of December, 1803, at Dandridge,
Jefferson county, East Tennessee. His parents we^e
Nathaniel and Anna (Rea) Mitchell, the former born
in Virginia, in 1777, and the latter in the same state,
in 1787, of Scotch ancestry. Nathaniel served in
the war of 181 2, and was a colonel in militia. After
the war he settled in Knoxville, Tennessee, where
he carried on merchandising for a few years. Large
colonies of the family still reside in Alabama, Ten-
nessee, Indiana and Missouri.

Judge Mitchell was educated at East Tennessee
College (now East Tennessee University), in Knox-
ville, Tennessee, and was a member of its first gradu-
ating class in 1822. His parents having removed
to Lawrence county, Alabama, he proceeded thither
after leaving college, and commenced the study of
law under the direction of A. F. Hopkins, Esq., of
Mobile, and was admitted to the bar in 1825. He
practiced successfully in Alabama until 1834, and
was several years clerk of the circuit court, and was
at one time candidate for circuit judge, but was de-
feated ; afterward he spent one winter in a tour
among the eastern cities. In the spring of 1835 he
removed west, and after visiting St. Louis, Chicago,
Galena and Dubuque, he decided to settle in Daven-
port. Liking the climate and anticipating the result
of its admirable location, he purchased a " squatter's "

right — the tract of land upon which he afterward
built a beautiful residence in which he passed the
greater part of his life. At that period what now
constitutes Iowa was a part of Michigan, and until
Wisconsin was formed there was neither law nor
offices of any kind west of the Mississippi river. For
several years after, the principal professional busi-
ness of lawyers in the territory was connected with
litigation regarding " squatters' " claims. Judge
Mitchell added considerably to this species of prac-
tice in the courts of Rock Island county, which were
at that time organized. In 1843 he was elected to
the house of representatives of the Iowa territorial
legislature. He was nominated as congressional rep-
resentative from the state in 1846, but was defeated.
He was elected mayor of Davenport in 1856, and
served in that capacity one year. In 1857 he was
nominated by a meeting of the bar, and elected
judge of the fourteenth judicial district, composed
of the counties of Scott, Clinton and Jackson. He
was elected to this office by a handsome majority,
although a strong party candidate was run in opposi-
tion to him, and although every other nominee of
the opposite party was elected by overwhelming ma-
jorities. He held the office, however, but a short
time, being compelled by ill health to resign it a
year later, intending to return to the south. This
purpose, nevertheless, he did not carry out, rest and
relaxation bringing for a time the needed relief.



In politics, the judge had been always a whig
until that party dissolved, or became allied to free-
soilism and other principles which characterized the
later years of its existence. Subsequent to that
period he acted with the democratic party, having
full faith in the nationality of its principles.

In religion, he had been raised in the nominal
pale of the Presbyterian church, but later in life
influences were brought to bear upon him that drew
him into the Roman Catholic church, in the com-
munion of which he died.

In April, 1852, he married Miss Rose A. Clarke,
of Brown county, Ohio, daughter of a native Irish-
man. They had six children, two sons and four
daughters, only one son and one daughter of whom

Judge Mitchell died on the 6th December, 1865.

As a jurist, he took a high position ; he was pro-
foundly discriminating, a keen, careful analyst, whose
deductions were always reliable. His mental pro-
cesses were seemingly slow, but in reality rapid, for
while others would dash to a conclusion — often the
wrong one — with an imperfect view of a few con-
tiguous facts, he traversed the whole ground, omit-
ting nothing, however seemingly trivial ; and although
he may have occupied rnore time than others in
evolving a question, yet he performed a much greater
amount of labor, and his conclusions were in that
proportion worthy of credence. If he was possessed
of one trait more prominently than another, it was his

thorough comprehensiveness, — his ability to include
everything in the examination of a subject, and to
add to this a nice instinctive and cultivated percep-
tion of the character and weight of a fact, and one
may see why he rarely went wrong or fell into an
error in conclusions.

In regard to his everyday life — that portion of a
man's being which all are interested in knowing —
he was wealthy, with cultivated literary taste, a choice
and ample library, a large social circle of sincere and
pleasant friends, an amiable wife and dutiful children.
He enjoyed life as only one surrounded by such cir-
cumstances could. Fresh, instructive and engaging
in his conversation, he took a very high rank as a
social companion, and as one who could be instruct-
ive, amusing and brilliant without effort.

His only surviving son, Nathaniel S., was edu-
cated at the University of Notre Dame, St. Joseph
county, Indiana; read law under the direction of
the Hon. John W. Thomson, of Davenport, and was
admitted to the bar in February, 1876. He is a
gentleman of great urbanity and amiability of man-
ners, brilliant intellect and fine personal appearance.
He promises to follow closely in the footsteps of his
father. He was married on the 2gth of April, 1874,
to Miss Charlotte E. McManomy, of New York city,
of Scotch-Irish lineage. They have one child, a
daughter, Helena.

The surviving daughter of Judge Mitchell is Miss
Josephine, a young lady of rare beauty and culture.



Ohio, was born in Perry, Wayne county, on
the 2d of March, 1829, his parents being John and
Margaret (Williams) Allison. His youth was spent
in aiding his father to cutivate a farm, and in attend-
ing a common school a few months each year. His
early manhood was devoted to studies in Allegheny
College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, and Western Re-
serve College, Hudson, Ohio. He commenced study-
ing law in Wooster, in the latter state, in 1850, and
was admitted at the Wayne county bar two years
later. He practiced awhile in Ashland, Ohio, and
in 1857 moved to Dubuque, Iowa, which has since
been his home. Mr. Allison applied himself closely
to his profession, and built up a large practice in a

very short time. He immediately identified himself
with every local enterprise tending to further the
interest of Dubuque and the state, and became,
almost from the start, a leader in more than one im-
portant movement.

When the rebellion broke out in 1861 Mr. Allison
was appointed on the staff of Governor Kirkwood as
one of his aids, and acted with great efficiency until
1862, when he was elected to congress. Thrice he
was reelected, serving in all eight years, in the lower
house. He entered congress in the darkest hours of
our political history since independence was gained ;
vigorously supported every measure for suppressing
the rebellion, and took advanced ground on the
methods for accomplishing that end. He was one


of the hopeful members of that body, and believed
the rebellion would be crushed as soon as the gov-
ernment guaranteed '"all the privileges of religion,
of family, of property and of liberty." During the
first two years that he was a member of congress he
introduced a bill for the improvement of the naviga-
tion of the Mississippi river, and had the happiness
of seeing the measure succeed, he being one of its
ablest and most earnest supporters. It was through
his influence that the land grant was secured for the
railroad leading westward from McGregor, Iowa.
While in congress he voted for all the constitutional
amendments, and earnestly supported every repub-
lican measure, such as the Civil Rights bill and the
Freedman's Bureau bill. During the last six years
that he was in the lower house he was on the com-
mittee of ways and means, and showed, by his effi-
ciency the wisdom of the selection. He did himself
much credit and rose higher and higher at the close
of each session. His speeches were prepared with
much care, have great logical strength, and some of
them have been much sought for and widely circu-

On leaving Washington in March, 187 1, Mr. Alli-
son returned- to his home in Iowa, and aided in
pushing on several enterprises of great local impor-

tance. But the people of Iowa were not done with
his services. In January, 1872, he was elected to
the United States senate, succeeding Hon. James
Harlan. His term of office runs until March, 1879.
In the upper house he has proved himself an inde-
fatigable worker on the committees on appropria-
tions, pensions, Indian affairs and library. In the
summer of 1875 he was appointed one of the com-
missioners to negotiate with the Sioux Indians for
the sale of the Black Hills, but the attempts at nego-
tiation were a failure.

Mr. Allison has always acted with the republican
party, and in Iowa has been one of its leaders.

He attends the Presbyterian church.

On the 5th of June, 1873, he married Miss Mary
Nealley, of Burlington, Iowa.

Mr. Allison is a candid and persuasive speaker,
and at the time of writing (November, 1876) has just
concluded an extensive political canvass, he having
spoken about fifty times in Iowa alone. In his
oratorical efforts he appeals to the judgment and
reasoning powers, rather than the passions, and
leaves an excellent impression on the mind. His
bearing is such that he commands the high respect
of political opponents. His social qualities are ad-
mirable, and his moral character is irreproachable.



yVSA HORR, a native of Ohio, was born at Wor-
Xi. thington, on the 2d of September, 1817. His
parents were Isaac Horr and Nancy Smith Horr,
both of New England stock. Originally the family
name was Hoar, of the same pedigree as the distin-
guished family of that name in Massachusetts, and
was changed to Horr by an act of the legislature.
The father of Asa was an early settler in the Black
river country in New York, and opened a farm there
prior to immigrating to Ohio. In the latter state he
engaged in the mercantile business, but losing his
property by fire he returned to New York in 1827,
and died in Watertown, Jefferson county, soon after-
ward. The widow was left with nine children, and
very little means for their support. Up to the time
when his father died the subject of this brief memoir
was kept at school most of the time, and had full
scope for his love of books ; but now came a hard
struggle in that direction. He was put on a farm,

and for several years attended schools during the
winters only. His hours of leisure, when he had
any, were given to books rather than play, and,
much to his delight, he sometimes gained time for
study by working by tasks. When nearly grown to
manhood he became a house-builder, operating a
short time, with an elde? brother, at Dundas and
other places in Ontario, Canada.

At the age of twenty he returned to his native
town in Ohio, and read medicine with a cousin. He
attended lectures at two colleges in that State, and
graduated from both. After leaving the Cleveland
college he practiced six years in Ohio and one in
Illinois, and in 1847 made a permanent settlement
in Dubuque, Iowa.

Not content with a mastery of the science of
medicine, in which profession he has gained high
distinction, he has given no inconsiderable attention
to the investigation of sciences collateral to_ medi-




cine. Quite early in life he studied botany with a
good degree of success, and for more than twenty
years was one of the leading observers for the
Smithsonian Institution. He was influential in origi-
nating, and prominent in building up, the Iowa In-
stitute of Science and Arts in Dubuque, and has
been its president for the last eight or nine years.
He is a man of decidedly scientific tastes and re-
spectable attainments. Dr. Horr is a member of
the Iowa State Medical Society, of the American
Medical Association, of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, of the American
Public Health Association, and of several scientific
societies in the Upper Mississippi valley. He is
identified with many important interests in Du-
buque. Its town clock was procured largely through
his exertions, and the true longitude of the city was
established through him ten or twelve years ago, by
the aid of his fine astronomical transit.

Dr. Horr is one of the leading surgeons in north-
ern Iowa, and neither his practice nor his reputation
in this line is limited to any one state. He was
post surgeon at Dubuque in the early part of the
late war, and examining surgeon for recruits in the
regular army.

He has been a member of the Masonic Order
since 1856. In politics he was a whig until the
extinction of that party, since which time he has
been a republican.

Till middle life his religious views were orthodox ;
they are now liberal.

He married Miss Eliza Sherman in 1841, and the
widow Emma F. Webber in 1868. He has three
children, all by his first wife. His eldest child,
Augusta S., is the wife of Henry Hackbusch, a civil
engineer and surveyor, at Leavenworth, Kansas;
Edward W. is a leading merchant at Blandville, Ken-
tucky, and the youngest child. May, lives at home.



the Davenport " Gazette," was born near
Cleveland, Ohio, on the 21st of August, 1836. His
father was Dr. Descom Chapin, an eminent physi-
cian, who for years practiced at Rockport and Cleve-
land, Ohio. He died when our subject was but
eighteen months old, leaving a family of five chil-
dren, of whom Elias was the youngest, to the care
of his widow. His mother was Susan (Giddings)
Chapin, daughter of Daniel Giddings, a scion of the
distinguished New England family of that name,
the late Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio, being
her full cousin.

The Chapin family of New England is descended
in direct line from Samuel Chapin, who took the
freeman's oath in Boston, June 2, 1641, and who is
supposed to have emigrated from Wales in that year
or a short time previously. He was afterward a
deacon of the Congregational Church in Dorchester,
and " was a man highly esteemed and employed in
public business," as the records of the period testify.
He subsequently removed to Springfield, Massachu-
setts, and on the loth of October, 1652, was ap-
pointed one of the magistrates of that city, and in
1654 his commission was extended indefinitely.
Most of those who bear the name in this country

trace their lineage to this source. The family has
been distinguished for several generations by the
number of clergymen, deacons, scholars, educators
and literary and scientific characters it has pro-
duced. Among those who illustrate the patronymic
in the present day may be named the Rev. Edwin
H. Chapin, D.D., of New York ; Rev. A. L. Chapin,
D.D. LL.D., president of Beloit College; Chester W.
Chapin, Esq., of Springfield, Massachusetts, a prom-
inent railroad chief, and M. and E. S. Chapin, of
Massasoit House fame, who have been prominently
identified with the growth of Springfield, Massachu-
setts. Our subject is the lineal descendant in the
seventh generation of the above named deacon
Samuel Chapin, and is a worthy scion of a worthy
sire. The intervening links in the descent are:
Decomb Chapin, born on the 12th of December,
1794; Ezra, born on the 12th of February, 1758;
Timothy, born on the 8th of March, 1733 ; Jonathan,
born on the 20th of April, 1688, and Japhet, son of
the original Samuel, born 1642.

After the death of Dr. Descom Chapin, the mother,
with her children, moved to the old New England
home in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where our sub-
ject was educated, graduating at the high school of
that place at the age of thirteen years. After leav-



ing school he commenced life as a clerk in a store.
At seventeen he entered the large dry-goods jobbing
house of Austin, Sumner and Co., Boston, Massa-
chusetts, and made himself so useful, and by his
exemplary conduct so gained the confidence and
esteem of the firm, that at the age of twenty years
he was admitted to a partnership which continued
to the entire satisfaction of the members until the
year i860, when he formed a more advantageous
alliance with Mr. Joseph Dix, — brother to Miss
Dorothy Dix, the distinguished philanthropist, — in
the same line in the same city. The new firm con-
tinued in successful operation until the spring of
1865, when failing health caused by the climatic
vicissitudes of the east admonished him to seek a
more genial clime. He accordingly set his face
westward, and after examining several localities
pitched his tent at Charles City, Iowa. Here he
led an active, out-door life for a period of eight
years, carrying on an extensive farming establish-
ment, and being also a partner in the large banking
house of Chapin, Fairfield and Co., afterward E. C.
Chapin and Co. His health being by this means
fully restored and his constitution re-established,
and agricultural pursuits not being adapted to his
tastes and early habits, he embraced an opportu-
nity which then offered and became a partner in
the Gazette Printing Company, of Davenport ; and
transferring his residence to that city he has since
been the able manager of the business interests of
that paper. The "' Gazette " is now the leading
daily and the largest establishment of its kind in
the state. The three years of Mr. Chapin's man-
agement has increased the circulation nearly one

half- and given it a metropolitan character, it now
being the recognized medium for news for the triad
of cities, Davenport, Rock Island and Moline, — to
each of which it is delivered by carriers every morn-
ing before the breakfast hour.

In politics, Mr. Chapin has always been a staunch
republican, and, like his puritan ancestors, an uncom-
promising enemy of the institution of liuman slavery,
and during the late rebellion gave his influence in
support of the integrity of his country ; and though
prevented by feeble health from participating active-

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 8 of 125)